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[G.R. No. 178321, October 05, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFFAPPELLEE, VS. CONRADO LAOG Y RAMIN, ACCUSED-APPELLANT. DECISION VILLARAMA, JR., J.

: For our review is the March 21, 2007 Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CAG.R. CR HC No. 00234 which affirmed appellant's conviction for murder in Criminal Case No. 2162-M-2000 and rape in Criminal Case No. 2308-M-2000. Appellant Conrado Laog y Ramin was charged with murder before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 11, of Malolos, Bulacan. The Information,[2]which was docketed as Criminal Case No. 2162-M-2000, alleged: That on or about the 6th day of June, 2000, in the municipality of San Rafael, province of Bulacan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, armed with a lead pipe and with intent to kill one Jennifer Patawaran-Rosal, did then and there wil[l]fully, unlawfully and feloniously, with evident premeditation, abuse of superior strength and treachery, attack, assault and hit with the said lead pipe the said Jennifer Patawaran-Rosal, thereby inflicting upon said Jennifer Patawaran-Rosal serious physical injuries which directly caused her death. Contrary to law. He was likewise charged before the same court with the crime of rape of AAA.[3] The second Information,[4]which was docketed as Criminal Case No. 2308-M-2000, alleged: That on or about the 6thday of June, 2000, in the municipality of San Rafael, province of Bulacan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with lewd designs, by means of force, violence and intimidation, that is, by attacking and hitting with a lead pipe one [AAA] which resulted [in] her incurring serious physical injuries that almost caused her death, and while in such defenseless situation, did then and there have carnal knowledge of said [AAA] against her will and consent.

Contrary to law. When arraigned, appellant pleaded not guilty to both charges. The two cases were thereafter tried jointly because they arose from the same incident. The prosecution presented as its principal witness AAA, the rape victim who was 19 years old at the time of the incident. Her testimony was corroborated by her grandfather BBB, Dr. Ivan Richard Viray, and her neighbor CCC. AAA testified that at around six o'clock in the evening of June 6, 2000, she and her friend, Jennifer Patawaran-Rosal, were walking along the rice paddies on their way to apply for work at a canteen near the National Highway in Sampaloc, San Rafael, Bulacan. Suddenly, appellant, who was holding an ice pick and a lead pipe, waylaid them and forcibly brought them to a grassy area at the back of a concrete wall. Without warning, appellant struck AAA in the head with the lead pipe causing her to feel dizzy and to fall down. When Jennifer saw this, she cried out for help but appellant also hit her on the head with the lead pipe, knocking her down. Appellant stabbed Jennifer several times with the ice pick and thereafter covered her body with thick grass.[5] Appellant then turned to AAA. He hit AAA in the head several times more with the lead pipe and stabbed her on the face. While AAA was in such defenseless position, appellant pulled down her jogging pants, removed her panty, and pulled up her blouse and bra. He then went on top of her, sucked her breasts and inserted his penis into her vagina. After raping AAA, appellant also covered her with grass. At that point, AAA passed out.[6] When AAA regained consciousness, it was nighttime and raining hard. She crawled until she reached her uncle's farm at daybreak on June 8, 2000.[7]When she saw him, she waved at him for help. Her uncle, BBB, and a certain Nano then brought her to Carpa Hospital in Baliuag, Bulacan where she stayed for more than three weeks. She later learned that Jennifer had died.[8] During cross-examination, AAA explained that she did not try to run away when appellant accosted them because she trusted appellant who was her uncle by affinity. She said that she never thought he would harm them.[9]

Jennifer's BBB testified that on June 8, 2000, at about six o'clock in the morning, he was at his rice field at Sampaloc, San Rafael, Bulacan when he saw a woman waving a hand and then fell down. The woman was about 200 meters away from him when he saw her waving to him, and he did not mind her. However, when she was about 100 meters away from him, he recognized the woman as AAA, his granddaughter. He immediately approached her and saw that her face was swollen, with her hair covering her face, and her clothes all wet. He asked AAA what happened to her, and AAA uttered, "Si Tata Coni" referring to appellant who is his son-in-law.[10] With the help of his neighbor, he brought AAA home. [11] AAA was later brought to Carpa Hospital in Baliuag, Bulacan where she recuperated for three weeks. CCC, neighbor of AAA and Jennifer, testified that sometime after June 6, 2000, she visited AAA at the hospital and asked AAA about the whereabouts of Jennifer. AAA told her to look for Jennifer somewhere at Buenavista. She sought the assistance of Barangay Officials and they went to Buenavista where they found Jennifer's cadaver covered with grass and already bloated.[12] Meanwhile, Dr. Ivan Richard Viray, a medicolegal officer of the Province of Bulacan, conducted the autopsy on the remains of Jennifer. His findings are as follows: ...the body is in advanced stage of decomposition[;] ... eyeballs and to[n]gue were protru[d]ed; the lips and abdomen are swollen; ... desquamation and bursting of bullae and denudation of the epidermis in the head, trunks and on the upper extremities[;] [f]rothy fluid and maggots coming from the nose, mouth, genital region and at the site of wounds, ... three (3) lacerations at the head[;] two (2) stab wounds at the submandibular region[;] four [4]punctured wounds at the chest of the victim[.] ... cause of death of the victim was hemorrhagic shock as result of stab wounds [in] the head and trunk.[13] The prosecution and the defense also stipulated on the testimony of Elizabeth Patawaran, Jennifer's mother, as to the civil aspect of Criminal Case No. 2162-M-2000. It was stipulated that she spent P25,000 for

funeral

and

burial.[14]

Appellant, on the other hand, denied the charges against him. Appellant testified that he was at home cooking dinner around the time the crimes were committed. With him were his children, Ronnie, Jay, Oliver and Conrado, Jr. and his nephew, Rey Laog. At around seven o'clock, he was arrested by the police officers of San Rafael, Bulacan. He learned that his wife had reported him to the police after he "went wild" that same night and struck with a lead pipe a man whom he saw talking to his wife inside their house. When he was already incarcerated, he learned that he was being charged with murder and rape.[15] Appellant further testified that AAA and Jennifer frequently went to his nipa hut whenever they would ask for rice or money. He claimed that in the evening of June 5, 2000, AAA and Jennifer slept in his nipa hut but they left the following morning at around seven o'clock. An hour later, he left his house to have his scythe repaired. However, he was not able to do so because that was the time when he "went wild" after seeing his wife with another man. He admitted that his nipa hut is more or less only 100 meters away from the scene of the crime.[16] The defense also presented appellant's nephew, Rey Laog, who testified that he went to appellant's house on June 5, 2000, at around three o'clock in the afternoon, and saw AAA and Jennifer there. He recalled seeing AAA and Jennifer before at his uncle's house about seven times because AAA and his uncle had an illicit affair. He further testified that appellant arrived before midnight on June 5, 2000 and slept with AAA. The following morning, at around six o'clock, AAA and Jennifer went home. He and appellant meanwhile left the house together. Appellant was going to San Rafael to have his scythe repaired while he proceeded to his house in Pinakpinakan, San Rafael, Bulacan.[17] After trial, the RTC rendered Decision[18]on June 30, 2003 finding guilty beyond reasonable doubt crimes. The dispositive portion of decision reads: a Joint appellant of both the RTC

WHEREFORE, in Crim. Case No. 2162-M-2000, this court finds the accused Conrado Laog GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of Murder under Art. 248 of the Revised Penal Code, as

as amended. In a Decision dated March 21. she was still able to put on her clothes and crawl to her grandfather's farm. b.[21] Appellant is now before this Court assailing the CA's affirmance of his conviction for both crimes of rape and murder. In Criminal Case [No. the prosecution's main witness. He argues that for abuse of superior strength to be appreciated in the killing of Jennifer. P50. adopting the arguments in their respective briefs filed in the CA. Accused-Appellant is further ordered to pay the heirs of Jennifer Patawaran [an] additional P25.00 as civil indemnity. is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. arguing that it lacked some details on how.[20]the case was referred to the CA for appropriate action and disposition. c. after she was raped and stabbed by appellant. Appellant also contends that the prosecution failed to establish that he carefully planned the execution of the crimes charged. Appellant further contends that the trial court and CA erred in appreciating the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength.000. a.000.00 as actual damages. SO ORDERED.000. According to him. 2003. of the Regional Trial Court of Malolos. II THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT GUILTY OF THE CRIMES CHARGED DESPITE FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO PROVE HIS GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. WHEREFORE. The appeal lacks merit. the physical attributes of both the accused and the victim should have been shown in order to determine whether the accused had the capacity to overcome the victim physically or whether the victim was substantially weak and unable to put up a defense. and points out alleged inconsistencies in her testimony. Additionally. the CA affirmed with modification the trial court's judgment.00 as civil indemnity. the following sums of money: a.[19] Appellant appealed his conviction to this Court.000. in Criminal Case Nos. AAA's narration that he waylaid them while walking along the rice paddies on their way to apply for work negates evident premeditation since there was no evidence that the said path was their usual route.000. P60. Bulacan.00 as moral damages. P30. P50. in Crim. (a) of the Revised Penal Code. He assails AAA's credibility. and hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and to pay the private complainant the following sums of money.000. In a Resolution[22]dated August 22.[23] Appellant asserts that the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt for the killing of Jennifer Patawaran-Rosal and the rape of AAA. and hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and to pay the heirs of Jennifer Patawaran. Jurisprudence has decreed that the issue of credibility of . The exemplary damages awarded by the Trial Court in 2162-M-2000 & 2308-M2000 are hereby reduced to P25. c. SO ORDERED.amended. But conformably with our pronouncement in People v. 2162-M-2000 & 2308-M2000. 266-A par. Appellant had raised the following errors allegedly committed by the trial court: I THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN GIVING CREDENCE TO THE INCONSISTENT AND INCREDIBLE TESTIMONY OF PROSECUTION WITNESS [AAA]. he attempts to cast doubt upon AAA's testimony. Branch 11. if they so desire. P30. However.00 as exemplary damages. we required the parties to submit their respective Supplemental Briefs.00 as moral damages. the instant Appeal is DISMISSED. Mateo. Case No. The dispositive portion of the CA decision reads: WHEREFORE. The assailed Joint Decision.000. 2308-M-2000.] 2162M-2000. dated June 30. the parties submitted separate Manifestations in lieu of Supplemental Briefs. 2007.00 each.000.00 as exemplary damages. P50. Appellant principally attacks the credibility of prosecution witness AAA. 2007. this Court hereby finds the accused Conrado Laog GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of Rape under Art. b.

sir. sir. in deference to her agitated situation. this time. what is the reason why you did not reach your place of work? We were waylaid (hinarang) by Conrado Laog. composed and collected. Thus. In what manner were you waylaid by Conrado Laog? Conrado Laog hit me with the pipe on my head. during the next hearing she was able to narrate her harrowing ordeal in a clear and straightforward manner. And you heard Jennifer but did you see her? Yes."[25]This rule is even more stringently applied if the appellate court concurred with the trial court. We quote the pertinent portions of her testimony: Q: During your previous testimony. And what was Conrado Laog doing? He approached Jennifer. She took her oath with trembling hands. all vestiges of doubt on her credibility vanished. After a few questions in direct. However. if any? I heard Jennifer crying. we defer to the trial court's firsthand observations on AAA's deportment while testifying and its veritable assessment of her credibility. sir. 2000. describing in detail how appellant waylaid them and mercilessly hit and attacked her and Jennifer with a lead pipe and ice pick before raping her. particularly when no significant facts and circumstances are shown to have been overlooked or disregarded which when considered would have affected the outcome of the case. Appellant had not shown any sufficiently weighty reasons for us to disturb the trial court's evaluation of the prosecution eyewitness' credibility.[27] Indeed. the reviewing court is generally bound by the former's findings. Face down. And what happened to you when you were hit with the lead pipe by Conrado Laog? I fell down (nabuwal) because I felt dizzy. sir. Your Honor. A: Q: A: xxxx Q: A: Fiscal: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Court: Q: A: Fiscal: Q: A: Q: Where were you when you were hit? We were walking along the rice puddies (sic). her voice low and soft. hardly audible. where was she when you heard her crying? She was standing on the rice puddies.witnesses is "a question best addressed to the province of the trial court because of its unique position of having observed that elusive and incommunicable evidence of the witnesses' deportment on the stand while testifying which opportunity is denied to the appellate courts"[24]and "absent any substantial reason which would justify the reversal of the trial court's assessments and conclusions. In particular. Then. Where was Conrado Laog when you heard Jennifer crying? He was beside me.[26] Here. records bear out that AAA became so tense and nervous when she took the witness stand for the first time that the trial court had to cut short her initial direct examination. to wit: From the moment [AAA] took the stand. direct and straightforward in her narration. however. sir. sir. the lone eyewitness to Jennifer's killing and was herself brutally attacked by appellant who also raped her. Madam Witness. to continue with her aborted questioning. her eyes were constantly fixed on the floor as if avoiding an eye contact with the man she was about to testify against. the emotion building up inside her came to the fore and she burst into tears. How about Jennifer. badly shaken. Now. what happened next. sir. When she came back. this Court has to defer her direct-examination. (sic). unfit to continue any further with her testimony. both the trial and appellate courts gave credence and full probative weight to the testimony of AAA. you said that you're not able to reach your place of work on June 6. Your Honor. what happened next? . this Court has come to discern in her the trepidations of a woman outraged who is about to recount the ordeal she had gone through.

What did Conrado Laog do next? He stabbed Jennifer. without any strong evidence to support it. he went on top of me. should prevail over the alibi and denial of the appellant whose testimony is not substantiated by clear and convincing evidence. sir.[29]AAA was firm and unrelenting in pointing to appellant as the one who attacked her and Jennifer. Then. what did you do? I fell unconscious. appellant merely interposed the defense of denial and alibi. what did he do next? And then. he stood up. the logical conclusion is that the testimony is worthy of full faith and credence.[30]There is no evidence to show any improper motive on the part of AAA to testify falsely against appellant or to falsely implicate him in the commission of a crime. sir. sir. His defense. what happened next? He covered Jennifer with grasses. answered: Conrado Laog. For how long did the accused Conrado Laog insert his penis into your vagina? For quite sometime. He removed my panty and my blouse and my bra. sir. if any? He hit me with the pipe several times. After Conrado Laog stabbed Jennifer. sir. what did you do. however. did not run away as she never thought her own uncle would harm her and her friend. Thus. stabbing the latter to death before raping AAA. sir. Moreover. with AAA's familiarity and proximity with the appellant during the commission of the crime. we have held that positive identification of the accused. In fact.[32]we reiterated that -It is an established jurisprudential rule that a mere denial. And after that? He was forcing his penis into my vagina. When Conrado Laog came back to you. what happened? He sucked my breast. [31] Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: In People v. if Conrado Laog is inside the courtroom. what happened to you? After that. sir. And what happened to Jennifer? She fell down. cannot prevail over the straightforward and credible testimony of AAA who positively identified him as the perpetrator of the murder and rape. Time and again. upon encountering appellant. And after that. sir. And where did he go? After that. with Q: Now. He claimed that at the time of the incident. sir. It should be noted that AAA knew appellant well since they were relatives by affinity.A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: He hit Jennifer with the pipe. And what happened to you? And he stabbed me on my face. he pulled down my jogging pants. sir. Nieto. Did he suc[c]eed in putting his penis into your vagina? Yes. can scarcely overcome the positive declaration by the victim of the identity and involvement of appellant in the crimes . when categorical and consistent and without any showing of ill motive on the part of the eyewitness testifying. will you be able to point to him? Interpret er: Witness is pointing to a man wearing an inmate's uniform and when asked his name. sir. After that. sir. he was at his house with his children and nephew cooking dinner. sir. sir. sir. her identification of appellant could not be doubted or mistaken. Then. he covered me grasses. what did Conrado Laog do? He came back to me. what happened? After that. And after that. AAA. the most natural reaction of victims of violence is to strive to see the appearance of the perpetrators of the crime and observe the manner in which the crime is being committed. sir. x x x x[28] On the other hand. After that. As correctly held by the CA.

Discrepancies referring only to minor details . Thus. if credible.[40] In People v. a special complex crime provided under Article 266-B. in order that alibi might prosper. such defense is negative. unequivocal and credible. alibi is unacceptable when there is a positive identification of the accused by a credible witness. because it is easy to concoct and difficult to disprove. she nevertheless stated that when she crawled her way to her grandfather's farm she was wearing her clothes.[37] Thus we have ruled that a medical examination of the victim. alibi is the weakest of all defenses.[41]this Court explained the concept of a special complex crime. We stress that these weak defenses cannot stand against the positive identification and categorical testimony of a rape victim. An appeal in a criminal case opens the entire case for review on any question. appellant admitted that his house was more or less only 100 meters from the crime scene.[34]For a discrepancy or inconsistency in the testimony of a witness to serve as a basis for acquittal. his defense of alibi is not worthy of any credit for the added reason that he has not shown that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission.A. appellant did not undress her completely -. as amended by Republic Act (R.[36] As to the fact that the physician who examined AAA at the hospital did not testify during the trial. It must be underscored that the foremost consideration in the prosecution of rape is the victim's testimony and not the findings of the medico-legal officer. Appellant also contends that the prosecution should have presented the physician who examined AAA to prove her allegations that she was beaten and raped by appellant. appellant's defenses of denial and alibi deserve no consideration. it must establish beyond doubt the innocence of the appellant for the crime charged. it must also be shown that it would have been impossible for him to be anywhere within the vicinity of the crime scene. paragraph 5 of the Revised Penal Code.) No. The defense of alibi is likewise unavailing. which therefore explains why she still had her clothes on when she crawled to her grandfather's farm.her blouse and bra were merely lifted up ("nililis") while her undergarments were just pulled down. In view of the credible testimony of AAA.[38]as what we find in this case. Secondly. and collateral matters -. 8353. is sufficient to convict. self-serving. and undeserving of any weight in law. by minor inconsistencies in her testimony.attributed to him. including one not raised by the parties. a medical examination of the victim is not indispensable in a prosecution for rape. as well as the medical certificate. What is important is that the testimony of private complainant about the incident is clear. the victim's testimony alone. We are not persuaded. Nonetheless.[33] Appellant attempts to discredit AAA's accusation of rape by pointing out that while she testified on being very weak that she even passed out after she was raped by appellant. the resulting crime is called a special complex crime. Unless substantiated by clear and convincing proof. as follows: A discussion on the nature of special complex crime is imperative.[35]It cannot be overemphasized that the credibility of a rape victim is not diminished. is merely corroborative in character and is not an indispensable element for conviction in rape. Firstly. this matter raised by appellant is a minor detail which had nothing to do with the elements of the crime of rape.Where the law provides a single penalty for two or more component offenses.do not affect the veracity or detract from the essential credibility of witnesses' declarations.[39] The facts alleged and proven clearly show that the crime committed by appellant is rape with homicide. Lastly. during his cross-examination.not to the central fact of the crime -. In fact. we find that appellant should not have been convicted of the separate crimes of murder and rape. 2000. While we concur with the trial court's conclusion that appellant indeed was the one who raped AAA and killed Jennifer. Appellant does not dispute that he was near the vicinity of the crime on the evening of June 6. we find this not fatal to the prosecution's case. Some of Based on AAA's account. Larrañaga. In fact. as long as these are coherent and intrinsically believable on the whole. it is not enough to prove that the accused has been somewhere else during the commission of the crime. let alone impaired.

(2) robbery with rape. since they do not consist of a single act giving rise to two or more grave or less grave felonies [compound crimes] nor do they involve an offense being a necessary means to commit another [complex crime proper]. the prosecution must necessarily prove each of the component offenses with the same precision that would be necessary if they were made the subject of separate complaints. and (5) rape with homicide. the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death.) Considering that the prosecution in this case was able to prove both the rape of AAA and the killing of Jennifer both perpetrated by appellant. 7659 amended Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code by adding thereto this provision: "When the victim is killed or dies as a consequence of the detention. or more properly. as amended. [45] we expounded on the special complex crime of robbery with homicide. the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death. physical injuries and other offenses have been committed by reason or on the occasion of robbery. Barros. (4) kidnapping with murder or homicide.) A special complex crime. 266-B. When the rape is attempted and a homicide is committed by reason or on the occasion thereof. he is liable for rape with homicide under the above provision. (3) kidnapping with serious physical injuries. In a special complex crime."[44] Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. However. Justice Regalado. R. When by reason or on the occasion of the rape. But AAA survived and appellant's barbaric deeds were soon enough discovered. In People v. the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death. the penalty shall be death. As earlier mentioned. appellants should be convicted of the special complex crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with homicide and rape. as amended. The facts established showed that the constitutive elements of rape with homicide were consummated. appellant purposely covered AAA's body with grass. a composite crime. De Leon.the special complex crimes under the Revised Penal Code are (1) robbery with homicide. His carnal desire having been satiated. Appellant indeed thought that the savage blows he had inflicted on AAA were enough to cause her death as with Jennifer. An analogy may be drawn from our rulings in cases of robbery with homicide. the maximum penalty shall be imposed. x x x[42](Emphasis supplied. No. as follows: ." Considering that the prosecution was able to prove each of the component offenses. in his Separate Opinion in the case of People v. CBU-45303. x x x x (Emphasis supplied. When by reason or on the occasion of the rape. and it is immaterial that the person killed in this case is someone other than the woman victim of the rape. the Information specifically alleges that the victim Marijoy was raped "on the occasion and in connection" with her detention and was killed "subsequent thereto and on the occasion thereof. where the component acts of homicide. or is raped. Whenever the rape is committed with the use of a deadly weapon or by two or more persons. There is no doubt that appellant killed Jennifer to prevent her from aiding AAA or calling for help once she is able to run away. [43] explained that composite crimes are "neither of the same legal basis as nor subject to the rules on complex crimes in Article 48 [of the Revised Penal Code]. has its own definition and special penalty in the Revised Penal Code. In the cases at bar.["] and that this provision gives rise to a special complex crime. provides only a single penalty for the composite acts of rape and the killing committed by reason or on the occasionof the rape. only a single penalty is imposed for each of such composite crimes although composed of two or more offenses.A. the original intent of appellant. the victim has become insane. ART. just like the regular complex crimes and the present case of aggravated illegal possession of firearms. so that it may not be easily noticed or seen by passersby. Rape under paragraph 1 of the next preceding article shall be punished by reclusion perpetua. as he did earlier with Jennifer's body. particularly Criminal Case No. and also to silence her completely so she may not witness the rape of AAA. homicide is committed. or is subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts. Penalties.

abuse of superior strength and evident premeditation) alleged in the information have been duly established by the prosecution. the felony would still be robbery with homicide. There is no such felony of robbery with homicide through reckless imprudence or simple negligence. robbery with homicide. is committed by reason or on the occasion of the crime. thus. without reference or distinction as to the circumstances. the same would not qualify the killing to murder and the crime committed by appellant is still rape with homicide. All the felonies committed by reason of or on the occasion of the robbery are integrated into one and indivisible felony of robbery with homicide. treachery forms part of the circumstances proven concerning the actual commission of the complex crime.[49](Emphasis supplied. namely.[47]Hence. Salvatierra. In People v. we ruled that when alevosia (treachery) obtains in the special complex crime of robbery with homicide. intentional mutilation. Once a homicide is committed by or on the occasion of the robbery.There is no special complex crime of robbery with murder under the Revised Penal Code. rape. or usurpation of authority.[46] (Emphasis supplied. As aptly observed by the appellate court: It has long been established that an attack made by a man with a deadly weapon upon an . It is only the result obtained. as personally witnessed by AAA.) The aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength is considered whenever there is notorious inequality of forces between the victim and the aggressor that is plainly and obviously advantageous to the aggressor and purposely selected or taken advantage of to facilitate the commission of the crime. or that aside from the homicide. it helps determine the penalty to be imposed. The word "homicide" is used in its generic sense. the felony committed is robbery with homicide. the term "homicide" is to be understood in its generic sense. and includes murder and slight physical injuries committed by reason or on occasion of the rape. It is immaterial that the death would supervene by mere accident. The constitutive elements of the crime. during or after the robbery. with homicide perpetrated on the occasion or by reason of the robbery. Logically it could not qualify the homicide to murder but. causes or modes or persons intervening in the commission of the crime that has to be taken into consideration.In robbery with homicide. As in the case of robbery with homicide. They aver that treachery applies to crimes against persons and not to crimes against property. The homicide may take place before. the manner by which appellant had brutally slain Jennifer with a lethal weapon. by first hitting her in the head with a lead pipe to render her defenseless and vulnerable before stabbing her repeatedly. must be consummated.[50] It is taken into account whenever the aggressor purposely used excessive force that is out of proportion to the means of defense available to the person attacked. appellant struck Jennifer in the head with a lead pipe then stabbed her repeatedly until she was dead.[51] In this case. Robbery with homicide is a composite crime with its own definition and special penalty in the Revised Penal Code. even if any or all of the circumstances (treachery. and infanticide. such treachery is to be regarded as a generic aggravating circumstance. parricide. The intent to commit robbery must precede the taking of human life. Thus we ruled in People v. Miguel was rendered helpless by appellants in defending himself when his arms were held by two of the attackers before he was stabbed with a knife by appellant Macabales. the aggravating circumstance of treachery is to be considered as a generic aggravating circumstance only.) In the special complex crime of rape with homicide. Macabales[48] Finally. unmistakably showed that appellant intentionally used excessive force out of proportion to the means of defense available to his unarmed victim. Homicide. appellants contend that the trial court erred in concluding that the aggravating circumstance of treachery is present. we find that the trial court in this case correctly characterized treachery as a generic aggravating. as their other companions surrounded them. as generic aggravating circumstance. Clearly. rather than qualifying. includes murder. or that the victim of homicide is other than the victim of robbery. the original criminal design of the malefactor is to commit robbery. Likewise immaterial is the fact that the victim of homicide is one of the robbers. circumstance. Here. However. or that two or more persons are killed.

Such damages are separate and distinct from fines and shall be paid to the offended party. In criminal offenses. Among these circumstances is minority of the victim and her relationship to the offender: 1) When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent. 2229. as amended. Since the use of a deadly weapon raises the penalty for the rape. 2006 of R. an ice pick and a lead pipe. With respect to the rape committed against AAA. The accused-appellant's sudden attack caught the victim off-guard rendering her defenseless. Articles 2229 Code provide: and 2230 of the Civil one or more aggravating circumstances.unarmed and defenseless woman constitutes the circumstance of abuse of that superiority which his sex and the weapon used in the act afforded him. the basis for such award needs further clarification. [a]ccused-[a]ppellant clearly took advantage of the superiority which his strength. although not annulling it. threat or intimidation under Article 266-A (a). temperate. Why do you know her? Because she is our neighbor. or the common law spouse of the parent of the victim. her heirs are entitled to exemplary damages pursuant to Article 2230. guardian. was not alleged in the information but admitted by appellant when he testified in court: DIRECT CONRADO Atty. Roque: x x xx Q A Q A Q A Do you know a person by the name of [AAA]? Yes. by way of example or correction for the public good. No. The penalty provided in Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. relative byconsanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree. in view of the passage on June 24. in addition to the moral. stepparent.) AAA's relationship to appellant. Her house is just adjacent to ours.[53] The aggravating/qualifying circumstances of abuse of superior strength and use of deadly weapon have greater relevance insofar as the civil aspect of this case is concerned.A. However. this circumstance would justify the award of exemplary damages to the offended party (AAA) also in accordance with Article 2230. sex and weapon gave him over his unarmed victim. sir. provides that a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman through force. Abuse of superiority is determined by the excess of the aggressor's natural strength over that of the victim. exemplary damages as a part of the civil liability may be imposed when the crime was committed with . liquidated or compensatory damages.[52] Abuse of superior strength in this case therefore is merely a generic aggravating circumstance to be considered in the imposition of the penalty. considering the momentary position of both and the employment of means weakening the defense. 9346. Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. (Emphasis supplied. ascendant. as amended. where the victim is not given the opportunity to defend himself or repel the aggression. In view of the presence of abuse of superior strength in the killing of Jennifer. 2230. taking advantage of superior strength does not mean that the victim was completely defenseless. By deliberately employing deadly weapons. EXAMINATION LAOG OF By: Art. is death. Exemplary or corrective damages are imposed. How are you related to [AAA]? Her mother and my wife are sisters. and from which the woman was unable to defend herself. the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death. While the trial court and CA were correct in holding that both the victim of the killing (Jennifer) and the rape victim (AAA) are entitled to the award of exemplary damages. entitled "An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of the Death Penalty in the Philippines" the Court is mandated to impose on the appellant the penalty of reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole. whenever such rape is committed with the use of a deadly weapon or by two or more persons. Art. Article 266-B likewise provides for the imposition of death penalty if the crime of rape is committed with any of the aggravating/qualifying circumstances enumerated therein. who is his uncle by affinity. Unlike in treachery. sir.

This is in accordance with the aforesaid Article 2230. Among those in the first set are People v. there is preference in the use of exemplary damages when the award is to account for injury to feelings and for the sense of indignity and humiliation suffered by a person as a result of an injury that has been maliciously and wantonly inflicted. wantonness. but was not alleged. malice. we find. Heracleo Abello y Fortada. the theory being that there should be compensation for the hurt caused by the highly reprehensible conduct of the defendant-associated with such circumstances as willfulness. Thus. People v. Laciste. courts will not award exemplary damages. courts no longer consider the aggravating circumstances not alleged and proven in the determination of the penalty and in the award of damages. Catubigreasoned that the retroactive application of the Revised Rules should not adversely affect the vested rights of the private offended party. However. These terms are generally. x x x x Nevertheless. exemplary damages may still be awarded where the circumstances of the case show the "highly reprehensible or outrageous conduct of the offender. courts generally awarded exemplary damages in criminal cases when an aggravating circumstance. Thus. in criminal cases instituted before the effectivity of the Revised Rules which remained pending thereafter. People v.) The failure of the prosecution to allege in the information AAA's relationship to appellant will not bar the consideration of the said circumstance in the determination of his civil liability.Q A So she is your niece-in-law? Yes. Catubig. Dalisay[56]: Prior to the effectivity of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. Catubig laid down the principle that courts may still award exemplary damages based on the aforementioned Article 2230. and People of the Philippines v. Again. the difference between the two sets rests on when the criminal case was instituted. Magbanua. sir. but not always. Pertinent are the following sections of Rule 110: x x x x been sufficiently alleged but was consequently proven in the light of Catubig. especially those involving rape. with the promulgation of the Revised Rules." Citing our earlier ruling in the case of People v. had been proven to have attended the commission of the crime. gross negligence or recklessness. Catubig is enlightening on this point. Llave. and People of the Philippines v. and as a vindication of undue sufferings and wanton invasion of the rights of an injured or a punishment for those guilty of outrageous conduct. And in the second set are People v. oppression. Julio Manalili. even if an aggravating circumstance has been proven. The terms punitive or vindictive damages are often used to refer to those species of damages that may be awarded against a person to punish him for his Nevertheless. criminal cases. even if the same was not alleged in the information. even if an aggravating circumstance attending the commission of the crime had not . dichotomized: one awarding exemplary damages. in our body of jurisprudence. People v.People of the Philippines v. Orilla. either before or after the effectivity of the Revised Rules. used interchangeably. exemplary or corrective damages are intended to serve as a deterrent to serious wrong doings. People v. even if the aggravating circumstance has not been alleged. In any case.People of the Philippines v. Dante Gragasin y Par. People of the Philippines v. Jaime Cadag Jimenez. Edwin Mejia. courts have lost sight of the very reason why exemplary damages are awarded. whether ordinary or qualifying.[55]this Court clarified inPeople v. x x x x[54](Emphasis supplied. Calongui. insult or fraud or gross fraud--that intensifies the injury. Victor. even without the attendance of aggravating circumstances. so long as it has been proven. thus-Also known as "punitive" or "vindictive" damages. and another awarding exemplary damages only if an aggravating circumstance has both been alleged and proven following the Revised Rules. In common law. People v. by focusing only on Article 2230 as the legal basis for the grant of exemplary damages--taking into account simply the attendance of an aggravating circumstance in the commission of a crime.

causing her violent death. because it is assumed that a rape victim has actually suffered moral injuries entitling the victim to such award. Sr. these damages are intended in good measure to deter the wrongdoer and others like him from similar conduct in the future. without need of allegation and proof other than the death of the victim. 2007 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. therefore.hitting her several times on the head with a lead pipe before stabbing her face until she fell down.R. the CA correctly awarded her heirs the amount of P25."[57](Emphasis supplied. hurriedly lifting her bra and blouse and pulling down her undergarments.) In this case. as in the present one. Thus. as amended by R. [59] Anent the award of civil indemnity.000 to AAA as civil indemnity for the crime of rape. the Court awarded exemplary damages on account of the moral corruption. justified the award of exemplary damages.[58] In line with current jurisprudence. as well as the award of P50. we affirm the award of P50. the Court imposed exemplary damages to deter other fathers with perverse tendencies or aberrant sexual behavior from sexually abusing their own daughters. rather than Article 2230. "[t]he application of Article 2230 of the Civil Code strictissimi juris in such cases. 8353. the brutal manner by which appellant carried out his lustful design against his niece-in-law who never had an inkling that her own uncle would do any harm to her and her friend. In much the same way as Article 2230 prescribes an instance when exemplary damages may be awarded. Civil indemnity ex delicto is mandatory upon a finding of the fact of rape while moral damages are awarded upon such finding without need of further proof. The March 21. the same is increased to P75. to serve as deterrent to elders who abuse and corrupt the youth.outrageous conduct. defeats the underlying public policy behind the award of exemplary damages--to set a public example or correction for the public good. CR HC No. Article 2229. In either case.000 as moral damages. raping her while she was in such a defenseless position.. Matrimonio. to borrow Justice Carpio Morales' words in her separate opinion in People of the Philippines v.000 to conform with recent jurisprudence.[61] WHEREFORE. Also. the award of moral damages is mandatory. said amount having been stipulated by the parties during the trial.A.000 each for AAA and the heirs of Jennifer as exemplary damages was correctly awarded by the trial court.000 as actual damages. It must be noted that. People of the Philippines v. exemplary damages. Indeed. in the said cases. Pepito Neverio and The People of the Philippines v.000 as actual damages and . Dante Gragasin y Par. but also where the circumstances of the case show the highly reprehensible or outrageous conduct of the offender. Cristobal. We also affirm the trial court and CA in ordering appellant to pay the heirs of Jennifer Patawaran-Rosal the amounts of P50. Article 2229 of the Civil Code allows the award of exemplary damages in order to deter the commission of similar acts and to allow the courts to forestall behavior that would pose grave and deleterious consequences to society. to justify the award of exemplary damages. Being corrective in nature. lays down the very basis of the award.000 as civil indemnity ex delicto. in People of the Philippines v. who sustained more stab wounds and beatings. Accused-appellant is hereby ordered to pay the heirs of Jennifer Patawaran-Rosal P75. Recently. No.000 as moral damages. P50. Cristino Cañada. Lastly. Appellant's sudden and fierce attack on AAA -. in People v. the main provision. Accused-appellant Conrado Laog y Ramin is hereby found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of Rape With Homicide under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. perversity and wickedness of the accused in sexually assaulting a pregnant married woman.000 as moral damages.[60] As to expenses incurred for the funeral and burial of Jennifer. In cases of murder and homicide. Lorenzo Layco. 00234 is AFFIRMED withMODIFICATIONS.was truly despicable and outrageous. and to protect the latter from sexual abuse. the Court used as basis Article 2229. in People v. P25. not only in the presence of an aggravating circumstance. the appeal is DISMISSED for lack of merit. and is accordingly sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole. covering her body with grasses and abandoning her to die in a grassy field -. Such vicious assault was made even more reprehensible as it also victimized Jennifer. can be awarded. the Court awarded exemplary damages to set a public example. the amount of P30.

. 197042 PlaintiffAppellee. Promulgated: JULIET OLACO POLER. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO.. Present: CORONA.......versus PERALTA. He is further ordered to pay to the victim AAA the sums of P50... and VILLARAMA...-x R E SO L U T I O N Republic of the Philippines Supreme Court Manila LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. C... Leonardo-De Castro.....J..... and Del Castillo.. FIRST DIVISION Corona.. (Chairperson)...R.. C...000 as exemplary damages.J.. No. With costs SO against the accused-appellant. y October 17. J....000 as moral damages and P30.* DEL CASTILLO... JR.: . ORDERED.. JJ.000 as exemplary damages.... THE G.. Chairperson. Bersamin. x.......000 as civil indemnity ex delicto. 2011 AccusedAppellant.. PEOPLE OF PHILIPPINES.. P50..concur. . JJ...P30..

00 diamonds each . Two (2) Gold Bracelets One (1) Bracelet (Gold Gold) Ashworth (brown) Two-tone 50. 04-0746.000.000.00 .00 Necklace One (1) Pendant with 3 25. steal.51K One (1) Gold 18K Chain 10.000.00 with 8 diamond (20K) One (1) set Earring and Pendant Egg shape Sea Pearl diamonds South 60. Philippines. in 55.00 Watch One (1) set of Necklace 40.00 Men’s One (1) Bracelet 24K 12.000.000.-H.000.000.00 One (1) 18K Gold Chain with Pendant Blessed Virgin 18.00 and White Bracelet 10. Roland Baroga and alias Roger. No.00 peso equivalent One Men’s White Gold 120. CR.Before Us is an appeal filed by Juliet Olaco y Poler (Olaco) assailing the Decision[1] dated January 20.000. unlawfully and feloniously take. 2007 Decision. the RTC found Olaco guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Qualified Theft.000 cash. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. to wit: One (1) GUCCI Ladies 250. 2004.00 ITEMS Three (3) Necklace Men’s AMOUNT Two (2) Gold Necklaces P120. did then and there willfully.00 One (1) Necklace Three Bracelet White (3) Gold 60.000.000. Olaco was charged with Qualified Theft.000. 2011 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.00 45. 2007 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Las Piñas City. whose true identities and whereabouts are still unknown and all of them mutually helping and aiding one another.R.00 twisted design One (1) 18K Gold Chain 18 inches long With Pendant 18K Cross 20.00 & Bracelet 24K Gold One (1) Solid Gold 24K 25. 02756.000. Branch 198. and as such enjoying the trust and confidence reposed upon her by her aforementioned employer.000. committed as follows: That on or about the 21st day of August 2004.00 Watch One (1) Cartier Ladies 35. in Criminal Case No. and carry away the following items.C.000.00 with In an Information dated August 24. with intent to gain and without the knowledge and consent of the owner thereof and with grave abuse of confidence. the above-named accused.00 US Dollar 1. which affirmed with modification the Decision dated March 5.00 Watch One (1) DKNY Ladies 15.000.000. in the City of Las Pinas. Victor Catulong.000.000.[2] In the March 5. conspiring and confederating with one alias Rena. accused OLACO being the housemaid of Ruben Vinluan y Torno.

2011. Olaco pleaded not guilty. Olaco’s counsel still filed. CR.C. 2007. 02756.One (1) Bundle New 2. 2011. premises considered. 2007. CR.R.00 Bills P20 denominator One (1) coins P1. with costs. Branch 198 in Crim.00. the appellate court denied Olaco’s appeal and affirmed with modification the RTC judgment. we required Ruelo to submit a certified true copy . the RTC rendered a Decision on March 5.100. on behalf of his deceased client. After trial on the merits. When arraigned. No. this Court finds the accused JULIET OLACO y POLER GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Qualified Theft as defined and penalized under Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code. 2011. the appeal is DENIED. which was docketed as CA-G.[9] On March 26. 04-0746 before the RTC. Rachel D. 02756. In a Decision promulgated on January 20.R. Case No.100. finding Olaco guilty and sentencing her thus: WHEREFORE. She is likewise ordered to indemnify the offended party in the sum of Nine Hundred Seventy-two Thousand One Hundred Pesos (Php972. informed the Court of Appeals that Olaco had died on February 17. On February 2.000. Superintendent IV of the Correctional Institution for Women.00.[4] However. 2011. Accordingly. 2010. Olaco was committed to the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City. The Decision dated 05 March 2007 of the Regional Trial Court of Las Pinas City. A photocopy of Olaco’s Death Certificate was attached to Ruelo’s letter. Ruelo. to wit: The case was docketed as Criminal Case No.000.00 bag of 100. 04-0746 finding accused-appellant Juliet Olaco y Poler guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Qualified Theft under Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code and sentencing her to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION in that accused-appellant is hereby ordered to pay private complainant Ruben Vinluan the reduced amount of Php200. as actual damages. Olaco filed an appeal before the Court of Appeals. in a letter[7] dated January 27.H. the appellate court directed its Judicial Records Division to elevate to us the original records in CA-G.00 belonging to Ruben Vinluan y Torno to the damage and prejudice of the aforenamed owner thereof in the total amount [3] of P972. No.[6] WHEREFORE.00) representing the total value of the cash and jewelry taken by the accused without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. a Notice of Appeal. premises considered. 2011.-H. and hereby sentences said accused to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.C.[8] which the Court of Appeals gave due course on February 8.[5] In a Resolution[10] dated July 18.

liability therefor is extinguished only when the death of the offender occurs before final judgment. Given Olaco’s death. the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of [the] accused. the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of his right to file this separate civil action by prescription. [11] Bayotas : 3. particularly the award for actual damages.e. e) Quasi-delicts Applying the foregoing provision. criminal liability is totally extinguished: xxxx 1. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as well as the civil liability based solely thereon. 2011 a certified true copy of Olaco’s Death Certificate. 2010. but also her civil liability. if the same may also be predicated on a source of obligation other than delict. as to the personal penalties. This separate civil action may be enforced either against the executor/administrator or the estate of the accused.. extinguished not only her criminal liability for qualified theft committed against private complainant Ruben Vinluan. Article 1157 of the Civil Code enumerates these other sources of obligation from which the civil liability may arise as a result of the same act or omission: Olaco’s death on February 17. 1. and as to pecuniary penalties. an action for recovery therefor may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to Section 1. solely arising from or based on said crime. as explained in Number 2 above. in cases where during the prosecution of the criminal . civil liabilityex delicto in senso strictiore. As opined by Justice Regalado. in this regard. Where the civil liability survives.of Olaco’s death certificate from the local civil registrar within five days from notice. Corollarily. i. we laid down the following guidelines in People v. a) Law b) Contracts c) Quasi-contracts According to Article 89(1) of the Revised Penal Code. only the civil liability directly arising from and based solely on the offense committed. we must now determine the fate of her appeal before us. 2. during the pendency of her appeal. Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended.” In compliance with the foregoing Resolution. By the death of the convict. “the death of the accused prior to final judgment terminates his criminal liability and 4. Finally. Ruelo submitted on September 15. depending on the source of obligation upon which the same is based as explained above. issued by the Office of the Civil Registrar of Mandaluyong City.

Olaco’s appeal was still pending and no final judgment had been rendered against her at the time of her death. Accused-Appellant. following Article 89(1) of the Revised Penal Code and our disquisition in Bayotas. No. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Plaintiff-Appellee. conformably with [the] provisions of Article 1155 of the Civil Code. G.R. CR. . JR WHEREFORE. No. the privateoffended party instituted together therewith the civil action. these were totally extinguished by her death. THIRD DIVISION For the same reasons. 04-0746 before the Regional Trial Court of Las Piñas City is DISMISSED. whether or not Olaco was guilty of the crime charged had become irrelevant because even assuming that Olaco did incur criminal liability and civil liability ex delicto. and ordering her to pay private complainant Ruben Vinluan actual damages in the amount of P200.action and prior to its extinction. PERALTA. Promulgat . the appealed Decision dated January 20. 16 Present: VELASCO. it is already unnecessary for us to rule on Olaco’s appeal. 02756 is SET ASIDE and Criminal Case No. 2011 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. in view of the death of accusedappellant Juliet Olaco y Poler. 02756 – finding Olaco guilty of qualified theft. 2011 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.[12] Clearly. sentencing her to reclusion perpetua.C.R.00 – had become ineffectual. Costs de oficio.C. CR.R. the statute of limitations on the civil liability is deemed interrupted during the pendency of the criminal case. that should thereby avoid any apprehension on a possible privation of right by prescription.versusABAD.-H.-H. No. MENDOZA.000. a PERLAS-BER SO ORDERED. In such case. JERRY JACALNE y GUTIERREZ. the Decision dated January 20. Hence.

2011 is a private individual. residing at No.[10] He used the rope in tying the hands of Jomarie.C. Appellant told her that she should go with him. without accused.[3] x--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x During the arraignment. at 8:00 in the morning.: For resolution is the appeal filed by appellant Jerry G. a female. No. CR-H.[12] .[7] Jomarie held on to a post.[8] In an Information[2] dated March 15. then seven (7) years of age.R. 1996. ROSALES. minor (7 years old) for the purpose of depriving complainant of her liberty. [4] Trial on the merits ensued. She ran. 00473.[5] While on her way home. [11] Jomarie pleaded that she be released because her mother would be worried. 142 Mabuhay Street. the above-named When they reached appellant’s house. who legal authority or justifiable motive. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. 2005 in CA-G. CONTRARY TO LAW. On March 8. but appellant dragged and forced her to go to his house at Patola Street which is 100 to 150 meters away. DECISION The prosecution following facts: established the PERALTA. 1996. The facts of the case follow. [9] Thereafter. attended her classes at the CAA Elementary School in Las Piñas from 8:00 to 10:00 in the morning. in the Municipality of Las Piñas. but appellant refused. appellant went inside the house then returned with a piece of rope. appellant placed Jomarie at the back of the steel gate of his fenced residence. but Jomarie refused and told him that her mother would be angry. Jacalne assailing the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision[1] dated March 31. the victim Jomarie Rosales (Jomarie). Metro Manila. appellant was charged with Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention committed as follows: That on or about the 8th day of March 1996. but appellant [6] eventually caught up with her.October 3. did then and there kidnap and detain JOMARIE J. female. Jomarie noticed that appellant was following her. Las Piñas City and a grade 1 pupil. J. appellant pleaded “not guilty” to the crime charged.

He submits that the court failed to consider certain facts and circumstances. Appellant also threatened her not to tell anybody of what happened or else he would kill her. After telling them that he was not aware of the incident. Jomarie identified appellant (who was inside the investigation room) as the perpetrator. This time. Conformably with our ruling in People v. Upon seeing appellant.[33] The defense also presented Marites Calzado. 2005. Jomarie and Marissa went to Patola Street where the house of appellant is located.[13] tend to prove that in many occasions.[17] On May 29. Thus. she would not be able to reach home.After more or less one hour. The following day. the Regional Trial Court of Las Piñas City (RTC).[19] In its Decision[30] dated March 31. He explained that on March 12. this appeal raising the sole error: Appellant. while in his house painting a tricycle. appellant untied Jomarie’s hands and instructed her to walk straight toward the road. which have affected the credibility of Jomarie. the case was referred to the CA for intermediate review. as witnesses.[23] George Resurreccion[24] and Joseph Conmigo.[31] Appellant assails the trial and appellate courts’ appreciation of the credibility of the witnesses for the prosecution. Marissa and Jomarie allegedly returned to his place. Jomarie pointed him as the person who committed the crime. which he answered in the negative. accompanied by her mother. While inside the police station. 2000. executed a Sworn Statement[18] before SPO1 Benjamin M. Mateo. otherwise. the four left. rendered a Decision[27] finding the appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. on the other hand. He even told her not to turn left. and two others approached him then asked if he is familiar with a nipa hut or a house surrounded by plants. Appellant appealed to this Court. he was arrested.[25] Their testimonies .[26] Jomarie reached home around noon then took her lunch.[14] She did not tell her mother Marissa Rosales (Marissa) about the incident because of fear. Jomarie denied that it was appellant who kidnapped her. Marissa. Jomarie. the CA affirmed in toto the decision of the court a quo.[28] however.[22] THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE CRIME OF KIDNAPPING WITH SERIOUS ILLEGAL DETENTION. [15] Marissa reported the incident to [16] the barangay and had it blottered. Jomarie. 1996. Branch 275. denied the accusation against him. [20] They likewise mentioned to him about an incident whereby a child was tied and raped. 1996.[32] He explains that Jomarie either failed to identify appellant or has categorically denied that he was the one who allegedly kidnapped her.[29] On March 14. until after three days. Javier.[21] In the afternoon of the same day. they talked to appellant’s neighbors.

the sigh. third and fourth elements. If any serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained. 267. the blush of conscious shame. (3) the act of detention or kidnapping is illegal. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention is defined and punished under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). we agree with the trial court.[36] Records show that the established the above elements.[34] The trial court has the singular opportunity to observe the witnesses through the different indicators of truthfulness or falsehood. If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than three days. as . or the furtive glance. If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor. 4. such as the angry flush of an insisted assertion or the sudden pallor of a discovered lie or the tremulous mutter of a reluctant answer or the forthright tone of a ready reply. . the hesitation. (c) any serious physical injuries are inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained or threats to kill him are made.Any private individual who shall kidnap or detain another. the sincere or the flippant or sneering tone. As to the second. the scant or full realization of the solemnity of an oath. female or a public official. (2) he kidnaps or detains another. or in any manner deprives the latter of his liberty. When the victim is killed or dies as a consequence of the detention or is raped. except when the accused is any of the parents. or is subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts. the candor or lack of it. 2. prosecution It is undisputed that appellant is a private individual. 1. the heat. If it shall have been committed simulating public authority. Time and again. 3. or if threats to kill him shall have been made.We do not find any reason to depart from the conclusions of the trial and appellate courts. (b) it is committed by simulating public authority. the calmness.[35] The penalty shall be death where the kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention. and (4) in the commission of the offense. or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty. misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and substance which would have affected the result of the case. or (d) the person kidnapped or detained is a minor. the yawn. we have ruled that the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies are entitled to the highest respect and will not be disturbed on appeal in the absence of any clear showing that the trial court overlooked. even if none of the circumstances abovementioned were presented in the commission of the offense. shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death: The crime has the following elements: (1) the offender is a private individual. any of the following circumstances is present: (a) the kidnapping or detention lasts for more than three days. female or a public officer. the carriage and mien. the maximum penalty shall be imposed. as amended by Republic Act (RA) 7659: ART.

appellant kidnapped Jomarie. the Court of Appeals Decision dated March 31. pursuant to Article 63 of the RPC.C. she was then and there deprived of her liberty. and because she did not know her way back home. a minor. Moreover. It has been repeatedly held that if the victim is a minor. Upon reaching the house.[42] This notwithstanding the fact also that appellant. is AFFIRMED withMODIFICATION. the RTC (as affirmed by the CA). appellant shall likewise be liable for the payment of P50.[37] It includes not only the imprisonment of a person but also the deprivation of his liberty in whatever form and for whatever length of time.000. 00473.000. Article 267 of the RPC prescribes the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death. There being no aggravating or modifying circumstance in the commission of the offense. which cannot be given greater weight than that of the declaration of a credible witness who testifies on affirmative matters. coupled with the intent of the accused to effect it. The essence of the crime of kidnapping is the actual deprivation of the victim’s liberty.[38] It involves a situation where the victim cannot go out of the place of confinement or detention. correctly imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua. appellant shall be made to answer for P50. which cannot prevail over the positive and credible testimonies of prosecution witnesses who. when appellant tied the hands of Jomarie. after more or less one hour.affirmed by the CA.[41] This is irrespective of the length of time that she stayed in such a situation. appellant can only offer the defense of denial. 2005 in CA-G. the former’s intention to deprive Jomarie of her liberty has been clearly shown. Although Jomarie only stayed outside the house. to his house after the latter refused to go with him. were not shown to have any illmotive to testify against appellant. Appellant himself admitted that Jomarie and Marissa have no reason to lie. premises considered. Pursuant to Article 2219[47] of the Civil Code.[40] Because of her tender age.00 as moral damages. a minor. he refused. denial is WHEREFORE. said evidence is insufficient to rebut Jomarie’s testimony in court on how the crime was committed and who committed it.[45] In line with prevailing jurisprudence. While indeed the defense offered the testimonies of three witnesses who claimed that they heard Jomarie deny that it was appellant who committed the crime. or is restricted or impeded in his liberty to move. as in this case.[39] inherently a weak defense. it is enough that the victim is restrained from going home.R. When Jomarie pleaded that she be allowed to go home. . the duration of his detention is immaterial. that Jomarie’s and Marissa’s testimonies adequately showed that indeed. appellant dragged Jomarie. No.00 as civil indemnity. released Jomarie and instructed her on how she could go home. CR-H. For there to be kidnapping. he cannot attribute any ill-motive on the part of the prosecution witnesses to fabricate a story and implicate him in the commission of the crime charged.[44] In this case. he tied her hands.[48] [46] Against the categorical testimonies of the prosecution witnesses.[43] Like alibi. However. denial is a selfserving negative evidence. it was inside the gate of a fenced property which is high enough such that people outside could not see what happens inside. and detained her for more or less an hour. In other words.

No. 2007 and November 8. RESPONDENT. 185833. namely. petitioner accelerated the Vitara and moved . PERALTA. hence. The following are the antecedent facts: This case started with a single incident on May 26. 2008 affirming the Decisions of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City (RTC) [4] and the Metropolitan Trial Court of Makati City (MeTC)[5] dated September 6. to alight from the CRV and confront the petitioner. DECISION SO ORDERED. 2011] ROBERT TAGUINOD.000. 2009 of petitioner Robert Taguinod seeking to reverse the Decision[2] of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated September 8. VS. Petitioner appeared to be hostile. October 12. PETITIONER. J. This prompted the private complainant's wife and daughter.R. He is likewise ordered to pay the victim Jomarie Rosales P50.: For this Court's consideration is the petition for review[1] dated February 5. 2002 at the parking area of the Rockwell Powerplant Mall. Jacalne is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention and is meted the penalty of reclusion perpetua. the private complainant instructed his wife and daughter to go back to the CRV. the side view mirror of the CRV was pushed forward. but the Vitara tried to overtake. 2008 and its Resolution[3] dated December 19. THIRD DIVISION [G. The CRV was ahead of the queue. The side view mirror of the Vitara was pushed backward and naturally. respectively. 2006.00 as civil indemnity and P50. Pedro Ang (private complainant) was driving his Honda CRV (CRV) from the 3rd basement parking. the respective vehicles were edging each other.Appellant Jerry G. while Robert Taguinod (petitioner) was driving his Suzuki Vitara (Vitara) from the 2nd basement parking. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. When they were about to queue at the corner to pay the parking fees.00 as moral damages. While they were returning to the car. respectively.000. Susan and Mary Ann. which resulted the touching of their side view mirrors.

Jason H. APS-222 driven by Pedro N. the dispositive portion of which. affirming the decision of the MeTC. San Miguel. the Decision dated 8 November 2006 is AFFIRMED in all respects. presented the testimonies of Mary Susan Lim Taguinod. unlawfully and feloniously bump the rear portion of a Honda CRV car bearing Plate No. judgment is hereby rendered finding the accused ROBERT TAGUINOD y AYSON GUILTY of Malicious Mischief penalized under Article 329 of the Revised Penal Code. Private complainant was able to pay the parking fee at the booth ahead of petitioner. premises considered. Ang. 2002. The assailed decision dated September 6.[9] Undaunted. SO ORDERED.00 as moral damages. representing complainant's participation in the insurance liability on the Honda CRV. an Information[6] was filed in the MeTC of Makati City against petitioner for the crime of Malicious Mischief as defined in and penalized under Article 327[7] of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). the trial on the merits ensued. the wife of petitioner. When the CRV was at the upward ramp leading to the exit. The CA partly granted the petition in its Decision dated September 8. On the other hand.000. causing damage thereon in the amount of P200. in view of the foregoing premises. petitioner filed a petition for review with the CA. The insurance company shouldered the said amount. found petitioner guilty of the crime charged in the Information. premises considered. praying for the reversal of the decision of the RTC. 2007. and sentencing accused to FOUR (4) MONTHS imprisonment. and to pay the costs. 2007 of Branch 143 of the Regional Trial Court in Makati City in Criminal Case No. Jojet N. the repair of which amounted to P57. on the other hand. having been overtaken by the Vitara. and motivated by hate and revenge and other evil motives. the CRV sustained damage at the back bumper spare tires and the front bumper. the Vitara sustained damage on the right side of its bumper. but the private complainant paid P18. which rendered its Decision dated September 6. The defense. Jules Ronquillo. in the City of Makati. the petition for review filed in this case is hereby PARTLY GRANTED. Thereafter. the amount of P50. reads: WHEREFORE.000. The Information reads as follows: That on or about the 26th day of May. Consequently.191. did then and there willfully.00. 2008.66. the MeTC. Accused Robert Taguinod y Ayson is likewise ordered to pay complainant Pedro Ang the amount of P18. the above-named accused.backward as if to hit them. . Philippines.191. Afterwards. 2003.00 as attorney's fees. the Vitara bumped the CRV's rear portion and pushed the CRV until it hit the stainless steel railing located at the exit portion of the ramp. in its Decision dated November 8. The prosecution presented the testimony of private complainant. thus. 07-657 is hereby MODIFIED as follows: Petitioner pleaded Not Guilty during the arraignment on March 10. As a result of the collision. disposing the appealed case as follows: WHEREFORE. and the amount of P25. ruling that: WHEREFORE.[8] The case was appealed to the RTC of Makati City. took another lane. The CRV. SO ORDERED. with deliberate intent to cause damage.66 as his participation.66. CONTRARY TO LAW. Lazo and Engr. a place within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. 2006.464.

in any way. She initially testified that she does not recall having submitted her written version of the incident but ultimately admitted having executed an affidavit. this Court reinstated[13] the present petition and required the Office of the Solicitor General to file its Comment. 2009. While she stated in her affidavit that the Honda CRV's "left side view mirror hit our right side view mirror.[16] This doctrine is premised on the undisputed fact that.00. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE REVERSIBLE ERROR IN UPHOLDING PETITIONER'S CONVICTION. this Court denied[11] the said petition. since the trial court had the best opportunity to observe the demeanor of the witnesses while on the stand.[10] Petitioner filed with this Court a petition for review on certiorari dated February 5. It is well entrenched in this jurisdiction that factual findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses and their . Also. 2. and is 3. cast reasonable doubt. this Court finds no reason to oppose the other two courts in the absence of any clear and valid circumstance that would merit a review of the MeTC's assessment as to the credibility of the witnesses and their testimonies. it was in a position to discern whether or not they were telling the truth.[17] Moreover. Mary Susan Lim Taguinod. and what she only did was to sign the This Court finds the petition partly meritorious.000. B. misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and substance that would have affected the result of the case. she testified on cross-examination that the right side view mirror of the Vitara did not fold and there was only a slight dent or scratch. on cross-examination. The award of moral damages reduced to P20. He also puts into query the admissibility and authenticity of some of the pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution.00. On March 16. thus.[14] The grounds relied upon are the following: A. this Court finds the inconsistencies of said petitioner's witness to be more than minor or trivial. causing our side view mirror to fold" (par. 2009.1. hence. the first issue raised by petitioner is purely factual in nature. the testimony of a witness must be considered and calibrated in its entirety and not by truncated portions thereof or isolated passages therein. As correctly pointed out by the MeTC: Defense witness Mary Susan Lim Taguinod is wanting in credibility. Petitioner insists that between the witness presented by the prosecution and the witnesses presented by the defense. 2009. The first argument of the petitioner centers on the issue of credibility of the witnesses and the weight of the evidence presented. However.000. to be credible enough. [15] testimonies are entitled to the highest respect and will not be disturbed on appeal in the absence of any clear showing that it overlooked. SO ORDERED. it does not. after petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration[12] dated May 14. 4. because the lone testimony of the witness for the prosecution was self-serving.[18] It is apparent in this present case that both the RTC and the CA accorded respect to the findings of the MeTC. Obviously. while the Affidavit stated that Mary Susan Lim Taguinod personally appeared before the Notary Public. Exhibit "3"). Her recollection of the past events is hazy as shown by her testimony on cross-examination. The petitioner is penalized to suffer the penalty of 30 days imprisonment. she admitted that she did not. the latter should have been appreciated. However. Petitioner harps on his contention that the MeTC was wrong in not finding the testimony of his own witness. The award of attorney's fee is reduced to P10. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE REVERSIBLE ERROR IN AWARDING MORAL DAMAGES AND ATTORNEY'S FEES TO PRIVATE COMPLAINANT.

therefore. Thus. the wife and the daughter of the complainant alighted from the CRV and confronted the accused. the accused entertained hate. The elements of the crime of malicious mischief under Article 327 of the Revised Penal Code are: (1) That the offender deliberately caused damage to the property of another. deserves scant consideration as it was apparently prepared and narrated by another. the act of damaging the rear bumper of the CRV does not constitute arson or other crimes involving destruction. the complainant. as shown by her testimony on cross-examination. that immediately thereafter. It would be too risky and dangerous for the private complainant and his family to move the CRV backward when it would be hard for him to see his direction as well as to control his speed in view of the gravitational pull. revenge and other evil motive. Second. (2) That such act does not constitute arson or other crimes involving destruction. Shift-In-Charge of the Power Plant Mall. is in direct contrast with her Affidavit which appears to be precise in its narration of the incident and its details. The pushing of the CRV by the Vitara is corroborated by the Incident Report dated May 26. as well as the Police Report. he was wronged by the complainant when the CRV overtook his Vitara while proceeding toward the booth to pay their parking fee. and. First. Such Affidavit. the hitting of the back portion of the CRV by the petitioner was clearly deliberate as indicated by the evidence on record.Affidavit in Quezon City and give it to her husband.[19] What really governs this particular case is that the prosecution was able to prove the guilt of petitioner beyond reasonable doubt. the hood of his Vitara was also pounded. the MeTC rightly ruled that: The following were not disputed: that there was a collision between the side view mirrors of the two (2) vehicles. Lastly. These circumstances motivated the accused to push upward the ramp complainant's CRV until it reached the steel railing of the exit ramp. her inaccurate recollection of the past incident.[20] his mind. the Court finds that the prosecution has proven its case against the accused by proof beyond reasonable doubt. the evidence for the prosecution had proven beyond reasonable doubt the existence of the foregoing elements. x x x[21] The CA also accurately observed that the elements of the crime of malicious mischief are not wanting in this case. revenge and other evil motive because to Contrary to the contention of the petitioner. (3) That the act of damaging another's property be committed merely for the sake of damaging it. as a consequence of which. the petitioner was just giving vent to his . when the Vitara bumped the CRV. their side view mirrors collided." Here. in view of the hostile attitude of the accused. thus: In finding that all the above elements are present. and he was badmouthed by the complainant's wife and daughter when they alighted from the CRV to confront him for the collision of the side view mirrors. summoned his wife and daughter to enter the CRV and while they were in the process of doing so. the accused moved and accelerated his Vitara backward as if to hit them. The version of the private complainant that the petitioner chased him and that the Vitara pushed the CRV until it reached the stairway railing was more believable than the petitioner's version that it was private complainant's CRV which moved backward and deliberately hit the Vitara considering the steepness or angle of the elevation of the P2 exit ramp. The incident involving the collision of the two side view mirrors is proof enough to establish the existence of the element of "hate. Thus. 2002 prepared by SO Robert Cambre. On the same occasion.

and fourth.. besmirched reputation. this Court finds that the evidence on record shows that the prosecution had proven the guilt of the petitioner beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of malicious mischief. Abad. the petition for review dated February 5. the MeTC and the RTC. the award of damages is predicated on any of the cases stated in Article 2219 or Article 2220 of the Civil Code. clearly sustained by the claimant. People. second. For the court to arrive upon a judicious approximation of emotional or moral injury. This present case does not contain any valid and factual reason for such award.[29] However. WHEREFORE. there must be culpable act or omission factually established.[27] The said testimony is substantial to prove the moral injury suffered by the private complainant for it is only him who can personally approximate the emotional suffering he experienced. mental or psychological. Private complainant testified that he felt bad[26] and lost sleep. serious anxiety.[24] Article 2220[25] of the New Civil Code because the injury contemplated by the law which merits the said award was clearly established. mental anguish. fright. and Perlas-Bernabe. NLRC. 2009 of petitioner Robert Taguinod is DENIED. social humiliation.[28] The same also applies with private complainant's claim that his wife felt dizzy after the incident and had to be taken to the hospital. competent and substantial proof of the suffering experienced must be laid before it. third. moral shock. Though incapable of pecuniary computation. InGerman Marine Agencies. This adjudication is but an affirmation of the finding of guilt of the petitioner by both the lower courts. the latter's entitlement to the said monetary reliefs was not substantiated. Jr.[23] this Court tackled in substance the concept of the award of moral damages.[22] Petitioner likewise raises the issue that the CA was wrong in awarding moral damages and attorney's fees to the private complainant claiming that during the trial.. thus: Moral damages include physical suffering.[30] this Court held that there must always be a factual basis for the award of attorney's fees. with regard to the award of moral damages. and similar injury. Inc. the wrongful act or omission of the defendant is the proximate cause of the injury sustained by the claimant. (Chairperson). Velasco. the same was not established. there must be an injury. JJ. concur. Mendoza. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated September 8. wounded feelings. whether physical. SO ORDERED. This Court finds petitioner's claim. 2008 and its Resolution dated December 19. v. moral damages may be recovered if they are theproximate result of the defendant's wrongful act or omission. anent the award of attorney's fees. In sum. 2008 are hereby AFFIRMED with theMODIFICATION that the attorney's fees are OMITTED. An award for moral damages requires the confluence of the following conditions: first. It is true that the private complainant is entitled to the award of moral damages under .anger and hate as a result of a heated encounter between him and the private complainant. In Manuel v. unmeritorious.