by Tristan

VIRGILIO TALAMPAS Y MATIC v. PEOPLE, GR No. 180219, 2011-11-23

Facts:

Jose Sevillo... testified that on July 5, 1995 at about 7:00 o'clock in the evening, he together with

Eduardo... and

Ernesto... were infront of his house... repairing his tricycle when he noticed the appellant who was riding on a bicycle passed by and stopped.  The latter alighted at about three (3) meters away from him, walked a few steps and brought out a short gun, a... revolver, and poked the same to Eduardo and fired it hitting Eduardo who took refuge behind Ernesto.  The appellant again fired his gun three (3) times, one shot hitting Ernesto at the right portion of his back causing him (Ernesto) to fall on the ground with his face... down.  Another shot hit Eduardo on his nape and fell down on his back (patihaya).  Thereafter, the appellant ran away, while he (Jose) and his neighbors brought the victims to the hospital.

On his part, Talampas interposed self-defense and accident.  He insisted that his enemy had been

Eduardo

, not victim

Ernesto... that Eduardo... had hit him with a monkey wrench, but he... had parried the blow; that he and Eduardo had then grappled for the monkey wrench; that while they had grappled, he had notice that Eduardo had held a revolver; that he had thus struggled with Eduardo for control of the revolver, which had accidentally fired and hit Ernesto... during their struggling with each other; that the revolver had again fired, hitting Eduardo in the thigh; that he had then seized the revolver and shot Eduardo in the head; and that he had then fled the scene when people had started swarming around.

On June 22, 2004, the RTC, giving credence to the testimony of eyewitness Jose Sevilla, found Talampas guilty beyond reasonable doubt of homicide

Issues:

that the lower courts both erred in rejecting his claim of self-defense and accidental death.

Ruling:

In the nature of self-defense, the protagonists should be the accused and the victim.

here... it was Talampas who had initiated the attack only against Eduardo; and that Ernesto had not been at any time a target... of Talampas' attack, he having only happened to be present at the scene of the attack. In reality, neither Eduardo nor Ernesto had committed any unlawful aggression against Talampas.

Talampas could not relieve himself of criminal liability by invoking accident as a defense.

Article 12(4) of the Revised Penal Code,[10]... the legal provision pertinent to accident, contemplates a situation where a person is in fact in the... act of doing something legal, exercising due care, diligence and prudence, but in the process produces harm or injury to someone or to something not in the least in the mind of the actor an accidental result flowing out of a legal act.[11]

Indeed, accident... is an event that happens outside the sway of our will, and although it comes about through some act of our will, it lies beyond the bounds of humanly foreseeable consequences.[12]

  In short, accident presupposes the lack of intention to commit the... wrong done.

And, thirdly, the fact that the target of Talampas' assault was Eduardo, not Ernesto, did not excuse his hitting and killing of Ernesto. The fatal hitting of Ernesto was the natural and direct consequence of Talampas' felonious deadly assault against Eduardo. Talampas' poor aim... amounted to aberratio ictus, or mistake in the blow, a circumstance that neither exempted him from criminal responsibility nor mitigated his criminal liability. Lo que es causa de  la causa, es causa del mal causado (what is the cause of the cause is the cause... of the evil caused).[13]

Under Article 4 of the Revised Penal Code,[14]... criminal liability is incurred by any person committing a felony although the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended.

WHEREFORE, the Court AFFIRMS the decision promulgated on August 16, 2007 finding VIRGILIO TALAMPAS y MATIC guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of homicide

Principles:

Talampas' poor aim... amounted to aberratio ictus, or mistake in the blow, a circumstance that neither exempted him from criminal responsibility nor mitigated his criminal liability.