Accused in Anikow slay wants case downgraded


Four small Filipinos pitted against a trained US Marine officer cannot be considered “abuse of superior strength.”

Using this argument, the lawyer of one of the four men accused of murdering George Anikow, an American serving in the US Marines, asked the judge hearing the case to downgrade the murder charge filed against his client to homicide, which is a bailable offense.

At the same time, lawyer Miguel Damaso, who is representing Juan Alfonzo Abastillas, filed an urgent motion for redetermination of probable cause and a review of the evidence against his client.

In a hearing on Wednesday at the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 59, Damaso told Judge Winlove Dumayas that the alleged crime committed by his client and his coaccused was “a spur of the moment, unfortunate incident.” What happened was not planned, subsequently, a charge of homicide was more appropriate rather than murder, he added.

“The accused are small in size… It was the victim himself who approached them,” he said as he pointed out that these pieces of information were based on witnesses’ sworn statements.

“The only basis to qualify the crime is superior strength … [but] sheer number cannot be a basis of superior strength,” he added.

His argument followed those of another accused. Earlier, Osric Cabrera’s lawyers Redemberto Villanueva and Roy Allan Arellano pointed out that Anikow had “superior strength,” considering his size and training as a US Marine officer.

Murder charges were filed against Abastillas, 24, a resident of the exclusive Galeria de Magallanes Subdivision in Makati City; Cabrera, 27, the owner of a dialysis center in Makati City; Crispin de la Paz, 23, a businessman involved in multimedia production and Galicano Datu III, a fourth year political student of De La Salle University in connection with Anikow’s killing.

The charges were based on a recommendation from Assistant City Prosecutor Gilbert Alcala who explained in a previous report “although only one of the respondents may have inflicted the fatal wound on the victim … the presented evidence shows that the other respondents [also] participated in attacking and ganging up on him.”

Anikow, 41, was stabbed dead on Nov. 24 at a checkpoint being manned by a security guard near the upscale Bel-Air Village in Makati City. According to the guard, the suspects who had been stopped at the checkpoint apparently lost their cool after the American gave the car they were riding in a hard tap. They alighted from the vehicle, beat him up and then stabbed him.

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  • E Rigby

    Those four idiots are a menace to society.  It does not matter if the victim was physically bigger than them.  Bottomline is they all worked together to commit an evil act.  They are despicable individuals and are a shame to the entire human race, not just to Filipinos.

  • mon key

    those men had superior strength due to their number. and the american was drunk. if the judge grants them bail, they will flee. for sure. they are indeed a menace to society. who knows what other deeds they have done.

    • Allan

      mas delikado if they flee because hindi malayong maaksidente ang mga yan.

  • charlie_oscar

    4 men with 3 of them using flip knives to stab a man who is running away…?  What do you call that?  Mauling with murderous intent!

    Next case please…

  • kalampagin

    This four brave men should be locked up in jail for the rest of their life. I said brave because sobra ang tapang ng mga ito, isa ang kalaban, lasing pa tapos ay sinaksak pa tapos gulpihin, at hinabol pa rin. Mr. Anikow ran for his life, and these 4 murderers pursued him, that alone would constitute a murder because they are determined to kill Mr. Anikow.

  • zahraff

    Let these 4 mayabangs and tigasin be put to jail for the rest of their lives. We don’t need these kind of people in our society. They are a disgrace to the human race!

    • Allan

      yung estudyante kaya ay nagfile na ng loa? medyo matagal siguro bago sya makabalik sa school. ang sabi siguro nila, sana panaginip lang ang nangyari at sana’y magising na sila. :(

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    It was proven that even drunken master couldn’t beat four able bodied thugs armed with knives although only one was coward enough to use it!

  • Garo Ungaro

    Its murder 1 no matter what?…4 small guys is not an excused..the big guy already retreated and running away…but the 4 small guys has intent, purposely, knowingly, recklessly pursued and has a weapon the knife…and flight after commiting  the crime…all the elements of the crime falls under the capital or murder 1 category….its not bailable..because of the nature of the crime…capital crime…MURDER 1….

    • Allan

      REDRUM, it is!

  • Herminio

    Tingnan mo nga naman ang mga abogadong yung mali at masama ay pinipilit ipagtanggol ng dahil sa pera. Pity them because science has found and proven that money only gives momentary happiness, Adaptation Principle. At the end, their ultimate reward is emptiness. It’s making meaning that results to fulfilling life and enduring happiness. Fortunate are the lawyers who have principles because at the end they are richer in the ultimate currency.

  • Luthmar

    The argument of the two lawyers that the marine officer’s “superior strength” “considering his
    size and training” is a bit ridiculous.  These 4 small guys( as their lawyers call them), after already beating up Mr. Anikow still ran after him and finished him off.  If the lawyers don’t consider that “intent to kill”, then I don’t know what it is.

    The problem with these rich youngsters is, they are so bloody arrogant.  They deserve whatever punishment will be given to them.

  • mad_as_Hamlet

    Even only on a psychological level we can speak of an “abuse of superior strength” as having been present at the time the four men attacked the single victim.  Nay, it was their own subjectve awareness and belief that their numbers gave them strength and guaranteed success of their criminal enterprise that the four attacked the one.  In all probability, singly and with all other things equal, each of them would have thought twice or thrice and desisted from aggressing.  Add the fact that they had bladed weapons and that the victim was unarmed,  and there you have it- – – abuse of superior strength.  The charge for murder should stick.

    • WeAry_Bat

      And they didn’t know they were dealing with US Marine but with a drunk foreigner whom they could give lesson with their numbers.

      ‘spur of the moment’ does not hold.  When the knife was taken out, the assailant had already decided for the kill. 

      Who would think the knife was meant to tickle the victim?  Anyone can imagine the thoughts of the man when he was holding the knife, ‘Papatayin ko na itong g@go!’ 

      And that, is murder.

      • mad_as_Hamlet

        As a matter of logical reasoning, as it is plainly conceivable that had there been only two attackers against the lone victim, then the two-to-one ratio of attackers to victim was definitely weaker in strength than to, say, a three-to-one ratio, then it follows that a four-to-one ratio PLUS the use of deadly weapons undoubtedly gave the four accused suoerior strength against the victim, which superiority they took advantage of to ensure the commission of the crime.

        In a March 16, 2011 decision of the SC (People vs. Paling, G.R. No. 185390) the court said—-

        “To take advantage of superior strength means to purposely use excessive force out of proportion to the means of defense available to the person attacked. Taking advantage of superior strength does not mean that the victim was completely defenseless.
        In People v. Ventura, we opined that there are no fixed and invariable rules in considering abuse of superior strength or employing means to weaken the defense of the victim.  Superiority does not always mean numerical superiority.

        Abuse of superiority depends upon the relative strength of the aggressor vis-à-vis the victim. Abuse of superiority is determined by the excess of the aggressor’s natural strength over that of the victim, considering the position of both, and the employment of the means to weaken the defense, although not annulling it. The aggressor must have advantage of his natural strength to ensure the commission of the crime.
        In the present case, the victim, Walter, while being restrained by Vilbar, was simultaneously stabbed by Paling and Ernie. Plainly, not only did the perpetrators outnumber their victim, more importantly, they secured advantage of their combined strength to perpetrate the crime with impunity.

        Under these circumstances, it is undeniable that there was gross inequality of forces between the victim and the three accused.”

      • Garo Ungaro

        lessons learned here…capital crime or murder 1 punishable by 20 years to life…manslaughter..voluntary /involuntary  15 to life…other felonies defends 5 to 10 years, misdemeanor a week to 6 months or defend of the discretion of the judge and the circumstances of the crime committed so, THINK TWICE before commiting a crime…

  • binatangtagabukid

    the 4 accused never know he was a marine so he could never with argued this…this is not a spur of the moment because they have had some argument in which they have time to think and their intent was to hurt 

  • regie

    parang tama mga abogado kasi kung merong sign of a defense put up eh medyo di na treacherous, tapos mawawala nga yung employment of superior strength, tapos  that the killing was attended by treachery,evident premeditation, advantage of superior strength, employing mean, forms and method to to weaken defense to insure impunity yun ang murder…..baka sa employing means method and form pumasok pero yung conspiracy parang malabo kasi di naman pre planned kungdi spur of the moment nga….conspiracy….that 2 or more comes to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decides to commit it….

    • Allan

      spur of the moment yung binugbog nila. yung paghabol, premeditated/planado na. ano usually ang maririnig mo sa isang humahabol? “tatakbo ka pa ha? akala mo makakaligtas ka sa akin/amin. etong sau!”. kung spur of the moment yun ginawa nila, pagkatapos ng krimen, sumuko na dapat sila agad. pero hindi! ano ang ginawa, tinakot ang guard at tumakas!!!

  • $20722540

    mayayabang kasi, yan nakapatay ng tao tapos nagmamakaawa

  • imongredneck

    Damaso did not consider the fact that the not so strong “sheer number” is armed with deadly weapon which ultimately killed the poor guy.That the “sheer number” is composed of healthy men in their twenties. I don’t know what judge would buy that. The defense might just as well say. that as soon Anikow found out that he was out numbered he took their weapons and killed himself with them.

  • jerome

    The reason why they are asking for the downgrade is the possible of bail ofcourse if there would be a bail the can go anywhere and hide….@binatangtagabukid is right there could be no way that could know that the person they killed was a marine and even though the they are smaller in size they swarmed him and they are even armed with a knife…they are just finding out for a way out…

  • Jack Phalaphitac

    This Damaso should not describe these airheads as  ‘four small Filipino man’, as though the whole country is involve in this case. If your looking for sympathy from us Filipinos, look somewhere else. Its your clients’ fight, not ours, and the way we see it, you’ll gonna have a hard time defending them in court. Next time, use four little indians instead. And sing it too.

  • Homer Guo

    malakas loob kasi 4 sila…sa sobrang yabang, ayan kalaboso kayo. hinabol pa ang biktima…nang dahil lang sa kotse..hay naku.. ego ng ibang lalake oo.

  • Manolo Villareal

    Just a hard tap on a car can justify to kill a person.  It’s more fun in the Philippines!

  • Camilo_Cienfuegos

    these four men killed an unarmed man!!!
    when you kill an unarmed man, it’s murder!!!!…they cannot bring back the life of anikow.
    these four should rot in jail!!!!

  • $37644997

    A charge of homicide was more appropriate rather than murder?What ever it is,the intention is to kill.

  • Jerry Lynch

    Even a grown man can be overpowered by 4 10th graders. The man turned his back and was assaulted and killed. The 4 assaulters should be jailed for life with no parole. They are nothing but thug murderers.

  • Allan

    kung hindi nila hinabol si anikow para pagtulungan, physical injury na lang sana ang kaso. pero dahil alam nilang apat sila at kayang-kaya nila ang LASING na si anikow. ang sabi ng abogado hindi raw pwedeng pagbasihan ang dami nila to gain superior strength? is he for real? apat against isa? ano ang timbang ni anikow versus sa total na timbang nila? may sandata ba si anikow? wala na kayong lusot dito. ang kalaban nyo ay hindi ang pamilya ni anikow but the US government. go figure kung saan dadamputin ang apat na ito. 

  • joboni96

    1. lasing
    2. siyang lumapit
    3. binogbog ang kotse ng may kotse
    4. foreigner guest ng bayan natin

    hindi murder yan
    if not for imperialist u.s. pressure


  • ofwme2807

    murder or not…they killed the US marine while he was already running away and stabbed from behind…he was already stabbed earlier and they still pursued him with superior strength and numbers and presence of treachery…..poor boys mga anak ng mayaman sa Pilipinas….ang babata nyo pa kriminal at killers na kyo…spolied brats…you deserve to rot in jail while case is being heard…lawyers pulpol walang alam sa batas palusot lang…buti nga sa mga kliyente nyong mayayabang…

  • ofwme2807

    the evidence is clear and speaks for itself…treachery superior strength intention to kill were present…and of all they tried to run away and was caught…another aggravating circumstance and the warning to the security guard not to give their plate numbers and tell he did not witness the killing….akala ko matatalino di lang mayayabang ang mga bagets na ito…di ba nila alam na may CCTV dun very well known na ang mga cameras especially in that area…mga killers ang tawag sa inyo at dapat mabulok kayo sa kulungan for life yun nga for life…

  • boybakal

    Four is a Superior Strength.
    Assault at the back is Superior Strength coupled with Treachery.
    20year old Young men is Superior Strength against a forty year old drunk men.
    Used of bladed weapon is Superior Strength.

    Being a US soldier is not a Superior Strength, he has no gun but drunk.

  • Rey Pasigna

    “MERESE” ng kano na yan!! that would serve as a lesson to all the foreigners.. behave while in the Phils or you will end up dead// he thinks he can do anything in this country because he is an American and his wife works in the embassy… these foreigners have been abuising our hospitality.. DO NOT EVER ALLOW THEM TO ABUSE YOU IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY!!!

    • Manila_Playa87

      So you condone murder do you? How many Filipino taxi drivers abuse foreigners and continually harrass and them for money? Who are the real abusers? Seems like you condone murder because it’s an American. I’m sure you would be screaming for justice along with the Filipino community if this happened to a Filipino in the States. Typical colonial inferior complex by an uneducated slum dwellar.

  • go88

    bring back the death penalty for those four cowards ….

  • opinyonlangpo

    Its like the lawyer talking but basing on evidence it is still murder. Of course they didn’t ask for the resume detailing his marine training before murdering him

  • ApoNiLolo

    Downgrading the charges from murder to homicide based on “numbers” and “superior strength” is not rational and should be thrown away by the presiding judge.

    On the other hand, killing a man “at a spur of the moment”, was not a premeditated act and done in SELF-DEFENSE is considered homicide. Kaso, kinuyog nung apat ang kano. >: D

  • charles

    Jail these four spoiled brat, rich kids…!!!!!!

  • InSearchOfTruth

    Lucien Wilbanks: If you win this case, justice will prevail, and if you lose, justice will also prevail. Now that is a strange case. – From the movie “A Time To Kill”

  • TagaDumantay

    Then they should plead guilty now for lesser penalty. The lawyer want to downgrade the charge to be able to post bail and hide away. These spoiled brat deserved jail time. It is not much an issue if it is purely fist fight but they use weapons and more in number.

  • boybakal

    I agree with the lawyer, there is No Superior Strength.
    4 young men with bladed weapon against a middle age drunk man is
    Not Superior Strength but Superior Strength Advantage.

  • i_am_filipino

    UK installed more than 50 thousand cameras across its country to reduce crime. cameras dont tell lies and it reduces the perception of doubt.

  • GMMTC11

    They should be hang. Death penalty should be restored.

  • i_am_filipino

    US government vs inexperience filipino lawyer? are you not scared of the US intelligence?

  • tony

    Filipinos are cowards – 4 against 1 and they call the fight an even fight. Another example of Filipino cowardice – AFP (with a strength of about 100,000) and PNP (with a strength of about 200,000) could not even defeat Abu Sayyaf (by AFP’s own estimate – strength of only about 200)!

  • tony

    This Miguel Damaso clown must eb a direct descendant of Padre Damaso – the same Damaso that persecuted and killed Filipinos including Jose Rizal during the Spanish era.

  • Bonet

     These spoiled brats need to be eliminated from society.  There buying drugs at 4am and then kill a drunk foreigner for tapping their vehicle.

  • Davy C Pillmanski


  • Paul US

    Juan Alfonzo Abastillas wants his case downgraded.
    In other news, George’s family wanted him alive for Christmas.

    Justice for George.

  • Paul US

    I can understand his desire to be out sooner. I’m sure he’s realized by now that jail is no fun.

    Seconds tick by, one by one, seconds turn to minutes…. minutes turn to hours…. no air conditioning… just intense heat and crowded conditions…. hours turn slowly to days…. Before you know it, many years have gone by. You look in the mirror and see wrinkles and gray hair instead of the dreams and promise of youth.

    When you get out, you may be a very good dancer though, perhaps that’ll be a future career path.

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