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ESCRITOR accommodation of religious exercises as required by the Free

492 SCRA 1 ; 22 JUN 2006 Exercise Clause. This benevolent neutrality could allow for
accommodation of morality based on religion, provided it does
FACTS: Escritor is a court interpreter since 1999 in the RTC of Las not offend compelling state interests. Assuming arguendo that
Pinas City. She has been living with Quilapio, a man who is not the OSG has proved a compelling state interest, it has to further
her husband, for more than twenty five years and had a son with demonstrate that the state has used the least intrusive means
him as well. Respondent’s husband died a year before she possible so that the free exercise is not infringed any more than
entered into the judiciary while Quilapio is still legally married to necessary to achieve the legitimate goal of the state. Thus the
another woman. conjugal arrangement cannot be penalized for it constitutes an
exemption to the law based on her right to freedom of religion.
Complainant Estrada requested the Judge of said RTC to
investigate respondent. According to complainant, respondent
should not be allowed to remain employed therein for it will
appear as if the court allows such act.

Respondent claims that their conjugal arrangement is permitted

by her religion—the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower
and the Bible Trace Society. They allegedly have a ‘Declaration of
Pledging Faithfulness’ under the approval of their congregation.
Such a declaration is effective when legal impediments render it
impossible for a couple to legalize their union.

ISSUE: Whether or Not the State could penalize respondent for

such conjugal arrangement.

RULING: No. The State could not penalize respondent for she is
exercising her right to freedom of religion. The free exercise of
religion is specifically articulated as one of the fundamental
rights in our Constitution. As Jefferson put it, it is the most
inalienable and sacred of human rights. The State’s interest in
enforcing its prohibition cannot be merely abstract or symbolic
in order to be sufficiently compelling to outweigh a free exercise
claim. In the case at bar, the State has not evinced any concrete
interest in enforcing the concubinage or bigamy charges against
respondent or her partner. Thus the State’s interest only
amounts to the symbolic preservation of an unenforced

Furthermore, a distinction between public and secular morality

and religious morality should be kept in mind. The jurisdiction of
the Court extends only to public and secular morality.

The Court further states that our Constitution adheres the

benevolent neutrality approach that gives room for
PEOPLE V. ECHEGARAY Wherefore, the motion for reconsideration & supplemental murderer; for the rape victim, life may not be nearly so happy as
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES V. LEO ECHEGARAY Y PILO motion for reconsideration are denied for lack of merit. it was, but it is not over and normally is not beyond repair. We
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE V. LEO have the abiding conviction that the death penalty, which 'is
ECHEGARAY Y PILO, DEFENDANT APPELLANT Ratio: Accused-appellant first claims that the death penalty is unique in its severity and irrevocability' x x x is an excessive
per se a cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment as ruled by the penalty for the rapist who, as such, does not take human life"
Per Curiam United States (U.S.) Supreme Court in Furman v. Georgia. To
Doctrine: Neither excessive fines nor cruel, degrading or state, however, that the U.S. Supreme Court, in Furman, The U.S. Supreme Court based its foregoing ruling on
inhuman punishment categorically ruled that the death penalty is a cruel, degrading or two grounds:
Date: February 7, 1997 inhuman punishment, is misleading and inaccurate.
Ponente: As it is a Per curiam decision, the court is acting first, that the public has manifested its rejection of the
collectively & anonymously. The issue in Furman was not so much death penalty death penalty as a proper punishment for the crime of rape
itself but the arbitrariness pervading the procedures by which through the willful omission by the state legislatures to include
Facts: The SC rendered a decision in the instant case affirming the death penalty was imposed on the accused by the rape in their new death penalty statutes in the aftermath of
the conviction of the accused-appellant for the crime of raping sentencing jury. Thus, the defense theory in Furman centered Furman;
his ten-year old daughter. not so much on the nature of the death penalty as a criminal
The crime having been committed sometime in April, 1994, sanction but on the discrimination against the black accused Phil. SC: Anent the first ground, we fail to see how this
during which time Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7659, commonly who is meted out the death penalty by a white jury that is given could have any bearing on the Philippine experience and in the
known as the Death Penalty Law, was already in effect, accused- the unconditional discretion to determine whether or not to context of our own culture.
appellant was inevitably meted out the supreme penalty of impose the death penalty.
death. second, that rape, while concededly a dastardly
Furman, thus, did not outlaw the death penalty contemptuous violation of a woman's spiritual integrity, physical
The accused-appellant timely filed a Motion for Reconsideration because it was cruel and unusual per se. While the U.S. privacy, and psychological balance, does not involve the taking
which focused on the sinister motive of the victim's Supreme Court nullified all discretionary death penalty statutes of life.
grandmother that precipitated the filing of the alleged false in Furman, it did so because the discretion which these statutes
accusation of rape against the accused. The motion was vested in the trial judges and sentencing juries was uncontrolled Phil. SC: we disagree with the court's predicate that the
dismissed as the SC found no substantial arguments on the said and without any parameters, guidelines, or standards intended gauge of whether or not a crime warrants the death penalty or
motion that can disturb the verdict. to lessen, if not altogether eliminate, the intervention of not, is the attendance of the circumstance of death on the part
On August 6, 1996, accused-appellant discharged the defense personal biases, prejudices and discriminatory acts on the part of the victim. Such a premise is in fact an ennobling of the
counsel, Atty. Julian R. Vitug, and retained the services of the of the trial judges and sentencing juries. biblical notion of retributive justice of "an eye for an eye, a tooth
Anti-Death Penalty Task Force of the Free Legal Assistance accused-appellant asseverates that the death penalty is a cruel, for a tooth".
Group of the Philippines. (FLAG) inhuman or degrading punishment for the crime of rape mainly
A supplemental Motion for Reconsideration prepared by the because the latter, unlike murder, does not involve the taking of The Revised Penal Code, as it was originally
FLAG on behalf of accused-appellant aiming for the reversal of life. promulgated, provided for the death penalty in specified crimes
the death sentence. under specific circumstances. As early as 1886, though, capital
In sum, the Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration raises In support of his contention, accused-appellant largely punishment had entered our legal system through the old Penal
three (3) main issues: (1) mixed factual and legal matters relies on the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in Coker v. Code, which was a modified version of the Spanish Penal Code
relating to the trial proceedings and findings; (2) alleged Georgia:: "Rape is without doubt deserving of serious of 1870.
incompetence of accused-appellant's former counsel; and (3) punishment; but in terms of moral depravity and of the injury to Under the Revised Penal Code, death is the penalty for
purely legal question of the constitutionality of R.A. No. 7659. the person and to the public, it does not compare with murder, the crimes of treason, correspondence with the enemy during
Issue/s: WON the death penalty law (RA no. 7659) is which does involve the unjustified taking of human life. times of war, qualified piracy, parricide, murder, infanticide,
unconstitutional Although it may be accompanied by another crime, rape by kidnapping, rape with homicide or with the use of deadly
definition does not include the death of or even the serious weapon or by two or more persons resulting in insanity, robbery
Held: No. injury to another person. The murderer kills; the rapist, if no with homicide, and arson resulting in death.
more than that, does not. Life is over for the victim of the
The opposition to the death penalty uniformly took the form of sanctity of his or her own physical body, and the value he or she
a constitutional question of whether or not the death penalty is puts in his or her own spiritual, psychological, material and social
a cruel, unjust, excessive or unusual punishment in violation of preferences and needs.
the constitutional proscription against cruel and unusual Seen in this light, the capital crimes of kidnapping and
punishment serious illegal detention for ransom resulting in the death of the
Harden v. Director of Prison- "The penalty complained victim or the victim is raped, tortured, or subjected to
of is neither cruel, unjust nor excessive. In Ex-parte Kemmler, dehumanizing acts; destructive arson resulting in death, and
136 U.S., 436, the United States Supreme Court said that drug offenses involving minors or resulting in the death of the
'punishments are cruel when they involve torture or a lingering victim in the case of other crimes; as well as murder, rape,
death, but the punishment of death is not cruel, within the parricide, infanticide, kidnapping and serious illegal detention
meaning of that word as used in the constitution. It implies where the victim is detained for more than three days or serious
there something inhuman and barbarous, something more than physical injuries were inflicted on the victim or threats to kill him
the mere extinguishment of life. were made or the victim is a minor, robbery with homicide, rape
People v. Limaco- "x x x there are quite a number of or intentional mutilation, destructive arson, and carnapping
people who honestly believe that the supreme penalty is either where the owner, driver or occupant of the carnapped vehicle is
morally wrong or unwise or ineffective. However, as long as killed or raped, which are penalized by reclusion perpetua to
that penalty remains in the statute books, and as long as our death, are clearly heinous by their very nature.
criminal law provides for its imposition in certain cases, it is the
duty of judicial officers to respect and apply the law regardless SC: the death penalty is imposed in heinous crimes
of their private opinions," because:
Article III, Section 19 (1) of the 1987 Constitution simply the perpetrators thereof have committed unforgivably
states that congress, for compelling reasons involving heinous execrable acts that have so deeply dehumanized a person or
crimes, may re-impose the death penalty. Nothing in the said criminal acts with severely destructive effects on the national
provision imposes a requirement that for a death penalty bill to efforts to lift the masses from abject poverty through organized
be valid, a positive manifestation in the form of a higher governmental strategies based on a disciplined and honest
incidence of crime should first be perceived and statistically citizenry they have so caused irreparable and substantial injury
proven following the suspension of the death penalty. Neither to both their victim and the society and a repetition of their acts
does the said provision require that the death penalty be would pose actual threat to the safety of individuals and the
resorted to as a last recourse when all other criminal reforms survival of government, they must be permanently prevented
have failed to abate criminality in society what R.A. No. 7659 from doing so
states is that "the Congress, in the interest of justice, public
order and rule of law, and the need to rationalize and harmonize People v. Cristobal: "Rape is the forcible violation of
the penal sanctions for heinous crimes, finds compelling reasons the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice
to impose the death penalty for said crimes. and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and
Heinous crime is an act or series of acts which, by the physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It
flagrantly violent manner in which the same was committed or causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is
by the reason of its inherent viciousness, shows a patent always an intrinsically evil act xxx an outrage upon decency and
disregard and mockery of the law, public peace and order, or dignity that hurts not only the victim but the society itself.
public morals. It is an offense whose essential and inherent
viciousness and atrocity are repugnant and outrageous to a
civilized society and hence, shock the moral self of a people.
The right of a person is not only to live but to live a
quality life, and this means that the rest of society is obligated to
respect his or her individual personality, the integrity and the
LITO CORPUZ VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES No. It is true that the gravamen of the crime of estafa with
G.R. NO. 180016, APRIL 29, 2014 PERALTA, J.: abuse of confidence under Article 315, paragraph 1, (d) that there is a demand made by the offended party on the
subparagraph (b) of the RPC is the appropriation or conversion offender.
FACTS: Accused Corpuz received from complainant Tangcoy of money or property received to the prejudice of the owner and
pieces of jewelry with an obligation to sell the same and remit that the time of occurrence is not a material ingredient of the No specific type of proof is required to show that there was
the proceeds of the sale or to return the same if not sold, after crime. Hence, the exclusion of the period and the wrong date of demand. Demand need not even be formal; it may be verbal.
the expiration of 30 days. the occurrence of the crime, as reflected in the Information, do The specific word “demand” need not even be used to show that
The period expired without Corpuz remitting anything to not make the latter fatally defective. it has indeed been made upon the person charged, since even a
Tangcoy. mere query as to the whereabouts of the money [in this case,
When Corpuz and Tangcoy met, Corpuz promised that Further, the following satisfies the sufficiency of information: property], would be tantamount to a demand.
he will pay, but to no avail.
Tangcoy filed a case for estafa with abuse of confidence against 1. The designation of the offense by the statute; In Tubb v. People, where the complainant merely verbally
Corpuz. inquired about the money entrusted to the accused, the query
Corpuz argued as follows: 2. The acts or omissions complained of as constituting the was tantamount to a demand.
a. The proof submitted by Tangcoy (receipt) is inadmissible for offense;
being a mere photocopy. May a sole witness be considered credible?
3. The name of the offended party; and
b. The information was defective because the date when the Yes. Note first that settled is the rule that in assessing the
jewelry should be returned and the date when crime occurred is 4. The approximate time of the commission of the offense, and credibility of witnesses, SC gives great respect to the evaluation
different from the one testified to by Tangcoy. the place wherein the offense was committed. of the trial court for it had the unique opportunity to observe
the demeanor of witnesses and their deportment on the witness
c. Fourth element of estafa or demand is not proved. The 4th element is satisfied. Even though the information stand, an opportunity denied the appellate courts, which merely
indicates that the time of offense was committed “on or about rely on the records of the case.
d. Sole testimony of Tangcoy is not sufficient for conviction the 5th of July 1991,” such is not fatal to the prosecution’s cause
considering that Section 11 of the same Rule requires a The assessment by the trial court is even conclusive and binding
ISSUES and RULING statement of the precise time only when the same is a material if not tainted with arbitrariness or oversight of some fact or
Can the court admit as evidence a photocopy of ingredient of the offense. circumstance of weight and influence, especially when such
document without violating the best evidence rule (only original finding is affirmed by the CA. Truth is established not by the
documents, as a general rule, is admissible as evidence)? What is the form of demand required in estafa with abuse of number of witnesses, but by the quality of their testimonies, for
confidence? in determining the value and credibility of evidence, the
Yes. The established doctrine is that when a party failed witnesses are to be weighed not numbered.
to interpose a timely objection to evidence at the time they Note first that the elements of estafa with abuse of confidence
were offered in evidence, such objection shall be considered as are as follows:
(a) that money, goods or other personal property is received by
Here, Corpuz never objected to the admissibility of the said the offender in trust, or on commission, or for administration, or
evidence at the time it was identified, marked and testified upon under any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery
in court by Tangcoy. Corpuz also failed to raise an objection in of, or to return the same;
his Comment to the prosecution’s formal offer of evidence and
even admitted having signed the said receipt. (b) that there be misappropriation or conversion of such money
or property by the offender or denial on his part of such receipt;
Is the date of occurrence of time material in estafa cases with
abuse of confidence? (c) that such misappropriation or conversion or denial is to the
prejudice of another; and
PEOPLE VS. FERRER (2) Whether or Not RA1700 violates freedom of expression. the preamble, careful investigations by the Congress were done.
[48 SCRA 382; NOS.L-32613-14; 27 DEC 1972] The court further stresses that whatever interest in freedom of
Held: The court holds the VALIDITY Of the Anti-Subversion Act of speech and association is excluded in the prohibition of
Facts: Hon. Judge Simeon Ferrer is the Tarlac trial court judge 1957. membership in the CPP are weak considering NATIONAL
that declared RA1700 or the Anti-Subversive Act of 1957 as a bill SECURITY and PRESERVATION of DEMOCRACY.
of attainder. Thus, dismissing the information of subversion A bill of attainder is solely a legislative act. It punishes without
against the following: 1.) Feliciano Co for being an officer/leader the benefit of the trial. It is the substitution of judicial The court set basic guidelines to be observed in the prosecution
of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) aggravated by determination to a legislative determination of guilt. In order for under RA1700. In addition to proving circumstances/ evidences
circumstances of contempt and insult to public officers, a statute be measured as a bill of attainder, the following of subversion, the following elements must also be established:
subversion by a band and aid of armed men to afford impunity. requisites must be present: 1.) The statute specifies persons,
2.) Nilo Tayag and 5 others, for being members/leaders of the groups. 2.) the statute is applied retroactively and reach past 1. Subversive Organizations besides the CPP, it must be proven
NPA, inciting, instigating people to unite and overthrow the conduct. (A bill of attainder relatively is also an ex post facto that the organization purpose is to overthrow the present
Philippine Government. Attended by Aggravating Circumstances law.) Government of the Philippines and establish a domination of a
of Aid or Armed Men, Craft, and Fraud. The trial court is of FOREIGN POWER. Membership is willfully and knowingly done
opinion that 1.) The Congress usurped the powers of the judge In the case at bar, the statute simply declares the CPP as an by overt acts.
2.) Assumed judicial magistracy by pronouncing the guilt of the organized conspiracy for the overthrow of the Government for 2. In case of CPP, the continued pursuance of its subversive
CPP without any forms of safeguard of a judicial trial. 3.) It purposes of example of SECTION 4 of the Act. The Act applies purpose. Membership is willfully and knowingly done by overt
created a presumption of organizational guilt by being members not only to the CPP but also to other organizations having the acts.
of the CPP regardless of voluntariness. same purpose and their successors. The Act’s focus is on the
conduct not person. The court did not make any judgment on the crimes of the
The Anti Subversive Act of 1957 was approved 20June1957. It is accused under the Act. The Supreme Court set aside the
an act to outlaw the CPP and similar associations penalizing Membership to this organizations, to be UNLAWFUL, it must be resolution of the TRIAL COURT.
membership therein, and for other purposes. It defined the shown that membership was acquired with the intent to further
Communist Party being although a political party is in fact an the goals of the organization by overt acts. This is the element of
organized conspiracy to overthrow the Government, not only by MEMBERSHIP with KNOWLEDGE that is punishable. This is the
force and violence but also by deceit, subversion and other required proof of a member’s direct participation. Why is
illegal means. It declares that the CPP is a clear and present membership punished. Membership renders aid and
danger to the security of the Philippines. Section 4 provided that encouragement to the organization. Membership makes himself
affiliation with full knowledge of the illegal acts of the CPP is party to its unlawful acts.
punishable. Section 5 states that due investigation by a
designated prosecutor by the Secretary of Justice be made prior Furthermore, the statute is PROSPECTIVE in nature. Section 4
to filing of information in court. Section 6 provides for penalty prohibits acts committed after approval of the act. The members
for furnishing false evidence. Section 7 provides for 2 witnesses of the subversive organizations before the passing of this Act is
in open court for acts penalized by prision mayor to death. given an opportunity to escape liability by renouncing
Section 8 allows the renunciation of membership to the CCP membership in accordance with Section 8. The statute applies
through writing under oath. Section 9 declares the the principle of mutatis mutandis or that the necessary changes
constitutionality of the statute and its valid exercise under having been made.
freedom if thought, assembly and association.
The declaration of that the CPP is an organized conspiracy to
Issues: overthrow the Philippine Government should not be the basis of
guilt. This declaration is only a basis of Section 4 of the Act. The
(1) Whether or not RA1700 is a bill of attainder/ ex post facto EXISTENCE OF SUBSTANTIVE EVIL justifies the limitation to the
law. exercise of “Freedom of Expression and Association” in this
matter. Before the enactment of the statute and statements in
PEOPLE VS. MARTIN SIMON leaves to Sgt. Lopez, who acted as the poseur-buyer, in exchange Thus, in the case at bar, appellant should be begrudged the
G.R. NO. 93028 JULY 29, 1994 for two twenty-peso bills. benefit of a minimum sentence within the range of arresto
SALE OF PROHIBITED DRUGS mayor, the penalty next lower to prision correccional which is
After careful review, the Court held that there were 2 tea bags the maximum range have fixed through the application of
FACTS: Accused Martin Simon was charged with a violation of of marijuana that was sold and there were 2 other tea bags of Articles 61 and 71 of the Revised Penal Code. For, with fealty to
Section 4, Article II of Republic Act No. 6425 or the Dangerous marijuana confiscated. Thus, Simon should be charged of selling the law, the court may set the minimum sentence at 6 months
Drugs Act of 1972. He sold tea bags of marijuana to a Narcotics for the 2 tea bags of marijuana only. of arresto mayor, instead of 6 months and 1 day of prision
Command (NARCOM) poseur-buyer. The confiscated 4 tea bags, correccional.
weighing a total of 3.8 grams, when subjected to laboratory However, there is an overlapping error in the provisions on the
examination, were found positive for marijuana. penalty of reclusion perpetua by reason of its dual imposition,
that is, as the maximum of the penalty where the marijuana is
Simon denied the accusation against him, claiming that on the less than 750 grams, and also as the minimum of the penalty
day of question, he was picked up by the police at their house where the marijuana involved is 750 grams or more. The same
while watching TV. He was told that he was a pusher so he error has been committed with respect to the other prohibited
attempted to alight from the jeep but he was handcuffed and regulated drugs provided in said Section 20. To harmonize
instead. When they finally reached the camp, he was ordered to such conflicting provisions in order to give effect to the whole
sign some papers and, when he refused, he was boxed in the law, the court hereby hold that the penalty to be imposed where
stomach eight or nine times by Sgt. Pejoro. He was then the quantity of the drugs involved is less than the quantities
compelled to affix his signature and fingerprints on the stated in the first paragraph shall range from prision
documents presented to him. He denied knowledge of the correccional to reclusion temporal, and not reclusion perpetua.
marked money or the 4 teabags of dried marijuana leaves, and This is also concordant with the fundamental rule in criminal law
insisted that the marked money came from the pocket of Pejoro. that all doubts should be construed in a manner favorable to the
Moreover, the reason why he vomited blood was because of the accused.
blows he suffered at the hands of Pejoro.
The court held that Republic Act No. 6425, as now amended by
Dr. Evelyn Gomez-Aguas, a resident physician of Romana Pangan Republic Act No. 7659, has unqualifiedly adopted the penalties
District Hospital, declared that she treated appellant for three under the Revised Penal Code in their technical terms, hence
days due to abdominal pain, but her examination revealed that with their technical signification and effects. In fact, for purposes
the cause for this ailment was appellant’s peptic ulcer. She did of determining the maximum of said sentence, the court have
not see any sign of slight or serious external injury, abrasion or applied the provisions of the amended Section 20 of said law to
contusion on his body. arrive at prision correccional and Article 64 of the Code to
impose the same in the medium period. Such offense, although
Simon was sentenced to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment, provided for in a special law, is now in effect punished by and
to pay a fine of twenty thousand pesos and to pay the costs. under the Revised Penal Code. Correlatively, to determine the
minimum, the court applied first part of the aforesaid Section 1
Simon then seek the reversal of the judgement which directs that “in imposing a prison sentence for an offense
punished by the Revised Penal Code, or its amendments, the
ISSUE: Was the conviction of Simon correct? court shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence
the maximum term of which shall be that which, in view of the
RULING: To sustain a conviction for selling prohibited drugs, the attending circumstances, could be properly imposed under the
sale must be clearly and unmistakably established. To sell means rules of said Code, and the minimum which shall be within the
to give, whether for money or any other material consideration. range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by the Code
It must, therefore, be established beyond doubt that appellant for the offense.”
actually sold and delivered two tea bags of marijuana dried
MANUEL V. PEOPLE Article 3 of the Revised Penal Code, there must be malice for · GR: mistake of fact or good faith of the accused is a valid
G.R. NO. 165842 NOVEMBER 29, 2005 one to be criminally liable for a felony defense in a prosecution for a felony by dolo; such defense
· CA: affirming the decision of the RTC stating that Article 41 negates malice or criminal intent.
Lesson: Felony, Bigamy, Judicial Declaration of Presumptive of the Family Code should apply that there should have been a · EX: ignorance of the law is not an excuse because everyone
Death, malice, good faith as a valid defense judicial declaration of Gaña’s presumptive death as the absent is presumed to know the law.
· Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea spouse and modified minimum to 2 years and four months o Ignorantia legis neminem excusat
· burden of the petitioner to prove his defense that when he
Laws Applicable: Art. 3 par 2 RPC, Art. 349 RPC, Art. 41 FC ISSUE: W/N Eduardo is guilty of Bigamy, a felony by dolo married he was of the well-grounded belief that his first wife
(deceit). was already dead, as he had not heard from her for more than
FACTS: 20 years since 1975
· July 28, 1975: Eduardo married Rubylus Gaña before Msgr. HELD: YES. petition is DENIED. CA affirmed o failed to discharge his burden since no judicial declaration as
Feliciano Santos in Makati proof
o Rubylus was charged with estafa in 1975 and thereafter · Art. 349. Bigamy. – The penalty of prision mayor shall be · Article 41 of the Family Code amended the rules on
imprisoned imposed upon any person who shall contract a second or presumptive death on Articles 390 and 391 of the Civil Code
o Eduardo only visited 3 times and never saw her again subsequent marriage before the former marriage has been which states that before the spouse present may contract a
· January 1996: Eduardo met Tina B. Gandalera, 21 year old legally dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been declared subsequent marriage, he or she must institute summary
computer secretarial student, in Dagupan City while she looked presumptively dead by means of a judgment rendered in the proceedings for the declaration of the presumptive death of the
for a friend during her 2 days stay proper proceedings. absentee spouse, without prejudice to the effect of the
· Later, Eduardo visited Tina, they went to a motel together o The reason why bigamy is considered a felony is to preserve reappearance of the absentee spouse.
and he proposed marriage and introduced her to his parents and ensure the juridical tie of marriage established by law. · moral damages may be awarded under Article 2219 in
who assures that he is single o Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code has made the relation to Articles 19, 20 and 21 of the Civil Code for being
· April 22, 1996: Eduardo married Tina before Judge Antonio dissolution of marriage dependent not only upon the personal against public policy as they undermine and subvert the family
C. Reyes, the Presiding Judge of the RTC of Baguio City and they belief of parties, but upon certain objective facts easily capable as a social institution, good morals and the interest and general
were able to build a home after of accurate judicial cognizance, namely, a judgment of the welfare of society
· 1999: Eduardo only visited their home twice or thrice a presumptive death of the absent spouse
year and whenever jobless Tina would ask for money, he would · For the accused to be held guilty of bigamy, the
slap her prosecution is burdened to prove the felony:
· January 2001: Eduardo packed his things and left and o (a) he/she has been legally married; and
stopped giving financial support o (b) he/she contracts a subsequent marriage without the
· August 2001: Tina through inquiries from the National former marriage having been lawfully dissolved.
Statistics Office (NSO) in Manila and was embarrassed and § The felony is consummated on the celebration of the second
humiliated to learn that Eduardo was previously married marriage or subsequent marriage
· Eduardo claimed that he did NOT know that he had to go · Article 3, paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code provides
to court to seek for the nullification of his first marriage before that there is deceit when the act is performed with deliberate
marrying Tina intent
· RTC: Eduardo guilty beyond reasonable doubt of bigamy o Malice -a mental state or condition prompting the doing of
and sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of from 6 years and an overt act WITHOUT legal excuse or justification from which
10 months, as minimum, to 10 years, as maximum and another suffers injury
P200,000.00 by way of moral damages, plus costs of suit o When the act or omission defined by law as a felony is
o Eduardo’s belief, that his first marriage had been dissolved proved to have been done or committed by the accused, the law
because of his first wife’s 20-year absence, even if true, did not presumes it to have been intentional
exculpate him from liability for bigamy o For one to be criminally liable for a felony by dolo, there
· Eduardo appealed to the CA contending that he did so in must be a confluence of both an evil act and an evil intent.
good faith and without any malicious intent whereas under § Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea
PEOPLE OF THE R.P. VS. DELIM to insure its execution, without risk to himself arising from the
G.R. NO. 142773 28 JANUARY 2003 defense which the offended party might make.
For it to be appreciated prosecution needs to prove:
FACTS OF THE CASE: It is due to the automatic review of the a. employment of means of execution which gives the person no
decision of the RTC Branch 46 (Urdaneta City) finding the opportunity
appellants, guilty beyond reasonable doubt and sentencing them to defend himself
to death for the murder of Modesto Bantas. b. the means of execution is deliberately and consciously
Appellants pleaded not guilty to the charge. The appellants and in the appellants case there are no evidence to the particulars
victim are “related” for modesto is an adopted son of their on how Modesto was assaulted and killed and this in fact does
father. On January 23,1999 Marlon, Robert and Ronald Delim mean that treachery cannot be proven since it cannot be
charged into the house and poked a gun at modesto and herded presumed that modesto was defenseless during the time that he
him outside the house. Leon and Manuel Delim both armed was being attacked and shot at by the appellants.
stayed put and made sure that randy and rita stayed put. Sheer numbers by the appellants when they attacked modesto
does not constitute proof that the three took advantage of their
Modesto's lifeless body was then found on January 25, 1999. numerical superiority and their handguns when Modesto was
Marlon, Ronald, and Leon used denial and alibi as their evidence shot and stabbed.
against the charge.
*alibis are the weakest of all defenses since it is easy to contrive HELD:
Is conspiracy and treachery present in this case to ensure that
murder can be the crime?

Yes there is:

CONSPIRACY- is determined when two or more persons agree to
commit a felony and decide to commit it. Conspiracy must be
proven with the same quantum of evidence as the felony itself,
more specifically by proof beyond reasonable doubt. It is not
essential that there be proof as to the existence of a previous
agreement to commit a crime. It is sufficient if, at the time of
commission of the crime, the accused had the same purpose and
were united in its executed.
appellants acted in unison when they abducted Modesto. So
their acts were synchronized and executed with precision
evincing a preconceived plan to kill Modesto

There is no:
TREACHERY- there is treachery when the offender commits any
of the crimes against person, employing means, methods, or
forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and especially
PEOPLE V SABALONES witnesses arguing that the place where the incident happened is conspirator becomes the act of another regardless of the precise
294 SCRA 751, AUGUST 31, 1998 dim and not lighted. degree of participation in the act.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
BERONGA, TEODULO ALEGARBES and EUFEMIO CABANERO, RULING: The appeal is DENIED. Costs against appellants. Also there was a presence of treachery, because of the
accused, ROLUSAPE SABALONES alias "Roling" and ARTEMIO circumstances that the crime was done at night time and that
TIMOTEO BERONGA, accused-appellants. Issue 1: Whether the prosecution witnesses and evidences are the accused hid themselves among the bamboo. Evident
credible? premeditation is also an aggravating circumstance [the accused
Yes. RTC findings were binding to court with appreciated had planned to kill the victim some days before].
Fact: Beronga, Sabalones, Alegarbes, and Cabanero were testimonies of two witnesses. There was positive identification
convicted after a shooting incident in Cebu in 1985 which led to by survivors who saw them when they peered during lulls in
the death of Glenn Tiempo and Alfredo Nardo, and fatal injuries gunfire. The place was well-lit, whether from post of car’s
of Nelson Tiempo, Rey Bolo and Rogelio Presores. The victims headlights. The extrajudicial confession has no bearing because
were asked to bring the car of a certain Stephen Lim who also the conviction was based on positive identification. It is binding
attended a wedding party. Nelson Tiempo drove the car with though to the co-accused because it is used as cirmustancial
Rogelio Presores. Alfredo Nardo drove the owner-type jeep evidence corroborated by one witness. The inconcistencies are
along with Glenn Tiempo and Rey Bolo to aid the group back to minor and inconsequential which strengthen credibility of
the party after parking the car at Lim’s house. When they testimony. Furthermore, in aberratio ictus [mistake in blow],
reached the gate, they were met with a sudden burst of gunfire. mistake does not diminish culpability; same gravity applies,
The accused were identified as the gunmen. The Court of more proper to use error in personae. Alibi cannot prevail over
Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. Sabalones and positive identification by the prosecution witnesses.
Beronga appealed.

Crime Committed: Two counts of murder, and three counts of Issue 2: Whether the alibis are acceptable?
frustrated murder No. It was still quite near the crime scene. It is overruled by
positive identification. Using the case of People v. Nescio, Alibi is
Contention of the People: Prosecution witnesses Edwin Santos not credible when the accused-appellant is only a short distance
and Rogelio Presores testified about the shooting and identified from the scene of the crime. Furthermore, flight indicates guilt.
the faces of the accused. Presores was riding in the car that is
behind the jeep. He positively identified Sabalones as one of the
gunmen. When the gunmen fired at the car, driver Nelson Issue 3:Whether the correct penalty is imposed?
Tiempo immediately maneuvered and arrived at Major Juan No. Under Article 248 of the RPC, the imposable penalty is
Tiempo’s house from which they have escaped death. reclusion temporal in its maximum period, to death. There being
no aggravating or mitigating circumstance, aside from the
Contention of the Accused: Accused-appellants Sabalones and qualifying circumstance of treachery, the appellate court
Beronga denied their presence during the commission of the correctly imposed reclusion perpetua for murder. The CA erred
crime. Sabalones presented numerous witnesses who stated in computing the penalty for each of the three counts of
that he was sound asleep when the incident took place [since he frustrated murder. Under Article 50 of the RPC, the penalty for
got tired watching over his brother’s wake]. While Beronga frustrated felony is next lower in degree than that prescribed by
testified that he attended a cock-derby in Cebu, and was fetched law for the consummated felony. Because there are no
by his wife at 7 pm, arrived home by 10:30 pm to sleep. mitigating or aggravating conspiracy between the two accused.
Sabalones even escaped from place to place to flee from the It does not matter that the prosecution has failed to show who
wrath of Maj. Juan Tiempo, the father of the two victims. The was between the two who actually pulled the trigger that killed
defense even pointed out errors from the testimonies of the the child. They are liable as co-conspirators since the act of a