SC: Prove unlawful aggression first when pleading self-defense

In order for self-defense to be appreciated, the accused must be able to prove by clear and convincing evidence the following elements: 
(a) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim;
(b) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and
(c) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.[1] 
An accused who invokes self-defense has the burden to prove all the aforesaid elements, the most important of which is unlawful aggression. Being the basic requirement in a plea of self-defense, unlawful aggression must be proved first in order for self-defense to be successfully pleaded, whether complete or incomplete.[2] No self-defense can exist without unlawful aggression since there is no attack that the accused will have to prevent or repel.[3]
 
[1] People v. Gonzales, G.R. No. 195534, June 13, 2012.
[2] People v. Malicdem, G.R. No. 184601, November 12, 2012.
[3] Guevarra v. People, G.R. No. 170462, February 5, 2014.

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