Thursday, December 01, 2011

People of the Philippines vs. Calonge y Verana, G.R. No. 182793, July 5, 2010.

Aggravating circumstance; treachery. In the killing of victims in this case, the trial court was correct in appreciating the aggravating circumstance of treachery. There is treachery when the attack is so sudden and unexpected that the victim had no opportunity either to avert the attack or to defend himself. Indeed, nothing can be more sudden and unexpected than when a father stabs to death his two young daughters while they were sound asleep and totally defenseless. 

Parricide; elements. Parricide is committed when: (1) a person is killed; (2) the deceased is killed by the accused; (3) the deceased is the father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, or a legitimate other ascendant or other descendant, or the legitimate spouse of accused. The key element in parricide is the relationship of the offender with the victim. 

Parricide; penalty. Under Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7659, the penalty for parricide is composed of two (2) indivisible penalties,namely, reclusion perpetua to death. 

Evidence; circumstantial evidence. The oft-repeated rule has been that circumstantial evidence is adequate for conviction if there is more than one circumstance, the facts from which the inferences are derived have been proven and the combination of all circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. While no general rule can be laid down as to the quantity of circumstantial evidence which will suffice in a given case, all the circumstances proved must be consistent with each other, consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty, and at the same time inconsistent with the hypothesis that he is innocent, and with every other rational hypothesis except that of guilt. The circumstances proved should constitute an unbroken chain which leads to only one fair and reasonable conclusion that the accused, to the exclusion of all others, is the guilty person. People of the Philippines vs. Calonge y Verana, G.R. No. 182793, July 5, 2010.

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