FULL TEXTS OF JUSTICE ABAD’S PONENCIA

LABOR
G.R. No. 177970 August 25, 2010

AGRICULTURAL AND INDUSTRIAL SUPPLIES CORPORATION, DAILY HARVEST MERCANTILE, INC., JOSEPH C. SIA HETIONG and REYNALDO M. RODRIGUEZ, Petitioners, vs. JUEBER P. SIAZAR and THE HONORABLE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, Respondents. DECISION ABAD, J.: This case dwells on circumstances that spell dismissal from work although the company insists that such circumstances indicate abandonment of work. The Facts and the Case On July 3, 1997 respondent Jueber P. Siazar (Siazar) filed a complaint for illegal dismissal and unfair labor practice against petitioner Agricultural and Industrial Supplies Corporation (AISC) and others before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in NLRC-NCR Case 00-07-0468997. Siazar claimed that he first worked for the Daily Harvest Mercantile, Inc. (DHMI) on April 12, 1993 but was transferred after three years in June 1996 to AISC1 as product designer, mold maker, and CNC programmer with a monthly salary of P25,000.00.2 In early 1997, Siazar discovered that his company was not remitting much of his SSS premiums although the computations appeared on his pay slips. When he told his co-employees about it, they made their own inquiries, too.3 On Siazar’s arrival at work on June 17, 1997, the company guard refused him entry and handed him two notes from the management: one said that he was not to report for work;4 the other said that he was to report after two days on June 19, 1997 to Atty. Rodriguez at his office in Binondo.5 Too anxious over the matter, Siazar did not wait for June 19 and went straightaway to see Atty. Rodriguez. The latter told Siazar that the company had decided to abolish his department because of redundancy and he could no longer work. Atty. Rodriguez asked Siazar to make a computation of what amount he expected from the company and return to the lawyer with such computation on the following day and the company would immediately pay him.6 When Siazar told his co-employees about this development, they thought that the company removed him from work because of fear that he would agitate them into forming a union, given the nonremittance of the correct amounts of their SSS contributions.7 When Siazar and his wife saw Atty. Rodriguez again at his office on June 19, 1997, the latter insisted on getting Siazar to do the computation he asked. Because of the lawyer’s insistence, Siazar finally gave him a computation of his claims against the company on June 23, 1997. As

Siazar was unsure of his situation, however, he consulted a lawyer on that same day. This lawyer went with him back to Atty. Rodriguez who confirmed that Siazar had indeed been dismissed because his department was no longer earning money. This surprised Siazar because his department did not generate income on its own, being a mere support unit of the company.8 Since all attempts at negotiation proved futile, Siazar filed his complaint. AISC had a different version. It claimed the company thought of closing down Siazar’s department where he worked solo since it was no longer making money. Thus, they wrote him the two notes on June 17, 1997.9 Atty. Rodriguez did not say, however that the company was already dismissing Siazar.10 The latter simply decided on his own to drop out of work after learning of the company’s plan regarding his department.11 What Atty. Rodriguez and Siazar discussed was how the latter might be compensated if the company’s plan went through. In response, Siazar even submitted a proposal that the company found excessive.12 On December 14, 1998 the Labor Arbiter found that the company did not yet dismiss Siazar from work13 since they were still negotiating for a financial package for him. He rather stopped reporting for work of his own accord after learning of the plan to retrench him. Indeed, the company gave Siazar no letter of dismissal or retrenchment.14 Consequently, the Labor Arbiter dismissed the complaint but ordered the company to give Siazar separation pay, his unpaid salary, and a proportionate 13th month pay for 1997.15 Siazar appealed to the NLRC, which ruled16 on June 3, 1999 to uphold the Labor Arbiter’s finding that the company did not dismiss him from work and that, misunderstanding its action, he ceased to report for work. It was all a misunderstanding, said the NLRC, and each party must bear his own loss to place them on equal footing.17The NLRC sustained the award of separation pay, to be reckoned from June 1996 to June 1997, the time Siazar worked for AISC. The NLRC also affirmed the grant to him of his unpaid salary and proportionate 13th month pay.18 Siazar asked for reconsideration but the NLRC denied it.19 Not dissuaded, Siazar went up to the Court of Appeals (CA)20 but on December 21, 200521 the latter court affirmed the NLRC decision. On motion for reconsideration, however, the CA rendered an Amended Decision22 on December 13, 2006, finding sufficient evidence that the company indeed illegally dismissed Siazar from work. The CA based its finding on the following: (a) Rodriguez told Siazar that he had been terminated; (b) the company did not allow Siazar to enter its premises; (c) it wanted to close his department and retrench him from work; (d) Rodriguez asked Siazar to compute what he expected was to be his separation pay; (e) the company neither gave Siazar notice nor informed him of the reason for his dismissal; and (f) it showed no valid or just cause for the dismissal. The CA thus ordered the company to reinstate Siazar and pay him full backwages, inclusive of allowances and other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from the time of his dismissal up to the time of his actual reinstatement.23 The company filed a motion for reconsideration, but the CA denied the same on May 22, 2007,24hence the present petition for review on certiorari. Issues Presented Two issues are presented: 1. Whether or not the company dismissed Siazar from work; and 2. In the affirmative, whether or not his dismissal was valid.

Court’s Ruling The company insists that the Court should reinstate the original CA decision, given the findings of the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC that it had not dismissed Siazar.25 Ordinarily, the Court will not, on petition for review on certiorari, reexamine the facts of the case. Here, however, since the CA overturned its earlier ruling and its factual findings now differ from those of the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC, the Court is making an exception.26 From an examination of the record, the Court has ascertained that the evidence supports the CA’s finding that the company dismissed Siazar from work. This is evident from the following: One. On company’s orders, the guard prevented Siazar from entering its premises to work. The company even gave him notice not to report for work and instead told him to see the company’s external counsel after two days. If the company had not yet decided to close down Siazar’s department and wanted merely to explore that possibility with him,27 it had no reason to require him to stay away from work in the meantime. Barring him from work simply meant that the company had taken away his right to continue working for it. Two. It is simply preposterous for Siazar or any employee like him to just give up a job that paid P25,000.00 a month when, according to the company, it had not yet decided to carry out its plan and fire him. Three. That Siazar lost no time in filing a complaint for illegal dismissal negates the notion that he voluntarily left or abandoned his job.28 An employee who files a suit to claim his job back raises serious doubts that he even entertained the idea of leaving it in the first place. Four. Despite Siazar’s failure to show up for work, the company did not summon him back or ask him to explain his long absence. Normally, an employer would not stand by when an employee just stops coming to work as this would affect its business. That the company just sat by when Siazar did not come to work strengthens his contention that it had dismissed him. Further, the company failed to substantiate its claim that it reported Siazar’s irregular behavior to the Department of Labor and Employment.29 The Court cannot consider allegations that have not been proved.30 All these show that the company indeed terminated the services of Siazar. The question now is this: was his termination valid? Here, the company did not adduce any evidence to prove that Siazar’s dismissal had been for a just or authorized cause as in fact it had been its consistent stand that it did not terminate him and that he quit on his own. But given that the company dismissed Siazar and that such dismissal had remained unexplained, there can be no other conclusion but that his dismissal was illegal.31 The Court has held that, under Article 279 of the Labor Code, separation pay may be awarded to an illegally dismissed employee in lieu of reinstatement when continued employment is no longer possible where, as in this case, the continued relationship between the employer and the employee is no longer viable due to strained relations between them32 and reinstatement appears no longer practical due to the length of time that had since passed.33 In awarding separation pay to an illegally dismissed employee, in lieu of reinstatement, the amount to be awarded shall be equivalent to one month salary for every year of service34 reckoned from the first day of employment until the finality of the decision.35 Payment of separation pay is in addition to payment of backwages.36 And if separation pay is awarded instead of reinstatement, backwages shall be computed from the time of illegal termination up to the finality of the decision.37

The separation pay in this case shall be reckoned from the time Siazar worked for AISC, from June 1996 until the finality of this decision. The Court could not hold AISC liable for his work with DHMI for lack of evidence that the latter was simply an alter ego of AISC and had been established to evade an existing obligation, justify a wrong, or protect a fraud.38 WHEREFORE, the Court AFFIRMS the Court of Appeals’ Amended Decision dated December 13, 2006 and Resolution dated May 22, 2007 in CA-G.R. SP 56228 subject to the MODIFICATION that the liability for respondent Jueber P. Siazar’s illegal dismissal shall be the sole liability of petitioner Agricultural and Industrial Supplies Corporation and that, in lieu of reinstatement with backwages, the latter shall pay Siazar (a) separation pay in the amount equivalent to one month pay for every year of service computed from June 1996 up to the finality of this decision; and (b) full backwages computed from the date of his illegal dismissal on June 17, 1997 up to the finality of the decision. Let the records of this case be REMANDED to the Labor Arbiter for the proper computation of the awards. SO ORDERED. ROBERTO A. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T. CARPIO Associate Justice ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA Associate Justice DIOSDADO M. PERALTA Associate Justice

JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. ANTONIO T. CARPIO Associate Justice Chairperson, Second Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation, I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. RENATO C. CORONA Chief Justice

Footnotes
1

Rollo, p. 265. Records, p. 137; rollo, pp. 247-248. Rollo, p. 248. Records, p. 51. Id. Rollo, pp. 248-249. Id. at 249. Id. at 250-251. Id. at 219; records, p. 54. Records, p. 54. Id. at 147; rollo, p.16. Rollo, p. 219. Records, pp. 198-208. Id. at 201-206. Id. at 207-208. Docketed as NLRC-NCR CA 018523-99, rollo, pp. 39-68. Id. at 54-58. Id. at 63. Id. at 66-68. Docketed as CA-G.R. SP 56228.

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21

Rollo, pp. 180-186. Penned by Associate Justice Danilo B. Pine, with Associate Justices Marina L. Buzon and Arcangelita M. Romilla-Lontok concurring.

22

Id. at 198-202. Penned by Associate Justice Arcangelita M. Romilla-Lontok, with Associate Justices Marina L. Buzon and Martin S. Villarama, Jr. (now a member of this Court) concurring.
23

Id. at 201. Id. at 238-239. Id. at 24-25.

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25

26

Aklan College, Inc. v. Enero, G.R. No. 178309, January 27, 2009, 577 SCRA 64, 77-78. Factual findings are not reviewable by this Court in petitions for review on certiorari, unless the case falls under any of the following recognized exceptions: (1) When the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation, surmises and conjectures; (2) When the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; (3) Where there is a grave abuse of discretion: (4) When the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts: (5) When the findings of fact are conflicting; (6) When the Court of Appeals, in making its findings, went beyond the issues of the case and the same is contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellee; (7) When the findings are contrary to those of the trial court: (8) When the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based; (9) When the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the petitioners’ main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondents; and (10) When the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on the supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by the evidence on record.
27

Rollo, p. 219.

28

L.C. Ordoñez Construction v. Nicdao, G.R. No. 149669, July 27, 2006, 496 SCRA 745, 758; Harborview Restaurant v. Labro, G.R. No. 168273, April 30, 2009, 587 SCRA 277, 282.
29

Records, p. 55.

30

Cabalen Management Co., Inc. v. Quiambao, G.R. No. 169494, March 14, 2007, 518 SCRA 342, 357.
31

See: EDI-Staffbuilders International, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. 145587, October 26, 2007, 537 SCRA 409, 430-432; Seven Star Textile Company v. Dy, G.R. No. 166846, January 24, 2007, 512 SCRA 486, 498.
32

Session Delights Ice Cream and Fast Foods v. The Honorable Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 172149, February 8, 2010.
33

Macasero v. Southern Industrial Gases Philippines, G.R. No. 178524, January 30, 2009, 577 SCRA 500, 507, citing Velasco v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. 161694, June 26, 2006, 492 SCRA 686, 699.
34

Macasero v. Southern Industrial Gases Philippines, supra note 33; Pangilinan v. Wellmade Manufacturing Corporation, G.R. No. 149552, March 10, 2010.
35

Henlin Panay Company v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. 180718, October 23, 2009, 604 SCRA 362, 371.

36

Macasero v. Southern Industrial Gases Philippines, supra note 33.

37

RBC Cable Master System v. Baluyot, G.R. No. 172670, January 20, 2009, 576 SCRA 668, 679; General Milling Corporation v. Casio, G.R. No. 149552, March 10, 2010.
38

Velarde v. Lopez, Inc., 464 Phil. 525, 537 (2004); Pantranco Employees Association (PEAPTGWO) v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. Nos. 170689 & 170705, March 17, 2009, 581 SCRA 598, 616. G.R. No. 183250 March 10, 2010

WILLIAM UY CONSTRUCTION CORP. and/or TERESITA UY and WILLIAM UY, Petitioners, vs. JORGE R. TRINIDAD, Respondent. DECISION ABAD, J.: This case is about the tenure of project employees in the construction industry. The Facts and the Case On August 1, 2006 respondent Jorge R. Trinidad filed a complaint for illegal dismissal and unpaid benefits against petitioner William Uy Construction Corporation. Trinidad claimed that he had been working with the latter company for 16 years since 1988 as driver of its service vehicle, dump truck, and transit mixer. He had signed several employment contracts with the company that identified him as a project employee although he had always been assigned to work on one project after another with some intervals. Respondent Trinidad further alleged that in December 2004 petitioner company terminated him from work after it shut down operations because of lack of projects. He learned later, however, that although it opened up a project in Batangas, it did not hire him back for that project. Petitioner company countered1 that it was in the construction business. By the nature of such business, it had to hire and engage the services of project construction workers, including respondent Trinidad, whose employments had to be co-terminous with the completion of specific company projects. For this reason, every time the company employed Trinidad, he had to execute an employment contract with it, called Appointment as Project Worker. Petitioner company stressed that employment intervals or gaps were inherent in the construction business. Consequently, after it finished its Boni Serrano-Katipunan Interchange Project in December 2004, Trinidad’s work ended as well. In compliance with labor rules, the company submitted an establishment termination report to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). On December 23, 2006 the Labor Arbiter rendered a decision, dismissing respondent Trinidad’s complaint for unjust dismissal. The Labor Arbiter, however, ordered petitioner company to pay Trinidad P1,500.00 in unpaid service incentive leave, taking into consideration the three-year prescriptive period for money claims.2 The Labor Arbiter held that, since Trinidad was a project employee and since his company submitted the appropriate establishment termination report to

as length of service is not the controlling determinant of the employment tenure of a project employee. understood by construction workers. the Court held in Caseres v. and indispensable to the company’s construction business. But this standard will not be fair. Petitioner company moved for a reconsideration of the decision but the CA denied the motion. but whether the employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking. 2007 the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) affirmed the Labor Arbiter’s ruling." with the duration and scope of his engagement specified at the time his service is contracted. is that work depended on decisions and developments over which construction companies have no say. The intervals between his employment contracts were inconsequential since stoppage in operations at the end of every construction project was a foreseeable interruption of work. reversing the NLRC’s findings. Trinidad’s employment ended with it. But the test for distinguishing a "project employee" from a "regular employee" is whether or not he has been assigned to carry out a "specific project or undertaking.DOLE. simply because construction firms cannot guarantee work and funding for its payrolls beyond the life of each project. 2008 the latter rendered a decision. Construction companies have no control over the decisions and resources of project proponents or owners. he should be deemed to have acquired the status of a regular employee since petitioner company repeatedly rehired him in its past 35 projects that lasted 16 years. length of service provides a fair yardstick for determining when an employee initially hired on a temporary basis becomes a permanent one. He was not dismissed. dump truck. entitled to the security and benefits of regularization. There is no construction company that does not wish it has such control but the reality. it is not disputed that petitioner company contracted respondent Trinidad’s service by specific projects with the duration of his work clearly set out in his employment contracts. and 13th month pay.5 Here. although respondent Trinidad initially worked as a project employee. On August 31. holiday pay.3prompting respondent Trinidad to elevate his case to the Court of Appeals (CA). When its Boni Serrano-Katipunan Interchange Project was finished in December 2004. The Court’s Ruling The CA held that. And getting projects is not a matter of course.6 He remained a project employee regardless of the number of years and the various projects he worked for the company. The Issue Presented The core issue presented in the case is whether or not the CA correctly ruled that petitioner company’s repeated rehiring of respondent Trinidad over several years as project employee for its various projects automatically entitled him to the status of a regular employee. respondent Trinidad’s series of employments with petitioner company were coterminous with its projects. His employment history belies the . The Labor Arbiter found no basis for granting Trinidad overtime pay. For this reason. Universal Robina Sugar Milling Corporation8 that the repeated and successive rehiring of project employees do not qualify them as regular employees. and transit mixer was vital. His employment contract simply ended with the project for which he had signed up. The CA explained that Trinidad’s work as driver of the company’s service vehicle.7 Generally. if applied to the construction industry. its completion has been determined at the time of the engagement of the employee.4 On April 24. necessary. his loss of work cannot be regarded as unjust dismissal. In this case.

His complaint was essentially that he should have been rehired from the last project since he had already acquired the status of a regular employee. SP 101903 dated April 24. a problem that is inherent in the nature of their work. that of a project employee under a contract that had ended and the company’s compliance with the reporting requirement for the termination of that employment. ROBERTO A. WHEREFORE. both the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC were satisfied that the fact of petitioner company’s compliance with DOLE Order 19 had been proved in this case. which affirmed the decision of the Labor Arbiter in NLRC-NCR Case 07-05764-06. CARPIO Associate Justice Chairperson. since petitioner company submitted at the hearing before the Labor Arbiter only the termination report covering respondent Trinidad’s last project. Intervals or gaps separated one contract from another. and REINSTATES the decision of the National Labor Relations Commission in NLRC-NCR-CA 051703-07(7) dated August 31. ANTONIO T. 2007. 2008. CARPIO Associate Justice ARTURO D. Indeed. And.R.9 The CA noted that DOLE Order 19 required employers to submit a report of termination of employees every completion of construction project. the Social Security System should be able to alleviate the temporary unemployment of construction workers. Consequently.claim that he continuously worked for the company. But respondent Trinidad did not say in his complaint that he had been illegally dismissed after each of the projects for which he had been signed up. BRION Associate Justice MARIANO C. it failed to satisfy such requirement. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T. Second Division CERTIFICATION . SETS ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. petitioner company needed only to show the last status of Trinidad’s employment. DEL CASTILLO Associate Justice JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. Parenthetically. SO ORDERED. namely. the Court GRANTS the petition.

G. INC.R. and FUYOH SHIPPING. Rollo.75. Article VIII of the Constitution. an illness that was not in the list of compensable diseases listed in the standard seafarer’s contract that he signed with the vessel owner. 159343. 6 Rollo. pp. 2010 7 8 9 G. Id.R. REYNATO S. CA rollo. DECISION ABAD. 2007. No. 109902. August 2. 2 3 4 5 ALU-TUCP v. 534 SCRA 356. Alcatel Philippines. 234 SCRA 678. 102. BANDILA SHIPPING. September 28. G. MARCOS C. No. OBEN.. vs.: Statement of the Case This case is about a Filipino seafarer’s claim for disability benefits from cholecystolithiasis or gallstone that was discovered when he suffered excruciating pain while working on board an oceangoing vessel. at 77-88. at 122-128.Pursuant to Section 13. Id. No. Respondent. The Facts and the Case . February 22. pp. REGINALDO A. No. MR. G.R. Relos. 177100 BANDILA SHIPPING. National Labor Relations Commission. Inc.Petitioners. Docketed as CA-G. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. SP 101903.R. pp.104. July 3. J. INC.. 164315. 63. ABALOS.R. 361. v. and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. INC. PUNO Chief Justice Footnotes 1 Position Paper. 117-119. 1994. 2009. 685.

8 in NLRC OFW-(M) Case 03-06-1493-00. . 2007 the CA rendered a decision.15 granting the petition. Japan.14 Abalos went up to the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. respondent Abalos consulted Dr. who certified that: 1) Abalos had gall bladder stones requiring surgery. compensatory damages. commonly known as gallstone."2He boarded his vessel in Singapore on August 28. After being examined at the International Clinic in Nagoya. 2006 the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) rendered judgment13 that set aside the Labor Arbiter’s decision. he was diagnosed to be suffering from "gallstone. respondent Abalos felt excruciating pain in his stomach while he was on duty. and pancreatitis suspected. Inc.1 Prior to embarkation.00 per month for 10 months. moral and exemplary damages. 2) he was unfit to resume work as seaman. BSI denied liability. The Labor Arbiter found that Abalos became ill while on board his assigned vessel and the demanding nature of his work aggravated it. His motion for reconsideration having been denied. and its foreign principal.11 Thus.7 On June 12. Inc. as fourth engineer for the ocean-going vessel M/V Estrella Eterna at US$765. The NLRC pointed out that the applicable standard terms of employment did not regard respondent Abalos’ illness as an occupational disease.5 Unable to get the company’s approval for his surgery. SP 95238. medical reimbursement.R. on January 29. sickness allowance. Abalos entered into a contract of employment with petitioner Bandila Shipping. and attorney’s fees against petitioner BSI. 2003. 2007 the appellate court denied BSI’s motion for reconsideration.80%). and needed to undergo cholecystectomy or gall bladder removal that would cost P80. Vicaldo. unexpired portion of his contract.16 hence. 2004 the Labor Arbiter rendered a decision. and 3) his illness was work-aggravated with an impediment of grade VII (41. He also failed to show that his work on ship aggravated it. 2003 Abalos filed a complaint with the Labor Arbiter for disability benefits.On July 25. an internist of the Philippine Heart Center. a Philippine manning agency acting on behalf of its co-petitioner Fuyoh Shipping. and 10 percent of the award as attorney’s fees. Persuaded by the opinion of a company-designated physician that cholecystolithiasis was not work-related. setting aside the NLRC decision. on February 23. he told the vessel’s master about it. the present petition for review.9 To establish compensability. its claims manager. acute cholecystitis. Ruby Dizon who found that he had cholecystolithiasis. He denied the other claims for lack of merit. unable to bear the pain. 2003 respondent Abalos was repatriated to the Philippines. and reinstating that of the Labor Arbiter.00." The attending physician found him unfit for duty and recommended his repatriation. On March 19. respondent Abalos amended his complaint to include nonpayment of disability benefits. Abalos underwent pre-employment medical examination and was found to be "fit for sea service. Efren R.. 2002. petitioner Fuyoh Shipping. (BSI). The following day. Japan. He was referred to Dr.000.6Abalos sought the opinion of other physicians who made the same diagnosis and suggested surgery..3 As the vessel headed towards Nagoya. He tried to tolerate it until he got off but he was unable to sleep because of severe pain. On January 30. establishing a reasonable connection between the two. sickness allowance. on appeal by petitioner BSI. But. moral and exemplary damages. Meantime. on January 23.12 granting respondent Abalos permanent disability benefit. thus. and attorney’s fees. 2002 respondent Marcos C.10 Efforts to amicably settle the dispute did not materialize. Inc.4 On January 25.

thus.18 The formation of gallbladder stones take months. Inc. The Court’s Rulings Whether or not respondent Abalos’ illness is compensable is essentially a factual issue. The standard contract precisely did not consider gallstone as compensable illness because the parties agreed. since cholecystolithiasis or gallstone has been excluded as a compensable illness under the applicable standard contract for Filipino seafarers that binds both respondent Abalos and the vessel’s foreign owner. there is assurance that it voluntarily subjects itself to Philippine laws and jurisdiction. however.17 There is no question as to what respondent Abalos was sick of. particularly cholesterol. entitles him to disability benefits and sickness allowance. compensable. It is not one of those enumerated as compensable diseases in the Revised Standard Terms and Conditions Governing the Employment of Filipino Seafarers on Board Ocean-Going Vessels that covered Abalos’ employment. to build up. Yet the Court can and will be justified in looking into it considering the conflicting views of the NLRC and the CA. 1avv phi1 If respondent Abalos had instead been sick of asthma and the shipping company knew of it even as it assigned him to do work that exposed him to allergens. Nor has respondent Abalos proved by some evidence that the nature of his work on board a ship aggravated his illness. By the nature of this illness. that such affliction is not caused by working on board ocean-going vessels. and calcium. although his gallstone is not a compensable illness under his employment contract. The NLRC denied him disability benefits and sickness allowance for this reason. however. presumably based on medical science. therefore. it is highly probable that Abalos already had it when he boarded his assigned ship although it went undiagnosed because he had yet to experience its symptoms. bile pigments. Hammonia Maritime Services. Consequently. medical reports show that gallstone relates to one’s weight or diet and in some instances may be a genetic predisposition. it was an error for the CA to treat Abalos’ illness as "work-related" and. The Court recognized in Vergara v. When the foreign shipping company signs that contract. the particular seaman might be favored but . causing bile to build up. He was sick of cholecystolithiasis or gallstone. The CA held. These gallstones are solid accumulations of the components of bile. No one knew when he boarded the vessel that he was sick of gallstone. that Abalos’ diet or sustenance on board the vessel had presumably caused or contributed to his illness for he had no choice but eat ship food. It is caused by stone formation in the gallbladder that blocks the tube leading out of the gallbladder. According to the NLRC. If the NLRC orders the payment of benefits not found in that contract. it can be said that his illness was either work-related or reasonably connected with his work. It does not develop overnight. then it can be said that the company assigned him work that aggravated his illness. he himself was unaware that he had gallstone until excruciating pains manifested its presence for the first time when his vessel was sailing the seas. Here. But. if not years.19 the significance of the adoption by the Department of Labor and Employment of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Standard Employment Contract as a condition for deploying Filipino seafarers working on foreign ocean-going vessels.Issue Presented The core issue presented in this case is whether or not Abalos’ cholecystolithiasis or gallstone is compensable and. resulting in gallbladder inflammation.

p. 2007 and its resolution dated March 19. REYNATO S. and REINSTATES the decision of the National Labor Relations Commission in NLRC NCR CA 03930604 dated February 23. at 13. SO ORDERED. 2006. CARPIO Associate Justice Chairperson.R. 553. ANTONIO T. PUNO Chief Justice Footnotes 1 Rollo. SETS ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Second Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T. DEL CASTILLO Associate Justice JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. 2 . 2007.the credibility of our standard employment contract will suffer. CARPIO Associate Justice ARTURO D. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. BRION Associate Justice MARIANO C. the Court grants the petition. ACCORDINGLY. ROBERTO A. SP 95238 dated January 30. Id. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. Foreign shipping companies might regard it as non-binding to the detriment of other seamen.

2010 19 G. at 554. Id. G. Respondent. Id. at 223-240. Id. EQUITABLE GENERAL SERVICES.medscape. Id. Petitioner. 567 SCRA 610. Id. at 359. INC. Id. 172933. The Facts and the Case . at 325-354.. at 12-23.: This case is about an employee who was considered illegally dismissed notwithstanding the fact that she filed a written resignation from her work. at 223. at 556.R. 2008. Id. 185269 ELSA S. G. at 552-563. DECISION ABAD. No. 623. 607. J. Id.com/article/774352. Id.R.R. at 225. at 555. No. at 14. vs.. October 17. Id. MALIG-ON. 172800. Id. 2008. 569 SCRA 592. 18 http://emedicine. Trans-Global Maritime Agency. Inc.overview. June 29. Id. at 555. No.3 Id. Id. October 6. 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Masangcay v.

On July 16. 2005 the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) reversed the LA’s decision and ruled that the company had constructively dismissed Malig-on. (the company) hired her as janitress in its janitorial services. gave a letter of resignation that she wrote with her own hand. this petition by Malig-on. 2008 the CA reversed the NLRC’s ruling and reinstated that of the LA. 2002 and again on September 2. 2004 the Labor Arbiter (LA) rendered a decision.Petitioner Elsa Malig-on (Malig-on) claimed that on March 4. The company paid her P250. such bodies have conflicting factual findings. and signed it. asking her to explain her continued absence.3 Whether that is the case would largely depend on the circumstances surrounding such alleged resignation. On October 15. But the LA ordered the company to pay her emergency cost of living allowance and the balance of her 13th month pay. prompting Malig-on to file a complaint against it for illegal dismissal. She was quick to point out that she wrote it after being told that she needed to resign so she could be cleared for her next assignment. The company denied Malig-on’s allegations. 2002 without giving any reason.1 The rule in termination cases is that the employer bears the burden of proving that he dismissed his employee for a just cause. 2002 the company told Malig-on that she had to file a resignation letter before it would reassign her. Consequently. 2002. when the employer claims that the employee resigned from work. After six years or on February 15. hence. Inc. 1996 respondent Equitable General Services. She complied but the company reneged on its undertaking. finding Malig-on’s resignation valid and binding. the company claims that Malig-on voluntarily resigned. the company wrote her two letters. as in this case. Eight months later or on October 15. Those circumstances must be consistent with the employee’s intent to give up work. the Court has reason to go over both findings to ascertain which one has support in the evidence.00 per day for a nine-hour work. But it never did despite several follow-ups that she made. They merely prove that she wrote that letter. 2002 Malig-on showed up at the company’s office and submitted her resignation letter. But when. . But these are not enough. 2002 Malig-on’s immediate supervisor told her that the company would be assigning her to another client. used the vernacular language. The Rulings of the Court True. a thing that she did not deny. courts give great weight and respect to the facts as found by quasi-judicial and administrative bodies. The NLRC ordered the company to reinstate Malig-on with full backwages from the time the company illegally dismissed her up to the date of the finality of its decision. the burden is on the employer to prove that he did so willingly. The Issue Presented The issue in this case is whether or not the CA erred in holding that petitioner Malig-on abandoned her work and eventually resigned from it rather than that respondent company constructively dismissed her. The respondent company went up to the Court of Appeals (CA) to challenge the NLRC decision. first on August 23. It claimed that she just stopped reporting for work on February 16.2 And.4 Here. On February 28. On January 26.

2002 she went to the NLRC office and filed her complaint against the company for illegal dismissal. 1avv phi 1 An illegally dismissed employee is entitled to two reliefs: backwages and reinstatement. she did not file any action for constructive dismissal after being placed in a floating status for more than six months. Indeed. if Malig-on had abandoned her work and had no further interest in it. 2002 could not have been legally possible.According to the company. third.7 Still. After just three days from tendering her resignation. And. 2002. three days later or on October 18. They came more than six months after the company placed her on floating status and. Second. Malig-on hastened to the NLRC and accused her employer of illegal dismissal. as of August 16. But. that Malig-on went to the NLRC to file a complaint for unjust dismissal just three days after she filed her alleged resignation letter is inconsistent with genuine resignation. as in this case. Clearly.6Thus. the company needed to write Malig-on immediately and ask her to explain in writing why she should not be considered to have abandoned her job so the company may be cleared of its responsibility as employer. these circumstances do not sound consistent with resignation freely made. 2002. 2002 she appeared at the company’s office and tendered her resignation. after her last work. asking her to explain her failure to report for work and informing her that the company would treat such failure as lack of interest in it. Her action would make sense only if. respectively. rather than reinstatement. To the company’s surprise. The NLRC should have just awarded Maligon separation pay instead of ordering the company to reinstate her. The company of course claims that it gave Malig-on notices on August 23. may be proper especially when the latter is no longer practical or will be for the best interest of the parties. as she claimed. the Court has held that the grant of separation pay. . there was no reason for her to suddenly show up at her former place of work after eight months and file her resignation letter.5 It would make sense only if. the company gave her those notices after it had constructively dismissed her from work. 2002 for no reason at all. as Malig-on claims. the company tricked her into filing for resignation upon a promise to give her a new work assignment and failed to deliver such promise. But. The company evidently placed Malig-on on floating status after being relieved as janitress in a client’s workplace. If she were to be believed. Under the circumstances. it was only eight months later that she showed keen interest in being taken back by following an advice that she first tender her resignation in order to clear up her record prior to being rehired. when it ran up to more than six months. First. she had been on floating status for over six months and the company promised to give her a new assignment if she would go through the process of resigning and reapplying.8 Here. consequently. that is. however. Indeed. as the Court has repeatedly ruled. But these notices cannot possibly take the place of the notices required by law. the company may be considered to have constructively dismissed her from work. her purported resignation on October 15. 2002 and September 2. This did not happen here. such act of "off-detailing" Malig-on was not the equivalent of dismissal so long as her floating status did not continue beyond a reasonable time. Eight months later or on October 15. Malig-on did not appear persistent in getting rehired. the natural and right thing for it to do was investigate why she had suddenly vanished. when Malig-on reportedly dropped out of sight and the company had no idea about the reason for it. her reinstatement to her former position would only result in a highly hostile work environment for the parties and might further worsen their relations which are already scarred by the present case. Malig-on simply dropped out of sight one day on February 16.

is directed to pay petitioner Elsa S. the Court GRANTS the petition and REVERSES the decision of the Court of Appeals dated July 16. NACHURA Associate Justice DIOSDADO M.R. when her service to the company technically ended. she is entitled to separation pay at the rate of one month for every year of service from 1996.Backwages represent compensation that should have been earned but were not collected because of the unjust dismissal. and REINSTATES the decision of the National Labor Relations Commission dated February 28. SO ORDERED. a period of two years and six months. 2007 in NLRC NCR CA 039509-04. ANTONIO T. a period of nine years. from the time she was constructively dismissed in August 2002 until the NLRC ordered her immediate reinstatement in February 2005. 2008 and its resolution dated November 7. other benefits or their monetary equivalent. in addition.10 WHEREFORE. as already stated. when she is deemed to have been actually separated from work. 2008 in CA-G. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T. ROBERTO A. both amounts—the backwages and the separation pay—to bear interest of 6 percent per annum until fully paid. CARPIO Associate Justice ANTONIO EDUARDO B. when she began her employment to 2005. the circumstances already rule out actual reinstatement. Malig-on backwages inclusive of allowances. But since. a period of nine years. separation pay at the rate of one month for every year of service from 1996 when she began her employment to 2005. with the following MODIFICATION: respondent Equitable General Services. CARPIO Associate Justice Chairperson.9 Malig-on can be said to be entitled to reinstatement from the time she was constructively dismissed in August 2002 until the NLRC ordered her immediate reinstatement in February 2005. both amounts—the backwages and the separation pay—to bear interest of 6 percent per annum from February 2005 until fully paid. Inc. 2005 and its resolution dated July 24. For this she is entitled to backwages. SP 100811. a period of two years and six months and. Second Division CERTIFICATION . PERALTA Associate Justice JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.

and the appropriate mode of assailing a decision of the Civil Service Commission (CSC). 2009. 161694. 7 Macasero v.Petitioners. DECISION ABAD. Villar v. December 16. January 30. v. 9 Golden Ace Builders v. G. January 31. 2005.R. RUBEN Y. 478 SCRA 125. CORONA Chief Justice Footnotes 1 Emcor Incorporated v. No. 1985. 424. 4 5 6 Veterans Security Agency. June 26. No. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. 478 SCRA 298. J. MACEDA Respondent. 387 Phil. No.R. 308. 577 SCRA 500. 8 Velasco v. Southern Industrial Gases Philippines. National Labor Relations Commission. RENATO C. 185112 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT (DOLE) and NATIONAL MARITIME POLYTECHNIC (NMP).R. January 18. 130. 178524. 2010 10 G. May 5. 507. No.Pursuant to Section 13. Ompad. 621. G. No. 2006. 2009. 187200. Castro.R. Talde. L-64190. 2005. 2010. 2 Polymedic General Hospital v. Id. . Inc. September 8. 134 SCRA 420. No. 497 Phil. 706. National Labor Relations Commission. G. Fortuny Garments v. 150668. G. No. National Labor Relations Commission. 159293. 714 (2000).. 598 SCRA 617. 492 SCRA 686. G. 631632. G. 152101. Sienes. 3 Mobile Protective & Detective Agency v. No.: This case pertains to the importance of complying with the prescribed qualification standards.R. Gonzalvo. vs. Jr. 634-635 (2005).R. 699. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. December 15.R. G.R.

Meanwhile. 2003 the NMP Executive Director. a government school. On July 13. 2000 to January 7. Maceda. He was later designated as Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Maritime Training Division and as NMP’s legal counsel. He answered the letter. In 2001 he resigned from his position as NMP legal counsel. from January 7. On March 20. 2004. He subsequently wrote the NMP Executive Director. however. 2003 the Human Resources Management Section of NMP wrote respondent Maceda. On February 13. a deck marine officer. 2003. Yearly. The NMP considered Maceda first priority for the Shipboard Rotation Scheme for 2003 and for holding the 3rd Officer position on board ship. He studied law in the meantime and passed the bar in 1996. 2003 or until such time as the CSC shall have already approved the NMP Maritime Training Revised Qualification Standard. joined the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP). the NMP OIC wrote respondent Maceda. Maceda agreed and signed a contract of employment on January 5. informing him that his temporary appointment as Professor I was being renewed effective on April 1. however. 2003. On December 23. 2004. Noriel Devanadera. But an OIC was instead appointed to that position. that nothing has since been heard of that revised QS after the NMP submitted the same to the CSC for approval. wrote respondent Maceda. But the NMP did not act on his letter. In 1998. In 2001 the NMP advised all employees occupying next-in-rank positions to the Deputy Executive Director (DED) III to submit their updated Personal Data Sheets (PDS) for evaluation as candidates to that position until May 15. he was not to report for work anymore on the following day. On May 28. on instructions from Devanadera. making a number of requests. advising him that the school would be putting him under contractual employment from January 7 to June 30. On the same date. 2001 Maceda belatedly submitted his updated PDS for evaluation. informing him that his appointment as Professor I would be renewed on contractual status effective from January 5 to June 30. 1989 respondent Ruben Y. 2001. He later developed a module in maritime law for Marine Officers of the NMP and started teaching the subject in May 2004. that the renewal of the appointments of temporary employees is a prerogative of the head of the agency. In 2002 the NMP completed the revision of the Qualification Standard (QS) for its staff. He finished his master’s degree in 2000. Maceda claimed. In 1999 the International Maritime Law sponsored his studies in the IMO-International Maritime Law Institute in Malta. . On June 30. submitting justifications for changing his temporary status to a permanent one. however. so he could avail of the Shipboard Rotation Scheme. with a permanent appointment as Instructor I. the NMP renewed respondent Maceda’s temporary appointment as Professor I. 2004. Maceda filed a complaint with the CSC regarding his demotion in employment status. 2003 and that the succeeding renewal of his appointment would be subject to his meeting the requirements of the position. The Administrative Officer of the CSC regional office convinced him. He rose to the permanent positions of Assistant Professor I and later Associate Professor I. 2004 the NMP OIC informed respondent Maceda that. the NMP again promoted respondent Maceda to the rank of Professor I but this time under a mere temporary appointment.The Facts and the Case On June 28. Maceda applied from 2001 to 2003 for the position of Administrative Officer V which then remained vacant.

a shipboard experience on license. 2007 the CSC denied the same. pointing out that. this petition. Jancom Environmental Corp. The DOLE and the NMP moved for reconsideration of the decision but the CA denied the same. ordering the NMP to reinstate Maceda to his previous position as Professor I. since Devanadera was a presidential appointee. Maceda charged Devanadera and NMP before the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) of oppression leading to his illegal termination. The Court cannot countenance the blurring of the distinction between a special civil action for certiorari and a petition for review. On May 28.1 The Court held in Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v.however. as a holder of a temporary and contractual employment. This prompted Maceda to seek recourse by special civil action of certiorari with the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. and 2. In determining whether the proper remedy is a special civil action for certiorari or a petition for review. The CA ruled that there was nothing novel about a petition for certiorari being filed with that court when the act or omission complained of involved grave abuse of discretion or excess of jurisdiction. The Rulings of the Court One. and directing it to pay his salary and other benefits from July 1. On November 2. what is decisive is whether or not the challenged order is a final order that disposes of the merit of the case. Devanadera asked Maceda to be a guest lecturer in Maritime Law. Whether or not the NMP illegally terminated Maceda from employment as professor. it is not so much the nature of the question or questions that would be raised that matters. granting the petition. The CSC further held that it was his fault that he did not take steps to remedy his deficiency. the DOLE Secretary dismissed his complaint. On June 2. 2004 until he is reinstated. the power to discipline him belonged to the President. SP 99539.R. This Court must disagree. This is true even if the error imputed to the officer. Further. after holding the position of Professor I for five years. body. 2008 the CA rendered a decision.3 . namely.2 that the remedy for seeking the reversal or modification of a judgment rendered on the merits of the case is appeal. On October 21. hence. thus acknowledging the need for his services and his expertise on the subject. Maceda filed a motion for reconsideration but on March 7. The Issues Presented Petitioners raise two issues for this Court’s resolution: 1. 2004 respondent Maceda appealed his case to the CSC but the latter dismissed the same for lack of jurisdiction. 2004 respondent Maceda wrote to the members of the Board of Trustees of NMP about his illegal termination as professor and Devanadera’s mismanagement of the school’s affairs. Whether or not the CA correctly gave due course to Maceda’s special civil action of certiorari for the correction of the alleged errors in the rulings of the CSC. Maceda did not enjoy security of tenure. The CSC held that. With very rare exceptions. 2004. or tribunal constitutes alleged lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case or grave abuse of discretion in making its or his findings of fact or of law.

11 Maceda contends that the NMP demoted him from a temporary to a contractual position.12 The Court acknowledges respondent Maceda’s numerous achievements here and abroad as well as his part in teaching Filipino seafarers. when the NMP did not further renew Maceda’s contractual appointment. But the power to appoint rests essentially on free choice. it still cannot uphold the CA’s decision. must possess a two-year sea experience (on license) and three years of teaching experience. Nor can it be said that the NMP did not give respondent Maceda sufficient leeway to meet those standards. the CA assumed the power and discretion to declare Maceda’s 15 years of teaching experience sufficient compliance with the "shipboard experience on license" requirement of the NMP. 2003.8 Maceda had sufficient teaching experience but he did not have the required shipboard experience. The CA also faults the NMP for not appointing Maceda as Administrative Officer V or DED III if he could not be given a permanent appointment as professor. expertise. Devanadera approved Maceda’s request through his OED Memorandum Order 303-20036 dated August 5. as both the DOLE and the CSC uniformly held. even if the Court were to disregard the important distinction between a special civil action of certiorari and a petition for review. But. Thus. respondent Maceda still did not bother to complete the required shipboard experience. it had to determine that the CSC’s findings had run berserk. no court of law can presume to have the wisdom needed to make a better judgment respecting staff appointments. The appointing authority has the right to decide who best fits the job from among those who meet the minimum requirements for it. But Maceda’s so-called accomplishments cannot count for much where.4 The CA did not make this determination. as in this case. the NMP could only give him temporary appointment that did not provide any security of tenure. As an outsider. a Professor I. it points out that the NMP ignored Maceda’s solid work. despite the repeated efforts of the NMP Human Resource Management Section to get him on board. it cannot be said that the CSC gravely abused its discretion in dismissing respondent Maceda’s complaint. he did not board any vessel as a licensed 3rd Mate Officer. In fact. the same cannot be regarded as a dismissal but an expiration of his term. they do not in fact meet the uniform standards set by the school for its permanent professors. The CA’s finding that the NMP disregarded Maceda’s request5 that he be allowed to avail himself of the school’s training privileges. It is not sufficient that the CA disagreed with the findings of the CSC or considered them in error. prompted by passion and personal hostility rather than by reason. Two.Besides. quite remote from the day-to-day problems of a government agency such as NMP. Maceda simply did not avail himself of the school’s Shipboard Rotation Scheme nor submit the papers needed under that program. who was a Marine Merchant Officer with a rank of a 3rd Mate Officer.10 Such appointment is of course terminable at the pleasure of the appointing power with or without a cause. For instance. and experience when it said that he was not qualified to become a permanent professor. no such demotion took place since a contractual appointment is of the same nature as a temporary appointment.7 Lastly. The records show that. so he could comply with the requirements of the Shipboard Rotation Scheme. At any rate. is not supported by evidence.9 Because of this. But these cannot replace the need for him to meet the prescribed qualification standard for the position of Professor I.13 Such standard is a mix of the . But under the relevant NMP QS then in force. Grave abuse of discretion exists where the public respondent acts in a manner so patent and gross that it amounts to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to do what the law enjoins on him.

civil service eligibility. 2008 and resolution dated October 29. PUNO Chief Justice Footnotes 1 Del Pozo v. November 23. 961. ACCORDINGLY. Maceda did not. the Court GRANTS the petition. physical health. training. G. SO ORDERED. CARPIO Associate Justice ARTURO D. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T. DEL CASTILLO Associate Justice JOSE P. 2 . 973 (2002). SP 99539. 589. REYNATO S. and attitude that the job requires. 2008 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 2007 of the Civil Service Commission. Second Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. L-48302. 167 SCRA 577. Penaco. No. CARPIO Associate Justice Chairperson. ROBERTO A. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. BRION Associate Justice MARIANO C. PEREZ Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.R. 425 Phil.formal education. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. experience. and REINSTATES Resolution 070433 dated March 7.14 They need to be met by those who seek the position. 1988. REVERSES the decision dated May 28. ANTONIO T.R.

446 (1999). No. Petitioner. 1992.R. 2006. No. 185.. 39.: This case is about the proper computation of the monetary awards of an illegally dismissed employee.. 482 SCRA 533. Rollo. 2010 DANIEL P..3 Id. G. DECISION ABAD.. Rollo. CA rollo. JR. p. INC. Civil Service Commission. JAVELLANA. 5 CA rollo. Petitioner. pp. Francisco. p.. 29 (1999)... 95425. Jr. vs. 4 Toyota Autoparts. p. 11 Pabu-aya v. 408 Phil.. February 26.. 181913 March 5. Phils.R.. CA rollo.. 627-628. JAVELLANA. G. Mathay. Court of Appeals..R. pp. Respondents.. Loanzon.. 168267.. x . 182158 ALBINO BELEN. 437. JR... and JAVELLANA FARMS. Rule IV. ALBINO BELEN. 206 SCRA 621. v. No.. Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 17. 28-29.. Salles v. 363 Phil. 292 or the Administrative Code of 1987.. v. The Director of Bureau of Labor Relations.. J. vs. No.. DANIEL P. Inc. 539. 33. 790 (2001). 782. 12 13 14 Section 2. 371 Phil. Respondent. G.R. 6 7 8 9 10 House of Representatives v.. 95-96. February 16. The Facts and the Case .-x G..

holiday pay. and rest day as well as for moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees. Jr. Like the Labor Arbiter. however.. as it found the computation to be erroneous. modifying the decision of the Labor Arbiter. and lime stones for the pig pens. 13th month pay. Quezon.9 Regarding petitioner Belen's dismissal from work. 2002. holiday pay. 2007. the Labor Arbiter found petitioner Belen to be a company driver as evidenced by the pay slips12 that the farm issued to him.7 Respondent Javellana claimed.00. Javellana had left. and attorney's fees.14 On appeal. Belen asked for a separation pay. 1999 Javellana gave him instructions to (a) pick up lime stones in Tayabas. it was illegal.13 The Labor Arbiter awarded him backwages. overtime pay. he did not accept it.10 In a decision11 dated November 25. feeds.20 The appellate court. on the other hand.16 Aggrieved. Deeply worried that he might not soon get another job. the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) issued a resolution15 dated October 23. Batangas.21 . respondent Javellana insisted that he did it for a reason. Belen decided to go home and get some more sleep. but as family driver. separation pay. 1999 and this warranted his dismissal. 19943 and assigned him the tasks of picking up and delivering live hogs. modified the award of backwages and separation pay. he also did jobs that were needed in Javellana's business operations. salary differential. that he hired petitioner Belen in 1995. Belen moved for reconsideration. and (d) pick up a boar at Joliza Farms in Norzagaray..8 Belen did not do work for his farm on a regular basis. Bulacan. the NLRC deleted the award of backwages and separation pay and instead ordered Javellana to pay him 15 days salary by way of indemnity pursuant to Article 149 of the Labor Code.17 which in its Decision18 dated September 12. service incentive leave pay (SILP). The NLRC was convinced that respondent Javellana hired petitioner Belen as a family driver but required him to make certain errands that were related to the farm business. Inc. but the NLRC denied his motion. 13th month pay. and lime stones used for cleaning the pigpens. reverted back to the decision of the Labor Arbiter. 1999. Since his abrupt dismissal from work violated his right to due process. SILP. When he arrived at 8:20 a.4 On August 19. Belen intentionally failed to report for work on August 20.m.On May 9. When Javellana offered him only P5. premium pay for holiday. (Javellana) for illegal dismissal and underpayment or nonpayment of salaries. feeds. (b) deliver live hogs at Barrio Quiling. of the following day. 2000 petitioner Albino Belen (Belen) filed a complaint1 against respondents Javellana Farms.m. and Daniel Javellana. petitioner Belen elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals (CA). but respondent Javellana suddenly blurted out that he was firing Belen from work.2 Petitioner Belen alleged that respondent Javellana hired him as company driver on January 31.6 Petitioner Belen was promptly at the office at 4:00 p. respondent Javellana summoned him to the office. such as hauling and delivering live hogs.19 The CA also said that Javellana's abrupt dismissal of Belen for an isolated case of neglect of duty was unjustified. After being told that the latter would not be back until 4:00 p. the NLRC also found Belen to have been illegally dismissed.m. 2003. Talisay.m. not as a company driver. The CA held that Belen was a company driver since. But after just three hours of sleep. But since he was but a family driver.000. but picked up feeds or delivered livestock only on rare occasions when the farm driver and vehicle were unavailable. (c) have the delivery truck repaired. August 20. aside from driving respondent Javellana and his family.5 Petitioner Belen further alleged that his long and arduous day finally ended at 4:30 a.

181913. when he was hired.R. The Labor Arbiter expressly limited the amount of that award since he granted Belen's request to be given separation pay instead of being reinstated. petitioner Belen claims that his separation pay should be computed from January 31.30 It is obvious from a reading of the Labor Arbiter's decision that the date November 19. 1999 to November 19.23 But on July 16. The Court's Rulings One. .R. 1994. 1999 up to the date of this decision.27 After taking such position initially.29 Javellana also disagreed that the monetary award should be reckoned until the finality of the decision in petitioner Belen's favor. 2008. the date he was dismissed from work. and 2.24 Javellana moved for reconsideration but the Court denied it with finality on September 22. when the Labor Arbiter rendered his decision. The award of backwages to which he was entitled should continue to run until the decision in his favor has become final. up to November 25. 2008. The Labor Arbiter's approved computation gave the period as from August 20. the Court denied due course to it for respondent Javellana's failure to sufficiently show reversible error in the assailed decision. that the Labor Arbiter's decision clearly shows that he intended to award backwages and separation pay only until November 19. however. to November 25.Both respondent Javellana and petitioner Belen moved for reconsideration of the decision but the CA denied them both on March 3. not by the appellate court. petitioner Belen claims that the amount awarded to him by the Labor Arbiter merely represents a portion of what he was entitled to. 2002. Whether or not the monetary award in his favor should run until the finality of the decision in his case. respectively.25 Questions Presented The questions presented in this case are: 1. 2002.26 For the same reason. 2000 stated in the computation was mere typographical error. but by the Labor Arbiter. The same could be said of the computation of petitioner Belen's separation pay. 2000 when the proper period was from August 20. the date the Labor Arbiter rendered his decision in the case.28 1avv phi 1 Respondent Javellana points out. Belen also insists that the 10% attorney's fees awarded to him be based on the total amount arrived at. The Court consolidated the two cases in its Resolution of July 2. 182158. 1999."31 Since the Labor Arbiter actually rendered his decision on November 25. 2008. 2002. having initially examined the petition in G. 2002. Whether or not the Labor Arbiter correctly computed petitioner Belen's backwages and separation pay. 2008.R. they both took recourse to this Court in G.32 it would be safe to assume that he caused the computation of the amount of backwages close to that date or on November 19. 22 Undaunted. 2000. Somewhere in the body of the decision is the categorical statement that petitioner Belen "is entitled to backwages from August 20. 181913 and G. Petitioner Belen points out that the Labor Arbiter correctly computed his monetary award although he appeared to have been awarded more than what was right because of a typographical error in the statement of the period that his backwages covered.

R. questioned the CA's finding of illegality of dismissal while the petition in G. Clearly. What is decisive is that the issue of illegal dismissal from which the order to pay monetary awards to petitioner Belen stemmed had been long terminated. the law intends the award of backwages and similar benefits to accumulate past the date of the Labor Arbiter's decision until the dismissed employee is actually reinstated. 1999.39 WHEREFORE. 2008. as amended by Section 34 of Republic Act 6715 instructs: Art. on the other hand. the 10% attorney's fees be based on the awards so computed. 2008 until fully paid. Separation pay. the employer shall not terminate the services of an employee except for a just cause or when authorized by this Title.38 It matters not that the amounts of the claims were still in question on September 22. The Court denied the first with finality in its resolution of September 22. 2008. it is but fair that respondent Javellana be required to pay 12% interest per annum on those awards from September 22. An employee who is unjustly dismissed from work shall be entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and to his full backwages.R. 2008 until they are paid. and that the amounts due be made to bear interest of 12% per annum from September 22. This leads us to the question. Further. 2008 in CA-G.35 the second is the subject of the present case. 2008. 2002 in NLRC-NCR Case 3009-04294-01 with the modification that the awards of backwages be computed from August 20.36 Here that would begin from January 31. 181913. The petition in G.R. the Court GRANTS the petition. when he was dismissed. Belen should be entitled to backwages from August 20. filed by petitioner Belen. the computation of his separation pay should also end on that date. SETS ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals dated September 12. . a fraction of six months to be considered as one whole year. 1994 when petitioner Belen began his service. 182158.34 As it happens. REINSTATES the decision of the Labor Arbiter dated November 25. challenged the amounts of money claims awarded to him.Two. leaving room for increase up to the date the decision in the case becomes final? Article 279 of the Labor Code. does the amount that the Labor Arbiter awarded petitioner Belen represent all that he will get when the decision in his case becomes final or does it represent only the amount that he was entitled to at the time the Labor Arbiter rendered his decision. 2008. 2008. when the judgment for unjust dismissal in G. SP 83354.33 But if. 2008 and the separation pay.37 here on September 22. 2008 because of issues raised respecting the correct computation of such awards. 1999 to September 22. from January 31. to September 22. The 12% interest is proper because the Court treats monetary claims in labor cases the equivalent of a forbearance of credit. inclusive of allowances. Technically the computation of his separation pay would end on the day he was dismissed on August 20. this Court has consistently ruled that backwages shall be computed from the time of illegal dismissal until the date the decision becomes final. 1999 when he supposedly ceased to render service and his wages ended. is equivalent to one month pay for every year of service. 181913 became final. since the monetary awards remained unpaid even after it became final on September 22. Consequently. . since Belen was entitled to collect backwages until the judgment for illegal dismissal in his favor became final. as in this case.R. 1994 to September 22. Security of Tenure. 279. the parties filed separate petitions before this Court. filed by respondent Javellana. 2007 and its resolution dated March 3. and to his other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to the time of his actual reinstatement. reinstatement is no longer possible.In cases of regular employment. But.

PUNO Chief Justice Footnotes * Designated as additional member in lieu of Associate Justice Mariano C. CARPIO Associate Justice ANTONIO EDUARDO B. ANTONIO T. Article VIII of the Constitution. Rollo (G. per raffle dated February 24. Inc. 1 Docketed as NLRC-NCR Case 30-05-02039-00. 182158). SO ORDERED ROBERTO A. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court's Division. and the Division Chairperson's Attestation. NACHURA* Associate Justice ARTURO D. Jr. 2 . Del Castillo. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T. pp. and Daniel Javellana. Second Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13.R. BRION Associate Justice JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court's Division. CARPIO Associate Justice Chairperson.Let the records of the case be remanded to the National Labor Relations Commission upon the finality of this judgment for computation of the exact amounts due petitioner Albino Belen from respondents Javellana Farms. 47-48. REYNATO S. 2010.

at 47. Id. pp. p. 13th Month Pay: P241. 182158). Rollo (G. Id. docketed as NLRC NCR Case 30-09-04294-01. Id. 13-14.84 P20.983.821.994. at 16-17.095.00 x 26 x 2. at 132-133.63 P250 x 26 x 24. 181913).33 10/31/99-10/31/00 = 12 P223. Rollo (G. Id. 3. Id. Rollo (G.82 TOTAL BACKWAGES B.09 P265.13 P4. Separation Pay: 1/31/94-11/19/00 = 8 years. 182158). 9 months .33 P198.010.63 2. Basic Salary 8/20/99-10/30/99 = 2. at 129-130. p. Id.75 = P11.50 x 5 x 4.00 = P160. at 14-15. Rollo (G. 51. at 17. at 73-111.R. The monetary awards were computed as follows: [A.R. 181913).151. 169.00 P241.84 / 12 SILP 8/20/99-12/31/99 P223.732.59 / 12 = P406.603.96 = P3. Id. 13.] Backwages: 1.3 Id. at 15-16.37 / 12 1/1/00-11/19/00 P250 x 5 x 34. pp.84 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 = P69.R.R. 124-133.821.50 x 26 x 12 11/1/00-11/19/00 = 24.

00 x 26 x 7.77 P40.12 P4.47 = SUB-TOTAL G.87 P185-100 = P85 x 26 x 8. pp.] Holiday Pay: 5/9/97-8/20/99 = P198 x 21 [F. 134-141. 42. pp.300. Attorney's Fees: P409.64 = P595. at 43.26 P409. 182158).67 / 12 = D.73 / 12 1/1/98-12/31/98 = P198 x 5 1/1/99-9/20/99 = P223.500. 34-46. 182158).00 = P3.70 P47. SILP: 5/9/97-12/31/97 = P185 x 5 x 7.50 x 5 x 7.68 P450.148.523.67 P223. Id.714.56 P66. Docketed as CA-G. Penned by Associate Justice Arcangelita M.73 P185.] Salary Differential: 5/9/97-2/5/98 = 8.87 2/6/98-8/20/99 = 18.67 / 12 [E.956.45 Rollo (G.00 P3.R.00 x 26 1/1/99 7. Del Castillo (now a member of this Court) and Romeo F.R.158.77 x 10% TOTAL 15 = P58.061. SP 83354. 13th Month Pay: 5/9/97-8/20/99 5/9/97-12/31/97 = 7. Resolution dated December 30.566.00 x 26 P198. 19 Id.P250 x 26 x 9 C. id. Barza concurring.44 = P5. 2003. RomillaLontok.00 = P19.20 P11.R.73 / 12 1/1/98-12/31/98 = 12 P198.00 = P714.50 x 26 x 7.960.664.098. 16 17 18 Rollo (G. 20 . with Associate Justices Mariano C.85 = P990.27 P2. at 40. at 142-143.602.566.47 P198-100 = P98 x 26 x 18.

151.487. at 44-45.00 -P85. Separation Pay: 1/31/94-11/19/00 P250 x 26 x 7 C.500.87 P2.50 x 5 x 4.158.63 P250 x 26 x .] Holiday Pay: 5/9/97-8/20/99 = P198 x 21 [F.821.00 = P3.27 [E.098.67 / 12 D. Basic Salary 8/20/99-10/30/99 = 2.82 TOTAL BACKWAGES B.44 = P5.63 / 12 = P406. 13th Month Pay: 5/9/97-8/20/99 5/9/97-12/31/97 = 7.64 1/1/99-9/20/99 = P223.095.84 P69.96 P1.73 P185.73 / 12 1/1/98-12/31/98 = 12 P198.67 / 12 = P714.37 / 12 = 1/1/00-11/19/00 P250.33 = P198.00 P4.960.994.00 x 26 P198.20 P11. Backwages: 1. 3.25 P94.91 P11.821.00 x 26 1/1/99 7.29 P1. Service Incentive Leave Pay: 5/9/97-12/31/97 = P185 x 5 x 7. 9 months = P45. 13th Month Pay: P85.00 = P3.00 = 6 years.84 / 12 SILP 8/20/99-12/31/99 P223.21 Id.00 x 26 x 2.50 x 26 x 12 = 11/1/00-11/19/00 = .12 P4. The appellate court computed Belen's monetary awards as follows: A.714.00 x 5 x 10.514.] Salary Differential: 5/9/97-2/5/98 = 8.300.33 10/31/99-10/31/00 = 12 P223.148.732.73 / 12 1/1/98-12/31/98 = P198 x 5 = P595.50 x 5 x 7.00 .00 x 26 x 7.67 P223.107.50 x 26 x 7.85 = P990.63 = 2.84 P7.

181913). at 26-28. See: id. 141430. 212. 214-215. 540 SCRA 21. 647. Rollo (G. Visca. No. G. at 25. 34-35. 208.93 P 22. 35 Rollo (G. p. National Labor Relations Commission. G.Pheschem Industrial Corporation v. Id. 627. at 198. 563 SCRA 705.02 Id. at 133. Vigan. v. 41.R. 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 See: Cocomangas Hotel Beach Resort v. 2008.070. Court of Appeals. 36 See: Victory Liner. De Guzman v. Id. 505 SCRA 596. Id.070. Id. 2006. 164820. December 12. 616. 573 SCRA 212. 376-377.R. No.47 SUB-TOTAL G. May 7. 221 (2000).09 P247. at 32-33. .70 = P47.507. G.P185-100 = P85 x 26 x 8. No.R. October 27.47 P198-100 = P98 x 26 x 18. Attorney's Fees: P225.56 P66. December 8. p. 213-214. Id. Rollo (G. at 25-26. 721. 440 Phil. 428 SCRA 369. at 130-131.R. 642 (2001). Id. at 194-197.R. 182158).R. No. v. Mosqueda. Farrol v. August 29. 167701. 497 Phil. Inc. Litonjua Group of Companies v. 92 (2002). Court of Appeals. No. at 42. 37 Supra note 34. 154532. National Labor Relations Commission. 208. 167045. 213. p. G.664. Buenviaje v.R. 382 Phil. 84.R. 34 See: Petron Corporation v. 412 Phil. Id. 2007. 2004.602. 655 (2005). Philippine Journalists. 182158). Moldez. 2008. Race. G.93 x 10% TOTAL 22 = P19. Inc.578.87 2/6/98-8/20/99 = 18.061.26 P225.

7 She was supposed to serve beyond retirement from August 11. On the following day. G. also a government-owned corporation.5 In accordance with company guidelines.4 Meantime. 97412. Inc.6 pursuant to his authority under the PDMC Approvals Manual. On September 23. Gomez used to work as Manager of the Legal Department of Petron Corporation. Filoil underwent reorganization and was renamed Filoil Development Management Corporation (FDMC). December 17. 490 SCRA 380. July 12. J. No. she advised the board to suspend the privatization until all assets have been accounted for. 234 SCRA 78. however. Court of Appeals. With Petron’s privatization. 1996 its president re-hired her as administrator and legal counsel of the company. it credited her the years she served with the Filoil task force. DECISION ABAD. 97.3 The matter was then reported to the Department of Labor and Employment on March 7. June 8.R. she availed of the company’s early retirement program and left that organization on April 30.38 Suatengco v. petitioner Gomez continued to serve as corporate secretary of respondent PDMC. appointed her its corporate secretary and legal counsel. 2004. 164772. . Filoil Refinery Corporation (Filoil). Eastern Shipping Lines. 420-421. vs. Gomez’s task force was abolished and its members. Respondent.1 with the same managerial rank. Sadac. 162729. 174044 November 27. 2009 GLORIA V. Petitioner. No. When this happened. 1998. then a government-owned corporation. 1996. GOMEZ. compensation. 2008. v.(formerly known as FILOIL DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT CORPORATION [FDMC]). 39 See: Equitable Banking Corporation v. the Filoil board of directors created a five-member task force headed by petitioner Gomez who had been designated administrator.R. Meantime. The Facts and the Case Petitioner Gloria V. 1994. To facilitate its conversion. May 1. On May 24. including Gomez. a new board of directors for PDMC took over the company. With the privatization temporarily shelved. 1994. PNOC DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT CORPORATION (PDMC) .: This case is about what distinguishes a regular company manager performing important executive tasks from a corporate officer whose election and functions are governed by the company’s by-laws. G.2 While documenting Filoil’s assets. No. and benefits that she used to enjoy at Petron. Reyes. G. 2006. 574 SCRA 187.R. 196. were given termination notices on March 5. which later became the respondent PNOC Development Management Corporation (PDMC). 1998 to August 11.R. But Filoil was later on also identified for privatization. she found several properties which were not in the books of the corporation. 1996. G. Consequently. No. 1994. the next president of PDMC extended her term as administrator beyond her retirement age.

hence.R. damages. which expressed the view that Gomez’s term extension was an ultra vires act of the former president. The legal department held that her "de facto" tenure could be legally put to an end. such action should be deemed ratified since the board had been aware of it since 1994. 1999 the board questioned her continued employment as administrator.10 She later amended her complaint to include other money claims. she became a regular managerial employee. not a corporate officer.20 Gomez filed this petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45. . the board sought the advice of its legal department.On March 29. prompting her to file a complaint for non-payment of wages. 902-A. Upon elevation of the matter to the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.14 Respondent PDMC moved to have petitioner Gomez’s complaint dismissed on ground of lack of jurisdiction. the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) held the view that while respondent PDMC’s board did not approve the creation of the position of administrator that Gomez held. 1999 the respondent PDMC’s board resolved to terminate petitioner Gomez’s services retroactive on August 11.8 Sought for comment. The Labor Arbiter granted the motion15 upon a finding that Gomez was a corporate officer and that her case involved an intra-corporate dispute that fell under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pursuant to Presidential Decree (P. an ordinary employee whose complaint for illegal dismissal and non-payment of wages and benefits is within the jurisdiction of the NLRC. her term could be extended under the company’s by-laws only with the approval of the board.11 In a special meeting held on December 29.18 reversing the NLRC decision. Thus. and attorney’s fees with the Labor Arbiter on December 8. Further. But the OGCC ventured that the extension of her term beyond retirement age should have been made with the board’s approval. 1999 the new board of directors of respondent PDMC removed petitioner Gomez as corporate secretary.19 With the denial of her motion for reconsideration. The CA held that since Gomez’s appointment as administrator required the approval of the board of directors.16 On motion for reconsideration. But. 2006. Consequently. The Issue Presented The key issue in this case is whether or not petitioner Gomez was. since her position was functionally that of a vice-president or general manager. the respondent PDMC’s board withheld petitioner Gomez’s wages from November 16 to 30.12 On January 5.D. Dissatisfied with this. 1998.13 Thus.D.) 8799. 1998 letter that extended her term. in her capacity as administrator of respondent PDMC. however. her complaint is within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) under P.A. she was clearly a corporate officer.17 The Third Division held that Gomez was a regular employee. SP 88819. she served only as a corporate officer. 1999. she further amended her complaint to include illegal dismissal.) 902-A. 2000 the board informed petitioner of its decision. In answer. her retirement date. 1999. her complaint came under the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter. the respondent PDMC’s board did not have to approve either her appointment as such or the extension of her term in 1998. the latter rendered a decision on May 19. the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) Third Division set aside the Labor Arbiter’s order and remanded the case to the arbitration branch for further proceedings. as amended by Republic Act (R.9 Petitioner Gomez for her part conceded that as corporate secretary. It reasoned that. Pending resolution of the issue. she presented the former president’s May 24. at the board’s meeting on October 21. when they named her administrator.

treasurer. But the relationship of a person to a corporation.36 PDMC even withheld taxes on her salary and declared her as an . the administrator was not among the corporate officers mentioned in the PDMC by-laws. therefore. Indeed. respondent PDMC enrolled petitioner Gomez with the Social Security System.23 Here.30 stating that Gomez was a permanent employee and that the company had remitted combined contributions during her tenure. was that she was not a corporate officer. Respondent PDMC of course claims that as administrator petitioner Gomez performed functions that were similar to those of its vice-president or its general manager. The company’s mindset from the beginning. are elected or appointed22 by the directors or stockholders. The president alone also determined her compensation package. and benefits that regular PDMC employees enjoyed. and the Pag-Ibig Fund.33 Likewise.28 This is in sharp contrast to what the former PDMC president’s appointment paper stated: he was elected to the position and his compensation depended on the will of the board of directors. 1avv phi1 Respondent PDMC never told Gomez that she was a corporate officer until the tail-end of her service after the board found legal justification for getting rid of her by consulting its legal department and the OGCC which supplied an answer that the board obviously wanted.34 purchased stocks through the employee stock option plan. privileges. The president even extended her term in May 1998 also without such approval. next only to the chairman and president. she underwent regular employee performance appraisals. executive vice-president. that since its board had under its by-laws the power to create additional corporate offices.32 It grouped her with the managers covered by the company’s group hospitalization insurance. Moreover. and secretary.29 What is more. not its board of directors or the stockholders.21Corporate officers. on the other hand.35 and was entitled to vacation and emergency leaves. however. it was the PDMC president who appointed petitioner Gomez administrator. vice-president. respondent PDMC hired petitioner Gomez as an ordinary employee without board approval as was proper for a corporate officer.26 and had been empowered to make major decisions and manage the affairs of the company. Her appointment paper said that she would be entitled to all the rights. The company also made her a member of the PDMC’s savings and provident plan31 and its retirement plan. 2008. the PDMC president first hired her as administrator in May 1994 and then as "administrator/legal counsel" in September 1996 without a board approval. president. it agreed to have her retain the managerial rank that she held with Petron. It even issued certifications dated October 10. it may be deemed to have simply ratified its president’s creation of the corporate position of administrator. whether as officer or agent or employee.25 But creating an additional corporate office was definitely not respondent PDMC’s intent based on its several actions concerning the position of administrator.24 Respondent PDMC claims. The corporate officers proper were the chairman.27 Here. When the company got her the first time. general manager. corporate positions that were mentioned in the company’s by-laws. is not determined by the nature of the services he performs but by the incidents of his relationship with the corporation as they actually exist.The Court’s Ruling Ordinary company employees are generally employed not by action of the directors and stockholders but by that of the managing officer of the corporation who also determines the compensation to be paid such employees. It points out that Gomez was third in the line of command. and are those who are given that character either by the Corporation Code or by the corporation’s by-laws. the Medicare.

an equitable principle rooted on natural justice. 2006 and the resolution dated August 15. In Elleccion Vda. Second Division CERTIFICATION . 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO Associate Justice ARTURO D. That petitioner Gomez served concurrently as corporate secretary for a time is immaterial.employee in the official Bureau of Internal Revenue forms. CARPIO Associate Justice TERESITA J. DEL CASTILLO Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above decision were reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. The PDMC in this case is estopped from claiming that despite all the appearances of regular employment that it weaved around petitioner Gomez’s position it must have technically hired her only as a corporate officer. WHEREFORE. finding that the money claims were made as an employee and not as a corporate officer. REVERSES and SETS ASIDE the decision dated May 19.38 This principle of law applies to corporations as well. ROBERTO A.37 These are all indicia of an employeremployee relationship which respondent PDMC failed to refute. the Court GRANTS the petition. BRION Associate Justice MARIANO C. The board and its officers made her stay on and work with the company for years under the belief that she held a regular managerial position. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T.R. SO ORDERED. 2002 of the National Labor Relations Commission’s Third Division in NLRC NCR 30-12-00856-99. Estoppel. prevents a person from rejecting his previous acts and representations to the prejudice of others who have relied on them. CARPIO Associate Justice Chairperson. A corporation is not prohibited from hiring a corporate officer to perform services under circumstances which will make him an employee. National Labor Relations Commission. ANTONIO T. it is possible for one to have a dual role of officer and employee.40 the Court upheld NLRC jurisdiction over a complaint filed by one who served both as corporate secretary and administrator. and REINSTATES the resolution dated November 22. SP 88819. Let the records of this case be REMANDED to the arbitration branch of origin for the conduct of further proceedings. De Lecciones v.39 Indeed.

at 224. P. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. De Vera. or managers of such corporations. at 222. at 685-690. it is hereby certified that the conclusions in the above Decision were reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. at 225.D. 206. Penned by Labor Arbiter Jose G. p. Id.Pursuant to Section 13. at 221. Subject 1. REYNATO S. at 523-525. 2 3 4 5 6 7 Id. PUNO Chief Justice Footnotes 1 Rollo. 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 . Id. at 227. at 346-347. Id. 8 Id. partnerships or associations. at 331. Authority Item 17 (f). Id. trustees. at 223. Id. Id. Id. Docketed as NLRC NCR (SOUTH) 30-12-00856-99. at 332-342. at 226. Id. Id. at 515-517. at 526-527. officers. Id. Section 4 of the Approvals Manual states that the president is authorized to waive company policy on extension of services of employees beyond normal retirement age. 902-A states that the following cases fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the SEC: xxxx c) Controversies in the election or appointment of directors. Id. Id.

8799 (the Securities Regulation Code. at 395. 418 (2002). Supra note 22. Section 1(b) of the by-laws. Id. December 15. p. Buzon and Aurora Santiago-Lagman. G. Id. 2000) provides: The Commission’s jurisdiction over all cases enumerated under Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. King. at 663-666. Inc. p. at 671-672. Javier and Commissioner Tito F. at 800-804. 23 24 25 Id.A. Penned by Associate Justice Arcangelita M. International Broadcasting Corporation. July 19. Id. at 652. Rollo.2 of R. Rollo. p. 19 Section 5. 410.. 112-119. 111. 902-A is hereby transferred to the Courts of general jurisdiction or the appropriate Regional Trial Court: Provided. pp. 429 Phil. 418.R. 478 SCRA 102. Bernardo and concurred in by Presiding Commissioner Lourdes C. at 109. 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 .xxxx 17 Rollo. 2005. Romilla-Lontok and concurred in by Associate Justices Marina L. Id. 18 Id. 110. at 661-662. 26 CA rollo. the board may appoint such other officers as it deems necessary. v. 223. at 70-75. p. at 419. Id. Supra note 21. at 418-419. Under Article VI. 21 Easycall Communications Phils. That the Supreme Court in the exercise of its authority may designate the Regional Trial Court branches that shall exercise jurisdiction over the cases x x x. 20 Rollo. 224. Id. No. Penned by Commissioner Ireneo B. at 650-651. Genilo. Id. 22 See Nacpil v. 145901.

NESTOR ENDAYA. EDILBERTO DEMETRIA. No. 450. HECTOR ESTUITA. RAMON CONSTANTINO.R. FELICIANO AMPER. CONSTANCIO ARNAIZ. BONERME MATURAN.. TRANQUILINO ORALLO. ERNESTO HOTOY. RUDY ANADON. LABOR ARBITER ARTURO L. MANOLITO SABELLANO.R.. G. ERNESTO ESTILO. VILLANUEVA. 2010 G. ROMULO LUNGAY. JOSE AMOYLIN. FRANCISCO EMPUERTO. No. MATROIL DELOS SANTOS.R. JAIME SUCUAHI. LAURO MONTENEGRO.36 Id. PEDRO AQUINO. at 658-660. NAGKAHIUSANG MAMUMUO SA ALSONS-SPFL (NAMAAL-SPFL). ROMEO ARANETA. EDILBERTO DEMETRIA.. LEO MORA. PROCOPIO RAMOS. ALFREDO LESULA.. JAIME MONTEDERAMOS. MARIO NAMOC. ALCANTARA & SONS.. JOSHUA BARREDO. LABOR ARBITER ANTONIO M. FERVIE GALVEZ. HERMINIO ROBILLO. MARIO PATAN.. SATURNINO CAGAS. December 6. 164888. SATURNINO YAGON.-x G. G. LEONARDO CASURRA. EDUARDO LARENA. PEDRO ESQUIERDO. PRIMITIVO GARCIA.. VICENTE FABROA. No. JULIO ANINO. ARSENIO MELICOR. JUSTINO ASCANO.R. ROBERTO ABONADO. COURT OF APPEALS. SULPECIO GAGNI. RAUL CANTIGA. SHERIFF OF NLRC RAB-XI-DAVAO CITY.. GAMOLO. Inc. TITO GUADES.. WENCISLAO INGHUG. 184735. SAMUEL DELA LLANA. ROSENDO SAJOL.. BARTOLOME CASTILLANES. JOSE EBORAN. ROLANDO CAPUYAN. November 23. REYNALDO LIMPAJAN. ARMANDO GUCILA. Cortes. 2006. MATROIL DELOS SANTOS. 37 38 39 Rural Bank of Coron (Palawan). Petitioner. LUDIVICO ABAD. September 29.. Inc. 250 SCRA 290. ERNESTO CUARIO. 510 SCRA 443. ARGUILLAO MANTICA. PATRICIO SALOMON. 155135 NAGKAHIUSANG MAMUMUO SA ALSONS-SPFL (NAMAAL-SPFL). EDDIE MANSANADES. No. NICASIO PLAZA. ALBERTO PIELAGO. CARLOS BALDOS. No. Movilla. 296. JUANITO ALDEPOLLA. at 669-670. BONERME MATURAN. ROBERTO ANDRADE. HERMINIO ROBILLO. August 9. ALFREDO TORALBA and EDUARDO GENELSA. ALEXANDER JUDILLA. BONIFACIO SALVADOR. ELPIDIO LIBRANZA. Palma. GILBERTO GABRONINO.. CELSO HUISO. 155109 C. EDGAR MONDAY. CARLITO BURILLO. ANTONIO MELARGO. JESUS BERITAN. RICARDO MATURAN. BONIFACIO DINAGUDOS. EDUARDO CAMPUSO. ERMELANDO BASADRE. JESUS PATOC. ROSALDO DAGONDON. 2005. EDUARDO CAPUYAN. Id. RICARDO ALTO. ALEX TAUTO-AN. v. BENITO MAGPUSAO. FILEMON CESAR. CARLITO CAL. ROMULO LUNGAY. vs. BONIFACIO SIGUE. CIRILO MINO.. 118088. CLAUDIO TIROL.Respondents. JOSE TOLERO. 2009.. No. MARIO SALVALEON. ERNESTO CUARIO. September 17. 40 G. EPIFANIO JARABAY. 157279. citing Mainland Construction Co... Philippine National Bank v.. FELIXBERTO IRAG. CARMELITO TOBIAS. DANILO MEJOS. JOSHUA BARREDO. . PATROCINIO ORTEGA.. EDILBERTO YAMBAO. G. v. JEREMIAH CAGARA. ALEJANDRO HARDER. INC. 324. EDGAR MONDAY. DIOSDADO BONGABONG.R. PABLO BUTIL. TEDDY SUELO.. FELIXBERTO IRAG. x . 466 SCRA 307. ROMEO COMPRADO.. EDGARDO ORDIZ.. ALFREDO TROPICO.. 1995.. WARLITO MONTE. GERWINO NATIVIDAD.R.

CLAUDIO TIROL. CARLITO CAL. ELPIDIO LIBRANZA.R. Petitioners. ROBERTO ABONADO. RUDY ANADON. SAMUEL DELA LLANA. ANGELITO CASTANEDA. DIOSDADO BONGABONG. FERVIE GALVEZ. INC..: This case is about a) the consequences of an illegally staged strike upon the employment status of the union officers and its ordinary members and b) the right of reinstated union members to go back to work pending the company’s appeal from the order reinstating them. SATURNINO YAGON. VICENTE FABROA. TRANQUILINO ORALLO. NESTOR ENDAYA. BONIFACIO SIGUE. JESUS PATOC.. FELICIANO AMPER. C. ARGUILLAO MANTICA. LUDIVICO ABAD. x . RICARDO MATURAN. MANOLITO SABELLANO. JOSE EBORAN. TITO GUADES. SULPECIO GAGNI. MANUEL YRASUEGUI... ALBERTO PIELAGO. ERNESTO ESTILO. ALEX TAUTO-AN. EDGARDO ORDIZ.RAUL CANTIGA. vs. TEDDY SUELO. and its members whose names are listed below. ALFREDO TORALBA and EDUARDO GENELSA.. CIRILO MINO. ROBERTO ANDRADE. The other parties to these cases are the Union officers1 and their striking members.. EPIFANIO JARABAY. ARMANDO GUCILA.. INC. EDUARDO CAPUYAN. HECTOR ESTUITA. ALFREDO TROPICO. JOSE TOLERO..2 . BENITO MAGPUSAO.. MANUEL PIAPE. ALFREDO LESULA. MARIO SALVALEON. EDITHA I. 179220 NAGKAHIUSANG MAMUMUO SA ALSONS-SPFL (NAMAAL-SPFL). MARIO NAMOC. ROMEO ARANETA. WARLITO MONTE. (the Company) is a domestic corporation engaged in the manufacture and processing of plywood.... GILBERTO GABRONINO. CAGUIAT. ERMELANDO BASADRE. JESUS S. ALCANTARA & SONS. CORNELIO E. ALEJANDRO HARDER. BARTOLOME CASTILLANES..... JUANITO NISNISAN. ALCANTARA. ROY CONSTANTINO. Alcantara & Sons. PRIMO OPLIMO. CARMELITO TOBIAS. LEO MORA. ERNESTO HOTOY. EDDIE MANSANADES. ATTY. ROSENDO SAJOL. ROLANDO CAPUYAN. ROSALDO DAGONDON.. JESUS BERITAN. CELSO HUISO. AURELIO CARIN. Inc. No. Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Alsons-SPFL (the Union) is the exclusive bargaining agent of the Company’s rank and file employees. CARLITO BURILLO.. ARSENIO MELICOR. WENCISLAO INGHUG. PEDRO AQUINO. ALEXANDER JUDILLA. JUANITO ALDEPOLLA. C. JOSE AMOYLIN.-x G. Respondent. The Facts and the Case C. GERWINO NATIVIDAD.. PRIMITIVO GARCIA. PEDRO ESQUIERDO. JEREMIAH CAGARA. PROCOPIO RAMOS. PATRICIO SALOMON. PATROCINIO ORTEGA. CLAUDIO... JAIME MONTEDERAMOS.. FILEMON CESAR. Petitioners. PABLO BUTIL. ROLANDO Z. ALCANTARA & SONS. Respondents. DECISION ABAD. FRANCISCO EMPUERTO. CONSTANCIO ARNAIZ. JAIME SUCUAHI. RICARDO ALTO. vs. SATURNINO CAGAS. REYNALDO LIMPAJAN. ANDRES and JOSE MA. BONIFACIO DINAGUDOS. EDUARDO LARENA. JUSTINO ASCANO. BONIFACIO SALVADOR. DELA CRUZ. MARIO PATAN. CARLOS BALDOS. EDUARDO CAMPUSO. J.. LEONARDO CASURRA. DANILO MEJOS. ROMEO COMPRADO. NELIA A. ANTONIO MELARGO. RAMON CONSTANTINO. JULIO ANINO. NICASIO PLAZA. LAURO MONTENEGRO.. EDILBERTO YAMBAO.

1999 the terminated Union members promptly filed a motion for their immediate reinstatement but the Labor Arbiter did not act on the same. Both parties appealed7the Labor Arbiter’s decision to the NLRC. The Company. on the other hand. and directed them to pay damages to the Company.000.00 plus 10% interest and attorney’s fees. The Company and the Union with its officers and members filed separate petitions for review of the CA decision in G.10 annulling the NLRC decision and reinstating that of the Labor Arbiter. The Labor Arbiter denied the Union’s counterclaim for lack of merit. At some point the parties began negotiating the economic provisions of their CBA but this ended in a deadlock. illegal dismissal. . and impeding by barricade the entry of non-striking employees at the Company’s premises. the Union. the Labor Arbiter ordered their reinstatement without backwages. On June 29. The Company impugned the Labor Arbiter’s decision insofar as it ordered the reinstatement of the terminated Union members. the CA rendered a decision on March 20. the Union filed a petition4 with the Court of Appeals (CA). 1999 the NLRC rendered a decision. respectively.6 declaring the Union’s strike illegal for violating the CBA’s no strike. the Company did not reinstate them. The NLRC first issued a 20-day TRO and. On February 8. Only the intervention of law enforcement units made such implementation possible. and its affected members filed against the Company a counterclaim for unfair labor practices. the Company filed a petition for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) Ex Parte3 with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) to enjoin the strikers from intimidating. however. The Union filed a petition for certiorari9 with the CA. 2002. no lockout. The Union. its officers. On November 8. Subsequently. The NLRC ruled. filed a petition with the Regional Arbitration Board to declare the Union’s strike illegal. enjoining the Union and its officers and members from performing the acts complained of.The Company and the Union entered into a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that bound them to hold no strike and no lockout in the course of its life. 1999 the Labor Arbiter rendered a decision. On June 29. Meantime. The Union did not appeal from such dismissal. on the other hand. After efforts at conciliation by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) failed. the Union conducted a strike vote that resulted in an overwhelming majority of its members favoring it. after hearing. At any rate. and damages.R. the Labor Arbiter held that the Union officers should be deemed to have forfeited their employment with the Company and that they should pay actual damages ofP3. molesting. 155109 and 155135. threatening. went on strike. questioned the declaration of illegality of the strike as well as the dismissal of its officers and the order for them to pay damages.5 citing its violation of the no strike. provision. For their part. The Union reported the strike vote to the DOLE and. The Union also assailed as invalid the service of summons on the individual Union members included in the amended petition. prompting the Union to file a notice of strike. During the strike. who were identified in the proceedings held in the case. As a consequence. a writ of preliminary injunction. But several attempts to implement the writ failed. should also be terminated for having committed prohibited and illegal acts. after the observance of the mandatory cooling-off period. that the Union members involved. provision of their CBA. With respect to the striking Union members.825. Finding merit in the petition. questioning the preliminary injunction order. the Company amended its petition to implead the named Union members who allegedly committed prohibited acts during the strike.8 affirming that of the Labor Arbiter insofar as the latter declared the strike illegal. 1999 the latter court dismissed the petition. no lockout. questioning the NLRC decision. finding no proof that they actually committed illegal acts during the strike. ordered the Union officers terminated.

Whether or not the NLRC properly acquired jurisdiction over the persons of the individual Union members impleaded in the case.11 holding that due to the delay in the resolution of the dispute and the impracticability of reinstatement owing to the fact that the relations between the terminated Union members and the Company had been severely strained by the prolonged litigation. in its resolution dated April 30. the affected Union members filed with the Labor Arbiter a motion for reinstatement pending appeal by the parties and the computation of their backwages based on the CA decision. justifying their termination from employment. Whether or not the terminated Union members are entitled to accrued backwages and separation pay. Whether or not the terminated Union members are entitled to the payment of backwages on account of the Company’s refusal to reinstate them. After hearing. questioning the NLRC’s denial of the terminated Union members’ claim for separation pay. The Rulings of the Court One. 1999.14 modifying its earlier resolution by deleting the grant of accrued wages and 13th month pay to the subject employees. the Labor Arbiter issued a resolution dated November 21. Both parties appealed the Labor Arbiter’s resolution12 to the NLRC. The Issues Presented The issues presented in these cases are: 1. while the Union insists that summons were not properly served on the impleaded Union members with respect to the Company’s amended petition that sought to declare the strike illegal. The CA ruled that the reinstatement pending appeal provided under Article 223 of the Labor Code contemplated illegal dismissal or termination cases and not cases under Article 263. the NLRC issued a resolution on August 29. On motion for reconsideration by both parties. 3. the CA rendered a decision on February 24. 2003. 2002. 2005. Assuming the strike to be illegal. Here. Upon the Union’s petition for certiorari15 with the CA. The NLRC acquires jurisdiction over parties in cases before it either by summons served on them or by their voluntary appearance before its Labor Arbiter. Whether or not the Union staged an illegal strike.16 dismissing the petition. however. the CA ruled that the resolution ordering the reinstatement of the terminated Union members and the payment of their wages and other benefits had no basis. Aggrieved. from the Labor Arbiter’s decision of June 29. 2003. 2002 void for lack of factual and legal basis but ordered the Company to pay the affected employees’ accrued wages and 13th month pay considering the Company’s refusal to reinstate them pending appeal. the records show that they were so served. accrued wages. and other benefits. Thus. the Union sought intervention by this Court. pending appeal by the parties.13 the NLRC declared the Labor Arbiter’s resolution of November 21.During the pendency of these cases. 2. 4. and 5. Initially. The Return of Service of Summons17 indicated that 74 out of the 8118 impleaded . payment of separation pay to such Union members was in order. thus denying their motion for computation. The Labor Arbiter thus approved the computation and payment of their separation pay and denied all their other claims. whether or not the impleaded Union members committed illegal acts during the strike.

19 Here. such as a no strike clause or conclusive arbitration clause. Besides. and shall enforce their mutual compliance therewith to foster industrial peace. Two. the NLRC. coerced. it becomes necessary for the Court to go into the records to settle the issue. performed an illegal act or acts during the strike. for which they had in fact been criminally charged before various courts and the prosecutors’ office in Davao City. and intimidated non-striking employees. Three. Social justice is not one-sided. Article XIII. the affected Union members voluntarily entered their appearance in the case when they sought affirmative relief in the course of the proceedings like an award of damages in their favor. Article 264 of the Labor Code provides that termination from employment is not warranted by the mere fact that a union member has taken part in an illegal strike. the Union officers can. Since the Union’s strike has been declared illegal. and . officers.20 1avvphi 1 Here.Union members were served with summons. The striking Union members allegedly committed the following prohibited acts: a. Thus – The State shall promote the principle of shared responsibility between workers and employers and the preferential use of voluntary modes in settling disputes. including conciliation. suppliers and customers. A strike may be regarded as invalid although the labor union has complied with the strict requirements for staging one as provided in Article 263 of the Labor Code when the same is held contrary to an existing agreement. clearly identified. No law or public policy prohibits the Union and the Company from mutually waiving the strike and lockout maces available to them to give way to voluntary arbitration. Since the CA held that the existence of criminal complaints against the Union members did not warrant their dismissal. Such refusal cannot of course frustrate the NLRC’s acquisition of jurisdiction over them. This includes the shop stewards. But they refused either to accept the summons or to acknowledge receipt of the same. As regards the rank and file Union members. It must be shown that such a union member. no lockout" provision that enjoined both the Union and the Company from resorting to the use of economic weapons available to them under the law and to instead take recourse to voluntary arbitration in settling their disputes. the CBA between the parties contained a "no strike. b. although the Labor Arbiter found no proof that the dismissed rank and file Union members committed illegal acts. preferential use of voluntary means to settle disputes. in accordance with law be terminated from employment for their actions. the NLRC found following the injunction hearing in NLRC IC M-000126-98 that the Union members concerned committed such acts. They threatened. no less than the 1987 Constitution recognizes in Section 3. They cannot be shielded from the coverage of Article 264 of the Labor Code since the Union appointed them as such and placed them in positions of leadership and power over the men in their respective work units. It cannot be used as a badge for not complying with a lawful agreement. and the CA regarding the illegality of the strike. They obstructed the free ingress to and egress from the company premises. The Court finds no compelling reason to depart from the findings of the Labor Arbiter. Indeed.

documents. he observed that the striking employees blocked the exit lane of the Alson drive with their tent. therefore. The Sheriff of the NLRC said in his Report21 that. the Company should be ordered to pay them their wages during the pendency of the appeals from the Labor Arbiter’s decision. On the other hand. The grounds for termination under Article 264 are based on prohibited acts that employees could commit during a strike. Article 217. which decision ordered the reinstatement of the terminated Union members. It will be recalled that after the Labor Arbiter rendered his decision on June 29. the NLRC reconsidered and deleted altogether the grant of accrued wages and 13th month pay. Both parties appealed the Labor Arbiter’s above ruling23 to the NLRC. But. And this prompted the affected Union members to again file with the Labor Arbiter a motion for their reinstatement pending appeal. as it turned out the NLRC did not also favor reinstatement. As it happened. The terminated Union members contend that. the Labor Arbiter ordered the Company to pay them their separation pays. They resisted and defied the implementation of the writ of preliminary injunction issued against the strikers.c. But the Labor Arbiter did not for some reason act on the motion. and photos presented to establish their identity and guilt during the hearing of the petition to declare the strike illegal. the Labor Arbiter resolved at this point that reinstatement was no longer practicable because of the severely strained relation between the company and the terminated Union members. Ruben Tungapalan. Of course. he filed criminal actions against them. Indeed. after about four months or on November 8. Lastly. which . on March 20. properly identified. The Union appealed the NLRC ruling to the CA on behalf of its terminated members but the CA denied their appeal. acting on the motion. 2002 the CA restored the Labor Arbiter’s reinstatement order. however. The technical grounds that the Union interposed for denying admission of the photos are also not binding on the NLRC. The mere fact that the criminal complaints against the terminated Union members were subsequently dismissed for one reason or another does not extinguish their liability under the Labor Code. On motion for reconsideration. and Eufracio Rabusa depicted the above prohibited acts in their affidavits and testimonies. The CA denied reinstatement for the reason that the reinstatement pending appeal provided under Article 223 of the Labor Code contemplated illegal dismissal or termination cases and not cases under Article 264. In place of reinstatement. the grounds for termination under Articles 282 to 284 are based on the employee’s conduct in connection with his assigned work. since the Company refused to reinstate them after the Labor Arbiter rendered a decision in their favor. Cornelio Caguiat. committing the acts complained of. It instead ordered the Company to pay the terminated Union members their accrued wages and 13th month pay considering its refusal to reinstate them pending appeal. These constitute substantial evidence in support of the termination of the subject Union members. But. a non-striking employee.22 Four. in the course of his implementation of the writ of injunction. 1999. identified the Union members who threatened and coerced him. Still. the NLRC reversed the Labor Arbiter’s reinstatement order. the latter promptly filed a motion for their reinstatement pending appeal. 1999. It cannot be said. Nor does such dismissal bar the admission of the affidavits. Tungapalan. But this perceived distinction does not find support in the provisions of the Labor Code. that the Company had resisted a standing order of reinstatement directed at it at this point. the photos taken of the strike show the strikers.

always generate a throng of odium and abhorrence that sometimes result in unpleasant. SP 59604 dated March 20. and REVERSES and SETS ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Alcantara & Sons. Further. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T. whatever be the grounds given for the termination of employment.24 a period of four months and nine days. although unwanted.defines the powers of Labor Arbiters. in furtherance of the law’s policy of compassionate justice. the Company had the duty under Article 223 to immediately reinstate the affected employees even if it intended to appeal from the decision ordaining such reinstatement. WHEREFORE.25 Considering this. The Court. although the Labor Arbiter failed to act on the terminated Union members’ motion for reinstatement pending appeal. 1999. While it is true that generally the grant of separation pay is not available to employees who are validly dismissed. with interest of 12% per annum from the time this decision becomes final and executory until such backwages and separation pays are paid.R. CARPIO Associate Justice . Bitter labor disputes. 155135 for lack of merit.R. vests in the latter jurisdiction over all termination cases. 179220 and ORDERS C.R. which provides that the decision of the Labor Arbiter reinstating a dismissed employee shall immediately be executory pending appeal. Consequently. 1avvphi 1 Five. 2002. Alcantara & Sons. Inc. 1999. Article 223. the striking employees’ breach of certain restrictions imposed on their concerted actions at their employer’s doorsteps cannot be regarded as so inherently wicked that the employer can totally disregard their long years of service prior to such breach. GRANTS the petition of C. The Court DENIES all other claims. Taking these circumstances in consideration. 155109 and REINSTATES the decision of the National Labor Relations Commission in NLRC CA M-004996-99 dated November 8.26 The records also fail to disclose any past infractions committed by the dismissed Union members. to pay the terminated Union members backwages for four (4) months and nine (9) days and separation pays equivalent to one-half month salary for every year of service to the company up to the date of their termination. there are. consequences. SO ORDERED. the Court PARTIALLY GRANTS the petition of the Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa AlsonsSPFL and their dismissed members in G. certain circumstances that warrant the grant of some relief in favor of the terminated Union members based on equity. cannot but apply to all terminations irrespective of the grounds on which they are based. the Court regards the award of financial assistance to these Union members in the form of one-half month salary for every year of service to the company up to the date of their termination as equitable and reasonable. especially strikes. Here. ROBERTO A.R. Inc. the Court DENIES the petition of the Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Alsons-SPFL and its officers and members in G. in G. on the other hand. The Company’s failure to do so makes it liable for accrued backwages until the eventual reversal of the order of reinstatement by the NLRC on November 8.

I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. Ramon Fernando. Justino Ascano. Ernesto Hotoy. Alexander Judilla. Elpidio Libranza. Ricardo Maturan. Vicente Fabroa. Alfredo Lesula. Rolando Capuyan. Eduardo Larena. Carilito Cal. Eduardo Campuso. Pedro Aquino. CORONA Chief Justice Footnotes 1 The officers of the Union are the following: Felixberto Irag. Fructoso Cabahog. Raul Cantiga. CARPIO Associate Justice Chairperson. Feliciano Amper. RENATO C. Alejandro Harder. Bonifacio Salvador. Eddie Mansanades. Matroil delos Santos. Second Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. Arsenio Melicor. Alberto Pielago. Ronaldo Naboya. Filemon Cesar. NACHURA Associate Justice DIOSDADO M. Carmelito Tobias and Juanito Aldepolla. Sulpecio Gagni. Aurelio Carin. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. Rosaldo Dagondon. Primo Oplimo. Samuel dela Llana. Gilberto Gabronino. Epifanio Jarabay. Benito Magpusao. Armando Gucila. Diosdado Bongabong. PERALTA Associate Justice JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. Lauro Montenegro. Leonaro Casurra. Edgar Monday. Leo Mora. Ernesto Baino. Bonifacio Dinagudos. Ermelando Basadre. Constancio Arnaiz. Rudy Anadon. Wencislao Inghug. Jose Eboran. Jaime Montederamos. Jose Amoylin. Herminio Robillo. Danilo Mejos. Romulo Lungay. Antonio Melargo. Silverio Maranian. Carlos Baldos. Francisco Empuerto. Roberto Andrade. Bartolome Castillanes. ANTONIO T. Tito Guades.Teddy Suelo. Julio Anino. Ernesto Cuario. Manuel Piape. Juanito Nisnisan. Romeo Araneta. Saturnino Cagas. Roberto Abonado. Alfredo Tropico. Mario Namoc. Hector Estuita. Reynaldo Limpajan. Fervie Galvez. Arguilao Mantica. Ramon Constantino. Bonerme Maturan. Mario Patan. Manolito Sabellano. Jesus Patoc. Gerwino Natividad. Florente Seno. Angelito Castañeda. Cirilo Mino. Edilberto Demetria. Tranquilino Orallo. Eduardo Genelsa. Jesus Beritan. Patrocino Ortega. 2 These are Ludivicio Abad. Ricardo Alto. Romeo Comprado. Primitivo Garcia. Joshua Barredo. Edgardo Ordiz. Pedro Esquierdo.ANTONIO EDUARDO B. Nicasio Plaza. Nestor Endaya. Eduardo Capuyan. Roy Constantino. Samson Fulgueras. Ernesto Estilo. . Warlito Monte.

Vol. Vol. at 1177-1184. pp. NLRC records. 19 I Teller 314-317 cited in Azucena. 1. Id. Vol. Id. 20 Toyota Motor Phils. 2007 edition. Vicente Fabroa. Nos. pp.R. Vol. NLRC records. 110-111. Patricio Solomon. Mario Namoc and Rolando Naboya were not served with summons due to incomplete address. Everyone’s Labor Code. 158789 & 158798-99. G. NLRC records. 123-127. 3 Docketed as NLRC IC M-000126-98. October 19. pp. 158786. C. pp. 164-170. Workers Association (TMPCWA) v. CA rollo.R. 575-591. Vol. Alfredo Toralba. 1. 291. p. Article 221. Labor Code. Docketed as NLRC RAB-11-08-01064-98. SP 50371. SP 59604. Docketed as CA-G. Docketed as CA-G. Mario Salvaleon. Rosaldo Dagondon. pp. Saturnino Yagon and Edilberto Yambao. Docketed as CA-G. Jaime Sucuahi. Corp. 57-58. pp. Procopio Ramos. Rollo (G.R. 1090-1097. 155109). National Labor Relations Commission. 212. Vol. 1. 6. Alex Tauto-an. 537 SCRA 171. 21 NLRC records. Rosendo Sajol. 3. 787-800. Ramon Constantino.R. pp. 22 23 . SP 80507. Docketed as NLRC CA M-007314-2002. NLRC records.R. Docketed as NLRC CA M-007314-2002.Fausto Quibod. Docketed as NLRC CA M-004996-99. at 612-620. Hermes Villacarlos. 2. Bonifacio Sigue. 845-869. Jose Tolero. Claudio Tirol. Eusebio Tumulak. Jose Tolero. 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Respondents Ricardo Alto. 2007.

Two months later.R. Some of them were hired as early as 1972. Inc. No. the company also filed a petition for the cancellation of the HHE union’s registration certificate. . 489. the respondent Pinag-Isang Galing at Lakas ng mga Manggagawa sa Heritage Manila (the PIGLAS union). 144885. No.24 See Garcia v. PINAG-ISANG GALING AT LAKAS NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA HERITAGE MANILA (PIGLASHERITAGE). 155109).8 The decision of the Court of Appeals became final when the HHE union withdrew the petition for review that it filed with this Court. This union applied for registration with the DOLE-NCR10 and got its registration certificate on February 9. J.4 Meanwhile. prompting the company to file a petition for certiorari7 with the Court of Appeals. the Med-Arbiter granted the HHE union’s petition for certification election. vs. in truth. January 20.Respondent. Rollo (G. G. the members of the first union. On October 12.R. DECISION ABAD.6 The Secretary also denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. Philippine Airlines.R. 2004. Facundo. G. No.) v. 2009 26 G. The Department of Labor and Employment-National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) later issued a certificate of registration1 to this union. the HHE union filed a petition for certification election2 that petitioner company opposed. when it was. 177024 THE HERITAGE HOTEL MANILA (OWNED AND OPERATED BY GRAND PLAZA HOTEL CORPORATION)Petitioner. October 30. 1011. p. The company alleged that the HHE union misrepresented itself to be an independent union.R. 2009. a local chapter of the National Union of Workers in Hotel and Restaurant and Allied Industries (NUWHRAIN). certain rank and file employees of petitioner Heritage Hotel Manila (petitioner company) formed the "Heritage Hotel Employees Union" (the HHE union). The Facts and the Case Sometime in 2000. July 12.9 On December 10. 164856. The company claimed that the HHE union intentionally omitted disclosure of its affiliation with NUWHRAIN because the company’s supervisors union was already affiliated with it. 2001 the Court of Appeals issued a writ of injunction against the holding of the HHE union’s certification election. 576 SCRA 479.5 Petitioner company appealed the decision to the Secretary of Labor but the latter denied the appeal.3 Thus. 2006.. 2003 certain rank and file employees of petitioner company held a meeting and formed another union. 25 Kimberly Clark (Phils. Subsequently.: This case is about a company’s objections to the registration of its rank and file union for noncompliance with the requirements of its registration. effective until the petition for cancellation of that union’s registration shall have been resolved with finality.

According to the company. As for the issue of dual unionism. 2003 bore the signature of 127 members who ratified the union’s Constitution and By-Laws.11 On September 4. 2003. not being accompanied by material documents and . because of the dissolution of the old union and the cancellation of its certificate of registration.21 assailing the order of the BLR. it has become moot and academic. The company further alleged that 33 members of respondent PIGLAS union were members of the defunct HHE union. according to the company.the HHE union. 2005 the DOLE-NCR denied the company’s petition to cancel respondent PIGLAS union’s registration for the reason that the discrepancies in the number of members stated in the application’s supporting documents were not material and did not constitute misrepresentation. the employees involved formed the PIGLAS union to circumvent the Court of Appeals’ injunction against the holding of the certification election sought by the former union.18 Petitioner company alleged that the misrepresentation was evidenced by the discrepancy in the number of union members appearing in the application and the list as well as in the number of signatories to the attendance and signature sheets. adopted a resolution for its dissolution. It was possible for the number of attendees to have increased from 90 to 128 as the meeting progressed.17 and (d) The Signature Sheet bore 128 signatures of those who attended that meeting. It reasoned that respondent PIGLAS union’s organization meeting lasted for 12 hours. the union could not be accused of misrepresentation since it did not pad its membership to secure registration. Besides. an internal matter. As for the charge of dual unionism. however. alleging that the new union’s officers and members were also those who comprised the old union.15 (b) The Organizational Minutes said that 90 employees attended the meeting on December 10. 2004 respondent PIGLAS union filed a petition for certification election12 that petitioner company also opposed. with a total of 250 employees in the bargaining unit. the same is not a ground for canceling registration. It merely exposed a union member to a possible charge of disloyalty. the Med-Arbiter granted the petition for certification election. But the latter court dismissed the petition. said the BLR. Despite the company’s opposition. violated the policy against dual unionism and showed that the new union was merely an alter ego of the old. On February 22.20 Petitioner company filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. Here. The HHE union then filed a petition for cancellation of its union registration.19 On appeal. the members of the former union simply exercised their right to self-organization and to the freedom of association when they subsequently joined the PIGLAS union. the union needed only 50 members to comply with the 20 percent membership requirement.16 (c) The Attendance Sheet of the meeting of December 10.14 The company claimed that the documents submitted with the union’s application for registration bore the following false information: (a) The List of Members showed that the PIGLAS union had 100 union members. The minutes reported that only 90 employees attended the meeting. This.13 On December 6. the Bureau of Labor Relation (BLR) affirmed the ruling of the DOLE-NCR. Thus. 2004 petitioner company filed a petition to cancel the union registration of respondent PIGLAS union.

But those discrepancies alone cannot be taken as an indication that respondent misrepresented the information contained in these documents. 2003 organizational meeting that . The Rulings of the Court First. attaching parts of the record that were deemed indispensable but the court denied it for lack of merit. The omission may be cured. Consequently.26 Second. and 3. Whether or not the union made fatal misrepresentation in its application for union registration. the labor union acquires none of the rights accorded to registered organizations.27 Here. charges of this nature should be clearly established by evidence and the surrounding circumstances. the discrepancies in the number of union members or employees stated in the various supporting documents that respondent PIGLAS union submitted to labor authorities can be explained. the court should have bended back a little when petitioner company subsequently attached those missing materials to its motion for reconsideration. It may dismiss the petition. the case may now be resolved on the merits. upon subsequent submission of the necessary documents or to serve the higher interest of justice. Issues Presented The petition presents the following issues: 1. Whether or not "dual unionism" is a ground for canceling a union’s registration. Did respondent PIGLAS union commit fraud and misrepresentation in its application for union registration? We agree with the DOLE-NCR and the BLR that it did not. Except for the evident discrepancies as to the number of union members involved as these appeared on the documents that supported the union’s application for registration. It is serious because once such charge is proved.22The company filed a motion for reconsideration.25 require the submission of the relevant documents. The charge that a labor organization committed fraud and misrepresentation in securing its registration is a serious charge and deserves close scrutiny. While the Court of Appeals correctly dismissed the company’s petition initially for failure to attach material portions of the record. petitioner company has no other evidence of the alleged misrepresentation. While it appears in the minutes of the December 10. Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing the petition for certiorari before it for failure of petitioner company to attach certain material portions of the record.24 The Court of Appeals has three courses of action when the annexes to the petition are insufficient. As a general rule. or reinstated if earlier dismissed. or order the filing of an amended petition with the required pleadings or documents.portions of the record. petitions for certiorari that lack copies of essential pleadings and portions of the record may be dismissed but this rule has not been regarded as absolute. A petition lacking in essential pleadings or portions of the record may still be given due course. Since a remand of the case to the Court of Appeals for a determination of the substantive issues will only result in more delays and since these issues have been amply argued by the opposing sides in the various pleadings and documents they submitted to this Court. 2.23 Hence. the company filed this petition for review under Rule 45.

Petitioner company claims that respondent PIGLAS union was required to submit the names of all its members comprising at least 20 percent of the employees in the bargaining unit. HHE union is dead. Any member had the right to hold out and refrain from ratifying those documents or to simply ignore the process. Besides. The right of any person to join an organization also includes the right to leave that organization and join another one. 2006. It had ceased to exist and its certificate of registration had already been cancelled. The fact that some of respondent PIGLAS union’s members were also members of the old rank and file union. the bargaining unit that respondent PIGLAS union sought to represent consisted of 250 employees. At any rate. to 11:00 p. is not a ground for canceling the new union’s registration.m. this discrepancy is immaterial. ROBERTO A. Here. There is no evidence that the meeting hall was locked up to exclude late attendees. Notably. the union is deemed to have complied with registration requirements.m. the PIGLAS union’s supporting documents reveal the unmistakable yearning of petitioner company’s rank and file employees to organize. the Court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS the decision of the Bureau of Labor Relations in BLR-A-26-3-05 dated May 26. Labor laws are liberally construed in favor of labor especially if doing so would affirm its constitutionally guaranteed right to self-organization. except for six members. Yet the list it submitted named only 100 members notwithstanding that the signature and attendance sheets reflected a membership of 127 or 128 employees. WHEREFORE. it cannot be assumed that such number could not grow to 128 as reflected on the signature sheet for attendance.30 Here.only 90 employees responded to the roll call at the beginning. the union more than complied with such requirement. Thus. the names found in the subject list are also in the attendance and signature sheets. This omission. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: LEONARDO A. The meeting lasted 12 hours from 11:00 a. the HHE union. But. This yearning should not be frustrated by inconsequential technicalities. QUISUMBING Associate Justice . the Labor Code28 and its implementing rules29 do not require that the number of members appearing on the documents in question should completely dovetail. Third. petitioner’s arguments on this point may also be now regarded as moot and academic. as the labor authorities held. Only 20 percent of this number or 50 employees were required to unionize. For as long as the documents and signatures are shown to be genuine and regular and the constitution and by-laws democratically ratified. amounted to material misrepresentation that warranted the cancellation of the union’s registration. It cannot be assumed that all those who attended approved of the constitution and by-laws. said the company. SO ORDERED. 1 a vv p h i 1 There is also nothing essentially mysterious or irregular about the fact that only 127 members ratified the union’s constitution and by-laws when 128 signed the attendance sheet. A comparison of the documents shows that.

LEONARDO A. 757 dated October 12. 2009. CHICO-NAZARIO** Associate Justice ARTURO D. it is hereby certified that the conclusions in the above Decision were reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. pp. Rollo. BRION Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above decision were reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.ANTONIO T. CARPIO* Associate Justice MINITA V. per Special Order No. p. at 109-120. at 218. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. QUISUMBING Associate Justice Chairperson. REYNATO S. Id. 2009. at 100. 137-147. Id. Docketed as CA-G. 759 dated October 12. PUNO Chief Justice Footnotes * Designated as additional member in lieu of Associate Justice Mariano C. SP No. Id. 1 Rollo. Id. 65033. per Special Order No. at 99-103. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 . ** Designated as additional member in lieu of Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales.R. Del Castillo. 58. Second Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. at 59-70. Id.

at 333-338. at 148-154. Id. 69. at 164-171. July 27. August 7.R. 97237. Id. 498 SCRA 59. Suan v. 234. at 289.R. 148247. Zamora. No. No. Id. 171153. Court of Appeals. SP No. 533 SCRA 125. association or group of unions or workers shall acquire legal personality and shall be entitled to the rights and privileges granted by law to legitimate labor organizations upon issuance of the certificate of registration based on the following requirements: . at 182-190. 2006. Id. Rollo. Id. Docketed as CA-G. 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Air Philippines Corporation v.9 Id. Id. 2007. pp. 767-768. Id. at 157-158. at 161-162. Id. 2006. 144. San Miguel Packaging Products Employees Union-Pambansang Diwa ng Manggagawang Pilipino. at 272-274. 26 27 San Miguel Corporation Employees Union-Philippine Transport and General Workers Organization v. G. G. September 12. No.R.R. Id. at 233-241. G. Id. at 375-377. at 44-55. Id. REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION Any applicant labor organization. 150819. 28 The pertinent Labor Code provision states: ART. at 192. 25 Last paragraph of Rule 46 of the Rules of Court. 496 SCRA 760. Id. 33-34. at 293-296.

copies of its annual financial reports. G. vs. (c) The names of all its members comprising at least twenty percent (20%) of all the employees in the bargaining unit where it seeks to operate.A of Department Order No. 2010 LUZVIMINDA A. (b) The names of its officers. in which case a statement to this effect shall be included in the application. No.(a) Fifty (P50. ANG. 2005. Mandaue Packing Products Plants-San Miguel Packaging Products-San Miguel Corporation Monthlies Rankand-File Union-FFW. approximate number of employees in the bargaining unit where it seeks to operate. 40-03. Section 2. Series of 2003 states that an application for registration of an independent labor union must be accompanied by the following: 1) the name of the applicant labor union.00) registration fee.R. the minutes of the organizational meetings and the list of the workers who participated in such meetings.R. (d) If the union has been in existence for one or more years. the factual circumstances of the ratification shall be recorded in the minutes of the organizational meeting(s). minutes of its adoption and ratification and the list of the members who participated in it. with a statement that it is not reported as a chartered local of any federation or national union. the name of its officers and their respective addresses. 127. their addresses. 5) the applicant’s constitution and by-laws. 29 Rule 3. unless it has not collected any amount from the members. Petitioner. G. its principal address. 2) the minutes of the organizational meeting(s) and the list of employees who participated in the said meeting(s). 178762 June 16. Respondent. and (e) Four (4) copies of the constitution and by-laws of the applicant union. 30 San Miguel Corporation (Mandaue Packaging Products Plants) v. minutes of its adoption or ratification and the list of the members who participated in it. 467 SCRA 107. In such a case. DECISION . August 16. No. 3) the name of all its members comprising at least 20% of the employees in the bargaining unit. The list of ratifying members shall be dispensed with where the constitution and by-laws was ratified or adopted during the organizational meeting. 4) the annual financial reports if the applicant has been in existence for one or more years. 152356. the principal address of the labor organization. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK.

2-166/91 of July 10.ABAD. Ang (Ang) claimed that respondent Philippine National Bank (PNB). hired her on December 4. like her co-employees. the monetary value of her leave credits. J. Again. 1996 while she was the Assistant Department Manager I in its Tuguegarao Branch.She issued two bank commitments dated January 24. Consequently. a position she held when the PNB was privatized on May 26. 1994 and for providing a credit line in favor of a government contractor without authority and in violation of SEL Cir. then a government-owned corporation.5 On the second charge. which were known to all the officers of the branch. 1-61/91 of February 1. it even reaped enormous profits from them. 1996 and assigned her in its Tuguegarao. 1992 up to January 10. The PNB alleged that Ang had allowed this illegal activity from January 2 to April 3. was deemed automatically retired. called "kiting operation. The bank computed Ang’s gratuity benefits. including interests.6 . Ang claimed that the issuance of the certificates had been tolerated to accommodate valued clients as a marketing strategy and prevent their move to other banks. But the PNB re-employed Ang as Assistant Manager effective on May 27.She issued six certificates of deposit between June 5. Ang claimed that it was not a "kiting operation. and other charges. the PNB did not suffer any loss on account of the issuance of those certificates.: This case is about the dismissal of an employee for offenses committed during her employment in a government-owned corporation but which offenses were discovered after the privatized corporation rehired her to work for it. or on September 3. Cagayan Branch. 1996 the PNB administratively charged her with serious misconduct and willful breach of trust for taking part in a scam.1 petitioner Luzviminda A.2 Less than four months later. 1996 and when she. 1996 the PNB heaped other charges against Ang of serious misconduct and gross violation of the bank’s rules and regulations as follows: -. 1991." where a depositor used a conduit bank account for depositing several unfunded checks drawn against the same depositor’s other current accounts and from which conduit bank account he later withdrew those checks. and -. said Ang. But she rose from the ranks. penalties. the PNB did not suffer any loss from those transactions.4 In answer to the first charge. Cir. however. She admitted that the checks were not funded and were converted into account receivables or accommodation loans that the client had settled. -. 1996 in amounts exceeding the true deposit balance of various depositors. 1996. 1967 as a probationary clerk. eventually becoming an Assistant Department Manager I. These had been open transactions.3 On September 16.She committed tardiness and "under time" from October to December 1995 and January to March 1996 in violation of Gen. The Facts and the Case In her Position Paper. The clients involved maintained their loyalty to the bank. and the other benefits due her and cleared her of any accountability." but an accommodation of a very valued client.

She added that. the PNB failed to prove any basis for loss of trust.9 Ang added that the causes for her termination had also become academic after the PNB cleared her of any accountability when she once retired from employment with it. Regional Arbitration Branch II. 1994. On January 27. she could not have violated SEL Cir. since the bank had already made deductions for tardiness on her pay check. Answering the complaint. The PNB had since ceased to be government-owned. illegal deductions. and other benefits due her as of May 26. Further she ceased to be entitled to the benefits she claimed. Pending administrative investigation. notifying her of the charges and giving her a chance to defend herself in a formal hearing but she waived this and opted to submit a position paper. 2-166/91 dated July 10. she even sought its reconsideration. Besides. Specifically. non-payment of 13th month pay. the PNB assigned Ang to its Aparri Branch on April 3. 1996.16 finding the PNB’s dismissal of Ang illegal for failure to show that the dismissal was for a valid cause and after notice and hearing. she was not entitled to termination pay.15 On March 30. Even then. since she already retired from the government service. 1997.14 The PNB also pointed out that although it cleared Ang of any accountability before her retirement as a civil servant. the circular merely prescribed the fees to be collected.11 Ang alleged that the PNB dismissed her from work on July 25. worked beyond the usual eight hours and even worked on Saturdays and Sundays.12 She sought reconsideration. Furthermore. and litigation expenses. Managerial employees. without loss of seniority rights and . she cannot anymore be administratively charged for it. If she were to be charged for those causes. according to her. the jurisdiction over her case would lie with the Civil Service Commission. 1997. gratuity benefits.On the third charge. 1996 since this was not yet in effect when she issued those commitments on January 24. 1999 the Labor Arbiter (LA) rendered a Decision.7 On the last charge.13 The PNB pointed out that since it separated petitioner Ang for a just cause.10 Its Inspection and Investigation Unit recommended her dismissal on June 3. allowances. it premised such clearance from existing knowledge and records. 1997 to the Board of Inquiry.8 Ang further pointed out that the causes for her termination took place when she was yet a government official. rights and interests in the provident fund. Tuguegarao. Indeed. Ang claimed that the PNB’s loan commitments in those cases amounted to mere recommendations since she had no authority to approve loans. monetary value of her leave credits. but the bank denied it. Ang claimed that she was not covered by the circular governing office hours because she was a bank officer. the PNB claimed that it observed due process in terminating Ang. 1996. 1998 Ang filed a complaint against the PNB before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). the employment that could be terminated no longer existed. Besides. 1996 and filed the first administrative charge against her on September 3. The PNB had not yet discovered her frauds and omissions when it issued the clearance. It issued that certification on August 12. attorney’s fees. The PNB Board of Inquiry informed her of its decision before implementing the same. and retirement benefits with prayer for payment of moral and exemplary damages. Cagayan in NLRC RAB II CN 0100022-98 for illegal dismissal. The LA ordered the reinstatement of petitioner Ang to her former position or its substantial equivalent. what the PNB issued was not really a clearance but a certification that Ang had no pending administrative case. withholding her fringe benefits. separation pay.

000. Ang was to have the option to be paid separation pay of at least one month pay for every year of her 30 years of service in addition to her full backwages and gratuity benefits.00 as exemplary damages plus 10 percent of the total monetary award as attorney’s fees. and 3. the offenses that Ang committed against the bank before its privatization continued to be offenses against the bank after the privatization. It remained the same corporate entity before. She moved for reconsideration.with full backwages and other benefits or their money value from the time of her actual dismissal on July 25. Whether or not the CA erred in holding that Ang was not entitled to the benefits that the PNB withheld from her. But. Further. since the PNB was already a private . The CA reversed the NLRC Decision and dismissed Ang’s complaint. 2004. The Court’s Ruling One. but this was denied. Consequently.18finding valid reason to uphold Ang’s dismissal from the service for willful breach of the trust reposed in her by the PNB. not included in the computed amount. Whether or not the CA erred in holding that the PNB accorded Ang due process when it dismissed her from the service. considering Ang’s admission during direct examination that the PNB informed her of the charges against her and gave her a chance to present her side with the assistance of a counsel. The NLRC deleted the award of damages because of absence of bad faith on the part of the PNB officers but maintained the LA’s finding that the PNB had not proved loss of trust as a ground for dismissal.567. 2004 the NLRC reconsidered its finding of lack of due process. Whether or not the CA erred in finding that the PNB dismissed Ang based on the evidence that she betrayed its trust in her as a bank officer. The Issues Presented Petitioner presents the following issues: 1. The LA made the monetary value of her fringe benefits and others. In case reinstatement was not feasible. however. the CA found that without doubt the PNB observed due process in dismissing Ang.17 Upon motion for reconsideration.87 in gratuity pay plus 1 percent interest per month from the time it fell due until actual payment. and after the change over with no break in its life as a corporation. and P500. The PNB appealed the decision to the NLRC but the latter dismissed the appeal on January 30. or on October 29. was illegal since she had committed no offense under its employ. and second informing her of the decision to terminate her services. P1 million as moral damages. the latter rendered a decision on January 30. 1996 up to her reinstatement. it did not mean that its corporate being ceased and was subsequently reestablished when it was privatized. 2007. the LA ordered the PNB to pay Ang P488. But while PNB began as a government corporation. Ang claims that her dismissal by PNB. the private corporation. during. subject to recomputation upon the finality of the NLRC decision. As to the procedural aspect. The offense for which she was removed took place when the government still owned PNB and she was then a government employee. 2. She received two memoranda. On petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals (CA). first informing her of the charges against her.

contrary to the PNB’s position. As to the issue of due process. 1996. — Upon the sale or other disposition of the ownership and/or controlling interest of the government in a corporation held by the Trust. 1998 before the NLRC Regional Arbitration Branch in Tuguegarao. or all or substantially all of the assets of such corporation. But. rights and interests in the provident fund. gratuity benefits. And. 1997 containing the decision to terminate her service. when the CA apparently deleted these as well. however. 1avv phi 1 Although the transformation of the PNB from a government-owned corporation to a private one did not result in a break in its life as juridical person. Ordinarily. such privatization cannot deprive the government employees involved of their accrued benefits or compensation. it is clear to the Court that Ang did not deny the acts and omissions constituting the offense. that Ang did not seek reconsideration from the NLRC of its deletion of the LA’s award of accrued compensation and other benefits to her. although she received an unfavorable decision from the CA. revealing a mind that was willing to disregard bank rules and regulations when other branch officers concurred. 27. Only before this Court did she raise them for the first time. The focal point is that she betrayed the trust of the bank in her fidelity to its interest and rules. 1998 before the NLRC Regional Arbitration Branch in Tuguegarao. Three. a review of the transcript of stenographic notes taken during Ang’s cross-examination on December 17. shows that her defense consisted in her claim that she accommodated a client’s unfunded checks and issued false bank certificates with the knowledge and consent of the branch manager and comptroller. the Court would not inquire into factual issues raised in a petition for review but. her motion for reconsideration did not raise the matter of accrued compensation and other benefits. Her defense that the PNB did not suffer any loss is of no moment. The transcript of stenographic notes taken during her direct examination on April 22. Consequently. reveals that she admitted having received from the PNB a memorandum of September 15. since the findings of the CA clashed with those of the LA and the NLRC. The PNB points out. what the NLRC decision deleted was only the award of damages. 1996. such inquiry would be justified in this case.corporation when it looked into Ang’s offenses. Ang has a right to elevate the issue before this Court. Automatic Termination of Employer-Employee Relations. retirement pay. None of such officers or employees shall retain any vested right to future employment in the privatized or disposed corporation. and the new owners or controlling interest holders thereof shall have full and absolute discretion to retain or dismiss said officers and employees and to hire the replacement or replacements . containing the administrative charges against her and a memorandum of June 3. Cagayan. It did not touch the benefits mentioned. Cagayan. Ang claims that she is entitled to the monetary value of her leave credits. Further. Section 27 of Presidential Proclamation 50 provided for the automatic termination of employer-employee relationship upon privatization of a government-owned and controlled corporation. The PNB rightfully separated her from work for willful breach of the trust that it reposed in her under the Labor Code. the provisions of the Labor Code governed its disciplinary action. As to the existence of just cause. and other benefits due her as of May 26.19 She likewise admitted that the bank gave her a chance to present her side and to consult a lawyer. the same idea of continuity cannot be said of its employees. Two. Thus: Sec. the employeremployee relations between the government and the officers and other personnel of such corporations shall terminate by operation of law. But such uncorroborated defense is unsatisfactory.

SO ORDERED. PERALTA Associate Justice JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ* Associate Justice ATTESTATION . however. In the eyes of the law. the PNB already computed the benefits to which she was entitled and readied their payment. Ang the benefits due her from the bank as of the date of her retirement on May 26. the PNB may rightfully withhold Ang’s termination pay that accrued beginning on May 27. ROBERTO A. 1996 has become a private corporation. Ang’s employment with it as a government-owned corporation ceased. Under the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code. Since she had no pending administrative case on the day she ceased to be a PNB employee and had been cleared of any accountability. Here. CARPIO Associate Justice ANTONIO EDUARDO B. Rule I. 1996.R. be construed to deprive said officers and employees of their vested entitlements in accrued benefits or the compensation and other benefits incident to their employment or attaching to termination under applicable employment contracts.of any one or all of them as the pleasure and confidence of such owners or controlling interest holders may dictate. SP 88449 in favor of respondent Philippine National Bank but with the MODIFICATION that it directs the latter to pay petitioner Luzviminda A. collective bargaining agreements. 2007 in CA-G. 1996 because of her dismissal. As for possible benefits accruing to Ang after May 26. NACHURA Associate Justice DIOSDADO M. Of course. the same should be deemed governed by the Labor Code since the PNB that rehired her on May 27. her record as employee of the government-owned PNB was untarnished at the time of her separation from it. the employee’s separation from work for a just cause does not entitle her to termination pay. and applicable legislation. Nothing in this section shall. the PNB already computed the retirement and other benefits to which she was entitled as a result of the cessation of her employment. 1996. The Court sees no reason why she should not receive the benefits which she earned or which accrued to her as of May 26. Thus. the Court AFFIRMS the Court of Appeals decision dated January 30.20 all those benefits already accrued to her on the date of her termination. the cited rule did not apply to her. WHEREFORE. Book VI. when PNB was privatized. Section 7. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T. The GSIS rule that the PNB now relies on applied only to employees with pending administrative charge at the time of their retirement. the PNB rehired her immediately but that is another story. In fact. Indeed. 1996. Since Ang had none of that. 2007 and its resolution dated July 6.

Exhibit "2. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. Id. Mendoza. Id." id. at 9-10.I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. Exhibit "2. Id. 2010. at 69-77. 842 dated June 3. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 . pp. Id. Id. Id. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. at 69-77. 7-13. CARPIO Associate Justice Chairperson. Id. at 10. Second Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. at 129-130." id. at 9. at 93. per Special Order No. 1 Records. ANTONIO T. Id. Id. at 8. RENATO C. CORONA Chief Justice Footnotes * Designated as additional member in lieu of Associate Justice Jose C. Supra note 8.

for establishing liability. J. 178434 MONTEREY FOODS CORPORATION. ALBERTO CASTILLO. at 269-292. TSN.. ARTURO EGUNA.Petitioners. 1998. 16.. ARMANDO MALALUAN. Id. BUKLURAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA MONTEREY-ILAW AT BUKLOD NG MANGGAGAWA. June 8.14 Id. 2011 15 16 17 18 19 20 G..-x G. Exhibit "F. Id. ARTURO EGUNA. 291-310. ROMEO SUICO. No.R. Records." records. CARLITO ABACAN.R. In an . DOMINGO ESCAMILLAS and DOMINGO BAUTRO. DANILO ROLLE. The Facts and the Case On April 30.. ROEL MAYUGA.. on April 30. No.. ROMEO SUICO. Respondents. pp. DECISION ABAD.... vs. 178409 YOLITO FADRIQUELAN. the union officers who took part in the illegal slowdown strike after the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary assumed jurisdiction over the labor dispute. 2002 the three-year collective bargaining agreement or CBA between the union Bukluran ng Manggagawa sa Monterey-Ilaw at Buklod ng Manggagawa (the union) and Monterey Foods Corporation (the company) expired.. JOHN ASOTIGUE. 2003 after the negotiation for a new CBA reached a deadlock. at 174-189... DOMINGO ESCAMILLAS and DOMINGO BAUTRO. JUANITO TENORIO.. RUBEN ALVAREZ. ROEL MAYUGA. DANILO ALONSO.. x . Respondent. To head off the strike. CA rollo.. ROMULO DIMAANO. pp. On March 28. DANILO ALFONSO. ARMANDO MALALUAN. MONTEREY FOODS CORPORATION. Id. WILFREDO RIZALDO. December 17..: These cases are about the need to clearly identify. WILFREDO RIZALDO. the union filed a notice of strike with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB)... 137-149. 2003 the company filed with the DOLE a petition for assumption of jurisdiction over the dispute in view of its dire effects on the meat industry.. at 64-68.. p. NEMESIO AGTAY. Petitioner. YOLITO FADRIQUELAN. ROMULO DIMAANO. vs..

On June 23. 2003 already assumed jurisdiction over their labor dispute.R. A strike conducted after such assumption is illegal and any union officer who knowingly participates in the same may be declared as having lost his employment.1 Here. upholding the validity of the company’s termination of 10 union officers but declaring illegal that of the other seven. acting on motion of the company. 178409 and the company in G. On July 7.Order dated May 12. subsumed the third notice of strike under the first and second notices.R. 2003. however. the employees involved in a slowdown do not walk out of their jobs to hurt the company. It also directed the union and the company to desist from taking any action that may aggravate the situation. the union in G. 2003 the union filed a second notice of strike before the NCMB on the alleged ground that the company committed unfair labor practices. among other things. and 2. On May 29. . On June 10. 2003. 2003 the company filed a petition for certification of the labor dispute to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) for compulsory arbitration but the DOLE Secretary denied the motion. The Issues Presented The issues these cases present are: 1. on May 26. The Court finds that the union officers and members in this case held a slowdown strike at the company’s farms despite the fact that the DOLE Secretary had on May 12. But. upheld the company’s termination of the 17 union officers. on the same day. 2003. the union filed a third notice of strike based on allegations that the company had engaged in union busting and illegal dismissal of union officers.m. Whether or not the CA erred in holding that union officers committed illegal acts that warranted their dismissal from work. The Rulings of the Court First. On May 21. the DOLE Secretary included the union’s second notice of strike in his earlier assumption order. Six days later or on June 16 the company sent new notices to the union officers. The law is explicit: no strike shall be declared after the Secretary of Labor has assumed jurisdiction over a labor dispute. 2006 the CA rendered a decision. 178434. Unlike other forms of strike. The union and its officers appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals (CA). the DOLE Secretary assumed jurisdiction over the dispute and enjoined the union from holding any strike. 2003 the DOLE rendered a decision that. charging them with intentional acts of slowdown. The evidence sufficiently shows that union officers and members simultaneously stopped work at the company’s Batangas and Cavite farms at 7:00 a. informing them of their termination from work for defying the DOLE Secretary’s assumption order. Whether or not the CA erred in holding that slowdowns actually transpired at the company’s farms. 2003 the company sent notices to the union officers. what is involved is a slowdown strike. They need only to stop work or reduce the rate of their work while generally remaining in their assigned post. He. Both parties sought recourse to this Court. On November 20.

7 Armando Malaluan. the evidence is that he was on his rest day. Alberto Castillo. 1avv phi 1 At the Quilo farm. Yolito Fadriquelan. Yolito Fadriquelan was then assigned at the General Trias farm in Cavite.12Romeo Suico. Alvarez. This claim of Abacan is consistent with the report4 that only one officer (Tenorio) was involved in the slowdown at the Calamias farm. There is no allegation that the company prevented the union from holding meetings after working hours. John Asotigue. however. A distinction exists. 2003 and so he decided to take a two-hour rest from work.10 Roel Mayuga. But. In Abacan’s case. instead of reinstatement. The CA said that their part in the same could not be established with certainty. The employer’s failure to do so means that the dismissal was not justified. another employee who allegedly took part in the Lipa farm slowdown. that report actually referred to a Rolly Fadrequellan. In fact. But.9 Romulo Dimaano. why did they not hold their meetings after work. The Court sustains the validity of the termination of the rest of the union officers. There must be proof that he committed illegal acts during its conduct. He claimed that he had to attend to an emergency but did not elaborate on the nature of such emergency. In termination cases.16 Here.13 Domingo Escamillas. There is no proof that the union’s president. relying solely on a security guard’s report that the company submitted as evidence. a union officer can be terminated upon mere proof that he knowingly participated in the illegal strike.2 Still.14 and Domingo Bautro15 in the slowdowns were properly established. But as the CA correctly observed. Carlito Abacan. Fadriquelan even directed them not to do anything which might aggravate the situation. On the other hand.5 In Agtay’s case. may be proper especially when as in this case such reinstatement is no longer practical or will be for the .8 Danilo Alonso. did not show up for work during the slowdowns. there being no substantial evidence that would connect them to the slowdowns. as shown in the sworn statements6 of the Cavite farm employees.11 Wilfredo Rizaldo.3 The CA held that the company illegally terminated union officers Ruben Alvarez. The identity and participations of Arturo Eguna. and Juanito Tenorio. the company failed to show that all 17 union officers deserved to be dismissed. Still. These officers simply refused to work or they abandoned their work to join union assemblies. 2003. the illegally dismissed employees are entitled to two reliefs: reinstatement and backwages. however. Ordinarily. the participating union officers have to be properly identified. Danilo Rolle. why did the union officers and members from separate company farms choose to start and end their meetings at the same time and on the same day? And if they did not intend a slowdown. he explained that he was not feeling well on May 26. The burden of proof rests upon the employer to show that the employee’s dismissal was for just cause.The union of course argues that it merely held assemblies to inform members of the developments in the CBA negotiation. not protest demonstrations over it. This clearly shows that his dismissal was mainly based on his being the union president. although the witnesses did not say that Asotigue. the dismissed employee is not required to prove his innocence of the charges against him. Besides. The ordinary worker cannot be terminated for merely participating in the strike. notably. and Rolle took part in the work slowdown. the Court has held that the grant of separation pay. The CA upheld his dismissal. between the ordinary workers’ liability for illegal strike and that of the union officers who participated in it. Tenorio allegedly took a break and never went back to work. if the meetings had really been for the stated reason. Second. these officers gave no credible excuse for being absent from their respective working areas during the slowdown. not at the Lipa farm. the farm supervisor did not include Castillo in the list of employees who failed to report for work on May 26. Nemesio Agtay.

SO ORDERED. and ORDERS payment of their separation pay equivalent to one month salary for every year of service up to the date of their termination.17 But they shall likewise be entitled to attorney’s fees equivalent to 10% of the total monetary award for having been compelled to litigate in order to protect their interests. CORONA Chief Justice Footnotes . DECLARESMonterey Foods Corporation’s dismissal of Alberto Castillo. Second Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. NACHURA Associate Justice DIOSDADO M. ANTONIO T. ROBERTO A. Carlito Abacan. SP 82526. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.best interest of the parties. CARPIO Associate Justice Chairperson.R.18 WHEREFORE. and Yolito Fadriquelan illegal. the Court MODIFIES the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. PERALTA Associate Justice JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. Nemesio Agtay. The Court also ORDERS the company to pay 10% attorney’s fees as well as interest of 6% per annum on the due amounts from the time of their termination and 12% per annum from the time this decision becomes final and executory until such monetary awards are paid. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. RENATO C. CARPIO Associate Justice ANTONIO EDUARDO B.

Annex "C-27". Annex "C-4". 190341 March 16. 2006. G. 178524. 2004.R. No. Article 264 (a). Appellee. 2010.R.R. 150437.. Annex "C-29". 2009. id. Rollo (G. id. at 268. RAPE G. p. 292. 426 SCRA 319. 328. Sulpicio Lines. Id. March 25. No. 49-50.1 Labor Code. June 16. G. Rollo (G. Annex "C-8". vs.R. ROMY FALLONES y LABANA. 331. pp. Southern Industrial Gases Philippines. 169523. at 301. Annex "C-3". G. 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Malig-on v. Court of Appeals. 622 SCRA 326. CA rollo. 2 Samahang Manggagawa sa Sulpicio Lines. 45. 178409). 178409). No. 2010.-NAFLU v. at 302. Annex "C-36". G. Inc. 273. Supra note 7.R. 2011 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 495 SCRA 336. January 30. Inc. No. id. 3 Sukhothai Cuisine and Restaurant v. No. 23-26. Supra note 8. id. G. 185269. p. at 273. v. id. 140992.R. 178434). 4 Rollo (G. at 294. at 269. CA rollo. 621 SCRA 36. Appellant. July 17.. Annex "C-8". Inc. 577 SCRA 500.R. DECISION . 355. 507.R. 18 Macasero v. Annex "C-35". id. No. Inc. Lima Land. Equitable General Services. June 29. pp. Cuevas. 188.R. p.

2007 the RTC rendered a Decision. Amalia repeatedly knocked on the door until Fallones opened it. their father brought Alice to the barangay while Amalia returned to Fallones’ house where she saw her uncle. Reyes (the apprehending officers). Alice. As Amalia went in to take her sister out. crying. The RTC sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. BSDO Eduardo P. the prosecution presented Allan (Alice’s father). Aguilar (a police investigator). Amalia saw her sister standing behind him. the present appeal to this Court. On their arrival. Alice recounted to her sister that Fallones brought her to his bathroom. affirming the RTC Decision.7 Since Andoy arrived without Alice. Amalia heard someone crying out from within.000. The Issue Presented The core issue in this case is whether or not the CA erred in affirming the RTC’s finding that accused Fallones raped Alice. Paul Ed D. he denied the accusations. her mother asked Amalia to look for her. and ravished her.3 was a retardate.00 as damages. Marcelo and BSDO Arturo M. After his wife left and while he was having his lunch. arrested him at gunpoint. The accused appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA) but the latter court rendered judgment on June 30. tama na!" Recognizing Alice’s voice. The accused testified in his defense. cleaning their house. her mother told her older sister. some barangay officials arrived and intervened. was unable to testify. Accused Fallones moved for reconsideration but the CA denied his motion. Ortiz (a medico-legal officer). pulled down her shorts.: This case involves the admissibility of the deceased rape victim’s spontaneous utterances during the time she was being sexually abused and immediately afterwards.9 Along the way. the two girls went home. finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of simple rape. some relatives. The barangay officials brought him to the police station where he was detained and further interrogated.4 To prove its case. Shortly after. Amalia5 (her sister). As she approached the house. PO3 Lilibeth S. Alice’s shorts were wet and blood-stained.m.10 Accused Fallones testified that. Alice held out a sanitary napkin and. Dr.00 as civil indemnity and P50. he was at home with his wife. The Facts and the Case The public prosecutor charged the accused Romy Fallones y Labana with rape1 in an amended information dated September 14. on June 29.11 Again.8 On their way home.6 Amalia testified that at about 9:45 a. and brought him to the barangay hall. two men arrived. "Tama na. The Court’s Ruling . a mental retardate. Alice. Frightened and troubled. and Eden H. 2004. 2009.ABAD. J. Amalia looked in places where Andoy often played and this led her near accused Fallones’ house. On July 10.000. at about the time and date of the alleged rape. said that Fallones had given her the napkin. to look for their brother Andoy. 2004 before a Regional Trial Court (RTC). and neighbors accosting and beating Fallones. they met an uncle and told him what happened. She said that Fallones wet her shorts to make it appear that she tripped and had her monthly period. hence.2 The complainant in this case. hence. They accused him of raping Alice but he denied the charge. She died while trial was ongoing. Terol (a psychologist). and ordered him to pay P50.

pleading that she was hurting) and subsequent circumstance (Alice coming from behind Fallones as the latter opened the door. But.net/judjuris/juri2006/apr2006/gr_163217_2006. her shorts bloodied.Although Alice died before she could testify. she had no ability to recall or act out things that may have been taught to her. her sister. and 3) the statements concerned the occurrence in question and its immediately attending circumstances. the Court considers a res gestae Amalia’s recital of what she heard Alice utter when she came and rescued her. or the spectators to. She confirmed that Alice had been sexually abused and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder. although she was 18 at the time of the incident. and unreliable. Alice came out from behind him. her shorts bloodied).14 Here.http://www.15 It is difficult to lie in an excited state and the impulsiveness of the expression is a guaranty of trustworthiness. Fallones claimed that the members of Alice’s family pressured her into pointing to him as her abuser.lawphil. that she heard the latter’s voice from within Fallones’ house imploring her attacker to stop what he was doing to her. 1@wphi1 Further. are admissible in evidence having been given from personal knowledge. the psychologist testified that while Alice may be vulnerable to suggestions. during.16 For his defense.12 Accused Fallones tried to discredit Amalia’s testimony as hearsay. But he has been unable to establish any possible ill-motive that could prompt Alice’s family into charging him falsely. is a startling occurrence. the medical findings revealed . Fallones admitted at the trial that there had been no animosity between Alice’s family and him. And Amalia happened to be just outside his house when she heard Alice cry out "tama na. 2) the statements were made before the declarant had time to contrive or devise. Res gestae refers to statements made by the participants or the victims of. revealing the presence of her sister. Dela Cruz. she was not mentally retarded.17 Fallones argues that Alice’s actuations after the incident negate rape. Indeed. invoking the Court’s ruling in People v. although the victim was seven years old when the supposed rape took place. In Dela Cruz. Fallones’ act of forcing himself into Alice is a startling event. Further. An important consideration is whether there intervened. without any opportunity for the declarant to fabricate a false statement. the evidence shows that she positively identified Fallones as her abuser before the barangay officials and the police. although what Alice told Amalia may have been hearsay. and afford an opportunity for deliberation. a crime immediately before. The prosecution presented the psychologist who gave Alice a series of psychological tests. Neither can anyone manipulate her emotions if indeed she was influenced by others.html fnt49#fnt49 These statements are a spontaneous reaction or utterance inspired by the excitement of the occasion. testified of her own personal knowledge that she had been out looking for Alice that midmorning. she was already 19 years old when she reported the incident 12 years after it happened. the following must concur: 1) the principal act. doubtful. that upon repeatedly knocking at Fallones’ door. or after its commission. between the occurrence and the statement. any circumstance calculated to divert the mind and thus restore the mental balance of the declarant. Amalia. he opened it. She found Alice to have moderate mental retardation with a mental age of a five-year-old person. may napkin na binigay si Romy o.13 For spontaneous statements to be admitted in evidence. On cross-examination." The admissibility of Alice’s spontaneous statements rests on the valid assumption that they were spoken under circumstances where there had been no chance to contrive.18 But the circumstances of the latter case are far too different from those existing in the present case. which established both concomitant (Alice’s voice from within Fallones’ house. uttering "Amalia. the res gestae. Besides. the rest of the latter’s testimony. tama na!" When Fallones opened the door upon Amalia’s incessant knocking.

ANTONIO T. SO ORDERED. CORONA Chief Justice . Second Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. PERALTA Associate Justice JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. CARPIO Associate Justice PRESBITERO J.R. 2009. "the silence often of pure innocence persuades when speaking fails. In fine. and the psychologist’s report all establish that Fallones raped Alice. as Shakespeare wrote in his Sonnets—The Winter’s Tale. the guilt of the accused has been proved beyond reasonable doubt. The defense offered no witness or evidence of Fallones’ innocence other than his bare denial. the Court DENIES the appeal and AFFIRMS the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G."19 WHEREFORE. CARPIO Associate Justice Chairperson. the physical evidence. RENATO C.that her hymen remained intact. JR. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. Thus. In sum. Again. the medico-legal finding. the testimony of the witnesses. Alice is dead but. CR-HC 03182 dated June 30. the Court will not disturb the RTC’s findings and conclusion being the first-hand observer of the witnesses’ attitude and behavior during trial. VELASCO. the Court did not believe that she had been raped when she was seven.* Associate Justice DIOSDADO M. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T. The defense counsel was unsuccessful in impeaching Amalia during cross-examination. ROBERTO A.

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 . No. at 309. Supra note 3. 1. February 14. 2006. March 6. at 349. 2011. otherwise known as the "Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004" and its implementing rules. 22. The real name of the victim. 2007. G. 341-368. at 25. April 18. pp. p. Nachura. No. 370-386. p. 388 Phil.Footnotes * Designated as additional member in lieu of Associate Justice Antonio Eduardo B. together with the real names of her immediate family members. 323-337. GR. 487 SCRA 273. People. 146161. is withheld and fictitious initials instead are used to represent her to protect her privacy and that of her family. July 17. December 12. Crim. 24. at 23. Id. pp. People. pp. 502 SCRA 419). pp. Id. 2005. (People v. TSN. Cabalquinto. 1 Records. 222. 281-282. TSN. 4 CA rollo.R. p. 167693. TSN. March 14. 2007. 2006. 383-384. 365. Id.R. Case Q-04-127845. 2 3 Pursuant to Republic Act 9262. Id. par. G. Id. Capila v. 2006. at 351-353. Marturillas v. 2006. "Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations" by John Bartlett. Id. 308-309. 163217. September 19. RTC Decision dated July 10. 495 SCRA 276. Id. per Special Order 933 dated January 24. No. 2007. 678 (2000). TSN.

2002. informing him that shouts for help had been heard from an abandoned house. 184812 July 6. Alegre invited her to meet his girl friends. Dela Cruz hastily went to the site. he got a call. testified that at about 2:00 in the morning of September 15. Alegre returned and stabbed her thrice on the back. 2002 VON went to Alegre’s house to visit her relatives. She felt pain. he stabbed her again on her chest and arms. J. 2010 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. But when she entered the house. She fought back and succeeded in grabbing the ice pick but he choked her. Appellant. On the evening of September 14. She hastily went out when Alegre did not respond to her query about his girl friends who were supposed to be there. In the course of that visit. it was empty. He found VON lying naked on the ground. DECISION ABAD. VON returned to her relatives’ quarters and told her cousin that she was going home. Alegre stopped assaulting her when she turned over.6 Alegre tore VON’s polo and sando and then stripped her of shorts and underwear. She watched vehicles pass by the street.8 Romeo dela Cruz. She had become so weak at this point that she ceased to fight back.1 The evidence for the prosecution shows that VON2 and the accused Alegre were acquaintances.4 She could not say whether he was under the influence of drugs at that time.3 Alegre owned the house where his family and VON’s relatives lived. Finally. as VON stepped out.R. Alegre asked her to join him for drinks inside a jeep. September 15. vs. No. 2002. Appellee. she tried to stand but could not because of muscle cramps in her left leg.: This case shows a stark contrast in credibility between the testimony of the complainant who was raped and left for dead and that of the accused who offered only an uncorroborated alibi. she spotted two barangay tanods and they heard her shouts for help.7 When VON felt that Alegre had left. VON did not move for some time but. But. He picked it up and proceeded to sexually ravish her. a barangay kagawad.5 Alegre and VON walked along a nearby street until they reached a fenced house. ERMILITO ALEGRE y LAMOSTE. She suppressed her cough so he would not return. in the early morning of the following day. When VON did not heed Alegre’s warning. as she coughed. She tried to go over the fence to get to the street but Alegre warned her that the barangay tanods might see her. covered with mud and .G. She shouted for help but nobody responded. Afterwards. After finishing a small bottle of gin pomelo. forcing her to drop the weapon. Alegre climbed the fence and told VON to do likewise as his girl friends were in the house. facing the ground. The Facts and the Case The City Prosecutor of Manila charged accused Ermelito L. Alegre (Alegre) before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of that city with frustrated murder in Criminal Case 03-213343 and with qualified rape in Criminal Case 03-213344. he punched her on the back and repeatedly stabbed her with an ice pick until she fell to the ground on her back.

13 Alegre claims that at 4:30 in the morning of September 15. Indeed. VON did not return to his sister’s or brother’s house. Ronald Rom. Dr. he had to perform several life-saving operations on VON. and watched television there. After eating. it was she who invited Alegre to a drink.000. He went home afterwards to sleep. Consistent with VON’s testimony. caused by a very small. Edwin Paul Lagapa. he rode with his brother in a jeepney that the latter was driving. He called the police and. 2002 (about three hours after he left VON). Claire Aguirre conducted a gynecological examination of VON. 2006 the RTC found Alegre guilty beyond reasonable doubt of frustrated murder and sentenced him to suffer a minimum indeterminate penalty of 9 years and 4 months of prision mayor in its medium period to 17 years and 4 months of reclusion temporal in its medium period as maximum.R.15 This prompted Alegre to appeal to this Court. arrested him without a warrant allegedly for a robbery case. got VON into a police car.12 For his defense.00 in civil indemnity and P50. Although she could not identify the age of the lacerations. his uncle. Dr. he said that they pooled their money to buy a bottle of gin pomelo. 2008. Lagapa said that she could have died had she not been treated on time.16 The Issue Presented The sole issue presented in this case is whether or not the CA erred in affirming the RTC’s finding that there is sufficient evidence to show that Alegre raped and nearly murdered VON as she claimed.14 On September 25. on September 14. VON’s brother had accused him of theft of his VCD player. The RTC also found Alegre guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the rape of VON and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay VON P50.11 On the same day. They went home together at about 10:30 in the evening. resulting in his arrest and detention.00 in moral damages. with his nephew’s help. just next to his brother’s house. fine pointed instrument.10 Dr. Alegre believed that VON filed the cases because he had stabbed her cousin a long time ago. On appeal to the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. Contrary to VON’s story. 2002 with the owner of a jeepney he was repairing. CR-HC 02583. The RTC also ordered him to indemnify VON in the amount of P25. Mesa. four of which pierced her heart. After taking a bath. Alegre claimed that he was at Abad Santos. Her forehead suffered injury from a fall.000. Aguirre found several abrasions and hymenal lacerations. where they did a life-saving procedure on her before moving her to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH)9 for surgical operation. which they drank in front of his sister’s house. She found no sperm. upon an inter-departmental referral. he went with his brother to Mindoro as earlier planned.000.000. The Ruling of the Court . the latter court rendered judgment on April 28.00 as moral damages and P25. Dr. In Mindoro. found 18 stab wounds all over her body. affirming in toto the decision of the RTC. Further. the doctor who attended to VON at the PGH.00 as temperate damages. They brought VON to the Lourdes Hospital. He later learned at the police precinct that they were charging him with frustrated murder and rape. Alegre went to her sister’s house.blood. Bacood. she explained it would take at least seven days for them to heal. Sta.

the RTC found Alegre’s testimony too weak and insufficient to overcome that of VON.22 These do not exist here. One must understand that rape is not just an assault upon a woman’s body. The Court’s impression is that VON never once faltered in her declaration that Alegre sexually molested her.000. both the CA and the RTC failed to take into account Alegre’s use of a deadly weapon in the rape case.18Here. But in view of the enactment of Republic Act 9346 which prohibits the imposition of the death penalty. It was.20 Alegre points out that. it is also a derogation of her dignity. Aguirre also bolstered her testimony. On the other hand. 2008. a fact specifically averred in the information and proved during the trial. CR-HC 02583 dated April 28.The cornerstone of Alegre’s appeal is the lack of credibility of VON. on direct examination. concurred in by the CA. the trial court. they may be attributed to the emotions brought to the surface by the need for her to repeatedly narrate in detail the brutality inflicted on her.00 to P75. With regard to the damages. The conflict in VON’s testimony that Alegre refers to concerns the position of her body when she fell on the ground and the order that the rape and the stabbing followed. This qualifies the rape he committed. VON said that she fell to the ground on her back and that Alegre stabbed her on the chest after raping her but. In any case. with the MODIFICATIONS a) that the 1avv phi 1 . His alibi and his claim that VON filed the charges in retaliation for a past offense he committed against a relative remained uncorroborated or supported by some other evidence. he was in a better position to weigh what they said. on cross-examination. For the most part. If there were inconsistencies in minute details. other than his testimony denying the grave charges against him. Lagapa testified on her multiple stab wounds. Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code provides that the penalty for rape committed with the use of a deadly weapon should be reclusion perpetua to death.R.21 Notably. Actually. VON remained consistent under repeated questioning regarding these details.000. There is also no showing that the trial court overlooked. "clear. which upheld the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila in Criminal Cases 03-213343 and 03-213344.000. Dr. honest and could only inspire belief. Lagapa and Dr. Alegre did not present any evidence."19 Dr. given the contradictions in her testimony. in line with recent jurisprudence the civil indemnity must be increased fromP50. Dr. when the rape victim’s straightforward testimony is consistent with the physical evidence of the injuries she received. the penalty of reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole as provided by Act 4103 should instead be imposed. or misapplied facts or circumstances which would affect the outcome of the case.00 to P75. sufficient basis exists for concluding that she has told the truth.17But the settled rule based on reason and experience is that the trial court’s findings respecting the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies deserve the highest respect.00 and the moral damages from P50. direct. But Alegre improperly appreciated VON’s testimony.00. Aguirre corroborated her claim with her testimony regarding VON’s hymenal lacerations. any error in the sequence in which the rape victim narrated these two successive turn of events cannot erode the value of her testimony. she maintained that he raped her before stabbing her on the chest. she said that she fell to the ground on her stomach and Alegre stabbed her on the chest only after he stripped her of clothing. according to the trial court.000. But to be believed. his denial needed to be buttressed by strong evidence of nonculpability or by the essential weakness of the complainant’s allegations.23 WHEREFORE. misunderstood. found VON’s testimony credible. Since the trial judge saw and heard the witnesses and observed how they testified under intense questioning. the Court DENIES the appeal and AFFIRMS the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Inevitably. Regarding the penalty.

SO ORDERED. Second Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. CORONA Chief Justice Footnotes * Designated as additional member in lieu of Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza. per raffle dated June 16.000. ROBERTO A. NACHURA Associate Justice DIOSDADO M.00 in moral damages in relation to the case of qualified rape be both increased to P75. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.00 in civil indemnity and P50.00. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. p. PERALTA Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. JR.000.* Associate Justice ANTONIO EDUARDO B. CARPIO Associate Justice Chairperson. 1 Records.penalty of reclusion perpetua be without eligibility for parole and b) that the award of P50. RENATO C. VELASCO. CARPIO Associate Justice PRESBITERO J. 2010. 2.000. ANTONIO T. .

May 24. TSN. Estrada. Tayag. 92-93. TSN. TSN. Corpuz. Cabalquinto. 12-13. 2003. 41. Id. at 9-12.R. 16 Id. March 28. 168101. CA rollo. February 3. 600 SCRA 295. January 15. TSN. 668-669. 3.R. TSN. 25. Mendoza (now a member of this Court) and Associate Justice Arturo G. 187155. 127491. Id. Reyes. G. 3 TSN. G. p. G. 13. 2004. p. No. 13. p. October 15. September 19. 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Rollo. 482 SCRA 435. Id. 2004. February 3. pp. and concurred in by Associate Justice Jose C. No. p. citing People v.R. at 4-5. September 17. 2-4. 185203. TSN. G. 2004.2 Pursuant to People v. 502 SCRA 419. October 15. 309. 2006. pp. CA rollo. at 42-43. Penned by Associate Justice Andres B. Ofemiano. at 22. 2005. February 13. May 28. 52. 22 People of the Philippines v. pp. No.R. p. 2009. 3-7. 2004. People v. TSN. Id. pp. id. October 15. 167693. TSN. 2004. at 24.R. 9-10. 17 18 19 20 21 People of the Philippines v. TSN. 2004. 2010. p. 2003. TSN. 2009. Ofemiano. 3-4. People v. pp. 2010. February 1. 2003. p. No. Id. pp. Araojo. October 15. G. 448. 19. G. February 3. the real name and address of the victim and her relatives have been replaced with fictitious initials. 9. No. 5-8. 2006. 2004. People v. Malibiran. People of the Philippines v. supra note 18. at 13. 173471.R. 2004. February 3. 430 SCRA 81. February 3. No.R. November 4. p. Jr. Bañares. March 17. 581 SCRA 655. 23 . No. TSN. pp. 178318. 8-13. 2003. G. at 4-6.

at her cousin’s rented room.m. hematoma. when he learned that he had been suspected of having committed rape. and woke up at 6:00 a. Appellee. Appellant. 2011 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. testified that at around 2:00 a.R. When the man was about to leave.m. No. On June 27. DK.: This case is about how the credibility of the rape victim’s identification of her attacker often depends on her spontaneous actions and behavior following the rape. On November 12. 2004 he slept at the house of his employer.G. vs. poked a knife at DK and threatened to kill her if she made any noise. He went to bed at about 9:00 p. Ledesma corroborated his story. DK turned the light on and she saw his face. He was shocked. a man. prompting Tumambing to appeal to this Court.m. DECISION ABAD.00 as moral damages. June 25.00 and pay her P50. or any sign of resistance on her body but found several fresh lacerations on her genitals. she identified the accused Jenny Tumambing as her rapist. 2009 the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed in CA-G. Tumambing swore that he never left his employer’s house that night. on June 26. JENNY TUMAMBING y TAMAYO.000. The RTC also ordered him to indemnify DK ofP50. CR-HC 02433 the decision of the RTC in its entirety. 2004 she went to sleep. leaving the lights on. Tumambing denied committing the crime. 2004. He then succeeded in ravishing her. J. Nestor Ledesma. DK recognized him as the same person who passed by her cousin’s room several times in the afternoon of the previous day. The intruder. On June 27. She was startled when somebody entered the room after she had turned off the lights. however. The Ruling of the Court . Later.R. 2006 the RTC found Tumambing guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.000. He claimed that on June 26. thinking that it had something to do with a bloodletting campaign. The Issue Presented The sole issue presented in this case is whether or not the CA and the trial court erred in finding that accused Tumambing raped DK under the circumstances she mentioned. Barangay officials summoned Tumambing and he went.1 the complainant. 191261 March 2. The Facts and the Case The city prosecutor charged the accused Jenny Tumambing (Tumambing) with rape in Criminal Case 04-227897 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. 2004 the doctor who examined DK found no bruises. He removed DK’s clothes and undressed himself.

. Reyes3 where the Court ruled that it would be easy for a person who has once gained familiarity with the appearance of another to identify the latter even from a considerable distance. testified as follows: Q: Now in the barangay. The constitutional presumption of innocence that an accused enjoys is not demolished by an identification that is full of uncertainties. Don't be afraid.4 Ordinarily. I ordered the suspect to turn left. Sr. what happened next? . I called her two cousins. Then she stare upon the suspect. Not at the barangay hall. the Barangay Chairman to whom DK initially reported the incident testified: Q: When the accused enter the barangay hall upon invitation. The CA invoked People v. I assured the complainant. do you have any occasion to see complainant positively identified the accused? A: No. This compels the Court to take a look at the same. both the RTC and the CA gave credence to DK’s testimony.7 Pedrito Yacub. They maintained that DK categorically and positively identified her rapist. PO2 Crispulo Frondozo. Q: After you told the suspect to pose left. right and backways." Q: What was the reaction of the accused? A: As we sat down in a table. Sir.6 DK’s identification of accused Tumambing as her rapist is far from categorical.5 But the courts mentioned appear to have overlooked or misinterpreted certain critical evidence in the case. the Court would respect the trial court and the CA’s findings regarding the credibility of the witnesses. Q: Then what happened? A: He was surprised and [I] told him that he is a suspect of rape and his reply was "akala ko pakukunan niyo ako ng dugo. a confrontation ensued. right and backways. In my residence.2 Here. what happened next? A: Correction Sir. An ample proof that a crime has been committed has no use if the prosecution is unable to convincingly prove the offender’s identity.A successful prosecution of a criminal action largely depends on proof of two things: the identification of the author of the crime and his actual commission of the same. one of the apprehending officers. do you have any occasion to see whether the complainant pinpointed accused as the person who abused her person? A: No. I will protect you. Sir. Tell me. Q: What about in any precinct or agency. The Court’s reading of her testimony shows that she was quite reluctant at the beginning but eventually pointed to him when it was suggested that it might be him after all. Several witnesses attested to DK’s uncertainties regarding the rapist’s identity when the barangay chairman arranged for her to meet Tumambing.

rather than accused Tumambing." So she could not pinpoint the suspect. the second suspect. Sir. And confrontation ensued between her and the suspect. If this were the case.8 (Underscoring supplied) DK’s above behavior during her initial confrontation with accused Tumambing gives the Court no confidence that. It mean[s] "makunan ng cells. Q: Do you remember the person whom you invited known as the second suspect? A: His name is Alvin Quiatcho.9 The barangay chairman continued: Q: As barangay captain who has the duty to enforce law and city ordinances. I asked her is this the suspect? Q: What was her answer? A: She said. not reluctance in pointing to him despite the barangay chairman’s assurance that he would protect her if she identified him. evidence of her conduct immediately after the alleged assault is of critical value. who raped her. Q: What did you do if any with the suggestion of [DK]? A: I told the complainant. Ninenerbyus na ako. it would be difficult to do. tested and presumably compared with that found in her clearly indicates that she entertained the possibility that it was Quiatcho." The complainant told me chairman padoktor natin [sic] na lang natin siya. as she claimed in her testimony. you came to know that there were other suspect. I said. For confrontation with the complainant. [i]to ba?" But she cannot point to. Chairman pa doctor kaya natin siya. She could not pinpoint. In assessing the testimony of a wronged woman. . Q: Presumably to get some sperm? A: Yes. she could not recall. her natural reaction on seeing Tumambing would have been one of outright fury or some revealing emotion. she was familiar with the looks of her rapist because she saw him on the previous day as he passed by her cousin’s rented room many times. what did you do? A: I invited the suspect. The Court cannot thus accept DK’s testimony that she had been familiar with the looks of the man who violated her and that she could not possibly be mistaken in identifying him as Tumambing.10(Underscoring supplied) That DK wanted the sperm of Alvin Quiatcho (Quiatcho). I released the other suspect. Q: After that what happened? A: So since she could not pinpoint also the other suspect. "Iha.A: The suspect told the complainant "huwag kang magtuturo.

Q: What was the reply of [DK] if any? A: She did not reply. They pointed out her insistence at the police precinct that it was Tumambing who really raped her and that she positively identified him in open court. It cannot afford to overlook details that are essential to an understanding of the truth. the executive officer of the same barangay.16 She did not shout nor struggle when he penetrated her. DK’s testimony is anything but believable and consistent. Her rapist wore a yellow shirt. the court is always reminded to subject her testimony to a most rigid and careful scrutiny. Sir. "Is this the person you saw and who rape you?" Court: Referring to? Interpreter: Referring to Jenny Tumambing.14 She just lay in bed. corroborated the barangay chairman’s testimony: Q: So what was the question? A: The question was that. she had a chance to see him clearly. why was she so certain that he wore a yellow shirt? .Crispin Dizon.11 The RTC and the CA thought that DK was quite sure it was Tumambing who sexually attacked her. if this were so and he walked out naked. Sir.13 she did not shout or raise an alarming call. For this reason. if any? A: She did not answer. The fact is that she did not refute the testimonies given by neutral witnesses that she could not point to accused Tumambing as her rapist during their initial confrontation at the barangay chairman’s residence. lawphi1 Although she categorically said on cross-examination that she saw her attacker enter the room. These witnesses had no motive or reason to fabricate a story for the defense. Q: Now if you remember how many times did the Chairman asked [DK]? A: Four times. By the nature of rape. Q: What happen next when [DK] did not answer? A: And [DK] was again asked by the Chairman and told her not to fear and tell who raped her and point to him. Sir. quite often. she maintained that position in bed even when her attacker was standing before her and removing his clothes. But."19 Since DK did not say that the man put his clothes back on. it seems a certainty that he collected his clothes and carried this out when he left the room. Q: What was the reply of the victim. Since DK then turned on the light for the first time.18 But this is inconsistent with her testimony that after the stranger in her room was done raping her.17 There is one thing that DK appeared sure of.15 In fact. as shown above.12 Here. "bigla na lang po siyang lumabas x x x sinundan ko siya ng tingin. rely on the sole testimony of the victim. But this came about much later. Nor did she try to escape. the court has to.

JR. ANTONIO T. WHEREFORE. CR-HC 02433 as well as the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila. RENATO C. and ACQUITS the accused-appellant Jenny Tumambing y Tamayo of the crime charged on the ground of reasonable doubt. CORONA Chief Justice . CARPIO Associate Justice PRESBITERO J. The Court further ORDERS the Director of the Bureau of Corrections to implement this Decision forthwith and to inform this Court.With such serious doubts regarding the true identity of DK’s rapist. Costs de oficio. DEL CASTILLO** Associate Justice JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. ROBERTO A. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. SO ORDERED. 2009 in CA-G. in Criminal Case 04-227897. Second Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. Branch 27. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T. within five days from receipt hereof.R.* Associate Justice MARIANO C. VELASCO. CARPIO Associate Justice Chairperson. of the date appellant was actually released from confinement. the Court SETS ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals dated November 12. the Court cannot affirm the conviction of accused Tumambing. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. The Court orders his immediate RELEASE from custody unless he is being held for some other lawful cause.

2005. Id. 2008. Id. otherwise known as the "Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004" and its implementing rules. 172323. are withheld and fictitious initials instead are used to represent her. Id. 720-721 (2001). May 25. TSN. supra note 2. Galera. People v. TSN. pp. May 11. 6. 6-7. 2007. Id. ** Designated as additional member in lieu of Associate Justice Diosdado M.R. at 12. January 29. 745 (1997). 2005. 76 (1999). People v. 5. 61. Nachura. 513 SCRA 306. 2005. 2011. TSN. at 17. 502 SCRA 419. September 19. Salidaga. Peralta. 2 People v. Cabalquinto. at 19. pp. 731. per Special Order 933 dated January 24. pp. 12. p. the real name of the victim. 7-8. Id. TSN. No. at 754. Id. per Special Order 954 dated February 21. 420 Phil. Virrey. Galera. March 4.Footnotes * Designated as additional member in lieu of Associate Justice Antonio Eduardo B. G. at 750.R. at 35-36. May 10. 2006. 2005. 369 Phil. People v. at 7. No. 713. People v. May 11. 421-426. p. People v. 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 . supra note 2. G. 2011. TSN. 1 Pursuant to Republic Act 9262. 167693. p. at 16. 345 Phil. Galera. Rollo. 318. 9-10. together with the real names of her immediate family members.

He averred that the testimony was a fabrication made upon the prodding of her aunt who disliked him.1 DES2 was the eldest daughter of MILA3 by her first marriage.00 as moral damages. Appellee.00 as exemplary damages. she told her aunt and MILA about what had happened between Taroy and her.4 The couple lived with MILA’s children in Pucsusan Barangay. Taroy denied raping DES on the occasions mentioned. andP25. This time. When she refused. P75. No. The doctor who examined DES testified that the latter had two narrow notches in her hymen at three o’clock and five o’clock positions. at the boundary of Baguio City. and ordered her to do the same. lest MILA and her siblings would suffer some harm.00 as civil indemnity. closed the windows. J. DES was 10 years old then. Four years later or on November 1. The Facts and the Case The public prosecutor charged Alejo Taroy y Tarnate (Taroy) with two counts of rape in Criminal Cases 02-CR-4671 and 02-CR-4672 before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of La Trinidad. he entered her room. Taroy poked a knife at her head and forced her to submit to his bestial desires.7 The RTC found the testimony of DES credible and worthy of belief. vs. Benguet. MILA and a certain Alumno testified that they later accompanied DES to the hospital for examination. DECISION ABAD. when DES was 15. 192466 September 7. Taroy pointed a knife at her. When Taroy entered the house. removed his clothes. undressed himself. Taroy warned her afterwards not to tell anyone about it. 2002.000. They accompanied DES to the National Bureau of Investigation to complain. he locked the door.5 DES testified that she was alone in the house on August 10. and ordered DES to remove hers.: Apart from the question of credibility of testimonies in a prosecution for rape. This compelled her to yield to him. The RTC found Taroy guilty of two counts of rape and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. It also ordered him to pay DES for each count: P75. 1997 doing some cleaning since her mother was at work and her two siblings were outside playing. 2011 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. For the defense.6 DES testified that Taroy sexually abused her again in September 1998. ALEJO TAROY y TARNATE. Appellant. this case resolves the question of proof of the territorial jurisdiction of the trial court. Benguet.G.000.000. MILA corroborated DES’ testimony regarding how she revealed to her and an aunt the details of the rape incidents. closed the windows. She explained that these notches or V-shaped or sharp indentions over the hymenal edges suggested a history of previous blunt force or trauma possibly caused by the insertion of an erect male penis. Itogon. When she resisted. locked the door.R. MILA married Taroy in 1997 upon the death of her first husband. .

the prosecution has sufficiently proved the guilt of Taroy beyond reasonable doubt.8 The CA gave weight to the RTC’s assessment of DES’ credibility and found no evil motive in her. For one thing. and Alumno. that Taroy’s testimony that their residence was in Baguio City did not strip the court of its jurisdiction since he waived the jurisdictional requirement. The CA also held that the prosecution has sufficiently established the jurisdiction of the RTC through the testimony of MILA.14 Here. Besides.13 Taken altogether. Whether or not the RTC of La Trinidad. he having testified that their residence when the alleged offenses took place was in Pucsusan Barangay. Taroy’s uncorroborated assertion that the subject offenses took place in Baguio City is not entitled to belief. Clearly. Two. 1avvphil1 More. DES’ testimony is worthy of belief. or province where the offense was committed or where any of its essential ingredients took place. has jurisdiction to hear and decide the cases of rape against Taroy. Venue is jurisdictional in criminal cases. The Issues Presented The issues presented to the Court are: 1. Women who experience traumatic and terrifying experiences such as rape do not react in a uniform pattern of hysteria and breakdown. DES. for territorial jurisdiction to attach. Taroy seeks his acquittal from this Court. and 2. On January 19. he admitted during the pre-trial in the case that it was the RTC of La Trinidad that had jurisdiction to hear the case. the fact that she did not shout for help or resist the sexual advances of Taroy does not disprove the fact that he raped her. Benguet. Municipality of Itogon. The right venue must exist as a matter of law.9 Thus. Benguet. Province of Benguet. It can neither be waived nor subjected to stipulation.10 The Informations11 filed with the RTC of La Trinidad state that the crimes were committed in the victim and the offender’s house in City Limit. city. there is nothing in the testimony of DES that would elicit suspicion as to the veracity of her story. however. She was just a child. Whether or not the prosecution has proved his guilt in the two cases beyond reasonable doubt. The Court’s Rulings One. the criminal action must be instituted and tried in the proper court of the municipality. The testimonies of MILA and DES as well as the affidavit of arrest12 point to this fact. Tuding. Lastly. The RTC held. 2010 the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the decision of the RTC. that RTC’s jurisdiction to hear the case is beyond dispute.Taroy challenged the Benguet RTC’s jurisdiction over the crimes charged. there is nothing unusual for DES to remain in the family dwelling despite the incidents that had happened to her. What is necessary for the prosecution to ensure conviction is not absolute certainty but only moral certainty that the accused is guilty of the crime charged. Baguio City. contrary to the claims of Taroy. Where else would she go except stay with her mother who happened to be married to the man who abused her? . This allegation conferred territorial jurisdiction over the subject offenses on the RTC of La Trinidad. she having no ill-motive to fabricate what she said against her stepfather.

VELASCO. we modify the award of exemplary damages in accordance with People v. JR. CR-HC 03510 dated January 19. PERALTA Associate Justice MARTIN S. PRESBITERO J. this Court DISMISSES the appeal and AFFIRMS the Court of Appeals decision in CA-G. ROBERTO A. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. SO ORDERED.00.00 to P30.R. 2010 with the MODIFICATION that the award of exemplary damages be increased fromP25. CORONA Chief Justice Footnotes . ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: PRESBITERO J.000.00 to P30. JR. Third Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. VILLARAMA. Associate Justice Chairperson DIOSDADO M.While we do affirm the guilt of Taroy for the crime of rape.00. RENATO C.15 The prosecution has sufficiently established the relationship of Taroy to the victim. Associate Justice Chairperson. as well as the minority of DES necessitating the increase of the award of exemplary damages fromP25. JR.000.000.* Associate Justice JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. Araojo. VELASCO. WHEREFORE.000.

73.R. No. 2009. G. July 14. vs. 1. 111 Phil. People. Decision dated March 10. p. I. 4). at 5. Id. G. at 22 (TSN. Rule 110. 600 SCRA 295. July 1. II. 3 Id. 71. per Special Order 1076 dated September 6. Respondent. p. 93 (1961). DECISION ABAD. Id.* Designated as additional member in lieu of Associate Justice Maria Lourdes P. Vol. CA rollo. GLENN D.: . both to protect her privacy (People v. Rules of Court. G. VAWC/CHILD ABUSE 11 12 13 14 15 G. Section 15. p. Records.R. 10 See Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. is withheld and fictitious initials are used to represent her. Exhibit "A". Pre-Trial Order dated March 3. Id.R. 1. at 9. 2011. Id. Rule 133. September 17. Records. Casiano. 558 SCRA 63. 182367 December 15. 2008. otherwise known as the "Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004" and its implementing rules. 2003. Vol. 421-426). 309. together with the real names of her immediate family members. 1 Branch 9. No. 502 SCRA 419. 167693. No. 99. 2003. Sereno. the real name of the victim. I. 2010 CHERRYL B. Petitioner. at 15-16. 185203.R. 60-72. Records. Cabalquinto. citing People v. 2 Pursuant to Republic Act 9262. September 19. VALLECERA. 4 5 6 7 8 9 Figueroa v. CR-HC 03510. 2006. J. DOLINA. Docketed as CA-G.R. Vol. pp. p. Section 2. No. 147406. 2008. A.

The petition also asked the RTC to order Philippine Airlines. the latter is not entitled to such support if he had not acknowledged him.5 with an admonition that she first file a petition for compulsory recognition of her child as a prerequisite for support.2 In filling out the blanks in thepro-forma complaint. Dolina of course alleged that Vallecera had been abusing her and her child. Dolina added a handwritten prayer for financial support3 from Vallecera for their supposed child. The Facts and the Case In February 2008 petitioner Cherryl B. that the petition is a harassment suit intended to force him to acknowledge the child as his and give it financial support. to withhold from his pay such amount of support as the RTC may deem appropriate. Unsatisfied. 2008-02-071 for alleged woman and child abuse under Republic Act (R. Vallecera before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tacloban City in P. She based her prayer on the latter’s Certificate of Live Birth which listed Vallecera as the child’s father. The Court’s Ruling Dolina evidently filed the wrong action to obtain support for her child. if the same is not admitted or acknowledged.This case is about a mother’s claim for temporary support of an unacknowledged child. Dolina filed a petition with prayer for the issuance of a temporary protection order against respondent Glenn D. contrary to her claim. Vallecera opposed the petition. rendering unnecessary the issuance of a protection order against him.) 9262. her claim being that he is the father. Since Dolina’s demand for support for her son is based on her claim that he is Vallecera’s illegitimate child. He claimed that Dolina’s petition was essentially one for financial support rather than for protection against woman and child abuses.6 Although the issuance of a protection order against the respondent in the case can include the grant of legal support for the wife and the child. first establish the filiation of the child. 1avv phil To be entitled to legal support. Dolina filed the present petition for review directly with this Court. and that Vallecera has never lived nor has been living with Dolina. neither she nor her child ever lived with Vallecera. 20084 the RTC dismissed the petition after hearing since no prior judgment exists establishing the filiation of Dolina’s son and granting him the right to support as basis for an order to compel the giving of such support.7 The child’s remedy . Dolina filed a motion for reconsideration but the RTC denied it in its April 4. that the signature appearing on the child’s Certificate of Live Birth is not his. But it became apparent to the RTC upon hearing that this was not the case since. The object of R.O. He of course vigorously denied this. On March 13. the true object of her action was to get financial support from Vallecera for her child.A. that he was not the child’s father.A. petitioner must. The Issue Presented The sole issue presented in this case is whether or not the RTC correctly dismissed Dolina’s action for temporary protection and denied her application for temporary support for her child. 9262 under which she filed the case is the protection and safety of women and children who are victims of abuse or violence. this assumes that both are entitled to a protection order and to legal support. 2008 Order. As it turned out. until Dolina shall have proved his relation to him. Vallecera’s employer. in proper action. which she sought in an action for the issuance of a temporary protection order that she brought against the supposed father.

ANTONIO T. 200802-07. ROBERTO A. support follows as matter of obligation. ACCORDINGLY. CARPIO Associate Justice Chairperson. But of course. PERALTA Associate Justice JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. she may directly file an action for support. CARPIO Associate Justice ANTONIO EDUARDO B. the Court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS the Regional Trial Court of Tacloban City’s Order dated March 13. 2008. however.9 In short. Second Division CERTIFICATION . 2008. This omission lends credence to the conclusion of the RTC that the real purpose of the petition is to obtain support from Vallecera. NACHURA Associate Justice DIOSDADO M. denying her motion for reconsideration dated March 28.10 Dolina’s remedy is to file for the benefit of her child an action against Vallecera for compulsory recognition in order to establish filiation and then demand support. This issue has to be resolved in an appropriate case. 2008 that dismissed petitioner Cherryl B. Dolina’s action in P.11 It must be observed. where the issue of compulsory recognition may be integrated and resolved. this matter is already water under the bridge since Dolina failed to raise this error on review.8 If filiation is beyond question. it is just as aware of the disturbance that unfounded paternity suits cause to the privacy and peace of the putative father’s legitimate family.O. that the RTC should not have dismissed the entire case based solely on the lack of any judicial declaration of filiation between Vallecera and Dolina’s child since the main issue remains to be the alleged violence committed by Vallecera against Dolina and her child and whether they are entitled to protection.12 Vallecera disowns Dolina’s child and denies having a hand in the preparation and signing of its certificate of birth. illegitimate children are entitled to support and successional rights but their filiation must be duly proved. Alternatively. SO ORDERED. While the Court is mindful of the best interests of the child in cases involving paternity and filiation. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T.is to file through her mother a judicial action against Vallecera for compulsory recognition. and Order dated April 4.

CORONA Chief Justice Footnotes 1 Rollo. Providing For Protective Measures For Victims. at 40. 165016.Pursuant to Section 13. 2 "An Act Defining Violence Against Women And Their Children. 168852. RENATO C. Lopez. Montefalcon v. G. Agustin v. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. No." 3 Rollo. p. Nepomuceno v. G.R. Tayag-Gallor. 869. G. 554 SCRA 513. 22. Id. vs. September 21.R. 8 Tayag v.R. Represented by Officer-In-Charge Dr. No. 2008. 317 (2005). 527.R. THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES. G. Respondents. Court of Appeals. THE HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY. 77867. March 18. 1990. Rodrigo L. 181 SCRA 861. at 41. 184869 CENTRAL MINDANAO UNIVERSITY. Malunhao. DECISION .Petitioner. 238. pp. Tan. THE CHAIRPERSON AND COMMISSIONERS OF THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES. 174680. 307. June 17. And For Other Purposes.R. No. Go-Tan v. Court of Appeals. 4 5 6 7 Article 195. February 6. 74. 499 Phil. March 24. No. De la Puerta v. Prescribing Penalties Therefore. 181258.R. 12-23. 2008. G. 2008. 567 SCRA 231. Vasquez. September 30. No. Id. and THE LEAD CONVENOR OF THE NATIONAL ANTI-POVERTY COMMISSION. 549 SCRA 68. 2010 9 10 11 12 G. paragraph 4 of the Family Code requires support between parents and their illegitimate children. 2010. No. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.

however.080 hectares of those lands under Original Certificates of Title (OCTs) 0-160. seeking to stop the implementation of Presidential Proclamation 310 and have it declared unconstitutional. The Malaybalay RTC denied the motion. reserving 3. On April 3. Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. after hearing the preliminary injunction incident. 0-161. the RTC issued a resolution granting NCIP. and Lead Convenor of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (collectively.: This case concerns the constitutionality of a presidential proclamation that takes property from a state university. and proceeded to hear CMU’s application for preliminary injunction. This prompted CMU to appeal the RTC’s dismissal order to the Court of Appeals (CA) Mindanao Station.4 the CA dismissed CMU’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction. et al’s motion for partial reconsideration and dismissed CMU’s action for lack of jurisdiction. and 2) whether or not Presidential Proclamation 310 was constitutional. CMU filed a petition for prohibition against respondents Executive Secretary. The NCIP. The Facts and the Case Petitioner Central Mindanao University (CMU) is a chartered educational institution owned and run by the State. et al) before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malaybalay City (Branch 9). CMU filed a motion for reconsideration of the resolution but the RTC denied the same on April 19. ruling that CMU’s recourse should have been a petition for review on certiorari filed directly with this Court. et al moved to dismiss the case on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the Malaybalay RTC over the action. and 0-162. Bukidnon. 2003 President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Presidential Proclamation 310 that takes 670 hectares from CMU’s registered lands for distribution to indigenous peoples and cultural communities in Barangay Musuan. the RTC ruled that Presidential Proclamation 310 was constitutional. J. The RTC said that the ultimate owner of the lands is the State and that CMU merely held the same in its behalf. Forty-five years later or on January 7. over its objections.ABAD. Bukidnon. pointing out that since the act sought to be enjoined relates to an official act of the Executive Department done in Manila. 2008 decision. 2003. Still. for distribution to indigenous peoples and cultural communities. On October 27. as school site for CMU. being a valid State act. Meanwhile.2 CMU raised two issues in its appeal: 1) whether or not the RTC deprived it of its right to due process when it dismissed the action.3 In a March 14. CMU obtained title in its name over 3. Eventually.1In 1958. Chairperson and Commissioner of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). because it raised pure questions law—bearing mainly on the constitutionality of Presidential Proclamation 310. Maramag. the President issued Presidential Proclamation 476. however. respondents NCIP. . jurisdiction lies with the Manila RTC. 2003. Meanwhile. the government distributed more than 300 hectares of the remaining untitled lands to several tribes belonging to the area’s cultural communities.401 hectares of lands of the public domain in Musuan. NCIP. et al moved for partial reconsideration of the RTC’s order denying their motion to dismiss. The CA added that whether the trial court can decide the merits of the case based solely on the hearings of the motion to dismiss and the application for injunction is also a pure question of law. 2004.

2. and 2) Presidential Proclamation 310 was constitutional. There is nothing essentially wrong about a court holding on the one hand that it has no jurisdiction over a case. given that such action relates to official acts of the Executive done in Manila. the issue of the propriety of the RTC using two incompatible reasons for dismissing the action is academic. CMU’s action was one for injunction against the implementation of Presidential Proclamation 310 that authorized the taking of lands from the university. Presidential Proclamation 310 was valid and constitutional since the State. Whether or not the CA correctly dismissed CMU’s appeal on the ground that it raised purely questions of law that are proper for a petition for review filed directly with this Court. et al for lack of jurisdiction and at the same time ruling that Presidential Proclamation 310 is valid and constitutional. and 3. Consequently. The Issues Presented The case presents the following issues: 1. not the RTC of Malaybalay City. Whether or not the CA erred in not finding that the RTC erred in dismissing its action for prohibition against NCIP. indeed lies with this Court. the CMU’s remedy for assailing the correctness of the dismissal. involving as it did a pure question of law. The Court’s Rulings One. The first is that jurisdiction over the action to declare Presidential Proclamation 310 lies with the RTC of Manila. . The CA from which the present petition was brought dismissed CMU’s appeal on some technical ground. Section 9(3) of the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 19806 vests in the CA appellate jurisdiction over the final judgments or orders of the RTCs and quasi-judicial bodies. Two. has the right to dispose of the same for some purpose other than CMU’s use. Whether or not Presidential Proclamation 310 is valid and constitutional. recourse should be by a petition for review on certiorari filed directly with this Court. The fact that the President issued this proclamation in Manila and that it was being enforced in Malaybalay City where the lands were located were facts that were not in issue. The question in this case is whether or not CMU’s appeal from the RTC’s order of dismissal raises purely questions of law. based on an assumption that it has jurisdiction. But where an appeal from the RTC raises purely questions of law. presumably made on the assumption that the Malaybalay RTC had jurisdiction over the action. deciding the case on its merits. As already stated. At any rate. The RTC invoked two reasons for dismissing CMU’s action. which is the dismissal of the action. CMU raised two grounds for its appeal: 1) the RTC deprived it of its right to due process when it dismissed the action.CMU filed a motion for reconsideration of the CA’s order of dismissal but it denied the same. These were alleged in the complaint and presumed to be true by the motion to dismiss. both with the same results. as ultimate owner of the subject lands. The second reason.5 prompting CMU to file the present petition for review. and on the other. Did these grounds raise factual issues that are proper for the CA to hear and adjudicate? Regarding the first reason.

The Court nullified the DARAB action considering the inalienable character of such lands. a national government agency charged with taking both privately-owned and government-owned agricultural lands for distribution to farmersbeneficiaries. In CMU v. Ultimately. Funds for the support of the educational programs of land grant colleges came from government appropriation. What NCIP. with meager funding to support their ever increasing educational programs. ordered the segregation for this purpose of 400 hectares of CMU lands. Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB). In this case. the need for a vast tract of agricultural land for future programs of expansion is obvious. to develop and train future farmers of Mindanao and help attract settlers to that part of the country. Three. They were given extensive tracts of agricultural and forest lands to be developed to support their numerous expanding activities in the fields of agricultural technology and scientific research. et al filed was merely a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the Malaybalay RTC over the injunction case. the CMU claimed that the Malaybalay RTC deprived it of its right to due process when it dismissed the case based on the ground that Presidential Proclamation 310. a type of educational institution which blazed the trail for the development of vast tracts of unexplored and undeveloped agricultural lands in the Mid-West. started as small land grant colleges. there must still be vast tracts of agricultural land in Mindanao outside the CMU land reservation which can be made available to landless peasants. What we now know as Michigan State University. and earnings from miscellaneous sources. being part of the long term functions of an autonomous agricultural educational institution. et al had not yet filed an answer to join issue with CMU on that score. it would serve no useful purpose to have the case remanded to the CA Mindanao Station or to the Malaybalay RTC for further proceedings. It was set up in Bukidnon. Consequently. in the hinterlands of Mindanao. Consequently. which it challenged. the CMU was conceived in the same manner as land grant colleges in America. At the outset. resulting in the denial of CMU’s right to be heard on the same.080 hectares as its future campus. Whether the RTC in fact prematurely decided the constitutionality of the proclamation. tuition and other student fees. in order that it can have enough resources and wide open spaces to grow as an agricultural educational institution. is a factual issue that was proper for the CA Mindanao Station to hear and ascertain from the parties. withdrawing from sale or settlement and reserving for the Mindanao Agricultural College (forerunner of the CMU) a land reservation of 3. CMU points out that the issue of the constitutionality of the proclamation had not yet been properly raised and heard. actively exploited and utilized by the university in carrying out its present educational program with its present student population and academic facility — overlooking the very significant factor of growth of the university in the years to come. private endowments and gifts. Penn State University and Illinois State University. . Said the Court: The construction given by the DARAB to Section 10 restricts the land area of the CMU to its present needs or to a land area presently. assuming the claimants here. to avoid delay and multiplicity of suits. It was in this same spirit that President Garcia issued Proclamation No. the Court should. neither need give way to the other. NCIP.As to the second reason. The key question lies in the character of the lands taken from CMU. the issue of constitutionality of the Proclamation in question will come to this Court however the courts below decide it. Certainly. By the nature of the CMU. xxxx The education of the youth and agrarian reform are admittedly among the highest priorities in the government socio-economic programs. was constitutional. or some of them. Since the main issue of the constitutionality of Presidential Proclamation 310 has been raised and amply argued before this Court. 476. the CA erred in dismissing the action on the ground that it raised pure questions of law. which is a school established to promote agriculture and industry. now resolve the same.7 the DARAB.

can qualify as CARP beneficiaries. To our mind, the taking of the CMU land which had been segregated for educational purposes for distribution to yet uncertain beneficiaries is a gross misinterpretation of the authority and jurisdiction granted by law to the DARAB. The decision in this case is of far-reaching significance as far as it concerns state colleges and universities whose resources and research facilities may be gradually eroded by misconstruing the exemptions from the CARP. These state colleges and universities are the main vehicles for our scientific and technological advancement in the field of agriculture, so vital to the existence, growth and development of this country.8 It did not matter that it was President Arroyo who, in this case, attempted by proclamation to appropriate the lands for distribution to indigenous peoples and cultural communities. As already stated, the lands by their character have become inalienable from the moment President Garcia dedicated them for CMU’s use in scientific and technological research in the field of agriculture. They have ceased to be alienable public lands.
1avvphi1

Besides, when Congress enacted the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA) or Republic Act 83719 in 1997, it provided in Section 56 that "property rights within the ancestral domains already existing and/or vested" upon its effectivity "shall be recognized and respected." In this case, ownership over the subject lands had been vested in CMU as early as 1958. Consequently, transferring the lands in 2003 to the indigenous peoples around the area is not in accord with the IPRA. Furthermore, the land registration court considered the claims of several tribes belonging to the area’s cultural communities in the course of the proceedings for the titling of the lands in CMU’s name. Indeed, eventually, only 3,080 hectares were titled in CMU’s name under OCTs 0-160, 0-161 and 0-162. More than 300 hectares were acknowledged to be in the possession of and subject to the claims of those tribes. WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition, SETS ASIDE the March 14, 2008 decision and September 22, 2008 resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP 85456, and DECLARES Presidential Proclamation 310 as null and void for being contrary to law and public policy. SO ORDERED. ROBERTO A. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: RENATO C. CORONA Chief Justice ANTONIO T. CARPIO Associate Justice (On Official Leave) PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR.* Associate Justice CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice (On Official Leave) ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA* Associate Justice

(On Official Leave) TERESITA J. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO* Associate Justice DIOSDADO M. PERALTA Associate Justice MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO Associate Justice JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ Associate Justice

(On Official Leave) ARTURO D. BRION* Associate Justice LUCAS P. BERSAMIN Associate Justice MARTIN S. VILLARAMA, JR. Associate Justice (On Official Leave) JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA* Associate Justice

(On Leave) MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO** Associate Justice CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, it is hereby certified that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court. RENATO C. CORONA Chief Justice

Footnotes
*

On official leave. On leave.

**

1

Pursuant to Republic Act 4498, "An Act to Convert Mindanao Agricultural College into Central Mindanao University and to Authorize the Appropriation of Additional Funds Therefor."
2

Docketed as CA-G.R. SP 85456. Rollo, pp. 41-42.

3

4

Id. at 85-102; penned by Associate Justice Teresita Dy-Liacco Flores, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Jane Aurora C. Lantion and Michael P. Elbinias.
5

Id. at 103-106; Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated September 22, 2008.

6

Batas Pambansa Bilang 129. G.R. No. 100091, October 22, 1992, 215 SCRA 86. Id. at 96, 101.

7

8

9

"An Act to Recognize, Protect and Promote the Rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples, Creating a National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Establishing Implementing Mechanisms, Appropriating Funds Therefor, and for other Purposes." G.R. No. 179918 September 8, 2010

SHELL PHILIPPINES EXPLORATION B.V., represented by its Managing Director, Jeremy Cliff, Petitioner, vs. EFREN JALOS, JOVEN CAMPANG, ARNALDO MIJARES, CARLITO TRIVINO, LUCIANO ASERON, CHARLITO ALDOVINO, ROBERTO FADERA, RENATO MANTALA, GERTRUDES MENESES, NORBERTO HERNANDEZ, JOSE CABASE, DANILO VITTO, EDWIN MARIN, SAMUEL MARIN, ARMANDO MADERA, EDGARDO MARINO, HERMINO RELOX, ROLANDO TARROBACO, ERNESTO RELOX, ROSALITO RUGAS, ELDIE DIMALIBOT, PLARIDEL MUJE, REYMUNDO CARMONA, RONILO RIOFLORIDO, LEONIDES MANCIA, JONAR GERANCE, RODEL CASAPAO, CARMENCITA MENDOZA, SEVERINO MEDRANO, EDWIN MENDOZA, DOMINEZ SANTIAGO, ROGER MUJE, REYNALDO MORALES, WILLIAM MENDOZA, NELSON SOLIS, ALBERTO MATRE, MARGARITO GADO, BONIFACIO LEOTERIO, NEMESIO PEREZ, JR., ARIEL MENDOZA, PEPITO MENDOZA, SALVADOR FALCULAN, JR., CEASAR ROBLEDO, SUZIMO CERNA, VIRGILIO VATAL, JIMMY ALBAO, CRISANTO SABIDA, LAUDRINO MIRANDA, LEOPOLDO MISANA, JIMMY DELACION, FREJEDO MAGPILI, ROLANDO DIMALIBOT, PEDRO MAPALAD, FAUSTINO BALITOSTOS, LEONARDO DIMALIBOT, MARIANO MAGYAYA, RAUL MIRANO, ERNESTO MATRE, ROMEO ROBLEDO, GILBERT SADICON, ROMEO SIENA, NESTOR SADICON, NOEL SIENA, REDENTER CAMPANG, ARNEL HERNENDEZ, RESTITUTO BAUTISTA, JOSE MUJE, DANILO BILARMINO, ADRIAN MAGANGO, VALERIANO SIGUE, BERNIE MORALES, JOSEPH SALAZAR, PABLITO MENDOZA, JR., ERWIN BAUTISTA, RUBEN BAUTISTA, ALEXANDER ROVERO, EDUARDO QUARTO, RUBEN RIOFLORIDO, NESTOR DELACION, SEVERINO MEDRANO, JOEY FAJECULAY, NICOLAS MEDRANO, FELIX MEDRANO, RODELIO CASAPAO, FELIPE LOLONG, MARCELINO LOLONG, ELDY DIMALIBOT, ROBERTO CASAPAO, SIMEON CASAPAO, HENRY DIMALIBOT, RONALDO MORALES, PEPING CASAPAO, JOEL GERANCE, JAYREE DIMALIBOT, MARIO DIMALIBOT, SANTO DIMALIBOT, ZERAPIN DIMALIBOT, FLORENCIO ROVERO, Respondents. DECISION ABAD, J.: This case is about a question of jurisdiction over an action against a petroleum contractor, whose pipeline operation has allegedly driven the fish away from coastal areas, inflicting loss of earnings among fishermen. The Facts and the Case

On December 11, 1990 petitioner Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (Shell) and the Republic of the Philippines entered into Service Contract 38 for the exploration and extraction of petroleum in northwestern Palawan. Two years later, Shell discovered natural gas in the Camago-Malampaya area and pursued its development of the well under the Malampaya Natural Gas Project. This entailed the construction and installation of a pipeline from Shell’s production platform to its gas processing plant in Batangas. The pipeline spanned 504 kilometers and crossed the Oriental Mindoro Sea. On May 19, 2003, respondents Efren Jalos, Joven Campang, Arnaldo Mijares, and 75 other individuals (Jalos, et al) filed a complaint for damages1 against Shell before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 41, Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro. Jalos, et al claimed that they were all subsistence fishermen from the coastal barangay of Bansud, Oriental Mindoro whose livelihood was adversely affected by the construction and operation of Shell’s natural gas pipeline. Jalos, et al claimed that their fish catch became few after the construction of the pipeline. As a result, their average net income per month fell from a high of P4,848.00 to only P573.00. They said that "the pipeline greatly affected biogenically hard-structured communities such as coral reefs and led [to] stress to the marine life in the Mindoro Sea." They now have to stay longer and farther out at sea to catch fish, as the pipeline’s operation has driven the fish population out of coastal waters.2 Instead of filing an answer, Shell moved for dismissal of the complaint. It alleged that the trial court had no jurisdiction over the action, as it is a "pollution case" under Republic Act (R.A.) 3931, as amended by Presidential Decree (P.D.) 984 or the Pollution Control Law. Under these statutes, the Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB) has primary jurisdiction over pollution cases and actions for related damages.3 Shell also claimed that it could not be sued pursuant to the doctrine of state immunity without the State’s consent. Shell said that under Service Contract 38, it served merely as an agent of the Philippine government in the development of the Malampaya gas reserves. Moreover, said Shell, the complaint failed to state a cause of action since it did not specify any actionable wrong or particular act or omission on Shell’s part that could have caused the alleged injury to Jalos, et al. The complaint likewise failed to comply with requirements of a valid class suit, verification and certification against forum shopping, and the requisites for a suit brought by pauper litigants.4 On March 24, 2004 the RTC dismissed the complaint. It ruled that the action was actually pollutionrelated, although denominated as one for damages. The complaint should thus be brought first before the PAB, the government agency vested with jurisdiction over pollution-related cases.5 Jalos, et al assailed the RTC’s order through a petition for certiorari6 before the Court of Appeals (CA). In due course, the latter court reversed such order and upheld the jurisdiction of the RTC over the action. It said that Shell was not being sued for committing pollution, but for constructing and operating a natural gas pipeline that caused fish decline and considerable reduction in the fishermen’s income. The claim for damages was thus based on a quasi-delict over which the regular courts have jurisdiction. The CA also rejected Shell’s assertion that the suit was actually against the State. It observed that the government was not even impleaded as party defendant. It gave short shrift to Shell’s insistence that, under the service contract, the government was solidarily liable with Shell for damages caused to third persons. Besides, the State should be deemed to have given its consent to be sued when it entered into the contract with Shell.

The CA also held that the complaint sufficiently alleged an actionable wrong. Jalos, et al invoked their right to fish the sea and earn a living, which Shell had the correlative obligation to respect. Failure to observe such obligation resulted in a violation of the fishermen’s rights and thus gave rise to a cause of action for damages.7 Finally, the CA held that Jalos, et al substantially complied with the technical requirements for filing the action. But since they failed to prove the requisites of a class suit, only those who have verified the complaint should be deemed party plaintiffs.8 Shell moved for reconsideration of the CA’s decision but the same was denied.9 Hence, it filed this petition for review under Rule 45. The Issues Presented The case presents the following issues: 1. Whether or not the complaint is a pollution case that falls within the primary jurisdiction of the PAB; 2. Whether or not the complaint sufficiently alleges a cause of action against Shell; and 3. Whether or not the suit is actually against the State and is barred under the doctrine of state immunity. The Court’s Rulings First. Although the complaint of Jalos, et al does not use the word "pollution" in describing the cause of the alleged fish decline in the Mindoro Sea, it is unmistakable based on their allegations that Shell’s pipeline produced some kind of poison or emission that drove the fish away from the coastal areas. While the complaint did not specifically attribute to Shell any specific act of "pollution," it alleged that "the pipeline greatly affected biogenically hard-structured communities such as coral reefs and led [to] stress to the marine life in the Mindoro Sea."10 This constitutes "pollution" as defined by law. Section 2(a) of P.D. 984 defines "pollution" as "any alteration of the physical, chemical and biological properties of any water x x x as will or is likely to create or render such water x x x harmful, detrimental or injurious to public health, safety or welfare or which will adversely affect their utilization for domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational or other legitimate purposes." It is clear from this definition that the stress to marine life claimed by Jalos, et al is caused by some kind of pollution emanating from Shell’s natural gas pipeline. The pipeline, they said, "greatly affected" or altered the natural habitat of fish and affected the coastal waters’ natural function as fishing grounds. Inevitably, in resolving Jalos, et al’s claim for damages, the proper tribunal must determine whether or not the operation of the pipeline adversely altered the coastal waters’ properties and negatively affected its life sustaining function. The power and expertise needed to determine such issue lies with the PAB. Executive Order 192 (1987) transferred to the PAB the powers and functions of the National Pollution and Control Commission provided in R.A. 3931, as amended by P.D. 984.11 These empowered the PAB to "[d]etermine the location, magnitude, extent, severity, causes and effects" of

water pollution.12 Among its functions is to "[s]erve as arbitrator for the determination of reparation, or restitution of the damages and losses resulting from pollution." In this regard, the PAB has the power to conduct hearings,13 impose penalties for violation of P.D. 984,14 and issue writs of execution to enforce its orders and decisions.15 The PAB’s final decisions may be reviewed by the CA under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court.16 Jalos, et al had, therefore, an administrative recourse before filing their complaint with the regular courts.17 The laws creating the PAB and vesting it with powers are wise. The definition of the term "pollution" itself connotes the need for specialized knowledge and skills, technical and scientific, in determining the presence, the cause, and the effects of pollution. These knowledge and skills are not within the competence of ordinary courts.18 Consequently, resort must first be made to the PAB, which is the agency possessed of expertise in determining pollution-related matters.
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To this extent, the failure of Jalos, et al to allege in their complaint that they had first taken resort to PAB before going to court means that they failed to state a cause of action that the RTC could act on. This warranted the dismissal of their action.19 Second. Still, Shell points out that the complaint also states no cause of action because it failed to specify any actionable wrong or particular act or omission on Shell’s part. The Court cannot agree. As mentioned above, the complaint said that the natural gas pipeline’s construction and operation "greatly affected" the marine environment, drove away the fish, and resulted in reduced income for Jalos, et al. True, the complaint did not contain some scientific explanation regarding how the construction and operation of the pipeline disturbed the waters and drove away the fish from their usual habitat as the fishermen claimed. But lack of particulars is not a ground for dismissing the complaint. A cause of action is the wrongful act or omission committed by the defendant in violation of the primary rights of the plaintiff.20 Its elements consist of: (1) a right existing in favor of the plaintiff, (2) a duty on the part of the defendant to respect the plaintiff’s right, and (3) an act or omission of the defendant in violation of such right.21 To sustain a motion to dismiss for lack of cause of action, however, the complaint must show that the claim for relief does not exist and not only that the claim was defectively stated or is ambiguous, indefinite or uncertain.22 Here, all the elements of a cause of action are present. First, Jalos, et al undoubtedly had the right to the preferential use of marine and fishing resources which is guaranteed by no less than the Constitution.23 Second, Shell had the correlative duty to refrain from acts or omissions that could impair Jalos, et al’s use and enjoyment of the bounties of the seas. Lastly, Shell’s construction and operation of the pipeline, which is an act of physical intrusion into the marine environment, is said to have disrupted and impaired the natural habitat of fish and resulted in considerable reduction of fish catch and income for Jalos, et al. Thus, the construction and operation of the pipeline may, in itself, be a wrongful act that could be the basis of Jalos, et al’s cause of action. The rules do not require that the complaint establish in detail the causal link between the construction and operation of the pipeline, on the one hand, and the fish decline and loss of income, on the other hand, it being sufficient that the complaint states the ultimate facts on which it bases its claim for relief. The test for determining the sufficiency of a cause of action rests on whether the complaint alleges facts which, if true, would justify the relief demanded.24 In this case, a valid judgment for damages can be made in favor of Jalos, et al, if the construction and operation of the pipeline indeed caused fish decline and eventually led to the fishermen’s loss of income, as alleged in the complaint.

Third. Shell claims that it cannot be sued without the State’s consent under the doctrine of state immunity from suit. But, to begin with, Shell is not an agent of the Republic of the Philippines. It is but a service contractor for the exploration and development of one of the country’s natural gas reserves. While the Republic appointed Shell as the exclusive party to conduct petroleum operations in the Camago-Malampayo area under the State’s full control and supervision,25 it does not follow that Shell has become the State’s "agent" within the meaning of the law. An agent is a person who binds himself to render some service or to do something in representation or on behalf of another, with the consent or authority of the latter.26 The essence of an agency is the agent’s ability to represent his principal and bring about business relations between the latter and third persons.27 An agent’s ultimate undertaking is to execute juridical acts that would create, modify or extinguish relations between his principal and third persons.28 It is this power to affect the principal’s contractual relations with third persons that differentiates the agent from a service contractor. Shell’s main undertaking under Service Contract 38 is to "[p]erform all petroleum operations and provide all necessary technology and finance" as well as other connected services29 to the Philippine government. As defined under the contract, petroleum operation means the "searching for and obtaining Petroleum within the Philippines", including the "transportation, storage, handling and sale" of petroleum whether for export or domestic consumption.30 Shell’s primary obligation under the contract is not to represent the Philippine government for the purpose of transacting business with third persons. Rather, its contractual commitment is to develop and manage petroleum operations on behalf of the State. Consequently, Shell is not an agent of the Philippine government, but a provider of services, technology and financing31 for the Malampaya Natural Gas Project. It is not immune from suit and may be sued for claims even without the State’s consent. Notably, the Philippine government itself recognized that Shell could be sued in relation to the project. This is evident in the stipulations agreed upon by the parties under Service Contract 38. Article II, paragraph 8, Annex "B" of Service Contract 3832 states that legal expenses, including "judgments obtained against the Parties or any of them on account of the Petroleum Operations", can be recovered by Shell as part of operating expenses to be deducted from gross proceeds. Article II, paragraph 9B of the same document allows a similar recovery for "[a]ll actual expenditures incurred and paid by CONTRACTOR [Shell] in settlement of any and all losses, claims, damages, judgments, and any other expenses not covered by insurance, including legal services." This signifies that the State itself acknowledged the suability of Shell. Since payment of claims and damages pursuant to a judgment against Shell can be deducted from gross proceeds, the State will not be required to perform any additional affirmative act to satisfy such a judgment. In sum, while the complaint in this case sufficiently alleges a cause of action, the same must be filed with the PAB, which is the government agency tasked to adjudicate pollution-related cases. Shell is not an agent of the State and may thus be sued before that body for any damages caused by its operations. The parties may appeal the PAB’s decision to the CA. But pending prior determination by the PAB, courts cannot take cognizance of the complaint. WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition and REVERSES the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV 82404 dated November 20, 2006. Respondent Efren Jalos, et al’s complaint for damages against Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. in Civil Case P-1818-03 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 41, Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro is ordered DISMISSED without prejudice to its refiling with the Pollution Adjudication Board or PAB.

at 146-157. 119. p. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T. ANTONIO T. DEL CASTILLO* Associate Justice JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. Id. CARPIO Associate Justice DIOSDADO M. Second Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. per raffle dated June 7. ROBERTO A. 2 Rollo.SO ORDERED. CORONA Chief Justice Footnotes * Designated as additional member in lieu of Associate Justice Antonio Eduardo B. 2010. RENATO C. at 141-143. 3 4 . Nachura. CARPIO Associate Justice Chairperson. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. PERALTA Associate Justice MARIANO C. Id. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. 1 Docketed as Civil Case P-1818-03 (also referred to as Civil Case R-1818-03 in some parts of the records).

12 13 14 15 16 17 The Alexandra Condominium Corporation v. P. Hon. to the preferential use of the communal marine and fishing resources. No. Section 6(d). 218. CV 82404. I (2002 Ed. at 739. . 169228. 6 7 8 9 Biogenic means "essential to life and its maintenance. 662 (1982)." (Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. Fishworkers shall receive a just share from their labor in the utilization of marine and fishing resources. 255. Section 7 provides: SEC. Section 6(a). September 21. Section 7(c). both inland and offshore.R. pp. It shall provide support to such fishermen through appropriate technology and research. develop. 2006.). Court of Appeals. especially of local communities. 484 Phil. Unabridged. Conquilla. Section 7(d). August 30.. 500 SCRA 242. adequate financial. 546. 470 SCRA 533. The State shall also protect. and conserve such resources. Vol. Regalado. Id. No. p. p. at 114. 2005. 984. Trazo. G. Argel.R. Supra note 11. production. 730. The State shall protect the rights of subsistence fishermen.5 Id. Id. and other services. Laguna Lake Development Authority.) 10 11 Estrada v. Id... September 11. Rollo. Id. 461. 22 Philippine Bank of Communications v. 163338. Remedial Law Compendium. 23 Article XIII. Justice Florenz D. 66. Id. 165500. Id.D. 2009.R. 19 20 21 Luzon Development Bank v. at 102. 650. 599 SCRA 452. at 108-110. Section (9). 96-100. Docketed as CA-G. G. 742 (2004).R. 18 Mead v. 200 Phil. No. G. The protection shall extend to offshore fishing grounds of subsistence fishermen against foreign intrusion.. and marketing assistance. 7.

Inc. v. 162894..R. 26 27 Philex Mining Corporation v. Presidential Decree 87 or The Oil Exploration and Development Act of 1972. No. No. 176864 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. and actual expenses incurred in securing evidence for the purpose of defending against the Operations of the subject matter of the Contract. 546 SCRA 555. 2008. 2010 ANTONIO LEJANO.. 565. 28 Nielson & Company. vs. 148187." G. v. x . p. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. p. 403. No. Respondent. Petitioner.. or legal service otherwise necessary or expedient for the protection of the joint interests.. Commissioner of Internal Revenue.. Civil Code of the Philippines.. 384... Id. at 380. Inc.. 30 31 See Sections 6 and 7.-x G. G... 378. 32 Rollo. 2008.. together with all judgments obtained against the Parties or any of them on account of the Petroleum Operations.R. .R..R.. April 16. Article 1869. a charge commensurate with the cost of providing and furnishing such services may be made against Operating Expenses. Rouzie. 176389 December 14. 532... p. Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company. Legal Expenses. All costs and expenses of litigation. Jr. 541 (1968). 25 Rollo.. 551 SCRA 428... 29 Rollo.. In the event actions or claims affecting interests under the Contract shall be handled by the legal staff not otherwise charged to Operating Expenses of one or more of the Parties.. 442.24 Raytheon International. No. including attorney’s fees and expenses as hereinafter provided. vs. 135 Phil. Appellee. The stipulation reads in full: "8.. G. February 26.

These included the medico-legal officer who autopsied the bodies of the victims. as an accessory after the fact. She pointed to accused Hubert Jeffrey P. that she did not trust the investigators who helped her prepare her first affidavit. Lejano. police officer Biong’s former girlfriend. accused Estrada. undamaged by grueling cross-examinations. nineteen years old. on August 10. PETER ESTRADA and GERARDO BIONG. Thus.1 The Regional Trial Court of Parañaque City. according to the court. Estrellita’s husband. Relying primarily on Alfaro's testimony. Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez. 1995 the public prosecutors filed an information for rape with homicide against Webb. Webb’s alibi appeared the strongest since he claimed that he was then across the ocean in the United States of America. after four years of arduous hearings. Thus. Estrada. Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez. and Gatchalian set up for their defense. ANTONIO LEJANO. Branch 274. Gatchalian. compared to Alfaro’s testimony that other witnesses and the physical evidence corroborated. MICHAEL A. seven. Artemio "Dong" Ventura. accepting her explanation that she at first wanted to protect her former boyfriend. and that she felt unsure if she would get the support and security she needed once she disclosed all about the Vizconde killings. the former laundrywoman of the Webb’s household. HOSPICIO FERNANDEZ. and frank testimony. the defense presented witnesses to show Alfaro's bad reputation for truth and the incredible nature of her testimony. et al. He presented the testimonies of witnesses as well as documentary and object evidence to prove this. It noted her categorical. who claimed that she witnessed the crime.2 The prosecution presented Alfaro as its main witness with the others corroborating her testimony. Tolentino. 2000. WEBB. one of its informers. denying any part in the crime and saying they were elsewhere when it took place. It presented star-witness Jessica M. For their part. the police arrested a group of suspects. and Jennifer. spontaneous. and Joey Filart as the culprits. Four years later in 1995.: Brief Background On June 30. DECISION ABAD. 1995 affidavits. She also tagged accused police officer. Lejano. GATCHALIAN. Appellants. Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano. Gerardo Biong. some of the accused testified. MIGUEL RODRIGUEZ.HUBERT JEFFREY P. Alfaro. the security guards of Pitong Daan Subdivision. on January 4. some of whom gave detailed confessions. J. the trial court found a credible witness in her. 1991 Estrellita Vizconde and her daughters Carmela. and Lauro G. presided over by Judge Amelita G. They paled. were brutally slain at their home in Parañaque City. Peter Estrada. Michael A. Gatchalian. straightforward. But impressed by Alfaro’s detailed narration of the crime and the events surrounding it. In addition. that no lawyer assisted her. the trial court thought little of the denials and alibis that Webb. accused Gatchalian. The trial court remained unfazed by significant discrepancies between Alfaro’s April 28 and May 22. and Rodriguez the . Rodriguez. finding all the accused guilty as charged and imposing on Webb. In contrast. Webb. Vizconde. tried only seven of the accused since Artemio Ventura and Joey Filart remained at large. Fernandez. the trial court rendered judgment. But the trial court smelled a frame-up and eventually ordered them discharged. the National Bureau of Investigation or NBI announced that it had solved the crime. the identities of the real perpetrators remained a mystery especially to the public whose interests were aroused by the gripping details of what everybody referred to as the Vizconde massacre. and a relative. Following an intense investigation.

the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision. Rodriguez. however. four months. Issues Presented Accused Webb’s motion to acquit presents a threshold issue: whether or not the Court should acquit him outright. It found sufficient evidence of conspiracy that rendered Rodriguez.penalty of reclusion perpetua and on Biong. Unfortunately. The Court granted the request pursuant to section 4 of the Rule on DNA Evidence6 to give the accused and the prosecution access to scientific evidence that they might want to avail themselves of. The issue respecting accused Biong is whether or not he acted to cover up the crime after its commission. and 2. 2010 the NBI informed the Court that it no longer has custody of the specimen. describing the crime and identifying Webb. ultimately. Lejano. Gatchalian. Fernandez. Whether or not Alfaro’s testimony as eyewitness. But.4 The appellate court did not agree that the accused were tried by publicity or that the trial judge was biased. and Estrada equally guilty with those who had a part in raping and killing Carmela and in executing her mother and sister. the controlling issues are: 1. the Court issued a Resolution granting the request of Webb to submit for DNA analysis the semen specimen taken from Carmela’s cadaver. acting in conspiracy with Lejano. the present appeal. The trial court also awarded damages to Lauro Vizconde. the Court of Appeals' Special Division of five members voted three against two to deny the motion. that the specimen was not among the object evidence that the prosecution offered in evidence in the case. and one day to twelve years. given the government’s failure to produce the semen specimen that the NBI found on Carmela’s cadaver. all the accused raise the central issue of whether or not Webb. Whether or not Webb presented sufficient evidence to prove his alibi and rebut Alfaro’s testimony that he led the others in committing the crime. Gatchalian. an indeterminate prison term of eleven years. In the main. on April 27.3 On appeal. The Right to Acquittal Due to Loss of DNA Evidence . leading to a correct decision in the case. Estrada. raped and killed Carmela and put to death her mother and sister. Ventura. 2010. On motion for reconsideration by the accused. thus depriving him of evidence that would prove his innocence. Fernandez. as a result of its initial deliberation in this case. The trial record shows. and Filart.5 hence. the same having been turned over to the trial court. Estrada. This outcome prompted accused Webb to file an urgent motion to acquit on the ground that the government’s failure to preserve such vital evidence has resulted in the denial of his right to due process. which specimen was then believed still under the safekeeping of the NBI. On April 20. Fernandez. Gatchalian. and two others as the persons who committed it. is entitled to belief. modifying the penalty imposed on Biong to six years minimum and twelve years maximum and increasing the award of damages to Lauro Vizconde. Rodriguez.

the State presented a medical expert who testified on the existence of the specimen and Webb in fact sought to have the same subjected to DNA test. on examination. neither Webb nor his co-accused brought up the matter of preserving the specimen in the meantime. The medical evidence clearly established that Carmela was raped and. semen specimen was found in her. Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano. Youngblood. even when the Supreme Court had in the meantime passed the rules allowing such test. Maryland. Alfaro recalled frequently seeing them at a shabu house in Parañaque in January 1991. and Joey Filart. Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez. then he did not rape Carmela.7 that he is entitled to outright acquittal on the ground of violation of his right to due process given the State’s failure to produce on order of the Court either by negligence or willful suppression the semen specimen taken from Carmela. Still. except Ventura whom she had known earlier in December 1990. There.8 If. there exists a possibility that Alfaro had lied. the idea of keeping the specimen secure even after the trial court rejected the motion for DNA testing did not come up. Jessica Alfaro drove her Mitsubishi Lancer. he allowed the proceeding to move on when he had on at least two occasions gone up to the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court to challenge alleged arbitrary actions taken against him and the other accused. consistent with this. Considering the accused’s lack of interest in having such test done. 1991 at around 8:30 in the evening. Thus. to the merit of the case. Webb is not entitled to acquittal for the failure of the State to produce the semen specimen at this late stage. This. the ruling in Brady v. Maryland9 that he cites has long be overtaken by the decision in Arizona v. Here. Indeed. It cannot be coached or allured by a promise of reward or financial support.Webb claims. citing Brady v. On the other hand. the rule governing DNA evidence did not yet exist. after the trial court denied Webb’s application for DNA testing. with boyfriend Peter Estrada as passenger.11 They raised the DNA issue before the Court of Appeals but merely as an error committed by the trial court in rendering its decision in the case. culled from the decisions of the trial court and the Court of Appeals. It is that simple. on June 29.10 where the U. Consequently. It is true that Alfaro identified Webb in her testimony as Carmela’s rapist and killer but serious questions had been raised about her credibility. and no Philippine precedent had as yet recognized its admissibility as evidence. Michael Gatchalian. At the very least. the Court would have been able to determine that Alfaro committed perjury in saying that he did. Parenthetically. the semen specimen taken from Carmela cannot possibly lie. Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez. None of the accused filed a motion with the appeals court to have the DNA test done pending adjudication of their appeal. Webb. No two persons have the same DNA fingerprint. Alfaro’s Story Based on the prosecution’s version. another. when Webb raised the DNA issue. For one thing. . For.S. Ventura introduced her to his friends: Hubert Jeffrey P. Now. Supreme Court held that due process does not require the State to preserve the semen specimen although it might be useful to the accused unless the latter is able to show bad faith on the part of the prosecution or the police. to the Ayala Alabang Commercial Center parking lot to buy shabu from Artemio "Dong" Ventura. with the exception of identical twins. the country did not yet have the technology for conducting the test. the State cannot be deemed put on reasonable notice that it would be required to produce the semen specimen at some future time. the DNA of the subject specimen does not belong to Webb.

Alfaro decided to go out. After about 40 to 45 minutes. "Malakas lang ang tama mo. with their passengers." Alfaro was the first to pass through the pedestrian gate that had been left open. As she lost sight of Carmela and Webb. Parañaque City." They all left the parking lot in a convoy of three vehicles and drove into Pitong Daan Subdivision for the third time. and Ventura followed her. While waiting for the others to alight from their cars. "Pipilahan natin siya [Carmela] at ako ang mauuna. Ventura using a chair mounted the hood of the Vizcondes’ Nissan Sentra and loosened the electric bulb over it ("para daw walang ilaw"). magbabantay lang kami. telling Fernandez. Webb told the others again that they would line up for Carmela but he would be the first. Carmela requested Alfaro to return before midnight and she would leave the pedestrian gate.As Alfaro smoked her shabu. He said. Carmela was at their garden. Webb decided that it was time for them to leave. Alfaro relayed this to Webb who then told the group to drive back to the Ayala Alabang Commercial Center. When she told Webb of Carmela’s male companion. too. Fernandez. After using up their shabu. Alfaro looked for her group. and the kitchen door unlocked. Webb’s mood changed for the rest of the evening ("bad trip"). Alfaro parked her car on Vinzons Street. and Gatchalian who were on a Nissan Patrol car. Carmela replied. the group drove to Carmela’s house at 80 Vinzons Street. alighted. She and Webb looked each other in the eyes for a moment and. Lejano. BF Homes. Alfaro had met Carmela twice before in January 1991. Riding in her car. She told Alfaro to return after twenty minutes. okay. They all used it and some shabu. "O sige. found them. When Carmela came out. The Nissan Patrol and the Mazda pick-up. parked somewhere along Aguirre Avenue. On reaching their destination. Lejano. Fernandez approached Alfaro with a suggestion that they blow up the transformer near the Vizconde’s residence to cause a brownout ("Pasabugin kaya natin ang transformer na ito"). and approached Carmela’s house. Alfaro agreed. On entering the garage. Alfaro queried her about Carmela. She approached Alfaro on seeing her and told the latter that she (Carmela) had to leave the house for a while. Alfaro parked her car between Vizconde’s house and the next. They then all went back to the Ayala Alabang Commercial Center. Lejano asked her where she was going and she replied that she was going out to smoke. The small group went through the open iron grill gate and passed the dirty kitchen. As she eased her way out through the . that she could not go out yet since she had just arrived home. Webb approached and requested her to relay a message for him to a girl. But Alfaro shrugged off the idea. the iron grills that led to the kitchen. they drove back but only Alfaro proceeded to Vinzons Street where Carmela lived. together. Pitong Daan Subdivision. Alfaro and Estrada trailed Filart and Rodriguez who rode a Mazda pick-up and Webb. The group had another shabu session at the parking lot. Ventura. Alfaro trailed Carmela up to Aguirre Avenue where she dropped off a man whom Alfaro believed was Carmela’s boyfriend. At the parking lot. The others replied. Lejano. "Ako ang susunod" and the others responded "Okay. however. and relayed Carmela’s instructions to Webb. Webb gave out free cocaine. Alfaro returned to her car but waited for Carmela to drive out of the house in her own car. and Ventura were already before the house. Alfaro told the group about her talk with Carmela. Alfaro pressed the buzzer and a woman came out. They arrived at Carmela’s house shortly before midnight. Alfaro gave her Webb’s message that he was just around. whom she later identified as Carmela Vizconde. headed for the dining area. Webb." When Webb. Carmela also told Alfaro to blink her car’s headlights twice when she approached the pedestrian gate so Carmela would know that she had arrived." Lejano said. After sometime. Carmela opened the aluminum screen door of the kitchen for them. dito lang kami.

She entered her car and turned on the engine but she did not know where to go." Webb spoke to his companions and told them. Out of curiosity. moaning." When she found a bunch of keys in the bag. Alfaro noticed the Nissan Patrol slow down. Lejano. pushed her to the wall. she saw Webb on top of Carmela while she lay with her back on the floor. opened the door a little. "Okay lang. The convoy of cars went to a large house with high walls. Alfaro returned to the kitchen. and a long driveway at BF Executive Village. She found her other companions milling around it. breaking its glass frame. But Ventura told him that they could not get in anymore as the iron grills had already locked. After about twenty minutes. and pulled his hair. Webb. As the three men approached the pedestrian gate. he said: "Ikaw na nga dito." Alfaro and Estrada left and they drove to her father’s house. "Sino yan?" Alfaro immediately walked out of the garden to her car. and in tears while Webb raped her.kitchen door. At around 2:00 in the morning. and peeked inside. Two bloodied bodies lay on the bed. she heard a static noise (like a television that remained on after the station had signed off). "Bakit naman pati yung bata?" Webb replied that the girl woke up and on seeing him molesting Carmela. He told her. As they got near an old hotel at the Tropical Palace area. maghanap ka ng susi. "Prepare an escape. Alfaro smoked a cigarette at the garden. The first to be killed was Carmela’s mother. She also did not find the car key. When she asked him what he was looking for. his bare buttocks exposed. Unable to open the main door. The interior of the house was dark but some light filtered in from outside." Shocked with what she saw. They all rode in their cars and drove away until they reached Aguirre Avenue. Meanwhile. she approached the master’s bedroom from where the noise came. using the same route. Webb called up someone on his cellular phone. Alfaro saw Ventura searching a lady’s bag that lay on the dining table. and finally. As she walked in. she saw Ventura pulling out a kitchen drawer. "Pera lang ang katapat nyan." Biong answered. "Okay ba?" After sitting in the car for about ten minutes. Someone threw something out of the car into the cogonal area. Webb got mad. grabbed the girl. We haven’t seen each other…baka maulit yan. They entered the compound and gathered at the lawn where the "blaming session" took place. telling him. she tried them on the main door but none fitted the lock. steel gate. The quality of the witness . Estrada who sat in the car asked her. "We don’t know each other. bit his shoulders. Carmela was gagged. she was surprised to hear a woman’s voice ask. Alfaro rushed out of the house to the others who were either sitting in her car or milling on the sidewalk. and Ventura came out of the house just then. accused Gerardo Biong arrived." She asked him what key he wanted and he replied: "Basta maghanap ka ng susi ng main door pati na rin ng susi ng kotse. and repeatedly stabbed her. Lejano was at the foot of the bed about to wear his jacket. Lejano excused himself at this point to use the telephone in the house. Carmella. Webb suddenly picked up a stone and threw it at the main door. Alfaro returned to the Vizconde house. In the kitchen. then Jennifer. concrete fence. The unusual sound grew even louder. She met Ventura at the dining area. Aalis na tayo. she jumped on him. Webb ordered him to go and clean up the Vizconde house and said to him.12 1. While she was at a spot leading to the dining area. Ventura blamed Webb. Webb gave Alfaro a meaningful look and she immediately left the room. It was here that Alfaro and those who remained outside the Vizconde house learned of what happened. Webb told Ventura that he forgot his jacket in the house.

ONGKIKO: . Alfaro promised to bring that someone to the NBI to tell his story. According to Atty. Sacaguing testified thus: ATTY. Alfaro had been hanging around at the NBI since November or December 1994 as an "asset. She was. were you able to interview this alleged witness? WITNESS SACAGUING: A. ATTY. Because of her talent. Sacaguing. And what did you say? xxxx A. Your Honor. Sacaguing. she will bring to me the man. she unexpectedly told Sacaguing that she knew someone who had the real story behind the Vizconde massacre." She supplied her handlers with information against drug pushers and other criminal elements. That’s what she told me. Some of this information led to the capture of notorious drug pushers like Christopher Cruz Santos and Orlando Bacquir. we will try to convince him to act as a state witness and help us in the solution of the case. When this did not happen and Sacaguing continued to press her. they teased her about it and she was piqued. one who earned her living by fraternizing with criminals so she could squeal on them to her NBI handlers. however. I mean.Was Alfaro an ordinary subdivision girl who showed up at the NBI after four years. Your Honor. Atty. xxxx Q. She told me. the details of the massacre of the Vizconde family. ATTY." allowed the privilege of spending nights in one of the rooms at the NBI offices. and Armed Robbery Task Force (AKHAR) Section. former head of the NBI Anti-Kidnapping. ONGKIKO: Q. No. Atty. at the time she revealed her story. the task force gave her "very special treatment" and she became its "darling. how did Jessica Alfaro become a witness in the Vizconde murder case? Will you tell the Honorable Court? xxxx A. Sacaguing showed interest. and together with her. I was quite interested and I tried to persuade her to introduce to me that man and she promised that in due time. bothered by her conscience or egged on by relatives or friends to come forward and do what was right? No. She had to live a life of lies to get rewards that would pay for her subsistence and vices. Hijacking. When Alfaro seemed unproductive for sometime. that she knew somebody who related to her the circumstances. Artemio Sacaguing." a stool pigeon. she told him that she might as well assume the role of her informant. One day. ONGKIKO: Q. sir. Alfaro’s tip led to the arrest of the leader of the "Martilyo gang" that killed a police officer. working for the NBI as an "asset.

"hindi puwede yan. 77-79) Quite significantly. pp. 49-50. 58. Alfaro never refuted Sacaguing’s above testimony." if I may quote. ATTY. ONGKIKO: Q. Alfaro stated that "papapelan ko na lang yan?" WITNESS SACAGUING: A. ONGKIKO: Q. (TSN. Sir. I said. Because Jessica Alfaro was never able to comply with her promise to bring the man to me. The suspicious details But was it possible for Alfaro to lie with such abundant details some of which even tallied with the physical evidence at the scene of the crime? No doubt. She told me. . Sir. 2. and what was your reaction when Ms." ATTY. ONGKIKO: Q." xxxx ATTY. "Easy lang. "easy lang Sir. until she went away. May 28. "easy lang kayo. All right. papapelan ko. huwag kayong…" COURT: How was that? WITNESS SACAGUING: A. kasi hindi ka naman eye witness. Why not? WITNESS SACAGUING: A. Alfaro? WITNESS SACAGUING: A. relax lang. All right. papapelan ko na lang ‘yan.Q. She told me later that she could not and the man does not like to testify. Sir. And what was the reply of Ms. Sir. and what happened after that? WITNESS SACAGUING: A. 1996. Hindi siya nakakibo. yes.

Alfaro had to adjust her testimony to take into account that darkened garage light. Alfaro had to settle for claiming that. b. It is the same thing with the garage light. the Vizconde massacre had been reported in the media with dizzying details. Alfaro could not use this line since the core of her story was that Webb was Carmela’s boyfriend. Not surprisingly. And why would Ventura rummage a bag on the table for the front-door key. To explain this physical evidence. the house was dark. and at another point. to explain the smashed door. c. hurled it at the glass-paneled front door of the Vizconde residence. Webb and his friends did not have anything to do in a darkened garage. it was not too difficult for her to hear of these evidentiary details and gain access to the documents. Alfaro’s NBI handlers who were doing their own investigation knew of these details as well. Since Alfaro hanged out at the NBI offices and practically lived there. out of the blue. The crime scene showed that the house had been ransacked. It did not . and they wanted to get away quickly to avoid detection. Hurling a stone at that glass door and causing a tremendous noise was bizarre. They supposedly knew in advance that Carmela left the doors to the kitchen open for them. So she claimed that Ventura climbed the car’s hood. Secondly.Firstly. The police investigators found that the bulb had been loosened to turn off the light. She never mentioned Ventura having taken some valuables with him when they left Carmela’s house. The police prepared the confessions of the men they apprehended and filled these up with details that the evidence of the crime scene provided. Webb appeared rational in his decisions. It was past midnight. the police had arrested some "akyat-bahay" group in Parañaque and charged them with the crime. Consequently. Alfaro claimed that at one point Ventura was pulling a kitchen drawer. But. The Barroso gang members said that they got into Carmela’s house by breaking the glass panel of the front door using a stone wrapped in cloth to deaden the noise. Webb had no reason to smash her front door to get to see her. This made sense since they were going to rob the place and they needed time to work in the dark trying to open the front door. condemned by the Makati RTC as fabricated by the police to pin the crime on them. It is a story made to fit in with the crime scene although robbery was supposedly not the reason Webb and his companions entered that house. The rejected confessions of the Barroso "akyat-bahay" gang members said that they tried to rob the house. His action really made no sense. The confessions of the Barroso gang claimed that one of them climbed the parked car’s hood to reach up and darken that light. spilling the contents. the confessions of some members of the Barroso "akyat bahay" gang. this portion of Alfaro’s story appears tortured to accommodate the physical evidence of the ransacked house. to turn the light off. on the way out of the house. From Alfaro’s narration. Consider the following: a. like inviting the neighbors to come. Webb picked up some stone and. going through a handbag on the dining table. Some passersby might look in and see what they were doing. unlike the Barroso "akyatbahay" gang. Again. when they had already gotten into the house. using a chair. Everybody was talking about what the police found at the crime scene and there were lots of speculations about them. He said he was looking for the front-door key and the car key. shows how crime investigators could make a confession ring true by matching some of its details with the physical evidence at the crime scene.

exclaiming: "How can I forget your face. If. initially suspected to be Alfaro’s Miguel Rodriguez and showed him to Alfaro at the NBI office. 3. their badge of excellent investigative work. a lawyer and a ranking official. And twice. and Rodriguez supposedly stayed around Alfaro’s car. and Alfaro entered the house. a drug dependent from the Bicutan Rehabilitation Center. Lejano. lavvphil At any rate. given the circumstances? Not likely. But when they got to Carmela’s house. The quality of the testimony There is another thing about a lying witness: her story lacks sense or suffers from inherent inconsistencies. Alfaro made it a point to testify that Webb proposed twice to his friends the gang-rape of Carmela who had hurt him. So why would she agree to act as Webb’s messenger. how could she remember so much details that only a drug-free mind can? . We just saw each other in a disco one month ago and you told me then that you will kill me. slapping and kicking Michael. In her desire to implicate Gatchalian. clearly. And this is not pure speculation. what motivated Alfaro to stick it out the whole night with Webb and his friends? They were practically strangers to her and her boyfriend Estrada. More inexplicably. Alfaro was the NBI’s star witness. the behavior of Webb’s companions out on the street did not figure in a planned gangrape of Carmela. the NBI people had a stake in making her sound credible and. she stuck it out with them. thirdly. which was parked on the street between Carmela’s house and the next. introduced her for the first time in her life to Webb and his friends in a parking lot by a mall. As pointed out above. She was their "darling" of an asset. her own boyfriend Estrada) agreed in a chorus to his proposal. Ventura. Yet. An understanding of the nature of things and the common behavior of people will help expose a lie. Alfaro had been too soaked in drugs to think clearly and just followed along where the group took her. confirmed this to be a cold fact. Estrada. Two. hanging in there until she had a crime to report. She named Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez as one of the culprits in the Vizconde killings. Fernandez. Rodriguez. Alfaro’s dope supplier. Fernandez. visible under the street light to anyone who cared to watch them. obviously. who were supposed to be Webb’s co-principals in the crime. Ventura. After claiming that they had solved the crime of the decade. But when the NBI found a certain Michael Rodriguez. using her gas." As it turned out. When it came to a point that Webb decided with his friends to gang-rape Carmela.make sense for Ventura to risk standing on the car’s hood and be seen in such an awkward position instead of going straight into the house. did Alfaro at least have a fine memory for faces that had a strong effect on her. she ran berserk. they (including. Estrada. Why the trial court and the Court of Appeals failed to see this is mystifying. there was nothing in it for Alfaro. they gave her all the preparations she needed for the job of becoming a fairly good substitute witness.13 Two possibilities exist: Michael was really the one Alfaro wanted to implicate to settle some score with him but it was too late to change the name she already gave or she had myopic vision. only she was not yet an "asset" then. And. And it has an abundant presence in this case. to bring his message to Carmela at her home. Some of these men sat on top of the car’s lid while others milled on the sidewalk. Obviously. on the other hand. only Webb. particularly to the people who were having a drinking party in a nearby house. Sacaguing of the NBI. One. Gatchalian. he was not Miguel Rodriguez. as a police asset would. and Filart. if one believes Alfaro. the accused in this case. tagging the wrong people for what they did not do.

Alfaro quickly went to her car. the prosecution presented six additional witnesses: Dr. "Sino yan?" On hearing this. and Ventura through the pedestrian gate that Carmela had left open. 4. Alfaro immediately walked out of the garden and went to her car. testified on the stab wounds they sustained14 and the presence of semen in Carmela’s genitalia. her boyfriend. Alfaro’s trailing Carmela to spy on her unfaithfulness to Webb did not make sense since she was on limited errand. After about twenty minutes. as a critical witness. 1991. It would only make sense if Alfaro wanted to feign being a witness to something she did not see. Apparently. was the security guard on duty at Pitong Daan Subdivision from 7 p. when they returned to Carmela’s house the third time around midnight. of June 29 to 7 a. She did not speak to them. and Filart who sat on the car or milled on the sidewalk. White. and obviously with no role to play in the gang-rape of Carmela. According to Alfaro.15 indicating that she had been raped. she did not want to get involved in a potential confrontation. not minding Gatchalian. knowing that they were decided to rape and harm Carmela. was suddenly too shocked to know where to go! This emotional pendulum swing indicates a witness who was confused with her own lies. even to Estrada. of June 30. Estrada. Someone other than Carmela became conscious of the presence of Webb and others in the house. Jr. Prospero A. a woman. Alfaro had to provide a reason for Webb to freak out and decide to come with his friends and harm Carmela. Now. Four. Cabanayan. Rodriguez.m. She entered her car and turned on the engine but she testified that she did not know where to go.Three. Webb was the gang leader who decided what they were going to do. Fernandez. So that is what she next claimed. a stranger to Webb before that night. The supposed corroborations Intending to provide corroboration to Alfaro’s testimony. He got a report on the morning of June 30 that something untoward happened at the Vizconde residence.m. she led Webb. But if that were the case. obviously.. Alfaro returned to her car and waited for Carmela to drive out in her own car. But. He went there and saw the dead bodies in the . she did this because she knew they came on a sly. lead him and the others into her house? It made no sense. Why would Alfaro. Lejano. a woman exclaimed. Alfaro went out of the house to smoke at the garden. And she trailed her up to Aguirre Avenue where she supposedly dropped off a man whom she thought was Carmela’s boyfriend. and Ventura into the house. Lejano. Alfaro testified that she got scared (another shift to fear) for she hurriedly got out of the house after Webb supposedly gave her a meaningful look. When Alfaro went to see Carmela at her house for the second time. This woman who a few minutes back led Webb. this is weird. how could she testify based on personal knowledge of what went on in the house? Alfaro had to change that frame of mind to one of boldness and reckless curiosity. Carmella told her that she still had to go out and that Webb and his friends should come back around midnight. Normal E. He had apparently stabbed to death Carmela’s mom and her young sister whose bloodied bodies were sprawled on the bed. He decided and his friends agreed with him to go to Carmela’s house and gang-rape her. She went back into the house to watch as Webb raped Carmela on the floor of the master’s bedroom. the NBI Medico-Legal Officer who autopsied the bodies of the victims. Now. This was supposedly her frame of mind: fear of getting involved in what was not her business. Five. Alfaro walked away because.

Still. none of whom he could identify. passing through a secret door near the maid’s quarters on the way out. At about 1 p. contrary to prescribed procedure. Webb introduced himself as the son of Congressman Webb. Further.m. Cabanacan replied. Although it was not common for a security guard to challenge a Congressman’s son with such vehemence. provide corroboration to Alfaro’s testimony.17White claimed it was the Nissan Patrol with Gatchalian on it that led the convoy since he would not have let the convoy in without ascertaining that Gatchalian. Cabanacan testified that. she saw Webb at 4 p. Alfaro testified that when the convoy of cars went back the second time in the direction of Carmela’s house. Surprisingly. of the same day. She testified that she saw Webb at his parents’ house on the morning of June 30. He actually saw Gatchalian and his group enter the Pitong Daan Subdivision only once. as well as the loud noise emanating from a television set. Finally. He was manning the guard house at the entrance of the subdivision of Pitong Daan when he flagged down a car driven by Webb. go in and out of Pitong Daan Subdivision. White actually discredited Alfaro’s testimony about the movements of the persons involved. 1991 when she got the dirty clothes from the room that he and two brothers occupied at about 4. They were not going in and out. the security supervisor at Pitong Daan Subdivision testified that he saw Webb around the last week of May or the first week of June 1991 to prove his presence in the Philippines when he claimed to be in the United States.a. Later. a police officer.. Yet. White could not. however. the supervisor insisted on seeing his ID. She saw him again pacing the floor at 9 a. they entered Pitong Daan Subdivision in a three-car convoy. What is more. His initial claim turned out to be inaccurate.18 But Cabanacan's testimony could not be relied on. a resident. And he did not notice anything suspicious about their coming and going. she alone entered the subdivision and passed the guardhouse without stopping. Mila Gaviola used to work as laundry woman for the Webbs at their house at BF Homes Executive Village. but White did not notice it. White did not notice Carmela arrive with her mom before Alfaro’s first visit that night. Carmela supposedly left with a male companion in her car at around 10:30 p. therefore. that Pitong Daan had a local sticker.m. Security guard White did not. He also did not notice Carmela reenter the subdivision.16 White claimed that he noticed Gatchalian and his companions.m. Webb left the house in t-shirt and shorts. record the visitor’s entry into the subdivision.m.19 . He also saw them along Vinzons Street. however. Webb said that he would see Lilet Sy. the bag on the dining table. 1avvphi 1 Justo Cabanacan. Furthermore. at this point. Cabanacan asked him for an ID but he pointed to his United BF Homes sticker and said that he resided there. Cabanacan did not log the incident on the guardhouse book. Nor did he. White failed to note Biong. describe the kind of vehicles they used or recall the time when he saw the group in those two instances. But White’s testimony cannot be relied on.master’s bedroom. while Alfaro testified that it was the Mazda pick-up driven by Filart that led the three-vehicle convoy. Webb grudgingly gave it and after seeing the picture and the name on it. It did not make sense that Cabanacan was strict in the matter of seeing Webb’s ID but not in recording the visit. entering or exiting the subdivision on the early morning of June 30 when he supposedly "cleaned up" Vizconde residence on Webb’s orders. was in it. Cabanacan returned the same and allowed Webb to pass without being logged in as their Standard Operating Procedure required.m. White who supposedly manned that guardhouse did not notice her.

On cross-examination. the laundry from the rooms of her employers and their grown up children at four in the morning while they were asleep. testified that Gaviola worked for the Webbs only from January 1991 to April 1991. Besides. to clean up the evidence against him and his group. She also saw Biong take out a knife with aluminum cover from his drawer and hid it in his steel cabinet. Gaviola tried to corroborate Alfaro’'s testimony by claiming that on June 30. Gaviola could not say what distinguished June 30. Miguel Muñoz. What is more. Victoria Ventoso. if Alfaro were to be believed.m. this being the work of the housemaid charged with cleaning the rooms.m. Lauro did not appear curious enough to insist on finding out who the rejected fellow was. would bring his bloodied shirt home and put it in the hamper for laundrywoman Gaviola to collect and wash at 4 a. why would he steal valuable items from the Vizconde residence on his return there hours later if he had the opportunity to do it earlier? At most. She could not remember any of the details that happened in the household on the other days. if Alfaro’s testimony were to be believed that Webb. however. also remained unnoticed by the subdivision guards. Ventoso further testified that it was not Gaviola's duty to collect the clothes from the 2nd floor bedrooms.m.21 The security guard at Pitong Daan did not notice any police investigator flashing a badge to get into the village although Biong supposedly came in at the unholy hour of two in the morning. She proved to have a selective photographic memory and this only damaged her testimony. to leave and go to BF. four years later. if he had cleaned up the crime scene shortly after midnight. what one of the Webb boys did and at what time. his testimony contradicts that of Alfaro who testified that Carmela and Webb had an on-going relation. Lauro Vizconde testified about how deeply he was affected by the loss of her wife and two daughters. When Biong returned at 7 a. according to De Birrer. And he threw away a foul-smelling handkerchief. His departure before 7 a. the Webbs' security aide in 1991. 1991 to the early morning of June 30.20 She did not call the attention of anybody in the household about it when it would have been a point of concern that Webb may have been hurt. Birrer testified that she was with Biong playing mahjong from the evening of June 29. 1991 she noticed bloodstains on Webb's t-shirt." because he was a Parañaque politician’s son.m. 1991 from the other days she was on service at the Webb household as to enable her to distinctly remember. Someone sitting at the backseat of a taxi picked him up. he washed off what looked like dried blood from his fingernails. as was her supposed habit. the Webbs' housemaid from March 1989 to May 1992. Carmella spoke to him of a rejected suitor she called "Bagyo. Indeed. Birrer’s testimony only established Biong’s theft of certain items from the Vizconde residence and gross neglect for failing to maintain the sanctity of the crime scene by moving around and altering the effects of the crime. who was so careful and clever that he called Biong to go to the Vizconde residence at 2 a. Carmela wanted . Lolita De Birrer was accused Biong’s girlfriend around the time the Vizconde massacre took place. Besides.m. and Sgt. This prompted him. what was the point of his returning there on the following morning to dispose of some of the evidence in the presence of other police investigators and on-lookers? In fact. it was most unlikely for a laundrywoman who had been there for only four months to collect. hence the blood. Unfortunately. Birrer’s testimony failed to connect Biong's acts to Webb and the other accused. Besides. when Biong got a call at around 2 a. as she claimed. And it did not make sense.

Alibi Among the accused. Mr. the eve of his departure. a blind date arranged by Webb. X did not exist. that she had been unfaithful to him. and his basketball buddy. including his neighbor. Mr. a relation that Alfaro tried to project with her testimony. joined them. But. His basketball buddy Rafael Jose with Tina Calma. And if Webb hanged around with her. 5. But. normally.24 . The missing corroboration There is something truly remarkable about this case: the prosecution’s core theory that Carmela and Webb had been sweethearts. Among those present were his friends Paulo Santos and Jay Ortega. of his travel plans.S.) to learn the value of independence.Webb to come to her house around midnight. Elizabeth. or people who knew her ever testified about the existence of Mr. friends. a Congressman’s son. none of her friends or even those who knew either of them came forward to affirm this. Webb presented the strongest alibi. whom Alfaro thought the way it looked was also Carmela’s lover. This was the all-important reason Webb supposedly had for wanting to harm her. courted the young Carmela. that would be news among her circle of friends if not around town. X had played a role in it. and money. The travel preparations Webb claims that in 1991 his parents. Senator Freddie Webb and his wife. Webb told his friends. Joselito Orendain Escobar. rudely and unconnectedly inserted into Webb and Carmela’s life stories or like a piece of jigsaw puzzle trimmed to fit into the shape on the board but does not belong because it clashes with the surrounding pieces. Jennifer Claire Cabrera. X. the woman who made a living informing on criminals. Alfaro’s claim of a five-hour drama is like an alien page. he never presented himself like anyone who had lost a special friend normally would.23 On March 8. his aunt.1991.S. And this would all the more be so if they had become sweethearts.22 Gloria Webb. She even left the kitchen door open so he could enter the house. trying to win her favors.X in her life. hard work. here. except for Alfaro. sent their son to the United States (U. no one among Carmela’s friends or her friends’ friends would testify ever hearing of such relationship or ever seeing them together in some popular hangouts in Parañaque or Makati. Nobody has come forward to testify having ever seen him with Carmela. It is quite unreal. he took girlfriend Milagros Castillo to a dinner at Bunchums at the Makati Cinema Square. Again. Webb’s U. Josefina Nolasco of Rajah Tours confirmed that Webb and his aunt used their plane tickets. It has neither antecedent nor concomitant support in the verifiable facts of their personal histories. And despite the gruesome news about her death and how Mr. a. accompanied him. if Webb. a mere ghost of the imagination of Alfaro. he would surely be seen with her. He even invited them to his despedida party on March 8. Alfaro testified that she saw Carmela drive out of her house with a male passenger. Obviously. What is more. 1991 at Faces Disco along Makati Ave. and that it was for this reason that Webb brought his friends to her house to gang-rape her is totally uncorroborated! For instance. none of Carmela’s relatives. They afterwards went to Faces Disco for Webb's despedida party. the NBI asset. Rajah Tours booked their flight to San Francisco via United Airlines.

48 On July 4. 1991.37 his ID. Webb presented the Public Records of California Department of Motor Vehicle43 and a car plate "LEW WEBB. and other employment papers.S. stamped. Webb met Christopher Paul Legaspi Esguerra. sojourn In San Francisco. Immigration where his entry into that country was recorded. playing basketball on weekends. 1992. Maria Teresa Keame. . 1995 Certification. California. Immigration Officer.46 bought a bicycle at Orange Cycle Center. Webb moved to Anaheim Hills. and initialed his passport. 1991.29 and the US-INS Certification dated August 31. to stay with the spouses Jack and Sonja Rodriguez. the U. On June 14. Christopher. Webb met performing artist Gary Valenciano.S.32 In May 1991.36 his paycheck. Webb left for San Francisco. On the same day. 1991. Susan Brottman. confirmed Webb's entry into the U. They bought an MR2 Toyota car. who was invited for a dinner at the Rodriguez’s house. The two immigration checks The following day. Louis Whittacker. Immigration Naturalization Service. 1991.45 On June 30. Dorothy Wheelock and her family invited Webb to Lake Tahoe to return the Webbs’ hospitality when she was in the Philippines.30 c.42 To prove the purchase. and playing billiards. authenticated by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.50 There. the Brottmans.35 Webb presented the company’s logbook showing the tasks he performed. Ferdinand Sampol checked Webb’s visa. 1991. In April 1991. Webb even received traffic citations. the Webbs. a visitor at the Brottman’s. 1995. Webb presented at the trial the INS Certification issued by the U. on invitation of another aunt. Immigration and Naturalization Service. watching movies. Thus.52 He left the Rodriguez’s home in August 1992. with his Aunt Gloria on board United Airlines Flight 808. Florida. California.33 During his stay there. in the company of his father and Aragon went to Riverside. Webb went through the U. correcting an earlier August 10. who brought them to Gloria’s house in Daly City. 1991 he left for Longwood. Gloria’s grandson. Webb. California."44 In using the car in the U.S. a friend of Jack Rodriguez. On August 4. Details of U. Independence Day. California.39 On June 28. During his stay with his aunt. returned to Anaheim and stayed with his aunt Imelda Pagaspas. he occupied himself with playing basketball once or twice a week with Steven Keeler34 and working at his cousin-in-law’s pest control company.S. Webb’s parents visited him at Anaheim and stayed with the Brottmans.S. on March 9. He stayed there until he left for the Philippines on October 26.31 In the same month. his father introduced Honesto Aragon to his son when he came to visit. 1991.. March 9.51 In November 1991.47 The Center issued Webb a receipt dated June 30. again accompanied by his father and Aragon.41 Later that day.27 On arrival at San Francisco. 1991 Webb. he met Armando Rodriguez with whom he spent time. Webb and his aunt Gloria were met by the latter’s daughter. Webb passed through the Philippine Immigration booth at the airport to have his passport cleared and stamped. Webb.S.40 On the following day. 1991 he applied for a driver's license38 and wrote three letters to his friend Jennifer Cabrera. to look for a car. checking with its Nonimmigrant Information System.49 Webb stayed with the Brottmans until mid July and rented a place for less than a month. and let him pass through.26 He was listed on the United Airlines Flight’s Passenger Manifest. June 29.25 Before boarding his plane. and the Vaca family had a lakeside picnic.b. saw Webb looking at the plates of his new car. and a certain Daphne Domingo watched the concert of Deelite Band in San Francisco.28 the computer-generated print-out of the US-INS indicating Webb's entry on March 9.

"I saw him do it. . A lying witness can make as positive an identification as a truthful witness can. 1992. He must guard against slipping into hasty conclusion. his departure from the U. as already fully discussed above. Office of Records of the US-INS stated that the Certification dated August 31. For how else can the truth that the accused is really innocent have any chance of prevailing over such a stone-cast tenet? There is only one way.. and Philippine immigrations on his return trip. the arrival stamp and initial on his passport indicated his return to Manila on October 27. not inherently contrived. to be acceptable. to one who knows her. A positive declaration from a witness that he saw the accused commit the crime should not automatically cancel out the accused’s claim that he did not do it. the killer as well of her mother and younger sister. the positive identification of the offender must come from a credible witness. he can have no other defense but denial and alibi. the witness’ story of what she personally saw must be believable. if the accused is truly innocent. a Diplomatic Note of the U.S. This quick stereotype thinking. Thus. is distressing. In fact. Alfaro and her testimony fail to meet the above criteria. Alibi versus positive identification The trial court and the Court of Appeals are one in rejecting as weak Webb’s alibi. And when he boarded his plane. Because of this. And second. 1995 is a true and accurate statement. A witness who testifies about something she never saw runs into inconsistencies and makes bewildering claims. however. But not all denials and alibis should be regarded as fabricated. Indeed. A judge must keep an open mind. and Rafael Jose once again saw Webb playing basketball at the BF's Phase III basketball court. was confirmed by the same certifications that confirmed his entry. Here. the positive identification must meet at least two criteria: First. Webb again went through the Philippine Immigration. The second immigration checks As with his trip going to the U. e. its weight in gold. the immigration officer who processed Webb’s reentry. "He did it!" without blinking an eye. This was authenticated by Carmelita Alipio.53 Furthermore.S. Farmer of the Records Operations. Paolo Santos. Joselito Erondain Escobar. Webb also went through both the U. The lying witness can also say as forthrightly and unequivocally.d.S. 103. So how can such accused penetrate a mind that has been made cynical by the rule drilled into his head that a defense of alibi is a hangman’s noose in the face of a witness positively swearing. When he arrived in Manila. in October 1992. usually based on past experiences with her. apparently. Rather. Their reason is uniform: Webb’s alibi cannot stand against Alfaro’s positive identification of him as the rapist and killer of Carmela and. She is credible who can be trusted to tell the truth.S. to the lower courts. Webb’s denial and alibi were fabricated. the Passenger Manifest of Philippine Airlines Flight No. often arising from a desire to quickly finish the job of deciding a case."? Most judges believe that such assertion automatically dooms an alibi which is so easy to fabricate.54 certified by Agnes Tabuena55 confirmed his return trip.56 Upon his return. Her word has. Department of State with enclosed letter from Acting Director Debora A.

She had been hanging around that agency for sometime as a stool pigeon. Her story that Gatchalian. To provide basis for Webb’s outrage. 1991 to October 27. She also had Ventura rummaging a bag on the dining table for a front door key that nobody needed just to explain the physical evidence of that bag and its scattered contents. smuggled himself out of the Philippines and into the U. She was the prosecution’s worst possible choice for a witness. one paid for mixing up with criminals and squealing on them. Courts must abandon this unjust and inhuman paradigm. 1992. the accused must prove by positive. also taxes incredulity. Webb was actually in Parañaque when the Vizconde killings took place. Rodriguez. from March 9. Alfaro had prior access to the details that the investigators knew of the case. and returned the normal way on October 27. she claimed leading Webb. 1991. Alfaro said that she followed Carmela to the main road to watch her let off a lover on Aguirre Avenue. exemplified by remaining outside the house. visible to neighbors and passersby. he was not in the U. although her testimony included details. But this ruling practically makes the death of Webb and his passage into the next life the only acceptable alibi in the Philippines. And. And she had Ventura climbing the car’s hood. her testimony was inherently incredible. he actually returned before June 29. and showing no interest in the developments inside the house. clear. despite his evidence. risking being seen in such an awkward position. her superior testified that she volunteered to play the role of a witness in the Vizconde killings when she could not produce a man she promised to the NBI. milling under a street light. using up her gas.58 The courts below held that. as if Alfaro was establishing a reason for later on testifying on personal knowledge. when they did not need to darken the garage to force open the front door—just so to explain the darkened light and foot prints on the car hood. A documented alibi To establish alibi.. She took advantage of her familiarity with these details to include in her testimony the clearly incompatible act of Webb hurling a stone at the front door glass frames even when they were trying to slip away quietly—just so she can accommodate this crime scene feature. and staying with him till the bizarre end when they were practically strangers. erased the fact of his return to the Philippines from the records of the U. . and Philippine Immigrations. if not inherently unbelievable. Fernandez. and satisfactory evidence57 that (a) he was present at another place at the time of the perpetration of the crime.S. f.S. Alfaro’s quality as a witness and her inconsistent. 1992. Estrada. 1991. testimony cannot be the positive identification that jurisprudence acknowledges as sufficient to jettison a denial and an alibi. Her swing from an emotion of fear when a woman woke up to their presence in the house and of absolute courage when she nonetheless returned to become the lone witness to a grim scene is also quite inexplicable. and Filart agreed to take their turns raping Carmela is incongruent with their indifference.She did not show up at the NBI as a spontaneous witness bothered by her conscience. and (b) that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime. Lejano. Further. Alfaro’s story that she agreed to serve as Webb’s messenger to Carmela. Indeed. and Ventura into the house to gang-rape Carmella. committed the crime. like if it was their turn to rape Carmela. although Alfaro had only played the role of messenger. And. Ultimately. and if he did leave on March 9.S. inexplicably. Police assets are often criminals themselves.

officially filed in the Philippines and at the airport in the U. They have the same evidentiary value. Immigration certification and the computer print-out of Webb’s arrival in and departure from that country were authenticated by no less than the Office of the U. in the routine and disinterested origin of such statement and in the publicity of the record. Stipulations in the course of trial are binding on the parties and on the court. Immigration office said that it had no record of Webb entering the U.C. Mr. is the official record of travels of the citizen to whom it is issued. 1995 finding "no evidence of lawful admission of Webb. the acting Chief of the Records Services Board of US-INS Washington D. which under international practice. As explained by witness Leo Herrera-Lim.. the official certifications of which have been authenticated by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. But this is pure speculation since there had been no indication that such arrangement was made. Immigration certification and computer print-out. The initial request was merely initiated by BID Commissioner Verceles who directly communicated with the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco. INS on August 16. Webb’s passport is a document issued by the Philippine government. Steven Bucher. Still the Court of Appeals refused to accept these documents for the reason that Webb failed to present in court the immigration official who prepared the same.S. Consul and Second Secretary of the Philippine Embassy in Washington D. merely validated the arrival and departure stamps of the U.C.S. Immigration’s record system those two dates in its record of his travels as well as the dates when he supposedly departed in secret from the U. As Court of Appeals Justice Tagle said in his dissent. The officers who issued these certifications need not be presented in court to testify on them. declared the earlier Certification as incorrect and erroneous as it was "not exhaustive and did not reflect all available information. But.59 the practice when a party does not want to leave an important document with the trial court is to have a photocopy of it marked as exhibit and stipulated among the parties as a faithful reproduction of the original.S. that had his name on them? How could Webb fix with the U. Philippine Desk Officer.S. bypassing the Secretary of Foreign Affairs which is the proper protocol procedure. Richard L. said Certification did not pass through proper diplomatic channels and was obtained in violation of the rules on protocol and standard procedure governing such request.S." Also. The entries in that passport are presumed true. The Court of Appeals rejected the evidence of Webb’s passport since he did not leave the original to be attached to the record. Their trustworthiness arises from the sense of official duty and the penalty attached to a breached duty. can arrange for the local immigration to put a March 9. State Department. thus: While it is true that an earlier Certification was issued by the U. how could Webb fix a foreign airlines’ passenger manifest. Government and Court of Appeals Justice Tagle stated it in his dissenting opinion.S.S. But that erroneous first certification was amply explained by the U. while the best evidence of a document is the original.S. USA. this means that the same is exhibited in court for the adverse party to examine and for the judge to see. to commit the crime in the Philippines and then return there? No one has come up with a logical and plausible answer to these questions. Co-Director of the . Attorney General and the State Department. 1991 departure stamp on his passport and an October 27.60 The U.S. 1992 arrival stamp on the same.61 The Court of Appeals of course makes capital of the fact that an earlier certification from the U.If one is cynical about the Philippine system. in his letter addressed to Philip Antweiler. with his father’s connections.S." this was already clarified and deemed erroneous by no less than the US INS Officials. he could probably claim that Webb. Huff. Immigration office on Webb’s passport. Besides.S. But this was unnecessary. The U.

or speculations as reasons for impeaching evidence. are immune to attack. explained that "the INS normally does not maintain records on individuals who are entering the country as visitors rather than as immigrants: and that a notation concerning the entry of a visitor may be made at the Nonimmigrant Information system. if the Court accepts the proposition that Webb was in the U. 2005 and Resolution dated January 26.S. and openly return to the Philippines again on October 26. not whether the court entertains doubts about the innocence of the accused since an open mind is willing to explore all possibilities. lingering doubt as to his guilt. but also with respect to Lejano. the evidence against the others must necessarily fall. Will the Court send the accused to spend the rest of their lives in prison on the testimony of an NBI asset who proposed to her handlers that she take the role of the witness to the Vizconde massacre that she could not produce? WHEREFORE.S. surmises.S. Michael A. when the crime took place. it might as well tear the rules of evidence out of the law books and regard suspicions. 7. obviously.’ immigration services regarding his travel to the U.C. Travel between the U.62 The trial court and the Court of Appeals expressed marked cynicism over the accuracy of travel documents like the passport as well as the domestic and foreign records of departures and arrivals from airports. which carry the presumption of truth of what they state.. the Court REVERSES and SETS ASIDE the Decision dated December 15. Alfaro’s testimony will not hold together. in response to the appeal raised by Consul General Teresita V. Gatchalian. go back to the U. the prosecution did not bother to present evidence to impeach the entries in Webb’s passport and the certifications of the Philippine and U. Since appellant Webb entered the U. CONCLUSION In our criminal justice system. but whether it entertains a reasonable. Webb. Effect of Webb’s alibi to others Webb’s documented alibi altogether impeaches Alfaro's testimony. CR-H. For. Antonio Lejano. Hospicio Fernandez. 1992. That presumption can be overcome by evidence.Office of Information and privacy.S. For.S. and the Philippines. the initial search could not have produced the desired result inasmuch as the data base that was looked into contained entries of the names of IMMIGRANTS and not that of NON-IMMIGRANT visitors of the U. commit the crime. They are ordered immediately RELEASED from detention unless they are confined for another lawful cause. . said the lower courts took only about twelve to fourteen hours. 00336 and ACQUITS accused-appellants Hubert Jeffrey P. Marzan. They are not. Fernandez. Estrada. They claim that it would not have been impossible for Webb to secretly return to the Philippines after he supposedly left it on March 9. Webb’s participation is the anchor of Alfaro’s story. Here.S. It is not that official records. Miguel Rodriguez. however. US Department of Justice. 1991. If the Court were to subscribe to this extremely skeptical view. and back. Rodriguez. and Biong. The prosecution’s rebuttal evidence is the fear of the unknown that it planted in the lower court’s minds.. what is important is. Gatchalian. not only with respect to him.R. it would be a serious mistake to send an innocent man to jail where such kind of doubt hangs on to one’s inner being. Without it. on a mere tourist visa. 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.S. Peter Estrada and Gerardo Biong of the crimes of which they were charged for failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. like a piece of meat lodged immovable between teeth.

NACHURA Associate Justice ARTURO D. A. VILLARAMA. BRION Associate Justice LUCAS P. CORONA Chief Justice ANTONIO T. JR. Article VIII of the Constitution. SERENO Associate Justice CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. VELASCO.Let a copy of this Decision be furnished the Director. Muntinlupa City for immediate implementation. PERALTA Associate Justice MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO Associate Justice JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ Associate Justice CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice ANTONIO EDUARDO B. Bureau of Corrections. CORONA Chief Justice Footnotes . it is hereby certified that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court. ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: RENATO C. ROBERTO A. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO Associate Justice DIOSDADO M. The Director of the Bureau of Corrections is DIRECTED to report the action he has taken to this Court within five days from receipt of this Decision. Associate Justice TERESITA J. JR. Associate Justice JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA Associate Justice MARIA LOURDES P. RENATO C. BERSAMIN Associate Justice MARTIN S. CARPIO Associate Justice PRESBITERO J. SO ORDERED.

pp. 373 U. 4-9. 308-310. pp. 1996.R. June 9. 15-19.R. pp. No. 18-38. 2007. Yatar. Records. Records. 79-89. 72. 176389). July 8. March 14. 1997. 197-214. July 24. pp. No. 81-131. March 25. July 9. De Leon. TSN. 25. 4. 14 Exhibits "G" to "G-2". August 23. Id. pp. April 16. 21-65. 06-11-5-SC effective October 15. TSN. pp. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Webb v. pp. Vol. 142-157. TSN. 103-104. pp. Vol. G. 1997. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 . pp. 2007.R. 247 SCRA 652. 22-26. 393-399 and rollo (G. 176864). 488 U. TSN. 2004.S. August 14. rollo (G. 13 TSN. pp. 97-98 (Records. IV. 8. 79. 127262. TSN October 10. May 22. 176839). December 5. 150224. pp. Resolution dated January 26.1 Records. 83 (1963). 1995. pp. Supra note 7. TSN.M. Vol. G. pp. A. 121234. 276 SCRA 243. G. and TSN. Exhibits "274" and "275". 1996. January 30. TSN. Rollo (G. August 6. pp. 8-14. 1996. xx. 1-3. 1995. TSN. pp. 22-26. 1997. 1997. No.S. 514.R. 1. pp. 17-34. Records. Vol. pp. "V". 41 (1988). TSN. pp. pp. 311-315. 323-324. CA rollo. Webb v. 271-272). Vol. 15 Exhibits "H" to "K". People v. 8. Vol. pp. 1997. May 19. pp. "Q" to "R". 12 The ponencia.R. 3478-3479. 1997. 13-41. "W" and "X". 1996. People. 425 SCRA 504. 328-330. 1996. 1997 and September 1. 170-71. 80-104. TSN.R. 1995.

July 16. June 16. Exhibit "207-B". July 16. 23-32. July 16. 75-78. 32 TSN. pp. Exhibit "348". June 26. June 3." Records (Vol. photograph before the concert Exhibit "295. 23-32. 1997. TSN. 48-49. 1996. TSN. 208. 1997. TSN. TSN. Exhibit "349". Exhibits "207" to "219". 134-148. 43-59 and 69-93. pp. 61-63. 1997. pp. 1997.25 Exhibit "227". Exhibits "244". TSN. 112-118. 78-84. 1997. April 23. pp. 16-38. April 30. Exhibit "212-D". pp. Exhibit "338". pp. 35. pp. May 28. Exhibit "223". 41-42. 13-28. Exhibit "337-B". pp. 78-84. 16-17. 1997. 51-64.2). 14-33. 61-62. 1997. Exhibits "305". 26 27 28 29 30 31 TSN. pp. Exhibits "306" and "307". p. 69-71. pp. 121-122. Exhibits "341" and "342". TSN. 1996. TSN. 12. "245" and "246". 58. June 2. 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 . 61-63. TSN. Exhibits "344" and "346". 16-17. 128-129. 1997.

37 Phil. We have nothing but praise for sincerity and zeal in the enforcement of the law. that the innocent be shielded from hasty prosecution and rash conviction. 26-32. Saban. 148 (1917). 1997. Rollo (G. 1999. 1996. 37. should caution all concerned to a more careful and conscientious scrutiny of all the facts before the finger is pointed and the stone is cast. Exhibit "261". pp. if not more so. 176839). May 9. 1997. Rule 130. Id. November 24. Rules of Court.49 TSN. 218-219. it is no less important. and the indelible stain upon their name. 110559. pp.1 (emphasis and underscoring supplied) And so. TSN. 1997. No. Exhibit "260". G. Barcelona. 176839). which is never quite washed away by time. pp. 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 The Lawphil Project .: While it should be the common desire of bench and bar that crime is not left unpunished. as in all criminal cases.R.R. July 2. June 23. the undeserved penalties inflicted upon the blameless. Antilon v. TSN. 29 (1999). pp. 33-37. 367 Phil. pp. 46. People v. 44-57. July 7. Exhibit "212-D". Rollo (G. 19-35. 319 SCRA 36. Nevertheless. 216-217. People v. Hillado. . J.Arellano Law Foundation CONCURRING OPINION CARPIO MORALES. the very voluminous records of the present cases call for a "more careful and conscientious scrutiny" in order to determine what the facts are before the accused’s conviction is affirmed. TSN.R. Section 44.

accused Hubert Jeffrey P. BF Homes Subdivision. thereby inflicting upon them numerous stab wounds in different parts of their bodies which caused their instantaneous death. province of Rizal. while armed with bladed instruments. conspiring and confederating together. Estrellita Vizconde and Jennifer Vizconde. then presided over by Judge Amelita G. hence. their indictment in court. and Joey Filart as the culprits. were found dead in their home at No. tried only seven of the accused. Prospero Cabanayan. nighttime. the medico-legal officer who autopsied the bodies of the victims. On the basis of Alfaro’s account. Tolentino. one of its "informers" or "assets. in the municipality of Parañaque. The trial court. then 19-year old Carmela and then sevenyear old Jennifer. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. They all bore multiple stab wounds on different parts of their bodies. with the use of force and intimidation. et al. Philippines. re-raffled to Branch 274 of the Parañaque RTC.On June 30. mutually helping one another. Branch 63 eventually found those suspects to have been victims of police frame-up. nighttime and with the use of motor vehicle. Peter Estrada. Michael Gatchalian y Adviento. unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of the person of Carmela Vizconde against her will and consent. and were thus ordered discharged." who claimed to have been an eyewitness to the crime. Subsequently.2 The Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC). an Information was filed on August 10. abuse of superior strength. Estrellita Vizconde and her daughters. with the use of motor vehicle. the abovenamed principal accused. Hiospicio "Pyke" Fernandez. with abuse of superior strength. reading as follows: That on or about the evening of June 29 up to the early morning of June 30. in 1995. Artemio "Dong" Ventura. 1995 before the Parañaque RTC against Webb. Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano. did then and there and with evidence premeditation. however. took part subsequent to its commission by assisting. Lolita Carrera Birrer. 1991.3 for rape with homicide. the above-named accused with intent to kill. former laundrywoman of the Webbs. Michael A. an ex-lover of Gerardo Biong. 80 Vinzons Street. assault and stab with bladed instruments Carmela Vizconde. She named the accused Hubert Jeffrey P. after the Presiding Judge of Branch 258 of the Parañaque RTC inhibited. . Webb. Artemio Ventura and Joey Filart having remained at large. the prosecution presented Alfaro as its main witness. She also tagged Parañaque police officer Gerardo Biong as an accessory after the fact. the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) which conducted a parallel investigation announced that it had solved the crime by presenting its "star witness" in the person of Jessica Alfaro y Mincey (Alfaro). Parañaque. That by reason or on the occasion of the aforesaid rape or immediately thereafter. and without having participated therein as principals or accomplices. The other witnesses were Dr. Artemio "Dong" Ventura. Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez and Joey Filart.4 At the trial. The case was. Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez. An intense and sustained investigation conducted by the police resulted in the arrest of a group of suspects. mutually helping one another. 1991. Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez. Gatchalian. The accused GERARDO BIONG and JOHN DOES having knowledge after the commission of the above-mentioned crime. Peter Estrada. to conceal or destroy the effects or instruments thereof by failing to preserve the physical evidence and allowing their destruction in order to prevent the discovery of the crime. the Akyat Bahay gang members. with lewd design. Some of their personal belongings appeared to be missing. willfully. Webb conspiring and confederating with accused Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano. Mila Gaviola. some of whom gave detailed confessions to having committed the crimes. with abuse of authority as police officer.

security personnel of the Pitong Daan Subdivision. Lejano. And so after a protracted trial. the trial court rendered on January 4. Gatchalian. To the trial court. it belittled the denial and alibi of accused Webb. Lauro Vizconde. Rodriguez. AND HEREBY SENTENCES HIM TO SUFFER AN IMPRISONMENT OF ELEVEN (11) YEARS. BF Homes. and frank. Thus the trial court disposed: WHEREFORE. Parañaque. The trial court.00 representing actual damages sustained by Mr. this Court hereby finds all the principal accused GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF THE CRIME OF RAPE WITH HOMICIDE AND HEREBY SENTENCES EACH ONE OF THEM TO SUFFER THE PENALTY OF RECLUSION PERPETUA. her testimony was categorical. 3) The amount of P2. and Lauro G. straightforward. Fernandez. deemed her a credible witness after finding her testimony to have been corroborated by those of the other prosecution witnesses. In addition. Vizconde. 2005 affirming with modification the trial court’s decision by reducing the penalty imposed on Biong to six years minimum and twelve years maximum and increasing the award of civil indemnity to Lauro Vizconde to P200.450. as well as by the physical evidence.Normal White and Justo Cabanacan.000.00.000. the Court of Appeals rendered its challenged Decision of December 15. Lauro Vizconde. the following sums by way of civil indemnity: 1) The amount of P150. impressed by Alfaro’s detailed narration of the events surrounding the commission of the crime. the Court hereby orders all the accused to jointly and severally pay the victim’s surviving heir. 4) The amount of P97. 2) The amount of P762. and Estrada had conspired to rape and kill Carmela as well as to kill Estrellita and Jennifer. 2000 a 172-page decision finding all the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape with homicide. .000. Estrellita’s husband. FOUR (4) MONTHS AND ONE (1) DAY TO TWELVE (12) YEARS. The defense presented testimonial evidence which tended to cast a bad light on Alfaro’s reputation for truth. On the other hand. This Court likewise finds the accused Gerardo Biong GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT AS AN ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT.00 for wrongful death of the victims. Lauro Vizconde. At all events.000. In Webb’s case. claiming to have been somewhere else at the time of the commission of the crime. spontaneous. as well as on the implausibility of her account.404. some of the accused invoked alibi.55 as attorney’s fees. he presented documentary and testimonial proof that he was in the United States of America from March 1991 to October 1992. Mr.00 as moral damages sustained by Mr. and withstood grueling crossexaminations by the different defense counsel.6 The appellate court found that indeed there was sufficient evidence that Rodriguez. and Gatchalian in light of their positive identification by Alfaro.5 On appeal.

who has not perjured in the past. but it must be credible in itself – such as the common experience and observation of mankind can approve as . found "no glaring errors. On April 27. arbitrary and unsupported conclusions can be gathered from such findings.7 Hence. the decision of the appellate court affirming with modification the trial court’s decision was affirmed. the draft decision which was the basis of this Court’s deliberations. that for testimonial evidence to be worthy of belief. . must not only proceed from the mouth of a credible witness. 2010. which was later adopted by the dissenters. the Court issued a Resolution granting the request of Webb to submit for Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) analysis the semen specimen taken from Carmela’s cadaver. Van Dyck12 illuminates: Evidence to be believed. arbitrary and unsupported conclusions" made by the lower courts. the person’s testimony must in itself be credible. The Court granted the request pursuant to Section 4 of the Rule on DNA Evidence8 to give the accused and the prosecution access to scientific evidence which could affect the result of the case. which specimen was believed to be still under the safekeeping of the NBI. It readily credited the testimony of prosecution "star" witness Jessica Alfaro (Alfaro) who. the trial court records do not show that the specimen was among the object evidence that was offered in evidence in the case by any of the parties. In discussing why the Decision of the Court of Appeals is being affirmed with modification.whose affidavit or testimony is not incredible. said findings are generally conclusive and binding upon this Court. "underwent exhaustive and intense cross-examination by eight . Parenthetically.9 When the trial court’s findings have been affirmed by the appellate court. ." viz: It is a fundamental rule that findings of the trial courts which are factual in nature and which involve credibility are accorded respect when no glaring errors. as a result of its initial deliberation in this case. Villarama as a basis of this Court’s deliberation.11 Secondly. this appeal. sustained its affirmance of the trial court’s decision. It was in light of this development that accused Webb filed an urgent motion to acquit on the ground that the government’s failure to preserve such vital evidence has resulted in the denial of his right to due process. A person may be credible where he is without previous conviction of a crime. gross misapprehensions of facts and speculative. however. the NBI informed the Court that it no longer had custody of the specimen which itclaimed had been turned over to the trial court. who has a good standing in the community. In the draft decision prepared by Justice Martin S. however. and who is reputed to be trustworthy and reliable." The trial court banked primarily on Alfaro who claimed to be an eyewitness to the massacre and considered the testimonies of the other prosecution witnesses as merely corroborative of hers. Jurisprudence has consistently summoned. . . gross misapprehensions of facts and speculative.On motion for reconsideration by the accused. Daggers v. started by stating a "fundamental rule. it observed.10 The draft decision. defense lawyers . who is not a police character and has no police record. it must firstly proceed from the mouth of a credible witness. the appellate court’s Special Division of five members. On April 20. 2010. [and] revealed such details and observations which only a person who was actually with the perpetrators could have known. voting three against two.

or other like narcotics. Aside from organic deterioration. Rey San Pedro: ."21 We believe it will be admitted that habitual users of opium. recall or relate. observation. who she claimed was her boyfriend. would that affect? Witness Dr. "Testimonial Reliability of Drug Addicts. she was a habitual drug addict who inhaled and sniffed shabu "every other day"14since December 1990. and [to] ha[ve] remained consistent in her testimony.22 (underscoring supplied) Defense witness Dr.16 Alfaro’s tale about the circumstances surrounding the commission of the complex crime follows: In the afternoon of June 29. testimony may be impugned if the witness was under the influence of drugs at the time of perceiving the event about which he is testifying or at the time he is on the stand. Makati and Tondo. The habit of lying comes doubtless from the fact that the users of those narcotics pass the greater part of their lives in an unreal world."13 By Alfaro’s own admission. between illusions and realities. before she and accused Peter Estrada. (underscoring supplied) Alfaro was found both by the trial and appellate courts to be a credible witness. . viz: Atty. We have no test of the truth of human testimony. and experience. Doctor. will this dependency of shabu affect the character of a person specifically. for even the temporary presence of drugs affects the functioning of the body’s organs."18 teaches: . Ongkiko: Q: Based on your experience.15 In March 1991. she not only smoked shabu but sniffed cocaine as well at the "parking lot. however. . Rey San Pedro. become notorious liars. such as for money and/or to satisfy their craving for attention. the date of the commission of the crime. for example. and thus bears directly on the credibility of the witness’ testimony…19(underscoring supplied) Evidence derived from the testimony of a witness who was under the influence of drugs during the incident to which he is testifying is indeed very unreliable.20 So it has been held that "habitual users of narcotics become notorious liars and that their testimony is likely to be affected thereby. and in the evening of even date. She impressed the trial court which found her to have "testified in a categorical. opined that drug addicts or dependents are generally liars who would lie for less than noble objectives. the capacity to tell the truth. 1991."17 It was only in about October 1994 that she stopped taking illegal drugs. except its conformity to our knowledge. M. This necessarily follows. and thus become unable to distinguish between images and facts. spontaneous and frank manner. went to the Alabang Commercial Center. straightforward. impeaching testimony is uniformly sustained by the courts. The paper of authors Burrus and Marks. she had taken illegal drugs. Whatever is repugnant to these belongs to the miraculous and is outside of judicial cognizance.probable under the circumstances. It was about this time that she met Artemio "Dong" Ventura who provided her with a regular supply of shabu at the so-called "house of shabu" in Parañaque. she stopped getting her supply of shabu from Ventura as she instead got it from other sources including Orly Bacquir and Cris Santos and places such as Quezon City. [W]here the prolonged use of drugs has impaired the witness’ ability to perceive. then Deputy Executive Director of the Dangerous Drugs Board.

Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. what would be the usual motivation for a shabu-dependent person to become liars. Atty. Ongkiko: Q: They could lie on the persons they meet? Witness Dr. M. Atty. is because they are aware that what they are doing is wrong and therefore they want to hide it. Is this correct? Witness Dr. Yes. They could lie on the persons they go out with? Witness Dr. why do they lie? Witness Dr. Atty. Rey San Pedro: A: This is our experience.A: Our general examination of patients showed that they become liars. Atty. but also from their friends. Atty. Rey San Pedro: A: My experience. M. M. Sir. M. Doctor. that the tendency of a drug dependent is to hide the identity of the drug suppliers. Ongkiko: Q: They become liars. Ongkiko: Q: Who would tell you the correct name of the drug supplier? . Atty. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. Not only from the family. Sir. Sir. Ongkiko: Q: They could lie on the persons from whom they allegedly get the drugs? Witness Dr. M. Ongkiko: Q: Is it not correct. Why. I have not encountered a patient who would tell you where they get their supply. M. Sir. Ongkiko: Q: Yes.

Atty. Sir. Ongkiko: Q: Now. Ongkiko: Q: He will. from her friends. Rey San Pedro: . Ongkiko: Q: They even sell their personal effects? Witness Dr. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. Sir. M. M. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. Rey San Pedro: A: She could get money. Rey San Pedro: A: Correct. Atty. or even from third persons? Witness Dr. M. They even sell the family belongings. Ongkiko: Q: And who would tell you the correct address of the drug supplier. Ongkiko: Q: Their tendency is to give you misleading information. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. M. Sir. correct? Witness Dr. Atty. would a drug dependent on shabu lie for money? Witness Dr.Witness Dr. correct? Witness Dr. M. Atty. from her relatives. Atty. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. Ongkiko: Q: Yes. M. When I say lie for money so that she could get money? Witness Dr. Atty.

Ongkiko: Q: You have not encountered that much. Atty. Sir. M. Rey San Pedro: A: ’90 to ’94? Atty. Doctor. because they want to be the center of attention to cover up for their drug dependency. that is a long time. Ongkiko: Q: Yes. if a person were drug dependent on shabu since 1990. Atty. M. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. M. Atty. isn’t it? Witness Dr. what would it take? Witness Dr.A: Yes. Atty. where? . up to and including December. they do. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. like a woman becoming a prostitute? Witness Dr. What would it take. M. 1994. would they lie in order to get attention? Witness Dr. Sir. 1991. correct? Witness Dr. Ongkiko: Q: Now. M. Ongkiko: Q: Yes. drug dependent. Doctor. Rey San Pedro: A: They have to be rehabilitated. So. Atty. Doctor. Sir. Ongkiko: Q: Treated and rehabilitated. Rey San Pedro: A I have not encountered a case like that. But tell me. in order that we can cure this patient of his or her dependency on shabu. Ongkiko: Q: Would they sell their honor to get money. treated and rehabilitated. M.

Cocaine ─ Cocaine is a powerful cortical stimulant which causes a state of euphoric excitement and varying degrees of pleasurable hallucinations. so far as medical evidence is concerned. and its effect on the user’s ability to perceive and accurately to relate is dependent on the amount of the drug taken. the initial proper dosage promoting wakefulness and alertness. Over time. San Pedro’s ─ that any information which is being furnished by a drug addict is "not generally reliable" and his capacity to lie may be "very great. expert testimony should be admissible to impeach the cocaine addict. Rather than a depressant however. at least while under the drug’s influence. The cocaine addict is not a normal person. confidence. in an "unreal" or "dream world. Both in its long-run effect of organic deterioration and in its short run influence. and occasionally convulsions. auditory and tactual hallucinations are common. Sir. cocaine produces on the addict a degree of physical and mental deterioration not found in connection with the use of opiates. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. He is truly. and renders him. Under its influence." and the majority exception of admitting impeaching testimony where the witness was under the influence of the drug at the time of perception or testifying seems clearly sustainable in medical evidence. Does the government provide for such facilities? Witness Dr. amphetamine operates upon the central nervous system."24 In their earlier mentioned paper. unreliable. Atty. the non-addict’s sparing use of the drug. would not seem to impair reliability and impeaching testimony to this end should be excluded. It would seem to follow that. like cocaine and amphetamine which were used by Alfaro: xxxx b. There are few instances of deterioration more pronounced than that found in the habitual user of cocaine. Ongkiko: Q: In a hospital. Even the majority admits impeaching testimony in cases of organic deterioration. amphetamine is a potent stimulant. many. to that extent. . Rey San Pedro: A: In a hospital. the drug severs the user’s contact with reality. Thus. M. Burrus and Marks write on the "peculiar effects upon veracity" of the principal types of drugs. euphoria and increased motor activity. in fact. x x x x23 (underscoring supplied) Former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Epimaco Velasco had a view similar to that of Dr. Visual. become paranoids and suffer from feelings of persecution.Witness Dr. increased initiative. a person experiences sensations of great muscular and mental strength and overestimates his capabilities. Amphetamine─ Similar to the barbiturates and bromides. as are digestive tract disorders. xxxx e.

however. under these circumstances seems sustainable. Ongkiko: All right. Sacaguing. how did the NBI treat Ms. emphasis and underscoring supplied) How Alfaro got to be a "star" witness in this case was narrated by then NBI agent Artemio Sacaguing: Atty. dizziness. too. the barbiturate. how long did you give Ms. she loved what? Witness Sacaguing: A She liked being treated that way. The usual dosage taken by the addict is sufficient to cause toxic psychosis characterized by hallucinations and paranoid delusions similar in effect to cocaine. when not intoxicated by the direct influence of the drug. Atty. as with marihuana. Ongkiko: Q Now tell the Honorable Court. Atty. we consider her already the darling of the group because she was giving us good projects and she loved it. Thus.25 (italics in the original. confusion and delirium. the addict may suffer vasomotor disturbances. Sacaguing. impeachment should depend upon the amount of the drug taken and the extent of its use. Alfaro this VIP treatment? Witness Sacaguing: . This.Overdosage and repeated medication. agitation. Alfaro considering the assistance that he was giving your group? Witness Sacaguing: A We gave her very special treatment. Ongkiko: Q What do you mean by she loved it. Also. can prove most harmful. as well as with barbiturates and bromides. So. bromide or amphetamine addict. is apparently perfectly reliable and the majority judicial view. the amphetamine addict’s testimonial capabilities are definitely impaired. Ongkiko: Q All right. In this state. Atty. Absent excessive use to the extent of organic deterioration. of course. its effects vary with the personality make-up of the user. with the result that this. Atty. broadens the inquiry from the physiologicalpharmacological effects of drugs upon reliability to the psychological framework of the user in its relation to his ability to tell the truth or proneness to lie. The result is that with amphetamine. Alfaro the VIP treatment? xxxx Atty. was there ever any time where the group got tired of giving Ms. should be considered in admitting or excluding the impeaching testimony.

Atty. Witness Sacaguing: A Piqued. Atty. Ongkiko: Q I see. my associates in my team. she could not give you anymore projects. Ano yun. . Ongkiko: Q I see.A Well. began teasing her because she could not give us any project anymore. . leads? Witness Sacaguing: A Projects. Atty. . the boys. Ongkiko: Q What do you mean by projects. Witness Sacaguing: A She seemed to have been piqued and she said . napikon? Court: . she was always there and we treated her very nicely. Ongkiko: Q She seemed to have been what? Witness Sacaguing: A Piqued. Atty. Alfaro. but later on. yes. what was the reaction of Ms. I mean. according to you. and what do you mean by teasing? xxxx Atty. please do not look at me. Ongkiko: Q Mr. Ongkiko: Q Piqued. about . after the lapse of about one or two weeks. if any? Please look at the judge. "napikon". cases we could work on. piqued. Sacaguing. after your group teased her because. Atty. .

Will you tell the Honorable Court? Witness Sacaguing: A She told me.p i c q u e d. what did she say or what did she do? xxxx Atty. Ongkiko: xxxx Q Atty. Court: Face the Court. she will bring to me the man. Atty. knew about the Vizconde murder case? xxxx Atty. she knew somebody who . Sacaguing. that she knew somebody who related to her the circumstances. Your Honor. I mean. . and together with her. Your Honor. how did Jessica Alfaro become a witness in the Vizconde murder case. Ongkiko: Q Did she ever bring to you or to your office this man that. Ongkiko: Q And when she was piqued or "napikon". That’s what she told us. the details of the massacre of the Vizconde family. Ongkiko: Q And what did you say? Please look at the Court. Atty. . (underscoring in the original) Atty. Witness Sacaguing: A She told me. we will try to convince him to act as a state witness and help us in the solution of the case. Ongkiko: . according to her. Witness Sacaguing: A I was quite interested and I tried to persuade her to introduce to me that man and she promised that in due time.

. huwag kayong . and what happened after that? Witness Sacaguing: A She told me. ." Court: Q How was that? Witness Sacaguing: A "Easy lang. relax lang. Court: Reform your question.Q Atty. Ongkiko: Q And what did you understand by her statement as you quoted it? Witness Sacaguing: A I thought it . Your Honor. "easy lang kayo. and the man does not like to testify. Ongkiko: . Sir. Sir". Sir. Ongkiko: Q All right. Your Honor. "easy lang. Sir. sir. were you able to interview this alleged witness? Witness Sacaguing: A No." Atty. Atty. Atty. if I may quote. Atty. Sir. papapelan ko yan. Ongkiko: Q Why not? Witness Sacaguing: A Because Jessica Alfaro was never able to comply with her promise to bring the man to me. Sacaguing. papapelan ko na lang yan. . Prosecutor Zuño: Objection. She told me later that she could not. . that is asking for the opinion of this witness.

Witness. Ongkiko: Q And what was the reply of Ms. "hindi pwede yan. the lower courts. on which account she received special treatment. until she went away. Significantly. kasi. Your Honor. an NBI "asset" who regularly provided leads on projects or cases being investigated by the NBI. Yet. Atty. Ongkiko: Q She what? Witness Sacaguing: A She went away. It is thus hard to fathom how her motives for suddenly developing a first hand account of the commission of the crimes could be treated as anything but suspect. Alfaro came forward with her "knowledge" about the commission of the crimes only after being cajoled by the NBI agents about her lack of productivity and her failure to make good her word that she knew and would bring someone who could "shed light" on the crimes that occurred close to four years earlier. Alfaro never disputed Sacaguing’s above-quoted testimoy. she went out of my office. Alfaro? Witness Sacaguing: A Hindi siya nakakibo." Atty. WITNESS JESSICA ALFARO ON CLARIFICATORY QUESTIONS BY THE COURT . The trial court credited as satisfactory and plausible Alfaro’s explanation for her silence from the time she allegedly witnessed the crimes in June 1991 up to "about October 1994" when the numbing effects of drug abuse only began to wear off and she had an earnest desire to reform her life. Alfaro stated that "papapelan ko na lang yan"? Witness Sacaguing: A I said. despite the peculiar circumstances related by Sacaguing. were not put on guard from swallowing Alfaro’s testimony. Court: You speak clearly.Q All right. From Sacaguing’s above-quoted testimony. x x x x26 (emphasis and underscoring supplied) NBI agent Sacaguing was the special "handler" of Alfaro. I could hardly get you. Mr. and what was your reaction when Ms. She just went out of the office. Witness Sacaguing: A She did not answer anymore. hindi ka naman eye witness.

Court: Q When was that? Witness Alfaro: A: About October of 1994. I just want to my Dad. Court: Q What prompted you to finally reveal what you have witnessed? Witness Alfaro: . after witnessing that incident. Court: Q: When? Witness Alfaro: A: When I got out on drugs. I was so scared. but I didn’t have a chance to tell him. Your Honor. only recently when I was out on drugs. after the lapse of a reasonable time. Court: Q Why? Witness Alfaro: A: Because at first. I did not.Court: Q After that incident. did it not occur to your mind to immediately report the same to the police authorities? Witness Alfaro: A No. Court: Q: No. did it not also occur to your mind to finally report it to the proper authorities? Witness Alfaro: A: I did not first have that in mind.

particularly Webb. documentary and testimonial. It’s my daughter whom I see crying. in every gory detail. been numbed by the effects of drug abuse. Rey Doe and several other John Does). after the commission of the crimes.A: Well. and then I got out from drugs. and that triggered me. Your Honor. Sadly. and point to the accused as the malefactors. members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested some members of an "akyat-bahay" gang who were charged accordingly. Court: Q: Is that your principal reason? Witness Alfaro: A: I wanted to change my life already. It was a raging topic that drew intense discussions in both talk shows and informal gatherings. Prior to her decision to surface and claim to tell what she "knew" about the crimes. supporting his alibi? The explanation for this feat of wizardry is within arms-length – Alfaro appears to be a rehearsed witness. not to mention her being an NBI "star" witness. Court: Q: Any other reason? Witness Alfaro: A: Those are my main reasons. so. Ernesto Cesar. prior to the arrest of the accused. Boy Kulit. In fact. Jr. given that she was practically a resident at the offices of the NBI which was actively investigating the crimes. and Roberto Datuin Barroso and their several companions Rolando Mendoza y Gomez. and all sorts of speculations about it were rife. the crimes had already been played out in the media. which is quoted at length: It also bothers me that Ms. The nature and extent of the similarities were amplified by Justice Dacudao in his Dissenting Opinion.27 (underscoring supplied) Given Alfaro’s confession of having for years. It is not thus difficult to believe that Alfaro could have become familiar with the evidentiary details of the crimes. These gang members were later released upon orders of the Makati Regional Trial Court after it was discovered that their confessions were fabricated by the PNP to conform to the physical evidence found at the crime scene. dissenters choose to gloss over the strikingly uncanny similarities between the confessions of the "akyat-bahay" gang members and Alfaro’s testimony. both print and broadcast. would the ponencia take as gospel truth her what it termed "vivid" and "infallible" recollection of the minutiae surrounding the commission of the crime in June 1991. when I started having these nightmares about my daughter instead of that Jennifer that I see in my dreams. Angelito Santos y Bisen. despite evidence. that’s the thing which triggered me. These persons were earlier charged with two cases of . Bienvenido Baydo. Alfaro’s narration of the events in the case under review was in many points uncannily similar to that set forth in the extrajudicial confessions or sinumpaang salaysay executed by certain members of the so-called "Akyat Bahay Gang" of the Barroso group (the brothers Villardo Datuin Barroso. and then it came to the point when I saw them accidentally.

covered the following: (1) Criminal Case No. Trampe with the same RTC. Trampe before the sale of Judge Julio R.00 in cash Four (4) necklace Five (5) rings Two (2) bracelets Two (2) pairs of earings belonging to Mr. the following pieces of personal property: P140. Philippine currency to the damage and prejudice of said owners in the said total sum. take and carry away therefrom. Rey Doe and several other John Does still at large. Case No. Metro Manila. and carry away the articles above-mentioned herein accused. Bienvenido Baydo. assault.000. Crim. and that on the occasion of the said Robbery and for the purpose of enabling them to take. unlawfully and feloniously and intent to gain and against the consent of the owners thereof. Branch 63. Indeed.000. 1991 (for robbery with homicide) against Villardo Barroso y Datuin. Lauro Vizconde of the total value of Two Hundred Thousand (P200. and one case of rape with homicide that is now the very subject of the case under review. on November 11. Angelito Santos y Bisen. forcibly open cabinet and drawers inside the house. to wit. It alleged: Crim. hardly commanded the attention of the trial court. Logarta. in pursuant of their conspiracy. treacherously attack. 1919) also against the same accused. Brnach 63. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. and feloniously. by the use of force upon things. stab and use personal violence upon JENNIFER NICOLAS VIZCONDE thereby inflicting upon her multiple stab wounds in different parts of her body thus causing her instantaneous death.robbery with homicide. unlawfully. and Mrs.00) Pesos. 91-7135 That on or about the 30th day of June 1991 at BF Homes Parañaque. which were introduced in evidence by the accused-appellants during the trial of the case under review. Ernesto Cesar. the above named accused conspiring and confederating together and helping one another did then and there willfully. Logarta of the Makati City RTC. I cannot understand why the three criminal cases that were instituted before the Makati City RTC. Roberto Barroso y Datuin¸ Rolando Mendoza y Gomez. Case No. by breaking the glass in the left side of the door to open it and from where they entered the house. 91-7136 (for the rape with homicide of Carmela Nicolas Vizconde filed by ACSP Aurelio C. Branch 63. and once inside. The records of these criminal cases. did then and there willfully. (presided over by Judge Julio R. 91-7135 filed by then Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Aurelio C. 91-7136 . steal. on November 11. Contrary to law. unlawfully and feloniously and with evident premeditation and taking advantage of their superior number and strength and with intent to kill. (2) Criminal case No.) which recited facts and events that are so strikingly akin to those set forth in the information filed in the case under review. willfully.

000. Trampe. treacherously attack. did then and there willfully. and Mrs. by means of violence. the total value of which is Two Hundred Thousand (P200. Lauro Vizconde. unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of CARMELA NICOLAS VIZCONDE (without her) consent. armed with knives. and within jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Philippines. Philippine Currency. take and carry away therefrom the following pieces of personal property: P140. 91-7137 That on or about the 30th day of June 1991 at BF Homes Parañaque. assault. forcibly open cabinets and drawers inside the house. It alleged: Crim. Metro Manila. stab and use personal violence upon ESTRELLITA NICOLAS VIZCONDE thereby inflicting upon her multiple stab wounds causing her instantaneous death. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. willfully. one of the accused therein (Angelito Santos y Bisen) who by his account was bothered by his conscience. treacherously attack.00) pesos. unlawfully and feloniously and with intent to gain and against the consent of the owners thereof. Consider this: In the aforementioned cases. willfully. Metro Manila. to the damage and prejudice of said owners in the said total sum. assault. thereby inflicting upon her multiple stab wounds in different parts of her body. the above-named accused conspiring and confederating together and helping one another did then and there. the above-named accused. Contrary to law. force and intimidation.000. stab and use personal violence upon said CARMELA NICOLAS VIZCONDE. unlawfully and with evident premeditation and taking advantage of their superior number and strength and with intent to kill. in pursuance of their conspiracy. And based on the extrajudicial confessions of . thus causing her instantaneous death.That on or about the 30th day of June 1991 at BF Homes. unlawfully and feloniously. with homicide wherein the victim was ESTRELLITA NICOLAS VISCONDE) likewise filed against the same accused by ACSP Aurelio C. and that on the occasion of the said Robbery and for the purpose of enabling them to take. and in pursuance of their conspiracy. with evident premeditation and taking advantage of their superior number and strength and with intent to kill. (3) Criminal Case No. Parañaque. did then and there willfully. to wit: by breaking the glass in the left side of the door to open it and from where they entered the house and once inside. 91-7137 (for robbery. herein accused. did then and there willfully.00 in cash Four (4) necklace Five (5) rings Two (2) bracelets Two (2) pairs of earings belonging to Mr. Case No. and that on the occasion of the commission of rape. Contrary to law. by the use of force upon things. surrendered and executed an affidavit or sinumpaang salaysay narrating his participation in the gruesome killing of members of the Vizconde family and the rape-killing of a young Vizconde girl. unlawfully and feloniously. steal and carry way the articles above-mentioned.

Roberto Barroso y Datuin. Stock must be taken of the fact that the detailed extrajudicial confessions or sinumpaang salaysay of the several accused (especially Villardo Barroso y Datuin. Carefully evaluated. 1995 and May 22. (2) that the criminal indictments were erected on the strength of the extrajudicial confessions or sinumpaang salaysay executed by the accused therein. . and Rolando G. [W]e advert to that all-too familiar rule that discrepancies between sworn statements and testimonies made at the witness stand do not necessarily discredit the witnesses. Jr. 1995 Affidavits. Rolando Mendoza. these extrajudicial confessions or sinumpaang salaysay were declared inadmissible by the Makati City RTC. and that no duress violence. or intimidation. that when a young girl (apparently referring to Jennifer Nicolas Vizconde) inside started to cry and shout. Ernesto Cesar y Lizardo. Vinzons Street inside the BF Subdivision. criminal proceedings had been commenced thereon before a competent court. Jr. Boy Kulit. Jr. Estrellita Nicolas Vizconde) came near the door and shouted "magnanakaw". Sworn . Atty. Nevertheless.the accused in these cases (specifically Angelito Santos y Bisen. citing People v. Angelito Santos y Bisen) in the three criminal cases. Mendoza) it appears that the group conspired to rob the house of the Vizcondes in W. Villardo Barroso. Atty. that using a stone "na binalot sa basahan" Ben Baydo broke the glass in the door and opened it. were acknowledged and ratified before Judge Roberto L. and once inside the house opened the gate for the group. Sanchez29 which held: . it does not detract from the fact: (1) that said criminal case had indeed been filed in court. one of them motioned to the security guards manning the gate that the other vehicles were with him. Ben Baydo. Luis Matro. one of them (Bienvenido "Ben" Baydo) climbed the fence. the Barroso brothers Villardo. that in one of the rooms they found a young woman (apparently referring to Carmela Nicolas Vizconde) who was raped successively by Roberto Barroso. who affirmed that the said extrajudicial confessions or sinumpaang salaysay were freely and voluntarily given by the affiants. Ernesto L. that Bienvenido "Ben" Baydo put-out the light in the garage. The dismissal of these criminal cases nowithstanding. and Roberto. Salvador B. Some of the pieces of jewelry were pawned by some of the accused at the Tambunting Pawnshop and the La Cebuana Pawnshop at Dart. and that they ransacked the house for valuables and were able to find cash and jewelries which they later on divided among themselves. that when they entered the subdivision. and that indeed the affiants were made aware of their constitutional right to have a lawyer of their choice to assist them during the custodial investigation and to remain silent if they wished to. his Rolando Mendoza y Gomez. that they used at least two (2) vehicles in going there (a mint green Toyota Corona. Rolando Mendoza and Roberto Barroso stabbed her several times (one knife used in stabbing was described as "isang double blade na mga anim na pulgada ang haba nang talim"). threats. intimidation or coercion of any kind was employed against the affiants when the latter gave their statements if they did not want to. Ernesto Cesar. as indeed.28 (emphasis and underscoring supplied) On the questioned inconsistencies between Alfaro’s April 28. Vinzons Street. Francis Tolentino and Atty. (4) that the victims in the three criminal cases are also the victims in the case under review. it is plain enough that the statements contained in the extrajudicial confessions or sinumpaang salaysay also overlapped or corroborated each other in their material particulars. BF Homes. Paco.. the accused therein were in real danger of being convicted of the felonies charged. that when they reached the Vizconde residence at W. and (5) that since the accused therein had been duly arraigned. and an owner’s tinted jeepney). . as seen in the consolidated decision rendered in the three criminal cases. the dissenters brush them aside as not necessarily affecting her credibility. Makalintal. she too was stabbed to death by Rolando Mendoza. Cesar. that Ben Baydo gagged the woman and dragged her inside the master’s bedroom where Ben Baydo. Ben Baydo and Boy Kulit. Aguas. and Ernesto Cesar and later repeatedly stabbed to death. that a woman who had apparently been roused from sleep (apparently referring to Mrs.. (3) that these extrajudicial confessions or sinumpaang salaysay set forth facts and events that are eerily similar to those which found their way into the information was filed in the case under review. for having been allegedly obtained through duress.

statement/affidavits are generally subordinated in importance to open court declarations because the former are often executed when an affiant’s mental faculties are not in such a state as to afford him a fair opportunity of narrating in full the incident which has transpired. Thereafter. Carmela asked Jessica to come back after midnight. therefore. 1995. Testimonies given during trials are much more exact and elaborate. And the dissenters forget that the first Affidavit. Thus. This time. The group was about to leave when she arrived. her mental faculties could not have been in "such a state as [not] to afford [her] a fair opportunity of narrating in full the incident" subject of her tale. (underscoring supplied) It bears emphasis that the questioned inconsistencies in Alfaro’s Affidavits. dated April 28. The second Affidavit. on the other hand. On thesecond trip. the dissenters disregard the glaring inconsistencies between Alfaro’s two affidavits vis-à-vis her testimony in open court which undeniably detract from credibility ─ of witness and of testimony. Peter Estrada and Alfaro went back to the Vizconde residence after about 30 minutes. After the Vizconde residence first trip. was given about two months shy of fouryears from the occurrence of the crime in late June 1991 and. Consider these inconsistencies reflected in the tabulation below: April 28. as did the lower courts. Ventura signaled her to board the Nissan Patrol to take more drugs and asked her to leave her car. Testimony in Court She met Carmela in a party sometime inJanuary 1991 and in a disco sometime in February 1991 The entire groupmade three trips to the Vizconde residence. the other accused stayed behind at the Alabang Commercial Center Parking Lot. The number of trips There were only two the group made to the trips made. Only Alfaro went to the Vizconde residence. Webb and his companions parked and stayed along Aguirre Avenue. was executed 24 days after the first Affidavit or on May 22. and indeed they are too glaring to escape attention. During their second trip. 1995 Affidavit She knew Carmela personally and met her in a party sometime in February 1991 Alfaro and Peter Estrada made three trips to the Vizconde residence. but she refused. Does the ponencia find that Alfaro’s mental faculties were more refreshed at a date more remote from the occurrence of the crime she claims to have witnessed? Again. she was instructed to join the convoy of vehicles. 1995. testimonial evidence carries more weight than sworn statements/affidavits. 1995 Affidavit Alfaro’s meeting with Carmela She has not met Carmela before the night of the crime May 22. arise not from an affidavit and testimony at the witness stand but from two affidavits. They went around BF Homes for about 15 minutes before they finally proceeded to Vinzons Street. Alfaro went back to the parking lot. What Webb said Alfaro did not hear Before they left the After Webb said .

parking lot. Alfaro peeped through the bedroom door and saw two bloodied bodies and Webb pumping Carmela. She proceeded to the bedroom after hearing the sound of static and peeped through the door. pero ako ang mauuna. she saw two bloodied bodies on top of the bed and on the floor. Lejano and Venturainside the Vizconde residence. however. Alfaro’s location in the Vizconde bedroom in relation to what she saw Alfaro did not seewhat transpired inside the Vizconde residence becauseshe did not enter it. "for protection. having been accorded special treatment precisely because she was one of the more valuable "assets" of the NBI. she." Before going to the bedroom. Alfarooverheard Webb say. "Pipilahan…. her distrust of the first investigators who took her statements and prepared her April 28. After leaving the accused Webb.any instructions from Webb or any member of the group."The others responded. okay. or the NBI for that matter. Alfaro sawVentura rummaging through the ladies’ bag on top of the dining table. she saw Webb pumping on top of Carmela who was gagged and in tears. "Pipilahan natin si Carmela. Noticing the high volume of the TV set inside the room. the absence of a lawyer during the first taking of her statements by the NBI. . Alfaro first peeped through the bedroom door and did not see anything. 1995 affidavit. and her uncertainty if she could obtain adequate support and security for her own life were she to disclose everything she knows about the Vizconde killings. Since she did not see anything." (underscoring supplied) There was. as stated earlier. no rational basis for Alfaro to mistrust her "handler" Sacaguing who was present at the execution of the first Affidavit. Alfaroagain entered the house through the kitchen door. "Okay. curiosity impelled Alfaro to peep through the first door on the left. . Sacaguing himself testified that Alfaro was virtually dependent on them . The dissenters approvingly note the trial court’s findings that Alfaro had sufficiently explained these discrepancies between her two affidavits as arising from a desire "to protect her former boyfriend Estrada and her relative Gatchalian. What Alfaro saw at Alfaro did not see the scene of the crime what transpired insidethe Vizconde residence becauseshe did not go in. Ventura was coming out as she was about to enter and once inside. . "Oo pero ako ang susunod. She could not see anything so she stepped inside where she saw Webb pumping Carmela." Lejano retorted. she walked inside the bedroom where she saw the rape of Carmela.

Ongkiko: Q How long did it take her to read the statement? Witness Mercvader: A Just for few minutes. denied that his family was in any way related to Alfaro. Atty. xxxx Atty. Jr..31 . he claiming that. what happened next? Witness Mercader: A Well. took the witness stand and categorically stated that he was present during the taking of such first Affidavit of Alfaro. none that I have noticed. Ongkiko: Q Did Jessica Alfaro read her statement? Witness Mercader: A Yes. I also affixed my signature on it. Your Honor. did you notice any action on the part of anybody which pressured Jessica Alfaro to finish her statement? Witness Mercader: A No. Ongkiko: Q And after she read the statement. Francisco Gatchalian. inter alia: Atty. Your Honor. If I did. Aguirre: Q While assisting Jessica Alfaro. Atty. Your Honor. I received the statement and showed it to Jessica and asked her to read it also.for sympathy and even for her spiritual needs. Atty. Arturo Mercader. Atty. Ongkiko: Q And after the typing of the statement was finished by Agent Tamayo. Atty. what happened? Witness Mercader: A Well. I would have objected to. she signed the statement and afterwards."30Accused Gatchalian’s father. Your Honor. And the lawyer who is mentioned in the first Affidavit to have assisted her.

that seriously dent its (the prosecution’s) case has not been controverted. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Under Section 11. . by Resolution of January 22.xxxx Prosecutor Zuno: Q And that. the appellate court. 1996. the trial court’s order denying their right to cross examine Alfaro. SP Nos. she answers them readily as if she knows the answer personally. a proper foundation must first be laid.32 (emphasis and underscoring supplied) The trial court’s order preventing the defense from cross-examining Alfaro on the inconsistencies between her two Affidavits was thus correctly SET ASIDE by the Court of Appeals. Dacudao in his Dissent34 for the acquittal of the accused. I could not tell whether from where Jessica was basing it. I believe. Thus. From the recollection or from a memorize script.R. about that. It may bring about a failure of justice. among other orders. the attention of the witness should first be called to such statements. at that time what I noticed only was the spontaneity of the answers of Jessica. It bears stressing that the defense’s earnest assertion that the prosecution failed to rebut the pieces of evidence. But definitely. to which this Court. 1996. honesty. (emphasis and underscoring in the original) A testimony given four years after the occurrence of crime which gives minute details that even contradict tales earlier given is too incredible as to draw dubiety. Of course. I do not know. and he should be asked whether or not he made them. Consequently. and afforded an opportunity for explanation. we consider the actuations of respondent judge in this regard to be reviewable by certiorari under rule 65 of the Rules of Court. an adverse party’s witness may be impeached (1) by contradictory evidence. in its Decision33 in CA-G. whenever she was asked a question. The lucid observations of Court of Appeals Justice Renato C. or denial of the authenticity of the writing. held: xxxx [T]he issue of the right of petitioners to cross-examine Jessica Alfaro on the alleged inconsistencies between her first and second affidavits is too crucial to be simply brushed aside with a perfunctory application of the general rule adverted to in the preceding paragraphs. in accordance with her recollection? xxxx Witness Mercader: A Your Honor. the answer. or integrity is bad. 39839 and 39840 of June 21. at that time she was giving the facts. or affirmance. Rule 132 of the Rules of Court. for purposes of impeachment. Insofar as impeachment by evidence of prior inconsistent statements however. (2) by evidence that his general reputation for truth. referred for disposition G. and the graphic analysis of Justice Roberto Abad in his ponencia on why Alfaro’s testimony can not be relied upon are thus well taken. the accused’s petitions assailing.R. Nos. on her conflicting Affidavits. to your own perception. (3) by evidence that he has made at other times statement inconsistent with his present testimony. highlighted by the defense. under Section 13 of the same Rule 132. Your Honor. 122466 and 122504. and (4) by producing the record of his conviction of an offense. in that.

the testimonial and documentary evidence of the defense indubitably establishes that. 1992. and it would not have been impossible during the interregnum for Webb to travel back to the country and again fly to the US several times considering that the travel time on board an airline from the Philippines to San Francisco.S. Court of Appeals39 to the effect that DNA.35 which testing could not now. 1991 and returned to the Philippines only on October 26. by bypassing all immigration controls and protocols in both countries. he had asked for the conduct of DNA evidence on October 6. nagging doubts on Webb’s culpability for the crimes or lack of it could have been dissipated. 1991 and October 26.S. It suspects that the Webb family may have used its "financial resources and political influence" to control all the U.A. it was not unlikely that Webb could have traveled back to the Philippines before June 29-30. claiming that it had turned it over to the trial court. but not in the real world where the lives of innocent individuals are at stake. however. Given the financial resources and political influence of his family. he was out of the country when the crime occurred. the dissenters point out: These dates [March 9. FINALLY. "being a relatively new science. 1991. 1997. It bears noting that the prosecution proffered no evidence to establish that during the interregnum Webb had surreptitiously slipped out of the U. and Philippine immigration people. (underscoring and italics supplied) It is now the dissenters’ reasoning which turns highly speculative and conjectural. and its excuse cannot be deemed airtight. even assuming arguendo that the burden of evidence had shifted to the defense.A."40 If the motion had been granted and DNA analysis were carried out. and returning to the Philippines in October 1992. To Webb’s credit. and that he subsequently re-entere d the U. in the present case. such possibility of Webb’s presence at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission. June 29. thus allowing Webb to secretly "travel back to the country and again fly to the U. In rejecting Webb’s alibi. however. such identification is not as accurate and authoritative as the scientific forms of identification evidence such as Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) testing. which have not been found to be spurious.Respecting Alfaro’s "eyewitness identification" of Webb as the rapist: As reflected in the tabulations above. What is worse. when he filed a Motion to Direct NBI to Submit Semen Specimen to DNA Analysis36 which motion the prosecution opposed. AT ALL EVENTS.38 citing Lim v. with respect to accused Webb. the trial court "believed" that no one in the Philippines had as yet the knowledge and expertise to testify on matters involving DNA testing. and from San Francisco to the Philippines takes only about twelve (12) hours to fourteen (14) hours. 1997 Order. therefore. to the Philippines. It is undisputed that accused Webb’s travel and immigration documents. Parenthetically. she had conflicting claims on whether and where she witnessed the commission of the crime." Besides. is that it "believed" that DNA testing "will not subserve the ends of justice. This is the stuff of which spy novels are made. it has not as yet been accorded official recognition by our courts.S. 1991 and then departed for the US again. unquestionably show that he left the Philippines for the United States on March 9. . 1992. There clearly exists. several times" between March 9. it does not appear from the records that the specimen was offered in evidence by any of the parties. present any documentary proof of such claim. during the trial on the merits.S. 1991 and October 26.37 The motion was subsequently denied by the trial court by its November 25. one borne out of unfounded suspicion. The NBI did not. 1991 and June 30. be carried out in view of the information of the NBI that it no longer has custody of the semen specimen from rape victim Carmela’s cadaver. 1992] are so distant from the time of the commission of the crime.

Facts decide cases. this Court rejected Larrañaga’s alibi. the accused therein having claimed that he was in Quezon City at the time the crime was committed in Cebu City. on November 11.R. 3 Records. Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano. Michael A. Roberto Barroso y Datuin¸ Rolando Mendoza y Gomez. given the evidence on record. a weak defense because the accused can easily fabricate his story to escape criminal liability. 142 SCRA 707. not to mention the testimonial and documentary evidence on his activities while in the U. "the courts should not at once have a mental prejudice against him. 713. Ernesto Cesar. Sandiganbayan. Bienvenido Baydo. Trampe before the sala of Judge Julio R. they are ACQUITTED of the crime charged. it may be sufficient to acquit him. Webb. deserve full credit. pp. Branch 63. Conjectures and suspicions are not facts. CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice Footnotes 1 Salvacion v. L-68633. Because he was positively identified by several prosecution witnesses whose testimonies. Trampe. . No. they have no evidentiary value. it is crucial to heed the Court’s caveat that when an accused puts up the defense of alibi. That case did not involve foreign and travel immigration documents or even the use of a passport. 91-7137 (for robbery.A. between March 9."42 While alibi is. on November 11. no matter how strong they are. Angelito Santos y Bisen. (2) Criminal case No. Webb’s alibi could not have been fabricated with ease. 1991 and October 26. 1992. then the defense of alibi can only be appreciated when an accused lands in a different planet. They cannot be the bases of conviction as they cannot substitute for the constitutional requirement of proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. If half the world away could not even be considered to be "so far removed from the crime scene"44 as to evince the physical impossibility of actual presence. WHEREFORE. 91-7136 (for the rape with homicide of Carmela Nicolas Vizcondefiled by ACSP Aurelio C. Hubert Jeffrey P. G. 1991 (for robbery with homicide) against Villardo Barroso y Datuin. Rey Doe and several other John Does still at large. Suspicions. 1919) also against the same accused and (3) Criminal Case No. Trampe with the same RTC. July 11 1986.. For. 1-3. with homicide wherein the victim was ESTRELLITA NICOLAS VISCONDE) likewise filed against the same accused by ACSP Aurelio C. and Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez. Gatchalian.S. Larrañaga45 to highlight the weakness of alibi as a defense. Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez. His travel and immigration documents showing his departure from the Philippines and arrival in the U. 2 The cases were (1) Criminal Case No. for failure of the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused. indeed.43 in the present case. I.A. 91-7135 filed by then Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Aurelio C.S. unlike Alfaro’s. The dissenters cite People v. Branch 63. Peter Estrada. must never sway judgment. Vol.41 At this juncture. taken in the light of all the evidence on record. Logarta of the Makati City RTC. hence. were credible and trustworthy.

but the results may require confirmation for good reasons. 3478-3479. 9 People v. IV. March 30. Justices Renato C. The Revised Rules Of Court In The Philippines. This rule shall not preclude a DNA testing.R. Vol. August 31. Cosico. at the behest of any party. The DNA testing uses a scientifically valid technique. 197-214. 5 6 7 Resolution dated January 26. 2000.R. Maambong and Normandie B. pp. De Guzman. 2007. Such order shall issue after due hearing and notice to the parties upon a showing of the following: a. Republic.4 Rollo (G. Siao Tick Chong v. either motu proprio or on application of any person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation. 258. 774 (1964) and VIII Francisco. The existence of other factors. 173197. 130. People v. No. 13 January 4. Tagle dissented. 32 SCRA 253. Cited in SALONGA. Pizarro. which the court may consider as potentially affecting the accuracy or integrity of the DNA testing. 176864). 176839). 175928. . Section 4 states: Application for DNA Testing Order. G.R. A biological sample exists that is relevant to the case. Philippine Law on Evidence. Pringas. No. pp. 2007. 393-399 and rollo (G.M.1970. No. and e. d. L-22151. b. p. c. 2007. pp. 06-11-5-SC effective October 15. 74. Eq.R. including law enforcement agencies. 176389). without need of a prior court order. if any. 2007. No. – The appropriate court may. with the concurrence of Justices Regalado E. or (ii) was previously subject to DNA testing . The resolution was penned by Justice Rodrigo V. rollo (G. No. 522 SCRA 207. 531 SCRA 828. 10 11 12 37 N. 132. April 24. order a DNA testing.R. The biological sample: (i) was not previously subjected to the type of DNA testing now requested.J. No. 2000 RTC Decision. 8 A. CA rollo. Decision dated January 4. pp. G. 80-104. The DNA testing has the scientific potential to produce new information that is relevant to the proper resolution of the case. at any time. 458-459 (1997). Dacudao and Lucenito N. before a suit or proceeding is commenced.

TSN. 348. 1997. 233. Governor. 1997. Your Honor. 156-163. will you tell the Honorable Court how did you relate or rather assess the reliability of any information furnished by a drug addict? Witness Velasco: A: Well. October 10. and further urges that the evidence as a whole does not prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Lewis. TSN. 35-45 TSN. the situation is sufficiently similar to that of an accomplice to warrant a close scrutiny of the testimony of such a witness. pp. October 23. at 25-27. 1995. 236. 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Vide People v. TSN. I will consider it. June 4. 35 N. the testimony of a narcotics addict is subject to suspicion due to the fact that habitual users of narcotics become notorious liars. 259 (1960) Ibid. 186 NE 2d 330 (1962) . 47-48. while his position is not that of an accomplice. Vide 98 C. pp. 29 Idaho 248. 185 NE 2d 168 where the Supreme Court of Illinois ruled: The question of whether a witness is a narcotics addict is an important consideration in passing upon the credibility of a witness for. 1995. as we have stated. 2d 396.S.J. 25 Ill.Y. 1995. Perkins. 6-9.14 Vide TSN. Id. We have repeatedly held that the fact that a witness is a narcotics addict and a police informer has an important bearing upon his credibility and.L. 105-106. (citations omitted) In People v. pp. at 35-36. emphasis supplied) 22 State v. 80-96. October 18. 23 24 . Id. pp.U. 26 Ill 2d 2300. not generally reliable. (Citations omitted. Atty. recognizing the fact that habitual users of narcotics become notorious liars and that their testimony is likely to be affected thereby. Ongkiko: Q: As an investigator. 158 Pac. Fong Loon. August 7. Rev. the Supreme Court of Illinois said: The defendant contends that the trial court erred in finding him guilty on the basis of the uncorroborated testimony of a drug addict who was the only witness to the alleged crime.

Atty. Ongkiko: Q: Well. 259. pp. 1996. Alfaro had to settle for claiming that. From Alfaro’s narration. 1996.L. pp. Rev. Ongkiko: Q: Why. if one is under the influence of drugs or one is considered to be an addict. hurled it at the glass-paneled front door of the Vizconde residence. 269-270.U. you know. Your Honor. Atty. Ongkiko: Q: Well. because. to explain the smashed door. the capacity to lie may be very great. Webb appeared rational in his decisions. Webb picked up some stone and. Atty. The Barroso gang members said that they got into Carmela’s house by breaking the glass panel of the front door using a stone wrapped in cloth to deaden the noise. you know. viz: a." (underscoring supplied) 25 Burrus and Marks Testimonial Reliability of Drug Addicts 35 N. Governor? Witness Velasco: A: Well. Webb had no reason to smash her front door to get to see her. for maintaining or for in order to get money. Justice Roberto Abad raised the same points. 26 TSN. out of the blue. 77-79. on the way out of the house. Alfaro could not use this line since the core of her story was that Webb was Carmela’s boyfriend. Consequently. It was past 27 28 . TSN. you could hardly believe his information. May 28.Y. why so? Witness Velasco: A: Because he is not in his state of mind. what about the capacity to lie. they will lie. His action really made no sense. 272-273 (1960). Ongkiko: Q: Why do you say that? Witness Velasco: A: Well. 49-50. 77-78.Atty. July 29. because. 262-263.

R. Alfaro had to adjust her testimony to take into account that darkened garage light. Records. when they had already gotten into the house. September 11. July 31. 176389. 186-196. This made sense since they were going to rob the place and they needed time to work in the dark trying to open the front door. But.R. To explain this physical evidence. January 25. The rejected confessions of the Barroso "akyat-bahay" gang members said that they tried to rob the house. Alfaro claimed that at one point Ventura was pulling a kitchen drawer. 17. like inviting the neighbors to come. to turn the light off. Galvez. No. pp. It is the same thing with the garage light. 34 Rollo. August 1. 176159. pp. 2008. 100. 586. G. 302 SCRA 21. Rodrigo. 1997. The crime scene showed that the house had been ransacked. The police investigators found that the bulb had been loosed to turn off the light. The confessions of the Barroso gang claimed that one of them climbed the parked car’s hood to reach up and darken that light. TSN. He said he was looking for the front-door key and the car key. And why would Ventura rummage a bag on the table for the front-door key. 1996. 44. using a chair. SP No. 1999. Nos.R. Hurling a stone at that glass door and causing a tremendous noise was bizarre. It did not make sense for Ventura to risk standing on the car’s hood and be seen in such an awkward position instead of going straight into the house. 10. b. the house was dark. going through a handbag on the dining table. It is a story made to fit in with the crime scene although robbery was supposedly not the reason Webb and his companions entered that house. Martinez and Hilarion L. 121039-45. 209-225. 29 G. TSN. spilling the contents. penned by Associate Justice Ricardo P. People v. p. Vol. October 6. 564 SCRA 584. Some passersby might look in and see what they were doing. 1996. Vide TSN. 30 31 32 33 CA rollo (CA-G. unlike the Barroso "akyat-bahay" gang. She never mentioned Ventura having taken some valuables with him when they left Carmela’s house. 20-21. pp.R. c. 15. 254-285.midnight. Webb argued that: 35 36 . No. They supposedly knew in advance that Carmela left the doors to the kitchen open for them. and they wanted to get away quickly to avoid detection. Again. and at another point. pp. pp. 51173). So she claimed that Ventura climbed the car’s hood. Webb and his friends did not have anything to do in a darkened garage. G. with the concurrence of Associate Justices Antonio M. Aquino. this portion of Alfaro’s story appears tortured to accommodate the physical evidence of the ransacked house.

People v. 264 SCRA 722. Monteverde v. 105 SCRA 226-238.C. 166. her mother Estrellita and 7-year old sister Jennifer in the hands of unknown assailants inside their home in a private subdivision shocked our countrymen and alarmed the authorities of the rise in heinous crimes. JR. 38 39 40 41 People v. 18. 2009. No. 387 SCRA 196.xxxx 7. 2002. 3.R. Washington. 184958. 43 44 45 The Lawphil Project . pp. 421 SCRA 530. 121195. 256-259. 138874-75. D. 270 SCRA 1.R. at 502-529. 1981. Tajada. Vol. G. No. G. G. particularly those committed by individuals under the influence of drugs. Investigations conducted by the police and other bodies including the Senate.: With all due respect to my colleagues. G. 215. No. L-50631. No.R.R. I dissent from the majority decision acquitting all the accusedappellants.Arellano Law Foundation DISSENTING OPINION VILLARAMA. 42 People v. Nos. December 17. In the middle part of 1991. Abellanosa. November 27. 1997. No. The . G. 2004. August 12. September 17. 394 SCRA 159.R. G. 2002. preferably the Federal Bureau of Investigation. failed to unravel the truth behind the brutal killings – until an alleged eyewitness surfaced four (4) years later. If granted.R. 1996. 139610. People. June 29. People v. 112229. accused Webb reserves his right to be presented at all stages of the DNA typing process and to have access to the results thereof. Since the semen specimen is still in the custody and possession of the NBI. March 18. Domingo. 147200. Records. 746-747. xxxx 37 Id. the gruesome deaths of 19-year old Carmela Vizconde.. No. Peruelo. and even the arrest of two (2) sets of suspects ("akyat-bahay" gang and former contractor/workers of the Vizcondes). J. February 3. accused Webb moves for the submission of the semen evidence to a DNA analysis by a US-government or US government accredited forensic laboratory.

Webb conspiring and confederating with accused Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano. The Case Subject of review is the Decision1 dated December 15. such appeal by notice of appeal is in accord with A. it shall render and enter judgment imposing such penalty. 2000 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Parañaque City. and accusedappellant Gerardo Biong as accessory. Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez. mutually helping one another. 2007 Resolution.R.ensuing courtroom saga involving sons of prominent families had become one (1) of the most controversial cases in recent history as the entire nation awaited its long-delayed closure. life imprisonment or a lesser penalty. with the use of force and intimidation. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. CR H. accused Hubert Jeffrey P.M. G. wilfully. That by reason or on the occasion of the aforesaid rape or immediately thereafter. Webb. No.5 The Facts The Information filed on August 10. with lewd design. 1991. considering that said accused had in fact filed a notice of appeal with the CA.4 Only Webb and Gatchalian filed their respective supplemental briefs in compliance with our April 10. 176389 was consolidated with the present appeal by all accused (G. 2005 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. No. 00336 affirming with modifications the Decision dated January 4. Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez. assault and stab with bladed instruments Carmela Vizconde. took part subsequent to its commission by assisting. That accused GERARDO BIONG and JOHN DOES having knowledge after the commission of the above-mentioned crime. Peter Estrada and Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principals.R. of the crime of Rape with Homicide. 1995 reads: That on or about the evening of June 29 up to the early morning of June 30. thereby inflicting upon them numerous stab wounds in different parts of their bodies which caused their instantaneous death. The judgment may be appealed to the Supreme Court by notice of appeal filed with the Court of Appeals. in the municipality of Parañaque.C. Michael Gatchalian y Adviento. 176389) is hereby treated as an appeal. No. and without having participated therein as principals or accomplices. conspiring and confederating together. Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez and Joey Filart. province of Rizal. while armed with bladed instruments. Estrellita Vizconde and Jennifer Vizconde. Philippines.2 In view of the judgment of the CA imposing the penalty of reclusion perpetua. No. Branch 274 finding the accused-appellants Hubert Jeffrey P. 176864) except Artemio Ventura and Joey Filart who are still at large. with abuse of superior strength. No. 00-5-03-SC (Amendments to the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure to Govern Death Penalty Cases)3 which provides under Rule 124 (c): (c) In cases where the Court of Appeals imposes reclusion perpetua. and with evident premeditation. mutually helping one another. with the use of motor vehicle. the abovenamed principal accused.R. Artemio "Dong" Ventura. The petition for review on certiorari filed earlier by accused Lejano (G. . Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano.R. the above-named accused with intent to kill. did then and there. to conceal or destroy the effects or instruments thereof by failing to preserve the physical evidence and allowing their destruction in order to prevent the discovery of the crime. with abuse of authority as a police officer. Gatchalian. abuse of superior strength. Peter Estrada. Accordingly. nighttime and with the use of motor vehicle. nighttime. unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of the person of Carmela Vizconde against her will and consent. Michael A.

16 After about 40 to 45 minutes. with her then boyfriend Peter Estrada. Alfaro returned to her car but waited for Carmela’s car to get out of the gate. Webb approached her and requested a favor for her to relay a message to a certain girl who happened to be Carmela. Carmela told Alfaro that they come back before 12:00 midnight and she would just leave the pedestrian gate. When she was able to talk to Carmela (an acquaintance she had met only twice in January 199110).6 The RTC and CA concurred in their factual findings based mainly on the testimony of the prosecution’s principal witness. BF Homes. Alfaro testified that on June 29." Lejano said: "Ako ang susunod" and the others responded "Okay. Ventura. While waiting for the rest of the group to alight from their cars. Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez. Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano. Jessica M. Alfaro parked her car along Vinzons St. the declarations of four (4) other witnesses and documentary exhibits. Webb.7 while she had known Ventura since December 19908). Parañaque City. After paying for hershabu and while she was smoking it. Aguirre Avenue. Fernandez approached her suggesting that they blow up . this changed his mood for the rest of the evening ("bad trip"already15). After the group finished their shabu session. to which she agreed. Webb decided it was time to leave. Upon reaching the main road. Alfaro relayed Webb’s message that he was around. Fernandez and Gatchalian on board a Nissan Patrol car." They all left the parking lot and their convoy of three (3) vehicles entered Pitong Daan Subdivision for the third time. Michael Gatchalian and Joey Filart (she had previously seen them in a shabu house located in Parañaque which they frequented as early as January 1991. Webb then gave out complimentary cocaine and all of them used shabu and/or cocaine. while Filart and Rodriguez rode a Mazda pick-up. She also told Webb about Carmela’s male companion. they proceeded to Carmela’s place at No. open and unlocked. Carmela drove ahead and Alfaro likewise left Vinzons St. However. She and Estrada in her car followed the two (2) vehicles: Webb.CONTRARY TO LAW. Alfaro who is a confessed former drug user. she asked for Carmela.12 Carmela further instructed Alfaro to blink her car’s headlights twice before reaching the pedestrian gate to signal her arrival. declaring: "Pipilahan natin siya [Carmela] at ako ang mauuna.14 At the parking lot. Alfaro was approached by Carmela saying she was going out for a while. She relayed the answer of Carmela to Webb who then instructed the group to return to Ayala Alabang Commercial Center.m. and approached the gate of the house pointed to by Webb. Alfaro went to Vinzons St. 1991 at around 8:30 in the evening. she drove her Mitsubishi Lancer and.17 Alfaro parked her car in between the Vizconde house and its adjacent house. she saw Carmela drop off the man who was with her in the car (whom she thought to be her boyfriend13). Alfaro relayed to the group what transpired during her last conversation with Carmela. Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez. Upon seeing Carmela who was at their garden. as well as the iron grill gate leading to the kitchen door. Thereafter. okay. Alfaro looked for the group and relayed Carmela’s instructions to Webb. went to the Ayala Alabang Commercial Center parking lot to get her order of one (1) gram of shabu from Artemio "Dong" Ventura.11 At the same parking lot. they all went back to the Ayala Alabang Commercial Center. 80 Vinzons Street. alone while the Nissan Patrol and Mazda parked somewhere along Aguirre Avenue.9 Upon reaching the area. She pressed the buzzer and when a woman came out. There she met and was introduced to Ventura’s friends: Hubert Jeffrey P. Carmela said she cannot make it as she had just arrived home and told Alfaro to come back after twenty (20) minutes. the group had another shabu session before proceeding again to Carmela’s residence in a convoy. Lejano. Pitong Daan Subdivision. They arrived at the Vizconde residence between 11:45 to 11:55 p.

moaning and in tears while Webb was pumping her. Alfaro saw the Nissan Patrol slow down and something thrown out into a cogonal area. There she saw a man on top of Carmela who was lying on the floor.21 Ventura was blaming Webb telling him: "Bakit naman pati yung bata?" According to Webb. breaking its glass frame. Webb repeated to the boys that they will line up for Carmela but he will be the first. When the three (3) were near the pedestrian gate. Carmela. she jumped on him. and then proceeded towards the dining area. two (2) bloodied bodies on top of the bed and Lejano who was at the foot of the bed about to wear his jacket. she returned to the house passing through the same iron grill gate and dirty kitchen. Webb gave her a look and she immediately left the room. Near an old hotel in the Tropical Palace area. maghanap ka ng susi. she smoked a cigarette. After about twenty (20) minutes. At the garage. They all rode in their cars and drove away until they reached Aguirre Avenue.19 Unable to open the main door. She saw Webb. They parked their cars inside the compound and gathered in the lawn area where the "blaming session" took place. then Jennifer and the last. she saw Ventura pulling a drawer in the kitchen."18 Alfaro entered first the pedestrian gate which was left open. Webb got mad and grabbed the girl. Lejano and Ventura. pushed her to the wall and stabbed her several . She turned her eyes on Carmela who was gagged. he said: "Ikaw na nga dito.the transformer near the pedestrian gate of the Vizconde residence in order to cause a brownout ("Pasabugin kaya natin ang transformer na ito")." She asked him what particular key and he replied: "Basta maghanap ka ng susi ng main door pati na rin ng susi ng kotse. She found the others still outside around her car and Estrada who was inside the car said: "Okay ba?" After staying in her car for about ten (10) minutes. she also did not find any car key. Ventura pulled out a chair to get on top of the hood of the Vizcondes’ Nissan Sentra car and loosened the electric bulb ("para daw walang ilaw"). Webb told Ventura that he left behind his jacket. At the dining area. She shrugged off the idea and told Fernandez "Malakas lang ang tama mo. They proceeded to the iron grill gate which was likewise left open. Webb suddenly picked up a stone and threw it to the main door. followed by Webb. she saw Ventura searching a lady’s bag on top of the dining table. steel gate and long driveway located at BF Executive Village. It was only at this point that Alfaro and the others came to know fully what happened at the Vizconde house. On her way to the screen door. In the kitchen. Alfaro walked back towards the kitchen but upon reaching the spot leading to the dining area. she was surprised upon hearing a female voice uttered "Sino yan?" and she immediately walked out towards her car. While it was dark inside the house. As she lost sight of Carmela and Webb. Alfaro decided to go out of the house. bit his shoulders and pulled his hair. "O sige. Alfaro rushed out of the house and found the rest of the group outside. Carmela and Webb for a moment looked at each other in the eye." When she found a bunch of keys in the bag. Aalis na tayo. she tried them on the main door of the house but none of them fitted the lock. she met Ventura who told her: "Prepare an escape. Out of curiosity. dito lang kami." When Webb. She pushed the slightly ajar door with her fingers and the sound grew even louder. magbabantay lang kami. It was Carmela who opened the aluminum screen door of the kitchen for them to enter. After pushing the door wider. They went to a large house with high walls and concrete fence. his bare buttocks exposed. in her car and on the sidewalk. and passed through the dirty kitchen." Shocked by what she saw. the girl was awakened and upon seeing him molesting Carmela. But Ventura said they cannot make it anymore as the iron grills were already locked. The mother was the first one (1) killed. When she asked Ventura what was it he was looking for. and the others said. Lejano and Ventura leaving the house already. there was light coming from outside. Lejano asked where she was going and she told him she will smoke outside. At the garden area. she heard a very loud static sound (like that coming from a television which had signed off).20 Alfaro boarded her car and started the engine but did not know where to proceed. she went to the door of the master’s bedroom where the sound was coming from and peeped inside. Lejano and Ventura were already standing infront of the Vizconde residence. she walked into the room.

while Jennifer was also lying on top of the bed. The housemaids of the Vizcondes led him to the entrance at the kitchen and pointed to the master’s bedroom. Prospero A." She and Estrada then departed and went to her father’s house. Carmela’s hands were on her back hogtied with an electric cord and her mouth gagged with a pillow case. He also noticed that the TV was still on with loud sound. Cabanayan.26 Judging from the characteristics of the stab wounds sustained by the victims. returned to the Vizconde house to observe what was going on. Gerardo Biong arrived and talked to Webb who ordered him to clean up the Vizconde house.24 Dr. Seven (7) of the nine (9) stab wounds on her chest were perforating. White. one (1) of four (4) security guards assigned at Pitong Daan Subdivision which is part of the United BF Homes. Lejano excused himself and used the telephone inside the house. Cabanayan further testified that Estrellita was also hogtied from behind and her wrists bore ligature marks from an electric cord with a plug. He went out to call the police but he met their Security Chief whom he informed about the killings at the Vizconde house. Further. He saw the policemen already investigating the crime scene and one (1) of them he later came to know as Gerardo Biong. But unlike Carmela and Estrellita. medico-legal officer of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). most of which are on the left anterior chest. 1991. Vizconde was gagged and her hands tied. a homeowner called his attention on the incident the previous night at the Vizconde house. her stab wounds. He is familiar with Mrs. testified that he and Edgar Mendez were the guards on duty on the night of June 29.25 As to Jennifer. her dress pulled up and her genitals exposed. Jr.. Jr. Dr." Webb addressed the group and gave his final instructions: "We don’t know each other. who conducted the autopsy on the cadavers of the victims. he saw the bloodied bodies of the victims: two (2) were on top of the bed. On June 30. Carmela and Jennifer because they were kind to the guards and usually greeted them. Vizconde.. and said "Pera lang ang katapat nyan. The bodies were photographed showing their condition before the start of the post-mortem examination.m. nineteen (19) in all. Jennifer had two (2) stab wounds on her back and incise wounds on her left and right forearms. 1991. starting at 7:00 o’clock in the evening until 7:00 o’clock in the morning of June 30. specimen taken from her genitalia tested positive for the presence of human spermatozoa.27 Normal E. the victims must have been dead for twelve (12) hours. White. pointed and single-bladed instruments such as a kitchen knife. These wounds are located in different parts of her body. had the characteristics of one (1) which is extremely blunt. At around 2:00 in the morning. She had contusions on her right forearm and thighs. and he saw Biong in the act of further breaking the remaining glass.28 Having been apprised of the arrival of the police. Cabanayan concluded that they could have been inflicted using sharp-edged. testified on his findings as stated in the autopsy reports he submitted to the court." Biong answered "Okay lang. ligature marks on her wrists and nine (9) stab wounds on her chest (five [5] wounds are "connecting" or reaching to the back of the body). while Webb called up someone on his cellular phone. which is indicative of complete penetration plus ejaculation of the male sex organ into the female sex organ. hence fatal wounds. Mrs.23 Considering that they were almost in complete rigor mortis. We haven’t seen each other. He then proceeded directly to the entrance/guard post of the subdivision and was told by Mendez that there were already policemen who had arrived. the latter usually referred to as defense wounds. 1991. He immediately proceeded to said house where there were already many people.. There was also a woman who was with Biong when he was conducting the investigation inside the Vizconde premises at the garage area.22 Dr.. at around 6:00 a.baka maulit yan. Carmela was lying on her back with one (1) of her legs raised. The maids were being asked if they were able to hear the breaking of the main door’s glass frame. Upon entering the room. and one (1) lying down on the floor. The contusions on her thighs were probably due to the application of blunt force such as a fist blow. the other extremely sharp.times. He recognized other homeowners . eight (8) of which are "communicating" or perforating (through and through stab wounds) which are fatal since vital organs are involved. She sustained twelve (12) stab wounds.

However. He explained to Webb that the sticker on his car was for United BF Homes and not the local sticker of Pitong Daan Subdivision. However. while doing his roving duty around the subdivision. another homeowner. Biong boxed him insisting he was among the perpetrators and had no mercy for the victims. when presented with the alleged logbook. Jr. he could no longer remember the precise time he saw the group on these two (2) instances. he and Mendez just let the three (3) vehicles in (Mike was in the first car). Mike’s car slowed down on the hump. Jr.31 Biong had also taken their logbook where they list down the names of visitors. Upon approaching the gate. Mendez said everything was alright except for Mike and his friends who had gone in and out of the subdivision ("labas-masok") until the wee hours in the morning of June 30. he noticed vehicles parked along Vinzons St. He was about to flag down and verify ("sisitahin") but Mike (who was at the right front seat) immediately opened his window to show his face and pointed to two (2) vehicles behind him as his companions. Almogino where there seemed to be a drinking party. In particular. It was around 7:00 o’clock in the evening when Webb arrived. Justo Cabanacan.33 Cabanacan further testified that around the last week of May or first week of June 1991. another security guard assigned at the Pitong Daan Subdivision and the one (1) supervising his co-guards White. he returned to their guard post where their Officer-in-Charge (OIC).. White. recounted that Mike’s group entered the subdivision on the night of June 29. probed him and Mendez on anything they had observed the previous night.29 White. Because of their policy allowing outsiders to enter the subdivision as long as they are accompanied by a homeowner. and that Mike was "labas-masok" through the subdivision gate. he could not recognize its cover and could not categorically confirm the entries supposedly made in his own handwriting. including Michael Gatchalian who passed by infront of the house. 1991. Webb pointed to his car sticker saying he is also a BF Homes resident. 1991. When he asked Mendez if he and White. He greeted Webb and asked about his destination. or accompanied by a homeowner or any relative of homeowner. He and Mendez were later fetched by the Chief of Security of Pitong Daan Subdivision Homeowners’ Association. near the Gatchalian residence. near the house of Mr. Mendez and Tungo. Webb replied he was going to see Lilet Sy. etc. 1991. Webb then said: "Taga-diyan lang ako sa Phase III..saka anak ako ni Congressman Webb.30 White. Nestor Potenciano Jr.. plate number of vehicles. 1991 at about 7:00 o’clock in the morning. said it was not the same logbook. Jr. Afterwards. Jr. and OIC Justo Cabanacan. he knows Mike and had seen him visit the house of Lilet Sy. name and street of the homeowner they were staying at. When he asked Webb to leave an identification card. further testified that on the night of June 30. This Lilet Sy is also a suspected drug pusher within the subdivision. he was met by Mendez who told him about the killing of a homeowner and her family. testified that when he reported for duty on June 30. He often goes to Lilet Sy’s house because of the various complaints of homeowners against her like the presence of too many people at her house until midnight and the vehicles of her visitors running over her neighbors’ plants. noticed anything unusual during their tour of duty the previous night. 1991. He confirmed it was indeed their policy that if one (1) is a son/daughter of a homeowner. policemen took him from the Pitong Daan Subdivision Homeowners’ Association and brought him to the Parañaque Municipal Building." He insisted on seeing Webb’s ID card and grudgingly Webb obliged and pulled out his wallet. Webb gave him a laminated ID card with Webb’s picture and .. he/she will no longer be stopped or queried by the guards. also reported to him that on the night of June 29. Biong was forcing him to admit that he was one (1) of those who killed the Vizconde women.who were also there. he came to know Hubert Webb because he had stopped his car at the subdivision gate as it had no local sticker of Pitong Daan Subdivision. He and Mendez told Cabanacan that they did not notice anything unusual except "Mike" (Michael Gatchalian) and his friends entering and exiting the subdivision gate ("labas-masok"). That was actually the second time he saw Mike and his "barkada" that night because he had earlier seen them at Vinzons St. White.32 Justo Cabanacan. Jr. Jr.

the radio operator at the police station went down to the canteen telling Biong he has a call.. The said guards also related to him what Biong did to them. Parañaque from January to July 199136 testified that on June 30. She followed him and saw him cleaning blood stains on his fingernails. 1991. After wiping his face and hands with a handkerchief..38 Lolita Carrera Vda. a well-known personality. Jr. Afterwards. She invited him for lunch but another policeman. 1991 at around 4:00 in the morning. She ate breakfast and rested for a while. She took Biong’s place at the game while Biong went to the headquarters. she brought them down to the laundry area. Saan?. She saw Hubert again around 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon as he left the house passing through the "secret door".. Biong answered. she peeped into Hubert’s room through the "secret door. Mahirap yan ah! O sige. she started washing first Senator Webb’s clothes and then those of the sons. Hubert was back at the house by 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon. Aside from taking their logbook. She washed Hubert’s white shirt with round neck and found it had fresh blood stains at the stomach area and also splattered blood ("tilamsik lang") on the chest. Biong took out a knife with aluminum cover from his drawer and put it in his steel cabinet. 1991 at around 7:00 o’clock in the morning.. Afterwards. this was about 9:00 a. susunod na .. Ano?.m. She had difficulty removing the blood stains and had to use Chlorox. asked her to come to the Parañaque police station to play "mahjong" at Aling Glo’s canteen located at the back of their office. They said Biong punched them and forced them to admit having participated in the Vizconde killings. "Oo. Biong who was then her boyfriend. Biong was on the telephone talking with someone and visibly irked. Dilaw na taxi?" Biong then told her he was leaving and shortly thereafter a taxicab arrived with a man seated at the back seat. Jr.. Biong was in bad mood ("aburido") and complained. Jr. When she finished collecting dirty clothes including those of Senator Webb. she went to the room of Hubert to get his and his brothers’ (Jason and Michael’s) dirty clothes... However.m. Based on the information given by Mendez and White. testified that on June 29. After seeing the ID card. 1991 at around 6:00 p... he did not anymore record this incident in their logbook because anyway Webb is the son of the Parañaque Congressman. "Putang inang mga batang ‘yon. Jr.with the name "Hubert Webb" written on it.34 In the morning of June 30. of the killings. he was clad in t-shirt and shorts.35 Mila Solomon Gaviola. dadating ako. she followed Biong to ask if he was joining the next bet. came and told Biong to proceed to BF Homes and investigate the three (3) dead persons there.) to the police headquarters on June 30. She noticed that Michael and Jason were still asleep while Hubert was sitting on the bed wearing only his pants. he threw it away and when she asked why. using the small "secret door" at the second floor near the servants’ quarters. Biong said it smelled stinky.. They started playing at 6:30 in the evening. Saan?. Biong also took his two (2) guards (Mendez and White.37 Gaviola further testified that on June 30. Biong frequented their place to investigate and asserting he had no female companion while conducting his investigation at the Vizconde house on June 30. he came to meet Biong who was conducting the investigation. 1991 at around 7:00 p. After the incident. She continued playing "mahjong" until morning. 1991. Cabanacan said he also went to the Vizconde house upon being told by Mendez and White." She saw Hubert pacing the floor ("di mapakali"). After a while. Biong bade her good-bye saying he was going to BF Homes. 1991. a widow and resident of United Parañaque Subdivision 5. a laundrywoman who worked at the Webb residence located at Aguirre Avenue. pinahirapan ako nang husto". she saw Senator Webb at the sala reading a newspaper.m. she hanged them to dry on the second floor. She never saw him again until she left in July 1991. Biong came back and went straight to the washing area of the canteen.. BF Homes. By afternoon of the same day. already. Galvan. he returned the same to Webb and allowed him to enter the subdivision. She heard Biong’s words: "Ano?. At around 7:00 a. de Birrer.m. After she finished washing the clothes. he prepared a written report on the incident which he submitted to Nestor Potenciano. Between 1:00 and 2:00 in the morning of June 30.. Returning to the servants’ quarters.

Bartolome answered in the affirmative. Biong next inspected the garage where he saw the footmarks on the car’s hood. Biong saw a stone by the window. After they had lunch. Bartolome’s office. newscast on television. She saw him took a round pendant watch and pocketed it. husband of Estrellita and father of Carmela and Jennifer. Biong initially just said it was given as a gift but when she further queried. he brought all said items with him.000.m. Biong also instructed her to interview the maids on what they know about the killings. Lopez and Ms. She was certain it was that house where Biong went and came out carrying cash in an envelope.00 for the pawned items.39 Upon arriving at the Vizconde house. Birrer was at the Parañaque Municipal Building inside Biong’s office. Biong went to the toilet and turned on the faucet. Biong got P20. Estrellita was engaged in business . Before taking a bath. When Biong asked if he could hear it.ako" and then proceeded to Capt. and proceeded to the Parañaque Municipal Building. 1995. Jr. When Biong left her house. who pointed to the location of the victims’ bodies. While she and the maids were resting at the sala. Vizconde. When she asked him where it came from. He then asked Capt. Biong took out the contents of his pockets which he put on the dining table. Biong also found fingerprints on the electric bulb. When they came out towards the garage area. 1991 at around 6:00 p. Biong on two (2) occasions brought her along to a certain house. Moreno arrived and also a security guard named White. They left the Vizconde house at around 10:00 a. Bartolome’s permission. testified on the personal circumstances of the victims. her driver’s license and calling cards." She asked Biong whether those were the youths he had mentioned earlier and he said yes. He asked her to cook something for the maids to eat. Capt. she saw flashed on ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol News 7:00 p. the running water washed out the blood on the flooring of the toilet. After inspecting the bodies.41 On July 2. Biong searched the drawers using his ballpen. 1991 at 10:00 o’clock in the morning. As to the jewelries taken by Biong from the Vizconde house. Bartolome to go inside the room of the two (2) maids to see for himself if indeed the noise of the breaking glass could not be heard. he answered: "Natatandaan mo ba ‘yong nirespondehan ko noong gabi sa BF Homes? Doon galing ‘yon. They followed Biong towards the back of the house but upon seeing another shoe print on the ground just outside the master’s bedroom. she was with Biong when the latter pawned them at a pawnshop near Chow-Chow. They entered the master’s bedroom and she saw the mother and a small girl on top of the bed. bracelet.m. It was only Biong who went inside the said house as she waited in a taxicab. she joined them in going to the Vizconde residence. At the time of their deaths. She saw Biong open his steel cabinet and took out a brown leather jacket which she thought was imported. a video footage of the house of Senator Webb. Biong proceeded to the main door and removed its chain lock. When Capt. A certain Mr. With Capt. Biong came out of the house with an envelope containing an undisclosed amount of money. She remembered this because when she was already staying in Pangasinan on December 7.42 Birrer further testified that two (2) weeks after they went to the Vizconde residence to investigate. and a young woman sprawled on the floor. She was just beside Biong at the time. Biong shattered the remaining glass of the main door with the butt of his gun.40 Birrer further testified that on July 1. She saw Carmela’s ATM card and driver’s license. Biong requested to use her bathroom. Bartolome was already inside the middle room. Biong arrived at her house bringing along with him the two (2) maids of the Vizcondes. They went out of the room and on the top of the dining table they saw a shoulder bag and scattered next to it were various items such as Carmela’s ATM card. he directed them not to proceed any further.. earrings and the round pendant watch Biong had taken from a jewelry box while they were inside the Vizconde house.m. She did as told but the maids said they do not know anything as they were asleep. Biong told her to let the maids rest. In both instances.43 Lauro G. Biong asked that the victims’ relatives and the homeowners’ association President be summoned.

1995) and raised alibi and denial as defenses to the charge of rape with homicide attended by conspiracy. Psychology student at the University of Santo Tomas. Lauro Vizconde recounted that Carmela mentioned to him that she had turned down a suitor whom she called "Bagyo.S. Senator Webb’s security staff Miguel Muñoz. It actually cost him his life. 1995 and another on May 22.S.45 In one (1) of their telephone conversations when he was still in the U.00 for the construction of the mausoleum . taxi operator. On the eve of his departure. He also expressed his mental anguish.00. he was still in Anaheim Hills. was so close to him that she confides her daily activities. They went home at 3:00 o’clock in the morning already.with a grand total of P793. while Jennifer was a Grade I pupil at Bloomfield Academy at BF Resort. 1992.but communicated with his wife through telephone once or twice a month. when she was still alive. he misses his family and he now lives an abnormal life with no inspiration and no more challenge to work for. California. She intended to pursue further masteral and doctoral degrees in business psychology in the U.. that was the reason he transferred from one (1) state to another looking for a school where Carmela could enroll.00 incidental expenses. Webbs’ secretary Cristina . U. 1991 on board a United Airlines flight bound for San Francisco. having departed from the Philippines on March 9.50.A.950. Carmela was a graduating B. He likewise incurred litigation expenses in the amount of P97.until this unfortunate tragedy befell his family -. However.000.A.46 Defense Evidence The accused chiefly assailed the credibility of prosecution star witness Alfaro.44 Lauro G.(at one [1] time or another she was a garment manufacturer. He sought justice for the death of his family and hoped that the culprits. In fact.000.000. He is presently totally displaced and jobless. When asked how much compensation he will ask for moral damages. Rael. no amount can truly compensate him for the loss of his loved ones. plus P103. emotional suffering due to the untimely demise of his family. The testimonies of the principal witnesses for the defense are summarized as follows: Hubert Jeffrey P. he answered saying he leaves the matter to the sound discretion of the court as in truth. 1991. no less than 95 witnesses47 were presented. P300. He was accompanied by Gloria Webb. wounded feelings. He had not since returned to the country -. Las Piñas. ambitions and plans in life." who is a son of politician in Parañaque and comes from an affluent family. canteen owner and local employment recruiter)..S. whoever they were. Paulo Santos. will be punished so that the souls of his departed loved ones may rest in peace.00 paid for memorial lots and aroundP100. they went to Faces Disco at Makati Avenue where his friends Paulo Santos and Jay Ortega followed.48 Webb’s friend Rafael Jose.000. he. he had to come home in July 1991 and bury his wife and daughters whose violent deaths he was informed of only upon arriving in the country and when he saw their bodies with stab wounds at the funeral parlor just before burial. It was the first time he traveled to the US and he returned to the Philippines only on October 25. Tina and his then girlfriend Milagros Castillo went out and had dinner at Bunchchums. his heart bled all the time and only time can tell when he can fully cope with the situation. He left the Philippines in November 1989 to work in the United States of America. During the trial.A.m. Vizconde further testified that his daughter. His parents were already preparing to leave and so they headed to the airport. After driving around in the city and bringing Milagros home. in particular her execution of two (2) allegedly inconsistent affidavits (one on April 28. Later that night. he arrived at his house at around 5:00 a. dreams.00. whose husband Richard Webb is the eldest brother of his father Senator Freddie Webb. He spent burial expenses in the amount of P289.S. and voluminous documentary exhibits were submitted. Metro Manila. Webb testified that at the time of the killings between June 29 and 30.404.

his parents joined him in the US. He went back to Anaheim and stayed at the house of his godmother and sister of his mother. 1991. she traveled with Webb on a United Airlines flight to San Francisco. He applied for and was issued a driver’s license on June 14. in which he pointed to the entries therein which were actually performed by him. He met Webb at a dinner in the house of Webb’s aunt Susan Brottman in Anaheim Hills around May or June 1991.49 Webb further testified that he stayed at the house of her Auntie Gloria and Uncle Dinky at San Francisco until late April to May 1991. Webb stayed at her residence at 639 Gellert Boulevard. she invited him. Webb went on a trip to Lake Tahoe with Mr. Webb also visited and stayed with them for four (4) days in July 1991. photographs and video tape clips taken during his cousin Marie Manlapit’s wedding to Alex del Toro which wedding he attended in the US together with his mother. Milpitas. California. sister of his mother. Webb said the only ones he had met before June 29. California until May 1991 when he left to be with his mother’s sister and relatives in Anaheim. He met his relatives and other personalities while in the US. Upon the invitation of her aunt Susan Brottman. 1991. Daly City. Senator Freddie and Mrs. and her husband Louis Wheelock picked him up at Daly City in April 1991. Imelda Pagaspas.50 Webb further testified that in the later part of June 1991. was his good . Florida.53 Gloria Webb testified that on March 9. and receipt issued for the mountain bicycle he bought on June 30. Webb and her grandson attended a "concierto" in the evenings and he also joined and helped her son-in-law with his business. 1991 from the Orange Cycle store in Anaheim. He also worked at the pest control company of his cousin-in-law Alex del Toro. toured Disneyland where Luis Wheelock filmed them and attended a concert with Christopher Esguerra who also took him out to the malls.Magpusao and house girl Victoria Ventoso corroborated Webb’s testimony that he departed from the Philippines on March 9. California. Webb’s mother is her childhood friend and schoolmate.51 Webb denied having met Carmela Vizconde and neither does he know Jessica Alfaro. until October 1992. When she heard that Webb was in the US looking for a job. They took them to a trip to Yosemite Park. visited Lake Tahoe with the Wheelock family. he denied having gone out with Rodriguez at any time. 1995. ID and other employment papers. Wheelock and family. 1991. Thereafter. He stayed at the residence of his Uncle Jack and Sonia Rodriguez for almost a year (August 1991-August 1992). Webb presented before the court the logbook of jobs/tasks kept by del Toro. In April 1991. He had been jailed since August 9. To reciprocate the Webbs’ hospitality while they visited the Philippines in 1990. he rented a nearby place but did not complete the one (1) month pre-paid lease period as he proceeded to Longwood. and also his purported pay check ($150 "pay to Cash"). Newport Beach. Rey Manlapit. Webb went with them to church. 1991 were Fernandez and Rodriguez. Aside from his passport and airline ticket for return flight to the Philippines. to the malls and in shopping. When asked about his co-accused.55 Steven Keeler testified that he had been an American citizen since 1982 and resident of 4002 River Street.54 Dorothy Wheelock testified that she became a US citizen in 1974 and has been residing at 877 Las Lomas Drive. during which he also met Rodriguez. he rode a train and went to Anaheim where he stayed until mid-July 1991. He also identified some handwritten letters he mailed while he was in the US and sent to his friend Jennifer Cabrera in the Philippines.52 He also denied knowing Biong who is neither a driver nor security aide of his father. Brottman’s son. also with video footages taken by her husband. While he admitted having gone out on a group with Fernandez to the houses of their basketball buddies. He used to play basketball with Fernandez at BF Homes Phase III. she and her family took Webb to a trip to Lake Tahoe in Nevada during which they even took a video tape.

though they found a Toyota MR2. He. Nordstrom. She has known accused Webb since he was a child. Florida when he went to the house of Jack Rodriguez there. he and Hubert looked for a Toyota MR2 car and paid for it with a check (the car was priced at $6. Vaca perform at La Calesa Restaurant in the City of Testin. Aragon. Disneyworld. 1991 at dinner in the residence of his sister-in-law. Congressman Webb and Hubert went to some stores to go shopping for a bicycle for Hubert.58 Senator Webb further testified that he knows Mila Gaviola who used to be their "labandera. He saw Hubert for the second time at Orlando. 1991. That was the first time he met Congressman Webb. He invited them to snack before he brought them to his own house where he introduced to them his son Andrew. Hubert stayed with his sister-in-law Gloria. .57 Senator Freddie Webb testified that his son Hubert left for the US on March 9. she and her husband boarded a plane for Los Angeles. California. they went shopping for some clothes. Together with Aragon. California to shop for a car for Hubert. 1991 at the Brottman’s residence in Anaheim. 1991. he met then Congressman Freddie Webb at the house of the latter’s sister-in-law. They played basketball with Webb. 1991. 1991. They went to see Congressman Webb at a house in Anaheim. As to Alfaro’s statements implicating his son Hubert in the Vizconde killings. When they fetched Congressman Webb at his sister-in-law’s house. The first time he saw Hubert was when he was still a small kid and the other time on June 28. shopped and watched TV. Disneyland. they went to Orlando. They had dinner that evening with spouses Freddie and Elizabeth Webb at the house of Susan Brottman. Pinatubo eruption. He and his wife also went to the US on June 28.000). Susan Brottman at Anaheim. Salvador Vaca. Webb. went to bars.friend. They wanted to show Hubert the value of independence.000-$7. Hubert was with them again on June 29. June 29.56 Honesto Aragon testified that he went to the US in 1967 and became a US citizen in 1989. Upon arriving at Anaheim. He met Jack Rodriguez when the latter fetched him and his wife Sonia at the Los Angeles International Airport on June 28. On June 28. On June 29. California. 1991. 1991 upon their arrival from the Philippines. the sister-in-law and a Mr. Florida. Hubert resigned from his job at Saztec before departing for the US. The following day. But they only bought bike accessories. he met again Mrs. Rodriguez testified that she was appointed UNESCO Commissioner by then President Fidel V. They stayed at the house of his sister-in-law." She left their house but returned to work for them again about a couple of months after the Mt.59 Louis Whitaker testified that he left the Philippines and resided in the US since September 1964. he said the statements were not accurate because it was physically impossible for Hubert to have participated in the crime as he was abroad at the time.60 Sonia H. and also Hubert. he picked up Congressman Webb and they played tennis from 7:00 to 10:00 a. On July 1. Webb. He could not recall any specific dates he was with Webb.m. 1991. the first time he had gone out of the country. Mrs. they went to Riverside. he saw his son Hubert and also informed Honesto Aragon regarding their plan to procure a bicycle for Hubert. he and Rodriguez invited Congressman Webb to see Mr. then back to Los Angeles and returned to the Philippines on July 21. From San Francisco. this was about July or August 1991. He also knew that Webb bought a car and worked for Alex del Toro for Environment First Termite Control. He believed that Webb left for Florida towards the end of summer (July 1991). at Moresbay Street in Lake Forest. as both of them were members of a basketball team in Letran. at Anaheim. and for him to learn how to get along and live with other people. He and Congressman Webb were close friends. Ramos. 1991. hard work and perseverance. They were fetched at the LA airport by oldtime friend Salvador Vaca and proceeded to the latter’s house in Orange County. They proceeded to the house of a mutual friend. Among the places he visited while in the US were the Yosemite Park. Congressman Webb introduced to him his son Hubert Webb. Susan. Early morning the next day. they did not buy it because it has questionable ownership. On June 28. 1991.

Carpio (now an Associate Justice of this Court) testified that on June 29. 0180. also a Filipino.73 Original License Card of Webb issued on June 14. 1991. On June 30. he just presumed it was so when Webb said he was then at Anaheim. she and her husband stayed overnight at San Francisco where they also met Senator and Mrs. However.66 Webb submitted the following documentary evidence in connection with his sojourn in the US: 1) Video Tape recording of Disneyland trip on July 3. Vaca decided to stay home. 1991.63 performing artist Gary Valenciano (who testified meeting Hubert at a dinner at the Rodriguez residence in Orlando on November 24. 1992. he had a telephone conversation with former Congressman Webb who said he was calling from Anaheim. she and her husband went to the house of Susan Brottman.The next day.72 6) California Driver’s License of Webb. When asked if he had personal knowledge that Congressman Webb was really in the US at that time.71 5) Photographs of Webb with Rodriguez family.65 Then a practicing lawyer. 1991 when they went on a lakeside picnic with the Webb family.61 Webb presented other witnesses to buttress his defense of alibi: Victor Yap (who took video shots of Congressman Webb during a boat ride in Disneyland). Vaca to go to La Calesa. her husband and Salvador Vaca picked up Senator Webb from the house of Susan Brottman and then came back to fetch her and Mrs. 1991. and stayed with them for almost one (1) year. Webb. 1991.68 photographs of the bicycle purchased by Webb from said store.75 Bank of America Certification on Check Nos. After watching the fireworks.76 . 1991 between 10:00 and 11:00 o’clock in the morning. Neither did he have personal knowledge that Hubert Webb was in the US at the time of his conversation with Congressman Webb. Florida on January 27. 1991.. Hubert arrived in her home in Florida with her son Tony. Vaca and Louis Whitaker. where he and his wife went to look for a job for their son Hubert. she and Mrs.67 2) Official Receipt issued by Orange Cycle Center dated June 30. The last time she saw Hubert was when he left Orlando.74 7) Statement of Account issued to Environment First Termite Control showing Check No.m. 0122 and 0180. Jack Rodriguez being the father of his high school classmate Antonio Rodriguez. he replied that since Webb had told him he was leaving for the US.64 and Christopher Paul Legaspi Esguerra (grandson of Gloria Webb who went with Hubert Webb to watch the concert of the Deelite Band in San Francisco in the later part of April 1991 and saw Hubert Webb for the last time in May 1991).62 Armando Rodriguez (who testified seeing Hubert in Orlando either August or September 1991). 1991.. Antonio T. U.69 3) Car plate with the name "Lew Webb". Brottmans and Vacas.70 4) Passport with Philippine Immigration arrival stamp. The next day. She recalled that Hubert was there at the time. She saw Hubert again on July 4. 1991 at around 8:00 p. Atty.A. a restaurant owned by Mario Benitez. together with Salvador and Mrs. in the afternoon of June 29.S. They also talked about bills to be drafted as his law office had been engaged by Congressman Webb for bill drafting services as well as preparation of his speeches and statements. On August August 4. daughter-in-law Ana. they went to Sizzler Restaurant.

When they met Biong there.m.89 On the part of Michael Gatchalian.78 Import documents of said car into the Philippines.. 1992.94 and Atty. Webb.91 Matthew John Almogino. RPN 9 broadcast executive who testified that he personally took video footages of Mon Tulfo’s interviews with some persons in America (including Honesto Aragon and the bicycle shop owner) who attested that Hubert Webb was there at the time of the Vizconde killings. Biong told them to return the following day. He eventually submitted himself for fingerprinting after his name came out in the media.86 Diplomatic Note of the US Department of State with enclosed letter from Acting Director Debora A. 1991 and Biong even asked him to take pictures. who was picked up as a suspect by the police on July 4.88 Accused Antonio Lejano and Michael Gatchalian likewise raised the defense of alibi claiming that they spent the night of June 29. 1991 and his date of departure as October 26. he saw Gatchalian in front of the Vizconde residence telling him that he just woke up and exchanged pleasantries with him. 1991. and was able to do so only when she was coached by the prosecution camp. Pete Rivera relayed to Gatchalian the request of then NBI Director Honesto Aragon for him to turn state witness and which offer was refused by Gatchalian and his father.77 Traffic citations issued to Webb. they told him they are willing to vouch for Mike’s innocence and even volunteered to give statements. 1995 authenticated by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. Leny Mauricio and Ana Marie Pamintuan of The Philippine Star wherein a news article was published stating that Michael Gatchalian had rejected government’s offer for him to turn state witness in the Vizconde case.85 Arrival in Manila Certification issued by the Philippine Immigration. Biong wanted his fingerprints taken right away but he told Biong he needed to consult someone first. correcting the earlier August 10.83 Passenger Manifest of PAL Flight No. was detained. However. Lejano pointed out that Alfaro failed to identify him even as she passed by him three (3) times. On July 5. a former NBI intelligence agent who was tasked to confirm photos of Hubert Webb (his classmate at DLSU St. he and Cas Syap went to the police station where Mike. Lejano and Gatchalian are not "magbabarkada". Office of Records of the USINS stating that the Certification dated August 31. 1991 when he gave his statement to the NBI. Lejano further testified that with the exception of Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez and Michael "Mike" Gatchalian who are his former schoolmates. when he returned in the morning of July 6. he does not know any of his co-accused. who testified that he was among those who went inside the Vizconde house in the morning of June 30. Fernandez.84 PAL ticket issued to Webb. but which segment was edited out in the program he produced (Action 9). testified that Atty.87 and Certificate of Authentication of Philippine Consul Herrera-Lim. a childhood friend and neighbor of Gatchalian.90 Mark Anthony So. 1991 watching video tapes at the house of Carlos Syap at Ayala Alabang Village. he presented nine (9) witnesses: Atty.80 computer-generated print-out of the US-INS indicating date of Webb’s entry in USA as March 9. Benilde) to familiarize Alfaro with his facial features.79 9) Certification issued by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service and correspondence between US and Philippine Government.92 Atty. Porfirio "Perry" Pimentel. testified that they .8) Public Records of California Department of Motor Vehicle on sale to Webb of Toyota MR2 car. 1991 until early morning of June 30. 1991. 1991. They left the house of Syap brothers early morning of June 30. Farmer of the Records Operations. 1995 is a true and accurate statement. and that as far as he knows.82 10) Certification issued by Agnes Tabuena. Camilo Murillo who accompanied Gatchalian on July 19.81 US-INS Certification dated August 31. thereupon at around 9:30 a. 1995 Certification. 103. Manuel Sunga who accompanied Gatchalian to the Department of Justice (DOJ) when he submitted his counter-affidavit (where there were already media people).93 Atty. it was Cas Syap who brought him and Mike home.

1991. Col. he discovered she had in her possession Carmela’s driver’s license and was driving a car already. Michael rushed out towards the Vizconde residence and when he came back about 10:00 o’clock that same morning. 1991 until early morning of June 30. 1991. Michael Rodriguez testified that he was blindfolded and brought to the comfort room by NBI agents and forced to admit that he was Miguel Rodriguez. he called up Rodriguez asking why he has not yet proceeded to the birthday party of Rualo at their house. The bloodied bed. pillows and bed sheets were burned by people at the funeral parlor as ordered by Mr. But it was only the first time he had invited Rodriguez to his birthday party. he said it was not true because the place was closed on Saturdays and Sundays. testified on the alleged incident of "mistaken identity" wherein Alfaro supposedly pointed to one (1) "Michael Rodriguez. So he handed the telephone to Art (who had arrived at the party around 9:30 to 10:00 p. They testified that when Alfaro confronted this "Michael Rodriguez. As to the testimony of Birrer that they played "mahjong" on the night of June 29. 1995. Francisco C. Michael was with his friends at Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa at the residence of the Syaps. because Rodriguez used to bring him along when Rodriguez comes to his house. Charles Calima. We just saw each other in a disco one month ago and you told me then that you will kill me. It was a big party attended by some eighty (80) guests and which ended by 3:30 to 4:00 a. and Michael Rodriguez. he passed by the Vizconde house and saw people milling in front.were invited to the conference room where State Prosecutor Zuño in the presence of then Secretary Guingona made the offer for Gatchalian to turn state witness but it was rejected. Calima from the Bicutan Rehabilitation Center on the basis of the description given by NBI agents. Figueras from a collage of photographs shown to him in court." Contrary to the physical description given by the NBI. he reported that the house was robbed and people were killed inside the house. 1991. 1991 around 7:00 to 7:30. As to Alfaro. He presented as witness his first cousin Mark Josef Andres Rualo who testified that at around 1:00 in the morning of June 30." a drug dependent who was pulled out by Col. At about 8:30 a. However.m. he met her for the first time at the NBI on June 23. he identified Alfaro and Atty. Both of them stayed in their house that day. He knows Lejano. it will take about fifteen (15) to twenty (20) minutes by car. After a surveillance on Birrer. he was subpoenaed by the NBI for the taking of his statement because Lauro Vizconde complained that he had stolen jewelries at the Vizconde house. Gatchalian narrated that when he woke up to jog in the morning of June 30. Among the suspects he had then were Michael Gatchalian. Rodriguez replied that he could not make it because he was not fetched by his brother Art (who was the one with a car).) for them to talk. he saw the crowd getting bigger and so he instructed Michael who had wakened up. He denied Birrer’s account that he went to a place after receiving a telephone call at 2:30 in the morning of June 30.. "How can I forget your face. Tony Boy Lejano and Cas Syap. Jr.98 Accused Gerardo Biong testified that the last time he handled this case was when General Filart announced the case as solved with the presentation of suspects sometime in October 1991. Gatmaitan. He denied Alfaro’s claim that she was their distant relative.95 Atty. His brown jacket was given to him .m.97 The other witnesses presented by Rodriguez." she became very emotional and immediately slapped and kicked him telling him. the accused Miguel Rodriguez he saw inside the court room had no tattoo on his arm and definitely not the same "Michael Rodriguez" whom Alfaro slapped and kicked at the NBI premises.m. He denied the accusation regarding the destruction of evidence as well as missing items during his investigation at the Vizconde residence. He had sought the examination of latent fingerprints lifted from the crime scene but the suspects turned out negative when tested. mats. Rodriguez’s close friend and classmate. to find out and check what happened to their neighbor. Michael had told him that on the night of June 29. From Rodriguez’s residence at Pilar Village.96 Accused Miguel Rodriguez maintained he was at home when the killings took place. Gatchalian confirmed that the NBI and later the DOJ made offers for his son to turn state witness in this case but they refused for the reason that his son was innocent of the crime charged. 1991.

He had the bodies photographed and prepared a spot report. saying that she was angry at him because they separated and he had hit her after he heard about her infidelity. It was only the following day that he brought an employee of the Parañaque police to lift fingerprints from the crime scene. her clothes raised up and a pillow case was placed on top of her private part. Upon arriving at the Vizconde house. he also could not recall if he had those photographed. Lopez and Mrs. As to the main door glass. Carmela who was lying on a floor carpet was likewise gagged. he does not know any more what happened to that case he filed against Gatchalian as he was already dismissed from the service. despite attempts. 1991 at 4:30 a.99 Biong admitted that Birrer went along with him. they passed through the kitchen door which was open already. Biong denied the accusations of Birrer. Mia came. He only met Webb and Estrada at the NBI. Vizconde’s hands were hogtied from behind and her mouth gagged while Jennifer’s body was also bloodied. Atty. As for Michael Gatchalian. He also admitted mauling Normal E. 1991. He was administratively charged before the Philippine National Police (PNP) for Grave Misconduct due to non-preservation of evidence. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. Edgar Mendez did not tell him about the entry of a three (3)-vehicle convoy into the subdivision on the night of June 29. In going inside the house. Bartolome to the Vizconde residence in the morning of June 30. no clear fingerprint had been lifted and he did not any more ask why. bed sheets and blankets because they have been previously told by NBI that no evidence can be found on such items. However. On top of the kitchen table. 2000.103 Ruling of the Trial Court On January 4.long ago by a couple whose dispute he was able to settle. Jr. the trial court rendered its Decision104 finding all the accused guilty as charged.101 Biong further admitted that he was so angry with the Vizconde housemaids as he did not believe they did not hear anything despite the loud sound of the breaking of the main door glass. he saw the bloodied bodies. Neither has he seen Alfaro before the filing of this case. he remembered he had it photographed but he had not seen those pictures. he was the one (1) giving instructions at the time. White. This Court likewise finds the accused Gerardo Biong GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT AS AN ACCESSORY AFTER . at the entrance of Pitong Daan Subdivision for possession of marijuana.m. They left the Vizconde house and brought the cadavers to the funeral parlor. it was the upper part which he broke.. her hands hogtied from behind and her legs spread out. he later inspected them but did not think of examining the bag or taking note of the calling cards and other items for possible relevance to the investigation. there was a lady’s bag with things scattered. Upon entering the master’s bedroom. that was wrapped around Carmela’s mouth and neck. Galvan and Capt. he looked for the victims’ relatives and the homeowners’ association president. 1991.100 Biong also admitted that before the pictures were taken. which was like a stocking cloth. As for the footprint and shoe print found on the hood of the car and at the back of the house. Mrs. He did not take steps to preserve the bloodied carpet. he knows him because on July 3. He was offered by the NBI to turn state witness but he declined as he found it difficult to involve his co-accused whom he does not really know. he removed with his bare hands the object. There was a red jewelry box they saw where a pearl necklace inside could be seen. they caught him at Vinzons St. this Court hereby finds all the principal accused GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF THE CRIME OF RAPE WITH HOMICIDE AND HEREBY SENTENCES EACH ONE OF THEM TO SUFFER THE PENALTY OF RECLUSION PERPETUA.102 He also admitted having mauled Gatchalian while interrogating him for his participation in the Vizconde killings. However. because he thought he was withholding information during the investigation. no latent fingerprints had been taken.

of the crime of RAPE with HOMICIDE. The trial court held that Alfaro gave a clear. spontaneous and frank manner. the absence of a lawyer during the first taking of her statements by the NBI. the trial court ruled that principal accused Webb. Rodriguez and Gatchalian failed to establish their defense of alibi. AND HEREBY SENTENCES HIM TO SUFFER AN IMPRISONMENT OF ELEVEN (11) YEARS. and her uncertainty if she could obtain adequate support and security for her own life were she to disclose everything she knows about the Vizconde killings. the Court hereby orders all the accused to jointly and severally pay the victims’ surviving heir. the Decision of the Regional Trial Court.000. and Gerardo Biong as accessory. 3. Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano. The trial court noted that Alfaro testified in a categorical.000. Lejano. and has remained consistent in her narration of the events despite a lengthy and grueling cross-examination conducted on her by eight (8) defense lawyers. is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. her distrust of the first investigators who took her statements and prepared her April 28. Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez. The amount of P762. considering the vast details she disclosed relative to the incident she had witnessed inside the Vizconde house. Let an alias warrant of arrest be issued against the accused Artemio "Dong" Ventura and Joey Filart for their eventual apprehension so that they can immediately be brought to trial. Peter Estrada.105 The trial court found Alfaro as a credible and truthful witness. Lauro Vizconde.55 as attorney’s fees. 1995 and May 22. 4. On the other hand. the accused having been positively identified by Alfaro as the group who conspired and assisted one (1) another in plotting and carrying out on the same night the rape of Carmela. finding accused-appellants Hubert "Jeffrey" Webb y Pagaspas. The Court of Appeals Ruling By Decision of December 15. which she had satisfactorily explained during the trial considering the circumstances that she initially desired to protect her former boyfriend Estrada and her relative Gatchalian. Lauro Vizconde. the following sums by way of civil indemnity: 1. In addition. as indicated: . Branch 274 of Parañaque City in Criminal Case No. straightforward. positive and convincing testimony which was sufficiently corroborated on its material points by the testimonies of other witnesses and confirmed by the physical evidence on record.00 representing actual damages sustained by Mr. Neither was her credibility and veracity of her declarations in court affected by the differences and inconsistencies between her April 28. The amount of P150.THE FACT. The amount of P97.000. 95-404. FOUR (4) MONTHS AND ONE (1) DAY TO TWELVE (12) YEARS.404. 2. on the occasion of which Carmela’s mother and sister were also stabbed to death. Mr. 1995 affidavit.00 for wrongful death of the victims. Lauro Vizconde. 2005. the CA affirmed with modification the trial court’s decision: WHEREFORE. premises considered. Michael Gatchalian y Adviento. SO ORDERED.450. The amount of P2. 1995 affidavits. Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT as principals.00 as moral damages sustained by Mr.

107 In the Resolution dated January 26. Lejano. On motion for reconsideration filed by the appellants. Appellants’ Arguments Appellants Webb and Lejano set forth the following arguments in their Supplemental Appeal Brief as grounds for the reversal of the CA Decision and their acquittal in this case: . It stressed that it is a case of positive identification versus alibi founded on documentary evidence.450. Tolentino" and "Webb. voting 3-2. et al. the CA found that the prosecution was able to clearly and convincingly establish its presence in the commission of the crime. It disagreed with the appellants’ view that they were victims of an unjust judgment upon their mere allegations that they were tried by publicity. Estrada.R. Lauro Vizconde. the CA’s Special Division of Five. the CA in resolving the appeal considered the weight of documentary evidence in light of testimonial evidence -.000. Lejano. the majority reiterated that it has fully explained in its Decision why the US-INS Certifications submitted by appellant Webb deserve little weight. et al. and that the trial judge was biased whose discriminatory and hostile attitude was demonstrated by her rejection of 132 out of 142 exhibits of the defense during the bail hearings and her refusal to issue subpoenas to prospective defense witnesses such as former Secretary Teofisto Guingona and Antonio Calvento. citing the Joint Decision in CA-G. Accused-appellants Webb.00 as civil indemnity. We AFFIRM the sentence of accused-appellants Webb. as minimum. as maximum.. Mr. P2. We MODIFY the penalty of Gerardo Biong who is an accessory to the crime. affirmed the December 15.00 as moral damages and P97. SP No. 2005 Decision. Tolentino. v.55 as attorney's fees. to twelve (12) years of prision mayor.1). Gatchalian." which had long become final. P762. Estrada and Rodriguez are ORDERED to pay jointly and severally the surviving heir of the victims.404.an eyewitness account that the accused was the principal malefactor. Fernandez. SO ORDERED. On the issue of conspiracy. the amounts of P200. nor participated in killing her. We MODIFY the civil indemnity. her mother and sister. The CA also fully concurred with the trial court’s conclusion that all the principal accused failed to establish their defense of alibi after carefully evaluating the voluminous documentary and testimonial evidence presented by the defense.000. paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code. SP No.00 as actual damages. Fernandez. 2007. 42285 and CA-G. 2). the CA said this is a settled matter. 42673 entitled "Rodriguez v. Gatchalian. Estrada and Fernandez did not actually rape Carmela.R. notwithstanding that appellants Rodriguez. On the basis of the rule that alibi is accepted only upon the clearest proof that the accused was not and could not have been at the crime scene when it was committed.106 The CA upheld the trial court in giving full weight and credence to the eyewitness testimony of Alfaro which was duly corroborated by other prosecution witnesses who had not been shown to have illmotive and malicious intent in revealing what they know about the Vizconde killings.000. and Rodriguez to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and its corresponding accessory penalties under Article 41 of the Revised Penal Code. and 3). As to the issue of apparent inconsistencies between the two (2) affidavits executed by Alfaro. Gatchalian. with the corresponding subsidiary liability against accused-appellant Biong pursuant to Article 110. and absolute perpetual disqualification under Article 58 of the Revised Penal Code. Accusedappellant Biong is sentenced to an indeterminate prison term of six (6) years of prision correccional.

SHOWING THAT HE WAS NOT IN THE PHILIPPINES BUT ABROAD AT THE TIME OF THE COMMISSION OF THE CRIME ON 29 JUNE 1991. AS CORRECTLY APPRECIATED BY JUSTICES TAGLE AND DACUDAO IN THEIR SEPARATE DISSENTING OPINIONS A. OF HIS GUILT OF THE CRIME CHARGED. FREDDIE N. II THE DISSENTING JUSTICES CORRECTLY REJECTED JESSICA ALFARO FOR NOT BEING A CREDIBLE WITNESS AND FOR GIVING INCONSISTENT AND UNRELIABLE TESTIMONY. POWER. WEBB ON THE LATTER’S PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES WITH HIS WIFE AND APPELLANT WEBB. IV . AS THE OFFICIAL TRAVEL DOCUMENT ISSUED BY THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT TO HIM. IS STAMPMARKED AND INITIALED WITH THE DEPARTURE DATE OF 9 MARCH 1991 AND ARRIVAL DATE OF 27 OCTOBER 1992. INFLUENCE. THE PASSPORT OF APPELLANT WEBB. OR CONNECTIONS" IS BASED ON PURE SPECULATION AND BIASED CONJECTURE AND NOT ON A CONCLUSION THAT ANY COURT OF LAW SHOULD MAKE. THE RULING THAT APPELLANT WEBB WAS "SMUGGLED" INTO AND OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES WITHIN 9 MARCH 1991 AND 27 OCTOBER 1992. NO LESS THAN THE HONORABLE JUSTICE ANTONIO T. D.I THE EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING APPELLANT WEBB'S ABSENCE FROM PHILIPPINE TERRITORY BETWEEN 9 MARCH 1991 AND 27 OCTOBER 1992 ENGENDERS A REASONABLE DOUBT AND PRECLUDES AN ABIDING CONVICTION. CARPIO TESTIFIED IN OPEN COURT THAT IN THE MORNING OF 29 JUNE 1991. SUSPECT AND ACCORDINGLY REJECT THE PROOF OFFERED BY THEM IN THEIR DEFENSE INSTEAD OF GIVING DUE WEIGHT AND CONSIDERATION TO EACH IN ORDER TO THOROUGHLY SATISFY ITSELF OF THE "MORAL CERTAINTY" REQUIREMENT IN CRIMINAL CASES. OR BEFORE THE COMMISSION OF THE CRIME. WITH THE US INS CERTIFICATIONS BEING THE PROBABLE PRODUCT OF "MONEY. WHICH INDICATE EXACTLY THE SAME DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL DATES OF 9 MARCH 1991 AND 27 OCTOBER 1992. HE HAD AN OVERSEAS CONVERSATION WITH SEN. B. C. III THE COURT OF APPEALS MANIFESTLY ERRED IN DISCARDING EACH AND EVERY PIECE OF THE ACCUSED’S EVIDENCE AND PRACTICALLY REDUCING THE APPEAL BELOW INTO AN EXERCISE OF FINDING GROUNDS TO DOUBT. TO A MORAL CERTAINTY. CONFIRM THAT IT WAS PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR APPELLANT WEBB TO HAVE COMMITTED THE CRIME. THUS. THE CERTIFICATIONS AND COMPUTER PRINTOUT ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES INS NON-IMMIGRANT INFORMATION SYSTEM.

II THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE PROSECUTION HAS PROVED THE CONSPIRACY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT AND IN CONVICTING HEREIN ACCUSEDAPPELLANT BASED ON SUCH CONSPIRACY. THE TESTIMONY OF JESSICA ALFARO CANNOT BE JUDICIALLY RECOGNIZED. III THE PROCEEDING BELOW WAS ATTENDED BY IRREGULARITIES SHOWING PARTIALITY ON THE PART OF THE TRIAL JUDGE IN VIOLATION OF HEREIN ACCUSED-APPELLANT’S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS. AND NOT THE PROSECUTION’S.108 Appellant Gatchalian reiterates the arguments he had raised in his appeal brief and motion for reconsideration filed before the CA. WHICH ESCHEW A FINDING OF GUILT UNLESS ESTABLISHED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT AND ORDAIN THE RESOLUTION OF ALL DOUBTS IN FAVOR OF THE ACCUSED. II THE CRIMINAL CONNECTION OF MICHAEL GATCHALIAN TO THE GRUESOME VIZCONDE MURDERS HAS NOT EVEN BEEN REMOTELY SHOWN TO SERVE AS A BASIS FOR CONVICTION. THE COURT OF APPEALS MANIFESTLY ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE CONVICTION OF APPELLANT WEBB WHEN THE DEFENSE OF ALIBI HE ESTABLISHED BY OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE IS SUFFICIENT TO ENGENDER REASONABLE DOUBT AS TO HIS GUILT OF THE OFFENSE CHARGED. xxxx I BY ALL STANDARDS OF FAIRNESS AND JUSTICE.IN LIGHT OF THE BASIC TENETS UNDERLYING OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. as follows: I THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN GIVING CREDENCE TO THE INCREDIBLE TESTIMONY OF SUPPOSED EYEWITNESS JESSICA ALFARO AND CORROBORATING WITNESSES NORMAL WHITE AND JUSTO CABANACAN. III . IV THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT ACQUITTING HEREIN ACCUSED-APPELLANT. THE SCALES OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN TILTED IN HIS. FAVOR.

110 Totality of Evidence Established the Guilt of Appelants Beyond Reasonable Doubt Appellants assail the lower courts in giving full faith and credence to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. said findings are generally conclusive and binding upon this Court. Gatchalian thus contends that the delay occurred even before a preliminary investigation was conducted and cites cases upholding the right of accused persons to a speedy trial where there was delay in the preliminary investigation. IV THE RULES ON EVIDENCE ON BURDEN OF PROOF AND OF THE STANDING PRESUMPTIONS IN LAW HAVE BEEN GROSSLY VIOLATED. arbitrary and unsupported conclusions can be gathered from such findings. because it has the unique position of observing the witness’ deportment on the stand while testifying. which Justice Tagle in his dissenting opinion also found as unjust.109 Additionally.IN THE REQUIRED JUDICIAL EVALUATION PROCESS. gross misapprehensions of facts and speculative. Her delay of four (4) years in reporting the crime has to be taken against her. as noted by Justice Dacudao in his dissenting opinion. particularly with the story behind it. Moreover. They contend that the totality of evidence engenders a reasonable doubt entitling them to acquittal from the grave charge of rape with homicide. I firmly believe that the CA correctly upheld the conviction of appellants. After a thorough and conscientious review of the records. Gatchalian assails the denial by the trial court of his motion (and also appellant Webb’s) for DNA testing despite a certification from the NBI that the specimen semen remained intact. and the alleged "piece by piece discarding" of their voluminous documentary exhibits and testimonies of no less than ninety-five (95) witnesses. She volunteered to come forward only after the arrests of previous accused did not lead anywhere.111 It is a fundamental rule that findings of the trial courts which are factual in nature and which involve credibility are accorded respect when no glaring errors. He further argues that the right to a speedy trial is violated even if the delay was not caused by the prosecution but by events that are not within the control of the prosecution or the courts. Credibility of Prosecution Witnesses The determination of the competence and credibility of a witness rests primarily with the trial court. particularly Jessica Alfaro despite inconsistencies and contradictions in her two (2) affidavits. Thus. AND FOR ALL THAT IT IS WORTH. HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO A SPEEDY TRIAL AND A SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF HIS CASE. the length of time which took Alfaro to come forward and testify in this case is most conspicuous.113 . THE ENVIRONMENTAL CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE RECORD OF THIS CASE POINT UNERRINGLY TO THE INNOCENCE OF MICHAEL GATCHALIAN. it is clear that she adopted the version previously advanced by an "akyat-bahay" gang.112 When the trial court’s findings have been affirmed by the appellate court. V MICHAEL GATCHALIAN RESPECTFULLY INVOKES HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS ON THE GROUNDS OF BIAS AND PREJUDICE.

was likewise questioned by the appellants. Her being a former drug user in no way taints her credibility as a witness. When the question was posed to Alfaro on cross-examination. Alfaro could not have divulged the foregoing details of the crime if she did not really join the group of Webb in going to the Vizconde residence and witness what happened during the time Webb. 1991 showing that the victims died of multiple stab wounds. Cabanayan who conducted the autopsy and post-mortem examination of the cadavers in the morning of June 30. which would place it between midnight and 2:00 o’clock in the morning of June 30. she positively stated that while indeed she had taken shabu at that time. The fact that a witness is a person of unchaste character or even a drug dependent does not per se affect her credibility. Alfaro’s detailed testimony appears clear and convincing. was consistent with the testimony of Birrer that Biong left the "mahjong" session to answer a telephone call between 1:00 to 2:00 o’clock in the morning of June 30. 1991. Biong arrived at around 2:00 o’clock in the morning of June 30. [6] that Carmela was raped by Webb and how the three (3) women were killed as Alfaro learned from the conversation of the appellants at the BF Executive Village house. it is to be noted that she revealed such details and observations which only a person who was actually with the perpetrators could have known.114 and [8] that after Webb made a call on his cellular phone. Lejano and Ventura were inside the house and when the group retreated to BF Executive Village. gagged and bloodied) was correctly described by Alfaro. Contrary to appellants’ contention. [5] the positioning of the dead bodies of Carmela. Bartolome and the housemaids the loud sound by again hitting the glass of the main door. was consistent with the findings of Dr. Estrellita and Jennifer and their physical appearance or condition (hogtied. threw a stone which broke the glass frame of the main door. jibed with the testimony of Birrer who likewise saw a stone near the broken glass panel at the living room of the Vizconde house.. her perception of persons .115 Alfaro’s ability to recollect events that occurred four (4) years ago with her mental condition that night of June 29. Birrer and Biong that when they went inside the Vizconde house in the morning of June 30. which is consistent with Alfaro’s testimony that on their first trip to the subdivision she parked her car infront of the Vizconde house while appellants parked their respective cars near the dead end of Vinzons St. the TV set inside the master’s bedroom was still turned on with a loud sound. 1991 and thereafter Birrer asked where he was going. [2] that Ventura climbed on the hood of the Nissan Sentra car and loosened the light bulb to turn it off was confirmed by the testimony of Birrer and appellant Biong that they found a shoe print on the hood of the car parked inside the garage of the Vizconde house. Normal White.. She even opened her personal life to public scrutiny by admitting that she was addicted toshabu for sometime and that was how she came to meet Webb’s group and got entangled in the plot to gang-rape Carmela. [7] that Webb. consistent with the declarations of White. and Biong himself testified that he even demonstrated to Capt. Jr. 1991 was confirmed by the security guard on duty. even defense witnesses Dennis Almogino (neighbor of the Vizcondes) and SPO2 Reynaldo Carbonnel declared that the garage was totally without light. 1991.Reexamining the testimony of Alfaro. to wit: [1] that their convoy of three (3) vehicles repeatedly entered the Pitong Daan Subdivision on the night of June 29. just before going out of the gate of the Vizconde house.. Jr. to which Biong replied "BF" and shortly thereafter a taxicab with a man at the backseat fetched Biong. the specimen taken from Carmela’s vaginal canal tested positive for spermatozoa and the approximate time of death based on the onset of rigor mortis. thus giving the Court the impression that she was sincere and credible. who also testified that he had seen Gatchalian and his group standing at the vicinity of the Almogino residence located near the end of Vinzons St. [3] that a lady’s bag was on top of the dining table in the kitchen was likewise confirmed by Birrer and Biong. Indeed. Birrer and Biong who were among those who first saw the bodies in the morning of June 30. 1991. [4] that a loud static sound coming from the TV set inside the master’s bedroom which led Alfaro to the said room. who underwent exhaustive and intense cross-examination by eight (8) defense lawyers. 1991 when she admittedly took shabu three (3) times and even sniffed cocaine. More importantly.. 1991 at the BF Executive Village house where she and appellants retreated. matched with the observations of the Vizconde housemaids. her testimony was corroborated on its material points by the declarations of other prosecution witnesses.

Her faculties unimpaired by the drugs she had taken that night. He even offered her a plane ticket for her to go abroad.120 .117 Neither had appellants established any ill-motive on the part of the other prosecution witnesses. Alfaro testified that even if she was then a regular shabu user. Sworn statements/affidavits are generally subordinated in importance to open court declarations because the former are often executed when an affiant’s mental faculties are not in such a state as to afford him a fair opportunity of narrating in full the incident which has transpired. she had to muster enough courage to finally come out in the open considering that during her last encounter with appellants at a discotheque in 1995.116 Besides. Sanchez119 . this Court has repeatedly ruled that whenever there is inconsistency between the affidavit and the testimony of a witness in court. she will be killed.and events around her was not diminished. As she cast off her addiction to drugs. I find that the circumstances of habitual drug use and delay in reporting a crime did not affect the competence and credibility of prosecution witness Alfaro. she had not reached that point of being paranoid ("praning"). It was the first time Alfaro sniffed cocaine and she described its initial effect as being "stoned. 1995 and May 22. appellants failed to adduce any evidence to establish any improper motive that may have impelled Alfaro to falsely testify against them. she did not fall asleep sinceshabu and "coke" are not downers. its desensitizing effect began to wear off and her conscience bothered her no end.118 With greater relevance should this rule apply in situations when a subsequent affidavit of the prosecution witness is intended to amplify and correct inconsistencies with the first affidavit." but lasting only five (5) to seven (7) minutes. Inconsistencies and Discrepancies in Alfaro’s April 28. she was threatened by appellant Rodriguez that if she will not keep her mouth shut. The absence of evidence of improper motive on the part of the said witness for the prosecution strongly tends to sustain the conclusion that no such improper motive exists and that her testimony is worthy of full faith and credit. Alfaro further explained her indifference and apathy in not dissuading Webb and her group from carrying out their evil plan against Carmela as due to the numbing effect of drugs. testimonial evidence carries more weight than sworn statements/affidavits. Alfaro was able to vividly recall what transpired the whole time she was with appellants. Testimonies given during trials are much more exact and elaborate. and with her child’s future in mind. other than their allegation that she regularly associated with NBI agents as one (1) of their informants. her desire to transform her life grew stronger. and capable of barbaric acts she had already seen. In fact. the chance to redeem herself came when she was invited to a Christian fellowship. Delay or vacillation in making a criminal accusation does not necessarily impair the credibility of the witness if such delay is satisfactorily explained.we advert to that all-too familiar rule that discrepancies between sworn statements and testimonies made at the witness stand do not necessarily discredit the witnesses. Coming from wealthy and influential families. Under such circumstances. the discrepancies having been adequately explained. from the start of preliminary investigation. have repeatedly harped on the discrepancies and inconsistencies in Alfaro’s first and second affidavits. It bears stressing that the fact of delay alone does not work against the witnesses. However. the delay of four (4) years in admitting her involvement in the Vizconde killings cannot be taken against Alfaro. 1995 Affidavits Appellants.. However. Thus.. appellants instilled such fear in Alfaro that her reluctance to report to the authorities was perfectly understandable. Eventually. We held in People v. the testimony commands greater weight. which also enabled her to dislodge from her mind the harrowing images of the killings for quite sometime.

we are tasked to consider two crucial points in sustaining a judgment of conviction: first. As well said often. Mercader who was not actually present). Gatchalian. White. particularly between Ventura and Webb. Cabanacan and Gaviola.Alfaro explained the circumstances surrounding her execution of the first Affidavit dated April 28. all the elements constituting the crime were duly proven by the prosecution to be present. during and after its commission was duly established.124 Both the RTC and CA found the eyewitness testimony of Alfaro credible and competent proof that appellants Webb.123 There appears to be no question about the fact that a horrible and most unfortunate crime has been committed. Fernandez. Alfaro likewise positively identified appellant Biong. 1995 which was done without the presence of a lawyer and at the house of agent Mario Garcia where she was brought by Atty. She was aghast upon discovering the completed affidavit which falsely stated that it was made in the presence of her lawyer of choice (Atty. Appellants’ presence at the scene of the crime before. Sacaguing and Moises Tamayo. in most cases. indeed a given fact. Gatchalian. Rodriguez and Estrada were at the scene of the crime and that Webb raped Carmela as the bloodied bodies of her mother and sister lay on top of the bed inside the master’s bedroom. At another house in BF Executive Village where the group retreated after leaving the Vizconde house. Alfaro admitted down playing her own participation in her narration (including the circumstance that she had previously met Carmela before the incident) and those of her exboyfriend Estrada and her relative. acts and declarations were likewise detailed by Alfaro who was shown to be a credible witness. another agent of task force AntiKidnapping. Prosecution Evidence Sufficient to Convict Appellants This Court has consistently held that the rule on the trial court’s appreciation of evidence must bow to the superior rule that the prosecution must prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. Lejano. but next to it is the pivotal issue of whether or not the prosecution has been able to discharge its equal burden in substantiating the identities of accused-appellants as the perpetrators of the crime. as the person ordered by Webb to "clean the Vizconde house.122Thus. decisive of the success or failure of the prosecution. Cabanayan. whom somebody from the group described as the driver and bodyguard of the Webb family. taking into account the credibility of the prosecution witness who made the identification as well as the prosecution’s compliance with legal and constitutional standards. and this presumption must prevail unless overturned by competent and credible proof. The law presumes an accused innocent. Agent Tamayo also incorporated inaccurate or erroneous information indicating that she was a college graduate even if she tried to correct him." The testimony of Alfaro on its material points was corroborated by Birrer. and thereupon learned from their conversation that Carmela’s mother and sister were stabbed to death before she herself was killed. Jr. the identification of the accused as perpetrator of the crime.121 Moreover. It is. Their respective participation. Dr. Alfaro witnessed the blaming session. Tamayo simply told her to just let it remain in the statement as it would not be noticed anyway. on account of her urgent concern for her own security and fear of implicating herself in the case. It is axiomatic that a witness who . in this case. conviction must rest on the strength of the prosecution’s case and not on the weakness of the defense. The unusual questioning of these men gave her the impression that she was merely being used to boost their career promotion and her distrust was even heightened when they absolutely failed to provide her security. and second. and right beside it stood Lejano while Ventura was preparing for their escape. Hijack and Robbery (AKHAR). Positive Identification of Accused-Appellants Eyewitness identification constitutes vital evidence and..

alibi is in fact a good defense. The excuse must be so airtight that it would admit of no exception. spontaneous and frank manner and remains consistent on cross-examination is a credible witness. by casting doubt on the guilt of the accused. the accused must prove (a) that he was present at another place at the time of the perpetration of the crime. There clearly exists. In denying the motion for reconsideration of accused Larrañaga.126 Appellants’ Alibi and Denial We have held in a number of cases that alibi is an inherently weak and unreliable defense. 1991. Contrary to the common notion. Let there be no mistake about it. alibi must be supported by clear and convincing proof. and it would not have been impossible during the interregnum for Webb to travel back to the country and again fly to the US several times considering that the travel time on board an airline from the Philippines to San Francisco. 1992 was correctly rejected by the RTC and CA. the burden of evidence then shifts to the defense which shall then test the strength of the prosecution’s case either by showing that no crime was in fact committed or that the accused could not have committed or did not commit the imputed crime. June 29.] The claim of appellant Webb that he could not have committed the crime because he left for the United States on March 9. or at the very least. Physical impossibility "refers to the distance between the place where the accused was when the crime transpired and the place where it was committed. for it is easy to fabricate and difficult to disprove. involving a shorter travel distance (Quezon City to Cebu) and even shorter period of time showing the least possibility of an accused’s presence at the time of the commission of the crime (a matter of hours) than in the case at bar (March 9. 1991 which is three [3] months). the defense of alibi must be such that it would have been physically impossible for the person charged with the crime to be at the locus criminis at the time of its commission. Where there is the least possibility of accused’s presence at the crime scene. therefore.127 To establish alibi. This Court in People v. 1991 and then departed for the US again. while on the other end is the positive identification of the herein appellants by the prosecution witnesses who were not. to be valid for purposes of exoneration from a criminal charge. it was not unlikely that Webb could have traveled back to the Philippines before June 29-30. 1991 and returned to the Philippines only on October 26. in any . such possibility of Webb’s presence at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission. not on the weakness of the defense."128 Due to its doubtful nature.125 A criminal case rises or falls on the strength of the prosecution’s case. and (b) that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime. straightforward. which is futile in the face of positive identification: This case presents to us a balance scale whereby perched on one end is appellants’ alibi supported by witnesses who were either their relatives. friends or classmates. and his excuse cannot be deemed airtight. the alibi will not hold water. the plea of having been elsewhere than at the scene of the crime at the time of the commission of the felony.testifies in a categorical. These dates are so distant from the time of the commission of the crime. the reason being that no person can be in two places at the same time. as well as the facility of access between the two places. Given the financial resources and political influence of his family. 1991 and June 30. is a plausible excuse for the accused. Once the prosecution overcomes the presumption of innocence by proving the elements of the crime and the identity of the accused as perpetrator beyond reasonable doubt. we held that accused Larrañaga failed to establish his defense of alibi.129 "Alibi. 1991 to June 29. and returning to the Philippines in October 1992. Larrañaga131 had similarly rejected the defense of alibi of an accused. But. 130[emphasis supplied. and from San Francisco to the Philippines takes only about twelve (12) to fourteen (14) hours.

it cannot prove that he remained in the United States during the intervening period. The incident reminded her of Jacqueline’s prior story that he was Marijoy’s admirer. she saw Larrañaga approach Marijoy and Jacqueline at the West Entry of Ayala Center. a businessman from Cogon. at about 8:00 o’clock. During the hearing. It must be noted that the accused Webb is a scion of a rich. 1992 had been duly established by the defense. During the long span of time between March. Larrañaga’s presence in Cebu City on July 16. the requirements of time and place. . Alberto. Ariel. it cannot be said that there was lack of available means to transport. corroborated the foregoing testimonies of Shiela and Analie. What is clear from the evidence is that Rowen. Cebu City when the Chiong sisters were abducted. the lapse of more than three (3) months from the time the accused Webb left the Philippines for the United States on March 9. 1997. perpetrate the criminal act. it was shown that it takes only one (1) hour to travel by plane from Manila to Cebu and that there are four (4) airline companies plying the route. The RTC thus correctly ruled: Granting for the sake of argument that the claim of departure for the United States of the accused Webb on March 9. Analie Konahap also testified that on the same evening of July 16. Josman. 1997. 1992. 1991 when the crime was committed is more than enough time for the accused Webb to have made several trips from the United States to the Philippines and back. The latter was leaning against the hood of a white van. we are certain that the balance must tilt in favor of the latter. having seen them several times at Glicos. Indeed. a thorough examination of the evidence for the prosecution shows that the appellants failed to meet the requirements of alibi. One of the defense witnesses admitted that there are several flights from Manila to Cebu each morning. James Anthony and James Andrew were all within the vicinity of Cebu City on July 16. The Court takes judicial notice of the fact that it only requires the short period of approximately eighteen (18) hours to reach the Philippines from the United States. the security guard then assigned at Ayala Center. with the advent of modern travel. 1997. Not even Larrañaga who claimed to be in Quezon City satisfied the required proof of physical impossibility. Shiela Singson testified that on July 16. They failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that it was physically impossible for them to be at the Ayala Center. and politically powerful family with the financial capacity to travel back and forth from the Philippines to the United States.. Since there are numerous airlines plying the route from Manila to the United States. and travel back to the United States. related to the victims. She recognized the two (2) men as Larrañaga and Josman. And over and above all. afternoon and evening. 1997. 1991 to October. located across her office at the third level of Ayala Center. Shiela confirmed that she knows Larrañaga since she had seen him on five (5) occasions.e. 1997. 1991 to June 29 and 30. Williard Redobles. she saw Marijoy and Jacqueline talking to two (2) men at the West Entry of Ayala Center. With the above jurisprudence as guide. Carcar. 1991 and his arrival in the Philippines on October 26. Four (4) witnesses identified Larrañaga as one of the two men talking to Marijoy and Jacqueline on the night of July 16. Rosendo Rio. at around 7:20 in the evening. 1997 was proved to be not only a possibility but a reality. a game zone. Moreover. In addition. I find no reversible error committed by the RTC in refusing to give credence to appellant Webb’s argument that he could not have committed the crime of rape with homicide because he was still in the US on June 29 and 30. it was not physically impossible for the accused Webb to have returned to the Philippines. He could very well afford the price of a plane ticket to free him from all sorts of trouble. declared that he saw Larrañaga at Tan-awan at about 3:30 in the morning of July 17. Besides. Rusia categorically identified Larrañaga as one of the participes criminis. influential.way. 1991. i.132 [emphasis supplied] In the light of relevant precedents.

S. INS. to go to another place to commit a crime. 1995. Jamero (24 SCRA 206) was the availability to the accused of the means by which to commit a crime elsewhere and then return to his refuge. Such being the case. The later certifications issued by the U. Webb presented the explanation of one Steven P. I quote with approval the CA’s findings which are well-supported by the evidence on record: (a) U. that it had no record of the arrival and departure of Webb to and from the United States. and found no record of admission into the United States of Webb. Bucher. after a meticulous and painstaking reevaluation of Webb’s documentary and testimonial evidence.S.S. and it is worthy of belief that the accused Webb could have departed and entered the country without any traces whatsoever of his having done so. Thus. The CA. besides being rich and influential. The search . We are not convinced with this explanation. 1995 and October 13. erroneously. It is not amiss to note that a reading of the first Certificate of Non-existence of Record (Exhibit "212D") subscribed by Debora A. the Webb money and connections were at the disposal of the accused Webb. In fact. INS would show that the U. incompetent or irrelevant. the Congressman of Parañaque and later became a Senator of the Republic of the Philippines. INS had previously reported on August 10. It is to be noted that the U. It is to be remembered that as part of his evidence.S. INS is an agency well known for its stringent criteria and rigid procedure in handling documents relating to one’s travel into and out of its territory. The said office later on admitted that it failed to exhaustively study all information available to it. The principal factor considered by the Supreme Court in denying the defense of alibi in People vs. defense witness Andrea Domingo. This is due to the fallibility demonstrated by the US INS with regard to the certifications which the said office issued regarding the basic information under its direct control and custody. the Supreme Court has declared in a case that even the lapse of the short period of one (1) week was sufficient for an accused to go to one place. INS Certifications xxxx The Court seriously doubts that evidentiary weight could be ascribed to the August 31. Farmer of the U. was at that time in 1991. sustained the RTC’s conclusion that these pieces of evidence were either inadmissible. INS had made a "diligent" search. Acting Chief of Records Services Branch of the U. it would therefore be hard to imagine that the said agency would issue a certification that it had no record of a person’s entry into and exit from the United States without first conducting an efficient verification of its records. On this point. x x x133 [emphasis supplied] There is likewise no merit in appellant Webb’s contention that the CA misappreciated his voluminous documentary evidence and numerous witnesses who testified on his stay in the US. come across as a strained effort by Webb at establishing his presence in the United States in order to reinforce his flimsy alibi.It must likewise be noted that the father of the accused Webb.S. INS and computer print-out of the Nonimmigrant Information System (NIIS) which allegedly established Webb’s entry to and exit from the United States. former Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation testified on the practice of "human smuggling" at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. INS modifying its first certification and which was issued only a few weeks earlier.S.S. We do not also believe that a second search could give rise to a different conclusion. and then return to his point of origin. 1995 Certifications of the U.S. considering that there is no showing that the records searched were different from those viewed in the first search. who admitted that the U.

that is. the supervisor of customer services of United Airlines in Manila. Even assuming there was such an original ticket in existence. who had no hand in the actual preparation or safekeeping of the said passenger manifest. Likewise. to have an entry on accused-appellant Webb when the said port of entry had no such record was never sufficiently addressed by the defense. all the checking agents who were on duty on March 9. INS. This does not satisfy the requirements set forth under Section 5 of Rule 130.the alleged United Airline ticket of accused-appellant Webb offered in evidence is a mere photocopy of an alleged original. "how it became possible for the U. Instead. x x x we find that the photocopy presented in evidence has little if no probative value. xxxx (b) Passenger Manifest of United Airlines Flight The purported passenger manifest for the United Airlines flight that allegedly conveyed accusedappellant Webb for the United States. INS. (d) Philippine passport The passport of accused-appellant Webb produced in evidence. the defense presented Dulcisimo Daluz. his testimony thereto is at most hearsay and therefore not worthy of any credit. and determine for itself whether the same is entitled to any weight in evidence. INS Archives in Washington.. Be it noted that what appears on record is only the photocopy of the pages of Webb’s passport. we note that the said passenger manifest produced in court is a mere photocopy and the same did not comply with the strict procedural requirement of the airline company. the same is hardly of any weight. It must be stressed that to satisfactorily prove the due execution of a private document. and the inscriptions appearing thereon. also offer little support of Webb’s alibi. 1991 must sign or initial the passenger manifest. in the absence of clear proof that the same was indeed used by accused-appellant Webb to go to the United States. Other than the submission that the original could no longer be produced in evidence. Be it also noted that the basis of the U. there is no other proof that there ever was an original airline ticket in the name of Webb.S. which was never presented below. the testimony of the witness with regard to the execution of the said document must be positive.allegedly included an inquiry into the automated and non-automated records systems of the U. (c) United Airline Ticket . Such being the case. . This further lessens the credibility of the said document. INS second certification (Exhibit "218") was a printout coming also from automated information systems..S. was not identified by the United Airlines personnel who actually prepared and completed the same. The Court therefore can only rely on the appreciation of the trial court as regards the authenticity of the passport and the marks appearing thereon. which is supposed to merely download and copy the information given by the San Francisco INS.S. as it is the trial court that had the exclusive opportunity to view at first hand the original of the document." It is with this view that the Court recognizes little if not nil probative value in the second certification of the U.S. As pointed out by the Office of the Solicitor General in its appeal brief.

(e) Video footage of accused-appellant Webb’s parents in Disneyland and Yosemite Park. before he took the witness stand. (h) Webb’s Driver’s License We agree with the trial court's observation that the Driver’s License allegedly obtained by accused-appellant from the California Department of Motor Vehicle sometime in the first week of June 1991 is unworthy of credit. 1991 does little to support the alibi of accused-appellant Webb for it is quite interesting to note that nowhere did accusedappellant Webb appear in this footage. 1992 well after the fateful days of June 29 and 30. as this wasallegedly taken on October 10. when there are eyewitnesses who testified to the effect that Webb was in the Philippines only a couple of weeks before the killing and who also testified of Webb’s participation in the crime. It must be pointed out that the image in the picture itself does not depict the date or place it was taken. especially. In a later testimony. The video footage serendipitously taken by Victor Yap allegedly of Senator Webb and his family while on vacation at Disneyland in Anaheim. possibly to remove the date printed therein. after it was given to him by accused-appellant’s mother. Likewise. Moreover. including the insertion or annotation of numeric figures on a recorded image. there was a gap or portion of static that appeared which did not appear in any other portion of the footage. because of the inconsistencies in Webb’s testimony as to how he obtained the same. These are two inconsistent testimonies on the same subject .the video footage showing accused-appellant Webb seemingly on holiday at Lake Tahoe with the Wheelocks. and that the picture appearing on his driver’s license was the very same picture he submitted together with his application for the driver’s license. We find that this supports the conclusion that the videotape was possibly tampered as an additional support to the alibi of accused-appellant that he was in the United States. we observed that the photograph appears to have been trimmed down from a bigger size. April 1991" was only written by him in 1995. Webb claimed he did not make an application but just walked in the licensing office and he did not submit any photograph relative to his application.. xxxx (f) Video footage at Lake Tahoe and the del Toro-Manlapit Wedding . 1991. In one testimony. The Court cannot therefore but cast suspicion as to its authenticity. (g) Photograph of Webb and Christopher Esguerra before the Dee Lite Concert The photograph of accused-appellant Webb with Esguerra allegedly taken in late April 1991 before they went to a band concert has little probative value.. we take judicial notice that modern electronic and photographic advances could offer a means to splice or modify recorded images to configure to a desired impression. Likewise. he claimed that he submitted an ID picture for his driver’s license. California on July 3. As we have earlier stated. the records disclose that just before the segment of the film that showed Senator Webb. the videotape and photographs taken on Alex del Toro’s wedding also fail to convince. It is also to be noted that Esguerra admitted that the inscription appearing at the back of the photograph of. to our mind does not disprove that Webb was in the country at the time of the Vizconde killing. Firstly. Elizabeth. None of the people shown in the film was identified as the accused-appellant Webb. or of any Dee Lite concert allegedly attended by Webb. "Hubert and I before the Dee Lite Concert. the date being shown intermittently in the footage was not the same or near the date of the Vizconde killing. we do not discount the possibility that Webb was in the Philippines during the time he was supposed to have been in the United States. In any case.

neither check is therefore clear proof to support Webb’s alibi. Would not just a car or a bicycle do for him? Also. 1991. all that accused-appellant did in the United States was to go sightseeing.we find. A review of the logbook shows that the same is unworthy of any evidentiary weight. (i) Logbook of Alex del Toro and Check Payments of Webb’s salary The employment records of accused-appellant. shopping and meet with family and friends. arrived in the United States. The entries where the accused Webb were indicated to have performed work for del Toro. former Senator Freddie Webb. which include the alleged logbook of del Toro in his pest control business. and therefore. Moreover. the first thing he did was go out with his friend Honesto Aragon and accused-appellant to look for a bicycle and a car to be used by the latter in going to and from work.B. the fact that the car and the bicycle were allegedly purchased in close proximity to the date of the rape and killing of the Vizconde women does little to dissuade the perception that the car and bicycle were purchased only for the purpose of providing a plausible defense of alibi for Webb. as a prospective car-buyer would understandably want to make a canvas first for the best car to buy. Neither of the said checks squarely placed accusedappellant Webb in the United States at the time of the Vizconde killings. (k) Letters to Jennifer Claire Cabrera . 1991 was made payable to "Cash". Simply put. which render the said driver’s license and the alleged date when the same was obtained. The check dated June 13. showed that the name of Webb ("Hubie"/"U. and check payments to Webb were also offered to support the latter’s alleged presence in the United States on the dates near the day of the Vizconde killings. Consider that immediately after the accused-appellant’s father. as aptly observed by the trial court. It is a wonder to this Court that the accused-appellant and his father would buy a bicycle and a sportscar at practically the same time to provide the accused-appellant transportation to his work. that this contradicts the other evidence presented by accused-appellant because it appears from his evidence that other than his brief stint in del Toro’s pest control company business and his employment as a gasoline station attendant which incidentally was not sufficiently proven. are not reliable proofs of Webb’s presence and occupation in the United States around the time of the Vizconde killing. suspicious. while the other check which appeared to be payable to "Hubert Webb" was however dated only July 10.") was merely superimposed on the actual entries and could have been easily fabricated to create the impression that Webb had some participation in the business of del Toro. Lastly. and not just to purchase the first car he sees. and under suspicious circumstances. the hurried purchase of the car right after the arrival of Freddie Webb appears at the very least. 1991.matter. unworthy of credit. though it was made clear that the purpose of purchasing the said bicycle and car was for accused-appellant’s convenience in going to and from his work -. The alleged check payments of Webb’s salary are also unreliable. The car was bought sometime in early July 1991 and the bicycle sometime on June 30. (j) Bicycle/Sportscar The Toyota MR2 sportscar and Cannondale bicycle allegedly purchased by accused-appellant Webb and his father in the United States appear to have been purchased with great haste.

1992.135 As to appellant Webb’s voluminous documentary evidence. bolstering Webb’s defense of alibi. if the letters were to be duly considered. inasmuch said letters were produced only in 1995 at the time she gave a statement. Webb was quite expressive with his feelings when he wrote that he missed Cabrera. 1991. both the RTC and CA judiciously examined each exhibit and concluded that these do not pass the test of admissibility and materiality insofar as proving the physical impossibility of his presence at the Vizconde residence on June 29. In fact. and confessed to her that all he thinks about was her. Cabrera would wait until 1995 to "produce" the letters that could have cleared her friend’s name. respectively. Moreover.Cabrera. The Court finds it incredible that despite being shocked in 1991. therefore. Webb in his letters referred to Cabrera as his "sweetheart" and "dearest". such that. the . about the involvement of her friend. he thereafter stopped writing letters to Cabrera as if the whole matter was already forgotten. These were allegedly the only letters sent by Webb to her. It is not improbable. 1991 and October 26. Appellant Webb cites the opposite view taken by Justices Tagle and Dacudao in their dissenting opinions and urges this Court to accord the US INS certification and other documents relative to his arrival and departure in the US on the dates March 9. 1991 killings occurred. they would place Webb in the United States at the same time the June 30. accused-appellant in the Vizconde rape-slay. "a lot. An interregnum of four years before coming out with valuable proof in support of a friend is to our mind. thus. if credible and positive. that Cabrera could have prevaricated herself to save her friend. and he was hoping he would dream of her at night. However. It is for this reason that we regard their testimonies with an eye of suspicion for it is but natural. the impression that may be inferred from reading the letters was one of a man who was pining away for his ladylove.134 [emphasis supplied] The rule is well-entrenched in this jurisdiction that in determining the value and credibility of evidence. we can deduce that there was some sort of romantic relationship with the accused-appellant Webb and Cabrera. produced four (4) letters allegedly written and sent to her by Webb while he was in the United States. to our mind. Also. accused-appellant tried vainly to establish his defense of alibi with the presentation of not only a substantial volume of documentary evidence but also testimonies of an overwhelming number of witnesses which were comprised mostly of relatives and family friends who obviously wanted him to be exonerated of the crime charged. Cabrera admitted that she knew Webb was being involved or accused in the Vizconde killings as early as 1991 and that she was shocked upon learning that he was being implicated therein. the said letters." yet after only four letters that was conveniently written sometime in June 1991. a friend and neighbor of accused-appellant in BF Homes. 1991 until the early morning of June 30. not numbered. and the same time Webb was charged. Parañaque. in order to support the accused-appellant’salibi. However. The letters were allegedly written and posted at around the same time the Vizconde rape and killing happened. for a close relative or friend to give weight to blood ties and close relationship in times of dire needs especially when a criminal case is involved. are not convincing proof of alibi. In sum. witnesses are to be weighed. The testimony of only one witness. from the contents of the letters. a telling factor on the credibility of the alleged letters. is sufficient to convict. although morally unfair. It is highly suspicious therefore that the only letters of accused-appellant Webb to Cabrera were written and sent at the exact opportune time that the Vizconde killings occurred which conveniently supplied a basis for his defense of alibi.

1991 and October 26. let it be emphasized that Justice Carpio’s testimony before the trial court confirmed merely the fact that his conversation with then Congressman Webb took place on June 29. as he was just in his house at BF Homes Subdivision Phase III. her mother and sister between midnight of June 29.] [a]t the very least. 1991. but such uncertainty that "a reasonable man may entertain after a fair review and consideration of the evidence. Alibi cannot prevail over the positive identification of a credible witness. appellant Webb failed in this regard and the RTC and CA did not err in giving scant weight to his arsenal of evidence. Indeed. 1991 and what the latter relayed to him about his location at the time such telephone call was made. who was with him in the US (his wife and appellant Webb) and the purpose of their US trip (to find a job for appellant Webb).138it must still be shown that the evidence is clear and convincing. 1991. aided by or in concert with Lejano and Ventura. alibi becomes most unsatisfactory.presumption of regularity being official documents issued by US authorities. Such is not the situation in the case at bar where the identification of the perpetrators by a lone eyewitness satisfied the moral certainty standard. US INS certifications and other evidence presented by appellant Webb in support of his alibi. "reasonable doubt" is not mere guesswork whether or not the accused is guilty. and the totality of such evidence constitutes an airtight excuse as to exclude the least possibility of his presence at the crime scene. alibi cannot be sustained where it is not only without credible corroboration. particularly so on the strength of the positive identification of appellant Webb as Carmela’s rapist and one of those who actually took part in the brutal killing of Carmela. her mother and sister. on its face. Definitely.140 Appellant Webb was placed at the crime scene by Alfaro who positively identified him as the one (1) who plotted and committed the rape of Carmela. 1991 and early morning of June 30. Verily. However. 1992 -. such exculpatory testimony coupled with the plethora of appellant Webb’s other documentary and testimonial evidence on his presence in the United States on 29 June 1991 raises reasonable doubt as to appellant Webb’s guilt of the crime charged.137 As to the travel documents consisting of his US passport. Webb further mentions that since a Justice of this Court "confirmed appellant Webb’s alibi of being in the United States on 29 June 1991[. Justices Tagle and Dacudao concurred in stating that the conclusion of their three (3) colleagues (majority) that the US INS certifications did not exclude the possibility of Webb traveling back to the Philippines and again departing for the US between March 9. and later fatally stabbed her. In the first place. but also where it does not.139 Against positive evidence." Reasonable doubt is present when -- .is nothing but speculation and conjecture. plane ticket and other travel documents can serve as proof that he was indeed out of the country at the time of the Vizconde killings. Gaviola and Cabanacan gave corroborating testimonies that appellant Webb was here in the country. Said witness even admitted that he had no personal knowledge that appellant Webb was in fact in the United States at the time of his telephone conversation with Congressman Webb. while it is true that such presentation of passport. at least a few weeks prior to and on June 29 to 30. demonstrate the physical impossibility of the accused’s presence at the place and time of the commission of the crime. it is only when the identification of the accused as the author of the crime charged is inconclusive or unreliable that alibi assumes importance. It is the prosecution’s burden to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt."136 I find the contentions bereft of merit.

passport with stamp marks of departure and declarations of witnesses who are mostly relatives and friends of appellant Webb. Moreover. Marzan. the proliferation of photo-substituted passports. and the accompanying certifications.after the entire comparison and consideration of all the evidences. And as earlier mentioned. born November 7. can be gleaned from the fact that passports and plane tickets indicating dates of arrival and departure do not necessarily prove that the very same person actually took the flight. Consul General of the Philippines: SUBJECT: WEBB. have little probative value. "x x x to rally for the issuance of passports using tamper proof and the latest data encryption technology. Teresita V. only raised questions as to its accuracy. WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU NOT FOLLOW THE APPEALS PROCEDURE DESCRIBED BELOW UNTIL WE HAVE COMPLETED THAT SEARCH."142 It is worthy of note I note that the original of Webb's passport was not offered in evidence and made part of the records. 1995 for the immigrants and nonimmigrants. there is no evidence of any lawful admission to the United States as an immigrant. In fact. San Francisco to Ms. fake immigration stamps. Webb. WE WILL CONDUCT ANOTHER SEARCH. Said earlier certification through Debora A. . the much vaunted US-INS second certification dated August 31. IF YOU STILL BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE RECORDS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF YOUR REQUEST. The search included a review of the Service automated and nonautomated records system. and satisfies the reason and judgment of those who are bound to act conscientiously upon it. District Director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. a certainty that convinces and directs the understanding. Farmer stated that: [a]fter diligent search no record is found to exist in the records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.A.143 [emphasis supplied] The above finding was relayed by Thomas Schiltgen. This Court takes judicial notice of reported irregularities and tampering of passports in the years prior to the recent issuance by the DFA of machine-readable passports.INS Archives in Washington. 1968. The records searched are current as of July 1. or as a nonimmigrant. of the truth of the charge. WE HAVE COMPLETED OUR SEARCH FOR RECORDS RESPONSIVE TO YOUR REQUEST BUT DID NOT LOCATE ANY. No. relating to Hubert P. have been cited as grounds to justify the necessity of amending the Philippine Passport Act of 1996 (R. among others. 1995 US-INS Office in San Francisco was issued.141 That reasonable doubt is not engendered by the presentation of certifications of entry into and exit from the US. 8239) as proposed in the Senate. and provide stiffer penalties against proliferators of fake passports. the truth of their contents had not been testified to by the persons who issued the same. 1995 based on a mere computer print-out from the Non-immigrant Information System (Exhibit "213-1-D") retrieved from the US. in the Philippines. which only gives credence to the prosecution’s allegation that it bore signs of tampering and irregularities. the issuance of this certification only a couple of weeks after the August 10. leaves the minds of the [judges] in that condition that they cannot say they feel an abiding conviction. AND CAN PROVIDE US WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. IF YOU ELECT TO REQUEST ANOTHER SEARCH. to a moral certainty. HUBERT RE: Hubert Jeffrey Webb Dear Requester: YOUR REQUEST WAS RECEIVED BY THIS OFFICE ON 07/10/95. assumed identity and double passports.

1992. 20530 WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS OF RECEIPT OF THIS LETTER. which is supposed to merely download and copy the information given by the San Francisco INS. had raised serious doubt on the veracity and accuracy of the subsequently issued second certification dated August 31. government agencies in their search for data on appellant Webb. Herrera-Lim’s testimony likewise did not carry much weight considering that its significance is confined to the fact that the document from the US-INS was transmitted and received by the DFA. Siazon. Appellant Webb’s reliance on the presumption of regularity of official functions. as to what US government agency the alleged computergenerated print-out in the August 31. to have an entry on appellant Webb when the said port of entry had no such record.146 The defense endeavored to explain why the US-INS Archives in Washington could have made the "mistake" of stating that it had no data or information on the alleged entry of appellant Webb on March 9. 1992. 1310 G.W. 1995 Certification. the existence of an earlier negative report on the NIIS record on file concerning the entry of appellant Webb into and his exit from the US on March 9.145 The prosecution. specifically stating that the Embassy assumed no responsibility for the contents of the annexed document.. SUITE 570. and that diligent search already yielded a negative response on appellant Webb’s entry into the US on March 9. WASHINGTON D. Herrera-Lim. However. however. Considering that many visitors (nonimmigrants) are admittedly not entered into the NIIS database. Siazon signed by Consul Leo M. appellant Webb presented the Memorandum addressed to Secretary Domingo L. SINCERELY.S. Department of Justice. Co-Director of the Office of Information and Privacy had in effect sustained as correct the US-INS San Francisco report that there is no such data on Hubert Webb in the San Francisco database so that the Philippine Embassy in Washington. 1991 and his exit on October 26. (SGD.YOU MAY APPEAL THE FINDING IN THIS MATTER BY WRITING TO THE OFFICE OF INFORMATION AND PRIVACY. respectively. 1995 US-INS Certification was erroneous.C. Office of Information and Privacy yielded a negative result on any record on file that one (1) Hubert Webb arrived in the United States on March 9. the Diplomatic Note dated October 30. it had not satisfactorily addressed the nagging question of how it became possible for the US-INS Archives in Washington. YOUR LETTER SHOULD REFERENCE THE INS CONTROL NUMBER ABOVE AND THE LETTER AND THE ENVELOPE SHOULD BE CLEARLY MARKED FOIA/PA APPEAL.S. N.. As to the testimony of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Domingo L.148 The same observations regarding the "consularized certifications" was reflected in the . UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. FLAG BUILDING. having merely received the said document in his capacity as the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines. 1992. It is to be noted that the certification issued by the Philippine Embassy with respect to the US-INS Certifications contained a disclaimer. 1991 as per the August 10.) DISTRICT DIRECTOR144 [emphasis supplied] To show that the August 10. STREET. stressing the fact that the US-INS certifications are official documents. Consul Leo M. the same cannot be given due credence since he is incompetent to testify on the contents of the August 31. 1991 and departure on October 26.147 In this case. 1991. presented another document which indicated that an appeal to the U. and further that Richard L. The presumption leaned on is disputable and can be overcome by evidence to the contrary. Huff. should instead ask the assistance of other U. is misplaced. 1995 and the letter of Debora Farmer stating that the San Francisco certification was erroneous. 1995 certification actually came from remains unclear. 1995 which is based merely on a computer print-out of his alleged entry on March 9.C. 1995 USINS Certification. D. 1991 and October 26.

p. he being the son of a Senator would not unnecessarily violate U. There is also the matter of the marked difference in the signatures of appellant Webb as appearing on the dorsal side of the passport (Exh. border (Ibid. they are no longer aligned.S.S. appears to be well preserved despite having been usedmore frequently than that of appellant Webb who supposedly used it in only one trip abroad. But why did not he or his parents secure the extension? Why was there no evidence to show that he ever requested an extension? Did he really overstay in the U. what is evident is the torn plastic portion of the dorsal page thereof near the holder’s signature. but more significantly. SP No.S. AAAAAA-3 and 294-A-1) as compared with that appearing on his laminated photograph (Exh.S. It would be quite easy for him to apply for and secure an extension of his authorized stay in the U.S. 1998 in CA-G. The passport of her mother. Not only do some of the pages appear smudged or untidy. Amelita Tolentino") and CA-G. SP No. AAAAAA-2 and 294-D).S. IWe quote the following observations made by the prosecution on Webb’s passport from the appeal brief of the OSG: In tandem with the presentation of the various U.. The questions involving appellant Webb’s passport are not limited to the stamp marks (or lack of stamp marks) therein. The "non-alignment" of the perforations is thus significant.Decision dated April 16. that the grant by the United States government granted him a visa effective from April 6. 82-83) where authorities are always on the look out for illegal aliens.. 1991 (Exh. he tried to offer an explanation on the variance in the two (2) signatures. among others.S. Webb v.S. during and after the commission of the offense charged. 1994 and the U. what the entries in the passport plainly suggest is that appellant Webb violated U. the perforations on the passport pages indicating the serial number of appellant Webb’s passport no longer fit exactly on the pages -. had deprived the RTC.Hubert Webb dated September 10. authorities in various states would let him get "off the hook" without much of a fuss after his alleged brushes with the law (TSN . Elizabeth Webb. for example. 1997. Of course. sojourn before. 1989 to April 6. AAAAAA and 294) ostensibly to show. was that he wrote his name .S. Amelita Tolentino"). INS certifications to bolster appellant Webb’s story of a U. In addition to the over-all shabby appearance of appellant Webb’s passport. CA and this Court the opportunity to examine the same. immigration laws. he further anchors his defense on his passport (Exh.S. 82)? This is especially incredible considering that he was allegedly apprehended in the United States near the U. which was not formally offered and made part of the records. and the Philippines without marking his passport? These raise serious questions on the integrity of the passport.R. if only he requested. The non-submission in evidence of his original passport.that is.R. The perforations are intended not only to indicate the serial number of the passport but more importantly to countercheck intercalations and tampering. 42673 ("Hubert P. or could he simply enter and leave the U. On its face. however. Is appellant Webb really untouchable that even U. pp. 42285 ("Miguel Rodriguez v. AAAAAA-5 and 294-C-1). Immigration in San Francisco stampmarked it on March 9. immigration laws by "overstaying" beyond the usual six-(6) month period allowed for tourists.149 Appellant Webb’s travel documents and other supposed paper trail of his stay in the US are unreliable proof of his absence in the Philippines at the time of the commission of the crime charged. There are unusual things about his passport which he has been unable to explain satisfactorily. However. Such original is a crucial piece of evidence which unfortunately was placed beyond judicial scrutiny. AAAAAA6) on page 30 thereof (Exh. All he could reason out.

1991. AAAAAA-5 and 294-C) that such "real signature" appears. On the other hand. 1991. 1991) casts a serious doubt on its provenance and authenticity.. 1997. California 92807. Furthermore. the discrepancy as to the source of the photograph (Exhibit "334-E") between the testimony given on August 14.Hubert Webb dated August 14. 27). it is contrary to human nature and experience. 1991 and June 14. Thus. aside from the fact that it is likewise contrary to the procedure described by the accused Webb in obtaining a driver’s license in the State of California." and that it is only in the laminated picture (Exh. Heafner. Avenida Faro Ave. California 92807. the accused suddenly and completely changed his testimony while still on direct examination. 1991. Since a driver’s license is one of the principal means of identification in the United States as well as in the Philippines. Alfredo S. 1997. The accused Webb likewise offered in evidence the official communication coming from the Federal Bureau of Investigation dated December 31. A review of his other documentary evidence supposedly bearing his signature shows that what appears therein is his name written in his "normal penmanship. earlier offered in evidence the letter dated January 10. The fact that the alleged Driver’s License No. Anaheim. in his fervent desire to exculpate himself from criminal liability. Florida by the first week of August. thus: On August 14. He claims that the picture appearing on the driver’s license was the very same he submitted together with his application for the driver’s license. Lim. 1991 (Exhibit "MMM" and submarkings. Exhibit "66-C" and submarkings) which likewise gave the information that the accused Webb was issued California Driver’s License No. the said letter states the listed address of the accused Webb at the time of the issuance of the driver’s license was 532 So. 8818707 on August 9. 1997. Moreover. 1997 where the accused Webb said that the California Department of Motor Vehicle took his picture. (Exhibit "61") which stated in very clear terms that the accused Webb’s California Driver’s License Number A8818707 was issued on August 9. Legal Attache of the Embassy of the United States to the then Director of the National Bureau of Investigation. 1991. 1991. 1991. to ensure the integrity and genuineness of the driver’s license.his US Driver’s License supposedly issued on June 14. 1992 of Mr. and the testimony given on September 1. Robert L. It is beyond belief that the same picture submitted by the accused Webb became the picture in the driver’s license allegedly issued on June 14. 1991. Following appellant Webb’s explanation. implying that the signature appearing on his laminated photograph is his real signature. 1997 where he said that he submitted it to the California DMV as an attachment to his supposed driver’s license application renders the accused Webb’s testimony as unbelievable and unworthy of credence. his driver’s license was issued sometime on the first week of June. Anaheim. [Webb] testified that he did not make any application since the procedure in California provides for a walk-in system. and that as of August 9.using his normal penmanship when in a lazy mood (TSN -. to allow the applicants to produce their own pictures would surely defeat the purpose in requiring them to appear before the Department of Motor Vehicle. . it means that he was in a lazy mood all the time! 150 Two (2) more documents presented by appellant Webb deserve a close look -. p. The Court takes note that the accused Webb. and the Passenger Manifest. that he did not submit any photograph relative to his application for a Californian Driver’s License. inasmuch as a photograph of him was taken. that is. and that. The RTC’s evaluation of said documents revealed their lack of probative value. on September 1. A8818707 was issued on two (2) different dates (August 9. The said listed address of the accused Webb at the time his driver’s license was issued has demolished the testimony of the defense witness Sonia Rodriguez that the accused Webb was supposed to be already living with the Rodriguez family in Longwood. the address of the accused Webb was 532 South Avenida Faro.

Tabuena’s statements on the witness stand and the Certification was based exclusively on the Passenger Manifest of PAL’s PR 103. Vice-President for Finance and Administration of the Philippine Airlines for the purpose of establishing that Hubert Webb arrived in the Philippines only on 26 October 1992. White. 1991.151 [emphasis supplied. he admitted that Exhibits "223" and "223-N" did not contain the initials of the checking agents who were supposed to initial the same. Station Manager of United Airlines for Manila who in turn presented a document purporting to be the Passenger Manifest for the flight departing on 09 March 1991 (Exhibits "233-A" to "233-N"). This document merits outright rejection considering that the defense witness Daluz confirmed that the same was prepared by the UA departure area personnel and not by himself. In view of the vital necessity to the other accused of establishing accused Webb’s alibi. Aside from Alfaro. seen Gatchalian with his friends standing at Vinzons St. Jr. who claimed they were at the Syap residence at Ayala Alabang Village watching video tapes the whole night of June 29. The defense presented Agnes Tabuena. security guard Normal White. This makes the source of the document. also testified that the presence of Gatchalian (son of a homeowner). which is just a few minutes ride away. Thus. father of the accused Michael Gatchalian was then a high ranking PAL Official and a colleague of Tabuena. earlier that same night. In respect of the plane ticket of the accused Hubert Webb. also categorically declared he had. it is a strict procedural requirement that all the checking agents who were on duty on March 9. it is important to note that Atty.xxxx In order to establish that the accused Hubert Webb departed from the Philippines on 09 March 1991 on board UA flight 808 the defense also presented witness Dulcisimo Daluz. other than the hearsay declaration of his father who merely testified on what his . 1991 until early morning of June 30.] The alibi of appellants Gatchalian and Lejano. It further noted the testimony of Assistant NBI Director Pedro Rivera that Carlos Syap upon seeing Gatchalian with their group even berated Gatchalian for dragging him into his (Gatchalian’s) own problem. nor did the witness identify the persons who prepared the same other than that they were "airport staff". was the reason they allowed his friends to enter the subdivision on the night of June 29. suspicious. wherein Daluz also admitted not having any direct participation in its preparation. nor did she had any idea when the document was transmitted to her office. However. was even less plausible considering the distance of that place from Pitong Daan Subdivision. In fact. the said testimony is of no probative value and of doubtful veracity considering that the witness did not prepare the same. Unfortunately for the defense. According to Daluz. Thus. what was likewise offered as part of the testimony of Daluz was a mere photo copy. 1991. even ignoring the fact of its inadmissibility. despite their efforts to convince him to do so. the witness could not even interpret the contents of the said Passenger Manifest. this document is merely hearsay and is devoid of any merit whatsoever. The RTC noted the manifestation of the defense on Andrew Syap’s refusal to testify on Gatchalian and Lejano’s whereabouts during the night in question. The spurious nature of the document was observed by the witness Daluz himself who admitted that there wereirregularities in the Passenger Manifest presented by the defense. Francisco Gatchalian. who pointed to the other appellants in the two (2) cars behind him as his companions. 1991 were supposed to initial the Passenger Manifest. much more testify as to the due execution and genuineness thereof. Like witnesses Daluz and Nolasco. Jr.

153 Such proposition fails to persuade. he was positively identified by Alfaro as the first to express approval of Webb’s plan to gang-rape Carmela by saying. insisted that Alfaro’s story was simply fabricated by her "hidden mentors" who considered the sworn statement of Roberto D. which definitely did not include Rodriguez. on his part. Webb and Ventura in going inside the Vizconde house. it must be understood as limited only to those she had previously enumerated. More important. There is an uncanny congruence in the details of the incident as testified to by Alfaro.. As to appellant Lejano. Gatchalian presented no corroborative evidence of his alibi. The presentation and identification of the weapon used are not indispensable to prove the guilt of the accused. at the foot of the bed where the bloodied bodies of Estrellita and Jennifer lay.154 Appellant Rodriguez denies being a conspirator with Webb’s group in the commission of the crime. Jr. from the time of its inception up to its consummation. 91-7135-37 for Rape with Homicide and for Robbery with Homicide in connection with the Vizconde killings. Barroso was one (1) of the members of the "Akyat Bahay" gang who were earlier charged before the Makati City RTC in Criminal Case Nos. Lejano and Ventura went inside the Vizconde house. her suggestion that what she saw Ventura took from the kitchen drawer may have been kitchen knives used to kill the victims must fail. not only by the physical evidence. "Ako ang susunod.156 Thus. Barroso taken on November 4. Fernandez also cited as among the reasons why Alfaro’s declarations were far from positive. He cites the failure of Alfaro to mention his name as part of the "group" twice in her testimony. These instances refer to Alfaro’s direct examination when she was asked to name the persons riding the convoy of three (3) vehicles when they left Ayala Alabang Commercial Center parking lot to proceed to the Vizconde residence at Pitong Daan Subdivision. as he could have easily gone to the Vizconde house within a few minutes from the Syap residence where he and Gatchalian allegedly watched video tapes. Alfaro gave much more minute details than the limited narration given by Barroso.155 and the second time when she was asked to enumerate the members of the "group" who were waiting along Aguirre Avenue during their second trip to the Vizconde residence. Contrary to Fernandez’s insinuation of a fabricated eyewitness account. 1991. asserting that his presence and participation in the Vizconde killings. 1991." Lejano was also with Alfaro. The failure to present the murder weapon will not exculpate the accused from criminal liability. with the sworn statement of Barroso particularly pertaining to the manner by which the garage light of the Vizconde house was put out. Cabanacan. Webb. the non-recovery of the fatal weapons used in the killings.157 . much more so where the perpetrator has been positively identified by a credible witness. in view of the dismissal of those cases filed against the first set of suspects based on lack of evidence. and just standing there about to wear his jacket while Webb was pumping the hogtied and gagged Carmela on the floor.son told him about spending the night watching video tapes at the Syap residence on June 29. and the appearance of a woman who opened the main door saying "Sino kayo?"152 Such submissions are inane. Alfaro’s testimony was sufficiently corroborated on its material points. Hence. was not established beyond reasonable doubt. when Alfaro testified that the rest of the group acted as lookouts while she. but also by the testimonies of four (4) disinterested witnesses for the prosecution: White. Gaviola and Birrer. His alibi is likewise feeble. as Alfaro could not even say what was the "object" or "thing" which she saw thrown out of the Nissan Patrol while the group was on their way to the BF Executive Village. He contended that a crucial link in the prosecution’s physical evidence was thus missing. and whom she later saw inside the master’s bedroom. Appellant Fernandez. the smashing of the glass panel of the main door.

how far was he from Hubert? A.160 It thus logically follows that whenever Alfaro made reference to the "group" in her entire narration. . took part in a shabu session.161 It must be stressed that Alfaro categorically declared it was Rodriguez who approached her at Faces Disco on March 30. Contrary to Rodriguez’s claim. 1991 but Rodriguez opted to stay in his house and even talked to him on the phone when he called Rodriguez to ask why he was not yet at the party. How about Miguel Rodriguez. Rodriguez also offered Alfaro a plane ticket so she could leave the country. Miguel Rodriguez. x x x kalat kami. We have ruled that denial is a self-serving negative evidence that cannot be given greater weight than the declaration of a credible witness who testified on affirmative matters. he introduced me to Hubert Webb. 1995 and told her to shut up or she would be killed. Even assuming as true Rualo’s testimony that he had indeed invited Rodriguez to attend his birthday party on June 29. then Fyke Fernandez. 1991. It did not rule out the actual presence of Rodriguez at the crime scene. Alfaro had specifically mentioned Rodriguez when asked by Prosecutor Zuño to describe their relative positions at the lawn area of the BF Executive Village house. And you said that Dong Ventura introduced you to this group. Michael Gatchalian. the first time that Alfaro referred to and enumerated the members of the "group" which she had unexpectedly joined that night.162 Rodriguez’s bare denial cannot be given any evidentiary weight. sir. it necessarily included those she had enumerated she had met and had a shabu session with at the Ayala Alabang Commercial Center parking lot. including Rodriguez. in the later part of her direct examination during the same hearing. thus establishing his presence during the "blaming session": A. Mike is very very near Ging Rodriguez. The mere fact that Alfaro missed out naming Rodriguez in two (2) instances during her direct examination does not give rise to the conclusion that he was not positively identified by Alfaro as among those present and participated prior to. pero hindi kami magkakalayo x x x xxxx Q. Two meters away.158 Alfaro was again asked to enumerate the members of the "group" when the prosecution asked her to name the members of the group. First. they left the parking lot.The argument is untenable. Aside from making that threat. and then Tonyboy Lejano.163 Rodriguez’s attempt to set up an alibi through the testimony of his cousin Mark Rualo was equally frail.159 She also testified that after everyone. This same group was with her from their first trip to the Vizconde residence until the time they left Pitong Daan Subdivision and retreated to a house at BF Executive Village early morning of June 30. will you name the group that was introduced to you by Dong Ventura? A. was at the beginning of her narration on how she met Ventura’s friends when she got her order of shabu at the Ayala Alabang Commercial Center parking lot. xxxx A. during and after the commission of the crime as lookouts along with the rest of the group. Q. it cannot serve as proof of Rodriguez’s whereabouts at the time of the commission of the crime.

Appellant Estrada, just like Rodriguez and Fernandez, did not take the witness stand and simply relied on the alibidefense of his co-accused, principally that of Webb. Alfaro testified that it was Estrada, then her boyfriend, who was together with her in her car throughout the night of June 29, 1991 until early morning of June 30, 1991. Estrada was among those who acted as lookouts outside the Vizconde house after they all concurred in the plan of Webb to gang-rape Carmela while they were still at the parking lot of the Ayala Alabang Commercial Center. Conspiracy among appellants duly proven The existence of conspiracy between appellants Webb, Ventura, Lejano, Gatchalian, Fernandez, Rodriguez and Filart was satisfactorily proven by the prosecution. Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. Conspiracy comes to life at the very instant the plotters agree, expressly or impliedly, to commit the felony and forthwith decide to actually pursue it. It may be proved by direct or circumstantial evidence.164 Although only one (1) rape was actually proven by the prosecution, as conspirators who mutually agreed to commit the crime and assisted one (1) another in its commission, on the occasion of which the rape victim Carmela, her mother Estrellita and sister Jennifer, were killed, each of the accused-appellants shall be criminally liable for rape with homicide. Indeed, appellants by their individual acts, taken as a whole, showed that they were acting in unison and cooperation to achieve the same unlawful objective, even if it was only Webb, Ventura and Lejano who actually went inside the Vizconde house while Estrada, Fernandez, Rodriguez, Gatchalian and Filart stood as lookouts outside the house. Under these premises, it is not even necessary to pinpoint the precise participation of each of the accused-appellants, the act of one being the act of all.165 One who participates in the material execution of the crime by standing guard or lending moral support to the actual perpetrators thereof is criminally responsible to the same extent as the latter. There being conspiracy among the accused-appellants, they are liable as co-principals regardless of the manner and extent of their participation.166 Biong guilty as accessory after the fact Appellant Biong contends that he cannot be convicted as accessory to the crime of rape with homicide because the acts imputed to him did not result in the hiding of the case. There was no evidence that such indeed was his intent or motive. He points out that the bodies of the victims were found at their respective places where they were assaulted and there was no evidence that they had been moved an inch from where they breathed their last. He asserts that non-preservation of the evidence is not an accessory crime under the Revised Penal Code.167 The contentions have no merit. The Revised Penal Code in Article 19 defines an accessory as one who has knowledge of the commission of the crime, yet did not take part in its commission as principal or accomplice, but took part in it subsequent to its commission by any of three modes: (1) profiting himself or assisting the offender to profit by the effects of the crime; (2) concealing or destroying the body of the crime, or the effects or instruments thereof in order to prevent its discovery; and (3) harboring, concealing, or assisting in the escape of the principals of the crime, provided the accessory acts with abuse of his public functions or when the offender is guilty of treason, parricide, murder, or an attempt to take the life of the Chief Executive, or is known to be habitually guilty of some other crime.168

Under paragraph 3 of Article 19 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, there are two (2) classes of accessories, one of which is a public officer who harbors, conceals or assists in the escape of the principal. Such public officer must have acted with abuse of his public functions, and the crime committed by the principal is any crime, provided it is not a light felony. Appellant Biong is one (1) such public officer, and he abused his public function when, instead of immediately arresting the perpetrators of the crime, he acceded to the bidding of appellant Webb to "clean the Vizconde house," which means he must help hide any possible trace or sign linking them to the crime, and not necessarily to prevent the discovery of the bodies in such actual condition upon their deaths. Hence, such "cleaning" would include obliterating fingerprints and other identifying marks which appellants Webb, Lejano and Ventura might have left at the scene of the crime. Contrary to Biong’s assertion, his failure to preserve evidence at the crime scene such as fingerprints on the doors and objects inside the master’s bedroom where the bodies were found, the bloodied floor of the toilet, the actual material used in gagging Carmela and Estrellita, the bloodied blankets and bed sheets, the original condition of the broken glass panel of the main door, the shoe print and foot prints on the car hood and at the back of the house, fingerprints on the light bulb at the garage -- was a form of assistance to help the perpetrators evade apprehension by confusing the investigators in determining initially what happened and the possible suspects. Consequently, Biong’s unlawful taking of the jewelries and Carmela’s ATM card and driver’s license, his act of breaking the larger portion of the main door glass, the washing out of the blood on the toilet floor and permitting the relatives to burn the bloodied bed sheets and blankets -had in fact misled the authorities in identifying potential suspects. Thus, the police had a difficult time figuring out whether it was robbers who entered the Vizconde house and perpetrated the rape-slay, or drug-crazed addicts on the loose, or other persons having motive against the Vizconde family had exacted revenge, or a brutal sexual assault on Carmela by men who were not strangers to her which also led to the killings. On the basis of strong evidence of appellant Biong’s effort to destroy crucial physical evidence at the crime scene, I hold that the RTC did not err in convicting him as an accessory to the crime of rape with homicide. Penalty The CA was correct in affirming the sentence imposed by the RTC upon each of the accusedappellants Webb, Lejano, Gatchalian, Rodriguez, Fernandez and Estrada. The proper penalty is reclusion perpetua because the imposition of the death penalty under the Revised Penal Code (in Article 335 thereof, as amended by R.A. No. 2632 and R.A. No. 4111, when by reason or on the occasion of rape, a homicide is committed), was prohibited by the Constitution at the time the offense was committed.169 At any rate, the subsequent passage of R.A. No. 9346 entitled "An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of the Death Penalty in the Philippines," which was signed into law on June 24, 2006, would have mandated the imposition on accused-appellants the same penalty of reclusion perpetua. As to the penalty imposed by the CA on appellant Biong as accessory after the fact to the crime of rape with homicide, we find the same proper and in order. DNA Testing Appellant Gatchalian reiterates his and appellant Webb’s motion for DNA testing of the semen specimen taken from the vaginal cavity of Carmela during the autopsy conducted by Dr. Cabanayan, which motion was denied by the RTC for lack of available scientific expertise and technology at the time.

With the great advances in forensic science and under pertinent state laws, American courts allow post-conviction DNA testing when its application has strong indications that the result could potentially exonerate the convict. Indeed, even a convicted felon has the right to avail of new technology not available during his trial. On October 2, 2007, this Court approved the Rule on DNA Evidence170 which took effect on October 15, 2007. Pursuant to Section 4 of the Rule, the court may at any time, either motu proprio or on application of any person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation, order a DNA testing after due notice and hearing. Such order shall issue upon showing of the following: (a) A biological sample exists that is relevant to the case; (b) The biological sample: (i) was not previously subjected to the type of DNA testing now requested; or (ii) was previously subjected to DNA testing, but the results may require confirmation for good reasons; (c) The DNA testing uses a scientifically valid technique; (d) The DNA testing has the scientific potential to produce new information that is relevant to the proper resolution of the case; and (e) The existence of other factors, if any, which the court may consider as potentially affecting the accuracy or integrity of the DNA testing.171 By Resolution dated April 20, 2010, this Court granted appellant Webb’s request to submit for DNA analysis the semen specimen taken from the cadaver of Carmela Vizconde under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). We ordered (1) the NBI to assist the parties in facilitating the submission of the said specimen to the UP-Natural Science and Research Institute (UP-NSRI), Diliman, Quezon City; and (2) the NBI and UP-NSRI to report to this Court within fifteen (15) days from notice regarding compliance with and implementation of the said resolution. In his Compliance and Manifestation dated April 27, 2010, Atty. Reynaldo O. Esmeralda, NBI Deputy Director for Technical Services, informed this Court that the semen specimen/vaginal smear taken from the cadaver of Carmela Vizconde and all original documents (autopsy and laboratory reports, and photographs) are no longer in the custody of the NBI as these were submitted as evidence to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Parañaque City, Branch 274 by then NBI Medico-Legal Chief, Prospero A. Cabanayan, M.D., when the latter testified on direct and cross-examination on January 30, 31, February 1, 5, 6 and 7, 1996. Attached thereto are certified true copies of Laboratory Report No. SN-91-17 (stating positive result for the presence of human spermatozoa), Autopsy Report No. N-91-1665 (with remarks: "Smear for presence of spermatozoa"), copy of the sworn statement of Dr. Cabanayan and certified true copy of the envelope bearing his signed handwritten notation that all original photographs have been submitted as evidence during the aforementioned hearing dates.172 On May 11, 2010, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a Motion for Reconsideration of our Resolution dated April 20, 2010 on grounds that (a) the DNA testing order was issued in disregard of Section 4 of the Rule on DNA Evidence which requires prior hearing and notice; (b) a determination of propriety of DNA testing at this stage under the present Rule, separate from that filed by Webb before the trial court on October 6, 1997, is necessary as there was no opportunity back then to establish the requisites for a DNA testing order under the Rule which took effect only in 2007; (c) the result of the DNA testing will constitute new evidence, which cannot be received and appreciated for

the first time on appeal; and (d) this Court failed to elucidate an exceptional circumstance to justify its decision to consider a question of fact, as this Court itself acknowledged in its April 20, 2010 Resolution that the result of DNA testing is not crucial or indispensable in the determination of appellant Webb’s guilt for the crime charged.173 On May 21, 2010, Atty. Roberto Makalintal, Jr., Branch Clerk of RTC Parañaque City, Branch 274, submitted his Comment on The Compliance and Manifestation Dated April 27, 2010 of the NBI stating that: (a) There is no showing of actual receipt by RTC Branch 274 of the specimen/vaginal smear mentioned in Dr. Cabanayan’s affidavit dated April 27, 2010; (b) Based on available records such as the TSN of January 31, 1996 and February 7, 1996 during which Dr. Cabanayan testified, no such specimen/vaginal smear was submitted to RTC Branch 274; (c) The TSN of January 31, 1996 on pages 57, 58 and 69 suggest that marked in evidence as Exhibits "S", "T" and "U" by then Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño were only the photographs of the three slides containing the semen specimen; (c) In the hearing of February 7, 1996, Dr. Cabanayan’s last testimony before RTC Branch 274 in this case, he testified that the last time he saw those slides was when he had the photographs thereof taken in 1995 (the first time was when he examined them in 1991), and as far as he knows between 1991 and 1995, those slides were kept in the Pathology Laboratory of the NBI; and (d) The entire records of the cases were already forwarded to this Court a long time ago, including the evidence formally offered by the prosecution and the accused.174 Under our Resolution of June 15, 2010, we required the NBI to (a) show proof of the release of the semen specimen to the RTC of Parañaque City, Branch 274 in 1996; and (b) comment on the alleged conflicting representations in its Compliance and Manifestation dated April 27, 2010, both within ten days from notice. However, the NBI has not complied with said directive. In his Comment on the OSG’s motion for reconsideration, appellant Fernandez argued that when this Court, in the higher interest of justice, relaxed the Rule on DNA Evidence to afford Webb the fullest extent of his constitutional rights, the prosecution was not thereby denied its equally important right to due process. Contrary to the OSG’s claim that this Court immediately granted DNA testing without observing the requisites under Section 4 of the Rule on DNA Evidence, and without due notice and hearing, appellant asserts that the Resolution dated April 20, 2010 clearly defines the parameters of the DNA analysis to be conducted by the UP-NSRI assisted by the NBI. Indeed, there are ample safeguards in the Rule to assure the reliability and acceptability of the results of the DNA testing. Fernandez, however, objected to the statement of the OSG that "in the light of positive identification" of appellant Webb by the principal witness for the prosecution, Jessica Alfaro, the existing circumstances more than warrant the affirmation of Webb’s guilt. Alfaro’s cross-examination exposed her as an "out-and-out perjurer, a bold and intentional liar under oath" and a "fake witness" whose account of the incident is "shot-through with fatal omissions, self-contradictions, inconsistencies and inherent improbabilities."175 Appellant Lejano likewise filed his comment, pointing out that the trial court denied Webb’s motion to direct the NBI to submit semen specimen for DNA analysis on November 25, 1997 only after lengthy exchange of pleadings between the defense and prosecution, the latter having properly opposed said motion. Hence, the People cannot now rightfully claim that there was no notice or hearing on the issue of submitting the semen specimen for DNA analysis. Citing Brady v. Maryland,176 Lejano contended that the suppression of exculpatory evidence – or evidence that will show reasonable probability that the verdict would have been different had the evidence been disclosed – grossly violates an accused’s right to due process. In this case, the evidence needs only to be subjected to DNA analysis to establish the innocence of appellant Webb, as well as of petitioner and appellant Lejano. It was further asserted that the semen specimen was already existing at the time of the trial, and hence can hardly be considered as "new evidence" and that DNA testing of said semen specimen taken from the victim Carmela Vizconde "has the scientific potential to produce new

information that is relevant to the proper resolution of the case" (Sec. 4 (d), Rule on DNA Evidence).177 On his part, appellant Webb stressed that there are exceptional circumstances that justify this Court’s order to immediately conduct the DNA analysis. He has been behind bars for more than fifteen (15) years. He has filed a motion for DNA analysis as early as 1997 or thirteen (13) years ago. The result of such test could yield evidence that could acquit him while no damage will be suffered by the prosecution considering that this Court emphasized in its Resolution of April 20, 2010 that the prosecution’s evidences and concerns regarding the proper preservation of evidence in the custody of the NBI would have to be addressed in the light of the requirements laid down by the Rule on DNA Evidence. As to the prosecution’s argument that this Court cannot receive and appreciate "new evidence," Section 4 of the Rule states that "the appropriate court may, at any time, either motu proprio or on application of any person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation, order a DNA testing"; DNA testing is even available post-conviction (Ibid, Sec. 6). This Court in accordance with proper procedure thus decided to receive DNA evidence in order not to further delay the case, appellants after all, were convicted more than ten (10) years ago in 2000 and have been incarcerated for fifteen (15) years now. Webb further underscored that where the evidence has not been offered, it is the prosecution who should have the legal custody and responsibility over it.178 The NBI’s letter dated April 23, 1997 confirmed that the semen specimen was in its custody. The NBI’s repudiation of such fact is belied by the records; the Prosecution’s Formal Offer of Evidence shows that Exhibits "S", "T" and "U" were merely photographs of the slides containing the vaginal smear. Also, nowhere in the transcript of stenographic notes taken during Dr. Cabanayan’s testimony was it shown that he turned over the actual slides to the trial court. On the contrary, when Dr. Cabanayan was asked on February 6, 1996 to produce the slides, which he had promised to bring during the previous hearing, he admitted that he "forgot all about it" when he came to the hearing. Thus, it appears from the record that from the time the semen specimen was taken from Carmela Vizconde’s cadaver, it has always been in the custody of the NBI.179 Evidently, the NBI could no longer produce the semen specimen/vaginal smear taken from the cadaver of Carmela Vizconde and consequently DNA analysis of said physical evidence can no longer be done. Hence, this Court set aside the April 20, 2010 resolution and forthwith proceeded to resolve the present appeal on the basis of existing evidence which have been formally offered by the parties and/or made part of the records. Appellant Webb’s Urgent Motion To Acquit With the recall of the order for DNA testing, appellant Webb moved for his acquittal on the ground of violation of his constitutional right to due process by reason of the State’s failure to produce the semen specimen, either through negligence or willful suppression. Webb argues that the loss or suppression by the prosecution of the semen specimen denied him the right to avail of the latest DNA technology and prove his innocence. Citing American jurisprudence (Matter of Dabbs v. Vergari,180 California v. Trombetta181 and Brady v. Maryland182), Webb contends that in disallowing the DNA examination he had requested, the RTC denied him from presenting a "complete defense" through that "singular piece of evidence that could have definitively established his innocence," the trial court relying instead on the identification of Jessica Alfaro, a "perjured witness." The constitutional duty of the prosecution to turn over exculpatory evidence to the accused includes the duty to preserve such evidence.

Webb maintains that the semen specimen extracted from the cadaver of Carmela had exculpatory value, as even NBI’s Dr. Cabanayan testified during the hearing of February 7, 1996, that it was still possible to subject the same to DNA analysis to identify the person to whom the sperm belonged. Thus, a DNA analysis of said semen specimen excluding appellant Webb as the source thereof would disprove the prosecution’s evidence against him. Further, Webb points out that the prosecution considered the presence of spermatozoa on the body of Carmela as evidence that she was raped, offering the photographs of the glass slides containing the sperm cells as proof that she was in fact raped on or about the late evening of June 29, 1991 or early morning of June 30, 1991. But the only evidence of the prosecution that it was Webb who raped Carmela was the testimony of Alfaro which was given full credit by the RTC and CA despite all its inconsistencies, and despite all documentary and testimonial evidence presented by the defense proving that Webb was at the United States at the time the crime was committed. On the matter of preserving DNA evidence, Webb cites Section 12 of the Rule on DNA Evidence which authorizes the court to order the appropriate government agency to preserve the DNA evidence during trial and even when the accused is already serving sentence, until such time the decision of the court has become final and executory. While this Court has given Webb the best opportunity to prove his innocence in the order granting DNA analysis of the sperm specimen taken from Carmela’s cadaver, such potentially exculpatory evidence could not be produced by the State. Webb now claims that as a result of the destruction or loss of evidence under the NBI’s custody, he was effectively deprived of his right to present a complete defense, in violation of his constitutional right to due process, thus entitling him to an acquittal. Loss of Semen Specimen Not Ground For Acquittal of Webb Webb’s argument that under the facts of this case and applying the cited rulings from American jurisprudence, he is entitled to acquittal on the ground of violation of his constitutional right to due process,is without merit. In Brady v. Maryland183 it was held that "the suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment, irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution." In said case, the petitioner was convicted of murder committed in the course of robbery and sentenced to death. He later learned that the prosecution suppressed an extrajudicial confession made by his accomplice who admitted he did the actual killing. The US Supreme Court granted a new trial and remanded the case but only on the question of punishment. In Matter of Dabbs v. Vergari,184 the court ordered DNA testing of specimen taken from a rape victim after the sexual assault and from the accused who was convicted, DNA testing being unavailable at the time of the trial. Accused therein was identified by the victim as her attacker. The court found the factual circumstances clearly showed that the semen specimen could have come only from the accused. It noted that the witness testified that accused acted alone, had ejaculated and she did not have sexual intercourse with any other person within 24 hours prior to the sexual assault. DNA testing ultimately revealed that petitioner’s DNA composition did not match with that found on the victim’s underwear. Consequently, the court granted petitioner’s subsequent motions to vacate the judgment of conviction. In California v. Trombetta,185 a case involving the prosecution for drunk driving, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Due Process Clause of the Constitution does not require that law enforcement agencies preserve breath samples in order to introduce breath-analysis tests at trial.

Given our precedents in this area, we cannot agree with the California Court of Appeal that the State’s failure to retain breath samples for respondents constitutes a violation of the Federal Constitution. To begin with, California authorities in this case did not destroy respondents’ breath samples in a calculated effort to circumvent the disclosure requirements established by Brady v. Maryland and its progeny. In failing to preserve breath samples for respondents, the officers here were acting "in good faith and in accord with their normal practice." x x x The record contains no allegation of official animus towards respondents or of a conscious effort to suppress exculpatory evidence. More importantly, California’s policy of not preserving breath samples is without constitutional defect. Whatever duty the Constitution imposes on the States to preserve evidence, that duty must be limited to evidence that might be expected to play a significant role in the suspect’s defense. To meet this standard of constitutional materiality, x x x evidence must both possess an exculpatory value that was apparent before the evidence was destroyed, and be of such a nature that the defendant would be unable to obtain comparable evidence by other reasonably available means. Neither of these conditions is met on the facts of this case. [italics supplied.] From the above cases, it is clear that what is crucial is the requirement of materiality of the semen specimen sought for DNA testing. Appellant Webb must be able to demonstrate a reasonable probability that the DNA sample would prove his innocence. Evidence is material where "there is reasonable probability that, had the evidence been disclosed to the defense, the result of the proceeding would have been different."186 In People v. Yatar,187 decided before the promulgation of the Rule on DNA Evidence, the Court expounded on the nature of DNA evidence and the factors to be considered in assessing its probative value in the context of scientific and legal developments. The proper judicial approach is founded on the concurrence of relevancy and reliability. Most important, forensic identification though useful does not preclude independent evidence of identification. DNA is a molecule that encodes the genetic information in all living organisms. A person’s DNA is the same in each cell and it does not change throughout a person’s lifetime; the DNA in a person’s blood is the same as the DNA found in his saliva, sweat, bone, the root and shaft of hair, earwax, mucus, urine, skin tissue, and vaginal and rectal cells. Most importantly, because of polymorphisms in human genetic structure, no two individuals have the same DNA, with the notable exception of identical twins. DNA print or identification technology has been advanced as a uniquely effective means to link a suspect to a crime, or to exonerate a wrongly accused suspect, where biological evidence has been left. For purposes of criminal investigation, DNA identification is a fertile source of both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. It can assist immensely in effecting a more accurate account of the crime committed, efficiently facilitating the conviction of the guilty, securing the acquittal of the innocent, and ensuring the proper administration of justice in every case. DNA evidence collected from a crime scene can link a suspect to a crime or eliminate one from suspicion in the same principle as fingerprints are used. Incidents involving sexual assault would leave biological evidence such as hair, skin tissue, semen, blood, or saliva which can be left on the victim’s body or at the crime scene. Hair and fiber from clothing, carpets, bedding, or furniture could also be transferred to the victim’s body during the assault. Forensic DNA evidence is helpful in proving that there was physical contact between an assailant and a victim. If properly collected from the victim, crime scene or assailant, DNA can be compared with known samples to place the suspect at the scene of the crime.

and which was appreciated by the court a quo is relevant and reliable since it is reasonably based on scientifically valid principles of human genetics and molecular biology. Kathylyn Uba. the trial court appreciated the following circumstantial evidence as being sufficient to sustain a conviction beyond reasonable doubt: (1) Appellant and his wife were living in the house of Isabel Dawang together with the victim. (7) Salmalina Tandagan saw appellant in a dirty white shirt coming down the ladder of the house of Isabel on the day Kathylyn Uba was found dead. Admittedly. (6) Appellant hurriedly left when the husband of Judilyn Pas-a was approaching. DHFRP2 9/10 and CSF1PO 10/11. appellant’s wife left the house because of their frequent quarrels. were allowed greater discretion over which testimony they would allow at trial. getting sufficient DNA for analysis has become much easier since it became possible to reliably amplify small samples using the PCR method. used the Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification method by Short Tandem Repeat (STR) analysis. Based on Dr. so we must be cautious as we traverse these relatively unchartered waters. a DNA match exists between the semen found in the victim and the blood sample given by the appellant in open court during the course of the trial. courts should consider. Kathylyn Uba.. whether the proper standards and procedures were followed in conducting the tests. Fortunately. we can benefit from the wealth of persuasive jurisprudence that has developed in other jurisdictions. Merrell Dow. (5) Judilyn Pas-a saw appellant going down the ladder of the house of Isabel at 12:30 p.The U. the procedure followed in analyzing the samples.P. inter alia. which conducted the DNA tests in this case. Independently of the physical evidence of appellant’s semen found in the victim’s vaginal canal. Under Philippine law. evidence is relevant when it relates directly to a fact in issue as to induce belief in its existence or non-existence.S. this time wearing a black shirt. 1998. Verily. Applying the Daubert test to the case at bar. Maria Corazon Abogado de Ungria was duly qualified by the prosecution as an expert witness on DNA print or identification techniques. how they were handled. (4) Appellant was seen by Apolonia Wania and Beverly Denneng at 1:00 p. and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests. of June 30. tiny amounts of a specific DNA sequence can be copied exponentially within hours. Specifically. it was ruled that pertinent evidence based on scientifically valid principles could be used as long as it was relevant and reliable. we are just beginning to integrate these advances in science and technology in the Philippine criminal justice system. the DNA evidence obtained through PCR testing and utilizing STR analysis. under Daubert. Thus. In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence. a letter from his estranged wife in the early morning of June 30..m. Kathylyn Uba. which are identical with semen taken from the victim’s vaginal canal. has proven instructive. Dr. it was determined that the gene type and DNA profile of appellant are identical to that of the extracts subject of examination. DNA typing is one such novel procedure. the following factors: how the samples were collected. In Daubert v. TH01 7/8. and again at 1:30 p. (9) The victim. 1998 near the kitchen of the house of Isabel Dawang. lay naked in a pool of blood with her intestines protruding from her body on the second floor of the . In the case at bar. The blood sample taken from the appellant showed that he was of the following gene types: vWA 15/19.m. (8) The door leading to the second floor of the house of Isabel Dawang was tied by a rope.m. de Ungria’s testimony. acting strangely and wearing a dirty white shirt with collar. the possibility of contamination of the samples. With PCR testing. including the introduction of new kinds of scientific techniques. National Science Research Institute (NSRI). Judges. (3) Appellant received from the victim. the prevailing doctrine in the U. wearing a dirty white shirt. (2) In June 1998.

for example. and the boy’s examination at the hospital. it will not exonerate him from the crime charged. a positive result of DNA examination of the semen specimen extracted by Dr. the absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of the defendant’s absence or lack of involvement in the crime.190 a 10-year old boy was molested and sodomized by the accused. The Court held: There is no question but that the State complied with Brady and Agurs here. sexual assault and kidnapping.house of Isabel Dawang. After the assault. for 1½ hours. 1991 and early morning of June 30. the court must weigh the significance of the exclusion in relation to all the other evidence. the perpetrator may have worn a condom. the positive identification of appellant Webb as Carmela’s rapist satisfied the test of moral certainty. On the other hand. but did not examine them at anytime. 1991. From the totality of the evidence presented by both the prosecution and the defense. and (13) Appellant escaped two days after he was detained but was subsequently apprehended. (10) Laboratory examination revealed sperm in the victim’s vagina (Exhibits "H" and "J"). (11) The stained or dirty white shirt found in the crime scene was found to be positive with blood. Maryland is misplaced. Youngblood. She testified that she saw Webb rape Carmela and it was only him she had witnessed to have committed the rape inside the Vizconde residence between late evening of June 29. (12) DNA of slide. expert witnesses had testified that timely performance of tests with properly preserved semen samples could have produced results that might have completely exonerated the accused. In a rape case.] Indeed. In addition. During the trial. Convicted offenders often believe that if crime scene evidence does not contain their DNA they will automatically be exonerated. a middle-aged man. Cabanayan from Carmela’s cadaver would merely serve as corroborative evidence. underwear and shoes scattered along the periphery. with her stained pants. and the prosecution had equally established beyond reasonable doubt the fact of rape and the unlawful killing of Carmela. Accused was identified by the victim in a photographic lineup and was convicted of child molestation. however. In some cases. the boy was examined in a hospital where the physician used swab to collect specimen from the boy’s rectum and mouth. Postconviction test results are not always exculpatory. compared with the DNA profile of the appellant are identical. The State provided respondents’ expert . As the records bear out. If the evidence does exclude the petitioner. which contained information about the existence of the swab and the clothing. exculpatory test results will not necessarily free the convicted individual. Not finding the petitioner’s DNA does not automatically indicate the case should be overturned. appellant Webb’s contention that this would entitle him to an acquittal on the basis of Brady v. or not ejaculated.188 [emphasis supplied. such flight being indicative of guilt. Even assuming that the DNA analysis of the semen specimen taken from Carmela’s body hours after her death excludes Webb as the source thereof. Webb was positively identified as Carmela’s rapist. These samples were refrigerated but the boy’s clothing was not. Moreover. In Arizona v.189 We hold that the source of the semen extracted from the vaginal cavity of the deceased victim is immaterial in determining Webb’s guilt. Alfaro did not testify that Webb had ejaculated or did not use a condom while raping Carmela. bra. The State disclosed relevant police reports to respondent. Estrellita and Jennifer on the occasion thereof. As to the loss of the semen specimen in the custody of the NBI. in other jurisdictions it has been recognized that DNA test results are not always exculpatory. Exhibits "J" and "H". she did not testify that Carmela had no sexual relations with any other man at least 24 hours prior to that time.

but only the photographs of the glass slide containing the semen specimen for the purpose only of proving that Carmela was in fact raped and not that Webb was the source of the sperm/semen. and respondent’s expert had access to the swab and to the clothing. those cases in which the police themselves by their conduct indicate that the evidence could form a basis for exonerating the defendant. prevailing jurisprudence stated that DNA being a relatively new science then. Indeed. from what we have said. that there was no violation of the Due Process Clause. As noted by the RTC when it denied Webb’s motion for DNA on November 25. Acting on reasonable belief that the proposed DNA examination will not serve the ends of justice but instead lead to complication and confusion of the issues of the case. failure to preserve potentially useful evidence does not constitute a denial of due process of law. It bears to stress that the vaginal smear itself was not formally offered by the prosecution.191 On the other hand. during the trial and upon our recent order for DNA testing. for the non-production of the vaginal swab and glass slide containing the semen specimen. None of this information was concealed from respondent at trial. specifically the NBI. as interpreted in Brady. We therefore hold that unless a criminal defendant can show bad faith on the part of the police. and the evidence – such as it was – was made available to respondent’s expert who declined to perform any tests on the samples. the results of which might have exonerated the defendant. i. In this case.e. 1997. has not yet been accorded official recognition by our courts. The prosecution did not conceal at anytime the existence of those vaginal swab and glass slide containing the vaginal smear. [emphasis supplied. The failure of the police to refrigerate the clothing and to perform tests on the semen samples can at worst be described as negligent. a negative result of DNA examination of the semen specimen could not have exonerated Webb of the crime charged as his identity as a principal in the rape-slay . the defense never raised the issue thereafter and resurrected the matter only in October 1997 when Webb’s counsel filed his motion. Cabanayan’s admission during the hearing that it was still possible to subject the semen specimen to DNA analysis. therefore.. the presence or absence of spermatozoa is immaterial in a prosecution for rape. x x x We think that requiring a defendant to show bad faith on the part of the police both limits the extent of the police’s obligation to preserve evidence to reasonable bounds and confines it to that class of cases where the interests of justice most clearly require it. We thus reiterate that the vaginal smear confirming the presence of spermatozoa merely corroborated Alfaro’s testimony that Carmela was raped before she was killed. xxxx The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. It follows. thus the possibility of the specimen having been tampered with or contaminated. The Arizona Court of Appeals noted in its opinion – and we agree—that there was no suggestion of bad faith on the part of the police.] In this case. the trial court properly denied Webb’s request for DNA testing. despite Dr. there is no showing of bad faith on the part of the police investigators. the police collected the rectal swab and clothing on the night of the crime: respondent was not taken into custody until six weeks later. Curiously. The important consideration in rape cases is not the emission of semen but the unlawful penetration of the female genitalia by the male organ. makes the good or bad faith of the State irrelevant when the State fails to disclose to the defendant material exculpatory evidence. But we think the Due Process Clause requires a different result when we deal with the failure of the State to preserve evidentiary material of which no more can be said than that it could have been subjected to tests.with the laboratory reports and notes prepared by the police criminologist. The RTC also considered the more than six (6) years that have elapsed since the commission of the crime in June 1991.

Effective October 15.194 P75. 263-499.R. 525-550. 13. No. AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.196 As to moral damages. Vol. the award should not be to such an extent that it inflicts injustice on the accused. I respectfully vote that the appeals in the above-entitled cases be DISMISSED and the Decision dated December 15. No.00 should be awarded to the heirs of the victim. In view of the foregoing.00 as moral damages awarded by the RTC as affirmed by the CA.00 civil indemnity and P75. 1993 and was to become effective fifteen (15) days after its publication in two national newspapers of general circulation.C. in the amount of P50. CR H.000 moral damages in rape cases are awarded only if they are classified as heinous. For the deaths of Estrellita and Jennifer. No. MARTIN S. Civil Liability of Appellants The Court sustains the award of P100.192Civil indemnity is mandatory and granted to the heirs of the victims without need of proof other than the commission of the crime. Tagle (dissented in the resolution of appellants’ motion for reconsideration). 2005 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.of Carmela was satisfactorily established by the totality of the evidence.A.R.00 to be awarded in cases of rape with homicide. civil indemnity in the amount of P100. No. Records.R. 80-104. 00336 be AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION only as to the award of damages. 176389). pp. R.000. the award of civil indemnity ex delicto to their heirs.195As the rape-slay of Carmela took place in 1991. 2004. 176389).000.193 Following People v. A finding that the semen specimen did not match Webb’s DNA does not necessarily negate his presence at the locus criminis. Cosico and concurred in by Associate Justices Regalado E. rather excessive. JR. 2 Rollo (G. 7659 entitled "AN ACT TO IMPOSE DEATH PENALTY ON CERTAIN HEINOUS CRIMES.000.000. 393-399 and rollo (G. 1.R." which was approved on December 13. 176864). Rollo (G.00 each. OTHER SPECIAL PENAL LAWS. Associate Justice Footnotes 1 Penned by Associate Justice Rodrigo V. was likewise in order. Dela Cruz. pp. Rollo ( G.000.000. While courts have a wide latitude in ascertaining the proper award for moral damages. AMENDING FOR THAT PURPOSE THE REVISED PENAL LAWS.000. 176864). pursuant to current jurisprudence that in cases of rape with homicide.000.197 We find the amount of P2. 1-3. No. Maambong and Lucenito N. AS AMENDED. was not yet effective. recent jurisprudence allows the amount of P75. pp.000. 3 4 5 6 . No.00. p. The rest of the awards given by the trial court are affirmed.00 as moral damages to the heir of the victims should accordingly be reduced to P500.000. VILLARAMA.00 as civil indemnity.198 The award of P2. pp.

pp. 528-530). 649-656). . 1995. 273-278). pp. 8 TSN. 1. 5. 1996. pp. 1995 Affidavit. pp. Vol. pp. 586-588). Vol. Vol. 33-35 (Records. Vols. pp. Records. p. at pp. TSN. 82-87. 24 Exhibits "H" to "K". pp. October 30. 308-310. "V". pp. 673-694). 19 Id. 253-255. October 16. October 10. pp. pp. 4.. 121-142 (Id. TSN. 97-104 (Id. February 26. 1996. 27-29 (Records. TSN. l. 96. 6-10 (Records. 20 TSN.. pp. 9 10 TSN. 663-664. pp. at pp. February 19. pp. 1996. 258-272). October 10. TSN. 1995. p. pp. 4. Records. February 26. pp. 1995. 4. 142-143 (Records. 5. 1995. pp. pp. 79-81 and 93-99 (Records. pp. pp. 4. 77-82. pp.. pp. 104-121 and 155 (Records. Vol. Vol. 6-39. TSN. 40-72. 67-91. pp. March 4. TSN. October 19. October 16. 5 & 6. 628 to 628-A). Records. 11 TSN. 1995. 4. TSN. Records. 99-103 (Records. 75-76 (Id. January 31. "W" and "X". 694-695). 628-A to 649). 1996. pp. 1995. 1995. 3-6 (Records. Vol. 36-53 (Records. TSN. 589-607). Vol. October 18. October 10. TSN. October 23. 311-315. 593-625. 1995. May 22. February 27. 8.. 1995. 267-273). 1995 Affidavit. 10-24 (Records. Records. pp. October 23. 1. pp. Vol. 22 Id. 943-944. TSN. 1996. 27-40. 104-106. 12 13 14 15 16 17 Id. 1996. pp. 4. May 22. 42-64. 1995.7 TSN. 6 & 7. 18-19. 76-97 (Records. pp. 1415. pp. October 10. 98-100 (Records. pp. pp. pp. at pp. 1995 Affidavit. 23 Exhibits "G" to "G-2". "Q" to "R". 900-902). pp. 117-118 (Records. Vol. pp. 50. 165 (339). 328-330. October 24. 1995. Vol. Vols. pp. pp. p. at p. 1996. 7-8. 1995. 50-51. at pp. 5. 1996. pp. 37-40). Vol. pp. 8. TSN. TSN. 114. 6. January 25. 64. 1. 97-98. Vol. 1996. May 22. Vol. pp. 8. Vol. November 8. pp. February 8. January 30. 18 TSN. 156-164 (Records. pp. 5. Vol. Vol. TSN. TSN. pp. 953-966. 330-338). TSN.. Vol. Exhibit "A". TSN. 55. 38. 508. 1995. 395. 28. pp. 1995. 254-258). 21 Id. at pp. TSN. 60-81. pp. 4. 4. TSN. 111-112. 418 and 421-422). 980 and 988-989). 4. February 29. Pictures of the Vizconde house at Records. 1995. 91. October 10. 1996. Vol. at pp. 54 and 62-63 (Records. 323-324. Records. pp. TSN. 97-98. 278-295 and 329). Vol. October 10. Vol.

1995. 1996. pp. 121. at pp. August 14. 1996.. 1995. 12. 1996. 79. 104-106. 79-89.. 63-64. 34 TSN. December 6. Id. 79-109. Vol. 21-65. at pp.. pp. TSN. pp. 1996. 12. 20-22. TSN. pp. 70-79. 34-55. 17-34. April 16. Id. TSN. January 31. March 14. 7. 1996.R. 80-82. Employment Contract of Gaviola. pp. pp. Records. December 13. 8. Id. Records. 38-56. 47 48 . p. 82-102. January 31. No. 48-49. pp. 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 TSN. pp.. TSN. Exhibits "M" to "U". pp. Vol. Vol. 1996. 24-28. pp.. TSN. Vol. pp. 15-25. 1996. pp. 13-20. 96-104. TSN. 59-75. Id. 1997. Exhibits "SSSS" and "TTTT". TSN. Exhibit "C". December 5. 12-13. 63-64. March 14. pp. Id. 88-89.. at pp. 176389). 41-45. TSN. Records. rollo (G. 319-322. January 31. TSN. 1996. at pp. TSN. at pp. 1996. March 25. TSN. 57-69. 53-72. pp. at pp. 66-86. 1996. 1997. 55-66. TSN. Id.. 103-105. 11-19. 8. 48. 8-14. 21-22. April 23. April 16. 14-19. 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 Id. at pp. 1996. pp. at pp. 103-104. See page 4 of CA Decision. 17-18 and 74. 304. 46 Id. Records. 31. pp. 790795.25 Exhibit "Y" to "BB".. TSN. 18-38. p. 1995. Id. pp. 19. May 2. 1996. pp. 1996. 456-459. TSN. pp. at pp. 8. TSN. March 25. pp. March 18. March 18. TSN. 51-54. 88-97.. February 11. 8-10. p.

3). 9-12. 15-23. "305". pp. September 1. TSN. 9-12. TSN. 116 (Vol. Exhibits "323". at pp. Id. pp. 1997. 11-25. 1997. Id. 53-54. 65-70. 1997. Vol. June 2. pp.. TSN. 46-51. 37. July 2. pp. 134-148. 26-32. 9-19. "234". July 1.. "295". TSN. "306". 50 Id. 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 . 128-129. 1997. June 26.. 21. "331". pp. 75-78. Records. 1997. Exhibits "79". 1996. 23-32. Exhibit "349". at pp. "307" and "244" to "246". 1997. Exhibit "331". 1997. 52 Id. June 9. Exhibit "348". 54-58. pp. 73-74. 4). pp. 31. 51 TSN. 61-62.49 TSN. June 19. TSN. pp. 1997. "326". TSN. Exhibit "319-A". "346". 81-86. pp. "319". April 23. 1996. pp. at pp. pp. 1997. 207. pp. 1997. Exhibits "223" to "295". 1997. July 16. 44-57.. pp. 21. 16-17. pp 33-37. TSN. 1997. Records. TSN. 203. TSN. 58-62. TSN. May 9. 25-27. p. pp. TSN. pp. 1997. 78-84. 1997. at pp. 37-42. 20-26. 90-91. TSN. July 8. pp. 19-35. 13-28. TSN. Exhibit "337-B". TSN. 29-32 (Vol. April 30. 1997. July 29. 29-36. TSN. 28-73. 5-79. TSN. 61-63. July 3. June 3. pp. 14-33. July 7. 9-10. Vol. 1997. "325". 28-30. pp. August 12. 26. 51-64. July 16.

21. 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 . 1997. 10-11. February 4. 104-121. Exhibit "260". 2). pp. TSN. p. Exhibit "338". 24. TSN. Records. 1997. 21. 21. TSN. Exhibit "262". Records. pp. 14. 21. TSN. 272-274 (Vol. January 26. 1-7. 91-92. 87 Exhibit "215" "215-B" "215-C". TSN. pp. Exhibit "207-B". pp. TSN. Exhibit "216". 157. February 9. 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 Exhibit "192". 39-64. 18-19. 40-44. 6-9. 1998. 17-30. Exhibits "341" and "342". 169 (Vol. Vol. 140. "309-A" and submarkings. 1998. 1998. 112. 63-65. pp. pp. 194 (Vol. January 21. 1998. Vol. Vol. 21-62. 29-42. 254-256. February 16. 1998. 1). pp. Exhibit "309". January 22. Vol. 1998 and February 19. 6-7. Exhibits "369" and "364". TSN. pp. 265 (Vol. Exhibit "212-D". Records. 1). Exhibits "207" to"219". pp. pp. 1998. 1). 18-21. 104-142 (Vol. Exhibit "346". 1). Records. Exhibit "261". pp. 158.73 Exhibit "344". 1998. 40. October 9. TSN. Exhibit "347" and submarkings. 3). April 15-17. 141-145 (Vol. TSN. 39-56. Vol. 4). Records. 21. 253-279 (Vol. February 3.

Tagle dissented. IV. August 6. 12. 1999. pp. February 9. People. Id. 81-131. People v. No. No. at pp. pp. G. 2000. People v. 170-171. 719. 1997. 91-94.. November 18. 2004.. 1004. 1998. July 6. citing Francisco. No. Id.97 TSN. March 4. G. 1997. 6-7. August 31. 118 119 . 37-39. 200. 38-41. Vol. pp.R. 266-267. Evidence. Vol. 429 SCRA 330. Vol. 9-26. November 12. 176864). 51-52. 526 SCRA 689. 531 SCRA 828. G. Simon. TSN. May 27. Exhibits "274" and "275". Pringas. 108 Rollo (G. Id. 1997. 352. 38-43. 43-47. 106 107 Justices Renato C. G. 302 SCRA 21. No. 743. 99 TSN. 13-41. 3478-3479. G. pp. G. IV. 72. See photographs. 7-8.R. May 22. TSN. 742-746. 175928. No. 2007. People v. 1993. 424 SCRA 698. 91482. 25. 2007.R.R. Vol. pp. No. 130531. De Guzman. 105 Records. pp. citing People v. 340 SCRA 189. See Dissenting Opinion. 474 SCRA 570. pp. Exhibits "GGGG-1" and "GGGG-4". November 12. pp.R.R. Comiling. Zinampan. TSN. 356-358. No. November 17. pp. 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 People v. Penned by Judge Amelita G. 117 People v. 1996. September 13.. 1990 ed. at pp. CA rollo Vol. 126781. 55-72. Vol.R. 78-125. 116 People v. CA rollo. 522 SCRA 207. January 14. 121039-45. 173197. 25. Tolentino (now an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals). 37-44. April 24. Comanda. 143647. Records. No. 1-171. 2007. 175880. No. pp. 402-404.R. at pp. G. 2005. 1997. G. 100 101 102 103 104 Records. Dacudao and Lucenito N. 218 SCRA 657. 140405. 43-73. 17-19. No. 142-157. p. Rostata. VII.. 98 TSN.R. G. 1997. pp. Fukuzume v. January 25.R. TSN. November 11. pp.

Mosquerra.R. 1999. 303 SCRA 468. 36. L-48255.. L-38786. Quima. TSN. 130 People v.G. 124 People v. 450. People v. CA rollo. Rodrigo. 119 SCRA 234. No. No. citing People v. 121 TSN. 287 SCRA 687. No. 152. May 24. G. Romero. 1999. 138874-75. G. 122-124. 129209. 136 Rollo (G. 160811.R. En Banc Resolution. 112989. 46. May 27. February 19. citing People v. 251 (1950). 1999. 95939.R. November 21. 50. Aňonuevo. De Labajan. 421 SCRA 530. Nos. G. July 21. 1982. 1998. 708. No. Meneses. Jr. March 26. 129968-69. 23. August 9. 319 SCRA 36. citing People v.R. No.R. 262 SCRA 22. 3455-3463. 179 (1995). Alto. No. Vol. November 24. 317 SCRA 566. 1996 . September 18. Batidor. No. 2001. Zabala. L-60744. 25. 410 SCRA 183. 126094-95. L-74669. No. No. 1998. January 21. 122 People v. 307 SCRA 535. 131 G. 9-12. 1999. 1986. 132 133 134 135 Bastian v. Canada.. 159 SCRA 613 citing People v. 141644.R. 135 Phil. July 2. 125 SCRA 813. supra at p. 110559. and People v. 1996.R. 333. 463 SCRA 654. 139. October 18. pp. 123 People v. Rodrigo. 450. 125 People v. 129 Id. Realin. Tulop. 128072. 1983. at p. 176159. February 3. Pineda.R. 126027. as cited in People v. Balmoria. citing People v. Hillado. 1995. 564 SCRA 584. 1996. Records. 575. citing People v. 1999. G. 1998. 2005. G.R. October 27. 301 SCRA 516. 124829. IV. Teehankee.R. G. 28-30. August 12. People v. 86 Phil. 303 SCRA 335. 1997. 662-664. 122838.12-15. and People v. March 20. 14 April 1988. People v. 1995. Luces. 288-299. No.R.R. Saban. 597. No. 301 SCRA 495. Nos. People v. 495. at p. Court of Appeals. 2004. 1999. 161. 40-41. pp. No. TSN. January 21. pp. No. pp. Demeterio. TSN. September 10.R. September 11. 1983.. Reduca. 288 SCRA 95. 82-86. 126 127 People v. 289 SCRA 316. April 14. G. 136299.120 Id. Benito. June 17.R. L63728. 1996. People v. p. 11742. People v. 596. TSN. 137 . pp. No. 97. No. October 17. pp. pp. 2008. Florentino Bracamonte.. No.R. November 25. 126051.R. 429 SCRA 478. 553 and People v. 362 SCRA 441.People v. 128. citing People v. No. G. 534. Magallanes. 512. 120620-21. G. August 29. 1999. Nos. G. 2003. December 15. G.R. 2004. 136 (1968). July 11. 197. 74. 176864). No.R. 128 Id. G. People v. 144 SCRA 121. G.R. 124 SCRA 914. No. Nos. G. 319 Phil. February 18. G. 350. G. 180. G. 451.R. 43-52. No. Vol. September 15. 2008. at p.

145927.pinoymoneytalk. No. 142 Sourced from Internet -.0. 2684-2687. 556 SCRA 595. 97935. v. It has been determined that this response is correct. 377 SCRA 154. 9. pp. 26. inquirer. Exhibit "42-M". but many visitors are not entered into this system. Records.138 Vide: People v. Records. 124388-90. IV. 531 SCRA 1. Records. 148123. Philippine Daily Inquirer.net. 2008.R. Vol. 148 149 150 151 .php?topic=5848. No. p. 127156. It is possible that either the State Department or the United States Customs Service might have information concerning Mr. pp. Tagun. 605. G. 1141 and 1157. 9. 2000. I suggest you write to those agencies to request the information you seek. No. 1154. first posted 03:29:00 06/15/2008 at website -http://newsinfo.http://www. August 24. 9. Vol.com/forum/index. 143-153. Malones.pinoymoneytalk. February 15. No. No. Vol. 148123.G. pp.R.com/forum/index. 144 Exhibits "XX" and "LLL". 169. Webb are found. pp. 604. 9. the INS normally does not maintain records on individuals who are entering the country as visitors rather than as immigrants. 24 & 25. Vol. 2004. "33" and "34". 336 SCRA 615. Vol.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20080615-142790/Passport-readingmachine-uncovers-fake-documents. People. Webb’s entry into the country. Exhibits "30".R.php?topic=5848. p.R. Aliposa. pp. For your information. citing People v. 2008. 98-109. 25. 1142.R. citing People v. "DFA-RP Passport Exposes Filipinos to Discrimination" by Venorica Uy. G. "DDD" and "213-1-D".inquirer. June 30. October 23.0 143 Exhibits "YY". 1996. A notation concerning the entry of a visitor may be made in the Nonimmigrant Information System (NIIS). 141 Fernan. No. Jr. 145 146 147 Vide: Soriano v. Records. No. Last Updated 07-05pm (Mla time) 03/13/2007 sourced fromhttp://www. 9. 140 Soriano v. G. Vol. I am informed by the San Francisco District Office that this matter is still pending in that office and that a formal response to your request will be issued shortly. 270. 556 SCRA 595. Vols. 339-340. G. People. 137745. CA rollo. 621. 425 SCRA 318. 2007. G. 2002. p. March 11. July 31. Cited by reference in Exhibit III. The NIIS was searched. Balacano. 139 People v. and no records pertaining to Mr. People. See also "Passport-reading Machine Uncovers Fake Documents" by Tina Santos. 1147 and Records. 711-713. Vol. Records. 263 SCRA 471.R. Records. Records. Vol.R. June 30. 31. You were informed by the San Francisco District Office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service that no records responsive to you request could be located in its file. G. pp. 708. 440.

October 15. 1998. No. Ortiz. 288 SCRA 225. 263 SCRA 460 and People v. Malvenda.M. 34. January 20. Pelopero. No.R. TSN. 2000. 677. G. G. 3564. G.R. 267 SCRA 64. G. No. 110833. December 17. at p. Vol.R. 1997. G. 166 People v. 292 SCRA 436. 410 SCRA 324. G. 1999. 39 . 264 SCRA 558. 2003. No. pp. Vol. 126119. G.R. 584 SCRA 518. No. 297 SCRA 229. G. and People v. No. No.R. 3081. 110829. People v. 107245. No.R. 1998. No. 104400.R. at p. 284 SCRA 79. citing People v.R. as amended. 259 SCRA 381. Sicad. Id. G. 167 CA rollo. Pulusan. G. October 16.R. July 26. January 14. 2001. Diaz.R. Sumalpong. IV. October 10. 121792. G. G. Abordo. May 21. 361 SCRA 274. Antonio. 115351. citing People v. No. 1996. People v. 402. 128900. 139400.. 95. 97. Layno. Chua. citing People v. 1997. 105961. 118828 & 119371. G. G. 2000. October 7. 88. 335 SCRA 646. April 7. TSN. April 18. citing People v... 1998. October 15. 335.152 CA rollo. G. People v. January 28. Padao. 391 SCRA 19. No. IV. Amodia. G. Id. Vol. 155 TSN.. 133814. November 21. Nos. at p. 748.R. 72-79. 117-119. 515 and People v. Medina. July 14.R. October 17. pp. pp. Watiwat. p. 173791. No. 1995. July 17. 1996. October 22. No. People v. IV. CA rollo. p.R. 169 People v.R. 153 154 People v. July 10. 410. 326 SCRA 693. 3564-3566. No. March 27. Obello. 124705. 1998. 97-98 Id. 271 SCRA 504. 1995. G. 10037. 413 SCRA 397. 3542-3550.R. 165 People v.321 SCRA 23. 129-131. Lagarto. February 29. Id.R. 2003.R. No. 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 Article 8. People v. TSN. September 3. 2002. 1995. 81. 1998. 1996. 127157. No. 108772. No. The Revised Penal Code. Magana.People v. pp.R. G. pp. at pp. 06-11-5-SC. No. citing People v. A. 1995. 105673.R. October 10. 2009. 168 People v. 170 . 133833. 1998. 290 SCRA 353. G. 284 SCRA 229. No. Sumaoy.

Supra note 180. 176389). 479 (1984). 428 SCRA 504. 1999. at pp. 260. June 9. Id. 678. Rollo (G. at pp.. 150224. 152954. Matter of Dabbs v. G. 2000. 83 (1963). Juntilla. No. Manuel. 531-542. 83 (1963). Id. 2004. p. 514-517. pp. . 2d 765 (Sup. G. No. A. No.G. at pp. 2d 844.R. Westchester Co. pp. MTJ-04-1552.R. 313 SCRA 650..R. 373 U. 172326.M. Bersales. People v. No.R. 102 L Ed 281. 191 People v. 134939. 583.S. 1999. 314 SCRA 568. 192 People v. G. Sevilleno. Supra note 181. citing People v. 543-554. Sec.. Id. May 19.. October 21. September 16. March 10. 179 Id.. 373 U. 51 (1988). 1998.Y. 436. 109 S Ct 333. 149 Misc. No. 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 A Litigator’s Guide to DNA From the Laboratory to the Courtroom by Ron C. Michaelis. 467 U. Wulff. Flanders. 659.S. Id. 431 SCRA 430. 130604.R. 2008 published by Elsevier Inc. 425 SCRA 247.S. Id. pp. Pascual. 4.R. 298 SCRA 184. 576 SCRA 242. No.S. Ct. Bato. Jr. 2009. 176389).R. No. 130525.S. and Paula H. supra. No.R. 570 N. 1990).171 Id. citing People v. January 19.. 325 SCRA 671.R. 580-585. 189 190 488 U. Robert G. 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 See City Prosecution Office of General Santos City v. G. Vergari. 586-592. 257. G. Rollo (G. G. No. and People v.. September 3. 370. February 16. 560-563. 2004. No. 121539. 2004. at pp. Sacapaño.

it brought inconsolable grief to a husband and father who lost his entire family to senseless violence while he was working overseas.2 The vehement outcry to find and punish those responsible for the Vizconde horror initially led. 673. another set of suspects (apparently former contractors/workers of the Vizcondes) was identified. 555-556. June 21. 194 G. People v.: The duty of the prosecution is not merely to secure a conviction. Pascual. or on 2 July 1991. 195 196 197 198 The Lawphil Project . but to secure a just conviction. including evidence of torture in extracting confessions from the accused. August 22. Worse.1 After the lapse of only 11 days. 118. only to be released later on due to insufficiency of evidence. 2004. 176640. August 2. 2005. La Salle Engineering student Eldon Maguan was gunned down in cold blood by businessman Rolito Go over a parking skirmish in San Juan. supra at 558. 2008. G.Arellano Law Foundation SEPARATE CONCURRING OPINION SERENO.R. This highly publicized case became the center of the nation’s attention owing to the public outrage over the atrocious nature of the crime committed in what was then thought to be a relatively secure neighborhood. No. thereby tantalizing a sympathetic public with ideal visions of justice – of morally depraved offenders finally caught and no longer able to wreck random havoc on the lives of law-abiding citizens. the trial court in its 1993 Decision3 pronounced the accused not guilty of the charges. 163351. to the arrest and eventual filing by the prosecution of Information for two counts of robbery with homicide and one count of robbery with rape against six named and an undetermined number of unnamed persons touted as members of the Akyat Bahay gang. of bereaved families brought a measure of comfort for the vindication of wasted young lives. 147674-75.R. J. Nos. in Dasmarinas Village after a minor scuffle. 425 SCRA 654. People v.193 Nueva España v. During the same year (1993). People. Arellano. Events soon after the occurrence of the crime on 30 June 1991 would only help fuel civic indignation. supra at 260-261. In view of the illegal arrests of the accused and noncompliance with the requirements for conducting custodial investigation. People. March 17. Jr. self-confessed drug user Jessica Alfaro (Alfaro) named young men from wealthy and powerful families as perpetrators of the crime. . four months after.R. citing People v. 166723. 189. No. G. which she claimed to have witnessed. No. of privileged perpetrators subjected to the rule of law no matter how high and mighty. young Maureen Hultman and Roland John Chapman were fatally shot by Claudio Teehankee. 563 SCRA 181. G. Nueva España v. 529 SCRA 109.R.4 Almost four years after the crime was committed. Just two days thereafter. 2007. Id. Opuran. 460 SCRA 547.

Rights of the victim are not ignored. while he may strike hard blows. Certainly."7 Thus. But. its very existence. therefore. even if we apply in this case the "multifactor balancing test" which requires the officer to weigh the manner and intensity of the interference on the right of the people.However.8 What is in truth referred to when expanding on the concept of "fair trial" is that the rights of the accused are protected. Consequently. the State has every right to prosecute and punish violators of the law."5 A review of the proceedings during preliminary investigation and trial showed that the prosecution did not fare much better. in the hierarchy of rights. still we cannot see probable cause to order the detention of petitioners. the gravity of the crime committed and the circumstances attending the incident. yet the prosecutor is ethically forbidden from embracing that notion. but that justice shall be done. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor — indeed. and when weighed against each other. is too high a price to pay for reckless and impulsive prosecution. the scales of justice tilt towards the former. Thus. but about determining the guilt and the just punishment of the accused. regardless of duration. This is essential for its self-preservation. Hence. but what is fair and what will contribute to justice. But this does not confer a license for pointless assaults on its citizens. it cannot be overemphasized that the prosecuting officer "is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy. Senior Police Officer 1 Gerardo Biong and some John Does were charged as accessories to the crime for "conceal[ing] and destroy[ing] the effects or instruments thereof by failing to preserve the physical evidence and allowing their destruction in order to prevent the discovery of the crime. The question then. the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer.10 we also elucidated this delicate balancing of interests in the following manner: The sovereign power has the inherent right to protect itself and its people from vicious acts which endanger the proper administration of justice. This bundle of rights guarantees the preservation of our natural rights which include personal liberty and security against invasion by the government or any of its branches or instrumentalities. The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to protect the people against arbitrary and discriminatory use of political power. he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. At the outset. The right of the State to prosecute is not a carte blanche for government agents to defy and disregard the rights of its citizens under the Constitution. in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case. hence.9 In Allado V. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one. but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all. is not what will make the prospect of a conviction more certain. Diokno. but they are respected only to the extent that they are consistent with the fairness of the trial for the accused. relief may be availed of to stop the purported enforcement of criminal law where it is necessary to provide for an orderly administration of justice. and whose interest. for it committed acts of prosecutorial misconduct that effectively deprived the accused of their constitutionally guaranteed right to due process. nay. there was little objective forensic evidence obtained from the crime scene due to deplorable missteps taken by the investigating police officers. he should do so. he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law. As such. the Bill of Rights takes precedence over the right of the State to prosecute. Confinement."6 In the words of Richard Refshauge: "The adversarial system … is rooted in the notion of a contest with winners and losers. to prevent the use of the . a criminal trial is not about personal redress for the victims. to the extent necessary to ensure fairness for him.

and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf. the coercion of confession from the accused. methods and practices cause a disservice to their office and maim their countrymen they are sworn to serve and protect. (1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law. (2) In all criminal prosecutions. (Underscoring supplied. that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable. and the failure to preserve evidence. and rules on ethical conduct. particularly Article III thereof. it is the duty of the prosecution not to issue prejudicial statements about them while the trial is . the Constitution declares that the risk of letting the guilty walk free would be error on the side of justice. The prosecution’s disregard of these standards amounts to prosecutorial misconduct. to meet the witnesses face to face.strong arm of the law in an oppressive and vindictive manner. and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel. and because they are entitled to due process of law. of all the other rights accorded to the accused. Indeed. Lip service to this ideal is not enough. particularly the law enforcers. the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved. In response. guarantees on the part of the State. to have a speedy. general rules on evidence. nay. the rights of the accused were enshrined in no less than the 1987 Constitution. They are further bolstered by the Rules of Court. lest their thoughtless ways. The said rights of the accused come with the corresponding duties.11 Issuance of Prejudicial Comments About the Accused Section 14(2). the mishandling and/or withholding of evidence. and to afford adequate protection to constitutional rights. including the right to due process of law. This outcome is infinitely better than imprisoning an innocent person. impartial. the obstruction of defense lawyers’ access to prosecution witnesses. In pronouncing the presumption of innocence of the accused and their right to due process.) The presumption of innocence of the accused is at the center of our criminal justice system – the cornerstone. and public trial. to be more prudent in the prosecution of cases and not to be oblivious of human rights protected by the fundamental law. Let this then be a constant reminder to judges. after arraignment. While we greatly applaud their determined efforts to weed society of felons. as our people are well acquainted with the painful reality that the rights of the accused to a fair trial were violated with impunity by an unchecked authority in our not so distant history. Article III of the 1987 Constitution emphatically mandates: Section 14. Some examples of prosecutorial misconduct would be the intimidation of defense witnesses. as it were. Because the accused must be presumed innocent. at the core of our criminal justice system is the presumption of innocence of the accused until proven guilty. the prosecution in particular. prosecutors and other government agents tasked with the enforcement of the law that in the performance of their duties they must act with circumspection. trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused: Provided. to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. related legislation. We thus caution government agents. let not their impetuous eagerness violate constitutional precepts which circumscribe the structure of a civilized community. However. the issuance of prejudicial comments about the accused.

She admitted that her brother was a drug addict and had been arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for illegal drug possession. however. Alfaro was asked about her brother Patrick Alfaro and her uncle Robert Alfaro. she had further told the media that the accused "should not expect the comforts of home.12 Allegations of issuance of prejudicial comments about the accused in this case pertained to the acts of the trial judge. Despite the defense counsel’s explanation that the questions were for the purpose of establishing Alfaro’s bias and motive for testifying against the accused. Similar objections on the ground of irrelevance. Webb’s first Motion for the disqualification of Judge Tolentino. When allegations of instances of the trial judge’s bias were first brought to this Court. v. but this Motion was also denied. She further claimed that her brother was now in the United States. In Webb. The judge ruled that Alfaro could not be crossexamined on the contents of the latter’s April 28 Affidavit. Alfaro was shown her transcript of records indicating her completion of only one academic year. as it was allegedly not executed in the presence of a counsel. The prosecution objected to further questions regarding the arrest and departure of Alfaro’s brother on the ground that it was irrelevant. it was understandable that the Court would accord the judge the presumption of regularity in the performance of her duties. This Court resolved to refer the petitions to the Court of Appeals for proper disposition." This motion was denied by Judge Tolentino." pending the resolution of his Motion to be committed to the custody of the Philippine National Police at Camp Ricardo Papa.being conducted. The affidavit was held to be inadmissible in evidence. Paranaque. This standard applies with even more force to the trial judge who must at all times not only be impartial. Accused later filed with this Court a Supplemental Petition to set aside Judge Tolentino’s Order denying their Motion for inhibition. Bicutan. immaterial and impertinent for cross-examination. . Thereafter. The judge again denied the Motion.13 the accused assailed the Court of Appeals for denying their Petition for the inhibition from the case of Judge Amelita Tolentino. filed prior to their arraignment. amounting to denial of due process. but also appear to be so. and [2] the Order of Judge Tolentino disallowing the defense to cross-examine Alfaro on the contents of her April 28 affidavit. as well as her Decision – taken together – showed a pattern now recognizable in retrospect as bias against the accused. the trial court sustained the objection. the presiding judge of Branch 274 of the Regional Trial Court of Paranaque. and not the prosecution. Two days later. was anchored on the ground that the said judge had allegedly told the media that "failure of the accused to surrender following the issuance of the warrant of arrest is an indication of guilt. Allegedly. People. Webb filed a second motion to disqualify her. The accused thus assailed before this Court [1] the Order of judge Tolentino denying Webb’s motion for hospitalization. immateriality and impertinence were sustained by the trial court when the defense counsel cross-examined Alfaro on her educational attainment. Gerardo Biong also filed a motion to disqualify her on the ground of bias and partiality. at the hearing for the accused’s Petitions for bail during which the prosecution presented Jessica Alfaro. Prior to the cross-examination. Accused then filed a Motion to disqualify Judge Tolentino or inhibit herself from the case due to bias and prejudice. thus earning nine units of college. et al. Her subsequent acts. but she denied the Motion. Judge Tolentino issued an Order.

admitting only ten [10] out of the one hundred forty-two [142] exhibits offered by the defense. The defense made their Formal Offer of Evidence upon conclusion of the hearings on the Petitions for bail. They subsequently filed a Supplemental Petition. the hearing on the accused’s Petitions for bail continued. Vitaliano Aguirre was improper on cross-examination. no matter how erroneous and vigorously and consistently expressed. The Court of Appeals rendered its Decision on the various Petitions and Supplemental Petitions. Subsequently. bad faith. absent extrinsic evidence. the judge denied the accused’s Petitions for bail. and that. The accused thus elevated the matter to this Court. in addition to the palpable error which may be inferred from the decision or order itself. to disqualify a judge on the ground of bias and prejudice the movant must prove the same by clear and convincing evidence. that during the trial on the merits. Hence. after ruling that the proffer of oral evidence made by defense counsel Atty. … As a general rule. among others. with petitioner Webb filing a motion for deposition of witnesses residing in the United States.[However. reversing Judge Tolentino’s refusal to admit Alfaro’s April 28 Affidavit. Judge Tolentino struck the proffer from the record. on the ground that his statement was immaterial. We note that respondent judge’s rulings resolving the various motions filed by petitioners were all made after considering the arguments raised by all the parties. that respondent judge reversed this erroneous ruling and already admitted these 132 pieces of evidence after finding that "the defects in [their] admissibility have been cured through the introduction of . It is true that the respondent judge erred in some of her rulings such as her rejection of petitioners’ one hundred thirty two pieces of evidence. Petitioner Webb filed another Supplemental Petition to the Court of Appeals challenging the said Order. Judge Tolentino ruled on the accused’s formal offer of evidence. like notice and hearing. however. are not a basis for disqualification of a judge on grounds of bias and prejudice. Judge Tolentino had allowed prosecution witness Atty. It appears. explaining as follows: A critical component of due process is a hearing before an impartial and disinterested tribunal [and] every litigant is entitled to nothing less than the cold neutrality of an impartial judge for all the other elements of due process. would be meaningless if the ultimate decision would come from a partial and biased judge. denied all the other reliefs prayed for. We affirmed the Court of Appeals’ disposition. although the defense had not put his character in issue. Rivera by the presentation of an earlier statement executed by him. the decision itself would be insufficient to establish a case against the judge. A perusal of the records will reveal that petitioners failed to adduce any extrinsic evidence to prove that respondent judge was motivated by malice or bad faith in issuing the assailed rulings.In the meantime. however. This Petition was denied by Judge Tolentino on the ground that petitioner failed to allege that the witnesses did not have the means to go to the place of the trial. Extrinsic evidence is required to establish bias. The appellate court. Although the decision may seem so erroneous as to raise doubts concerning a judge’s integrity. malice or corrupt purpose. alleging. t]his right must be weighed with the duty of a judge to decide cases without fear of repression. The only exception to the rule is when the error is so gross and patent as to produce an ineluctable inference of bad faith or malice. The prosecution filed its Comment/Objection to the Formal Offer of Evidence. Petitioners simply lean on the alleged series of adverse rulings of the respondent judge which they characterized as palpable errors. that the judge disallowed the defense to impeach the credibility of Atty. This is not enough. Pedro Rivera to testify on the character of the accused. repeated rulings against a litigant. who would testify on his presence in that country on the date of the commission of the crime.

These voluminous records cannot capture in print the complete credibility of witnesses when they testified in court. The records of the case at bar run into volumes. We hasten to stress that a party aggrieved by erroneous interlocutory rulings in the course of a trial is not without remedy. Rule 115. to meet the witnesses face to face. … … There is still another reason why we should observe caution in disqualifying respondent judge. For there is yet to come a judge with the omniscience to issue rulings that are always infallible. and public trial. The range of remedy is provided in our Rules of Court and we need not make an elongated discourse on the subject. she is in the best position to calibrate their credibility.—In all criminal prosecutions. is not the outright disqualification of the judge. The courts will close shop if we disqualify judges who err for we all err. unless his presence is specifically ordered by the court for purposes of identification. The task of evaluating the credibility of witnesses includes interpreting their body language and their meaningful nuances are not expressed in the transcripts of their testimonies. The trial of the petitioners is about to end and to assign a new judge to determine the guilt or innocence of petitioners will not be for the best interest of justice.additional evidence during the trial on the merits. provides: SECTION 1. andto have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf." This correction diminishes the strength of petitioners’ charge that respondent judge is hopelessly biased against them. the remedy for erroneous rulings. to have a speedy. But certainly. however. the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved. As the respondent judge observed the demeanor of witnesses while in the witness chair. Mishandling and/or Withholding of Evidence The rights of the accused to have compulsory process to secure the production of evidence on their behalf is a right enshrined in no less than our Constitution. Section 14 thereof. he shall be deemed to .) This right is echoed and further fleshed out in the Rules of Criminal Procedure. to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. Rights of accused at the trial. The absence of the accused without justifiable cause at the trial of which he had notice shall be considered a waiver of his right to be present thereat. (c) To be present and defend in person and by counsel at every stage of the proceedings. The accused may. impartial. (2)In all criminal prosecutions. absent any extrinsic evidence of malice or bad faith. from arraignment to promulgation of the judgment. particularly Article III. the accused shall be entitled to the following rights: (a) To be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved beyond reasonable doubt. When an accused under custody escapes. to wit: Section 14: (1)No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law. (b) To be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. andshall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel. waive his presence at the trial pursuant to the stipulations set forth in his tail. Section 1 thereof. Xxx (Underscoring supplied.

. dated 22 May 1995. it is notable that during preliminary investigation. that she did not know how the . The DOJ Panel granted the Motion. Rule 116 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. or otherwise unable to testify. Either party may utilize as part of its evidence the testimony of a witness who is deceased. In this earlier Sworn Statement. Before submitting his Counter-Affidavit.) Section 10. in fact further mandates: SEC. Jr. that the accused entered the premises by jumping over the fence. His silence shall not in any manner prejudice him. unavailable. The Statement did not appear to be signed by Alfaro’s counsel of choice. Alfaro. police. as well as any designated documents. (d) To testify as a witness in his own behalf but subject to cross-examination on matters covered by direct examination. (h) To have speedy. that she did not know why the accused wanted to enter the Vizconde house. in order to prevent surprise. or tangible things not otherwise privileged. or alteration. (g) To have compulsory process issued to secure the attendance of witnesses and production of other evidence in his behalf. (e) To be exempt from being compelled to be a witness against himself. given in another case or proceeding. photographs. or other law investigating agencies. Applying this standard to the present case. the accused’s right of access to evidence requires the correlative duty of the prosecution to produce and permit the inspection of the evidence.) Thus. Alfaro declared that she had never met Carmela before that fateful night. (Underscoring supplied. named as Atty. may order the prosecution to produce and permit the inspection and copying or photographing ofany written statement given by the complainant and other witnesses in any investigation of the offense conducted by the prosecution or other investigating officers. out of or can not with due diligence be found in the Philippines. books. Arturo Mercader.—Upon motion of the accused showing good cause and with notice to the parties. papers.have waived his right to be present on all subsequent trial dates until custody over him is regained. which constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the case and which are in possession or under the control of the prosecution. among others. (Underscoring supplied. the court. letters. (f) To confront and cross-examine the witnesses against him at the trial. and not to suppress or alter it. 10. objects. any other written statements of Alfaro. the accused may be allowed to defend himself in person when it sufficiently appears to the court that he can properly protect his rights without the assistance of counsel. judicial or administrative. Production or inspection of material evidence in possession of prosecution. except that they were after Carmela. impartial and public trial. the Sworn Statement of their principal witness. suppression. and the NBI submitted a mere photocopy of an earlier Sworn Statement of Alfaro dated 28 April 1995. Upon motion. the adverse party having the opportunity to cross-examine him. the NBI presented to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Panel. Webb filed with the DOJ Panel a Motion for Production and Examination of Evidence and Documents for the NBI to produce. among others. accounts. (i) To appeal in all cases allowed and in the manner prescribed by law. involving the same parties and subject matter. in the same document.

In the case at bar. and that she had no idea what transpired in the house until they left the area. the accused filed a case with the Regional Trial Court of Makati. however. which also contained his signature. Sections 10 and 11 of Rule 117 do provide an accused the right to move for a bill of particulars and for production or inspection of material evidence in possession of the prosecution. This failure to provide discovery procedure during preliminary investigation does not. an Information for Rape with Homicide was filed with the Regional Trial Court of Paranaque against Webb. that she did not know who opened that door for the accused. that Carmela left open the gate through which they entered the premises freely. et al. Webb retained a certified true copy of the first Sworn Statement (certified by Assistant State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuno). In her 22 May 1995 Sworn Statement. To start with. petitioners charge the NBI with violating their right to discovery proceedings during their preliminary investigation by suppressing the April 28. liberty and property. which was the basis of the NBI’s complaint. as she was about ten (10) meters away from the kitchen door. The NBI explained that they produced a mere photocopy of the 28 April 1995 Sworn Statement. Alfaro claimed to have known Carmela since February 1991. because the original was lost. We hold that the finding of a probable cause by itself subjects the suspect’s life. But these provisions apply after the filing of the Complaint or Information in court and the rights are accorded to the accused to assist them to make an intelligent plea at arraignment and to prepare for trial. came to this Court to assail the DOJ Panel’s finding and the trial court’s issuance of warrants for their arrest.accused were able to enter the house. that the group decided to rape Carmela when Alfaro informed Webb that Carmela had dropped off a man who appeared to be her boyfriend. Branch 63. When the DOJ Panel refused to issue a subpoena duces tecum to Atty. The argument is novel in this jurisdiction and as it urges an expansive reading of the rights of persons under preliminary investigation it deserves serious consideration. It was raffled to Branch 274. the risk to the liberty of petitioners cannot be understated for they are charged with the crime of rape with homicide. while the duplicate original copy thereof was submitted to the DOJ Panel. presided by Judge Amelita Tolentino. We upheld the right of petitioners to compel the NBI to disclose exculpatory evidence in their favor: Further. Mercader. Atty. liberty and property to real risk of loss or diminution. Webb et al. This Statement contradicted salient points in Alfaro’s 22 May 1995 Sworn Statement. to obtain the original of the first Sworn Statement. that she witnessed the rape of Carmela by Webb and also saw the bodies of Estrellita and Jennifer piled up on the bed. Mercader then appeared and produced before the trial court the original Sworn Statement of Alfaro dated 28 April 1995. who thereupon issued warrants for their arrest. As aforediscussed. the object of a preliminary investigation is to determine the probability that the suspect committed a crime. Preliminary investigation is not too early a stage to guard against any significant erosion of the constitutional right to due process of a potential accused. . The DOJ Panel still found probable cause to charge the accused and on 10 August 1995. our Rules on Criminal Procedure do not expressly provide for discovery proceedings during the preliminary investigation stage of a criminal proceeding. negate its use by a person under investigation when indispensable to protect his constitutional right to life. but hinted that one of the maids must have done it since Estrellita and Carmela were tied. 1995 original copy of the sworn statement of Alfaro and the FBI Report. a non-bailable offense when the evidence of guilt is strong. that Alfaro led the group in entering the kitchen door.

and hence formally at risk of incarceration or some other penalty. Court of Appeals. notwithstanding that said statements were not presented for proper identification and marking. evolved jurisprudence firming up the prosecutor’s duty to disclose to the defense exculpatory evidence in its possession."16 The accused’s counsel then showed the trial court their copy of the first Sworn Statement containing Atty. this finding of probable cause cannot be struck down as done with grave abuse of discretion. It is also implicit in Section (3) (a) of Rule 112 which requires during the preliminary investigation the filing of a sworn complaint which shall "." A preliminary investigation should therefore be scrupulously conducted so that the constitutional right to liberty of a potential accused can be protected from any material damage. but this was denied. Prosecutor Zuno. and hence. The rationale is well put by Justice Brennan in Brady — "society wins not only when the guilty are convicted but when criminal trials are fair. . that the prosecution would continue to suppress Alfaro’s first Sworn Statement. prosecutors should not treat litigation like a game of poker where surprises can be sprung and where gain by guile is not punished. Mercader’s signature and certified as a true copy by Asst. "(p)etitioners thus had the fair chance to explain to the DOJ Panel then still conducting their preliminary investigation the exculpatory aspects of this sworn statement. the NBI. On cross-examination. . On the third day of Alfaro’s cross-examination. . In turn. Rule 112 installed a quasi-judicial type of preliminary investigation conducted by one whose high duty is to be fair and impartial. who had the duplicate original thereof. 44 As this Court emphasized in Rolito Go vs. failed or refused to produce . In the 1963 watershed case of Brady v.) Nevertheless. Alfaro was allowed by the trial court to testify on the circumstances surrounding the execution of the two Sworn Statements. Alfaro admitted that in the first Sworn Statement were answers that were not hers. We uphold the legal basis of the right of petitioners to demand from their prosecutor. because she only finished second year and was not actually a college graduate. On 16 October 1995. the trial court denied the motion "with finality. . the original copy of the April 28. When bail hearings commenced on 9 October 1995. the prosecution objected to questions referring to the first Sworn Statement on the ground that it was made without the assistance of counsel. The trial court sustained the objection.15 When counsel moved for reconsideration. . however. For reasons we have expounded." It appeared. (Citations omitted. the Court is not without enlightened precedents from other jurisdictions. state the known address of the respondent and be accompanied by affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses as well as other supporting documents . the DOJ Panel still found probable cause to charge them despite the alleged material discrepancies between the first and second sworn statements of Alfaro. Thus. she stated that the answer to question number 8 is not true. Assitant Prosecutor Atty. Holohan which laid down the proposition that a prosecutor’s intentional use of perjured testimony to procure conviction violates due process. Instead. The right is rooted on the constitutional protection of due process which we rule to be operational even during the preliminary investigation of a potential accused. 1995 sworn statement of Alfaro and the FBI Report during their preliminary investigation considering their exculpatory character. Unfortunately for petitioners. we ruled that with the production of the first Sworn Statement." In laying down this rule. For instance.14 The accused’s counsel orally sought reconsideration. the prosecution started with a presentation of the testimony of Alfaro. our Rules have discarded the pure inquisitorial system of preliminary investigation. Zuno. unquestionable materiality to the issue of their probable guilt." Its progeny is the 1935 case of Mooney v. irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution. "the right to have a preliminary investigation conducted before being bound over for trial for a criminal offense. is not a mere or technical right.Attuned to the times. it is a substantive right. but were only supplied by the NBI agents then present during the statement-taking." Indeed. Maryland the United States Supreme Court held that "suppression of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material to guilt or punishment.

The NBI proclaimed that the semen samples they had collected from Carmela were preserved in slides and remained intact. the former was so shocked that she "stepped back and turned around to go outside. and therefore. When the prosecution is called upon not to suppress or alter evidence in its possession that may benefit the accused. the trial court concluded that "Alfaro could not be cross-examined by the defense on the contents of the said affidavit in order to discredit her statement dated May 22. (It was produced only on 24 October 1995. the accused’s right to access to evidence necessitates in the correlative duty of the prosecution to produce and permit the inspection of the evidence. it is also necessarily obliged to preserve the said evidence. To hold otherwise would be to render illusory the existence of such right. When Alfaro said she saw Webb pumping Carmela.19 As DNA evidence provides objective proof of identification and may be obtained from evidence left in the scene of the crime or in the victim’s person. so they left the place." On her way out. to seek Judge Tolentino’s inhibition and to incorporate the above instance as part of their proof of the trial judge’s bias. the trial court issued its Order dated 30 October 199517 in open court. the trial of the accused herein did not start until more than four years after the commission of the crime. While the Motion was filed six years after the crime was committed. and not to suppress or alter it. The trial court reasoned that the said Sworn Statement was an "illegally obtained evidence. The Court rejected the admissibility of the first Sworn Statement and barred its use for the purpose of impeaching Alfaro’s credibility or for refuting her subsequent statements. "Prepare escape. cannot be used either directly or indirectly against Alfaro. The trial court denied the Motion on 25 November 1997. and at no time was the timeliness of the filing of the Motion at issue. Alfaro testified that the group had earlier agreed that Webb would be the first to rape Carmela. 1995 and her testimony in open court. pursuant to the quantum required in criminal cases. in order for the prosecution’s theory to be consistent. It could not have been. there was no assurance that the semen specimen remained uncontaminated."18 This Order led accused Webb et al. considering that the Motion was timely filed during the course of the trial. Based on the foregoing circumstances. The advent of DNA technology prompted this Court’s promulgation of the New Rules for DNA Evidence. and we affirmed the denial in the manner laid out in the preceding discussion." Things had apparently gone awry." Citing Section 12. He said. the trial court held that Webb was not able to show that the proper . On 8 November 1995. Also.) Alfaro’s cross-examination continued. while two bloodied bodies were on top of the bed. it also gives new meaning to the above duty of the prosecution. The Court of Appeals denied the Petition. All previous questions and answers connected with the said Sworn Statement were also ordered expunged from the records. Failure to Preserve Evidence As discussed in the preceding section. The prosecution did not fare well when measured against this standard. with no question pertaining to the first Sworn Statement allowed. Article III of the Constitution. the DNA evidence in the slides must positively match that from accused Webb. Thus. holding that since more than six (6) years had lapsed since the commission of the crime. she met Ventura near the door.the statement despite repeated requests from the accused Webb. the defense counsel accordingly filed a Motion to Direct NBI to Submit Semen Specimen to DNA Analysis during the course of the trial. Several exchanges of pleadings on the matter were filed before the trial court.

in order that such evidence may be scrutinized in open court. Forensic DNA evidence is helpful in proving that there was physical contact between an assailant and a victim." Hence. the trial court held that a DNA test would only lead to confusion of the issues. DNA evidence collected from a crime scene can link a suspect to a crime or eliminate one from suspicion in the same principle as fingerprints are used. or to exonerate a wrongly accused suspect. efficiently facilitating the conviction of the guilty. Unfortunately. the trial judge’s objections to the DNA testing were based on mere conjectures that ran against the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty. semen. skin tissue. would unrealistically raise the bar of evidence – and for the wrong party. the idea that a negative DNA test result would not have necessarily exculpated Webb.20 we held that "courts should apply the results of science when competently obtained in aid of situations presented. and it did possess exculpatory potential that might be beneficial to the accused. securing the acquittal of the innocent. and ensuring the proper administration of justice in every case. the Dissent cites Youngblood v. .23 a United States Supreme Court Decision. blood. for the part of the defense. where biological evidence has been left. The Court held in People v. which held that the prosecution’s failure to keep intact a piece of potentially exculpatory evidence does not result in a due process violation. DNA identification is a fertile source of both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. which had custody thereof. Incidents involving sexual assault would leave biological evidence such as hair. However. It can assist immensely in effecting a more accurate account of the crime committed. the argument against the relevance of the semen sample – that the presence of semen was not necessary to prove that rape was committed – is not in point. Arizona. bedding or furniture could also be transferred to the victim’s body during the assault. carpets. If properly collected from the victim. In Tijing v. instead of for the prosecution.21 Thus. crime scene or assailant. For purposes of criminal investigation. unless the accused is able to show that the prosecution acted in bad faith. What the defense was after when it sought DNA testing was neither to prove nor to disprove the commission of rape. o saliva which can be left on the victim’s body or at the crime scene. would it not have at least cast a reasonable doubt that he committed it? Moreover. Hair and fiber from clothing. Does the prosecution’s loss of this potentially exculpatory evidence result in a fundamentally unfair trial of the accused that entitles him to a judgment of acquittal? In resolving this question in the negative. but to pinpoint the identity of the assailant. Finally. Meanwhile. In this case. as correctly held by Justice Lucenito Tagle in his Dissenting Opinion.. DNA can be compared with known samples to place the suspect at the scene of the crime.procedure for the extraction and preservation of the semen sample had been complied with. Yatar: DNA print or identification technology has been advanced as a uniquely effective means to link a suspect to a crime. i. when the present case reached this Court and a similar Motion was filed. because previous sexual congress by Carmela with another man prior to the crime could not be discounted. If a negative DNA test result could not be considered as providing certainty that Webb did not commit the crime. since to reject said result is to deny progress. we resolved to grant22 petitioner’s motion to allow DNA testing of the semen sample collected from the victim in order to compare it with Webb’s DNA. Court of Appeals.e. it is the constitutional duty of the trial judge to afford all possible means to both the NBI and the counsel for accused. semen with spermatozoa was in fact obtained. said semen sample appears to have been lost by the NBI.

" While the earlier case Brady v. though. there are now only eight (8) states that have not adopted statutes allowing post-conviction DNA testing25.However. Moreover. precisely. with Justice Stevens concurring with the result and writing a Separate Opinion. which was joined in by Justices Brennan and Marshall. with some requiring the correlative duty to preserve DNA evidence. a court should focus on the type of evidence. one examines the subjective intent of the officer and whether the officer acted in good faith or bad faith.26 Second. and the existence of other evidence going to the same point of contention in determining whether the failure to preserve the evidence in question violated due process. and the majority’s formulation may well create more questions than it answers. First. the technology has grown by leaps and bounds. Justice Blackmun wrote a strong Dissent. The majority opinion in Youngblood was penned by Justice Rehnquist and concurred in by Justices White. …[by] punishing the state for police and prosecutorial misconduct. Maryland28 held that due process violation could be committed even without bad faith. in his Separate Opinion wherein he registered his reservation to the bad faith standard being laid out by the majority." On the other hand is instrumentalism. while that in Youngblood was only potentially exculpatory. the focus on the state and on deterring official misconduct invites an examination of the costs of providing additional process. the line between ‘good faith’ and ‘bad faith’ is anything but bright. reliable fact finding and a fair trial. which seeks "to impose restraints on the state. However. in 1988. the focus is on the state. O’Connor. So far. which "seeks to ensure that the accused receives meaningful protection in court. … [and which] manifests itself in an assessment of the materiality of evidence and prejudice to the accused …[as] paramount in determining whether a due process violation has occurred. because "(a)part from the inherent difficulty a defendant would have in obtaining evidence to show a lack of good faith. Youngblood was promulgated more than two decades ago. police must preserve physical evidence of a type that they . Under this approach. in other words. To put it succinctly.29 the majority distinguished Youngblood from Brady by holding that the evidence in Brady was clearly favorable to the accused." Justice Blackmun proposed the following alternative to the bad-faith standard: Rather than allow a State’s ineptitude to saddle a defendant with an impossible burden. 261 convicts in the United States have been exonerated as a result of post-conviction DNA testing. A critique27 of the Youngblood decision points out that there are two competing due process interests therein. Justice Blackmun also disapproved of the bad-faith standard.24 In the United States. when DNA testing was still in its infancy. the possibility it might prove exculpatory. Since then. reliance on Youngblood is ill-advised. On the one hand is adjudicative fairness." The majority opinion in Youngblood focused on the state of mind of the police officer rather than on materiality and fairness to the accused. where no comparable evidence is likely to be available to the defendant. Scalia and Kennedy. Youngblood was not a product of a unanimous Decision. it was no longer in existence. not the individual. Justice Blackmun opined. In measuring the misconduct. Justice Stevens recognized that "there may well be cases in which the defendant is unable to prove that the State acted in bad faith but in which the loss or destruction of evidence is nonetheless so critical to the defense as to make a criminal trial fundamentally unfair. … to deter future misconduct and to create a prophylactic effect. that it was impossible for the accused to prove that a particular piece of evidence was exculpatory when.

after a reasonable time. Cruise was convicted of the crime and sentenced to twenty-four years in prison. Arizona. Larry Youngblood appealed his conviction. 488 U. claiming the destruction of potentially exculpatory evidence violated his due process rights. In 1998. The victim was taken to a hospital. Youngblood. an organization advocating the use of DNA evidence. but in 1988. and the Arizona Court of Appeals set aside his conviction. if tested. where the staff collected semen samples from his rectum as well as the clothing he was wearing at the time of the assault. Youngblood remained free as the case made its way through the Arizona appellate court system a second time. Expert witnesses at trial stated that. based largely on the eyewitness identification of the victim. When the defense has been informed of the existence of the evidence. He maintained his innocence at trial. as is implicit in Trombetta.S. three years into his sentence. and molested and sodomized repeatedly for over an hour by a middle aged man. and hence to exculpate a defendant charged with the crime. the injustice of the Youngblood decision was brought into sharp relief when more sophisticated DNA technology was used on the degraded evidence.30 . after a reasonable time. The district attorney’s office dismissed the charges against Larry Youngblood that year. Once a suspect has been arrested. and kidnapping. He was released from prison. Based on the boy’s description of the assailant as a man with one disfigured eye. of performing the proper tests on physical evidence and then discarding it. to reveal immutable characteristics of the criminal. but was sent back to prison in 1999 for failing to register his new address. test results might have demonstrated conclusively Youngblood’s innocence. are as follows: Larry Youngblood was convicted in 1985 of child molestation. and his conviction was reinstated (Arizona v. the Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s ruling. There should also be flexibility to deal with evidence that is unusually dangerous or difficult to store. Youngblood was charged with the crime. a ten year old boy was abducted from a carnival in Pima County. Youngblood was released on parole. and he was released from prison in August 2000. No serological tests were conducted before trial. In 2000. He was sentenced to ten years and six months in prison. upon request from his attorneys. Justice Blackmun then gave his opinion on how to balance the defendant’s rights and the duty imposed upon the law enforcement to preserve evidence: Due process must also take into account the burdens that the preservation of evidence places on the police. the police. 51). the DNA profile from the evidence was entered into the national convicted offender databases. sophisticated DNA technology. sexual assault and kidnapping) and (2) enabled the police to find the real offender. Those results exonerated Youngblood. In October 1983. who is blind in one eye and currently serving time in Texas on unrelated charges. may inform defense counsel of plans to discard the evidence. officials got a hit. when the Arizona Supreme Court reinstated his conviction.reasonably should know has the potential. sexual assault. In early 2001. it is not amiss to note that in the year 2000. Law enforcement officers must be provided the option. Shortly thereafter. Excerpts from the website of The Innocence Project. as required by Arizona sex offender laws. The technology yielded a DNA profile that (1) exonerated Larry Youngblood of the crime charged (child molestation. had the evidence been stored correctly. Third. but returned to prison in 1993. but the jury convicted him. the police department tested the degraded evidence using new. as the police improperly stored the evidence and it had degraded. In August 2002. matching the profile of Walter Cruise. the burden of preservation may shift to the defense.

Information. Court of Appeals. undoubtedly. 5 6 Tan v.p. Nos. vol. Regional Trial Court rollo.In view of all the foregoing salient objections to Youngblood. Hence. 34. 16. 8 R v. 73 SCRA 306. Don. p.R. 9 . because bad faith was not shown by the prosecution or the trial judge. Platon. G. whatever its intention may have been. SERENO Associate Justice Footnotes 1 Go v. its act or omission results in plain injustice to the accused. Branch 63 in Criminal Case Nos. 176389 and 176864. there are times when. Gallardo. ensuring that all those who appear before or are brought to the bar of justice are afforded a fair opportunity to present their side. The various violations of the accused’s rights have resulted in his failure to secure a just trial.. Stuart. it should not be adopted in this jurisdiction. 11 February 1992. No. 1. 7 The Prosecution Role in Upholding the Right to a Fair Trial and Responding to Victims/ Witnesses. it is time we evaluate the total picture that the prosecution’s acts or omissions have wrought upon the accused’s rights with each seemingly innocuous stroke.R. but should include fundamental principles of fair play. this court’s adherence to instrumentalism has led to our finding in each instance that there was no due process violation committed against petitioner. MARIA LOURDES P. G. Jr. 91-7135 to 37. 20 April 2010. whether through malice or plain ineptitude.7. 1976. since "the task of the pillars of the criminal justice system is to preserve our democratic society under the rule of law. as we write finis to this case. Teehankee. 69 Phil. citing Suarez v. In our various decisions relating to interlucotory orders and incidents pertaining to this case. (1954) S. G.C.R. As such. 556 (1940). G. 111206-08.. L-41213-14 October 5.128 (1995). People v."31 the measure of whether the accused herein has been deprived of due process of law should not be limited to the state of mind of the prosecution. 6 October 1995. et al. 319 Phil. 101837.R. 2 3 Decision dated 13 September 1993 issued by the Regional Trial Court of Makati. Boucher. Nos. the judgment of conviction cannot stand.R. While it is a laudable objective to inquire into the state of mind of the prosecution and punish it when it has committed prosecutorial misconduct. 2001. November 2005 at 10. 206 SCRA 138. 4 Lejano v. Nos. However. A. People. The Prosecutor Papers. CHARTER JUSTICE IN CANADIAN CRIMINAL LAW.

in 1988. 51 (1988). D.. The Perils of Prosecutorial Misconduct. 282-283): Forensic DNA typing was not developed until 1985. 12 March 2004. BAD BLOOD. Regional Trial Court rollo. This approach analyzes DNA taken from the nucleus of a cell. Three years later. Id. That same year. Jr. No.R. Bay reported (pp. 19 May 2004. dominant generation of technology is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Alec Jeffreys. scientists have developed three generations of tests. and the Supreme Court decided the case when DNA testing was in its infancy. Bermejo. 24 July 1997.M. facial tissue. No. G. Order. 33-45. for the first time.127262. 11 Cramm. MTJ-04-1535. 1.R. Rev. Resolution dated 20 April 2010. No. In the two decades since it was first used. vol.10 G. 86 Wash. pp. G.php accessed on 10 December 2010.M. 232 SCRA 192. Id. 23-24. At this point. 5 May 1994. No. forensic DNA typing has continued to progress. Id. pp. No. U. pp. 7-8.. 06-11-5-SC effective 15 October 2007. 852-860. used the technique to exonerate one suspect in the sexual assault and murder of two young girls and to inculpate another. hats. 206. The crime at issue in Youngblood occurred well before the advent of DNA testing. 449. 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 In his Article. an English scientist.247pressrelease. G.R. LOST EVIDENCE. only a minute amount of DNA is needed and the sample from which it comes can be highly degraded. 406 Phil. Paul.. OLD BLOOD. 113630. 125901. Only a few cells are required for reliable results. 488 U. L. 241. The current.R. 342 Phil. 150224.S. A. 428 SCRA 504. AND YOUNGBLOOD: DUE PROCESS. Norman C.com/press-release/theperils-of-prosecutorial-misconduct102380. the same year Youngblood was decided. 8 March 2001. No. PCR allows the DNA in a biological sample to be replicated. a state appellate court upheld the admission of DNA evidence in a criminal case. 19 October 1995. including computer keyboards. A. AND THE LIMITS OF BAD FAITH. cotton . 425 SCRA 403. 12 Montemayor v. 25-33. at pp. still embroiled in litigation over its reliability and admissibility. bandannas. Usable DNA can be recovered from a myriad of items. 276 SCRA 243. pp. TSN. eyeglasses. http://www. when Dr. the FBI began testing DNA.

It is discriminating in that the results of a thirteen-loci comparison generate unique DNA profiles that can establish guilt or innocence to a practical certainty in certain types of cases. cheaper. computer software compares and interprets STR data. and teeth. This is important because some biological material. Crim. this technique examines the DNA contained in the mitochondria of a cell.) 25 98 J.org> accessed on 12 December 2010. PCR-STR analysis is both highly sensitive and discriminating. Since 1985. only teeth or bones may remain. PCR is usually followed by short tandem repeat (STR) testing. In short. and more accurate. or urine stains. Rev. Mitochondrial DNA is passed maternally. faster. Similarly." (Citations omitted. L. the mouths of bottles. Robotic systems are already being used to help process DNA samples. envelope seals. Yet another powerful forensic DNA tool has emerged: mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing. U. Hand-held or portable devices with "labs-on-a-chip" may be developed that allow for rapid DNA testing at a crime scene. In some cases.innocenceproject. 241. The context in which such problems arise today is entirely different than when Youngblood was decided. 27 86 Wash. irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution. & Criminology 329 26 The Innocence Project. dirty laundry.swabs. the remains of Czar Nicholas II and his family. It is sensitive in that small amounts of biological material can be tested. 373 U. which compares thirteen specific regions. and the likely offspring of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Heming. siblings and maternal relatives have the same mtDNA. forensic DNA typing will continue to become increasingly automated. toothpicks. bones. L. lack nuclei. This. <http://www. chewing gum. in turn. Thus. the rims of glasses. mtDNA has identified one of the unknown soldiers in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. 83 (1963). especially those involving decomposed tissue. 28 29 The Court in Brady held: "The suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment. consequently. and the test cannot distinguish among them. Unlike STR analysis. the field of forensic DNA typing has continued to progress. Emerging Ychromosome analysis focuses on variations in male genetic material. found on nuclear DNA. ought to affect the due process calculus when the state loses or destroys potentially exculpatory evidence. or loci. Mitochondrial DNA testing allows for the study and comparison of DNA in such material. including hair shafts.S. Nonetheless. One drawback to mtDNA is that it is not as discriminating as STR. but possess mitochondria." . mtDNA provides a powerful supplement to STR and may allow for analysis when none is otherwise available. not its nucleus. cigarette butts. The odds that two unrelated individuals will share the same thirteen-loci DNA profile can be as high as one in a billion or more. Among other things. it may prove to be helpful in sexual assault cases involving multiple male perpetrators.

e. ultimately. The restriction applies not only to participants in the pending case. obstruct. Article III of the Constitution is not absolute. to the detriment of the rights of the accused. the administration of justice. G. J. In Vicente v. and to litigants and witnesses. or degrade the administration of justice[. to impede.php> accessed on 12/13/2010 30 31 Tan v.Arellano Law Foundation SUPPLEMENTAL OPINION BRION. who was a witness in the case (while he was in private law practice) and who consequently inhibited himself from participation. directly or indirectly.The Innocence Project – Know the Cases: Browse Profiles: Larry Youngblood. it supports the observance of the restriction by punishing its violation as indirect contempt under Section 3(d) of Rule 71: Section 3. A very literal construction of the provision. the case has captured the public’s interest that an unusual amount of air time and print space have been devoted to it. A Senior Justice of this Court. I seize this opportunity fully aware that the present case – dubbed in the news media as the Vizconde Massacre – is one of the most sensational criminal cases in Philippine history in terms of the mode of commission of the crime and the personalities involved.innocenceproject.org/Content/Larry_Youngblood. 21 April 2009. was even publicly maligned in the print and broadcast media through unsupported speculations about his intervention in the case. In essence. From the time the charges were filed. The Lawphil Project . I write this opinion to point out the growing disregard and non-observance of the sub judice rule. People. 586 SCRA 139. We have long recognized in this jurisdiction that the freedom of speech under Section 4. Of late. 173637.] Persons facing charges for indirect contempt for violation of the sub judice rule often invoke as defense their right to free speech and claim that the citation for contempt constitutes a form of impermissible subsequent punishment. which necessarily includes the media. as espoused by US Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. and. the sub judice rule restricts comments and disclosures pertaining to pending judicial proceedings. i. No. to members of the bar and bench.R.: In addition to my vote and independently of the merits of the present case.2 this Court declared that "[the freedom . Majaducon. Although the Rules of Court does not contain a specific provision imposing the sub judice rule. the integrity of the courts. key personalities have again been unabashedly publicizing their opinions and commenting even on the merits of the case before various forms of media. Indirect contempt to be punished after charge and hearing.1 may lead to the disregard of other equally compelling constitutional rights and principles.. but also to the public in general. – x x x a person guilty of any of the following acts may be punished for indirect contempt: xxxx (d) Any improper conduct tending. <http://www. That was how bad and how low comments about the case had been. with the public’s renewed interest after the case was submitted for decision.

the character of the accused. and generally any other comment bearing on the guilt or innocence of the accused." Courts. The Constitution simply gives the citizens the right to speech.4 The danger posed by this class of speech is the undue influence it may directly exert on the court in the resolution of the criminal case. where fitting dignity and calm ambiance is demanded. or indirectly through the public opinion it may generate against the accused and the adverse impact this public opinion may have during the trial. a particular finding: the media can "wage a campaign" against one of the parties to proceedings. The significance of the sub judice rule is highlighted in criminal cases."3 Both these latter concerns are equally paramount and cannot lightly be disregarded. In so far as criminal proceedings are concerned. While the sub judice rule may be considered as a curtailment of the right to free speech. it is "necessary to ensure the proper administration of justice and the right of an accused to a fair trial. By the same token. however. If the jury decides in accordance with an outcome promoted by the media. if the jury’s decision does not accord with media opinion. or may in fact be urging. in the decision of issues of fact and law should be immune from every extraneous influence. prejudice or sympathies. "The principal purpose of the sub judice rule is to preserve the impartiality of the judicial system by protecting it from undue influence.6 The right to a fair trial is an adjunct of the accused’s right to due process which "guarantees [him] a presumption of innocence until the contrary is proved in a trial x x x where the conclusions reached are induced not by any outside force or influence but only by evidence and argument given in open court. it may appear as if they were deliberately reacting against it. Comments on the merits of the case may refer to the credibility of witnesses. it may appear that the jury’s decision was not impartial and based on the evidence presented in court. in public or in private. it will appear as if the jurors were swayed by the media. as the possibility of undue influence prejudices the accused’s right to a fair trial.9 .of speech] needs on occasion to be adjusted to and accommodated with the requirements of equally important public interests such as the maintenance of the integrity of courts and orderly functioning of the administration of justice. and excludes discussions. that facts should be decided upon evidence produced in court. and that the determination of such facts should be uninfluenced by bias. not the right to unrestricted publicized speech. intemperate and unreasonable comments on the conduct of the courts with respect to the case."5 Public opinion has no place in a criminal trial. the soundness of the alibis offered. the relevance of the evidence presented. We ruled that – it is a traditional conviction of civilized society everywhere that courts and juries. comments on the merits of the case."7 In foreign jurisdictions. Either way. let me clarify that the sub judice rule is not imposed on all forms of speech. and internet. Before proceeding with this line of thought. the courts do not hesitate to exercise their power to punish for contempt where necessary to dispose of judicial business unhampered by publications that tend to impair the impartiality of verdicts. two classes of publicized speech made during the pendency of the proceedings can be considered as contemptuous: first. they can appear to urge. even if it was. newspapers. both within and outside this jurisdiction. have long grappled with the dilemma of balancing the public’s right to free speech and the government’s duty to administer fair and impartial justice. between and among ordinary citizens. radio. Publicized speech should be understood to be limited to those aired or printed in the various forms of media such as television. and second. magazines.8 If the media publish prejudicial material.

The people’s freedom to criticize the government includes the right to criticize the courts. and lowers or degrades the administration of justice. in a pending litigation.11 "The sub judice doctrine protects against the appearance of decisions having been influenced by published material. "the actual impact of prejudicial publicity is not relevant to liability for sub judice contempt. to avoid bias may be affected.16 Comment on the conduct of the courts with respect to the case becomes subject to a contempt proceeding when it is intemperate. their proceedings and decisions. and "not spill over the walls of decency and propriety."19 Without the sub judice rule and the contempt power. that. This is the principle of open justice. "It might be farcical to build around them an impregnable armor against the influence of the most powerful media of public opinion. then the speech constitutes contempt. which is fundamental to our democratic society and ensures that (a) there is a safeguard against judicial arbitrariness or idiosyncrasy. But the fact that the jury system is not adopted in this jurisdiction is not an argument against our observance of the sub judice rule. justices and judges are no different from members of the jury. even those who are determined."21 And to enhance the open court principle and allow the people to make fair and reasoned criticism of the courts. the courts will be powerless to protect their integrity and independence that are essential in the orderly and effective dispensation and administration of justice. As the third branch of the government. must be shielded from embarrassment or influence in its allimportant duty of deciding the case. etc. the counsel. The conscious or unconscious effect that such a coverage may have on the testimony of witnesses and the decision of judges cannot be evaluated but. the parties. made in good faith.18 "Unwarranted attacks on the dignity of the courts cannot be disguised as free speech. nonetheless. and unduly impairs upon the dignity of the court.10 he has a constitutional right to have his cause tried fairly by an impartial tribunal. it does so in so many ways and in varying degrees. the court. and that (b) the public’s confidence in the administration of justice is maintained. or tending to influence the decision of the controversy. is not meant to stifle all forms of criticism against the court. with reference to the suit. In sum.The accused must be assured of a fair trial notwithstanding the prejudicial publicity. the Court has noted the enormous effect of media in stirring public sentience x x x Even while it may be difficult to quantify the influence. or pressure that media can bring to bear on [witnesses and judges] directly and through the shaping of public opinion. and indisposes their minds to obey them[. for the exercise of said right cannot be used to impair the independence and efficiency of courts or public respect therefore and confidence therein.20 The criticism must. is contempt of court and is punishable. it is not necessary that the publicity actually influenced the court’s disposition of the case."13 As I said in another case.. however. be fair. is contumacious. the courts remain accountable to the people. it can likewise be said. indeed. the officers of the court. The resulting (but temporary) . A comment that impairs of the dignity of the court "excites in the mind of the people a general dissatisfaction with all judicial determinations. reflecting upon the court. uninfluenced by publication or public clamor. the sub judice rule excludes from its coverage fair and accurate reports (without comment) of what have actually taken place in open court. it is not at all unlikely for a vote of guilt or innocence to yield to it. This. of course. in their conscious minds.22 Any publication pending a suit. in a slightly different context. it is a fact."12 As may be observed from the cited material.]"17 If the speech tends to undermine the confidence of the people in the honesty and integrity of the court and its members. they are not immune from the pervasive effects of media. the sub judice rule is used by foreign courts to insulate members of the jury from being influenced by prejudicial publicity."15 In several cases.14 Also.

361 U. .curtailment of speech because of the sub judice rule is necessary and justified by the more compelling interests to uphold the rights of the accused and promote the fair and orderly administration of justice. 1996. No. No. Consequently. Thus.M. . A photograph of the accused where identity is likely to be an issue. last visited December 9.nsw. No other provision of the Constitution purports to dilute the scope of these unequivocal commands of the First Amendment. doubts will linger about the real merits of the case due to the inordinate media campaign that transpired. Their common action. whatever the results may be. or of the press. Precisely. in my judgment.gov. Chiongson. It is in this sense that this Supplemental Opinion is independent of the merits of the case. 2 A. 2010. California. however. I do not believe that any federal agencies. that "Congress shall make no law . Footnotes See Justice Black’s concurring opinion in Smith v.au/lrc. abridging" to mean no law abridging. 3 4 Ibid. These include: a. including Congress and this Court. the limits of what can be publicly ventilated on the merits of a case while sub judice. in simple words. 24-25. Discussion Paper 43 (2000) – Contempt by Publication. 484-485. MTJ-95-1063.S. not Constitution-made. the egregious action of one has been cancelled by a similar action by the other. Lest we be misunderstood. and on the comments on the conduct of the courts with respect to the case. and is in fact keenly aware of. . citing Choa v. cannot have their prejudicial effects on both. 260 SCRA 477." I read "no law . have power or authority to subordinate speech and press to what they think are "more important interests. the Discussion Paper 43 (2000) of the Law Reform Commission of New South Wales has identified some "high-risk publications" against which the sub judice rule applies. RTJ-02-1698. this Supplemental Opinion is a signal to all that this Court has not forgotten. our application of the sub judice rule to this case cannot serve as a precedent for similar future violations. June 23. 2005. 157-159). If we do not apply at all the sub judice rule to the present case..M. 461 SCRA 12.S. August 9. abridging the freedom of speech. . court-made. This Court will not standby idly and helplessly as its integrity as an institution and its processes are shamelessly brought to disrepute. 147 (1959). has thus fixed its own value on freedom of speech and press by putting these freedoms wholly "beyond the reach" of federal power to abridge.nsf/pages/dp43chp02. (361 U.lawlink.http://www. which is the supreme law of the land. That Amendment provides." The contrary notion is. 147. the reason is obvious to those who have followed the case in the media – both parties are in pari delicto as both have apparently gone to the media to campaign for the merits of their respective causes. The First Amendment. A. . part of which reads: 1 Certainly the First Amendment's language leaves no room for inference that abridgments of speech and press can be made just because they are slight. Law Reform Commission – New South Wales.

A. 36 F. Supra note 7. [Citations omitted] 15 Supra note 3. 259-260.R. 81.M. e. Godoy.S. . 192935 & 193036. 1995. Supra note 6. Sanchez. Sullen. June 29. 154 SCRA 542. The Philippine Truth Commission of 2010. d. Major Principles in Media Law. Biraogo v. 360 SCRA 248. The presumption of innocence notwithstanding. September 30. See Wayne Overbeck. Suggestions that the accused has previous criminal convictions. c. and judicial notice is taken of the kind of publicity and the ferment in public opinion that news of government scandals generate. 546. and f. March 29. Comments which engender sympathy or antipathy for the accused and/or which disparage the prosecution. or has been involved in other criminal activity. 1987. G. part of which reads: Where the government simply wants to tell its story. 10 11 12 13 14 Separate Opinion of the author in Louis "Barok" C. 243 SCRA 64. Suggestions that the accused has confessed to committing the crime in question.R.b. Suggestions that the accused has confessed to committing the crime in question. well ahead of any court proceedings. it does not require a leap of faith to conclude that an accused brought to court against overwhelming public opinion starts his case with less than equal chance of acquittal. The presumption of innocence in law cannot serve an accused in a biased atmosphere pointing to guilt in fact because the government and public opinion have spoken against the accused. or which make favorable or unfavorable references to the character or credibility of the accused or a witness. Nos. or that the jury should convict or acquit the accused. Nestle v. 115908-09. No. citing U. L-75209 and 78791. the playing field cannot but be uneven in a criminal trial when the accused enters trial with a government-sponsored badge of guilty on his forehead. 2010. at 546. 5 Ibid. at 260. 2001. 2d 220. Suggestions that the accused is guilty or innocent of the crime for which he or she is charged. 298. Nos. has been previously charged for committing an offense and/or previously acquitted. December 7. already labeled as true. Supra note 3. 6 7 Re: Request Radio-TV Coverage of the Trial in the Sandiganbayan of the Plunder Cases Against the Former President Joseph E. 9 Supra note 3. Nos. G. 8 People v. p. 01-4-03-SC. Estrada. v.

some of whom gave detailed confessions.. Miguel .. 2010 G. March 31. Gatchalian. Thus. Appellants. Nos. 2006.16 Supra note 7. Perfecto’s dissenting opinion in In re Francisco Brillantes. No. L-27654. No. Supra note 8. 42 O. August 8.M.: Brief Background On June 30. the identities of the real perpetrators remained a mystery especially to the public whose interests were aroused by the gripping details of what everybody referred to as the Vizconde massacre. 561 SCRA 395. ANTONIO LEJANO. x . 31 SCRA 562. Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano.. 17 18 Id. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.. nineteen years old. July 12. citing In re Almacen.. 20 Id... and Jennifer. No. MICHAEL A.M. J. No. A. Savillo. Artemio "Dong" Ventura. at 259-260.. 19 In the Matter of the Allegations Contained in the Columns of Mr. Macasaet Published in Malaya Dated September 18. Michael A. 176864 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. citing J. 2007. 2008. HUBERT JEFFREY P. who claimed that she witnessed the crime. vs.at 434..... 527 SCRA 446. PETER ESTRADA and GERARDO BIONG.R.. 19. Alfaro. Respondent. one of its informers. December 14. and 21. Zuzuarregui. G. 1991 Estrellita Vizconde and her daughters Carmela. seven.. the National Bureau of Investigation or NBI announced that it had solved the crime. 64. 21 Tiongco v.-x G.. Peter Estrada. 176389 ANTONIO LEJANO.... 2007. 1970. DECISION ABAD. 22 In re Almacen. 448.R. citing Roxas v. vs. Petitioner.R. RTJ-02-1719. Appellee. were brutally slain at their home in Parañaque City. the police arrested a group of suspects. 59. at 82. 486 SCRA 48. It presented star-witness Jessica M. HOSPICIO FERNANDEZ. Following an intense investigation. Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez. A.. MIGUEL RODRIGUEZ. 07-09-13-SC. WEBB. Webb.. But the trial court smelled a frame-up and eventually ordered them discharged. GATCHALIAN. 20.G. 152072 & 152104. at 94. February 18.. infra note 22. Four years later in 1995. She pointed to accused Hubert Jeffrey P. Amado P. No.

accused Estrada. 2010. In contrast. For their part. that she did not trust the investigators who helped her prepare her first affidavit. Lejano. modifying the penalty imposed on Biong to six years minimum and twelve years maximum and increasing the award of damages to Lauro Vizconde. and Estrada equally guilty with those who had a part in raping and killing Carmela and in executing her mother and sister. as a result of its initial deliberation in this case.3 On appeal. finding all the accused guilty as charged and imposing on Webb. The trial court remained unfazed by significant discrepancies between Alfaro’s April 28 and May 22. which specimen was then believed still under the safekeeping of the NBI. ."Ging" Rodriguez. Vizconde. the Court of Appeals' Special Division of five members voted three against two to deny the motion. The Court granted the request pursuant to section 4 of the Rule on DNA Evidence6 to give the accused and the prosecution access to scientific evidence that they might want to avail themselves of. the trial court found a credible witness in her. Relying primarily on Alfaro's testimony. four months. on August 10. Gerardo Biong. according to the court. after four years of arduous hearings. undamaged by grueling cross-examinations. It noted her categorical.4 The appellate court did not agree that the accused were tried by publicity or that the trial judge was biased. On April 20. straightforward. leading to a correct decision in the case. Gatchalian.5 hence. the defense presented witnesses to show Alfaro's bad reputation for truth and the incredible nature of her testimony. But impressed by Alfaro’s detailed narration of the crime and the events surrounding it. police officer Biong’s former girlfriend. the Court issued a Resolution granting the request of Webb to submit for DNA analysis the semen specimen taken from Carmela’s cadaver. Fernandez. Lejano. Gatchalian. Branch 274. The trial court also awarded damages to Lauro Vizconde. compared to Alfaro’s testimony that other witnesses and the physical evidence corroborated.1 The Regional Trial Court of Parañaque City. Estrada. the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision. He presented the testimonies of witnesses as well as documentary and object evidence to prove this. the security guards of Pitong Daan Subdivision. on January 4. These included the medico-legal officer who autopsied the bodies of the victims. the former laundrywoman of the Webb’s household. spontaneous. In addition. It found sufficient evidence of conspiracy that rendered Rodriguez. the present appeal. accepting her explanation that she at first wanted to protect her former boyfriend.2 The prosecution presented Alfaro as its main witness with the others corroborating her testimony. and Gatchalian set up for their defense. some of the accused testified. and one day to twelve years. Tolentino. and Joey Filart as the culprits. Rodriguez. the trial court thought little of the denials and alibis that Webb. On motion for reconsideration by the accused. as an accessory after the fact. and frank testimony. Fernandez. et al. Estrellita’s husband. They paled. and a relative. and that she felt unsure if she would get the support and security she needed once she disclosed all about the Vizconde killings. an indeterminate prison term of eleven years. accused Gatchalian. 1995 the public prosecutors filed an information for rape with homicide against Webb. She also tagged accused police officer. that no lawyer assisted her. tried only seven of the accused since Artemio Ventura and Joey Filart remained at large. 2000. presided over by Judge Amelita G. Webb’s alibi appeared the strongest since he claimed that he was then across the ocean in the United States of America. and Rodriguez the penalty of reclusion perpetua and on Biong. Thus. 1995 affidavits. the trial court rendered judgment. and Lauro G. denying any part in the crime and saying they were elsewhere when it took place.

S. on April 27. the controlling issues are: 1.7 that he is entitled to outright acquittal on the ground of violation of his right to due process given the State’s failure to produce on order of the Court either by negligence or willful suppression the semen specimen taken from Carmela. 2010 the NBI informed the Court that it no longer has custody of the specimen. there exists a possibility that Alfaro had lied.8 If. and Filart. all the accused raise the central issue of whether or not Webb. This outcome prompted accused Webb to file an urgent motion to acquit on the ground that the government’s failure to preserve such vital evidence has resulted in the denial of his right to due process. Whether or not Alfaro’s testimony as eyewitness. Gatchalian. No two persons have the same DNA fingerprint. The trial record shows. Still. the same having been turned over to the trial court. It cannot be coached or allured by a promise of reward or financial support. Thus. the Court would have been able to determine that Alfaro committed perjury in saying that he did. ultimately. however. Estrada. Ventura. For one thing. with the exception of identical twins. is entitled to belief. The Right to Acquittal Due to Loss of DNA Evidence Webb claims. Supreme Court held that due process does not require the State to preserve the semen specimen although it might be useful to the accused unless the latter is able to show bad faith on the part of the prosecution or the police. acting in conspiracy with Lejano. semen specimen was found in her. At the very least. Lejano. raped and killed Carmela and put to death her mother and sister. In the main. Maryland. Fernandez. and 2. Rodriguez. the DNA of the subject specimen does not belong to Webb.10 where the U. It is true that Alfaro identified Webb in her testimony as Carmela’s rapist and killer but serious questions had been raised about her credibility. Webb is not entitled to acquittal for the failure of the State to produce the semen specimen at this late stage. But. and two others as the persons who committed it. the ruling in Brady v. Maryland9 that he cites has long be overtaken by the decision in Arizona v. Estrada. consistent with this. citing Brady v. Whether or not Webb presented sufficient evidence to prove his alibi and rebut Alfaro’s testimony that he led the others in committing the crime. Here. the State . the semen specimen taken from Carmela cannot possibly lie. Gatchalian. The medical evidence clearly established that Carmela was raped and. On the other hand. that the specimen was not among the object evidence that the prosecution offered in evidence in the case. Youngblood. It is that simple. then he did not rape Carmela. The issue respecting accused Biong is whether or not he acted to cover up the crime after its commission.Unfortunately. thus depriving him of evidence that would prove his innocence. describing the crime and identifying Webb. Issues Presented Accused Webb’s motion to acquit presents a threshold issue: whether or not the Court should acquit him outright. Fernandez. on examination. given the government’s failure to produce the semen specimen that the NBI found on Carmela’s cadaver. Rodriguez.

As Alfaro smoked her shabu. Lejano. to the Ayala Alabang Commercial Center parking lot to buy shabu from Artemio "Dong" Ventura. When Carmela came out. Alfaro pressed the buzzer and a woman came out. Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano. Parañaque City. Carmela was at their garden. Ventura introduced her to his friends: Hubert Jeffrey P. The group had another shabu session at the parking lot. Webb. when Webb raised the DNA issue. This. to the merit of the case. with boyfriend Peter Estrada as passenger. Ventura. She told Alfaro to return after twenty minutes. the group drove to Carmela’s house at 80 Vinzons Street. Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez. Carmela requested Alfaro to return before midnight and she would leave the pedestrian gate. Alfaro’s Story Based on the prosecution’s version. that she could not go out yet since she had just arrived home.presented a medical expert who testified on the existence of the specimen and Webb in fact sought to have the same subjected to DNA test. Carmela replied. whom she later identified as Carmela Vizconde. There. on June 29. Alfaro queried her about Carmela. Riding in her car. the iron grills that led to the kitchen. alighted. the country did not yet have the technology for conducting the test. Alfaro had met Carmela twice before in January 1991. Pitong Daan Subdivision. however. Michael Gatchalian. with their passengers. Carmela also told Alfaro to blink . After sometime. Alfaro agreed. the State cannot be deemed put on reasonable notice that it would be required to produce the semen specimen at some future time. Fernandez. BF Homes.11 They raised the DNA issue before the Court of Appeals but merely as an error committed by the trial court in rendering its decision in the case. The Nissan Patrol and the Mazda pick-up. Jessica Alfaro drove her Mitsubishi Lancer. and approached Carmela’s house. Alfaro and Estrada trailed Filart and Rodriguez who rode a Mazda pick-up and Webb. and no Philippine precedent had as yet recognized its admissibility as evidence. the rule governing DNA evidence did not yet exist. neither Webb nor his co-accused brought up the matter of preserving the specimen in the meantime. Considering the accused’s lack of interest in having such test done. Alfaro recalled frequently seeing them at a shabu house in Parañaque in January 1991. Indeed. even when the Supreme Court had in the meantime passed the rules allowing such test. Webb approached and requested her to relay a message for him to a girl. Consequently. and Gatchalian who were on a Nissan Patrol car. and the kitchen door unlocked. Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez. after the trial court denied Webb’s application for DNA testing. 1991 at around 8:30 in the evening. they drove back but only Alfaro proceeded to Vinzons Street where Carmela lived. She approached Alfaro on seeing her and told the latter that she (Carmela) had to leave the house for a while. Parenthetically. None of the accused filed a motion with the appeals court to have the DNA test done pending adjudication of their appeal. culled from the decisions of the trial court and the Court of Appeals. After using up their shabu. and Joey Filart. the idea of keeping the specimen secure even after the trial court rejected the motion for DNA testing did not come up. Alfaro relayed this to Webb who then told the group to drive back to the Ayala Alabang Commercial Center. another. he allowed the proceeding to move on when he had on at least two occasions gone up to the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court to challenge alleged arbitrary actions taken against him and the other accused. Alfaro gave her Webb’s message that he was just around. Alfaro parked her car on Vinzons Street. For. On reaching their destination. except Ventura whom she had known earlier in December 1990. parked somewhere along Aguirre Avenue. Now.

After about 40 to 45 minutes. and peeked inside. Alfaro returned to the kitchen. After about twenty minutes. "Pipilahan natin siya [Carmela] at ako ang mauuna. using the same route. Ventura using a chair mounted the hood of the Vizcondes’ Nissan Sentra and loosened the electric bulb over it ("para daw walang ilaw"). opened the door a little. Alfaro decided to go out. The unusual sound grew even louder." Alfaro was the first to pass through the pedestrian gate that had been left open. she saw Webb on top of Carmela while she lay with her back on the floor. Fernandez approached Alfaro with a suggestion that they blow up the transformer near the Vizconde’s residence to cause a brownout ("Pasabugin kaya natin ang transformer na ito"). Unable to open the main door. Webb gave out free cocaine. They arrived at Carmela’s house shortly before midnight. Carmela opened the aluminum screen door of the kitchen for them. While she was at a spot leading to the dining area. She and Webb looked each other in the eyes for a moment and. "Okay ba?" After sitting in the car for about ten minutes. The small group went through the open iron grill gate and passed the dirty kitchen. He said. Alfaro parked her car between Vizconde’s house and the next. When she told Webb of Carmela’s male companion. headed for the dining area. When she asked him what he was looking for. Alfaro returned to the Vizconde house.her car’s headlights twice when she approached the pedestrian gate so Carmela would know that she had arrived. She also did not find the car key. she tried them on the main door but none fitted the lock. She found her other companions milling around it. But Alfaro shrugged off the idea. okay. Alfaro trailed Carmela up to Aguirre Avenue where she dropped off a man whom Alfaro believed was Carmela’s boyfriend. As she lost sight of Carmela and Webb. Out of curiosity. Lejano asked her where she was going and she replied that she was going out to smoke. Alfaro saw Ventura searching a lady’s bag that lay on the dining table. Lejano." They all left the parking lot in a convoy of three vehicles and drove into Pitong Daan Subdivision for the third time. "Ako ang susunod" and the others responded "Okay. While waiting for the others to alight from their cars. As she eased her way out through the kitchen door. "Malakas lang ang tama mo. together. Alfaro told the group about her talk with Carmela. They all used it and some shabu. "O sige. Estrada who sat in the car asked her. As she walked in. The interior of the house was dark but some light filtered in from outside. found them. Lejano. she heard a static noise (like a television that remained on after the station had signed off). dito lang kami." When she found a bunch of keys in the bag. They then all went back to the Ayala Alabang Commercial Center." She asked him what key he wanted and he replied: "Basta maghanap ka ng susi ng main door pati na rin ng susi ng kotse. In the kitchen. At the parking lot. Alfaro returned to her car but waited for Carmela to drive out of the house in her own car. Two bloodied bodies lay on the . and Ventura followed her. On entering the garage. magbabantay lang kami. too." When Webb. Alfaro smoked a cigarette at the garden. "Sino yan?" Alfaro immediately walked out of the garden to her car. she saw Ventura pulling out a kitchen drawer. Webb. maghanap ka ng susi. The others replied. and relayed Carmela’s instructions to Webb. he said: "Ikaw na nga dito. she approached the master’s bedroom from where the noise came. Webb decided that it was time for them to leave. Webb’s mood changed for the rest of the evening ("bad trip"). and Ventura were already before the house. Alfaro looked for her group. Webb told the others again that they would line up for Carmela but he would be the first. telling Fernandez." Lejano said. she was surprised to hear a woman’s voice ask.

concrete fence. and repeatedly stabbed her. Some of this information led to the capture of notorious drug pushers like Christopher Cruz Santos and Orlando Bacquir. As the three men approached the pedestrian gate. she jumped on him.bed. Webb gave Alfaro a meaningful look and she immediately left the room. It was here that Alfaro and those who remained outside the Vizconde house learned of what happened.12 1. Alfaro rushed out of the house to the others who were either sitting in her car or milling on the sidewalk. Webb ordered him to go and clean up the Vizconde house and said to him. and pulled his hair. Webb called up someone on his cellular phone. and Ventura came out of the house just then. Alfaro’s tip led to the arrest of the leader of the "Martilyo gang" that killed a police officer. Hijacking. The convoy of cars went to a large house with high walls. "Okay lang. one who earned her living by fraternizing with criminals so she could squeal on them to her NBI handlers. Ventura blamed Webb." Alfaro and Estrada left and they drove to her father’s house. We haven’t seen each other…baka maulit yan. Alfaro had been hanging around at the NBI since November or December 1994 as an "asset. Lejano was at the foot of the bed about to wear his jacket. former head of the NBI Anti-Kidnapping. accused Gerardo Biong arrived. The first to be killed was Carmela’s mother. Webb. however. Someone threw something out of the car into the cogonal area. telling him. bothered by her conscience or egged on by relatives or friends to come forward and do what was right? No. Lejano excused himself at this point to use the telephone in the house. his bare buttocks exposed. Aalis na tayo." Shocked with what she saw. working for the NBI as an "asset." She supplied her handlers with information against drug pushers and other criminal elements. and a long driveway at BF Executive Village. Sacaguing showed interest. When Alfaro seemed unproductive for sometime. Carmella. Alfaro promised to bring that someone . she unexpectedly told Sacaguing that she knew someone who had the real story behind the Vizconde massacre. According to Atty. Artemio Sacaguing. and in tears while Webb raped her. They entered the compound and gathered at the lawn where the "blaming session" took place. then Jennifer. The quality of the witness Was Alfaro an ordinary subdivision girl who showed up at the NBI after four years." a stool pigeon. moaning. She had to live a life of lies to get rewards that would pay for her subsistence and vices." Biong answered. At around 2:00 in the morning. Meanwhile. bit his shoulders. She was." allowed the privilege of spending nights in one of the rooms at the NBI offices. One day. and finally. Webb told Ventura that he forgot his jacket in the house. As they got near an old hotel at the Tropical Palace area. Alfaro noticed the Nissan Patrol slow down. the task force gave her "very special treatment" and she became its "darling. Webb suddenly picked up a stone and threw it at the main door. She entered her car and turned on the engine but she did not know where to go. and Armed Robbery Task Force (AKHAR) Section. "We don’t know each other. He told her. grabbed the girl. pushed her to the wall. Because of her talent. breaking its glass frame. Webb got mad. "Bakit naman pati yung bata?" Webb replied that the girl woke up and on seeing him molesting Carmela. "Prepare an escape. They all rode in their cars and drove away until they reached Aguirre Avenue. But Ventura told him that they could not get in anymore as the iron grills had already locked. at the time she revealed her story. "Pera lang ang katapat nyan. She met Ventura at the dining area. they teased her about it and she was piqued. steel gate. Carmela was gagged. Lejano." Webb spoke to his companions and told them.

"easy lang kayo. That’s what she told me. xxxx Q. And what did you say? xxxx A. When this did not happen and Sacaguing continued to press her. she told him that she might as well assume the role of her informant. ATTY. we will try to convince him to act as a state witness and help us in the solution of the case. ONGKIKO: Q. Sir. sir. Because Jessica Alfaro was never able to comply with her promise to bring the man to me. Why not? WITNESS SACAGUING: A. "easy lang Sir. Sacaguing. No. Sacaguing. that she knew somebody who related to her the circumstances. She told me later that she could not and the man does not like to testify." if I may quote. ATTY. and together with her. ONGKIKO: Q. and what happened after that? WITNESS SACAGUING: A. Your Honor. were you able to interview this alleged witness? WITNESS SACAGUING: A. Atty. She told me. Atty. I mean. ATTY. She told me. Your Honor.to the NBI to tell his story. huwag kayong…" COURT: . I was quite interested and I tried to persuade her to introduce to me that man and she promised that in due time. she will bring to me the man. how did Jessica Alfaro become a witness in the Vizconde murder case? Will you tell the Honorable Court? xxxx A. ONGKIKO: Q. ONGKIKO: Q. Sacaguing testified thus: ATTY. the details of the massacre of the Vizconde family. All right.

shows how crime investigators could make a confession ring true by matching some of its details with the physical evidence at the crime scene. it was not too difficult for her to hear of these evidentiary details and gain access to the documents. papapelan ko na lang ‘yan. Alfaro? WITNESS SACAGUING: A. "hindi puwede yan. The police prepared the confessions of the men they apprehended and filled these up with details that the evidence of the crime scene provided. pp. I said. Everybody was talking about what the police found at the crime scene and there were lots of speculations about them. Since Alfaro hanged out at the NBI offices and practically lived there. Sir." xxxx ATTY. papapelan ko. ONGKIKO: Q. condemned by the Makati RTC as fabricated by the police to pin the crime on them. "Easy lang. The suspicious details But was it possible for Alfaro to lie with such abundant details some of which even tallied with the physical evidence at the scene of the crime? No doubt. 2. kasi hindi ka naman eye witness. 49-50. Sir. Hindi siya nakakibo. All right. Alfaro never refuted Sacaguing’s above testimony. ONGKIKO: Q. yes. relax lang. Consider the following: . May 28. the Vizconde massacre had been reported in the media with dizzying details. until she went away. 77-79) Quite significantly. Not surprisingly.How was that? WITNESS SACAGUING: A. (TSN. the confessions of some members of the Barroso "akyat bahay" gang. Alfaro stated that "papapelan ko na lang yan?" WITNESS SACAGUING: A. Secondly. Firstly. the police had arrested some "akyat-bahay" group in Parañaque and charged them with the crime. And what was the reply of Ms. 1996." ATTY. Alfaro’s NBI handlers who were doing their own investigation knew of these details as well. and what was your reaction when Ms. Sir. 58.

they gave her all the preparations she needed for the job of becoming a fairly good substitute witness. spilling the contents. to explain the smashed door. confirmed this to be a cold fact. the NBI people had a stake in making her sound credible and. and at another point. initially suspected to be Alfaro’s Miguel Rodriguez and showed him to Alfaro at the NBI office. As pointed out above. a drug dependent from the Bicutan Rehabilitation Center. Hurling a stone at that glass door and causing a tremendous noise was bizarre.a. Alfaro had to settle for claiming that. Consequently. this portion of Alfaro’s story appears tortured to accommodate the physical evidence of the ransacked house. on the way out of the house. using a chair. The police investigators found that the bulb had been loosened to turn off the light. Alfaro had to adjust her testimony to take into account that darkened garage light. She was their "darling" of an asset. he was not Miguel Rodriguez. It did not make sense for Ventura to risk standing on the car’s hood and be seen in such an awkward position instead of going straight into the house. and they wanted to get away quickly to avoid detection. Alfaro claimed that at one point Ventura was pulling a kitchen drawer. Webb picked up some stone and. Alfaro could not use this line since the core of her story was that Webb was Carmela’s boyfriend. It is a story made to fit in with the crime scene although robbery was supposedly not the reason Webb and his companions entered that house." As it turned out. He said he was looking for the front-door key and the car key. Again. exclaiming: "How can I forget your face. their badge of excellent investigative work. c.13 . Alfaro was the NBI’s star witness. She never mentioned Ventura having taken some valuables with him when they left Carmela’s house. slapping and kicking Michael. The crime scene showed that the house had been ransacked. We just saw each other in a disco one month ago and you told me then that you will kill me. when they had already gotten into the house. It is the same thing with the garage light. Some passersby might look in and see what they were doing. They supposedly knew in advance that Carmela left the doors to the kitchen open for them. The confessions of the Barroso gang claimed that one of them climbed the parked car’s hood to reach up and darken that light. The rejected confessions of the Barroso "akyat-bahay" gang members said that they tried to rob the house. hurled it at the glass-paneled front door of the Vizconde residence. Webb and his friends did not have anything to do in a darkened garage. From Alfaro’s narration. a lawyer and a ranking official. the accused in this case. given the circumstances? Not likely. thirdly. out of the blue. It was past midnight. like inviting the neighbors to come. And. Webb had no reason to smash her front door to get to see her. After claiming that they had solved the crime of the decade. did Alfaro at least have a fine memory for faces that had a strong effect on her. And why would Ventura rummage a bag on the table for the front-door key. The Barroso gang members said that they got into Carmela’s house by breaking the glass panel of the front door using a stone wrapped in cloth to deaden the noise. Why the trial court and the Court of Appeals failed to see this is mystifying. Webb appeared rational in his decisions. His action really made no sense. But when the NBI found a certain Michael Rodriguez. And this is not pure speculation. to turn the light off. But. Sacaguing of the NBI. lavvphil At any rate. So she claimed that Ventura climbed the car’s hood. she ran berserk. b. obviously. the house was dark. This made sense since they were going to rob the place and they needed time to work in the dark trying to open the front door. To explain this physical evidence. going through a handbag on the dining table. She named Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez as one of the culprits in the Vizconde killings. unlike the Barroso "akyatbahay" gang.

It would only make sense if Alfaro wanted to feign being a witness to something she did not see. Gatchalian. and Ventura through the pedestrian gate that Carmela had left open. Fernandez. when they returned to Carmela’s house the third time around midnight. to bring his message to Carmela at her home. When it came to a point that Webb decided with his friends to gang-rape Carmela. this is weird. only she was not yet an "asset" then. He decided and his friends agreed with him to go to Carmela’s house and gang-rape her. Alfaro’s trailing Carmela to spy on her unfaithfulness to Webb did not make sense since she was on limited errand. and Filart. Alfaro had been too soaked in drugs to think clearly and just followed along where the group took her. who were supposed to be Webb’s co-principals in the crime. The quality of the testimony There is another thing about a lying witness: her story lacks sense or suffers from inherent inconsistencies. tagging the wrong people for what they did not do. Fernandez.Two possibilities exist: Michael was really the one Alfaro wanted to implicate to settle some score with him but it was too late to change the name she already gave or she had myopic vision. And it has an abundant presence in this case. Ventura. a woman. Estrada. But when they got to Carmela’s house. if one believes Alfaro. An understanding of the nature of things and the common behavior of people will help expose a lie. and Rodriguez supposedly stayed around Alfaro’s car. Webb was the gang leader who decided what they were going to do. Four. Obviously. visible under the street light to anyone who cared to watch them. there was nothing in it for Alfaro. on the other hand. Alfaro’s dope supplier. she stuck it out with them. According to Alfaro. In her desire to implicate Gatchalian. as a critical witness. clearly. and obviously with no role to play in the gang-rape of Carmela. Rodriguez. But. If. lead him and the others into her house? It made no sense. the behavior of Webb’s companions out on the street did not figure in a planned gangrape of Carmela. they (including. So why would she agree to act as Webb’s messenger. a stranger to Webb before that night. her own boyfriend Estrada) agreed in a chorus to his proposal. Alfaro had to provide a reason for Webb to freak out and decide to come with his friends and harm Carmela. When Alfaro went to see Carmela at her house for the second time. particularly to the people who were having a drinking party in a nearby house. And twice. Lejano. And she trailed her up to Aguirre Avenue where she supposedly dropped off a man whom she thought was Carmela’s boyfriend. Lejano. One. she led Webb. Ventura. how could she remember so much details that only a drug-free mind can? Three. as a police asset would. Estrada. hanging in there until she had a crime to report. Carmella told her that she still had to go out and that Webb and his friends should come back around midnight. More inexplicably. Some of these men sat on top of the car’s lid while others milled on the sidewalk. what motivated Alfaro to stick it out the whole night with Webb and his friends? They were practically strangers to her and her boyfriend Estrada. Why would Alfaro. 3. Yet. which was parked on the street between Carmela’s house and the next. Now. Alfaro made it a point to testify that Webb proposed twice to his friends the gang-rape of Carmela who had hurt him. using her gas. only Webb. and Alfaro entered the house. Two. introduced her for the first time in her life to Webb and his friends in a parking lot by a mall. Alfaro returned to her car and waited for Carmela to drive out in her own car. .

She went back into the house to watch as Webb raped Carmela on the floor of the master’s bedroom. and Ventura into the house. Prospero A. She entered her car and turned on the engine but she testified that she did not know where to go. But if that were the case. But White’s testimony cannot be relied on. none of whom he could identify. the NBI Medico-Legal Officer who autopsied the bodies of the victims. The supposed corroborations Intending to provide corroboration to Alfaro’s testimony. Alfaro testified that she got scared (another shift to fear) for she hurriedly got out of the house after Webb supposedly gave her a meaningful look. not minding Gatchalian. She did not speak to them. how could she testify based on personal knowledge of what went on in the house? Alfaro had to change that frame of mind to one of boldness and reckless curiosity. a woman exclaimed. entering or exiting the subdivision on the early morning of June 30 when he supposedly "cleaned up" Vizconde residence on Webb’s orders. she alone entered the subdivision and passed the guardhouse without stopping. they entered Pitong Daan Subdivision in a three-car convoy. White. 1991. Furthermore. They were not going in and out. Alfaro went out of the house to smoke at the garden. was the security guard on duty at Pitong Daan Subdivision from 7 p.15 indicating that she had been raped. Alfaro immediately walked out of the garden and went to her car. "Sino yan?" On hearing this. the bag on the dining table. White failed to note Biong. White could not. Now. Alfaro walked away because. 4. knowing that they were decided to rape and harm Carmela.m. of June 29 to 7 a. she did this because she knew they came on a sly. a police officer. His initial claim turned out to be inaccurate. He got a report on the morning of June 30 that something untoward happened at the Vizconde residence. And he did not notice anything suspicious about their coming and going. Someone other than Carmela became conscious of the presence of Webb and others in the house. describe the kind of vehicles they used or recall the time when he saw the group in those two instances. Rodriguez. He actually saw Gatchalian and his group enter the Pitong Daan Subdivision only once. Apparently. Lejano. Fernandez. Alfaro testified that when the convoy of cars went back the second time in the direction of Carmela’s house. the prosecution presented six additional witnesses: Dr. she did not want to get involved in a potential confrontation. Jr.m. go in and out of Pitong Daan Subdivision. as well as the loud noise emanating from a television set. was suddenly too shocked to know where to go! This emotional pendulum swing indicates a witness who was confused with her own lies. . This was supposedly her frame of mind: fear of getting involved in what was not her business. Normal E. Alfaro quickly went to her car. of June 30. Later.. her boyfriend. and Filart who sat on the car or milled on the sidewalk.Five. obviously. After about twenty minutes.16 White claimed that he noticed Gatchalian and his companions. He had apparently stabbed to death Carmela’s mom and her young sister whose bloodied bodies were sprawled on the bed. This woman who a few minutes back led Webb. Surprisingly. He went there and saw the dead bodies in the master’s bedroom. White who supposedly manned that guardhouse did not notice her. So that is what she next claimed. Yet. testified on the stab wounds they sustained14 and the presence of semen in Carmela’s genitalia. however. even to Estrada. He also saw them along Vinzons Street. Cabanayan. Estrada.

It did not make sense that Cabanacan was strict in the matter of seeing Webb’s ID but not in recording the visit. testified that Gaviola worked for the Webbs only from January 1991 to April 1991. and Sgt.m. she saw Webb at 4 p.m. 1991 from the other days she was on service at the Webb household as to enable her to distinctly remember. Cabanacan returned the same and allowed Webb to pass without being logged in as their Standard Operating Procedure required. at this point. was in it. Webb introduced himself as the son of Congressman Webb. this being the work of the housemaid charged with cleaning the rooms.m. however. therefore. 1991 she noticed bloodstains on Webb's t-shirt.. She saw him again pacing the floor at 9 a. Gaviola tried to corroborate Alfaro’'s testimony by claiming that on June 30. what one of the Webb boys did and at what time. while Alfaro testified that it was the Mazda pick-up driven by Filart that led the three-vehicle convoy. At about 1 p. Miguel Muñoz. Cabanacan did not log the incident on the guardhouse book. Ventoso further testified that it was not Gaviola's duty to collect the clothes from the 2nd floor bedrooms.What is more.19 On cross-examination. passing through a secret door near the maid’s quarters on the way out.17White claimed it was the Nissan Patrol with Gatchalian on it that led the convoy since he would not have let the convoy in without ascertaining that Gatchalian. Cabanacan testified that. Security guard White did not. Although it was not common for a security guard to challenge a Congressman’s son with such vehemence. the security supervisor at Pitong Daan Subdivision testified that he saw Webb around the last week of May or the first week of June 1991 to prove his presence in the Philippines when he claimed to be in the United States. He was manning the guard house at the entrance of the subdivision of Pitong Daan when he flagged down a car driven by Webb. of the same day. Mila Gaviola used to work as laundry woman for the Webbs at their house at BF Homes Executive Village.m. but White did not notice it. Victoria Ventoso. She testified that she saw Webb at his parents’ house on the morning of June 30. Nor did he. Gaviola could not say what distinguished June 30. the Webbs' security aide in 1991. Further. that Pitong Daan had a local sticker. She could not remember any of the details that happened in the household on the other days.18 But Cabanacan's testimony could not be relied on. Webb grudgingly gave it and after seeing the picture and the name on it. 1avvphi 1 Justo Cabanacan. the Webbs' housemaid from March 1989 to May 1992.a.m. provide corroboration to Alfaro’s testimony. a resident. however. He also did not notice Carmela reenter the subdivision. Cabanacan asked him for an ID but he pointed to his United BF Homes sticker and said that he resided there. Webb left the house in t-shirt and shorts. White actually discredited Alfaro’s testimony about the movements of the persons involved. Still. Besides. 1991 when she got the dirty clothes from the room that he and two brothers occupied at about 4. She proved to have a selective photographic memory and this only damaged her testimony. four years later. Webb said that he would see Lilet Sy. hence the blood. Cabanacan replied. record the visitor’s entry into the subdivision.20 She did not call the attention of anybody in the household about it when it would have been a point of concern that Webb may have been hurt. White did not notice Carmela arrive with her mom before Alfaro’s first visit that night. the supervisor insisted on seeing his ID. contrary to prescribed procedure. Carmela supposedly left with a male companion in her car at around 10:30 p. Finally. .

m. Carmela wanted Webb to come to her house around midnight. if Alfaro’s testimony were to be believed that Webb. a relation that Alfaro tried to project with her testimony. Birrer’s testimony failed to connect Biong's acts to Webb and the other accused. When Biong returned at 7 a. Carmella spoke to him of a rejected suitor she called "Bagyo. he washed off what looked like dried blood from his fingernails. The missing corroboration There is something truly remarkable about this case: the prosecution’s core theory that Carmela and Webb had been sweethearts. Birrer’s testimony only established Biong’s theft of certain items from the Vizconde residence and gross neglect for failing to maintain the sanctity of the crime scene by moving around and altering the effects of the crime. This prompted him. Besides. and that it was for this reason that Webb brought his friends to her house to gang-rape her is totally uncorroborated! For instance." because he was a Parañaque politician’s son. Birrer testified that she was with Biong playing mahjong from the evening of June 29. why would he steal valuable items from the Vizconde residence on his return there hours later if he had the opportunity to do it earlier? At most. as she claimed.m. that would be news among her circle of friends if not around town. And this would all the more be so if they had become sweethearts. She even left the kitchen door open so he could enter the house. 5. Lauro did not appear curious enough to insist on finding out who the rejected fellow was.21 The security guard at Pitong Daan did not notice any police investigator flashing a badge to get into the village although Biong supposedly came in at the unholy hour of two in the morning. according to De Birrer. 1991 to the early morning of June 30. And he threw away a foul-smelling handkerchief. Besides. She also saw Biong take out a knife with aluminum cover from his drawer and hid it in his steel cabinet. a Congressman’s son. except for Alfaro. But.m. would bring his bloodied shirt home and put it in the hamper for laundrywoman Gaviola to collect and wash at 4 a. to clean up the evidence against him and his group. And it did not make sense. none of her friends or even those who knew either of them came forward to affirm this.What is more. trying to win her favors. Lolita De Birrer was accused Biong’s girlfriend around the time the Vizconde massacre took place. when Biong got a call at around 2 a. if Webb. Indeed. But. that she had been unfaithful to him. His departure before 7 a. Someone sitting at the backseat of a taxi picked him up. normally.m. if he had cleaned up the crime scene shortly after midnight. to leave and go to BF. the NBI asset. his testimony contradicts that of Alfaro who testified that Carmela and Webb had an on-going relation. what was the point of his returning there on the following morning to dispose of some of the evidence in the presence of other police investigators and on-lookers? In fact. no one among Carmela’s friends or her friends’ friends would testify ever hearing of such relationship or ever seeing them together in some popular hangouts in . courted the young Carmela. as was her supposed habit. he would surely be seen with her. here. the laundry from the rooms of her employers and their grown up children at four in the morning while they were asleep. it was most unlikely for a laundrywoman who had been there for only four months to collect. who was so careful and clever that he called Biong to go to the Vizconde residence at 2 a. if Alfaro were to be believed. also remained unnoticed by the subdivision guards. Unfortunately. And if Webb hanged around with her.m. Lauro Vizconde testified about how deeply he was affected by the loss of her wife and two daughters.

Immigration Officer. Mr.S.30 c. Webb presented the strongest alibi. the eve of his departure. Immigration and Naturalization Service. 1991. his aunt. a mere ghost of the imagination of Alfaro. It has neither antecedent nor concomitant support in the verifiable facts of their personal histories.23 On March 8. Jennifer Claire Cabrera.Parañaque or Makati. of his travel plans. Nobody has come forward to testify having ever seen him with Carmela. authenticated by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. accompanied him. Details of U. none of Carmela’s relatives. 1991 at Faces Disco along Makati Ave. friends. Obviously.S. And despite the gruesome news about her death and how Mr. 1995 Certification.1991. This was the all-important reason Webb supposedly had for wanting to harm her. What is more. he took girlfriend Milagros Castillo to a dinner at Bunchums at the Makati Cinema Square. Alibi Among the accused. checking with its Nonimmigrant Information System. Elizabeth. California. 1991.29 and the US-INS Certification dated August 31. X did not exist. It is quite unreal. Joselito Orendain Escobar. Webb passed through the Philippine Immigration booth at the airport to have his passport cleared and stamped. on March 9. The two immigration checks The following day. March 9. 1991. Among those present were his friends Paulo Santos and Jay Ortega. joined them. and money. Alfaro’s claim of a five-hour drama is like an alien page. he never presented himself like anyone who had lost a special friend normally would.X in her life. 1995. a blind date arranged by Webb. Alfaro testified that she saw Carmela drive out of her house with a male passenger. Webb presented at the trial the INS Certification issued by the U. including his neighbor. Webb went through the U. confirmed Webb's entry into the U. a. The travel preparations Webb claims that in 1991 his parents. Thus. stamped. Again. Senator Freddie Webb and his wife. with his Aunt Gloria on board United Airlines Flight 808. Mr. hard work. Webb told his friends. rudely and unconnectedly inserted into Webb and Carmela’s life stories or like a piece of jigsaw puzzle trimmed to fit into the shape on the board but does not belong because it clashes with the surrounding pieces. Ferdinand Sampol checked Webb’s visa.S. the U. He even invited them to his despedida party on March 8. whom Alfaro thought the way it looked was also Carmela’s lover. His basketball buddy Rafael Jose with Tina Calma.22 Gloria Webb.) to learn the value of independence.24 b. Webb’s U.S.S.S.26 He was listed on the United Airlines Flight’s Passenger Manifest. X had played a role in it.28 the computer-generated print-out of the US-INS indicating Webb's entry on March 9. Webb left for San Francisco. X. the woman who made a living informing on criminals. correcting an earlier August 10. or people who knew her ever testified about the existence of Mr. sent their son to the United States (U. Josefina Nolasco of Rajah Tours confirmed that Webb and his aunt used their plane tickets.25 Before boarding his plane. Immigration Naturalization Service. Immigration where his entry into that country was recorded.S. They afterwards went to Faces Disco for Webb's despedida party. Rajah Tours booked their flight to San Francisco via United Airlines. and let him pass through.27 On arrival at San Francisco. and initialed his passport. sojourn . and his basketball buddy.

When he arrived in Manila. 1991 he applied for a driver's license38 and wrote three letters to his friend Jennifer Cabrera.S.54 certified by Agnes Tabuena55 confirmed his return trip. Joselito Erondain Escobar. Webb and his aunt Gloria were met by the latter’s daughter.40 On the following day.53 Furthermore. Webb also went through both the U. playing basketball on weekends. 1991. Maria Teresa Keame. watching movies. Independence Day. and other employment papers. Webb again went through the Philippine Immigration..S.S. was confirmed by the same certifications that confirmed his entry. California.36 his paycheck. Webb met performing artist Gary Valenciano. e. Alibi versus positive identification . who was invited for a dinner at the Rodriguez’s house. again accompanied by his father and Aragon.39 On June 28.50 There.35 Webb presented the company’s logbook showing the tasks he performed. 1995 is a true and accurate statement. to look for a car. Gloria’s grandson. Webb.S. on invitation of another aunt.S. a visitor at the Brottman’s. the Brottmans.46 bought a bicycle at Orange Cycle Center. Susan Brottman.51 In November 1991. 1991. Webb’s parents visited him at Anaheim and stayed with the Brottmans. and Rafael Jose once again saw Webb playing basketball at the BF's Phase III basketball court. In April 1991..48 On July 4. In fact. On June 14. he met Armando Rodriguez with whom he spent time. his departure from the U. and the Vaca family had a lakeside picnic.47 The Center issued Webb a receipt dated June 30. the immigration officer who processed Webb’s reentry. Louis Whittacker.42 To prove the purchase. and playing billiards.56 Upon his return. Webb even received traffic citations.32 In May 1991. a Diplomatic Note of the U.41 Later that day."44 In using the car in the U. On the same day. returned to Anaheim and stayed with his aunt Imelda Pagaspas. saw Webb looking at the plates of his new car. They bought an MR2 Toyota car. The second immigration checks As with his trip going to the U. Webb presented the Public Records of California Department of Motor Vehicle43 and a car plate "LEW WEBB. Webb moved to Anaheim Hills. June 29.31 In the same month. and Philippine immigrations on his return trip. 1992. a friend of Jack Rodriguez. the Webbs. Farmer of the Records Operations.52 He left the Rodriguez’s home in August 1992. and a certain Daphne Domingo watched the concert of Deelite Band in San Francisco. the Passenger Manifest of Philippine Airlines Flight No. 1991 Webb. in October 1992. 1992. During his stay with his aunt. he occupied himself with playing basketball once or twice a week with Steven Keeler34 and working at his cousin-in-law’s pest control company. to stay with the spouses Jack and Sonja Rodriguez. the arrival stamp and initial on his passport indicated his return to Manila on October 27. On August 4. Webb.In San Francisco. California. d. 103. Florida. Office of Records of the US-INS stated that the Certification dated August 31. 1991 he left for Longwood. Department of State with enclosed letter from Acting Director Debora A. who brought them to Gloria’s house in Daly City.33 During his stay there. And when he boarded his plane. Dorothy Wheelock and her family invited Webb to Lake Tahoe to return the Webbs’ hospitality when she was in the Philippines. California. Webb met Christopher Paul Legaspi Esguerra. This was authenticated by Carmelita Alipio. Paolo Santos.37 his ID. Thus. He stayed there until he left for the Philippines on October 26.45 On June 30. his father introduced Honesto Aragon to his son when he came to visit. Christopher. in the company of his father and Aragon went to Riverside.49 Webb stayed with the Brottmans until mid July and rented a place for less than a month. 1991.

he can have no other defense but denial and alibi. And second. "I saw him do it. She is credible who can be trusted to tell the truth. to be acceptable. her superior testified that she volunteered to play the role of a witness in the Vizconde killings when she could not produce a man she promised to the NBI. Her word has.The trial court and the Court of Appeals are one in rejecting as weak Webb’s alibi. often arising from a desire to quickly finish the job of deciding a case. to one who knows her. the witness’ story of what she personally saw must be believable."? Most judges believe that such assertion automatically dooms an alibi which is so easy to fabricate. Estrada. her testimony was inherently incredible. Rodriguez. the positive identification must meet at least two criteria: First. visible to neighbors and . Alfaro had prior access to the details that the investigators knew of the case. He must guard against slipping into hasty conclusion. however. A lying witness can make as positive an identification as a truthful witness can. A positive declaration from a witness that he saw the accused commit the crime should not automatically cancel out the accused’s claim that he did not do it. She had been hanging around that agency for sometime as a stool pigeon. risking being seen in such an awkward position. when they did not need to darken the garage to force open the front door—just so to explain the darkened light and foot prints on the car hood. Fernandez. "He did it!" without blinking an eye. And she had Ventura climbing the car’s hood. Police assets are often criminals themselves. Further. not inherently contrived. one paid for mixing up with criminals and squealing on them. She was the prosecution’s worst possible choice for a witness. the positive identification of the offender must come from a credible witness. is distressing. its weight in gold. Indeed. A judge must keep an open mind. although her testimony included details. Their reason is uniform: Webb’s alibi cannot stand against Alfaro’s positive identification of him as the rapist and killer of Carmela and. And. apparently. the killer as well of her mother and younger sister. The lying witness can also say as forthrightly and unequivocally. Here. milling under a street light. as already fully discussed above. Her story that Gatchalian. She took advantage of her familiarity with these details to include in her testimony the clearly incompatible act of Webb hurling a stone at the front door glass frames even when they were trying to slip away quietly—just so she can accommodate this crime scene feature. So how can such accused penetrate a mind that has been made cynical by the rule drilled into his head that a defense of alibi is a hangman’s noose in the face of a witness positively swearing. exemplified by remaining outside the house. But not all denials and alibis should be regarded as fabricated. This quick stereotype thinking. Rather. A witness who testifies about something she never saw runs into inconsistencies and makes bewildering claims. She did not show up at the NBI as a spontaneous witness bothered by her conscience. and Filart agreed to take their turns raping Carmela is incongruent with their indifference. Alfaro and her testimony fail to meet the above criteria. She also had Ventura rummaging a bag on the dining table for a front door key that nobody needed just to explain the physical evidence of that bag and its scattered contents. Indeed. usually based on past experiences with her. For how else can the truth that the accused is really innocent have any chance of prevailing over such a stone-cast tenet? There is only one way. Because of this. if the accused is truly innocent. Webb’s denial and alibi were fabricated. to the lower courts.

59 the practice when a party does not want to leave an important document with the trial court is to have a photocopy of it marked as exhibit and stipulated among the parties as a faithful reproduction of the original. 1991 departure stamp on his passport and an October 27. But this is pure speculation since there had been no indication that such arrangement was made. and if he did leave on March 9. 1992 arrival stamp on the same. that had his name on them? How could Webb fix with the U. if not inherently unbelievable. to commit the crime in the Philippines and then return there? No one has come up with a logical and plausible answer to these questions. and returned the normal way on October 27.S. also taxes incredulity.passersby. Alfaro’s story that she agreed to serve as Webb’s messenger to Carmela. Immigration certification and the computer print-out of Webb’s arrival in and departure from that country were authenticated by no less than the Office of the U. inexplicably. while the best evidence of a document is the original. smuggled himself out of the Philippines and into the U.. And. and staying with him till the bizarre end when they were practically strangers. 1992. although Alfaro had only played the role of messenger. Besides. Alfaro’s quality as a witness and her inconsistent. To provide basis for Webb’s outrage. 1991. But. Courts must abandon this unjust and inhuman paradigm. The Court of Appeals rejected the evidence of Webb’s passport since he did not leave the original to be attached to the record.58 The courts below held that. and satisfactory evidence57 that (a) he was present at another place at the time of the perpetration of the crime. officially filed in the Philippines and at the airport in the U. Webb was actually in Parañaque when the Vizconde killings took place. like if it was their turn to rape Carmela. testimony cannot be the positive identification that jurisprudence acknowledges as sufficient to jettison a denial and an alibi. The U.S. Alfaro said that she followed Carmela to the main road to watch her let off a lover on Aguirre Avenue. and Ventura into the house to gang-rape Carmella. using up her gas. f. Attorney General and the . he could probably claim that Webb.S. and Philippine Immigrations. If one is cynical about the Philippine system.S. she claimed leading Webb. Immigration’s record system those two dates in its record of his travels as well as the dates when he supposedly departed in secret from the U. from March 9. clear. he was not in the U. Lejano. the accused must prove by positive.S. Ultimately. A documented alibi To establish alibi. Her swing from an emotion of fear when a woman woke up to their presence in the house and of absolute courage when she nonetheless returned to become the lone witness to a grim scene is also quite inexplicable. erased the fact of his return to the Philippines from the records of the U. 1991 to October 27. and showing no interest in the developments inside the house. 1992. this means that the same is exhibited in court for the adverse party to examine and for the judge to see. Stipulations in the course of trial are binding on the parties and on the court. can arrange for the local immigration to put a March 9.S. with his father’s connections. how could Webb fix a foreign airlines’ passenger manifest. he actually returned before June 29. As Court of Appeals Justice Tagle said in his dissent. as if Alfaro was establishing a reason for later on testifying on personal knowledge. But this ruling practically makes the death of Webb and his passage into the next life the only acceptable alibi in the Philippines. committed the crime. 1991.S. despite his evidence. and (b) that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime.S.

1995 finding "no evidence of lawful admission of Webb.. As explained by witness Leo Herrera-Lim." this was already clarified and deemed erroneous by no less than the US INS Officials.62 The trial court and the Court of Appeals expressed marked cynicism over the accuracy of travel documents like the passport as well as the domestic and foreign records of departures and arrivals from airports. bypassing the Secretary of Foreign Affairs which is the proper protocol procedure. in his letter addressed to Philip Antweiler. Webb’s passport is a document issued by the Philippine government. on a mere tourist visa. Immigration office said that it had no record of Webb entering the U. Here. Consul and Second Secretary of the Philippine Embassy in Washington D." Also. 1991. Immigration office on Webb’s passport. US Department of Justice. and openly return to the Philippines again on October 26. But that erroneous first certification was amply explained by the U. Marzan. Immigration certification and computer print-out. in response to the appeal raised by Consul General Teresita V. however. Their trustworthiness arises from the sense of official duty and the penalty attached to a breached duty. 1992. Government and Court of Appeals Justice Tagle stated it in his dissenting opinion.. That presumption can be overcome by evidence. Travel between the U. are immune to attack. or speculations as reasons for impeaching evidence.S..S. the official certifications of which have been authenticated by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.C. The entries in that passport are presumed true.61 The Court of Appeals of course makes capital of the fact that an earlier certification from the U. State Department.60 The U. Co-Director of the Office of Information and privacy. Richard L.C.S. Philippine Desk Officer. merely validated the arrival and departure stamps of the U. which carry the presumption of truth of what they state.S.S. They are not. But this was unnecessary. surmises.State Department.S. It is not that official records.S. said Certification did not pass through proper diplomatic channels and was obtained in violation of the rules on protocol and standard procedure governing such request. it might as well tear the rules of evidence out of the law books and regard suspicions. The initial request was merely initiated by BID Commissioner Verceles who directly communicated with the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco. They claim that it would not have been impossible for Webb to secretly return to the Philippines after he supposedly left it on March 9. Still the Court of Appeals refused to accept these documents for the reason that Webb failed to present in court the immigration official who prepared the same. in the routine and disinterested origin of such statement and in the publicity of the record. commit the crime. declared the earlier Certification as incorrect and erroneous as it was "not exhaustive and did not reflect all available information. the initial search could not have produced the desired result inasmuch as the data base that was looked into contained entries of the names of IMMIGRANTS and not that of NON-IMMIGRANT visitors of the U. the acting Chief of the Records Services Board of US-INS Washington D. the prosecution did not bother to present evidence to impeach the entries in Webb’s . Steven Bucher.S. Huff. They have the same evidentiary value. explained that "the INS normally does not maintain records on individuals who are entering the country as visitors rather than as immigrants: and that a notation concerning the entry of a visitor may be made at the Nonimmigrant Information system. obviously. is the official record of travels of the citizen to whom it is issued.S. INS on August 16. go back to the U. If the Court were to subscribe to this extremely skeptical view. USA. and the Philippines. The officers who issued these certifications need not be presented in court to testify on them.S. Since appellant Webb entered the U. which under international practice. thus: While it is true that an earlier Certification was issued by the U. Mr. said the lower courts took only about twelve to fourteen hours.

ABAD Associate Justice WE CONCUR: RENATO C. it would be a serious mistake to send an innocent man to jail where such kind of doubt hangs on to one’s inner being. 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Effect of Webb’s alibi to others Webb’s documented alibi altogether impeaches Alfaro's testimony. Peter Estrada and Gerardo Biong of the crimes of which they were charged for failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.C. Fernandez. like a piece of meat lodged immovable between teeth. Antonio Lejano. what is important is. Gatchalian. Michael A. Let a copy of this Decision be furnished the Director. Rodriguez. CR-H. CORONA Chief Justice ANTONIO T.R. Bureau of Corrections.S. Estrada. Miguel Rodriguez. and back.’ immigration services regarding his travel to the U. the Court REVERSES and SETS ASIDE the Decision dated December 15. when the crime took place. the evidence against the others must necessarily fall. CARPIO Associate Justice CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice . Webb. The Director of the Bureau of Corrections is DIRECTED to report the action he has taken to this Court within five days from receipt of this Decision. For. The prosecution’s rebuttal evidence is the fear of the unknown that it planted in the lower court’s minds. ROBERTO A. 7.S. SO ORDERED. Gatchalian. lingering doubt as to his guilt. For. Alfaro’s testimony will not hold together. Hospicio Fernandez. if the Court accepts the proposition that Webb was in the U.passport and the certifications of the Philippine and U. They are ordered immediately RELEASED from detention unless they are confined for another lawful cause. not whether the court entertains doubts about the innocence of the accused since an open mind is willing to explore all possibilities. but also with respect to Lejano. 00336 and ACQUITS accused-appellants Hubert Jeffrey P.S. not only with respect to him. and Biong. CONCLUSION In our criminal justice system. but whether it entertains a reasonable. Muntinlupa City for immediate implementation. Without it. Will the Court send the accused to spend the rest of their lives in prison on the testimony of an NBI asset who proposed to her handlers that she take the role of the witness to the Vizconde massacre that she could not produce? WHEREFORE. Webb’s participation is the anchor of Alfaro’s story. 2005 and Resolution dated January 26.

Resolution dated January 26. RENATO C. 514. rollo (G. 150224. A. Records. 1. 2007. Vol.PRESBITERO J. 06-11-5-SC effective October 15. pp. 2007.R. 176864). G. BRION Associate Justice LUCAS P. pp. Article VIII of the Constitution. pp. VILLARAMA. 25. CA rollo. it is hereby certified that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court. May 19. People v. 393-399 and rollo (G. 3478-3479. BERSAMIN Associate Justice MARTIN S. 80-104. Associate Justice JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA Associate Justice MARIA LOURDES P. 176389). 197-214. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 . DEL CASTILLO Associate Justice JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ Associate Justice ANTONIO EDUARDO B.M. pp. JR. pp. 1-3.S. Vol. 2004. 170-71. JR. 373 U. No. Vol. VELASCO. PERALTA Associate Justice MARIANO C. Yatar. Rollo (G.R. 425 SCRA 504. IV. 176839). A.R. 83 (1963). pp. NACHURA Associate Justice ARTURO D. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO Associate Justice DIOSDADO M.R. Associate Justice TERESITA J. CORONA Chief Justice Footnotes 1 Records. SERENO Associate Justice CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13.

121-122. 17-34.R. TSN. 13-41. 8-14. Exhibit "207-B". p.S. TSN. pp. pp. Exhibits "274" and "275". 1997. 1997. 79-89. 1996. 72. pp. 1996. 1995. Exhibit "227". July 24. January 30. G. Records. "W" and "X". 97-98 (Records. 323-324. pp. TSN. 308-310. 103-104. July 8. 1995. Exhibits "207" to "219". pp. December 5. TSN. March 14. and TSN. 21-65. pp. 14 Exhibits "G" to "G-2". TSN. pp. 1997. "Q" to "R". July 9. 276 SCRA 243." Records (Vol. pp. 13 TSN. 208. pp. 328-330. 79. 1997. 81-131. 127262. . March 25. April 16. June 9. 12 The ponencia. 1996.2). 1995. 22-26. 18-38. TSN. "V". photograph before the concert Exhibit "295. Vol. 10 11 Webb v. 1996. xx. pp. Exhibit "223". No.R. 15 Exhibits "H" to "K". TSN. G. 1997. 1997 and September 1. No. 15-19. 121234. TSN. pp. Id. 488 U. pp. 8. Vol. 112-118. People. 1997. Vol. August 6. 4. August 23. 8. 4-9. 142-157. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 TSN. pp. pp. 1997. 1997. pp. 311-315. TSN. 41 (1988). August 14. Exhibit "212-D". May 22. 271-272). 1996.9 Supra note 7. TSN. Webb v. June 3. pp. Records. 247 SCRA 652. 14-33. De Leon. May 28. TSN October 10. 22-26. pp.

pp. Exhibits "305". 43-59 and 69-93. May 9. TSN. Exhibit "260". 1997. Exhibit "337-B". pp. July 16. Exhibit "348". 61-63. 23-32. Exhibits "344" and "346". Exhibits "244". TSN. 1997. pp. 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 . pp. 16-38. 1997. TSN. July 16. April 23. June 26. Exhibit "212-D". June 2. TSN. 1996. TSN. 13-28. TSN. July 16. 78-84.32 TSN. TSN. 33-37. pp. 51-64. 134-148. 1996. Exhibits "341" and "342". 1996. 69-71. 16-17. 23-32. Exhibit "349". 1997. 1997. TSN. pp. 58. June 23. TSN. 78-84. 1997. 37. Exhibit "338". pp. pp. 61-62. 19-35. April 30. 41-42. "245" and "246". 35. TSN. pp. 1997. 48-49. 128-129. pp. July 7. TSN. 1997. 12. Exhibits "306" and "307". Exhibit "261". pp. 26-32. Id. June 16. 1997. July 2. 44-57. 16-17. 75-78. 61-63.

some of whom gave detailed confessions to having committed the crimes. Rule 130. They all bore multiple stab wounds on different parts of their bodies. 80 Vinzons Street. pp. Peter Estrada.1 (emphasis and underscoring supplied) And so. and were thus ordered discharged. 367 Phil. Saban.57 People v. that the innocent be shielded from hasty prosecution and rash conviction. November 24. Branch 63 eventually found those suspects to have been victims of police frame-up. 1999. 37 Phil. one of its "informers" or "assets.Arellano Law Foundation CONCURRING OPINION CARPIO MORALES. it is no less important. Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano. 58 59 60 61 62 The Lawphil Project . the Akyat Bahay gang members. pp. 110559. Section 44. and the indelible stain upon their name. Artemio "Dong" Ventura. No. BF Homes Subdivision. Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez. Subsequently. 176839). should caution all concerned to a more careful and conscientious scrutiny of all the facts before the finger is pointed and the stone is cast.R. We have nothing but praise for sincerity and zeal in the enforcement of the law.R. Antilon v." who claimed to have been an eyewitness to the crime. the very voluminous records of the present cases call for a "more careful and conscientious scrutiny" in order to determine what the facts are before the accused’s conviction is affirmed. On June 30. Hillado. Rollo (G. Rollo (G. 216-217. Some of their personal belongings appeared to be missing. Parañaque.: While it should be the common desire of bench and bar that crime is not left unpunished. Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez. in 1995. then 19-year old Carmela and then sevenyear old Jennifer. Michael A. Rules of Court. which is never quite washed away by time. 218-219. and Joey Filart as the culprits. 319 SCRA 36. People v. their indictment in court. hence. as in all criminal cases. 1991.2 The Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC). the undeserved penalties inflicted upon the blameless. if not more so. G. Estrellita Vizconde and her daughters. were found dead in their home at No. 46. Barcelona. Gatchalian. 148 (1917). An intense and sustained investigation conducted by the police resulted in the arrest of a group of suspects. the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) which conducted a parallel investigation announced that it had solved the crime by presenting its "star witness" in the person of Jessica Alfaro y Mincey (Alfaro).R. however. Webb. 176839). She named the accused Hubert Jeffrey P. J. 29 (1999). Nevertheless. She also tagged Parañaque police officer .

as well as on the implausibility of her account. as well as by the physical evidence. Estrellita’s husband. security personnel of the Pitong Daan Subdivision. In Webb’s case. nighttime and with the use of motor vehicle. an Information was filed on August 10. To the trial court. and withstood grueling crossexaminations by the different defense counsel. impressed by Alfaro’s detailed narration of the events surrounding the commission of the crime. with lewd design. nighttime. province of Rizal. the above-named accused with intent to kill. to conceal or destroy the effects or instruments thereof by failing to preserve the physical evidence and allowing their destruction in order to prevent the discovery of the crime. The other witnesses were Dr. the abovenamed principal accused. The accused GERARDO BIONG and JOHN DOES having knowledge after the commission of the above-mentioned crime. abuse of superior strength. the medico-legal officer who autopsied the bodies of the victims. The trial court. claiming to have been somewhere else at the time of the commission of the crime. Tolentino. willfully. her testimony was categorical. some of the accused invoked alibi. with abuse of authority as police officer. after the Presiding Judge of Branch 258 of the Parañaque RTC inhibited. mutually helping one another. re-raffled to Branch 274 of the Parañaque RTC. Vizconde. On the basis of Alfaro’s account. Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez and Joey Filart. The case was. reading as follows: That on or about the evening of June 29 up to the early morning of June 30.4 At the trial.Gerardo Biong as an accessory after the fact. he presented documentary and testimonial proof that he was in the United States of America from March 1991 to October 1992. That by reason or on the occasion of the aforesaid rape or immediately thereafter. At all events. 1991. Artemio Ventura and Joey Filart having remained at large. Webb conspiring and confederating with accused Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano. conspiring and confederating together. and Lauro G. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. and without having participated therein as principals or accomplices.3 for rape with homicide. accused Hubert Jeffrey P. did then and there and with evidence premeditation. spontaneous. deemed her a credible witness after finding her testimony to have been corroborated by those of the other prosecution witnesses. mutually helping one another. Philippines. thereby inflicting upon them numerous stab wounds in different parts of their bodies which caused their instantaneous death. Michael Gatchalian y Adviento. an ex-lover of Gerardo Biong. et al. BF Homes. tried only seven of the accused. and frank. with the use of motor vehicle. with the use of force and intimidation. Mila Gaviola. Hiospicio "Pyke" Fernandez. with abuse of superior strength. 1995 before the Parañaque RTC against Webb. former laundrywoman of the Webbs. . unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of the person of Carmela Vizconde against her will and consent. Parañaque. The defense presented testimonial evidence which tended to cast a bad light on Alfaro’s reputation for truth. Normal White and Justo Cabanacan. straightforward. Prospero Cabanayan. the prosecution presented Alfaro as its main witness. The trial court. took part subsequent to its commission by assisting. assault and stab with bladed instruments Carmela Vizconde. in the municipality of Parañaque. while armed with bladed instruments. then presided over by Judge Amelita G. Artemio "Dong" Ventura. Lolita Carrera Birrer. Peter Estrada. Estrellita Vizconde and Jennifer Vizconde.

00 as moral damages sustained by Mr. the Court issued a Resolution granting the request of Webb to submit for Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) analysis the semen specimen taken from Carmela’s cadaver. and Gatchalian in light of their positive identification by Alfaro.7 Hence. this Court hereby finds all the principal accused GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF THE CRIME OF RAPE WITH HOMICIDE AND HEREBY SENTENCES EACH ONE OF THEM TO SUFFER THE PENALTY OF RECLUSION PERPETUA.450. 2010.55 as attorney’s fees. It was in light of this development that accused Webb filed an urgent motion to acquit on the ground that the government’s failure to preserve such vital evidence has resulted in the denial of his right to due process. the appellate court’s Special Division of five members.000. This Court likewise finds the accused Gerardo Biong GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT AS AN ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT. Parenthetically. On April 27. however. The Court granted the request pursuant to Section 4 of the Rule on DNA Evidence8 to give the accused and the prosecution access to scientific evidence which could affect the result of the case. Fernandez. AND HEREBY SENTENCES HIM TO SUFFER AN IMPRISONMENT OF ELEVEN (11) YEARS. it belittled the denial and alibi of accused Webb. . 3) The amount of P2. Lejano. FOUR (4) MONTHS AND ONE (1) DAY TO TWELVE (12) YEARS. sustained its affirmance of the trial court’s decision.00 representing actual damages sustained by Mr. 2005 affirming with modification the trial court’s decision by reducing the penalty imposed on Biong to six years minimum and twelve years maximum and increasing the award of civil indemnity to Lauro Vizconde to P200. In addition. Lauro Vizconde. On motion for reconsideration by the accused. the Court hereby orders all the accused to jointly and severally pay the victim’s surviving heir. Lauro Vizconde. the NBI informed the Court that it no longer had custody of the specimen which itclaimed had been turned over to the trial court. And so after a protracted trial.404. the trial court records do not show that the specimen was among the object evidence that was offered in evidence in the case by any of the parties. 2) The amount of P762.000.On the other hand. and Estrada had conspired to rape and kill Carmela as well as to kill Estrellita and Jennifer. Lauro Vizconde. Mr. the following sums by way of civil indemnity: 1) The amount of P150. voting three against two.00 for wrongful death of the victims. Rodriguez.5 On appeal. Thus the trial court disposed: WHEREFORE. the trial court rendered on January 4. 2010.6 The appellate court found that indeed there was sufficient evidence that Rodriguez. 4) The amount of P97.000. On April 20. 2000 a 172-page decision finding all the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape with homicide. as a result of its initial deliberation in this case. Gatchalian.000. which specimen was believed to be still under the safekeeping of the NBI.00. this appeal. the Court of Appeals rendered its challenged Decision of December 15.

she stopped getting her supply of shabu from Ventura as she instead got it from other sources including Orly Bacquir and Cris Santos and places such as Quezon City. (underscoring supplied) Alfaro was found both by the trial and appellate courts to be a credible witness. the draft decision which was the basis of this Court’s deliberations. Daggers v. who has not perjured in the past. found "no glaring errors. We have no test of the truth of human testimony. . It readily credited the testimony of prosecution "star" witness Jessica Alfaro (Alfaro) who. and who is reputed to be trustworthy and reliable. however. spontaneous and frank manner. that for testimonial evidence to be worthy of belief. which was later adopted by the dissenters. . and experience. Villarama as a basis of this Court’s deliberation. and [to] ha[ve] remained consistent in her testimony. Makati and Tondo. must not only proceed from the mouth of a credible witness. gross misapprehensions of facts and speculative. A person may be credible where he is without previous conviction of a crime.9 When the trial court’s findings have been affirmed by the appellate court.16 Alfaro’s tale about the circumstances surrounding the commission of the complex crime follows: .In the draft decision prepared by Justice Martin S."13 By Alfaro’s own admission. arbitrary and unsupported conclusions" made by the lower courts." The trial court banked primarily on Alfaro who claimed to be an eyewitness to the massacre and considered the testimonies of the other prosecution witnesses as merely corroborative of hers. said findings are generally conclusive and binding upon this Court. except its conformity to our knowledge.10 The draft decision. who is not a police character and has no police record. started by stating a "fundamental rule. arbitrary and unsupported conclusions can be gathered from such findings. straightforward.whose affidavit or testimony is not incredible. [and] revealed such details and observations which only a person who was actually with the perpetrators could have known. . the person’s testimony must in itself be credible. "underwent exhaustive and intense cross-examination by eight . defense lawyers . the decision of the appellate court affirming with modification the trial court’s decision was affirmed. . observation. It was about this time that she met Artemio "Dong" Ventura who provided her with a regular supply of shabu at the so-called "house of shabu" in Parañaque. she was a habitual drug addict who inhaled and sniffed shabu "every other day"14since December 1990." viz: It is a fundamental rule that findings of the trial courts which are factual in nature and which involve credibility are accorded respect when no glaring errors. but it must be credible in itself – such as the common experience and observation of mankind can approve as probable under the circumstances. In discussing why the Decision of the Court of Appeals is being affirmed with modification.15 In March 1991. it must firstly proceed from the mouth of a credible witness. She impressed the trial court which found her to have "testified in a categorical. gross misapprehensions of facts and speculative. Whatever is repugnant to these belongs to the miraculous and is outside of judicial cognizance. who has a good standing in the community. Van Dyck12 illuminates: Evidence to be believed. Jurisprudence has consistently summoned.11 Secondly. it observed.

. however. They could lie on the persons they go out with? . she had taken illegal drugs. Atty. This necessarily follows. then Deputy Executive Director of the Dangerous Drugs Board. Rey San Pedro: A: Our general examination of patients showed that they become liars. for even the temporary presence of drugs affects the functioning of the body’s organs. what would be the usual motivation for a shabu-dependent person to become liars. Atty. who she claimed was her boyfriend. recall or relate. and in the evening of even date."21 We believe it will be admitted that habitual users of opium. Ongkiko: Q: Based on your experience. The paper of authors Burrus and Marks. . for example. The habit of lying comes doubtless from the fact that the users of those narcotics pass the greater part of their lives in an unreal world. Rey San Pedro. opined that drug addicts or dependents are generally liars who would lie for less than noble objectives."17 It was only in about October 1994 that she stopped taking illegal drugs.20 So it has been held that "habitual users of narcotics become notorious liars and that their testimony is likely to be affected thereby.In the afternoon of June 29. is because they are aware that what they are doing is wrong and therefore they want to hide it. will this dependency of shabu affect the character of a person specifically. Rey San Pedro: A: My experience. Aside from organic deterioration. Ongkiko: Q: Yes. Why. testimony may be impugned if the witness was under the influence of drugs at the time of perceiving the event about which he is testifying or at the time he is on the stand. before she and accused Peter Estrada. but also from their friends."18 teaches: . "Testimonial Reliability of Drug Addicts. between illusions and realities. Ongkiko: Q: They become liars. M. or other like narcotics. she not only smoked shabu but sniffed cocaine as well at the "parking lot. M. such as for money and/or to satisfy their craving for attention. Yes. went to the Alabang Commercial Center. and thus become unable to distinguish between images and facts. Not only from the family. Doctor. M.22 (underscoring supplied) Defense witness Dr. become notorious liars. and thus bears directly on the credibility of the witness’ testimony…19(underscoring supplied) Evidence derived from the testimony of a witness who was under the influence of drugs during the incident to which he is testifying is indeed very unreliable. would that affect? Witness Dr. the date of the commission of the crime. 1991. impeaching testimony is uniformly sustained by the courts. Sir. the capacity to tell the truth. why do they lie? Witness Dr. viz: Atty. [W]here the prolonged use of drugs has impaired the witness’ ability to perceive.

that the tendency of a drug dependent is to hide the identity of the drug suppliers. M. M.Witness Dr. M. Sir. Sir. Atty. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. Is this correct? Witness Dr. M. Ongkiko: Q: Who would tell you the correct name of the drug supplier? Witness Dr. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. correct? . M. Ongkiko: Q: Is it not correct. Ongkiko: Q: And who would tell you the correct address of the drug supplier. M. Atty. I have not encountered a patient who would tell you where they get their supply. Sir. Rey San Pedro: A: Correct. Atty. Doctor. Atty. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. Sir. Ongkiko: Q: They could lie on the persons from whom they allegedly get the drugs? Witness Dr. Atty. Atty. Ongkiko: Q: Their tendency is to give you misleading information. Rey San Pedro: A: This is our experience. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. correct? Witness Dr. Ongkiko: Q: They could lie on the persons they meet? Witness Dr.

Ongkiko: Q: Would they sell their honor to get money. Atty. They even sell the family belongings. Rey San Pedro: A I have not encountered a case like that. Ongkiko: Q: Yes. like a woman becoming a prostitute? Witness Dr. When I say lie for money so that she could get money? Witness Dr. Doctor. M. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. Atty. or even from third persons? Witness Dr.Witness Dr. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. M. But tell me. Atty. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. Ongkiko: Q: You have not encountered that much. M. M. Atty. Atty. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. from her friends. Ongkiko: Q: He will. Atty. Sir. from her relatives. M. Rey San Pedro: A: She could get money. Ongkiko: Q: They even sell their personal effects? Witness Dr. would they lie in order to get attention? . Ongkiko: Q: Now. Sir. Sir. would a drug dependent on shabu lie for money? Witness Dr. M.

1994. Sir. Atty. they do. that is a long time. Ongkiko: Q: Yes. drug dependent. in order that we can cure this patient of his or her dependency on shabu. So. Sir. M. because they want to be the center of attention to cover up for their drug dependency. Ongkiko: Q: Yes. Rey San Pedro: A: ’90 to ’94? Atty. if a person were drug dependent on shabu since 1990. treated and rehabilitated. Ongkiko: Q: Treated and rehabilitated. Does the government provide for such facilities? Witness Dr. x x x x23 (underscoring supplied) .Witness Dr. Doctor. Rey San Pedro: A: In a hospital. Ongkiko: Q: In a hospital. M. Rey San Pedro: A: They have to be rehabilitated. isn’t it? Witness Dr. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. Atty. M. M. up to and including December. What would it take. Doctor. what would it take? Witness Dr. Ongkiko: Q: Now. Sir. correct? Witness Dr. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes. Atty. where? Witness Dr. M. Atty. 1991. Rey San Pedro: A: Yes.

" and the majority exception of admitting impeaching testimony where the witness was under the influence of the drug at the time of perception or testifying seems clearly sustainable in medical evidence. dizziness. Overdosage and repeated medication. Amphetamine─ Similar to the barbiturates and bromides. is apparently perfectly reliable and the majority judicial view. become paranoids and suffer from feelings of persecution. Thus. confusion and delirium. San Pedro’s ─ that any information which is being furnished by a drug addict is "not generally reliable" and his capacity to lie may be "very great. expert testimony should be admissible to impeach the cocaine addict. Visual. Thus. Also.Former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Epimaco Velasco had a view similar to that of Dr. confidence."24 In their earlier mentioned paper. Under its influence. bromide or amphetamine addict. In this state. of course. as are digestive tract disorders. and occasionally convulsions. The cocaine addict is not a normal person. like cocaine and amphetamine which were used by Alfaro: xxxx b. There are few instances of deterioration more pronounced than that found in the habitual user of cocaine. however. under these circumstances seems sustainable. and renders him. so far as medical evidence is concerned. and its effect on the user’s ability to perceive and accurately to relate is dependent on the amount of the drug taken. The usual dosage taken by the addict is sufficient to cause toxic psychosis characterized by hallucinations and paranoid delusions similar in effect to cocaine. in an "unreal" or "dream world. This. would not seem to impair reliability and impeaching testimony to this end should be excluded. xxxx e. in fact. to that extent. too. Over time. the initial proper dosage promoting wakefulness and alertness. auditory and tactual hallucinations are common. the drug severs the user’s contact with reality. euphoria and increased motor activity. It would seem to follow that. the barbiturate. amphetamine is a potent stimulant. Even the majority admits impeaching testimony in cases of organic deterioration. a person experiences sensations of great muscular and mental strength and overestimates his capabilities. Absent excessive use to the extent of organic deterioration. Both in its long-run effect of organic deterioration and in its short run influence. the amphetamine addict’s testimonial capabilities are definitely impaired. Rather than a depressant however. should be considered in admitting or excluding the impeaching testimony. impeachment should depend upon the amount of the drug taken and the extent of its use. cocaine produces on the addict a degree of physical and mental deterioration not found in connection with the use of opiates. The result is that with amphetamine. as with marihuana. increased initiative. He is truly. Cocaine ─ Cocaine is a powerful cortical stimulant which causes a state of euphoric excitement and varying degrees of pleasurable hallucinations. agitation. broadens the inquiry from the physiologicalpharmacological effects of drugs upon reliability to the psychological framework of the user in its relation to his ability to tell the truth or proneness to lie. as well as with barbiturates and bromides. emphasis and underscoring supplied) . can prove most harmful. when not intoxicated by the direct influence of the drug. the non-addict’s sparing use of the drug. unreliable. many. at least while under the drug’s influence. amphetamine operates upon the central nervous system.25 (italics in the original. the addict may suffer vasomotor disturbances. its effects vary with the personality make-up of the user. with the result that this. Burrus and Marks write on the "peculiar effects upon veracity" of the principal types of drugs.

cases we could work on. . Ongkiko: Q I see. Alfaro considering the assistance that he was giving your group? Witness Sacaguing: A We gave her very special treatment.How Alfaro got to be a "star" witness in this case was narrated by then NBI agent Artemio Sacaguing: Atty. Ongkiko: Q All right. Sacaguing. Ongkiko: Q What do you mean by projects. . Atty. Ongkiko: All right. Atty. leads? Witness Sacaguing: A Projects. the boys. Atty. and what do you mean by teasing? . Ongkiko: Q Now tell the Honorable Court. Atty. we consider her already the darling of the group because she was giving us good projects and she loved it. she loved what? Witness Sacaguing: A She liked being treated that way. but later on. Alfaro this VIP treatment? Witness Sacaguing: A Well. Ongkiko: Q What do you mean by she loved it. my associates in my team. after the lapse of about one or two weeks. about . how long did you give Ms. I mean. began teasing her because she could not give us any project anymore. Atty. Alfaro the VIP treatment? xxxx Atty. was there ever any time where the group got tired of giving Ms. Sacaguing. Atty. she was always there and we treated her very nicely. how did the NBI treat Ms. So.

Ongkiko: Q And when she was piqued or "napikon". if any? Please look at the judge. she could not give you anymore projects. Ongkiko: Q Mr. what did she say or what did she do? xxxx Atty. piqued. according to you. Witness Sacaguing: A Piqued. Ongkiko: Q Piqued. Atty. Witness Sacaguing: A She seemed to have been piqued and she said . please do not look at me. napikon? Court: p i c q u e d. Sacaguing. Ongkiko: xxxx Q Atty. Sacaguing.xxxx Atty. how did Jessica Alfaro become a witness in the Vizconde murder case. Ongkiko: Q She seemed to have been what? Witness Sacaguing: A Piqued. Ongkiko: Q I see. (underscoring in the original) Atty. Atty. what was the reaction of Ms. "napikon". Atty. . Will you tell the Honorable Court? . after your group teased her because. Alfaro. Ano yun. . yes.

and the man does not like to testify. Court: Face the Court. and together with her. . we will try to convince him to act as a state witness and help us in the solution of the case.Witness Sacaguing: A She told me. Atty. I mean. Ongkiko: Q Atty. she will bring to me the man. sir. she knew somebody who . Atty. the details of the massacre of the Vizconde family. Ongkiko: Q Why not? Witness Sacaguing: A Because Jessica Alfaro was never able to comply with her promise to bring the man to me. That’s what she told us. Witness Sacaguing: A She told me. . according to her. Witness Sacaguing: A I was quite interested and I tried to persuade her to introduce to me that man and she promised that in due time. Ongkiko: Q And what did you say? Please look at the Court. She told me later that she could not. were you able to interview this alleged witness? Witness Sacaguing: A No. Sacaguing. . Ongkiko: Q Did she ever bring to you or to your office this man that. knew about the Vizconde murder case? xxxx Atty. Your Honor. Your Honor. that she knew somebody who related to her the circumstances. Atty.

papapelan ko na lang yan. . that is asking for the opinion of this witness." Atty. huwag kayong . Ongkiko: Q All right. kasi. Your Honor. until she went away." Atty. papapelan ko yan. Atty.Atty. Ongkiko: Q And what was the reply of Ms. Sir. . Sir. Court: Reform your question. Alfaro stated that "papapelan ko na lang yan"? Witness Sacaguing: A I said. if I may quote. and what happened after that? Witness Sacaguing: A She told me. "easy lang kayo." Court: Q How was that? Witness Sacaguing: A "Easy lang. hindi ka naman eye witness. Ongkiko: Q And what did you understand by her statement as you quoted it? Witness Sacaguing: A I thought it . and what was your reaction when Ms. . Sir. relax lang. Alfaro? Witness Sacaguing: A Hindi siya nakakibo. Ongkiko: Q All right. "easy lang. . Prosecutor Zuño: Objection. Sir. Sir". "hindi pwede yan. . Your Honor.

Your Honor. Mr. I could hardly get you. on which account she received special treatment. Significantly. were not put on guard from swallowing Alfaro’s testimony. Alfaro never disputed Sacaguing’s above-quoted testimoy. Court: Q Why? Witness Alfaro: . It is thus hard to fathom how her motives for suddenly developing a first hand account of the commission of the crimes could be treated as anything but suspect.Atty. Witness Sacaguing: A She did not answer anymore. I did not. The trial court credited as satisfactory and plausible Alfaro’s explanation for her silence from the time she allegedly witnessed the crimes in June 1991 up to "about October 1994" when the numbing effects of drug abuse only began to wear off and she had an earnest desire to reform her life. Your Honor. x x x x26 (emphasis and underscoring supplied) NBI agent Sacaguing was the special "handler" of Alfaro. Yet. the lower courts. did it not occur to your mind to immediately report the same to the police authorities? Witness Alfaro: A No. Witness. despite the peculiar circumstances related by Sacaguing. an NBI "asset" who regularly provided leads on projects or cases being investigated by the NBI. Ongkiko: Q She what? Witness Sacaguing: A She went away. From Sacaguing’s above-quoted testimony. Alfaro came forward with her "knowledge" about the commission of the crimes only after being cajoled by the NBI agents about her lack of productivity and her failure to make good her word that she knew and would bring someone who could "shed light" on the crimes that occurred close to four years earlier. She just went out of the office. she went out of my office. WITNESS JESSICA ALFARO ON CLARIFICATORY QUESTIONS BY THE COURT Court: Q After that incident. Court: You speak clearly.

Court: Q: Any other reason? Witness Alfaro: A: Those are my main reasons. I just want to my Dad. Your Honor. and then it came to the point when I saw them accidentally. Court: Q: No. Court: Q: Is that your principal reason? . and that triggered me. did it not also occur to your mind to finally report it to the proper authorities? Witness Alfaro: A: I did not first have that in mind. I was so scared. Court: Q When was that? Witness Alfaro: A: About October of 1994. Court: Q: When? Witness Alfaro: A: When I got out on drugs. and then I got out from drugs. after the lapse of a reasonable time. so. but I didn’t have a chance to tell him. It’s my daughter whom I see crying.A: Because at first. only recently when I was out on drugs. after witnessing that incident. when I started having these nightmares about my daughter instead of that Jennifer that I see in my dreams. that’s the thing which triggered me. Court: Q What prompted you to finally reveal what you have witnessed? Witness Alfaro: A: Well.

Logarta. Rey Doe and several other John Does still at large. 1991 (for robbery with homicide) against Villardo Barroso y Datuin. It was a raging topic that drew intense discussions in both talk shows and informal gatherings. Ernesto Cesar. in every gory detail. despite evidence. after the commission of the crimes. Prior to her decision to surface and claim to tell what she "knew" about the crimes. the crimes had already been played out in the media. 91-7135 That on or about the 30th day of June 1991 at BF Homes Parañaque. These persons were earlier charged with two cases of robbery with homicide. These gang members were later released upon orders of the Makati Regional Trial Court after it was discovered that their confessions were fabricated by the PNP to conform to the physical evidence found at the crime scene. Logarta of the Makati City RTC. been numbed by the effects of drug abuse. I cannot understand why the three criminal cases that were instituted before the Makati City RTC. Jr. members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested some members of an "akyat-bahay" gang who were charged accordingly. prior to the arrest of the accused. Metro Manila. Crim. and one case of rape with homicide that is now the very subject of the case under review. would the ponencia take as gospel truth her what it termed "vivid" and "infallible" recollection of the minutiae surrounding the commission of the crime in June 1991. not to mention her being an NBI "star" witness. It is not thus difficult to believe that Alfaro could have become familiar with the evidentiary details of the crimes. particularly Webb.27 (underscoring supplied) Given Alfaro’s confession of having for years. Branch 63. given that she was practically a resident at the offices of the NBI which was actively investigating the crimes. Brnach 63. Rey Doe and several other John Does). The records of these criminal cases. documentary and testimonial. the above named accused conspiring and . Indeed. Ernesto Cesar. supporting his alibi? The explanation for this feat of wizardry is within arms-length – Alfaro appears to be a rehearsed witness. In fact. Roberto Barroso y Datuin¸ Rolando Mendoza y Gomez. Bienvenido Baydo. and all sorts of speculations about it were rife. Bienvenido Baydo. which were introduced in evidence by the accused-appellants during the trial of the case under review. and point to the accused as the malefactors.) which recited facts and events that are so strikingly akin to those set forth in the information filed in the case under review. The nature and extent of the similarities were amplified by Justice Dacudao in his Dissenting Opinion. dissenters choose to gloss over the strikingly uncanny similarities between the confessions of the "akyat-bahay" gang members and Alfaro’s testimony. hardly commanded the attention of the trial court. covered the following: (1) Criminal Case No. 91-7135 filed by then Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Aurelio C. and Roberto Datuin Barroso and their several companions Rolando Mendoza y Gomez. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Boy Kulit. Alfaro’s narration of the events in the case under review was in many points uncannily similar to that set forth in the extrajudicial confessions or sinumpaang salaysay executed by certain members of the so-called "Akyat Bahay Gang" of the Barroso group (the brothers Villardo Datuin Barroso. Angelito Santos y Bisen. which is quoted at length: It also bothers me that Ms.Witness Alfaro: A: I wanted to change my life already. Sadly. Angelito Santos y Bisen. (presided over by Judge Julio R. Case No. on November 11. Trampe before the sale of Judge Julio R. both print and broadcast.

91-7137 . assault. Parañaque. willfully.000. steal. unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of CARMELA NICOLAS VIZCONDE (without her) consent. Case No. stab and use personal violence upon JENNIFER NICOLAS VIZCONDE thereby inflicting upon her multiple stab wounds in different parts of her body thus causing her instantaneous death. Philippine currency to the damage and prejudice of said owners in the said total sum. in pursuant of their conspiracy. Trampe. by the use of force upon things. did then and there willfully. thus causing her instantaneous death. Metro Manila. with homicide wherein the victim was ESTRELLITA NICOLAS VISCONDE) likewise filed against the same accused by ACSP Aurelio C. thereby inflicting upon her multiple stab wounds in different parts of her body. with evident premeditation and taking advantage of their superior number and strength and with intent to kill. and carry away the articles above-mentioned herein accused. 91-7136 That on or about the 30th day of June 1991 at BF Homes. Philippines. Lauro Vizconde of the total value of Two Hundred Thousand (P200. 1919) also against the same accused. did then and there willfully. take and carry away therefrom. by means of violence.000. unlawfully and feloniously and with evident premeditation and taking advantage of their superior number and strength and with intent to kill. the following pieces of personal property: P140. and feloniously. Contrary to law. to wit. Branch 63. 91-7137 (for robbery. force and intimidation.00 in cash Four (4) necklace Five (5) rings Two (2) bracelets Two (2) pairs of earings belonging to Mr. treacherously attack. (3) Criminal Case No. Contrary to law.confederating together and helping one another did then and there willfully. assault. armed with knives. Trampe with the same RTC. (2) Criminal case No. and that on the occasion of the commission of rape. did then and there willfully. forcibly open cabinet and drawers inside the house. unlawfully and feloniously and intent to gain and against the consent of the owners thereof. and once inside. unlawfully and feloniously.00) Pesos. treacherously attack. and in pursuance of their conspiracy. stab and use personal violence upon said CARMELA NICOLAS VIZCONDE. the above-named accused. and that on the occasion of the said Robbery and for the purpose of enabling them to take. unlawfully. It alleged: Crim. and within jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. by breaking the glass in the left side of the door to open it and from where they entered the house. It alleged: Crim. and Mrs. Case No. on November 11. 91-7136 (for the rape with homicide of Carmela Nicolas Vizconde filed by ACSP Aurelio C.

. and once inside the house opened the gate for the group. that in one of the rooms they found a young woman (apparently referring to Carmela Nicolas Vizconde) who was raped successively by Roberto Barroso. unlawfully and feloniously and with intent to gain and against the consent of the owners thereof. in pursuance of their conspiracy. forcibly open cabinets and drawers inside the house. surrendered and executed an affidavit or sinumpaang salaysay narrating his participation in the gruesome killing of members of the Vizconde family and the rape-killing of a young Vizconde girl. willfully. one of them (Bienvenido "Ben" Baydo) climbed the fence. she too was stabbed to death by Rolando Mendoza. the Barroso brothers Villardo. Consider this: In the aforementioned cases. Estrellita Nicolas Vizconde) came near the door and shouted "magnanakaw". take and carry away therefrom the following pieces of personal property: P140. Contrary to law. assault. BF Homes. stab and use personal violence upon ESTRELLITA NICOLAS VIZCONDE thereby inflicting upon her multiple stab wounds causing her instantaneous death. Metro Manila. one of the accused therein (Angelito Santos y Bisen) who by his account was bothered by his conscience. that Bienvenido "Ben" Baydo put-out the light in the garage. the above-named accused conspiring and confederating together and helping one another did then and there. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Jr. and Mrs. Rolando Mendoza and Roberto Barroso stabbed her several times (one knife used in stabbing was described as "isang double blade na mga anim na pulgada ang haba nang talim").000. that when they entered the subdivision. Ben Baydo and Boy Kulit. Ben Baydo. unlawfully and with evident premeditation and taking advantage of their superior number and strength and with intent to kill. Cesar. Lauro Vizconde. and that on the occasion of the said Robbery and for the purpose of enabling them to take. willfully. that Ben Baydo gagged the woman and dragged her inside the master’s bedroom where Ben Baydo.00 in cash Four (4) necklace Five (5) rings Two (2) bracelets Two (2) pairs of earings belonging to Mr. And based on the extrajudicial confessions of the accused in these cases (specifically Angelito Santos y Bisen. steal and carry way the articles above-mentioned. and an owner’s tinted jeepney). that when a young girl (apparently referring to Jennifer Nicolas Vizconde) inside started to cry and shout. to wit: by breaking the glass in the left side of the door to open it and from where they entered the house and once inside. herein accused. Ernesto Cesar. that when they reached the Vizconde residence at W. and that they ransacked the house for .000. and Rolando G. and Ernesto Cesar and later repeatedly stabbed to death. that they used at least two (2) vehicles in going there (a mint green Toyota Corona. Villardo Barroso. that a woman who had apparently been roused from sleep (apparently referring to Mrs.00) pesos. Boy Kulit. that using a stone "na binalot sa basahan" Ben Baydo broke the glass in the door and opened it. Mendoza) it appears that the group conspired to rob the house of the Vizcondes in W. Philippine Currency. unlawfully and feloniously. Jr. Ernesto L. did then and there willfully. by the use of force upon things.That on or about the 30th day of June 1991 at BF Homes Parañaque. to the damage and prejudice of said owners in the said total sum. Vinzons Street. one of them motioned to the security guards manning the gate that the other vehicles were with him. treacherously attack. the total value of which is Two Hundred Thousand (P200. Vinzons Street inside the BF Subdivision. and Roberto. Rolando Mendoza.

Atty. threats. 1995 Affidavits. . on the other hand. Salvador B. (2) that the criminal indictments were erected on the strength of the extrajudicial confessions or sinumpaang salaysay executed by the accused therein. intimidation or coercion of any kind was employed against the affiants when the latter gave their statements if they did not want to. these extrajudicial confessions or sinumpaang salaysay were declared inadmissible by the Makati City RTC. testimonial evidence carries more weight than sworn statements/affidavits. Paco. or intimidation. for having been allegedly obtained through duress. was executed 24 days after the first Affidavit or on May 22. were acknowledged and ratified before Judge Roberto L. Carefully evaluated. Sworn statement/affidavits are generally subordinated in importance to open court declarations because the former are often executed when an affiant’s mental faculties are not in such a state as to afford him a fair opportunity of narrating in full the incident which has transpired. Ernesto Cesar y Lizardo. arise not from an affidavit and testimony at the witness stand but from two affidavits. 1995 and May 22. was given about two months shy of fouryears from the occurrence of the crime in late June 1991 and. Sanchez29 which held: . Testimonies given during trials are much more exact and elaborate. Jr. as seen in the consolidated decision rendered in the three criminal cases. citing People v. his Rolando Mendoza y Gomez. Stock must be taken of the fact that the detailed extrajudicial confessions or sinumpaang salaysay of the several accused (especially Villardo Barroso y Datuin. The second Affidavit. Thus. The dismissal of these criminal cases nowithstanding. it is plain enough that the statements contained in the extrajudicial confessions or sinumpaang salaysay also overlapped or corroborated each other in their material particulars. who affirmed that the said extrajudicial confessions or sinumpaang salaysay were freely and voluntarily given by the affiants. (3) that these extrajudicial confessions or sinumpaang salaysay set forth facts and events that are eerily similar to those which found their way into the information was filed in the case under review. her mental faculties could not have been in "such a state as [not] to afford [her] a fair opportunity of narrating in full the incident" subject of her tale. Aguas. (underscoring supplied) It bears emphasis that the questioned inconsistencies in Alfaro’s Affidavits. 1995. criminal proceedings had been commenced thereon before a competent court. [W]e advert to that all-too familiar rule that discrepancies between sworn statements and testimonies made at the witness stand do not necessarily discredit the witnesses. Francis Tolentino and Atty.28 (emphasis and underscoring supplied) On the questioned inconsistencies between Alfaro’s April 28. Luis Matro. and that indeed the affiants were made aware of their constitutional right to have a lawyer of their choice to assist them during the custodial investigation and to remain silent if they wished to. . And the dissenters forget that the first Affidavit. Does the ponencia find that Alfaro’s mental faculties were more refreshed at a date more remote from the occurrence of the crime she claims to have witnessed? .valuables and were able to find cash and jewelries which they later on divided among themselves. as indeed. the dissenters brush them aside as not necessarily affecting her credibility. it does not detract from the fact: (1) that said criminal case had indeed been filed in court. Some of the pieces of jewelry were pawned by some of the accused at the Tambunting Pawnshop and the La Cebuana Pawnshop at Dart. and that no duress violence. dated April 28. the accused therein were in real danger of being convicted of the felonies charged. Roberto Barroso y Datuin. Angelito Santos y Bisen) in the three criminal cases. and indeed they are too glaring to escape attention. and (5) that since the accused therein had been duly arraigned. therefore. Makalintal. Atty.. Nevertheless. 1995. (4) that the victims in the three criminal cases are also the victims in the case under review.

but she refused. Carmela asked Jessica to come back after midnight. Alfaroagain entered the house through the kitchen door." Before going to the bedroom. curiosity impelled After Webb said "Pipilahan…. Thereafter. "Okay. Lejano and Venturainside the Vizconde residence. Webb and his companions parked and stayed along Aguirre Avenue. This time. Alfarooverheard Webb say. After the Vizconde residence first trip.Again. Alfaro went back to the parking lot. They went around BF Homes for about 15 minutes before they finally proceeded to Vinzons Street. "Pipilahan natin si Carmela. Peter Estrada and Alfaro went back to the Vizconde residence after about 30 minutes. pero ako ang mauuna. The group was about to leave when she arrived. . On thesecond trip. Ventura was coming out as she was about to enter and once inside. She proceeded to the bedroom after hearing the sound of static and peeped through the door. Only Alfaro went to the Vizconde residence. What Webb said Alfaro did not hear any instructions from Webb or any member of the group. the other accused stayed behind at the Alabang Commercial Center Parking Lot. 1995 Affidavit She knew Carmela personally and met her in a party sometime in February 1991 Alfaro and Peter Estrada made three trips to the Vizconde residence. Testimony in Court She met Carmela in a party sometime inJanuary 1991 and in a disco sometime in February 1991 The entire groupmade three trips to the Vizconde residence. "Oo pero ako ang susunod. Alfaro sawVentura rummaging through the ladies’ bag on top of the dining table. She could not see anything so What Alfaro saw at Alfaro did not see the scene of the crime what transpired insidethe Vizconde residence becauseshe did not go in. Before they left the parking lot. as did the lower courts. okay. Consider these inconsistencies reflected in the tabulation below: April 28. she was instructed to join the convoy of vehicles. the dissenters disregard the glaring inconsistencies between Alfaro’s two affidavits vis-à-vis her testimony in open court which undeniably detract from credibility ─ of witness and of testimony."The others responded. During their second trip. After leaving the accused Webb." Lejano retorted. The number of trips There were only two the group made to the trips made. Ventura signaled her to board the Nissan Patrol to take more drugs and asked her to leave her car. 1995 Affidavit Alfaro’s meeting with Carmela She has not met Carmela before the night of the crime May 22.

"30Accused Gatchalian’s father. Since she did not see anything. Arturo Mercader. Atty. Noticing the high pumping Carmela. inter alia: Atty. Alfaro’s location in the Vizconde bedroom in relation to what she saw Alfaro did not seewhat transpired inside the Vizconde residence becauseshe did not enter it. Alfaro first peeped through the bedroom door and did not see anything. what happened? Witness Mercader: A Well. The dissenters approvingly note the trial court’s findings that Alfaro had sufficiently explained these discrepancies between her two affidavits as arising from a desire "to protect her former boyfriend Estrada and her relative Gatchalian. she saw two bloodied bodies on top of the bed and on the floor. denied that his family was in any way related to Alfaro. And the lawyer who is mentioned in the first Affidavit to have assisted her. Ongkiko: Q And after the typing of the statement was finished by Agent Tamayo. she walked inside the bedroom where she saw the rape of Carmela. Jr. Atty. volume of the TV set inside the room. . took the witness stand and categorically stated that he was present during the taking of such first Affidavit of Alfaro.. having been accorded special treatment precisely because she was one of the more valuable "assets" of the NBI. Alfaro peeped through the bedroom door and saw two bloodied bodies and Webb pumping Carmela. she saw Webb pumping on top of Carmela who was gagged and in tears. her distrust of the first investigators who took her statements and prepared her April 28. as stated earlier. or the NBI for that matter. he claiming that. no rational basis for Alfaro to mistrust her "handler" Sacaguing who was present at the execution of the first Affidavit. for sympathy and even for her spiritual needs. 1995 affidavit. . the absence of a lawyer during the first taking of her statements by the NBI.Alfaro to peep through she stepped inside the first door on the where she saw Webb left. and her uncertainty if she could obtain adequate support and security for her own life were she to disclose everything she knows about the Vizconde killings. however. Atty. Sacaguing himself testified that Alfaro was virtually dependent on them . "for protection. I received the statement and showed it to Jessica and asked her to read it also. she." (underscoring supplied) There was. Francisco Gatchalian. Ongkiko: Q Did Jessica Alfaro read her statement? .

Atty. From the recollection or from a memorize script. I also affixed my signature on it. Ongkiko: Q How long did it take her to read the statement? Witness Mercvader: A Just for few minutes. Your Honor. xxxx Atty. I could not tell whether from where Jessica was basing it. Your Honor. at that time she was giving the facts. at that time what I noticed only was the spontaneity of the answers of Jessica. But definitely. I would have objected to. she signed the statement and afterwards. I believe. Your Honor. Aguirre: Q While assisting Jessica Alfaro. Of course. Your Honor. did you notice any action on the part of anybody which pressured Jessica Alfaro to finish her statement? Witness Mercader: A No. If I did. in accordance with her recollection? xxxx Witness Mercader: A Your Honor. I do not know. about that. what happened next? Witness Mercader: A Well.Witness Mercader: A Yes.31 xxxx Prosecutor Zuno: Q And that. to your own perception. whenever she was asked a question. Ongkiko: Q And after she read the statement. none that I have noticed. she answers them readily as if she knows the answer personally. Atty. the answer. Your Honor.32 (emphasis and underscoring supplied) .

To Webb’s credit.35 which testing could not now. Insofar as impeachment by evidence of prior inconsistent statements however. during the trial on the merits. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Under Section 11. 39839 and 39840 of June 21.R. 122466 and 122504. and the graphic analysis of Justice Roberto Abad in his ponencia on why Alfaro’s testimony can not be relied upon are thus well taken. present any documentary proof of such claim. Respecting Alfaro’s "eyewitness identification" of Webb as the rapist: As reflected in the tabulations above. or denial of the authenticity of the writing. under Section 13 of the same Rule 132. highlighted by the defense. 1996. It bears stressing that the defense’s earnest assertion that the prosecution failed to rebut the pieces of evidence. 1996.37 The motion was subsequently denied by the trial court by its November 25. to which this Court. or integrity is bad. be carried out in view of the information of the NBI that it no longer has custody of the semen specimen from rape victim Carmela’s cadaver. "being a relatively new science. however. honesty. 1997 Order. Parenthetically. a proper foundation must first be laid. the appellate court. on her conflicting Affidavits.38 citing Lim v. an adverse party’s witness may be impeached (1) by contradictory evidence. in its Decision33 in CA-G. it does not appear from the records that the specimen was offered in evidence by any of the parties. and he should be asked whether or not he made them. she had conflicting claims on whether and where she witnessed the commission of the crime. or affirmance. Rule 132 of the Rules of Court. and afforded an opportunity for explanation. we consider the actuations of respondent judge in this regard to be reviewable by certiorari under rule 65 of the Rules of Court. SP Nos.The trial court’s order preventing the defense from cross-examining Alfaro on the inconsistencies between her two Affidavits was thus correctly SET ASIDE by the Court of Appeals. that seriously dent its (the prosecution’s) case has not been controverted. claiming that it had turned it over to the trial court. among other orders. Court of Appeals39 to the effect that DNA. The NBI did not. by Resolution of January 22. when he filed a Motion to Direct NBI to Submit Semen Specimen to DNA Analysis36 which motion the prosecution opposed. Dacudao in his Dissent34 for the acquittal of the accused. (emphasis and underscoring in the original) A testimony given four years after the occurrence of crime which gives minute details that even contradict tales earlier given is too incredible as to draw dubiety. Consequently. for purposes of impeachment. it has not as yet been accorded official recognition by our courts. (2) by evidence that his general reputation for truth. in the present case. the trial court’s order denying their right to cross examine Alfaro. the accused’s petitions assailing." Besides. Nos. (3) by evidence that he has made at other times statement inconsistent with his present testimony. he had asked for the conduct of DNA evidence on October 6. 1997. Thus. in that. such identification is not as accurate and authoritative as the scientific forms of identification evidence such as Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) testing. AT ALL EVENTS. It may bring about a failure of justice. referred for disposition G. The lucid observations of Court of Appeals Justice Renato C. the trial court "believed" that no one in the Philippines had as yet the knowledge and expertise to testify on matters involving DNA . the attention of the witness should first be called to such statements.R. held: xxxx [T]he issue of the right of petitioners to cross-examine Jessica Alfaro on the alleged inconsistencies between her first and second affidavits is too crucial to be simply brushed aside with a perfunctory application of the general rule adverted to in the preceding paragraphs. and (4) by producing the record of his conviction of an offense.

unquestionably show that he left the Philippines for the United States on March 9. indeed. a weak defense because the accused can easily fabricate his story to escape criminal liability. he was out of the country when the crime occurred. . His travel and immigration documents showing his departure from the Philippines and arrival in the U. 1991 and returned to the Philippines only on October 26. "the courts should not at once have a mental prejudice against him.S. it is crucial to heed the Court’s caveat that when an accused puts up the defense of alibi. it may be sufficient to acquit him. the dissenters point out: These dates [March 9.41 At this juncture. 1991. however. and Philippine immigration people. and that he subsequently re-entered the U. nagging doubts on Webb’s culpability for the crimes or lack of it could have been dissipated. by bypassing all immigration controls and protocols in both countries. There clearly exists. between March 9. It is undisputed that accused Webb’s travel and immigration documents. no matter how strong they are. taken in the light of all the evidence on record. It bears noting that the prosecution proffered no evidence to establish that during the interregnum Webb had surreptitiously slipped out of the U.testing.A. Webb’s alibi could not have been fabricated with ease. 1992. they have no evidentiary value. June 29. hence. Suspicions.S. with respect to accused Webb. not to mention the testimonial and documentary evidence on his activities while in the U. They cannot be the bases of conviction as they cannot substitute for the constitutional requirement of proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt."40 If the motion had been granted and DNA analysis were carried out. It suspects that the Webb family may have used its "financial resources and political influence" to control all the U. 1991 and October 26.A. In rejecting Webb’s alibi."42 While alibi is. This is the stuff of which spy novels are made. 1992] are so distant from the time of the commission of the crime. deserve full credit.A.S.. What is worse. but not in the real world where the lives of innocent individuals are at stake. (underscoring and italics supplied) It is now the dissenters’ reasoning which turns highly speculative and conjectural. If half the world away could not even be considered to be "so far removed from the crime scene"44 as to evince the physical impossibility of actual presence. FINALLY. and its excuse cannot be deemed airtight. is that it "believed" that DNA testing "will not subserve the ends of justice. For. Conjectures and suspicions are not facts. several times" between March 9. and returning to the Philippines in October 1992. given the evidence on record. then the defense of alibi can only be appreciated when an accused lands in a different planet. must never sway judgment.S. 1991 and June 30. thus allowing Webb to secretly "travel back to the country and again fly to the U. such possibility of Webb’s presence at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission. 1991 and then departed for the US again.43 in the present case. 1992. 1992. to the Philippines. it was not unlikely that Webb could have traveled back to the Philippines before June 29-30.A. therefore. even assuming arguendo that the burden of evidence had shifted to the defense. which have not been found to be spurious. and from San Francisco to the Philippines takes only about twelve (12) hours to fourteen (14) hours. Given the financial resources and political influence of his family. Facts decide cases. 1991 and October 26. 1991 and October 26. and it would not have been impossible during the interregnum for Webb to travel back to the country and again fly to the US several times considering that the travel time on board an airline from the Philippines to San Francisco. the testimonial and documentary evidence of the defense indubitably establishes that.S. one borne out of unfounded suspicion.S.

Webb. Section 4 states: Application for DNA Testing Order. CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice Footnotes 1 Salvacion v. 1991 (for robbery with homicide) against Villardo Barroso y Datuin. 2000. 06-11-5-SC effective October 15. – The appropriate court may. Rollo (G. 3478-3479.R. Trampe before the sala of Judge Julio R. Tagle dissented. Sandiganbayan. Dacudao and Lucenito N. Peter Estrada. Trampe. 176839). Hubert Jeffrey P. No. CA rollo. 176864). Gatchalian. Bienvenido Baydo. 1919) also against the same accused and (3) Criminal Case No. No. Cosico. pp. 3 Records. Rey Doe and several other John Does still at large. with the concurrence of Justices Regalado E. with homicide wherein the victim was ESTRELLITA NICOLAS VISCONDE) likewise filed against the same accused by ACSP Aurelio C. this Court rejected Larrañaga’s alibi. pp. I. 8 A. on November 11. Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez.R. for failure of the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused. Angelito Santos y Bisen. Justices Renato C. Logarta of the Makati City RTC. 393-399 and rollo (G.M. Such order shall issue after due hearing and notice to the parties upon a showing of the following: . on November 11. 142 SCRA 707. L-68633. 91-7135 filed by then Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Aurelio C. pp. Decision dated January 4. Branch 63. 80-104. Trampe with the same RTC. 2007. unlike Alfaro’s. IV. That case did not involve foreign and travel immigration documents or even the use of a passport. G. Maambong and Normandie B. 2007. order a DNA testing. (2) Criminal case No. Vol. Vol. were credible and trustworthy. they are ACQUITTED of the crime charged. Branch 63. 197-214. No. 4 5 6 7 Resolution dated January 26. 713. at any time. Roberto Barroso y Datuin¸ Rolando Mendoza y Gomez. pp. 1-3. 91-7136 (for the rape with homicide of Carmela Nicolas Vizcondefiled by ACSP Aurelio C. Michael A.R. either motu proprio or on application of any person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation. pp. 176389). The resolution was penned by Justice Rodrigo V. 91-7137 (for robbery. No. Pizarro. 2 The cases were (1) Criminal Case No.The dissenters cite People v. WHEREFORE. Because he was positively identified by several prosecution witnesses whose testimonies. Ernesto Cesar. Larrañaga45 to highlight the weakness of alibi as a defense. rollo (G. July 11 1986. and Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez.R. the accused therein having claimed that he was in Quezon City at the time the crime was committed in Cebu City. Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano.

March 30. d. De Guzman. which the court may consider as potentially affecting the accuracy or integrity of the DNA testing. This rule shall not preclude a DNA testing. including law enforcement agencies. pp. Id. October 18.1970. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Vide People v.L. 185 NE 2d 168 where the Supreme Court of Illinois ruled: . 173197. 105-106. Siao Tick Chong v. and e. 32 SCRA 253. No. 458-459 (1997). 1995.R. Eq.S. 25 Ill. 10 11 12 37 N. Republic. G. The biological sample: (i) was not previously subjected to the type of DNA testing now requested. A biological sample exists that is relevant to the case. if any. No. b. 74. TSN. 2d 396. October 10. Vide 98 C. 531 SCRA 828. G.U. TSN. 258. at 35-36. 2007. People v. Pringas. 1995. Vide TSN. 132. 13 January 4. Id. April 24. The Revised Rules Of Court In The Philippines. The DNA testing has the scientific potential to produce new information that is relevant to the proper resolution of the case. August 31. at 25-27. The DNA testing uses a scientifically valid technique. Cited in SALONGA. 774 (1964) and VIII Francisco. at the behest of any party.a.J. 348. 1995. pp.R. or (ii) was previously subject to DNA testing . 80-96. 6-9. but the results may require confirmation for good reasons. L-22151. without need of a prior court order. Philippine Law on Evidence. 9 People v. 259 (1960) Ibid. October 23. 522 SCRA 207. p. 2007. 35 N.J. pp. 175928. c. before a suit or proceeding is commenced. The existence of other factors. No. Lewis.Y. 2000 RTC Decision. 156-163. Rev. 130.

(citations omitted) In People v. 23 24 . June 4. (Citations omitted. if one is under the influence of drugs or one is considered to be an addict. recognizing the fact that habitual users of narcotics become notorious liars and that their testimony is likely to be affected thereby. I will consider it. Ongkiko: Q: As an investigator. 236. 26 Ill 2d 2300. Your Honor. you could hardly believe his information. pp. emphasis supplied) 22 State v. Fong Loon. why so? Witness Velasco: A: Because he is not in his state of mind. you know. will you tell the Honorable Court how did you relate or rather assess the reliability of any information furnished by a drug addict? Witness Velasco: A: Well. 47-48. Ongkiko: Q: Why do you say that? Witness Velasco: A: Well. 35-45 TSN. Atty. as we have stated. the testimony of a narcotics addict is subject to suspicion due to the fact that habitual users of narcotics become notorious liars. 158 Pac. 1997. We have repeatedly held that the fact that a witness is a narcotics addict and a police informer has an important bearing upon his credibility and. Governor. TSN. because. 29 Idaho 248. and further urges that the evidence as a whole does not prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. the Supreme Court of Illinois said: The defendant contends that the trial court erred in finding him guilty on the basis of the uncorroborated testimony of a drug addict who was the only witness to the alleged crime.The question of whether a witness is a narcotics addict is an important consideration in passing upon the credibility of a witness for. Atty. not generally reliable. Atty. Ongkiko: Q: Why. August 7. the situation is sufficiently similar to that of an accomplice to warrant a close scrutiny of the testimony of such a witness. Perkins. 186 NE 2d 330 (1962) . 233. 1997. while his position is not that of an accomplice.

Webb had no reason to smash her front door to get to see her. pp.L. 262-263. Justice Roberto Abad raised the same points. 49-50. 77-79. b. 27 28 . 272-273 (1960). hurled it at the glass-paneled front door of the Vizconde residence. to explain the smashed door. Webb appeared rational in his decisions. because. Alfaro could not use this line since the core of her story was that Webb was Carmela’s boyfriend.Atty.Y. Consequently. when they had already gotten into the house. The crime scene showed that the house had been ransacked. He said he was looking for the front-door key and the car key. Governor? Witness Velasco: A: Well. out of the blue. 26 TSN. July 29. 77-78. His action really made no sense. From Alfaro’s narration. the house was dark. the capacity to lie may be very great. Hurling a stone at that glass door and causing a tremendous noise was bizarre. and at another point. this portion of Alfaro’s story appears tortured to accommodate the physical evidence of the ransacked house. Your Honor. The Barroso gang members said that they got into Carmela’s house by breaking the glass panel of the front door using a stone wrapped in cloth to deaden the noise. 269-270. Rev. for maintaining or for in order to get money. TSN. Ongkiko: Q: Well. on the way out of the house.U. She never mentioned Ventura having taken some valuables with him when they left Carmela’s house. what about the capacity to lie. pp. Atty. like inviting the neighbors to come. Again. Alfaro claimed that at one point Ventura was pulling a kitchen drawer. Alfaro had to settle for claiming that. they will lie. To explain this physical evidence. And why would Ventura rummage a bag on the table for the front-door key. viz: a. going through a handbag on the dining table. Webb picked up some stone and. Ongkiko: Q: Well. 259. May 28. 1996. spilling the contents. The rejected confessions of the Barroso "akyat-bahay" gang members said that they tried to rob the house. 1996. It is a story made to fit in with the crime scene although robbery was supposedly not the reason Webb and his companions entered that house. It was past midnight. you know." (underscoring supplied) 25 Burrus and Marks Testimonial Reliability of Drug Addicts 35 N. and they wanted to get away quickly to avoid detection.

564 SCRA 584. pp. 176159. unlike the Barroso "akyat-bahay" gang. 112229. Washington. 270 SCRA 1. pp. September 11. 15. It is the same thing with the garage light. 209-225. pp. Galvez. Webb and his friends did not have anything to do in a darkened garage. 10. This made sense since they were going to rob the place and they needed time to work in the dark trying to open the front door. p. Vol. March 18. accused Webb moves for the submission of the semen evidence to a DNA analysis by a US-government or US government accredited forensic laboratory. 3. Nos. 254-285. Aquino. 586. 100. pp.R. 30 31 32 33 CA rollo (CA-G. Records. If granted. Records. 256-259. No. 17. 1996. 20-21. Some passersby might look in and see what they were doing. using a chair. 38 39 40 . But. 1999. G. 186-196. D. accused Webb reserves his right to be presented at all stages of the DNA typing process and to have access to the results thereof. Martinez and Hilarion L. Webb argued that: xxxx 7.R. 1996. G. to turn the light off. 2008. Rodrigo. with the concurrence of Associate Justices Antonio M. The confessions of the Barroso gang claimed that one of them climbed the parked car’s hood to reach up and darken that light. So she claimed that Ventura climbed the car’s hood. pp. xxxx 35 36 37 Id. July 31. January 25. Vol. October 6. TSN.R. August 1. 18. Vide TSN. 51173). G.c. 176389. 34 Rollo. 1997. TSN. No. Alfaro had to adjust her testimony to take into account that darkened garage light. 29 G. People v. 302 SCRA 21.C. SP No.R. Since the semen specimen is still in the custody and possession of the NBI. at 502-529.R. pp. They supposedly knew in advance that Carmela left the doors to the kitchen open for them. penned by Associate Justice Ricardo P. 1997. preferably the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 44. The police investigators found that the bulb had been loosed to turn off the light. 121039-45. No. It did not make sense for Ventura to risk standing on the car’s hood and be seen in such an awkward position instead of going straight into the house.

No. G. 00336 affirming with modifications the Decision dated January 4.2 In view of the judgment of the CA imposing the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Webb. August 12. 1996.Arellano Law Foundation DISSENTING OPINION VILLARAMA. Peter Estrada and Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principals. JR. Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez.C. 387 SCRA 196. 00-5-03-SC (Amendments to the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure to Govern Death Penalty Cases)3 which provides under Rule 124 (c): . 184958. No. G. 394 SCRA 159. 2009. 2000 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Parañaque City. J. 746-747.M. In the middle part of 1991. G. L-50631. Michael A. Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano. G.R. The ensuing courtroom saga involving sons of prominent families had become one (1) of the most controversial cases in recent history as the entire nation awaited its long-delayed closure. Tajada. No.R. failed to unravel the truth behind the brutal killings – until an alleged eyewitness surfaced four (4) years later.R. December 17. 43 44 45 The Lawphil Project . 121195. the gruesome deaths of 19-year old Carmela Vizconde. September 17. Monteverde v. 139610.R. 105 SCRA 226-238. CR H. No. No. 2002.: With all due respect to my colleagues. 138874-75. February 3. and accusedappellant Gerardo Biong as accessory.41 People v.R. The petition for review on certiorari filed earlier by accused Lejano (G. Domingo. Branch 274 finding the accused-appellants Hubert Jeffrey P. People. 2002. No.. Nos. 147200.R. No. considering that said accused had in fact filed a notice of appeal with the CA. Peruelo.R. 264 SCRA 722. 1981. Abellanosa. Gatchalian. I dissent from the majority decision acquitting all the accusedappellants. People v. No. The Case Subject of review is the Decision1 dated December 15. her mother Estrellita and 7-year old sister Jennifer in the hands of unknown assailants inside their home in a private subdivision shocked our countrymen and alarmed the authorities of the rise in heinous crimes. November 27. 176389) is hereby treated as an appeal. 166. and even the arrest of two (2) sets of suspects ("akyat-bahay" gang and former contractor/workers of the Vizcondes). such appeal by notice of appeal is in accord with A. People v. 215. 42 People v. 2005 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. G. particularly those committed by individuals under the influence of drugs. June 29. 421 SCRA 530. of the crime of Rape with Homicide. 2004. Investigations conducted by the police and other bodies including the Senate.

life imprisonment or a lesser penalty. took part subsequent to its commission by assisting. abuse of superior strength. conspiring and confederating together. with abuse of authority as a police officer. Pitong Daan Subdivision. in the municipality of Parañaque. the above-named accused with intent to kill.5 The Facts The Information filed on August 10. with the use of motor vehicle. Michael Gatchalian and Joey Filart (she had previously seen them in a shabu house located in Parañaque which they frequented as early as January 1991. they proceeded to Carmela’s place at No. G.6 The RTC and CA concurred in their factual findings based mainly on the testimony of the prosecution’s principal witness. Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez. Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano. After the group finished their shabu session. Webb conspiring and confederating with accused Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano. BF Homes. Parañaque City. with lewd design.4 Only Webb and Gatchalian filed their respective supplemental briefs in compliance with our April 10. Michael Gatchalian y Adviento. 80 Vinzons Street. and without having participated therein as principals or accomplices. Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez and Joey Filart. thereby inflicting upon them numerous stab wounds in different parts of their bodies which caused their instantaneous death. The judgment may be appealed to the Supreme Court by notice of appeal filed with the Court of Appeals. 1995 reads: That on or about the evening of June 29 up to the early morning of June 30. with abuse of superior strength. assault and stab with bladed instruments Carmela Vizconde. went to the Ayala Alabang Commercial Center parking lot to get her order of one (1) gram of shabu from Artemio "Dong" Ventura. Alfaro who is a confessed former drug user.R. She and Estrada in her car followed the two (2) vehicles: Webb. Alfaro testified that on June 29. Artemio "Dong" Ventura. province of Rizal. Jessica M. That accused GERARDO BIONG and JOHN DOES having knowledge after the commission of the above-mentioned crime. did then and there. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. CONTRARY TO LAW. After paying for hershabu and while she was smoking it. Peter Estrada. mutually helping one another. 1991 at around 8:30 in the evening. Estrellita Vizconde and Jennifer Vizconde. 176389 was consolidated with the present appeal by all accused (G. Webb approached her and requested a favor for her to relay a message to a certain girl who happened to be Carmela. while armed with bladed instruments. Philippines. it shall render and enter judgment imposing such penalty. accused Hubert Jeffrey P. Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez. 1991. Webb. with her then boyfriend Peter Estrada. No. nighttime and with the use of motor vehicle. Ventura. nighttime. . Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez. That by reason or on the occasion of the aforesaid rape or immediately thereafter. the declarations of four (4) other witnesses and documentary exhibits.7 while she had known Ventura since December 19908). to conceal or destroy the effects or instruments thereof by failing to preserve the physical evidence and allowing their destruction in order to prevent the discovery of the crime. 176864) except Artemio Ventura and Joey Filart who are still at large. 2007 Resolution.(c) In cases where the Court of Appeals imposes reclusion perpetua. Lejano. with the use of force and intimidation. mutually helping one another. and with evident premeditation.R. Accordingly. No. There she met and was introduced to Ventura’s friends: Hubert Jeffrey P. to which she agreed. the abovenamed principal accused. unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of the person of Carmela Vizconde against her will and consent. she drove her Mitsubishi Lancer and. wilfully.

Alfaro looked for the group and relayed Carmela’s instructions to Webb. followed by Webb.Fernandez and Gatchalian on board a Nissan Patrol car. She pressed the buzzer and when a woman came out. Alfaro returned to her car but waited for Carmela’s car to get out of the gate. After about twenty (20) minutes. alone while the Nissan Patrol and Mazda parked somewhere along Aguirre Avenue. "O sige.14 At the parking lot."18 Alfaro entered first the pedestrian gate which was left open. and the others said.m. They arrived at the Vizconde residence between 11:45 to 11:55 p. Aguirre Avenue. At the garage. and then proceeded towards the dining area. Upon reaching the main road. Carmela told Alfaro that they come back before 12:00 midnight and she would just leave the pedestrian gate. and approached the gate of the house pointed to by Webb. She shrugged off the idea and told Fernandez "Malakas lang ang tama mo. However. On her way to the screen door. Carmela and Webb for a moment looked at each other in the eye. Webb then gave out complimentary cocaine and all of them used shabu and/or cocaine. Lejano and Ventura were already standing infront of the Vizconde residence. Alfaro was approached by Carmela saying she was going out for a while. Upon seeing Carmela who was at their garden. Alfaro went to Vinzons St. dito lang kami. she asked for Carmela. as well as the iron grill gate leading to the kitchen door. When she was able to talk to Carmela (an acquaintance she had met only twice in January 199110). Ventura pulled out a chair to get on top of the hood of the Vizcondes’ Nissan Sentra car and loosened the electric bulb ("para daw walang ilaw"). this changed his mood for the rest of the evening ("bad trip"already15)." When Webb. she smoked a cigarette. magbabantay lang kami. they all went back to the Ayala Alabang Commercial Center. Alfaro decided to go out of the house. They proceeded to the iron grill gate which was likewise left open.11 At the same parking lot. Alfaro parked her car along Vinzons St. She found the others still outside around her car and Estrada who was inside the car said: . Alfaro relayed Webb’s message that he was around. declaring: "Pipilahan natin siya [Carmela] at ako ang mauuna. Fernandez approached her suggesting that they blow up the transformer near the pedestrian gate of the Vizconde residence in order to cause a brownout ("Pasabugin kaya natin ang transformer na ito")." They all left the parking lot and their convoy of three (3) vehicles entered Pitong Daan Subdivision for the third time. While waiting for the rest of the group to alight from their cars.12 Carmela further instructed Alfaro to blink her car’s headlights twice before reaching the pedestrian gate to signal her arrival. Thereafter. Alfaro relayed to the group what transpired during her last conversation with Carmela. Lejano and Ventura. the group had another shabu session before proceeding again to Carmela’s residence in a convoy. Carmela drove ahead and Alfaro likewise left Vinzons St. okay. Carmela said she cannot make it as she had just arrived home and told Alfaro to come back after twenty (20) minutes. she was surprised upon hearing a female voice uttered "Sino yan?" and she immediately walked out towards her car. She relayed the answer of Carmela to Webb who then instructed the group to return to Ayala Alabang Commercial Center. Lejano asked where she was going and she told him she will smoke outside.17 Alfaro parked her car in between the Vizconde house and its adjacent house. Webb decided it was time to leave.9 Upon reaching the area. she saw Carmela drop off the man who was with her in the car (whom she thought to be her boyfriend13). At the garden area." Lejano said: "Ako ang susunod" and the others responded "Okay. she saw Ventura pulling a drawer in the kitchen. open and unlocked. while Filart and Rodriguez rode a Mazda pick-up. She also told Webb about Carmela’s male companion. Webb repeated to the boys that they will line up for Carmela but he will be the first. and passed through the dirty kitchen.16 After about 40 to 45 minutes. As she lost sight of Carmela and Webb. It was Carmela who opened the aluminum screen door of the kitchen for them to enter.

. he said: "Ikaw na nga dito. The mother was the first one (1) killed. in her car and on the sidewalk.. which is indicative . she jumped on him. At the dining area. she met Ventura who told her: "Prepare an escape. his bare buttocks exposed. There she saw a man on top of Carmela who was lying on the floor."Okay ba?" After staying in her car for about ten (10) minutes." She asked him what particular key and he replied: "Basta maghanap ka ng susi ng main door pati na rin ng susi ng kotse. who conducted the autopsy on the cadavers of the victims. When she asked Ventura what was it he was looking for. maghanap ka ng susi. They all rode in their cars and drove away until they reached Aguirre Avenue. Alfaro rushed out of the house and found the rest of the group outside. Webb suddenly picked up a stone and threw it to the main door. she went to the door of the master’s bedroom where the sound was coming from and peeped inside." Webb addressed the group and gave his final instructions: "We don’t know each other. Webb gave her a look and she immediately left the room. and said "Pera lang ang katapat nyan. Alfaro walked back towards the kitchen but upon reaching the spot leading to the dining area. She saw Webb. Carmela. ligature marks on her wrists and nine (9) stab wounds on her chest (five [5] wounds are "connecting" or reaching to the back of the body). In the kitchen." Biong answered "Okay lang. she heard a very loud static sound (like that coming from a television which had signed off). We haven’t seen each other. Webb got mad and grabbed the girl. But Ventura said they cannot make it anymore as the iron grills were already locked. Out of curiosity. breaking its glass frame. she returned to the house passing through the same iron grill gate and dirty kitchen." She and Estrada then departed and went to her father’s house. While it was dark inside the house. They parked their cars inside the compound and gathered in the lawn area where the "blaming session" took place. while Webb called up someone on his cellular phone.20 Alfaro boarded her car and started the engine but did not know where to proceed. moaning and in tears while Webb was pumping her. there was light coming from outside. When the three (3) were near the pedestrian gate. Near an old hotel in the Tropical Palace area. Lejano and Ventura leaving the house already. testified on his findings as stated in the autopsy reports he submitted to the court. Carmela’s hands were on her back hogtied with an electric cord and her mouth gagged with a pillow case.baka maulit yan. She turned her eyes on Carmela who was gagged. then Jennifer and the last. Prospero A. Aalis na tayo.21 Ventura was blaming Webb telling him: "Bakit naman pati yung bata?" According to Webb. It was only at this point that Alfaro and the others came to know fully what happened at the Vizconde house. At around 2:00 in the morning. the victims must have been dead for twelve (12) hours. specimen taken from her genitalia tested positive for the presence of human spermatozoa. Lejano excused himself and used the telephone inside the house. They went to a large house with high walls and concrete fence. medico-legal officer of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).23 Considering that they were almost in complete rigor mortis. Further. she also did not find any car key.22 Dr.19 Unable to open the main door. Gerardo Biong arrived and talked to Webb who ordered him to clean up the Vizconde house. After pushing the door wider. bit his shoulders and pulled his hair. steel gate and long driveway located at BF Executive Village. The bodies were photographed showing their condition before the start of the post-mortem examination." When she found a bunch of keys in the bag. Cabanayan. She had contusions on her right forearm and thighs." Shocked by what she saw. she tried them on the main door of the house but none of them fitted the lock. she walked into the room. pushed her to the wall and stabbed her several times. two (2) bloodied bodies on top of the bed and Lejano who was at the foot of the bed about to wear his jacket. Alfaro saw the Nissan Patrol slow down and something thrown out into a cogonal area. She pushed the slightly ajar door with her fingers and the sound grew even louder. the girl was awakened and upon seeing him molesting Carmela. Webb told Ventura that he left behind his jacket. she saw Ventura searching a lady’s bag on top of the dining table.

1991. Afterwards. Dr. one (1) of four (4) security guards assigned at Pitong Daan Subdivision which is part of the United BF Homes.24 Dr. Mrs. He went out to call the police but he met their Security Chief whom he informed about the killings at the Vizconde house. Jennifer had two (2) stab wounds on her back and incise wounds on her left and right forearms. had the characteristics of one (1) which is extremely blunt.of complete penetration plus ejaculation of the male sex organ into the female sex organ. Vizconde was gagged and her hands tied.26 Judging from the characteristics of the stab wounds sustained by the victims. 1991. most of which are on the left anterior chest. Carmela was lying on her back with one (1) of her legs raised. He and Mendez told Cabanacan that they did not notice anything unusual except "Mike" (Michael Gatchalian) and his friends entering and exiting the subdivision gate ("labas-masok"). Mike’s car slowed down on the hump. at around 6:00 a. nineteen (19) in all. recounted that Mike’s group entered the subdivision on the night of June 29. White. Upon approaching the gate. He immediately proceeded to said house where there were already many people. But unlike Carmela and Estrellita. he and Mendez just let the three (3) vehicles in (Mike was in the first car).25 As to Jennifer. Cabanayan further testified that Estrellita was also hogtied from behind and her wrists bore ligature marks from an electric cord with a plug. She sustained twelve (12) stab wounds. Carmela and Jennifer because they were kind to the guards and usually greeted them. Justo Cabanacan. starting at 7:00 o’clock in the evening until 7:00 o’clock in the morning of June 30. while Jennifer was also lying on top of the bed. Because of their policy allowing outsiders to enter the subdivision as long as they are accompanied by a homeowner.. near the Gatchalian residence. he could no longer remember the precise time he saw the group on these two (2) instances.29 White.28 Having been apprised of the arrival of the police. he saw the bloodied bodies of the victims: two (2) were on top of the bed. the latter usually referred to as defense wounds. He recognized other homeowners who were also there. he returned to their guard post where their Officer-in-Charge (OIC). The contusions on her thighs were probably due to the application of blunt force such as a fist blow. The housemaids of the Vizcondes led him to the entrance at the kitchen and pointed to the master’s bedroom. her stab wounds.30 . and one (1) lying down on the floor. Upon entering the room. However.m.. He then proceeded directly to the entrance/guard post of the subdivision and was told by Mendez that there were already policemen who had arrived. and he saw Biong in the act of further breaking the remaining glass. There was also a woman who was with Biong when he was conducting the investigation inside the Vizconde premises at the garage area. Jr. probed him and Mendez on anything they had observed the previous night. White.27 Normal E. 1991. Jr. These wounds are located in different parts of her body. The maids were being asked if they were able to hear the breaking of the main door’s glass frame. the other extremely sharp. eight (8) of which are "communicating" or perforating (through and through stab wounds) which are fatal since vital organs are involved. her dress pulled up and her genitals exposed. Jr. a homeowner called his attention on the incident the previous night at the Vizconde house. Cabanayan concluded that they could have been inflicted using sharp-edged. Vizconde. pointed and single-bladed instruments such as a kitchen knife. returned to the Vizconde house to observe what was going on. He also noticed that the TV was still on with loud sound. hence fatal wounds. 1991. He saw the policemen already investigating the crime scene and one (1) of them he later came to know as Gerardo Biong. testified that he and Edgar Mendez were the guards on duty on the night of June 29. On June 30. He is familiar with Mrs. including Michael Gatchalian who passed by infront of the house. Seven (7) of the nine (9) stab wounds on her chest were perforating. That was actually the second time he saw Mike and his "barkada" that night because he had earlier seen them at Vinzons St. He was about to flag down and verify ("sisitahin") but Mike (who was at the right front seat) immediately opened his window to show his face and pointed to two (2) vehicles behind him as his companions.

m. Webb replied he was going to see Lilet Sy. and that Mike was "labas-masok" through the subdivision gate. he returned the same to Webb and allowed him to enter the subdivision. Webb then said: "Taga-diyan lang ako sa Phase III. he did not anymore record this incident in their logbook because anyway Webb is the son of the Parañaque Congressman. he/she will no longer be stopped or queried by the guards. He confirmed it was indeed their policy that if one (1) is a son/daughter of a homeowner. 1991. Jr. another security guard assigned at the Pitong Daan Subdivision and the one (1) supervising his co-guards White. However.32 Justo Cabanacan.. he could not recognize its cover and could not categorically confirm the entries supposedly made in his own handwriting. Jr. 1991 at around 7:00 p.. 1991. Almogino where there seemed to be a drinking party. After the incident. The said guards also related to him what Biong did to them. Jr. Aside from taking their logbook. After seeing the ID card. He greeted Webb and asked about his destination. another homeowner. Mendez and Tungo. said it was not the same logbook.White. Jr.. and OIC Justo Cabanacan. he prepared a written report on the incident which he submitted to Nestor Potenciano. He explained to Webb that the sticker on his car was for United BF Homes and not the local sticker of Pitong Daan Subdivision. or accompanied by a homeowner or any relative of homeowner. This Lilet Sy is also a suspected drug pusher within the subdivision. White. Jr. When he asked Webb to leave an identification card. Webb pointed to his car sticker saying he is also a BF Homes resident. he came to meet Biong who was conducting the investigation. 1991 at about 7:00 o’clock in the morning. a well-known personality. etc. 1991. Based on the information given by Mendez and White. It was around 7:00 o’clock in the evening when Webb arrived." He insisted on seeing Webb’s ID card and grudgingly Webb obliged and pulled out his wallet. further testified that on the night of June 30. Cabanacan said he also went to the Vizconde house upon being told by Mendez and White. He often goes to Lilet Sy’s house because of the various complaints of homeowners against her like the presence of too many people at her house until midnight and the vehicles of her visitors running over her neighbors’ plants. he was met by Mendez who told him about the killing of a homeowner and her family. Nestor Potenciano Jr. By afternoon of the same day. also reported to him that on the night of June 29.34 In the morning of June 30. 1991. Jr. Jr. Webb gave him a laminated ID card with Webb’s picture and with the name "Hubert Webb" written on it. In particular.. while doing his roving duty around the subdivision. White. They said Biong punched them and forced them to admit having participated in the Vizconde killings. near the house of Mr. he noticed vehicles parked along Vinzons St.31 Biong had also taken their logbook where they list down the names of visitors.35 . Biong also took his two (2) guards (Mendez and White. Mendez said everything was alright except for Mike and his friends who had gone in and out of the subdivision ("labas-masok") until the wee hours in the morning of June 30. testified that when he reported for duty on June 30. Biong boxed him insisting he was among the perpetrators and had no mercy for the victims. When he asked Mendez if he and White. name and street of the homeowner they were staying at. policemen took him from the Pitong Daan Subdivision Homeowners’ Association and brought him to the Parañaque Municipal Building. Jr. However.saka anak ako ni Congressman Webb. when presented with the alleged logbook. He and Mendez were later fetched by the Chief of Security of Pitong Daan Subdivision Homeowners’ Association. he knows Mike and had seen him visit the house of Lilet Sy. he came to know Hubert Webb because he had stopped his car at the subdivision gate as it had no local sticker of Pitong Daan Subdivision. Biong frequented their place to investigate and asserting he had no female companion while conducting his investigation at the Vizconde house on June 30.33 Cabanacan further testified that around the last week of May or first week of June 1991. Biong was forcing him to admit that he was one (1) of those who killed the Vizconde women. Jr.. 1991.) to the police headquarters on June 30. plate number of vehicles. noticed anything unusual during their tour of duty the previous night. of the killings.

m. She washed Hubert’s white shirt with round neck and found it had fresh blood stains at the stomach area and also splattered blood ("tilamsik lang") on the chest. Biong was in bad mood ("aburido") and complained. Lopez and Ms. She had difficulty removing the blood stains and had to use Chlorox. Hubert was back at the house by 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon. Bartolome’s permission. the radio operator at the police station went down to the canteen telling Biong he has a call. They started playing at 6:30 in the evening. Biong who was then her boyfriend. Saan?.. They went out of the room and on the top of the dining table they saw a shoulder bag and scattered next to it were various items such as Carmela’s ATM card.. Afterwards. Returning to the servants’ quarters. After wiping his face and hands with a handkerchief. already. using the small "secret door" at the second floor near the servants’ quarters. Biong saw a stone by the window. "Oo." She saw Hubert pacing the floor ("di mapakali"). her driver’s license and calling cards. Ano?. a laundrywoman who worked at the Webb residence located at Aguirre Avenue. She noticed that Michael and Jason were still asleep while Hubert was sitting on the bed wearing only his pants.. asked her to come to the Parañaque police station to play "mahjong" at Aling Glo’s canteen located at the back of their office. she started washing first Senator Webb’s clothes and then those of the sons. Parañaque from January to July 199136 testified that on June 30.. . she hanged them to dry on the second floor. She invited him for lunch but another policeman. he was clad in t-shirt and shorts. susunod na ako" and then proceeded to Capt. Biong came back and went straight to the washing area of the canteen. Biong proceeded to the main door and removed its chain lock..m. she followed Biong to ask if he was joining the next bet.m. "Putang inang mga batang ‘yon.. 1991 at around 6:00 p. she peeped into Hubert’s room through the "secret door. Biong took out a knife with aluminum cover from his drawer and put it in his steel cabinet. She heard Biong’s words: "Ano?. Bartolome to go inside the room of the two (2) maids to see for himself if indeed the noise of the breaking glass could not be heard. After inspecting the bodies. Biong asked that the victims’ relatives and the homeowners’ association President be summoned. After a while. she joined them in going to the Vizconde residence. pinahirapan ako nang husto". Afterwards.... Galvan. a widow and resident of United Parañaque Subdivision 5. Biong said it smelled stinky. She never saw him again until she left in July 1991.39 Upon arriving at the Vizconde house. She ate breakfast and rested for a while. Mahirap yan ah! O sige. 1991. Dilaw na taxi?" Biong then told her he was leaving and shortly thereafter a taxicab arrived with a man seated at the back seat.. de Birrer. 1991 at around 7:00 o’clock in the morning. she saw Senator Webb at the sala reading a newspaper. After she finished washing the clothes. 1991 at around 4:00 in the morning. Biong answered. At around 7:00 a. she brought them down to the laundry area. Biong bade her good-bye saying he was going to BF Homes. They entered the master’s bedroom and she saw the mother and a small girl on top of the bed.. the running water washed out the blood on the flooring of the toilet. When Capt. she went to the room of Hubert to get his and his brothers’ (Jason and Michael’s) dirty clothes. came and told Biong to proceed to BF Homes and investigate the three (3) dead persons there. and a young woman sprawled on the floor. With Capt. Moreno arrived and also a security guard named White. She continued playing "mahjong" until morning. testified that on June 29. Biong was on the telephone talking with someone and visibly irked. When she finished collecting dirty clothes including those of Senator Webb.. She took Biong’s place at the game while Biong went to the headquarters. She saw him took a round pendant watch and pocketed it. A certain Mr. BF Homes. She saw Hubert again around 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon as he left the house passing through the "secret door".Mila Solomon Gaviola. who pointed to the location of the victims’ bodies. Jr. he threw it away and when she asked why. She followed him and saw him cleaning blood stains on his fingernails. dadating ako. Biong went to the toilet and turned on the faucet. When they came out towards the garage area. He then asked Capt.38 Lolita Carrera Vda. this was about 9:00 a. Saan?. Biong searched the drawers using his ballpen.37 Gaviola further testified that on June 30. Between 1:00 and 2:00 in the morning of June 30. Bartolome’s office.

Estrellita was engaged in business (at one [1] time or another she was a garment manufacturer.42 Birrer further testified that two (2) weeks after they went to the Vizconde residence to investigate. She remembered this because when she was already staying in Pangasinan on December 7.Bartolome was already inside the middle room. They left the Vizconde house at around 10:00 a. ambitions and plans in life. was so close to him that she confides her daily activities. that was the reason he transferred from one (1) state to another looking for a school where Carmela could enroll. testified on the personal circumstances of the victims. Biong initially just said it was given as a gift but when she further queried.m. She was certain it was that house where Biong went and came out carrying cash in an envelope. When she asked him where it came from. dreams. It was only Biong who went inside the said house as she waited in a taxicab. However.m. P300. 1991 at around 6:00 p. Psychology student at the University of Santo Tomas. Biong also found fingerprints on the electric bulb. Biong also instructed her to interview the maids on what they know about the killings. Biong requested to use her bathroom. Biong next inspected the garage where he saw the footmarks on the car’s hood. he answered: "Natatandaan mo ba ‘yong nirespondehan ko noong gabi sa BF Homes? Doon galing ‘yon.000. husband of Estrellita and father of Carmela and Jennifer. Biong got P20.000. Biong told her to let the maids rest. Biong shattered the remaining glass of the main door with the butt of his gun. He had not since returned to the country -. and proceeded to the Parañaque Municipal Building. a video footage of the house of Senator Webb. 1991 at 10:00 o’clock in the morning. Metro Manila.00 . Birrer was at the Parañaque Municipal Building inside Biong’s office. newscast on television.m.S. As to the jewelries taken by Biong from the Vizconde house. she was with Biong when the latter pawned them at a pawnshop near Chow-Chow. While she and the maids were resting at the sala. He asked her to cook something for the maids to eat. Capt. She did as told but the maids said they do not know anything as they were asleep. She saw Carmela’s ATM card and driver’s license.43 Lauro G. 1995. Biong on two (2) occasions brought her along to a certain house. Vizconde.00. In both instances. Vizconde further testified that his daughter.00 incidental expenses. When Biong asked if he could hear it. Las Piñas. He spent burial expenses in the amount of P289. canteen owner and local employment recruiter). she saw flashed on ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol News 7:00 p. After they had lunch.44 Lauro G. he directed them not to proceed any further. They followed Biong towards the back of the house but upon seeing another shoe print on the ground just outside the master’s bedroom. When Biong left her house. Before taking a bath. he had to come home in July 1991 and bury his wife and daughters whose violent deaths he was informed of only upon arriving in the country and when he saw their bodies with stab wounds at the funeral parlor just before burial. when she was still alive. Biong arrived at her house bringing along with him the two (2) maids of the Vizcondes.00 for the pawned items. He left the Philippines in November 1989 to work in the United States of America.000. She was just beside Biong at the time. Bartolome answered in the affirmative. he brought all said items with him.000. plus P103. Carmela was a graduating B. earrings and the round pendant watch Biong had taken from a jewelry box while they were inside the Vizconde house. She intended to pursue further masteral and doctoral degrees in business psychology in the U." She asked Biong whether those were the youths he had mentioned earlier and he said yes.40 Birrer further testified that on July 1. At the time of their deaths. taxi operator.41 On July 2..A. while Jennifer was a Grade I pupil at Bloomfield Academy at BF Resort. bracelet. Biong took out the contents of his pockets which he put on the dining table.but communicated with his wife through telephone once or twice a month. In fact.until this unfortunate tragedy befell his family -.000.00 paid for memorial lots and aroundP100. She saw Biong open his steel cabinet and took out a brown leather jacket which she thought was imported.S. Biong came out of the house with an envelope containing an undisclosed amount of money.

U. his parents joined him in the US. He sought justice for the death of his family and hoped that the culprits.46 Defense Evidence The accused chiefly assailed the credibility of prosecution star witness Alfaro.. His parents were already preparing to leave and so they headed to the airport. 1992.950. 1995 and another on May 22. toured Disneyland where Luis Wheelock filmed them and attended a concert with Christopher Esguerra who also took him out to the malls. After driving around in the city and bringing Milagros home. no amount can truly compensate him for the loss of his loved ones. They went home at 3:00 o’clock in the morning already.A. 1995) and raised alibi and denial as defenses to the charge of rape with homicide attended by conspiracy. Rael. Webb testified that at the time of the killings between June 29 and 30.48 Webb’s friend Rafael Jose.. He met his relatives and other personalities while in the US. When asked how much compensation he will ask for moral damages. He was accompanied by Gloria Webb. his heart bled all the time and only time can tell when he can fully cope with the situation. whoever they were. On the eve of his departure.50. emotional suffering due to the untimely demise of his family. he arrived at his house at around 5:00 a. Paulo Santos." who is a son of politician in Parañaque and comes from an affluent family. they went to Faces Disco at Makati Avenue where his friends Paulo Santos and Jay Ortega followed.for the construction of the mausoleum . in particular her execution of two (2) allegedly inconsistent affidavits (one on April 28. Upon the invitation of her aunt Susan Brottman. Lauro Vizconde recounted that Carmela mentioned to him that she had turned down a suitor whom she called "Bagyo. California.404. He also worked at the pest control company . It was the first time he traveled to the US and he returned to the Philippines only on October 25. 1991.00. and voluminous documentary exhibits were submitted.50 Webb further testified that in the later part of June 1991. He went back to Anaheim and stayed at the house of his godmother and sister of his mother. he rented a nearby place but did not complete the one (1) month pre-paid lease period as he proceeded to Longwood. He is presently totally displaced and jobless. until October 1992. he.S. having departed from the Philippines on March 9. Tina and his then girlfriend Milagros Castillo went out and had dinner at Bunchchums. Thereafter. He likewise incurred litigation expenses in the amount of P97.49 Webb further testified that he stayed at the house of her Auntie Gloria and Uncle Dinky at San Francisco until late April to May 1991. he misses his family and he now lives an abnormal life with no inspiration and no more challenge to work for. he answered saying he leaves the matter to the sound discretion of the court as in truth. visited Lake Tahoe with the Wheelock family.S. 1991.45 In one (1) of their telephone conversations when he was still in the U. 1991. Later that night.A. The testimonies of the principal witnesses for the defense are summarized as follows: Hubert Jeffrey P. Webbs’ secretary Cristina Magpusao and house girl Victoria Ventoso corroborated Webb’s testimony that he departed from the Philippines on March 9. During the trial. he rode a train and went to Anaheim where he stayed until mid-July 1991. no less than 95 witnesses47 were presented. wounded feelings. will be punished so that the souls of his departed loved ones may rest in peace. He also expressed his mental anguish. sister of his mother. he was still in Anaheim Hills. Senator Webb’s security staff Miguel Muñoz. Florida. Imelda Pagaspas. whose husband Richard Webb is the eldest brother of his father Senator Freddie Webb. He stayed at the residence of his Uncle Jack and Sonia Rodriguez for almost a year (August 1991-August 1992).with a grand total of P793. He applied for and was issued a driver’s license on June 14.m. 1991 on board a United Airlines flight bound for San Francisco. It actually cost him his life.

they did not buy it because it has questionable ownership. He invited them to snack before he brought them to his own house where he introduced to them his son Andrew. He believed that Webb left for Florida towards the end of summer (July 1991). Webb stayed at her residence at 639 Gellert Boulevard. Webb said the only ones he had met before June 29. Early morning the next day. Congressman Webb introduced to him his son Hubert Webb. Newport Beach.52 He also denied knowing Biong who is neither a driver nor security aide of his father. during which he also met Rodriguez. 1995. He used to play basketball with Fernandez at BF Homes Phase III. in which he pointed to the entries therein which were actually performed by him. He also identified some handwritten letters he mailed while he was in the US and sent to his friend Jennifer Cabrera in the Philippines. They played basketball with Webb. 1991. Webb presented before the court the logbook of jobs/tasks kept by del Toro. Milpitas. He met Webb at a dinner in the house of Webb’s aunt Susan Brottman in Anaheim Hills around May or June 1991. he picked up Congressman Webb and they played tennis from 7:00 to 10:00 a. He could not recall any specific dates he was with Webb. Congressman Webb and Hubert went to some stores to go shopping for a bicycle for Hubert.of his cousin-in-law Alex del Toro. ID and other employment papers. and also his purported pay check ($150 "pay to Cash"). 1991. photographs and video tape clips taken during his cousin Marie Manlapit’s wedding to Alex del Toro which wedding he attended in the US together with his mother. and her husband Louis Wheelock picked him up at Daly City in April 1991. he met then Congressman Freddie Webb at the house of the latter’s sister-in-law. Webb’s mother is her childhood friend and schoolmate. went to bars. He also knew that Webb bought a car and worked for Alex del Toro for Environment First Termite Control. He and Congressman Webb were close friends. The following day. shopped and watched TV. Webb also visited and stayed with them for four (4) days in July 1991. Webb and her grandson attended a "concierto" in the evenings and he also joined and helped her son-in-law with his business. He. was his good friend. Rey Manlapit. Brottman’s son. California to shop for a car for Hubert. as both of them were members of a basketball team in Letran. she invited him. The first time he saw Hubert was when he was still a small kid and the other time on June 28. he denied having gone out with Rodriguez at any time. 1991 at the Brottman’s residence in Anaheim.57 . Webb went on a trip to Lake Tahoe with Mr. she traveled with Webb on a United Airlines flight to San Francisco. He had been jailed since August 9. California. California. 1991 from the Orange Cycle store in Anaheim. at Anaheim. In April 1991. she and her family took Webb to a trip to Lake Tahoe in Nevada during which they even took a video tape. Daly City. When asked about his co-accused. 1991. to the malls and in shopping. Senator Freddie and Mrs. they went to Riverside.m. though they found a Toyota MR2.54 Dorothy Wheelock testified that she became a US citizen in 1974 and has been residing at 877 Las Lomas Drive. Webb went with them to church. They took them to a trip to Yosemite Park. But they only bought bike accessories. also with video footages taken by her husband. June 29.55 Steven Keeler testified that he had been an American citizen since 1982 and resident of 4002 River Street. Wheelock and family. California until May 1991 when he left to be with his mother’s sister and relatives in Anaheim. On June 28. When she heard that Webb was in the US looking for a job. While he admitted having gone out on a group with Fernandez to the houses of their basketball buddies. and receipt issued for the mountain bicycle he bought on June 30. Susan.56 Honesto Aragon testified that he went to the US in 1967 and became a US citizen in 1989. Aside from his passport and airline ticket for return flight to the Philippines. To reciprocate the Webbs’ hospitality while they visited the Philippines in 1990. 1991 were Fernandez and Rodriguez.51 Webb denied having met Carmela Vizconde and neither does he know Jessica Alfaro.53 Gloria Webb testified that on March 9.

1991. However. then back to Los Angeles and returned to the Philippines on July 21. He met Jack Rodriguez when the latter fetched him and his wife Sonia at the Los Angeles International Airport on June 28. Pinatubo eruption.Senator Freddie Webb testified that his son Hubert left for the US on March 9. he and Hubert looked for a Toyota MR2 car and paid for it with a check (the car was priced at $6. 1991. On August August 4. they went to Sizzler Restaurant. Webb. Webb. After watching the fireworks. They were fetched at the LA airport by oldtime friend Salvador Vaca and proceeded to the latter’s house in Orange County. Hubert resigned from his job at Saztec before departing for the US. this was about July or August 1991. She saw Hubert again on July 4.64 and Christopher Paul Legaspi Esguerra (grandson of Gloria Webb who went with Hubert Webb to watch the concert . The next day. a restaurant owned by Mario Benitez. 1991 upon their arrival from the Philippines. and also Hubert. That was the first time he met Congressman Webb.61 Webb presented other witnesses to buttress his defense of alibi: Victor Yap (who took video shots of Congressman Webb during a boat ride in Disneyland). daughter-in-law Ana. Rodriguez testified that she was appointed UNESCO Commissioner by then President Fidel V. 1991. he and Rodriguez invited Congressman Webb to see Mr. she and her husband boarded a plane for Los Angeles. 1991. They had dinner that evening with spouses Freddie and Elizabeth Webb at the house of Susan Brottman. Vaca to go to La Calesa. in the afternoon of June 29. Upon arriving at Anaheim. Susan Brottman at Anaheim. 1991. Vaca decided to stay home.63 performing artist Gary Valenciano (who testified meeting Hubert at a dinner at the Rodriguez residence in Orlando on November 24. also a Filipino. they went to Orlando. From San Francisco. On July 1. On June 29. Hubert arrived in her home in Florida with her son Tony. Ramos.58 Senator Webb further testified that he knows Mila Gaviola who used to be their "labandera. Vaca perform at La Calesa Restaurant in the City of Testin. As to Alfaro’s statements implicating his son Hubert in the Vizconde killings. he met again Mrs. 1992. she and Mrs. Webb. he said the statements were not accurate because it was physically impossible for Hubert to have participated in the crime as he was abroad at the time. She has known accused Webb since he was a child. she and her husband stayed overnight at San Francisco where they also met Senator and Mrs. Hubert stayed with his sister-in-law Gloria. 1991 at around 8:00 p. On June 28. Together with Aragon. California.62 Armando Rodriguez (who testified seeing Hubert in Orlando either August or September 1991). 1991 at dinner in the residence of his sister-in-law. Florida on January 27. On June 30. 1991. He saw Hubert for the second time at Orlando. Among the places he visited while in the US were the Yosemite Park. the first time he had gone out of the country. hard work and perseverance. at Moresbay Street in Lake Forest. he saw his son Hubert and also informed Honesto Aragon regarding their plan to procure a bicycle for Hubert. and for him to learn how to get along and live with other people. the sister-in-law and a Mr. Hubert was with them again on June 29. 1991. They wanted to show Hubert the value of independence. Florida. 1991. Disneyworld. She recalled that Hubert was there at the time.000-$7. Brottmans and Vacas. They proceeded to the house of a mutual friend. The last time she saw Hubert was when he left Orlando. she and her husband went to the house of Susan Brottman. Vaca and Louis Whitaker. Aragon. They stayed at the house of his sister-in-law. Nordstrom. they went shopping for some clothes. 1991 when they went on a lakeside picnic with the Webb family. her husband and Salvador Vaca picked up Senator Webb from the house of Susan Brottman and then came back to fetch her and Mrs. and stayed with them for almost one (1) year.m. Disneyland." She left their house but returned to work for them again about a couple of months after the Mt. Jack Rodriguez being the father of his high school classmate Antonio Rodriguez.. Florida when he went to the house of Jack Rodriguez there. He and his wife also went to the US on June 28. The next day.60 Sonia H. California. Mrs. When they fetched Congressman Webb at his sister-in-law’s house. Salvador Vaca.000).59 Louis Whitaker testified that he left the Philippines and resided in the US since September 1964. They went to see Congressman Webb at a house in Anaheim. 1991. together with Salvador and Mrs.

68 photographs of the bicycle purchased by Webb from said store. When asked if he had personal knowledge that Congressman Webb was really in the US at that time. Farmer of the Records Operations.74 7) Statement of Account issued to Environment First Termite Control showing Check No.79 9) Certification issued by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service and correspondence between US and Philippine Government. 1995 is a true and accurate statement. he replied that since Webb had told him he was leaving for the US. Antonio T..75 Bank of America Certification on Check Nos. where he and his wife went to look for a job for their son Hubert.S. 1991. 1991 and his date of departure as October 26.88 . he had a telephone conversation with former Congressman Webb who said he was calling from Anaheim. 0180.72 6) California Driver’s License of Webb.82 10) Certification issued by Agnes Tabuena. Atty. 1995 authenticated by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.76 8) Public Records of California Department of Motor Vehicle on sale to Webb of Toyota MR2 car.73 Original License Card of Webb issued on June 14.71 5) Photographs of Webb with Rodriguez family.84 PAL ticket issued to Webb.70 4) Passport with Philippine Immigration arrival stamp.A.86 Diplomatic Note of the US Department of State with enclosed letter from Acting Director Debora A.87 and Certificate of Authentication of Philippine Consul Herrera-Lim. Neither did he have personal knowledge that Hubert Webb was in the US at the time of his conversation with Congressman Webb. 1995 Certification.83 Passenger Manifest of PAL Flight No.65 Then a practicing lawyer. Carpio (now an Associate Justice of this Court) testified that on June 29.85 Arrival in Manila Certification issued by the Philippine Immigration. correcting the earlier August 10. 103. 1991.69 3) Car plate with the name "Lew Webb". 1991 between 10:00 and 11:00 o’clock in the morning. 1992.80 computer-generated print-out of the US-INS indicating date of Webb’s entry in USA as March 9.66 Webb submitted the following documentary evidence in connection with his sojourn in the US: 1) Video Tape recording of Disneyland trip on July 3. he just presumed it was so when Webb said he was then at Anaheim.67 2) Official Receipt issued by Orange Cycle Center dated June 30. 1991. Office of Records of the USINS stating that the Certification dated August 31. They also talked about bills to be drafted as his law office had been engaged by Congressman Webb for bill drafting services as well as preparation of his speeches and statements.of the Deelite Band in San Francisco in the later part of April 1991 and saw Hubert Webb for the last time in May 1991).78 Import documents of said car into the Philippines.81 US-INS Certification dated August 31.77 Traffic citations issued to Webb. U. 0122 and 0180.

he presented nine (9) witnesses: Atty.90 Mark Anthony So. 1991.. He eventually submitted himself for fingerprinting after his name came out in the media. a former NBI intelligence agent who was tasked to confirm photos of Hubert Webb (his classmate at DLSU St.94 and Atty. thereupon at around 9:30 a. Michael rushed out towards the Vizconde residence and when he came back about 10:00 o’clock that same morning. who testified that he was among those who went inside the Vizconde house in the morning of June 30. Francisco C.m. testified that Atty. On July 5. when he returned in the morning of July 6. However. Benilde) to familiarize Alfaro with his facial features. 1991 until early morning of June 30. and that as far as he knows. 1991 and Biong even asked him to take pictures. he saw the crowd getting bigger and so he instructed Michael who had wakened up. Lejano further testified that with the exception of Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez and Michael "Mike" Gatchalian who are his former schoolmates. 1991. Pete Rivera relayed to Gatchalian the request of then NBI Director Honesto Aragon for him to turn state witness and which offer was refused by Gatchalian and his father. it was Cas Syap who brought him and Mike home.91 Matthew John Almogino. 1991. who was picked up as a suspect by the police on July 4. Lejano pointed out that Alfaro failed to identify him even as she passed by him three (3) times. he saw Gatchalian in front of the Vizconde residence telling him that he just woke up and exchanged pleasantries with him. Manuel Sunga who accompanied Gatchalian to the Department of Justice (DOJ) when he submitted his counter-affidavit (where there were already media people). Michael had told him that on the night of June 29. Porfirio "Perry" Pimentel. Fernandez.Accused Antonio Lejano and Michael Gatchalian likewise raised the defense of alibi claiming that they spent the night of June 29. he and Cas Syap went to the police station where Mike. 1991. to find out and check what happened to their neighbor. was detained. 1991 around 7:00 to 7:30. Webb. Gatchalian narrated that when he woke up to jog in the morning of June 30. Both of them stayed in their house that day. he reported that the house was robbed and people were killed inside the house. Michael was with his friends at Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa at the residence of the Syaps. He presented as witness his first cousin Mark Josef Andres Rualo who testified that at around 1:00 in the morning of June 30. 1991 until early morning of June 30. They left the house of Syap brothers early morning of June 30.96 Accused Miguel Rodriguez maintained he was at home when the killings took place. he does not know any of his co-accused. and was able to do so only when she was coached by the prosecution camp.92 Atty. Gatchalian confirmed that the NBI and later the DOJ made offers for his son to turn state witness in this case but they refused for the reason that his son was innocent of the crime charged. 1991 when he gave his statement to the NBI. Biong wanted his fingerprints taken right away but he told Biong he needed to consult someone first. they told him they are willing to vouch for Mike’s innocence and even volunteered to give statements.89 On the part of Michael Gatchalian. 1991. Lejano and Gatchalian are not "magbabarkada". he called up Rodriguez asking why he has not yet proceeded to the birthday party . He denied Alfaro’s claim that she was their distant relative..95 Atty. Biong told them to return the following day. but which segment was edited out in the program he produced (Action 9). 1991 watching video tapes at the house of Carlos Syap at Ayala Alabang Village. testified that they were invited to the conference room where State Prosecutor Zuño in the presence of then Secretary Guingona made the offer for Gatchalian to turn state witness but it was rejected.93 Atty. RPN 9 broadcast executive who testified that he personally took video footages of Mon Tulfo’s interviews with some persons in America (including Honesto Aragon and the bicycle shop owner) who attested that Hubert Webb was there at the time of the Vizconde killings. he passed by the Vizconde house and saw people milling in front. Leny Mauricio and Ana Marie Pamintuan of The Philippine Star wherein a news article was published stating that Michael Gatchalian had rejected government’s offer for him to turn state witness in the Vizconde case.m. At about 8:30 a. a childhood friend and neighbor of Gatchalian. Camilo Murillo who accompanied Gatchalian on July 19. When they met Biong there.

Bartolome to the Vizconde residence in the morning of June 30. they passed through the kitchen door which was open already. From Rodriguez’s residence at Pilar Village. Mrs. 1991. He was offered by the NBI to turn state witness but he declined as he found it difficult to involve his co-accused whom he does not really know. he identified Alfaro and Atty. He denied Birrer’s account that he went to a place after receiving a telephone call at 2:30 in the morning of June 30. Rodriguez’s close friend and classmate. However. "How can I forget your face. her hands hogtied from behind and . Rodriguez replied that he could not make it because he was not fetched by his brother Art (who was the one with a car). he looked for the victims’ relatives and the homeowners’ association president. He knows Lejano. So he handed the telephone to Art (who had arrived at the party around 9:30 to 10:00 p. Charles Calima. He denied the accusation regarding the destruction of evidence as well as missing items during his investigation at the Vizconde residence. Figueras from a collage of photographs shown to him in court. Calima from the Bicutan Rehabilitation Center on the basis of the description given by NBI agents.99 Biong admitted that Birrer went along with him. he saw the bloodied bodies. We just saw each other in a disco one month ago and you told me then that you will kill me. He had sought the examination of latent fingerprints lifted from the crime scene but the suspects turned out negative when tested. Vizconde’s hands were hogtied from behind and her mouth gagged while Jennifer’s body was also bloodied. saying that she was angry at him because they separated and he had hit her after he heard about her infidelity. As to the testimony of Birrer that they played "mahjong" on the night of June 29. pillows and bed sheets were burned by people at the funeral parlor as ordered by Mr. he said it was not true because the place was closed on Saturdays and Sundays.97 The other witnesses presented by Rodriguez. Galvan and Capt. Carmela who was lying on a floor carpet was likewise gagged. Mia came. It was a big party attended by some eighty (80) guests and which ended by 3:30 to 4:00 a. he met her for the first time at the NBI on June 23. Tony Boy Lejano and Cas Syap. he later inspected them but did not think of examining the bag or taking note of the calling cards and other items for possible relevance to the investigation. 1991. On top of the kitchen table." she became very emotional and immediately slapped and kicked him telling him.m. Upon arriving at the Vizconde house." a drug dependent who was pulled out by Col. His brown jacket was given to him long ago by a couple whose dispute he was able to settle. he discovered she had in her possession Carmela’s driver’s license and was driving a car already. there was a lady’s bag with things scattered. he was subpoenaed by the NBI for the taking of his statement because Lauro Vizconde complained that he had stolen jewelries at the Vizconde house. They testified that when Alfaro confronted this "Michael Rodriguez. He only met Webb and Estrada at the NBI. In going inside the house. it will take about fifteen (15) to twenty (20) minutes by car. the accused Miguel Rodriguez he saw inside the court room had no tattoo on his arm and definitely not the same "Michael Rodriguez" whom Alfaro slapped and kicked at the NBI premises. As to Alfaro. Gatmaitan. because Rodriguez used to bring him along when Rodriguez comes to his house. Neither has he seen Alfaro before the filing of this case." Contrary to the physical description given by the NBI. Upon entering the master’s bedroom. Michael Rodriguez testified that he was blindfolded and brought to the comfort room by NBI agents and forced to admit that he was Miguel Rodriguez. Col.98 Accused Gerardo Biong testified that the last time he handled this case was when General Filart announced the case as solved with the presentation of suspects sometime in October 1991. But it was only the first time he had invited Rodriguez to his birthday party.m. Atty. Jr. The bloodied bed. Among the suspects he had then were Michael Gatchalian. After a surveillance on Birrer. mats.) for them to talk. 1991. testified on the alleged incident of "mistaken identity" wherein Alfaro supposedly pointed to one (1) "Michael Rodriguez. Biong denied the accusations of Birrer.of Rualo at their house. He was administratively charged before the Philippine National Police (PNP) for Grave Misconduct due to non-preservation of evidence. Lopez and Mrs. and Michael Rodriguez. 1995.

at the entrance of Pitong Daan Subdivision for possession of marijuana. FOUR (4) MONTHS AND ONE (1) DAY TO TWELVE (12) YEARS. no clear fingerprint had been lifted and he did not any more ask why. Lauro Vizconde. As to the main door glass. 3. the following sums by way of civil indemnity: 1. AND HEREBY SENTENCES HIM TO SUFFER AN IMPRISONMENT OF ELEVEN (11) YEARS.. White.101 Biong further admitted that he was so angry with the Vizconde housemaids as he did not believe they did not hear anything despite the loud sound of the breaking of the main door glass. he also could not recall if he had those photographed. he does not know any more what happened to that case he filed against Gatchalian as he was already dismissed from the service.404. It was only the following day that he brought an employee of the Parañaque police to lift fingerprints from the crime scene. Edgar Mendez did not tell him about the entry of a three (3)-vehicle convoy into the subdivision on the night of June 29. 1991.450. no latent fingerprints had been taken. The amount of P762.00 representing actual damages sustained by Mr. that was wrapped around Carmela’s mouth and neck. In addition.her legs spread out. As for Michael Gatchalian. There was a red jewelry box they saw where a pearl necklace inside could be seen. Lauro Vizconde. this Court hereby finds all the principal accused GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF THE CRIME OF RAPE WITH HOMICIDE AND HEREBY SENTENCES EACH ONE OF THEM TO SUFFER THE PENALTY OF RECLUSION PERPETUA.000. He did not take steps to preserve the bloodied carpet. the trial court rendered its Decision104 finding all the accused guilty as charged. However. which was like a stocking cloth. it was the upper part which he broke. The amount of P97. 4. her clothes raised up and a pillow case was placed on top of her private part.102 He also admitted having mauled Gatchalian while interrogating him for his participation in the Vizconde killings. he was the one (1) giving instructions at the time. because he thought he was withholding information during the investigation. Let an alias warrant of arrest be issued against the accused Artemio "Dong" Ventura and Joey Filart for their eventual apprehension so that they can immediately be brought to trial. he knows him because on July 3. . 2000. Lauro Vizconde. bed sheets and blankets because they have been previously told by NBI that no evidence can be found on such items. Mr. This Court likewise finds the accused Gerardo Biong GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT AS AN ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT. However. Jr.000.00 as moral damages sustained by Mr.00 for wrongful death of the victims. he removed with his bare hands the object. They left the Vizconde house and brought the cadavers to the funeral parlor. despite attempts. he remembered he had it photographed but he had not seen those pictures. As for the footprint and shoe print found on the hood of the car and at the back of the house. they caught him at Vinzons St. He also admitted mauling Normal E. the Court hereby orders all the accused to jointly and severally pay the victims’ surviving heir.55 as attorney’s fees. 2. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. The amount of P2.m. The amount of P150. He had the bodies photographed and prepared a spot report.103 Ruling of the Trial Court On January 4.000. 1991 at 4:30 a.100 Biong also admitted that before the pictures were taken.

Mr. Estrada and Rodriguez are ORDERED to pay jointly and severally the surviving heir of the victims. Neither was her credibility and veracity of her declarations in court affected by the differences and inconsistencies between her April 28. as indicated: 1). Lauro Vizconde. Fernandez. Michael Gatchalian y Adviento.00 as actual damages. the amounts of P200. Fernandez. Gatchalian. the trial court ruled that principal accused Webb.55 as attorney's fees.000. with the corresponding subsidiary liability against accused-appellant Biong pursuant to Article 110. Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez. of the crime of RAPE with HOMICIDE. the Decision of the Regional Trial Court. Miguel "Ging" Rodriguez GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT as principals. P2. 2). as minimum. Lejano. Rodriguez and Gatchalian failed to establish their defense of alibi.000. to twelve (12) years of prision mayor. 1995 affidavit. and absolute perpetual disqualification under Article 58 of the Revised Penal Code. 1995 affidavits. and 3). Accused-appellants Webb. on the occasion of which Carmela’s mother and sister were also stabbed to death.00 as civil indemnity. 2005.105 The trial court found Alfaro as a credible and truthful witness. spontaneous and frank manner.450. positive and convincing testimony which was sufficiently corroborated on its material points by the testimonies of other witnesses and confirmed by the physical evidence on record. paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code. her distrust of the first investigators who took her statements and prepared her April 28. Accusedappellant Biong is sentenced to an indeterminate prison term of six (6) years of prision correccional.000. the accused having been positively identified by Alfaro as the group who conspired and assisted one (1) another in plotting and carrying out on the same night the rape of Carmela. The Court of Appeals Ruling By Decision of December 15. Lejano. On the other hand. is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. We MODIFY the penalty of Gerardo Biong who is an accessory to the crime. as maximum. premises considered. and Gerardo Biong as accessory. and Rodriguez to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and its corresponding accessory penalties under Article 41 of the Revised Penal Code. the CA affirmed with modification the trial court’s decision: WHEREFORE. Estrada. We MODIFY the civil indemnity. considering the vast details she disclosed relative to the incident she had witnessed inside the Vizconde house.106 . The trial court noted that Alfaro testified in a categorical.SO ORDERED. which she had satisfactorily explained during the trial considering the circumstances that she initially desired to protect her former boyfriend Estrada and her relative Gatchalian. Antonio "Tony Boy" Lejano. SO ORDERED. 1995 and May 22. 95-404. Branch 274 of Parañaque City in Criminal Case No. the absence of a lawyer during the first taking of her statements by the NBI. and her uncertainty if she could obtain adequate support and security for her own life were she to disclose everything she knows about the Vizconde killings. Lejano. and has remained consistent in her narration of the events despite a lengthy and grueling cross-examination conducted on her by eight (8) defense lawyers. P762. The trial court held that Alfaro gave a clear.404. straightforward. Peter Estrada. finding accused-appellants Hubert "Jeffrey" Webb y Pagaspas. We AFFIRM the sentence of accused-appellants Webb.00 as moral damages and P97. Gatchalian.

the CA said this is a settled matter. On the issue of conspiracy. On the basis of the rule that alibi is accepted only upon the clearest proof that the accused was not and could not have been at the crime scene when it was committed. SHOWING THAT HE WAS NOT IN THE PHILIPPINES BUT ABROAD AT THE TIME OF THE COMMISSION OF THE CRIME ON 29 JUNE 1991. nor participated in killing her. It stressed that it is a case of positive identification versus alibi founded on documentary evidence. Gatchalian. et al. the CA’s Special Division of Five. 2007." which had long become final. THUS. the CA in resolving the appeal considered the weight of documentary evidence in light of testimonial evidence -. notwithstanding that appellants Rodriguez. WHICH INDICATE EXACTLY THE SAME DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL DATES OF 9 MARCH 1991 . et al. 42285 and CA-G. affirmed the December 15. 42673 entitled "Rodriguez v.an eyewitness account that the accused was the principal malefactor. THE CERTIFICATIONS AND COMPUTER PRINTOUT ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES INS NON-IMMIGRANT INFORMATION SYSTEM. As to the issue of apparent inconsistencies between the two (2) affidavits executed by Alfaro. SP No. AS THE OFFICIAL TRAVEL DOCUMENT ISSUED BY THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT TO HIM. THE PASSPORT OF APPELLANT WEBB. the CA found that the prosecution was able to clearly and convincingly establish its presence in the commission of the crime. voting 3-2. IS STAMPMARKED AND INITIALED WITH THE DEPARTURE DATE OF 9 MARCH 1991 AND ARRIVAL DATE OF 27 OCTOBER 1992. B. AS CORRECTLY APPRECIATED BY JUSTICES TAGLE AND DACUDAO IN THEIR SEPARATE DISSENTING OPINIONS A. her mother and sister. OF HIS GUILT OF THE CRIME CHARGED.. It disagreed with the appellants’ view that they were victims of an unjust judgment upon their mere allegations that they were tried by publicity. Tolentino" and "Webb.107 In the Resolution dated January 26. Tolentino.R. citing the Joint Decision in CA-G. 2005 Decision. Appellants’ Arguments Appellants Webb and Lejano set forth the following arguments in their Supplemental Appeal Brief as grounds for the reversal of the CA Decision and their acquittal in this case: I THE EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING APPELLANT WEBB'S ABSENCE FROM PHILIPPINE TERRITORY BETWEEN 9 MARCH 1991 AND 27 OCTOBER 1992 ENGENDERS A REASONABLE DOUBT AND PRECLUDES AN ABIDING CONVICTION. and that the trial judge was biased whose discriminatory and hostile attitude was demonstrated by her rejection of 132 out of 142 exhibits of the defense during the bail hearings and her refusal to issue subpoenas to prospective defense witnesses such as former Secretary Teofisto Guingona and Antonio Calvento.R. On motion for reconsideration filed by the appellants. v. Estrada and Fernandez did not actually rape Carmela. The CA also fully concurred with the trial court’s conclusion that all the principal accused failed to establish their defense of alibi after carefully evaluating the voluminous documentary and testimonial evidence presented by the defense. the majority reiterated that it has fully explained in its Decision why the US-INS Certifications submitted by appellant Webb deserve little weight. SP No.The CA upheld the trial court in giving full weight and credence to the eyewitness testimony of Alfaro which was duly corroborated by other prosecution witnesses who had not been shown to have illmotive and malicious intent in revealing what they know about the Vizconde killings. TO A MORAL CERTAINTY.

AND 27 OCTOBER 1992, CONFIRM THAT IT WAS PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR APPELLANT WEBB TO HAVE COMMITTED THE CRIME. C. THE RULING THAT APPELLANT WEBB WAS "SMUGGLED" INTO AND OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES WITHIN 9 MARCH 1991 AND 27 OCTOBER 1992, WITH THE US INS CERTIFICATIONS BEING THE PROBABLE PRODUCT OF "MONEY, POWER, INFLUENCE, OR CONNECTIONS" IS BASED ON PURE SPECULATION AND BIASED CONJECTURE AND NOT ON A CONCLUSION THAT ANY COURT OF LAW SHOULD MAKE. D. NO LESS THAN THE HONORABLE JUSTICE ANTONIO T. CARPIO TESTIFIED IN OPEN COURT THAT IN THE MORNING OF 29 JUNE 1991, OR BEFORE THE COMMISSION OF THE CRIME, HE HAD AN OVERSEAS CONVERSATION WITH SEN. FREDDIE N. WEBB ON THE LATTER’S PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES WITH HIS WIFE AND APPELLANT WEBB. II THE DISSENTING JUSTICES CORRECTLY REJECTED JESSICA ALFARO FOR NOT BEING A CREDIBLE WITNESS AND FOR GIVING INCONSISTENT AND UNRELIABLE TESTIMONY. III THE COURT OF APPEALS MANIFESTLY ERRED IN DISCARDING EACH AND EVERY PIECE OF THE ACCUSED’S EVIDENCE AND PRACTICALLY REDUCING THE APPEAL BELOW INTO AN EXERCISE OF FINDING GROUNDS TO DOUBT, SUSPECT AND ACCORDINGLY REJECT THE PROOF OFFERED BY THEM IN THEIR DEFENSE INSTEAD OF GIVING DUE WEIGHT AND CONSIDERATION TO EACH IN ORDER TO THOROUGHLY SATISFY ITSELF OF THE "MORAL CERTAINTY" REQUIREMENT IN CRIMINAL CASES. IV IN LIGHT OF THE BASIC TENETS UNDERLYING OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, WHICH ESCHEW A FINDING OF GUILT UNLESS ESTABLISHED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT AND ORDAIN THE RESOLUTION OF ALL DOUBTS IN FAVOR OF THE ACCUSED, THE COURT OF APPEALS MANIFESTLY ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE CONVICTION OF APPELLANT WEBB WHEN THE DEFENSE OF ALIBI HE ESTABLISHED BY OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE IS SUFFICIENT TO ENGENDER REASONABLE DOUBT AS TO HIS GUILT OF THE OFFENSE CHARGED. THE SCALES OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN TILTED IN HIS, AND NOT THE PROSECUTION’S, FAVOR.108 Appellant Gatchalian reiterates the arguments he had raised in his appeal brief and motion for reconsideration filed before the CA, as follows: I THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN GIVING CREDENCE TO THE INCREDIBLE TESTIMONY OF SUPPOSED EYEWITNESS JESSICA ALFARO AND CORROBORATING WITNESSES NORMAL WHITE AND JUSTO CABANACAN. II

THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE PROSECUTION HAS PROVED THE CONSPIRACY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT AND IN CONVICTING HEREIN ACCUSEDAPPELLANT BASED ON SUCH CONSPIRACY. III THE PROCEEDING BELOW WAS ATTENDED BY IRREGULARITIES SHOWING PARTIALITY ON THE PART OF THE TRIAL JUDGE IN VIOLATION OF HEREIN ACCUSED-APPELLANT’S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS. IV THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT ACQUITTING HEREIN ACCUSED-APPELLANT. xxxx I BY ALL STANDARDS OF FAIRNESS AND JUSTICE, THE TESTIMONY OF JESSICA ALFARO CANNOT BE JUDICIALLY RECOGNIZED. II THE CRIMINAL CONNECTION OF MICHAEL GATCHALIAN TO THE GRUESOME VIZCONDE MURDERS HAS NOT EVEN BEEN REMOTELY SHOWN TO SERVE AS A BASIS FOR CONVICTION. III IN THE REQUIRED JUDICIAL EVALUATION PROCESS, THE ENVIRONMENTAL CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE RECORD OF THIS CASE POINT UNERRINGLY TO THE INNOCENCE OF MICHAEL GATCHALIAN. IV THE RULES ON EVIDENCE ON BURDEN OF PROOF AND OF THE STANDING PRESUMPTIONS IN LAW HAVE BEEN GROSSLY VIOLATED. V MICHAEL GATCHALIAN RESPECTFULLY INVOKES HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS ON THE GROUNDS OF BIAS AND PREJUDICE, AND FOR ALL THAT IT IS WORTH, HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO A SPEEDY TRIAL AND A SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF HIS CASE.109 Additionally, Gatchalian assails the denial by the trial court of his motion (and also appellant Webb’s) for DNA testing despite a certification from the NBI that the specimen semen remained intact, which Justice Tagle in his dissenting opinion also found as unjust. He further argues that the right to a speedy trial is violated even if the delay was not caused by the prosecution but by events that are not within the control of the prosecution or the courts. Thus, the length of time which took Alfaro to come forward and testify in this case is most conspicuous. Her delay of four (4) years in reporting

the crime has to be taken against her, particularly with the story behind it. She volunteered to come forward only after the arrests of previous accused did not lead anywhere. Moreover, it is clear that she adopted the version previously advanced by an "akyat-bahay" gang, as noted by Justice Dacudao in his dissenting opinion. Gatchalian thus contends that the delay occurred even before a preliminary investigation was conducted and cites cases upholding the right of accused persons to a speedy trial where there was delay in the preliminary investigation.110 Totality of Evidence Established the Guilt of Appelants Beyond Reasonable Doubt Appellants assail the lower courts in giving full faith and credence to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, particularly Jessica Alfaro despite inconsistencies and contradictions in her two (2) affidavits, and the alleged "piece by piece discarding" of their voluminous documentary exhibits and testimonies of no less than ninety-five (95) witnesses. They contend that the totality of evidence engenders a reasonable doubt entitling them to acquittal from the grave charge of rape with homicide. After a thorough and conscientious review of the records, I firmly believe that the CA correctly upheld the conviction of appellants. Credibility of Prosecution Witnesses The determination of the competence and credibility of a witness rests primarily with the trial court, because it has the unique position of observing the witness’ deportment on the stand while testifying.111 It is a fundamental rule that findings of the trial courts which are factual in nature and which involve credibility are accorded respect when no glaring errors, gross misapprehensions of facts and speculative, arbitrary and unsupported conclusions can be gathered from such findings.112 When the trial court’s findings have been affirmed by the appellate court, said findings are generally conclusive and binding upon this Court.113 Reexamining the testimony of Alfaro, who underwent exhaustive and intense cross-examination by eight (8) defense lawyers, it is to be noted that she revealed such details and observations which only a person who was actually with the perpetrators could have known. More importantly, her testimony was corroborated on its material points by the declarations of other prosecution witnesses, to wit: [1] that their convoy of three (3) vehicles repeatedly entered the Pitong Daan Subdivision on the night of June 29, 1991 was confirmed by the security guard on duty, Normal White, Jr., who also testified that he had seen Gatchalian and his group standing at the vicinity of the Almogino residence located near the end of Vinzons St., which is consistent with Alfaro’s testimony that on their first trip to the subdivision she parked her car infront of the Vizconde house while appellants parked their respective cars near the dead end of Vinzons St.; [2] that Ventura climbed on the hood of the Nissan Sentra car and loosened the light bulb to turn it off was confirmed by the testimony of Birrer and appellant Biong that they found a shoe print on the hood of the car parked inside the garage of the Vizconde house; even defense witnesses Dennis Almogino (neighbor of the Vizcondes) and SPO2 Reynaldo Carbonnel declared that the garage was totally without light; [3] that a lady’s bag was on top of the dining table in the kitchen was likewise confirmed by Birrer and Biong; [4] that a loud static sound coming from the TV set inside the master’s bedroom which led Alfaro to the said room, matched with the observations of the Vizconde housemaids, Birrer and Biong that when they went inside the Vizconde house in the morning of June 30, 1991, the TV set inside the master’s bedroom was still turned on with a loud sound; [5] the positioning of the dead bodies of Carmela, Estrellita and Jennifer and their physical appearance or condition (hogtied, gagged and bloodied) was correctly described by Alfaro, consistent with the declarations of White, Jr., Birrer and Biong who were among

those who first saw the bodies in the morning of June 30, 1991; [6] that Carmela was raped by Webb and how the three (3) women were killed as Alfaro learned from the conversation of the appellants at the BF Executive Village house, was consistent with the findings of Dr. Cabanayan who conducted the autopsy and post-mortem examination of the cadavers in the morning of June 30, 1991 showing that the victims died of multiple stab wounds, the specimen taken from Carmela’s vaginal canal tested positive for spermatozoa and the approximate time of death based on the onset of rigor mortis, which would place it between midnight and 2:00 o’clock in the morning of June 30, 1991; [7] that Webb, just before going out of the gate of the Vizconde house, threw a stone which broke the glass frame of the main door, jibed with the testimony of Birrer who likewise saw a stone near the broken glass panel at the living room of the Vizconde house, and Biong himself testified that he even demonstrated to Capt. Bartolome and the housemaids the loud sound by again hitting the glass of the main door;114 and [8] that after Webb made a call on his cellular phone, Biong arrived at around 2:00 o’clock in the morning of June 30, 1991 at the BF Executive Village house where she and appellants retreated, was consistent with the testimony of Birrer that Biong left the "mahjong" session to answer a telephone call between 1:00 to 2:00 o’clock in the morning of June 30, 1991 and thereafter Birrer asked where he was going, to which Biong replied "BF" and shortly thereafter a taxicab with a man at the backseat fetched Biong. Indeed, Alfaro could not have divulged the foregoing details of the crime if she did not really join the group of Webb in going to the Vizconde residence and witness what happened during the time Webb, Lejano and Ventura were inside the house and when the group retreated to BF Executive Village. Contrary to appellants’ contention, Alfaro’s detailed testimony appears clear and convincing, thus giving the Court the impression that she was sincere and credible. She even opened her personal life to public scrutiny by admitting that she was addicted toshabu for sometime and that was how she came to meet Webb’s group and got entangled in the plot to gang-rape Carmela. Her being a former drug user in no way taints her credibility as a witness. The fact that a witness is a person of unchaste character or even a drug dependent does not per se affect her credibility.115 Alfaro’s ability to recollect events that occurred four (4) years ago with her mental condition that night of June 29, 1991 when she admittedly took shabu three (3) times and even sniffed cocaine, was likewise questioned by the appellants. When the question was posed to Alfaro on cross-examination, she positively stated that while indeed she had taken shabu at that time, her perception of persons and events around her was not diminished. Her faculties unimpaired by the drugs she had taken that night, Alfaro was able to vividly recall what transpired the whole time she was with appellants. Alfaro testified that even if she was then a regular shabu user, she had not reached that point of being paranoid ("praning"). It was the first time Alfaro sniffed cocaine and she described its initial effect as being "stoned," but lasting only five (5) to seven (7) minutes. However, she did not fall asleep sinceshabu and "coke" are not downers. Alfaro further explained her indifference and apathy in not dissuading Webb and her group from carrying out their evil plan against Carmela as due to the numbing effect of drugs, which also enabled her to dislodge from her mind the harrowing images of the killings for quite sometime. Eventually, the chance to redeem herself came when she was invited to a Christian fellowship, and with her child’s future in mind, her desire to transform her life grew stronger. As she cast off her addiction to drugs, its desensitizing effect began to wear off and her conscience bothered her no end. Under such circumstances, the delay of four (4) years in admitting her involvement in the Vizconde killings cannot be taken against Alfaro. In fact, she had to muster enough courage to finally come out in the open considering that during her last encounter with appellants at a discotheque in 1995, she was threatened by appellant Rodriguez that if she will not keep her mouth shut, she will be killed. He even offered her a plane ticket for her to go abroad. Coming from wealthy and influential families, and capable of barbaric acts she had already seen, appellants instilled such fear in Alfaro that her reluctance to report to the authorities was perfectly understandable.

I find that the circumstances of habitual drug use and delay in reporting a crime did not affect the competence and credibility of prosecution witness Alfaro. It bears stressing that the fact of delay alone does not work against the witnesses. Delay or vacillation in making a criminal accusation does not necessarily impair the credibility of the witness if such delay is satisfactorily explained.116 Besides, appellants failed to adduce any evidence to establish any improper motive that may have impelled Alfaro to falsely testify against them, other than their allegation that she regularly associated with NBI agents as one (1) of their informants. The absence of evidence of improper motive on the part of the said witness for the prosecution strongly tends to sustain the conclusion that no such improper motive exists and that her testimony is worthy of full faith and credit.117 Neither had appellants established any ill-motive on the part of the other prosecution witnesses. Inconsistencies and Discrepancies in Alfaro’s April 28, 1995 and May 22, 1995 Affidavits Appellants, from the start of preliminary investigation, have repeatedly harped on the discrepancies and inconsistencies in Alfaro’s first and second affidavits. However, this Court has repeatedly ruled that whenever there is inconsistency between the affidavit and the testimony of a witness in court, the testimony commands greater weight.118 With greater relevance should this rule apply in situations when a subsequent affidavit of the prosecution witness is intended to amplify and correct inconsistencies with the first affidavit, the discrepancies having been adequately explained. We held in People v. Sanchez119 ...we advert to that all-too familiar rule that discrepancies between sworn statements and testimonies made at the witness stand do not necessarily discredit the witnesses. Sworn statements/affidavits are generally subordinated in importance to open court declarations because the former are often executed when an affiant’s mental faculties are not in such a state as to afford him a fair opportunity of narrating in full the incident which has transpired. Testimonies given during trials are much more exact and elaborate. Thus, testimonial evidence carries more weight than sworn statements/affidavits.120 Alfaro explained the circumstances surrounding her execution of the first Affidavit dated April 28, 1995 which was done without the presence of a lawyer and at the house of agent Mario Garcia where she was brought by Atty. Sacaguing and Moises Tamayo, another agent of task force AntiKidnapping, Hijack and Robbery (AKHAR). The unusual questioning of these men gave her the impression that she was merely being used to boost their career promotion and her distrust was even heightened when they absolutely failed to provide her security. She was aghast upon discovering the completed affidavit which falsely stated that it was made in the presence of her lawyer of choice (Atty. Mercader who was not actually present). Agent Tamayo also incorporated inaccurate or erroneous information indicating that she was a college graduate even if she tried to correct him. Tamayo simply told her to just let it remain in the statement as it would not be noticed anyway.121 Moreover, on account of her urgent concern for her own security and fear of implicating herself in the case, Alfaro admitted down playing her own participation in her narration (including the circumstance that she had previously met Carmela before the incident) and those of her exboyfriend Estrada and her relative, Gatchalian. Prosecution Evidence Sufficient to Convict Appellants This Court has consistently held that the rule on the trial court’s appreciation of evidence must bow to the superior rule that the prosecution must prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. The law presumes an accused innocent, and this presumption must prevail unless overturned by competent and credible proof.122Thus, we are tasked to consider two crucial points in sustaining a judgment of conviction: first, the identification of the accused as perpetrator of the crime, taking into

account the credibility of the prosecution witness who made the identification as well as the prosecution’s compliance with legal and constitutional standards; and second, all the elements constituting the crime were duly proven by the prosecution to be present.123 There appears to be no question about the fact that a horrible and most unfortunate crime has been committed. It is, in this case, indeed a given fact, but next to it is the pivotal issue of whether or not the prosecution has been able to discharge its equal burden in substantiating the identities of accused-appellants as the perpetrators of the crime. As well said often, conviction must rest on the strength of the prosecution’s case and not on the weakness of the defense. Positive Identification of Accused-Appellants Eyewitness identification constitutes vital evidence and, in most cases, decisive of the success or failure of the prosecution.124 Both the RTC and CA found the eyewitness testimony of Alfaro credible and competent proof that appellants Webb, Lejano, Gatchalian, Fernandez, Rodriguez and Estrada were at the scene of the crime and that Webb raped Carmela as the bloodied bodies of her mother and sister lay on top of the bed inside the master’s bedroom, and right beside it stood Lejano while Ventura was preparing for their escape. At another house in BF Executive Village where the group retreated after leaving the Vizconde house, Alfaro witnessed the blaming session, particularly between Ventura and Webb, and thereupon learned from their conversation that Carmela’s mother and sister were stabbed to death before she herself was killed. Alfaro likewise positively identified appellant Biong, whom somebody from the group described as the driver and bodyguard of the Webb family, as the person ordered by Webb to "clean the Vizconde house." The testimony of Alfaro on its material points was corroborated by Birrer, Dr. Cabanayan, White, Jr., Cabanacan and Gaviola. Appellants’ presence at the scene of the crime before, during and after its commission was duly established. Their respective participation, acts and declarations were likewise detailed by Alfaro who was shown to be a credible witness. It is axiomatic that a witness who testifies in a categorical, straightforward, spontaneous and frank manner and remains consistent on cross-examination is a credible witness.125 A criminal case rises or falls on the strength of the prosecution’s case, not on the weakness of the defense. Once the prosecution overcomes the presumption of innocence by proving the elements of the crime and the identity of the accused as perpetrator beyond reasonable doubt, the burden of evidence then shifts to the defense which shall then test the strength of the prosecution’s case either by showing that no crime was in fact committed or that the accused could not have committed or did not commit the imputed crime, or at the very least, by casting doubt on the guilt of the accused.126 Appellants’ Alibi and Denial We have held in a number of cases that alibi is an inherently weak and unreliable defense, for it is easy to fabricate and difficult to disprove.127 To establish alibi, the accused must prove (a) that he was present at another place at the time of the perpetration of the crime, and (b) that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime. Physical impossibility "refers to the distance between the place where the accused was when the crime transpired and the place where it was committed, as well as the facility of access between the two places."128 Due to its doubtful nature, alibi must be supported by clear and convincing proof.129 "Alibi, the plea of having been elsewhere than at the scene of the crime at the time of the commission of the felony, is a plausible excuse for the accused. Let there be no mistake about it. Contrary to the common notion, alibi is in fact a good defense. But, to be valid for purposes of

exoneration from a criminal charge, the defense of alibi must be such that it would have been physically impossible for the person charged with the crime to be at the locus criminis at the time of its commission, the reason being that no person can be in two places at the same time. The excuse must be so airtight that it would admit of no exception. Where there is the least possibility of accused’s presence at the crime scene, the alibi will not hold water. 130[emphasis supplied.] The claim of appellant Webb that he could not have committed the crime because he left for the United States on March 9, 1991 and returned to the Philippines only on October 26, 1992 was correctly rejected by the RTC and CA. These dates are so distant from the time of the commission of the crime, June 29, 1991 and June 30, 1991, and it would not have been impossible during the interregnum for Webb to travel back to the country and again fly to the US several times considering that the travel time on board an airline from the Philippines to San Francisco, and from San Francisco to the Philippines takes only about twelve (12) to fourteen (14) hours. Given the financial resources and political influence of his family, it was not unlikely that Webb could have traveled back to the Philippines before June 29-30, 1991 and then departed for the US again, and returning to the Philippines in October 1992. There clearly exists, therefore, such possibility of Webb’s presence at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission, and his excuse cannot be deemed airtight. This Court in People v. Larrañaga131 had similarly rejected the defense of alibi of an accused, involving a shorter travel distance (Quezon City to Cebu) and even shorter period of time showing the least possibility of an accused’s presence at the time of the commission of the crime (a matter of hours) than in the case at bar (March 9, 1991 to June 29, 1991 which is three [3] months). In denying the motion for reconsideration of accused Larrañaga, we held that accused Larrañaga failed to establish his defense of alibi, which is futile in the face of positive identification: This case presents to us a balance scale whereby perched on one end is appellants’ alibi supported by witnesses who were either their relatives, friends or classmates, while on the other end is the positive identification of the herein appellants by the prosecution witnesses who were not, in any way, related to the victims. With the above jurisprudence as guide, we are certain that the balance must tilt in favor of the latter. Besides, a thorough examination of the evidence for the prosecution shows that the appellants failed to meet the requirements of alibi, i.e., the requirements of time and place. They failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that it was physically impossible for them to be at the Ayala Center, Cebu City when the Chiong sisters were abducted. What is clear from the evidence is that Rowen, Josman, Ariel, Alberto, James Anthony and James Andrew were all within the vicinity of Cebu City on July 16, 1997. Not even Larrañaga who claimed to be in Quezon City satisfied the required proof of physical impossibility. During the hearing, it was shown that it takes only one (1) hour to travel by plane from Manila to Cebu and that there are four (4) airline companies plying the route. One of the defense witnesses admitted that there are several flights from Manila to Cebu each morning, afternoon and evening. Indeed, Larrañaga’s presence in Cebu City on July 16, 1997 was proved to be not only a possibility but a reality. Four (4) witnesses identified Larrañaga as one of the two men talking to Marijoy and Jacqueline on the night of July 16, 1997. Shiela Singson testified that on July 16, 1997, at around 7:20 in the evening, she saw Larrañaga approach Marijoy and Jacqueline at the West Entry of Ayala Center. The incident reminded her of Jacqueline’s prior story that he was Marijoy’s admirer. Shiela confirmed that she knows Larrañaga since she had seen him on five (5) occasions. Analie Konahap also testified that on the same evening of July 16, 1997, at about 8:00 o’clock, she saw Marijoy and Jacqueline talking to two (2) men at the West Entry of Ayala Center. She recognized the two (2) men as Larrañaga and Josman, having seen them

Rusia categorically identified Larrañaga as one of the participes criminis. It must likewise be noted that the father of the accused Webb. Carcar. INS Certifications . the Webb money and connections were at the disposal of the accused Webb. And over and above all. former Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation testified on the practice of "human smuggling" at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. 1991 to October. sustained the RTC’s conclusion that these pieces of evidence were either inadmissible. located across her office at the third level of Ayala Center. 1991 and his arrival in the Philippines on October 26. it was not physically impossible for the accused Webb to have returned to the Philippines. 1992 had been duly established by the defense. and then return to his point of origin. Moreover. with the advent of modern travel. The latter was leaning against the hood of a white van. Thus. The CA. besides being rich and influential. and travel back to the United States. declared that he saw Larrañaga at Tan-awan at about 3:30 in the morning of July 17. 1997. a businessman from Cogon. 1991 when the crime was committed is more than enough time for the accused Webb to have made several trips from the United States to the Philippines and back. Williard Redobles.132 [emphasis supplied] In the light of relevant precedents. the security guard then assigned at Ayala Center. perpetrate the criminal act. On this point. Rosendo Rio. 1991. it cannot be said that there was lack of available means to transport.S. In fact. The RTC thus correctly ruled: Granting for the sake of argument that the claim of departure for the United States of the accused Webb on March 9. I quote with approval the CA’s findings which are well-supported by the evidence on record: (a) U. and it is worthy of belief that the accused Webb could have departed and entered the country without any traces whatsoever of his having done so. defense witness Andrea Domingo.several times at Glicos. x x x133 [emphasis supplied] There is likewise no merit in appellant Webb’s contention that the CA misappreciated his voluminous documentary evidence and numerous witnesses who testified on his stay in the US. The principal factor considered by the Supreme Court in denying the defense of alibi in People vs. the lapse of more than three (3) months from the time the accused Webb left the Philippines for the United States on March 9. after a meticulous and painstaking reevaluation of Webb’s documentary and testimonial evidence. to go to another place to commit a crime. 1992. the Congressman of Parañaque and later became a Senator of the Republic of the Philippines. I find no reversible error committed by the RTC in refusing to give credence to appellant Webb’s argument that he could not have committed the crime of rape with homicide because he was still in the US on June 29 and 30. a game zone. and politically powerful family with the financial capacity to travel back and forth from the Philippines to the United States. Since there are numerous airlines plying the route from Manila to the United States. 1991 to June 29 and 30. In addition. He could very well afford the price of a plane ticket to free him from all sorts of trouble. During the long span of time between March. It must be noted that the accused Webb is a scion of a rich. Jamero (24 SCRA 206) was the availability to the accused of the means by which to commit a crime elsewhere and then return to his refuge. corroborated the foregoing testimonies of Shiela and Analie. The Court takes judicial notice of the fact that it only requires the short period of approximately eighteen (18) hours to reach the Philippines from the United States. incompetent or irrelevant. was at that time in 1991. the Supreme Court has declared in a case that even the lapse of the short period of one (1) week was sufficient for an accused to go to one place. it cannot prove that he remained in the United States during the intervening period. influential.

S. Webb presented the explanation of one Steven P.S. Farmer of the U. INS second certification (Exhibit "218") was a printout coming also from automated information systems. Acting Chief of Records Services Branch of the U. INS is an agency well known for its stringent criteria and rigid procedure in handling documents relating to one’s travel into and out of its territory. This is due to the fallibility demonstrated by the US INS with regard to the certifications which the said office issued regarding the basic information under its direct control and custody.S. come across as a strained effort by Webb at establishing his presence in the United States in order to reinforce his flimsy alibi. which is supposed to merely download and copy the information given by the San Francisco INS." It is with this view that the Court recognizes little if not nil probative value in the second certification of the U. was not identified by the United Airlines personnel who actually prepared and completed the same. INS Archives in Washington. 1995 and October 13. "how it became possible for the U. It is to be noted that the U. INS had previously reported on August 10. INS.S. the defense presented Dulcisimo Daluz. and found no record of admission into the United States of Webb. INS. Be it also noted that the basis of the U. INS modifying its first certification and which was issued only a few weeks earlier. INS would show that the U.S. It is not amiss to note that a reading of the first Certificate of Non-existence of Record (Exhibit "212D") subscribed by Debora A.S. who admitted that the U. erroneously. who had no hand in the actual preparation or safekeeping of the said passenger manifest. As pointed out by the Office of the Solicitor General in its appeal brief. the testimony of the witness with regard to the . Bucher.S. considering that there is no showing that the records searched were different from those viewed in the first search. Instead. INS and computer print-out of the Nonimmigrant Information System (NIIS) which allegedly established Webb’s entry to and exit from the United States. The later certifications issued by the U.S. xxxx (b) Passenger Manifest of United Airlines Flight The purported passenger manifest for the United Airlines flight that allegedly conveyed accusedappellant Webb for the United States. The search allegedly included an inquiry into the automated and non-automated records systems of the U. We do not also believe that a second search could give rise to a different conclusion.S. 1995. that it had no record of the arrival and departure of Webb to and from the United States. Such being the case.S. The said office later on admitted that it failed to exhaustively study all information available to it.xxxx The Court seriously doubts that evidentiary weight could be ascribed to the August 31. 1995 Certifications of the U. It is to be remembered that as part of his evidence. INS. to have an entry on accused-appellant Webb when the said port of entry had no such record was never sufficiently addressed by the defense. We are not convinced with this explanation. It must be stressed that to satisfactorily prove the due execution of a private document. the supervisor of customer services of United Airlines in Manila.S. INS had made a "diligent" search. it would therefore be hard to imagine that the said agency would issue a certification that it had no record of a person’s entry into and exit from the United States without first conducting an efficient verification of its records.

Likewise. The video footage serendipitously taken by Victor Yap allegedly of Senator Webb and his family while on vacation at Disneyland in Anaheim. there is no other proof that there ever was an original airline ticket in the name of Webb. California on July 3. that is. The Court therefore can only rely on the appreciation of the trial court as regards the authenticity of the passport and the marks appearing thereon. all the checking agents who were on duty on March 9. when there are eyewitnesses who testified to the effect that Webb was in the Philippines only a couple of weeks before the killing and who also testified of Webb’s participation in the crime. We find that this supports the conclusion that the videotape was possibly tampered as an additional support to the alibi of accused-appellant that he was in the United States. Be it noted that what appears on record is only the photocopy of the pages of Webb’s passport. we note that the said passenger manifest produced in court is a mere photocopy and the same did not comply with the strict procedural requirement of the airline company.. there was a gap or portion of static that appeared which did not appear in any other portion of the footage. and the inscriptions appearing thereon. As we have earlier stated. 1991 does little to support the alibi of accused-appellant Webb for it is quite interesting to note that nowhere did accusedappellant Webb appear in this footage. especially. the same is hardly of any weight.. Such being the case. This does not satisfy the requirements set forth under Section 5 of Rule 130. None of the people shown in the film was identified as the accused-appellant Webb. xxxx (f) Video footage at Lake Tahoe and the del Toro-Manlapit Wedding .execution of the said document must be positive. Firstly. also offer little support of Webb’s alibi.the video footage showing accused-appellant Webb seemingly on holiday at Lake Tahoe with the Wheelocks. Moreover. as it is the trial court that had the exclusive opportunity to view at first hand the original of the document. we do not discount the possibility that Webb was in the Philippines during the time he was supposed to have been in the United States. the records disclose that just before the segment of the film that showed Senator Webb. x x x we find that the photocopy presented in evidence has little if no probative value. and determine for itself whether the same is entitled to any weight in evidence. in the absence of clear proof that the same was indeed used by accused-appellant Webb to go to the United States.the alleged United Airline ticket of accused-appellant Webb offered in evidence is a mere photocopy of an alleged original. we take judicial notice that modern electronic and photographic advances could offer a . (e) Video footage of accused-appellant Webb’s parents in Disneyland and Yosemite Park. (c) United Airline Ticket . 1991 must sign or initial the passenger manifest.. Other than the submission that the original could no longer be produced in evidence.. In any case. This further lessens the credibility of the said document. his testimony thereto is at most hearsay and therefore not worthy of any credit. the date being shown intermittently in the footage was not the same or near the date of the Vizconde killing. to our mind does not disprove that Webb was in the country at the time of the Vizconde killing. Even assuming there was such an original ticket in existence. which was never presented below. (d) Philippine passport The passport of accused-appellant Webb produced in evidence.

are not reliable proofs of Webb’s presence and occupation in the United States around the time of the Vizconde killing. neither check is therefore clear proof to support Webb’s alibi. The check dated June 13.") was merely superimposed on the actual entries and could have been easily fabricated to create the impression that Webb had some participation in the business of del Toro. The entries where the accused Webb were indicated to have performed work for del Toro. and that the picture appearing on his driver’s license was the very same picture he submitted together with his application for the driver’s license. (j) Bicycle/Sportscar . and therefore. 1991 was made payable to "Cash". Webb claimed he did not make an application but just walked in the licensing office and he did not submit any photograph relative to his application. before he took the witness stand. 1991. which include the alleged logbook of del Toro in his pest control business. showed that the name of Webb ("Hubie"/"U. Likewise. as this wasallegedly taken on October 10. or of any Dee Lite concert allegedly attended by Webb. after it was given to him by accused-appellant’s mother. Elizabeth. 1992 well after the fateful days of June 29 and 30.means to splice or modify recorded images to configure to a desired impression. unworthy of credit. In a later testimony. (i) Logbook of Alex del Toro and Check Payments of Webb’s salary The employment records of accused-appellant. while the other check which appeared to be payable to "Hubert Webb" was however dated only July 10. Likewise. Simply put.B. (h) Webb’s Driver’s License We agree with the trial court's observation that the Driver’s License allegedly obtained by accused-appellant from the California Department of Motor Vehicle sometime in the first week of June 1991 is unworthy of credit. April 1991" was only written by him in 1995. possibly to remove the date printed therein. A review of the logbook shows that the same is unworthy of any evidentiary weight. The Court cannot therefore but cast suspicion as to its authenticity. the videotape and photographs taken on Alex del Toro’s wedding also fail to convince. he claimed that he submitted an ID picture for his driver’s license. "Hubert and I before the Dee Lite Concert. including the insertion or annotation of numeric figures on a recorded image. Neither of the said checks squarely placed accusedappellant Webb in the United States at the time of the Vizconde killings. because of the inconsistencies in Webb’s testimony as to how he obtained the same. These are two inconsistent testimonies on the same subject matter. 1991. In one testimony. which render the said driver’s license and the alleged date when the same was obtained. The alleged check payments of Webb’s salary are also unreliable. It must be pointed out that the image in the picture itself does not depict the date or place it was taken. and check payments to Webb were also offered to support the latter’s alleged presence in the United States on the dates near the day of the Vizconde killings. It is also to be noted that Esguerra admitted that the inscription appearing at the back of the photograph of. we observed that the photograph appears to have been trimmed down from a bigger size. (g) Photograph of Webb and Christopher Esguerra before the Dee Lite Concert The photograph of accused-appellant Webb with Esguerra allegedly taken in late April 1991 before they went to a band concert has little probative value.

1991. Also. It is a wonder to this Court that the accused-appellant and his father would buy a bicycle and a sportscar at practically the same time to provide the accused-appellant transportation to his work. produced four (4) letters allegedly written and sent to her by Webb while he was in the United States." yet after only four letters that was conveniently written sometime in June 1991. An interregnum of four years before coming out with valuable proof in support of a friend is to our mind. and under suspicious circumstances. such that. Moreover. However. bolstering Webb’s defense of alibi. Lastly. the hurried purchase of the car right after the arrival of Freddie Webb appears at the very least. the fact that the car and the bicycle were allegedly purchased in close proximity to the date of the rape and killing of the Vizconde women does little to dissuade the perception that the car and bicycle were purchased only for the purpose of providing a plausible defense of alibi for Webb. However. if the letters were to be duly considered. thus. about the involvement of her friend. suspicious. Parañaque. "a lot. arrived in the United States. Cabrera would wait until 1995 to "produce" the letters that could have cleared her friend’s name. (k) Letters to Jennifer Claire Cabrera Cabrera. are not convincing proof of alibi. a telling factor on the credibility of the alleged letters. as a prospective car-buyer would understandably want to make a canvas first for the best car to buy. to our mind. the said letters.The Toyota MR2 sportscar and Cannondale bicycle allegedly purchased by accused-appellant Webb and his father in the United States appear to have been purchased with great haste. These were allegedly the only letters sent by Webb to her. and the same time Webb was charged. former Senator Freddie Webb. 1991 killings occurred. the impression that may be inferred from reading the letters was one of a man who was pining away for his ladylove. though it was made clear that the purpose of purchasing the said bicycle and car was for accused-appellant’s convenience in going to and from his work -. he thereafter stopped writing letters to Cabrera as if the whole matter was already forgotten. The Court finds it incredible that despite being shocked in 1991. The letters were allegedly written and posted at around the same time the Vizconde rape and killing happened. that this contradicts the other evidence presented by accused-appellant because it appears from his evidence that other than his brief stint in del Toro’s pest control company business and his employment as a gasoline station attendant which incidentally was not sufficiently proven. Would not just a car or a bicycle do for him? Also.we find. shopping and meet with family and friends. in order to support the accused-appellant’salibi. accused-appellant in the Vizconde rape-slay. all that accused-appellant did in the United States was to go sightseeing. It is highly . as aptly observed by the trial court. Consider that immediately after the accused-appellant’s father. The car was bought sometime in early July 1991 and the bicycle sometime on June 30. inasmuch said letters were produced only in 1995 at the time she gave a statement. a friend and neighbor of accused-appellant in BF Homes. the first thing he did was go out with his friend Honesto Aragon and accused-appellant to look for a bicycle and a car to be used by the latter in going to and from work. they would place Webb in the United States at the same time the June 30. and not just to purchase the first car he sees. Webb was quite expressive with his feelings when he wrote that he missed Cabrera. Cabrera admitted that she knew Webb was being involved or accused in the Vizconde killings as early as 1991 and that she was shocked upon learning that he was being implicated therein.

1992. both the RTC and CA judiciously examined each exhibit and concluded that these do not pass the test of admissibility and materiality insofar as proving the physical impossibility of his presence at the Vizconde residence on June 29. US INS certifications and other evidence presented by appellant Webb in support of his alibi. Webb in his letters referred to Cabrera as his "sweetheart" and "dearest". accused-appellant tried vainly to establish his defense of alibi with the presentation of not only a substantial volume of documentary evidence but also testimonies of an overwhelming number of witnesses which were comprised mostly of relatives and family friends who obviously wanted him to be exonerated of the crime charged. plane ticket and other travel documents can serve as proof that he was indeed out of the country at the time of the Vizconde killings. 1991 until the early morning of June 30. we can deduce that there was some sort of romantic relationship with the accused-appellant Webb and Cabrera. 1991 and what the latter relayed to him about his location at the time such telephone call was made. that Cabrera could have prevaricated herself to save her friend. for a close relative or friend to give weight to blood ties and close relationship in times of dire needs especially when a criminal case is involved. 1992 -.138it must still be shown that the evidence is clear and . It is not improbable.] [a]t the very least. such exculpatory testimony coupled with the plethora of appellant Webb’s other documentary and testimonial evidence on his presence in the United States on 29 June 1991 raises reasonable doubt as to appellant Webb’s guilt of the crime charged. not numbered. It is for this reason that we regard their testimonies with an eye of suspicion for it is but natural. and confessed to her that all he thinks about was her. therefore.137 As to the travel documents consisting of his US passport. from the contents of the letters. who was with him in the US (his wife and appellant Webb) and the purpose of their US trip (to find a job for appellant Webb). respectively. 1991. although morally unfair. Webb further mentions that since a Justice of this Court "confirmed appellant Webb’s alibi of being in the United States on 29 June 1991[. if credible and positive. The testimony of only one witness. Moreover. In sum. witnesses are to be weighed.suspicious therefore that the only letters of accused-appellant Webb to Cabrera were written and sent at the exact opportune time that the Vizconde killings occurred which conveniently supplied a basis for his defense of alibi. the presumption of regularity being official documents issued by US authorities. Justices Tagle and Dacudao concurred in stating that the conclusion of their three (3) colleagues (majority) that the US INS certifications did not exclude the possibility of Webb traveling back to the Philippines and again departing for the US between March 9. Said witness even admitted that he had no personal knowledge that appellant Webb was in fact in the United States at the time of his telephone conversation with Congressman Webb. let it be emphasized that Justice Carpio’s testimony before the trial court confirmed merely the fact that his conversation with then Congressman Webb took place on June 29. is sufficient to convict. 1991 and October 26. 1991 and October 26.135 As to appellant Webb’s voluminous documentary evidence. In the first place."136 I find the contentions bereft of merit.134 [emphasis supplied] The rule is well-entrenched in this jurisdiction that in determining the value and credibility of evidence. while it is true that such presentation of passport. and he was hoping he would dream of her at night. Appellant Webb cites the opposite view taken by Justices Tagle and Dacudao in their dissenting opinions and urges this Court to accord the US INS certification and other documents relative to his arrival and departure in the US on the dates March 9. In fact.is nothing but speculation and conjecture.

and the totality of such evidence constitutes an airtight excuse as to exclude the least possibility of his presence at the crime scene. 1991 and early morning of June 30. demonstrate the physical impossibility of the accused’s presence at the place and time of the commission of the crime. the issuance of this certification only a . it is only when the identification of the accused as the author of the crime charged is inconclusive or unreliable that alibi assumes importance. but also where it does not. However. 1995 based on a mere computer print-out from the Non-immigrant Information System (Exhibit "213-1-D") retrieved from the US. particularly so on the strength of the positive identification of appellant Webb as Carmela’s rapist and one of those who actually took part in the brutal killing of Carmela. leaves the minds of the [judges] in that condition that they cannot say they feel an abiding conviction. alibi becomes most unsatisfactory. among others. but such uncertainty that "a reasonable man may entertain after a fair review and consideration of the evidence. In fact. "x x x to rally for the issuance of passports using tamper proof and the latest data encryption technology.INS Archives in Washington. the proliferation of photo-substituted passports. 1991. This Court takes judicial notice of reported irregularities and tampering of passports in the years prior to the recent issuance by the DFA of machine-readable passports. the much vaunted US-INS second certification dated August 31. 8239) as proposed in the Senate.140 Appellant Webb was placed at the crime scene by Alfaro who positively identified him as the one (1) who plotted and committed the rape of Carmela. Definitely. which only gives credence to the prosecution’s allegation that it bore signs of tampering and irregularities. have been cited as grounds to justify the necessity of amending the Philippine Passport Act of 1996 (R. can be gleaned from the fact that passports and plane tickets indicating dates of arrival and departure do not necessarily prove that the very same person actually took the flight. aided by or in concert with Lejano and Ventura." Reasonable doubt is present when -after the entire comparison and consideration of all the evidences. her mother and sister. to a moral certainty. as he was just in his house at BF Homes Subdivision Phase III.139 Against positive evidence. and provide stiffer penalties against proliferators of fake passports. the truth of their contents had not been testified to by the persons who issued the same. on its face. It is the prosecution’s burden to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. "reasonable doubt" is not mere guesswork whether or not the accused is guilty. Indeed. passport with stamp marks of departure and declarations of witnesses who are mostly relatives and friends of appellant Webb. and later fatally stabbed her. and satisfies the reason and judgment of those who are bound to act conscientiously upon it. a certainty that convinces and directs the understanding. Alibi cannot prevail over the positive identification of a credible witness. and the accompanying certifications. her mother and sister between midnight of June 29. Such is not the situation in the case at bar where the identification of the perpetrators by a lone eyewitness satisfied the moral certainty standard. Gaviola and Cabanacan gave corroborating testimonies that appellant Webb was here in the country. alibi cannot be sustained where it is not only without credible corroboration.141 That reasonable doubt is not engendered by the presentation of certifications of entry into and exit from the US. Moreover. And as earlier mentioned. No. have little probative value.A. 1991.convincing. at least a few weeks prior to and on June 29 to 30."142 It is worthy of note I note that the original of Webb's passport was not offered in evidence and made part of the records. appellant Webb failed in this regard and the RTC and CA did not err in giving scant weight to his arsenal of evidence. assumed identity and double passports. Verily. of the truth of the charge. fake immigration stamps.

Siazon signed by Consul Leo M. there is no evidence of any lawful admission to the United States as an immigrant. (SGD. The search included a review of the Service automated and nonautomated records system. YOUR LETTER SHOULD REFERENCE THE INS CONTROL NUMBER ABOVE AND THE LETTER AND THE ENVELOPE SHOULD BE CLEARLY MARKED FOIA/PA APPEAL. government agencies in their search for data on appellant Webb.C.. Office of Information and Privacy yielded a negative result on any record on file that one (1) Hubert Webb arrived in the United States on March 9. San Francisco to Ms. Said earlier certification through Debora A. The records searched are current as of July 1. N.S. Herrera-Lim. 1968. IF YOU ELECT TO REQUEST ANOTHER SEARCH. however. 1310 G.C. 20530 WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS OF RECEIPT OF THIS LETTER. WASHINGTON D. IF YOU STILL BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE RECORDS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF YOUR REQUEST. 1995 US-INS Certification was erroneous. D. WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU NOT FOLLOW THE APPEALS PROCEDURE DESCRIBED BELOW UNTIL WE HAVE COMPLETED THAT SEARCH. AND CAN PROVIDE US WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. Department of Justice.145 The prosecution.. born November 7. 1995 and the letter of Debora Farmer stating that the San Francisco certification was erroneous. should instead ask the assistance of other U. only raised questions as to its accuracy. WE HAVE COMPLETED OUR SEARCH FOR RECORDS RESPONSIVE TO YOUR REQUEST BUT DID NOT LOCATE ANY. in the Philippines. YOU MAY APPEAL THE FINDING IN THIS MATTER BY WRITING TO THE OFFICE OF INFORMATION AND PRIVACY. District Director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. STREET. SUITE 570. HUBERT RE: Hubert Jeffrey Webb Dear Requester: YOUR REQUEST WAS RECEIVED BY THIS OFFICE ON 07/10/95. appellant Webb presented the Memorandum addressed to Secretary Domingo L.146 . Co-Director of the Office of Information and Privacy had in effect sustained as correct the US-INS San Francisco report that there is no such data on Hubert Webb in the San Francisco database so that the Philippine Embassy in Washington.W. Consul General of the Philippines: SUBJECT: WEBB.143 [emphasis supplied] The above finding was relayed by Thomas Schiltgen. or as a nonimmigrant. and further that Richard L. the Diplomatic Note dated October 30. FLAG BUILDING. relating to Hubert P.S. 1995 US-INS Office in San Francisco was issued. presented another document which indicated that an appeal to the U. Marzan. 1991. Huff. Teresita V. WE WILL CONDUCT ANOTHER SEARCH.) DISTRICT DIRECTOR144 [emphasis supplied] To show that the August 10. Webb. 1995 for the immigrants and nonimmigrants. Farmer stated that: [a]fter diligent search no record is found to exist in the records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.couple of weeks after the August 10. SINCERELY. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.

The defense endeavored to explain why the US-INS Archives in Washington could have made the "mistake" of stating that it had no data or information on the alleged entry of appellant Webb on March 9. 1995 Certification.S. is misplaced. IWe quote the following observations made by the prosecution on Webb’s passport from the appeal brief of the OSG: In tandem with the presentation of the various U.S. he further anchors his defense on his passport (Exh. as to what US government agency the alleged computergenerated print-out in the August 31. Siazon. However. On its face. 1995 USINS Certification. 1989 to April 6. AAAAAA6) on page 30 thereof (Exh. the existence of an earlier negative report on the NIIS record on file concerning the entry of appellant Webb into and his exit from the US on March 9. Amelita Tolentino") and CA-G. during and after the commission of the offense charged.R. 1991 as per the August 10.147 In this case. As to the testimony of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Domingo L. 1998 in CA-G. stressing the fact that the US-INS certifications are official documents.. The non-submission in evidence of his original passport. 1992. AAAAAA-2 and 294-D).148 The same observations regarding the "consularized certifications" was reflected in the Decision dated April 16. 42673 ("Hubert P. 1991 (Exh. INS certifications to bolster appellant Webb’s story of a U. 1995 certification actually came from remains unclear. it had not satisfactorily addressed the nagging question of how it became possible for the US-INS Archives in Washington. 1991 and his exit on October 26. among others.S. had deprived the RTC. 1995 which is based merely on a computer print-out of his alleged entry on March 9.149 Appellant Webb’s travel documents and other supposed paper trail of his stay in the US are unreliable proof of his absence in the Philippines at the time of the commission of the crime charged. 1992. Immigration in San Francisco stampmarked it on March 9. he being the son of a Senator would not unnecessarily violate U. that the grant by the United States government granted him a visa effective from April 6. 1992. SP No. having merely received the said document in his capacity as the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines. specifically stating that the Embassy assumed no responsibility for the contents of the annexed document. Webb v. what the entries in the passport plainly suggest is that appellant Webb violated U. However. if . Appellant Webb’s reliance on the presumption of regularity of official functions. SP No.S. Considering that many visitors (nonimmigrants) are admittedly not entered into the NIIS database. 1991 and departure on October 26. the same cannot be given due credence since he is incompetent to testify on the contents of the August 31. to have an entry on appellant Webb when the said port of entry had no such record. Such original is a crucial piece of evidence which unfortunately was placed beyond judicial scrutiny. immigration laws.R. which was not formally offered and made part of the records. 1994 and the U.S. 1991 and October 26. AAAAAA and 294) ostensibly to show. and that diligent search already yielded a negative response on appellant Webb’s entry into the US on March 9. respectively. which is supposed to merely download and copy the information given by the San Francisco INS. CA and this Court the opportunity to examine the same. The presumption leaned on is disputable and can be overcome by evidence to the contrary. Amelita Tolentino"). It is to be noted that the certification issued by the Philippine Embassy with respect to the US-INS Certifications contained a disclaimer. sojourn before. It would be quite easy for him to apply for and secure an extension of his authorized stay in the U. 42285 ("Miguel Rodriguez v. immigration laws by "overstaying" beyond the usual six-(6) month period allowed for tourists. had raised serious doubt on the veracity and accuracy of the subsequently issued second certification dated August 31.S. Herrera-Lim’s testimony likewise did not carry much weight considering that its significance is confined to the fact that the document from the US-INS was transmitted and received by the DFA. Consul Leo M.

There is also the matter of the marked difference in the signatures of appellant Webb as appearing on the dorsal side of the passport (Exh. appears to be well preserved despite having been usedmore frequently than that of appellant Webb who supposedly used it in only one trip abroad. the perforations on the passport pages indicating the serial number of appellant Webb’s passport no longer fit exactly on the pages -. The perforations are intended not only to indicate the serial number of the passport but more importantly to countercheck intercalations and tampering.Hubert Webb dated August 14. p. and the Philippines without marking his passport? These raise serious questions on the integrity of the passport. for example. thus: On August 14. 1997. Of course. inasmuch as a photograph of him was taken. p. AAAAAA-5 and 294-C) that such "real signature" appears.only he requested. A review of his other documentary evidence supposedly bearing his signature shows that what appears therein is his name written in his "normal penmanship. AAAAAA-3 and 294-A-1) as compared with that appearing on his laminated photograph (Exh.that is." and that it is only in the laminated picture (Exh. 82-83) where authorities are always on the look out for illegal aliens. He claims that the picture appearing on the driver’s license was the very same he submitted together with his application for the driver’s license. 82)? This is especially incredible considering that he was allegedly apprehended in the United States near the U. In addition to the over-all shabby appearance of appellant Webb’s passport. what is evident is the torn plastic portion of the dorsal page thereof near the holder’s signature. But why did not he or his parents secure the extension? Why was there no evidence to show that he ever requested an extension? Did he really overstay in the U. On the other hand. 1991. 1997 where the accused Webb said that the California Department of Motor Vehicle took his picture. and that. border (Ibid.S. The RTC’s evaluation of said documents revealed their lack of probative value. Elizabeth Webb. he tried to offer an explanation on the variance in the two (2) signatures.S. 1997. 1997. 27). The "non-alignment" of the perforations is thus significant. There are unusual things about his passport which he has been unable to explain satisfactorily. Is appellant Webb really untouchable that even U.S.his US Driver’s License supposedly issued on June 14.Hubert Webb dated September 10.S. authorities in various states would let him get "off the hook" without much of a fuss after his alleged brushes with the law (TSN . it means that he was in a lazy mood all the time! 150 Two (2) more documents presented by appellant Webb deserve a close look -. 1997 where he said that he submitted it to the California DMV as an attachment to his supposed driver’s license application renders the accused Webb’s testimony as unbelievable and unworthy of credence. was that he wrote his name using his normal penmanship when in a lazy mood (TSN -. AAAAAA-5 and 294-C-1). implying that the signature appearing on his laminated photograph is his real signature. The questions involving appellant Webb’s passport are not limited to the stamp marks (or lack of stamp marks) therein. and the testimony given on September 1.. 1991. pp. All he could reason out. the accused suddenly and completely changed his testimony while still on direct examination. [Webb] testified that he did not make any application since the procedure in California provides for a walk-in system. Not only do some of the pages appear smudged or untidy. Thus. but more significantly. . and the Passenger Manifest. his driver’s license was issued sometime on the first week of June. on September 1. they are no longer aligned. 1997. that he did not submit any photograph relative to his application for a Californian Driver’s License. however. or could he simply enter and leave the U. Following appellant Webb’s explanation. The passport of her mother. the discrepancy as to the source of the photograph (Exhibit "334-E") between the testimony given on August 14.

California 92807. 1991 and June 14. and that as of August 9. The said listed address of the accused Webb at the time his driver’s license was issued has demolished the testimony of the defense witness Sonia Rodriguez that the accused Webb was supposed to be already living with the Rodriguez family in Longwood. The fact that the alleged Driver’s License No. Robert L. 1991. (Exhibit "61") which stated in very clear terms that the accused Webb’s California Driver’s License Number A8818707 was issued on August 9. Exhibit "66-C" and submarkings) which likewise gave the information that the accused Webb was issued California Driver’s License No. he admitted that Exhibits "223" and "223-N" did not contain the initials of the checking agents who were supposed to initial the same. This document merits outright rejection considering that the defense witness Daluz confirmed that the same was prepared by the UA departure area personnel and not by himself. Anaheim. The Court takes note that the accused Webb. the address of the accused Webb was 532 South Avenida Faro. The spurious nature of the document was observed by the witness Daluz himself who admitted that there wereirregularities in the Passenger Manifest presented by the defense. to allow the applicants to produce their own pictures would surely defeat the purpose in requiring them to appear before the Department of Motor Vehicle.. Moreover. . that is. 1991. Since a driver’s license is one of the principal means of identification in the United States as well as in the Philippines. Furthermore. 1992 of Mr. earlier offered in evidence the letter dated January 10. According to Daluz. Anaheim. it is a strict procedural requirement that all the checking agents who were on duty on March 9. Florida by the first week of August. Station Manager of United Airlines for Manila who in turn presented a document purporting to be the Passenger Manifest for the flight departing on 09 March 1991 (Exhibits "233-A" to "233-N"). in his fervent desire to exculpate himself from criminal liability. this document is merely hearsay and is devoid of any merit whatsoever. However. In respect of the plane ticket of the accused Hubert Webb. 1991.It is beyond belief that the same picture submitted by the accused Webb became the picture in the driver’s license allegedly issued on June 14. 1991. 1991 (Exhibit "MMM" and submarkings. wherein Daluz also admitted not having any direct participation in its preparation. Alfredo S. 1991 were supposed to initial the Passenger Manifest. it is contrary to human nature and experience. Lim. 1991) casts a serious doubt on its provenance and authenticity. Heafner. the said letter states the listed address of the accused Webb at the time of the issuance of the driver’s license was 532 So. 1991. what was likewise offered as part of the testimony of Daluz was a mere photo copy. A8818707 was issued on two (2) different dates (August 9. Thus. Legal Attache of the Embassy of the United States to the then Director of the National Bureau of Investigation. California 92807. 8818707 on August 9. to ensure the integrity and genuineness of the driver’s license. Avenida Faro Ave. aside from the fact that it is likewise contrary to the procedure described by the accused Webb in obtaining a driver’s license in the State of California. The accused Webb likewise offered in evidence the official communication coming from the Federal Bureau of Investigation dated December 31. xxxx In order to establish that the accused Hubert Webb departed from the Philippines on 09 March 1991 on board UA flight 808 the defense also presented witness Dulcisimo Daluz.

In view of the vital necessity to the other accused of establishing accused Webb’s alibi. even ignoring the fact of its inadmissibility. Barroso was one (1) of the members of the "Akyat Bahay" gang who were earlier charged before the Makati City RTC in Criminal Case Nos. 1991. he was positively identified by Alfaro as the first to express approval of Webb’s plan to gang-rape Carmela by saying. Aside from Alfaro. This makes the source of the document. was even less plausible considering the distance of that place from Pitong Daan Subdivision. White. despite their efforts to convince him to do so. 91-7135-37 for Rape with Homicide and for Robbery with Homicide in connection with the Vizconde killings. 1991. 1991.The defense presented Agnes Tabuena. as he could have easily gone to the Vizconde house within a few minutes from the Syap residence where he and Gatchalian allegedly watched video tapes. "Ako ang susunod. Thus. who pointed to the other appellants in the two (2) cars behind him as his companions. Like witnesses Daluz and Nolasco. security guard Normal White. earlier that same night. and whom she later saw inside the master’s bedroom. the said testimony is of no probative value and of doubtful veracity considering that the witness did not prepare the same. Unfortunately for the defense. Vice-President for Finance and Administration of the Philippine Airlines for the purpose of establishing that Hubert Webb arrived in the Philippines only on 26 October 1992. Tabuena’s statements on the witness stand and the Certification was based exclusively on the Passenger Manifest of PAL’s PR 103. the smashing of the glass panel of the main door. seen Gatchalian with his friends standing at Vinzons St. nor did she had any idea when the document was transmitted to her office. 1991. As to appellant Lejano. Appellant Fernandez. In fact. it is important to note that Atty. other than the hearsay declaration of his father who merely testified on what his son told him about spending the night watching video tapes at the Syap residence on June 29. and the appearance of a woman who opened the main door saying "Sino kayo?"152 . and just standing there about to wear his jacket while Webb was pumping the hogtied and gagged Carmela on the floor. nor did the witness identify the persons who prepared the same other than that they were "airport staff". who claimed they were at the Syap residence at Ayala Alabang Village watching video tapes the whole night of June 29. There is an uncanny congruence in the details of the incident as testified to by Alfaro. His alibi is likewise feeble. the witness could not even interpret the contents of the said Passenger Manifest. was the reason they allowed his friends to enter the subdivision on the night of June 29. father of the accused Michael Gatchalian was then a high ranking PAL Official and a colleague of Tabuena.151 [emphasis supplied. Gatchalian presented no corroborative evidence of his alibi." Lejano was also with Alfaro. Jr. 1991 until early morning of June 30. The RTC noted the manifestation of the defense on Andrew Syap’s refusal to testify on Gatchalian and Lejano’s whereabouts during the night in question. which is just a few minutes ride away. on his part. It further noted the testimony of Assistant NBI Director Pedro Rivera that Carlos Syap upon seeing Gatchalian with their group even berated Gatchalian for dragging him into his (Gatchalian’s) own problem. at the foot of the bed where the bloodied bodies of Estrellita and Jennifer lay. also categorically declared he had. suspicious. Webb and Ventura in going inside the Vizconde house. insisted that Alfaro’s story was simply fabricated by her "hidden mentors" who considered the sworn statement of Roberto D. with the sworn statement of Barroso particularly pertaining to the manner by which the garage light of the Vizconde house was put out. Jr.] The alibi of appellants Gatchalian and Lejano. much more testify as to the due execution and genuineness thereof. Barroso taken on November 4. also testified that the presence of Gatchalian (son of a homeowner). Francisco Gatchalian.

158 Alfaro was again asked to enumerate the members of the "group" when the prosecution asked her to name the members of the group. Miguel Rodriguez. The presentation and identification of the weapon used are not indispensable to prove the guilt of the accused. he introduced me to Hubert Webb. More important. and then Tonyboy Lejano.157 The argument is untenable. much more so where the perpetrator has been positively identified by a credible witness. Gaviola and Birrer. it must be understood as limited only to those she had previously enumerated. will you name the group that was introduced to you by Dong Ventura? A. then Fyke Fernandez. Hence. Contrary to Rodriguez’s claim. Webb. but also by the testimonies of four (4) disinterested witnesses for the prosecution: White. from the time of its inception up to its consummation. it necessarily included those she had enumerated she had met and had a shabu session with at the Ayala Alabang Commercial Center parking lot. the non-recovery of the fatal weapons used in the killings. which definitely did not include Rodriguez.. during and after the commission of the crime as lookouts along with the rest of the group.155 and the second time when she was asked to enumerate the members of the "group" who were waiting along Aguirre Avenue during their second trip to the Vizconde residence. was not established beyond reasonable doubt.160 It thus logically follows that whenever Alfaro made reference to the "group" in her entire narration. Cabanacan.153 Such proposition fails to persuade. was at the beginning of her narration on how she met Ventura’s friends when she got her order of shabu at the Ayala Alabang Commercial Center parking lot. Michael Gatchalian. Jr. Alfaro gave much more minute details than the limited narration given by Barroso. they left the parking lot. The failure to present the murder weapon will not exculpate the accused from criminal liability. Q. Lejano and Ventura went inside the Vizconde house. in view of the dismissal of those cases filed against the first set of suspects based on lack of evidence. He cites the failure of Alfaro to mention his name as part of the "group" twice in her testimony. Contrary to Fernandez’s insinuation of a fabricated eyewitness account. the first time that Alfaro referred to and enumerated the members of the "group" which she had unexpectedly joined that night. as Alfaro could not even say what was the "object" or "thing" which she saw thrown out of the Nissan Patrol while the group was on their way to the BF Executive Village.156 Thus. Fernandez also cited as among the reasons why Alfaro’s declarations were far from positive.159 She also testified that after everyone. First. He contended that a crucial link in the prosecution’s physical evidence was thus missing. asserting that his presence and participation in the Vizconde killings. The mere fact that Alfaro missed out naming Rodriguez in two (2) instances during her direct examination does not give rise to the conclusion that he was not positively identified by Alfaro as among those present and participated prior to.Such submissions are inane. including Rodriguez. not only by the physical evidence. And you said that Dong Ventura introduced you to this group. when Alfaro testified that the rest of the group acted as lookouts while she. in the later part of her direct examination during the same hearing. These instances refer to Alfaro’s direct examination when she was asked to name the persons riding the convoy of three (3) vehicles when they left Ayala Alabang Commercial Center parking lot to proceed to the Vizconde residence at Pitong Daan Subdivision. This same group was with her from their first trip to the Vizconde residence until the time they left Pitong Daan Subdivision . her suggestion that what she saw Ventura took from the kitchen drawer may have been kitchen knives used to kill the victims must fail. Alfaro’s testimony was sufficiently corroborated on its material points. took part in a shabu session.154 Appellant Rodriguez denies being a conspirator with Webb’s group in the commission of the crime.

164 Although only one (1) rape was actually proven by the prosecution. Even assuming as true Rualo’s testimony that he had indeed invited Rodriguez to attend his birthday party on June 29. Alfaro had specifically mentioned Rodriguez when asked by Prosecutor Zuño to describe their relative positions at the lawn area of the BF Executive Village house. Conspiracy among appellants duly proven The existence of conspiracy between appellants Webb. thus establishing his presence during the "blaming session": A. 1995 and told her to shut up or she would be killed. 1991 but Rodriguez opted to stay in his house and even talked to him on the phone when he called Rodriguez to ask why he was not yet at the party. Appellant Estrada. Two meters away. 1991 until early morning of June 30. 1991. 1991. Ventura. on the occasion of which the rape victim Carmela. principally that of Webb. to commit the felony and forthwith decide to actually pursue it. Aside from making that threat. did not take the witness stand and simply relied on the alibidefense of his co-accused. expressly or impliedly. Estrada was among those who acted as lookouts outside the Vizconde house after they all concurred in the plan of Webb to gang-rape Carmela while they were still at the parking lot of the Ayala Alabang Commercial Center. Rodriguez and Filart was satisfactorily proven by the prosecution. Mike is very very near Ging Rodriguez. just like Rodriguez and Fernandez. Alfaro testified that it was Estrada. . xxxx A. each of the accused-appellants shall be criminally liable for rape with homicide. Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. it cannot serve as proof of Rodriguez’s whereabouts at the time of the commission of the crime. Fernandez. It did not rule out the actual presence of Rodriguez at the crime scene. her mother Estrellita and sister Jennifer. We have ruled that denial is a self-serving negative evidence that cannot be given greater weight than the declaration of a credible witness who testified on affirmative matters. How about Miguel Rodriguez.163 Rodriguez’s attempt to set up an alibi through the testimony of his cousin Mark Rualo was equally frail. who was together with her in her car throughout the night of June 29. Gatchalian. Lejano.162 Rodriguez’s bare denial cannot be given any evidentiary weight. then her boyfriend. how far was he from Hubert? A. as conspirators who mutually agreed to commit the crime and assisted one (1) another in its commission. Rodriguez also offered Alfaro a plane ticket so she could leave the country. Conspiracy comes to life at the very instant the plotters agree. sir. It may be proved by direct or circumstantial evidence.and retreated to a house at BF Executive Village early morning of June 30. were killed. x x x kalat kami. pero hindi kami magkakalayo x x x xxxx Q.161 It must be stressed that Alfaro categorically declared it was Rodriguez who approached her at Faces Disco on March 30.

Indeed. murder. concealing. Fernandez. Appellant Biong is one (1) such public officer. the actual material used in gagging Carmela and Estrellita. He asserts that non-preservation of the evidence is not an accessory crime under the Revised Penal Code. or assisting in the escape of the principals of the crime. one of which is a public officer who harbors. The Revised Penal Code in Article 19 defines an accessory as one who has knowledge of the commission of the crime. conceals or assists in the escape of the principal. the original condition of the broken glass panel of the main door. showed that they were acting in unison and cooperation to achieve the same unlawful objective. and he abused his public function when. or an attempt to take the life of the Chief Executive. but took part in it subsequent to its commission by any of three modes: (1) profiting himself or assisting the offender to profit by the effects of the crime.165 One who participates in the material execution of the crime by standing guard or lending moral support to the actual perpetrators thereof is criminally responsible to the same extent as the latter. Such public officer must have acted with abuse of his public functions. his failure to preserve evidence at the crime scene such as fingerprints on the doors and objects inside the master’s bedroom where the bodies were found. Rodriguez. Under these premises. the bloodied blankets and bed sheets. Lejano and Ventura might have left at the scene of the crime.167 The contentions have no merit. taken as a whole. provided it is not a light felony. he acceded to the bidding of appellant Webb to "clean the Vizconde house. they are liable as co-principals regardless of the manner and extent of their participation. provided the accessory acts with abuse of his public functions or when the offender is guilty of treason. Ventura and Lejano who actually went inside the Vizconde house while Estrada. There was no evidence that such indeed was his intent or motive. (2) concealing or destroying the body of the crime. there are two (2) classes of accessories. Gatchalian and Filart stood as lookouts outside the house. fingerprints on the light bulb at the garage -. He points out that the bodies of the victims were found at their respective places where they were assaulted and there was no evidence that they had been moved an inch from where they breathed their last.was a form of assistance to help the perpetrators evade apprehension by confusing the investigators in determining initially what happened and the possible suspects. it is not even necessary to pinpoint the precise participation of each of the accused-appellants. Hence. and not necessarily to prevent the discovery of the bodies in such actual condition upon their deaths. the shoe print and foot prints on the car hood and at the back of the house.166 Biong guilty as accessory after the fact Appellant Biong contends that he cannot be convicted as accessory to the crime of rape with homicide because the acts imputed to him did not result in the hiding of the case. the act of one being the act of all. instead of immediately arresting the perpetrators of the crime. even if it was only Webb. his act of breaking the larger portion of the main door glass. Contrary to Biong’s assertion.168 Under paragraph 3 of Article 19 of the Revised Penal Code. or is known to be habitually guilty of some other crime. Consequently. yet did not take part in its commission as principal or accomplice. and (3) harboring. appellants by their individual acts. the bloodied floor of the toilet. the washing out of the . There being conspiracy among the accused-appellants. or the effects or instruments thereof in order to prevent its discovery. parricide." which means he must help hide any possible trace or sign linking them to the crime. and the crime committed by the principal is any crime. as amended. such "cleaning" would include obliterating fingerprints and other identifying marks which appellants Webb. Biong’s unlawful taking of the jewelries and Carmela’s ATM card and driver’s license.

The proper penalty is reclusion perpetua because the imposition of the death penalty under the Revised Penal Code (in Article 335 thereof. American courts allow post-conviction DNA testing when its application has strong indications that the result could potentially exonerate the convict. Cabanayan. or drug-crazed addicts on the loose. With the great advances in forensic science and under pertinent state laws. No. Pursuant to Section 4 of the Rule. I hold that the RTC did not err in convicting him as an accessory to the crime of rape with homicide. the subsequent passage of R. (b) The biological sample: (i) was not previously subjected to the type of DNA testing now requested. Thus. or (ii) was previously subjected to DNA testing. No. Penalty The CA was correct in affirming the sentence imposed by the RTC upon each of the accusedappellants Webb. 2006.A.169 At any rate. Lejano. a homicide is committed). Gatchalian. was prohibited by the Constitution at the time the offense was committed. either motu proprio or on application of any person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation." which was signed into law on June 24. or a brutal sexual assault on Carmela by men who were not strangers to her which also led to the killings. Indeed. we find the same proper and in order. DNA Testing Appellant Gatchalian reiterates his and appellant Webb’s motion for DNA testing of the semen specimen taken from the vaginal cavity of Carmela during the autopsy conducted by Dr. As to the penalty imposed by the CA on appellant Biong as accessory after the fact to the crime of rape with homicide. the police had a difficult time figuring out whether it was robbers who entered the Vizconde house and perpetrated the rape-slay. On October 2. this Court approved the Rule on DNA Evidence170 which took effect on October 15. 2007. order a DNA testing after due notice and hearing. when by reason or on the occasion of rape.A. the court may at any time.blood on the toilet floor and permitting the relatives to burn the bloodied bed sheets and blankets -had in fact misled the authorities in identifying potential suspects. No. 2007. Fernandez and Estrada. but the results may require confirmation for good reasons. Rodriguez. Such order shall issue upon showing of the following: (a) A biological sample exists that is relevant to the case. 4111. even a convicted felon has the right to avail of new technology not available during his trial. which motion was denied by the RTC for lack of available scientific expertise and technology at the time. as amended by R. or other persons having motive against the Vizconde family had exacted revenge. 2632 and R. 9346 entitled "An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of the Death Penalty in the Philippines. . would have mandated the imposition on accused-appellants the same penalty of reclusion perpetua.A. On the basis of strong evidence of appellant Biong’s effort to destroy crucial physical evidence at the crime scene.

1996 on pages 57. (c) the result of the DNA testing will constitute new evidence. (c) The TSN of January 31. Cabanayan. no such specimen/vaginal smear was submitted to RTC Branch 274.173 On May 21. 2010 on grounds that (a) the DNA testing order was issued in disregard of Section 4 of the Rule on DNA Evidence which requires prior hearing and notice. and (e) The existence of other factors. (b) a determination of propriety of DNA testing at this stage under the present Rule.(c) The DNA testing uses a scientifically valid technique. submitted his Comment on The Compliance and Manifestation Dated April 27. SN-91-17 (stating positive result for the presence of human spermatozoa). 1996. February 1. is necessary as there was no opportunity back then to establish the requisites for a DNA testing order under the Rule which took effect only in 2007. N-91-1665 (with remarks: "Smear for presence of spermatozoa"). those slides were kept in the Pathology Laboratory of the NBI. informed this Court that the semen specimen/vaginal smear taken from the cadaver of Carmela Vizconde and all original documents (autopsy and laboratory reports. copy of the sworn statement of Dr. 2010 of the NBI stating that: (a) There is no showing of actual receipt by RTC Branch 274 of the specimen/vaginal smear mentioned in Dr. Autopsy Report No. Atty. 1996 and February 7. Cabanayan’s last testimony before RTC Branch 274 in this case. (c) In the hearing of February 7. (b) Based on available records such as the TSN of January 31. 2010. Diliman. Quezon City. 58 and 69 suggest that marked in evidence as Exhibits "S".172 On May 11. he testified that the last time he saw those slides was when he had the photographs thereof taken in 1995 (the first time was when he examined them in 1991). Branch Clerk of RTC Parañaque City. NBI Deputy Director for Technical Services. when the latter testified on direct and cross-examination on January 30. Cabanayan’s affidavit dated April 27. and (d) this Court failed to elucidate an exceptional circumstance to justify its decision to consider a question of fact. 2010. "T" and "U" by then Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño were only the photographs of the three slides containing the semen specimen. which cannot be received and appreciated for the first time on appeal. 2010. Reynaldo O. We ordered (1) the NBI to assist the parties in facilitating the submission of the said specimen to the UP-Natural Science and Research Institute (UP-NSRI). 2010. Jr.. In his Compliance and Manifestation dated April 27. M. .. and (2) the NBI and UP-NSRI to report to this Court within fifteen (15) days from notice regarding compliance with and implementation of the said resolution. 2010 Resolution that the result of DNA testing is not crucial or indispensable in the determination of appellant Webb’s guilt for the crime charged. the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a Motion for Reconsideration of our Resolution dated April 20. 6 and 7. and as far as he knows between 1991 and 1995. Branch 274 by then NBI Medico-Legal Chief.171 By Resolution dated April 20.D. Attached thereto are certified true copies of Laboratory Report No. Roberto Makalintal. as this Court itself acknowledged in its April 20. Atty. Cabanayan and certified true copy of the envelope bearing his signed handwritten notation that all original photographs have been submitted as evidence during the aforementioned hearing dates. and photographs) are no longer in the custody of the NBI as these were submitted as evidence to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Parañaque City. 31. 2010. Prospero A. separate from that filed by Webb before the trial court on October 6. Branch 274. 1996 during which Dr. if any. (d) The DNA testing has the scientific potential to produce new information that is relevant to the proper resolution of the case. Esmeralda. Dr. 1997. 5. 1996. this Court granted appellant Webb’s request to submit for DNA analysis the semen specimen taken from the cadaver of Carmela Vizconde under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Cabanayan testified. which the court may consider as potentially affecting the accuracy or integrity of the DNA testing.

the People cannot now rightfully claim that there was no notice or hearing on the issue of submitting the semen specimen for DNA analysis. As to the prosecution’s argument that this Court cannot receive and appreciate "new evidence.and (d) The entire records of the cases were already forwarded to this Court a long time ago. in the higher interest of justice. . However. were convicted more than ten (10) years ago in 2000 and have been incarcerated for fifteen (15) years now. the prosecution was not thereby denied its equally important right to due process.174 Under our Resolution of June 15. we required the NBI to (a) show proof of the release of the semen specimen to the RTC of Parañaque City. He has filed a motion for DNA analysis as early as 1997 or thirteen (13) years ago. In his Comment on the OSG’s motion for reconsideration. order a DNA testing". both within ten days from notice. This Court in accordance with proper procedure thus decided to receive DNA evidence in order not to further delay the case. either motu proprio or on application of any person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation. Sec. the NBI has not complied with said directive. appellant asserts that the Resolution dated April 20. DNA testing is even available post-conviction (Ibid. 1997 only after lengthy exchange of pleadings between the defense and prosecution. Fernandez. Maryland. appellants after all."175 Appellant Lejano likewise filed his comment. 2010. It was further asserted that the semen specimen was already existing at the time of the trial. at any time. He has been behind bars for more than fifteen (15) years. 6). Hence. there are ample safeguards in the Rule to assure the reliability and acceptability of the results of the DNA testing.177 On his part. the latter having properly opposed said motion. Jessica Alfaro. however. Indeed. The result of such test could yield evidence that could acquit him while no damage will be suffered by the prosecution considering that this Court emphasized in its Resolution of April 20. including the evidence formally offered by the prosecution and the accused. relaxed the Rule on DNA Evidence to afford Webb the fullest extent of his constitutional rights. as well as of petitioner and appellant Lejano. Alfaro’s cross-examination exposed her as an "out-and-out perjurer. appellant Webb stressed that there are exceptional circumstances that justify this Court’s order to immediately conduct the DNA analysis. objected to the statement of the OSG that "in the light of positive identification" of appellant Webb by the principal witness for the prosecution. Contrary to the OSG’s claim that this Court immediately granted DNA testing without observing the requisites under Section 4 of the Rule on DNA Evidence. In this case. the existing circumstances more than warrant the affirmation of Webb’s guilt. 4 (d). and hence can hardly be considered as "new evidence" and that DNA testing of said semen specimen taken from the victim Carmela Vizconde "has the scientific potential to produce new information that is relevant to the proper resolution of the case" (Sec. inconsistencies and inherent improbabilities.176 Lejano contended that the suppression of exculpatory evidence – or evidence that will show reasonable probability that the verdict would have been different had the evidence been disclosed – grossly violates an accused’s right to due process. 2010 clearly defines the parameters of the DNA analysis to be conducted by the UP-NSRI assisted by the NBI. appellant Fernandez argued that when this Court. Citing Brady v. the evidence needs only to be subjected to DNA analysis to establish the innocence of appellant Webb. and (b) comment on the alleged conflicting representations in its Compliance and Manifestation dated April 27. and without due notice and hearing. 2010 that the prosecution’s evidences and concerns regarding the proper preservation of evidence in the custody of the NBI would have to be addressed in the light of the requirements laid down by the Rule on DNA Evidence. self-contradictions. Rule on DNA Evidence). a bold and intentional liar under oath" and a "fake witness" whose account of the incident is "shot-through with fatal omissions. 2010. pointing out that the trial court denied Webb’s motion to direct the NBI to submit semen specimen for DNA analysis on November 25." Section 4 of the Rule states that "the appropriate court may. Branch 274 in 1996.

Further. until such time the decision of the court has become final and executory.179 Evidently. he admitted that he "forgot all about it" when he came to the hearing. On the matter of preserving DNA evidence. the RTC denied him from presenting a "complete defense" through that "singular piece of evidence that could have definitively established his innocence.Webb further underscored that where the evidence has not been offered. that it was still possible to subject the same to DNA analysis to identify the person to whom the sperm belonged. Thus." The constitutional duty of the prosecution to turn over exculpatory evidence to the accused includes the duty to preserve such evidence. Webb contends that in disallowing the DNA examination he had requested. Appellant Webb’s Urgent Motion To Acquit With the recall of the order for DNA testing.180 California v. when Dr. either through negligence or willful suppression. 1996. Webb points out that the prosecution considered the presence of spermatozoa on the body of Carmela as evidence that she was raped. a "perjured witness. Vergari. and despite all documentary and testimonial evidence presented by the defense proving that Webb was at the United States at the time the crime was committed. Webb cites Section 12 of the Rule on DNA Evidence which authorizes the court to order the appropriate government agency to preserve the DNA evidence during trial and even when the accused is already serving sentence. a DNA analysis of said semen specimen excluding appellant Webb as the source thereof would disprove the prosecution’s evidence against him. which he had promised to bring during the previous hearing. the NBI could no longer produce the semen specimen/vaginal smear taken from the cadaver of Carmela Vizconde and consequently DNA analysis of said physical evidence can no longer be done. 1991 or early morning of June 30. the Prosecution’s Formal Offer of Evidence shows that Exhibits "S". 2010 resolution and forthwith proceeded to resolve the present appeal on the basis of existing evidence which have been formally offered by the parties and/or made part of the records. it is the prosecution who should have the legal custody and responsibility over it. Cabanayan’s testimony was it shown that he turned over the actual slides to the trial court. this Court set aside the April 20. it appears from the record that from the time the semen specimen was taken from Carmela Vizconde’s cadaver. appellant Webb moved for his acquittal on the ground of violation of his constitutional right to due process by reason of the State’s failure to produce the semen specimen. While this Court has given Webb the best opportunity to prove his innocence in the order granting DNA analysis of the sperm specimen taken . Citing American jurisprudence (Matter of Dabbs v. Also. "T" and "U" were merely photographs of the slides containing the vaginal smear. offering the photographs of the glass slides containing the sperm cells as proof that she was in fact raped on or about the late evening of June 29. The NBI’s repudiation of such fact is belied by the records. On the contrary. Thus. nowhere in the transcript of stenographic notes taken during Dr. Trombetta181 and Brady v. 1996 to produce the slides. Webb argues that the loss or suppression by the prosecution of the semen specimen denied him the right to avail of the latest DNA technology and prove his innocence. Webb maintains that the semen specimen extracted from the cadaver of Carmela had exculpatory value. Maryland182). it has always been in the custody of the NBI. Cabanayan was asked on February 6. But the only evidence of the prosecution that it was Webb who raped Carmela was the testimony of Alfaro which was given full credit by the RTC and CA despite all its inconsistencies. Hence.178 The NBI’s letter dated April 23." the trial court relying instead on the identification of Jessica Alfaro. 1991. as even NBI’s Dr. Cabanayan testified during the hearing of February 7. 1997 confirmed that the semen specimen was in its custody.

184 the court ordered DNA testing of specimen taken from a rape victim after the sexual assault and from the accused who was convicted. and be of such a nature that the defendant would be unable to obtain comparable evidence by other reasonably available means. In California v. in violation of his constitutional right to due process. Accused therein was identified by the victim as her attacker. He later learned that the prosecution suppressed an extrajudicial confession made by his accomplice who admitted he did the actual killing. thus entitling him to an acquittal. he was effectively deprived of his right to present a complete defense. Webb now claims that as a result of the destruction or loss of evidence under the NBI’s custody. In Brady v. In Matter of Dabbs v.from Carmela’s cadaver. x x x evidence must both possess an exculpatory value that was apparent before the evidence was destroyed. the court granted petitioner’s subsequent motions to vacate the judgment of conviction." x x x The record contains no allegation of official animus towards respondents or of a conscious effort to suppress exculpatory evidence.] . California authorities in this case did not destroy respondents’ breath samples in a calculated effort to circumvent the disclosure requirements established by Brady v. Whatever duty the Constitution imposes on the States to preserve evidence. the US Supreme Court ruled that the Due Process Clause of the Constitution does not require that law enforcement agencies preserve breath samples in order to introduce breath-analysis tests at trial. such potentially exculpatory evidence could not be produced by the State. To meet this standard of constitutional materiality. [italics supplied. Neither of these conditions is met on the facts of this case.is without merit. Given our precedents in this area. the officers here were acting "in good faith and in accord with their normal practice.185 a case involving the prosecution for drunk driving. To begin with. Maryland183 it was held that "the suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment. DNA testing ultimately revealed that petitioner’s DNA composition did not match with that found on the victim’s underwear. Trombetta. the petitioner was convicted of murder committed in the course of robbery and sentenced to death. The US Supreme Court granted a new trial and remanded the case but only on the question of punishment. It noted that the witness testified that accused acted alone. The court found the factual circumstances clearly showed that the semen specimen could have come only from the accused." In said case. we cannot agree with the California Court of Appeal that the State’s failure to retain breath samples for respondents constitutes a violation of the Federal Constitution. irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution. he is entitled to acquittal on the ground of violation of his constitutional right to due process. More importantly. that duty must be limited to evidence that might be expected to play a significant role in the suspect’s defense. In failing to preserve breath samples for respondents. Loss of Semen Specimen Not Ground For Acquittal of Webb Webb’s argument that under the facts of this case and applying the cited rulings from American jurisprudence. Vergari. DNA testing being unavailable at the time of the trial. California’s policy of not preserving breath samples is without constitutional defect. Consequently. Maryland and its progeny. had ejaculated and she did not have sexual intercourse with any other person within 24 hours prior to the sexual assault.

carpets."186 In People v. In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence. Dr. and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests. Incidents involving sexual assault would leave biological evidence such as hair. inter alia. the possibility of contamination of the samples. which are identical . Most importantly. tiny amounts of a specific DNA sequence can be copied exponentially within hours. Evidence is material where "there is reasonable probability that. skin tissue. courts should consider. mucus. The blood sample taken from the appellant showed that he was of the following gene types: vWA 15/19. Maria Corazon Abogado de Ungria was duly qualified by the prosecution as an expert witness on DNA print or identification techniques. DNA print or identification technology has been advanced as a uniquely effective means to link a suspect to a crime. sweat. where biological evidence has been left. and vaginal and rectal cells.P. skin tissue. If properly collected from the victim. crime scene or assailant. The U. securing the acquittal of the innocent. urine. how they were handled. which conducted the DNA tests in this case. For purposes of criminal investigation. the result of the proceeding would have been different. the root and shaft of hair. de Ungria’s testimony. because of polymorphisms in human genetic structure. The proper judicial approach is founded on the concurrence of relevancy and reliability. semen. Thus. Hair and fiber from clothing. earwax. It can assist immensely in effecting a more accurate account of the crime committed. it was determined that the gene type and DNA profile of appellant are identical to that of the extracts subject of examination. DNA is a molecule that encodes the genetic information in all living organisms. blood. In the case at bar.From the above cases. and ensuring the proper administration of justice in every case. National Science Research Institute (NSRI). Forensic DNA evidence is helpful in proving that there was physical contact between an assailant and a victim. TH01 7/8. the procedure followed in analyzing the samples. Most important. efficiently facilitating the conviction of the guilty. getting sufficient DNA for analysis has become much easier since it became possible to reliably amplify small samples using the PCR method. DNA evidence collected from a crime scene can link a suspect to a crime or eliminate one from suspicion in the same principle as fingerprints are used. forensic identification though useful does not preclude independent evidence of identification. whether the proper standards and procedures were followed in conducting the tests. DHFRP2 9/10 and CSF1PO 10/11.187 decided before the promulgation of the Rule on DNA Evidence. or to exonerate a wrongly accused suspect. With PCR testing. Yatar. the following factors: how the samples were collected. with the notable exception of identical twins. DNA can be compared with known samples to place the suspect at the scene of the crime. had the evidence been disclosed to the defense. used the Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification method by Short Tandem Repeat (STR) analysis. bedding. it is clear that what is crucial is the requirement of materiality of the semen specimen sought for DNA testing. the DNA in a person’s blood is the same as the DNA found in his saliva. the Court expounded on the nature of DNA evidence and the factors to be considered in assessing its probative value in the context of scientific and legal developments. or furniture could also be transferred to the victim’s body during the assault. bone. Appellant Webb must be able to demonstrate a reasonable probability that the DNA sample would prove his innocence. Based on Dr. no two individuals have the same DNA. A person’s DNA is the same in each cell and it does not change throughout a person’s lifetime. DNA identification is a fertile source of both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. or saliva which can be left on the victim’s body or at the crime scene.

we are just beginning to integrate these advances in science and technology in the Philippine criminal justice system. exculpatory test results will not necessarily free the convicted individual. (10) Laboratory examination revealed sperm in the victim’s vagina (Exhibits "H" and "J"). however. so we must be cautious as we traverse these relatively unchartered waters. Admittedly. and which was appreciated by the court a quo is relevant and reliable since it is reasonably based on scientifically valid principles of human genetics and molecular biology. Kathylyn Uba. (6) Appellant hurriedly left when the husband of Judilyn Pas-a was approaching. (3) Appellant received from the victim. and again at 1:30 p. the prevailing doctrine in the U. (12) DNA of slide..with semen taken from the victim’s vaginal canal. Verily. Applying the Daubert test to the case at bar. Fortunately.. 1998. In addition.m. or not . we can benefit from the wealth of persuasive jurisprudence that has developed in other jurisdictions. were allowed greater discretion over which testimony they would allow at trial. Independently of the physical evidence of appellant’s semen found in the victim’s vaginal canal. (9) The victim. the perpetrator may have worn a condom. under Daubert. compared with the DNA profile of the appellant are identical.m. acting strangely and wearing a dirty white shirt with collar.188 [emphasis supplied. underwear and shoes scattered along the periphery. Specifically. including the introduction of new kinds of scientific techniques. (2) In June 1998. If the evidence does exclude the petitioner. In a rape case. Convicted offenders often believe that if crime scene evidence does not contain their DNA they will automatically be exonerated. (7) Salmalina Tandagan saw appellant in a dirty white shirt coming down the ladder of the house of Isabel on the day Kathylyn Uba was found dead. and (13) Appellant escaped two days after he was detained but was subsequently apprehended. evidence is relevant when it relates directly to a fact in issue as to induce belief in its existence or non-existence. such flight being indicative of guilt. it was ruled that pertinent evidence based on scientifically valid principles could be used as long as it was relevant and reliable. has proven instructive. (4) Appellant was seen by Apolonia Wania and Beverly Denneng at 1:00 p. (11) The stained or dirty white shirt found in the crime scene was found to be positive with blood. Judges. the trial court appreciated the following circumstantial evidence as being sufficient to sustain a conviction beyond reasonable doubt: (1) Appellant and his wife were living in the house of Isabel Dawang together with the victim. wearing a dirty white shirt. the DNA evidence obtained through PCR testing and utilizing STR analysis.] Indeed. (8) The door leading to the second floor of the house of Isabel Dawang was tied by a rope. Not finding the petitioner’s DNA does not automatically indicate the case should be overturned. the court must weigh the significance of the exclusion in relation to all the other evidence. Postconviction test results are not always exculpatory. appellant’s wife left the house because of their frequent quarrels. Exhibits "J" and "H". lay naked in a pool of blood with her intestines protruding from her body on the second floor of the house of Isabel Dawang. Kathylyn Uba. in other jurisdictions it has been recognized that DNA test results are not always exculpatory. a letter from his estranged wife in the early morning of June 30.S. Kathylyn Uba. Under Philippine law. with her stained pants. this time wearing a black shirt. a DNA match exists between the semen found in the victim and the blood sample given by the appellant in open court during the course of the trial. 1998 near the kitchen of the house of Isabel Dawang. Merrell Dow. (5) Judilyn Pas-a saw appellant going down the ladder of the house of Isabel at 12:30 p. of June 30.m. for example. In Daubert v. DNA typing is one such novel procedure. bra.

The State provided respondents’ expert with the laboratory reports and notes prepared by the police criminologist. In Arizona v. Cabanayan from Carmela’s cadaver would merely serve as corroborative evidence. appellant Webb’s contention that this would entitle him to an acquittal on the basis of Brady v. From the totality of the evidence presented by both the prosecution and the defense. the absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of the defendant’s absence or lack of involvement in the crime. Maryland is misplaced.ejaculated. and the prosecution had equally established beyond reasonable doubt the fact of rape and the unlawful killing of Carmela.. the results of which might have exonerated the defendant.189 We hold that the source of the semen extracted from the vaginal cavity of the deceased victim is immaterial in determining Webb’s guilt. but did not examine them at anytime. On the other hand. These samples were refrigerated but the boy’s clothing was not. those cases in which the police themselves by their conduct indicate that the evidence could form a basis for exonerating the defendant. . 1991. 1991 and early morning of June 30. Webb was positively identified as Carmela’s rapist. as interpreted in Brady. it will not exonerate him from the crime charged. Accused was identified by the victim in a photographic lineup and was convicted of child molestation. the boy was examined in a hospital where the physician used swab to collect specimen from the boy’s rectum and mouth. she did not testify that Carmela had no sexual relations with any other man at least 24 hours prior to that time. We therefore hold that unless a criminal defendant can show bad faith on the part of the police. sexual assault and kidnapping. for 1½ hours. Moreover. She testified that she saw Webb rape Carmela and it was only him she had witnessed to have committed the rape inside the Vizconde residence between late evening of June 29. Alfaro did not testify that Webb had ejaculated or did not use a condom while raping Carmela. During the trial.e. Youngblood. x x x We think that requiring a defendant to show bad faith on the part of the police both limits the extent of the police’s obligation to preserve evidence to reasonable bounds and confines it to that class of cases where the interests of justice most clearly require it. and respondent’s expert had access to the swab and to the clothing. In some cases. makes the good or bad faith of the State irrelevant when the State fails to disclose to the defendant material exculpatory evidence. i. Estrellita and Jennifer on the occasion thereof. a middle-aged man. As to the loss of the semen specimen in the custody of the NBI.190 a 10-year old boy was molested and sodomized by the accused. the positive identification of appellant Webb as Carmela’s rapist satisfied the test of moral certainty. failure to preserve potentially useful evidence does not constitute a denial of due process of law. The State disclosed relevant police reports to respondent. After the assault. But we think the Due Process Clause requires a different result when we deal with the failure of the State to preserve evidentiary material of which no more can be said than that it could have been subjected to tests. The Court held: There is no question but that the State complied with Brady and Agurs here. a positive result of DNA examination of the semen specimen extracted by Dr. and the boy’s examination at the hospital. Even assuming that the DNA analysis of the semen specimen taken from Carmela’s body hours after her death excludes Webb as the source thereof. As the records bear out. xxxx The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. which contained information about the existence of the swab and the clothing. expert witnesses had testified that timely performance of tests with properly preserved semen samples could have produced results that might have completely exonerated the accused.

AMENDING FOR THAT PURPOSE THE REVISED PENAL LAWS. pursuant to current jurisprudence that in cases of rape with homicide. 1993 and was to become effective fifteen (15) days after its publication in two national newspapers of general circulation. prevailing jurisprudence stated that DNA being a relatively new science then. [emphasis supplied. 7659 entitled "AN ACT TO IMPOSE DEATH PENALTY ON CERTAIN HEINOUS CRIMES. We thus reiterate that the vaginal smear confirming the presence of spermatozoa merely corroborated Alfaro’s testimony that Carmela was raped before she was killed.000. there is no showing of bad faith on the part of the police investigators. Cabanayan’s admission during the hearing that it was still possible to subject the semen specimen to DNA analysis. Acting on reasonable belief that the proposed DNA examination will not serve the ends of justice but instead lead to complication and confusion of the issues of the case.193 Following People v. during the trial and upon our recent order for DNA testing. specifically the NBI. that there was no violation of the Due Process Clause. AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. the police collected the rectal swab and clothing on the night of the crime: respondent was not taken into custody until six weeks later. The important consideration in rape cases is not the emission of semen but the unlawful penetration of the female genitalia by the male organ. Dela Cruz. was likewise in order. Indeed. The prosecution did not conceal at anytime the existence of those vaginal swab and glass slide containing the vaginal smear. thus the possibility of the specimen having been tampered with or contaminated. the defense never raised the issue thereafter and resurrected the matter only in October 1997 when Webb’s counsel filed his motion. in the amount of P50.In this case. Curiously.196 ." which was approved on December 13. None of this information was concealed from respondent at trial.000. from what we have said. The Arizona Court of Appeals noted in its opinion – and we agree—that there was no suggestion of bad faith on the part of the police. therefore. No. despite Dr.000. 1997.] In this case. the award of civil indemnity ex delicto to their heirs. has not yet been accorded official recognition by our courts.000 moral damages in rape cases are awarded only if they are classified as heinous. was not yet effective. the presence or absence of spermatozoa is immaterial in a prosecution for rape. civil indemnity in the amount of P100.00 as civil indemnity. for the non-production of the vaginal swab and glass slide containing the semen specimen. OTHER SPECIAL PENAL LAWS. The failure of the police to refrigerate the clothing and to perform tests on the semen samples can at worst be described as negligent. AS AMENDED. As noted by the RTC when it denied Webb’s motion for DNA on November 25. and the evidence – such as it was – was made available to respondent’s expert who declined to perform any tests on the samples.195As the rape-slay of Carmela took place in 1991. a negative result of DNA examination of the semen specimen could not have exonerated Webb of the crime charged as his identity as a principal in the rape-slay of Carmela was satisfactorily established by the totality of the evidence.00 should be awarded to the heirs of the victim. It follows. but only the photographs of the glass slide containing the semen specimen for the purpose only of proving that Carmela was in fact raped and not that Webb was the source of the sperm/semen. R.00 each. the trial court properly denied Webb’s request for DNA testing. The RTC also considered the more than six (6) years that have elapsed since the commission of the crime in June 1991.A.000.00 civil indemnity and P75.192Civil indemnity is mandatory and granted to the heirs of the victims without need of proof other than the commission of the crime. For the deaths of Estrellita and Jennifer.191 On the other hand. A finding that the semen specimen did not match Webb’s DNA does not necessarily negate his presence at the locus criminis.194 P75. It bears to stress that the vaginal smear itself was not formally offered by the prosecution. Civil Liability of Appellants The Court sustains the award of P100.

4. 508. I respectfully vote that the appeals in the above-entitled cases be DISMISSED and the Decision dated December 15. MARTIN S. Vol. pp. p. Vol. TSN. Vols. 5. 267-273). VILLARAMA. pp. 2005 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 80-104. Rollo ( G.R. 176389). The rest of the awards given by the trial court are affirmed.R. No. 253-255. pp. 18-19. 1995. 3 4 5 6 7 TSN. pp.197 We find the amount of P2. 114. 4. 27-29 (Records. Vol. the award should not be to such an extent that it inflicts injustice on the accused.000. 8. TSN. October 23. pp. TSN. 37-40).R. 82-87. October 23. pp. 694-695). Associate Justice Footnotes 1 Penned by Associate Justice Rodrigo V. pp. 12 . TSN. November 8. Vol.00 to be awarded in cases of rape with homicide. JR. 11 TSN. 79-81 and 93-99 (Records. pp. While courts have a wide latitude in ascertaining the proper award for moral damages. 27-40. 2004. 980 and 988-989). pp. 395. October 30. No. Vol. No. pp. 953-966. pp.C. pp. 1. 13. pp. pp. 00336 be AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION only as to the award of damages. pp. 117-118 (Records. 943-944. 3-6 (Records. Tagle (dissented in the resolution of appellants’ motion for reconsideration). Vol. 1-3.00 as moral damages awarded by the RTC as affirmed by the CA. Exhibit "A". 2 Rollo (G. 6. 176864). 4. pp. 91. pp. Maambong and Lucenito N. Vol. Vol. recent jurisprudence allows the amount of P75. 5. 8 TSN.00 as moral damages to the heir of the victims should accordingly be reduced to P500.000.000.R.000. 263-499. 9 10 TSN. CR H. 5 & 6. Effective October 15. 99-103 (Records. 1995. No. pp. No. 142-143 (Records. 5.As to moral damages. pp. 176864). p. 6-10 (Records. In view of the foregoing. 10-24 (Records. pp. October 18. 1995. October 10. pp. 900-902). Vol. TSN.00. Vol. October 16. 4. 1995. pp. Rollo (G.000. 258-272). 418 and 421-422). October 10. 393-399 and rollo (G. 176389). pp. 1995. Records.R. Cosico and concurred in by Associate Justices Regalado E. rather excessive. 273-278).000. Records. 1995. 525-550. Pictures of the Vizconde house at Records. 1.198 The award of P2. 1995. 254-258). October 19. Vol. 54 and 62-63 (Records. 1995. 1995.

pp. pp. 4. 456-459. TSN. 20 TSN. 13-20. pp. Vol. TSN. TSN. October 24. Vol. TSN. pp. 79-109. Records. 75-76 (Id. 628 to 628-A). 104-121 and 155 (Records. TSN. Id. 1996. "W" and "X". 1. "Q" to "R"... Records. 42-64. pp. TSN. 70-79. 38. 1996. February 19. October 10. 1996. 1995 Affidavit.. Vol. 156-164 (Records. 330-338). 4. 593-625. Vol. 1995. 50-51. 1995. 586-588). at pp. 1996. pp. pp. "V". 1415. 14 15 16 17 Id. pp. TSN. 4. 1996.. May 22. 673-694). 1996. Vols. 323-324. 98-100 (Records. 17-34. pp. 8. 22 Id. pp. 97-98. 8. 40-72. at pp. 8-14. 1996. TSN. p. 8-10. pp. 1995. Id. TSN. 4. 328-330. 67-91. October 10. 97-104 (Id. l. pp. pp. Vol. 63-64. 528-530). TSN. Vol.. pp. 649-656). TSN. 8. 7. January 31. 77-82. 5. Records. Vol. TSN. March 25. 28. Records. TSN. 17-18 and 74. at pp. pp. May 2. January 30. 8. Records. pp. TSN. pp. 50. 589-607). pp. May 22. pp. 1995. pp. January 25. 1. pp. 55. at pp. pp. 121-142 (Id. pp. 4. at pp. pp. 1995 Affidavit. pp. 60-81. 21 Id. TSN. 1995. Records. pp. 19 Id. October 16. January 31. 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 . 1996. TSN. February 29. pp. February 8. May 22. 64. 104-106. 23 Exhibits "G" to "G-2".. pp. 36-53 (Records.. 628-A to 649). 278-295 and 329). 24 Exhibits "H" to "K". pp. 76-97 (Records. 308-310. TSN. January 31. p. Vol. TSN. 1996.. 1995 Affidavit. pp. 111-112. Id. Exhibits "M" to "U". 34-55. at pp. 1996. 21-22. at pp. at pp. TSN. 1996. 59-75. 18 TSN. 1996. 1996. October 10. 97-98. February 26. at pp.13 TSN. 6-39. pp. January 31. 311-315. pp. Vol. February 26. Vol. October 10. 33-35 (Records. 663-664. 319-322. Vol. Records. 1996. at p. March 25. 25 Exhibit "Y" to "BB". March 4. February 27. 96. 57-69. 165 (339). Vol. 1996. pp. 1996. 7-8. 6 & 7. 1995.

TSN. 176389). Vol. TSN. 1996. 1997. 73-74. Exhibits "79". April 23. 14-19.. No. Records. 24-28. March 14. TSN. June 19. Id. pp. 128-129. 1996. Records. Vol. July 8. pp. Exhibit "C". pp. pp. 46 Id. 79. TSN. at pp. 1996. pp. 5-79. 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 Id. 25-27.. 31. pp. 55-66. 103-104. 48. 9-12.. 66-86. 1997. Records. TSN. 15-25. p. 47 48 49 TSN. 12.. 1997. April 16. Vol. 38-56. 28-73. 9-19. April 30. 1995. 51-54. 26. December 5. pp. pp. 80-82. TSN. pp. pp. 34 TSN. at pp. Id.33 TSN. See page 4 of CA Decision. 1997. 207.. pp. "331". 12. March 18. April 16.. 103-105. at pp. 203. July 1. pp. TSN. 1996. 51 TSN. 81-86. December 6. February 11. 53 54 55 .R. Id. at pp. 21-65. TSN. 790795. pp. "346". 88-97. at pp. "234". 79-89. "305". 12-13. rollo (G. 41-45. "307" and "244" to "246". 48-49. August 14.. pp. Exhibits "SSSS" and "TTTT". at pp. 11-19. 1997. 1996. June 9. 61-62. TSN. 88-89. March 14. 1997. 104-106. 1997. 121. 50 Id. 15-23. 134-148. pp. pp. 90-91. pp. 63-64. 82-102. 52 Id.. 1997. September 1. "306". 1996. 21. 304. December 13. 20-22. July 3. Id. 20-26. p. 11-25. pp. pp. 53-54. 18-38. pp. "295". p. TSN. TSN. at pp. Id. pp.. 19. 9-10. 29-36. TSN. TSN. Exhibits "223" to "295". 1995. Employment Contract of Gaviola. TSN. 1996. at pp. March 18. 8. 1995. 1997. 96-104. at pp. TSN. April 23. 1997. 31. 53-72. "319". TSN.

Exhibits "341" and "342". pp. 40.. 23-32. Exhibit "319-A". July 2. TSN. 3). 24. 29-32 (Vol. 63-65. July 16. 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 . 141-145 (Vol. 65-70. 54-58. 58-62. 28-30. Exhibit "347" and submarkings. pp. "326". pp. 4). pp. 1997. pp. TSN. TSN. pp. pp 33-37. Exhibits "207" to"219". 37-42. 21. 1997. June 26. pp. Exhibit "337-B". July 7. Exhibit "331". 1997. 1997. Exhibit "309". 16-17. 1997. 1996. 78-84. Id. "309-A" and submarkings. p. TSN. pp. 21. "325". Vol. 44-57. 1997. 21. 116 (Vol. Exhibit "349". pp. Exhibits "369" and "364". 51-64.56 TSN. Records. May 9. Exhibits "323". 1997. Exhibit "348". Records. Vol. 14-33. 140. 75-78. Exhibit "338". 9-12. Exhibit "346". 3). Records. 61-63. 13-28. 6-9. August 12. 112. 1996. pp. TSN. 26-32. June 3. TSN. July 16. 19-35. pp. TSN. 4). 1997. Vol. 46-51. 104-142 (Vol. TSN. at pp. 37. July 29. June 2. Exhibit "344". TSN.

6-7. TSN. 43-73. 18-19. TSN. pp. 1998. 99 TSN. 40-44. pp. February 9. pp. January 26. 1-7. November 18. 1). 21-62. TSN. 157. 169 (Vol. pp. 17-19. 1997. pp. 265 (Vol. November 17. TSN. 1998. 1997. 1998. 72. pp. Exhibit "260". 1996. 43-47.81 Exhibit "207-B". 51-52. 1997. 1). 29-42. 82 83 84 85 86 Exhibit "192". 81-131. 1998. 6-7. 55-72. 14. 1). 37-44. Records.. pp. 13-41. pp. pp. pp. 1-171. 38-43. Vol. Exhibit "212-D". 91-92. 39-56. 254-256. 21. Vol. TSN. February 16. 39-64. February 4. February 3. Vol. 158. Exhibit "216". 21. 104-121. 7-8. 9-26. Exhibits "274" and "275". pp. April 15-17. 272-274 (Vol. TSN. 100 101 102 103 104 Records. November 12. May 22. 37-39. 1997. 1998. November 12. 1998. Id. 87 Exhibit "215" "215-B" "215-C". pp. TSN. 21. pp. October 9. August 6. 1998 and February 19. TSN. at pp. Records. . TSN. 10-11. Exhibit "261". 78-125. 1997. 1998. 1998. 253-279 (Vol. TSN. January 21. Vol. 25. 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 TSN. p. pp. 1). 2). 17-30. pp. 91-94. Exhibit "262". TSN. pp. 18-21. 38-41. Records. Penned by Judge Amelita G. 194 (Vol. TSN. January 14. Tolentino (now an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals). January 22. 142-157. TSN. TSN. pp. 1997. 1997.

supra at p. No. 176159. 136299. Fukuzume v. 2000. 218 SCRA 657. 1995. No. CA rollo. 143647. pp. 25. February 9. March 4. 1993. Vol. G. Comanda. September 13. G. 23. 180. 743. 429 SCRA 330. at pp. TSN. Dacudao and Lucenito N. 2007. 495. pp. May 27. 2007. 175928. 2004. 526 SCRA 689. No. 170-171. Rodrigo.. 82-86. citing Francisco. November 11. at pp. 106 107 Justices Renato C. 123 People v. 40-41. No. 266-267. 197. 1004... TSN. Evidence. 429 SCRA 478. 2007. G. 130531. 176864). G. VII. 596. Rostata. 742-746. pp.R.R. p. G. July 2.R. p. 121039-45. Id. Meneses. 719. 424 SCRA 698. CA rollo Vol. 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 People v. 410 SCRA 183. 126781. TSN. 2003.R. Magallanes. March 26.12-15. 91482. Exhibits "GGGG-1" and "GGGG-4". 597. Comiling. Alto. G. 152. 118 119 120 121 TSN. No. 302 SCRA 21. 139. No. pp. 522 SCRA 207. citing People v. Id. 122 People v.R. 564 SCRA 584. August 29. Pineda. 43-52. 200. 140405. 116 People v. G. August 31. Tagle dissented. pp.R. September 11. July 6. 1999. People v. 12. Simon. People v. 175880. 141644. G.R. pp. 319 Phil. IV. 2008. See photographs. G. G. 1996. April 24. May 27. 474 SCRA 570. 11742.R.R. 74. See Dissenting Opinion. Rodrigo. October 18.R. Vol. 125 People v.R. 1990 ed. July 11. 352. 136 (1968). pp. No. No. at p.105 Records. No. 124 People v. 159 SCRA 613 citing People v. L-74669. 3478-3479.. People v. G. citing People v. 126 . 97. Pringas. Vol. 288 SCRA 95. No. 340 SCRA 189.R. 402-404. 1995. 135 Phil. 1998. 2005. January 25. People v. 117 People v. Jr. Records. G. Id. Vol. 173197. No. Teehankee.R. 161. No. People. 531 SCRA 828. Quima. G. No. No. 1996 . 2004. 179 (1995). 50. 356-358. IV. Zinampan. 108 Rollo (G. 14 April 1988. De Guzman.R.. No. 128. October 17. citing People v.

Vol. 1999. G. 553 and People v. citing People v. citing People v. 2002. No. Hillado. at p. No. 2001. G. G. March 20. 129209. November 25. L63728. September 15. 339-340. Malones. 127156. No. 307 SCRA 535. 129 Id. G. No. See also "Passport-reading Machine Uncovers Fake Documents" by Tina Santos. September 18.R. People.http://www.php?topic=5848. October 27. 1998. 2005. 97935. 140 Soriano v. G. July 21. October 23. G. 122838. No. No. No. 2004. as cited in People v. Canada. Records. 124829. 148123. 1999. 336 SCRA 615. L-60744.R. inquirer.R.127 People v. pp.R. 289 SCRA 316. Florentino Bracamonte. 2008. Benito. 251 (1950). 120620-21. 132 133 134 135 Bastian v. G. Balmoria. 450. G.. February 18. G.R.G. pp. No. "DFA-RP Passport Exposes Filipinos to Discrimination" by Venorica Uy. 1999. 512.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20080615-142790/Passport-readingmachine-uncovers-fake-documents. No. 2000.R. pp. 1986. G. 303 SCRA 335. 31.pinoymoneytalk. 141 Fernan. No. L-48255. People. Reduca. 124388-90. Tagun. TSN. citing People v.R. June 30. 575.0.R. at p. 126027. 95939. 142 Sourced from Internet -. Nos. Mosquerra. Aliposa. 425 SCRA 318. 9-12. December 15. G. 301 SCRA 516. 46. CA rollo. No.com/forum/index. Luces. citing People v. No. 136 Rollo (G. 128072. 377 SCRA 154. No. Demeterio. 28-30. 333. Zabala. 556 SCRA 595. Philippine Daily Inquirer. March 11. 1999. 1997.. Tulop. Nos. November 24. 1999. 129968-69. 86 Phil. 176864). IV. 131 G. Romero. Batidor. G. 605. 708.R. L-38786. 319 SCRA 36. Vol. 110559. 531 SCRA 1. G. 1982. and People v. No. 2008. People v. 112989. August 24.R. People v. 350. 1998.com/forum/index. Last Updated 07-05pm (Mla time) 03/13/2007 sourced fromhttp://www. G. People v. 128 Id. Nos. 160811.R. G. May 24. No. 362 SCRA 441. February 15. January 21.0 . and People v. 262 SCRA 22. Realin. 451. Vide: People v. 138874-75.R.G. En Banc Resolution. 2004. 25.R. 1999. v.inquirer.People v. July 31. February 3. 534. 169.R. 317 SCRA 566.R. 1996. No. Nos. G. February 19. August 12. citing People v. pp. No. People v. 145927. No. 125 SCRA 813. 130 People v. 137 138 139 People v. 263 SCRA 471. January 21. 126051. 126094-95.R. 421 SCRA 530. 119 SCRA 234.R. 36. August 9. 137745. People v. 124 SCRA 914.R. 1999.pinoymoneytalk. Aňonuevo.R. De Labajan. 287 SCRA 687. September 10. 1983. June 17. Balacano. No. Court of Appeals. 303 SCRA 468.R.net. 1996. G.R. Jr. citing People v. November 21. People v. No.php?topic=5848. No. 1983. 463 SCRA 654. 1996. 288-299. April 14. first posted 03:29:00 06/15/2008 at website -http://newsinfo. G. 450. 2007. Saban. 301 SCRA 495. 3455-3463. 122-124. 144 SCRA 121.R. 621. 662-664.

440. 3564-3566. 143-153. Sumaoy. p. January 28.R. No. Records. the INS normally does not maintain records on individuals who are entering the country as visitors rather than as immigrants. citing People v. 1142. 267 SCRA 64. 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 People v. 133814. CA rollo. pp. No. Id. Vol.. TSN.R. pp. pp. A notation concerning the entry of a visitor may be made in the Nonimmigrant Information System (NIIS). 1141 and 1157.R.R. Vol. Records.143 Exhibits "YY". Vol. 1995. 155 TSN. July 17. Exhibit "42-M". Webb are found. 263 SCRA 460 and People v. 105961. 98-109. pp. 24 & 25. 145 146 147 Vide: Soriano v. p. CA rollo. 1997. 361 SCRA 274. at pp. October 10. No. Vol. p. IV. Records. The NIIS was searched. pp. 81. G. October 22. 104400. pp. 3542-3550. pp. 129-131. 148123. 556 SCRA 595. G. 25.. I suggest you write to those agencies to request the information you seek. 9. Vol. "33" and "34". It has been determined that this response is correct. IV. Webb’s entry into the country. Padao. IV. 708. G. 270. and no records pertaining to Mr. 711-713. pp. 3564. 9. Vol. Records. 1996. Exhibits "30". Vol. Records. G. No. Records. Vol. For your information. p. 1147 and Records. I am informed by the San Francisco District Office that this matter is still pending in that office and that a formal response to your request will be issued shortly. Cited by reference in Exhibit III. 2008. October 10. Ortiz. Vol. 604. 2001. June 30. 2684-2687. "DDD" and "213-1-D". Vol. It is possible that either the State Department or the United States Customs Service might have information concerning Mr. 1995. Vols. 26. 97-98 Id. CA rollo. Records. 9. 9. People. at p. 144 Exhibits "XX" and "LLL". You were informed by the San Francisco District Office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service that no records responsive to you request could be located in its file. 9. 1154. but many visitors are not entered into this system. 156 157 158 . pp.

TSN.321 SCRA 23. 118828 & 119371. Id. No. Sec. October 17. 1999. 288 SCRA 225. Id. September 3. G. January 14. No. People v. 126119. March 27. G. 1995. 105673. at p.. pp. No. Layno. 531-542. 413 SCRA 397. Diaz.. 124705.159 Id. January 20.R. 264 SCRA 558. No. A. G. 1996.R. at pp. 515 and People v. No. No. People v. at pp. July 14.R. 115351. People v. 160 161 162 163 164 Article 8. July 26. Pelopero. Sumalpong. G.People v. 748. People v. pp. Vol. A. 4. 373 U. 3081. Bersales..M.R. 1998. Malvenda. 176389). 1998. 97.R. No. No. 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 See City Prosecution Office of General Santos City v. 133833. 110829. 391 SCRA 19. 436.R. . No. pp. The Revised Penal Code. No. IV.R. Medina.R. No. 165 People v. 128900. p. No. 586-592. 580-585. October 7. Magana. G. G. 39 .M. 10037. No.R. Obello. 677. citing People v.. Amodia. No. October 15. Abordo.R. 2000. citing People v.R. 335. pp.R. July 10. G. 431 SCRA 430. 410. 2003. 297 SCRA 229. 292 SCRA 436. 173791. 1998. citing People v. G. Watiwat. G. 107245. 335 SCRA 646. G. G. 117-119.R. G. 72-79. 110833. 121792. 139400. No. Id. 2002. 2009. Id. 259 SCRA 381. June 9.R. 169 People v.R. 326 SCRA 693. Sicad. February 29. 2003. 108772. 1998. 584 SCRA 518. 176389). December 17. Lagarto. MTJ-04-1552. G. 95. citing People v. April 18. 166 People v. No. 271 SCRA 504. 402. Id. 1995. October 15. Rollo (G. 543-554. 2000. October 16. 284 SCRA 79. 410 SCRA 324. April 7.R. May 21. 2004. November 21.. TSN. 167 CA rollo. 560-563. G. 290 SCRA 353. Antonio. 127157. 83 (1963). G. at p. 1998. 1996. 1998. Nos. 1997. and People v. G. 34. 284 SCRA 229. at pp. 06-11-5-SC. Chua. 168 People v. as amended.S. Rollo (G. No.R. People v.R.. 88. No. Pulusan. No.

R. 2000. March 10. 163351.R.Arellano Law Foundation . 130525.R. 172326. Id. 147674-75. 555-556. Supra note 180. 192 People v. 176640. G. 150224.. January 19. 514-517. 678. 2d 844. 370. and People v. 1999. 109 S Ct 333. 121539. G. 428 SCRA 504.R. September 16. No. 425 SCRA 247. 298 SCRA 184. and Paula H. Westchester Co. People. 563 SCRA 181. 149 Misc. No.S. 2005.S.R.. 313 SCRA 650. G. 673. 134939. August 22. 529 SCRA 109. No. Matter of Dabbs v. 659.R. G. G. People v. G. Arellano.S. 195 196 197 198 The Lawphil Project . at pp. Flanders. Vergari. 51 (1988). 2d 765 (Sup. supra at 558. 467 U. 460 SCRA 547. 257. 1999. March 17. 1998. August 2. G. 189 190 488 U.R. Ct. 373 U.. No.179 Id. Id. June 21.R. 583. Juntilla. People v. Jr.R. No. Sacapaño. 194 G. September 3. 479 (1984). p.Y. 130604. No. 1990). No. No. 2009. Michaelis. Supra note 181. No. 325 SCRA 671.S. G. 152954. Opuran. 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 A Litigator’s Guide to DNA From the Laboratory to the Courtroom by Ron C. 570 N. citing