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1- People vs Ford Gutierrez Dc.

1- People vs Ford Gutierrez Dc.

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Published by: Geelyn Catindig on Sep 10, 2013
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People vs. GutierrezG.R. No. 188602, February 4, 2010Murder, Self-defense Facts:
On August 15, 2003, five (5) separate Informations for murder, frustratedmurder and three (3) counts of attempted murder were filed against appellant.When arraigned, appellant, with the assistance of counsel de oficio, entered a pleaof not guilty to the charges. Trial on the merits then ensued.Not finding credence in appellant's claim of self-defense, the RTC convicted him of murder, frustrated murder and attempted murder on three (3) counts.Appellant assails the trial court and the CA for giving credence to the prosecution’sevidence. He admits having killed Regis and wounding Dalit, but insists that he didso in self-defense. 
Issue:
Did the accused act in self-defense? 
Ruling:
No. Self-defense is an affirmative allegation and offers exculpation fromliability for crimes only if satisfactorily proved. It requires (a) unlawful aggression onthe part of the victim; (b) reasonable necessity of the means employed by theaccused to repel it; and (c) lack of sufficient provocation on his part.In
People of the Philippines v. Bienvenido Mara
, we explained:One who admits killing or fatally injuring another in the name of self-defense bearsthe burden of proving: (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (2)reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person claiming self-defense. By invoking
 
self-defense, the burden is placed on the accused to prove its elements clearly andconvincingly. While all three elements must concur, self-defense relies first andforemost on proof of unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. If no unlawfulaggression is proved, no self-defense may be successfully pleaded.In this case, appellant utterly failed to discharge the burden of proving unlawfulaggression. His version of the events was uncorroborated, and his testimony wasfound to be less credible by the trial court. On the other hand, the surviving victimswere unanimous that appellant suddenly fired at them, without any provocation ontheir part. The credibility of the prosecution witnesses had been weighed by the trialcourt, and it found their testimonies to be more convincing. As a rule, the appellatecourt gives full weight and respect to the determination by the trial court of thecredibility of witnesses, since the trial judge has the best opportunity to observetheir demeanor. While this rule admits of exceptions, none of such exceptionsobtains in this case.In
Razon v. People
, we held:Self-defense cannot be justifiably appreciated when uncorroborated by independentand competent evidence or when it is extremely doubtful by itself. Indeed, ininvoking self-defense, the burden of evidence is shifted and the accused claimingself-defense must rely on the strength of his own evidence and not on the weaknessof the prosecution. The trial court and the CA cannot, therefore, be faulted for rejecting appellant’s pleaof self-defense. This Court also agrees with the trial court in appreciating treachery as a qualifyingcircumstance. The essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack by theaggressor on unsuspecting victims, depriving the latter of any real chance to defendthemselves, thereby ensuring its commission without risk to the aggressor, andwithout the slightest provocation on the part of the victims. The pieces of evidence gleaned by the trial court, the facts, are enough to show thattreachery was employed by appellant. The attack was sudden, as testified to by thewitnesses, and unexpected. Provocation on the part of the victims was not proven,and appellant’s testimony that the victims were about to attack him cannot begiven credence. The victims had no inkling that an attack was forthcoming and hadno opportunity to mount a defense. Thus, treachery was correctly appreciated as acircumstance to qualify the crime to murder.Under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as amended, the penaltyimposed for the crime of murder is reclusion perpetua to death. There being noaggravating or mitigating circumstance, the penalty imposed on appellant is
 
reclusion perpetua, pursuant to Article 63, paragraph 223 of the RPC. The prisonterm imposed by the trial court in Criminal Case No. 03-3639 is correct.We also affirm the CA ruling that appellant is guilty of attempted murder, not of frustrated murder, in Criminal Case No. 03-3640 for the injury sustained by Dalit. Noconvincing proof was offered to show that the wound inflicted on Dalit was fatal andwould have caused his death had medical help not been provided. It is well settledthat where the wounds inflicted on the victim are not sufficient to cause his death,the crime is only attempted murder, as the accused had not performed all the actsof execution that would have brought about the victim's death.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
ManilaTHIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 188602 February 4, 2010PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Appellee,vs.
FORD GUTIERREZ y DIMAANO,
Appellant.D E C I S I O N
NACHURA,
 J.:
On appeal is the March 12, 2009 Decision
1
of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR.-H.C. No. 02680, which affirmed with modifications the August 7, 2006 decision
2
of the Regional TrialCourt (RTC) of Makati City, Branch 62, in Criminal Case Nos. 03-3639, 03-3640, and 03-3641-43, finding appellant Ford Gutierrez y Dimaano (appellant) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder, frustrated murder and three (3) counts of attempted murder.On August 15, 2003, five (5) separate Informations for murder, frustrated murder and three (3)counts of attempted murder were filed against appellant. The accusatory portions of theInformations read:Criminal Case No. 03-3639For: Murder 

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