Criminal Law

People of the Philippines vs Tiburcio Balbar

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G.R. No. L-20216 and L-20217 – 21 SCRA 1119 – Criminal Law – Book II – Crimes Against Chastity – Acts of Lasciviousness – Elements; Lewd Design – No lewd design if committed in a public place

In August 1960, Tiburcio Balbar went inside the classroom of teacher Ester Gonzales while she was conducting her class. Thereafter, Balbar hugged and kissed her. Gonzales fought back and Balbar eventually fled. Later, Gonzales sued Balbar for Acts of Lasciviousness. Balbar filed a motion to quash which was granted.

ISSUE: Whether or not the quashal of the Information is proper.

HELD: Yes. It was not proper that Balbar was sued for Acts of Lasciviousness as it appeared that his act was not actuated by lewd design. The presence or absence of lewd designs is inferred from the nature of the acts themselves and the environmental circumstances. In the instant case, considering the manner, place and time under which the acts complained of were done, even as alleged in the information itself, lewd designs can hardly be attributed to accused. The factual setting, i.e., a schoolroom in the presence of complainant’s students and within hearing distance of her co-teachers, rules out a conclusion that the accused was actuated by a lustful design or purpose or that his conduct was lewd or lascivious.

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