Criminal Law

People of the Philippines vs. Bienvenido Nocum G.R. No. L-482 February 25, 1947 Homicide, Reckless Imprudence


About 9 o’clock in the evening of November 21, 1945, there was a fistic fight between Federico Bautista and Vicente Aurencio at the corner of Mayhaligue and Magdalena Streets, City of Manila. Desiring to stop the encounter, defendant shouted at the combatants. As these paid him no attention, he drew a .45 caliber pistol and shot twice at the air. The bout continued, however; so he fired another shot at the ground, but unfortunately the bullet ricocheted and hit Eugenio Francisco, an innocent by-stander, resident of the place. The wounded man was promptly carried to the St. Luke’s Hospital where he expired soon after.



What was the crime committed?


The mishap should be classed as homicide through reckless imprudence, the slaying having been unintentional (cf. People vs. Sara, 55 Phil., 939; and United States vs. Reodique, 32 Phil., 458). It is apparent the defendant willfully discharged his gun — for which he exhibited no license, by the way — without taking the precautions demanded by the circumstance that the district was populated, and the likelihood that his bullet would glance over the hard pavement of the Manila thoroughfare.

A landowner surprise a youngster in the act of stealing some fruit in his orchard. To scare the intruder he fired a shotgun aiming at the foliage of a cherry tree. The shot scattered and a pellet injured the boy, who was standing under the tree. That was reckless negligence, the Spanish Supreme Court decided. (Sent. June 20, 1900, Viada, 5th ed., Vol. 7, p. 14.)

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