6 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS plaintiff appellee vs FERNANDO DE

6 the people of the philippine islands plaintiff

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THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellee, vs. FERNANDO DE FERNANDO, 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 the judgment of the trial court, in which he was held guilty of the crime of murder committed against Buenventura Paulino. At the trial the following facts were proven beyond a reasonable doubt: The accused Fernando de Fernando who, at that time, was a municipal policeman, when passing in front of the house of one Remigio Delgado, was called by the latter's daughter Paciencia Delgado, who stated that her father wished to see him. When the policeman came up the house Remigio Delgado informed him that three unknown and suspicious looking persons, dressed in blue, prowling around his house. The accused remained in the said house talking with Paciencia Delgado, both being seated on a bench near the window. While they were thus talking, at about 7 o'clock at night, there appeared in the dark, at about 4 meters from the stairs, a person dressed in dark clothes, calling "Nong Miong." At the time the accused nor Paciencia Delgado knew who was thus calling. The accused inquired what he wanted but instead of answering he continued advancing with bolo in hand. Upon seeing this Fernando de Fernando took out his revolver and fired a shot in the air. As he saw that the unknown continued to ascend the staircase he fired at him. 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 asked him why he had fired at Buenventura Paulino. Fernando de Fernando only said "Let me go, that is a cross eyed person" and immediately repaired to the house of the teniente of the barrio, Santiago Torres, from where he telephoned to the chief of police advising him of what had happened. When the body was examined it was found that a bullet had penetrated the base of the neck at the right, imbedding itself in the left side under the skin. Issue: Whether or not appellant is guilty of murder Held : No. Taking into consideration the estate of mind of the accused at the time, and the meaning that he gave to the attitude of the unknown person, in shooting the latter he felt that he was performing his duty by defending the owners of the house against an unexpected attack, and such act cannot constitute the crime of murder, but only that of simple 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 guilty only because he failed to exercise the ordinary diligence which, under the circumstances, he should have by investigating whether or not the unknown man was really what he thought him to be. In firing the shot, without first exercising reasonable diligence, he acted with reckless negligence.
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