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PRIVILEGE MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCE: MINORITY; ART. 89. HOW CRIMINAL LIABILITY IS TOTALLY EXTINGUISHED 5. PEOPLE v. AGACER, ET AL. [G.R.

No. !!!5 , "#$%#&' (!, )( *+ DEL CASTILLO, J.:

,ACTS: Appellants' Motion for Recon of our Decision2affirming their conviction for the murder of Cesario Agacer, the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: WHERE,ORE, the Court A !RM" the Decision of the CA which affirmed the Decision of the R#C, Aparri, Caga$an, finding appellants lorencio, ran%lin, &l$nor, &ddie and &ric, all surnamed Agacer, guilt$ 'e$ond reasona'le dou't of the crime of murder, with the following modifications:()* actual damages is D&+&#&D, (2* the appellants are -RD&R&D to pa$ as temperate damages, and (.* the appellants are -RD&R&D to pa$ the heirs of Cesario Agacer interest Appellants assert that their mere presence at the scene of the crime is not evidence of conspirac$,that there was no treacher$ since a heated argument preceded the %illing of the victim, and that even assuming that their guilt was dul$ esta'lished, the privileged mitigating circumstance of minorit$ should have 'een appreciated in favor of appellant ran%lin who was onl$ )/ $ears and )0/ da$s old at the time of the incident, having 'een 'orn on Decem'er 2), )12)3r45l) Meanwhile, appellant lorencio died, indicating cardio pulmonar$ arrest secondar$ to status asthmaticus in prison r45l) #he -"6, in its Comment, asserts that there e7ists no cogent reason to distur' our findings and conclusions as to the guilt of the appellants 8 esta'lished conspirac$ and treacher$3 9owever, it did not oppose and even agreed with appellants' argument that minorit$ should have 'een appreciated as a privileged mitigating circumstance in favor of ran%lin, dul$ supported '$ Certificate of +ive :irth secured from ;"-r45l)

ISSUES: )3 "hould the mitigating circumstance of minorit$ 'e appreciated in favor of appellant ran%lin< YES 23 Does the death of appellant lorencio e7tinguish his criminal and civil lia'ilities< HELD: #here is partial merit in appellants' MR 5l) As a Minor, Franklin is Entitled to the Privileged Mitigating Circumstance of Minority. ;evertheless, we agree with appellants that ran%lin is entitled to the privileged mitigating circumstance of minorit$3 ran%lin's Certificate of +ive :irth shows that he was 'orn on Decem'er 20, )12), hence, was -.&./' 0 '.#&1 o/2 #3 34. 35-. o6 34. 7o--5115o$ of the crime on April 2, )1123 H. 51 34.&.6o&. .$353/.2 3o 34. 8&595/.:.2 -535:#35$: 75&7%-13#$7. o6 -5$o&53' .-;o25.2 5$ A&357/. 08<)= o6 34. R.951.2 P.$#/ Co2.. !t provides that when the offender is a minor over )= and under )2 $ears, the penalt$ ne7t lower than that prescri'ed '$ law shall 'e imposed on the accused 'ut alwa$s in the proper period3 #he rationale of the law in e7tending such lenienc$ and compassion is that 'ecause of his age, the accused is presumed to have acted with less discernment3 #his is regardless of the fact that his minorit$ was not proved during the trial and that his 'irth certificate was 'elatedl$ presented for our consideration, since to rule accordingl$ will not adversel$ affect the rights of the state, the victim and his heirs3 Penalty to be Im osed ! on Franklin. #he penalt$ for murder is reclusion perpetua to death3 A degree lower is reclusion temporal3)/#here 'eing no aggravating and ordinar$ mitigating circumstance, the penalt$ to 'e imposed on ran%lin should 'e reclusion temporal in its medium period, as ma7imum, which ranges from fourteen ()>* $ears, eight (2* months and one ()* da$ to seventeen ()?* $ears and four (>* months3)?rAppl$ing the !ndeterminate "entence +aw, the penalt$ ne7t lower in degree is prision mayor, the medium period of which ranges from eight (2* $ears and one ()* da$ to ten ()0* $ears3 Due to the seriousness of the crime and the manner it was committed, the penalt$ must 'e imposed at its most severe range3 "he #eath of Florencio Prior to $ur Final Judgment E%tinguishes &is Criminal 'iability and Civil 'iability E% #elicto. -n the effect of the death of appellant lorencio on his criminal lia'ilit$, Article 21()* of the Revised @enal Code provides that: A&3. 89. &o( criminal liability is totally e%tinguished. 8 Criminal lia'ilit$ is totall$ e7tinguished3 )3 :$ the death of the convict, as to the personal penalties, and as to pecuniar$ penalties, lia'ilit$ therefor is e7tinguished onl$ when the death of the offender occurs 'efore final Audgment, 7 7 7 7 !t is also settled that BCuDpon the death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction, the criminal action is e7tinguished inasmuch as there is no longer a defendant to stand as the accused, the civil action instituted therein for recover$ of civil lia'ilit$ ex delicto is ipso facto e7tinguished, grounded as it is on the criminal3 r45l) Ehile lorencio died wa$ 'ac% on e'ruar$ ?, 200?, the said information was not timel$ rela$ed to the Court, such that we were unaware of the same when we rendered our Decem'er )>, 20)) Decision3 !t was onl$ later that we were informed of lorencio's death through the Fune 2, 20)2 letter of the -fficer of the ;ew :ili'id @rison3 Due to this development, it therefore 'ecomes necessar$ for us to declare lorencio's criminal lia'ilit$ as well as his civil lia'ilit$ ex delicto to have 'een e7tinguished '$ his death prior to final Audgment3