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AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien PEOPLE VS. PASUDAG May 30, 2001 Pardo, J.
Facts: Alberto Pasudag was charged with violation of RA 6425, Sec. 9 and was found by the RTC guilty beyond reasonable doubt of illegal cultivation of marijuana. Here’s what happened: -SPO2 Calip went to conduct anti-jueteng operations. He urinated at a bushy bamboo fence behind the public school and saw a garden with marijuana plants in between corn plants and camote tops. He found out from a nearby storeowner that the garden was owned by the accused. -SPO2 Calip reported this the Chief of Police who dispatched a team to conduct an investigation. This team went to the house of the accused and asked him to bring them to the garden. -Upon seeing the marijuana plants, the policemen asked a photographer to take pictures of the accused with the plants. They uprooted 7 marijuana plants and brought the accused and the said plants to the police station. -At the police station, the accused admitted that he owned the marijuana plants. He did this in front of the Chief of Police. SPO3 Fajarito, a member of the investigation team, prepared a confiscation report which the accused signed. He then brought one of the uprooted plants to the laboratory for examination. The forensic chemist found the leaves positive for marijuana. -Accused was found guilty. -Accused-appellant contended that the trial court erred in finding that the marijuana plant submitted for laboratory examination was one of the seven (7) marijuana plants confiscated from his garden; that the trial court erred in concluding that the confiscation report was not an extrajudicial admission which required the intervention of his counsel; and in convicting him on the basis of inference that he planted, cultivated and cultured the seven (7) plants, owned the same or that he permitted others to cultivate the same ISSUES and HELD: 1. WON the marijuana plant may be admitted as evidence. –No. 2. WON the confiscation report was an extrajudicial confession which required the intervention of counsel. – Yes. RATIO: 1. -The procurement of a search warrant is required before a law enforcer may validly search or seize the person, house, papers or effects of any individual.22 The Constitution provides that "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, x x x."23 Any evidence obtained in violation of this provision is inadmissible.24 -The police authorities had ample opportunity to secure from the court a search warrant. SPO2 Pepito Calip inquired as to who owned the house.25 He was acquainted with marijuana plants and immediately recognized that some plants in the backyard of the house were marijuana plants.26 Time was not of the essence to uproot and confiscate the plants. They were three months old27 and there was no sufficient reason to believe that they would be uprooted on that same day. "The Court is not unmindful of the difficulties of law enforcement agencies in suppressing the illegal traffic of dangerous drugs. However, quick solutions of crimes and apprehension of malefactors do not justify a callous disregard of the Bill of Rights."30 We need not underscore that the protection against illegal search and seizure is constitutionally mandated and only under specific instances are searches allowed without warrants."31 "The mantle of protection extended by the Bill of Rights covers both innocent and guilty alike against any form of high handedness of law enforcers, regardless of the praise worthiness of their intentions." 2. -The arrest of accused-appellant was tainted with constitutional infirmity. The testimony of SPO3 Jovencio Fajarito34 reveals that appellant was not duly informed of his constitutional rights. He admitted that he did not inform the accused of his constitutional rights before asking him questions when he went to the house of the accused. He also said that the Chief of Police did not inform the accused of his constitutional rights as a person under custodial investigation before the interrogation. -No counsel assisted the accused-appellant in both the interrogation and the signing of the confiscation report. The accused was under custodial investigation when he signed the confiscation receipt. Custodial investigation commences when a person is taken into custody and is singled out as a suspect in the commission of a crime under investigation and the police officers begin to ask questions on the suspect's participation therein and which tend to elicit an admission. The accused-appellant was a suspect from the moment the police team went to his house and ordered the uprooting of the marijuana plants.
-The implied acquiescence to the search, if there was any, could not have been more that mere passive conformity given under intimidating or coercive circumstances and is thus considered no consent at all within the purview of the constitutional guarantee."40 Even if the confession or admission were "gospel truth", if it was made without assistance of counsel and without a valid waiver of such assistance, the confession is inadmissible in evidence.41
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WHEREFORE, the decision of the trial court is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accused-appellant ALBERTO PASUDAG y BOKANG is ACQUITED of the crime charged for lack of proof beyond reasonable doubt. The Director of Corrections is hereby directed to forthwith release accused-appellant unless he is held for another case, and to inform the Court of the action taken hereon within ten (10) days from notice.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien PEOPLE VS. ZUELA January 28, 2000 Pardo, J.
Facts: Tito Zuela, Maximo Velarde and Nelson Garcia were charged with “robbery with triple homicide”. They were arrested June, 1985. On March 26, 1987, all three accused were arraigned with the assistance of counsel and pleaded not guilty. Here’s what happened: The three accused allegedly robbed Maria Abendano and killed her, her son and her driver during a delivery of the palay she buys and sells. Romualda, Maria’s sister whose store was beside Maria’s, was the witness in this case. Romualda stated that she saw the three accused board the jeepney of Maria during a delivery. Gerardo, to whom the palay was going to be delivered, saw Maximo inside the jeepney during the delivery of the palay to his ricemill. The ff morning, the bodies of Maria, her son and her driver were found. According to Romualda, the 3 accused conceived the plan to hold-up Maria while drinking in front of Romualda’s store because Maximo needed money to go to Manila. Maximo was supposed to board the jeep while the two others would wait somewhere else to board the jeepney and hold-up Maria. The crime happened. (I think it’s no longer important how it happened) Junw 1, 1985 – Lt. Idian, assisted by 2 other policemen, arrested Maximo and brought him to the station with no warrant. He was investigated and was asked to give a written statement in front of Atty. Ocampo. June 4 and 9, 1985 – Tito and Nelson were taken into police custody without a warrant. They underwent suctodial investigation without the assistance of counsel because no lawyer could be found in their town. They stated in their confession, in their own handwriting, that they voluntarily gave their statements and that no one coerced them or promised them anything to admit responsibility for the crime. The three signed their individual statements in front of Judge Valencia Bagalacsa. She followed the same procedure and line of questioning, using the local dialect, in ascertaining the voluntariness of the confessions. She ordered Lt. Idian and his companions to leave her and the accused inside the chamber.21 Satisfied that they were properly apprised of their rights and that they voluntarily executed their statements, she had them sign their individual extrajudicial statements. The three accused interposed common defenses: denial and they were tortured and forced to make a confession. Tito and Nelson also claimed that they were not assisted by counsel when their confessions were taken. Maximo claimed that he went with Lt. Idian because he was told that his parents wanted to see him because his brother died. He was shown a picture of the cadaver. Along the way, he felt a hard object hit his head and he passed out. When he regained consciousness, he was already handcuffed. Pointing a gun, Lt. Idian told him that he could choose either to die or to sign the statement they preoared because his brother had wronged them. He was warned not to tell anyone that he was mauled. Two days later, in front of Lt. Idian, Atty. Ocampo and Pat. Refe, Atty Ocampo read a prepared statement. He refused to sign. He overheard that he was going to be made to sign in front of Atty. Ocampo. According to Maximo, he was kicked in the stomach and a gun was poked at him. He signed the statement out of fear. He was also made to sign another statement in front of Judge Valencia Bagalacsa. From the time he was arrested, he was never released. Nelson Garcia denied knowledge of the crime and claimed that he was mauled by Lt. Idian when his group went to Garcia’s house it invite him to the station. He was mauled again at the station and to prevent injury, he just signed the prepared statement. He also claimed that he was neither informed of the contents nor assisted by counsel. He was asked to copy in his own handwriting the prepared statement. He was never released from custody from the time he was arrested. Tito also claimed that he was arrested and was mauled in order to make him sign the prepared statement. He also claimed that he was neither informed of the contents nor assisted by counsel. ISSUE: WON the extra-judicial confession of the three accused may be admitted as evidence. - No. (but Maximo relayed it to Romualda who became a witness. So nagamit pa rin as romualda’s statement. Kk? Nasa medyo last part ng ratio.) RATIO: The right to counsel attaches the moment an investigating officer starts to ask questions to elicit information on the crime from the suspected offender. It is at this point that the law requires the assistance of counsel to avoid the pernicious practice of extorting forced or coerced admissions or confessions from the person
undergoing interrogation. In other words, "the moment there is a move or even urge of said investigators to elicit admissions or confessions or even plain information which may appear innocent or innocuous at the time, from said suspect, he should then and there be assisted by counsel, unless he waives the right, but the waiver shall be made in writing and in the presence of counsel. There was no evidence that Maximo executed a waiver of his right to counsel. In light of these facts, we are constrained to the rule that Maximo Velarde's extrajudicial statement is inadmissible in evidence. "An uncounselled extra-judicial confession without a valid waiver of the right to counsel — that is, in writing and in the presence of counsel — is inadmissible in evidence." The respective sworn statements of appellants Tito and Nelson were likewise inadmissible in evidence because they were executed without the assistance of counsel. Despite the fact that the reason for the absence of lawyer during the custodial investigation was the scarcity of lawyers in the area, the Court could not be lenient in this case. The absence or scarcity of lawyers in any given place is not a valid reason for defying the constitutional mandate on counseled confessions. It was not cured by the presence of Judge Bagalacsa. With regard to Maximo, he repeated the statements to Romualda who related these in court. That is admissible. Constitutional procedures on custodial investigation do not apply to a spontaneous statement, not elicited through questioning by the authorities, but given in an ordinary manner whereby appellant orally admitted having committed the crime. Romualda's testimony on accused-appellant Maximo's admission sealed not only the latter's fate but also that of appellants Tito and Nelson. The rule that an extrajudicial confession is binding only upon the confessant and is not admissible against his coaccused because the latter has no opportunity to cross-examine the confessant and therefore, as against him, the confession is hearsay,38 is not applicable here. What is involved here is an admission, not a confession. Wharton distinguished these terms as follows:
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A confession is an acknowledgment in express terms, by a party in a criminal case, of his guilt of the crime charged, while an admission is a statement by the accused, direct or implied, of facts pertinent to the issue and tending, in connection with proof of other facts, to prove his guilt. In other words, an admission is something less than a confession, and is but an acknowledgment of some fact or circumstance which in itself is insufficient to authorize a conviction and which tends only to establish the ultimate fact of guilt.39 Appellants Tito and Nelson were afforded the opportunity to cross-examine witness Romualda on accused-appellant Maximo's declaration. They could have questioned its veracity by presenting evidence in support of their defenses of denial and alibi so they could put to test Romualda's credibility. Having failed to do so, Romualda's testimony, which the trial court correctly considered as credible, stands unscathed. Such testimony, taken with circumstances duly established by the prosecution, point unerringly to accused-appellants' culpability. These circumstances are: (1) accusedappellants and the victims were all residents of Barcelonita, Cabusao, Camarines Sur, a small barangay where everyone knew everybody; (2) accused-appellants Tito and Nelson helped in the stores of the sisters Maria and Romualda a week before the incident; (3) Romualda saw the three accused-appellants as they boarded Maria's jeepney during its last palay delivery to Libmanan; (4) Gerardo Atienza saw accused-appellant Maximo with Maria's group during the jeepney's second delivery of palay; (5) Atienza saw accused-appellant Maximo riding in Maria's jeepney after the last delivery; (6) after the commission of the crime, accused-appellants Tito and Nelson no longer went to the store of Romualda; (7) accused-appellants never attended the wake of the victims, and (8) accused-appellant Maximo fled to Manila. Also, actions after the crime showed guilt. Other note: crime changed to robbery with homicide.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien PEOPLE VS. VALDEZ 2000
Facts: RTC found Valdez guilty of violating Section 9 of the Dangerous Drugs Act. Here’s what happened: -According to SPO3 Tipay, around 10:15 a.m. of September 24, 1996, he received a tip from an unnamed informer about the presence of a marijuana plantation, allegedly owned by appellant. The prohibited plants were allegedly planted close to appellant's hut. Police Inspector Alejandro R. Parungao then formed a reaction team from his operatives to verify the report.Inspector Parungao gave the team specific instructions to "uproot said marijuana plants and arrest the cultivator of same.” - The following day, said police team, accompanied by their informer, left for the site where the marijuana plants were allegedly being grown. The police found appellant alone in his nipa hut. They, then, proceeded to look around the area where appellant had his kaingin and saw seven (7) fivefoot high, flowering marijuana plants in two rows, approximately 25 meters from appellant's hut. PO2 Balut asked appellant who owned the prohibited plants and, according to Balut, the latter admitted that they were his. The police uprooted the seven marijuana plants. The police took photos of appellant standing beside the cannabis plants. Appellant was then arrested. -According to the appellant, he was weeding his vegetable farm in Sitio Bulan when he was called by a person whose identity he does not know. He was asked to go with the latter to "see something." This unknown person then brought appellant to the place where the marijuana plants were found, approximately 100 meters away from his nipa hut. Five armed policemen were present and they made him stand in front of the hemp plants. He was then asked if he knew anything about the marijuana growing there. When he denied any knowledge thereof, SPO2 Libunao poked a fist at him and told him to admit ownership of the plants. Appellant was so nervous and afraid that he admitted owning the marijuana. - At the police headquarters, appellant reiterated that he knew nothing about the marijuana plants seized by the police. ISSUE and HELD (not the one stated in the case but the one related to our topic): WON the admission of the accused that the plants were his was made under custodial investigation. – YES. (it is therefore inadmissible in evidence cos it was made without the assistance of counsel) RATIO: (take note of the accused’s rights. ) The moment the police try to elicit admissions or confessions or even plain information from a person suspected of having committed an offense, he should at that juncture be assisted by counsel, unless he waives the right in writing and in the presence of counsel. In the instant case we find that, from the start, a tipster had furnished the police appellant's name as well as the location of appellant's farm, where the marijuana plants were allegedly being grown. While the police operation was supposedly meant to merely "verify" said information, the police chief had likewise issued instructions to arrest appellant as a suspected marijuana cultivator. Thus, at the time the police talked to appellant in his farm, the latter was already under investigation as a suspect. The questioning by the police was no longer a general inquiry. In trying to elicit information from appellant, the police was already investigating appellant as a suspect. At this point, he was already under custodial investigation and had a right to counsel even if he had not yet been arrested. Custodial investigation is "questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way." As a suspect, two armed policemen interrogated appellant. Behind his inquisitors were a barangay peace officer and three other armed policemen. All had been dispatched to arrest him. From these circumstances, we may infer that appellant had already been deprived of his freedom of action in a significant way, even before the actual arrest. Note that even before he was arrested, the police made him incriminatingly pose for photos in front of the marijuana plants. (take note of requirements for admissibility)
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien PEOPLE VS. RODRIGUEZ October 2, 2000 Quisumbing, J.
Facts: Rodriguez and his co-accused were charged with murder. -They were being implicated in the killing of Matias whose body was found at the Far East Bank and Trust Company which was on the same building where they were working as construction workers. -SPO3 Jamoralin conducted a follow-up investigation. Accompanied the security guard, he went to the construction site where he found Rodriquez packing his belongings. He saw a pair of jeans with red stains on Rico’s bed. He also saw red stains on Roriguez’s shirt. Rodiguez said that he had a wound on his neck, but when checked, there was none. -Rodriguez was then arrested and brought to the station for interrogation. -Assisted by Atty. Lao, Rodriguez executed a sworn statement confessing that he and appellant Rico, together with one Rading Mendoza and two other men, killed Matias. -They were charged with Robbery with Homicide. -On the stand, Rodriguez denied participation in the killing and claimed that he was mauled by the policemen to confess the crime. -Rico, testified that the policemen merely placed him outside the room where Rodriguez was being interrogated, and that the police did not take any statement from him. Appellant also denied owning the maong pants which the police said were taken from his bed. ISSUE and HELD: whether the extrajudicial confession of accused Rodriguez is admissible not only against him but also against appellant – no. confession is constitutionally flawed. It cannot be used against them at all. Ratio: Fundamental requisites for the admissibility of a confession: 1) the confession must be voluntary; (2) the confession must be made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel; (3) the confession must be express; and (4) the confession must be in writing. The second requisite is lacking. They were detained for four days. It was only on the fourth day of detention that Atty. Lao was called, when the confession was going to be put into writing. Under the factual milieu, the moment accused and appellant were arrested and brought to the police station, they were already under custodial investigation. In the case of People v. Bolanos, we held that an accused who is on board the police vehicle on the way to the police station is already under custodial investigation, and should therefore be accorded his rights under the Constitution. In this case, the teaching of Bolanos clearly went unheeded. Rights of a person under custodial investigation (section 12, Article III of the Constitution) Custodial investigation refers to the critical pre-trial stage when the investigation is no longer a general inquiry into an unsolved crime but has begun to focus on a particular person as a suspect. When Rodriguez and appellant were arrested by the police in the afternoon of October 11, 1991, they were already the suspects in the slaying of the security guard, Ramon Matias, and should have been afforded the rights guaranteed by Article III, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution, particularly the right to counsel. The records do not show that Rodriguez and appellant, at the time of their arrest in the afternoon of October 11, 1991, were informed of the well-known Miranda rights. Worse, they were not provided with competent and independent counsel during the custodial investigation prior to the execution of the extrajudicial confession. Operative act: when the police investigation is no longer a general inquiry into an unsolved crime but has begun to focus on a particular suspect who has been taken into custody by the police to carry out a process of interrogation that lends itself to eliciting incriminatory statements, and not the signing by the suspect of his supposed extrajudicial confession Purpose of right to counsel (just in case…): The purpose of providing counsel to a person under custodial investigation is to curb the uncivilized practice of extracting confession even by the slightest coercion as would lead the accused to admit something false. What is sought to be avoided is the “evil of extorting from the very mouth of the person undergoing interrogation for the commission of an offense, the very evidence with which to prosecute and thereafter convict him.” These constitutional guarantees have been made available to protect him from the inherently coercive psychological, if not physical, atmosphere of such investigation. As to appellant,
he trial court convicted him on the basis of two pieces of circumstantial evidence which show conspiracy: (1) the extrajudicial confession of accused implicating him as one of the perpetrators and (2) the fact that the maong pants allegedly belonging to appellant was found positive of type O blood. The former being inadmissible and the latter
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being of no probative value since the blood type of appellant and the victim were not taken for purposes of comparison, there remains nothing to support appellant’s conviction.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien PEOPLE VS. MULETA Juner 25, 1999 Panganiban, J.
Rights during custodial investigation: (1) to remain silent, (2) to have an independent and competent counsel, (3) to be provided with such counsel, if unable to secure one, (4) to be assisted by one in case of waiver, which should be in writing, of the foregoing; and (5) to be informed of all such rights and of the fact that anything he says can and will be used against him Facts: Muleta was found guilty of the crime of rape with homicide by the RTC. Here’s what happened: According to the prosecution: -April 30, 1993 - Charito Delgado was raped. Her body was found naked, tied to a post with a pair of jeans. Her hands were tied with a bra. She was appellant’s niece. -Based on the investigation, appellant left his work at 9:30 on April 29, 1993 at 9:30 in the evening and reported for work on April 30, 1993 at 8pm. -On September 19, 1993, Tolentino went to appellant's house in Oriental Mindoro and requested appellant to go with him to the NBI, Manila for investigation. Appellant readily obliged. Danilo Delgado, Charito's paternal uncle, accompanied Tolentino and appellant to Manila. -During his custodial investigation on September 19, 1993, appellant was assisted by counsel, Atty. Deborah Daquis. -Another prosecution witness, Danilo Delgado, testified that during the wake of Charito Delgado on May 13, 1993 in Valenzuela, Metro Manila, appellant became hysterical, crying, shaking his head and muttering: "Patawarin mo ako Charito, ikaw kasi lumaban pa, nakakahiya, mabuti pang mamatay na". Delgado saw appellant drink a bottle of "chlorux", after which he fell to the ground. Appellant was brought to the Fatima Hospital. Version of the defense: -Muleta denied responsibility of the crime and claimed that he was just unscrupulously picked up by the NBI and forced to admit the crime. -He also stated that when he found out his niece was missing, he reported the matter to the police authorities. -He said that he was picked up by the NBI at Banos Gloria, Oriental Mindoro; that he was brought at Taft Avenue; that he was tortured; that aside from boxing and kicking him, [they] brought [him] to a secluded place; that he was blindfolded; that he was told to lie down on his back, his feet were tied and water was poured on his nose; that he was forced to sign a document which he was not able to read, that he was forced to sign the document because he [could] no longer bear the torture; that he did not have a lawyer at that time. -RTC found the accused guilty based in circumstantial evidence and upheld the validity of the extrajudicial confession. According to the RTC, the rule that the presumption that the confession was given voluntarily has not been overcome. The RTC also pointed out that the accused was assisted by Atty. Daquis who even signed the the statement. The accused did not present any evidence that he was tortured – no eyewitness, no medical certificate. ISSUE and HELD: WON the extrajudicial confession of appellant is admissible. – No. WON the remaining circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution is sorely insufficient to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. RATIO: To be acceptable, extrajudicial confessions must conform to constitutional requirements. A confession is not valid and not admissible in evidence when it is obtained in violation of any of the following rights of persons under custodial investigation: to remain silent, to have independent and competent counsel preferably of their own choice, to be provided with counsel if they are unable to secure one, to be assisted by such counsel during the investigation, to have such counsel present when they decide to waive these rights, and to be informed of all these rights and of the fact that anything they say can and will be used against them in court. Flagrantly violated in the present case were the appellant's right to be informed of his rights under custodial investigation, his right to counsel, as well as his right to have said counsel present during the waiver of his rights under custodial investigation. The questions propounded to the appellant did not satisfy the strict requirements mandated by the Constitution. 21 Such "terse and perfunctory statements" 22 implied a superficial reading of the rights of the accused, without the slightest consideration of whether he understood what was read to him. This Court will not subscribe to such manner of "informing" the accused of his constitutional rights. We note that the heading of the sworn statement refers to the same date: September 19, 1993. It is thus daylight clear that the purported sworn statement of the appellant was prepared prior to the arrival of his NBIprocured counsel. 29 In other words, the sworn statement was executed and completed on September 19, 1993, while Atty. Daquiz arrived only the following day,
September 20, 1993. Thus, when the appellant executed and completed his purported extrajudicial confession on September 19, 1993, he was not assisted by counsel. We have constitutionalized the right to counsel because of our hostility against the use of duress and other undue influence in extracting confessions from a suspect. Force and fraud tarnish confessions and render them inadmissible." This Court has consistently held, without equivocation, that no custodial investigation shall be conducted unless it is done in the presence of counsel. 31 The failure of the prosecution 32 to present Atty. Daquiz to testify on the validity of the confession substantiates the conclusion that the sworn statement is constitutionally suspect and invalid. In relation to this, we stress that the right to counsel refers to competent and independent lawyers preferably chosen by the accused persons themselves. 33 This Court, as well as the court a quo, did not have the opportunity to determine the competence and the independence of the NBI-procured lawyer because, despite the denial of the accused that he was assisted by counsel, the prosecution failed to present Atty. Daquiz. The illegality of the alleged confession is further demonstrated by the fact that appellant exercised no satisfactory waiver of his rights. As stated in our earlier discussions, since he was not assisted by a lawyer when the waiver was made, there was no valid waiver to speak of. Furthermore, even if we were to assume that the appellant was assisted by counsel when he waived his lights, the waiver itself was lamentably insufficient. After Atty. Daquiz was allegedly called to assist the appellant, she posited this question: "Gusto mo bang talikdan ang iyong mga karapatan na ibinibigay sa iyo ng ating
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Konstitusyon?" To this appellant replied: "Tinatalikdan ko na po iyon dahil gusto ko nang ipagtapat ang pangyayari kay CHARITO DELGADO na pamangkin ko." To the Court, this was not the waiver that the Constitution clearly and strictly required. Such waiver failed to show his understanding of his rights, his waiver of those rights, and the implications of his waiver. The waiver, in order to be valid, should have been in a language that clearly manifested his desire to do so. 39 The part of the sworn statement in which the accused "waived" his rights referred to them as "mga karapatan na ibinigay sa iyo ng ating Konstitusyon" and "iyon" — words that were utterly vague and insufficient to satisfy the Constitutional requirements. Moreover, Atty. Daquiz raised only one question: whether appellant would like to waive his rights. This was odd, because she had been called to assist appellant in making his confession, not his waiver. Atty. Daquiz made no effort to determine whether the accused was treated well, or the understood his rights. Such perfunctory, even cavalier, attempt falls short of constitutional requirements. On the other issue: In this case, the circumstantial evidence presented acquires significance only when taken together with the appellant's confession. The pattern of the tapestry, which the prosecution would want us to see, is bound by only a single thread — the confession of the appellant. Due to constitutional infirmity, that one strand has been cut, and thus the pattern disintegrates. The tapestry becomes an unreadable puzzle. MULETA ACQUITTED.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien People v. Tan
FACTS Herson Tan, along with Lito Amido, were charged with the crime of highway robbery with murder before the Regional Trial Court. Tricycle driver Freddie Saavedra went to see his wife, Delfa at Our Lady of Angels Academy to inform her that he will drive Tan and Amdio to Barangay Maligaya. It was the last time that Freddie was seen alive. When Freddie failed to return that evening, Delfa inquired on his whereabouts. In the course of such inquiry a certain Villarama revealed that the body of Freddie was discovered on the diversion road at Barangay Malinao. They proceeded to the said place and found the Freddie’s body with 14 stab wounds. Relying on the information that an abandoned sidecar of a tricycle was seen at Brg. Malinao, members of the PNP proceeded to the scene and recovered a blue sidecar. Subsequently, Lt. Santos, Cpl. Aguilar and Pat. Alandy invited Tan in connection with the instant case and with respect to 2 other robbery cases reported in Lucena City. During their conversation, Tan allegedly gave an explicit account of what actually transpired. He narrated that he and Amido were responsible for the loss of the motorcycle and death of Freddie. He averred that they sold the motorcycle to a certain Teves of Muntinlupa for P4,000. With the help of Tan, Lucena PNP dispatched a team to retrieve the motorcycle. Teves admitted that he purchase the motorcycle from Tan and Amido and failed to present any document evidencing the purported sale. He voluntarily surrendered the motorcycle to the police. Testimony of Lt. Carlo: when he invited tan to their HQ, he had no warrant for his arrest. In the course thereof, he informed Tan that he was a suspect, not only in the instant case but also in 2 other robbery cases allegedly committed in Lucena. In the belief that they were merely conversing inside the police station, he admitted that he did not inform Tan of his constitutional rights to remain silent and to the assistance of counsel; nor did he reduce the supposed confession to writing. Tan alleged that he had no participation in the offense charged and contended that his only involvement in the matter as the referral of Amido to Teves. He narrated that Amido sought him and told him that the motorcycle he was riding on was being offered for sale. Upon proof shown that it was indeed registered under Amido’s name, he accompanied Amido to Manila on board the motorcycle and they approached Carandang. Carandang brought to Teves with whom the sale was finally consummated. He allegedly received P150 as his commission. Amido presented alibi as his defense: He is also a tricycle driver and he was at Brgy. Malusak(some 7
286 SCRA 207 Romero, J; February 11, 1998
km. from the town) on the day in question, busy assisting in the renovation of his mother’s house. He narrated that the victim was his friend, and therefore he could not have participated in the gruesome death of the latter. RCT found Tan guilty of the crime of Highway Robbery with Murder and sentenced him to suffer an imprisonment of reclusion perpetua. Due to insufficiency of evidence, Amido was acquitted. Tan assails the finding of conviction despite the failure of the prosecution to positively identify him as the culprit of the crime and to present clear and convincing circumstantial evidence that would overcome his innocence.
ISSUE WON the supposed confession taken from the conversion of Lt. Carlo and Tan is admissible as evidence. HELD: NO The Constitution abhors an uncounselled confession or admission and whatever information is derived therefrom shall be regarded as inadmissible evidence against the confessant. Art. III, Sec, 12, par (1) and (3) provides: (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. (2) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible against him.” RA No. 7438 defines custodial investigation: “‘custodial investigation’ shall include the practice of issuing an ‘invitation’ to a person who is investigated in connection with an offense he is suspected to have committed, without prejudice to the liability of the ‘inviting’ officer for any violation of law.” Custodial investigation involves any questioning initiated by law enforcement authorities after a person is taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant manner. The rules on custodial investigation begin to operate as soon as the investigation ceases to be a general inquiry into an unsolved crime and begins to focus a particular suspect, the suspect is taken into custody, and the police carries out a process of interrogations that tends itself to eliciting incriminating statements that the rule begins to operate.
Furthermore, not only does the fundamental law impose, as a requisite function of the investigating officer, the duty to explain those rights to the accused but also that there must correspondingly be a meaningful communication to and understanding thereof by the accused. A mere perfunctory reading by the constable of such rights to the accused would thus not suffice. A confession to be admissible must satisfy the following requirements: (1) it must be voluntary; (2) it must be made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel; (3) it must be express; and (4) it must be in writing. While the Constitution sanctions the waiver of the right to counsel, it must, however, be “voluntary, knowing and intelligent, and must be made in the presence and with the assistance of counsel.” Even if the confession contains a grain of truth, if it was made without the assistance of counsel, it becomes inadmissible in evidence, regardless of the
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absence of coercion or even if it had been voluntarily given. The records of this case do not indicate that appellant was assisted by counsel when he made such waiver, The evidence for the prosecution shows that when Tan was invited for questioning at the police headquarters, he allegedly admitted his participation in the crime. This will not suffice to convict him, however, of said crime. The constitutional rights of Tan, particularly the right to remain silent and to counsel, are impregnable from the moment he is investigated in connection with an offense he is suspected to have committed, even if the same be initiated by mere invitation. What remains of the evidence for the prosecution is inadequate to warrant a conviction.
DISPOSITION Decision of the RTC is REVERSED and SET ASIE. Tan is ACQUITTED of the crime charged.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien Miranda v. Arizona
FACTS In each of these cases, the defendant, while in police custody, was questioned by police officers, detectives, or a prosecuting attorney in a room in which he was cut off from the outside world. None of the defendants was given a full and effective warning of his rights at the outset of the interrogation process. In all four cases, the questioning elicited oral admissions, and, in three of them, signed statements as well, which were admitted at their trials. All defendants were convicted, and all convictions, except in No. 584, were affirmed on appeal. No. 759. Miranda v. Arizona Ernesto Miranda, was arrested at his home and taken in custody to a Phoenix police station. He was there identified by the complaining witness. The police then took him to "Interrogation Room No. 2" of the detective bureau. There he was questioned by two police officers. The officers admitted at trial that Miranda was not advised that he had a right to have an attorney present. Two hours later, the officers emerged from the interrogation room with a written confession signed by Miranda. At the top of the statement was a typed paragraph stating that the confession was made voluntarily, without threats or promises of immunity and "with full knowledge of my legal rights, understanding any statement I make may be used against me." At his trial before a jury, the written confession was admitted into evidence over the objection of defense counsel, and the officers testified to the prior oral confession made by Miranda during the interrogation. Miranda was found guilty of kidnapping and rape. He was sentenced to 20 to 30 years' imprisonment on each count, the sentences to run concurrently. On appeal, the Supreme Court of Arizona held that Miranda's constitutional rights were not violated in obtaining the confession, and affirmed the conviction. In reaching its decision, the court emphasized heavily the fact that Miranda did not specifically request counsel. No. 760. Vignera v. New York Michael Vignera, was picked up by New York police, in connection with the robbery three days earlier of a Brooklyn dress shop. They took him to the 17th Detective Squad headquarters in Manhattan. Sometime thereafter, he was taken to the 66th Detective Squad. There a detective questioned Vignera with respect to the robbery. Vignera orally admitted the robbery to the detective. The detective was asked on crossexamination at trial by defense counsel whether Vignera was warned of his right to counsel before
384 U.S. 436 Warren; June 13, 1966
being interrogated. The prosecution objected to the question, and the trial judge sustained the objection. Thus, the defense was precluded from making any showing that warnings had not been given. While at the 66th Detective Squad, Vignera was identified by the store owner and a saleslady as the man who robbed the dress shop. At about 3 p.m., he was formally arrested. The police then transported him to still another station, the 70th Precinct in Brooklyn, "for detention." At 11 p.m., Vignera was questioned by an assistant district attorney in the presence of a hearing reporter, who transcribed the questions and Vignera's answers. This verbatim account of these proceedings contains no statement of any warnings given by the assistant district attorney. At Vignera's trial on a charge of first degree robbery, the detective testified as to the oral confession. The transcription of the statement taken was also introduced in evidence. At the conclusion of the testimony, the trial judge charged the jury in part as follows: "The law doesn't say that the confession is void or invalidated because the police officer didn't advise the defendant as to his rights. Did you hear what I said? I am telling you what the law of the State of New York is." Vignera was found guilty of first degree robbery. He was subsequently adjudged a third-felony offender and sentenced to 30 to 60 years' imprisonment. The conviction was affirmed without opinion by the Appellate Division, Second Department and by the Court of Appeals No. 761. Westover v. United States At approximately 9:45 p.m. Carl Calvin Westover, was arrested by local police in Kansas City as a suspect in two Kansas City robberies. A report was also received from the FBI that he was wanted on a felony charge in California. The local authorities took him to a police station and placed him in a line-up on the local charges, and, at about 11:45 p.m., he was booked. Kansas City police interrogated Westover on the night of his arrest. He denied any knowledge of criminal activities. The next day, local officers interrogated him again throughout the morning. Shortly before noon, they informed the FBI that they were through interrogating Westover and that the FBI could proceed to interrogate him. There is nothing in the record to indicate that Westover was ever given any warning as to his rights by local police. At noon, three special agents of the FBI continued the interrogation in a private interview room of the Kansas City Police Department, this time with respect to the robbery of a savings and loan
association and bank in Sacramento, California. After two or two and one-half hours, Westover signed separate confessions to each of these two robberies which had been prepared by one of the agents during the interrogation. At trial, one of the agents testified, and a paragraph on each of the statements states, that the agents advised Westover that he did not have to make a statement, that any statement he made could be used against him, and that he had the right to see an attorney. Westover was tried by a jury in federal court and convicted of the California robberies. His statements were introduced at trial. He was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment on each count, the sentences to run consecutively. On appeal, the conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit No. 584. California v. Stewart In the course of investigating a series of pursesnatch robberies in which one of the victims had died of injuries inflicted by her assailant, respondent, Roy Allen Stewart, was pointed out to Los Angeles police as the endorser of dividend checks taken in one of the robberies. At about 7:15 p.m., police officers went to Stewart's house and arrested him. One of the officers asked Stewart if they could search the house, to which he replied, "Go ahead." The search turned up various items taken from the five robbery victims. At the time of Stewart's arrest, police also arrested Stewart's wife and three other persons who were visiting him. These four were jailed along with Stewart, and were interrogated. Stewart was taken to the University Station of the Los Angeles Police Department, where he was placed in a cell. During the next five days, police interrogated Stewart on nine different occasions. Except during the first interrogation session, when he was confronted with an accusing witness, Stewart was isolated with his interrogators. During the ninth interrogation session, Stewart admitted that he had robbed the deceased and stated that he had not meant to hurt her. Police then brought Stewart before a magistrate for the first time. Since there was no evidence to connect them with any crime, the police then released the other four persons arrested with him. Nothing in the record specifically indicates whether Stewart was or was not advised of his right to remain silent or his right to counsel. In a number of instances, however, the interrogating officers were asked to recount everything that was said during the interrogations. None indicated that Stewart was ever advised of his rights. Stewart was charged with kidnapping to commit robbery, rape, and murder. At his trial, transcripts of the first interrogation and the confession at the last interrogation were introduced in evidence.
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The jury found Stewart guilty of robbery and first degree murder, and fixed the penalty as death. On appeal, the Supreme Court of California reversed. It held that, under this Court's decision in Escobedo, Stewart should have been advised of his right to remain silent and of his right to counsel, and that it would not presume in the face of a silent record that the police advised Stewart of his rights. ISSUE Whether the statements obtained from a defendant questioned while in custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way are admissible as evidence. HELD: NO The prosecution may not use statements, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way, unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the Fifth Amendment's privilege against self-incrimination. The atmosphere and environment of incommunicado interrogation as it exists today is inherently intimidating, and works to undermine the privilege against self-incrimination. Unless adequate preventive measures are taken to dispel the compulsion inherent in custodial surroundings, no statement obtained from the defendant can truly be the product of his free choice. - To be alone with the subject is essential to prevent distraction and to deprive him of any outside support. The aura of confidence in his guilt undermines his will to resist. He merely confirms the preconceived story the police seek to have him describe. Patience and persistence, at times relentless questioning, are employed. To obtain a confession, the interrogator must "patiently maneuver himself or his quarry into a position from which the desired objective may be attained." When normal procedures fail to produce the needed result, the police may resort to deceptive stratagems such as giving false legal advice. It is important to keep the subject off balance, for example, by trading on his insecurity about himself or his surroundings. The police then persuade, trick, or cajole him out of exercising his constitutional rights. The privilege against self-incrimination, which has had a long and expansive historical development 1, is the
The critical historical event shedding light on its origins and evolution was the trial of one John Lilburn, a vocal anti-Stuart Leveller, who was made to take the Star Chamber Oath in 1637. The oath would have bound him to answer to all questions posed to him on any subject. He resisted the oath
essential mainstay of our adversary system, and guarantees to the individual the "right to remain silent unless he chooses to speak in the unfettered exercise of his own will," during a period of custodial interrogation as well as in the courts or during the course of other official investigations. The decision in Escobedo v. Illinois, stressed the need for protective devices to make the process of police interrogation conform to the dictates of the privilege In the absence of other effective measures, the following procedures to safeguard the Fifth Amendment privilege must be observed: (1) the person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he has the right to remain silent, and that anything he says will be used against him in court: o This warning is needed in order to make him aware not only of the privilege, but also of the consequences of forgoing it. It is only through an awareness of these consequences that there can be any assurance of real understanding and intelligent exercise of the privilege. Moreover, this warning may serve to make the individual more acutely aware that he is faced with a phase of the adversary system -- that he is not in the presence of persons acting solely in his interest. (2) he must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with him during interrogation, and that, if he is indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent him: o The presence of counsel at the interrogation may serve several significant subsidiary functions, as well. If the accused decides to talk to his interrogators, the assistance of counsel can mitigate the dangers of untrustworthiness. With a lawyer present, the likelihood that the police will practice coercion is reduced, and, if coercion is nevertheless exercised, the lawyer can testify to it in court. The presence of a lawyer can also help to guarantee that the accused gives a fully accurate statement to the police, and that
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the statement is rightly reported by the prosecution at trial. o In order fully to apprise a person interrogated of the extent of his rights under this system, then, it is necessary to warn him not only that he has the right to consult with an attorney, but also that, if he is indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent him. Without this additional warning, the admonition of the right to consult with counsel would often be understood as meaning only that he can consult with a lawyer if he has one or has the funds to obtain one. The warning of a right to counsel would be hollow if not couched in terms that would convey to the indigent -- the person most often subjected to interrogation -- the knowledge that he too has a right to have counsel present. If the individual indicates, prior to or during questioning, that he wishes to remain silent, the interrogation must cease; if he states that he wants an attorney, the questioning must cease until an attorney is present. Where an interrogation is conducted without the presence of an attorney and a statement is taken, a heavy burden rests on the Government to demonstrate that the defendant knowingly and intelligently waived his right to counsel. Where the individual answers some questions during in-custody interrogation, he has not waived his privilege, and may invoke his right to remain silent thereafter. o a valid waiver will not be presumed simply from the silence of the accused after warnings are given, or simply from the fact that a confession was, in fact, eventually obtained The warnings required and the waiver needed are, in the absence of a fully effective equivalent, prerequisites to the admissibility of any statement, inculpatory or exculpatory, made by a defendant.
and declaimed the proceedings, stating: "Another fundamental right I then contended for was that no man's conscience ought to be racked by oaths imposed to answer to questions concerning himself in matters criminal, or pretended to be so."On account of the Lilburn Trial, Parliament abolished the inquisitorial Court of Star Chamber and went further in giving him generous reparation. The lofty principles to which Lilburn had appealed during his trial gained popular acceptance in England. These sentiments worked their way over to the Colonies, and were implanted after great struggle into the Bill of Rights.
The limitations on the interrogation process required for the protection of the individual's constitutional rights should not cause an undue interference with a proper system of law enforcement, as demonstrated by the procedures of the FBI and the safeguards afforded in other jurisdictions. In each of these cases, the statements were obtained under circumstances that did not meet constitutional standards for protection of the privilege against self-incrimination. No. 759. Miranda v. Arizona We reverse. From the testimony of the officers and by the admission of respondent, it is clear that Miranda was not in any way apprised of his right to consult
with an attorney and to have one present during the interrogation, nor was his right not to be compelled to incriminate himself effectively protected in any other manner. Without these warnings, the statements were inadmissible. The mere fact that he signed a statement which contained a typed-in clause stating that he had "full knowledge" of his "legal rights" does not approach the knowing and intelligent waiver required to relinquish constitutional rights No. 760. Vignera v. New York We reverse. The foregoing indicates that Vignera was not warned of any of his rights before the questioning by the detective and by the assistant district attorney. No other steps were taken to protect these rights. Thus, he was not effectively apprised of his Fifth Amendment privilege or of his right to have counsel present, and his statements are inadmissible. No. 761. Westover v. United States We reverse. On the facts of this case, we cannot find that Westover knowingly and intelligently waived his right to remain silent and his right to consult with counsel prior to the time he made the statement. At the time the FBI agents began questioning Westover, he had been in custody for over 14 hours, and had been interrogated at length during that period. The FBI interrogation began immediately upon the conclusion of the interrogation by Kansas City police, and was conducted in local police headquarters. Although the two law enforcement authorities are legally distinct, and the crimes for which they interrogated Westover were different, the impact on him was that of a continuous period of questioning. There is no evidence of any warning given prior to the FBI interrogation, nor is there any evidence of an articulated waiver of rights after the FBI commenced its interrogation. The record simply shows that the defendant did, in fact, confess a short time after being turned over to the FBI following interrogation by local police. Despite the fact that the FBI agents gave warnings at the outset of their interview, from Westover's point of view, the warnings came at the
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end of the interrogation process. In these circumstances, an intelligent waiver of constitutional rights cannot be assumed. We do not suggest that law enforcement authorities are precluded from questioning any individual who has been held for a period of time by other authorities and interrogated by them without appropriate warnings. A different case would be presented if an accused were taken into custody by the second authority, removed both in time and place from his original surroundings, and then adequately advised of his rights and given an opportunity to exercise them. But here, the FBI interrogation was conducted immediately following the state interrogation in the same police station -- in the same compelling surroundings. Thus, in obtaining a confession from Westover the federal authorities were the beneficiaries of the pressure applied by the local incustody interrogation. In these circumstances, the giving of warnings alone was not sufficient to protect the privilege.
No. 584. California v. Stewart We affirm. In dealing with custodial interrogation, we will not presume that a defendant has been effectively apprised of his rights and that his privilege against self-incrimination has been adequately safeguarded on a record that does not show that any warnings have been given or that any effective alternative has been employed. Nor can a knowing and intelligent waiver of these rights be assumed on a silent record. Furthermore, Stewart's steadfast denial of the alleged offenses through eight of the nine interrogations over a period of five days is subject to no other construction than that he was compelled by persistent interrogation to forgo his Fifth Amendment privilege. DISPOSITION The judgments of the Supreme Court of Arizona in No. 759, of the New York Court of Appeals in No. 760, and of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in No. 761, are reversed. The judgment of the Supreme Court of California in No. 584 is affirmed.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien People v. Obrero
332 SCRA 190 May 17, 2000; Mendoza, J.
FACTS Jimmy Obrero was a delivery boy employed by Cabosas whose business was selling chickens to customers. Obrero was asked to deliver dressed chickens to Emma Cabrera, a regular customer at Recto Avenue. At about 10:20 a.m., Obrero came back and turned over to Cabosas the amount of P2,000. RTC found Jimmy Obrero guilty of the crime of robbery with homicide and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Testimony of Pat. Ines (investigated the robbery with homicide): After receiving a report of the killing, Pat. Ines and Pfc. Sibal went to see Cabosas from which they learned that the Cabosas received a call from Cabrera informing Cabosas that her house had been robbed and her 2 maids killed. The officers were told the Obrero had gone to Pangasinan allegedly to attend the burial of his grandfather. Police officers went to Pangasinan but failed to find Obrero. They were told by the sister of Obrero that Obrero had gone to La Union. Obrero confided to his sister that he had allegedly done something wrong in Manila. Pat. Ines and his group received information from Urdaneta Police Station that Obrero was in Urdaneta, Pangasinan. They went to the place and the next day, they were able to apprehend Obrero whom they brought to Manila. Pat. Ines said Obrero was positively identified by Anita De los Reyes as one of those whom she saw running down the stairs of the Gatlin Building with his blood in his hands. On the same day, Obrero gave a confession in writing with the assistance of Atty. De los Reyes, in which he admitted participation in the killing of Berjuega and Hitta. He also executed an affidavit stating the circumstances of Obrero’s arrest. He said Obrero refused to sign the booking and information sheet. Obrero’s extrajudicial confession was presented. Obrero’s extrajudicial confessison - His fellow employe, Liwanag, proposed that they rob Cabrera in order to be able to go to La Union to visit his family. After learning that only 2 helpers were then at the residence of Cabrero, Obrero and Liwanag decided to pull the heist. Liwanag covered the mouth of Berjuega to prevent her from shout but, as she tried to run away, Liwanag stabbed and killed her. Liwanag then gave the knife to Obrero who stabbed the younger maid Hitta from which she died. The two divided the money Liwanag had taken from the house. Liwanag went to La Unino, while Obrero proceeded to Pangasinan. The extrajudicial confession is in Tagalog and signed by Obrero in the presence of Atty. De los Reyes. Testimony of Atty. De los Reyes (PC Captain of the WPD Headquarters) – he happened to be at Station 7
of the WPD, representing a client accused of illegal recruitment. He was asked by Lt. Javie to assist Obrero in executing an extrajudicial confession. He apprised Obrero of his constitutional rights, explaining to him that any statement made by him could be used against him in court, but Obrero said he was willing to give the statement as in fact he did, confessing to the commission of the crime of robbery with homicide. Obrero denied participation in the commission of the crime and claimed that he was arrest without a warrant in Pangasinan. He claimed that, after being informed of the charges against him, he was beaten up and detained for a week and made to execute an extrajudicial confession. He denied having known or seen Atty. De los Reyes before and stated that he did not understand the contents of the extrajudicial confession which he signed because he does not know how to read. Obrero assails the validity of this extrajudicial confession which forms the basis of his conviction for the crime of robbery with homicide. He claims that Atty. De los Reyes, who assisted him in executing his confession, was not the counsel of his own choice. That was the reason, he said, he refused to sign the booking and information sheet. He said he signed the extrajudicial confession 5 times as a sign that it was involuntarily executed by him.
ISSUE WON Obrero’s extrajudicial confession is admissible. HELD Art. III, §12 of the Constitution provides in pertinent parts: (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel, preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. (2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited. (3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 shall be inadmissible in evidence against him. There are two kinds of involuntary or coerced confessions treated in this constitutional provision: (1) those which are the product of third degree methods such as torture, force, violence, threat,
intimidation, which are dealt with in paragraph 2 of §12, (2) those which are given without the benefit of Miranda warnings, which are the subject of paragraph 1 of the same §12. Confession was not obtained by force and threat Obrero has show no proof of the use of force and violence on him. He did not seek medical treatment nor even a physical examination. Obrero signed his name on page 1 to acknowledge that he had been given the Miranda warnings. Then, he signed again as proof that after being given the Miranda warnings he agreed to give a statement. Next, he signed again his name at the end of page 2 to authenticate that page as part of his confession. Fourth, he signed the third page at the end of his confession. Fifth, he signed his name again on the third page in which the jurat appears. We discern no sign that the confession was involuntarily executed from the fact that it was signed by accusedappellant five times. Nor can it be inferred that the confession was involuntarily executed from the fact that Obrero refused to sign the booking and information sheet. For if he were simply forced to execute the extrajudicial confession and sign it for five times, there is no reason the police was not able to make him sign the said sheet as well. The inference rather was that no force was used to make Obrero execute the confession, otherwise, he could also have been forced to sign the booking and information sheet. Extrajudicial confessions are presumed voluntary, and, in the absence of conclusive evidence showing the declarant’s consent in executing the same has been vitiated, such confession will be sustained. Moreover, the confession contains details that only the perpetrator of the crime could have given. No one except Obrero could have stated that it was he who killed the younger maid of Hitta, that he committed the crime together with his townmate, Liwanag, and that he used the same weapon given to him by Liwanag after the latter had stabbed and killed the other helper (Nena Berjuega), details which are consistent with the medico-legal findings that the wounds sustained by the two victims were possibly caused by one and the same bladed weapon. It has been held that voluntariness of a confession may be inferred from its being replete with details which could possibly be supplied only by the accused, reflecting spontaneity and coherence which cannot be said of a mind on which violence and torture have been applied. Given without the benefit of Miranda warnings What renders the confession of Obrero inadmissible is the fact that Obrero was not given the Miranda warnings effectively. Under the Constitution, an uncounseled statement is presumed to be psychologically coerced. Swept into an unfamiliar environment and surrounded by intimidating figures
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typical of the atmosphere of police interrogation, the suspect really needs the guiding hand of counsel. Under the first paragraph of this provision, it is required that the suspect in custodial interrogation must be given the following warnings: (1) He must be informed of his right to remain silent; (2) he must be warned that anything he says can and will be used against him; and (3) he must be told that he has a right to counsel, and that if he is indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent him. There was thus only a perfunctory reading of the Miranda rights to Obrero without any effort to find out from him whether he wanted to have counsel and, if so, whether he had his own counsel or he wanted the police to appoint one for him. This kind of giving of warnings, in several decisions of this Court, has been found to be merely ceremonial and inadequate to transmit meaningful information to the suspect. Especially in this case, care should have been scrupulously observed by the police investigator that accused-appellant was specifically asked these questions considering that he only finished the fourth grade of the elementary school. Moreover, Art. III, §12(1) requires that counsel assisting suspects in custodial interrogations be competent and independent. Here, Obrero was assisted by Atty. De los Reyes, who, though presumably competent, cannot be considered an "independent counsel" as contemplated by the law for the reason that he was station commander of the WPD at the time he assisted Obrero. People v. Bandula - the independent counsel required by Art. III, §12(1) cannot be a special counsel, public or private prosecutor, municipal attorney, or counsel of the police whose interest is admittedly adverse to the accused. In this case, Atty. De los Reyes, as PC Captain and Station Commander of the WPD, was part of the police force who could not be expected to have effectively and scrupulously Obrero in the investigation, his claim to the contrary notwithstanding. To allow such a happenstance would render illusory the protection given to the suspect during custodial investigation. Obrero’s acquittal Without the extrajudicial confession, the conviction of Obrero cannot stand. The prosecution tried to introduce circumstantial evidence of Obrero’s guilt consisting of the sworn statements of Helen Moral, the househelp who said Obrero used to deliver dressed chickens to the Cabrera residence, and Anita de los Reyes who said that on March 11, 1989 she was passing in front of the Gatlin Building where the killing took place when she saw Obrero running down the stairs with blood in his hands. These statements are likewise inadmissible for being hearsay. Consequently, there is no identification of accused-appellant. And while there is evidence of homicide consisting of the corpus delicti, there is no evidence of the robbery except the confession of Obrero which, as already
stated, is inadmissible. It does not matter that Obrero failed to object to the introduction of these constitutionally proscribed evidence. The lack of objection did not satisfy the heavy burden of proof which rested on the prosecution.
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DISPOSITION The decision of the Regional Trial Court, convicting Jimmy Obrero of the crime of robbery with homicide is REVERSED and Obrero is hereby ACQUITTED on the ground of reasonable doubt.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien People Duero
FACTS In the evening of Sunday, Fausta Condino Vda. de Duero, was feloniously killed in her house.She sustained 2 gaping wounds on the right cheek, two 2 wounds on the neck, another gaping wound on the right shoulder and a bruise on the cheek. A piece of wire, which was used to strangle her was tied around her neck. A scythe was sticking in her neck. The gruesome crime was discovered in the afternoon of the following day by the Brgy. Captain Prevendido. Prevendido requested the grandson of the old woman to inform his uncle (Salvador) of the incident. Salvador entered the house through the bedroom window and saw his mother's lifeless and bloodied body near the kitchen. A mallet was found on the floor near the victim's body. No eyewitness testified as to the commission of the offense. The principal evidence of the prosecution is the testimony of Lieutenant Lujan, the chief of police of Cabatuan. Lujan declared that Severino voluntarily confessed to him that he (Severino) committed the robbery with homicide but Severino refused to sign a confession. Severino implicated Macaya. Lujan and his men brought Severino to Macaya's house. Lujan found that Macaya had nothing to do with the crime. Lujan further testified that Severino said that the money stolen from the old woman was in Severino's house at Sitio Rizal allowed Barrio Banguit. Lujan and his men went to Severino's house. They did not find the stolen money. Lujan was not the only police officer who heard Severino Duero's confession. Patrolman Alag, a member of the arresting team that picked up Duero and brought him at Lujan, stated in his sworn statement before the mayor that Duero admitted that he took part in the robbery with homicide, that his companions were Macaya and a certain Junior (whose parents were Severino's godparents) and that it was he (Severino) who induced the commission of the crime. Alag further swore that after Macaya denied any participation in the commission of the crime, Severino Duero admitted sole responsibility for it and confessed that he took three thousand pesos after hitting Fausta Duero on the head with a mallet strangling her with a piece of wire and hacking her with a scythe. According to Alag Severino said that the robbery with homicide was committed on momentary impulse after Fausta Duero, who had plenty of money, refused to lend him fifty pesos. Alag said that Severino Duero made his confession in the course of their conversation on the way to the police station and not by reason of a formal investigation. Patrolman Tormon, another member of the arresting team, corroborated in his sworn statement Alag's declaration as to Severino Duero's confession.
104 SCRA 379 May 13, 1981; Aquino, J.
Buenaventura Hudieras, the barangay captain of Barrio Pamulogan, which adjoins Barrio Banguit where the old woman resided, declared in his sworn statement that two days after the commission of the crime he was drinking liquor with Severino Duero. On that occasion, Severino told Hudieras that Fausta Duero was killed by clubbing her with a mallet choking her with a piece of wire and hacking her with a scythe. The sworn statements of Alag, Tormon and Hudieras and others were the basis of the criminal complaint for robbery with homicide filed by Lieutenant Lujan an in the municipal court against Severino Duero. They did not testify at the trial most probably because Lujan himself took the witness stand to give evidence on the same oral confession allegedly made by Severino to the police. Other prosecution witnesses, Tranquilino Duero, Jose Montaño and Wilfredo Cenizal reinforced the case of the prosecution against Severino. At the trial Severino repudiated his alleged oral confession and even claimed that he was maltreated by the police. Lujan in his rebuttal testimony denied the maltreatment. As alibi, Severino testified that he was in his house when the crime was perpetrated. His wife Salvacion, his neighbor Lopez and his friends, the spouses Macaya, confirmed his alibi. The circumstantial evidence shows that the prosecution had a strong case against Severino Duero in spite of the absence of the testimony of an eyewitness. During the trial no objection was interposed by the defense to the evidence on Duero's oral confession. The trial court on the basis of such evidence found Severino guilty of robbery with homicide beyond reasonable doubt. Severino Duero's counsel de oficio contends that the trial court erred in admitting the oral testimony on Severino Duero's oral confession, in giving credence to the testimonies of Lujan, Cenizal, Montaño and Tranquilino Duero, in finding that robbery with homicide was committed and in not sustaining Severino's alibi.
ISSUE Whether the trial court erred in convicting the accused of robbery with homicide on the basis of his oral confession to the police station commander that he committed that offense but which confession was repudiated by him on the witness stand and which was taken during custodial interrogation when the accused was not informed of his rights to remain silent and to have counsel HELD Severino's oral confession is inadmissible in evidence by reason of Article IV of the Constitution which provides:
SEC. 20. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel, and to be informed of such right. No force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiates the free will shall be used against him. Any confession obtained in violation of this section shall be admissible in evidence. All the foregoing provisions are new except the first sentence, regarding the right against selfincrimination (nemo tenetur seipsum accusare), which is the only provision found in section 18 of the Bill of Rights of the 1935 Constitution, now revised or expanded in section 20 (See article 125 of the Revised Penal Code and Republic Act No. 85-1 as to the right of the accused, who is in police custody, to confer and communicate at anytime with his counsel.) Inasmuch as the prosecution in this case failed to prove that before Duero made his alleged oral confession he was informed of his rights to remain silent and to have counsel and because there is no proof that he knowingly and intelligently waived those rights, his confession is inadmissible in evidence. After discarding Lujan's testimony on Duero's oral confession, the rest of the prosecution's circumstantial evidence against him is not adequate for his conviction. The new provisions in section 20, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution were adopted from the ruling in Miranda vs. Arizona, which specifies the following
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procedural safeguards for in-custody interrogation of accused persons: o Prior to any questioning, the person must be warned that he has a right to remain silent, that any statement he does make may be used as evidence against him, and that he has a right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed. o The defendant may waive effectuation of these rights, provided the waiver is made voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently. o If, however, he indicates in any manner and at any stage of the process that he wishes to consult with an attorney before speaking there can be no questioning. o Likewise, if the individual is alone and indicates in any manner that he does not wish to be interrogated, the police may not question him. o The mere fact that he may have answered some questions or volunteered some statements on his own does not deprive him of the right to refrain from answering any further inquiries until he has consulted with an attorney and thereafter consents to be questioned. The above procedure was not followed by the police in this case. Hence, Severino Duero's oral confession is inadmissible in evidence. Without that confession, the prosecution's other evidence is not sufficient to establish Duero's guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
DISPOSITION the death penalty is set aside. The accused is acquitted.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien People v. Ordono
FACTS The decomposing body of Shirley Victore, 15 years old, was found among the bushes near a bridge. She was reported missing 3 days before. Post-mortem examination revealed that the victim was rape and strangled to death. Unidentified sources pointed to Pacito Ordoño and Apolonio Medina as the authors of the crime. Acting on this lead, the police thereupon invited the 2 suspects and brought them to the police station for questioning. However, for lack of evidence then directly linking them to the crime, they were allowed to go home. Ordoño and Medina returned to the police station one after another and acknowledged that they had indeed committed the crime. Acting on their admission, the police immediately conducted an investigation and put their confessions in writing. The investigators however could not at once get the services of a lawyer to assist the 2 accused in the course of the investigation because there were no practicing lawyers in the Municipality of Santol, a remote town of the Province of La Union. The statements of the 2 accused where nevertheless taken. But before doing so, both accused were apprised in their own dialect of their constitutional right to remain silent and to be assisted by a competent counsel of their choice. Upon their acquiescence and assurance that they understood their rights and did not require the services of counsel, the investigation was conducted with the Parish Priest, the Municipal Mayor, the Chief of Police and other police officers of Santol, La Union, in attendance to listen to and witness the giving of the voluntary statements of the 2 suspects who admitted their participation in the crime. Thereafter, Apolonio Medina and Pacito Ordoño were detained at the Santol police station. News about the apprehension and detention of the culprits of the rapeslay of Shirley Victore soon spread that Roland Almoite, leading radio announcer of radio station DZNL, visited and interviewed them. In the interview which was duly tape-recorded both accused admitted again their complicity in the crime and narrated individually the events surrounding their commission thereof. A couple of days later, the police brought the (2) accused to the office of the PAO lawyer for assistance and counseling. In a closed-door session, PAO lawyer Corpuz apprised each of the accused of his constitutional rights and, even though their confessions were already written in their dialect, explained to them each of the questions and answers taken during the investigation. He likewise advised them to ponder the consequences of their confessions, leading them to defer the affixing of their second signature/ thumbmark thereon.
334 SCRA 673 June 29, 2000; Per Curiam
After a week or so, the 2 separately went back to Atty. Corpuz and informed him of their willingness to affix their signatures and thumbmarks for the second time in their respective confessions. Once again Atty. Corpuz apprised the 2 accused of their constitutional rights, explained the contents of their respective statements, and finally, accompanied them to Judge Bautista, MTC judge, who further apprised the 2 accused of their constitutional rights and asked them if they had been coerced into signing their confessions. They assured Judge Bautista that their statements had been given freely and voluntarily. Upon such assurance that they had not been coerced into giving and signing their confessions, Judge Bautista finally asked the accused Ordoño and Medina to affix their signatures/ thumbmarks on their respective confessions, and to subscribe the same before him. Atty. Corpuz then signed their statements as their assisting counsel, followed by a few members of the MTC staff who witnessed the signing. On arraignment, in a complete turnabout, the two (2) accused pleaded not guilty. In his defense, Ordoño testified that while he was cooking at home, the police arrived and invited him to the headquarters for questioning. The police asked him his whereabouts on 2 August 1994 and he answered that he worked in the farm of Barangay Captain Valentin Oriente. According to Ordoño, the questioning took 1 hour with the police boxing him several times on his stomach and on his side. They even inserted the barrel of a gun into his mouth in an effort to draw out answers from him. This being fruitless, he was placed in jail and released only the following morning. 3 days later, the police once again invited him to the headquarters where he was told that he was responsible for the rape and death of Shirley Victore. Medina testified that while he was pasturing his carabaos, the police came and invited him for questioning. They asked him where he was on 2 August 1994 and he replied that he was carrying bananas for his aunt Resurreccion. The interrogation lasted for about an hour with neither a lawyer assisting him nor a relative being present, after which he was placed in jail. Later, he was brought out and taken to a hut near the headquarters where he was boxed, kicked and hit with a nightstick. He lost consciousness and recovered only after he was brought back to his cell. The trial court adjudged Ordoño and Medina guilty of the crime of rape with homicide attended with conspiracy, and imposed upon each of them 2 death penalties on the basis of their extrajudicial confessions.
The accused are now before us assailing their conviction on the ground that constitutional infirmities attended the execution of their extrajudicial confessions, i.e., mainly the lack of counsel to assist them during custodial investigation thereby making their confessions inadmissible in evidence.
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before the above-mentioned persons can appear two (2) conditions must be met: (a) counsel of the accused must be absent, and, (b) a valid waiver must be executed. RA 7438 does not therefore unconditionally and unreservedly eliminate the necessity of counsel but underscores its importance by requiring that a substitution of counsel with the above-mentioned persons be made with caution and with the essential safeguards. The apparent consent of the 2 accused in continuing with the investigation was of no moment as a waiver to be effective must be made in writing and with the assistance of counsel. Consequently, any admission obtained from the 2 accused emanating from such uncounselled interrogation would be inadmissible in evidence in any proceeding. Securing the assistance of the PAO lawyer five (5) to eight (8) days later does not remedy this omission either. This aid and valuable advice given by counsel still came several days too late. The second affixation of the signatures/ thumbmarks of the accused on their confessions a few days after their closed-door meeting with the PAO lawyer, in the presence and with the signing of the MTC judge, the PAO lawyer and other witnesses, likewise did not make their admissions an informed one. It should further be recalled that the accused were not effectively informed of their constitutional rights when they were arrested, so that when they allegedly admitted authorship of the crime after questioning, their admissions were obtained in violation of their constitutional rights against self-incrimination under Sec. 20, Art. IV, of the Bill of Rights. As testified to, the police informed the accused of their rights to remain silent and to counsel in a dialect understood by them, but despite the accused's apparent showing of comprehension, it is doubtful if they were able to grasp the significance of the information being conveyed. Pertinent portions of the extrajudicial confessions: o Mr. Pacito Ordoño, I am informing you that you are being investigated of an offense but before we continue, I tell you that you have the right to remain silent under the new Constitution of the Philippines. o And you are also herein reminded that all statements you give may be used for or against you in any Philippine court as evidence and it is herein likewise reminded that you have the right to secure the services of a lawyer of your own choice to represent you in this investigation, do you understand all these? The advice proffered by the investigating officer to Ordoño starkly resembles that given to Medina, thus leading us to conclude that the advice was given perfunctorily and belonged to the stereotyped class - a long question by the investigator informing the
ISSUE WON the extrajudicial confessions of the 2 accused are admissible. WON Ordono and Medina are guilty of rape with homicide. HELD 1. NO Under the Constitution and the rules laid down pursuant to law and jurisprudence, a confession to be admissible in evidence must satisfy four (4) fundamental requirements: (a) the confession must be voluntary; (b) the confession must be made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel; (c) the confession must be express; and, (d) the confession must be in writing. Among all these requirements none is accorded the greatest respect than an accused's right to counsel to adequately protect him in his ignorance and shield him from the otherwise condemning nature of a custodial investigation. Hence, if there is no counsel at the start of the custodial investigation any statement elicited from the accused is inadmissible in evidence against him. In the instant case, custodial investigation began when the accused Ordoño and Medina voluntarily went to the Santol Police Station to confess and the investigating officer started asking questions to elicit information and/or confession from them. Concededly, after informing the accused of their rights the police sought to provide them with counsel. However, none could be furnished them due to the non-availability of practicing lawyers in Santol, La Union, and the remoteness of the town to the next adjoining town of Balaoan, La Union, where practicing lawyers could be found. The police persisted and gained the consent of the accused to proceed with the investigation. To the credit of the police, they requested the presence of the Parish Priest and the Municipal Mayor of Santol as well as the relatives of the accused to obviate the possibility of coercion, and to witness the voluntary execution by the accused of their statements before the police. Nonetheless, this did not cure in any way the absence of a lawyer during the investigation. In providing that during the taking of an extrajudicial confession the accused's parents, older brothers and sisters, his spouse, the municipal mayor, municipal judge, district school supervisor, or priest or minister of the gospel as chosen by the accused may be present, RA 7438 does not propose that they appear in the alternative or as a substitute for counsel without any condition or clause. It is explicitly stated therein that
appellant of his right followed by a monosyllabic answer - which this Court has condemned for being unsatisfactory. To be informed of the right to remain silent and to counsel contemplates "the transmission of meaningful information rather than just the ceremonial and perfunctory recitation of an abstract constitutional principle." It is not enough for the interrogator to merely enumerate to the person under investigation his rights as provided in Sec. 12, Art. III, of the Constitution; the interrogator must also explain the effect of such provision in practical terms, e.g., what the person under interrogation may or may not do, and in a language the subject fairly understands. 2. YES We are left with the interview taken by DZNL radio announcer Roland Almoite as evidence. The taped interview was offered to form part of the testimony of witness Roland Almoite to whom the admissions were made and to prove through electronic device the voluntary admissions by the 2 accused that they raped and killed Shirley Victore. The defense objected to its acceptance on the ground that its integrity had not been preserved as the tape could easily have been spliced and tampered with. However, as Roland Almoite testified, it was the original copy of the taped interview; it was not altered; the voices therein were the voices of the 2 accused; and, the defense never submitted evidence to prove otherwise. The taped interview likewise revealed that the accused voluntarily admitted to the rape-slay and even expressed remorse for having perpetrated the crime. We have held that statements spontaneously made by a suspect to news reporters on a televised interview are deemed voluntary and are admissible in evidence. By analogy, statements made by herein accused to a radio announcer should likewise be held admissible. The interview was not in the nature of an investigation as the response of the accused was made in answer to questions asked by the radio reporter, not by the police or any other investigating officer. When the accused talked to the radio announcer, they did not talk to him as a law enforcement officer, as in fact he was not, hence their uncounselled confession to him did not violate their constitutional rights. Sections 12, pars. (1) and (3), Art. III, of the Constitution do not cover the verbal confessions of the
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2accused to the radio announcer. What the Constitution bars is the compulsory disclosure of incriminating facts or confessions. The rights enumerated under Sec. 12, Art. III, are guaranteed to preclude the slightest use of coercion by the state as would lead the accused to admit something false, not to prevent him from freely and voluntarily telling the truth. The admissions of the accused before the radio announcer and duly tape-recorded are further bolstered and substantiated by the findings of the NBI Medico-Legal Officer as reflected in the Autopsy Report/Post Mortem Findings. As to the assertion of the accused that they were tortured and subjected to inhuman treatment, we find such allegations baseless. The accused were given several opportunities to decry the maltreatment they allegedly suffered in the hands of the police but at no time did they complain about it. To further exculpate themselves, the accused invoked alibi. However, such allegations deserve no credit as alibi becomes worthless when it is established mainly by the accused themselves. Other than their lame assertions that they were with the above-mentioned persons, the accused failed to substantiate their defense and to give details on what transpired that fateful day, especially since they were in the same town where the crime happened. The modifying circumstance of conspiracy being present, each of the accused shall be liable for the other's acts as well. Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code provides that "when by reason or on the occasion of the rape, a homicide is committed, the penalty shall be death." Ordoño and Medina should be held liable for the special complex crime of rape with homicide on two (2) counts as defined and penalized in Art. 335 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by RA 7659.
DISPOSITION the Judgment rendered by the Regional Trial Court is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the two (2) accused ORDONO and MEDINA are held guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the special complex crime of rape with homicide on 2 counts and are sentenced each to 2 DEATH PENALTIES.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien Harris v. New York February 24, 1971 Burger, C.J.
of admitting the statement into the impeachment process. Quotes: Every criminal defendant is privileged to testify in his own defense, or to refuse to do so. But that privilege cannot be construed to include the right to commit perjury. Having voluntarily taken the stand, petitioner was under an obligation to speak truthfully and accurately, and the prosecution here did no more than utilize the traditional truth-testing devices of the adversary process. Had inconsistent statements been made by the accused to some third person, it could hardly be contended that the conflict could not be laid before the jury by way of cross-examination and impeachment The shield provided by Miranda cannot be perverted into a license to use perjury by way of a defense, free from the risk of confrontation with prior inconsistent utterances.
Harris was arrested for making two sales of heroin to an undercover police officer. Before receiving the Miranda warnings, Harris said that he had made both sales at the request of the officer. This statement was not admitted into evidence at the trial, the prosecution conceding that it was inadmissible with respect to the Miranda doctrine. However, Harris later testified in Court that he did not make the first sale and in the second sale he merely sold the officer baking powder. Harris' initial statement was then used by the prosecution in an attempt to impeach his credibility.
Issue: Did the use of Harris' post-arrest statement violate his Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights guaranteed by the Miranda decision? Held/Ratio: No. In a 5-to-4 decision, the Court held that the Miranda decision did not mandate that evidence inadmissible against an accused in the prosecution's case must be barred for all purposes from the trial. The Court reasoned that the shield provided by Miranda could not be "perverted into a license to use perjury by way of a defense, free from the risk of confrontation with prior inconsistent utterances." The Court found that the speculative possibility that police misconduct could be encouraged was outweighed by the value
Black, Brennan, Marshall, DISSENT: The statement was used to impeach D's direct testimony not on collateral matters but on matters directly related to crimes for which Harris was on trial. Harris has been denied an unfettered choice between taking the stand and denying what the police officer said knowing that the police can use illegally obtained evidence to impeach his testimony. This goes to undoing the progress made in conforming police methods to the Constitution.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien New York v. Quarles 467 U.S. 649, 104 S.Ct. 2626, 81 L.Ed.2d 550 (1984)
The police were in hot pursuit of a rapist matching Quarles' description. They found him in a grocery store. Quarles saw the police and ran. They caught him. The policeman noticed that Quarles had an empty holster. While handcuffing him, and before reading Quarles his Miranda Warning, the policeman asked, "Where's the gun?" Quarles told the policeman he'd stashed the gun behind some cartons. o After retrieving the gun, the police read Quarles a Miranda Warning and formally arrested him. Quarles waived his right to remain silent and told the police that it was his gun. At trial for the gun possession charge, the Trial Judge suppressed Quarles' statement about the location of the gun, as well as the gun itself. The prosecutor appealed. o The Trial Court found that since Quarles has not been read his rights, as required by Miranda v. Arizona (384 U.S. 486 (1966)), his statement was inadmissible as a violation of the 5th Amendment right against selfincrimination. The New York Supreme Court affirmed. The prosecutor appealed. o The New York Supreme Court found that there might be an exception to the Miranda Warning when the police are concerned with their own safety, but in this case, Quarles was clearly not in possession of the gun, so there was no risk to the police. The US Supreme Court reversed and found the evidence admissible. o The US Supreme Court found that the overriding considerations of public safety justify the police officer's failure to provide a Miranda warning before he asked questions devoted to locating the abandoned weapon. o The US Supreme Court found that there is a public safety exception to the requirement for a Miranda warning. Basically, if the purpose of the questioning is not to elicit a confession, but for some other good (like finding a missing weapon before someone accidentally gets hurt), then the Miranda warning is not an absolute requirement.
The point of the Miranda warning is to deter the police from excessively coercing a suspect into making a false confession. But we don't want the police to be deterred from finding dangerous weapons hidden in grocery stores. o Compare to the exceptions to the requirement for a warrant in search and seizure cases. "The officer needed an answer to his question not simply to make his case against Quarles, but to insure that further danger to the public did not result from the concealment of the gun in a public area." In a dissent it was argued that there is nothing stopping the police from asking questions of suspects before reading them their rights, it just makes the statements inadmissible. If the police were really concerned with public safety, they could ask a question knowing that it might hurt later prosecution, it's their choice. o The dissent suggested that the real question was who should bear the cost of securing public safety when such questions are asked, the defendant or the State? This case illustrates the difference between actual coercion and presumptive coercion: o If the police had threatened to punch Quarles in the face, then that would be actual coercion and would never be admissible under any circumstances. In this case, there was no evidence that Quarles' statement was compelled (which would be an absolute violation of the 5th Amendment). o Presumptive coercion is just a prophylactic concept to deter the police from stepping over the line. But it isn't an absolute 5th Amendment requirement. Miranda warning is designed to deter presumptive coercion, but since it isn't a Constitutional requirement, the courts are free to balance the rights of suspects with other factors (like public safety).
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien People v. Figueroa July 6, 2000 Davide, Jr., C.J.
Facts: Obet was convicted of violating Art. 14-A of RA 6425 (DDA) for manufacturing shabu. Police officers Palencia and Soriano’s version:
a white pail along with other drug paraphernalia, such as a beaker spray. PALENCIA and SORIANO seized the items.
Obet’s version: OBET testified that while he was watching television on the night of 15 February 1997, he heard the doorbell rang. Upon seeing Eva Baluyot, his childhood friend, he opened the door for her. Inside the house, Eva handed him a bundle of money and stated that she was buying shabu from him. OBET emphatically told Eva that he was not engaged in such illegal trade and returned the money. OBET then accompanied Eva out of the house. At the garage, OBET noticed someone peeping from the dark; so he told Eva to go back inside the house with him. Eva ignored the request. OBET thus left Eva at the garage and got his .45 caliber gun from his house. While he was locking the door, his handgun accidentally fired off, as he forgot that it had already been cocked. This blast was followed by shouts of people outside claiming that they were NBI men. Uncertain, OBET did not go out of the house but instead told the alleged NBI men to call the Makati Police, specifically Major Reyes, The NBI agents, however, persisted in convincing OBET to go out of the house. He did get out of his house after three hours when he heard the voice of Major Reyes. OBET gave to Major Reyes his gun. The Makati Police and the NBI men thereafter conducted a joint search inside OBET's house which, however, yielded nothing. OBET was then brought to the Makati Police Headquarters where the incident was recorded. Thereafter, PALENCIA, SORIANO and another NBI man brought OBET to the house of Betty, his former live-in partner, at El Grande Street, B.F. Homes, Parañaque City, upon the insistence and information of Eva Baluyot. Upon entering B.F. Homes, SORIANO instructed OBET to call and tell Betty that he was already near. The gate was already opened when they arrived, and the NBI men freely parked their car at the garage. Then, PALENCIA and SORIANO alighted from the car and entered Betty's house. OBET was left in the car under the charge of the third NBI man; hence, he knew nothing of what happened inside Betty's house Issue # 1: Whether or not the acquittal of Betty will benefit Obet by virtue of the element of conspiracy? Held/Ratio: No. he acquittal of a conspirator likewise absolves a co-conspirator from criminal liability. Indeed, the rule is well-settled that once a conspiracy is established, the act of one is the act of all, and each of the conspirators is liable for the crimes committed by the other conspirators. It follows then that if the prosecution fails to prove conspiracy, the alleged conspirators should be held individually responsible for their own respective acts. Accordingly, OBET's criminal liability in this case must be judged on the basis of his own
They received a call from their informant, a woman, who reported that a certain Obet was allegedly engaged in largescale drug trafficking in Makati City. They then instructed their informant to establish contact with Obet for a buy-bust operation. After several hours, the informant reported that OBET was already waiting for her at No. 1485 Soliman Street, Makati City, with instructions for her to come alone as soon as she was ready with P150,000. Palencia then caused the dusting of fluorescent powder over ten pieces of authentic P100 bills as buy-bust money and gave them to the informant. When they arrived at the rendezvous area, the gate was already open, the informant entered the premises, while Palencia and Soriano discreetly crawled and positioned themselves near the gate of the house. Strategically positioned, Palencia overheard Obet ask the informant whether she had the money. Palencia then saw the informant hand over the money to Obet. While counting the money, Obet sensed the presence of other people in the area. Obet, who was in possession of a .45 caliber pistol, fired it twice toward the direction of Palencia, while hurrying towards the house. OBET then held hostage his mistress, Estrella Brilliantes, and her two children for the next three hours until the arrival of one Major Roberto Reyes to whom Obet surrendered. PALENCIA and SORIANO brought OBET, his firearm and the recovered buy-bust money to the WPD Headquarters for recording purposes and, thereafter, to the NBI Headquarters. At the NBI Headquarters, PALENCIA and SORIANO methodically interrogated OBET about the source of his shabu. OBET eventually volunteered that his source was a certain Betty of 263 El Grande Street, B.F. Homes, Parañaque City. When they arrived at said location for a follow-up operation, Betty already had the gate opened for them, since Obet has already informed Betty that he would be coming. Upon seeing OBET in handcuffs, Betty asked what happened. OBET replied that he was just caught in a buybust operation. PALENCIA and SORIANO then tried to convince Betty to surrender the shabu that OBET insisted was hidden inside the house. As Betty persistently denied the existence of the shabu, PALENCIA told OBET to confer with Betty. After a while, OBET proceeded to the kitchen of the guesthouse located outside the main house, followed by Betty. OBET then promptly pointed to what he termed as liquid shabu inside
acts as established by the quantum of proof required in criminal cases. Issue # 2: Whether or not Obet’s constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures was violated? Held/Ratio: Yes. The buy-bust operation was a failure because no shabu or other regulated or prohibited drug was found in OBET's person and residence. No evidence was adduced to show that OBET handed shabu over to the informant. Yet, he was placed in custody. For what offense he was held in custody does not, initially, appear very clear on the record. It was established that OBET fired two shots toward the direction of PALENCIA and SORIANO and held hostage his mistress and her two children. Yet he was not placed under custodial investigation for such crimes as grave threats, coercion, illegal possession of firearms, or crimes other than that with which he was charged. On the contrary, OBET was held in custody and investigated or interrogated about the source of the shabu, none of which was found during the buy-bust operation. In short he was held in custody as a consequence of the failed buybust operation and as a follow-up to link him to the source and establish a conspiracy in the illegal trade of shabu. Allegedly, he admitted that the source was Betty. On the basis of that admission, PALENCIA and SORIANO, together with OBET, proceeded to the residence of Betty. Needless to state, OBET cannot be investigated for anything in relation to shabu while under custody without informing him of his rights to remain silent and to have a competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. Any waiver of such rights should be in writing and made in the presence of a counsel pursuant to Section 12 (1), Article III of the Constitution. It has been held that these rights attach from the moment the investigation starts, i.e. when the investigating officers begin to ask questions to elicit information and confessions or admissions from the suspect. It is always incumbent upon the prosecution to prove at the trial that prior to in-custody questioning, the confessant was informed of his constitutional rights. The presumption of regularity of official acts does not prevail over the constitutional presumption of innocence. Hence, in the absence of proof that the arresting officers complied with these constitutional safeguards, extrajudicial statements, whether inculpatory or exculpatory, made during custodial investigation are inadmissible and cannot be considered in the adjudication of a case. In other words, confessions and admissions in violation of Section 12 (1), Article III of the Constitution are inadmissible in evidence against the
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declarant and more so against third persons. This is so even if such statements are gospel truth and voluntarily given. Such statements are useless except as evidence against the very police authorities who violated the suspect's rights. SORIANO admitted that the custodial investigation of OBET was conducted without the presence of a lawyer, and there is no proof that OBET waived said right and the right to remain silent. No waiver in writing and in the presence of a counsel was presented. Thus, pursuant to paragraph 3 of Section 12 of Article III of the Constitution any admission obtained from OBET in the course of his custodial investigation was inadmissible against him and cannot be used as a justification for the search without a warrant. Issue # 3: Whether or not the search of Betty’s house was consented to by Betty, hence lawful. Held/Ratio: No. In case of consented searches or waiver of the constitutional guarantee, against obtrusive searches, it is fundamental that to constitute, a waiver, it must first appear that (1) the right exists; (2) that the person involved had knowledge, either actual or constructive, of the existence of such right; and (3) the said person had an actual intention to relinquish the right. The third condition does not exist in the instant case. In fact, Betty did ask for a search warrant. Neither can the search be appreciated as a search incidental to a valid warrantless arrest of either Betty or OBET as intimated by the trial court. First, Betty's arrest did not precede the search. Second, per the prosecution's evidence OBET was not arrested for possession or sale of regulated or prohibited drugs as a consequence of the buy-bust operation. He surrendered after taking hostage Estrella and her two children, although he was thereafter held in custody for further questioning on illegal drugs.
There is no showing that the house occupied by Betty and the articles confiscated therefrom belong to OBET. That OBET pointed to PALENCIA and SORIANO the places where the articles were found provides no sufficient basis for a conclusion that they belonged to him. Even if the articles thus seized actually belonged to him, they cannot be constitutionally and legally used against him to establish his criminal liability therefor, since the seizure was the fruit of an invalid custodial investigation.
[since si Fernando ang ponente, ang daming unnecessary discussions, na talaga naming hindi ko maintindihan! Ugh.]
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien GUMABON VS. DIRECTOR OF BUREAU OF PRISONS January 30, 1971 Fernando, J.
What is required under the equal protection of law is the uniform operation of legal norms so that all persons under similar circumstances would be accorded the same treatment both in the privileges conferred and the liability imposed. Favoritism and undue preference cannot be allowed. For the principle that equal protection and security shall be given to every person under circumstances, which if not identical, are analogous. If law be looked upon in terms of burdens or charges, those that fall within a class shall be treated in the same fashion, whatever restrictions cast on some in the group equally binding on the rest. The argument of petitioners thus possesses a persuasive ring. The continued incarceration after the twelve-year period when such is the maximum length of imprisonment in accordance with our controlling doctrine, when others similarly convicted have been freed, is fraught with implications at war with equal protection. That is not to give it life. On the contrary, it would render it nugatory. Otherwise, what would happen is that for an identical offense, the only distinction lying in the finality of the conviction of one being before the Hernandez ruling and the other after, a person duly sentenced for the same crime would be made to suffer different penalties. Doctrine in PP v. Hernandez applied retroactively (as per Article 22 of RPC).
FACTS: Petitioners Mario Gumabon, Blas Bagolbagol, Gaudencio Agapito, Epifanio Padua and Paterno Palmares were charged and convicted of the complex crime of rebellion with murder. They were imposed the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua. At the time of the petition each suffered more than 13 years of imprisonment. Subsequently, the Court ruled in PEOPLE VS. HERNANDEZ (99 Phil 515) that the information against the accused in that case for rebellion complexed with murder, arson and robbery was not warranted under Article 143 of the RPC, there being no such complex offense. Petitioners thus invoke that the ruling in Hernandez be applied to them. Petitioners contend that he has served more than the maximum penalty that could have been imposed upon them and is thus entitled to freedom, his continued detention being illegal. ISSUE: Should the petition for Habeas Corpus be granted? HELD/RATIO: Yes. Once a deprivation of a constitutional right is shown to exist, the court that rendered the judgment is deemed ousted of jurisdiction and Habeas Corpus is the appropriate remedy to assail the legality of the detention.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien People v. Caguioa 141 SCRA 289 2000
Facts: An Information for murder was filed againsPaquitoYupo and Respondent Judge handled the case. After pleading not guilty, the hearing started and the prosecution presented its witnesses. Prosecution presented Corporal Conrado Roca of the Meycauayan Police Department, before whom a written statement of the accused PaquitoYupo and his alleged waiver of his right to remain silent and to be assisted by a counsel of his own choice was taken. After this witness had Identified the statement of the accused and the waiver, he was questioned on the incriminating answers in such statement to the police, There was an objection on the part of the defense counsel based on the ground of such statement being inadmissible in evidence, as the statement was taken by the police without any counsel assisting the accused in the investigation. Respondent judge sustained objection on the view that such judicial confession of the accused is inadmissible in evidence for being unconstitutional, it appearing that the accused was not assisted by a counsel when it was given.He likewise stated that such right could not be waived. People appeals the judge’s ruling. 1.
Is confession admissible? – NO a. It was not shown that the alleged waiver was given freely and voluntarily. The questioning was rather perfunctory. An even more telling circumstance against such alleged waiver being given credence was that private respondent, a native of Samar, then nineteen years old, was interrogated extensively in Tagalog, no showing having been made that his acquaintance with the language was such that he could fully understand the import of what was asked him. Can right to counsel be waived? –Yes a. Abriol v. Homeres - while there could be a waiver of the rights of an accused, it must be intelligently waived, otherwise a court's jurisdiction starting at the banning of the trial may be lost in the course of the proceeding. b. Miranda v. Arizona - the prosecution may not use statements, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from custodial interrogation of the defendant unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self-incrimination. By custodial interrogation, we mean questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way. As for the procedural safeguards to be employed, unless other fully effective means are devised to inform
accused persons of their right of silence and to assure a continuous opportunity to exercise it, the following measures are required. Prior to any questioning, the person must be warned that he has a right to remain silent, that any statement he does not make may be used as evidence against him, and that he has a right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed. The defendant may waive effectuation of those rights, provided the waiver is made voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently. If, however, he indicates in any manner and at any stage of the process that he wishes to consult with an attorney before speaking, there can be no questioning. Likewise, if the individual is alone and indicates in any manner that he does not wish to be interrogated, the police may not question him. The mere fact that he may have answered some questions or volunteered some statements on his own does not deprive him of the right to refrain from answering any further inquiries until he has consulted with an attorney and thereafter consents to be questioned. Confession clearly falls short of this standard. There was a perfunctory opening statement asked by a certain Corporal Conrado B. Roca of the Police Force of Meycauayan, worded thus: "Ipinaaalam ko sa iyo na ikaw ay sinisiyasat tungkol sa isang paglabag sa batas na iyong ginawa, bago ko ipagpatuloy ang pagtatanong sa iyo, ikaw ay may karapatan na huwag magsalita kung ayaw mo at may karapatan ka rin na magkaroon ng abogado na iyong gusto at dapat mo ring mabatid na anumanang sabihin mo dito ay maaaring gamitin ngayon o laban sa iyo, magsasalaysay ka pa rin ba?" Then came the monosyllabic answer Opo. Even the very annex submitted to the petition merely stated that there were signatures of private respondent Yupo, the aforesaid Roca, and a certain Roberto Sales. The day when it was subscribed and sworn to, allegedly before Municipal Judge Mariano Mendieta was not even specified. Again, there was a statement that it was a certified true copy by a certain Teresita M. Tecson, whose connection with the case or with the court was not even shown. There was no signature. There were only illegible letters, perhaps indicating that they were the initials. The doubt that must have occurred to the police officials of Meycauayan is evident from their submitting a one-page statement, presumably signed by the same people and certified by the same Tecson, reading in fun as follows: "[Sa sinumang Kinauukulan lpinabasa, ipinaalam at
naintindihan ni Paquito Yupo y Gonzales], 19 na taonggulang, binat, tubo sa San Policarpio, Eastern Samar ang nasa ibaba nito '[Ikaw ay sinisiyasat ngayon dahilan sa paglabag sa batas. Karapatan mo ang huwag magsalita. Anumang iyong sasabihin ay maaring gamiting katibayan laban sa iyo. At ikaw ay may karapatan sa tulong at sa pagharap ng abogado na iyong napipisil sa
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habilang kabatiran ni [Paquito Yupo ng mga nilalaman ng nasaitaas, siya ay nagbigay pa rin ng salaysay.," Petition dismissed.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien People v. Galit March 20, 1985 Concepcion, Jr., J.
Facts: A 70 year old woman was robbed and hacked by the accused in her house. Witnesses pointed to the accused and his two companions. Accused denied participaton in crime and assails extrajudicial confession. They covered his face with a rag and pushed his face into a toilet bowl full of human waste. The prisoner could not take any more. His body could no longer endure the pain inflicted on him and the indignities he had to suffer. His will had been broken. He admitted what the investigating officers wanted him to admit and he signed the confession they prepared. Later, against his will, he posed for pictures as directed by his investigators, purporting it to be a reenactment.
ang mga ito nakahanda ka bang magbigay ng isang kusang-loob na salaysay sa pagtatanong na ito? SAGOT: OPO
Is was he properly convicted and is his confession admissible? NO Testimonies of the witness doesn’t prove anything. There were no eyewitnesses, no property recovered from the accused, no state witnesses, and not even fingerprints of the accused at the scene of the crime. The only evidence they have is the confession which is in admissible. TANONG: Ipinagbibigay-alam ko sa inyo ang inyong mga karapatan sa ilalim ng Saligang-Batas ng Pilipinas na kung inyong nanaisin ay maaaring hindi kayo magbigay ng isang salaysay, na hindi rin kayo maaaring pilitin o saktan at pangakuan upang magbigay ng naturang salaysay, na anumanang inyong sasabihin sa pagsisiyasat na ito ay maaaring laban sa inyo sa anumang usapin na maaaring ilahad sa anumang hukuman o tribunal ditto sa Pilipinas, na sa pagsisiyasat na ito ay maaaring katulungin mo ang isang manananggol at kung sakaling hindi mo kayang bayaran ang isang manananggol ay maaaring bigyan ka ng isa ng NBI. Ngayon at alam mo na
Such a long question followed by a monosyllabic answer does not satisfy the requirements of the law that the accused be informed of his rights under the Constitution and our laws. Instead there should be several short and clear questions and every right explained in simple words in a dialect or language known to the person under investigation. Accused is from Samar and there is no showing that he understands Tagalog. Moreover, at the time of his arrest, accused was not permitted to communicate with his lawyer, a relative, or a friend. In fact, his sisters and other relatives did not know that he had been brought to the NBI for investigation and it was only about two weeks after he had executed the salaysaythat his relatives were allowed to visit him. His statement does not even contain any waiver of right to counsel and yet during the investigation he was not assisted by one. At the supposed reenactment, again accused was not assisted by counsel of his choice. These constitute gross violations of his rights. The alleged confession and the pictures of the supposed re-enactment are inadmissible as evidence because they were obtained in a manner contrary to law. Trial courts are cautioned to look carefully into the circumstances surrounding the taking of any confession, especially where the prisoner claims having been maltreated into giving one. Where there is any doubt as to its voluntariness, the same must be rejected in toto.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien People v Continente August 25, 2000 De Leon, Jr., J.
Facts: US Col. James Rowe was ambushed and killed while driving his car. The CIS agents established through a confidential intelligence information the involvement of appellant Donato Continente, an employee of the U.P. Collegian in U.P and the other appellant Itaas. With counsels present, they executed extrajudicial confessions admitting to the crime. The Trial court convicted them based on the testimony of the star witness and their confessions. They claim that their confessions are inadmissible. Issue: W/N Statement admissible?
Held/Ratio: YES. See case for transcript of confession. It must be noted however, that far from being a mere enumeration of the custodial rights of an accused, the aforequoted portions ("Paliwanag") of the written statements contain an explanation as to the nature of the investigation that is, regarding the respective participations of the appellants in the ambush on April 21, 1989 that resulted in the killing of U.S. Col. James Rowe while seriously wounding his driver, Joaquin Vinuya. They also include an advice that the appellants may choose not to give any statement to the investigator and a warning that any statement obtained from the appellants may be used in favor or against them in
court. In addition, they contain an advice that the appellants may engage the services of a lawyer of their own choice. If they cannot afford the services of a lawyer, they will be provided with one by the government for free. Thereafter, both appellants manifested to CIS Investigator VirgilioPablico their intentions to give their statements even in the absence of counsel. Despite the manifestations of the appellants, Investigator Pablico requested for the legal services of Atty. Bonifacio Manansala to act as counsel for appellant Continente and Atty. FelimonCorpuz for appellant Itaas. Significantly, Investigator Pablico disclosed that appellant Continente conferred with Atty. Manansala in his presence for about half an hour before the investigation started. Nevertheless, the appellant (Continente) maintained his decision to give a statement even in the absence of counsel. As proof thereof, the appellant signedthe "Pagpapatunay" that contains an express waiver of his constitutional rights in the presence of Atty. Manansala who also signed the same as counsel of the appellant. No basis for torture They admitted they were members of CPP/NPA Another issue: Witness testimony is straightforward, and taken in conjunction with admission, ruling must be affirmed (actually modified pero guilty paren)
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien People v. Bacor April 30, 1999 Mendoza, J.
Facts: While at home, the family of Dionisio heard a gunshot and they found him oozing with blood. They tried to bring Dionisio(son) to the hospital but he died. Appellant went to the police and said he is conscience prompted him to surrender They then went to PAO and he got himself a lawyer He was reminded of his rights, with his PAO lawyer there. He admitted to the killing saying that Dionisio killed someone also before. His statement was read to him and he swore to it before the clerk of court, who also informed him of his rights.(remain silent, counsel, self-incrimination) He now questions the admissibility of his confession.
W/N he validly waived his right to remain silent and counsel and W/N confession is admissible? YES Accused-appellant’s confession, as quoted in the decision of the Court of Appeals, leaves no doubt as to its voluntariness and spontaneity. Accused-appellant does not deny that he surrendered to the police on June 6, 1991, almost three months after the fatal shooting of Dionesio Albores, and confessed to the crime because he “could no longer bear a guilty conscience.” In his testimony before the trial court, he admitted that the signature on pages 1, 2, and 3 of his sworn confession (Exh. B) was his without any claim that he was forced, coerced, or threatened to make the confession. Indeed, the details contained in his confession could have been known to accused-appellant alone. Accused-appellant claims that he gave the confession without being warned of his constitutional rights. This is not true. The record shows that he was advised of his rights, particularly the right to remain silent, not only once but thrice: first, by his counsel, Atty. Meriam Anggot of Public Attorney’s Office (PAO); second, by
SPO3 Maharlika Ydulzura, the investigator who took accused-appellant’s confession; and lastly, by the branch clerk of court of the Regional Trial Court of Oroquieta City, Atty. Nora Montejo-Lumasag, before whom accused-appellant swore to the veracity of his confession. Each time, he was asked whether he was willing to give a statement and he said he was. This is sufficient. Contrary to accused-appellant’s contention, there is no need for a separate and express written waiver of his constitutional rights. Accused-appellant was not arrested. He presented himself to the authorities to confess to the crime because, he said, he was being bothered by his conscience. By voluntarily executing his extrajudicial confession, which he did in the presence of and with the assistance of counsel and after having been informed of his constitutional rights, accused-appellant effectively waived his right to remain silent. a PAO lawyer can be considered an independent counsel within the contemplation of the Constitution considering that he is not a special counsel, public or private prosecutor, counsel of the police, or a municipal attorney whose interest is admittedly adverse to that of the accused-appellant. Thus, the assistance of a PAO lawyer in the present case satisfies the constitutional requirement of a competent and independent counsel for the accused. Not only was the confession signed by accusedappellant with the assistance of counsel, it was also sworn to by him before the branch clerk of court who, before administering the oath to accused-appellant, read the affidavit of confession to him and informed him of his rights and the consequences of his confession. Accused-appellant stood pat on his decision to tell it all.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien People v. Quidato October 1, 1998 Romero, J.
Facts: While having a drinking session, accused proposed to the Malita brothers Eddie and Reynaldo to rob and kill his father, Bernardo. Armed with a bolo they went to his house and hacked him and looked for money in the aparador but couldn’t find anything and the left. Leo Quildato confronted his brother the appellant and he pointed to the Malita brothers. When they were arrested, they also pointed back at Quildato. heMalita brothers were interrogated by Patrolman Lucrecio Mara at the Kaputian Police Station. When Mara apprised them of their constitutional rights, including their right to counsel, they signified their intent to confess even in the absence of counsel. Aware that the same would be useless if given in the absence of counsel, Mara took down the testimony of the two but refrained from requiring the latter to sign their affidavits. Instead, he escorted the Malita brothers to Davao City and presented them, along with their unsigned affidavits, to a CLAO (now PAO) lawyer, Jonathan Jocom Informed of the situation, Atty. Jocom conferred with Reynaldo and Eddie, again advising the two of their constitutional rights. The CLAO lawyer explained the contents of the affidavits, in Visayan, to the Malita brothers, who affirmed the veracity and voluntary execution of the same. Only then did Reynaldo and Eddie affix their signatures on the affidavits Appelant denies but was convicted of parricide. He questions the confessions of Malita Brothers W/N confessions of Malita brothers are admissible against him? NO In indicting accused-appellant, the prosecution relied heavily on the affidavits executed by Reynaldo and Eddie. The two brothers were, however, not presented on the witness stand to testify on their extra-judicial
confessions. The failure to present the two gives these affidavits the character of hearsay. It is hornbook doctrine that unless the affiants themselves take the witness stand to affirm the averments in their affidavits, the affidavits must be excluded from the judicial proceeding, being inadmissible hearsay. The voluntary admissions of an accused made extrajudicially are not admissible in evidence against his co-accused when the latter had not been given an opportunity to hear him testify and cross-examine him There is no conspiracy under rule 130-“t]he act or declaration of a conspirator relating to the conspiracy and during its existence, may be given in evidence against the co-conspirator after the conspiracy is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration.” The inapplicability of this provision is clearly apparent. The confessions were made after the conspiracy had ended and after the consummation of the crime. Hence, it cannot be said that the execution of the affidavits were acts or declarations made during the conspiracy’s existence. Affidafits are inadmissible anway- People v. compil: [T]he belated arrival of a CLAO (now PAO) lawyer the following day even if prior to the actual signing of the uncounseled confession does not cure the defect (of lack of counsel) for the investigators were already able to extract incriminatory statements from accusedappellant…Thus, in People vs. De Jesus (213 SCRA 345 ) we said that admissions obtained during custodial interrogations without the benefit of counsel although later reduced to writing and signed in the presence of counsel are still flawed under the Constitution. The other testimony is also inadmissible because it was timely objected under the marital rule(cant testify against spouse) Aquitted.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien PEOPLE V. LABTAN December 8, 1999
On April 23, 1993, an information was filed against Henry Feliciano, Orlando Labtan, and Jonelto Labtan charging them with robbery with homicide
Subsequently, another information dated May 20, 1993 was filed against Henry Feliciano and Orlando Labtan charging them with highway robbery Only accused Feliciano pleaded not guilty to the two charges. Orlando Labtan had escaped the Maharlika Rehabilitation and Detention Center in Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City where he was detained while Jonelto Labtan has eluded arrest. The two cases were tried together. The prosecution’s case was mainly anchored on the threepage sworn statement executed by Feliciano, originally in Visayan language, before the Cagayan de Oro City Police Station, where he stated that he understood his constitutional rights under Art. III, Sec.12, and upon questioning, he accepted Atty. Chavez as his counsel de oficio. Upon questioning he also expressed the following statements (also in the three-page statement): a. On March 1993, I participated in a hold-up of a certain driver Mr. Roman Mercado of Tablan who owned a jeep I use[d] to drive (before) and we got a car stereo including the jeep. Then, we brought the jeep to Buntong, Camaman-an and the driver, however, we freed the driver later. On March 1993 we hold-up (sic) a collector of my brother whose name is Carmen Tan y Feliciano and we were able to get cash of P2,080.00; [a]nd, there was also [a] certain jeep, owned by Mr. Mangano that we carnapped and brought (it) to Aglayan, Malaybalay, Bukidnon. Last April 16, 1993, we held-up a certain driver of [a] “PU Minica” whose name is Florentino Bolasito of Abellanosa St. How he, Bebot Labtan, and Jonelto Labtan stabbed and got some money from the driver of the PU (which they used to buy Coconut wine…wow, how noble)
When the defense presented its case, only accused Henry Feliciano testified for his behalf. His defense consisted of an alibi and a repudiation of his sworn statement. TC: convicted Feliciano on the basis of his earlier sworn and signed statement ISSUE: WON the sworn statement of Feliciano is admissible in evidence- NO
Under Article III, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution, the rights of persons under custodial investigation are provided as follows: “(1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. (2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited. (3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible against him.” In People v. Macam, the rational for the guarantee, was explained in this wise, "Historically, the counsel guarantee was intended to assure the assistance of counsel at the trial, inasmuch as the accused ‘was confronted with both the intricacies of the law and the advocacy of the public prosecutor.’ However, as the result of the changes in the patterns of police investigation, today’s accused confronts both expert adversaries and the judicial system well before his trial begins (U.S. v. Ash, 413 U.S. 300, 37 L Ed 2d 619, 93 S Ct 2568 ). It is therefore appropriate to extend the counsel guarantee to critical stages of prosecution even before the trial. The law enforcement machinery at present involves critical confrontations of the accused by the prosecution at pre-trial proceedings ‘where the result might well settle the accused’s fate and reduce the trial itself to a mere formality.'" Thus, in People v. Gamboa, we stated that: "[T]he right to counsel attaches upon the start of an investigation, i.e. when the investigating officer starts to ask questions to elicit information and/or
confessions or admissions from the respondent/accused. At such point or stage, the person being interrogated must be assisted by counsel to avoid the pernicious practice of extorting false or coerced admissions or confessions from the lips of the person undergoing interrogation, for the commission of an offense. The moment there is a move or even urge of said investigators to elicit admissions or confessions or even plain information which may appear innocent or inocuous at the time, from said suspect, he should then and there be assisted by counsel, unless he waives the right, but the waiver shall be made in writing and in the presence of counsel." We find that accused-appellant Feliciano had been denied of his right to have a competent and independent counsel when he was questioned in the Cagayan de Oro City Police Station. SPO1 Alfonso Cuarez testified that he started questioning Feliciano at 8:00 a.m. of April 22, 1993 regarding his involvement in the killing of jeepney driver Florentino Bolasito, notwithstanding the fact that he had not been apprised of his right to counsel. At that point, accused-appellant had been subjected to custodial investigation without a counsel. In Navallo v. Sandiganbayan, we said that a person is deemed under custodial investigation where the police investigation is no longer a general inquiry into an unsolved crime but has began to focus on a particular suspect who had been taken into custody by the police who carry out a process of interrogation that lends itself to elicit incriminating statements. When SPO1 Cuarez investigated accused-appellant Feliciano, the latter was already a suspect in the killing of jeepney driver Bolasito as shown by the joint affidavit of SPO4 Johny Salcedo and SPO1 Florencio Bagaipo who were the ones who arrested Feliciano. The right to counsel is a fundamental right and contemplates not a mere presence of the lawyer beside the accused. In People v. Bacamante, the term “effective and vigilant counsel” was explained thus: “necessarily and logically [requires] that the lawyer be present and able to advise and assist his client from the time the confessant answers the first question asked by the investigating officer until the signing of the extrajudicial confession. Moreover, the lawyer should ascertain that the confession is made voluntarily and that the person under investigation fully understands the nature and the consequence of his extrajudicial confession in relation to his constitutional rights. A contrary rule would
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undoubtedly be antagonistic to the constitutional rights to remain silent, to counsel and to be presumed innocent.” Atty. Chavez did not provide the kind of counselling required by the Constitution. He did not explain to accused-appellant the consequences of his action – that the sworn statement can be used against him and that it is possible that he could be found guilty and sent to jail. We also find that Atty. Chavez’s independence as counsel is suspect – he is regularly engaged by the Cagayan de Oro City Police as counsel de officio for suspects who cannot avail the services of counsel. He even received money from the police as payment for his services. In People v. Deniega, expounding on the constitutional requirement that the lawyer provided be “competent and independent,” we stated that: “Thus, the lawyer called to be present during such investigation should be as far as possible, the choice of the individual undergoing questioning. If the lawyer were one furnished in the accused’s behalf, it is important that he should be competent and independent, i.e., that he is willing to fully safeguard the constitutional rights of the accused, as distinguished from one who would merely be giving a routine, peremptory and meaningless recital of the individual’s constitutional rights. In People v. Basay, this Court stressed that an accused’s right to be informed of the right to remain silent and to counsel ‘contemplates the transmission of meaningful information rather than just the ceremonial and perfunctory recitation of an abstract constitutional principle.’ “Ideally, therefore, a lawyer engaged for an individual facing custodial investigation (if the latter could not afford one) ‘should be engaged by the accused (himself), or by the latter’s relative or person authorized by him to engage an attorney or by the court, upon proper petition of the accused or person authorized by the accused to file such petition. Lawyers engaged by the police, whatever testimonials are given as proof of their probity and supposed independence, are generally suspect, as in many areas, the relationship between lawyers and law enforcement authorities can be symbiotic.’” We also find that Atty. Chavez notarized the sworn statement seriously compromised his independence. By doing so, he vouched for the regularity of the circumstances surrounding the taking of the sworn statement by the police. He cannot serve as counsel of the
accused and the police at the same time. There was a serious conflict of interest on his part.
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Since April 27, 1992 when Republic Act No. 7438 was enacted, the constitutional rights of persons under custodial investigation have been further operationalized On the charge of robbery with homicide, the only evidence presented by the prosecution was the sworn statement which we have found inadmissible. Thus, we are forced to absolve accused-appellant of this charge. With respect to the charge of highway robbery, the prosecution presented the testimony of Ismael Ebon. However, Ebon failed to identify Feliciano as the perpetrator when he reported to the police immediately after the incident. DISPOSITIVE: TC’S decision set aside.
In People v. de Jesus, we stated that an independent counsel cannot be a special counsel, public or private prosecutor, counsel of the police, or a municipal attorney whose interest is admittedly adverse to the accused. We have examined the three-page sworn statement allegedly executed by Feliciano and we failed to see any badge of spontaneity and credibility to it. It shows signs of what we call stereotype advice to which we have already called the attention of police officers
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien PEOPLE V. SAMOLDE July 31, 2000 MENDOZA, J.:
Accused-appellant Ramil Samolde was charged, together with Armando Andres, with the crime of murder When arraigned on November 29, 1989, both accused pleaded not guilty, whereupon, trial was held. The prosecution presented six witnesses, namely, Edgardo Cabalin, Ricardo Nepomuceno, Dr. Dario L. Gajardo, P/Sgt. Benjamin Calderon, P/Sgt. Romeo De Leon, and Arsenia Nepomuceno. SGT. CALDERON: clarified that he was not one of those who arrested accused-appellant and Andres. According to Sgt. Calderon, Andres was arrested on June 19, 1989, but he executed his statement only on June 22, 1989, after he was provided with a lawyer. Sgt. Calderon said he advised accused Andres to get his own lawyer and when the latter failed to do so, he recommended Atty. Benito to Andres. Atty. Benito stayed with Andres from the start of the investigation until the execution of the latter’s statement. Sgt. Calderon said that Andres was not given a physical examination prior to the investigation. On the other hand, accused-appellant, according to Sgt. Calderon, was arrested on June 6, 1989 in Bustos, Bulacan by P/Sgt. Rogelio De Leon. That same afternoon, Sgt. Calderon took Samolde’s statement. Accused-appellant was assisted by Atty. Emiliano Benito who stayed with accused-appellant until the end of the investigation. Sgt. Calderon could not remember whether Samolde was physically examined. SGT. DE LEON: chief of the intelligence operation of the Taytay Police Station and that he was authorized to serve warrants of arrest. They arrested Samolde in Taytay on June 6, 1989. He said that during the six-hour trip to Taytay, they questioned accused-appellant regarding the whereabouts of Andres and the gun taken from Nepomuceno. Sgt. De Leon denied having used violence against Samolde. He said he asked Andres for the gun used in killing Feliciano Nepomuceno, and Andres said it was in Antipolo. It was admitted that no counsel assisted Andres when he was interrogated. Sgt. De Leon denied using force against Andres during the twelve-hour trip from Narvacan to Taytay. ACCUSED SAMOLDE: testified that the victim, Feliciano Nepomuceno, was his neighbor in Taytay. He admitted harboring ill will and much bitterness towards the latter because he was an abusive policeman. According to Samolde, at around 7:30 in the evening of May 13, 1989, he was walking towards the market when he met Feliciano Nepomuceno. Nepomuceno pointed a gun at him and called him a thief. Samolde said he parried the gun and stabbed Nepomuceno with a carver, hitting the latter on the left side. When the gun fell to the ground, Samolde picked it up and shot Nepomuceno. He then went to his brother’s house to ask for money so that he could go to Plaridel, Bulacan, where he stayed until he was arrested. He was detained in Bustos for two weeks, then transferred to the Taytay jail where he claimed he was beaten up by the police. Samolde testified that the police wanted to know who helped him kill Nepomuceno. He gave a statement implicating Andres because of a grudge which he bore against the latter. Accused-appellant claimed that although he was provided a lawyer, the latter was not really present during his investigation. On cross-examination, accused-appellant testified that he was on his way to the Taytay market when he met Nepomuceno who, as he often used to, called him a thief. He reiterated that he stabbed Nepomuceno before shooting him with a service revolver. Accused-appellant said that as Nepomuceno held a gun to his face, he parried it and stabbed Nepomuceno, causing the latter to drop his gun. Accused-appellant said he then picked up the gun and shot Nepomuceno twice. Accused-appellant denied he had a companion. He testified that during his detention, he was not allowed to be seen, lest visitors notice his swollen face. He later told his parents that he had been manhandled in jail, but the latter did not file a case against the policemen. As regards his counsel, accusedappellant stated that, contrary to what was stated in his extrajudicial confession, his lawyer did not really assist him. He was not informed of his constitutional rights when he executed his extrajudicial confession, and he did so only after he had been subjected to some brutality by the police. Upon inquiry by the trial court, accused-appellant stated that although he made two thrusts with his carver at Nepomuceno, he failed to hit the latter ACCUSED ANDRES: he earned his living by driving a tricycle. He said that although he knew accused-appellant Ramil Samolde, they were not friends. Andres said he likewise knew the victim, Feliciano Nepomuceno, but did not know where he lived. Andres claimed that on May 13, 1989, he was in Surbic, Ilocos Sur, where he had been living with his sister. He learned that he was implicated in the killing of Nepomuceno only when the police came to arrest him in Ilocos Sur on June 19, 1989. Like accused-
appellant, Andres also claimed he was beaten up by a policeman at the Taytay jail; that the sworn statement he gave had been prepared by the police; that he was not given any opportunity to read it before he signed it; and that he did so because he was subjected to torture and intimidation by the police. He said he could not remember whether he had a lawyer when he gave his sworn statement. On cross-examination, Andres explained that he knew accused-appellant because the latter used to ride on his tricycle, but he denied that he and accused-appellant were close friends. He likewise denied being acquainted with the victim Nepomuceno, reiterating that he only knew the latter by face. He denied shooting Nepomuceno. He also disclaimed going to the house of a certain Leandro Nalo in Antipolo, Rizal. He further denied burying in Antipolo Nepomuceno’s .38 caliber revolver TC: Samolde and Andres guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder Only Ramil Samolde has appealed. He contends that: The Court erred in finding there is complicity by circumstantial evidence; and Accused-Appellant was given P10,000.00 by Armando Andres to confess to the murder. ISSUE: WON the confession of Samolde can be used against him- NO . Accused-appellant was not informed of his constitutional rights before his statement was taken. The pertinent portions of his extrajudicial confession read: “PALIWANAG: Ikaw ngayon ay nasa ilalim ng isang pagsisiyasat. Bago kita tanungin ng mga bagay-bagay na may kinalaman sa kasong ito ay nais kong ipabatid ko sa iyo ang iyong mga karapatan na gaya ng mga sumusunod: Na: Ikaw ay may karapatan manatiling tahimik, at may karapatan magbigay o huwag ng salaysay kung gusto mo. Na: Ano mang salaysay kung magbibigay ka ito ay maaaring gamitin katibayan laban o pabor sa iyo sa alin mang hukuman dito sa kapuluan Pilipinas. Na: Ikaw ay may karapatan din sa tulong at pagharap ng sino mang manananggol na iyong nais. TANONG: Matapos mong mabatid ang iyong mga karapatan alinsunod sa ating bagong saligang batas, ikaw ba ay nahahandang magbigay ng isang malaya at kusang loob na salaysay na ang iyong sasabihin ay pawang katotohanan lamang? SAGOT: Opo.
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2. T: Ikaw ba ay mayroon abogado sa oras na ito, upang makatulong mo sa imbestigasyon na ito? S: Mayroon po, si Atty. Emiliano Benito, na siyang aking nagustuhan abogado, upang makatulong ko sa pagsisiyasat sa akin. 3. T: Sa harap ng iyong abogado, nauunawaan mo bang lahat ang iyong mga karapatan na aking ipinaliwanag sa iyo? S: abogado. Opo, kaya po ako kumuha o pumili ng aking
4. T: Mailalagda mo ba ang iyong pangalan, bilang patunay na nauunawaan mo ang mga karapatan mo at bilang patotoo na ikaw ay may katulong na abogado sa oras ng pagsisiyasat sa iyo? S: Opo. Assisted by: SAMOLDE (Sgd.) Atty. Emiliano Benito Nagsasalaysay” Clearly, accused-appellant was not properly apprised of his constitutional rights. Under Art. III, §12(1) of the Constitution, a suspect in custodial investigation must be given the following warnings: “(1) He must be informed of his right to remain silent; (2) he must be warned that anything he says can and will be used against him; and (3) he must be told that he has a right to counsel, and that if he is indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent him.” As the abovequoted portion of the extrajudicial confession shows, accused-appellant was given no more than a perfunctory recitation of his rights, signifying nothing more than a feigned compliance with the constitutional requirements. This manner of giving warnings has been held to be “merely ceremonial and inadequate to transmit meaningful information to the suspect.” For this reason, we hold accused-appellant’s extrajudicial confession is invalid. However, apart from the testimony of Ricardo Nepomuceno and the extrajudicial confession of accusedappellant, there is sufficient evidence in the records showing accused-appellant’s guilt. Accused-appellant confessed in open court that he had killed Feliciano Nepomuceno. It is this admission of accused-appellant which should be considered. We have held that a judicial confession constitutes evidence of a high order. The presumption is that no sane person would deliberately confess to the commission of a crime unless prompted to do so by truth and conscience. Indeed, it is hard to believe that a person, of whatever economic status, would confess to a crime that he did not (SGD.)RAMIL
commit for monetary considerations and thus barter away his liberty, and for that matter, even his life, for a mess of potage, for that is what the mere sum of P10,000.00 allegedly paid to him to make the confession means. On the other hand, the fact that accused-appellant felt bitter towards the victim for having tortured him in jail was the motivating factor which made him kill the latter. The attempt of accused-appellant and Andres to borrow a tear gas gun from a neighbor so that they could take the victim’s gun and their flight after getting their quarry,
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when taken together with accused-appellant’s judicial confession, place beyond the shadow of doubt the guilt of accused-appellant.. Another circumstance to be taken against accusedappellant was his flight after the commission of the crime. Accused-appellant was arrested in Bulacan. Apparently, he went into hiding in Bulacan to avoid arrest Finally, there was NO treachery I the case but there was EVIDENT PREMEDITATION, so still murder.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien PEOPLE V. GALLARDO January 25, 2000 PARDO, J.:
On November 7, 1991, on the basis of the sworn confessions of the accused, the Provincial Prosecutor of Cagayan filed with the Regional Trial Court, Tuguegarao, Cagayan an information charging the accused with murder. On December 2, 1991, all three accused entered a plea of not guilty. Trial ensued. The prosecution’s evidence established the following facts: On July 28, 1991, the lifeless body of Edmundo Orizal was found in the rest house of Ronnie Balao in Balzain, Tuguegarao, Cagayan. In an autopsy performed by Dr. Edmundo Borja, Tuguegarao Municipal Health Officer, the victim was found to have sustained seven (7) gunshot wounds in the chest, abdomen, back, left and right thighs, and two (2) grazing wounds on the left arm and back. Investigation by the Tuguegarao police station identified the suspects in the murder of Edmundo Orizal as Armando Gallardo y Gander, Alfredo Columna y Correa, and Jessie Micate y Orteza. The police received information that the suspects were detained at the Camalaniugan Police Station because of other criminal charges. So elements of the Tuguegarao police went to the Camalaniugan Police Station in August 1991 to fetch the suspects. Only Armando Gallardo and Alfredo Columna alias Fermin were in the custody of the Camalaniugan Police Station. The two suspects Armando Gallardo and Alfredo Columna were brought to the Tuguegarao Police Department. On August 18, 1991, they were investigated by Police Investigator SPO4 Isidro Marcos, and they gave statements admitting that they, together with Jessie Micate, killed Edmundo Orizal. During the investigation, the dialect used was Ilocano, the native tongue of the accused, and during the taking of the statements, Atty. Rolando Velasco assisted them. Judge Vilma Pauig was present. She administered the oath on the jurat of the statements. Accused-appellants signed their statements admitting the killing of Edmundo Orizal. On August 18, 1993, accused on their part filed with the trial court a demurrer to evidence, arguing that the prosecution failed to establish that the signed statements of the accused were procured in accordance with Article III Section 12 (1) of the Constitution. On September 10, 1993, the trial court denied the demurrer and stated that the court would want to know controverting evidence that the defense may give to intelligently decide the issues of the case. Accused Armando Gallardo and Alfredo Columna testified in their defense. They gave a common version. They said that after the respective statements had been typewritten, investigator Marcos neither read to nor allowed them to read the contents of their alleged statements. The investigator just told them to sign their so-called statements. Accused Gallardo signed the confessional statement because he was harmed by Marcos while accused Alfredo Columna said that he signed said document because he was afraid he might be harmed On November 29, 1993, the trial court rendered decision finding accused Armando Gallardo y Gander and Alfredo Columna y Correa guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder qualified by evident premeditation and aggravated by treachery and sentencing each of them to reclusion perpetua and to pay in solidum the heirs of Edmundo Orizal P50,000.00 as the mandatory indemnity for death and P150,000.00 as moral damages. The court acquitted accused Jessie Micate y Ortega for lack of evidence. Hence, this appeal. ISSUE: WON the extra-judicial confessions of the accused are admissible in evidence against them- YES. The extra-judicial confessions of the accused were given after they were completely and clearly apprised of their Constitutional rights. A lawyer assisted them and a judge administered their oath. We have held that "while the initial choice of the lawyer in cases where a person under custodial investigation cannot afford the services of a lawyer is naturally lodged in the police investigators, the accused really has the final choice as he may reject the counsel chosen for him and ask for another one. A lawyer provided by the investigators is deemed engaged by the accused where he never raised any objection against the former’s appointment during the course of the investigation and the accused thereafter subscribes to the veracity of his statement before the swearing officer” In the case at bar, although Atty. Velasco was provided by the State and not by the accused themselves, the accused were given an opportunity whether to accept or not to accept him as their lawyer. They were asked and they immediately agreed to have Atty. Velasco as their counsel during the investigation. There is no requirement in the Constitution that the lawyer of an accused during custodial investigation be previously known to them. The Constitution provides that the counsel be a competent and independent counsel, who will represent the accused and protect their Constitutionally guaranteed rights.
Also, we have held that "to be an effective counsel, a lawyer need not challenge all the questions being propounded to his client. The presence of a lawyer is not intended to stop an accused from saying anything which might incriminate him but, rather, it was adopted in our Constitution to preclude the slightest coercion as would lead the accused to admit something false. The counsel, however, should never prevent an accused from freely and voluntarily telling the truth." We are, therefore, convinced that Atty. Velasco acted properly in accordance with the dictates of the Constitution and informed the accused of their Constitutional rights. Atty. Velasco assisted the accused and made sure that the statements given by the accused were voluntary on their part, and that no force or intimidation was used by the investigating officers to extract a confession from them. Aside from Atty. Velasco, Judge Vilma Pauig also testified that when she administered the oath to the accusedappellants, she asked them whether they understood the contents of their statements and whether they were forced by the police investigators to make such statements. Accused-appellants answered in the negative. From the foregoing, it can therefore be established that accusedappellants were properly apprised of their rights and there was no violation of their Constitutional rights. Under rules laid by the Constitution, existing laws and jurisprudence, a confession to be admissible must satisfy all four fundamental requirements, namely: (1) the confession must be voluntary; (2) the confession must be made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel; (3) the confession must be express; and (4) the confession must be in writing. All these requirements were complied with. It would have been different if the accused were merely asked if they were waiving their Constitutional rights without any explanation from the assisting counsel. In this
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case, Atty. Velasco asked the accused if they were aware of their rights and the lawyer informed them of their rights and asked them if they were giving their statements willingly after being informed of their rights. This is in compliance with the constitutional guarantee of the rights of an accused during custodial investigation. ON GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT There is no merit to the contention that the prosecution failed to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. The testimony of prosecution witness Nelson Hidalgo remains uncontroverted. The defense was unable to produce any evidence to prove that Nelson Hidalgo was biased and not credible. ON IMPUTING THE CONGRESSMAN AS THE MASTERMIND We are however concerned with the statements of the accused that it was Congressman Tuzon who masterminded the killing of Edmundo Orizal. The order of inquest Judge Dominador L. Garcia dropping Congressman Tuzon and Pat. Molina from the criminal complaint for the reason that the confessions of the accused Gallardo and Columna were inadmissible against them under the res inter alios acta rule do not persuade us that former Congressman Tuzon and Pat. Molina were not liable as coprincipals in the crime committed Concededly, the extra-judicial confessions of the accused Gallardo and Columna are not admissible against Congressman Tuzon and Pat. Molina. However, the interlocking confessions of the accused are confirmatory evidence of the possible involvement of former Congressman Tuzon and Pat. Molina in the crime. Consequently, we refer the case to the Department of Justice for investigation of the involvement of former Congressman Tuzon and Pat. Molina in the killing of Edmundo Orizal.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien PEOPLE V. CANOY March 17, 2000 DAVIDE, JR., C.J.:
This is an appeal from the 27 April 199S decision 1 of the Regional Trial Court of Davao City, Branch 16, finding accused Heracleo Manriquez (hereafter HERACLEO) and Gregorio Canoy (hereafter GREGORIO) guilty of two counts of murder. They were indicted in two separate informations, together with Herminia Herrera and Butong Dae, who both remain at large, for stabbing to death Ernesto Gabuyan and Ferdinand Duay . They were later amended to include as co-accused Patrolman Paulino Romarate. A warrant for the arrest of Romarate was issued. He was also ordered suspended from the service. However, like Herrera and Dae, Romarate remains at large. After HERACLEO and GREGORIO entered a plea of not guilty at their arraignment, the cases were consolidated and jointly tried. CALO( witness for prosecution): a member of the AntiCrime Task Force of the Philippine National Police, Davao City, said that on 17 February 1990, HERACLEO and GREGORIO were referred to him for investigation regarding the death of DUAY and GABUYAN. After they were apprised of their constitutional rights, HERACLEO and GREGORIO told him they did not need the assistance of a lawyer and they were willing to give a statement. Nevertheless, Rodel called Atty. Rideway Tanjili, Assistant Regional Attorney of the Public Assistance Office (PAO), to assist them in signing a sworn statement waiving their rights to counsel and to remain silent. Atty. Tanjili substantially corroborated this point. On 19 February 1990, HERACLEO and GREGORIO executed an extra-judicial confession in the presence of Fiscal Garcia, wherein they narrated their participation in the commission of the crime. On the other hand, the witnesses for the defense were GREGORIO, HERACLEO, Pedrita Manriquez, and Police Officer Teodoro Paguiducon, a member of the Anti-Crime Unit. GREGORIO: neighbor of both HERACLEO and Romarate at Bankerohan, Davao City, testified that on 12 January 1990, Hermina Herrera told him to see her common-law husband Romarate. Later, GREGORIO and HERACLEO met Romarate, who was having a drinking session with Butong and Dida Dae, Rolando Corsolado, and Herrera. At about 7:00 p.m., Romarate and his group stopped drinking. He asked GREGORIO to accompany him in a buy-bust operation to be conducted at 5M drug store. GREGORIO and HERACLEO went with Romarate, Corsonado, Butong Dae, and Herrera. Romarate tried to buy at the Rose Pharmacy a drug know as "Pidol," which he described as an appetizer, but failed, so he proceeded to the 5M drug store. Again, Romarate was not given the drug. HERACLEO offered to buy the drug after being assured by Romarate that there was nothing to worry about. Having bought the drug, HERACLEO crossed the street toward his companions, but was arrested by GABUYAN. Upon seeing the incident, Romarate, with a drawn gun approached GABUYAN and ordered the latter to release HERACLEO. GABUYAN was handcuffed and brought near a theater. Thereafter, Romarate went toward DUAY, poked a gun at him, and frisked him for weapons. A gun tucked in DUAY's waist was confiscated by Romarate. DUAY and GABUYAN were brought to the residence of HERACLEO, where GREGORIO watched Romarate, Corsonado, and Butong Dae tie the hands of DUAY and GABUYAN with wires and gag their mouths with handkerchiefs to prevent them from shouting. Meanwhile, HERACLEO left to play basketball. GREGORIO further testified that at about 10:00 p.m., GABUYAN and DUAY were brought near the river situated 15 meters from HERACLEO's house. He saw Romarate, Corsonado, and Butong Dae take turns in repeatedly stabbing the two. He could not run away because Romarate's gun was pointed at him. Romarate even ordered HERACLEO to shoot DUAY whose body was thrown into the river. HERACLEO only fired a shot into the air. A while later, Ramon de Asis arrived and was told by Romarate that the victims were killed because they were members of the NPA. GREGORIO alleged that during investigation, he was not informed of his rights to counsel and to remain silent. He denied having admitted before the National Police Commission that he had any participation in the killing of the victims HERACLEO: asserted that he had no participation in the killing of GABUYAN and DUAY. His testimony mostly corroborated that of GREGORIO concerning the incident of 12 January 1990. He confirmed that he and GREGORIO voluntarily surrendered to the police on 17 February 1990, and that they executed a sworn statement at the residence of Atty. Tanjili on the latter's promise that they would not be implicated in the crime but, instead, be utilized as state witnesses. GREGORIO maintains that the oral admission and extrajudicial confession he gave before the police authorities cannot be used as evidence against him because his waiver of his rights to remain silent and to counsel during custodial interrogation cannot be characterized as one
made knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently since: (1) the sworn statement was written in English and there was no proof that the preliminary questions and answers therein were translated, much less a translation after every question and answer in his alleged waiver, into the Visayan-Cebuano dialect, a language spoken and understood by him; (2) there was no proof that he, then only 18 years old and a 4th grader, clearly understood the import and consequences of the waiver which was "couched in broad and general terms"; (3) the sworn statement related only to his alleged disinterest to be represented by a counsel but it did not signify an agreement to make a confession of the crime with which he was charged; (4) he executed the sworn statement not knowing that an extra-judicial confession was attached thereto and; (5) the presence of his mother during the signing of the waiver did not guarantee that the same was done voluntarily and intelligently. ISSUE: WON the extra-judicial confessions were executed in a lawful manner- NO, nevertheless, Gregorio and Heracleo are still not absolved from the crime of Murder. Sec. 12 (1). Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. There rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of the counsel. This paragraph is reinforced by R.A. No. 7438. 25 Anent the aforementioned constitutional mandate, it is settled that one's right to be informed of the right to remain silent and to counsel contemplates the transmission of meaningful information rather than just the ceremonial and perfunctory recitation of an abstract constitutional principle. It is not enough for the interrogator to merely repeat to the person under investigation the provisions of Section 12, Article III of the 1987 Constitution; the former must also explain the effects of such provision in practical terms — e.g., what the person under interrogation may or may not do — and in a language the subject fairly understands. The right to be
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informed carries with it a correlative obligation on the part of the police investigator to explain, and contemplates effective communication which results in the subject's understanding of what is conveyed. Since it is comprehension that is sought to be attained, the degree of explanation required will necessarily vary and depend on the education, intelligence, and other relevant personal circumstances of the person undergoing investigation. In further ensuring the right to counsel, it is not enough that the subject is informed of such right; he should also be asked if he wants to avail of the same and should be told that he could ask for counsel if he so desired or that one could be provided him at his request. If he decides not to retain a counsel of his choice or avail of one to be provided for him and, therefore, chooses to waive his right to counsel, such waiver, to be valid and effective, must still be made with the assistance of counsel, who, under prevailing jurisprudence, must be a lawyer. Finally, it is obvious that the so-called extrajudicial confession was not yet prepared when Atty. Tanjili was approached to "assist" GREGORIO. As clearly shown therein, another typewriter was used for typing this socalled extrajudicial confession and then the same was merely attached as "page 2" of the waiver. Since the waiver of GREGORIO was intrinsically flawed and therefore, null and void, the alleged extrajudicial confession, "Exh. F-2." is inadmissible in evidence. Nonetheless, the nullity of the waiver and the expurgation of the extrajudicial confession do not absolve GREGORIO from any criminal responsibility. The evidence on record satisfies us with moral certainty that he and his co-accused conspired together to kill DUAY and GABUYAN and that GREGORIO was not a mere witness to the acts of the others; he himself materially contributed to the pursuant of the conspiracy. Conspiracy among the accused having been sufficiently established in these cases, it matters not who among the accused actually inflicted the fatal blow on DUAY and GABUYAN since the criminal act may be attributable to all of them and the act of one is the act of all. However, GREGORIO is entitled to the benefit of the privileged mitigating circumstance of minority under the second paragraph of Article 13 of the Revised Penal Code.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien PEOPLE V. SAPAL KAPUNAN, J.:
The Information charged accused and his wife, Maria Luisa Sapal, with violation of Section 8, Article II in relation to Section 2(e) (1), Article I, Republic Act No. 6425, as amended. Upon motion of the prosecution, the trial court dismissed the charge against Maria Luisa Sapal. Only accused was thus arraigned. At his arraignment, accused entered a plea of not guilty. Subsequently, trial ensued. The prosecution presented two (2) witnesses, namely, PO3 Jesus Gomez and Renee Eric P. Checa, a forensic chemist GOMEZ: He said that he is an investigator of the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) of the Western Police District (WPD) Command at U.N. Avenue in Manila. He also made statements on how he was part of the team who nabbed the accused on the street pursuant to a warrant of arrest issued because of Sapal’s failure to appear in court for his arraignment in another criminal case. CHECA: The chemist on duty at the time, testified that the results of the tests he conducted confirmed that the three (3) bricks were marijuana, a prohibited drug. Each brick weighed about one (1) kilogram and the total gross weight of the illegal substance was placed at three (3) kilograms. SAPAL: denied the charges against him and claimed that he was a victim of a "frame-up". At around 1:00 in the morning of 22 April 1995, accused and his wife, who both just arrived from Hongkong, proceeded to the house of Jerry and Marlene to deliver their "pasalubong". The group decided to eat out thus they all boarded the mica blue Toyota Corolla which accused borrowed from one Maria Theresa Yamamoto. Accused was driving the car while his wife was seated beside him. Jerry and Marlene were seated at the back. When they reached the corner of Lepanto and Earnshaw Streets, their car was blocked by two (2) vehicles carrying armed men. These men alighted from their vehicles, approached the car driven by accused and poked their guns at its passengers. Accused and his companions were ordered to get out of the car. They did as told. Two (2) policemen, Gomez and SPO2 Leoncio Donor, Jr., with their flashlights, then conducted an on-the-spot search. Gomez was heard to have uttered, "Negative for drugs." Turning his attention to accused, Gomez ordered him to board the Toyota Corolla to be brought to the headquarters. The other three (3) companions of accused were made to board one of the vehicles used by the police operatives. Accused further testified that he was blindfolded while on board the Toyota Corolla with the police operatives. He was not brought to the headquarters but to an undisclosed place which he later learned to be Maples Inn in Apacible Street. There, he was made to undress and then mauled and tortured. The police operatives took his wallet which contained seven thousand pesos, a few Hongkong dollars and several ATM cards. They coerced him into divulging to them the PIN numbers of his ATM cards. Accused gave them the correct PIN number to his Far East Bank account but purposely mixed up the other PIN numbers to his other bank accounts. As a result, the police operatives were able to withdraw the amount of thirty thousand pesos from his Far East Bank account. His other two (2) ATM cards were eaten up by the machines. Accused was detained in Maples Inn for four (4) days and on 25 April 1995, he was finally brought to the police headquarters for inquest. At the headquarters, accused initially refused to sign the Booking Sheet and Arrest Report. Gomez, however, took out his gun. He (Gomez) removed five bullets from the gun but left one bullet. He then rolled the cylinder and poked the gun at the accused. He pulled the trigger but the gun did not fire. Trembling with fear, accused hastily signed the Booking Sheet and Arrest Report. FRIENDS OF ACCUSED: Maria Luisa, Jerry and Marlene, in their respective testimonies, averred that they were ordered to board one of the vehicles of the police operatives. They were brought to the headquarters of the WPD in U.N. Avenue, Manila. According to Jerry, upon reaching the headquarters, he was mauled and tortured. The police operatives were forcing him to admit that "shabu" was recovered from their group. Jerry insisted that no illegal drugs were recovered from any of them. In another room, Marlene and Maria Luisa were also being coerced into admitting that illegal drugs were recovered from their group. Like Jerry, Marlene and Maria Luisa refused to do so. They were detained at the headquarters for a day. Thereafter, they were transferred to the Maples Inn. They learned that accused was also being kept there. Upon Maria Luisa’s plea, she was allowed to see her husband but only for a few minutes. They were detained in Maples Inn for three (3) days. Accused was not with them during the entire time. Thereafter, they were all brought back to the headquarters . ISSUE: Whether or not the guilt of accused was proven beyond reasonable doubt to warrant the supreme penalty of death. (i.e. Is the arrest of the accused done in a lawful manner) –NO, thus SAPAL is ACQUITTED While the Court is mindful that law enforcers enjoy the presumption of regularity in the performance of their
duties, this presumption cannot prevail over the constitutional right of the accused to be presumed innocent and it cannot, by itself, constitute proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In this case, there are attendant circumstances that, to the Court’s mind, negate the presumption accorded to the prosecution witness. In fact, there is sufficient evidence to show that the manner by which the law enforcers effected the arrest of accused was highly irregular and suspect. Gomez claimed that they arrested accused pursuant to the warrant issued by Judge Barrios in Criminal Case No. 94133847. Contrary to the clear directive of the warrant, however, the law enforcers never brought him before Judge Barrios. Gomez himself admitted the same and did not offer any convincing explanation for this omission. It must be pointed out that the alias warrant of arrest against accused was issued by Judge Barrios only because accused failed to appear during his arraignment in Criminal Case No. 94-133847. The information in said criminal case charged accused of possession of .3381 gram of "shabu". Without meaning to make light of the said offense, the amount of illegal substance allegedly recovered from accused therein, i.e., less than one (1) gram, hardly made him a "notorious drug dealer" as what the prosecution tried to present. Moreover, there is no dispute that accused was arrested with Maria Luisa on 22 April 1995. In his testimony, Gomez claimed that they brought accused and his wife to the headquarters and he (Gomez) immediately prepared the necessary documents. The records, however, reveal that the documents relating to the arrest of accused and his wife, e.g., Booking Sheet and Arrest Report and Affidavit of Apprehension, were prepared three (3) days after the arrest. The length of time that it took the police officers to prepare these documents, which otherwise involved routine paper work, seriously casts doubt on their credibility. Further, the case was submitted to the inquest prosecutor only on 25 April 1995. The Information against accused and his wife was subsequently filed on 26 April 1995. Gomez never offered any explanation for said delay in delivering accused and his wife to the proper authorities. It was not likewise shown that accused was fully apprised of his rights under custodial arrest. Specifically, accused was not assisted by counsel when he was under custodial investigation in violation of Republic Act No. 7438. Section 2(a) of said law provides that "[a]ny person arrested, detained or under custodial investigation shall at all times be assisted by counsel."
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Admittedly, accused is deemed to have waived his right to question the irregularities attending his arrest for his failure to raise the same at the opportune time, i.e., before he entered his plea. Nonetheless, the peculiar factual circumstances surrounding the case effectively destroy the presumption of regularity in the performance by Gomez and his colleagues of their duties. Such being the case, the presumption of regularity cannot be made the sole basis of the conviction of accused. If anything, these irregularities give credence to the allegations of accused that the law enforcers extorted money from him. As narrated by accused, his ATM cards were confiscated from him during his arrest and he was made to divulge to them the corresponding PIN numbers. He only gave them the correct PIN number to his Far East Bank account. A certification obtained from the branch manager of Far East Bank, Adriatico, Manila, shows that on 22 April 1995, the day accused and his wife were arrested, there were six (6) ATM withdrawals in the amount of five thousand pesos per transaction or a total of thirty thousand pesos from the Far East Bank account of accused. The Court cannot completely disregard this piece of evidence as it strongly corroborates the testimony of accused that the law enforcers were able to withdraw money from his Far East Bank account through the ATM. [T]he Court is also cognizant of the fact that the practice of planting evidence for extortion, as a means to compel one to divulge information or merely to harass witnesses is not uncommon. By the very nature of anti-narcotics operations, with the need for entrapment procedures, the use of shady characters as informants, the ease with which sticks of marijuana or grams of heroin can be planted in pockets or hands of unsuspecting provincial hicks and the secrecy that inevitably shrouds all drug deals, the possibility of abuse is great. Hence, courts must be extra vigilant in trying drug charges lest an innocent person be made to suffer the unusually severe penalties for drug offenses. Moreover, the Court finds no sufficient reason to disbelieve the testimonies of defense witnesses, particularly Jerry and Marlene. The fact that they are friends of the accused and his wife does not make their testimonies unworthy of credence. If they were not really with accused and his wife on 22 April 1995, it would be against human nature for them to risk incriminating themselves by testifying that they were with accused and his wife at the time the marijuana was purportedly found in their car. Likewise, the criminal complaint for arbitrary detention filed by Jerry and Marlene against Ampil, Gomez and Donor, among others, enhances the plausibility of the
defense’ version of the events on 22 April 1995. The same cannot be lightly brushed aside absent any showing of any dubious or improper motive on the part of the Cayetanos in making such a serious charge against said law enforcers. The fact, however, that he has a pending criminal case for illegal possession of "shabu" does not ipso facto make him the owner of the marijuana "discovered" in the car. It must be noted that the marijuana was not found in the person of the accused but in the car with three other passengers. The marijuana could have belonged to any one of them. It is well-settled that "where the circumstances shown to exist yield two (2) or more inferences, one of which is
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consistent with the presumption of innocence while the other or others may be compatible with the finding of guilt, the court must acquit the accused: for the evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty and is insufficient to support a judgment of conviction."
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien People v. Jara
J. Gutierrez, Jr. (1986)
This case involves a highly sensationalized crime committed in the City of Puerto Princesa. The FACTS are as follows: In the morning of June 9, 1978, waitresses employed by Amparo Bantigue wondered why the latter did not answer when they called at her door that morning Thus, they went to the back of her house and peeped through a hole in the kitchen area. There they discovered that Amparo and her “companion,” i.e. girlfriend (the victims were lesbian lovers), Luisa Jara were both lying in bed and there was dried blood on their bodies Immediately, they fetched one of Luisa’s daughters who kicked open the door. Inside, they found the two women dead from several wounds inflicted on their persons Also, several ceramic piggy banks belonging to Amparo containing coins estimated in the amount of P1,000 were missing The estranged husband of Luisa, appellant Felicisimo Jara, subsequently entered the room and saw the condition of the victims Later, two suspects in the killing, appellants Reymundo Vergara and Roberto Bernadas were apprehended During investigation, they confessed their guilt to the Commander of the Philippine Constabulary in Palawan and other police investigators In their confession, they positively identified appellant Felicisimo Jara (husband of Luisa) as the mastermind of the killing and the one who promised them a fee of P1,000 each for their participation Before the City Fiscal of Puerto Princesa, Vergara and Bernadas subscribed and swore to their extra-judicial statements wherein they narrated their role and that of Jara in the killing. Thereafter, the crime was publicly reenacted by Vergara and Bernadas Based on the extra-judicial confession and re-enactment, it was established that the appellants gained entrance to the house thru a window. They apparently used a hammer and a pair of scissors in inflicting mortal wounds on the victims’ persons and that they stole a piggy bank and a buddha bank containing money Appellant Jara vehemently denied the imputations against him in Vergara’s and Bernadas’s extra-judicial confessions. He interposed the general defense of denial and alibi Later, during preliminary investigation, Vergara and Bernadas retracted their extra-judicial confessions (and the subsequent re-enactment) admitting participation in the crimes charged and identifying their “mastermind" as the accused Jara Further, they contested the admissibility of said extrajudicial confessions and the subsequent re- enactment of the crime on the ground that their participations in these
occasions were not free and voluntary and were without the benefit of counsel These notwithstanding, the appellants Felicisimo Jara, Reymund Vergara and Roberto Bernadas were all convicted of robbery with homicide and an accompanying crime of parricide for the killing of the Amparo and Lusia, for which they were all sentenced the supreme penalty of death ISSUE: WON the evidence of guilt (extra-judicial confession) is admissible under the standards fixed by the Constitution and, if not, does the quantum of proof still establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt HELD: As to Vergara and Bernadas, NO. Their extrajudicial confession being tainted with fatal constitutional and procedural irregularities, it cannot be admissible as evidence. There being no other evidence against them, they are hereby ACQUITTED on the ground of reasonable doubt. Likewise as to Jara, the same extra-judicial confession pointing to him as the “mastermind” is inadmissible as evidence. Nevertheless, compelling circumstantial evidence against him remains uncontested. His conviction perforce must be SUSTAINED RATIO: There is no dispute that the confessions in these cases were obtained in the absence of counsel. And according to the records, there was a “waiver” by the accusedappellants of their right to counsel These so-called “waivers” came in the form of a “PASUBALI” (or advice), pre-typed at the opening of the document containing the extra-judicial confession, prepared by the police and subsequently signed/subscribed to by the confessant THIS IS NOT A VALID WAIVER These pre-arranged “pasubali” or "advice" appearing in practically all extra-judicial confessions has seemingly assumed the nature of a "legal form" or model. HOWEVER, its tired, punctilious, fixed, and artificially stately wording/style does not create an impression of voluntariness or even understanding on the part of the accused The showing of a spontaneous, free, and unconstrained giving up of a (constitutional) right is thus missing in this case Sec 20, Art IV of the 1973 Constitution provides: “No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel, and to be informed of such right. No force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiates the free will shall be used against him. Any confession obtained in violation of this section shall be inadmissible in evidence.”
Whenever a protection given by the Constitution is waived by the person entitled to that protection, the presumption is always against the waiver Consequently, the prosecution must prove with convincing evidence that indeed the accused willingly and voluntarily submitted his confession and knowingly and deliberately manifested that he was not interested in having a lawyer assist him during the taking of that confession this burden was not met by the prosecution The SolGen, arguing for the People, maintains that an extra-judicial confession is generally presumed to have been voluntarily executed2 such that the confessant carries the burden of convincing the judge that his admissions are involuntary or untrue. Apropos, the claim of coercion cannot prevail over the testimony of the subscribing fiscal that said confession was voluntary these are already “dead” case law Jurisprudence relied on by the SolGen applied to cases before the Bill of Rights was amended to include Sec 20 on the right to remain silent and to counsel and to be informed of such right (1973 Const.) The old presumption (pre-1973 Const.) was that "no one would declare anything against himself unless such declarations were true;" as such the declarations are assumed to have been given freely and voluntarily But upon the adoption of the new (1973) Constitution, in expressly adopting the so-called Miranda rights3, the presumption has been reversed the prosecution must now prove that an extrajudicial confession was voluntarily given Verily, there would have been no need to amend the centuries old provisions of the Bill of Rights and to expressly add the interdiction that "no force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiates the free will shall be used against him (the person being investigated)" if the framers intended to continue applying the pre-1973 presumptions In Miranda v. Arizona, the reasons for shifting the burden of proving voluntariness from the accused unto the prosecution has been thoroughly discussed For our purposes, the extensive quotes made by the Court of Miranda simply provide that the nature of commonly-practiced procedures for in-house police investigation (i.e. custodial interrogation) of a person suspected for a crime is necessarily coercive, physically and mostly psychologically being coercive, as such, it must be strictly against the prosecution According to police manuals, interrogation must take place in privacy and/or in isolation. Apart from creating the atmosphere that suggests the invincibility of the forces of the law, this increases the psychological and emotional advantage of the interrogating officer (which, on the flipside, vastly degrades that of the suspect’s)
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Further, during the questioning, police interrogators are trained to display an air of confidence regarding the suspect's guilt, for the purpose of overwhelming the suspect through an interrogator’s inexorable will to obtain the truth, maintaining only an interest in confirming certain details of such certainty of guilt All these tactics are designed to put the subject in an emotional and psychological state where his story is but an elaboration of what the police purport to know already - that he (the suspect) is guilty Police manuals on interrogation further stress the importance of toying with a suspect’s psychological and emotional fragility through methods like “good-cop-badcop,” long hours of questioning, etc. ULTIMATELY, though, the abovementioned police interrogation tactics must be executed only when the police has a well-grounded belief that their suspect’s guilt is highly probable in the instant case, appellants were interrogated incommunicado and without additional safeguards of a voluntary confession (e.g. presence of counsel) even when the police had no reasonable grounds to suspect them Moreover, other factors on record militate the prosecution’s argument that the extra-judicial confessions were voluntary For one, Vergara and Bernadas had been detained for more than two weeks before they decided to give "voluntary" confessions it is doubtful if it was two weeks of soul-searching and introspection alone which led them to confess. There must have been other persuasions Also, at the time of the appellants’ arrest and their subsequent interrogation, the police of Palawan was in a tight position (and high pressure) to resolve crimes as they were faced, at that time, with a series of highly sensationalized crimes the undue haste and vast publicity of the police securing appellants’ extra-judicial confessions thus become suspicious under the forgoing circumstances Finally, testimonial and medical evidence as to “physical” means of persuasion against the persons of the appellants is borne by the records (they were treated, right about the time of the interrogation, for cigarette burns and other wounds) All the forgoing instances, unsuccessfully refuted by the prosecution, only means that the State failed to satisfy the exacting requirements of the Constitution respecting the rights of a suspect under custodial investigation perforce, the extra-judicial confessions in question are tainted with fatal irregularities which makes them inadmissible as evidence; thus, Vergara and Bernadas must be acquitted, there being no other evidence as to their involvement in the crime As to Felicisimo Jara, the story is quite different. Although the extra-judicial confessions (now inadmissible) is the strongest, direct evidence of his guilt, other circumstantial evidence exist to sustain his conviction
Citing People v. Castañeda and People v. Ramos Miranda v. Arizona (384 U.S. 436)
In brief, Jara’s conviction is upheld due to testimonies of prosecution witnesses to the effect that Felicisimo and Luisa (lawfully married) had been bickering forever which ultimately led to their estrangement. The fact that Felicisimo, working for Luisa as a cook in her restaurant for several years, where witnesses attested that she often scolded him in public, shaming and hurting his ego was clearly established. There clearly was reason for Felicisimo to hold an intense grudge against Luisa. And according to other witnesses, his shame and hurt ego was intensified when Luisa left him for Amparo, with whom she lived with as “husband and wife” (lesbo action) The intensity of such a grudge against both women, of which only Felicisimo could possibly harbor, is consistent with the finding of the medico legal that only a person who had harbored so much hate and resentment could have inflicted such multiple fatal blows on the victims Also, blood stains were found splattered on Felicisimo’s eyeglasses and trousers while he was being investigated. Lab tests confirmed that the blood samples collected from Felicisimo’s belongings were of the victims’ belying his alibi that the blood was of a chicken he slaughtered earlier that day
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Felicisimo later theorized that the blood might have been splattered unto his belongings when he hugged Luisa upon finding her dead on the crime scene, but the medico legal dismissed such a story ratiocinating that blood could not have “splattered” at such an instance because the blood has already coagulated. On the contrary, the medico legal concluded that the shape, trajectory and consistency of the blood stains on Felicisimo’s belongings actually indicate that he could be the one who inflicted the wounds as stains like that can only be “splattered” when a person bludgeons another while standing near his victim Felicisimo’s denial and alibi cannot be given credence as they fail to meet the requisites established by law and jurisprudence, further militated by his recidivism for having been previously convicted of homicide On the other hand, the requirements for circumstantial evidence to sustain a conviction are present in this case. The aforementioned circumstances constitute an unbroken chain leading to one fair and reasonable conclusion which points to the guilt of the accused Felicisimo Jara beyond reasonable doubt
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien People v. Nicandro
J. Plana (1986)
Sometime in Nov 1981, the Drug Enforcement Unit of the Western Police District (Manila) received complaints from concerned citizens regarding the illegal sale of prohibited drugs by one alias 'Nel' in the Commodore Pension House at Ermita, Manila Responding to said reports, the Drug Enforcement Unit placed the Commodore Pension House and its surroundings under surveillance for about a week After the reports were verified, an entrapment with the confidential informant (CI) acting as the buyer of marijuana was organized At about 9pm on Nov 6, the police entrapment team was alerted of the presence of the drug pusher, alias 'Nel', at room 301 of the Commodore Pension House, selling marijuana to drug users Immediately the police officers proceeded to the said Pension House and met the female CI, gave her two marked P5 bills and instructed her what to do Later, the CI went up to room 301, knocked on the door and appellant Nelia Nicandro, alias 'Nel', opened the door The CI asked to buy some marijuana cigarette and gave appellant the two marked P5 bills. Thereupon, appellant Nicandro delivered to the CI 4 sticks of marijuana cigarette Immediately the police team closed in and nabbed appellant. Police officers frisked appellant and got from the right front pocket of her pants the two marked P5 bills and from the left pocket of her pants marijuana flowering tops wrapped in a piece of newspaper Upon being investigated and after having been duly apprised of her constitutional rights, appellant orally admitted having sold the four sticks of marijuana cigarettes and the ownership of the marijuana flowering tops taken from her pocket, but refused to reduce her confession to writing The prosecution put particular weight to the testimonies of members of the police entrapment team who were allegedly “eyewitnesses” to appellant’s crime After trial, appellant Nicandro was convicted for violating the Dangerous Drugs Act and sentenced accordingly Upon appeal, appellant raises the following issue: WoN the trial court erred in giving probative weight to evidence presented against her when they were obtained in violation of her Constitutional rights HELD: YES. The appealed decision is REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and the appellant is hereby ACQUITTED on the basis of reasonable doubt RATIO: Although the entrapment operation to “bust” appellant in the act of “selling” Marijuana was conducted as
planned, the police officers who accosted Nicandro appears not to have any basis to arrest and interrogate her (where she allegedly “orally” confessed her crime) While it is admitted that the police officers were at the vicinity of the place where the alleged “sale” took place, there is doubt as to whether these officers actually “witnessed” the actual exchange of the drugs and marked money between the CI and the appellant In his statement, the arresting officer initially said that he saw appellant hand a plastic bag containing marijuana cigarettes to the CI but later recanted and said that she openly handed the cigarette sticks to the CI later, still, when confronted with the improbability of appellant “openly” exchanging the drugs (as according to him there were other people in the hallway), he qualified his story by saying that appellant handed the drugs “secretly” From the forgoing, it is probable that the entrapment police team did not really witness the exchange of the drugs with the marked money as it was done in “secret,” placing the testimony (upon which the whole case of the prosecution rests) in serious doubt Also, the CI was never put on the witness stand, prompting the accused to invoke with reason the presumption that evidence willfully suppressed would be adverse if produced4 The Right to be “Informed” of Rights under Custodial Investigation In convicting Nicandro, the trial court relied also on her alleged confession during interrogation this reliance is violative of Sec 20, Art IV5 of the 1973 Constitution The above provision is an expanded version of the guarantee against self-incrimination, formally incorporating the doctrine in the landmark American case of Miranda vs. Arizona into the Philippine Bill of Rights The main doctrine as such, that: the prosecution may not use statements, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from custodial interrogation 6 of the defendant unless it demonstrates the use of
Rule 131, Sec. 5(e) Sec 20, Art VI: No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel, and to be informed of such right. No force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiates the free will shall be used against him. Any confession obtained in violation of this section shall be inadmissible in evidence. 6 Custodial interrogation refers to the questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way
procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self- incrimination To satisfy the requirements of Sec 20, Art IV, the following procedure must be strictly followed: (a) Prior to any questioning, the person must be warned that he has a right to remain silent, that any statement he does may be used as evidence against him, and that he has a right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed (b) The defendant may waive those rights, provided the waiver is made voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently (c) If, however, the suspect indicates, at any stage of the process, that he wishes to consult with an attorney before speaking, there can be no questioning. Likewise, if the individual indicates in any manner that he does not wish to be interrogated, the police may not question him any further When the Constitution requires a person under investigation "to be informed" of his right to remain silent and to counsel, it must be presumed to contemplate the transmission of meaningful information rather than just the ceremonial and perfunctory recitation of an abstract constitutional principle the right to be “informed” implies COMPREHENSION As a rule, therefor, it would not be sufficient for a police officer just to repeat to the person under investigation the provisions of Sec 20, Art IV police officer must explain their effects in practical terms, e.g., what the person under interrogation may or may not do, and in a language the subject fairly understands The right of a person under interrogation "to be informed" implies a correlative obligation on the part of the police investigator to explain If this is not complied with, as in this case, there is a denial of the right, as it cannot truly be said that the person has been "informed" of his rights The rule further implies that the degree of explanation (by the police officer) shall necessary vary, depending upon the education, intelligence and other relevant
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personal circumstances of the person under investigation. Suffice it to say that a simpler and more lucid explanation is needed where the subject is unlettered Waiver of the Right Like other constitutional rights, the right against selfincrimination, including the right of a person under investigation to remain silent and to counsel, and to be informed of such right, may be waived To be valid, however, a waiver of the right must not only be voluntary; it must be made knowingly and intelligently this, of course, presupposes an awareness/understanding of what is being waived Hence, where the right has not been adequately explained and there are serious doubts as to whether the person interrogated knew and understood his constitutional rights, he could not have possibly waived them! In the instant case, the records reveal that the interrogating officer “informed the accused of the her constitutional rights” but what specific “rights” he accordingly informed her, he did not mention Said officer also failed to elaborate how he communicated such rights to the appellant, considering that she is illiterate As it is the duty of the interrogating officer to prove that he “informed” the accused of her rights according to the strict rules provided in case law, it is the duty of the prosecution to prove compliance by the investigating officer with his said obligation in the case at bar, the prosecution dismally failed to dispose of such burden, hence, the “oral” admission cannot be admissible as evidence There being no other supporting evidence save from the entrapment police officer’s testimonies (which have been cast in serious doubt) and the alleged “oral” admission by appellant during custodial interrogation (which is inadmissible), the guilt of appellant has not been established beyond reasonable doubt
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien People v. Continente
J. De Leon, Jr. (2000)
Appellant Donato Continente and several other John Does were initially charged with the crimes herein charged in 2 separate Informations in connection with the shooting incident on Apr 21, 1989 at the corner of Tomas Morato St and Timog Ave, QC which caused the death of U.S. Col. James N. Rowe while seriously wounding his driver, Joaquin Vinuya After the arrest of another suspect, Juanito Itaas, in Davao City, the prosecution, with prior leave of court, amended the 2 separate Informations previously filed to include Itaas as an accused The prosecution provides the pertinent FACTS as follows: In the morning of Apr 21, 1989, the car of U.S. Col. James N. Rowe, Deputy Commander, Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG), was ambushed at the corner of Tomas Morato St and Timog Ave, QC Initial investigation by the Central Intelligence Service (CIS), Camp Crame shows that during the ambush, Col. James Rowe, was on board his gray Mitsubishi Galant car which was being driven by Joaquin Vinuya They were at the corner of Tomas Morato and Timog on their way to the JUSMAG Compound when gunmen who were on board a red Toyota Corolla car suddenly fired at his car, killing Col. Rowe and seriously wounding his driver, Joaquin Vinuya Upon further investigation, the CIS agents established through a confidential informant (CI) the involvement of appellant Continente, an employee of the Philippine Collegian in U.P. Diliman, in the ambush of Col. James Rowe and his driver Accordingly, the CIS investigation team proceeded to the U.P. campus to conduct a surveillance on appellant Continente and after accosting him, the CIS team took him to Camp Crame for questioning During the interrogation conducted by a CIS Investigator in the presence of Atty. Bonifacio Manansala in Camp Crame, appellant Continente admitted to his participation in the ambush as a member of the Political Assassination Team of the CPPNPA Among the documents confiscated from appellant Continente by CIS agents was a letter addressed to "Sa Kinauukulan". At the dorsal right hand side of the letter appear the acronyms "STR PATRC" which allegedly mean "Sa Tagumpay ng Rebolusyon" and "Political Assassination Team, Regional Command" Another CI established the participation of appellant Juanito Itaas in the said ambush. Appellant Itaas was a known member of the Sparrow Unit of the NPA based in Davao City He was arrested in Davao City and was brought to Manila for investigation. The same CIS Investigator interrogated and took down the statements of Itaas who disclosed during the investigation that he was an active member of the NPA and confessed, in the
presence of Atty. Filemon Corpuz, who apprised and explained to him his constitutional rights, that he was one of those who fired the gun during the ambush Meanwhile, the ambush was purportedly witnessed by a certain Meriam Zulueta. Her testimony for the prosecution reveals that in the morning of the day of the ambush, she was on her way to the JUSMAG Compound to attend a practicum when she heard several gunshots Upon looking at the direction where the gunshots emanated, she saw persons on board a maroon car firing at a gray car. She said she saw the persons who were firing at the gray car. For one, she recognized appellant Itaas as one such person, whose body was half exposed, firing at the gray car with the use of along firearm Eyewitness Zulueta likewise recognized the driver of the car as the same person whom she had encountered on two occasions near the JUSMAG Compound days before the ambush. She learned the identity of the driver as a certain Raymond Navarro, allegedly a member of the NPA. Zulueta disclosed that she recognized Navarro because her attention was caught by him when the latter remarked "Hoy pare, ang sexy. She-boom!" as she was walking along the street toward the JUSMAG Compound Zulueta also recognized appellant Continente whom she had encountered on at least 3 occasions at a carinderia outside the JUSMAG Compound She mistook Continente for a tricycle driver who was simply walking around the premises. She came to know the identity of appellant Continente when he was presented to her in Camp Crame for identification FOR THE DEFENSE, appellant Itaas testified and denied the truth of the contents of his sworn statements insofar as the same establishes his participation in the ambush. He was allegedly tortured by his captors and that he was blindfolded, hit and mauled Appellant Itaas further testified that he affixed his signatures on his sworn statements in the presence only of the CIS officers and that Atty. Filemon Corpus was not present; Also, he cried that he only swore to the truth of the contents of his confession before the fiscal because he was threatened Appellant Continente, for his part, testified that he was a messenger of the Philippine Collegian. He was walking on his way home inside the U.P. campus from his workplace in Vinzon's Hall when four persons blocked his way and simultaneously held his body and covered his mouth. Inside a waiting car, he was handcuffed and blindfolded Thereafter, they took his wallet and later he learned that he was taken to Camp Crame when his blindfold was removed so that he could give his statement in connection with the ambush before a CIS Investigator
Appellant Continente denied having made the statements admitting his participation in the crime. He avers that he was alone with the CIS Investigator during the investigation; and that he signed his sworn statement in the presence only of the investigator and swore to the truth thereof before the administering fiscal for fear that something might happen to him Continente further claimed that he signed the sworn statement first before signing the waiver of his constitutional rights upon arrival of Atty. Manansala; and that he had no opportunity to talk with said lawyer who left after he (Atty. Manansala) signed, merely as witness, the first page of his sworn statement, which is the waiver of his constitutional rights (“PAGPAPATUNAY”) On rebuttal, prosecution witness reveals that during the investigation of appellants, their respective lawyers namely, Atty. Manansala and Atty. Corpuz, were present; that appellants Continente and Itaas conferred with their lawyers before they gave their statements to the CIS investigator; that the CIS investigator typed only the statements that the appellants had given him in response to his questions during the investigation; that both appellants were accompanied by their respective lawyers when they were brought to the fiscal for inquest; and that said appellants were never tortured nor threatened during the investigations of these cases The trial court rendered its now assailed decision finding both appellants guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crimes of murder and frustrated murder Appellants, in the main, question the validity of the their alleged extra-judicial confessions as they were not properly appraised of their rights during the custodial investigation and that being tainted, they could not have validly waived the same ISSUE: WoN the waivers of the constitutional rights during custodial investigation by the appellants were valid HELD: YES. The investigators were sufficiently able to dispose of the burden of proving voluntariness in securing the questioned extra-judicial confessions, as supported by the evidence on record. However, the conviction as to appellant Continente is modified as he is here merely an accomplice. Otherwise, the TC decision is AFFIRMED. RATIO: The rights of the accused during custodial investigation are enshrined in Art III, Sec 12(1) of the 1987 Constitution7 Sec. 12. (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.
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The rights to remain silent and to counsel may be waived by the accused provided that the constitutional requirements are complied with: o It must be clear that the accused was initially accorded his right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have a competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice o The waiver must be in writing and in the presence of counsel Only if the waiver complies with the constitutional requirements, will the extra-judicial confession be tested for: o voluntariness, i. e., if it was given freely (without coercion, intimidation, inducement, or false promises); and o credibility, i.e., if it was consistent with the normal experience of mankind In the instant case, herein appellants contend that they were not properly informed of their custodial rights under the constitution as to enable them to make a valid waiver this is UNTENABLE A perusal of the document containing their extrajudicial confessions provides that the same conforms to the requirements of the Constitution and the Rules of Criminal Procedure Validity of the Investigators Act of “Informing” the Appellants’ of their Custodial Rights and Validity of their “Waiver” of such Rights Although the Court has repeatedly held that a “PASUBALI” or “PALIWANAG” found at the beginning of extrajudicial confessions that merely enumerate to the accused his custodial rights do not meet the standard provided by law. This is because they are terse and perfunctory statements that do not evince a clear and sufficient effort to inform and explain to the appellant his constitutional rights8 In the case at bar, the “PALIWANAG” at the beginning of Continente’s and Itaas’s extra-judicial confessions are not mere enumerations of their rights under the Constitution instead, they contained a detailed explanation as to the nature of the investigation that is, regarding their suspected participations in the ambush. More importantly, they also included an “advice” that appellants may choose not to give any statement plus a warning that any statement obtained from them may be used in favor or against them in Cf. People v. Nicandro above where it has been held that when the constitution requires a person under investigation "to be informed" of his rights to remain silent and to have an independent and competent counsel preferably of his own choice, it must be presumed to contemplate the transmission of meaningful information rather than just the ceremonial and perfunctory recitation of an abstract constitutional principle – there must be COMPREHENSION on the part of the suspect under investigation!
court. In addition, they contained an “advice” that the appellants may engage the services of a lawyer of their own choice and that if they cannot afford the services of a lawyer, they will be provided with one by the government for free – all in a language clearly comprehended by both appellants (Tagalog) Further, the CIS investigator testified that despite the manifestation of the appellants of their intention to give a statement even in the absence of counsel, he nevertheless requested the legal services of Atty. Manansala and Atty. Corpuz to counsel both appellants Both lawyers also testified, corroborating the averments of the CIS investigator they testified that the appellants conferred with them for about 30mins before the interrogation started where they explained to them anew their constitutional rights to silence and counsel and the consequences of waiving these rights; and that the appellants maintained their position to give their statements even in the absence of counsel leading to their signing of the “PAGPAPATUNAY” (certification) as witnesses to said waivers Appellants in this appeal also question the contents of the extra-judicial confession. They intimated that the CIS investigator merely fabricated their answers therein this is belied by the rebuttal testimony of said investigator who categorically said that he let the appellants read the documents in full and only after that did he let them affix their signatures therein On Threats, Intimidation, Force and Violence Appellants further impugn their subsequent subscription and swearing of the questioned extrajudicial confessions before the City Fiscal. They averred that they only did so due to threats made against them by the CIS investigators this is a self-serving, unsupported claim First, it must be noted that on both occasions, they were accompanied by their counsels. In any case, appellant Continente’s unsubstantiated claim has been belied by his own testimony in open court where he categorically stated that he was not subjected to any threats, intimidation, force, violence or duress by the investigators As to Itaas, who claimed to have been tortured during his interrogation aside from being threatened to subscribe and swear as to the truth of his confession before the Fiscal, his claim here is defeated because he failed to present any evidence of compulsion or duress or violence committed against his person of significance here is the fact that he was subjected to a medical check-up upon his arrival from Davao to Manila and that the same revealed no proof of torture. Neither did he file any administrative or criminal complaint against said agents who maltreated him, even though he had all the chances of doing so The Court is here constrained to hold against the appellant’s cry of duress or violence against their persons in securing their extra-judicial confessions when they do not exert any overt acts of contesting the
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same or present any proof thereof. To hold otherwise would be to facilitate the retraction of his solemnly made statements at the mere allegation of torture, without any proof whatsoever The Court also notes that the respective written confessions of appellants are replete with details which could be supplied only by someone in the know so to speak. They reflect spontaneity and coherence which psychologically cannot be associated with a mind to which violence and torture have been applied Right to Competent and Independent Counsel of Choice Next, appellants question the “impartiality” and/or “competence” of Attys. Manansala and Corpuz this cannot anymore be assailed because when these lawyers where assigned to them during their investigation, appellants never questioned their appointment. Of significance here is the fact that appellants never desired any counsel to begin with It has been ruled that while the initial choice of the lawyer in cases where a person under custodial investigation cannot afford the services of the lawyer is naturally lodged in the police investigators, the accused really has the final choice as he may reject the counsel chosen for him and ask for another one. A lawyer provided by the investigators is deemed engaged by the accused ONLY where he never raised any objection against the former's appointment during the course of the investigation The lawyers herein questioned cannot be faulted for not preventing the appellants from making their extrajudicial confessions simply because said lawyers were merely complying with their oaths to abide by the truth. The counsel should never prevent an accused from freely and voluntarily telling the truth Other Matters Regarding the Finding of Guilt Beyond Reasonable Doubt The testimony of prosecution’s eyewitness Zulueta confirms to a large extent the statements made by the appellants in their written confessions for instance, Itaas’s confession and Zuleta’s statement matched as regards Itaas’s position in the red car and the kind of weapon he fired Zulueta’s statement also matched Continente’s averments in his extra-judicial confession to the effect that as he was tasked with the surveillance of the area before the planned ambush, he was always walking around the vicinity of the JUSMAG Compound for several days where he and Zulueta would chance upon each other at a carenderia nearby Zulueta’s testimony was never successfully refuted by the defense and the TC has rightfully conferred substantial weight to her testimony HOWEVER, the TC has erred in finding conspiracy between the acts of herein appellants that resulted to the killing of the Col. Rowe and serious injury of Vinuya the mere fact that both Continente and Itaas are
members of the CCP-NPA is such a tenuous ground to find conspiracy if no other relevant evidence is presented in this light In the case at bench, appellant Continente is liable for the crimes charged in these criminal cases only as an accomplice under Art 18, RPC The evidence adduced disclose that the participation of Continente was made only after the plan or decision to ambush Col. Rowe was already a fait accompli. Continente was merely assigned to the vicinity of the JUSMAG Compound, before the
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shooting to gather certain data, specifically the number of people and volume of vehicles in the area, the measurement of the streets, etc. Significantly, Continente was not even present at the scene of the crime during the shooting With respect to appellant Itaas, however, the TC correctly found that the evidence against him are sufficient to convict him of the crime charged --oo0oo--
4. Police Line-Up
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien Gamboa v. Cruz
J. Padilla (1988)
On 19 July 1979, petitioner Cristopher Gamboa was arrested for vagrancy, without a warrant of arrest. Thereafter, he was brought to the police station where he was booked for vagrancy and then detained The following day, during the lineup of five detainees, including petitioner, complainant Erlinda Bernal pointed to petitioner as the perpetrator if a robbery committed against her After the identification, the other detainees were brought back to their cell but petitioner was ordered to stay on. While the complainant Bernal was being interrogated by the police, petitioner was told to sit down in front of her Two days later, an information for robbery was filed against the petitioner. Later, petitioner was arraigned and thereafter, hearings were held The prosecution offered its evidence and then rested its case. But petitioner, by counsel, instead of presenting his defense, manifested in open court that he was filing a Motion to Acquit or Demurrer to Evidence Petitioner filed said Motion predicated on the ground that the conduct of the line-up, without notice to, and in the absence of, his counsel violated his constitutional rights to counsel and to due process Then, respondent court issued the herein assailed order denying the Motion to Acquit Petitioner hence interpose this petition for certiorari with prayer for a TRO (which the Court issued) Petitioner contends that the respondent judge acted in excess of jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion, in issuing the assailed order. He insists that said order is null and void for being violative of his rights to counsel and to due process ISSUE: WoN the respondent court err in denying petitioner’s motion to acquit/demurrer HELD: NO. There is no merit in the instant petition, and hence, is hereby DISMISSED. The TRO is LIFTED and the instant case is remanded to the respondent court for further proceedings to afford the petitioner-accused the opportunity to present evidence on his behalf RATIO: Preliminary Matters: Improper Remedy To begin with, the instant petition is one for certiorari, alleging grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack of jurisdiction, committed by the respondent judge in issuing the questioned order this is UNTENABLE9 It is basic that for certiorari to lie, there must be a capricious, arbitrary and whimsical exercise of power, the
Certiorari and prohibition are not the proper remedies against an order denying a Motion To Acquit. Sec 1, Rule 117 of the Rules of Court provides that, upon arraignment, the defendant shall immediately either move to quash the information or plead thereto, or do both and that, if the defendant moves to quash, without pleading, and the motion is withdrawn or overruled, he should immediately plead, which means that trial must proceed. If, after trial on the merits, judgment is rendered adversely to the movant (in the motion to quash), he can appeal the judgment and raise the same defenses or objections (earlier raised in his motion to quash) which would then be subject to review by the appellate court An order denying a Motion to Acquit (like an order denying a motion to quash) is interlocutory and not a final order. It is, therefore, not appealable. Neither can it be the subject of a petition for certiorari. Such order of denial may only be reviewed, in the ordinary course of law, by an appeal from the judgment, after trial Substantial Matters: Custodial Rights of the Petitioner are Not Yet Obtaining The rights to counsel and to due process of law are indeed two of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. In a democratic society, like ours, every person is entitled to the full enjoyment of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution The rule under our Constitutional regime is, thus: any person under investigation must, among other things, be assisted by counsel. The cited provisions of the Constitution are clear and they leave no room for equivocation Apropos, no custodial investigation shall be conducted unless it be in the presence of counsel, engaged by the person arrested, or by any person in his behalf, or appointed by the court upon petition either of the detainee himself, or by anyone in his behalf, and that, while the right may be waived, the waiver shall not be valid unless made in writing and in the presence of counsel10 very antithesis of judicial prerogative. To warrant its issuance, the alleged lack of jurisdiction, excess thereof, or abuse of discretion must be so gross or grave, as when power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion, prejudice or personal hostility, or the abuse must be so patent as to amount to an evasion of positive duty, or to a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all, in contemplation of law. This is not the situation in the case at bar 10Sec. 12, Art. III (1987 Constitution): (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel
However, the right to counsel attaches only upon the start of the investigation proper, i.e. when the investigating officer starts to ask questions to elicit information and/or confessions or admissions from the person under investigation because at such point, the person being interrogated must be assisted by counsel to avoid the pernicious practice of extorting false or coerced admissions/confessions from person undergoing interrogation In the case at bar, the police line-up was not part of the custodial inquest proper, hence, petitioner was not yet entitled, at such stage, to counsel when petitioner was identified by the complainant at the police line-up, he had not been held yet to answer for any criminal offense Accordingly, at that precise instant, the process was still part of the informative stage (fact-gathering) and not yet on the accusatory stage (where interrogators seek to elicit a confession from the accused) ergo, the petitioner was not yet entitled to any rights of a person under custodial investigation Perforce, the police, at that point, could not have violated petitioner's right to counsel and due process as the confrontation between the State and him had yet to begin The records reveal that when he was identified in the police line-up by complainant, he did not give any statement to the police he was, therefore, not interrogated, much less was the police trying to extract from him a confession. In fact, it was not he but the complainant who was being investigated at that time The Court here cited a US case (Kirby v. Illinois) to bolster its ruling, the facts of the case at bar being strikingly similar thereto11 in that case, the US Supreme Court decided that the right to counsel has not yet attached during the out-of-court identification in a police line up precisely because the accused was yet to be subjected to adversarial judicial proceedings
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And yet in our jurisdiction, custodial rights to silence and counsel are even broader than that of the US’s 6th Amendment rights because under both the ‘73 and ‘87 Charters, the right to silence and counsel attaches at the very start of the investigation against a respondent and, therefore, even before adversary judicial proceedings against the accused have begun (meaning even during police line-ups? – not answered) Weird Part of the Decision: After stating the highlighted dictum of the ponencia immediately above, the Court merely stated that it finds no real need to afford a suspect the services of counsel during a police line-up. But next to that was an obiter dictum enjoining/reminding the police to grant persons under investigation the right to counsel the moment there is a move or even an urge of said investigators to elicit admissions or confessions or even plain information which may appear innocent or innocuous at the time, from said suspect, unless he waives the right, but the waiver shall be made in writing and in the presence of counsel As to the issue of denial of due process, the Court states that the same has no basis because the petitioner was given every opportunity to be heard and ventilate his side of the issue and present evidence therefor, only that he did not avail thereof but instead filed this instant case Dissenting opinions from the minority (through CJ Yap and J. Sarmiento) raise objections to the conclusions of the majority to the extent that they held the police lineup (in this particular case) not to be part of the investigative/accusatory processes such that petitioner’s custodial rights has not yet accrued. The minority pointed to the material peculiarity of the facts and circumstances of this case vis-à-vis regular police lineups petitioner was arrested without warrant for vagrancy and detained therefor; however, he was made to be part of a police line-up for robbery. There is something amiss in this process, particularly the absence of probable cause on the part of the police to include petitioner on the line-up. Moreover, according to CJ Yap and J. Sarmiento, petitioner Gamboa in this case, as borne by the records, was made to “confront” his supposed complainant while the latter was being interrogated after he was positively identified. This, as to petitioner, starts the accusatory process (hence entitling him to due process and custodial rights) because, albeit he was not asked to confess or give statement, constructively made him face his accuser which is the very foundation of our adversarial judicial proceedings
preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. (2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited. (3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible in evidence against him 11 WARNING: This is where the decision starts to be weird. Walang logic ‘tong part ng decision na ito. Oh well, obiter naman kasi. Walang coherence at all with the cited authorities ang almost peremptory conclusions that the majority arrived at.
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien US v. Wade
J. Brennan (1967)
The federally insured bank in Eustace, Texas, was robbed on Sept 21, 1964. A man with a small strip of tape on each side of his face entered the bank, pointed a pistol at the female cashier and the vice president (only persons in the bank at the time), and forced them to fill a pillowcase with the bank's money. On March 1965, an indictment was returned against respondent, Wade, for suspected connection with the said robbery. He was arrested on April 2, and counsel was appointed to represent him 15 days later (April 17) an FBI agent, without notice to Wade's lawyer, arranged to have the two bank employees (witnesses) observe a lineup made up of Wade and five or six other prisoners Each person in the line wore strips of tape as allegedly worn by the robber and upon direction each said something like "put the money in the bag," the words allegedly uttered by the robber. Both bank employees identified Wade in the lineup as the bank robber At trial, the two employees, when asked on direct examination if the robber was in the courtroom, pointed to Wade Upon cross examination, the prior lineup identification of April 17 was elicited by petitioner Wade’s counsel, prompting him (the lawyer) at the close of testimony, to move for a judgment of acquittal or, alternatively, to strike the courtroom identifications on the ground that the conduct of the lineup, without notice to and in the absence of counsel, violated his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and his Sixth Amendment right to the assistance of counsel The motion was, however, denied and Wade was subsequently convicted Upon appeal, the CA reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial at which the in-court identification was to be excluded, holding that, although the lineup did not violate Wade's Fifth Amendment rights, the lineup, held as it was, in the absence of counsel was a violation of his Sixth Amendment rights – hence this appeal through certiorari by the State, raising the following issue: WoN the courtroom identifications at trial are to be excluded from evidence because the accused was exhibited to the witnesses before trial at a post-indictment lineup conducted for identification purposes without notice to and in the absence of the accused's counsel, in violation of his right against self-incrimination and right to counsel HELD: In violation of Wade’s right against selfincrimination, NO. But, as to his right to counsel, YES. The judgment of the CA to this extent is AFFIRMED but in peremptorily ordering the exclusion of the questioned evidence in granting new trial, the said CA judgment to such extent is REVERSED. The case is remanded to the CA
with direction to enter a new judgment vacating the conviction and remanding the case to the District Court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion RATIO: On the Right against Self-incrimination Neither the lineup itself nor anything borne by the records that Wade was required to do in the lineup violated his privilege against self-incrimination It has been held that the right to self-incrimination protects an accused only from being compelled to testify against himself, or otherwise provide the State with evidence of a testimonial or communicative nature hence, compelling a suspect to submit to a withdrawal of a sample of his blood for analysis for alcohol content and the admission in evidence of the analysis report were not compulsion by the court to have the accused be a witness against himself In fine, the right pertains only to a prohibition of the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort communications from him, not to the exclusion of his body as evidence when it may be material in other words, when the need arises (as in this case for identification purposes), compelling a man to exhibit himself is not self-incrimination In the instant case, compelling Wade merely to exhibit his person for observation by a prosecution witness prior to trial involves no compulsion on his part to give evidence having testimonial significance. It is but a compulsion to exhibit his physical characteristics, not compulsion to disclose any knowledge he might have. It is here akin to compulsion to submit to fingerprinting, photography, or measurements, to write or speak for identification, to appear in court, to stand, to assume a stance, to walk, or to make a particular gesture, etc. Similarly, compelling Wade to speak within hearing distance of the witnesses, even to utter words purportedly uttered by the robber, was not compulsion to utter statements of a "testimonial" nature; he was merely required to use his voice as an identifying physical characteristic, not to speak his guilt Lastly, nothing that Wade said or did during the line-up was ever presented as inculpatory evidence as to him; only that, due to the post-indictment line-up, the prosecution witness was able to identify him during trial as the robber On the Right to Counsel Although the line-up does not constitute a violation of Wade’s right against self-incrimination, the subsequent courtroom identifications should still be excluded because the lineup was conducted without notice to and in the absence of his counsel In this case, it is held that the assistance of counsel at the lineup was indispensable to protect Wade's most
basic right as a criminal defendant to a fair trial at which the witnesses against him might be meaningfully cross-examined Unlike before where the role of a counsel has been limited to formal trial proceedings, today's law enforcement machinery involves critical confrontations of the accused by the prosecution at pre-trial proceedings where the results might well settle the accused's fate and reduce the trial itself to a mere formality in recognition of these realities of modern criminal prosecution, our cases have construed the right to counsel to apply to all "critical" stages of a proceeding In the first place, the Sixth Amendment as worded simply states: "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . . to have the assistance of Counsel for his defense." The plain wording of this guarantee thus encompasses counsel's assistance whenever necessary to assure a meaningful "defense" Such interpretation has led the Court to rule in previous cases (e.g. Miranda v. Arizona) that the right to counsel was guaranteed at the point where the accused, even prior to arraignment, was already subjected to interrogation, if only to ensure that the accused is afforded a fair opportunity to prepare the proper defense Also, as a necessary adjunct of the right against selfincrimination, the right to counsel is particularly significant in ensuring that the accused is guaranteed that he need not stand alone against the awesome powers of the State at any stage of the prosecution, formal or informal, in court or out, where counsel's absence might derogate from the accused's right to a fair trial The presence of counsel at such critical confrontations (with his accuser and the State), as at the trial itself, operates to assure that the accused's interests will be protected consistently with our adversarial theory of criminal prosecution All told, the established doctrine as to the wisdom behind securing an accused’s right to counsel in every “critical” confrontational stage of a proceeding requires that careful scrutiny of any pre-trial confrontation of the accused to determine WoN the presence counsel is necessary to preserve the defendant's basic right to a fair trial as affected by his right meaningfully to crossexamine the witnesses against him and to have effective assistance of counsel at the trial itself in other words, there should be inquiry as to WoN potential substantial prejudice to a defendant's rights inheres in a particular pre-trial confrontation and the ability of counsel to help avoid that prejudice SolGen characterizes the lineup as a mere preparatory step in gathering of the prosecution's evidence, not different from various other preparatory steps, such as analyzing of the accused's fingerprints, blood sample, clothing, hair, and the like this is UNTENABLE For one, there are significant differences between the line-up with and the other preliminary procedures
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cited above, which preclude such procedures from being characterized as critical (confrontational) stages at which the accused has the right to the presence of his counsel Illustration: analysis of blood sample for instance calls for expert, scientific knowhow and techniques that could only be properly assailed at trial proper because the accused, while his blood is being drawn or analyzed, is not actually faced with subtle prejudices to his rights that a counsel should contest (at such a point, there is minimal risk that counsel's absence at such stages might derogate from his right to a fair trial, ergo, denial of counsel’s presence in such a stage is not a violation of the right to counsel) On the contrary, the line-up conducted in the case at bar, partakes a critical confrontation compelled by the State between the accused Wade and the witnesses to the robbery to elicit identification evidence there is here innumerable dangers and variable factors which might seriously, even crucially, derogate Wade’s right to a fair trial Why the Police Line-up was Prejudicial to Wade’s right to a Free Trial, Necessitating the Presence of Counsel The pre-trial line-up conducted in the case at bar is a critical confrontational stage as to Wade and the State because the procedure involved therein is prone to result to mistaken identity It is a recognized reality in history that a high incidence of miscarriage of justice arise from mistaken identification due to varying degrees of (improper) suggestion in the manner in which the prosecution presents the suspect to witnesses for pre-trial identification “Suggestions” can be created intentionally or unintentionally in many subtle ways; worse, some suspects become subjected to undue disadvantage in such line-ups where the witness’ actual observation of the assailant was insubstantial, such that a suspect who bears the greatest “suggestion” is more susceptible of being pointed to as the assailant Also, the nature and process of conducting a line-up itself is fraught with prejudices inimical to an accused’s right to fair trial the selection as to who will be part of the line-up, the number of persons to be involved, etc. all rests on the police’s discretion. As such, it becomes very difficult for the defense to point out any possible unfairness that occurred at the lineup, and hence, may deprive him of his only opportunity meaningfully to attack the credibility of the witness' courtroom identification In the case at bar, there has been, as provided in the records, undue/improper suggestion to the witnesses before the actual line-up was conducted accordingly, the witnesses saw Wade first before the rest of the members of the line-up entered the room and that prior thereto, Wade was also shown to the witnesses alone where he was made to appear to be under the custody of the FBI agents
Insofar as the accused's conviction may rest on a courtroom identification now established as a fruit of a suspect pre-trial identification, and which the accused is helpless to subject to effective scrutiny at trial, the accused is clearly deprived of the right of crossexamination which is an essential safeguard to his right to confront the witnesses against him Clearly, there existed grave potential for prejudice, intentional or not, in the questioned pre-trial lineup. And it being not capable of effective questioning on trial, and that the presence of counsel itself can often avert prejudice and assure a meaningful confrontation at trial, there can be little doubt that for Wade, the postindictment line-up was a critical stage of the
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prosecution at which he was as much entitled to such aid of counsel as at the trial itself Both Wade and his counsel should have been notified of the impending line-up, and counsel's presence should have been a requisite to conduct of the lineup, absent an "intelligent waiver" Policy considerations raised by the SolGen to the effect that the presence of defense counsel in the pre-trial line-up would only delay needed identifications is of no moment defense counsel can hardly impede legitimate law enforcement in a pre-trial line-up; on the contrary, law enforcement may be assisted by preventing the infiltration of taint in the prosecution's identification evidence
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien People v. Pavillare
Per Curiam (2000)
At about noon of Feb 12, 1996, Indian national Sukhjinder Singh was on his way back to his motorcycle parked at the corner of Scout Reyes and Roces Ave when three men blocked his way The one directly in front of him, whom he later identified as herein appellant Pavillare, accused him of having raped the woman inside the red Kia taxi cab parked nearby Singh denied the accusation, but the three men nevertheless forced him inside the taxi cab and brought him somewhere near St Joseph's College in Quezon City One of the abductors took the key to his motorcycle and drove it alongside the cab. According to Singh, the appellant and his companions beat him up and demanded P100,000 for his release Singh told him he only had P5,000 with him. Thereafter, appellant Pavillare forced him to give the phone numbers of his relatives so they can make their demand from them Singh gave the phone number of his cousin Lakhvir Singh and the appellant made the call. Appellant Pavillare haggled with his cousin for the amount of the ransom until the amount of P25,000 was agreed upon Then, the kidnappers took him to the corner of Aurora Blvd and Boston St and parked the cab there where appellant Pavillare and two companions alighted while the driver and their lady companion stayed with the complainant in the car When the complainant turned to see where Pavillare and his companions went, he saw his uncle and his cousin in a motorcycle and together with the kidnappers entered a mini-grocery Later, the kidnappers brought him to the mini-grocery where he met his relatives. The ransom money was handed to Pavillare by the complainant's cousin, after which the appellant counted the money and then, together with his cohorts, immediately left the scene Two days later, the victim went to the police to formally lodge his complaint against his kidnappers. He gave incomplete descriptions of his abductors in his affidavit-complaint Meanwhile, herein appellant Pavillare had just been apprehended by the police in connection with another case involving the kidnapping of another Indian national Herein complainant was then summoned back to the police station where, in a police line-up, he identified appellant Pavillare as one of his kidnappers Thereafter, an information for kidnapping for ransom was filed against herein appellant Pavillare. Upon arraignment, he pleaded “not guilty” In trial, Pavillare interposed the defense of general denial and alibi; this notwithstanding, the trial court was swayed by the prosecution’s case and entered herein assailed judgment convicting appellant
Eduardo Pavillare with the crimes charged and sentencing him with the supreme penalty of death – hence, this automatic review
ISSUE: WoN the trial court erred in finding him guilty of kidnapping for ransom beyond reasonable doubt when it relied in complainant’s in-court and pre-trial police line-up identification of him as the abductor although he was then without counsel, in contravention to his Constitutional right HELD: NO. The decision of QC RTC is finding Pavillare guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of kidnapping for ransom is AFFIREMED in toto RATIO: Appellant Pavillare prays for acquittal on the ground that the identification of him by the complainant in the police line-up is tainted with procedural and constitutional infirmities12 making the same and the subsequent in-court identification inadmissible as evidence this is UNTENABLE Contrary to appellant’s contention, the complainant had more than enough opportunity to observe the features of his abductors (and hence, recognize his ugly face). This is evidenced by the complainant’s unhesitating and consistent identification of herein appellant Pavillare as one of the kidnappers in court and previously, during the police line-up Also, the victim’s identification was corroborated by his cousin’s testimony. As he was the one who handed the ransom to appellant Pavillare, he was also in the position to positively identify, as he did, Pavillare as one of the abductors Further, appellant’s defense that the identification made by the complainant in the police line-up is inadmissible because the appellant stood at the lineup without the assistance of counsel is without merit Sec 12(1), Art III of the Commission states that "Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the Pavillera here claims that the complainant did not actually have an accurate observation of his abductors as evidenced by his poor description of them in his complaint-affidavit. Further, he imputes irregularity in the identification made by Singh of him during the police lineup by crying undue/improper “suggestion” on the part of the police when they talked with Singh and told him (or pinpointed to him) that he was a suspect in other kidnappings of other Indian nationals. Finally, he claims that he was denied his custodial right to counsel since he had not been afforded the services of one during the lineup
services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel." hence the prohibition for custodial investigation conducted without the assistance of counsel Any evidence obtained in violation of the constitutional mandate is inadmissible in evidence The prohibition however, does not extend to a person in a police line-up because that stage of an investigation is not yet a part of custodial investigation It has been repeatedly held that custodial investigation commences when a person is taken into custody and is singled out as a suspect in the commission of the crime under investigation and the police officers begin to ask questions on the suspect's participation therein and which tend to elicit an admission Contrariwise, the stage of an investigation wherein a person is asked to stand in a police line-up has been held to be outside the mantle of protection of the right to counsel because it involves merely a general inquiry into an unsolved crime and is purely investigatoryinformative in nature Perforce, an uncounseled identification at the police line-up is admissible, and with much force, is an in-court identification admissible this only means that the identification made by the complainant in the police line-up pointing to Pavillare as one of his abductors is admissible in evidence even though the appellant Pavillare at that time was not assisted by counsel It is significant to note that, during trial, the private complainant has repeatedly identified herein appellant Pavillare as on of his abductors. Too, other witness (e.g. victim’s cousin who handed over the
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ransom) also repeatedly identified Pavillare as one of the kidnappers Appellant Pavillare’s contention that the police improperly “suggested” to the complainant that he might be the abductor is self-serving and unsubstantiated, even when the defense had ample opportunity to adduce evidence to support this potentially exculpatory argument As borne by the records, the defense, upon crossexamination of the investigating police officer, pointed out possible irregularities tantamount to subtle prejudices that could hurt Pavillare’s right to a fair trial but they never pursued the same they hinted some irregularity as to the non-involvement of the abductor’s physical description in the complainant’s affidavit, which the police testified to have been logged in a separate police logbook. Sadly, for the defense, they never asked that such police logbook be presented as evidence precisely to proffer their allegation of improper “suggestion” during the police line-up. Therefore, this contention must fail for insufficiency of evidence Finally, the appellant contends that, in the alternative for acquittal, he should, at the very least be convicted for the lesser crime of simple robbery and not kidnapping for ransom To support his claim, he argues that the evidence on record proves that the prime motive of the appellant and his companions was to obtain money and not to deprive the complainant of his liberty this is UNTENABLE Suffice it to say that the requisites of the crime of kidnapping for ransom under Art 267, RPC are all met by the acts of the appellant --oo0oo--
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6. Exceptional Cases where Uncounselled Confessions are Held Not to be Excluded
People v. Andan
Per Curiam (1997)
Herein appellant Pablito Andan was accused of the crime of rape with homicide against the person of a certain Marianne Guevarra The FACTS as established by the prosecution are as follows: On Feb 19, 1994 at about 4pm, in Concepcion Subdivision, Baliuag, Bulacan, Marianne Guevarra, twenty years of age and a second-year student at the Fatima School of Nursing, left her home for her school dormitory in Valenzuela, Metro Manila Marianne wore a striped blouse and faded denim pants and brought with her two bags containing her school uniforms, some personal effects and more than P2,000 in cash Marianne was walking along the subdivision when appellant Andan invited her inside his house. He used the pretext that the blood pressure of his wife's grandmother should be taken Marianne agreed to take her blood pressure but she did not know that nobody was inside the house. Appellant then punched her in the abdomen, brought her to the kitchen and raped her His lust sated, appellant dragged the unconscious girl to the back of the house and left her there until dark. Night came and appellant pulled Marianne, still unconscious, to their backyard. On the other side was a vacant lot where appellant transferred the girl. When the girl moved, he hit her head with a piece of concrete block. He repeatedly did so until she died and only then did he drag the body towards a shallow portion of the lot and abandoned it there The following day, the body of Marianne was discovered. She was naked from the chest down with her brassiere and T-shirt pulled toward her neck. Nearby was found a panty with a sanitary napkin Marianne's gruesome death drew public attention causing the Mayor of Baliuag to form a crack team of police officers to look for the criminal Searching the place where Marianne's body was found, the policemen recovered a broken piece of concrete block stained with what appeared to be blood. They also found a pair of denim pants and a pair of shoes which were identified as Marianne's Appellant's nearby house was also searched by the police who found bloodstains on the backyard wall. There they interviewed the occupants of the house and learned from one Romano Calma, stepbrother of Andan's wife, that appellant Andan also lived there but that he, his wife and son left without a word Calma surrendered to the police several articles consisting of pornographic pictures, a pair of wet short pants with some reddish brown stain, a towel also with the stain, and a wet T-shirt all allegedly belonging to appellant
Later, the police traced the appellant at his parent’s house and there they successfully accosted him. They took him aboard the patrol jeep and brought him to the police headquarters where he was interrogated Initially, appellant denied any knowledge of Marianne's death. However, when the police confronted him with the concrete block, the victim's clothes and the bloodstains found in the pigpen, appellant relented and said that his neighbors, Gilbert Larin and Reynaldo Dizon, killed Marianne and that he was merely a lookout. He also said that he knew where Larin and Dizon hid the two bags of Marianne Immediately, the police took appellant to his house. Larin and Dizon, who were rounded up earlier, were likewise brought there by the police. Appellant went to an old toilet at the back of the house, leaned over a flower pot and retrieved beneath it two bags which were later identified as belonging to Marianne. Thereafter, photographs were taken of appellant and the two other suspects holding the bags, after which, they were brought back to the police station Back at the station, the mayor arrived and upon seeing the mayor, appellant Andan approached him and whispered a request that they talk privately The mayor led appellant to the office of the Chief of Police and there, appellant broke down and said "Mayor, patawarin mo ako! I will tell you the truth. I am the one who killed Marianne." (at conyo po siya ) The mayor, for his part, opened the door of the room to ask for a lawyer to assist appellant, but there being none, he simply let the public and media representatives witness the confession In the presence of the mayor, the police, representatives of the media and appellant's own wife and son, appellant confessed his guilt Later, he apologized to Larin and Dizon whom he falsely implicated and disclosed (re-enacted) the details of how he committed the brutal rape and killing of Marianne He said that the devil entered his mind because of the pornographic magazines and tabloid he read almost everyday To everybody’s surprise, on arraignment, herein appellant entered a plea of "not guilty" He interposed an alibi on the time and date of the incident and also imputed torture against his person by the arresting and investigating police officer Appellant Andan testified that he was brought by the police to a hotel somewhere in Baliuag at the time of his arrest. And that in one of the rooms, the policemen covered his face with a bedsheet and kicked him repeatedly. They coerced him to confess that he raped and killed Marianne. When he refused, they pushed his head into a toilet bowl and injected something into his buttocks. Weakened, appellant confessed to the crime
The trial court, however, was swayed by the prosecution’s case and convicted herein appellant Andan for the rape and killing of Marianne Guevarra and sentenced him to death – hence this automatic review where the following issue was raised: WoN the trial court erred in finding him guilty of the crime charged beyond reasonable doubt by giving weight to his “public confession” during custodial investigation although he was not assisted by competent counsel at that time, in violation of his constitutional right HELD: NO. The trial court correctly based its decision on the testimonies of the investigating policemen, the mayor of Baliuag and four news reporters to whom appellant gave his extrajudicial oral confessions, even without counsel, as captured in photographs and video footages. Hence, the decision of RTC Malolos, Bulacan is AFFIRMED and accused-appellant Pablito Andan y Hernandez is found guilty of the special complex crime of rape with homicide and is sentenced to the penalty of death. RATIO: Plainly, herein appellant assails the admission of the testimonies of the policemen, the mayor and the news reporters as to his “confession” because they were made during custodial investigation without the assistance of counsel this must FAIL Under Sec 12 (1) & (3) of Art III of the Constitution, any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right: (1) to remain silent; (2) to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice; and (3) to be informed of such rights These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. Also, any confession or admission obtained in violation of this provision is inadmissible in evidence against him (exclusionary rule) This exclusionary rule is premised on the presumption that in a custodial investigation, a suspect is thrust into an unfamiliar atmosphere and runs through menacing police interrogation procedures where the potentiality for compulsion, physical and mostly psychological, is apparent It should be stressed that the rights under Sec 12 are accorded to "any person under investigation for the commission of an offense" And as understood, an investigation begins when it is no longer a general inquiry into an unsolved crime but there is now focus on a particular person as a suspect, i.e., when the police investigator starts interrogating or exacting a confession from the suspect in connection with an alleged offense In the case at bar, the records reveal that when the police arrested appellant Andan, they were no longer engaged in a general inquiry about the death of Marianne. In other words, custodial inquest as to him had formally began when he was taken to the police station after being accosted in his parents’ house
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Perforce, appellant was already under custodial investigation when he confessed to the police (note that herein appellant actually “confessed” twice – first when he admitted to being “lookout” and then his breakdown with the mayor) It is admitted that the police failed to inform appellant of his constitutional rights when he was investigated and interrogated. His first confession is therefore inadmissible in evidence So too were the two bags recovered from appellant's house these pieces of evidence were fruits of appellant's first uncounselled confession to the police. They are tainted evidence, hence also inadmissible After his initial confession, appellant was detained in the police station. Later that day, the mayor arrived and it was when he made his second, highly public “confession,” which again was uncounselled This notwithstanding, said second “confession” cannot be successfully claimed to be inadmissible While it is true that a mayor, having "operational supervision and control" over the local police, may arguably be deemed a law enforcement officer for purposes of applying Sec 12 (1) & (3) of Art III of the Constitution HOWEVER, in the instant case, appellant's confession to the mayor was not made in response to any interrogation by the latter. In fact, the mayor did not question appellant at all It was appellant himself who spontaneously, freely and voluntarily sought the mayor for a private meeting. The mayor did not know that appellant was going to confess his guilt to him. When appellant talked with the mayor, he was deemed as a confidant and not as a law enforcement officer, hence, his uncounselled confession to him did not violate his constitutional rights It has been held that the constitutional procedures on custodial investigation do not apply to a spontaneous statement, not elicited through questioning by the authorities, but given in an ordinary manner whereby appellant orally admitted having committed the crime What the Constitution bars is the compulsory disclosure of incriminating facts or confessions. This is precisely why Sec 12, Art III has been put in place- so as to preclude the slightest use of coercion by the state as would lead the accused to admit something false HOWEVER, this does not prevent an accused from freely and voluntarily telling the truth as in this case, appellant’s confession being clearly spontaneous and voluntary, said confession to the mayor was admissible as evidence In the same vein, appellant’s admission to the media was likewise properly admitted. The confessions were made in response to questions by news reporters, not by the police or any other investigating officer. Verily, it has been held that statements spontaneously made by a suspect to news reporters on a televised interview are deemed voluntary and are admissible in evidence
The media coverage through photos and videos clearly showed that appellant made his confession willingly, openly and publicly in the presence of his wife, child and other relatives All told, his second “confession” as witnessed in good faith by the mayor and the media cannot be said to be inadmissible by being violative of Sec 12 (1) & (3) of the Bill of Rights. This admission made by appellant are spontaneous and voluntary and were not in response to
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any authoritative questioning but came from own willingness to tell the truth. And especially as to media and the private individuals present when he made his “admission,” Sec 12 particularly does not apply since the Bill of Rights only regulates the relationship of a person with the State and not the ones between individuals
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien People v. Domantay
J. Mendoza (1999)
On the afternoon of Oct 17, 1996, at around 4, the body of six-year old Jennifer Domantay was found sprawled amidst a bamboo grove in Guilig, Malasiqui, Pangasinan. The child’s body bore several stab wounds. And Jennifer had been missing since lunch time that day Preliminary medical examination conducted by the rural health physician of Malasiqui, showed that Jennifer died of multiple organ failure secondary to 38 stab wounds at the back. No lacerations or signs of inflammation of the outer and inner labia and the vaginal walls of the victim’s genitalia were found, although the vaginal canal easily admitted the little finger with minimal resistance. Noting possible commission of acts of lasciviousness, the investigating physician recommended an autopsy by a medico-legal expert of the NBI Meanwhile, the investigation by the Malasiqui police pointed to accused-appellant Bernardino Domantay, a cousin of the victim’s grandfather, as the lone suspect in the gruesome crime At around 6:30pm of that day, said police officers picked up appellant Domantay at the public market and took him to the police station where he, upon questioning, confessed to killing Jennifer Domantay He likewise disclosed that he had hidden the weapon used, a bayonet, in the tricycle belonging to Elsa and Jorge Casingal (his aunt and uncle) which the police recovered the next day, the same being properly receipted to evidence thereafter Initially, on the strength of the rural physician’s findings, the police charged herein appellant with murder. Later, after the body of Jennifer was examined by an NBI medico-legal expert, and finding evidence of rape, the same charge was amended to become rape with homicide. Thereafter, an information for the same charge was formally filed against herein appellant On trial, the prosecution presented its witness who all to circumstantial evidence leading to the moral conclusion that appellant Domantay was guilty of the crime charged one witness testified that Domantay had too much to drink that afternoon and that he had a bayonet tucked on his waistband then; another witness testified that she was playing in the same area with the victim when she saw herein appellant move close towards the victim near the bamboo grove where her body was later found, etc. The policemen who interrogated Domantay also testified for the prosecution where they attested that herein appellant had confessed to the crime before them during custodial investigation The policemen further averred that before they commenced his questioning, appellant was apprised of his constitutional right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel, in English, which
was later translated into Pangasinense. And that this notwithstanding, the appellant proceeded with his “confession” It was admitted by the police, though, that at no time during the course of his questioning was accusedappellant assisted by counsel. Neither was accusedappellant’s confession reduced in writing Another witness for the prosecution, a radio reporter named Celso Manuel claims to have also heard herein appellant “confess” to the crime charged against him He accordingly obtained said confession by way of a tape-recorded interview while he was assigned to report on the case On trial, this radio reporter testified that he asked the permission of the chief of police to secure an interview with the appellant. When this was granted, he testified that he properly introduced himself to the appellant and offered to have their interview tape-recorded. According to him, appellant acceded and thereon started his confession of culpability in the rape and slay of Jennifer The defense contested the admissibility of both the police’s and the reporter’s testimony pertaining to appellant’s extra-judicial confession since they were all done without presence of a competent counsel as provided in the Bill of Rights The trial court, however, admitted these testimonies into evidence, and notwithstanding appellant’s defense of denial and alibi, it found him guilty of the crime charged and sentenced him with the supreme penalty of death – hence this automatic appeal
ISSUE: WoN the trial court erred in appreciating the appellant’s extra-judicial confessions even though they were made without assistance of counsel, in violation of his constitutional right HELD: NO. However, the trial court erred in finding him guilty of the crime of rape with homicide. The judgment of the trial court is SET ASIDE and another one is rendered FINDING accused-appellant guilty of homicide RATIO: Appellant contends that his extra-judicial confession with the police and the reporter are inadmissible as evidence as it violates Sec 12, Art III of the Constitution; such that without these vital pieces of evidence, the remaining circumstantial proof would be inadequate to sustain his guild beyond reasonable doubt this is UNTENABLE It has been held that the rule espoused in Sec 12, Art III applies to the stage of custodial investigation, that is, “when the investigation is no longer a general inquiry into an unsolved crime but starts to focus on a particular person as a suspect.” This has been subsequently expanded by RA 7438 to situations in
which an individual has not been formally arrested but has merely been “invited” for questioning Further, a series of decisions of this Court has consistently held that for an extra-judicial confession to be admissible, it must satisfy the following requirements: (1) it must be voluntary; (2) it must be made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel; (3) it must be express; and (4) it must be in writing In the case at bar, when appellant Domantay was brought to the police station, he was already a suspect, in fact the only one, in the brutal slaying of Jennifer Domantay he was, therefore, already under custodial investigation and the rights guaranteed in Art. III, §12(1) of the Constitution applied to him As revealed in the records, when he made his confession before the police, he “orally” waived his right to the assistance of counsel. HOWEVER, this waiver was neither put in writing nor made in the presence of counsel. For this reason, the waiver is invalid and his confession is inadmissible. Perforce, the bayonet confiscated through such uncounselled confession is also inadmissible by being the fruit of a poisonous tree As to appellant’s confession to the radio reporter, the same ruling cannot be applied. Hence, said
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confession with the reporter is admissible as evidence In view of People v. Andan, confession to the crime during interviews with the media was held to be admissible, despite the fact that the accused gave his answers without the assistance of counsel and that confessions to the newsmen are not covered by Sec 12(1) & (3) of Art III of the Constitution Also, appellant Domantay, having the exclusive prerogative to refuse the interview, agreed to it and he answered questions freely and spontaneously. Indeed, there is no showing that the radio reporter was acting for the police or that the interview was conducted under circumstances where it is apparent that accusedappellant confessed to the killing out of fear The conviction of appellant, aside from his admitted confession, is also bolstered by the corpus delicti and other corroborating circumstantial evidence which dovetails materials points in his extra-judicial confession From the forgoing, it is well established that the accused is guilty of killing Jennifer Domantay. However, on the strength of the prosecution’s evidence, appellant is only guilty of homicide but not rape as there was insufficient evidence to maintain that appellant Domantay raped Jennifer
AJ | Amin | Cha | Janz | Julio | Vien People v. Morada
J. Mendoza (1999)
Herein appellant Danilo Morada was charged, tried and convicted of the crime of murder for the killing of one Jonalyn Navidad in the Municipality of Imus, Cavite The victim, Jonalyn Navidad, 17, was found, with several hack wounds on the head, near a creek. She was taken to the hospital, but she died shortly after One SPO3 Gomez (member of PNP Imus) was the first to arrive at the crime scene after receiving the report of the discovery of a hacking victim bear the creek And although the victim was already taken to the hospital when he arrived at the place, he together with Brgy captain of the place searched the surrounding area and there they found a pair of slippers with a thumbtacks embedded in the insteps One of the bystanders recognized said pair of slippers as those of herein accused-appellant Morada SPO3 Gomez and the Brgy captain therefore proceeded towards the house of appellant Morada SPO3 Gomez claimed they found a stained T-shirt hanging from a tree more or less a meter away from appellant’s house. He accordingly took said T-shirt as he suspected the red stain on it to be human blood. Also a meter away from the side of the house, he recovered a bolo with a stain on it SPO3 Gomez then asked appellant Morada whether he knew anything about the crime, but the latter did not answer and just kept quiet He then "invited" accused-appellant to the police station for questioning and during oral interrogation, accused-appellant admitted that he had hacked Jonalyn Navidad However, this alleged confession was not taken down into writing allegedly because there was no available lawyer to assist accused-appellant at that time Meanwhile, the local police of Imus sent the confiscated T-shirt and bolo to the NBI for further testing where it has been confirmed that both objects yielded positive results for “human blood” Thereafter, the Imus police, together with the Brgy Capatin charged herein appellant with the crime of Murder, for which an information was later issued For his defense, the appellant testified that he had no knowledge of the crime and interposed a alibi. He also assails the admissibility of the police’s statement as to his “confession” by saying that he was beaten up to make him admit to the killing of Jonalyn Navidad Appellant has also repeatedly wrote the court and the police while in custody questioning the validity of his arrest and the seizure of his belongings but these were not heeded Ultimately, the trial court rendered its decision finding accused-appellant guilty of the murder of Jonalyn Navidad and imposed on him the penalty of death – hence, this automatic appeal where the following issue has been raised: WoN the trial court erred in finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder based purely on circumstantial evidence HELD: YES! The decision of the Imus RTC appealed from is REVERSED and accused-appellant Danilo Morada y Tumlod is ACQUITTED on the ground of reasonable doubt. RATIO: The prosecution, in this case, has presented a number of circumstantial evidence which, taken together, purportedly points to a reasonable moral certainty that the appellant is guilty of killing the Jonalyn However, if some of the circumstances (relied on by the trial court) have not been duly established, the further question is whether the remaining ones are nevertheless sufficient to produce such conviction beyond reasonable doubt the answer is NO. One such circumstantial evidence which must fail the tests provided in the Constitution, Rules of Court and established jurisprudence is the alleged extra-judicial confession of appellant Morada to the police and the Brgy captain according to the averments of the Bray captain, the appellant sought a private meeting with him, and after the same was granted, appellant accordingly confessed In the case at bar, it is doubtful whether, as the Brgy capt claimed, accused-appellant's confession was given divorced from the police interrogation from the testimony of SPO3 Gomez himself, it would actually appear that the Brgy Capt’s conversation with accusedappellant was part of the then ongoing police investigation Since the confession was given without the safeguards in Art. III, § 12 and the additional ones provided in RA 7438, particularly the requirement that the confession be in writing and duly signed by the suspect in the presence of counsel, we hold that accused-appellant's confession is inadmissible, and it was error for the trial court to use it in convicting accused-appellant The Brgy Capt’s testimony in open court also militate against his averment that appellant had confessed to him his guilt in the crime spontaneously and voluntarily in court, said Brgy Capt proffered no reason why appellant would want to confess to him (there is no relationship of trust/confidence between them); if he is to be believed that the appellant wanted to get out of jail for wanting to talk to him, it is very unlikely for appellant to actually confess because that would certainly not get him out of jail (contrary to human conduct/nature) As culled further from the Brgy Capt’s testimony, it would also appear that appellant’s confession as to him was merely hearsay! this is evidenced by his statement that he only learned the reason why
appellant allegedly hacked the victim when he asked the prison guard; because if he is to be believed that appellant confessed to him, he could have asked the reason from appellant himself With the extra-judicial confession now declared inadmissible, the circumstantial evidence left should now be tested if they still meet the quantum of proof to sustain appellant’s conviction the answer is again, NO Aside from the confession, another strong circumstantial evidence that the prosecution used against the appellant were the T-shirt and the bolo which had been verified by the NBI to have been stained by human blood HOWEVER, it must be noted, as it has been admitted, that these items were confiscated without the proper search warrant. The testimony of SPO3 Gomez and the Brgy Capt to the effect that these items were “in plian view” is contrary to human experience/nature the reason is obvious: if these items truly had blood stains on it, it would have been very unlikely to have left just out there for everyone to notice The police also failed to match the alleged human blood found in these items with that of the victim’s Now that the probative value of the T-shirt and the bolo had been put under serious doubt, the only strong circumstantial evidence left for the prosecution is the pair of slippers found at the crime scene which two witnesses identified to belong to the appellant Morada suffice it to say that the Court found these witnesses’ testimonies to be strange, artificial and contrary to human experience All told, no other strong circumstantial evidence is left to sustain appellant’s conviction. Perforce, he must be acquitted
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