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00 Crimpro Compiled Digests Parts 9-10

00 Crimpro Compiled Digests Parts 9-10

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Published by Janz Serrano
compiled crimpro digests, parts 9-10, under prof. sanidad
credits go to cited persons in the document. :)
compiled crimpro digests, parts 9-10, under prof. sanidad
credits go to cited persons in the document. :)

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Published by: Janz Serrano on Nov 04, 2011
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12/03/2013

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1
CrimPro (Parts 9-10)
 AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Martin | Vien 
 
PEOPLE VS. PABLO
 
Rogelio Carace, Godofredo Carace, Gil Castrence, Rogelio Caranzaand Damian Senit were charged with Homicide for the killing of Benjamin Atcha. The accused pleaded not guilty.Several postponements were made upon motion by theprosecutors and without objection on the part of the defense.On July 17, 1973, for failure of its last witness, Dr. Francisco Q.Duque, to arrive, the prosecution moved for postponement on theground that Dr. Duque is a vital and indispensable witness whowould testify on the cause of death of the victim.The presiding judge, Hon. Magno B. Pablo, denied the motion forpostponement and ordered the prosecution to proceed with thepresentation of its evidence. The prosecuting fiscal asked forreconsideration of the order denying the motion forpostponement, but the judge denied the motion forreconsideration, prompting the prosecution to file a secondmotion for reconsideration in writing, signed by both the fiscaland the private prosecutor, stating
inter alia
:4. That this is the first time that the prosecution is movingfor a postponement of this case or. the ground of theabsence of the last witness Dr. Francisco Q. Duque and it appears on the records that the subpoena sent to Dr.Duque was received by his secretary who may not haveconveyed the same to Dr. Duque and the second time onthe part of the prosecution since the beginning of thehearing on this case;5. That to serve the better ends of justice the prosecutionshould be given another opportunity at least to secure andresort to other processes to enable it to present Dr.Francisco Q. Duque at the next scheduled hearing.Judge denied. Prosecution asked for 10 days within which toelevate the question of the propriety of denial to the appellatecourt. Judge allowed, but still granted the Motion to ConsiderProsecution's Case Rested and Motion to Dismiss filed by thedefense that afternoon. Accused were also acquitted for failure of the prosecution to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
ISSUE:
WON the judge committed grave abuse of discretion in
denying the prosecution’s motion to postpone and grantingdefense’s motion to consider the prosecution’s case rested and to
dismiss the case.
HELD:
Yes.The motion for postponement is justified because Dr.Duque is a vital witness as he can testify with regard to the causalrelation between the wounds inflicted by the accused and the
victim’s death. The alleged denial of the right to speedy trial as
constitutionally granted to the accused was a flimsy ground forthe court to deny the postponement as requested by theprosecution, much less to dismiss the case, without even a recitalof the facts as established by the evidence already presented,which appears to have at least proved the commission of a crimeby the accused against the victim, although perhaps a lesser onethan the offense charged.He should have first given warning that there windefinitely be no further postponement after that which hereasonably thought should be the last. He should also haveascertained whether Dr. Duque had personally known of thesubpoena, so that if despite his personal knowledge thereof, hefailed to come to court, his arrest may be ordered, as is theprecise procedure enjoined upon the court to follow underSection 11, Rule 23 of the Rules of Court.The records also disclose that trial was never postponed due tothe non-appearance of Dr. Duque. The first and onlypostponement sought on that ground was denied.The respondent aggravated his indiscretion by not only denyingthe motion for postponement, but also in immediately grantingthe defense written motion to consider the prosecution's caserested, without giving the prosecution a chance to oppose thesame, and without reviewing the evidence already presented fora proper assessment as to what crime has been committed by theaccused of which they may properly be convicted thereunder,acquitted the said accused, although, realizing later theimprovidence in his action, he amended his order of acquittal of the accused to that of dismissal of the case.The order of dismissal, under the circumstances pointed out above, would amount to an acquittal because evidence hadalready been presented by the prosecution. An evaluation of saidevidence is thus indispensably required, where, as in this case,the evidence presented even if the prosecution's case isconsidered submitted at a stage short of the presentation of itscomplete evidence, obviously suffices to prove a crime, even if alesser one than the offense charged. The dismiss was sought to bejustified upon an invocation of the right to speedy trial. Precisely,the respondent judge, allegedly, to avoid a violation thereof,denied further postponement. It is therefore, a palpable error tobase the dismissal of the case, as the respondent judge did, on theground of the violation of accused's right to speedy trial. If at all,the dismissal may be decreed by reason of the failure of theprosecution to prove the guilt of the accused of any crime underthe information, even on the basis of the evidence presentedwhen its case was deemed submitted on motion of the defense.The respondent court, however, failed utterly to show this to bewhat actually obtained after the hearings held on at least six days,as the order of the respondent judge acquitting the accused, ordismissing the case, as he later amended his order, made nomention whatsoever of the evidence presented by theprosecution during the six times the case was set, for hearingmerely stating, by way of an obviously baseless conclusion, that the guilt of the accused has not been proved beyond reasonabledoubt. The basis of the dismissal of the case is, therefore, bothlegally and factually incorrect.Aside from this series of missteps and legal error committed bythe respondent judge, which in their totality clearly constitutegrave abuse of discretion, the records also show that the court,after denying the second motion for postponement filed inwriting by the prosecution, granted on request, the latter ten (10)days within which to elevate the matter of the denial of theaforesaid second motion for reconsideration. The respondent denies this fact, but We find the records demonstrably showingrespondent's denial totally devoid of truth. His alleging that togrant said request would be to defeat his act of denying themotion for postponement seems only to show the erratic turn of his mind. There is nothing inconsistent between denying themotion for postponement and allowing the denial to be tested bya higher court where it is alleged that the respondent judge indenying postponement, committed a grave abuse of discretion. Ajudge who refuses to have his judicial acts tested in a higher court would be acting with tyranny, a judicial norm hardly proper of one exercising judicial function in the lower echelon of thejudicial hierarchy.EXTRA: no double jeopardy if ever. Grave abuse of discretion.
 
2
CrimPro (Parts 9-10)
 AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Martin | Vien 
 
PEOPLE VS. ESCOBER
Facts:
Juan Escober and Macario Punzalan, Jr. were found by thetrial court guilty of the crime of Robbery with Homicide.
Here’s what happened:
 Vicente went to his office with his two kids. On their way, theysaw Escober at his post. In the office, Vicente took a bath.Meanwhile, Abuyen and his three companions rode a tricycle andwent to the office. Abuyen knocked at the gate. Escober openedand talked to Abuyen. Abuyen then told Punzalan to wait outside.Mrs. Chua arrived. She noticed that the gate was open and sawPunzalan standing there. She shouted to ask why and then sheheard a gunshot coming from the garage. When she looked, shesaw Abuyen and Escober walking towards the gate. Escobervolunteered the information that her husband was not hit.When Vicente went out of the bathroom, he saw his kids mortallywounded. He also noticed that the drawers were open.The kids were rushed to the hospital but were declared dead onarrival.They were found guilty and the penalty of death was imposed.
ISSUE:
Escober contends that the decision was null and void forwith the requirement of Section 9, Article X of the 1973Constitution and that it was rendered even before all thestenographic notes of the proceedings had been transcribed.
HELD:
 
Judge didn’t follow the prescribed form Every decision of 
a court of record shall clearly and distinctly state the facts andthe law on which it is based ...The above-quoted decision falls short of this standard. Theinadequacy stems primarily from the respondent judge'stendency to generalize and to form conclusions without detailingthe facts from which such conclusions are deduced. Thus, heconcluded that the material allegations of the AmendedInformation were the facts without specifying which of thetestimonies or exhibits supported this conclusion. He rejected thetestimony of accused-appellant Escober because it was allegedlyreplete with contradictions without pointing out what thesecontradictions consist of or what "vital details" Escober shouldhave recalled as a credible witness. He also found the crime tohave been attended by the aggravating circumstances of cruelty,nighttime, superior strength, treachery, in band, "among others,"but did not particularly state the factual bases for such findings.As it is written, the decision renders a review thereof extremelydifficult. Without a particularization of the evidence, testimonialor documentary, upon which the findings of facts are based, it ispractically impossible for the appellate court to determinewhether or not such findings were sufficiently and logicallysupported by the evidence relied upon by the trial court.Were it not for its dire consequences, we would have appreciatedthe efforts shown by respondent-judge to administer justice inthis case in the most speedy and expeditious manner. Heobviously took to heart our admonition that judges do not haveto wait for the transcription of stenographic notes beforerendering judgments but can rely on the notes of the proceedingspersonally taken by them. For this is what respondent judge did.The records show that he took copious notes of the testimonies of the witnesses on which he apparently based this decision, as thetranscript of the stenographic notes were not yet complete at thetime of the rendition of the judgment. In fact, the review of thecase suffered some delay due to the failure of stenographerEduardo Bober to submit to this Court the transcript of stenographic notes of some hearings.Speed in the administration of justice, however, is not the soleconcern of courts and judges. More than this is the essentiality of justice and fairness which is the primordial objective of thecourts. Respondent judge lamentably disregarded the latter forthe former.[SC no longer remanded the case para mabilis]Escober
not guilty beyond reasonable doubt.The prosecution's theory is that Juan Escober is a principal byindispensable cooperation in the crime of robbery with homicide.In support thereof, it tried to prove that Escober's actuationsduring the incident in question were done with the knowledge of and pursuant to said nefahous plan. These acts consist of- [1] hisalleged act of opening the gate of the compound to his co-conspirators; [2] his having been seen by Mrs. Lina Chua behindAlorte/Abuyen, the alleged mastermined, after the gunshot; and[3] his having volunteered the information to Mrs. Chua that hewas not hit. The prosecution further attempted to show that thegun-firing was a mere ritual in avoidance of suspicion and that Escober's version of the incident is too replete withcontradictions to merit belief.After a thorough review of the evidence, We find that the guilt of Juan Escober has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt.The act of opening a gate upon hearing a knock is by itself aninnocent gesture. One who imputes an evil motive or purposethereto must prove his allegations convincingly. In the case at bar, even if the version of Macario Punzalan, Jr. that Escoberopened the gate at the knock of the alleged mastermind AmadeoAbuyen/Roberto Alorte were to be believed, the same would not constitute sufficient and convincing proof that Escober hadknowledge of the nefarious plan. The worse that could beattributed to him is lack of better judgment or laxity in theperformance of his duties as a security guard in having failed toexercise the minimum precaution dictated by his occupation toexclude from the premises being guarded persons who have not demonstrated any legitimate reason for getting in.The facts of the case likewise do not support the prosecution'stheory that the gun-firing incident was a mere ritual in avoidanceof suspicion. We share the keen observation of counsel forEscober that "... it is not a common experience that a personallows himself to be shot by a gun. He would be the stupidest person on earth if he allows that ... to avoid suspicion that he wasin cahoots [sic] with malefactors The least or perhaps the safest way for that evil purpose is to allow himself to be renderedineffective, i.e., by tieing [sic] him up, mauling him or woundinghim so he would live if he were a conspirator. To allow him to beshot by a gun is too risky a ritual for he might get killed.
10
 
Besides, the robbery and homicide were perpetrated within aspan of 5-10 minutes, not half an hour as found by the trial court,a time too short to enable Abuyen/Alorte and Escober to contrivesuch a ritual or scenario, or if it were a pre-conceived plan, forAbuyen/Aorte to have remembered it considering theunexpected apprearance of Lina Chua at the scene and the needfor immediate escape.Even assuming arguendo that the gun was fired in the air and not at Escober, the same could have been done to scare Lina Chuaaway from the scene of the crime rather than to divert suspicionfrom Escober.That the gun-firing was not a ritual and that Escober was not apart of the criminal plan are further bolstered by the statement made by Macario Punzalan during the preliminary investigation,and extra-judicial statement of the alleged mastermind Abuyen/Alorte dated April 16, 1986, submitted by the prosecution asExhibit B during the separate trial of said Abuyen/Alorte.The spontaneous and candid manner by which it was given lendscredence to his statement, that Abuyen/Alorte wanted Escoberkilled. This statement, together with the statement of Abuyen/Alorte that he himself fired at E scober although the latter wasnot hit, unwittingly corroborates Escober's version that the gunwas aimed at him. That Escober was not thereby hit should not be taken as conclusive proof that the gun-firing was a mere ritual
 
3
CrimPro (Parts 9-10)
 AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Martin | Vien 
 
because the same could be easily occasioned by a poor aim and/or the hurried manner of its execution.The prosecution evidence is glaringly wanting in this regard. It failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that [1] Escober hadknowledge of the criminal design and [2] that his acts during thecommission of the crime, such as the opening of the gate andhaving been behind Abuyen after the gunshot, were performedpursuant to said nefarious plot. This being the case, theprosecution's reliance on the alleged inconsistencies in Escober'stestimony regarding his actuations during the incident at bar cannot improve its case. To convict on this basis is repugnant to theconstitutional right of the accused to be presumed innocent untilthe contrary is proved
15
 
and its corollary rule that theprosecution must rely on the strength of its own evidence andnot on the weakness of the defense.On Punzalan:While it may be conceded that it would have been more judiciousfor the trial court to appoint a counsel de oficio for Punzalanother than the counsel de parte of his co-accused Escober, suchfailure did not constitute prejudicial error to warrant nullificationof the proceedings taken against Punzalan. There is no evidencethat Atty. Mariano was biased in favor of Escober to the prejudiceof Punzalan. The records show that Atty. Mariano defended bothaccused with equal zeal and vigor and that Punzalan was able topresent his defense well. In fact, it was Punzalan's version of having knocked that the trial court believed. In the final analysis,the only prejudice Punzalan might have suffered was the failureof Atty. Mariano to cross-examine Escober on the latter'stestimony regarding Punzalan's presence at the scene of thecrime.
22
 
Escober's testimony, however, was merelycorroborative of the testimonies of Lina Chua and DomingoRocero, witnesses for the prosecution who were cross-examinedby Atty. Mariano.
23
 
Prosecution witnesses Vicente Chua and Lina Chua hadestablished the fact of robbery and we are convinced beyondreasonable doubt that Punzalan knew of such plan. It isincredible that his three companions would fetch him on thepretext of drinking beer and just bring him along to the scene of crime, thereby risking another eyewitness to the perpetrationthereof. Punzalan's flight from the scene of the crime with hiscompanions and his failure, if he were truly innocent, to report tothe police what he knew about the crime after reading it in thenewspapers further demonstrate his knowledge of the plan.While it has been established that Punzalan's participation in thecrime was to act as a look-out, and as such, he did not participatein the killing of the two helpless victims, he cannot evaderesponsibility therefor. Well-established is the rule in thisjurisdiction that whenever a homicide has been committed as aconsequence of or on the occasion of a robbery, all those whotook part as principals in the commission of the robbery are alsoguilty as principals in the special complex crime of robbery withhomicide although they did not actually take part in the homicideunless it clearly appeared that they endeavored to prevent thehomicide.

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