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THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellee, vs. FERNANDO DEFERNANDO, defendant-appellant.G.R. No. 24978 | March 27, 1926 (En Banc)VILLA-REAL, J.Facts: This appeal has been taken by the defendant Fernando de Fernando from thejudgment of the trial court, in which he was held guilty of the crime of murder committedagainst Buenventura Paulino. At the trial the following facts were proven beyond a reasonable doubt: The accusedFernando de Fernando who, at that time, was a municipal policeman, when passing infront of the house of one Remigio Delgado, was called by the latter's daughterPaciencia Delgado, who stated that her father wished to see him. When the policemancame up the house Remigio Delgado informed him that three unknown and suspiciouslooking persons, dressed in blue, prowling around his house. The accused remained inthe said house talking with Paciencia Delgado, both being seated on a bench near thewindow. While they were thus talking, at about 7 o'clock at night, there appeared in thedark, at about 4 meters from the stairs, a person dressed in dark clothes, calling "NongMiong." At the time the accused nor Paciencia Delgado knew who was thus calling. Theaccused inquired what he wanted but instead of answering he continued advancing withbolo in hand. Upon seeing this Fernando de Fernando took out his revolver and fired ashot in the air. As he saw that the unknown continued to ascend the staircase he fired athim. The unknown disappeared and ran to the house of a neighbor Leon Torres, where,after placing upon a table the bolos that he carried, he fell on the floor and expired.Remigio Delgado, who was in the kitchen and had recognized the voice of the unknown,on hearing the shots ran into the parlor, took hold of the arm of the defendant and askedhim why he had fired at Buenventura Paulino. Fernando de Fernando only said "Let mego, that is a cross eyed person" and immediately repaired to the house of the teniente ofthe barrio, Santiago Torres, from where he telephoned to the chief of police advising himof what had happened. When the body was examined it was found that a bullet hadpenetrated the base of the neck at the right, imbedding itself in the left side under theskin.Issue:Whether or not appellant is guilty of murderHeld: No. Taking into consideration the estate of mind of the accused at the time, andthe meaning that he gave to the attitude of the unknown person, in shooting the latter hefelt that he was performing his duty by defending the owners of the house against anunexpected attack, and such act cannot constitute the crime of murder, but only that ofsimple homicide. He cannot be held guilty, however, as principal with malicious intent,because he though at the time that he was justified in acting as he did, and he is guiltyonly because he failed to exercise the ordinary diligence which, under thecircumstances, he should have by investigating whether or not the unknown man wasreally what he thought him to be. In firing the shot, without first exercising reasonablediligence, he acted with reckless negligence.