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Appellant pleaded guilty for information of theft of 2 sacks of paper amounting to Php 10. He
was convicted and sentenced for penalties prescribed for theft and that for habitual delinquency.
This is because he has been convicted of the same crime twice, in 1928 and in 1942. The trial
court also took into consideration 2 mitigating circumstances which are voluntary surrender and
extreme poverty. However, the trial court also took into account the aggravating circumstance of
Whether or not recidivism should have been taken into account, when in fact it is inherent in
habitual delinquency
That issue raised by appellant is not to be considered at all since what should be considered is
whether he actually falls under habitual delinquent. It is to be noted that the crimes were
committed 14 years apart. This is beyond the 10 year limit. This means that it is only the 1942
crime which should be considered. Thus, he is not to be considered as a habitual delinquent.
The Court affirmed the consideration of the mitigating circumstance of extreme poverty as it is
obvious that the appellant committed the crime by reason of necessity having several minor
children to feed and selling the paper for 2.50. The Court still recognizes the importance of life
over property. The court affirmed the principal penalty and removed the additional penalty.

People v Almendras, 372 SCRA 737
That on or about June 4, 1996, in Samal, Davao and the accused killed Criselda Manidlangan.
The commission of the foregoing offense is, likewise, attended by the aggravating circumstance
of nighttime.
After having presented the testimonies of Dr. Perez and Diana Manidlangan but before the offer
of the testimony of the other witnesses for the prosecution, the accused changed his plea to not
guilty. He likewise invoked three mitigating circumstances, namely, voluntary surrender, plea
of guilty, and passion and obfuscation.
The accused stated that he went to his uncles house to talk to him again about it but Leoncio
immediately boxed the accused, hitting him on the face. The accused fell. Someone advanced
towards him with a piece of wood about three inches long and about one-and-a-half inch in
diameter. Thinking that it was his uncle, the accused immediately stood up and, several times,
stabbed the person approaching him. As the person fell, the accused suddenly realized that he
hit not his uncle but the common-law wife, Criselda. The accused ran to his cornfield and stayed
there for quite sometime. On July 24, 1996, the accused surrendered to the police.
Whether or not the mitigating circumstances of plea of guilty, passion or obfuscation and
voluntary surrender is applicable in this case
The belated plea of guilt cannot be appreciated in his favor. To effectively alleviate the criminal
liability of an accused, a plea of guilty must be made at the first opportunity, indicating
repentance on the part of the accused. In determining the timeliness of a plea of guilty, nothing
could be more explicit than the provisions of the Revised Penal Code requiring that the offender
voluntarily confess his guilt before the court prior to the presentation of the evidence for the
prosecution. It is well settled that a plea of guilty made after arraignment and after trial had
begun does not entitle the accused to have such plea considered as a mitigating circumstance.
In this case, appellant pleaded guilty only after the prosecution had already presented two
Passion or obfuscation is also absent. For appellant to be entitled to this mitigating
circumstance, the following elements should concur: (1) there should be an act both unlawful
and sufficient to produce such condition of mind; and (2) said act which produced the
obfuscation was not far removed from the commission of the crime by a considerable length of
time, during which the perpetrator might recover his moral equanimity. Granting that the
desecration of the remains of ones ancestors may drive a person to act upon an impulse as
naturally to have produced passion or obfuscation, appellant has not offered any proof other
than his testimony showing that his uncle had indeed taken the remains from its tomb.
Neither can voluntary surrender be appreciated in appellants favor. Appellant fled immediately
after the killing. It took him more than a month-and-a-half to surrender himself to the
authorities. It cannot be said that such surrender, in view of his fleeing and hiding, was
spontaneous, showing either acknowledgment of his guilt or an intention to save the
authorities the trouble and expense that his search and capture would require.
In sum, inasmuch as no qualifying circumstances attended the killing of the victim, appellant can
be held liable only for homicide.

People v Ibanez, 407 SCRA 406
On February 3, 1997, appellant was charged with Frustrated Murder: That on or about the
October 17, 1996, at 3AM, the accused, with intent to kill, with treachery and evident
premeditation, and while armed with bolo, attack, assault and hack FELIX OLANDA while victim
was asleep in the masters bedroom, inflicting upon him serious wounds in his face and other
parts of his body, but with the timely medical attendance extended to the victim which prevented
his death.
He was also charged with Murder: That on or about the October 17, 1996, at 3AM, the accused,
with intent to kill, with treachery and evident premeditation, and while armed with bolo, attack,
assault and hack ROSARIO OLANDA while said victim was asleep in the masters bedroom
which caused her instantaneous death.
The appellant pleaded guilty.
1. Whether or not the trial court failed to conduct a searching inquiry when the accused
confessed to the crimes
2. Whether or not the mitigating circumstances of plea of guilty and the accused was then
suffering from over intoxication may be invoked by the appellant
1) Section 3, Rule 116 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure specifically mandates
the course that the trial courts must follow in case the accused pleads guilty to a capital
offense, as follows:
SEC. 3. Plea of guilty to capital offense; reception of evidence. When the accused pleads guilty
to a capital offense, the court shall conduct a searching inquiry into the voluntariness and full
comprehension of the consequences of his plea and shall require the prosecution to prove his guilt
and the precise degree of culpability. The accused may present evidence in his behalf.
A careful examination of the sworn declarations of appellant convinces us that his
extrajudicial confession leaves no doubt as to its voluntariness and spontaneity. He described
the house of the victims, the manner of his entry therein as well as the weapon he used. He
also identified the t-shirt and pants recovered from the crime scene as the ones he wore during
the incident. The confession was signed by appellant with the assistance of counsel and the
affidavit was read and explained to appellant before he signed the same. The counsel further
testified that appellant was asked if he wanted to have another lawyer to assist him to whom he
replied in the negative. The prosecution witness was subjected to cross-examination conducted
by appellants counsel, which failed to show that the direct testimony of said witness is not
worthy of belief. Thus, in the absence of countervailing proof, the presumption that the extra-
judicial confession was voluntarily and validly made must be upheld.
Moreover, appellant admitted, upon query of the trial court, that he executed the sworn
confession before the police investigators and with the assistance of counsel. There was no
claim that he was forced, coerced or threatened to make the confession. In fact, appellant
asserted that he was not maltreated, manhandled or water-cured by the police.

2) There was no voluntary surrender on the part of appellant. For voluntary surrender to be
a mitigating circumstance, the following must concur: (1) the offender has not actually been
arrested; (2) the offender surrendered himself to a person in authority; and (3) the surrender
was voluntary. Surrender, to be deemed voluntary, must be spontaneous, the accused
submitting his person unconditionally to the authorities with an acknowledgment of his guilt and
with the intent to save them the trouble and expense of effecting his capture. Appellant in this
case did not of his own volition surrender himself to a person in authority. After the incident in
question, appellant went to Pulilan, Bulacan and only surrendered after the Aliaga, Nueva Ecija
police were tipped on his whereabouts and sent a team to arrest him. He did not spare the
authorities the trouble and expense necessary to search and capture him. Clearly, appellants
surrender was neither spontaneous nor voluntary.
As to the circumstance of intoxication, the lower court was correct in not appreciating
intoxication as a generic mitigating circumstance. Under Article 15 of the Revised Penal Code,
intoxication is mitigating when it is not habitual or subsequent to the plan to commit the
felony. To be mitigating, the accuseds state of intoxication must be proved. In the case at bar,
appellant merely alleged that when the offenses were committed, he was so drunk. However,
his self-serving statement in the extrajudicial confession was not corroborated by other

People v Latupan, 360 SCRA 60
At the arraignment on May 25, 1993, accused pleaded not guilty to the charge of frustrated
murder. During the pre-trial conference of the four cases, accused offered to change his plea of
not guilty to guilty of the complex crime of double murder and frustrated murder. The
prosecution did not interpose any objection. Thus, on July 20, 1993, the trial court re-arraigned
the accused. He withdrew his plea of not guilty and instead pleaded guilty to the single offense
of multiple murder with multiple frustrated murder.
The facts are as follows:
On April 29, 1991, at around 4PM, accused Latupan went to the house of Ceferino Dagulo
with the intent to kill but later on told Ceferino to bring him to the authorities and tried to give the
knife to Ceferino. Ceferino refused to touch the knife and told accused to go to the authorities
by himself. Hearing this advice, accused ran away.
Meanwhile, the house of Emilio Asuncion (hereafter Emy) was 100 meters from Ceferinos
house. At around 4PM of the same day, Emy upon returning to his house from a store found his
wife, Lilia dead on the ground with several stab wounds on her body and his one-year old son,
Leo, was lying on top of Lilia Asuncion. Emy picked up Leo and saw that the left side of Leos
face was lacerated. He ran upstairs and saw that Jose was wounded. He asked Jose who
stabbed him. Jose replied, Uncle Jerry, Tatang. Sadly, Jose died subsequently.

Whether or not the trial court erred in convicting Latupan of the complex crime of double murder
and incorrectly assumed that the aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation was
included in the plea of guilty

The trial court erred in convicting accused-appellant of the complex crime of double murder
and separate offenses of serious physical injuries. Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code
provides: "When a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies or when an
offense is a necessary means for committing the other, the penalty for the most serious crime
shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its maximum period." The instant case does not fall
under any of the two mentioned instances when a complex crime is committed. The killing of
Lilia and Jose Asuncion and the wounding of Jaime and Leo resulted not from a single act but
from several and distinct acts of stabbing. "Where the death of two persons does not result
from a single act but from two different shots, two separate murders, and not a complex crime,
are committed." Thus, accused-appellant is liable, not for a complex crime of double murder, but
for two separate counts of murder, and separate counts of physical injuries.
Further, the trial court incorrectly assumed that the aggravating circumstance of evident
premeditation was included in the plea of guilty. Qualifying and aggravating circumstances,
which are taken into consideration for the purpose of increasing the degree of penalty to be
imposed, must be proven with equal certainty as the commission of the act charged as criminal
Thus, evident premeditation cannot be presumed against accused-appellant. To warrant a
finding of evident premeditation, it must appear not only that the accused decided to commit the
crime prior to the moment of its execution but also that this decision was the result of
meditation, calculation, reflection, or persistent attempt. In this case, there was no proof, direct
or circumstantial, offered by the prosecution to show when accused-appellant meditated and
reflected upon his decision to kill the victim and the intervening time that elapsed before this
plan was carried out. When it is not shown as to how and when the plan to kill was hatched or
what time had elapsed before it was carried out, evident premeditation cannot be considered.

People v Magallanes, 275 SCRA 222
On September 29, 1991, at around 3PM, the appellant, Magallanes, who was a mananari
trekked the road to the cockpit of Pob. Sagbayan, Bohol. The appellant was in the company of
several other cockfighting afficionados, among whom were Romualdo Cempron and Danilo
Salpucial. While on their way, they passed by Virgilio Tapales who was drinking in a store.
Tapales approached Cempron and conversed with him briefly. For some unknown reason,
Tapales then directed his attention to the appellant who was walking a few steps behind
Cempron. Tapales held the appellant by his shirt, slapped him and strangled his neck. But
seeing a knife tucked in Tapales waist, the appellant pulled out the knife and slashed at
Tapales to loosen his grip. The appellant succeeded in wounding the face and neck of Tapales
who let go of the appellant and fled for his life. Insatiated, the appellant pursued Tapales and
when the latter fell, the appellant stabbed him several more times before uttering the following
words: you are already dead in that case.
During arraignment, the appellant expressed his willingness to enter a plea of guilty to the lesser
offense of homicide with the mitigating circumstances of plea of guilty and voluntary surrender.
Before us now is the appeal interposed by Gregorio Magallanes where he invokes the justifying
circumstance of self-defense in his favor, and contends, in the alternative, that he should be
convicted of the crime of homicide only and not murder.

1) Whether or not there was self-defense
2) Whether or not there was an aggravating circumstance of treachery
3) Whether or not the appellants plea of guilty in the form it was entered constitutes a
voluntary confession of guilt

1) Clearly, whatever act of aggression that was initiated by Tapales against the appellant had
already ceased as demonstrated by the fact that Tapales was running away from the
appellant. The tables were turned when the appellant chased Tapales with the obvious intent of
stabbing him. At this juncture, the appellant had assumed the role of aggressor, thus, his claim
of self-defense cannot obviously prosper.
2) Treachery cannot also be presumed from the mere suddenness of the attack or from the fact
that the victim was stabbed with his back towards the appellant. This is particularly true in the
instant case where Tapales initiated the unlawful aggression against the appellant and should
therefore have been forewarned of the possibility of retaliation from him. Furthermore, although
Tapales sustained 7 stab wounds, some of them located at his back, we cannot infer from this
physical evidence alone that treachery was initially present in the case at bar. And it is a
fundamental rule of long standing that for treachery to be appreciated, that circumstance must
be present at the inception of the attack, and if absent and the attack is continuous, treachery if
present at a subsequent stage is not to be considered. The appellant was convicted only with
3) Finally, on record is the appellants willingness to enter a plea of guilty but to the lesser crime
of homicide. Although the confession was qualified and introduction of evidence became
necessary, the qualification did not deny the defendants guilt and, what is more, was
subsequently fully justified. It was not the defendants fault that aggravating circumstances
were erroneously alleged in the information and mitigating circumstances omitted there from. If
such qualification could deprive the accused of the benefit of plea of guilty, then the prosecution
could nullify this mitigating circumstance by counteracting it with unfounded allegations of
aggravating circumstances.

People v Montinola, 360 SCRA 631
Accused-appellant William Montinola was charged with robbery with homicide and illegal
possession of firearm. At noon of November 18, 1996, appellant boarded a jeepney bound for
Libertad Plaza, Iloilo City. Among the passengers was Jose Reteracion. All of a sudden,
appellant drew his gun and directed Reteracion to hand over his money or else he would be
killed. Appellant aimed the firearm at the neck of victim and fired successive shots at the
latter. As a result Reteracion slumped dead. William was caught by the police. The gun used by
appellant while robbing and killing Reteracion was not licensed.
Whether or not the use of an unlicensed firearm in the killing perpetrated by reason or on the
occasion of the robbery may be treated as a separate offense or as an aggravating
circumstance in the crime of robbery with homicide.
Fortunately for WILLIAM, on 6 July 1997 while his case was still pending, RA 8294 amending
PD 1866 took effect. The third paragraph of Section 1 of PD 1866, as amended by RA 8294,
provides: If homicide or murder is committed with the use of an unlicensed firearm, such use of
an unlicensed firearm shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance.
The trial court was correct in not crediting in favor of WILLIAM the mitigating circumstance of
plea of guilty, since the change of his plea from not guilty to guilty was made only after the
presentation of some evidence for the prosecution. To be entitled to such mitigating
circumstance, the accused must have voluntarily confessed his guilt before the court prior to the
presentation of the evidence for the prosecution. The third requisite is wanting in the present

People v Ospig, 416 SCRA 32
Accused is convicted of consummated rape of GAZELLE SALAZAR, a minor who is 13 years of
age, against her will and consent and when arraigned, appellant pleaded not guilty. Appellant
was served a warrant of arrest and voluntarily went with the person who served said warrant.
He admitted that he personally handed a letter to Elizabeth in court. He was asked why he
wrote a part of the letter which reads: Inamin ko na sa iyo ang pangyayari at kung mahatulan
man ako ng death sentence ay wala akong magagawa. Patawarin ninyo na lang ako.
Nagpapaliwanag lang ako. Hindi pa ito alam ng attorney ko kaya duda rin siya sa akin.
Appellant explained that he wrote said part of the letter to tell them that he did not commit the
rape. If he will be hanged, it will be in their conscience. He denied that he raped Gazelle.
Appellant wants the Court to consider as voluntary surrender the fact that he voluntarily went
with the person who served him a warrant of arrest when he was at home.
Appellant also contends that his explanation about what really transpired during the incident in
his letter to the mother of private complainant should be credited as a mitigating circumstance of
voluntary confession of guilt before the court prior to the presentation of evidence for the
Whether or not the trial court failed to consider the mitigating circumstance of voluntary
confession of guilt in his favor
The contention is without merit. We cannot consider in appellants favor the mitigating
circumstance of voluntary confession of guilt before the court prior to the presentation of
evidence for the prosecution since the said letter was a denial of the rape charge, appellant
entered a plea of not guilty, and the letter was presented by the prosecution, not the defense,
after two prosecution witnesses had testified before the court.