Criminal Law

People vs. Galacgac CA 54 O.G. 1027 Criminal Law, Generality principle in Criminal Law

FACTS:

Enrique Galacgac, a naturalized American Citizen was accused of attempted parricide with physical serious injuries in Criminal Case NO. 19292, two separate charges of attempted homicide, and illegal possession of firearms as a result of an indiscriminate shooting in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

After trial Enrique was convicted for attempted parricide with physical serious injuries, attempted homicide, and illegal possession of firearms. He was sentenced to four months of arresto mayor, an indeterminate penalty of from six months of arresto mayor to one year and eight months of prision correctional and an imprisonment of one year and one day.

Enrique was likewise ordered to pay one-half of the cost with his co-accused Pablo Soriano.  Not satisfied Enrique and Soriano appealed the judgments.

On appeal, Galacgac claimed that the firearm was a homecoming present for his wife and that he arrived at 3:00pm in Manila however the Phil Constabulary closes at 4:00pm and therefore he failed to secure a license for the firearm.  Likewise, he claimed that being an American Citizen he couldn’t be prosecuted and likewise convicted of illegal possession of firearm since in the United States it is a constitutional right “to keep and bear arms.”

ISSUE:

Whether or not Galacgac was liable for the crimes committed.

RULING:

Enrique Galacgac  claimed that he is exempt from prosecution being and American Citizen and an employee of the U.S. Navy.  The SC held that a mere civilian of the U.S. Navy is not entitled to any extra –territorial privilege for, strictly speaking, he is not a member of the armed forces of the United States Army.

With regards to the illegal possession of firearms, based on sec.892 of the Revised Administrative Code, ordains that any person, whether a national or foreigner, coming to the Philippines and bringing with him any firearm, must deposit the same with the Collector of Customs who in turn must deliver it to the Phil Constabulary, from which the firearm cannot be taken until the importer shall have secured a license to possess it.

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