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[G.R. No. 41674. March 30, 1935. ]

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. REMEDIOS DE LA CRUZ, Defendant-Appellant.

Silvino Lopez de Jesus for Appellant.

Solicitor-General Hilado for Appellee.


1. CRIMINAL LAW; HOMICIDE; KILLING OF A MAN BY A WOMAN IN DEFENSE OF HER HONOR. — We are convinced from a study of the record that the deceased did in fact grab hold of the defendant on the night in question, and whether he intended to rape her or not, taking into consideration that it was a dark night and that the deceased grabbed her from behind without warning and without making himself known and refused to say who he was, and in the struggle that followed touched her private parts, and the fact that she was unable to free herself by means of her strength alone, we are of the opinion that she was justified in making use of the pocket-knife in repelling what she believed to be an attack upon her honor, since she had no other means of defending herself.

2. ID.; ID.; ID.; FINDINGS NOT SUSTAINED BY THE EVIDENCE. — It appears from the evidence that the deceased had been making love to the defendant, and also to another girl named F. S.; but the finding of the trial judge that F. R. and the defendant were engaged, that she was madly in love with him and was extremely jealous of F. S. is not sustained by the evidence of record. The appellant stabbed the deceased only once, although she retained possession of the knife, and undoubtedly could have inflicted other wounds on him if she had desired. In order words she desisted as soon as he released her.

3. ID.; ID.; ID.; MISTAKE OF FACTS. — In the case of the United States v. Ah Chong (15 Phil., 488), this court held that a person is not criminally responsible when, by reason of a mistake of facts, he does an act for which he would be exempt if the facts were as he supposed them to be, but would constitute murder if he had known the true state of facts at the time, provided that the ignorance or mistake of fact was not due to negligence or bad faith.

4. ID.; ID.; ID.; EXEMPTION FROM CRIMINAL LIABILITY. — The appellant claims to have cried for help, but so far as the record shows her cries were not heard by any of her companions. Whether she did in fact cry for help, as claimed by her, or failed to do so because of the suddenness with which the deceased grabbed her and the fright which it naturally caused, taking into consideration the circumstances of the case, we still think she is exempt from criminal liability. In the case of the United State v. Santa Ana and Ramos (22 Phil., 249), this court held that a woman in defense of her honor is justified in inflicting wounds on her assailant with a bolo which she happens to be carrying, even though her cry for assistance night have been heard by people near by.



This is an appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija, finding the defendant guilty of homicide and sentencing her to suffer not more than fourteen years, eight months and one day of reclusion temporal and not less than eight years and one day of prision mayor, to indemnify the heirs of the deceased Francisco Rivera in the sum of P1,000, and to pay the costs.

Appellant’s attorney makes the following assignments of error:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"I. El Juzgado a quo, erro al dar absoluto credito a las pruebas de la acusacion las que son insuficientes para apoyar una declaracion de conviccion.

"II. El Juzgado a quo erro al declarar que los celos fueron el motivo que impulso a la acusada al agredir al occiso Francisco Rivera.

"III. El Juzgado a quo erro al declarar increible el testimonio de la acusada en esta causa.

"IV. Y el Juzgado a quo erro al no absolver a la acusada."cralaw virtua1aw library

It appears from the evidence that on the evening of February 18, 1934, Francisco Ramos and his wife, Brigida Vistada; his sister, Baltazara Ramos; and a woman named Consuelo or Natividad Santoyo called at the house of the defendant and asked her to go with them to a wake in honor of one Sion, who had died in the house of Maria Inguit. About nine o’clock the defendant and her friends started home. They were followed about five minutes later, according to Enrique Bautista, by the deceased Francisco Rivera, who had been playing cards in the house where the wake was held. He was accompanied by Enrique Bautista. Rivera and Bautista overtook defendant’s party. When they reached a narrow part of the path, Rivera went ahead of Bautista. At that time the members of the defendant’s party were walking in single file. Baltazara Ramos was in the lead and the defendant was the hindmost. She was about two brazas from the person immediately ahead of her. Francisco Ramos, the only one of defendant’s companions that was called to testify, heard someone cry out "Aruy, Dios mio." He went back and found that Francisco Rivera had been stabbed under the right breast. The wounded man was taken to the hospital, where he died the next afternoon.

Francisco Ramos testified that it took him about two minutes to go back to the place where Francisco Rivera was. He found that Enrique Bautista was with the wounded man, and that the defendant had started back towards the house of mourning. He overtook her. She had a knife in her hand. When they reached the house of Maria Inguit, Remedios de la Cruz stuck the knife into a table and said that she stabbed Francisco Rivera because he embraced her.

The case for the prosecution rests upon the testimony of Enrique Bautista. According to him the defendant waited on the right side of the path near some guava trees and stabbed Francisco Rivera with a knife in her right hand when he arrived in front of her; that the injured man cried "Aruy, Dios mio", while the defendant turned around and returned to the house of Maria Inguit, saying "Icao ay malaon na" (hacia tiempo ya). He further testified that the defendant stabbed the deceased before either of them had said anything; that the distance between him and the deceased was about one foot; that he did not see any of the companions of the defendant after they reached the path and had to walk one behind the other.

The defendant on the other hand testified that after they had passed a fork in the trail and reached a narrow part a man suddenly threw his arms around her from behind, caught hold of her breasts and kissed her, and seized her in her private parts; that she tried to free herself, but he held her and tried to throw her down; that when she felt weak and could do nothing more against the strength of the man, she got a knife from her pocket, opened it, and stabbed him in defense of her honor. She further testified that the man who attacked her did not say anything; that she asked him who he was but he did not answer; that when she was assaulted she cried for help, saying "Madre mia; Dios mio" ; that when she was seized, she was about two brazas behind her nearest companion; that when she was face to face with her assailant during the struggle she could scarcely recognize his face in the darkness and could not be sure that it was Francisco Rivera.

Her testimony as to what occurred is as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

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