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040. People v.

Trinidad
GR No. 79123-25/ 9 January 1989/ Second Division/ Appeal
People of the Philippines - plaintiff-appellee
Emeliano Trinidad - accused-appellant
Decision by J. Melencio-Herrera, Digest by Joeyboy Lacas

Short Version: Lolito Soriano is a fish dealer. His helpers were Ricardo Tan and Marcial Laroa.
While the three were driving on their way to Davao City to sell fish, accused Emeliano Trinidad
asked for a ride to Agusan del Norte. Tan, the driver at that time, suddenly heard two gunshots
-- Soriano and Laroa slumped dead for both were hit on the head. Trinidad had used his carbine
in killing the two victims. Tan was able to get off the car and hail a jeepney passing by. However,
he noticed that Trinidad was also seated at the back of the said jeepney. Tan immediately got off
the jeepney, followed by Trinidad. When the jeepney started to drive away, Tan suddenly clung
to its side, but Trinidad fired two shots, one of which hit Tan on his right thigh. Tan jumped from
the jeep and fortunately a Philippine Constabulary member chanced upon him and helped him
board a bus for Butuan. Trinidad was charged with FRUSTRATED murder in relation to the
shooting of Tan.

Facts: Lolito Soriano is a fish dealer. His helpers were Ricardo Tan and Marcial Laroa. While
the three were driving on their way to Davao City to sell fish, accused Emeliano Trinidad asked
for a ride to Agusan del Norte. Trinidad, a member of the Integrated National Police, was in
uniform and had two firearms, a carbine and a .38 caliber revolver.

Tan was driving the car at that time, and he was instructed by Trinidad to slow down
because they were treading dangerous territory. Tan suddenly heard two gunshots -- Soriano
and Laroa slumped dead for both were hit on the head. Trinidad had used his carbine in killing
the two victims. Tan was able to get off the car and hail a jeepney passing by. However, he
noticed that Trinidad was also seated at the back of the said jeepney. Tan immediately got off
the jeepney, followed by Trinidad. When the jeepney started to drive away, Tan suddenly clung
to its side, but Trinidad fired two shots, one of which hit Tan on his right thigh. Tan jumped from
the jeep and fortunately a Philippine Constabulary member chanced upon him and helped him
board a bus for Butuan.

Trinidad was charged with FRUSTRATED murder in relation to the shooting of Tan, and
he was found guilty by the RTC. On appeal, Trinidad claims that the RTC erred in convicting him
of the crime of frustrated murder.

Issues: W/N Trinidad is correct in contending that he can only be convicted of attempted
murder? YES

Ruling: Trinidad should only be held criminally liable for attempted murder.

Ratio: Trinidad had commenced the commission of the felony directly by overt acts but was
unable to perform all the acts of execution which would have produced it by reason of causes
other than his spontaneous desistance, such as, that the jeep to which TAN was clinging was in
motion, and there was a spare tire which shielded the other parts of his body.

Moreover, the wound on his thigh was not fatal and the doctrinal rule is that where the wound
inflicted on the victim is not sufficient to cause his death, the crime is only ATTEMPTED murder,
the accused not having performed all the acts of execution that would have brought about the
death (citing, People v. Pilones)

Voting: Paras, Padilla, Sarmiento and Regalado, concur.