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CASE DIGEST ON PEOPLE v. OANIS [74 Phil. 257 (1943)]

November 10, 2010


Facts: Chief of Police Oanis and his co-accused Corporal Galanta were under instructions to arrest one Balagtas, a notorious criminal and escaped convict, and if overpowered, to get hi dead or alive. Proceeding to the suspected house, they went into a room and on seeing a man sleeping with his back toward the door, simultaneously fired at him with their revolvers, without first making any reasonable inquiry as to his identity. The victim turned out to be an innocent man, Tecson, and not the wanted criminal..

Held: Both accused are guilty of murder

Ratio: Even if it were true that the victim was the notorious criminal, the accused would not be justified in killing him while the latter was sleeping. In apprehending even the most notorious criminal, the law does not permit the captor to kill him. It is only when the fugitive from justice is determined to fight the officers of law who are trying to capture him that killing him would be justified.

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