PEOPLE OF THE
E C I S I
accused by the Chief of Police of Calamba, Laguna, of "slight physical
injuries with threats to kill" in a Complaint filed on November 11,
in the justice of the peace court of said municipality, which reads as
of Police, after having duly sworn on oath, accuses Banaag Linatoc and
Gerardo Linatoc of the crime of 'Slight Physical Injuries with
to Kill' committed as follows:
"That on or about
6th day of Nov. 1942, in the public market of Calamba, Laguna, and
the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused
together and helping one another, did then and there willfully,
and criminally attack, assault and threaten to kill the person of
Galvez and using personal violence upon the said Suzana Galvez by
her arm, pushing and hitting her with a fist blow thus causing injuries
in the different parts of her body, which injuries have required and
require medical attendance necessary for a period of 7 days, and will
the said Suzana Galvez from performing her customary labor for the same
period of time.
"That in the
of the said crime there is present the aggravating circumstance of
strength due to sex. Contrary to law."
Upon said Complaint, the
accused were arraigned and pleaded not guilty. They were, however,
guilty by the Justice of the Peace Court of slight physical injuries
the aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength and
to twenty-one days of arresto menor and to indemnify the offended party
in the sum of P13. From that sentence, they appealed to the Court of
The Court of First
Instance, upon motion of counsel for the accused, dismissed the case
prejudice, on the ground that the complaint charged the complex crimes
of slight physical injuries with grave threats, and as the penalty for
the more serious crime was beyond the competence of the justice of the
peace court, the Court of First Instance did not acquire appellate
From the order of dismissal the fiscal appealed to this Court.
The appeal in Our
is meritorious. The Complaint above transcribed charges two different
- slight physical injuries and threats to kill. The Justice of the
Court undeniably had jurisdiction to try and decide the light offense
slight physical injuries. Assuming, without deciding, that the
sufficiently charges also the less grave offense of "grave threats" as
penalized in Article 282 of the Revised Penal Code, the Justice of the
Peace had to ignore it because it was beyond his jurisdiction, and any
pronouncement he might have made with regard thereto would have been
The complaint did not
charge complex crimes within the purview of Article 48 of the Revised
Code, as amended by Act No. 4000, which reads as follows:
"Art. 48. Penalty
for complex crimes. - When a single act constitutes two or more
or less grave felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means for
the other, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the
same to be applied in its maximum period."
In the first place, there
are no two "grave or less grave felonies" involved in the complaint,
physical injuries being a light offense. In the second place, the act
caused slight physical injuries did not constitute also the crime of
threats, nor was the one a necessary means for committing the other.
The Court of First
Instance, therefore, should try and decide the appeal involving slight
physical injuries and ignore the charge of "threats to kill" until a
separate Information therefor is presented, if desired.
The Order is reversed
and the case is remanded to the Court of origin for further
with costs against the appellees.
Moran, and Horrilleno, JJ., concur.
I concur in the result.
See U. S., vs. Sevilla, 1 Phil., 143 and U. S. vs. Paguirigan, 14
concur in the result.
I deem it advisable to state that the more serious offense, threats to
kill, should have been given preference by the Justice of the Peace by
immediately making a preliminary investigation thereof, with a view to
forwarding the case to the Court of First Instance if good and
grounds for such action were found by the Justice of the Peace. It was
in the public interest that the offense of threats to kill should have
been prosecuted and tried before the offense of slight physical
because the former involved a more serious menace to public order.