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People of the Philippines v.

Delector
G.R. No. 200026 – October 4, 2017
Justice Bersamin

Case: This is decision promulgated on September 22, 2006, whereby the CA affirmed
the decision rendered on March 17, 2003 by the RTC, Branch 41, in Gandara, Samar,
convicting the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder and penalizing him
with reclusion perpetua and indemnify the victim by increasing moral damages to P50k

Topic: Murder
Petitioner: People of the Philippines
Respondent: Armando Delector

FACTS:
Version of the Prosecution

 August 8, 1997: At about 6pm, the late Vicente Delector was talking with his
brother, Antolin, near his residence in Barangay Diaz in Gandara, Samar when
the accused, another brother, shot him twice.
 Vicente was rushed to the Gandara District Hospital where he was attended by
Dr. Leonida Taningco and was transferred to the Samar Provincial Hospital
where he was pronounced dead
 Witnesses:
 Vicente’s son, Amel
 Raymond Reyes
 Amel, identified the accused. He attested that the appellant had fired his gun at
his father from their mother’s house and had hit his father who was then talking
with Antolin. Moreover, Raymond also said that Vicente had been only
conversing with Antolin when the crime transpired.

Version of the Defense:

 The accused insisted during the trial that the shooting of the victim had been by
accident. His own son corroborated his insistence.
 According to them, Vicente had gone for their house looking for him, but he had
earlier left to go to their mother’s house nearby in order to avoid a confrontation
with Vicente
 However, the latter followed him to their mother’s house and dared him to come
out, compelling Antolin to intervene and attempt to pacify Vicente
 Instead, Vicente attacked Antolin, which forced the appellant to go out of their
mother’s house. Seeing the victim to be carrying his gun, he tried to wrest the
gun from Vicente
 They grappled for control of the gun, and at that point accidentally fired, and
Vicente was hit.

Ruling of the RTC:

 October 2, 1997: The RTC rendered its decision, finding the accused guilty of
murder
 The appellant is hereby found guilty beyond doubt of murder and is hereby
meted a penalty of reclusion perpetua and indemnify the heirs of P50k, actual
for P12k and P30k for moral damages.
 In line with Section 5, Rule 114 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, the Warden
of the Sub-Provincial Jail is hereby directed to immediately transmit the accused
to the New Bilibid Prison at Muntinlupa City where he may remain to be
detained.
 The accused shall be credited for the period he was under preventive detention
provided by the detention center, otherwise he shall be entitled to only 4/5
thereof pursuant to Article 29 of the RPC

Ruling of the CA:

 The accused appealed, contending that:


 The lower court erred giving full faith and credence to the testimonies of the
prosecution witnesses
 The lower court erred in finding accused appellant guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime of murder
 Nevertheless, the CA affirmed the conviction for murder to an increase moral
damages to P50k
 The CA opined that the exempting circumstance of accident was highly
improbable
 It was unlikely that the respondent would grappled the victim because he was
armed at that time and inconsistent with normal behavior to repel the imminent
danger to one’s life.
 Furthermore, the gun involved in this case is not one that is prone to accidental
firing because of the nature of its mechanism.
ISSUES + HELD:

 WON THE COURT SHOULD GIVE CREDENCE TO THE TESTIMONIES OF


THE PROSECUTION WITNESS – YES, THE WITNESSES POSITIVELY
IDENTIFIED THE APPELLANT

 The Witnesses identification constituted direct evidence to the


crime.
 the CA adopted and confirmed the factual findings the RTC since
the trial judge had the opportunity to observe the demeanor of the
witnesses when they testified in the trial
 The trial courts both observed that the exempting circumstances of
accident was highly improbable because the accused grappled with
the victim for the control of the gun and there is no reason to overturn
the rulings
 Article 12, paragraph 4, of the RPC 1
 accident could not be appreciated merely because the
appellant did not establish that he had acted with due care
and without intention of causing the injuries.
 The gun could would not fire unless there was considerable
pressure on its trigger.
 The assertion of accident could have been credence had
there been only a single shot fired. Yet, it was fired twice
which eliminated the accident.
 The CA debunked the story of the appellant because such
story was not only incomprehensible but also contrary to
human experience
 Settled rule: Issues concerning credibility of witnesses are best
resolved by the trial court whose calibration of testimonies,
assessment, and conclusion about their testimonies.

 WON THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE


DOUBT OF THE CRIME OF MURDER – NO, THE COURT CANNOT UPHOLD
THE JUDGEMENT OF THE TRIAL COURTS

1 Art. 12. paragraph 4 – any person who, while performing lawful act with due care, causes an
injury by mere accident without fault or intention of causing it. The elements: (1) is performing
a lawful act; (2) with due care; (3) causes injury to another by mere accident; (4) without fault
or intention of causing it
 The trial court did not sufficiently aver acts constituting either or both
treachery and evident premeditation.
 Section 9, Rule 110 of the 1985 Criminal Procedure2
 The court should be mindful that the accused should be
presumed innocent of wrongdoing, unaware of having
done anything wrong, and give him knowledge of what he
allegedly committed
 People v. Dimaano:
o An accused cannot be convicted of an offense,
unless it is clearly charged in the information.
Constitutionally, he has a right to be informed of the
nature and cause of the accusation against him
o The accused cannot be convicted of a crime, even
if duly proven, unless it is alleged included in the
information
 Article 14, paragraph 16, of the RPC3
o The treachery could not prosper because there is
no factual averment that the accused deliberately
employed means, methods, or forms in the
execution of the act
o It was not enough for the information to merely state
treachery as attendant because the term was not
factual averment but a conclusion of law
 As a consequence, the accused could not properly convicted of
murder, thus homicide Article 249 of the RPC4
 The accused is entitled to the benefits under the Indeterminate
Sentence Law. The minimum of his sentence should come from
prison mayor, 9 year imprisonment, and the maximum period of
reclusion temporal, 14 years, eight months and one day.
 The court grants to indemnify the heirs of the victim P50k as civil,
P50k as moral, and P25k as temperate damages plus interest of 6%
per annum from finality of its decision until the full satisfaction

Ruling:

 Wherefore, the court AFFIRMS decision promulgated on


September 22, 2006 of the CA subject to MODIFICATION and the
accused is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of HOMICIDE
2Section 9. Cause of accusation – The acts or omissions complained of as constituting the
offense must be stated in ordinary and concise language without repetition, not necessarily in
the terms of the statute defining the offense, but in such form as is sufficient to enable of
person of common understanding to know what intended offense was charged, and enable to
pronounce proper judgment

3Art. 14, paragraph 16 – For treachery to be appreciated, therefore, two elements must
concur, viz.: (1) that the means of the execution employed gave the person attacked no
opportunity to defend himself or herself, or retaliate; and (2) that the means of execution were
deliberately or consciously adopted, that is, the means, method or form of execution must be
shown to be deliberated upon or consciously adopted by the offender

4 Art. 249. Homicide – Any person who, not falling within the provision of Article 246, shall kill
another without the attendance of any of the circumstances enumerated in the next preceding
article, shall be deemed guilty of homicide and be punished by reclusion temporal