Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1984 > April 1984 Decisions > G.R. No. 60370 April 17, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNEL DAMO:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. 60370. April 17, 1984.]

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ARNEL DAMO, Defendant-Appellant.

The Solicitor General for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Hernando Perez, for Defendant-Appellant.


SYLLABUS


1. CRIMINAL LAW; AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES; EVIDENT PREMEDITATION; NOT APPRECIATED IN CASE AT BAR. — The Solicitor General admits that in the commission of the crime the aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation was not present. "We agree, it appearing that appellant thought of killing the deceased only after succeeding in satisfying his lust upon her. In fact, the appellant was waiting for her in his tricycle for sometime, after the carnal act, but as the deceased was not yet around, he returned to the house, and meeting her at the door of the kitchen, he strangled her. Thus, there does not seem to be sufficient time for him to reflect on his evil resolution."cralaw virtua1aw library

2. ID.; ID.; NOCTURNITY; NOT APPRECIATED WHERE NIGHTTIME WAS NOT PURPOSELY SOUGHT. — We also agree with appellant that the aggravating circumstance of nocturnity is absent in the case. For, nocturnity to be appreciated as an aggravating circumstance, it must be purposely and deliberately sought by the accused to facilitate the commission of the crime. In the case at bar, the meeting of appellant and Lucretia was by chance and, therefore, it cannot be said that he purposely sought nighttime to commit the offense. Their meeting was accidental. Being a tricycle driver, he was in the bus terminal waiting for passengers when he met the victim.

3. ID.; ID.; TREACHERY; PRESENCE APPRECIATED AS GENERIC AGGRAVATING IN THE CASE AT BAR. — Appellant’s contention that there was no treachery is untenable. After satisfying his lust, no woman would have anticipated that the man who took advantage of her would thereafter suddenly kill her. Time and again, We have ruled that treachery is present in the commission of a crime when executed suddenly and unexpectedly even if made face to face (People v. Doria, 55 SCRA 435). However, treachery in cases of robbery with homicide is not a qualifying circumstance but only a generic aggravating circumstance which may be offset by appellant’s plea of guilty.

4. ID.; ALTERNATIVE CIRCUMSTANCES; DRUNKENNESS, NOT MITIGATING WHERE THERE IS NO LOSS OF CONTROL OF MENTAL FACULTIES. — Appellant’s claim that he was drunk at the time he executed the criminal act, is untenable. He failed to establish by convincing evidence that his reason was blurred to the extent that he was deprived of that degree of control of himself. The fact that he was able to drive his tricycle to the place where he brought his victim, made love to her following which he killed and dumped her into a well and then drove his vehicle back to Laoag City, shows that he had complete control of his mental faculties.

5. ID.; ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE; PENALTY; CASE AT BAR. — Article 294, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code, provides for reclusion perpetua to death as the penalty for the offense of robbery with homicide. Considering the presence of the aggravating circumstance of treachery which is offset by the mitigating circumstance of plea of guilty, the correct penalty in the case at bar is reclusion perpetua.


D E C I S I O N


RELOVA, J.:


Automatic review of a death sentence, indemnity to the heirs of Lucretia D. Calina in the amount of P12,000.00, and payment to them the sum of P408.50 corresponding to the money taken by the accused from the victim, without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and payment of the costs, imposed by the then Court of First Instance of Ilocos Norte (Laoag City) in its Criminal Case No. 1792.

The record before Us is to the effect that Arnel Damo was charged with the crime of robbery with homicide committed in the manner described in the information, as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"That on or about the 27th day of November 1981, in the City of Laoag, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, with evident premeditation and treachery, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously strangle one Lucretia D. Calina to death and dumped her body into a well, and with intent of gain did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously take and carry away her belongings consisting of two big leather baggages and seven cartons containing her belongings and personal effects, as well as cash in the amount of TEN DOLLARS ($10.00) and FOUR HUNDRED PESOS (P400.00), to the damage and prejudice of her parents in the total amount of the aforestated case, belongings and personal effects.

"That the aggravating circumstances of nocturnity as well as having deliberately augmented the crime by causing other wrong unnecessary for its commission where present." (p. 2, Rollo)

Upon arraignment, Accused, assisted by counsel de oficio, entered a plea of guilty. Notwithstanding, the trial court did not immediately impose the death sentence but proceeded to inquire the circumstances surrounding the case to satisfy itself if appellant understood the meaning and effect of the aggravating circumstances of treachery, evident premeditation and nocturnity alleged in the information.

Evidence shows that appellant, 25 years old and a tricycle driver in Laoag City, was in the bus terminal of Laoag City at about 3:30 in the morning of November 27, 1981. A short while thereafter, one of the buses of the De Leon Transportation arrived from Manila and among its passengers was Lucretia D. Calina, 54 years old, who returned to the Philippines after 22 years stay abroad. Appellant approached Lucretia and asked her where she was going. She answered that she was bound for Bangui. Since there were no buses that early morning for Bangui which is about 75 kilometers from Laoag City, appellant offered to bring her to the place for P125.00. When Lucretia agreed, appellant loaded her baggages consisting of seven (7) cartons and two (2) big suitcases in his tricycle. Instead of going to Bangui, appellant brought Lucretia to a vacant house at Barangay Naldo, Laoag City, near the Northwestern College, about four (4) kilometers away from the poblacion of Laoag. Appellant invited Lucretia inside the house to rest for a while. Lucretia hesitated but later acceded when appellant put on the lights inside the house. When they were inside the house appellant made love to his lady passenger who, at first, resisted but later on succumbed and consented to having sexual intercourse with him. After satisfying his lust, he told her to dress up as they would proceed to Bangui. He then went outside the house and after sometime returned passing through the kitchen door. Upon seeing her still standing by the door, appellant approached her and at once strangled her to death with his bare hands.

Appellant then carried Lucretia and dumped her into a nearby well, hid the seven (7) cartons inside the house and proceeded to Barangay Barabar, San Nicolas where he hid the two (2) leather luggages. Thereafter, he returned to Laoag City at about 8:00 in the morning where at the Philippine Rabbit Bus station he took his breakfast.

On December 26, 1981, at about 3:30 in the morning, the Laoag police, acting upon a tip, arrested appellant. He admitted his guilt in an extra-judicial confession which was signed in the presence of Sgt. Alipio and sworn to before an Assistant City Fiscal.

In this appeal, the defense assailed the decision of the lower court in that it erred (1) in finding that there was evident premeditation; (2) in finding that the offense was aggravated by nocturnity; (3) in appreciating treachery as an aggravating circumstance; (4) in not offsetting the aggravating circumstance of treachery by the mitigating circumstance of plea of guilty; (5) in not appreciating the mitigating circumstance of intoxication; and, (6) in imposing the death penalty.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

With respect to the first assigned error, We take note of the fact that the Solicitor General admits that in the commission of the crime the aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation was not present. "We agree, it appearing that appellant thought of killing the deceased only after succeeding in satisfying his lust upon her. In fact, the appellant was waiting for her in his tricycle for sometime, after the carnal act, but as the deceased was not yet around, he returned to the house, and meeting her at the door of the kitchen, he strangled her (pp. 13-15, tsn., February 2, 1982 hearing). Thus, there does not seem to be sufficient time for him to reflect on his evil resolution." (pp. 4-5, Appellee’s brief)

We also agree with appellant that the aggravating circumstance of nocturnity is absent in the case. For, nocturnity to be appreciated as an aggravating circumstance, it must be purposely and deliberately sought by the accused to facilitate the commission of the crime. In the case at bar, the meeting of appellant and Lucretia was by chance and, therefore, it cannot be said that he purposely sought nighttime to commit the offense. Their meeting was accidental. Being a tricycle driver, he was in the bus terminal waiting for passengers when he met the victim.

Appellant’s contention that there was no treachery is untenable. After satisfying his lust, no woman would have anticipated that the man who took advantage of her would thereafter suddenly kill her. Time and again, We have ruled that treachery is present in the commission of a crime when executed suddenly and unexpectedly even if made face to face (People v. Doria, 55 SCRA 435). However, treachery in cases of robbery with homicide is not a qualifying circumstance but only a generic aggravating circumstance which may be offset by appellant’s plea of guilty.

Finally, appellant’s claim that he was drunk at the time he executed the criminal act, is untenable. He failed to establish by convincing evidence that his reason was blurred to the extent that he was deprived of that degree of control of himself. The fact that he was able to drive his tricycle to the place where he brought his victim, made love to her following which he killed and dumped her into a well and then drove his vehicle back to Laoag City, shows that he had complete control of his mental faculties.

Article 294, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code, provides for reclusion perpetua to death as the penalty for the offense of robbery with homicide. Considering the presence of the aggravating circumstance of treachery which is offset by the mitigating circumstance of plea of guilty, the correct penalty in the case at bar is reclusion perpetua.chanrobles lawlibrary : rednad

WHEREFORE, the decision under review must be, and is hereby modified in that appellant Arnel Damo is sentenced to reclusion perpetua, is ordered to pay the heirs of Lucretia D. Calina in the sum of P30,000.00 (instead of P12,000.00 as adjudged below), and the sum of P408.50, without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. With costs.

SO ORDERED.

Fernando, C.J., Teehankee, Makasiar, Aquino, Concepcion, Jr., Guerrero, Abad Santos, De Castro, Melencio-Herrera, Plana, Escolin, Gutierrez, Jr. and De la Fuente, JJ., concur.




Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com



ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc.

ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc. : www.chanroblesprofessionalreview.com
ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com
ChanRobles CPA Review Online

ChanRobles CPALE Review Online : www.chanroblescpareviewonline.com
ChanRobles Special Lecture Series

ChanRobles Special Lecture Series - Memory Man : www.chanroblesbar.com/memoryman





April-1984 Jurisprudence                 

  • Adm. Case No. 1392 April 2, 1984 - PRECIOSA R. OBUSAN v. GENEROSO B. OBUSAN, JR.

  • G.R. No. L-32274 April 2, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO VILLANUEVA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-33697 April 2, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CONSTANCIO L. CAUYAN

  • G.R. Nos. L-34586 & L-36625 April 2, 1984 - HOSPICIO NILO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-35309 April 2, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENITO MARBEBE, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 62014-16 April 2, 1984 - HEIRS OF INOCENCIO SANTIAGO, ET AL. v. JOSE P. CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 62117 April 2, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS ARLEGUI, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 62985 April 2, 1984 - ARTURO CURSO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 60033 April 4, 1984 - TEOFISTO GUINGONA, JR., ET AL. v. CITY FISCAL OF MANILA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 63284 April 4, 1984 - SAULOG TRANSIT, INC. v. MANUEL M. LAZARO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. L-29016-18 April 5, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTEMIO BERNAL

  • G.R. No. L-34541 April 5, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HILARION U. JARENCIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-37014 April 6, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL GAYOLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-29986 April 17, 1984 - ERNESTO OPPEN, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-35157 April 17, 1984 - FRANCISCO A. PERFECTO v. FELICIANO S. GONZALES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-36383 April 17, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY BASADRE

  • G.R. No. L-39804 April 17, 1984 - LCC CORPORATION v. JESUS FARRALES

  • G.R. No. L-47067 April 17, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OLIVER S. TAJON

  • G.R. No. 60370 April 17, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNEL DAMO

  • G.R. Nos. L-48736-37 April 19, 1984 - EM TRANSPORT, INC. v. JACOBO C. CLAVE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-37578 April 24, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AUGUSTO MUTUC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-46439 April 24, 1984 - ANDREA M. MOSCOSO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 63860 April 24, 1984 - NEMIA SAGLIBA v. EMPLOYEES’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-2781 April 27, 1984 - COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. DANILO G. REYES

  • G.R. No. L-39087 April 27, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO Q. DE JESUS

  • G.R. Nos. L-44859-60 April 27, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABELARDO BALBUENA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 54081 April 27, 1984 - ADELAIDO HERRERA v. IÑAKI LARRAZABAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 55509 April 27, 1984 - ETHEL GRIMM ROBERTS v. TOMAS R. LEONIDAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 55900 April 27, 1984 - LUMEN POLICARPIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 56877 April 27, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BUENAVENTURA BAYLON

  • G.R. No. 62636 April 27, 1984 - ACTG. COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS v. COURT OF TAX APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 64693 April 27, 1984 - LITA ENTERPRISES, INC. v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-31956 April 30, 1984 - FILOMENA GERONA DE CASTRO v. JOAQUIN TENG QUEEN TAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-32995 April 30, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO DEL CASTILLO, SR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-42962 April 30, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO EGOT

  • G.R. No. L-48153 April 30, 1984 - ESCOLASTICO BUSTARGA, ET AL. v. FELICIANO NAVO II, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-48433 April 30, 1984 - PACITA DIMAYUGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 56968 April 30, 1984 - RODOLFO DE LEON v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 57288 April 30, 1984 - LEONILA SARMIENTO v. ENRIQUE A. AGANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 59217 April 30, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ILARDE ITURA

  • G.R. No. 59298 April 30, 1984 - FLORENTINA L. BACLAYON v. PACITO G. MUTIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 60098 April 30, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO MULA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 63191 April 30, 1984 - PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 64279 April 30, 1984 - ANSELMO L. PESIGAN, ET AL. v. DOMINGO MEDINA ANGELES, ET AL.xx