G.R. No. 1851. January 23, 1905

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4 Phil. 152

[ G.R. No. 1851. January 23, 1905 ]




The evidence in the record furnishes sufficient proof that the
defendant, with a kitchen knife, inflicted a wound on Margarita Maria
Pando, in the right scapular region of her body. This wound
necessitated medical attendance for two days and prevented her from
attending to her ordinary labors for a period of twenty-nine or thirty
days. The cause of the aggression seems to be the scolding that
Margarita gave the defendant, who was her cook, for having broken a
piece of china ware. Neither the offended party nor any of the other
witnesses who testified in the case points out any other cause for the
act of the accused.

The court below qualified the facts in the case as attempted homicide and sentenced the defendant to five years of prision correccional and its accessories, in accordance with article 61 of the Penal Code.

We do not find this qualification in conformity with the law. The
first and most essential element constitutive of the crime of attempted
homicide is the intention on the part of the guilty party to cause the
death of the person attacked, and this intention must be proved in such
a clear and evident manner that it shall exclude every possible doubt
as to the homicidal intention on the part of the aggressor. In the
present case there is nothing tending to show in a plain and conclusive
manner that the defendant had formally made up his mind to kill
Margarita Pando when he assaulted her with a knife. The futility of the
motive which prompted him to this action; the nature of the wound
inflicted being of a character so slight that it required only two days
of medical attendance; and the lack, furthermore, of more definite and
concrete particulars about the accident, can in no way authorize the
conclusion that the intention of the accused was that of depriving the
said Margarita of her life instead of only inflicting on her a wound of
more or less serious character.

It is a well-known principle of criminal law that when a particular
act constitutes a crime by itself, and is separately and distinctly
punished by law, like that of lesiones, it is not possible in
law to qualify the act as a greater offense unless definite
circumstances should show in a clear way and beyond doubt that the
intention of the guilty party was to commit an offense of greater
criminal importance. (Judgments of the supreme court of Spain of
October 4 and 25,1886, and January 18,1887.)

The facts in the case are only constitutive of the crime of lesiones menos graves,
provided for and punished by article 418 of the Penal Code, inasmuch as
the wound inflicted upon Margarita Pando did not cause her any sickness
nor incapacity to work for more than thirty days.

The penalty prescribed by said article is that of arresto mayor,
which penalty should be imposed upon the defendant in its maximum
degree, because he committed the act with offense to the sex of the
injured party and with abuse of confidence as well, the defendant being
a servant in the latter’s house.

By virtue whereof, we sentence the accused to six months of arresto mayor as principal in the crime of lesiones menos graves,
and reverse the judgment below in so far as it is inconsistent
herewith, affirming all the other parts thereof, with the costs of this
instance to the accused. So ordered.

Arellano, C. J., Torres, Johnson,and Carson, JJ., concur.

Date created: April 23, 2014


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