Friday, February 5, 2016

"Acting under an impulse of uncontrollable fear" is not a mitigating circumstance but an exempting circumstance. - GR 215424.pdf

"x x x.

To begin with, "acting under an impulse of uncontrollable fear" is not among the mitigating circumstances enumerated in Article 13 of the RPC, but is an exempting circumstance provided under Article 12 ( 6) of the same Code. Moreover, for such a circumstance to be appreciated in favor of an accused, the following elements must concur: (a) the existence of an uncontrollable fear; ( b) that the fear must be real and imminent; and ( c) the fear of an injury is greater than, or at least equal to, that committed.29 For such defense to prosper, the duress, force, fear or intimidation must be present, imminent and impending, and of such nature as to induce a wellgrounded apprehension of death or serious bodily harm if the act be done. A threat of future injury is not enough.30 

In the instant case, while the records show that Manansala was apprehensive in committing a falsity in the preparation of the subject report as she did not know the repercussions of her actions,31 nothing would show that Lacanilao, or any of her superiors at UMC for that matter, threatened her with loss of employment should she fail to do so. As there was an absence of any real and imminent threat, intimidation, or coercion that would have compelled Manansala to do what she did, such a circumstance cannot be appreciated in her favor. 

x x x."