People of the Philippines vs. Francisco Abarca, G.R. No. 74433 – Case Digest

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On July of 1984, Abarca, with M-16 rifle, shot several times Paul Koh, which caused the death of Koh and caused gunshot wounds to Lina Amparado and Arnold Amparado.

Koh and Jenny (wife of Abarca) had illicit relationship. This relationship began while Abarca was in Manila for reviewing for the 1983 Bar exams.  Jenny, was left behind in Tacloban. 

Abarca, upon reaching home at around 6:00PM, he found his wife, Jenny and Koh in the act of sexual intercourse.  Jenny and Koh noticed the presence of Abarca, Jenny pushed Koh who got his revolver. Abarca, who was peeping above, jumped and ran away. 

Abarca went to look for a firearm, he went to the house of Talbo, a PC soldier, and he got Talbo’s M-16 rifle. At around 6:30PM, Abarca went back to his house, Jenny and Koh are gone. However, Abarca went to Mahjong house, there, Koh was found playing. Abarca fired at Koh 3 times, Koh was hit together with Arnold and Lina Amparado.

Koh died instantaneously due to multiple gunshot wounds, Arnold and Lina Amparado were hospitalized and survived. 

Francisco Abarca was sentenced to death for the complex crime of murder with double frustrated murder by the RTC.


  1. Whether or not Article 247 (Death or physical injuries inflicted under exceptional cases) of RPC is applicable to the death of Koh. 
  2. Whether or not Abarca is liable for double frustrated murder.


On the first issue.

Yes. The SC agreed with the recommendation of the Solicitor General that Article 247 of RPC applies to this case. There is no question that Abarca surprised his wife, Jenny, and Koh, as a result of which, Abarca went out to kill Koh in a fit of passionate outburst. Art. 247 prescribes the following elements:

a. that a legally married person surprises his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person; and

b. that he kills any of them or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter.

These elements are present in this case.  Though about an hour had passed between the time Abarca discovered Jenny and Koh having sexual intercourse and the time Abarca actually shot Koh, the shooting must be understood to be the continuation of the pursuit of Koh by Abarca.  

The RPC, in requiring that the accused “shall kill any of them or both of them…immediately” after surprising his spouse in the act of intercourse, does not say that he should commit the killing instantly thereafter.  It only requires that the death caused be the proximate result of the outrage overwhelming the accused after chancing upon his spouse in the basest act of infidelity.  But the killing should have been actually motivated by the same blind impulse, and must not have been influenced by external factors.  The killing must be the direct by-product of the accused’s rage.

On the second issue.

No. Abarca is not liable for frustrated murder suffered by the Amparados since inflicting death under Art. 247 is not a murder. 

Abarca did not have the intent to kill Amparado couple.  Although as a rule, one committing an offense is liable for all the consequences of his act, that rule presupposes that the act done amounts to a felony.  Here, Abarca was not committing murder when he shot Koh, inflicting death under exceptional circumstances (Art. 247) is not murder.  Abarca cannot be held liable for frustrated murder.

However, Abarca is not totally free from responsibility.  There was negligence on Abarca’s part. Accordingly, he is liable under 1st part, 2nd paragraph of Art 365, that is, less serious physical injuries through simple imprudence or negligence.