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February 13, 2002
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. EDGAR AYUPAN, GERRY HABLONA (at large), accused, EDGAR AYUPAN, appellant. When the evidence does not establish how the aggression commenced, treachery cannot be appreciated to qualify a killing to murder. In the present case, the lone prosecution witness did not see how the attack on the victim was initiated. Hence, the crime is only homicide, not murder. The Case Edgar Ayupan appeals the August 12, 1999 Decision1 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Iloilo City (Branch 33) in Criminal Case No. 32949, finding him guilty of murder and sentencing him to reclusion perpetua. The Information, dated April 17, 1989 and signed by Second Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Irene S. Panigbatan, charged appellant as follows: "That on or about the 27th day of June, 1984 in the Municipality of Batad, Province of Iloilo, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, above-named accused, conspiring, confederating and cooperating, with an unidentified companion, with treachery, evident premeditation and taking advantage of their superior strength, and a decided purpose to kill, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, attack, assault and stab several times the victim FRANCISCO MENDOZA using the bladed weapon the accused were provided at that time, thereby hitting him and inflicting upon FRANCISCO MENDOZA several stab wounds on different parts of his body which caused his death."2 With the assistance of counsel,3 appellant pleaded not guilty when arraigned on November 28, 1995.4 After trial, the RTC rendered its Decision, the dispositive portion of which reads: "Based on the foregoing, this Court hereby decrees that: "1. Accused Edgar Ayupan is guilty of the crime of Murder as defined and penalized by paragraph 1, Article 248 in its further relation to paragraph 16, article 14 of the Revised Penal Code, as proven beyond reasonable doubt; "2. Accused Edgar Ayupan is meted the penalty of reclusion perpetua by reason of the absence of any aggravating or mitigating circumstance; "3. Accused Edgar Ayupan is directed to indemnify the heirs of deceased-victim Francisco Mendoza [in] the amount of P50,000.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency; "4. The Director of [the] Bureau of Correction, Muntinlupa City is directed to credit in favor of the accused Edgar Ayupan the duration of his preventive detention reckoned from 24 January 1995 until the promulgation of this Decision. "SO ORDERED."5 The Facts Version of the Prosecution The prosecution’s version of the facts is summarized by the Office of the Solicitor General, as follows:6 "On June 26, 1984, prosecution witness Helen Batislaong accompanied by her younger sister, Juvy, and her cousin, Joseph, arrived at the dance hall of Crossing Hamod, Batad, Iloilo Province at around 9:00 p.m. At around 12:00 o’clock midnight,
Batislaong heard a commotion inside the dance hall. Concerned that her cousin might be involved in the fight, since he was no longer near her, Batislaong ran to the center of the dance floor. She did not see her cousin but instead, it was the sight of a bloodied Francisco Mendoza lying down on the floor which confronted her. Francisco Mendoza, who is also her relative since her mother and his father are cousins was being stabbed repeatedly in the chest by appellant Edgar Ayupan who was kneeling over the victim. Batislaong knows appellant since they both reside in Batad. Batislaong saw everything clearly since she was only four (4) meters away from the attacker and the victim. Furthermore, there was a light bulb brightly illuminating the scene. "Horrified, Batislaong shouted at appellant, demanding why he was stabbing Francisco Mendoza when as far as she knew her relative had done no wrong. She shouted for people to help Mendoza. But since most of the people ran away, nobody assisted them. Appellant and his companions ran away after stabbing the victim. Finally, the barangay captain came and investigated the incident. Weak after witnessing the stabbing incident, Batislaong was brought home by the barangay captain. "Batislaong was not able to report the incident immediately because at that time she was nervous and afraid. A week after the incident, she was able to relate the circumstances surrounding the killing to Atty. Teodosio. Atty. Teodosio told her that they ha[d] two other witnesses to the killing which he felt were quite sufficient in prosecuting appellant. But he told her that he would call her if the need arises. "Dr. Noel C. Posadas, a retired rural health physician and a resident of Batad, conducted the autopsy on the cadaver of the victim. He testified that the victim received three (3) stab wounds on the chest, the third of which was fatal. The immediate cause of death was shock and hemorrhage." (Citations omitted) Version of the Defense Appellant, on the other hand, presented the following version of the facts:7 "Accused Edgar Ayupan testified that he did kn[o]w the victim but he did not stab him. On June 26, 1984, he and his companions Gerry Hablona, Roquito Penuela and Efren Hablona were at the dance party. Before entering the dance hall, the barangay tanod at the gate, frisked him and his companions. Once inside the hall, he invited a lady to dance with him. At said instance, the victim slapped his hand. When he turned his head, he saw the victim and the latter immediately boxed him. Hit at the bridge of his nose, he lost his consciousness. Gerry Hablona and Roquito Penuela brought him out of the dance hall when he regained his consciousness. He did not know Helen Batislaong; he did not leave his barangay. He only learned of the charge against him when he was arrested on June 21, 1995. "Roquito Penuela corroborated the testimony of accused Ayupan that before they entered the dance hall on June 26, 1984 at Barangay Hamod, they were bodily frisked. At about 1:00 early morning of June 27, 1984, accused Ayupan approached a woman. At said instance, the hand of the x x x victim slapped the hand of the accused. Accused Ayupan then boxed the latter on the nose. Accused fell down. When the victim went away and walked towards the center of the dance hall, somebody met him and stabbed him many times and [a] commotion took [place] and people were running. At that time, accused Ayupan was still lying down. He carried the accused out of the dance hall and went home when [the] accused regained his consciousness." Ruling of the Trial Court Giving full faith and credence to the testimony of Helen Batislaong, the trial court held that the witness, having been at the locus criminis had the opportunity to see and observe the specific details of the crime. The RTC disbelieved appellant’s defense of denial and rejected the evidence of good moral character offered by the defense witnesses. It held that this defense was based purely on conjecture and might have even been fabricated, since it was unsubstantiated by concrete details.8 Further, it ruled
that the flight of appellant after the commission of the crime was an indication of his guilt. Hence, this appeal.9 The Issue Appellant raises this lone assignment of error for our consideration: "The trial court erred in convicting the accused-appellant Edgar Ayupan of the crime of murder despite the insufficient, unreliable testimony of prosecution lone witness Helen Batislaong."10 This Court’s Ruling
COURT: (to witness) Where is that dance hall? THE WITNESS: At Hamod, Batad, Iloilo. xxx xxx xxx
Q In going [to] the dance hall from your house, [did] you have any companions? A My younger sister and my cousin. xxx Q A xxx xxx
The appeal is partly meritorious. Appellant should be convicted only of homicide. Main Issue: Credibility of Lone Witness Appellant argues that the lower court erred in relying on the testimony of the lone prosecution witness, Helen Batislaong, because her testimony was not corroborated by other witnesses. We disagree.11 It is well-settled that the testimony of a lone witness – if found by the trial court to be positive, categorical and credible – is sufficient to support a conviction. This is so, especially if the testimony bore the earmarks of truth and sincerity and was delivered spontaneously, naturally and in a straightforward manner.12 Corroborative evidence is necessary only when there are reasons to suspect that the witness bent the truth, or that his or her observation was inaccurate.13 Evidence is assessed in terms of quality, not quantity. It is to be weighed, not counted.14 Therefore, it is not uncommon to reach a conclusion of guilt on the basis of the testimony of a lone witness.15 In the case at bar, the prosecution could have presented two other witnesses, Rodrigo L. Demayo and Noel T. Estebal, but both died before they could testify.16 Be that as it may, the trial court found Batislaong’s narration of the incident straightforward and categorical. She testified thus: "ATTY TEODOSIO ON DIRECT EXAMINATION: May it please the honorable court. Q Miss Batislaong, you said you are a resident of Batad, Iloilo[;] since when have you been a resident of Batad, Iloilo? A Q A Since I was small. Do you know the accused in this case Edgar Ayupan? Yes, sir. Q Q If he is present inside this courtroom will you please point to us Edgar Ayupan? A Q Yes, sir. Where is he? A Q A
What was your purpose in going to the dance hall? To watch the dance.
Q At about 12:00 o’clock midnight[,] June 26, 1984, could you tell us if there was anything unusual that happened in that dance hall? A There was a commotion.
Q Where were you when you noticed that there was a commotion? A I was inside the dance hall on the bench.
Q And because you notice that there was a commotion, what did you do if any? A I ran [to] the center of the dance hall to see x x x what happened. Q Why did you r[u]n towards the middle of the dance hall to see what happened? A Because I ha[d] to see x x x who were fighting because my cousin was no longer with me. Q And what did you observe when you proceeded to the middle portion of the dance hall? A I saw Francisco Mendoza lying [down while] being stabbed by Edgar. What is the family name of this Francisco? Mendoza. And what is the family name of this Edgar? Ayupan.
A (Witness pointing to a person inside the courtroom who upon being asked his name, x x x answered Edgar Ayupan) Q On the evening of June 26, 1984, do you remember where were you? A I was at the dance hall.
Q This Edgar Ayupan whom you said was stabbing Francisco Mendoza, was he the same Edgar Ayupan whom you identified a while ago as the accused in this case? A Yes, sir.
Q And do you know what kind of weapon was being used by Edgar Ayupan when you saw him [stabbing] Francisco Mendoza?
] where was he situated in relation to Francisco Mendoza when he stabbed Francisco Mendoza while the latter was lying on the ground? A Near the knee and he was kneeling. Were you able to reach your house? Yes. Then what next happened when you were there? Q Now what did you do when you saw Edgar Ayupan kneeling somewhere on the knee portion of the body of Francisco Mendoza. Q Now after Edgar Ayupan and his companions ha[d] left. I was brought by my younger sister and my Q And could you tell the Court in what part of the body of Francisco Mendoza was hit when he was stabbed for several times by Edgar Ayupan? A On the chest. they just brought me home."17 Q Now after you shouted considering that you saw Edgar Ayupan [stab] Francisco Mendoza for several times what next happened? A Q A I shouted for help [for] Francisco Mendoza. your honor. because I was crying[. Moreover. sir. Q In what part of the body of . Q Now you said – what happened to the companions of Edgar Ayupan after Edgar Ayupan ran away? ATTY. Q A When I was there[. Q And how about this Edgar Ayupan[. . sir. considering that it was night? A Because I already knew him and he is also from Batad. Q And where [were] his companions at that time that he was stabbing Francisco Mendoza? A Just near him. LAUREA: Incompetent. Q After Edgar Ayupan stabbed Francisco Mendoza for several times[.A A knife. Q What was a condition of the light at that time in that dance hall when you saw Edgar Ayupan [stab] Francisco Mendoza? A The light was bright. xxx xxx xxx Q How many times did Edgar Ayupan stab Francisco Mendoza? A Many times. what did you do? A I shouted and cried for help for Francisco Mendoza. he would be incompetent as to what happened to the companions of Edgar Ayupan after he ran away. Where was he lying [down]? At the center of the dance hall. Then what happened next? Nobody help[ed] us because most people ran away. Q A cousin.] what [happened next]? A He ran away. sir. TEODOSIO: How far were you from Edgar Ayupan and Francisco Mendoza when you saw Edgar Ayupan [stab] Francisco Mendoza? A Four (4) meters. COURT: What happened to the companions after he ran away? ATTY. Q And where were you situated in relation to Francisco Mendoza who was lying on the ground when he was stabbed by Edgar Ayupan? A Somewhere on the head of Francisco Mendoza. Q Could you tell the Court how were you able to recognize Edgar Ayupan as the person whom you saw [stab] for several times Francisco Mendoza. TEODOSIO: What happened to the companions of Edgar after Edgar Ayupan ran away? A They ran away together. . at the same time stabbing Francisco Mendoza? A I shouted why he stabbed Francisco Mendoza because he ha[d] no fault. Were you able to see if Francisco Mendoza was hit when he was stabbed for several times by Edgar Ayupan? A Yes. Batislaong had a clear view of the stabbing incident as shown by the following: "ATTY. xxx xxx xxx Q Aside from – do you know if Edgar Ayupan had other companions? A Yes.] the barangay captain also went there and [saw] who was there and he was left there and I was brought by the barangay captain.] since I [could] not walk. Q What was the position of Francisco Mendoza when he was stabbed by Edgar Ayupan? A Q A He was lying [down].
the dance hall was sufficiently illuminated. it is interesting to note that as soon as the Information was filed and the corresponding warrant of arrest issued. It was only in 1995 – ten years after the commission of the crime – that he was arrested by the police. the modest blush.30 Between appellant’s denial and the witness’ positive testimony. as she was standing just four (4) meters from the victim. so . xxx That would be all. there is no doubt that the latter is entitled to credence. the medicolegal’s testimony23 and Medical Report24 corroborated her recollection of the specific details of the crime – the stabbing of the victim on the chest several times. 1984. It is thus plain that he left the place to avoid arrest and prosecution. We disagree.38 For failure to serve the warrant of arrest.26 On the other hand. on the foregoing. his flight to Masbate is an indication of his guilt. As a witness to a violent incident. even if the purpose is to kill. methods. he admits that he was in the dance hall where the victim was stabbed to death. she was nervous and afraid to report the incident. or the guilty blanch"20 – these reveal if the witness is reciting the whole truth or merely weaving a web of lies and deceptions. Delay in Reporting In a futile attempt to discredit Batislaong. The unexplained flight of the accused may. 1989. appellant argues that since she did not immediately report the incident to the police. xxx xxx We have held that different people react differently to a given stimulus or type of situation. The "candid answer. the nervous voice. the essence of treachery is the swiftness and the unexpectedness of an attack upon an unsuspecting and unarmed victim who has not given the slightest provocation. does not impair that witness’ credibility. the hesitant pause. In criminal law. A detailed testimony acquires greater weight and credibility when confirmed by autopsy findings.29 When there is no evidence to indicate that the principal witness for the prosecution was moved by an improper motive.41 In the present case. startling or frightful experience.46 To appreciate treachery. the presumption is that such motive was absent. the use of a knife. and that the witness’ testimony is entitled to full faith and credit. Indeed. by itself. as a general rule.36 Appellant’s Flight The crime happened in June 1984. two conditions must be present: (1) the employment of means of execution that gives the person attacked no opportunity for selfdefense or for retaliation and (2) the deliberate or conscious adoption of the means of execution. 1984. ATTY.32 In the present case.22 Second. there is no rule that the suspect in a crime should be immediately named by a witness. in view of several failed attempts to apprehend him. at the moment of its commission.33 In fact. appellant could not be found in Batad.34 Thus. Well-settled is the rule that treachery must be proved by clear and convincing evidence as conclusively as the killing itself. First.43 appellant argues that if he was responsible for the death of the victim.35 Moreover.21 In the present case. it was quite understandable that she did not immediately report the identity of the offender after the startling occurrence.39 Because he remained at large. he would be guilty only of homicide. We are convinced. although in connection with another crime attributed to him. she had a clear view of the stabbing incident.Q And from where [did] this brightness come x x x? THE WITNESS: Because the light [was] near x x x them because they [were] in the center of the dance hall.31 Delay in a witness’ reporting of a crime to police authorities. conduct and attitude.44 Any doubt as to the existence of treachery must be resolved in favor of the accused. tending directly and specially to insure its execution without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make."18 Based.47 The RTC explained that the crime had been attended by treachery because. and the position of the assailant. when adequately explained.42 If it were true that he never left Batad. she strove to see the appearance of the perpetrators of the crime and observe the manner in which it was committed. employing means. he should have been apprehended by the police a long time ago. her testimony deserves scant consideration. the befuddled look. appellant stabbed the victim who was lying on the ground. It rationalized that such a situation propelled the method of attack to a successful accomplishment of the criminal act without exposing the accused to any possible retaliation from the victim. he claims that the prosecution has no record to show that the facts of the case have been preserved. Positive Identification Well-settled is the rule that the positive identification of the accused – when categorical and consistent and without any ill motive on the part of the eyewitness testifying on the matter – prevails over alibi and denial which are negative and self-serving. be taken as evidence tending to establish guilt.49 However. or forms in the execution thereof. we find no reason to disturb the factual findings of the RTC. for it is unnatural for an aggrieved relative to falsely accuse someone other than the real culprit. his hand was slapped by the victim when the former asked a lady for a dance.48 True. We are not convinced. while appellant denies being the perpetrator of the crime. and the indictments against appellant commenced only in 1995. as correctly pointed out by the solicitor general. there is no doubt that Batislaong’s testimony positively identified appellant as the perpetrator of the crime. relationship may strengthen credibility. 45 There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against the person. the case was archived on November 29. 1987. flight means the act of evading the course of justice by voluntarily withdrawing oneself to avoid arrest or detention or the institution or continuance of criminal proceedings. On the contrary. His claim that he was unconscious at that particular instant does not persuade. the undertone. and of noting their demeanor. prior to the stabbing incident. A review of the records reveals that an Order for his arrest was issued on July 24. implementing an alias warrant of arrest against him. The denial by appellant is inherently weak and must fail vis-à-vis Batislaong’s positive declaration affirming that he was at the scene of the crime and was its perpetrator.28 More so.27 It was not physically impossible for him to be at the locus criminis. undeserving of weight in law.19 It is aided by various indicia that could not be readily seen on the records. undisputed is his admission that. In addition.40 Thereafter. as she was weak from crying after witnessing the stabbing incident. First.37 the relevant documents had been preserved before the case was archived. the suddenness of the attack does not by itself suffice to support a finding of alevosia. TEODOSIO: That would be all for the witness. another Order was issued on November 22.25 The fact that Batislaong is a relative of the victim does not necessarily taint her testimony. another alias warrant of arrest was issued on August 20. as he claims. because the qualifying circumstance of treachery was not proven. she had to be brought home. Time and time again. Treachery In his Reply. Moreover. and there is no standard form of behavioral response when one is confronted with a strange. initially. impair the former’s credibility. the honest gaze. Second. resulting in the archiving of the case. which became an even more traumatic experience because she was related to the victim. we have held that the credibility of witnesses is a matter best left to the determination of the trial court because of its unique advantage of observing them firsthand. We have held that blood relationship between a witness and the victim does not. appellant is to blame for the delay in the prosecution of this case. Batislaong explained that.
9 The store was owned by SPO1 Ersie Paano. Malaybalay City. did then and there willfully.22 Edmund ran towards the direction of his auntie’s house and informed the victim’s brother. Edmund Paano had known Concordio since he was seven years old. which was about 5.14 Edmund walked towards them and shook Concordio’s hand. the attack could have been done on impulse as a reaction to the latter’s actual or imagined provocation. the proper penalty is prision mayor in its medium period. It was not able to show that appellant had deliberately adopted the attack. the knife still embedded in his body. The plaza was adorned with brightly colored blinking lights. Also about ten meters from where Concordio and Diocrly were sitting was a nearby store. 11 They were first cousins12 and lived near each other in Zone 2. vs. SPO1 Paano’s brother Edmund revealed that the persons who were with the victim before the incident were Diocrly and Jerryvie.59 Thus. in the direction of the nearby store. by the side of the asphalt pavement and talked as they watched the ongoing party.21 They saw Concordio lying on his back.R. on his back. that Concordio was stabbed. DECISION This is an appeal from the Decision1 dated March 31. 1999 of the Regional Trial Court. appellee.27 SPO1 Paano immediately went to Diocrly’s house and inquired about the incident. she could not testify on whether there was provocation on the part of the victim. JERRYVIE GUMAYAO y DAHAO @ BIVIE. who were sitting at the edge of the asphalt road. and to indemnify the heirs of his victim Concordio Sulogan in the sum of P50. and an area where the partygoers had to pay their entrance fees. cross-legged.50 In order to appreciate treachery as a modifying circumstance in a continuous aggression. appellant can be convicted only of homicide. going towards the direction of their house in Zone 4. She arrived at the scene sometime after the stabbing started. On the way. thus. Kalasungay. which was located near the plaza. the accused. beside the road. Such provocation negated the presence of treachery. assisted by counsel. which was about ten meters away. Christopher. municipality of Malaybalay. across the street and opposite to the plaza. The appellant was charged in an Information. 1996.23 Edmund went back to the scene of the crime. and again on the abdomen.4 At around 10:00 to 10:45 p. convicting appellant Jerryvie Gumayao of the crime of murder. as maximum.25 A crowd had by then already gathered around the crime scene. Kalasungay. the fact that a bladed weapon was used did not per se make the attack treacherous. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. as minimum to 14 years eight (8) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal medium. Trial thereafter ensued.53 It must be pointed out that appellant and the victim had an altercation prior to the stabbing incident. with the use of a .m. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law and considering the absence of aggravating or mitigating circumstances. City of Malaybalay. No pronouncement as to costs. Concordio.60 for which the imposable penalty under the Revised Penal Code is reclusion temporal. mortally wounded. illuminated the street. several stab wounds were inflicted on the victim – who was either sitting or lying down – did not show treachery unless there was evidence that such form of attack had purposely been adopted by the accused. he sat beside Concordio. Philippines.long as the decision is sudden and the victim’s helpless position is accidental. That fateful night. the abovenamed accused. inflicting upon the latter mortal wounds which caused the instantaneous death of CONCORDIO SULOGAN. according to the testimony of the medicolegal officer. In a squatting position. There was a gate surrounding the area of the party place. SPO1 Paano was fast asleep inside his house. the appealed Decision is hereby MODIFIED. He and Concordio Sulogan. Diocrly told him that the person responsible for the stabbing of XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX G. No.8 An electric light post. and found that Concordio had already been brought to the hospital.000. SO ORDERED. and saw the victim lying prostrate on the ground.10 Jerryvie Gumayao approached the two and joined them. Diocrly5 Binayao was standing by the Syre Highway at Kalasungay. barangay Kalasungay.19 Edmund and Kenneth did not enjoy the disco because there were no ladies there for them. Indeed. assault and stab CONCORDIO SULOGAN. unlawfully and criminally attack. bloodied all over. Bukidnon. sharp bladed instrument.17 Concordio fell. with intent to kill by means of treachery. treachery cannot be appreciated. which was about thirty meters6 from where they were. and thereafter proceeded to the disco place. also on the left side. province of Bukidnon. even if the attack may have been sudden and unexpected.24 He immediately proceeded to the area. which was likewise lighted.8 hectares. pleaded not guilty to the charges.13 Edmund and Kenneth decided to go to the plaza to check out the ongoing disco party. 7659. 138933 October 28. SPO1 Paano instructed the persons present to bring the victim to the hospital. The couple had three children. were watching a disco party being held at the plaza of Kalasungay. the qualifying circumstance of treachery cannot be applied.57 One cannot substitute mere suppositions for a hiatus in the prosecution’s evidence. 2003 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. He later learned that Concordio had succumbed to his injuries and had died in the hospital.61 WHEREFORE.56 Absent any particulars as to the manner in which the aggression commenced. Concordio was a corn farmer by profession and tilled his own land.20 They stayed for only about fifteen minutes and headed back in the direction of the highway.54 Further. The civil indemnity awarded by the RTC is AFFIRMED. 8437-97 which reads: That on or about the 28th day of December. The Case for the Prosecution3 Concordio Sulogan and his wife Wilma resided at Zone 2. appellant. Jerryvie suddenly took out a seven-and-ahalf-inch-long knife16 with his right hand and stabbed Concordio on the left side of the chest. and sought help to aid the fallen Concordio. to the latter’s right.15 When Edmund and Kenneth left. to the damage and prejudice of the legal heirs of CONCORDIO SULOGAN in such amount as may be allowed by law.51 We hold that the second requisite was not sufficiently established by the prosecution.52 The lower court failed to consider that the lone eyewitness could not have had any knowledge of it. it must be shown to have been present at the inception of the attack.2 Upon his arraignment. Branch 8. as minimum. as maximum. Jerryvie hurriedly left the scene. as in the present case. as the trial court apparently did. considering that it was executed during a commotion and as a result of it.58 Since the lone prosecution witness failed to see how the attack had been initiated on the victim. and Jerryvie. Malaybalay City. Bukidnon.55 Also.18 Diocrly walked away. who informed him that a stabbing incident had occurred right in front of his residence. Contrary to and in violation of Republic Act No. He was suddenly awakened by one of his daughters and his wife.26 Because he was more interested in apprehending the suspect and getting on with the investigation. Edmund was with his other cousin Kenneth in their auntie’s house. to reclusion temporal in its medium period. they passed by the Syre highway and saw Diocrly. on December 28. in the evening at Purok 2. Appellant is CONVICTED of homicide and sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor medium. 1996. sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. docketed as Criminal Case No. the mere fact that.7 Concordio and Diocrly sat down beside each other.
Furthermore. "Wait for me" and ran towards his mother-in-law’s house. the husband of his mother’s niece. Jerryvie saw that he was armed with a knife and declared.36 On December 24. "We will kill you now. Thus. his passive stance.39 Jerryvie gamely asked where. the crime committed by the appellant would only be homicide. The three men surrounded him. where the latter’s father lived. 1996. 7659. the court finds accused Jerryvie Gumayao guilty of murder and penalized under Republic Act No.31 Her husband was buried on December 31.48 According to the appellant.45 He insisted that he did not intend to kill anyone that fateful night. His misunderstanding with Helacio started during a drinking spree at the house of Lilency’s niece. nature and number of wounds inflicted. about two kilometers away from the latter’s residence. City of Malaybalay.32 She also suffered sleepless nights and mental anguish upon her husband’s untimely death. and Helacio replied. In fact. Arlene. He was surrounded by three men. December 29. when the appellant returned to the scene. Considering the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender which is not offset by any generic aggravating circumstance. At around 6:00 a. who challenged him to a fight. owing to the long-standing feud between them. who also happened to be a policeman. and that the two of them had differences because the latter did not want him to marry her sister in the first place. "On the portion outside by (sic) this disco place. which he had tucked by his waist.m. the trial court had no other recourse but to accept the fact of voluntary surrender when the prosecution admitted the same during the trial. and say. the appellant’s attack on the victim was sudden. was determined to attack the appellant. .47 The Case on Appeal The appellant assails the decision of the trial court contending that: I THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT APPRECIATING ACCUSEDAPPELLANT’S CLAIM OF SELF-DEFENSE ANENT THE STABBING INCIDENT.34 He was married to Josalyn Binayao. who was accompanied by the victim. he saw that Helacio had summoned two more companions. and was able to do so. The claim of self-defense is further strengthened by the fact that the appellant voluntarily surrendered to the authorities after the stabbing incident. and they found Jerryvie in Lumayagan.46 Lilency Liman-ay testified that Jerryvie was her nephew and that she had known him since he was a small boy. He and three others were having a drinking spree.44 Jerryvie’s father thereafter arrived and told him to surrender to the authorities.38 At around 9:00 p. The Court’s Ruling The appellant’s contentions are devoid of merit. and P30. the appellant committed murder. Edmund and Concordio. Jerryvie and his companions thereafter proceeded to the plaza to participate in the ongoing disco. As such. and Helacio joined in the fray. III ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT ACCUSED-APPELLANT IS GUILTY. 1996. should the Court render a verdict of conviction.43 Jerryvie fled from the scene and went to his godfather.000 for the wake.37 At 7:00 p. 1999. and they lived with his mother. Helacio was armed with a knife. The coffin was a donation from the barangay. proved the fact that he was not the unlawful aggressor as the prosecution’s evidence tends to establish.500 for the embalmment. without affording opportunity on the part of the victim to defend himself. SO ORDERED. Sulogan was able to take hold of him.m. Jerryvie testified that he and a certain Popoy Helacio were enemies. The motorcycle was owned by Helacio’s relative. said accused is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to indemnify the heirs of his victim Concordio Sulogan in the sum of P50. Jerryvie decided to follow his father’s advice and surrendered to Boy Solito. The appellant further insists that there was a fight between the appellant and Helacio prior to the stabbing incident. George. When he got up. She assisted the latter’s mother in the search. the victim’s widow. City of Malaybalay.30 Wilma Sulogan. for its part.. above his left nipple. apparently used a motorcycle parked near the house. The Office of the Solicitor General. They spent P1. Jerryvie was in his auntie’s house."41 Jerryvie replied. finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder. but his father accompanied SPO1 Paano to his residence. along with Jerryvie. On Solito’s advice. When he returned. which was about 2 kilometers away from the plaza. Thus. but when Concordio held him. Jerryvie came face to face with Helacio. The dispositive portion reads as follows: WHEREFORE. "We will kill him. Jerryvie surrendered the following morning where he was brought to the CID to be investigated."42 Jerryvie struggled to free himself.29 Jerryvie was nowhere to be found. He told George that he had stabbed a person in the plaza whose identity he did not know.00. as it was reasonable under the circumstances then prevailing. contends that the appellant’s claim that he acted in self-defense when he stabbed the victim is belied by the location. he had no choice but to stab the latter. II THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE CRIME CHARGED DESPITE THE UNCONTROVERTED EVIDENCE ADDUCED BY ACCUSED-APPELLANT AND HIS WITNESS. armed with a knife. the victim and his companions were forewarned of an impending danger. as the prosecution did not present rebuttal witnesses to assail the same. Upon entering the area. At around 7:10 that same morning. of December 28. testified that her husband sustained two stab wounds on the chest. The appellants also points out that he was clearly outnumbered and literally pushed to the limit.m. and Concordio was backing up the latter. The Verdict of the Trial Court The trial court rendered a decision on March 31. and the latter fell. On December 29.000. He then took hold of Concordio and stabbed the latter with the knife. without any means to choose what kind of weapon with which to defend himself. Jerryvie testified that he could no longer remember how many times he stabbed Concordio. twist his head. Popoy Helacio. Lilency’s son. SPO1 Paano went to the Malaybalay Police Station to verify if the incident had already been recorded in the police blotter. The appellant stabbed the victim on the chest and the abdomen. Jerryvie was not there. 1996. near the BFI Nursery at Kalasungay. Jerryvie punched Helacio. Jerryvie also testified that prosecution witness Diocrly Binayao was his brother-in-law. about two years ago. the next day. The Evidence for the Defense33 Jerryvie denied the charges against him. SPO1 Boy Solito brought Jerryvie to the Malaybalay Police Station. The use of a knife in inflicting the fatal blow on Concordio was justified.35 The misunderstanding apparently came about when Jerryvie’s cousin drove without permission the motorcycle of Helacio’s uncle. That the appellant acted in self-defense in stabbing the victim is clear and convincing. which was about fifty meters away. and the wounds proved to be fatal. Jerryvie had an "encounter" with Helacio. when Helacio’s group confronted him. Lilency woke up very early and found out that the authorities were looking for Jerryvie.28 SPO1 Paano then proceeded to look for Jerryvie in Purok 4. not homicide.Concordio was Jerryvie. 1996. 1996. Kalasungay. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING HIM OF MURDER AS THE CRIME COMMITTED WAS ONLY HOMICIDE. He testified that he was a long-time resident of Kalasungay. Arlene got angry."40 A fight ensued.
Case law has it that the trial court’s findings of facts. are sufficient proof of the guilt of the appellant. nevertheless. for the crime of murder. that was he who stabbed? A: The moon was bright. The appellant is ordered to pay the heirs . First. Q: Other than the moon was bright what light [sic]. that her husband was earning more or less P40. the victim was merely sitting on the pavement at the edge of the road. the assailed Decision of the Regional Trial Court. No proof of the victim’s average expenses were adduced in evidence. (b) reasonable necessity of the means employed to repel or prevent it. he failed to inform them that he acted in self-defense when he stabbed the victim.55 Upon careful review of the records of the case. and is sentenced to reclusion perpetua.The Court has consistently held that like alibi.000. the appellant’s version of the story changed. Moreover. Q: Have you seen a very big lamp along Fortich Street. the nature and the number of the wounds of the victim negate the appellant’s claim that he acted in self-defense. Compensation for lost income is in the nature of damages. It was only when he went back to the plaza with a knife that he found that Helacio had already summoned two companions. Q: That is why. During the direct examination. Appellant Jerryvie Gumayao y Dahao is found GUILTY of murder. entitled to temperate damages in the amount of P25. requiring the appellant to submit his counter-affidavit. and employed on an unarmed victim who would not be in a position to repel the attack or to avoid it. Even a frontal attack may be considered treacherous when sudden and unexpected. As found by the trial court. The award for lost income refers to the net income of the deceased. beyond cavil of doubt. the conduct. 1996.50 The accused must rely on the strength of his evidence and not on the weakness of the evidence of the prosecution. On the contrary. Reclusion perpetua is an indivisible penalty. if considered. there must be unbiased proof of the deceased’s average income as well as proof of average expenses. why were you very sure that. the accused told the court that it was only with Popoy Helacio that he was to have a confrontation.59 The Crime Committed by the Appellant The trial court correctly convicted the appellant of murder. even before the appellant went back to the plaza to get a knife.52 Fourth. as well as its conclusions anchored on the said findings. Civil Liabilities of the Appellant The trial court correctly awarded to the heirs of the victim civil indemnity in the amount of P50. Malaybalay City. and stabbed the victim twice. the penalty of reclusion perpetua must be applied regardless of any mitigating or aggravating circumstances that may have attended the commission of the crime. that was 10:45 in the evening already of December 28. Branch 8.65 WHEREFORE. as long as it is positive. Second. For loss of income due to death.56 In this case. since under Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code. the victim was not in a position to defend himself.000 a year as a corn farmer. likewise. penalized under Republic Act No. that is. The appellant stabbed the victim twice on the chest. Sibonga:57 This Court has consistently ruled that the testimony of a single prosecution witness.53 However.64 Finally. they prove that the appellant was determined to kill the victim. are accorded great weight. (b) the offender consciously and deliberately adopted the particular means. 1997. considering that. and requires adequate proof thereof. and cannot be given credence. its calibration of the collective testimonies of witnesses. the appellant made inconsistent and conflicting statements. Suddenly.61 As such. correct in not awarding actual damages to the said heirs. for the first time. 8437-97 is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. invoked selfdefense. the Court finds no cogent reason to overrule the trial court’s finding that the appellant stabbed the victim in cold blood. how were you able to really recognize Jerryvie to be the one who stabbed Concordio? A: I saw him. The appellant joined them. is that a big lamp also at Kalasungay? A: Yes. considering that there were no receipts to support them. Bukidnon. and both wounds proved fatal.54 Thus. since the scene of the crime was adequately lighted: Q: Now. It was only during the trial that the appellant. the following essential requisites: (a) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. Corroborative or cumulative evidence is not a prerequisite to the conviction of the accused. Thus. This is because of the unique advantage of the trial court to observe. in Criminal Case No. and without warning. the records show that the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Malaybalay issued a subpoena on January 10. The prosecution merely relied on Wilma Sulogan’s self-serving statement. the appellant killed the victim in a treacherous manner. with clear and convincing evidence.58 The trial court found Diocrly to be a credible witness. ensuring the latter’s immediate death. As correctly contended by the prosecution. what kind of light installed in that street light [sic]? A: A big lamp. After stabbing Concordio. the accused thereby admits to the killing and can no longer be exonerated of the crime charged if he fails to prove the confluence of the essential requisites of self-defense. but the latter failed to do so. for which the latter could be sentenced to reclusion perpetua. qualified by treachery. without giving the victim any inkling as to the tragedy that was about to befall the latter. if there was any? A: The electric lights coming from the electric bulb of the store and the disco dance area. the total income less average expenses.000. Flight is a veritable badge of guilt and negates the plea of self-defense. 7659. the trial court was correct in not awarding damages for lost earnings.63 The heirs are.60 In this case. Q: Now you mentioned of [the] street lights a little while ago. there can be no reliable estimate of lost earnings.62 The trial court was. the circumstance of voluntary surrender will not affect the penalty to be meted on the appellant. self-defense is an inherently weak defense because it is easy to fabricate. its assessment of the probative weight of the evidence of the parties. There is treachery in the commission of the crime when (a) at the time of the attack. qualified by treachery under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. and even conclusive effect. This is so because in pleading self-defense. Although the appellant surrendered to the police authorities early the next day. clear and credible is sufficient on which to anchor a judgment of conviction. the appellant fled from the situs criminis. such that the victim was already a participant in the fray. the appellant failed to show any ill or improper motive on the part of Diocrly to impute the crime of murder to the appellant. as such. coupled with the fact of the victim’s death. demeanor and the deportment of the witnesses as they testify. He testified that he was very sure that Jerryvie was Concordio’s assailant. As this Court had the occasion to state in People v. on vital parts of the body. and (c) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. There can be no complete or incomplete self-defense unless the accused proves unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. which needs no other proof than the death of the victim. misunderstood or misinterpreted cogent facts and circumstances of substance which. the appellant pulled out the knife hidden in his waist. the burden of evidence is shifted on him to prove. Third. would alter the outcome of the case. unless the trial court ignored. the appellant’s testimony is inconsistent on material points. when the court questioned the appellant how he and Helacio met that fateful night at the disco entrance. chatting with a friend as they watched an on-going disco party.49 In a case where self-defense is invoked by the accused. An eyewitness account. Truth is established not by the number of witnesses but by the quality of their testimonies. method and form of attack employed by him. at close range.51 The appellant failed to discharge his burden.
17 On July 17. against her will. Pampanga and Malolos. more so. His evaluation or assessment of the credibility of witnesses and of testimony acquires greater significance in rape cases because from the nature of the offense.000. 21 and 22. she could only have been impelled to tell the truth. between 6:30 to 7:30 a. [P]rovince of Pampanga.000 as civil indemnity. did then and there willfully. Rene Santos was charged with Rape in an Information1 alleging – That on or about in the afternoon of between 17th and 23rd of July 1999 in the [B]arangay of xxx.B.9 After a complaint was lodged with the barangay and the police authorities. the case was elevated to the Court for automatic review. this Court hereby sentences him to suffer the mandatory penalty of death and to indemnify the offended party in the amount of P75. xxx. We accord great respect on the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies. appellant drove his employer to the Wheels Motor Shop at E.5 the case was referred to the Court of Appeals for evaluation in a Resolution dated September 7. On July 18. Mateo. conduct and attitude during the direct and cross-examination by counsel.18 On July 19. which is about one kilometer away from AAA's residence. for the trial judge observes the behavior and demeanor of the witnesses in court.m.00 civil indemnity imposed. 1999. 1999. appellant alleged that – 1. especially in the absence of proof of ill motive. Pampanga. in addition to the P75.16 When BBB had no appointments. the appellate court affirmed the judgment of conviction and.m. appellant pleaded not guilty to the charge. when she was taken by appellant and brought to his house. appellant. can you point at him? XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX G.m. Bulacan.26 It is likewise well established that the testimony of a rape victim is generally given full weight and credit. sir. the only evidence that can oftentimes be offered to establish the guilt of the accused is the victim's testimony. he drove a passenger jeepney plying San Fernando. Manila. particularly their demeanor.12 positively identified the appellant during the trial and testified on the affidavit she executed before the police officers of xxx. Pampanga which is a kilometer away from his place in Sulipan. if she is a 5-year-old child as in this case.27 The trial court and the Court of Appeals gave credence to the testimony of AAA who was only six years old when she narrated the sordid details of her ravishment. and P25. with lewd designs and by means of deceit.m.21 he was sweeping the ground in front of his house when a white car pulled over.15 His job was to drive his employer whenever the latter had appointments in Manila. He testified that he was the driver of BBB who lived in Barangay xxx. when necessary. 1999. on the basis of all the foregoing. appellant took off the clothes of AAA and had sexual intercourse with her.000. arriving at his workplace at 7:30 a. and returning at 8:30 p. and stays at his workplace up to 7:30 p.24 We have examined the evidence on record and find no cogent reason to disturb the findings of the trial court and the Court of Appeals. Pampanga.4 Owing to the imposition of the death penalty.000 as temperate damages. In its Decision7 dated October 19. AAA was playing at the northern portion of xxx Bridge. 1999. returning only at 10:00 p. viz: FISCAL PINEDA Questioning If Rene Santos is inside this courtroom. INTERPRETER . and from there he delivered surplus bumpers to Malinta.2 Trial thereafter ensued. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in San WITNESS Answering Yes. Upon arraignment. 1999.. xxx.000.23 Thereafter. SO ORDERED. and as a consequence of which. 2. a route which passed Sulipan. the above-named accused. as her willingness to undergo the trouble and the humiliation of a public trial is an eloquent testament to the truth of her complaint.00 as moral damages and P25.m. 20. rendered judgment3 imposing the death penalty thus: WHEREFORE."25 This credibility given by the trial court to the rape victim is an important aspect of evidence which appellate courts can rely on because of its unique opportunity to observe the witnesses.m.6 In his appeal. 172322 September 8. RENE SANTOS. AAA was brought to the Jose B. Quezon City leaving Apalit at 9:00 a. Pampanga. Rodriguez Avenue.000 as moral damages.m.00 and to pay the costs of the proceedings. to the ruling in People v. Gyne Report indicated multiple superficial healed lacerations. he was detained and remained in detention up to the time of his trial.20 On July 30.11 The victim. P50.14 Appellant usually leaves his house at 7:00 a.19 On July 23. Branch 55.22 The vehicle's occupants introduced themselves as police officers and asked him if he was Rene Santos. 2006 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Contrary to law.000. No. sir.00 as exemplary damages. SO ORDERED. 1999.. where she was examined. after which the Regional Trial Court of Macabebe. force and intimidation. the Court finds the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. Q Please point at him? A There he is. appellee. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. The revelation of an innocent child whose chastity has been abused deserves full credit. appellant plied the San Fernando-Malolos route on board his passenger jeepney. vs. 5 years of age.m. Fernando. For allegedly sexually assaulting 5-year-old AAA.8 The victim felt pain and her vagina bled. he was taken to the police headquarters for questioning. 2004.R. unlawfully and feloniously succeeded in having carnal knowledge with AAA.m. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT CONSIDERING THE DEFENSE OF THE ACCUSED THAT WOULD EXCULPATE HIM FROM THE CRIME OF RAPE. ordered appellant to pay P50. or sometimes even up to 10:00 p.10 The Medico Legal O. While inside the house. who was already six years old when she testified in court. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT IMPOSED UPON THE ACCUSED THE MAXIMUM PENALTY OF DEATH.of the victim Concordio Sulogan P50. RENE SANTOS. appellant left his house at 6:00 a. Pursuant. appellant went to Makati leaving xxx at 10:00 a. [M]unicipality of xxx.13 Appellant's version of the incident is one of denial and alibi. Once they arrived at the headquarters.m. The prosecution's version of the incident narrates that sometime between July 17 and 23. Pampanga. In so testifying. 2005. however.
sir. A In their house. as in this case. ATTY. sir. Yes. sir.28 (Emphasis and italics supplied) Counsel for the defense attempted. Answering FISCAL PINEDA It was hard. sir. what particular actuations did he do? A He inserted his penis. COURT Q And where is that house? Questioning A In Sulipan. 1999.. It is highly improbable for an innocent girl of tender years like the victim. sir. Q You said you know this Rene Santos. sir. what did you feel? A I felt pain. especially one of tender age. Pampanga? WITNESS A Yes. Q In what portion of his house? A Inside their house. Q Point to him? A There he is. FISCAL PINEDA Questioning When he inserted his penis into your vagina. COURT Reform the question. deserve full credence considering that no young woman. to fabricate a charge so humiliating not only to herself but also to her family. what was his appearance? WITNESS I do not know when. Q When? WITNESS Answering Q You said that Rene Santos inserted his penis into your vagina. sir. Q Where? A Here.Witness pointed to a person inside the courtroom who [when] asked gave his name as Rene Santos. why do you know him? A Because he raped me. INTERPRETER Witness pointing to her private organ. in my vagina. it is . sir. Questioning Q What was hard? Do you recall where? A His penis. sir.. Your Honor. INTERPRETER Witness pointed to a person inside the courtroom who when asked gave his name as Rene Santos. VIOLA Leading. albeit futilely. sir. sir. Stated succinctly. sir. allow an examination of her private parts. do you remember where were you? A Yes. to impeach the credibility of the victim. would concoct a story of defloration. Answering Q You said that this Rene Santos raped you... sir. Is this Rene Santos inside this courtroom? Q In Apalit. and thereafter pervert herself by being subject to a public trial if she was not motivated solely by the desire to obtain justice for the wrong committed against her. Q Between the period of July 17 to 23. Q Where did that happen? A In their house.29 We have held time and again that testimonies of rape victims who are young and immature. sir. Q When he inserted his penis into your vagina did he have any clothings (sic)? A. Q Where were you then? A. Q Can you remember when was that? A Yes. who is very naive to the things of this world. sir. sir.
revenge or feuds have never swayed us from giving full credence to the testimony of a complainant for rape. Indeed – Studies show that children. correctly meted the penalty of death because rape committed against a "child below seven (7) years old" is a dastardly and repulsive crime which merits no less than the imposition of capital punishment under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. it has even been held that some wives are overwhelmed by emotional attachment to their husbands such that they knowingly or otherwise suppress the truth and act as a medium for injustice to preponderate.31 Appellant's reliance on the corroboration by his wife of his alibi cannot overturn the clear and categorical declarations of the victim identifying him as the perpetrator of the crime. worse."34 The argument is tenuous. material or immaterial. it does not mean that a trial judge should keep mum throughout the trial and allow parties to ask questions that they desire. she could not have fully understood the enormity of the bestial act committed on her person."42 He insists that it is unnatural for the 6-year old victim to go to school the day following her supposedly shocking experience. He may seek to draw out relevant and material testimony though that testimony may tend to support or rebut the position taken by one or the other party. the foregoing suggestion that his sons may have been the malefactors who sexually assaulted the victim and her sister only succeeds in underscoring his moral depravity and his capacity to commit the crime. as borne out by a plethora of cases. who have undergone the harrowing experience of being ravished against their will by the norms of behavior expected under such circumstances from mature persons.38 It must be borne in mind that the offended party in this case is a 6-year old minor who was barely five when she was sexually assaulted. easily be satisfied with incompleteness and obscurities in the testimonies of the witness.51 If at all. like the offended party herein. they should have as much interest as counsel in the orderly and expeditious presentation of evidence. As a child of such tender years not yet exposed to the ways of the world. Moreover. as in this case – would react to a traumatic experience. He was. especially a mother. especially a minor who remained steadfast and unyielding throughout the direct and cross-examination that she was sexually abused. If trials are to be expedited. Indeed. Jr." They naturally follow the authority of adults as the socialization process teaches children that adults are to be respected. particularly very young children.30 Verily. In fact. legal and jurisprudential scenario. the range of emotions shown by rape victims is yet to be captured even by calculus. make the "perfect victims. This perceived undue inquisitiveness of the judge did not unduly harm the substantial rights of the appellant. 36 Under Sections 19 to 21 of the Rules on Examination of a Child Witness. The corroboration should. it is difficult to predict in every instance how a person – especially a 6-year old child. furthermore. Certainly. With her limited comprehension. with full consciousness of his responsibilities could not. A judge may examine or cross-examine a witness.48 It is thus unrealistic to expect uniform reactions from them. Unless they take an active part in trials in the above form and manner.41 Appellant also invites the Court's attention to what he perceives as uncharacteristic behavior of the victim who.53 However. they have a limited vocabulary….55 Given the foregoing factual. and clarifying ambiguous remarks by witnesses. He may propound clarificatory questions to test the credibility of the witness and to extract the truth.44 Nobody can tell how a victim of sexual aggression is supposed to act or behave after her ordeal. He also points out that "she was answering not as seriously as one who has been sexually molested. judges must take a leading part therein. be received with caution coming as it does from appellant's spouse whose emotional ties and interest in his acquittal cannot be gainsaid. or Michael Santos who could have raped the victim" considering that AAA and her sister CCC allegedly complained earlier that they were raped by the two brothers."43 The contention is neither novel nor persuasive. smell and feel. furthermore.47 Indeed. should be traumatized after undergoing "the onslaught of sexual molestation. children have more problems in providing accounts of events because they do not understand everything they experience. Illmotives become inconsequential where there are affirmative or categorical declarations establishing appellant's accountability for the felony. the speedy administration of justice which is the aim of the Government and of the people cannot be attained. There is no standard form of behavior that can be expected of rape victims after they have been defiled because people react differently to emotional stress. (Emphasis supplied) The trend in procedural law is to give a wide latitude to the courts in exercising control over the questioning of a child witness.32 In addition to his defense of alibi. appellant further insinuates that his sons may be the possible perpetrators of the felony saying that "it could have been Rene Santos. to concoct a false charge of rape and then use her daughter as an instrument to settle her grudge. she has said all that is necessary to prove the ravishment of her honor. directing them to ask the question that would elicit the facts on the issues involved. short of supplying the desired answer from the witness.56 That AAA was only five years old when she was ravished is clear from her birth certificate. and allow counsel to ask questions whether pertinent or impertinent. by directing counsel to submit evidence on the facts in dispute by asking clarifying questions. to fabricate a malicious accusation against appellant if the crime did not truly transpire. They do not have enough life experiences from which to draw upon in making sense of what they see. on issues which they think are important. and should not.50 In his attempt to extricate himself from criminal liability. especially children. If the child is too young to understand what has happened to her.52 We have. hear. observed not a few persons convicted of rape have attributed the charges against them to family feuds. In the exercise of sound discretion. the effects will be minimized because she has no comprehension of the consequences. likewise. The child's age and developmental level will govern how much she comprehends about the abuse and therefore how much it affects her. Trial judges in this jurisdiction are judges of both law and the facts. Much less convincing is appellant's proposition that ill feelings and ill motives of the victim's mother impelled the filing of the charges against him. family resentment. and by showing an interest in a fast and fair trial. 39 (Emphasis and italics supplied) The record discloses that the questions propounded by the judge were intended to elicit the truth from the child witness.49 In fact. it is only to be expected from the judge who.37 child witnesses may testify in a narrative form and leading questions may be allowed by the trial court in all stages of the examination if the same will further the interest of justice. taste.beyond the mind-set of a six-year old child. Judges are not mere referees like those of a boxing bout. only to watch and decide the results of a game. As has been pointed out in People v. and they would be negligent in the performance of their duties if they permitted a miscarriage of justice as a result of a failure to propound a proper question to a witness which might develop some material bearing upon the outcome.54 It would take a certain degree of perversity on the part of a parent. calling attention of counsel to points at issue that are overlooked. Only one whose degree of wickedness plumbs the deepest depths of criminal perversity would have no qualms of laying the onus of his guilt even on his own offspring and. appellant further faults the trial court with "acting as the prosecutor and the judge at the same time"33 for allegedly initiating and propounding "the questions. Guambor:35 The trial judge is accorded a reasonable leeway in putting such questions to witnesses as may be essential to elicit relevant facts to make the record speak the truth.40 While judges should as much as possible refrain from showing partiality to one party and hostility to another. the Court has not laid down any rule on how a rape victim should behave immediately after her ravishment. when a guileless girl of six credibly declares that she has been raped. he may put such question to the witness as will enable him to formulate a sound opinion as to the ability and willingness of the witness to tell the truth.46 It is not proper to judge the actions of rape victims. according to him. the child could not have a perfect way of relating that she had been sexually abused. we agree with both the trial and appellate courts that the appellant is guilty as charged. resentment or revenge.57 . It cannot be taken against him if the clarificatory questions he propounds happen to reveal certain truths which tend to destroy the theory of one party. blacken the memory of one of them who is already dead in his endeavor to exculpate himself from the consequences of his felonious acts. when the former are improper and the latter immaterial.45 Certainly.
she used it for a different purpose. 1 whom he believed to be on the verge of death: Q What is your name please? A Jose Agripa. who testified that there was no quarrel between his parents when his father went to sleep early that night of April 29. 6 Edwin admitted loving his father more than his mother. He could not recall what happened afterwards as he must have fainted. appellant Rene Santos is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua without possibility of parole. which was offered as a dying declaration or as part of the res gestae. with the passage of Republic Act No. 1980. SO ORDERED. The first incident was when Adelfa stabbed Jose on the right side of his body. the following shall be imposed: (a) the penalty of reclusion perpetua. otherwise known as the Indeterminate Sentence Law. saying he would collect it the following day.000. 4 His statements were corroborated by his 18-year old son. Instinctively. No. A grisly sight awaited the authorities who had come to investigate reports of a stabbing in the house of Jose and Adelfa Agripa at barangay Humapon in Legazpi City. he woke up his two brothers and rushed with them to their grandfather's house to seek his help. In lieu of the death penalty. 1992 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Because he refused to release his hold on his dead wife. He said that he had gone to sleep early that night but was awakened when he felt a stab wound in his stomach. Adelfa had sustained fifteen wounds and had expired due to shock and massive hemorrhage. "Why did you stab me?" He received no answer but soon enough a third thrust sliced through his left arm and pierced the right part of his chest. Pursuant to the same law. I want to die with her. He was convicted on July 18. or (b) the penalty of life imprisonment. This could have been the reason why Edwin observed his mother to be in a sullen mood that night. 9346 entitled "An Act Prohibiting The Imposition Of The Death Penalty In The Philippines. Q What do you think. His mother was in her usual angry mood. a member of the investigating team took down the following exchange between him and Jose. is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the award of moral damages is increased to P75.00 as civil indemnity and P25.C. he himself went to sleep while his mother continued folding clothes." the penalty that should be meted is reclusion perpetua.000. (As it turned out.000. No.00 as civil indemnity and P25. 1980. 2 The principal evidence presented against him at the trial was the abovequoted statement.However.000.00 as exemplary damages. who he said usually carried it on her person for cutting leaves to cover herself whenever it rained. will you die from your wounds? A No. Jose survived to face prosecution for parricide two months later. Jose was locked in a final embrace with his wife.000. however. his mother hanged him by the neck from a coconut tree with a piece of katsa cloth. accused-appellant. 1980. Q Was it really your intention to kill your wife? A Yes. and when he turned on his flashlight he saw his mother stabbing his father. "Why did you stab me?" 5 XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX G. who was present during the recorded conversation. Afraid to succor his father. however. 1980. He said he also had no recollection of the statement he supposedly made before he was brought to the hospital. he curled himself into a fetal position with his hands at the back of his neck and asked. the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 4103. 2. who testified that he was in the store of one Macedonio in the afternoon of April 29. which was turned over by Botin to the police at seven o' clock that same morning. On their way out. Q Who stabbed you? A I myself. the couple was rolled in a mat and rushed to the hospital.000. 3 The police had evidently neglected to look for it when they went to investigate. H.00 to P75.) . when the law violated makes use of the nomenclature of the penalties of the Revised Penal Code. Jose gave a different version of the killing of his wife. He covered the wound with his right hand but there was a second thrust that wounded him again almost in the same place. and was then told that his wife had tried to kill him. Salustiano Botin. and the second was when she hacked Jose's upper right arm. it was witnessed by the barangay captain. Also submitted as an exhibit was the 8-inch bolo-knife used in the killing. Jose himself had four wounds in his body and was hardly alive. On two occasions. The statement was not signed by Jose. He was awakened later by the sound of a scuffle. Edwin. JOSE AGRIPA. plaintiff-appellant. It was then that he grabbed the fist of his attacker and the two of them wrestled in the dark for possession of the weapon. He recalled that when he was in Grade I. That same morning. when he heard Adelfa say she would stab Jose if he came home without any money. thus: SEC. On Bermas's request. Q Who stabbed your wife? A I myself. He amplified his testimony with gestures. After studying his lessons. 01424 finding appellant Rene Santos guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape and odering him to indemnify the victim the amounts of P75. they heard his father say. and increases the Court of Appeals' award of moral damages from P50.R. He recovered consciousness there only on May 4. 72244 May 8. 1985.58 WHEREFORE. He could not see his assailant because it was dark. In his defense. Manuel Cardel. 7 The violent nature of Adelfa was affirmed by another witness. when the law violated does not make use of the nomenclature of the penalties of the Revised Penal Code.00 as exemplary damages. vs. the Court affirms the award of P75. Both incidents were reported to the barangay captain. All this occurred at about one o'clock in the morning of April 30.R. appellant shall not be eligible for parole under Act No. swinging his right arm downward in simulation of stabbing. Corporal Wilfredo Bermas. Q Why did you stab your wife? A Because of problems in the family.00 and that in lieu of the death penalty. Edwin identified the bolo-knife as belonging to his mother.00. who was already dead. On the floor awash with blood. He had received it from a neighbor of the couple who had picked it up at the scene of the killing.000. Jose did come home without his salary. In line with prevailing jurisprudence.
the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Vicente Lim in Canlubang. according to Article 11(1) of the Revised Penal Code. We note that when the authorities came upon the wounded couple. Jose was himself suffering from four stab wounds which could have cost him his life had he not been treated immediately. Some twenty (20) minutes later. PO3 Garcia lost no time in giving the pre-arranged signal to PO3 Leona. PO3 Garcia and the confidential informant waited for appellant at the entrance gate of Villa Antonio Subdivision in San Pablo City. and demanded the drugs. San Pablo City. as leader. than the wife he killed. Sec. The Court sees in this case a man dominated if not terrified by a wife given to cruelty and violence. Appellee. decided to kill her sleeping husband in the dark even as her children slumbered peacefully nearby. No. the accused above-named. Garcia as the poseur-buyer and PO3 Danilo Leona as the arresting officer. Forensic Chemical Officer of PNP Crime Laboratory. working quietly as a lowly laborer. SAIDAMEN MACATINGAG y NAMRI alias SAI. who fell upon him with intent to kill. asked PO3 Garcia about the money amounting to P52. also known as the "Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Julius Cesar V. did not know when to stop. He grabbed the knife from his maddened wife and struck wildly at his would-be killer. After discussing the buy-bust procedure including the pre-arranged signal which is the removal of PO3 Garcia’s cap. which was not the sufficient provocation required by the law. The accused-appellant was sound asleep when he was suddenly attacked by his wife. 9 As the Court sees it. more so. which. an unfortunate victim of tragic circumstances. WHEREFORE. are: a) unlawful aggression: b) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it. indeed. unlawfully and feloniously sell 25. Appellant.00 bills with the boodle money from his pocket. as well as two police officers.23 grams of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu). in the City of San Pablo. Laguna. Appellant thereafter pulled out from his pocket one plastic sachet and handed it to PO3 Garcia. Given the condition of his mind and body at the time the statement was made.4 On January 19. and PO3 Marino A. Jose was totally unprepared for the knife thrusts in his stomach and chest that posed an immediate threat and danger to his life. A Higher Tribunal shall judge Adelfa Agripa.5 in an Information6 that reads: That on or about January 17. PO3 Garcia marked the seized plastic sachet with markings "A" and "MAG" representing his initials. "evidence is admissible if it is relevant to the issue and is not excluded by the law or these rules. Villa Antonio. the appealed decision is REVERSED and accused-appellant Jose Agripa is ACQUITTED on the ground of self-defense. That was not the conduct of a rational man. and c) lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. significantly. But this Court need not wait a minute longer to absolve the accused-appellant. which moved him without fault to do what he did. PO3 Garcia was introduced to appellant as the prospective buyer." Credibility depends on the evaluation given to the evidence by the court in accordance with the guidelines provided in Rule 133 of the Rules of Court and the doctrines laid down by this Court. No costs. PO3 Leona thereupon hurriedly seized from appellant the marked money. Moreover. 2005 Decision2 of the Regional Trial Court of San Pablo. Upon arriving thereat about 11:30 o’clock in the morning of that day. it was correctly admitted as part of the res gestae. 2004. 14730SP(04). Jose Agripa is innocent. on the other hand.23 grams per Chemistry Report No. he loses the constitutional presumption of innocence and assumes the burden of proving.A. thinking only to save his life even as it drained from the wounds he had sustained. The act of hanging a small child by the neck from a coconut tree can hardly be called the manifestation of a normal psyche. finding appellant Saidamen Macatingag y Namri guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Violation of Section 5. it was not because he was a cruel and bloodthirsty killer. It is not unlikely that she was paranoid. But the mere fact that evidence is admissible does not necessarily mean that it is also credible. It is the order of this Court that he be released immediately.8 He maintained that he was at home with his wife on January 17.500. which affirmed in toto the June 16. without being authorized by law.7 Appellant pleaded not guilty to the offense charged. CONTRARY TO LAW. Immediately upon giving appellant the marked money. 01487. No. If it appeared later that he had wounded his wife no less than fifteen times. There is no stronger instinct than the instinct for survival. It was this woman who.Cardel also recalled one time when Adelfa ran after her husband with a bolo in her hand. animated only by his mortal fear of his unknown aggressor and moved like a wild beast by the elemental instinct for survival. it was not by inclination or design or with malice aforethought. 2009 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 2004. about 8:00 o’clock in the morning.3 the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) presents the prosecution’s version of the facts as follows: On January 17. The seized suspected sachet of shabu was shown positive for Methamphetamine Hydrochloride weighing 25. heeding the urgings of her twisted mind." In its Brief for the Appellee. Branch 32 in Criminal Case No. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX G. 2004 when four armed men .00. After making an inventory on the seized suspected shabu. He stabbed blindly. a dangerous drug. the justification for his act. Nevertheless. appellant arrived sporting black pants and dark gray t-shirt. 2004. Ablan. appellant was charged with Violation of Section 5. We feel that all these requisites are present and have been sufficiently established in the case at bar." who later turned out to be appellant. Tria. struggling as best he could to provide for his wife and children. and there was also that time he ran for dear life as she chased him with her trusty weapon. The testimony of a competent witness may be admissible if relevant but it is not for this reason alone believable. and the date and time of arrest. 3. He was merely a hapless pawn of fortune. with clear and convincing evidence. Jose Agripa was a peaceful law-abiding person with no known police record.R. vs. Jose's statement. He pursued the humble tenor of his life. Article II of Republic Act No. 9165. The team was composed of P/Sr. while admissible as part of the res gestae. 9165. Insp. The statement does not show that it was made by the declarant under the consciousness of impending death (although it is true that Jose was near death at that time). If suddenly he became a killer. and the preparation of two P500. D-54-04 issued by P/Insp. he did not sign. 10 The essential elements of self-defense. he had no choice but to defend himself against his unknown assailant and by the only means available to him. Jose refused to let go of his dead wife and was rolled up with her cadaver in a mat to be brought to the hospital. Jose could not be expected to think clearly and to willingly make the serious and damning confession now imputed to him. having been made soon after the startling occurrence of the multiple stabbing of Jose and Adelfa. The only reason was that he was fighting desperately for his very life and. did then and there willfully. Calamba City. For review is the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. she had hacked her husband with her bolo. The policemen thereafter brought appellant to their station in Canlubang. Lorna R. CR-HC No.R.00 bills initialed with "MAG. Calamba City formed a buy-bust team because of a report from a confidential informant about the drug pushing activities of a certain "Sai. while PO3 Garcia recovered the plastic sachet containing suspected shabu from appellant. Article II of R. Under this vicious attack. unless it be her frenetic anger over his failure to bring home his salary." the police authorities immediately proceeded to the target area at the vicinity of Phase I. According to Rule 128. Republic of the Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. It is quite obvious that he was not in full possession of his faculties when he made that statement. the police authorities requested for the laboratory examination thereof with the PNP Crime Laboratory. It is true that when the accused invokes the justifying circumstance of selfdefense. There was no provocation either. There was no warning at all of the deadly assault. is not credible evidence of his criminal liability. 181037 January 19. PO3 Garcia then pulled out an envelope containing the two P500. Twice before. 8 The trial court correctly rejected the above-quoted interrogation as a dying declaration because it did not comply with all the requirements of this particular exception to the hearsay rule. Appellant.
[sic] I was also introduced by the confidential informant as the buyer. the trial court rendered judgment convicting appellant of Violation of Section 5. accused is hereby sentenced to suffer a penalty of LIFE IMPRISONMENT and a fine of FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P500. to wit: A I myself together with confidential informant just walked. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. Canlubang. SO ORDERED. you were introduced as a buyer? A Yes.suddenly entered their house. On July 31. ma’am. that the arrest was pursuant to a buy-bust operation which is a valid form of entrapment of felons in the execution of their criminal plan. It disregarded the allegations of the defense that appellant was a victim of a frame-up and that he was not arrested pursuant to a valid buy-bust operation. and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.A. FISCAL LAGMAN Q And this suspect who was the seller. INTERPRETER Makikitayo. He also assails the validity of his arrest because the police officers were not armed with any warrant when he was arrested. placed handcuffs on his wrists. xxxx FISCAL LAGMAN Q So. Thereafter. which is amounting to P52.9 The trial court found that all the elements of the crime charged were present and proven beyond reasonable doubt by the evidence of the prosecution and the testimonies of the poseur-buyer and the arresting officer who are presumed to have performed their duties regularly. and until the apprehension of appellant.00). and forcibly brought him to the police headquarters in Bgy. to the time when appellant agreed to the sale. Q And then what happened? A I immediately pulled out 1 plastic sachet from his pocket and handed it over to me ma’am. he was introduced our confidential that as the poseur. Article II of R. categorically testified about the buybust operation – from the time he was introduced by the informant to appellant as the buyer of the shabu.13 These elements have been proven to be present in the instant case. after the introductions were made what happened? A The seller identified the money. to the actual exchange of the marked money and the heat-sealed sachet containing a white crystalline substance. Likewise as also the seller if it has a dangerous drugs. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS.10 The appellate court also gave more weight and credence to the testimonies of the members of the buy-bust team because they were not shown to have been impelled by ill-motives in testifying against appellant.A. it was introduced our confidential informant. No. ma’am. Article II of Republic Act 9165 also known as the "Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002". Finally.500. He averred that he was not allowed to talk with anybody when he was incarcerated for two days and that he was alone during the preliminary investigation. Hence. likewise I was also introduced as the seller. the Court of Appeals rendered the assailed Decision which affirmed in toto the ruling of the trial court. Q After you handed that money? A No. the object. 9165. ma’am we handed first to me the sachet and he demanded the payment of sachet. Q What did you do? A I immediately pull out from my pocket the envelope which is contained the 2 pieces of P500 bills and the bodol money as agreed amount of P52. San Pablo City. ma’am. 2005. Q One (1) plastic sachet was handed to you? A Yes. 2007. he assails the propriety of the chain of custody of the shabu allegedly seized from him due to the non-observation of Section 21. No. this petition. where he was formally charged with selling shabu. and to pay the costs. that appellant failed to assail the legality of the arrest and the seizure of the sachet of shabu prior to his arraignment or at any stage in the proceedings of the trial court. What is material to the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place.12 The elements necessary for the prosecution of illegal sale of drugs are (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller. anong pangalan mo? ACCUSED Saidamen Macatingag po. FISCAL LAGMAN Appellant avers that the trial court and the Court of Appeals gravely erred in giving undue credence to the testimonies of the police officers and in upholding the presumption of regularity in the performance of their official functions. Article II of R. and there being no mitigating circumstance. accused SAIDAMEN MACATINGAG Y NAMRI alias "SAI" is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Violation of Section 5. is he present in Court today? A Yes.500. ma’am.00. Q Would you kindly point to him? A The 6th man from the Steel Cabinet.11 Q You were waiting for the suspects at the entrance of Villa San Antonio and then what else transpired next? A After more or less 20 minutes of waiting ma’am we saw a man wearing a black pants and dark gray t-shirts arrived in our position. and consideration. PO3 Garcia who acted as the poseur-buyer. xxxx . seized his money. The custodian of the shabu subject of the case is hereby ordered to submit the same to the Dangerous Drugs Board for proper disposition within 48 hours from receipt of a copy of this judgment and the latter is given 48 hours from receipt of the same to submit an acknowledgment receipt to this Court to form part of the records of this case. as well as the area and waited the poseur at the agreed place situated at the vicinity of entrance of Villa Antonio. The appellate court held that the constitutional right of appellant against warrantless arrest and search was not violated.000. he was transferred to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in San Pablo City. Q Who are the supposed to be the buyer. ma’am. ma’am. coupled with the presentation in court of evidence of corpus delicti. and that the search conducted on appellant was incidental to a lawful arrest. 9165. The effects of the crime are ordered confiscated in favor of the government. On June 16.
having heard their testimonies and observed their deportment and manner of testifying during the trial. or speculative. what happened thereafter? A I saw a person came out from that way near the hollow blocks fence wearing black pants and green t-shirt and I saw they were talking with our confidential informant. therefore. sir because the confidential informant introduced Mr.20 It catches the violator in flagrante delicto and the police officers conducting the operation are not only authorized but duty- . the date and time of arrest included the month and year. and the sachet of shabu sold by appellant sufficiently proved the crime charged. There is. appellant’s denial must fail. I immediately executed the prearranged signal which is remove my cap. With regard to the validity of his arrest. Laguna together with confiscated pieces of evidence for proper disposition. It was not shown.14 PO3 Leona. the prosecution was able to establish that the substance recovered from appellant was indeed shabu. ma’am.19 Moreover. Q What markings did you place if any? A I put my exhibit A. would you kindly tell us if this is the one that you brought from Saidamen Macatingag? A Yes. Q You mean to say or to impress this court that Mr. arbitrary. Q I am showing to you exhibit F. after the arresting. The reason for this is that the trial court is in a better position to decide the credibility of witnesses.17 The testimonies of police officers Garcia and Leona. FISCAL COMILANG Q Now. Witness that the informant and Mr. Mr.16 It is a fundamental rule that findings of the trial courts which are factual in nature and which involve credibility are accorded respect when no glaring errors. gross misapprehension of facts. what did you tell him? A We informed him the constitutional rights.18 In view of these testimonies and evidence of the prosecution. from the site and likewise Marino Garcia and the informant and the fence near the site. my initials. is he in Court? A Yes. xxxx FISCAL COMILANG Q After you saw PO3 Marino Garcia removed his cap. evidence shows that appellant was the subject of a buy-bust operation. that said policemen were impelled by ill-motives to testify against him. where did you bring Saidamen? A We immediately brought him at our office at Camp Vicente Lim. It has been proven to be an effective way of unveiling the identities of drug dealers and of luring them out of obscurity. were you able to recover? A I recovered from the accused the money and it was SPO3 Marino Garcia who recovered the 25 grams of shabu conducted.15 Prosecutions involving illegal drugs depend largely on the credibility of the police officers who conducted the buy-bust operation. The Court has consistently stressed that denial. no basis to suspect the veracity of their testimonies. Garcia were together when they had a transaction with the accused? A Yes. thus: Q After you placed yourself 10 meters a way from the house. ma’am.FISCAL LAGMAN Q What happened after the exchanged of the money and plastic sachet? A After I gave him the buy bust money as agreed upon before we discovered as the bodol money. Moreover. Canlubang. after that. this accused. what did you do as a matter of procedure. would you be able to identify the plastic sachet if you will be shown to you? A Yes. appellant failed to adduce clear and convincing evidence to overturn the presumption that the arresting officers regularly performed their duties. The rule finds an even more stringent application where said findings are sustained by the Court of Appeals. is a weak defense that becomes even weaker in the face of positive identification of the accused by prosecution witnesses. Q While you were arresting this Saidamen. ma’am. In this jurisdiction. like alibi. xxxx Q So. Marino Garcia to the accused. PO2 Leona was able to recovered this custody control of bodol money. ma’am. Q After you removed your cap. sir. what did you do after that? A I went to the area to help PO3 Garcia. Witness after the confidential informant and the accused had a conversation what did if any transpired after this conversation? A After 30 minutes I saw the pre-arranged signal that this PO3 Marino Garcia will remove his cap. ma’am. by any satisfactory degree of proof. what happened? A I saw PO3 Leona arrived and assisted me.500. FISCAL COMILANG Q Could you see the person who just arrived and talked with your confidential informant on said occasion. Q You said that you were able to buy 1 plastic sachet of shabu that was supposed to be worth of P52. the conduct of a buybust operation is a common and accepted mode of apprehending those involved in illegal sale of prohibited or regulated drugs. xxxx Q Now after recovering that 2 P500 bills from the accused what will be. Q What if any did you find out after helping PO3 Marino Garcia? A I arrested Saidamen and I removed from him the 2 pieces of P500 the bodol money. and unsupported conclusions can be gathered from such findings. the back-up arresting officer during the buy-bust operation corroborated PO3 Garcia’s testimony. Q Could you please point to him if he is present? INTERPRETER Witness pointed to a person who gave us his name as Saidamen Macatingag.
sir. P03 Garcia testified that he marked the sachet of shabu with his initials. Forensic Chemical Officer Tria confirmed on the witness stand that she examined the specimen submitted by the PDEA and that she was the one who prepared the Chemistry Report No. This Court has held that non-compliance with Section 21. because I was with them. or proof that the evidence has been tampered with. 9165. sir. Q Mr. if there is non-compliance with said section. We see no reason to disturb the findings of the trial court that appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of illegal sale of a dangerous drug. the integrity of the evidence is presumed to be preserved unless there is a showing of bad faith. if any? A Yes. Del Monte. regardless of its . Article II of R. Q What proof that this document was actually received by the addressee? A There was a stamp marked of receipt. We do not find any provision or statement in said law or in any rule that will bring about the non-admissibility of the confiscated and/or seized drugs due to non-compliance with Section 21 of Republic Act No. 9165 will not render an accused’s arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible. could you please tell us what is the relationship of this item from that item allegedly taken by Marino Garcia from the accused on which marking was placed? A This is the item which is recovered from the accused. the initial of Marino Garcia. sir. evidence is admissible when it is relevant to the issue and is not excluded by the law or these rules. as defined and penalized in Section 5. why do you know that police officer Marino Garcia actually placed his initial on the said specimen or item? A Everytime that we conducted the buy bust. This is clearly provided for in the rules. and such request was received by the regional crime laboratory office. For evidence to be inadmissible. sir. this Court likewise finds no merit in appellant’s contention that the police officers failed to comply with the guidelines on the chain of custody and disposition of the seized sachet of shabu as provided in Section 21. must account for the alteration. Article II of R. xxxx Q Do you know if this document was actually received by the addressee? A Yes. do you know if Mr. No. Garcia placed any reference on the said article. the illegal sale of any dangerous drug. the evidence must be admitted subject only to the evidentiary weight that will accorded it by the courts.A. the seized sachet of shabu was immediately marked for proper identification and. Q What is MAG? A MAG referred to Marino A. No. Witness I will show you that item confiscated Marino Garcia from the accused on the alleged of the item. FISCAL COMILANG Q Since you have seen Mr. xxxx Q After the specimen and the accused were transferred to the investigator of Regional director what happened to the accused and the specimen? A The investigator prepared a paper for the filing of the…and prepared a letter request for the examination. Garcia. and the date and time of appellant’s arrest. it is our SOP to place the marking.bound to apprehend the violator and to search him for anything that may have been part of or used in the commission of the crime. that a letter of request for the examination of said sachet was made. Garcia placed his initial. Under said provision. as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. is not of admissibility. One example is that provided in Section 31 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court wherein a party producing a document as genuine which has been altered and appears to be altered after its execution.21 Finally. Witness. What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items. The weight to be given by the courts on said evidence depends on the circumstances obtaining in each case. Q I will show to you now the plastic sachet big plastic sachet which contained white crystalline substance. Q Mr. thereafter. Mr. Besides. in a part material to the question in dispute. Q Would you specify what are those documents prepared by the investigator as pre-requisite of filing of this case? A We prepared the letter request for the crime lab request for the accused we first report to the effect…did not suffer physical injury. could you identify it? A Yes. The appellant in this case has the burden to show that the evidence was tampered or meddled with to overcome a presumption of regularity in the handling of exhibits by public officers and a presumption that public officers properly discharge their duties.23 As can be gleaned from the foregoing. Witness the actual shabu was taken from the accused. Thus: Q Were you able to see that the shabu was actually was you said that recovered PO3 Marino Garcia from the accused? A Yes.A. ill will.A.25 Appellant failed to discharge such burden. Testimonies of prosecution witnesses convincingly state that the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized item was properly preserved by the apprehending officers.24 It is thus evident that the identity of the corpus delicti has been properly preserved and established by the prosecution. but of weight — evidentiary merit or probative value — to be given the evidence.27 it was held that: Under Section 3 of Rule 128 of the Rules of Court. His failure to do so shall make the document inadmissible in evidence. sir.28 All told. COURT Q Did you put your initial in the specimen? A I was only accompanied Marino Garcia in bringing to the crime lab. If there is no such law or rule. D54-04. forwarded to the Crime Laboratory for examination. Q What is that initial? A MAG.26 In People of the Philippines v. The Chemistry Report of the Regional Crime Laboratory Office stated that the specimen submitted by the apprehending officers indeed bore the marking "Exh A MAG 171200-01-14" and that the same gave positive result to the tests for the presence of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride. there should be a law or rule which forbids its reception. The issue therefore. Article II of R. 9165.22 PO3 Leona confirmed that he had seen PO3 Garcia mark the same sachet of shabu sold by appellant. 9165. No.
00 to P10. Zamora. 11. 2 XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX G.1 In affirming the questioned order of respondent judge. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. The relevant facts of the case are as follows: On 2 May 1990.23 grams of shabu. which in part reads: It is much too obvious that the petition will have to fail. properly correctible by appeal and not by certiorari. the instant appeal is DENIED.000. where the assailed interlocutory order is patently erroneous and the remedy of appeal would not afford adequate and expeditious relief.00 is hereby AFFIRMED. 11. on the same day. For illegally selling 25. the trial court admitted all of private respondent's offered evidence.00.000. 1 From this adverse judgment. CR-HC No.1 Although the questioned order is interlocutory in nature. Ortanez". WHEREFORE. vs. ORTANEZ. Petitioner submitted her Objection/Comment to private respondent's oral offer of evidence on 9 June 1992. The ruling on admissibility is interlocutory. The extraordinary writ of certiorari is generally not available to challenge an interlocutory order of a trial court.quantity and purity. Romeo F. Among the exhibits offered by private respondent were three (3) cassette tapes of alleged telephone conversations between petitioner and unidentified persons. Private respondent. the Court of Appeals rendered judgment which is the subject of the present petition. The complaint was docketed as Civil Case No. Zamora. 94. respondents. incorporating in said appeal the grounds for assailing the interlocutory order. Presiding Judge. On 10 June 1993. Ortanez filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City a complaint for annulment of marriage with damages against petitioner Teresita Salcedo-Ortanez.00. on grounds of lack of marriage license and/or psychological incapacity of the petitioner. This we cannot sanction. A motion for reconsideration from petitioner was denied on 23 June 1992.000. ROMEO F. If it is erroneous. sustaining the conviction of appellant Saidamen Macatingag y Namri for violation of Section 5. In affirming the questioned order of respondent judge. is hereby DISMISSED. correctly imposed the penalty of life imprisonment in accordance with Article 63 (2) of the Revised Penal Code29 and a fine of P500. neither does it impinge on jurisdiction. 9165. private respondent Rafael S. orally formally offered in evidence Exhibits "A" to "M". WHEREFORE. A petition for certiorari was then filed by petitioner in the Court of Appeals assailing the admission in evidence of the aforementioned cassette tapes.R. the ruling should be questioned in the appeal from the judgment on the merits and not through the special civil action of certiorari. Regional Trial Court of Quezon City and Rafael S. Q-90-5360 and raffled to Branch 94. 1994 TERESITA SALCEDO-ORTANEZ.000. SO ORDERED. Presiding Judge. the Court of Appeals has likewise rendered a decision in a way not in accord with law and with applicable decisions of the Supreme Court. 4 Rep. the trial court issued the assailed order admitting all of the evidence offered by private respondent. depending on how they are presented and offered and on how the trial judge The main issue to be resolved is whether or not the remedy of certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court was properly availed of by the petitioner in the Court of Appeals. after presenting his evidence. ZAMORA. the Court may allow certiorari as a mode of redress. Br. petitioner filed the present petition for review.R. stating: Grounds for Allowance of the Petition 10. 2007. The decision of respondent [Court of Appeals] has no basis in law nor previous decision of the Supreme Court. 10. No. the petition for certiorari being devoid of merit. for two basic reasons: (1) Tape recordings are not inadmissible per se. and imposing upon him the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of P500. This is a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court which seeks to reverse the decision * of respondent Court of Appeals in CA-G. been addressed and decided squarely by the Supreme Court. we will have the sorry spectacle of a case being subject of a counterproductive "ping-pong" to and from the appellate court as often as a trial court is perceived to have made an error in any of its rulings with respect to evidentiary matters in the course of trial. COURT OF APPEALS. and for other . 3 In the present case. Act No. the Court of Appeals has decided a question of substance not theretofore determined by the Supreme Court as the question of admissibility in evidence of tape recordings has not. However. petitioner. 110662 August 4. 4200 entitled "An Act to Prohibit and Penalize Wire Tapping and Other Related Violations of the Privacy of Communication.000. 01487 dated July 31. The proper remedy in such cases is an ordinary appeal from an adverse judgment. as sustained by the Court of Appeals. the trial court. Regional Trial Court of Quezon City and RAFAEL S. They and any other variant thereof can be admitted in evidence for certain purposes. 28545 entitled "Teresita Salcedo-Ortanez versus Hon. thus far. utilizes them in the interest of truth and fairness and the even handed administration of justice. HON. (2) A petition for certiorari is notoriously inappropriate to rectify a supposed error in admitting evidence adduced during trial. 94. and there being no modifying circumstance alleged in the Information. R. Br. The error. including tape recordings of telephone conversations of petitioner with unidentified persons. These tape recordings were made and obtained when private respondent allowed his friends from the military to wire tap his home telephone. is punishable by life imprisonment to death and a fine of P500. SP No. cannot be anymore than an error of law. Article II of Republic Act No. the same can still be [the] subject of a petition for certiorari. Otherwise. RTC of Quezon City presided over by respondent Judge Romeo F. assuming gratuitously that it exists.
"17 Petitioner Navarro replied: "Ah. as minimum. a scantily clad dancer appeared on stage and began to perform a strip act. The evidence show that. Navarro: Who is that abusing? XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX G. finding petitioner Felipe Navarro guilty beyond reasonable doubt of homicide and sentencing him to ten (10) years of prision mayor. Boy. Lingan fell on the floor. Philippines. He tried to get up. called petitioner Navarro to his office. .8 Afterwards. said to him: "Putang ina. or any information therein contained. and they asked Jalbuena and his companions to join them. in the City of Lucena. Jalbuena declined and went to the desk officer. kinakalaban mo si Kabo Liquin. R.000. or meaning of the same or any part thereof. together with one Mario Ilagan. The relevant provisions of Rep. si Ike Lingan and naghamon.23 Capt. or by using any other device or arrangement. with intent to kill. Stanley Jalbuena and Enrique "Ike" Lingan. anak yan ni Kabo Liquin. to report the incident."4 Sioco pushed Jalbuena towards the table as he warned the latter that he would kill him. di ilagay mo diyan"14 Petitioner Navarro retorted: "Talagang ilalagay ko. contents. by boxing the said Ike Lingan in the head with the butt of a gun and thereafter when the said victim fell. did then and there willfully. Branch 5. petitioner. Additionally. not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word. 1990. 4. 4200. ."15 The two then had a heated exchange. approached Jalbuena and demanded to know why he took a picture. WHEREFORE. 1999 FELIPE NAVARRO.00 to P50. In a while. purport. by banging his head against the concrete pavement. unlawfully and feloniously assault one Ike Lingan inside the Lucena police headquarters. It shall be unlawful for any person. Casañada. 1. or the existence. substance. The subject cassette tapes are declared inadmissible in evidence. 1990. with a security guard. hindi mo ba kilala?"9 Petitioner Navarro then pulled out his firearm and cocked it. while a policeman took Lingan to the Quezon Memorial Hospital.22 Jalbuena could not affix his signature. Enrique "Ike" Lingan. No. As she removed her brassieres."12 He then turned to Sgt. and (1) day of reclusion temporal. Coronado. Dante Liquin. His right hand was trembling and he simply wrote his name in print.00. blood flowing down his face. Liquin and Sioco arrived on a motorcycle. the floor manager.19 Petitioner Navarro turned to Jalbuena and said: "Kita mo yan ha. . SO ORDERED."21 He then poked his gun at the right temple of Jalbuena and made him sign his name on the blotter. arrived and. dated December 14. Alex Sioco. it should be mentioned that the above-mentioned Republic Act in Section 2 thereof imposes a penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) months and up to six (6) years for violation of said Act. to tap any wire or cable. but petitioner Navarro gave him a fist blow on the forehead which floored him. from P30. and. The information against petitioner alleged — That on or about the 4th day of February. obtained or secured by any person in violation of the preceding sections of this Act shall not be admissible in evidence in any judicial. who said: "O. to secretly overhear. respondents. in the nighttime. Clearly. involving the applicability of American jurisprudence. 1994. Three of the policeman on duty. 5 We need not address the other arguments raised by the parties. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. .25 The following is an excerpt from the tape recording: Lingan: Pare."11 Petitoner Navarro replied: "Walang press. he ran out of the joint followed by his companions."20 He said to Sgt. at around 8:40 in the evening of February 4.5 When Jalbuena saw that Sioco was about to pull out his gun. Act No. Jalbuena was able to record on tape the exchange between petitioner and the deceased. where authorities are supposed to be engaged in the discharge of their duties. 28545 is hereby SET ASIDE. which affirmed the judgment of the Regional Trial Court. or record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape-recorder.2 At that point. Lucena City. being then a member of the Lucena Integrated National Police.7 Sioco and Liquin were met by petitioner Navarro who talked with them in a corner for around fifteen minutes.6 Jalbuena and his companions went to the police station to report the matter.24 Unknown to petitioner Navarro. 121087 August 26. went to the Entertainment City following reports that it was showing the nude dancers.purposes" expressly makes such tape recordings inadmissible in evidence. including petitioner Navarro. Añonuevo. dated July 27. proceeded there. na si Ike Lingan ang naghamon. intercept. Lingan intervened and said to petitioner Navarro: "Huwag namang ganyan pumarito kami para magpa-blotter. Sec. But Lingan died from his injuries. The station manager of DWTI. Sgt. press.R. This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision1 of the Court of Appeals. buhay kang testigo. THE COURT OF APPEALS and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. petitioner Navarro turned to Jalbuena and. respondents trial court and Court of Appeals failed to consider the afore-quoted provisions of the law in admitting in evidence the cassette tapes in question. as maximum. 4200 are as follows: Sec.16 Finally. or however otherwise described. Province of Quezon. 1992. because this is my job. who were reporters of the radio station DWTI in Lucena City. the inadmissibility of the subject tapes is mandatory under Rep. pressing it on the face of Jalbuena. the station commander. legislative or administrative hearing or investigation.13 This angered Lingan. Any communication or spoken word. Lingan said: "Masyado kang abusado. pushing him to the wall. alisin mo yang baril mo at magsuntukan na lang tayo. you are abusing yourself. After the three had seated themselves at a table and ordered beer. uutasin na kita?"10 At this point. the said accused. as a consequence of which said Ike Lingan suffered cerebral concussion and shock which directly caused his death. SP No. quasi-judicial. Añonuevo and told him to make of record the behavior of Jalbuena and Lingan. Act No. and fourteen (14) years and eight (8) months.000. Absent a clear showing that both parties to the telephone conversations allowed the recording of the same. having arrived at the conclusion that the subject cassette tapes are inadmissible in evidence under Philippine law. learning that Lingan had been taken to the hospital. I am here to mediate. said "Ano. ganoon?"18 As Lingan was about turn away. mag-sampu pa kayo. vs. were having drinks in front of the police station. the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.3 Jalbuena replied: "Wala kang pakialam. but increased the death indemnity awarded to the heirs of the victim. Añonuevo: "Ilagay mo diyan sa blotter sa harap ni Alex Sioco at Dante Liquin. petitioner Navarro hit him with the handle of the pistol above the left eyebrow. Jalbuena brought out his camera and took a picture.
the same motivation that led him into assailing Jalbuena must have provoked him into also attacking Lingan who had interceded for Jalbuena and humiliated him and further challenged to a fist fight. Parang minomonopoly mo eh. hinamon ako. Testigo kayo. hinamon ako sa harap ni Stanley. No. ni Stanley. Okay. this court finds that the evidence for the prosecution is the more credible. hinamon ako. Wala ka namang masasabi sa akin dahil nag-tatrabaho lang ako ng ayon sa serbisyo ko. dalawa kami. appellant's explanation as how Lingan was injured is too tenuous and illogical to be accepted. Petitioner Navarro contends: (Sounds of a scuffle) Navarro: Hinamon ako nyan! Pare hinamon ako nyan! Pare hinamon ako nyan. Pulis tayo eh. . ilagay mo diyan. Do not say bad things against me. In fact. more particularly Stanley Jalbuena. First. Bakit kalaban nyo ang press? Navarro: Pulis ito! Aba! Lingan: Alisin mo ang baril mo! Alisin mo ang baril mo! Suntukan tayo. and tones of voice of a witness while testifying. between his left and right eyebrows. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS HAS DECIDED THE CASE NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW AND WITH THE APPLICABLE DECISIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT. the postmortem report issued by Dra. Ang kaso lang . and contusion in the right temporal region of the head (Exh. having a grudge against him. hinamon ako. Going over the evidence on record. AND ITS FINDING IS DEVOID OF SUPPORT IN THE RECORD. which the defense has virtually admitted. I'm the best media man. . Do not include me in the problem. 4200. Hence. the mere fact that Jalbuena was himself a victim of appellant's aggression does not impair the probative worth of his positive and logical account of the incident in question.). nature and location of Lingan's injuries as shown in the post-mortem report (Exh. Puta. Petitioner Navarro questions the credibility of the testimony of Jalbuena on the ground that he was a biased witness. Apparently. . Sige. Lingan suffered lacerated wounds in his left forehead. Do not fight with me. Eva Yamamoto confirms the detailed account given by Stanley Jalbuena on how Lingan sustained head injuries. . buti nga. Lingan: Pati ako kalaban ninyo. Lingan fell two times when he was outbalanced in the course of boxing the appellant. each time hitting his head on the concrete. petitioner Navarro has not shown that the trial court erred in according weight to the testimony of Jalbuena. In the first place. I'm the number one loko sa media.Lingan: I'm here to mediate. ABSURD OR IMPOSSIBLE. ITS FINDING IS CONTRADICTED BY EVIDENCE ON RECORD. appellant's unwarranted assault upon Jalbuena. lacked any motive to make false accusation. . kinig nyo ha.28 In the instant case. . xxx xxx xxx Navarro: Wala sa akin yan. pare. I just came here to ayusin things. Lingan: You are challenging me and him. the trial court stated: After a thorough and in-depth evaluation of the evidence adduced by the prosecution and the defense. but he (petitioner) was able to duck both times. ni Joe. Hinamon ako nyan. dalhin nyo sa hospital yan. It is in fact contradicted by the number. . Pare. these injuries could not have been resulted from Lingan's accidental fall. Huwag mong sabihin na . and we find the trial court's factual conclusions to have better and stronger evidentiary support.A.26 In giving credence to the evidence for the prosecution. which have the opportunity observe the facial expressions. Alisin ko daw ang baril ko. Petitioner Felipe Navarro claims that it was the deceased who tried to hit him twice. left eyebrow. Lingan: Kalaban mo ang media. xxx xxx xxx distort the truth. Pare. Navarro: Mayabang ka ah! On the other hand. The testimony of a witness who has an interest in the conviction of the accused is not. for this reason alone. It may be asked whether the tape is admissible in view of R. Certainly. are competent to determine whether his or her testimony should be given credence. The answer is in the affirmative. The law provides: . This court finds that the prosecution witnesses. Ako at si Stanley. testify falsehood or cause accusation of one who had neither brought him harm or injury. Navarro: Ay lalo na ako. THE INFERENCE IT MADE IS MANIFESTLY MISTAKEN. E. We have carefully evaluated the conflicting versions of the incident as presented by both parties. concrete and sufficient to create that moral certainty in the mind of the court that accused herein is criminally responsible. The appeal is without merit. Lahat. Navarro: Ay walastik ka naman Ike! Pag may problema ka dito sinasabihan kita na may balita tayong maganda. which prohibits wire tapping. hindi lang ikaw! Lingan: You are wrong. ITS CONCLUSION IS A FINDING BASED ON SPECULATION. According to the defense.27 Trial courts. far from proving his innocence. Sa harap ni Alex. The Court of Appeals affirmed: We are far from being convinced by appellant's aforesaid disquisition. SURMISE OR CONJECTURE. and that Lingan was so drunk he fell on the floor twice. . unreliable. IT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION. . I'm out of the problem. this appeal. clearly betrays his violent character or disposition and his capacity to harm others. testigo kayo. . gestures. Navarro: Talagang kalaban namin ang press. The defense's evidence which consists of outright denial could not under the circumstance overturn the strength of the prosecution's evidence. Hinamon ako nyan. Jalbuena's testimony is confirmed by the voice recording had made. Said post-mortem report together with the testimony of Jalbuena sufficiently belie the claim of the defense that the head injuries of deceased Lingan were caused by the latter's falling down on the concrete pavement head first. Navarro: Huwag tayong mag-lokohan sa ganyan! Huwag na tayong mag-takotan! Huwag mong sabihing loko ka! Lingan: I'm brave also. Tahimik lang naman ako. Indeed. And yet. D). sige. ITS JUDGMENT IS BASED ON A MISAPPREHENSION OF FACTS. suntok lang ang inabot nyan. Pambihira ka Ike.
with the latter getting the worst of it. Left = Cyanosis of the tips of fingers & toes Q Could a butt of a gun have caused it doctor? A The swelling is big so it could have not been caused by a butt of a gun because the butt of a gun is small. 4. It shall be unlawful for any person. Furthermore. sir. legislative or administrative hearing or investigation. and (2) that some form of violence occurred involving petitioner Navarro and Lingan. or to furnish transcriptions thereof. superficial. or any information therein contained obtained or secured by any person in violation of the preceding sections of this Act shall not be admissible in evidence in any judicial. sir. disc record. sir. 1990. Q How about this findings No. and (3) that the voices on the tape are those of the persons such are claimed to belong. to tap any wire or cable. will you explain it? A Cerebral concussion means in Tagalog "naalog ang utak" or jarring of the brain. FISCAL: In this same post mortem report and under the heading cause of death it states: Cause of Death: Cerebral concussion and Shock. sir. (2) that the tape played in the court was the one he recorded. the law prohibits the overhearing.33 A sufficient foundation was thus laid for the authentication of the tape presented by the prosecution.31 that the tape played in the court was the one he recorded. sir. which is oozing of blood from the forehead? A It may be due to a blow on the forehead or it bumped to a hard object. wire record. 3 cm x 2 cm. intercept. Dr. 2 cm in length. or to communicate the contents thereof. nose & mouth = Swelling. Q What could have been the cause of jarring of the brain? . contents. 2 doctor? WITNESS: It may be caused by bumping to a hard object. 1. 5 what could have caused it? A Same cause. sir. forehead & face = No blood oozed from the ears. sir. or copies thereof. be he a participant or not in the act or acts penalized in the next preceding sentence. cyanosis of tips of fingers and toes.32 and that the speakers on the tape were petitioner Navarro and Lingan. between the left & right eyebrow = Lacerated wound.29 Since the exchange between petitioner Navarro and Lingan was not private. Left = Lacerated wound. whether complete or partial. temporal region. or meaning of the same or any part thereof. containing the following findings: Post Mortem Findings: = Dried blood. or by using any other device or arrangement. Q Could a metal like a butt of a gun have caused this wound No. 4? A By a bump or contact of the body to a hard object. to secretly overhear. forehead. to any other person: Provided.30 In the instant case. substance. 2 cm in length. of any communication or spoken word secured either before or after the effective date of this Act in the manner prohibited by this law. to knowingly possess any tape record. Q And findings No. 0. or record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as dictaphone or dictagraph of dectectaphone or walkietalkie or tape-recorder. right = Lacerated wound. xxx xxx xxx CAUSE OF DEATH: = CEREBRAL CONCUSSION & SHOCK = BLOW ON THE HEAD Dr. purport. not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word.Sec. sir. or however otherwise described: It shall also be unlawful for any person. criminal investigation or trial of offenses mentioned in section 3 hereof. head. sir. Sec. could have it been caused by bumping on a concrete floor? A Possible.5 cm in length. or to replay the same for any other person or persons. Nor is there any question that it was duly authenticated. shall not be covered by this prohibition. issued the medical certificate. 1-2 in depth. who performed the autopsy on the body of Lingan. intercepting. Second. FISCAL: What could have been the cause of the contusion and swelling under your findings No. 1 cm in depth.34 dated February 5. lateral eyebrow. Yamamato testified: Q Give your opinion as to what was the possible cause of this findings number one. quasijudicial. or recording of private communications. The voice recording made by Jalbuena established: (1) that there was a heated exchange between petitioner Navarro and Lingan on the placing in the police blotter of an entry against him and Jalbuena. or any other such record. what could have caused it doctor? WITNESS: It indicates there was cardiac failure. its tape recording is not prohibited. That the use of such record or any copies thereof as evidence in any civil. Q And in the alternative. Eva Yamamoto. A voice recording is authenticated by the testimony of a witness (1) that he personally recorded the conversations. Any communication or spoken word. effect.? A It is possible. 6 what could have caused this wound? A Same thing sir. 1. Jalbuena testified that he personally made the voice recording. Thus. Q How about the last finding. Q This findings No. or the existence. either verbally or in writing.
sir. this mitigating circumstance should be taken into account xxx xxx in determining the penalty that should be imposed on petitioner Navarro.000. the aggravating circumstance of commission of a crime in a place where the public authorities are engaged in the discharge of their duties should be appreciated against petitioner Navarro. The allowance of this mitigating circumstance is consistent with the rule that criminal liability shall be incurred by any person committing a felony although the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended. i. to cause death? WITNESS: Shock. constituted sufficient provocation. capable of exciting. How about striking with a butt of a gun. as minimum. what could have caused it? A It was due to peripheral circulatory failure. a policeman. The frantic exclamations of petitioner Navarro after the scuffle that it was Lingan who provoked him shows that he had no intent to kill the latter. Q Could cerebral concussion alone have caused the death of the deceased? A May be.00 is in accordance with the current jurisprudence. Macaso. It is argued that the mitigating circumstances of sufficient provocation or threat on the part of the offended party immediately preceding the act should have been appreciated in favor of petitioner Navarro. sir.38 And it must immediately precede the act so much so that there is no interval between the provocation by the offended party and the commission of the crime by the accused. However. Provocation is defined to be any unjust or improper conduct or act of the offended party..40 we appreciated this mitigating circumstance in favor of the accused.00 to P50. petitioner Navarro should be sentenced to an indeterminate penalty. xxx FISCAL: Could a bumping or pushing of one's head against a concrete floor have caused shock? WITNESS: Possible. SO ORDERED. Q Could any one of both caused the death of the victim? A Yes. for which the penalty under Art. the penalty should be fixed in its minimum period.39 In the present case.e. Castro. Furthermore. which must accordingly be proportionate in gravity.36 The provocation must be sufficient and should immediately precede the act.35 The above testimony clearly supports the claim of Jalbuena that petitioner Navarro hit Lingan with the handle of his pistol above the left eyebrow and struck him on the forehead with his fist. 249 of the Revised Penal Code is reclusion temporal. Third.37 To be sufficient.44 Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law. Q Please explain further the meaning of the medical term shock? A It is caused by peripheral circulatory failure as I have said earlier sir. who shot a motorist after the latter had repeatedly taunted him with defiant words. sir. the decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED with the modification that petitioner Felipe Navarro is hereby SENTENCED to suffer a prison terms of 18 years of prision mayor.45 The indemnity as increased by the Court of Appeals from P30. the remarks of Lingan. as maximum. and the maximum of which is reclusion temporal in its minimum period. inciting or irritating anyone. which immediately preceded the act of petitioner. The offense in this case was committed right in the police station where policemen were discharging their public functions.000. As there were two mitigating circumstances and one aggravating circumstances. the mitigating circumstance that the offender had no intention to commit so grave a wrong as that committed should also be appreciated in favor of petitioner. the minimum of which is within the range of the penalty next lower degree. sir. sir.43 The crime committed as found by the trial court and the Court of Appeals was homicide.A It could have been caused by a blow of a hard object. this mitigating circumstance should be considered in favor of petitioner Navarro.46 WHEREFORE. sir. In People v. could it cause shock? A Possible. sir.42 the mitigating circumstance of lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong as that committed was appreciated in favor of the accused while finding him guilty of homicide. Hence. it must be adequate to excite a person to commit the wrong. Q What about the shock. . FISCAL: Which of these two more likely. to 14 years and 8 months of reclusion temporal.41 In People v. prision mayor. Thus.
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