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1 People v.

Alvin Esugon
GR NO. 195244 | June 22, 2015| Bersamin, J.
Application of Penalties

DOCTRINE:
Robbery with homicide is a composite crime, also known as a special complex crime. It is composed of two or more
crimes but is treated by law as a single indivisible and unique offense for being the product of one criminal impulse.
It is a specific crime with a specific penalty provided by law, and is to be distinguished from a compound or complex
crime under Article 48 of the RPC.

FACTS:
 Petitioner was charged and convicted by the RTC of robbery with homicide. Victim is Josephine Castro.
 Eyewitness is Carl, 5yo son of Josephine. One night while they were sleeping (on the 1 st floor), Carl saw
Esugon enter the house and stab his mother with a knife. Carl testified that Esugon took money from his
father’s (Dennis) pocket. He also admitted that he didn’t see the perpetrator very well because there was
no light, but that he was sure that his mother was stabbed because there was light on the 2 nd floor which
illuminated the first floor thru the hallway. However, he positively identified Esugon as the perpetrator
because he knows him to be their neighbor.
 Dennis then testified that he heard someone shout “magnanakaw”. He turned their light on, saw the door
was open, got his bolo and ran outside. When he didn’t see anybody, he returned home and saw his wife
moaning thus he and his brother-in-law brought her to the hospital where she died. He also had no personal
knowledge as to the perpetrator
 Sharon, Josephine’s sister-in-law testified that she and her husband were sleeping when they woke up
around 2am because of Dennis’ cry for help. She also testified that she took the children to the billiard hall
outside their house while Dennis brought Josephine to the hospital. Carl told her “tita siya pasok bahay
namin”, pointing to someone she couldn’t see because there was a lot of people passing by.
 Esugon denied the accusation. He frequents the billiard hall but that he went home at 11pm on the night
of the incident. He recalled being awakened at 2am by screams for help, prompting him to ask his mother
for the key to the door; the police later approached him about the killing because Carl had pointed to him
as the perpetrator.
 On appeal to CA  affirmed his conviction. He argues that RTC erred in finding him guilty beyond
reasonable doubt based solely on the testimony of a 5yo witness whose recollections could only be the
product of his mind.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Esugon is guilty of the complex crime of robbery with homicide?

HELD:
YES. Esugon argues that the prosecution did not prove that violence or intimidation wsa employed in the course of
robbery. He argues that he could not be held liable for robbery by using force upon things considering that the culprit
had neither broken any wall, roof, floor, door or window to gain entry in the house nor entered the house through
an opening not intended for entrance. If at all, he could only be liable for the separate crimes of theft and homicide—
not the composite crime of robbery with homicide. The OSG counters that the evidence showed that his principal
intent was to rob the house, with the homicide being perpetrated as a mere incident.

To sustain a conviction for robbery with homicide, the Prosecution must prove the concurrence of the following
elements, namely: (1) the taking of personal property belonging to another; (2) with intent to gain; (3) with the use
of violence or intimidation against a person; and (4) the crime of homicide, as used in the generic sense, was
committed on the occasion or by reason of the robbery. A conviction requires certitude that the robbery is the main
objective of the malefactor, and the killing is merely incidental to the robbery. Here, the CA found that Esugon carried
a long-bladed weapon, qualifying the offense as robbery instead of theft. For sure, too, the patent intent of the
appellant was originally to commit robbery, with the homicide being committed only in the course or on the occasion
of the perpetration of the robbery. As the records show, Dennis was awakened by someone shouting
“Magnanakaw!” The shout was most probably made by the victim, whom the appellant then stabbed in order to
facilitate his escape.
SEE DOCTRINE

Composite crime Complex/compound crime


The composition of the offenses is fixed by law The combination of the offenses is not specified but
generalized, that is, grave and/or less grave, or one
offense being the necessary means to commit the other
The penalty for the specified combination of crimes is The penalty is that corresponding to the most serious
specific offense, to be imposed in the maximum period
A light felony that accompanies a composite crime is A light felony that accompanies the commission of a
absorbed complex or compound crime may be made the subject
of a separate information