Criminal Law

People of the Philippines vs. Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza G.R. Nos. 130634-35 March 12, 2001 Absolutory Cause, Article 247 RPC

FACTS:

Due to marital differences, Manolito and Tita separated, with Manolito keeping custody of their two (2) children. Tita rented a room at the second floor of the house of Edgardo Lladas

Despite their separation, Manolito tried to win Tita back and exerted all efforts towards reconciliation. However, Tita was very reluctant to reconcile with Manolito. In fact, she was very open about her relationship with other men.  One time, he chanced upon his wife and her paramour, Jesus, in a very intimate situation.

One evening Manolito received a letter from the school of their son. The letter mentioned that his son Julius failed in two subjects and invited his parents to a meeting at the school.  Because he had work all day the next day, Manolito went to Tita’s house to ask her to attend the school meeting in his behalf.

Upon reaching Tita’s rented place, he caught his wife Tita and Jesus having sexual intercourse.

Manolito stabbed Jesus and stabbed Tita in the left breast, and three more times in different parts of her body.  Tita fell near the lifeless body of her paramour.  It was at this point that Edgardo appeared from the ground floor and inquired about what had happened.

Manolito left the house of Edgardo. He threw away the knife he used in stabbing his wife and her paramour.

When asked why he was carrying a knife when he went to his wife’s place, Manolito said that he brought it for self-defense. Prior to the incident, he received threats from his wife and her paramour, Jesus, that they would kill him so they could live together.

Manolito was convicted for Homicide and Parricide.

Accused admitted the killings. He argued that he killed them both under the exceptional circumstances provided in Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code.

 

ISSUE:

Whether or not Manolito killed the victims under the exceptional circumstances contemplated in Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code.

 

RULING:

Having admitted the killing, it is incumbent upon accused to prove the exempting circumstances to the satisfaction of the court in order to be relieved of any criminal liability. Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code prescribes the following essential elements for such a defense:

(1) that a legally married person surprises his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person; (2) that he kills any of them or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter; and (3) that he has not promoted or facilitated the prostitution of his wife (or daughter) or that he or she has not consented to the infidelity of the other spouse.

Accused must prove these elements by clear and convincing evidence, otherwise his defense would be untenable. The death caused must be the proximate result of the outrage overwhelming the accused after chancing upon his spouse in the act of infidelity. Simply put, the killing by the husband of his wife must concur with her flagrant adultery.

There is no question that the first element is present in the case at bar. The crucial fact that accused must convincingly prove to the court is that he killed his wife and her paramour in the act of sexual intercourse or immediately thereafter.

After an assiduous analysis of the evidence presented and the testimonies of the witnesses, we find accused to have acted within the circumstances contemplated in Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code.Admittedly, accused-appellant surprised his wife and her lover in the act of sexual intercourse.

To the mind of the court, what actually happened was that accused chanced upon Jesus at the place of his wife. He saw his wife and Jesus in the act of having sexual intercourse. Blinded by jealousy and outrage, accused stabbed Jesus who fought off and kicked the accused. He vented his anger on his wife when she reacted, not in defense of him, but in support of Jesus. Hence, he stabbed his wife as well several times. Accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza surrendered to the police when a call for him to surrender was made.

The law imposes very stringent requirements before affording the offended spouse the opportunity to avail himself of Article 247, Revised Penal Code. As the Court put it in People v. Wagas:

The vindication of a Mans honor is justified because of the scandal an unfaithful wife creates; the law is strict on this, authorizing as it does, a man to chastise her, even with death. But killing the errant spouse as a purification is so severe as that it can only be justified when the unfaithful spouse is caught in flagrante delicto; and it must be resorted to only with great caution so much so that the law requires that it be inflicted only during the sexual intercourse or immediately thereafter.

The trial court’s decision was REVERSED. The Court sentences accused Manolito Oyanib y Mendoza to two (2) years and four (4) months of destierro.

 

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