Saturday, February 25, 2012

People vs. Jaurigue [C.A. No. 384, February 21, 1946]

Facts: Inside the chapel of the 7th day Adventist Church, Amado Capina sat beside the appellant and with the greatest of impudence, placed his hand on the upper part of her right thigh. On observing this highly improper and offensive conduct, Avelina Jaurigue, conscious of her personal dignity and honor, pulled out a fan knife and stabbed Amado once at the base of the left side of the neck’ 

Amado Capina died from the wound a few minutes later. 

Appellant Avelina Jaurigue was subsequently tried and convicted of the crime of Homicide. 

Issue: Whether or not appellant Jaurige acted in the legitimate defense of her honor and that she should be completely absolved of all criminal responsibility

Held: No. The judgment of conviction is affirmed. 

The attempt to rape a woman constitutes an unlawful aggression sufficient to put her in a state of legitimate defense inasmuch as a woman's honor cannot but be esteemed as a right as precious, if not more than her very existence; and it is evident that a woman who, thus imperiled, wounds, nay kills the offender, should be afforded exemption from criminal liability, since such killing cannot be considered a crime from the moment it became the only means left for her to protect her honor from so great an outrage (1 Viada, Codigo Penal, 5th ed., p. 301; People vs. Luague and Alcansare, 62 Phil., 504). . 

As long as there is actual danger of being raped, a woman is justified in killing her aggressor in the defense of her honor. 

When the deceased sat by the side of the appellant on the same bench, near the door of the barrio chapel and placed his hand on the upper portion of her right thigh without her consent, the said chapel was lighted with electric lights, and there were already several people inside the chapel, including her own father and the barrio lieutenant and other dignitaries of the organization; and under the circumstances, there was and there could be no possibility of her being raped. And when she gave Amado Capina a thrust at his neck, inflicting upon him a mortal wound and causing his death a few moments later, the means employed by her in the defense of her honor was evidently excessive; and under the facts and circumstances of the case, she cannot be legally declared completely exempt from criminal liability. 

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