Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 4

Republic of the Philippines

Supreme Court
Manila
EN BANC
CORAZON BUENAFE, G. R. No. xxxxxx
Accused - Accused Present:
ZAYCO, C.J.,
TAN,
-versus- VILLADOLID,
CABALLERO, and
MARTIR, JJ.

PEOPLE OF THE Promulgated:


PHILIPPINES,
________________
Plaintiff Appellee.
X----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------X
DECISION
ZAYCO, CJ.:
For review is the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Tacloban City, Branch 8, dated January 20, 2017, in Criminal Case No. 208
finding accused-appellant Corazon Buenafe guilty of the crime of murder
qualified by treachery.
The Facts
On November 7, 2013, Corazon Buenafe (Petitioner), an internal
medicine resident in Sacred Heart Hospital, Tacloban City, Leyte, went to
said hospital after receiving a message to evacuate from the National Risk
Reduction and Management Council. Petitioner found the hospital
abandoned with only Pedro Siglain, a 55 year old diabetic and prospective
kidney done, and Paolo Bantayan, a hospital elderly. The two relate that they
were waiting for an ambulance driver who promised to return for them
because they could no longer be loaded into the evacuation transports.
However, without their knowledge, the storm surge rendered the roads
impassable.
Realizing that help might not reach them anytime soon, petitioner
made preparations to provide Siglain much needed medical attention. The
patients condition worsened however and petitioner determined that this
was due to renal failure and, without proper treatment, Siglain would die in a
matter of days. In the meantime, he would be in terrible, agonizing pain.
Paolo Bantayan, the elderly, managed to make contact with the rescue
operations but is told that the rescuers would have trouble reaching the
hospital. Bantayan spent the rest of his time praying beside Siglain who was,
by that time, in great pain.
Petitioner realized that Siglain was dying, delirious with pain and no
longer responding to her (petitioners) questions. She decided to give the
patient and overdose of morphine. She administered the drug without the
knowledge of Bantayan. Pedro Siglain died.
Soon after Petitioner and Paolo Bantayan were rescued, she confessed
to giving the victim an overdose of morphine. She was subsequently charged
with murder qualified by treachery.
The lower court found her guilty hence this petition.
Issues
I. WETHER OR NOT THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FINDING
THE PETITIONER GUILTY OF MURDER QUALIFIED BY
TREACHERY DESPITE THE FAILURE OF THE
PROSECUTION TO PROVE HER GUILT BEYOND
REASONABLE DOUBT.

II. WHETHER OR NOT THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN


APPRECIATING THE QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE OF
TREACHERY.

Petitioner mainly argues in the first assigned error that it was not the
overdose of morphine administered by her that killed the victim, but rather it
was the latters renal failure. However, it was admitted by the petitioner that
one of the possible effects of morphine overdose is death. Also, a significant
matter brought up during oral arguments was that other doctors supported
the finding of petitioner, a doctor herself, that the victim was suffering from
renal failure and would in fact die without proper medical attention.
The purpose of the overdose of morphine, according to petitioner, was
to alleviate the pain felt by the victim then. She lacked any intent to kill in
administering the drug and thus could not be liable for the crime charged.
The second issue is connected to the first. Petitioner cites People v.
Cadag et.a11 in saying that treachery was not properly appreciated because
the accused did not purposely employ means to avoid risk to herself or for
the victim to set up a defense. Petitioner also cites People v. Tionzon2in
arguing that treachery cannot be presumed but must be clearly proven to
have been employed by the accused.

Our Ruling
The petition lacks merit.
The overt acts of the Corazon Buenafe point to no other conclusion
than that she killed Pedro Siglain by overdosing him with morphine while he
was in no position to protest or defend himself.
(EXPLAIN FURTHER PA AMD FIRST ISSUE MUNA)
On the second issue, petitioners reliance on Cadag and Tionzon is
misplaced. In Cadag, We ruled that the killing was not attended by
treachery because on the onset of the confrontation between the group of the
accused and the victim, the accused did not make any preparation to kill the
deceased in such a manner as to insure the commission of the crime or to
make it impossible or hard for the person attacked to defend himself or
retaliate. The stabbing of the neck of the deceased which caused his death
occurred because the group of the victim approached the group of the
accused and asked why the latter previously harassed the former while they
were passing by. There was no showing that the first confrontation of the
groups, prior to the stabbing, was done with the intent to kill the victim.

1 G.R. No. L-13830 May 31, 1961


2 G.R. No. 89823, June 19, 1991
In the case at hand, it is clear that the killing was treacherous. The
accused knew that the victim was in no state retaliate or even protest against
her acts because of the victims worsening condition. She did not also
inform Paolo Bantayan, who was praying by the side of victim, of her plans.
We see these as means sought after to avoid any risk on the part of the
accused and to ensure the commission of the crime. Informing either of the
two men, or at the least Paolo Bantayan, of what she was going to do could
have led to protest from the elderly or even the latter, being a devout
Catholic, physical stopping the accused from committing any act of
euthanasia.
In Tionzon, We ruled that treachery was not convincingly proven as
there was no witness to the manner by which the accused shot the victim. In
the case at hand, however, petitioner herself confessed to her acts after their
rescue therefor proving that, when she gave the victim an overdose of
morphine, she could have met any resistance from the accused or even from
Paolo Bantayan, and she did it to insure the commission of the crime.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby
DISMISSED and the conviction by the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch
8, Tacloban, Leyte, in Criminal Case No. 208, of the accused Corazon
Buenafe is AFFIRMED in toto.
SO ORDERED.

DANIEL VICTOR ZAYCO


Chief Justice
WE CONCUR

TAN, J; Concurring Opinion


I concur. Petitioner