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People v Empacis

G.R. NO.95756
By: Ralph Atmosfera


- At about 9pm, Fidel Saromines and his wife were about to close their small store located in
their house when two men came and asked to buy some sardines and rice. They proceeded to
eat. After they finished eating, Romualdo told Fidel to sell him cigarettes.

- As Fidel was handling over the cigarettes, Romualdo announced a “hold up” and command
fidel to give his money. Fidel started to give Romualdo the money but as the latter was taking
hold of it, Fidel suddenly decided to fight to keep his money

- A struggle followed and in the course of which Romualdo stabbed Fidel 3-times. Fidel’s 13-yr
old son saw his father fighting for his life therefore he took hold of a “pinuti” or a long bolo and
rushed to his father’s defense.

- He struck out at Crisologo and inflicted two wounds on him, this caused the two accused to
flee. Fidel died due to the injury he sustained

- The trial court found Crisologo Empacis guilty of the crime of robbery with homicide, with four
aggravating circumtances: (1) in the dwelling of the offended party, (2) in the nighttime, (3) with
employment of “craft or fraud” and (4) with advantage being taken of superior strength. Empacis
had committed the offense in conspiracy with Romualdo; that both knew Fidel to be in
possession of a sizable amount of money at that time, and their concerted act proved their
agreement to rob fidel and if necessary, kill him

Issue: Whether the aggravating circumstance of craft or fraud was properly appreciated against


YES. He and Romualdo pretended to be customers of the Victim’s store and on this pretext
gained entry into Fidel’s store and later, into another part of his dwelling this court has held
stratagems of this sort to constitute the aggravating circumstance of fraud or craft; the accused:

a) Pretended to be constabulary soldiers and by that play gained entry into the residence of
their prey whom they robbed and killed;
b) Pretended to be needed of medical treatment, and through this artifice, entered the
house of the victim whom they robbed and killed
c) Pretended to be a customer wanting to buy a bottle of wine
d) Pretended to be a co-passenger of the victim in a public utility vehicle;
e) Posed as customers wishing to buy cigarettes; and as being thirsty, asking for a drink of

Nighttime was also properly appreciated. Due to the lateness of the hour, there is no doubt that
they planned it so that no other customers will come to the aid of the victim or try to stop them.

Superior strength was also present. The evidence shows that Empacis helped his co-accused
by also stabbing the victim he and his companion took advantage of their combined strength
and their bladed weapons to overcome their unarmed victim and assure the success of their
felonious design to make off with his money.