Case Digest Twinkey Relatos

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  July 13, 2019 (Cases 10-18) 1.   Santiago Paera Vs. People of the Philippines (G.R. No. 181626 May 30, 2011) FACTS: The prosecution's version is that on May 25, 1992 at about 6:30 in the evening, Ramil Cruz was on his way from his house to the Torres Store to buy ice when he saw the accused Romel Jayme from a distance of thirty meters walking towards him. Romel  passed by, and without provocation, suddenly stabbed him, hitting the left side of his stomach. He thought he was boxed, and when he faced Romel, he was stabbed for a second time, also on the left side (tsn, November 25, 1992). Edwin Cruz, a tricycle driver, brother of Ramil, was then at the other aside of the street, and saw the stabbing from a distance of about three (3) meters; he rushed towards his brother to help, and was able to hold the right hand of Romel. Romel managed to free himself and turned his ire at Edwin hitting the latter on the right arm. Edwin went to his house to call his  brother, Mario. Edwin and Mario picked up stones to throw at Romel, who was with two other companions, but Romel ran away (tsn, May 19, 1993). Ramil was brought to the Polymedic Hospital where he was hospitalized for six (6) days, spending a total of P27,276.20 in medical expenses. Dr. Agaton Manimtim testified that Ramil was treated for two perforating and penetrating stab wounds, any of which could have caused the victim's death if unattended (tsn, March 23, 1993). The version of the accused Romel Jayme is that on May 25, 1992, at about 5:45 in the afternoon, he was fetching Nawasa water at Bautista Street, when his way was  blocked by a man, who said Pare ito ba? Alalayan nyo ako and then suddenly pulled a knife from his right waist and thrust it on him. The accused twisted the hand of his assailant and wrestled with the latter for possession of the knife. While he was twisting the hand of his attacker, several persons were boxing him at the back. He was able to get hold of the knife, and he swung it right and left; somebody hit him at the back of his head and he fell; he dropped the knife in the process. He suffered a lacerated wound in the head. He recognized his attackers only by face (tsn, June 30, 1993). Edmund Villanueva was presented by the defense. He testified that earlier in the afternoon of that day, at about 5:00 o'clock, he met Edwin Cruz. The latter told him that they had an enemy and were asking for help, and were waiting for someone. He refused to give help and proceeded to the basketball court. After playing for fifteen minutes, he was on his way home when Ramil Cruz suddenly appeared and boxed  Romel Jayme. He also testified that he saw Ramil Cruz coming from the house of Celso Ramirez, where there was a drinking session (tsn, Aug. 4, 1993). [3]   ISSUE: Whether there was reasonable necessity for the means employed by petitioner to repel the attack. RULING: Reasonable necessity does not mean absolute necessity. It must be assumed that one who is assaulted cannot have sufficient tranquillity of mind to think, calculate and make comparisons which can easily be made in the calmness of the home. It is not the indispensable need but the rational necessity which the law requires. In each  particular case, it is necessary to judge the relative necessity, whether more or less imperative, in accordance with the rules of rational logic. The defendant may be given the benefit of any reasonable doubt as to whether he employed rational means to repel the aggression. The rule of reasonable necessity is not ironclad in its application; it depends upon the circumstances of the particular case. One who is assaulted does not have the time nor sufficient tranquillity of mind to think, calculate and choose the weapon to be used. The reason is obvious, in emergencies of this kind, human nature does not act upon processes of formal reason but obedience to the instinct of self-preservation; and when it is apparent that a person has reasonably acted upon this instinct, it is the duty of the courts to sanction the act and to hold the actor irresponsible in law for the consequences.” In light of the foregoing, petitioner has duly proved all the essential elements of self-defense, namely, unlawful aggression on the part of the complainant; reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and lack of sufficient  provocation on the part of the accused. He is entitled to an acquittal.  2.   SPO2 LOLITO T. NACNAC VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES (G.R. No. 191913 March 21, 2012) Facts: On February 20, 2003, SPO2 Nacnac(accused appellant), the SPO1 Espejo (Victim), and a number of other police officers were on duty. Nacnac, being the highest ranking officer during the shift, was designated as officer of the day. Shortly before 10:00 in the evening, Espejo, together with SPO1 Basillio, took the patrol from the station grounds. When Nacnac saw this, he stopped the victim and his colleague from using the tricycle. Espejo told Nacnac that he needed it to go to Laoag City to settle a previous disagreement with a security of a local bar. Nacnac still refused. He told Espejo that he is needed at the station, and at any rate he should stay at the station because he was drunk. This was not received well by Espejo. He told Nacnac in Ilocano: Iyot ni inam kapi (Coitus of your mother, cousin). Espejo alighted from the tricycle. SPO1 Eduardo Basillo did the same, went inside the office and left Nacnac and Espejo alone. Espejo took a few steps and drew his 45 calibre gun which was tucked in a Hollister on the right side of his chest. Nacnac the fired his M-16 armalite upward as a warning shot. Undaunted, Espejo still drew his gun. Nacnac then shoot the victim on the head, which cause the Espejo’s instantaneous death. Nacnac later surrendered to stations Chief of Police. The RTC found Nacnac guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime homicide. It held that the claim of self defense of Nacnac was unvailing due to the absence of unlawful aggression on the part of Espejo. On appeal, CA affirmed the findings of RTC. It held that the essential and primary element of unlawful aggression was lacking. It gave credence to the finding of the trial court that no one else saw the victim drawing his weapon and pointing it at accused Nacnac. Issue: Whether or not the justifying circumstances of the petitioner’s acts constitutes a valid self defense. Ruling: Yes. Art. 11 of the Revised Penal Code states that anyone who acts in defense of his person or rights do not incur criminal liability, provided that the following circumstances concur: 1. Unlawful aggression, 2. Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it, 3. Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. Unlawful aggression is an indispensable element of self defense; and ordinarily there is a difference between the act of of drawing one’s gun and the act of pointing one’s gun at a target in determining the presence of unlawful aggression. The former cannot be said an unlawful aggression on the part of the victim, while the latter, is generally considered unlawful aggression. Here, a warning shot fire by a fellow police officer (petitioner) was left unheeded as the victim reached for his own firearm and pointed it at petitioner. Petition was justified in defending himself in an inebriated and disobedient colleague. As to the second circumstance above, the nature and number of wounds inflicted by the accused are constantly and unremittingly considered as  important indica of the means employed by the accused, which must be reasonably commensurate the nature and the extent of the attack sought to be averted. Here, the lone gunshot was a reasonable means chosen by the petitioner in defending himself in view of the proximity of the armed victim, his drunken state, disobedience of an unlawful order and failure to stand own despite a warning shot. There is also a lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself or herself in the case. Petitioner gave the victim a lawful order and fired a warning shot before shooting the armed and drunk victim. There was no evidence on the petitioner sufficiently provoking the victim prior to the shooting, petitioner was only defending himself on the night he shot his fellow police. Wherefore petitioners Motion for Reconsideration in GRANTED. The CA decision dated July 20, 2009 in CA- G.R. CR-H.C No. 30907 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Petitioner SPO2 Lolito Nacnac is ACQUITTED of homicide beyond reasonable doubt.
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