Treachery qualifies killing

Murder is the unlawful killing of any person attended by any of the circumstances listed Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. Treachery, which was alleged in the information, is one such qualifying circumstance.

There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing means and methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend to directly and specially ensure its execution, without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make.[1] Two conditions must concur in order for treachery to be appreciated, namely: one, the assailant employed means, methods or forms in the execution of the criminal act which give the person attacked no opportunity to defend himself or to retaliate; and two, said means, methods or forms of execution were deliberately or consciously adopted by the assailant.[2] Treachery, whenever alleged in the information and competently and clearly proved, qualifies the killing and raises it to the category of murder.[3]

[1] Article 14, paragraph 16, Revised Penal Code.

[2] People v. Flores, G.R. No. 137497, February 5, 2004, 422 SCRA 91, 97.

[3] People v. Sarabia, G.R. No. 106102, October 29, 1999, 317 SCRA 684, 694.