Criminal Law

People of the Philippines vs Dario Cual

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G.R. No. 131925 – 327 SCRA 623 – Criminal Law – Book I – Mitigating Circumstances – Incomplete Self-Defense

On 26 February 1994, Dario Villoceno and Ramil Sabturani had a fight and they were grappling for the possession of a steel pipe. Dario Cual came to help Villoceno, Cual then hacked Sabturani with a bolo. Sabturani was able to run but Cual was able to catch up with him and thereafter killed Sabturani inside a “trisikad”. During trial, Cual raised self-defense which the court did not appreciate, nor was the defense of “incomplete self-defense” appreciated. He was convicted for murder.

ISSUE: Whether or not Cual is entitled to the mitigating circumstance of incomplete self-defense.

HELD: No. The evidence does not show that there was unlawful aggression on the part of Sabturani. It was not shown that Sabturani, in any way offended Cual. Since unlawful aggression, a vital element of self-defense, is not present, no self-defense, or incomplete self-defense for that matter can be appreciated in favor of Cual.

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