Thursday, December 15, 2011

People of the Philippines v. Conrado Laog y Ramin, G.R. No. 178321, October 5, 2011.

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Abuse of superior strength. The aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength is considered whenever there is a notorious inequality of forces between the victim and the aggressor that is plainly and obviously advantageous to the aggressor and purposely selected or taken advantage of to facilitate the commission of the crime. It is taken into account whenever the aggressor purposely used excessive force that is out of proportion to the means of defense available to the person attacked. In this case, as personally witnessed by AAA, appellant struck Jennifer in the head with a lead pipe then stabbed her repeatedly until she was dead. Clearly, the manner by which appellant had brutally slain Jennifer with a lethal weapon, by first hitting her in the head with a lead pipe to render her defenseless and vulnerable before stabbing her repeatedly, unmistakably showed that appellant intentionally used excessive force out of proportion to the means of defense available to his unarmed victim. As aptly observed by the appellate court: it has long been established that an attack made by a man with a deadly weapon upon an unarmed and defenseless woman constitutes the circumstance of abuse of that superiority which his sex and the weapon used in the act afforded him and from which the woman was unable to defend herself. Unlike in treachery, where the victim is not given the opportunity to defend himself or repel the aggression, taking advantage of superior strength does not mean that the victim was completely defenseless. Abuse of superiority is determined by the excess of the aggressor’s natural strength over that of the victim, considering the momentary position of both and the employment of means weakening the defense, although not annulling it. People of the Philippines v. Conrado Laog y Ramin, G.R. No. 178321, October 5, 2011.


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