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People v. Salvilla | G.R. No. 86163 | April 26, 1990 | Ponente: Melencio-Herrera, J.

Nature of the Case: appeal from decision of RTC Branch 28, Iloilo City
Petitioner: People of the PH
Respondent: Bienvenido Salvilla; Reynaldo, Ronaldo, Simplicio all surnamed Canasares

SUMMARY: 4 accused went in New Iloilo Lumber Yard to hold up vic-


tims and after receiving 20k, further held them hostage as a means of
extortion for an addtl 100k. after negotiating and being surrounded by
authorities, they were assaulted into surrender. accused claims 1) there
was no actual taking/asportation; 2) mit. circ of voluntary surrender
should be appreciated; 3) serious illegal detention should be absorbed
in robbery and not charged as a complex crime citing People v. Astor
DOCTRINE:
1) “taking”/“asportation” defined or when consummated
2) requisites of voluntary surrender
3) complex crimes under art 48, definition of “necessary means”

FACTS:

• PROSECUTION: Apr 12 1996 noon a robbery was staged by the four accused at the New Iloilo Lumber
Yard
• plan was hatched 2 days prior
• accused were armed with homemade guns and a hand grenade
• entered establishment and met one Rodita Habiero (an employee) on her way out for lunch break
and announced to her it was a hold-up
• they went inside w/ her and appellant Salvilla pointed his gun at owner Severino Choco (SC) + 2
daughters Mary and Mimie (15 y.o.) and told them all they needed was money
• SC told Mary to get a paper bag and placed 20,000 inside and handed it to appellant
• accused didnt stop at that and leave, instead took the wallet and watch of SC and thereafter took
him and his daughters to the office to hold them hostage
• they all ate around 2pm, but appellant told SC to produce 100,000 before they could be released
• by this time, police+military authorities had surrounded the premises led by Major Melquiades
Sequio (Station Commander of INP) and OIC Mayor Rosa Caram
• tried negotiating with accused for 4 hours, accused were demanding 100k, a coaster, and rain-
coats. mayor offered 50k instead because banks were closed on Saturdays, accused agreed
• Rodita sent to get 50k from mayor and later on released
• ultimatums were given but accused wouldnt budge, so authorities decided to launch an offensive
and assault the place
• Mimie and Mary, along with accused Ronaldo and Reynaldo suffered injuries
• Mary had to undergo major operations and her right leg had to be amputated :(
• DEFENSE: generally same except for the ff:
• instead of 20k, claims the paper bag only contained 5k which he merely placed on the counter
• appellant Salvilla maintains he stopped his co-accused from getting watch and wallet, and like the
5k, were all left on counter and never touched by them
• they never fired on military bec they intended to surrender
• during gunfire, when Mary stood up, appellant wanted to stop her but he himself was hit by a bullet
and couldnt prevent her

ISSUES and RATIO

A. WON the crime committed is CONSUMMATED or merely ATTEMPTED? Court: CONSUMMATED


HELD: The crime of Robbery has 3 consecutive stages: 1) the giving; 2) the taking; 3) the carrying away/
‘asportation’
• Appellant claims that since they left the victim’s possessions on the counter and did not touch them, the
taking was not sufficiently proved. The court disagrees.
• As held in Johnson v. State even though the perpetrators were interrupted by police and so “did
not pick up the money offered by victims,” the money + wallet + watch demanded were “WITHIN
THE DOMINION AND CONTROL” of the appellant, and completed the taking.
• Further in Adams v. Commonwealth, “severance of the goods from possession of owner and ab-
solute control by the taker, EVEN FOR AN INSTANT, constitutes asportation”
• It is no defense either that appellant had no opportunity to dispose of personalities taken. Therefore, a
conviction for CONSUMMATED and not merely attempted Robbery is in order.
• Appellant also discredits Rodita as a witness because the place was dark, doors closed and no windows,
so she could not have seen the taking. NO MERIT.
• 1) Rodita was a hostage herself and could observe events firsthand
• 2) the fact that she is an employee of SC do not lessen her credibility. Improper motive to testify
against accused not proven
• 3) findings of Trial Court re: credibility of witnesses entitled to great weight

B. WON the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender should be appreciated? Court: NO

HELD: To be mitigating, must have the ff reqs: 1) offender had not been actually arrested; 2) offender
surrendered himself to a person in authority/his agent; 3) surrender was VOLUNTARY
• Their “surrender” hardly meets these reqs. They refused to surrender even with pleading and negotiations
until only much later when they no longer had a choice because they were surrounded and escape be-
came impossible.
• In People v. Sigayan, the surrender of the accused was held NOT to be mitigating when he gave up only
after he was surrounded by the constabulary

C. WON the crime charged should be Robbery with Serious Physical Injuries AND Serious Illegal
Detention sentencing the accused to reclusion perpetua? Court: YES
HELD: A complex crime committed under Art 48 imposes the penalty for the more serious offense, in this
case, Serious Illegal Detention under Art 267, or reclusion perpetua to death.
• Under Art 48 a complex crime arises “when an offense is A NECESSARY MEANS FOR COMMITTING
THE OTHER;” this term does not connote indispensable means
• “necessary means” merely signifies that one crime is committed to FACILITATE and INSURE the com-
mission of the other
• as in this case, the crime of Serious Illegal Detention was such a “necessary means” as it was selected
by appellant to facilitate and carry out more effectively their evil design to stage a robbery
• differentiated from People v. Astor where it was held that the detention was absorbed in the crime of
robbery:
• 1) there were 2 separate Informations filed in Astor; here only one charging a COMPLEX crime
• 2) robbery was consummated in Astor and the detention was merely to FORESTALL their capture
by the police; here, detention was availed of as a means of insuring the consummation of the
robbery
• 3) in Astor, detention was only INCIDENTAL to the main crime of robbery; here, it was NECCES-
SARY bec after receiving the 20k, accused didnt leave and held victims hostage to further produce
100k. Detention was not bec the accused were trapped by the police and held victims hostage for
security, but deliberate as a means of EXTORTION FOR AN ADDT’L AMOUNT.

RULING: Judgment appealed from is AFFIRMED.