CASE BRIEF 2003-0906

CASE: Mario Valeroso Vs. People of the Philippines (G.R. No. 149718. September 29, 2003)

PONENTE: Callejo, Sr. J.:

SUBJECT:
1. Criminal Law: Justifying Circumstances – fulfillment of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office.

FACTS:The Philippine National Bank (PNB) hired Mario as caretaker of its lot in Bataan. Consequently, Mario put up on the said lot a sign which reads “No Trespassing”, to ward off squatters.

Despite the sign, Julita, believing that the said lot was owned by her grandparents, constructed a nipa hut thereon.

Mario, tore down and demolished Julita’s hut. She thus filed with the MTC a criminal complaint for malicious mischief against Mario.

Mario contends that he acted in the lawful exercise of a right in effecting the demolition invoking paragraph 5, Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code.

ISSUE: Whether being designated as caretaker of the property necessarily clothed Mario with authority to demolish the structure of Julita.

RULING:
No.

Being designated as caretaker of the property does not necessarily clothed him with authority to summarily demolish the structure of an alleged squatter.

Mario cannot rightfully invoke paragraph 5, Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code which states:

“Art. 11. Justifying circumstances. The following do not incur any criminal liability:
. . .
5. Any person who acts in the fulfillment of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office.”

The requisites of the foregoing justifying circumstance are (1) that the accused acted in the performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right; and (2) that the injury caused or the offense committed be the necessary consequence of the due performance of duty or the lawful exercise of such right or office.

In this case, Mario deliberately demolished the property of Julita without any lawful authority. While the first requisite is present, the second is unavailing. Mario was not acting in the fulfillment of his duty when he took the law into his own hands and summarily demolished Julita’s hut.


THINGS DECIDED:

a) The requisites of the justifying circumstance of “lawful exercise of a right or office” under Art. 11(5) are: (1) that the accused acted in the performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right; and (2) that the injury caused or the offense committed be the necessary consequence of the due performance of duty or the lawful exercise of such right or office.

b) Being designated as caretaker of the property does not necessarily clothed him with authority to summarily demolish the structure of an alleged squatter.

‘Stand by things decided’ ~ Stare Decisis


For more Case Briefs visit us at Stare Decisis or like us on Facebook @staredecispage

Read Full Text:
Mario Valeroso Vs. People of the Philippines (G.R. No. 149718. September 29, 2003)

Stare Decisis