The Mysteriuos Aberratio Ictus

Talampas Vs. People of the Phils. (GR 180219)

The fact that the target of Talampas assault was Eduardo, not Ernesto, did not excuse his hitting and killing of Ernesto. The fatal hitting of Ernesto was the natural and direct consequence of Talampas felonious deadly assault against Eduardo. Talampas poor aim amounted to aberratio ictus, or mistake in the blow, a circumstance that neither exempted him from criminal responsibility nor mitigated his criminal liability. Lo que es causa de la causa, es causa del mal causado (what is the cause of the cause is the cause of the evil caused). Under Article 4 of the Revised Penal Code, criminal liability is incurred by any person committing a felony although the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended.

People vs. Gemoya (GR 132633)

The two accused-appellants herein are liable for the crime resulting from Gemoya’s act of releasing the second “indian pana”, which accidentally hit Rosalie. Although Rosalie may not have been their intended victim, accused-appellants, acting in conspiracy with one another as we have earlier discussed, are liable for the consequences of their felonious act (see: Paragraph 1, Article 4, Revised Penal Code). Mistake in the identity of the victim, which may either be (a) “error in personae” (mistake of the person), or (b) “aberratio ictus” (mistake in the blow), is neither exempting nor mitigating (People vs. Gona, 54 Phil. 605 [1930]). Accused-appellants, therefore, cannot escape the criminal liability resulting from the injury suffered by Rosalie.

People vs. Flora (GR 125909)

Coming now to the criminal responsibility of appellants. In the present case, when Hermogenes Flora first fired his gun at Ireneo, but missed, and hit Emerita Roma and Flor Espinas instead, he became liable for Emeritas death and Flors injuries. Hermogenes cannot escape culpability on the basis of aberratio ictus principle. Criminal liability is incurred by any person committing a felony, although the wrongful act be different from that which he intended.



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