Evident premeditation = previous plan

Relative to the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation, even the Solicitor General agrees that this circumstance has been incorrectly taken into account by the trial court. Evident premeditation exists when the execution of the criminal act is preceded by cool thought and reflection upon the resolution to carry out the criminal intent within a space of time sufficient to arrive at a calm judgment. Its stages are: (1) the time when the offender has determined to commit the crime; (2) an act manifestly indicating that the culprit has clung to his determination; and (3) a sufficient lapse of time between the determination and execution to allow the accused to reflect upon the consequences of his act. In the case at bar, it just so happended, it would seem, that appellant and the victim saw each other at the dance hall and later had an argument. No evidence was shown that appellant had any previous plan to kill the victim. Like treachery, evident premeditation should be established by clear and positive evidence. Mere presumptions and inferences, no matter how logical and probable they might be, would not be enough. [G.R. No. 116610. December 2, 1996]

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