Aug 28, 2009

Criminal Law- People vs. Morales

THIS IS WITH REGARD TO ARTICLE 12 PAR(S) 5 &6 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE

"The accused must not have opportunity for escape of self-defense"

Case of People of the R.P. vs. Morales
G.R.No. 148518 15April2004

FACTS OF THE CASE:

That on or about the 9th day of November, 1994, in the municipality of Bacolor, province of Pampanga, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping one another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, abduct and kidnap Jefferson C. Tan, Joanna C. Tan, Jessie Anthony C. Tan, Malou Ocampo and Cesar Quiroz, while the latter were on board a L-300 van with Plate No. CKW-785 at San Vicente, Bacolor, Pampanga, for the purpose of extorting ransom money from the parents of the said victims with threat to kill the said victims if their parents failed to deliver the ransom money, that said victims were brought and detained in Bataan until the father of victims, Feliciano Tan, paid and delivered to the aforesaid accused the amount of P92,000.00.

ISSUES OF THE CASE:

For this particular case, since 2 appellants are involved, the digest would only look into the issue of Fernando Morales;

- CAN FERNANDO MORALES BE GRANTED THE EXEMPTING CIRCUMSTANCES OF IRRESISTIBLE FORCE AND/OR UNCONTROLLABLE FEAR OF AN EQUAL OR GREATER INJURY

- IF CONSPIRACY WAS PROVEN BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT

- No. Since according to the ruling in the case of People v. Del Rosario. Under Article 12 of the Revised Penal Code, a person is exempt from criminal liability if he acts under the compulsion of an irresistible force, or under the impulse of an uncontrollable fear of equal or greater injury, because such person does not act with freedom. In Del Rosario, however, we held that for such defense to prosper the duress, force, fear intimidation must be present, imminent and impending, and of such nature as to induce a well-grounded apprehension of death or serious bodily harm if the act be done. A threat of future injury is not enough
- By not availing of the chance to escape (since the other accused were waiting for them at the distance of 1 kilometer) their allegation of fear or duress becomes untenable, for it to apply: it is necessary that the compulsion be of such a character as to leave no opportunity to escape or self-defense in equal combat.
- The fear (threats against family members), were not of imminence as to prevent any chance of escape, and that this fear they allegedly suffered does not suffice to grant them the exempting circumstance.
- Yes. The acts done by the appellants (was involved in the initial abduction, feeding/guarding the children while they are w/ them, instructing the father to go to Gumi for the ransom) clearly shows that there was close coordination, indicating a common purpose or design
- Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. Where all the accused acted in concert at the time of the commission of the offense, and it is shown by such acts that they had the same purpose or common design and were united in its execution, conspiracy is sufficiently established.
- It must be shown that all participants performed specific acts with such closeness and coordination as to indicate a common purpose or design to commit the felony.

HELD:

DECISION OF THE LOWER COURT CONVICTING THE ACCUSED FOR THE CRIME OF KIDNAPPING FOR RANSOM AND SENTENCING EACH TO DEATH IS AFFIRMED

I hope this helps.

Jeff David

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