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Exempting Circumstances:Insuperable or Lawful Causes

G.R. No. L-6082


March 18, 1911
THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
ISIDRO VICENTILLO, defendant-appellant.
Ponente: Justice Carson
Topic: Insuperable Cause
Facts:
Vicentillo, a policeman was found guilty by the lower court of "illegal and
arbitrary detention" of the complaining witness for a period of three days,
and sentenced to pay a fine of 625 pesetas, with subsidiary imprisonment
in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs of the trial.
Three days were expended in the detention , but it was
at the trial that at the time of the arrest neither the
peace nor his auxiliary were in the municipality, and to
the peace of either of the two adjoining municipalities,
take a long journey by boat.

conclusively proven
local justice of the
reach the justice of
it was necessary to

Issue:
FAILING TO PERFORM AN ACT WHEN PREVENTED BY SOME LAWFUL OR
INSUPERABLE CAUSE
Held:
The judgment of conviction of the lower court must therefore be reversed,
unless the evidence discloses that having made the arrest, the defendant
arbitrarily and without legal authority, as it is alleged, cause the
complaining witness to be detained for a period of three days without
having him brought before the proper judicial authority for the
investigation and trial of the charge on which he was arrested. But so far
as we can gather from the record in this case the arrested man was in fact
brought before a justice of the peace as soon as "practicable" after his
arrest.
The judgment of the lower court convicting and sentencing the defendant is
reversed and he is hereby acquitted.
Attached is the the digest from Esguerra.
US v. Vicentillo (1911)
A policeman charged cannot be held liable for
illegal detention when after arresting his victims, it took
him three days to reach the nearest judge. The distance
which required a journey for three days was considered
to be an insuperable cause.

Exempting Circumstances:Insuperable or Lawful Causes


People vs. Bandian, 63 Phil. 530, [No. 45186] (Sept. 30, 1936)

People vs. Bandian

FACTS:

Nature: Appeal from a judgment of the CFI of Oriental Misamis

ISSUE:

Accused went to a thicket to respond to the call of


nature. When she emerged from the thicket, her clothes was
stained with blood, staggering and showing signs of not being able
to support herself. Her neighbor came to her aid and brought her
home. They found a body of a new-born baby in the thicket where
the accused had gone few moments ago. Accused claimed it was
hers. The physician declared that the accused gave birth in her
own house; thereafter, threw her child into the thicket to kill it.
The trial court gave credit to his opinion and charged the accused
with infanticide.
Whether or not accused is guilty of infanticide.

RULING:
No. Accused is not guilty of infanticide. The court ruled
that infanticide and abandonment of a minor, to be punishable, must be
committed wilfully or consciously, or at least it must be result of a
voluntary, conscious and free act or omission. Even in cases where said
crimes are committed through mere imprudence, the person who commits
them, under said circumstances, must be in the full enjoyment of his
mental faculties, or must be conscious of his acts, in order that he may be
held liable.
The evidence certainly does not show that the accused, in
causing her child's death in one way or another, or in abandoning it in the
thicket, did so wilfully, consciously or imprudently. Accused was not aware
of her childbirth, or if she was, it did not occur to her or she was unable to
take her child from the thicket where she had given it birth due to her
debility or dizziness, which causes may be considered lawful or insuperable
to constitute the seventh exempting circumstance so as not to leave it
abandoned and exposed to the danger of losing its life.

Facts: One morning, Valentin Aguilar saw his neighbor, Josefina Bandian,
got to a thicket apparently to respond to the call of nature. Few minutes
later, Bandian emerged from the thicket with her clothes stained with blood
both in the front and back, staggering and visibly showing signs of not
being able to support herself. Rushing to her aid, he brought her to her
house and placed her on the bed. He called on Adriano Comcom to help
them Comcom saw he body of a newborn babe near a path adjoining the
thicket where the appellant had gone a few moments before. She claimed
it was hers. Dr. Emilio Nepomuceno declared that the appellant gave birth
in her own house and three her child into the thicket to kill it. The trial
court gave credit to this opinion.
Issue: WON Bandian is guilty of infanticide
Held: No. Infanticide and abandonment of a minor, to be punishable, must
be committed willfully or consciously, or at least it must be the result of a
voluntary, conscious and free act or omission. The evidence does not show
that the appellant, in causing her childs death in one way or another, or in
abandoning it in the thicket, did so willfully, consciously or imprudently.
She had no cause to kill or abandon it, to expose it to death, because her
affair with a former lover, which was not unknown to her second lover,
Kirol, took place three years before the incident; her married life with Kirol
she considers him her husband as he considers him his wifebegan a
year ago; as he so testified at the trial, he knew of the pregnancy and that
it was his and that theyve been eagerly awaiting the birth of the child. The
appellant, thus, had no cause to be ashamed o her pregnancy to Kirol.
Apparently, she was not aware of her childbirth, or if she was, it did not
occur to her or she was unable, due to her debility or dizziness, which
cause may be considered lawful or insuperable to constitute the 7th
exempting circumstance, to take her child from the thicket where she had
given it birth, so as not to leave it abandoned and exposed to the danger of
losing its life. If by going into the thicket to pee, she caused a wrong as
that of giving birth to her child in that same place and later abandoning it,
not because of imprudence or any other reason than that she was
overcome by strong dizziness and extreme debility, she could not be
blamed because it all happened by mere accident, with no fault or intention
on her part. The law exempts from liability any person who so acts and
behaves under such circumstances (RPC A12(4)). Thus, having the fourth
and seventh exempting circumstances in her favor, she is acquitted of the
crime that she had been accused of.