Thursday, March 08, 2012

People vs. Germina (May 19, 1998)

Facts: Elpidio Germina was found guilty of murder of Raymund Angeles and sentenced to suffer Reclusion perpetua and not death because of the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. 

In the evening of November 9, 1994 arrived at the residence of the Angeles, armed with a revolver, to confront Raymund about a previous mauling incident concerning Raymund and Germina’s retarded brother Rafael. Raymund was not home, and a heated conversation ensued between Germina and Raymund’s relatives. When Raymund arrived, Germina drew his gun. Raymund’s relatives scampered, and Raymund, while running tripped on a street hump and fell on the ground face down. Germina fired a gun on Raymund’s neck while the latter was on the ground face-down. 

The Trial court appreciated the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender and that fact that Germina committed the crime due to the maltreatment suffered by his younger brother at the hands of Raymund which triggered his anger and diminished his will power. 

Issues: 
(1) Whether or not there was treachery present 

(2) Whether or not there was the circumstance of passion and obfuscation

(3) Whether or not Germina should be convicted of murder or homicide

Held:
(1) NO. There was no treachery. As in the Flores case, Raymund was well-aware of the danger to his life since he even managed to run away. The relatives were in the immediate vicinity. Also, if murder was his bent, he would not have gone to the house of victim and engaged the relatives in a useless debate. 

(2) YES. There is no treachery because passion as a mitigating circumstance is present. Passion cannot co-exist with treachery because in passion, the offender loses his control and reason while treachery the means employed are consciously adopted. One who loses reason and self-control could not deliberately employ means, method or form of attack in the execution of the crime. Passion existed because of lawful sentiments or legitimate feelings. 

(3) Homicide. Germina should be convicted of Homicide with penalty of reclusion temporal. Since 2 mitigating were found, the penalty should be prision mayor. Applying Indeterminate Sentence Law, the minimum should be 6 years of Pc as minimum, to 10 yrs of prision mayor as maximum.

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