Velasco v. People
G.R. No. 166479 February 28, 2006
Lessons Applicable: Attempted
Laws Applicable: Art. 6
• April 19, 1998 7:30 am: Frederick Maramba was cleaning and washing his owner type jeep in front of his house when a motorized tricycle stopped near him. Rodolfo C. Velasco dashed out of the tricycle, approached the complainant and fired at him several times with a .45 caliber pistol. Velasco missed his first shot but the second one hit the complainant at the upper arm, causing him to stumble on the ground. But, Frederick stood up and ran, while Velasco fired 6 more but missed.
• After being reported as wearing a vest or a “chaleco”, the police, composed of SPO4 Romulo Villamil, PO3 Rolando Alvendo, and SPO1 Soliven pursued and caught Velasco who was on board a motorized tricycle to the highway going to Barangay Banaoang in Calasiao town with a firearm protruding from the waistline
• Velasco’s Alibi: April 18, 1998, he spent the night at a friend’s house in Lingayen, Pangasinan and between 6:00-7:00am, he left Lingayen riding in the Volkswagen car of Berting Soriano then alighted at the corner of Banaoang diversion road to ride a tricycle where he heard a jeep behind him blowing its horn and when he looked back he saw three men on board pointing their guns at him.
• RTC: guilty of attempted murder appreciating treachery in the commission of the crime sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of Four (4) years of prision correccional, as minimum to Eight (8) years and One (1) day of prision mayor, as maximum and to pay P2,696 as actual damages
• CA: Affirmed RTC
• Velasco filed a petition for certiorari
o he had no motive to harm, much less kill, the victim for he was total stranger and since the identity of the assailant is in doubt, motive becomes important and his alibi gains weight and value and that the testimony of Armando Maramba is not credible, he being a relative of the victim
ISSUE: W/N Velasco is guilty of attempted murder
HELD: YES. petition is DENIED
• it was not physically impossible for Velasco to be at the crime scene when the crime was committed since it only takes a 10-minute ride from the place where he allegedly alighted from the car of one Berting Soriano to the crime scene
• Even without a ballistic report, the positive identification by prosecution witnesses is more than sufficient to prove accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
• It must be stressed that motive is a state of (one’s) mind which others cannot discern. It is not an element of the crime, and as such does not have to be proved. In fact, lack of motive for committing a crime does not preclude conviction. It is judicial knowledge that persons have been killed or assaulted for no reason at all. Even in the absence of a known motive, the time-honored rule is that motive is not essential to convict when there is no doubt as to the identity of the culprit. Motive assumes significance only where there is no showing of who the perpetrator of the crime was.
o since petitioner has been positively identified the lack of motive is no longer of consequence
• relationship could strengthen the witnesses’ credibility, for it is unnatural for an aggrieved relative to falsely accuse someone other than the actual culprit
• The fact that the shooting occurred in broad daylight does not render its commission impossible. The fact that petitioner was a navy man, a protector of the people, does not mean that he is innocent of the crime charged or that he is incapable of doing it.
• The suddenness of the shooting and the fact that he was unarmed left private complainant with no option but to run for his life. – treachery
• Having commenced the criminal act by overt acts but failing to perform all acts of execution as to produce the felony by reason of some cause other than his own desistance, petitioner committed an attempted felony. Petitioner already commenced his attack with a manifest intent to kill by shooting private complainant seven times, but failed to perform all the acts of execution by reason of causes independent of his will, that is, poor aim and the swiftness of the latter. Private complainant sustained a wound on the left arm that is not sufficient to cause his death. The settled rule is that where the wound inflicted on the victim is not sufficient to cause his death, the crime is only attempted murder, since the accused did not perform all the acts of execution that would have brought about death
• Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, and there being no aggravating or mitigating circumstances, the minimum of the penalty to be imposed should be within the range of prision correccional, and the maximum of the penalty to be imposed should be within the range of prision mayor in its medium period.
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