by Tristan

MARK REYNALD MARASIGAN Y DE GUZMAN v. REGINALD FUENTES, GR No. 201310, 2016-01-11

Facts:

Per Marasigan's allegations... while he was walking on his way home

Marasigan felt someone throw an object at him from behind. Turning around, he saw Fuentes, who, upon noticing that he had been seen, disappeared. A witness, Jefferson Pablo (Pablo), spoke with Marasigan and confirmed that it was Fuentes who threw an object at him.

While he and Pablo were speaking, Fuentes reappeared with Calilan and Lindo, as well as with another unidentified individual. Fuentes suddenly punched Marasigan on the face, making his nose bleed. Calilan and Lindo also hit him while their unidentified companion sought to stop... them. Fuentes picked up a stone (i.e., piece of a hollow block) and attempted to hit Marasigan's head with it. Marasigan parried the stone with his hand, causing his hand to fracture. Fuentes again picked up the stone. Lindo and Calilan took hold of each of Marasigan's arms.

Several more men who were in Fuentes' home joined in the assault.

Marasigan shouted for help. Gregoria Pablo, Jefferson Pablo's mother, came rushing out of their house and tried to pacify Fuentes, Calilan, and Lindo. They,... however, continued to assault Marasigan. It was only upon the arrival of neighbors Marcelo Maaba and Lauro Agulto that Fuentes, Calilan, and Lindo ceased their assault and fled.

filed a criminal complaint for frustrated murder... against Fuentes, Calilan, Lindo, and one John Doe

After conducting preliminary investigation, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor

Serrano... issued the Resolution... finding probable cause for charging Fuentes and Calilan with less... serious physical injuries and clearing Lindo of any liability.

He reasoned that there were no qualifying circumstances to support a charge for murder.

Aggrieved, Marasigan filed a Petition for Review before the Department of Justice. He argued that the medical findings made on him as well as the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength justified prosecution for frustrated murder. He added that Lindo's acts were... unambiguous and indicated his participation in a design to kill him.[18]

Issues:

For resolution is the sole issue of the proper crime, if any, for which any or all of the respondents must stand trial.

Ruling:

We sustain the conclusion of Undersecretary Malenab-Hornilla that there is basis for prosecuting respondents for murder in its attempted, and not in its frustrated, stage.

The essential elements of an attempted felony are as follows:

  1. The offender commences the commission of the felony directly by overt acts;

  2. He does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the felony;

  3. The offender's act be not stopped by his own spontaneous desistance;

  4. The non-performance of all acts of execution was due to cause or accident other than his spontaneous desistance.

The first requisite of an attempted felony consists of two elements, namely:

(1) That there be external acts;

(2) Such external acts have direct connection with the crime intended to be committed.[

In this case, petitioner alleged that respondents coordinated in assaulting him and that this assault culminated in efforts to hit his head with a stone or hollow block. Had respondents been successful, they could have dealt any number of blows on petitioner. Each of these could... have been fatal, or, even if not individually so, could have, in combination, been fatal. That they were unable to inflict fatal blows was only because of the timely arrival of neighbors who responded to the calls for help coming from petitioner and witnesses Marcelo Maaba,... Lauro M. Agulto, and Gregoria F. Pablo.

Principles:

direct proof of conspiracy is not imperative and that conspiracy may be inferred from acts of the perpetrators.

a perpetrator's act of holding the victim's hand while another perpetrator is striking a blow is indicative of conspiracy