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Torts and Damages Case Digest: US v. Baggay (1911)

G.R. No. 6659   September 1, 1911
Lessons Applicable: Insanity (Torts and Damages)

  • October 14, 1909: During the holding a song service called "buni", the non-Christian Baggay Jr. attacked a woman Bil-liingan with a bolo inflicting a serious wound on her head causing her to die immediately.
    • He inflicted the same to the women named Calabayan, Agueng, Quisamay, Calapini, and on his own mother, named Dioalan.
  • February 15
    • provincial fiscal filed a complaint for murder
      • This cause was instituted separately from the other for lesiones
  • RTC: Baggay was suffering from mental aberration and was exempt from criminal liability but obliged to indemnify the heirs if the murdered woman, Bil-liingan, in the sum of P1,000, to pay the costs in the case and to be confined in an institution for the insane until further order of the court.
  • court declared said appeal out of order and dismissed it
  • counsel for Baggay resorted to this court with a petition praying that a writ be issued directing judge Chanco, to admit the appeal and forward it, at the same time annulling all action taken for execution of the judgments rendered in the causes for murder and for lesiones
  • Attorney-General: writ inappropriate and that it should be remedy of mandamus
ISSUE: W/N Baggay was exempt from criminal liability making him exempt from civil liability as well

  • Article 17 of the Penal Code states:
    Every person criminally liable for a crime or misdemeanor is also civilly liable
  • Article 18 of the same code says:
The exemption from criminal liability declared in Nos. 1, 2, 3, 7, and 10 of article 8 does not include exemption from civil liability, which shall be enforced, subject to the following:

(1) In cases 1, 2, and 3, the persons who are civilly liable for acts committed by a lunatic or imbecile, or a person under 9 years of age, or over this age and under 15, who has not acted with the exercise of judgment, are those who have them under their authority, legal guardianship or power, unless they prove that there was no blame or negligence on their part.

Should there be no person having them under his authority, legal guardian, or power, if such person be insolvent, the said lunatics, imbeciles, or minors shall answer with their own property, excepting that part which is exempted for their support in accordance with the civil law.
  • even when they hold the accused exempt from criminal liability, must fix the civil liability of the persons charged with watching over and caring for him or the liability of the demented person him self with his property for reparation of the damage and indemnification for the harm done
    • UNLESS: the offended party or the heirs of the person murdered expressly renounce such reparation or indemnification