Sunday, March 25, 2012

People vs. Narvaez

Facts: Mamerto Narvaez has been convicted of murder (qualified by treachery) of David Fleischer and Flaviano Rubia. On August 22, 1968, Narvaez shot Fleischer and Rubia during the time the two were constructing a fence that would prevent Narvaez from getting into his house and rice mill. The defendant was taking a nap when he heard sounds of construction and found fence being made. He addressed the group and asked them to stop destroying his house and asking if they could talk things over. Fleischer responded with "No, gadamit, proceed, go ahead." Defendant lost his "equilibrium," and shot Fleisher with his shotgun. He also shot Rubia who was running towards the jeep where the deceased's gun was placed. Prior to the shooting, Fleischer and Co. (the company of Fleischer's family) was involved in a legal battle with the defendant and other land settlers of Cotabato over certain pieces of property. At the time of the shooting, the civil case was still pending for annulment (settlers wanted granting of property to Fleisher and Co. to be annulled). At time of the shooting, defendant had leased his property from Fleisher (though case pending and ownership uncertain) to avoid trouble. On June 25, defendant received letter terminating contract because he allegedly didn't pay rent. He was given 6 months to remove his house from the land. Shooting was barely 2 months after letter. Defendant claims he killed in defense of his person and property. CFI ruled that Narvaez was guilty. Aggravating circumstances of evident premeditation offset by the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. For both murders, CFI sentenced him to reclusion perpetua, to indemnify the heirs, and to pay for moral damages. 

Issues

(1) Whether or not the aggression on the property of Narvaez was lawful or unlawful. 

(2) Whether or not self-defense can be claimed by Narvaez in shooting those who would 

Held: 

(1) Yes. The assault on the property constituted unlawful aggression on the part of the deceased who had no right to destroy or cause damage to Narvaez’s house, nor to close his accessibility to the highway while he was pleading with them to stop and talk things over with him. 

(2) No. Although aggression is established as the first element in self-defense and there was no provocation on the part of Narvaez (thereby meeting the third element), the second element, being reasonableness of resistance, was not met when, in killing the two victims, such resistance was disproportionate to the attack. Hence, the act of killing the deceased was not justifiable since not all elements for justification are present.

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