G.R. No. 188320. June 29, 2010 (Case Brief / Digest)

**Title: People of the Philippines vs. Honorio Tibon y Deiso**


The case involves two counts of parricide committed by Honorio Tibon against his two sons, Keen Gist Tibon and Reguel Albert Tibon, on December 12, 1998, in Manila. Tibon, living with his common-law wife, Gina Sumingit, and their children, was left to care for the kids when Gina went to work in Hong Kong. Upon learning from his sister about Gina’s alleged affair, Tibon’s behavior changed, leading to heavy drinking and violent tendencies towards his children.

On the night of the incident, Tibon’s family discovered him with the lifeless bodies of his sons, having inflicted multiple stab wounds on each. Attempting suicide afterward, Tibon was hospitalized alongside the deceased children, who were declared dead upon arrival.

The regional trial court (RTC) in Manila convicted Tibon of two counts of parricide, finding the eyewitness testimony and circumstantial evidence compelling against Tibon’s plea of insanity. The Court of Appeals (CA) later affirmed this decision, adjusting the death penalty to reclusion perpetua in line with legislative changes.


1. Whether the CA erred in not considering the exempting circumstance of insanity in favor of Tibon.
2. The application and sufficiency of evidence in proving the defendant’s sanity at the time of committing the crime.

**Court’s Decision:**

The Supreme Court affirmed Tibon’s conviction, emphasizing the presumption of sanity under the law and the insufficiency of evidence presented by the defense to prove insanity at the time of the crime. It highlighted that jealousy and anger, the apparent motives for Tibon’s actions, do not equate to insanity. Furthermore, the Court observed that Tibon’s inability to recall the event does not prove insanity and could be viewed as a convenient excuse to evade responsibility. The decision of the CA to modify the death penalty to reclusion perpetua, in line with Republic Act No. 9346 and existing jurisprudence on civil indemnities and damages for death due to crime, was also upheld.


1. The presumption of sanity under the law, where anyone pleading the exempting circumstance of insanity bears the burden of proving it with clear and convincing evidence.
2. Parricide, as defined under the Revised Penal Code, requires that the offender’s sanity and intent, barring any exempting circumstances like insanity, be established beyond reasonable doubt for conviction.

**Class Notes:**

– Presumption of Sanity: Under the law, every human is presumed sane unless proven otherwise through clear and convincing evidence.
– Exempting Circumstance of Insanity: A defense that removes criminal liability due to the complete deprivation of intelligence at the time of committing the offense. It must be proven to relate specifically to the time of the crime.
– Parricide: The act of killing one’s father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, which is punished more severely due to the expectation of love and support within familial relationships.

*Relevant Statutes:*

– Revised Penal Code Art. 246 (Parricide)
– Revised Penal Code Art. 12 (Circumstances which exempt from criminal liability)
– Civil Code Art. 800 (Presumption of Sanity)
– Republic Act No. 9346 (Prohibition of the Death Penalty in the Philippines)

**Historical Background:**

Parricide represents one of the most grievous offenses under Filipino law, reflecting societal values on family and the inherent trust within familial relationships. The case encapsulates the legal system’s handling of mental health issues in criminal liability and the evolving penalties associated with serious crimes like parricide, highlighting the judiciary’s adaptation to legislative changes and societal expectations regarding justice and mental health awareness.


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