People of the Philippines vs. Jesus Paycana Jr., G.R. No. 179035 – Case Digest

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Jesus Paycana Jr. was charged with the complex crime of parricide with unintentional abortion before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Iriga City. He pleaded not guilty and admitted that the victim Lilybeth Balandra-Paycana (Lilybeth) is his legitimate wife.

On 26 November 2002, at around 6:30 in the morning, accused, who worked as a butcher, came home from the slaughter house carrying his tools of trade, a knife, a bolo, and a sharpener. His wife was preparing their children for school and was waiting for him to come home from his work. For reasons known to him alone, appellant stabbed his wife 14 times. Tito, whose house is at back of appellant’s house, heard his daughter shouting for help. When he arrived, he saw his daughter lying prostrate near the door and her feet were trembling. But seeing accused, who was armed, he stepped back. Angelina told Tito by the window that accused had held her mother’s neck and stabbed her.


Whether or not the accused is guilty of the complex crime of parricide with unintentional abortion.


YES. The court convicted the accused of complex crime of parricide with unintentional abortion in the killing of his seven (7)-month pregnant wife.

The crime of parricide is committed when: (1) a person is killed; (2) the deceased is killed by the accused; and (3) the deceased is the father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, or a legitimate other ascendant or other descendant, or the legitimate spouse of the accused. The key element in parricide is the relationship of the offender with the victim. In the case of parricide of a spouse, the best proof of the relationship between the accused and the deceased would be the marriage certificate. The testimony of the accused of being married to the victim, in itself, may also be taken as an admission against penal interest.

As distinguished from infanticide, the elements of unintentional abortion are as follows: (1) that there is a pregnant woman; (2) that violence is used upon such pregnant woman without intending an abortion; (3) that the violence is intentionally exerted; and (4) that as a result of the violence the fetus dies, either in the womb or after having been expelled therefrom. In the crime of infanticide, it is necessary that the child be born alive and be viable, that is, capable of independent existence. However, even if the child who was expelled prematurely and deliberately were alive at birth, the offense is abortion due to the fact that a fetus with an intrauterine life of 6 months is not viable. In the present case, the unborn fetus was also killed when the appellant stabbed Lilybeth several times. 

The case is governed by the first clause of Article 48 because by a single act, that of stabbing his wife, appellant committed the grave felony of parricide as well as the less grave felony of unintentional abortion. A complex crime is committed when a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies.