Criminal Law

People of the Philippines vs Bienvenido de la Cruz

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G.R. No. 140513 – 461 Phil. 471 – Criminal Law – Book 1 – Aggravating Circumstances – Evident Premeditation

On December 25, 1996, Alfredo Timgas joined a cockfight. He let his brother-in-law Bienvenido de la Cruz install the gaff on his game cock. Unknown to Timgas, de la Cruz betted against his cock. When Timgas’ cock won, he was advised to collect the bet from his brother-in-law, feeling betrayed he challenged de la Cruz into a fist fight. Cooler heads parted the two. Later de la Cruz returned with a bolo and hacked to death Timgas.

ISSUE: Whether or not evident premeditation is present thus making de la Cruz guilty for murder.

HELD: No. The following were not shown to concur on the part of de la Cruz:

a.)  Time when he decided to commit the crime,

b.)  An overt act showing that de la Cruz clung to his determination to commit the crime,

c.)  Lapse of a sufficient period of time as to that would allow de la Cruz to reflect upon the consequences of his act.

In this case, de la Cruz killed Timgas no later than when the fistfight was over. No sufficient time lapsed for him to plan the killing of Timgas. Therefore, he’s only guilty of homicide.

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