Monday, February 20, 2012

People vs. Tomotorgo (April 30, 1985)

Facts: Plaintiff was the husband of the victim – Magdalena de los Santos. Magdalena had been persistently asking her husband to sell their conjugal home in Camarines Sur in order for them to transfer to the house of her husband’s in-laws. Plaintiff didn’t want to abandon their house because the improvements that he made to the land since this is where he farms. Said lot had a lot of plants and was very far from his in-laws place. 

Upon returning home from his farm one day, he found his wife and three-month old baby already gone. He went out to look for them and caught up with them 200 meters from their house. He saw his wife with their kid and a bundle of clothes. Plaintiff begged for his wife to surrender and when she refused, they got into a scurry when the plaintiff tried to take their child from his wife. The wife aroused the ire of the plaintiff when she threw their child onto the grassy portion of the trail. Plaintiff picked up a wood and began hitting his wife. She fell to the ground and complained of severe chest pains. Realizing what he had done, he brought her home but she died despite plaintiff’s effort to alleviate her pain. 

Plaintiff brought the piece of wood and reported the incident to the baranggay captain who brought him to the police. He was charged with parricide and pleaded not guilty. Upon realizing the gravity of his offense, he changed his plea to guilty. The court found him guilty of parricide but with three mitigating circumstances – voluntary surrender, plea of guilty and that he acted upon an impulse so powerful as naturally to have produced passion and obfuscation. 

He was given the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Appellant claims that the court handed him the wrong punishment. Appellant claims that article 49 of the Revised Penal Code prescribes the proper applicable penalty when the crime committed is different from what was intended. If the penalty prescribed for the felony committed is higher than the offense which the accused wanted to commit, the penalty corresponding to the later shall be imposed as the maximum period. Appellant avers that the penalty for the felony committed by him – parricide – was higher than that which he intended to commit – physical injuries. 

Issue: Whether the court imposed the wrong penalty 

Held: The judgment is affirmed but the court would recommend that executive clemency be extended to the accused 

Article 4 of the RPC states that criminal liability shall be incurred by any person committing a felony (delito) although the wrongful act be different from that which he intended and that accused is liable for all the consequences of his felonious act. 

Article 49 of the RPC does not apply to cases where more serious consequences not intended by the offender result from his felonious act because under Article 4. Par. 1 of the same code, he is liable for all the direct and natural consequences of his unlawful act. His lack of intention to commit a grave wrong is at best mitigating.

Digg Google Bookmarks reddit Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Buzz DesignFloat Delicious BlinkList Furl

0 comments: on "People vs. Tomotorgo (April 30, 1985)"

Post a Comment