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G.R. No. 145993 – 404 SCRA 170 – Criminal Law – Book 1 – Aggravating Circumstances – Qualifying Circumstances; Use of Motor Vehicle
On July 7, 1996 at 4pm, Joseph Galang admonished Rufino Mallari for driving so fast in front of the Galang’s house. Mallari got irked and challenged Galang into a fist fight. Galang did not accede and apologized instead. At about 6:30 pm, Mallari returned and tried to stab Galang but Galang was able to run. Mallari boarded his truck and drove after Galang until he was able to catch up with him. He bumped him and crushed Galang’s head. Galang voluntarily surrendered. He was convicted for murder and was sentenced to death.
ISSUE: Whether or not Mallari is guilty of murder.
HELD: Yes. Evident premeditation and treachery were not proven to be present. However, Mallari’s use of a motor vehicle which is his truck qualifies him for the crime of murder. He used his truck in killing Galang. Mallari’s explanation that the use of the truck was only incidental (that he merely used the truck to chase after Galang) cannot be given credence (in fact, SC said his argument is fallacious).
Voluntary surrender is to be appreciated in favor of Mallari. He is sentenced to reclusion perpetua.