Oct 5, 2009

Criminal Law- People vs. Genosa


Case of People of the R.P. vs. Genosa
G.R.No. 135981 15January2004


That Marivic Genosa, the Appellant on the 15November1995, attacked and wounded his husband, which ultimately led to his death. According to the appellant she did not provoke her husband when she got home that night it was her husband who began the provocation. The Appellant said she was frightened that her husband would hurt her and she wanted to make sure she would deliver her baby safely. In fact, The Appelant had to be admitted later at the Rizal Medical Centre as she was suffering from eclampsia and hypertension, and the baby was born prematurely on December 1, 1995.

The Appellant testified that during her marriage she had tried to leave her husband at least five (5) times, but that Ben would always follow her and they would reconcile. The Apellant said that the reason why Ben was violent and abusive towards her that night was because 'he was crazy about his recent girlfriend, Lulu Rubillos.

The Appellant after being interviewed by specialists, has been shown to be suffering from Battered Woman Syndrome.
The appellant with a plea of self defense admitted the killing of her husband, she was then found guilty of Parricide, with the aggravating circumstance of treachery, for the husband was attacked while asleep.


Can Marivic Genosa be granted the Justifying circumstance of Self-defense, and can she be held liable for the aggravating circumstance of treachery?

No, Since self- defense since the existence of Battered woman syndrome, which the appellant has been shown to be suffering in the relationship does not in itself establish the legal right of the woman to kill her abusive partner. Evidence must still be considered in the context of self-defense.
In the present case, however, according to the testimony of the appellant there was a sufficient time interval between the unlawful aggression of the husband and her fatal attack upon him. She had already been able to withdraw from his violent behavior and escape to their children's bedroom. During that time, he apparently ceased his attack and went to bed. The reality or even the imminence of the danger he posed had ended altogether. He was no longer in a position that presented an actual threat on her life or safety.

Without continuous aggression there can be no self-defense. And absence of aggression does not warrant complete or incomplete self-defense.

No, There is treachery when one commits any of the crimes against persons by employing means, methods or forms in the execution thereof without risk to oneself arising from the defense that the offended party might make.

The circumstances must be shown as indubitably as the killing itself; they cannot be deduced from mere inferences, or conjectures, which have no place in the appreciation of evidence. Besides, equally axiomatic is the rule that when a killing is preceded by an argument or a quarrel, treachery cannot be appreciated as a qualifying circumstance, because the deceased may be said to have been forewarned and to have anticipated aggression from the assailant.

In the present case, however it was not conclusively shown, that the appellant intentionally chose a specific means of successfully attacking her husband without any risk to herself from any retaliatory act that he might make. To the contrary, it appears that the thought of using the gun occurred to her only at about the same moment when she decided to kill her spouse. In the absence of any convincing proof that she consciously and deliberately employed the method by which she committed the crime in order to ensure its execution, the doubt should be resolved in her favor.


The conviction of Appellant Marivic Genosa for parricide is hereby AFFIRMED. However, there being two (2) mitigating circumstances and no aggravating circumstance attending her commission of the offense, her penalty is REDUCED to six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum; to 14 years, 8 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal as maximum.


When can BWS (Battered Woman Syndrome) as self defense be appreciated?

Where the brutalized person is already suffering from BWS, further evidence of actual physical assault at the time of the killing is not required.
Incidents of domestic battery usually have a predictable pattern. To require the battered person to await an obvious, deadly attack before she can defend her life "would amount to sentencing her to 'murder by installment.' Still, impending danger (based on the conduct of the victim in previous battering episodes) prior to the defendant's use of deadly force must be shown. Threatening behavior or communication can satisfy the required imminence of danger. Considering such circumstances and the existence of BWS, self-defense may be appreciated.

I hope this helps.

Jeff David

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