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5. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS.

SPO1 ERNESTO ULEP

Facts: Buenaventura Wapili went berserk at Mundog Subd., Poblacion


Kidapawan, Cotabato in the early morning of December 22, 1995.
Dario Leydan, brother-in-law of Wapili, called for help from
neighbors, and together with 2 others, they attempted to tie Wapili
with a rope but was unsuccessful. Leydan went to the house of
policewoman Norma Plando, who in turn asked for assistance from
SPO1 Ernesto Ulep, SPO1 Edilberto Espadera and SPO2 Crispin
Pillo.

At around 4 AM same day, SPO1 Ulep together with SPO1


Espadera and SPO2 Pillo arrived at the scene, armed with M-16
rifles. A naked Wapili approached the police officers, armed with a
disputed weapon (police claimed he was armed with a bolo and
rattan stool, while Wapili’s relatives and neighbors said he had no
bolo).

SPO1 Ulep fired a warning shot and told Wapili to put down his
weapons or they would shoot him, but Wapili retorted “pusila”
(fire!) and continued advancing towards the police officers. When
Wapili was only about 2-3 meters away, Ulep shot Wapili with his
M-16 rifle, hitting him in various parts of his body. When the
victim slumped to the ground, Uep came closer and pumped
anjother bullet into his head.

The post mortem examination of the body showed that cause of


death was multiple gunshot wounds, fired at close range. The
Office of the Ombudsman for the Military filed an Information for
Murder against SPO1 Ulep. The accused pleaded not guilty to the
charge and insisted that he acted in self-defense. Ulep invoked Art.
11, par. 5 of the RPC, which required 2 requisites for justifying
circumstances, (1) Acted in the performance of duty and (2) Injury
caused or offense committed be necessary consequence of the
performance of duty.

However, the trial court was not convinced by the accused’s


version because the means employed by Ulep to prevent/repel the
alleged aggression is not reasonable considering that the victm was
already on the ground and there was no necessity for the accused
to pump another shot at the back portion of the victim’s head. So
on October 28, 1997, the trial court convicted Ulep for murder and
sentenced him to death.
Issue: WON Ulep acted in self-defense and WON he be charged with
murder.

Held: The SC disagrees with the lower court and finds in favor of the
accused-appelant the incomplete justifying circumstance of
fulfillment of a duty or lawful exercise of a right. Under Art. 69 of
RPC, penalty shall be lowered by one or two degrees than that
prescribed by law if deed is not wholly excusable by reason of lack
of some of conditions required to justify the same or exempt
criminal liabilty. In addition, voluntary surrender is taken as
mitigating circumstnce in favor of Ulep.

Judgment is MODIFIED, and Ulep is found guilty of Homicide


instead of Murder, and is sentenced to indeterminate prison term
of 4 years, 2 months and 10 days or prision correccional medium
as minimum, to 6 years, 4 months and 20 days or prision mayor
minimum as maximum. P 50, 000 to indemnify the heirs, and to
pay the costs.

Note: Incomplete justification – special privileged mitigating


circumstance, which, not only cannot be offset by aggravating
circumstance but also reduces penalty by one or two degress than
that prescribed by law.
6. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. EDGAR B. FERNANDEZ

Facts: On March 8, 1985, noontime, accused Edgar Fernandez (16 years


old) offered Marites Soriano (7 years old) two cashew fruits and led
her towards the Colegio of Pangasinan Sur, Lingayen, Pangasinan,
where the former forced the latter to lie down on the cemented dike
as he placed his body over Marites and proceeded to have carnal
knowledge with her without her consent. The accused left, the
victim went home crying and bleeding and immediately reported
the incident to her parents. A medical report was issued showing
that Marites was sexually abused.

When the victim saw Edgar Fernandez at a basketball game, she


confidently pointed to her father the accused as the one who raped
her. At the police line-up, Marites again pointed to the accused aas
the one who raped her.

Fernandez denied the allegation and alibied that he was at school


during the incident. Fernandez pointed to Danny Miranda as the
culprit simply because the latter was in possession of short pants
and brief smeared with blood, that the latter resided near the
cemented dike where the incident took place, and that there were
cashew trees in the front yard of the house.

Held: Appellant invoked his minority on the day of the commission of the
crime as a privileged mitigating circumstance. He was exactly 16
years, three months, and 20 days old. Under Art. 68, par. 2 of
RPC, the imposable penalty for the crime of rape shall be that
penalty next lower than that prescribed by law.

Penalty for rape is reclusion perpetua, but considering that


appellant was under 18 years old but over 15, he is entitled to
penalty next lower, which is reclusion temporal.

Judgment is MODIFIED, with respect to penalty imposed, which is


reduced to prision mayor in its minimum period (6 years and 1
day) as its minimum penalty to reclusion temporal in its medium
period (14 years, 18 months and 1 day) as its maximum penalty.
7. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. ALFREDO BAROY &
FELICISIMO NACIONAL

Facts: On May 9, 2002, accused-Appellant Alfredo Baroy was convicted of


3 counts of rape with use of deadly weapon. The penalty imposed
by the trial court was reduced from death to reclusion perpetua
because aggravating circumstance had neither been alleged in the
information nor sufficiently proven during trial.

Appellant filed a Motion for partial reconsideration of the Court’s


Decision (received July 16, 2002), claiming the privilege mitigating
circumstance of minority, hence entitlement to penalty two degrees
lower than reclusion perpetua.

Issue: WON the appellant’s Certificate of Live Birth sufficiently prove his
minority when he committed the crime.

Note: Presentation and initial appreciation of appellant’s Birth Cert


should be done during the trial.

Held: The National Statistics Office (NSO) confirmed that the Certificate
of Live Birth presented as Annex A, is a true copy, further
confirming the existence in its archives of his record of birth.

Art. 68 of RPC provides that when the offender is a minor,


discretionary penalty shall be imposed, but always lower by two
degrees at least than that prescribed by law. The penalty
prescribed by law for the crime committed by Baroy is reclusion
perpetua to death; two degrees lower is prision mayor.
Additionally, Baroy is entitle to benefits granted by the
Indeterminate Sentence Law.

Motion for Partial Reconsideration is GRANTED. Privileged


mitigating circumstance of minority is appreciated, and penalty for
each count of rape is REDUCED to 4 years and 2 months of
prision correctional medium, as minimum to 10 years of prision
mayor medium, as maximum. Civil awards retained.
8. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. WALTER NACIONAL ET AL.

Facts: Walter Nacional alias Ka Dennis, Absalon Millamina alias Ka Alvin,


Efren Musa, Rudy Luces, Javier Mirabete alias Commander, and
Zacarias Militante alias Care (all members of the barangay
organization of the Communist party of the Philippines) were
accused with intent to kill, conspiring, confederating and helping
one another, with evident premeditation and taking advantage of
superior strength, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously shoot with a firearm QUIRINO LAGASON and JOEL
LAGASON, inflicting injuries resulting to his death. All accused,
except Absalon Millamina who was at large, pleaded not guilty. On
May 31, 1993, trial court rendered the decision of guilty for two
counts of murder qualified by evident premeditation and attended
by conspiracy, sentencing all (except Millamina) to penalty of
Reclusion Perpetua, indemnify heirs o deceased P50, 000, and pay
the costs.

Nacional, Militante, Musa and Luces had been granted conditional


pardon by the President of the Philippines.

A few days before February 21, 1985 (the date of the incident), the
CPP had a pulong-pulong for the purpose of identifying suspected
informers of the military, who turned out to be Quirino and Joel
Lagason; thus they were targeted for liquidation. On the date of the
incident, 4PM, the six accused gathered in front of RCPI Bldg at
Lacag, Daraga. Wilson Lita alias Ka Cris informed the group that
they are going on a mission to talk to military informers, Quirino
and Joel Lagason, but on that instance the group succeeded in
killing the Lagasons.

Javier Mirabete insists on his claim that he was watching a


volleyball game when the shooting happened. He further denies
being a member of the NPA, nor any existence of a plot and
conspiracy to kill the Lagasons. He claims that he is a mere
farmer, already 69 years old and had barely finished 3 rd Grade in
school.

Issue: WON the appellant qualifies for mitigating circumstance, and be


able to benefit a reduction in the imposed penalty.

Held: The SC finds no mitigating circumstance in the commission of the


crimes because accused-appellant was only 59 years old at the
time of the commission of the crime, thus, penalty of reclusion
perpetua was correctly imposed by the trial court, and decision
appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED. Insofar as civil liability of all
accused, conditional pardon does not extinguish the civil liability
arising from the crime.

Note: Analogous circumstance of age of over 70 years.