SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. 128538. February 28, 2001]

SCC CHEMICALS CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, STATE INVESTMENT HOUSE, INC., DANILO ARRIETA and LEOPOLDO HALILI, respondents. RESOLUTION
QUISUMBING, J.:

Before us is a petition for review, pursuant to Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, of the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated in November 12, 1996 in CA-G.R. CV No. 45742 entitled “State Investment House, Inc., v. Danilo Arrieta, et al., and SCC Chemical Corporation.” The questioned decision affirmed in toto the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 33, dated March 22, 1993, in Civil Case No. 84-25881, the dispositive portion of which reads:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants ordering the latter to pay jointly and severally the plaintiff the following: a) To pay plaintiff State Investment House, Inc., the sum of P150,483.16 with interest thereon at 30% per annum reckond (sic) from April, 1984 until the whole amount is fully paid; b) To pay plaintiff an amount equivalent to 25% of the total amount due and demandable as attorney‘s fees and to pay the cost(s) of suit. SO ORDERED.[1]
Equally challenged in this petition is the Resolution of the appellate court dated February 27, 1997, denying SCC Chemicals Corporation‘s motion for reconsideration. The background of this case, as culled from the decision of the Court of Appeals, is as follows: On December 13, 1983, SCC Chemicals Corporation (SCC for brevity) through its chairman, private respondent Danilo Arrieta and vice president, Pablo (Pablito) Bermundo, obtained a loan from State Investment House Inc., (hereinafter SIHI) in the amount of P129,824.48. The loan carried an annual interest rate of 30% plus penalty charges of 2% per month on the remaining balance of the principal upon non-payment on the due date-January 12, 1984. To secure the payment of the loan, Danilo Arrieta and private respondent Leopoldo Halili executed a Comprehensive Surety Agreement binding themselves jointly and severally to pay the obligation on the maturity date. SCC failed to pay the loan when it matured. SIHI then sent

demand letters to SCC, Arrieta and Halili, but notwithstanding receipt thereof, no payment was made. On August 2, 1984, SIHI filed Civil Case No. 84-25881 for a sum of money with a prayer for preliminary attachment against SCC, Arrieta, and Halili with the Regional Trial Court of Manila. In its answer, SCC asserted SIHI‘s lack of cause of action. Petitioner contended that the promissory note upon which SIHI anchored its cause of action was null, void, and of no binding effect for lack or failure of consideration. The case was then set for pre-trial. The parties were allowed to meet out-of-court in an effort to settle the dispute amicably. No settlement was reached, but the following stipulation of facts was agreed upon:

1. Parties agree that this Court has jurisdiction over the plaintiff and the defendant and that it has jurisdiction to try and decide this case on its merits and that plaintiff and the defendant have each the capacity to sue and to be sued in this present action; 2. Parties agree that plaintiff sent a demand letter to the defendant SCC Chemical Corporation dated April 4, 1984 together with a statement of account of even date which were both received by the herein defendant; and 3. Parties finally agree that the plaintiff and the defendant SCC Chemical Corporation the latter acting through defendants Danilo E. Arrieta and Pablito Bermundo executed a promissory note last December 13, 1983 for the amount of P129,824.48 with maturity date on January 12, 1984.[2]
The case then proceeded to trial on the sole issue of whether or not the defendants were liable to the plaintiff and to what extent was the liability. SIHI presented one witness to prove its claim. The cross-examination of said witness was postponed several times due to one reason or another at the instance of either party. The case was calendared several times for hearing but each time, SCC or its counsel failed to appear despite notice. SCC was finally declared by the trial court to have waived its right to cross-examine the witness of SIHI and the case was deemed submitted for decision. On March 22, 1993, the lower court promulgated its decision in favor of SIHI. Aggrieved by the verdict, SCC elevated the case to the Court of Appeals where it was docketed as CA-G.R. CV No. 45742. On appeal, SCC contended that SIHI had failed to show, by a preponderance of evidence, that the latter had a case against it. SCC argued that the lone witness presented by SIHI to prove its claim was insufficient as the competency of the witness was not established and there was no showing that he had personal knowledge of the transaction. SCC further maintained that no proof was shown of the genuineness of the signatures in the documentary exhibits presented as

evidence and that these signatures were neither marked nor offered in evidence by SIHI. Finally, SCC pointed out that the original copies of the documents were not presented in court. On November 12, 1996, the appellate court affirmed in toto the judgment appealed from. On December 11, 1996 SCC filed its motion for reconsideration, which the Court of Appeals denied in its resolution dated February 27, 1997. Hence, petitioner‘s recourse to this Court relying on the following assignments of error:
I

THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENT PROVED ITS CAUSE OF ACTION AND OVERCAME IT‘S BURDEN OF PROOF.
II

THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN AWARDING ATTORNEY‘S FEES TO THE PRIVATE RESPONDENT.
We find the pertinent issues submitted for resolution to be:
(1) Whether or not the Court of Appeals made an error of law in holding that private respondent SIHI had proved its cause of action by preponderant evidence; and (2) Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in upholding the award of attorney‘s fees to SIHI.

Anent the first issue, petitioner contends that SIHI introduced documentary evidence through the testimony of a witness whose competence was not established and whose personal knowledge of the truthfulness of the facts testified to was not demonstrated. It argues that the same was in violation of Sections 36[3] and 48,[4]Rule 130 of the Rules of Court and it was manifest error for the Court of Appeals to have ruled otherwise. In addition, SCC points out that the sole witness of SIHI did not profess to have seen the document presented in evidence executed or written by SCC. Thus, no proof of its genuineness was adduced. SIHI thus ran afoul of Section 2,[5] Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, which requires proof of due execution and authenticity of private documents before the same can be received as evidence. Petitioner likewise submits that none of the signatures affixed in the documentary evidence presented by SIHI were offered in evidence. It vehemently argues that such was in violation of the requirement of Section 34,[6] Rule 132 of the Rules of Court. It was thus an error of law on the part of the appellate court to consider the same. Finally, petitioner posits that the non-production of the originals of the documents presented in evidence allows the presumption of suppression of evidence provided for in Section 3 (e),[7] Rule 131 of the Rules of Court, to come into play. Petitioner‘s arguments lack merit; they fail to persuade us. We note that the Court of Appeals found that SCC failed to appear several times on scheduled hearing dates despite due notice to it and counsel. On all those scheduled hearing dates, petitioner was supposed to cross-examine the lone witness offered by SIHI to prove its case. Petitioner now charges the appellate court with committing an error of law when it failed to

the right to cross-examine may be waived. It is now too late for petitioner to be questioning their authenticity. The Court of Appeals correctly found that the witness of SIHI was a competent witness as he testified to facts. the rule does admit of an exception. 1159. Testimony generally confined to personal knowledge. hearsay excluded. Thus.disallow the admission in evidence of said testimony pursuant to the ―hearsay rule‖ contained in Section 36. pursuant to Article 1159 of the Civil Code which reads: ART. except as otherwise provided in these rules. As a rule. [9] The rationale for this exception is to be found in the right of a litigant to cross-examine. The admission having been made in a stipulation of facts at pre-trial by the parties. Petitioner repeatedly failed to take advantage of these opportunities. the same are moot and academic. Where a party failed to object to hearsay evidence. No reversible error was thus committed by the appellate court when it held petitioner liable on its obligation. Obligations arising from contracts have the force of law between the contracting parties and should be complied with in good faith. it must be treated as a judicial admission. Nor was the assailed testimony hearsay. hearsay evidence is excluded and carries no probative value. Its admission of the existence of these documents was sufficient to establish its obligation. that is. the requirements of Section 36. Section 36 reads: SEC. . 36.[10] However. Petitioner‘s reliance on Section 36. a judicial admission requires no proof. Petitioner was afforded several opportunities by the trial court to cross-examine the other party‘s witness. Petitioner failed to submit any evidence to the contrary or proof of payment or other forms of extinguishment of said obligation. Respondent SIHI had no need to present the original of the documents as there was already a judicial admission by petitioner at pre-trial of the execution of the promissory note and receipt of the demand letter. As correctly found by the Court of Appeals. Nor will petitioner‘s reliance on the ―best evidence rule‖[12] advance its cause. It is settled that it is the opportunity to cross-examine which negates the claim that the matters testified to by a witness are hearsay. Respecting petitioner‘s other submissions. – A witness can testify only to those facts which he knows of his personal knowledge.[8]However. then the same is admissible. Rule 130 of the Rules of Court as to the admissibility of his testimony were satisfied. No error was thus committed by the respondent court when it sustained the trial court‘s finding that petitioner had waived its right to cross-examine the opposing party‘s witness. It is now too late for petitioner to be raising this matter of hearsay evidence. The repeated failure of a party to cross-examine the witness is an implied waiver of such right. Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. Rule 130. petitioner‘s admission as to the execution of the promissory note by it through private respondent Arrieta and Bermundo at pre-trial sufficed to settle the question of the genuineness of signatures. which are derived from his own perception. Under Section 4. which he knew of his personal knowledge.[11] Rule 129 of the Rules of Court. Rule 130 of the Rules of Court is misplaced.

Jr. Pangasinan.. hence it is necessary for the trial court to make findings of fact and law.[13] Otherwise stated. Buena.00 as actual damages. 2001] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. DECISION DE LEON. (Chairman). plaintiff-appellee. In the present case. DOMINADOR DE LEON and LEOPOLDO DE LEON. the heirs of the deceased victim. where we held that when attorney‘s fees are awarded. BILLY DE LEON. jointly and severally. the instant petition is PARTLY GRANTED.00 as moral damages. a perusal of the records shows that the trial court failed to explain the award of attorney‘s fees. Ignacio Jimenez.00 as compensatory damages and P50.909 (1990). Petitioner submits that since the trial court did not state any reason for awarding the same.R.On the second issue. SO ORDERED. January 22. Lingayen. the same shall be disallowed. WHEREFORE.: This is an appeal from the Decision[1] dated January 30. It is settled that the award of attorney‘s fees is the exception rather than the rule. Rodriguez. JR. 182 SCRA 899. the award of attorney‘s fees should have been disallowed by the appellate court. accused-appellants. in Criminal Case No. J.000. petitioner charges the Court of Appeals with reversible error for having sustained the trial court‘s award of attorney‘s fees. We find for petitioner in this regard. No. DOMINADOR DE LEON and LEOPOLDO DE LEON.. the sum of P15.000. JJ. No pronouncement as to costs. guilty of murder and sentencing them to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and to pay. Branch 38. The decision dated November 12. Petitioner relies on Radio Communications of the Philippines v. which would bring the case within the exception and justify the grant of the award. Mendoza. the reason for the award of attorney‘s fees must be stated in the text of the court‘s decision. 129057. and De Leon. finding accused-appellants Leopoldo and Dominador. as indemnity plus the cost of the suits. P50.000. 1996 of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION that the award of attorney‘s fees to private respondent SIHI is hereby deleted.. 1997 of the Regional Trial Court. concur. Bellosillo. SECOND DIVISION [G. vs. We hold that the same should thereby be deleted. . L-5499. both surnamed de Leon. accused. given the failure by the trial court to explicitly state the rationale for the award of attorney‘s fees.

he saw accused Billy de Leon struck his father. walked towards his house and once near Chito. assault and stab Ignacio Jimenez. conspiring. province of Pangasinan. Ignacio who came out of their house. Leopoldo and Dominador pleaded ―Not Guilty‖. with murder. Ramos II filed with the Regional Trial Court of Lingayen. Upon being duly arraigned. Billy. At that very instant. the above-named accused. Chito ran towards the southern direction and met his father. Ignacio Jimenez. Ignacio. Dominador and Leopoldo. Ten (10) minutes later. 1996. to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of the said Ignacio Jimenez. who claimed to have personally witnessed the killing as well as on the post-mortem examination and findings of Dr. 1996 at around 3:00 o‘clock in the afternoon.The record shows that on July 23. armed with a bladed instrument. Contrary to Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. to accompany them to . did then and there wilfully. with treachery and used of superior strength and intent to kill. testified that on June 13. Leopoldo and Dominador arrived. while watching a game of pool beside the house of Romy Castro in Barangay Lomboy. Binmaley. told his son to bring him to the hospital. Billy returned. Pangasinan an Information charging the brothers. forcing Chito to retaliate. Ignacio. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. unlawfully and feloniously attack. in barangay Lomboy. after which Ignacio and Billy left while Chito remained in the said place. Instead of heeding Chito‘s request. Chito Jimenez. allegedly committed as follows: That on or about the 13th day of June 1996 in the afternoon.[3] The prosecution‘s case relied primarily on the testimony of prosecution witnesses. Municipality of Binmaley. Thereafter. Nicanor Arzadon who testified thereon. and immediately boxed and slapped Chito several times and drew a 10-inch long bolo. Ignacio with a cap. Chito (Tito) Jimenez and Annaluz Hilarion. Pangasinan. confederating and mutually helping one another. the three (3) brothers ran away while the victim. Chito called the attention of Billy to the fact that his father was already old. inflicting upon him the following: multiple stab wounds chest multiple hacked wound head with fracture which injuries directly caused his death. and thereupon Leopoldo held the arms of his father. Ignacio pacified Billy and Chito. Assistant City Prosecutor (on detail) Abraham L. Chito called Annaluz Hilarion who was five (5) meters away from the incident. While he was 10 meters away from his father. Billy boxed him on the stomach. all surnamed de Leon. thus a fistfight ensued. son of the victim. while Dominador stabbed the back portion of Ignacio‘s head.[2] Only appellants Leopoldo and Dominador de Leon were brought to trial inasmuch as coaccused Billy de Leon evaded arrest. he stopped and saw Billy accosting and stabbing his father on the stomach several times.

parietal area. walking towards the opposite direction. Annaluz testified that at around 3:00 o‘clock in the afternoon of June 13. Intercostal space. Stab wound 3 cm.. 6 cm. midclavicular line (R) penetrating lacerating lower lobe (R) liver. ant. penetrating. they accosted the latter. 8th ICS. thru and thru. Hacked wound 8 cm. penetrating. 2. penetrating. (L) penetrating. 5. Stab wound 3 cm. perforating middle portion lower lobe (L) lung.[6] Nicanor Arzadon. and being chased by Billy who was followed by Leopoldo and Dominador. Epigastric area (L) penetrating. Stab wound 4 cm. 3 cm. Immediately. . and then the said de Leon brothers ran away. mid-clavicular line (R) non-penetrating. Together with Chito. CAUSE OF DEATH: Hypovolemia 2o to multiple stab wound. 4. right side below right nipple. She also saw Chito‘s father. thus: 1. she heard a startling commotion outside their house. He testified that he conducted an autopsy of the victim several hours after the latter‘s death and thereafter prepared an autopsy report. Massive intra-abdominal bleeding. Ignacio struggled toward the direction of his house. Hacked wound. they brought the victim to the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital in Dagupan City but expired while being treated. perforating greater curvature of stomach. she stood up and looked through the window and saw Chito running southward to their house. 9. lacerating diaphragm. Ignacio.[4] Annaluz Hilarion corroborated the testimony of Chito Jimenez on some material points. resident physician of the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital[7] at Dagupan City testified on the injuries sustained by Ignacio and the cause of his death. Thereafter. penetrating. Stab wound 7 cm. 8. 3. 10. Billy stabbed Ignacio on the stomach and then Leopoldo held the arms of Ignacio while Dominador took his turn in stabbing the said victim at the back of his head. Intercostal space. perforating lesser curvature.[5] Annaluz likewise stated that neither Chito nor Ignacio was holding a stone or any weapon at the time she saw them.the hospital. Billy continued stabbing Ignacio on the right side of the stomach several times. Temporal area (L) on the left side of the head. 6. but he fell down and was not able to reach the same. lacerating body of pancreas. (L) midaxillary line. 1996 while she was resting in their house. 7. Hypochondria area. angle of mandible (L) located on the left face. mid. Axillary line. Stab wound 4 cm. In his post-mortem examination.[8] he observed the following wounds sustained and the cause of death of the victim. Stab wound. The victim was brought to the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital in Dagupan City where he later expired. perforating body of stomach. Incised wound 7 cm. When the de Leon brothers met Ignacio. level of the 7th ICS.

500.P4. Those three (3) defense witnesses declared that at the time of the stabbing incident. Billy. The court further directs the accused to indemnify jointly and severally the heirs of the deceased. And considering that accused. Dominador de Leon and Leopoldo de Leon.500. testified regarding the expenses incurred by the family in connection with her husband‘s death. P1. They claimed that in the afternoon of June 13. they were placed behind bars. wife of victim Ignacio. owner of the fishpen where accused-appellants have allegedly harvested fish.00.000.[9] Rita Jimenez.000. without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. On January 30. they went to Manat. P7. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder charged in the Information filed against them. and pursuant to law. stabbed Ignacio.00 as compensatory damages and P50. Pangasinan. harvesting fish. Dina de Leon.000. in the light of all the considerations discussed above. wife of Dominador and Modesto Reyes.00. both accused-appellants Leopoldo and Dominador invoked the defense of denial and alibi. for church rites. P1. P3.00 as moral damages. it is likely possible that two (2) or more kinds of weapons were used in hacking or stabbing the victim.Dr. Leopoldo and Dominador were invited to the police station. Binmaley. for the novena.00. P1. and on the following day.00 as actual damages. 1997. 1996.[11] Mercedes de Leon. Leopoldo and Dominador were at Manat. for coffin and funeral services.000. for food and fish.00.[10] On their part. P600. for wreath. they were asked to go out of the room and made to sign the police blotter. They arrived at around 1:00 o‘clock in the afternoon and left the said place at around 3:00 o‘clock in the afternoon of the same day. and based on the sizes of the wounds. they were already home. Billy de Leon is still at large and has not yet been arrested up to the present. let the record of the case insofar as said accused is . for the last night vigil. They were not allowed to leave the police station. a Decision was rendered by the trial court finding accused-appellants guilty of murder. to harvest fish in the latter‘s fishpen. as follows: for the 9 days vigil. for the autopsy examination.00. P50. P500.00. wife of Leopoldo.500. Binmaley upon the invitation of Modesto Reyes.00. P2. After some questioning by SPO4 Crispin Cancino. or after the stabbing incident. informed them that their brother. Mercedes told Leopoldo not to go out of the house as Ignacio‘s sons might retaliate against them. Mercedes. and for the lompos. When the policemen arrived. hereby sentences each of the above-named accused to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and to pay proportionately the cost of the proceedings. The judgment reads: Accordingly. and that accused-appellants arrived home from Manat at 4:00 o‘clock in the afternoon. wife of Leopoldo. the sum of P15.00.00.500.000. At around 4:00 o‘clock. Nicanor Arzadon declared that a sharp bladed instrument caused the said wounds. the court finds and holds the accused. tried to corroborate accused-appellants‘ alibi.000.

more particularly on its assessment of the credibility of the prosecution witnesses. BASBAS . As recounted by Annaluz in her testimony – ATTY. Chito Jimenez and Annaluz Hilarion. but also accused-appellants Leopoldo and Dominador were guilty of stabbing the victim. BASBAS Will you kindly tell the Honorable Court what was that incident that called your attention. considering that the latter is in a better position to decide the question. Meantime.e. sir. ―gulo‖. appellate courts will generally not disturb the findings of the trial court. then. Accused-appellants. did you do when you heard the word in Pangasinan dialect. Madam Witness? A Q A Q A They said that there is trouble. Ignacio Jimenez. if any. did you see when you looked out the window? I saw Chito Jimenez running. What. Hence. without prejudice on the part of the prosecution to prosecute him after he is arrested or has surrendered to the court. in their appeal prayed for acquittal by (1) impugning the credibility of the two (2) main prosecution witnesses. this appeal.[12] No cogent reasons exist to disturb the factual findings of the trial court. to be served upon him by the PNP. What. The trial court correctly ascertained that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses Chito and Annaluz clearly and adequately proved how the killing happened and the extent of accusedappellants‘ participation in that incident. CIG. might affect the result of the case. i. Dagupan City. clear and positive manner and the court finds no valid and plausible reason to discredit the truth and veracity of their narration. and (2) claiming alibi that they were somewhere else when the crime happened. to death. Ignacio Jimenez passed by. COURT Passed by your house? A Yes. if any. Both witnesses testified in a straightforward.concerned be sent to the files. well settled is the rule that when the issue is one of credibility of witnesses. sir. Dagupan City and NBI. SO ORDERED. Binmaley. unless the trial court has plainly overlooked certain facts of substance and value that. which means trouble? I stood up and looked out the window. having heard the witnesses themselves and observed their deportment and manner while testifying during the trial. whether the trial court erred in giving credence to the prosecution‘s version of the incident that not only Billy de Leon. if considered. let an order of arrest be issued against accused Billy de Leon. sir. sir. ATTY. On the first issue for resolution.

Madam witness. sir. What happened next after Dominador de Leon stabbed Ignacio Jimenez at the back of his head? Then. my question. you mentioned a while ago that Billy de Leon first stabbed Ignacio Jimenez. and demonstrate before this Honorable Court how did Leopoldo de Leon hold Ignacio Jimenez? Like this. Billy de Leon kept on stabbing the victim. do you know the relation between Ignacio Jimenez and Chito Jimenez? They are father and son. what part of the body of Ignacio Jimenez was hit by Billy de Leon when he was first stabbed by Billy de Leon? On his stomach. Will you kindly stand up. sir. By the way. Madam Witness. sir (Witness place herself behind with both arms holding the shoulder. Do you know who among the three (3) stabbed Ignacio Jimenez? First. sir. (Witness pointing the back top of the head). what happened next? They stabbed him. When you said they accosted him.To what direction was Chito Jimenez proceeding when you saw him running? A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q Towards their house. After Leopoldo de Leon held Ignacio Jimenez. By the way. What happened next after you saw Chito Jimenez running towards their house going to southern direction and Ignacio Jimenez on the northern direction? Billy de Leon. sir. A . To what direction were [sic] Billy de Leon. What happened next after you saw Billy de Leon. sir (Witness pointing to the right side of his stomach). After Ignacio Jimenez was accosted by the three (3) Billy de Leon. Dominador de Leon stabbed Ignacio Jimenez on his head. Dominador de Leon and Leopoldo de Leon. going south. sir. sir. Dominador de Leon and Leopoldo de Leon running and chasing Chito Jimenez? They saw Ignacio Jimenez and they accosted him. The court interpreter represents the victim in the demonstration through the armpit). sir. it was Billy de Leon who stabbed Ignacio Jimenez while Leopoldo de Leon held Ignacio Jimenez. sir. How about Ignacio Jimenez? While Ignacio Jimenez was running towards the north direction. what happened next? Then. sir. south direction. sir. Dominador de Leon and Leopoldo de Leon were also running. to whom are you referring to as accosted? Ignacio Jimenez. sir. Dominador de Leon and Leopoldo de Leon proceedings when you saw them running? They were chasing Chito Jimenez.

You did not see him to have wound on his head? None.Q And when you said that Billy de Leon continued stabbing Ignacio Jimenez after he was stabbed by Dominador de Leon at the back of his head. It was at that instance the three (3) met Ignacio Jimenez when the three (3). they were chasing Chito Jimenez? A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q Yes. Billy de Leon. who was the first one whom you saw running among the three? A Billy de Leon was ahead. When you saw Billy de Leon. you did not see them arm. am I correct? Not yet. Annaluz categorically stated that: ATTY. COURT Followed by? A Dominador de Leon and Leopoldo de Leon. sir. And they were unable to catch Chito Jimenez? No. the three (3).[13] A Q A On cross-examination. ATTY. what part or parts of the body of Ignacio Jimenez was hit by Billy de Leon? On the abdomen. CAMPOS As you sense they were running. sir. sir. he was already injured. And what was Billy de Leon carrying with him as a weapon? . sir. And who was armed. stabbed Ignacio Jimenez? Yes. At that time when you saw Billy de Leon. Madam Witness? The three (3) were armed. Madam Witness. met Ignacio Jimenez who was running towards north? Yes. am I correct? They were armed. sir. according to you. sir. sir. sir. What happened next after Billy de Leon stabbed Ignacio Jimenez in the abdomen? The three (3) ran away. Dominador de Leon and Leopoldo de Leon running and chasing Jimenez. CAMPOS By the way. sir. sir? Along their way. sir. sir. Dominador de Leon and Leopoldo de Leon.

come from. about fifteen (15) meters from the fence of the court building.[14] Likewise. How could that be that you recognized these two (2) other accused. How about Leopoldo de Leon? Before he held Ignacio Jimenez on the shoulders. Mr. According to you. Witness? They came from their house. sir. is that correct? I did not proceed home but I stopped besides the house of Annaluz.A Q A Q A Q A Q A Billy de Leon was carrying a bolo about one (1) foot long. Leopoldo de Leon and Dominador de Leon. sir. sir. you never look back when you were running? I looked back. And you stayed inside your house upon reaching your house. When you reached your house. sir. sir. how far is the house of Leopoldo de Leon from that place where you met your father when you were running? Just beyond the concrete fence. sir. then. sir. You saw where Leopoldo de Leon threw the bolo? At the time they ran away towards their house. . Leopoldo de Leon and Dominador de Leon. were not yet around? A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A After I met my father. you were running so fast and you ran as fast as you could towards your house. when you were running fast? I stopped. Were you able to find this bolo which was thrown by Leopoldo de Leon? No more. By the way. he threw his bolo. am I correct? Yes. How about Dominador de Leon? Bolo with the same size. CAMPOS The moment you met your father along your way when you were running. sir. they picked up the bolo and then brought with them. appeared sir. my father met Billy de Leon and then the two (2) Dominador and Leopoldo de Leon. Leopoldo de Leon and Dominador de Leon. Chito Jimenez on cross-examination declared that: ATTY. sir. sir. And how about the house of Dominador de Leon in relation to that place where you met your father along your way when you were running? The same distance. sir. sir. From what direction did these two (2) other accused. the two (2) other accused.

sir. sir. Why did you stop. sir.[15] In an attempt to discredit the prosecution witnesses. Did you really see how Billy de Leon accosted your father? Yes. then Dominador de Leon whom you alleged to have also stabbed your father? Yes. he stabbed your father? Yes. if any. Comes these two (2) other accused. Besides. Witness? Because Billy de Leon accosted my father and then these two (2) brothers arrived. Ignacio. declared that Leopoldo and Dominador appeared only when his father. accused-appellants contend that their testimonies are contradictory in that while Annaluz testified that accused-appellants Leopoldo and Dominador ran with Billy in chasing Chito. sir. sir. And while Ignacio Jimenez or your father was being handled by the three (3) accused. And the moment Billy de Leon accosted your father. sir. you where. Mr. And so. you did not notice Leopoldo de Leon and Dominador de Leon around? It was then that the two (2) arrived. the . Witness? Ten (10) meters away from the place of stabbing. Leopoldo de Leon held the arms of your father. is not true. your attention was only focused on what was happening to your father? Yes. The truth now is that. sir. And when these were happening you were about ten (10) meters away from the four (4)? Yes. sir. am I correct? Yes. prosecution witness Chito.Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A And you are now changing your testimony when you said a while ago that you stopped running upon reaching home? Yes. Mr. Neither that you called for help from other persons who were around? No. sir. You did not come to the aid of your father? No. am I correct? I did not notice. sir. were more imaginary than real. sir. The inconsistencies. you did not do anything just watched. was being accosted by Billy. sir. I watched them because I got frightened. But there were other persons around. on the other hand. sir. sir. When your father was accosted by Billy de Leon. first.

considering the two possibilities that it could be one weapon or more than two weapons. sir.[16] Furthermore. veracity. more particularly Mercedes de Leon. which is more possible considering the sizes of the wounds. there are two or more kinds of weapon used or only one kind of weapon? More than one kind of weapon. sir. the court cannot and should not expect the testimonies of different witnesses to be completely identical and to coincide with each other for not all persons who witnessed an incident are impressed in the same manner. considering also the nature of the wounds more particularly in their sizes. her relationship with the victim does not render her testimony less worthy of full faith and credence. The earnest desire to seek justice for a dead kin is not served should the witness abandon his conscience and prudence to blame one who is innocent of the crime. the greater possibility is more than two weapons? Yes. Considering now the two possibilities. if any.inconsistencies. The credibility of the prosecution witnesses is not affected by their relationship with the deceased.[18] Likewise. Now. relationship itself could even strengthen credibility in a particular case. So. who testified that Billy was the only one . sir. When there is no showing of improper motive on the part of the witness in testifying against the accused. is it possible that there are more than one weapon used in inflicting the injuries? It is possible.[17] In fact. what is the greater possibility? A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A I could not tell. Arzadon who conducted the post mortem examination of the victim opined that two (2) different weapons could have caused the wounds of the victim. the credibility of the witnesses as they negate any suspicion of a rehearsed testimony. it is more than two. He testified: COURT Now. None of the witnesses for the defense. in the testimony of the prosecution witnesses refer only to minor details and collateral matters which do not affect the substance. Dr. You could not tell despite the fact that there are different sizes as you say about the length? In my opinion. The fact that witness Chito is the son of the victim while Annaluz‘s mother-in-law is the second cousin of the wife of the victim is of no consequence since mere relationship with the victim does not necessarily tarnish the testimony of a witness. and weight of their testimony. Is it also possible that there is only one weapon used or not possible? It is possible. they might disagree on some minor details. sir. as shown by the medical examination. the victim sustained nine (9) stab wounds. and it is only natural that. for it is highly unnatural for an aggrieved relative to falsely accuse someone other than the actual culprit. sir. They even tended to strengthen rather than weakened. in relating their impressions.[19] Billy could not have been solely responsible for all the stab wounds sustained by the victim as the same were in all probability caused by two (2) different weapons. sir.

[22] The credible testimonies of prosecution witnesses Annaluz and Chito disclosed that after Billy accosted Ignacio.[21] It is sufficient that there is a common purpose and design. To take advantage of superior strength is to purposely use excessive force out of proportion to the means of defense available to the person attacked. Such being the state of affairs at the time the incident happened. hence the killing is murder as charged in the Information. and then the three (3) accusedbrothers left and ran away at the same time. and then Dominador took his turn in stabbing the victim at the back of the head. As aptly held by the trial court and we quote: In the case at bar.[20] As amply observed by the trial court. Verily. the stabbing is qualified by the circumstance of abuse of superior strength. the award of P15. we have consistently held that conspiracy need not be shown by direct proof of an agreement by the parties to commit the crime. concerted action and concurrence of interests and the minds of the parties meet understandingly so as to bring about a deliberate agreement to commit the offense charged. as the perpetrators of the crime.[23] Although superiority in number is not always superiority in strength. the same is decidedly true in the case at bar where all the appellants were armed. Furthermore. Ignacio. accused-appellants‘ defense is a bare and shallow alibi which is a weak defense. notwithstanding the absence of a formal agreement. there was only one adversary. We likewise affirmed the trial court‘s holding that the killing is qualified to murder by abuse of superior strength. declared on the witness stand that Billy used more than one weapon in stabbing the victim.00 designated as ―compensatory damages‖ by the trial court should be properly denominated as civil indemnity ex delicto. in the light of the positive identification of accused-appellants.000. by two (2) eyewitnesses. the combined strength of the three accused is more superior than the strength of the deceased who was much older than the accused.000. . then Leopoldo held the arms of Ignacio. This amount of indemnity is in accordance with jurisprudence and it requires no proof other than the fact of death as a result of the crime and proof of the appellants‘ responsibility therefor. These concurrent actions of accused Billy and accused-appellants Leopoldo and Dominador which revealed a mutual intention and determination to kill the victim. Anent accused-appellants‘ civil liability. accused-appellants having overpowered the unarmed victim in terms of number and weapons used. as in the case at bar. their defense of denial and alibi cannot prosper. It should be rejected inasmuch as the identities of the accused.responsible.00 as actual damages should be deleted inasmuch as there were no receipts presented to evidence the same. an unarmed man who at that time was in no position to defend himself. On the matter of conspiracy. have been sufficiently and positively established by eyewitnesses to the offense. On the other hand. The award of P50. Hence. indicated conspiracy. the evidence on record shows that during the stabbing accused Leopoldo de Leon held the victim while his brothers Billy and Dominador stabbed him several times in the different parts of his body. there is no proof of physical impossibility for the accused-appellants to be present in the scene of the crime. Billy continued stabbing the victim. the former stabbed the latter on the stomach one or two (2) times.

2001] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. with deliberate intent. which caused his instantaneous death. Mendoza. causing upon said Jessie Conlu a stab wound on a vital part of his body.J.k.000. without justifiable motive. R. the appealed Decision dated January 30. SO ORDERED. 1979. and Buena. in the City of Iloilo. with treachery and evident premeditation. April 20. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder and sentencing them to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION that appellants are ordered to pay. accused-appellants. Rodolfo Enriquez and Bebot Enriquez. EN BANC [G. Philippines. concur. Philippines.000 for his provisional liberty. 1997 of the Regional Trial Court of Lingayen. (Chairman). November 16. said accused. No. JJ. Quisumbing.00. to the heirs of the victim. 11858 before the then Court of First Instance of Iloilo City. unlawfully and criminally stab. in Criminal Case No.00 as moral damages. Iloilo City. hit and wound Jessie Conlu with a double bladed stainless knife.000. DECISION DAVIDE. only the amounts of P50. Bellosillo. 138264. Branch 38.. vs.a.000. the trial court issued a warrant of arrest against ENRIQUEZ and fixed a bail bond of P30. JR. with a decided purpose to kill.[1] In an Order dated 21 November 1979[2]. is deleted for lack of proof thereof. as actual damages. with which the said accused was provided at the time.[3] . Ignacio Jimenez. The award of P15. Pangasinan.00 as civil indemnity ex delicto and P50. did then and there wilfully. The case was archived because ENRIQUEZ remained at large.. jointly and severally. 1979. C. The information filed against him on 16 November 1979 read as follows: That on or about the 13th day of October.WHEREFORE.: The accused-appellant Tomas Enriquez (hereafter ENRIQUEZ) was charged with the crime of murder for the violent death of Jessie Conlu (hereafter JESSIE) in Criminal Case No. and within the jurisdiction of this Court. TOMAS ENRIQUEZ a. CONTRARY TO LAW. L-5499 finding appellants Leopoldo de Leon and Dominador de Leon. plaintiff-appellee.

[17] After trial on the merits. ENRIQUEZ was arrested. Presiding Judge Bartolome M. The decretal portion of the decision reads as follows: Accordingly.Several years thereafter. ENRIQUEZ sought the inhibition of Presiding Judge Jose Abdallah of Branch 39 of the trial court. citing as basis therefor his admission to bail in the original information.[6] ENRIQUEZ applied for bail. were included and no bail was recommended for his temporary liberty. said court declared illegal the arrest of ENRIQUEZ and ordered his release from detention. Tomas Rodolfo Enriquez alias ―Bebot. he questioned the legality of the warrant of arrest. On 29 June 1995. In the decision[11] of a Special Division.000 the bail bond for the provisional liberty of ENRIQUEZ. the Court of Appeals set aside the 16 April 1996 order of the trial court. It took into account the qualifying circumstance of treachery and the aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation. hereby sentences him to an extreme penalty of . Fanuñal of Branch 25 of said court was designated to hear and decide the case.[7] In its Order of 22 August 1995. In its order of 16 April 1996.[13] Thereafter. but was again released after he posted a cash bond. citing as basis the facts and evidence on record. he was convicted of several offenses. ENRIQUEZ assailed the order before the Court of Appeals in a petition docketed as C.000 and to pay the costs. Pursuant to our Resolution[14] of 9 December 1997. 38729. on 24 March 1997. finding the accused. the Court. In its decision of 29 February 1996. 41298.[9] the Court of Appeals set aside the challenged order because it failed to state clearly the basis upon which ENRIQUEZ‘s application for bail was denied. ENRIQUEZ was arrested. or on 19 April 1991. 9676 and assigned to Branch 38 of the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City. On the same date.R. namely Rodolfo Enriquez and Bebot Enriquez.[5] an Amended Information was filed against ENRIQUEZ before the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City. premises considered. In a petition for habeas corpus docketed as Special Proceeding No. SP No.A.R. Accordingly. denied again the application for bail. except that the aliases of ENRIQUEZ.[10] the trial court.000.-G. and pending the action on his application for bail. and the evidence against him was strong.‖ guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and charged with the qualifying circumstance of treachery and an aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation. the trial court rendered on 8 October 1998 a Decision[18] finding ENRIQUEZ guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of death and to indemnify the family of the victim in the amount of P50. It contained essentially the same allegations as that of the original information.[8] the trial court denied the application for bail on the grounds that ENRIQUEZ was a fugitive from justice. SP No.[15] Congressman Gonzalez withdrew the cash bond he posted for ENRIQUEZ. On 29 April 1998. On 8 April 1998. In its decision[4] of 30 April 1991. On 6 July 1995. ENRIQUEZ was released from detention after Congressman Raul Gonzales deposited in court the cash bond of P60. ENRIQUEZ challenged this order in a petition he filed with the Court of Appeals which was docketed as CA-G. On 16 July 1995.[16] ENRIQUEZ was arrested.[12] the trial court fixed at P60.

The bail bond posted for his provisional liberty is cancelled and returned to him. Tito Doromal. Rene also saw JESSIE. of 13 October 1979. At that time.shirt. At about 3:00 to 3:30 p.‖ ILIASCO‘s office was located at the corner of Blumentritt Street and Muelle Loney Street. Rene was passing on the basket of tomatoes to Christian who in turn loaded the basket to the ship carrier ―Princess of Negros. On 29 October 1998.death as well as orders him to indemnify the family of the victim the amount of P50. Rene saw all of these because he was standing at a distance of approximately five meters from ENRIQUEZ and JESSIE. A policeman by the name of Dignadice. Rene and his brother Christian were at the Coca-Cola plant located at the corner of Melliza Street and Muelle Loney Street.‖ presumably a knife. testified that on 13 October 1979. Dr. The wound was fatal as it penetrated the heart of the victim causing his instantaneous death. Rene de la Peña and Romeo Ladrillo. an amateur boxer then. who was wearing a white shirt with stripes. and that his arrest is hereby ordered for him to serve his sentence.00 and to pay the costs. In all probability the assailant was facing the victim during the attack as evidenced by the stab wound on the chest bone. a Medico-Legal Officer of the Philippine National Police. ran slowly toward JESSIE and stabbed the latter. a company engaged in arrastre service.[22] Rene de la Peña. The bail bond posted for his provisional liberty is cancelled and returned to him. and was tasked to load and unload cargoes from the ships ―Princess of Negros‖ and ―Don Vicente. then clad in maong pants and white T. walking along Muelle Loney Street and heading towards the direction of ENRIQUEZ. Sta. ENRIQUEZ armed with a pointed instrument wrapped with a piece of cloth.[24] . a resident of Barangay Duyan-Duyan. in Iloilo City. Tito Doromal. single bladed instrument. Barbara. Dr. arrived at the scene of the crime and removed JESSIE‘s body. vomited blood and fell to the ground. walking along Melliza Street. Jr.[23] On 13 October 1979. SO ORDERED. JESSIE held his chest.‖ He noticed ENRIQUEZ. Doromal opined that the wound was inflicted by a ―sharp pointed. 000. Immediately thereafter. After the incident. The witnesses presented by the prosecution were Dr. and that his arrest is hereby ordered for him to serve his sentence. was the sparring partner of Rene‘s uncle Rodolfo Tato.m. Rene continued to perform his work since he expected that somebody would come to aid JESSIE. Rene was working as a stevedore in ILIASCO.[19] ENRIQUEZ was arrested and committed to the Provincial Jail of Iloilo City. ENRIQUEZ stared at JESSIE and immediately fled. ENRIQUEZ. he examined the dead body of a certain Jessie Conlu and prepared an Autopsy Report[20] describing the wound inflicted and the cause of his death and an Anatomical Sketch[21] of the victim‘s body. testified that he personally knew ENRIQUEZ because they used to hang around together since 1968. Iloilo City.

a resident of Tabucan.m. a resident of Barangay Kasing-Kasing. a musical band owned by Henrietta Jayme. in the Province of Capiz.m.[28] Romeo was also familiar with JESSIE who was engaged in the business of selling fighting cocks. the group returned to Iloilo City and arrived thereat at around 8:00 a. ENRIQUEZ solicited Rene‘s help to kill JESSIE because the latter was having an affair with ENRIQUEZ‘s wife. At about 3:15 p. of the same day. He. testified that in 1966 he was a great fan of ENRIQUEZ. Rene denied that he was offered any price or money or that he harbored a grudge against ENRIQUEZ. rode on a truck from Lapaz. that Rene witnessed the incident.‖ Thereafter. and ENRIQUEZ. the band was contracted to perform in Maayon. a co-worker of Rene at the arrastre. Romeo declared that he testified because of his concern for the truth and his conscience bothered him. and they performed until 2:00 a. Wilfredo Altamia. Molo. Likewise. At about 10:00 to 11:30 a. including ENRIQUEZ.m.m.[31] Romeo further declared that Rene de la Peña was also present at the scene and witnessed the incident. 14 October 1979. At a distance of four to five meters. Romeo noticed ENRIQUEZ moved near JESSIE and stabbed the latter on the chest with ―something in his hand covered by a white cloth. Rene turned down the request.[33] Lastly. Molo. ENRIQUEZ was the barangay captain of their barangay.[29] On 13 October 1979. Iloilo City.m.[30] Romeo left the scene immediately after the policemen arrived. he joined ENRIQUEZ as vocalist of the Dazzer‘s Orchestra.Prior to that fateful day. of 13 October 1979.[36] . the members of the band consisting of about 15 members. he saw JESSIE walking alongside the Coca-Cola plant. Romeo was working as a foreman of Negros Navigation. On 13 October 1979. of the following day. Through the prodding of Ulysses Corvera.m. They arrived in Maayon at about 3:00 to 4:00 p. Christian de la Peña. who was then a singer in the local radio. and a certain Boyboy Cordera prodded him to appear in court to testify. Wilfredo asserted that ENRIQUEZ was with them from the time they left Iloilo City until the end of their performance in Maayon. He decided to testify because his conscience bothered him.[32] Romeo also corroborated the testimony of Rene regarding the plan of ENRIQUEZ to kill JESSIE. of that day.[26] Romeo Ladrillo testified that sometime in 1991 he became a resident of Barangay KasingKasing. Iloilo City. of 14 October 1979. of that day. Their musical engagement in Maayon started at 8:00 p. Romeo revealed what he knew about the incident to a certain Fiscal Castrojas. too.[35] Thereafter.[25] Rene did not report what he had witnessed to the police authorities. ENRIQUEZ ran away. Mandurriao. Iloilo City. Sometime in 1978. Lastly. JESSIE spurted blood and fell flat on the ground.[27] Such familiarity began during the time when ENRIQUEZ used to do odd jobs in Muelle Loney Street.[34] The defense presented as its witnesses Wilfredo Altamia. Iloilo City for Maayon. became familiar with ENRIQUEZ and had known the latter under the name ―Rodofo Enriquez‖ alias Bebot Enriquez. Boyboy had learned from Romeo Ledrillo. he was at Bong-Bong‘s store located across the Coca-Coca plant at Melliza Street.

shooting or robbery was an ordinary occurrence in view of the proliferation of gang wars in the place.[38] Christian de la Peña.[44] The trial court further observed that there was no showing of a personal hostility between ENRIQUEZ and the prosecution witnesses to raise doubt on the trustworthiness of the latter‘s testimony. his political rival in the 1997 election. Iloilo City. in full view of and within the range of vision of Rene and Romeo who were ENRIQUEZ‘ co-workers and long-time acquaintances. Capiz. While indeed the crime was perpetrated in 1979. On 13 October 1979. also a resident of Barangay Kasing-Kasing. respectively. He denied having been acquainted with JESSIE and claimed that he became familiar with such name only in 1992 when a warrant of arrest was issued against him. he was not investigated by the police authorities relative to the crime he allegedly committed. Padojinog showed him a document proving that his brother-in-law Romeo and his brother Rene testified in court on the death of JESSIE. ENRIQUEZ declared that he learned about the charge against him only in 1992.Wilfredo further declared that he and ENRIQUEZ left the Dazzer‘s Orchestra in 1983 and 1981. ENRIQUEZ admitted that he was christened as Tomas Rodolfo Enriquez.m. The trial court also ruled that ENRIQUEZ cannot make much of the fact of delay in the prosecution of this case.[42] ENRIQUEZ further declared that he was a member of Dazzer‘s Orchestra. Iloilo City. although he was also identified as Tomas ―Bebot‖ Enriquez or Rodolfo ―Bebot‖ Enriquez. Christian declared that he was not familiar with JESSIE not until 1 June 1998 when a certain Atty.[41] ENRIQUEZ testified that in 1965 he became a resident of Barangay Kasing-Kasing. In view of these.[40] Lastly. The prosecution of the case was further delayed when.[39] He worked from 1977 up to 1980 as a stevedore of ILIASCO. he and the members of the band left Iloilo City for a singing engagement in Maayon. testified that he became acquainted with ENRIQUEZ sometime in 1992. There was no intimation that Rene and Romeo were influenced by a political ambition neither was there a showing that a promise or reward was offered to them. Molo. They returned to Iloilo City the following day and arrived thereat at about 8:00 a. The crime was perpetrated in broad daylight. and that he held the position of a barangay captain of the barangay since 1989. Molo. He cited the presence in court of Ulysses Colvera. by means of a petition for habeas corpus.[37] It was only on 2 June 1998 that he learned about the criminal indictment against ENRIQUEZ. ENRIQUEZ theorized that the present case was politically motivated. the defense of denial and alibi interposed by ENRIQUEZ has no leg to stand on. and opined that during those times. Prior to said date. It struck down for lack of merit ENRIQUEZ‘ claim that his political enemies instigated the charge against him. and that he was arrested in 1992 by a certain Mayor Ganzon.[43] The trial court‘s judgment of conviction was primarily based on the testimonial account of Rene de la Peña and Romeo Ladrillo who both witnessed the commission of the crime from a distance of about four to five meters and positively identified ENRIQUEZ as the assailant. stabbing. To further show his innocence and lack of knowledge of the circumstances surrounding JESSIE‘s death. He was not aware of any untoward incident that transpired on 13 October 1979. the evidence on record shows that it was only in 1992 when ENRIQUEZ was arrested. ENRIQUEZ successfully .

He harps on the alleged material inconsistencies and contradictory statements of Rene and Romeo.[45] As to evident premeditation. which was not offset by any mitigating circumstance.A. and that it committed grave or serious error in: IV …CONVICTING THE ACCUSED OF DEATH PENALTY. To justify the imposition of the death penalty. In his Appellant‘s Brief ENRIQUEZ alleges that the court a quo erred in finding that: I …THE TESTIMONIES OF THE WITNESSES FOR THE PROSECUTION ARE CREDIBLE AND DESERVING OF CREDENCE.challenged the validity of his arrest alleging that he was not the Tomas Enriquez referred to in the warrant of arrest. V …NOT CONSIDERING THE INORDINATE DELAY IN THE TRIAL OF THE CASE IN VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES ON SPEEDY DISPOSITION OF THE CASE. On direct examination Rene declared that at the time of the stabbing incident ―he was hanging around near the premises of the old site of Coca-Cola plant when the stabbing incident happened because they went there after finishing their work as the . II …THE INSINUATION THAT POLITICS MAY HAVE PROMPTED THE WITNESSES TO TESTIFY AGAINST THE ACCUSED DOES NOT HAVE SUPPORT OF SATISFACTORY PROOF. ENRIQUEZ attacks the credibility of the prosecution witnesses particularly Rene de la Peña and Romeo Ladrillo. The trial court appreciated against ENRIQUEZ the qualifying circumstance of treachery. 7659. The finding of treachery was based on the swiftness of the attack on a victim who was unsuspecting. it considered the testimony of Rene and Romeo that a few days prior to the incident ENRIQUEZ revealed to the former the latter‘s intention to kill JESSIE. the trial court appreciated the generic aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation. as amended by Section 22 of R. III …THE PRESENCE OF QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE OF TREACHERY AND EVIDENT PREMEDITATION WAS DULY PROVEN. unarmed and was not in a position to retaliate. The case is now before us for automatic review of the judgment pursuant to Article 47 of the Revised Penal Code.

Iloilo City. which was also the place where Boyboy resided. ENRIQUEZ claims that there was no basis for the trial court‘s imposition of the penalty of death since the crime was committed in 1979. ENRIQUEZ theorizes that the instant case is politically motivated. in the cross-examination.‖[46] However. it was not possible that they would witness the stabbing incident at the same distance. then the weapon could not have deeply penetrated the victim‘s body. and (4) he was not consistent in his declaration that after the incident until July 1995 he had not met and talked with ENRIQUEZ. and (5) both gave a different version as to the exact number of policemen who arrived at the scene of the crime. Anent the fourth assigned error. and (3) Mr.‖[47] at the time of the incident. Rene. ENRIQUEZ considers as improbable the similarity in the declaration of Rene and Romeo regarding the circumstances surrounding the incident. ENRIQUEZ asserts that the evidence of the prosecution on the issue of treachery and evident premeditation was controverted by the following facts: (1) ENRIQUEZ ran towards the victim which necessarily put the latter on guard of the latter‘s harmful intention. Colvera and a certain Tony. That the witnesses exhibited ―extraordinary mental ability‖ for remembering every detail of the incident does not coincide with the reality taking into account their lowly position as ―mere porters. It was also incredible to believe that Rene would voluntarily testify because of an alleged guilty conscience. therefore. ENRIQUEZ further alleges that there were material inconsistencies between the testimonies of Rene and Romeo in that: (1) according to Romeo the crime happened ―by the side of the old Coca-Cola plant‖ while Rene declared that it happened ―across the street of the old Coca-Cola plant‖[48]. (2) since Rene and Romeo were situated at different locations.‖ It was also ―unusual‖ that Romeo and Rene did not reveal to anybody what they had witnessed on that fateful day. (4) they differed in their testimony on the behavior of ENRIQUEZ after the stabbing incident. orchestrated the move to induce Rene and Romeo to testify against him. (3) the attack on the victim was frontal. (2) he had known Boyboy Cordera only on 11 June 1996. when in truth and in fact he had been visiting the residence of his parents in Molo. (3) they were unable to establish with certainty whether Christian de la Peña was present at the scene of the crime. unreliable witnesses. cannot be more interested than JESSIE‘s wife who had expressed disinterest in the prosecution of the instant case. (3) it was physically impossible for Rene to have observed the happening of the incident and at the same time witnessed the activity of ENRIQUEZ and of the victim. (2) if indeed the knife used to kill the victim was wrapped in a cloth. In support of the second assigned error. Iloilo City. Further eroding the truthfulness of Rene‘s testimony were the following: (1) he failed to make an accurate account for the reason of the delay in the departure of the ship. Rene was clear enough in saying that he was actually ―busy with his job putting the basket of tomatoes to the shoulder of his brother Christian de la Peña the one loading it to the ship.ferry boat left. He capitalizes on the following facts: (1) he was a candidate for the position of and had been elected as barangay captain of Barangay Kasing-Kasing. The death . As to the third assigned error. who was not related to the victim. who were both known as his political rivals in the barangay election. Molo. and (4) the crime was perpetrated within the view of many people. The ―similar pattern‖ of describing the incident strongly suggests that they were rehearsed and were. (2) the witnesses for the prosecution Rene and Romeo came out in the open to testify on an incident that occurred sixteen years ago.

A. which is equivalent to an acquittal on the merits. Finally. misunderstood. We affirm the trial court‘s dissertation on this issue: . It argued that the assailed inconsistencies in the testimony of the prosecution witnesses do not refer to material points. This rule admits of exceptions. There was also insufficient evidence showing that the opponents of ENRIQUEZ in politics had induced the witnesses of the prosecution to falsely testify against him. ENRIQUEZ had contrived to kill the victim three days before the incident. A violation of his right to a speedy disposition of the case entitles him to a dismissal thereof. or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and substance which could affect the result of the case. 7659.[50] As to evident premeditation. He was re-arrested in 1995 only. Their identification of ENRIQUEZ as the assailant was forthright and clear. such as when the evaluation was reached arbitrarily or when the trial court overlooked. The attack was sudden and unexpected and the victim was caught unaware on the danger to his life. the OSG submits that the trial court erred in imposing the death penalty since the crime was committed at the time when under the 1987 Constitution the penalty of death was abolished. considering that the latter is in a better position to decide the question.[51] We shall resolve the first and the second assigned errors since they both pertain to the issue of credibility. However. The conviction of ENRIQUEZ was primarily based on the positive and categorical account of prosecution witnesses Rene de la Peña and Romeo Ladrillo. 7659 and not before the enactment of the latter. who only wanted the dispensation of justice.A. it was not incredible that a witness. R. appellate courts will generally not disturb the findings of the trial court. The Appellee asserts that there was enough evidence on the record to support the finding of the trial court on treachery. cannot be applied to the instant case since it would be unfavorable to the accused. It is doctrinally settled that when the issue is one of credibility of witnesses. ENRIQUEZ invokes Section 16 of Article III of the 1987 Constitution on speedy trial. would voluntarily testify about a crime which happened sixteen years back. In the Appellee‘s Brief. The Death Penalty Law.[49] The alleged discrepancies were insufficient to outweigh the categorical statement of the witnesses for the prosecution on the commission of the crime by ENRIQUEZ. Moreover. ENRIQUEZ was arrested only on 19 April 1991 and shortly thereafter he filed a petition for habeas corpus which paved the way for his release from detention. prays for the affirmance of the trial court‘s judgment of conviction with the modification that the penalty imposed should be lowered to reclusion perpetua.penalty may be imposed only during the operation of the 1987 Constitution and R. The trial court‘s imposition of the death penalty violated the constitutional proscription on the operation of ex post facto law. in support of the last assigned error. the Appellee was not responsible for the delay in the prosecution of this case and did not violate the right of ENRIQUEZ to speedy trial. the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). Furthermore. The lack of symmetry or exact identity in their testimony served to augment rather than dilute the trustworthiness of their testimony.[52] Unfortunately. ENRIQUEZ has failed to show the presence of any of these exceptions. having heard the witnesses themselves and observe their deportment and manner of testifying during trial. No.

Their separate story agree on material points. 1979 in Melliza Street near Muelle Loney. as in this case. It is clear on the record that Rene was passing the basket of tomatoes to his brother Christian de la Peña.[53] ENRIQUEZ‘s argument on the alleged inconsistencies in the testimony of the prosecution witnesses does not persuade us. it is hardly credible that witnesses would prevaricate and cause damnation to one who brought them no harm or injury. in the absence of ill-will. the manner by which he perpetuated the crime. and was explicit in saying that he noticed ENRIQUEZ pass by in front of him and at a distance of about five meters ENRIQUEZ Approach and stab JESSIE. The virtue of truthfulness is not a monopoly of the old. Iloilo City. for many years back. As to the failure of Rene and Romeo to report to the police authorities ENRIQUEZ‘s identity immediately after the commission of the crime. The inconsistencies were on minor matters and were trivial and unimportant. the accused being their co-resident in Barangay Kasing-kasing. and the date the crime was committed. having known him.[55] Rene‘s declaration that he was hanging around the premises has reference to the time after he had finished his work in the arrastre and not during the time of the incident. has been properly established by eye-witnesses Rene de la Peña and Romeo Ladrillo. 219 SCRA 212. We are not unaware of the natural reticence of most people to get involved in criminal prosecutions against immediate neighbors. on the contrary. Iloilo City. That the testimonies of these witnesses are credible and deserving of credence for they were not shown to have been motivated by any grudge. they may be considered badges of veracity or manifestations of truthfulness on material points and they may even heighten the credibility of the witness. The stabbing incident took place at past 3 o‘clock in the afternoon of October 13.[54] Further. we need only stress that such was not entirely against human experience. that is even as early as 1967 or 1968 and that the incident occurred in broad daylight with nothing to impede or obstruct their view. the . ill-will or misunderstanding in testifying against the accused. There is also good person (sic) to believe these witnesses to have actually seen the stabbing incident considering the fact that said incident occurred right near the immediate premises of their place of work where they have the right or supposed to be. Jessie Conlu.[56] The fact that Rene and Romeo were unschooled and illiterate does not diminish the trustworthiness of their testimony. upon approaching the victim stabbed him (victim). There is no reason to doubt the identification made by them of the accused. specifically on the identity of ENRIQUEZ as the culprit. ENRIQUEZ can not make much of his claim that it was unclear from the testimony of Rene as to what exactly was he doing at the time of the occurrence of the incident. Settled is the rule that minor inconsistencies doe not affect the credibility of a witness. Villagracia. the motive behind the killing. As held in People vs. A careful scrutiny of the transcript of stenographic notes of the testimonies of Rene de la Peña and Romeo Ladrillo shows that they gave a clear and affirmative full account of what actually transpired on the fateful day of 13 October 1979. The two witnesses were just some four (4) to five (5) meters away from the scene when the accused. Molo.That the identity of the accused as the person who stabbed and killed the victim.

viz: The insinuation that politics may have caused or prompted the witnesses to testify against him as he. was or is the object of envy or hatred by his political opponents does not have the support of any satisfactory proof. ENRIQUEZ. being the barangay captain of Barangay Kasing-kasing.[57] We find no factual basis for the claims of ENRIQUEZ that the instant case was maneuvered by his political adversaries. We have time and again ruled that alibi is the weakest of all defenses for it is easy to fabricate and difficult to prove. We approve the finding of the trial court. which caused the victim to fall. upon approaching and coming near his unarmed victim.[60] For treachery to be appreciated two conditions must concur: (1) the employment of means of execution that gives the person attacked no opportunity to defend himself or retaliate. to wit: The fact as testified to by the witnesses shows that the assault was unprovoked. without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make. methods. and the learned -. employing means.[58] The defense of alibi interposed by ENRIQUEZ cannot stand in view of his positive testimony of Rene de la Peña and Romeo Ladrillo that he. the simple and the unlettered. vomit blood and almost instantaneous death. was the one who stabbed and killed JESSIE. it can not prevail over the positive identification of the accused by the witnesses. xxx The unexpectedness (sic) and suddenness of the attack coupled by the fact that the accused concealed his weapon with a cloth as he approached and until he finally delivered a fatal stab blow on the thoraco-abdominal region of his victim which did not only penetrate and perforate the thoracic cavity and mid-anterior pericardial sac but the mid-upper 3rd of the right ventricle of the heart as well clearly characterize the . the crime committed is murder. the foregoing requirements of treachery was adequately established and we adopt the trial court‘s finding thereon. was unexpected and sudden. There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crime against the person.truth can come from the mouths of a child and the lips of the poor. Molo. that the accused.[59] We are in full agreement with the trial court‘s finding that the killing was committed with the qualifying circumstance of treachery. and that the victim was unarmed. There is no question that the attack although frontal. or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly to insure its execution. immediately stabbed him with something covered by a white cloth.rich. and (2) the means of execution was deliberately or consciously adopted. hence. There was no exchange of words between the victim and the accused at anytime before the actual attack. the fact being that these witnesses were not shown to have been engaged or involved in politics and much less has it been shown that they were merely induced for a fee or promise of reward to testify against the accused. something which turned out to be a knife.[61] In this case.

concur. the right to speedy trial is violated only where there is an unreasonable. ENRIQUEZ told Rene and Romeo that he wanted to kill JESSIE because of the latter‘s alleged illicit relationship with him. and (3) sufficient lapse of time between such determination and execution to allow him to reflect upon the consequences of his act. Besides. The rest of the judgment stands. Gonzaga-Reyes. the decision of 8 October 1998 rendered by the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City. and Sandoval-Gutierrez. Mendoza.. In the final analysis. The crime was committed on 13 October 1979 at a time when the imposable penalty for murder was reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death. This manner of assault positively points to the fact that the accused consciously and deliberately employed a form of attack to ensure the consummation of his objective with certainty. Branch 25. Panganiban.‖ Notably. vexatious and oppressive‖ and not one ―without the participation or fault of the accused. Puno. Ynares-Santiago. the following requisites must be proved before it may be appreciated: (1) the time when the accused determined to commit the crime.[65] which took effect on 31 December 1993. vexatious and oppressive delay without the participation or fault of the accused.[66] Finally. it was evident on the record that the accused left for Manila68 immediately after the filing of the criminal indictment presumably to evade the strong arm of the law.. Bellosillo. 11858 finding accused-appellant TOMAS ENRIQUEZ guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal of the crime of murder. or when unjustified postponements are sought which prolong the trial for unreasonable length of time. Kapunan. The death penalty was restored by R. Melo. 7659.[67] We find that the constitutional right of ENRIQUEZ to a speedy trial was not impaired since the delay in the prosecution of the instant case cannot be characterized as ―unreasonable. no convincing evidence was offered to prove how ENRIQUEZ planned and prepared to kill JESSIE to show that he had clung to his determination.A. as amended. the penalty should be imposed in its medium period.[64] that is.[62] As regards evident premeditation. WHEREFORE. Vitug. in Criminal Case No. JJ. the trial began only on 13 July 1995 or more than a decade after the filing of the original information on 16 November 1979. reclusion perpetua. (2) an act manifestly indicating that the accused has clung to his determination. defined and penalized under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. Buena. We cannot also agree with the trial court‘s imposition of the death penalty. ENRIQUEZ‘s wife. Since there was neither aggravating nor mitigating circumstance attending the commission of the crime. is hereby AFFIRMED with the modification that the penalty is reduced from death to reclusion perpetua. it was committed at the time when the imposition of the death penalty was suspended pursuant to Section 19(1) of Article III of the Constitution.[63] While the first and third requisites may have been proven by the fact that a few days prior to the incident. SO ORDERED. No. De Leon. ENRIQUEZ was arrested only sometime in 1991 but the trial of the case was further delayed by the habeas corpus proceeding69 that he initiated.assault as treacherous. Jr. ENRIQUEZ cannot attribute the delay to anyone else but himself. No pronouncement as to costs. However. Quisumbing. .

Mama Diana went to a store to buy some food. 136304. January 25. There were about seven children playing on the stage. They looked for Joyce Ann and the man but they were nowhere to be found. J. par. her sister Rose Ann. Rama gave her one biscuit.m. 1998. and Joyce Ann at the plaza's stage while her Mama Weng sat at the side of the stage."[1] The prosecution's story was gathered mainly from the testimony of five-year old Roxanne Cabiguin. Joyce Ann Cabiguin.: vs. grandmother Diana. No. accused-appellant. an information was filed against the accused Roger Rama. a minor. Philippines. to 2:00 p.[2] Roxanne's testimony was corroborated by Pierre Torio. She ate it. 4 of the Revised Penal Code.. Mama Weng. Rama called Roxanne and told her that if she would bring the beautiful girl (referring to Joyce Ann) to him. one (1) year and six (6) months old. J. wilfully. Roxanne pointed to the accused Rama as the man who took away Joyce Ann. a cousin of Joyce Ann. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Rose Ann.R. On January 1. They were about nine to ten meters away from the stage.. plaintiff-appellee. 1998. Roxanne told her Mama Weng and Mama Diana that Joyce Ann was taken by a man. the accused Rama and another man were also at the plaza. ROGER The birth of the New Year in 1998 saw the loss of Roger and Eufemia Cabiguin's infant child. RAMA. the above-named accused. he would give Roxanne a biscuit. She then carried Joyce Ann to the accused Rama who ran away with little Joyce Ann. he was with his cousin and niece at the Dagupan City plaza from about 1:15 p. feeding Pogi. Uncle Dony. Roxanne played with her Uncle Dony. For her loss. Joyce Ann and the latter's younger brother Pogi were at the Dagupan public plaza.m. On January 1. on sick leave. Roxanne. did then and there. Facing the stage. to 4:30 p.m. DECISION PUNO.Pardo. At that time. He was with two other . unlawfully and feloniously kidnap JOYCE ANN CABIGUIN. the accused Rama entered the plaza and sat about five to six meters away from them. ROGER RAMA. Contrary to Article 267. 1998. viz: "That on or about the 1st day of January. At about 1:30 p. in the City of Dagupan. FIRST DIVISION [G. During her testimony. they sat on a bench to its right. 2001] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.m.

1998. On January 5 or 6. Subsequently. Elvira. At the time Joyce Ann disappeared. He entered the plaza playground where many kids were playing.. went to her house because the first suspect was her uncle.men and a pregnant woman. but after Rama's wife talked to them. namely: thirteen-year old Bryan Ocampo. She was with a certain Elvira Sebastian. or on January 3. Torio's cousin called him up to go to the Dagupan City police station because the person who took Joyce Ann was there. along with some policemen and three children who witnessed the taking of Joyce Ann. 1998. Rama threatened Jesus not to follow him or else he (Rama) would throw a stone at him. On the witness stand. He replied that he saw the accused Rama acting suspiciously in the plaza. Two days later. then came out seemingly not knowing what to do. Diana went to McDonald's to buy some snacks. Jesus even urinated upon seeing the accused Rama because the latter spanked him when he (Jesus) ran after Rama as the latter took away Joyce Ann. Diana went to Binmaley. He did not see though whether Rama took Joyce Ann. Bryan. or on January 2. also testified. however. They were permitted by the accused Rama to examine the premises of his house and to look for the missing Joyce Anne. 1998.. the vicinity where the accused lived. and Jesus asked around about the missing Joyce . eleven-year old Benjamin Sarmiento. He stared at the children and looked confused. Pangasinan. they found the latter and his wife and their children sleeping. The police pointed successively to the men sitting at the police station and each time asked Torio if that was the suspicious-acting man. they changed their mind.[4] Diana Laviste Cabiguin. One of the children playing in the plaza playground. Bryan's parents were at first willing to let Bryan testify. and Jesus Ulanday. He gave a sworn statement narrating what he saw on January 1. By this time. 1998. 1998. The following day. Bryan Ocampo. Benjamin. Eduardo Sebastian. 1998 at the Dagupan plaza playground. at about 9:00 a. at about 2:45 p. They searched in vain for the missing Joyce Ann. When she went back to her relatives. but they answered in the negative. Benjamin's father was at first also willing to let his child testify but later on had a change of heart for fear of their safety. after receiving tips from the townspeople. she went to the Dagupan plaza on January 1. Bryan.[3] On January 7. Benjamin. Diana. The children were asked if Eduardo was the kidnapper. Rama was nowhere in sight. 1998. Their search was fruitless but all three kids pointed to the accused Rama as the kidnapper. some policemen.[5] Elvira Sebastian corroborated Diana Laviste's testimony. Diana went back to Elvira's house. When the group reached the house of the accused Rama. informed Diana's group that Joyce Anne was taken by a man. Torio confirmed that he was the man acting suspiciously. one of whom was a certain Bryan. a tall man asked Torio if he saw the missing Joyce Ann. and Jesus went again to Binmaley. Diana. When the police pointed the accused Rama. Along with Joyce Ann and other relatives. and approached the stage. He replied in the negative. Torio pointed to the accused Rama as the man who acted suspiciously at the playground. Diana. Diana asked Elvira's assistance to find the kidnapper. and three children at the plaza playing with Joyce Ann on January 1. He was asked to identify the man he saw acting suspiciously at the playground.m. 1998. She testified that on the night of January 1. take the witness stand. He affirmed that he could not be mistaken because the accused Rama sat only about five to six meters away from him. paternal grandmother of Joyce Ann. he returned to the playground. All three children pointed again to the accused Rama as the man who took Joyce Anne. The three children did not. But before he could reach the stage.m. Joyce Ann was already gone.

Despite the identification made by the children. This prompted Diana to go to the Philippine National Police . Pictures were taken of Benjamin and Bryan. the police presented the accused Rama and four other persons from their office in a police line-up. Fish vendors would usually hire him to carry their goods in his cart. The children again pointed to the accused as the man behind Joyce Ann's taking. Bryan. When the group arrived in the CIDG office. Jesus. The manager told Elvira that the latter might be familiar with Rama's face because he was pushing carts of fish for a living and these cart pushers would usually buy doughnuts from the store of Elvira's father. The following day. the group proceeded to Mele's restaurant.Anne. Together with Rama's wife. the accused Rama did not show up. Benjamin. Eufemia. Azurin. Rose Anne Cabiguin. Benjamin. Deputy Provincial Field Officer. On January 3. The children pointed to the accused Rama as the culprit. They brought with them a letter signed by Police Senior Inspector Rodolfo S. She executed an affidavit narrating the foregoing incidents. and some policemen to Rama's house.[8] Sgt. the group did not find him there. the policemen did not arrest Rama. 1998. 1998. inviting the accused Rama to immediately appear before the CIDG in relation to the kidnapping of Joyce Ann. and other policemen went to Rama's house in Binmaley. Elvira learned from the former manager of the fish business where the accused Rama worked that there were other instances of kidnapping in the market place. Rama signed the letter inviting him to the police station. Pangasinan. On January 1. Roger and his wife.[7] Upon reaching Rama's house. all pointed to the accused Rama as the man who took Joyce Ann. she and the children went to the Magsaysay market beside Mele's restaurant and saw again the accused Rama. or on January 7. Rama arrived. After an hour's wait in vain. From 1975 up to 1998. Elvira stayed behind to wait for the accused Rama at the manager's store.m. At about 4:30 p. The police presented to him the letter signed by Azurin and invited him to go to their office. went to the CIDG office. Joyce Ann. 1998. Jr. One of the children whom the accused Rama spanked at the park during the taking of Joyce Ann even urinated out of fright when he saw the accused. while Roger was left in the office. Moyano and Sgt. . the whole day. Jesus Cabiguin. The accused Rama obliged.m. The following day. he was a cart pusher at the Magsaysay market in Dagupan City. Elvira left.. The rest of Diana's group went to the National Bureau of Investigation. He fetched water. Niro took the affidavits of Benjamin and Bryan. he was at home in Binmaley. Roger Cabiguin's statement was also taken. His wife told them that he was in Mele's restaurant. The two children informed Ubando where the accused Rama lived. and Jesus Ulanday pointing to the accused Rama as the man who took away Joyce Ann. also took the witness stand. His wife went with him. He would go to work at about 6:30 p. Pangasinan. but again. 1998..[9] The accused Rama testified. She returned the following day. Rama threatened them not to implicate him or he would kill them. she saw the accused Rama with a child. 1998. Elvira went with Diana. and go home at about 9:00 the following morning. Eufemia. also went to the CIDG office. She (the manager) informed Elvira that on January 1. Bryan. and three other witnesses. Ubando. investigator at the PNP-CIDG in Dagupan City. He testified that on January 6.Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) in Dagupan City for the arrest of the accused Rama. and Andrew Cabiguin. Bryan and Benjamin who witnessed the accused Rama take Joyce Ann. Benjamin and Bryan. Roger (father of Joyce Ann). They reported to Ubando that the accused Rama kidnapped their daughter. The group left the place.[6] SPO3 Teofilo Ubando.

1998. 1998. Rama again went to work until 9:00 a. to 4:00 p. 1998. 1998. On January 1. the previous night.m. He then proceeded to the Magsaysay market to get his cart. the CIDG members asked him to join a police line-up. a picture of two children pointing to him.[12] SPO4 Reynaldo de Vera of the Dagupan City Police Station also testified. he went to sleep. He arrived home at about 10:30 a. At 6:30 in the evening. These children were not assisted when they identified him at the police line-up. however. He also worked in the evening of January 2. a man. she would leave Binmaley at dawn and purchase her vegetables in Dagupan at about 3:00 a. Upon arriving home the next morning. They consider each other as part of the family. Bryan and Benjamin were then brought out and they pointed to the accused and said "It's him. On January 4. Bryan and Benjamin. On January 3. 1998. He did not go to work in the evening as his customers usually did not sell fish on New Year's Day. The next day. At 1:00 p.m. and why Roxanne identified him in court as the man who took Joyce Ann. however. Another unidentified child pointed to the accused Rama.m. his wife told him that at about 11:00 p. Between the accused Rama and the private complainant. the accused confirmed that the two children were Bryan and Benjamin. why Bryan and Benjamin identified him as the culprit during the police line-up. the accused Rama was in his house the whole day.m.m. He was asked where he brought the missing Joyce Ann. She would then sell her vegetables in the morning and go home at about 11:00 a.[10] Violeta Cayabyab also testified in defense of the accused Rama. she testified that as a vegetable vendor. He also did not have any grudge against Pierre Torio. The two children stated that he (Rama) was not the man who took the missing Joyce Ann. The same was true of January 2. He let the group in. he went to work and went home the following morning at 9:00. the accused Rama testified that the children said." At the latter part of his testimony. Thereupon.[11] Edilberto Aguada took the witness stand. She was Rama's neighbor in Binmaley. a CIDG member approached him and asked him to go with his group because they were going to ask him some questions. then he was again brought back to the CIDG office.m everyday. . Pangasinan.m. She testified that on January 1. she admitted that she would side with Rama. Diana Laviste reported the kidnapping of Joyce Ann Cabiguin.." When shown Exhibit B-1. Roxanne who later on testified in court also pointed to him at the line-up. but he denied taking the child.helped his wife wash clothes. he admitted that he did not see the accused Rama until evening on January 1. He admitted that he did not know what the accused Rama did on those days. On cross-examination. On January 5. 1998. and took care of his youngest daughter. They did not find the baby they were looking for. He is a canteen owner and the person from whom the accused Rama had been getting his cart for two years. On January 4. two policemen went to his house looking for a baby. 1998. Rama testified that he did not know of any reason why Diana Laviste and Roger Cabiguin filed a case against him. 1998. On January 1. Diana. When he arrived at the CIDG office in Tapuac. She also testified that the accused Rama's family and her family are good neighbors. 1998. and stayed there until 12:00 noon. however. some policemen went to their house looking for something. After investigation.m. They were with an old woman whom Rama later on identified in the courtroom as Diana Laviste. 1998. He went to the city and watched a movie from 1:00 p. he went to work as usual. he again stayed in the house. to 5:00 p. then he was transferred to Bonuan. 1998. at about 11:00 in the evening. the accused Rama reported for work in the evening. "It's not him. Rama was asked to stay in the CIDG detachment from January 6 to 9. On cross-examination.m.

The group then went to the house of the accused Rama in Gayaman. De Vera. It convicted the accused Rama. went back to the police station and informed them that the children who were witnesses to the kidnapping of Joyce Ann lived in Pantal. the prosecution witness did not appear. cancelled because the judge was on leave. 1998.00 as temperate or moderate damages. No. When they saw the accused Rama in his house and the two children were asked if he was the man who took away Joyce Ann. 1998. however. Considering that reclusion perpetua shall be from twenty years and one day to forty years (Art. and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to pay the parents of the victim the amount of P100. De Vera did not make any written record of the identification process.[15] The hearing scheduled on April 30. and Roger went to Pantal to pick up the children. the accused is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense charged as defined and penalized by Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code. due to the absence of the public prosecutor. The group then left the house and proceeded back to the police station. On May 4.00 as moral damages and another amount of P20. Binmaley. but the children confirmed that it was not him. 7659. 27. RA 7659). 1998 with a warning to the prosecution that if it fails to present its witness without any reason. the lower court issued an order resetting the hearing to April 30 and May 4.000. the public prosecutor handling the instant case was absent due to sickness. II. as amended by R. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSED GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF THE CRIME OF KIDNAPPING.A. The court gave the prosecution another chance to present its witnesses on May 12. the period within which he has been placed under detention shall be deducted from his sentence.000. Diana. 1998. 1998 with a second warning that should the prosecution again fail to do so. they answered that he was not the one. the case would be dismissed. viz: "WHEREFORE. The police asked the children to further examine the face of the accused Rama. THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT DISMISSING THE CASE DESPITE SEVERAL INSTANCES WHEREIN THE PROSECUTION WAS NOT ABLE TO PRESENT OR CONTINUE THE PRESENTATION OF ITS EVIDENCE. was. The police likewise no longer followed up the case of the missing Joyce Ann. Another public prosecutor appeared before the court and informed the judge that she was not certain whether the private complainant and other witnesses were notified of the hearing. We first deal with the issue of the prosecution's repeated failure to present evidence. The substitute prosecutor prayed for a three-day postponement in order to contact the private complainant and promised that should the prosecution fail to present . the case would be dismissed. On May 12. On April 20."[14] Hence this appeal by the accused Rama on the following grounds: I.[13] The trial court gave credence to the prosecution's story. SPO2 Cesar Calimag. 1998.along with Roger.

The following provisions of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure (the "Revised Rules") which became effective last December 1. while the Revised Rules provide that the entire trial period shall not exceed one hundred eighty (180) days. are apropos: "Rule 115. However. 1998. The defense contends that the delays caused by the prosecution violated his right to speedy trial. the prosecution presented its witness. The trial court rendered its decision on September 28. On May 12.-. 1998 to September 15. 1998 to September 15. impartial and public trial. we cannot deprive the State of a reasonable opportunity to fairly prosecute criminals. The records show that on March 4. Abalos replaced Atty.[16] The prosecution failed to justify the absence of the prosecutor from the hearing on April 20. the prosecution would not object to a provisional dismissal of the case. 2000. Unjustified postponements which prolong the trial for an unreasonable length of time are what offend the right of the accused to speedy trial. 1998. The prosecution presented its witnesses from March 4." "Rule 119. It may be postponed for a reasonable length of time for good cause. Three days thenceforth.Trial once commenced shall continue from day to day as far as practicable until terminated. the public prosecutor was again absent due to sickness and it was not ascertained whether the prosecution witness was notified of the scheduled hearing. 1998. 1998. after consultation with the prosecutor and defense counsel. The accused's contention is bereft of merit. The court shall. On May 15. In determining whether the accused's right to speedy trial was violated. the accused shall be entitled to the following rights: (h) To have speedy.witnesses at such time. Continuous trial until terminated. the prosecution presented its witness. the case would be dismissed. Section 1(h). -. While the Court recognizes the accused's right to speedy trial and adheres to a policy of speedy administration of justice. 1998. Section 2. We can compute from the above dates that the trial was completed in 195 days or from March 4. except as otherwise authorized by the Supreme Court. 1998 and gave a final warning that should the prosecution fail to do so. delays caused by the accused himself or his counsel should logically be excluded from this period. 1998. postponements. 1998 to May 26. In no case shall the entire trial period exceed one hundred eighty (180) days from the first day of trial. Rights of accused at the trial.In all criminal prosecutions. presented its witnesses from August 4. Taminaya as . Atty. the court granted the prosecution a last chance to present its witnesses on May 15. 1998. 1998. the delay demonstrated above should be considered in view of the entirety of the proceedings. Nor was it able to offer an explanation for the failure of the witness to appear on May 4. set the case for continuous trial on a weekly or other short-term trial calendar at the earliest possible time so as to ensure speedy trial. 1998. 1998. however. The defense. on the other hand. Against the vehement objection of the defense. The court therefore committed grave abuse of discretion in not dismissing the instant case." The Information for the instant case was filed on February 3.

The defense contends. Diana. the two children who allegedly saw the accused Rama take Joyce Ann. Atty. Abalos was absent and so the hearing was reset to March 30.counsel for the accused. . First. their qualifications. Sec. The presumption of suppressed evidence does not apply when the same is equally accessible or available to the defense. Abalos was appointed as public prosecutor. the accused points out that since Bryan and Benjamin were not presented as prosecution witnesses. The accused Rama faults the trial court for finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt despite the insufficiency of evidence. Diana Laviste's claim that these children pointed to the accused as the man who took away Joyce Ann does not bear any weight in evidence. the delay caused by the accused or his counsel was a period of thirty-eight (38) days. It is well-settled that the nonpresentation of certain witnesses by the prosecution is not a plausible defense and the matter of choosing witnesses to present lies in the sound discretion of the prosecutor handling the case. all persons who can perceive. the entire trial was completed in one hundred fifty-seven (157) days. Secs. Likewise. 1998. 1998 to allow him to go over the transcript of stenographic notes of the testimony of the prosecution witness and conduct cross-examination. This is not an unreasonable length of time that violates the right of the accused to speedy trial. reneged on their willingness to have their children testify after the wife of the accused talked to them for fear of their safety. This period should be deducted from the 195-day period within which the trial was completed. as correctly pointed out in the appellee's brief. We come now to the second issue raised by the defense. 1998. Atty. does not deserve credit because she could not answer many questions and appeared to have been coached by her grandmother. Bryan and Benjamin. The Rules of Evidence provide in Rule 130. he makes much of the fact that the prosecution did not present Bryan and Benjamin. Atty. may be witnesses. . Surot a chance to go over the records of the case. 20.[20] Besides.[21] Secondly.[18] On April 2. 1998. however. can make known their perceptions to others. therefore. Witnesses. Thus. to be exact. Abalos asked for a resetting of the case to March 27.[17] On March 27. the hearing was reset to April 14. however. does not militate against the story of the prosecution.The following persons cannot be witnesses: . We cannot subscribe to the accused's contention. nothing could have prevented the defense from presenting Bryan and Benjamin as its own witnesses in order to discredit the testimony of Roxanne. The trial court therefore did not err in not dismissing the case on the ground of violation of the accused's right to speedy trial. 21. 1998. the prosecution adequately explained that the parents of the two children. Disqualification by reason of mental incapacity or immaturity. the lone eyewitness presented by the prosecution. and perceiving. that Roxanne's testimony. 20 and 21: "Sec. This fact.[19] All in all.Except as provided in the next succeeding section. Atty. coming from the mouth of a five-year old. Surot was appointed as the accused's new counsel. To give Atty. This therefore leaves only the testimony of Roxanne as the basis for the prosecution's identification of the accused Rama as the culprit. well within the 180-day period provided by the Revised Rules. thus leaving the accused Rama without counsel.

in each instance the capacity of the particular child is to be investigated. (b) capacity of recollection. after referring to the common-law precedents upon this point says: 'But this much may be taken as settled. xxx Q: A: Q: Do you know Joyce Ann Cabiguin? Yes. was not able to answer some questions such as which was her left and her right. viz: "Q: You said you will tell the truth.[22] the Court. this Court stated: Professor Wigmore. Court of Appeals and Andrea Ortega. regardless of age." (emphasis supplied) In People v. and perceiving. p. I. sir. Will you please point to her? My mother is not here." In Dulla v. and (c) capacity of communication. sir. Who is your mother? Nanay Weng. while the five-year old witness. sir. gave credence to the testimony of a three-year old witness. that no rule defines any particular age as conclusive of incapacity. In the case at bar. citing the above provisions. will you tell the truth now? A: Q: A: Q: A: Yes. can be a competent witness if he can perceive.[23] the Court gave credence to the testimony of the six-year old witness even if she failed to answer some questions because of her tender age. It held: "It is thus clear that any child. 638) The requirements then of a child's competency as a witness are the: (a) capacity of observation. sir. can make known his perception to others and of relating truthfully facts respecting which he is examined. Buncad. And in ascertaining whether a child is of sufficient intelligence according to the foregoing. Mendiola. Do you know where Joyce Ann is now? . she was straightforward in identifying the accused Rama as the culprit. it is setted that the trial court is called upon to make such determination.' (Wigmore on Evidence.xxx (b) Children whose mental maturity is such as to render them incapable pf perceiving the facts respecting which they are examined and relating them truthfully. vol. In the 1913 decision in United States v. Roxanne.

sir. Why? Because a man took her. when asked. sir. sir. Will you point to her (sic)? (Witness pointed to a person.A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: No. responded by the name of Roger Rama) Do you know what place or where that man took Joyce Ann? At the plaza. xxx Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: What did you see at the plaza? Stage. sir. Q: That same man? A: Yes. Why were you at the plaza? Because my mother brought us for a stroll. sir. sir. sir. Can you tell the Court how you carried her? (witness demonstrated how she carried her sister by extending her two hands) Is Joyce Ann already able to walk or not? Yes. who is that man. sir. sir. . where is she now? She is not here. sir. Why. Did you talk to that man at the stage? Yes. if any? He told me that I will get the beautiful girl and he will give biscuit. Do you know the name of your ading? Joyce Ann. sir. if you know? Yes. You said that a man took her. sir. sir. What did he say to you. Who is that beautiful girl? My ading (my sister). Where did you bring Joyce Ann? To the man. sir.

sir. and his understanding of the nature of the oath. Applicability of the Rule. did he give you that biscuit already before you went to Joyce Ann? A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Yes. the trial judge's evaluation will not be disturbed on review. The determination of the competence and credibility of a child as a witness rests primarily with the trial judge as he had the opportunity to see the demeanor of the witness. -. unless it is clear from the record that his judgment is erroneous. sir. The following provisions are apropos: "Section 1. What did you do with the biscuit? I ate it.[26] This conclusion is in accord with the spirit and letter of the Rule on Examination of a Child Witness (the "Rule") which became effective last December 15. Roxanne remained straightforward. sir. When you brought Joyce Ann to him."[24] On cross-examination. viz: "Q: When you told (sic) that the man told you that he will give you biscuit and telling (sic) you that you get Joyce Ann and bring her to him. this Rule shall govern the examination of child witnesses who are victims of crime.Unless otherwise provided. consistent. his apparent intelligence or lack of it. sir. What? (witness pointed again to accused Roger Rama) When this Roger Rama approached you. what did you do? He ran away with my sister Joyce Ann. sir. As many of these qualities cannot be conveyed by the record of the case. 2000. Did you give Joyce Ann a piece of the biscuit? No. did you bring Joyce Ann immediately to him? Yes. Roxanne. and candid in her testimony. sir. How many biscuits did he give you? One. sir."[25] We thus find no reason to disturb the trial court's assessment of the credibility of the child witness. accused of a . Do you know how to distinguish colors? (no answer) Do you remember what was the man wearing at that time when he approached you? Yes.Q: A: What did the man do to Joyce Ann? He ran away with her. sir. and upon telling you that you bring Joyce Ann to him.

the court shall conduct a competency examination of a child.[29] Finally. -. Competence.Corroboration shall not be required of a testimony of a child. The running case law is that where there is no evidence that the principal witness for the prosecution was actuated by improper motive. His testimony. as opposed to the accused's contention. The age of the child by itself is not a sufficient basis for a competency examination. It shall apply in all criminal proceedings and noncriminal proceedings involving child witnesses.-. xxx (a) Proof of necessity. distinguish truth from falsehood. -. motu proprio or on motion of a party." (emphasis supplied) The records of the instant case bear out the clear and straightforward manner by which Roxanne testified. conclusion. motive is not essential to the conviction of the accused when he is positively identified." (emphasis supplied) "Section 6. Absent any motive for de . the accused's contention deserves scant consideration. what is worthy of consideration is the fact that the accused Rama himself admitted that he did not know of any motive which would urge the prosecution witnesses to falsely testify against him. remember." (emphasis supplied) Thirdly. communicate.Every child is presumed qualified to be a witness.[27] The Rule also provides in Section 22." (emphasis supplied) "Section 3. Corroboration.A party seeking a competency examination must present proof of necessity of competence examination. viz: "Section 22. positively identified the accused Rama. -. The Court has long held that the testimony of a sole eyewitness is sufficient to support a conviction so long as it is clear. the presumption is that he was not so actuated and his testimony is entitled to full faith and credit. or judgment subject to the standard of proof required in criminal and non-criminal cases. shall be sufficient to support a finding of fact. straightforward and worthy of credence by the trial court.crime. if credible by itself. the defense faults the trial court for relying on a single eyewitness account in convicting the accused Rama. the accused Rama contends that the testimony of SPO4 Reynaldo de Vera of the Dagupan City Police Headquarters that Bryan and Benjamin did not point to the accused Rama as the culprit when they went to Rama's house should be given weight. Construction of the Rule. The trial court thus correctly relied upon the sole testimony of Roxanne. In fact. or appreciate the duty to tell the truth in court. Roxanne.[28] As the lone eyewitness. However. Fourthly. when it finds that substantial doubt exists regarding the ability of the child to perceive. and witnesses to crime.This Rule shall be liberally construed to uphold the best interests of the child and to promote the maximum accommodation of child witnesses without prejudice to the constitutional rights of the accused.

DECISION . The defense has failed to satisfy this requirement. we cannot award the same. 131823.[30] Furthermore. . 267. vs. plaintiff-appellee. Joyce Ann was still missing. Her kidnapping had far exceeded three days. No.. Nor did he follow-up the case after the investigation he conducted in the house of accused Rama. concur. The trial court took judicial notice of the fact that Gayaman where the accused supposedly was at the time Joyce Ann disappeared is only about five to six kilometers away from the plaza where Joyce Ann was playing. In view of the positive identification made by Roxanne. Well-settled is the rule that positive identification of the accused will prevail over the defense of denial and alibi. the impugned decision is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the award of moral and temperate damages is deleted. If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than three days. the trial court struck off the record Roger Cabiguin's testimony regarding the anguish Joyce Ann's loss caused him because he did not appear for cross-examination. he should be presumed to be telling the truth and performing his duties regularly. the accused's defense of denial and alibi must fall. There being no evidence in support of the award of moral and temperate damages.[31] IN VIEW WHEREOF. We now deal with the penalty to be imposed. SO ORDERED. Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code provides in relevant part.Any private individual who shall kidnap or detain another. Pardo. it must be shown that there was physical impossibility for the accused to have been at the scene of the crime.J. ISAGANI PARAISO y HUTALLA. Davide. (Chairman).R. Anent the award of damages. along with Bryan and Benjamin. accused-appellant. It was in fact his demeanor which prompted Joyce Ann's parents to seek the help of the CIDG in Dagupan City. shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death: 1. went to the house of the accused. C. The penalty of reclusion perpetua is thus meted out to the accused Rama in accordance with the above provision. Costs against accused-appellant. We do not agree. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention. January 17." As of the time the instant case was decided by the trial court. The trial court noted the lackadaisical manner by which de Vera handled the case of the missing Joyce Ann.. EN BANC [G. Suffice it to say that the observations stated and conclusions drawn by the trial court in its decision adequately meet this contention of the accused Rama. 2001] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. He did not even take down notes when he conducted his investigation of the accused. He could not even remember if he recorded in the police blotter the disappearance of Joyce Ann as reported by her parents and the investigation he made when he. and Ynares-Santiago.Vera to testify for the defense. for alibi to prosper. Jr. Kapunan. or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty. JJ.. viz: "Art.

1994. duly assisted by counsel. at a distance of about fifteen (15) meters more of less.‖ . unlawfully and feloniously attack. was having a drinking spree with appellant and Anthony Briones in the place of a copra dealer near the school of xxx. Manuel L. 1994. Benny was more or less twenty (20) meters away from the place of appellant and AAA.[iii][3] Thereafter. with intent to kill and taking advantage of his superior strength. 1996. tama na po. 5-13-97. Because of fear. The he saw appellant put down the child with her face up on the ground. Municipal Health Officer of xxx conducted the post mortem examination upon the victim AAA with the finding that she was abused and the cause of death was ‗cardio respiratory arrest due to severe internal and external hemorrhage secondary. AAA was buried in the afternoon of August 7. pp. the above-named accused. 13 years of age. When he was already near. The Solicitor General. Benny hid himself in a shrubby place where there were several anahaw trees. inflicting upon her fatal wounds on vital parts of her body. 1994. trial on the merits followed. Thereafter. a minor. he saw appellant Isagani Paraiso carrying a child face down. Appellant likewise asked BBB who were the persons in their house. did then and there willfully. BBB told appellant his children AAA and two year-old CCC will be left in their house. appellant hacked AAA on the neck with a bolo. Benny ran to their house.‖ During his arraignment on December 17. The child was AAA. at around 4:00 o‘clock in the afternoon. which directly caused her death. dated September 29. did then and there willfully. in his Brief for Plaintiff-Appellee. rendered in the judgment[i][1] of the Regional Trial Court xxx. pleaded not guilty. at around 9:00 o‘clock in the morning. unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with said AAA while she was already unconscious. Salaveria. appellant. 39) Dr. Benny Reoveros was in their house at xxx when he heard the voice of a young child shouting ‗Diyos ko po. armed with a bolo. multiple hack wounds‘ (Exhibit ‗B‘). they found Arlene already dead. He reported the incident to Barangay Captain Angel Roy Recilla who in turn summoned his barangay kagawad and they went to the place pointed by Benny.‘ He was thus impelled to proceed to the place where the shout came from. Appellant then placed himself on top of AAA and raped her for about five minutes. BBB. It lasted up to 1:00 o‘clock in the afternoon when they decided to separate. with his two hands. AAA‘s father. He saw appellant remove the shorts of AAA then raise her upper clothes and pull down his pants.[iv][4] related the facts. the said accused. assault and hack several times with said weapon one AAA.PER CURIAM: The case before us for automatic review is a conviction for rape with homicide against appellant Isagani Paraiso y Hutalla. Appellant told BBB that he had to proceed to the place of the ‗pamanhikan‘ which concerned his son. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. (TSN. 4-15-97. Diyos ko po. Paraiso was charged in an information[ii][2] which reads as follows: ―That on or about the 5th day of August 1994. that on the same occasion.(TSN. as follows: ―On August 5. At the shrubby place. 1997. at xxx Philippines. tama na po. with lewd design. 8-10) On the same day of August 5. pp. as the other two children will buy rice.

1996). Thereafter. These discrepancies do not negate the main thrust of his testimony that he saw the accused raped and hacked the victim on the date and time in question. He asked them were they were going and the two answered that they were going to buy rice.. G. 1994 at about 11:00 o‘clock in the morning.‖ The trial judge evaluated the credibility of the witnesses and their testimonies. on the witness stand. especially of witnesses to crimes shocking to conscience and numbing to senses‘ (People vs. At that time. unshaken throughout the entire trial. cousin of the accused dropped by the latter‘s house in order to ask for bamboo poles to be used in the flooring of her house.. the accused had a drinking spree with the father of the deceased. then returned to the house of the accused to inform the latter that she already got the bamboo poles. supra). he tied his carabao at a coconut tree. rather than destroy. Reoveros stood by his declaration. 3-5). (c) failed to answer when asked three (3) times if he was definite that on the night of August 5. upon seeing that the accused was still sleeping. she went out of the house and got 8 pieces of bamboo poles. his sister Florinda was with him. face down and laid her on the ground. He arrived at his house at more or less 2:30 in the afternoon. he met the brother and sister of the deceased. 1997. he immediately went into bed. as in this case at bar. and gave inconsistent statements. Thus. was firm. 29. Letecia Buizon. witness Reoveros. 14-15. viz: (a) distance of his house to house of victim which he estimated to be 50 meters. Paule. the credibility of a witness. At around 3:00 o‘clock of the same afternoon. Thereafter. (TSN. the accused readily went home riding his carabao. xxx. face up. viz.. His positive identification is . It lasted until about 1:00 o‘clock in the afternoon. pp. ‗1‘). pp. considering the lapse of time and treachery of human memory. we have followed the rule in accord with human nature and experience that honest inconsistencies on minor and trivial matters serve to strengthen. 118168-70. if about ¼ of the distance from this Court to railroad crossing (TSN. April 7. 1997). she just went home at xxx. and never showed any hesitation in his identification of accused. However. thusly:[v][5] ―Evidence for the defense shows that on August 5. xxx xxx xxx The most important thing is that the eyewitness Benny Reoveros. then lowered her shorts and panty. These enumerated inconsistencies in the declarations of the eyewitness Benny Reoveros cannot destroy the totality of his testimony. at times. (b) time consumed by the travel from the place of barangay captain to the place of victim which he stated is more or less 1 hour (TSN. accused hacked her on the neck with his bolo. pushed up her blouse and raped her.R. particularly when asked about distances and the four (4) cardinal directions. and (d) his errors and inconsistencies in his rough sketch (Exh. spontaneous and categorical in his declaration that it was accused Isagani Paraiso whom he saw that afternoon carrying the victim. he did not inform the barangay captain that it was Isagani Paraiso who raped and killed AAA. Nos. 1994. more or less. He candidly admitted his nonfamiliarity with the four (4) cardinal directions due to his lack of education and that what he knew is going to ‗Ilaya‘ or ‗Ibaba‘. September 11.:[vi][6] ―As shown by the records.Appellant relates his version of the facts. Since he was under the influence of liquor at that time and feeling sleepy. ‗A truth-telling witness is not always expected to give an error-free testimony. On his way. Finding that the accused was sleeping. hedged and failed to answer some questions. Upon reaching his place.

unerring. He knows accused who is his uncle by affinity because the wife of accused and his mother are sisters. Moreover, nowhere in the records does it show that said eyewitness was impelled by improper motives to impute such false and serious charges. (People vs. Trilles, 254 SCRA 641). Even accused admitted, on record, that witness Reoveros, a nephew of his wife, has a very high respect from him, xxx. xxx xxx xxx

xxx As witness Reoveros succinctly stated, he was bothered by his conscience for what accuse did to the child. Thus, despite his relationship to accused, he had to come forward and reveal what he saw. This Court understands the failure of the witness Reoveros to immediately report the incident and reveal the identity of the accused after that startling and shocking occurrence. More so, when he is related by affinity to the perpetrator of the crime, as this makes it all the more traumatic. xxx xxx xxx xxx

Furthermore, Reoveros‘ version of the incident is supported by the physical evidence of the case, the Post-Mortem Examination (Exh. ‗B, B-1 to B-3‘), showing that the victim, AAA sustained multiple hack wounds and her internal examination revealed the following: ‗vagina admits one finger with ease. On opening up the introitus there is perineal laceration and minute hemorrhages at 3 o‘clock and 9 o‘clock positions. Hymen ruptured. Patient: abused.‘ xxx xxx xxx

Finally, accused‘s defense of alibi crumbles in the face of the positive identification of the accused as the perpetrator of the crime (People vs. Ferrer, 255 SCRA 19). Positive identification was made by eyewitness Benny Reoveros, his nephew by affinity. Reoveros could not, therefore, have been mistaken as to his identity. ‗The doctrine constantly upheld by this Court is that alibi and denial cannot prevail over the positive identification of the accused as the perpetrator of the crime. In addition thereto, accused has failed to establish that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the crime scene when it happened‘ (People vs. Alimon, 257 SCRA 661). And it is well-settled that the testimony of a single eyewitness is sufficient to support a conviction so long as such testimony is found to be clear and straight-forward and worthy of credence by the trial court (People vs. De Roxas, 241 SCRA 369).‖ With its above findings, the lower court concluded that it was ―fully convinced and morally certain that it was the accused Isagani Paraiso who raped and killed the victim AAA.‖ Thus, the penalty of death was imposed, in accordance with article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 11 of Republic Act 7659. The dispositive portion of the Judgemnt dated September 29, 1997, reads: ―WHEREFORE, finding the accused Isagani Paraiso y Hutalla guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape with Homicide, he is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of death, with its accessory penalties under Art. 40 of the Revised Penal Code, and to pay the Heirs of the deceased AAA the following: (a) P150,000.00 for actual and moral damages; and (b) P50,000.00 indemnity for death, without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs.

Pursuant to Sec. 10 of Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Court, as amended, let the whole records of this case be forwarded to the Supreme Court for automatic review and judgment.‖ In his Brief,[vii][7] accused-appellant makes a single assignment of error, as follows: ―The Court a quo gravely erred in finding that the guilt of the accused for the crime charged has been proven beyond reasonable doubt.‖ To support his plea for acquittal, appellant points to alleged flaws in the prosecution evidence: (1) the delay of the eyewitness in identifying the appellant as the culprit; (2) the eyewitness‘ false statement during direct examination that appellant was his blood-relative while, in truth, they are only related by affinity; and (3) the improbability of the commission of such a crime in broad daylight and within hearing distance of neighboring houses. These circumstances, appellant avers, amount to a failure of the prosecution to meet the quantum of evidence required to overcome his innocence. As to the first alleged flaw, jurisprudence is replete with rulings that delay in revealing the identity of the perpetrator of the crime will not impair the credibility of the witness, if such delay is sufficiently explained.[viii][8] It is not uncommon for witnesses to the commission of crimes to show reluctance in volunteering information thereon and getting involved in criminal investigations.[ix][9] This is especially true when family members are the assailants.[x][10] In this case, the lone eyewitness, Benny Reoveros, is related by affinity to accused-appellant, the latter‘s wife being the sister of Benny‘s mother. Appellant himself admitted that he was highly respected by the eyewitness[xi][11] and knows no reason why the latter would testify against him.[xii][12] Indeed, the defense showed no reason why Reoveros would falsely implicate Paraiso in a despicable and grave offense as rape with homicide. As the Solicitor General correctly cites, ―where there is no evidence and nothing indicates that the principal witness for the prosecution was actuated by improper motive, the presumption is that he was not so actuated and his testimony is entitled to full faith and credit.‖[xiii][13] Absent a corrupt intent, Reoveros‘ close relationship to and respect for appellant sufficiently explain his delay in identifying the latter as the wrongdoer. Nevertheless, the Court carefully examined the lengthy testimony of Benny Reoveros. We find the meat of his testimony, as to how the crime was committed and by whom, to be clear, positive and unequivocal, as follows: ―PROSECUTOR MAGNO: Q Now, at around four o‘clock in the afternoon on August 5, 1994, do you remember where were you? A Q A Yes, sir. Where were you then? I was in our house, sir.

Q And where is your house located insofar as the barangay, municipality and province are concerned?

A Q A

xxx, sir. And what were doing, if any, on that precise time, date and place? I was making something where our stove will be placed, sir.

Q And while you were making the patungan of the stove at around four o‘clock in the afternoon on August 5, 1994, could you remember of any unusual incident that happened? A Q A Q A Q A Q A There was, sir. And what was that unusual incident you are referring to? I heard somebody shouting, sir. And what was that shout that you heard? He was shouting ‗Diyos ko po, Diyos ko po, tama na po, tama na po.‘ And from what place were that shout you heard came from? From the house of BBB, sir. And how far is that house of BBB from your house? More or less fifty (50) meters away, sir.

Q When you heard the shout coming from the house of BBB, what are those particular words that you heard? A He was shouting ‗Diyos ko po, Diyos ko po, tama na po, tama na po.‘

Q And from the moment you heard that shout ‗Diyos ko po, Diyos ko po, tama na po, tama na po,‘ is that coming from a man or a woman? A Q That is the voice of a woman, sir. That voice that you heard come from and old woman or a young woman?

ATTY. BONIFACIO: We will object, Your Honor. COURT: Sustained PROSECUTOR MAGNO: Q Now and the moment that you heard the shout ‗Diyos ko po, Diyos ko po, tama na po, tama na po,‘ what did you do if you did any? A And because of the shout of that young child, I could not avoid going to that place, sir.

PROSECUTOR MAGNO: Q Now. I saw isagani Paraiso. And what was the position of Isagani Paraiso when you saw him? I saw that he was carrying the child AAA. And where did this AAA placed by Isagani Paraiso? On the ground. sir. sir. And after hiding yourself at the anahaw trees. INTERPRETER: Witness demonstrated how AAA was carried by the two hands of Isagani Paraiso. Q A Q A More or less fifteen (15) meters. Q And how far were you from Isagani Paraiso and AAA to the place where you were standing at that moment where you were? A Q A sir.Q And you mean to convey before this Court that you went to that place where the shout came from? A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Yes. sir. Now and what happened after you went to the house where the shout came from? When I was already near. Now and what did you do after seeing that Isagani Paraiso was carrying AAA? What I did was I hid myself in a shrubby place where there were several anahaw trees. And who is this AAA in relation to the owner of the house BBB? Father. sir. sir. if any? I saw when this Isagani Paraiso put down this AAA with her face up. parent. And this Isagani Paraiso is the uncle and accused in this case? Yes. sir. sir. sir. sir. sir. for how long did you look at this Isagani Paraiso and AAA from the time that you saw Isagani Paraiso for the first time? A More or less one (1) minute. what happened next. . and what was the position of AAA when she was carried by Isagani Paraiso? She was face down carried by the two hands of Isagani Paraiso.

Q Now. sir. Q And how far were you from the place where AAA was placed on the ground by Isagani Paraiso? A Q A Q A Q any? A Q A Q A Q A Q A More or less twenty (20) meters also. BONIFACIO: We would like to place on record that the witness took time in answering the question. sir. Your Honor. And after AAA was placed on the ground by Isagani Paraiso. sir. sir. sir. sir. And what happened after Isagani Paraiso pulled down his pants. To whom do you refer when you said ‗he pulled down his pants‘? Isagani Paraiso. . if any? I saw when he pulled down his pants. sir. sir. what happened. what did the child do. if He raised the upper clothes of the child. what happened next. if any? A Q The child could not anymore. And who removed the clothes of the child? Isagani Paraiso. if any? I saw that he removed the shorts of the child. next. And what did Paraiso do while he was on top of the child? He already committed the rape (panghahalay). if any? He placed himself on top of the child. (Question repeated to the witness). And after that. how far is that house of BBB where you saw Isagani Paraiso and AAA up to the place where Isagani Paraiso carried AAA and placed on the ground? A More or less twenty (20) meters. And while Isagani Paraiso was removing the clothes of the child. Q And while Isagani Paraiso was taking off the clothes of this child and he took off his clothes and placed himself on top of the child. sir. what happened. Why did you say that the child could not shout anymore? ATTY. sir.

Now and after Isagani Paraiso hacked Arlene AAA on her neck. sir. PROSECUTOR MAGNO: Q You have made mention that Isagani Paraiso committed the act of ‗panghahalay‘. if any? After he had already raped her.was AAA hit with the hack? She was hit. for how long did Isagani Paraiso rape this child. I ran to our house. BONIFACIO: We would like to place on record after the question was repeated to the witness. what happened next. And after raping this child. What do you mean when you said ‗panghahalay‘? A Q A He did something bad. the witness is not yet answering the question. sir. five (5) minutes.ATTY. sir. sir. when AAA was hacked by Isagani Paraiso. according to you. COURT: Put the word ‗ginahasa‘. more or less. if Because of my fear. Now. And what is that something bad? In short. he raped her ‗ginahasa‘. Now. And where did this isagani Paraiso get his… I withdraw that. WITNESS: A Because Isagani is on top of her. On what part of her body was she hit? On the neck. sir. sir. what followed next. PROSECUTOR MAGNO: Q And while Isagani Paraiso was on top of the child raping her. he hacked AAA on her neck. sir. sir. . sir. AAA? Maybe. sir. what did you do if you did anything? A Q A Q A Q any? A Q A Q A Q I could not do anything because I became afraid.

we find no reason to deviate from these rules. and never showed any hesitation in his identification of accused. upon actual measurement. Time-honored is the doctrine that discrepancies referring only to minor details and collateral matters do not affect the veracity of the witness‘ declarations. they even indicate truthfulness and erase any suspicion of rehearsed testimony.‖ the judge observed. when exactly and to whom he first revealed the identity of the assailant. unshaken throughout the entire trial. appellant Isagani Paraiso. unless they are found to be clearly arbitrary or unfounded. The trial court found him to be ―firm.[xviii][18]In fact. conduct and attitude on the witness stand. which are significant factors in evaluating their honesty. the reviewing magistrate has none of the advantages peculiar to the trial judge‘s position.[xv][15] This rule is founded on the fact that the trial judge has the unique opportunity to personally observe the witnesses and to note their demeanor. About 15 meters from the house of his neighbor BBB. Axiomatic is the rule that factual findings of trial courts are accorded the highest respect and are generally not disturbed by the appellate court. ―Reoveros stood by his declaration. misunderstood or misinterpreted. carrying AAA. ―Diyos ko po. INTERPRETER: Witness demonstrating a length by stretching apart his hands which. sincerity and credibility. to a shrubby area a few meters from the house and where he laid her on the ground. Diyos ko po. the judge can be expected to reasonably determine whose testimony to accept and which witness to disbelieve. of his and his neighbors‘ houses. he saw his uncle. and could rely only on the cold records of the case and on the judge‘s discretion. face down. sir. His positive identification is unerring. is eighteen (18) inches. tama na po. after satisfying his bestial lust.‖ which impelled him to approach the place where the cries came from and look into what could be happening. In his distant house. almost severing her head.‖[xiv][14] To recapitulate. [xix][19] rather than impair . and who first saw the victim on the night he reported the incident to barangay officials. tama na po. The alleged inconsistencies and false averments of the principal prosecution witness are too trivial and inconsequential to merit consideration by the Court. spontaneous and categorical in his declaration that it was accused Isagani Paraiso whom he saw that afternoon‖ brutally rape and kill AAA.[xvi][16] On the other hand.such as distances between and location. fatally hacked his victim‘s neck with his 18-inch long bolo. Through its direct observations in the entire proceedings. prosecution witness Reoveros actually saw the loathsome defilement and brutal slaying of 13-year-old AAA by appellant Paraiso.[xvii][17] In the present case. ignominiously ravished her and. The supposed variances in Reoveros‘ testimony refer merely to minor collateral circumstances -. relative to the four cardinal directions. or some substantial fact or circumstance that could materially affect the disposition of the case was overlooked. As stated earlier. he heard a young girl‘s piteous cries. Paraiso thereafter undressed the girl.Q A What kind of weapon did Isagani Paraiso use in hacking AAA? A bolo which is as long as this. the witness had no ill motive to testify against appellant.

For such defense to prosper. during that ill-fated afternoon of AAA‘s rape-slaying.000 meters away from 2:30 p.the witness‘ credibility. she went out to gather bamboo trees. appellant savagely hacked her neck."[xxiii][23] In any case. corroborates his tale. thus. alongside the road. whether they were related by blood or by affinity is hardly of significance. He was not even cognizant of the four cardinal directions. Even by foot. Indeed. his house was merely about two thousand meters from that of the BBBs.[xxv][25] But. In this connection. She simply presumed that appellant was asleep all throughout.[xxii][22] Appellant desperately assails the credibility of this lone eyewitness by averring that he falsely claimed to be a blood relative of appellant. to 6:00 p.m. such as in the instant case. within school premises. not unexpected. therefore. and should be disregarded without diminishing his credibility. is considered with suspicion and is always received with caution. appellant was still sleeping. Letecia Buizon. . Appellant merely claims that he was sleeping in his house some 2. and even in the same room where there are other members of the family who are sleeping. When she left at 5:00 p.[xxi][21] Several times. errorless testimonies cannot be expected especially from a witness recounting the sordid details of a highly despicable and gory crime. not having been able to finish even the fourth elementary grade.[xxiv][24] How much more in a remote hilly place where houses are distantly situated. While the defense tried to establish through prosecution eyewitness Reoveros that there were other houses near the victim‘s. inside a house where there are other occupants. She supposedly arrived at appellant‘s house about 3:00 p. Slight variations in his testimony are. but failed to. and saw him sleeping.m. the victim‘s unlawful defilement took no more than five minutes and. the witness admittedly lacked formal education. All these could. Reoveros clearly stated during his direct examination that Isagani Paraiso‘s "wife is the sister of my mother. whereas they are in truth only related by affinity. it has been oft said that lust is no respecter of time and place. immediately thereafter. he could not immediately answer questions propounded to him because he could not understand them.[xxvi][26] By the eyewitness‘ account. it has not shown that there were occupants present during the perpetration of the crime who could have witnessed or perceived it. it must be convincing enough to preclude any doubt on the physical impossibility of the presence of the accused at the locus criminis at the time of the incident. have happened when defense witness Buizon was out gathering bamboo trees. in parks.[xx][20] Moreover. The defense of alibi. such distance is not impossible to trek in less than an hour. In the interval. not only because it is inherently weak and unreliable but also because it can be easily fabricated. It cannot prevail over the positive identification of the appellant by a credible eyewitness who has no ill motive to testify falsely. according to appellant. Rape can be committed in places where people congregate. His cousin. however.m. as a rule.m. As to appellant‘s assertion that the commission of such crime during broad daylight was highly improbable.. Nothing on record contradicts the eyewitness‘ testimony as to the commission of the crime by appellant during that fateful hour and day at the place where the victim was found.

2. Internal examination: Normal external genitalia. vagina admits one finger with ease. 5. measuring 4. a homicide is committed.5 inch left big finger. nape. ―[w]hen by reason or on the occasion of the rape. 6. incised.00) to the victim‘s father as settlement of the case and so that he could be released from confinement. 1. both edges sharp. which stated as follows: ―FINDINGS 1. Patient: Abused Cause of Death: Cardio Respiratory Arrest due to severe Internal and External Hemorrhage secondary multiple Hack Wounds. incised.5 inch x 0. In addition. 1 inch x 0.‖ Being a single . Additionally. 3 inches x 2 inches left deltoid area. Wound. Wound. as amended. lacerated. 8.5 inch left parieto-occipital area. Wound.5 inch Right middle finger. Hematoma.as the rapist-killer. the penalty shall be death. anterior neck severing the esophagus. Wound. incised.000. measuring 7 inches x 2 inches with a depth of 5 inches from the left posterior ear extending up to the right posterior ear. incised. Wound. appellant offered thirty thousand pesos (P30. incised. Hymen ruptured. the prosecution has clearly adduced the requisite quantum of proof to find appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of raping and killing AAA. his defense of alibi must necessarily fail.[xxix][29] Under Article 335[xxx][30] of the Revised Penal Code. given the positive identification of appellant by a credible eyewitness -. 1. the testimony of the eyewitness is fully corroborated by the post mortem examination report[xxvii][27] of municipal health officer Manuel L. 10.5 inches with a depth of 4 inches. both edges sharp.5 inches. 4.5 inches x 2.5 inches with a depth of 1. Wound.5 inch x 0. incised. incised.5 inches x 1.5 inch Right scapular area. incised.his own nephew -.5 inch left index finger. On opening up the introitus there is perineal lacerations and minute hemorrhages at 3‘ o‘clock and 9‘ o‘clock positions. occipital area.Moreover. 3. 1. Head with evisceration of the brain tissue. 7. except those involving criminal negligence or those allowed by law to be amicably settled or compromised. 2.5 inch x 1 inch right parieto-occipital area. Wound. 1 inch x 0. 9.[xxviii][28] Such offer can only be taken to mean an admission of guilt. Salaveria. an offer of compromise by the accused may be received in evidence as an implied admission of guilt. In criminal cases. Wound.5 inches 0. 4. Wound.‖ With all the foregoing circumstances.

In the instant case.[xxxi][31] Four (4) Justices of the Court however continue to maintain the unconstitutionality of R. EN BANC [G. let the records of this case be forthwith forwarded to the Office of the President for the possible exercise of his pardoning power. however.. Mendoza.indivisible penalty. As to civil indemnity ex delicto. No. they submit to the ruling of the majority to the effect that the law is constitutional and that the death penalty can be lawfully imposed in the case at bar.A.00. March 14.000. Ynares-Santiago. the award of indemnity ex-delicto is increased to P100.R. respectively. and Sandoval-Gutierrez. concur. However. Buena. upon finality of this decision. to testify and prove the damages sustained by the family. Puno. SO ORDERED. C.. Panganiban. in people vs.[xxxiv][34] we held that moral damages may be awarded to victims of rape notwithstanding the absence of specific proof of the basis for its award. Quisumbing. while the prosecution offered to present the victim‘s mother..[xxxiii][33] As an exception. Melinda Recilla.A.000. Robles[xxxii][32] that in rape with homicide. nevertheless. Quezon. the defense opted to simply admit the combined claim of actual and moral damages in the amount of P150. may be awarded. Melo. Pursuant to Section 25 of R. Gonzaga-Reyes. while the trial court‘s award of the stipulated moral and actual damages is AFFIRMED.00. the general rule is that the alleged pecuniary loss and the moral and mental suffering must be established by factual evidence before actual and moral damages. Bellosillo. Jr. JJ. Pardo.000. the Court ruled in People v. 7659 insofar as it prescribes the death penalty. Kapunan. death is mandatorily imposed in the light of Article 47 of the Revised penal Code regardless of the attendance of any mitigating or aggravating circumstance in the commission of the crime..00 consistent with current jurisprudence. in which the penalty imposed is death. Jr. the decision of the Regional Trial Court (Branch 61) of Gumaca.J. 138045.[xxxv][35] WHEREFORE. finding appellant Isagani Paraiso guilty of rape with homicide and imposing upon him the death penalty is AFFIRMED. the amount should be increased to P100. 7659 amending Article 83 of the Revised Penal Code. With respect to damages. De Leon. Prades. Vitug. Davide. 2001] . No.

oval in shape. And exited at the left sub-mandibular region. Purok 2. Sampaloc. abdomen and extremities with greenish discoloration in the inguinal regions spreading towards the abdomen. Moments later they saw Alejandro Patungan and his wife Marietta come out of their house and walk toward the road. tongue half protruding and thick upper and lower lips. 1. bulging.5 cm. 54 inches from heel. oval in shape and with the average measurement of 0. The face was dark colored. 1994. the lovers Antonio and Antonia went to the basketball court to talk. J. Manila.5 cm. Ligature mark around the neck measuring 0.3 x 0. From anterior midline measuring 2 x 0. Quezon City. 8 stab or punctured wounds.m. with the average measurement of 0.m. 2. ―The following external injuries were noted. Marietta however.. Barangay Old Balara.m.6 cm.[1] Sometime that evening Elmerto Pulga drove the van away from the chapel and towards a vacant lot near Commonwealth Avenue to allow another car to park right in front of the chapel. 8 cm. with the point of entry at the left cheek. eyeballs. DECISION GONZAGA-REYES. 1994. Antonio Altarejos and his girlfriend Antonia Eluzon with a few other friends were having a drinking spree beside the chapel along Laura Calderon St. Antonio and Antonia noticed the van of their neighbor Alejandro Patungan parked in front of the chapel and saw two men seated inside. 59 inches from heel. evenly distributed in the entire abdomen. 51 stab or punctured wounds.[2] At about 3:45 p. The abdomen was distended with gas. 4. plaintiff-appellee. vs. 4 cm.5 cm. of May 24. one is the accused Elmerto Pulga at the driver‘s seat and the other is the accused Edgar Acebuche. From anterior midline. supra and infraclavicular region. Stab wound. that day the cadaver was autopsied at the WPD-PNP Medico-Legal Section. accused-appellants.PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. the decomposing body of Alejandro Patungan was found inside his van parked along Don Quixote St. After the drinking spree.: At about 10:00 p. At 7:00 p. ―INTERNAL FINDINGS: . The report states as follows: ―The body was bloated and in the state of decomposition.m. MARIETTA PATUNGAN y PULGA. 3..3 x 0. Bullae formation in the chest. went back to their house while Alejandro proceeded without her. of May 22. at about 3:00 to 3:30 a. EDGAR ACEBUCHE y CERVITO and ELMERTO PULGA y ACEBUCHE. measuring 4 x 2 cm. the following morning. in the base of the left lateral neck.

with intent to kill. the said accused. Atty. 1994 in Quezon City. thereby causing upon him multiple stab wounds which were the immediate and direct cause of his death thereafter. Bakit ka narito sa loob ng Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Pedro Rudio. then and there wilfully. with massive bleeding in the peritoneal cavity. The extra-judicial confession[6] of accused Elmerto Pulga dated August 11. 3. evident premeditation. Three (3) stab or punctured wounds in the upper lobe of the left lung with massive bleeding in the left thoracic cavity. Quezon City Chapter. conspiring and confederating together with her coaccused EDGAR ACEBUCHE Y CERVITO and ELMERTO PULGA Y ACEBUCHE and another person whose true name. treachery and with the use of motor vehicle. infra and supraclavicular regions. 1994 the three accused pleaded ―not guilty‖ to the offense charged. the testimonies of the police officers who took the statement. 1994 linked Marietta to the killing of her husband. small and large intestines. who allegedly assisted the accused Elmerto Pulga during the custodial investigation and of the medico-legal officer who conducted the autopsy. 2. spleen. 1994 an Information was filed against Marietta Patungan for parricide and against Elmerto Pulga and Edgar Acebuche for murder. at nagbibigay ng malaya at kusang loob na salaysay? . assault and use personal violence upon the person of ALEJANDRO PATUNGAN Y RANGEL by then and there strangling him with an electric wire and stabbing him with a bladed weapon on the different parts of his body. Injuries to the liver. Philippines.1. About 1 ½ glassfuls of partially digested rice with meaty materials and without alcoholic odor was recovered from the stomach.‖[3] On August 16. the prosecution presented the extrajudicial confession of the accused Elmerto Pulga. unlawfully and feloniously attack.‖[4] On September 6. Marietta Patungan Y Pulga being the legal wife of victim ALEJANDRO PATUNGAN Y RANGEL. Contrary to law. to wit: ―The undersigned accuses MARIETTA PATUNGAN Y PULGA of the crime of PARRICIDE and EDGAR ACEBUCHE Y CERVITO and ELMERTO PULGA Y ACEBUCHE of the crime of MURDER. inferior vena cava and abdominal aorta. as committed as follows: That on or about the 22nd day of May. Lacerations of the sub-cutaneous tissues in the left cheek base of the left lateral neck. of the lawyer from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. stomach. kidneys. It states as follows: ―T.‖ CAUSE OF DEATH: Multiple stab wounds and ligature strangulation. identity and whereabouts have not as yet been ascertained and helping one another.[5] In addition to the testimonies of Antonio and Antonia. did. to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of the victim.

Anong oras ba ito naganap? S. Ako po ay kusang sumuko sa mga pulis hinggil sa nalalaman ko sa pagkamatay ng aking bayaw na si ALEJANDRO PATUNGAN at kaya po ako‘y nandito ay upang sabihin ko ang aking nalalaman at katotohanan sa mga pangyayari. ang sagot niya sa akin ay tungkol sa kaniyang kalaguyo na si JUNE ACEBUCHE at ang problema niyang talaga ay kung papaano silang magsasamang dalawa eh mayroong siyang asawa. at ang sabi ko naman ay oo. doon kami pinapunta ni MARIETTA sa Flower shop sa Farmers Plaza Market. hanggang sabihin na lang niya sa akin na ako na lang ang gumawa at isama ko ang aming pinsan na si EDGAR ACEBUCHE. at pilit ng po akong sinasabihan na iligpit si bayaw dahilan sa balakid ito sa kanila. saan ba siya namatay o pinatay? S. asawa po siya ng aking kapatid na si MARIETTA PATUNGAN y PULGA at siya po ay pinatay ng ika 13 ng Mayo 1994. Ako po ay kinausap ng aking kapatid na si MARIETTA ng mga buwan ng Nobyembre 1993 at ang sabi sa akin ay mayroon siyang problema sa buhay. (si ALEJANDRO PATUNGAN) at pilit niya akong kinukumbinsi na king maari ay iligpit ko si bayaw @ ALEX (ALEJANDRO) ayaw ko pong pumayag dahil sa takot po ako. Siya po ay aking bayaw. at tinanong ko nga siya kung ano. ng nakaupo na si bayaw sa manubela ay inatasan akong palihim ni EDGAR na sakalin ko si ALEJANDRO ng dala kong . Kaya ko po alam ang mga bagay na ito ay sapagkat kasama po ako dito sa pangyayaring ito. Sino ba itong si ALEJANDRO PATUNGAN at kailan. Papaano mong nalaman ang mga bagay na ito? S. pero tuwing magkikita kaming magkapatid ay lagi niya itong idinadaing sa akin at palagi na lang sinasabi na kung pwede ay patayin ko si ALEJANDRO na aking bayaw. T. pero ito po ay nagawa ko lang dahilan sa inutusan ako ng aking kapatid na si MARIETTA upang patayin ang aking bayaw dahilan sa siya ay may kalaguyo na si JUNE ACEBUCHE na kaniyang kakutsaba at ang nakasama ko pa po dito ay ang aming pinsan na si EDGAR ACEBUCHE y Cervito na siyang sumaksak kay ALEJANDRO PATUNGAN. pero ito po ay hindi natuloy dahilan sa may mga tao doon sa aming pinagbalakang lugar kaya ito po ay inulit namin sa utos na muli nina MARIETTA at JUNE kaya ng sumapit ang ika 22 ng Mayo 1994. pero habang iniintay namin siya ay may dumaang isang pulang kotse at ng hindi nakadaan ay minabuti ko na lang na ilagay sa Hi-way ang Van sa utos ni EDGAR ACEBUCHE. doon sa loob ng DAIHATSU VAN ng dalawang tao. naiwan si bayaw doon sa labas hanggang sa magtungo na siya sa loob ng Van at nagulat pa nga siya ng makita kaming dalawa doon sa loob. at ganun na nga ang nangyari. Humigit kumulang po sa alas 3:30 ng madaling araw ng petsa 23 ng Mayo 1994. T. at binigyan pa nga kami niya ng pera at ang susi ng DAIHATSU VAN para pagpunta namin doon sa Calderon kung saan sila nakatira ay madali kaming makakapasok doon sa loob ng sasakyan.S. at kami nga eh nagpasya na yariin si bayaw ng ika 15 ng Mayo 1994. pero nagtanong pa siya kung sasama kaming dalawa sa kanilang magasawa. at isang araw nga po ng buwan ng Abril 1994 ay kinausap na muli ako at sila na ngang pong dalawa na (MARIETTA AT JUNE ACEBUCHE) doon sa may JOLIBEE sa Farmers Plaza. Cuban. At minsan pa sinabi sa akin ni MARIETTA na kung pwede ay magbayad na lang kami ng hired killer pero wala naman siyang pera kaya hindi ito natuloy. Maari mo bang isalaysay sa akin ang mga buod ng pangyayaring to? S. At ang plano ng po eh natuloy na. T. T. at ganun na nga. Dumating nga po kami doon sa Calderon at sumakay kami ni EDGAR ACEBUCHE doon sa loob at nagintay sa aking bayaw sa paglabas niya sa madaling araw. Maya-maya nga po eh dumating na si ALEJANDRO PATUNGAN kasama ang aking kapatid na ang weapon namin sa utos niya (MARIETTA) na kapag dumating na sila ay uuwi siya kunyari sa kanila at maiiwan si bayaw.

1994 he went to his cousin Marietta‘s flower shop in Cubao to look for a job when the police mistook him for Jun Acebuche and arrested him.[8] The mother of the victim testified to establish the amount of funeral expenses incurred at P80. naiintindihan mo ba? S. who is her own cousin Jun Acebuche. sinakal ko si alejandro at habang sakal ko siya. He was also subjected to custodial investigation without the assistance of counsel. Her brother allegedly found out about the affair and dismissed Jun from work but he forgave Marietta for the sake of their children. 1994 and were on their way to buy flowers for their flower shop but she went back to their house to get a betamax tape and that her husband proceeded without her. when he agreed to sign a prepared document.‖[7] To establish the alleged motive in the killing of Alejandro.000. was filed by counsel for the accused. accused Elmerto Pulga repudiated his extra-judicial confession and stated that he was coerced by the police to admit participation in the murder of Alejandro Patungan and to implicate his sister Marietta as mastermind and cousin Edgar as co-conspirator. T. accused Elmerto Pulga. at ng hindi mamatay-matay at pinagsasaksak na niya ng todo (madaming beses) at nalugmok si bayaw ay agad na hinila ni EDGAR sa bandang likuran ng Van at ako naman ay kaniyang inatasan na magmaneho at dadalin namin ang bankay sa Maynila (Sa DANGWA/DIMASALANG) ayon sa utos nina MARIETTA at JUNE ACEBUCHE na naayon sa plano nila.[10] On August 9. na papalabasin na itoy hinoldap sa pamimili ng bulaklak. which amount the defense admitted.[11] The other accused Edgar Acebuche denied participation in the murder of the victim and stated that sometime on August 8. (Sampaloc) at kami ni EDGAR ACEBUCHE ay umuwi na at naghiwalay lang kami sa aming bahay sa INC compound.[12] In court. Thus. August 10. Opo. Ika 9 ng Agosto 1994 dahilan po sa nakukunsensiya ako sa mga pangyayaring ito na kakagawan ng aking kapatid at kalaguyo niya. upang gawin ang salaysay na ito. 1994 she was invited by the police for questioning and that she was in fact questioned about her complicity in her husband‘s death at the police station without the assistance of counsel. homicide.. August 9. 1994 and that he was detained and tortured by electrocution by the police until the following day.m. had an affair with one of the helpers in the flower shop. naiintindihan ko po. witness stated that she saw the two eating together from the same plate and that she caught them holding hands.[13] A motion to withdraw the plea of ―not guilty‖ to the offense charged to a plea of ‖guilty‖ to a lesser offense i. who testified that her sister-in-law.[9] For the defense. Rudio who signed the prepared extra-judicial confession as counsel for the accused. iniwan ko ang sasakyan sa may Don Quijote St. 1994.e. the sister of the deceased.. T. At ganun na nga po. the accused Marietta Patungan. o nangako ng ano mang bagay.kable (Electric wire) at ganun na nga po ang ginawa ko. Tangay and relo ni ALEJANDRO. 1994 he was brought to the IBP office where he met Atty. the prosecution also presented Adelaida Patungan. Kailan ka ba sumuko sa mga pulis? S. [14] On recall. sa Maynila. On August 11. accused Marietta Patungan admitted in court that she was with her husband at early dawn of May 23. nagpapapalag ay sinaksak siya ni EDGAR ng isang beses sa tagilirang leeg. One time she saw Jun kiss Marietta. Nais ko lang ipabatid sa iyo na sa iyoy walang sino mang pumilit. The trial court denied the motion and treated it instead as a motion to recall the accused Elmerto Pulga for further testimony. He narrated that he was arrested at around 9 a. admitted stabbing the deceased three times until he fell .00. tumakot.

of May 24.‖[15] The case is before us on automatic review. The medical findings as to the approximate time of death and the injuries sustained by the victim are in accord with the testimony of Elmerto Pulga who admitted that he killed the victim at around 10:00 p.000. and ordering them to pay jointly and severally to the heirs of Alejandro Patungan the amount of Fifty Thousand (P50. The March 16. The Solicitor-General filed appellee‘s brief praying for the affirmance of the decision of the trial court. as amended. 1999 decision of the trial court reads as follows: ―WHEREFORE.000. The Medico-legal officer who conducted the autopsy on the victim at 7:00 p. the appellants contend that the trial court failed to appreciate the underlying admissions in the testimonies of SPO3 Villacorte and Atty. of the Revised Penal Code.00 as moral damages. He found a rope and pulled the victim by the neck to the back of the van. It is maintained that the exact time of death of the victim is immaterial in view of the extra-judicial confession of Elmerto Pulga which dovetails with the findings in the autopsy report. sentencing them therefor to death. He stated that he alone was responsible for the death of his brother-in-law. the Court renders judgment finding all accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal of the crime as charged. 1994 stated that considering the advanced stage of decomposition of the cadaver the victim must have been dead for thirty-six hours. In assailing the validity of the extra-judicial confession. that is PARRICIDE for MARIETTA PATUNGAN and MURDER for accused ELMERTO PULGA and EDGAR ACEBUCHE.m. Based on such findings it is submitted by the appellants that witnesses Antonio and Antonia could not have seen the deceased at 3:30 a. respectively. What the appellee considers material is the timing when Marietta lured her husband into the van where the two co-conspirators were waiting to execute their murderous scheme.00) Pesos as indemnity for death. Appellee maintains that Elmerto Pulga‘s belated repudiation of his extra-judicial confession. 1994 and that he stabbed him thrice while he was seated at the driver‘s seat.m. after which he lost control of himself and stabbed the victim some more. The trial court upheld the validity of the extra-judicial confession and rendered judgment convicting the three accused guilty of the crime charged. Rudio that the accused Pulga was in fact denied the assistance of counsel during custodial investigation. Eighty Thousand (P80. of May 22. Counsel for the appellants assigns as error the trial court‘s appreciation of the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses and its finding in favor of the validity of the extra-judicial confession executed by Elmerto Pulga. 1994. of May 23. his failure to present any evidence to support his claim of torture in the hands of his investigators and his apparent unwillingness to file any administrative charge against them .unconscious.m.00) Pesos as actual damages. with the attendant circumstances of treachery and evident premeditation alleged in the Information. The appellants pray for the acquittal of accused Marietta Patungan and Edgar Acebuche and the conviction of accused Elmerto Pulga for the lesser offense of homicide. defined and penalized in Article 146 and Article 248.000. and P50.

Article III of the Constitution provides: ―Sec.[22] . who supposedly assisted Pulga during the taking of the extra-judicial confession. 12(1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably his own choice.[19] A lawyer who simply goes through the motion of reciting the rights of the accused. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.militates against his claim that his extra-judicial confession was obtained through violence. The rest of the evidence presented is at most circumstantial to establish motive and the presence of the appellants at or near the place of the commission of the crime. will not suffice to fulfill the requirement of the constitutional provision. or acts as a witness to a pre-prepared document containing the extra-judicial confession of the accused or holds an interest contrary to that of the accused does not qualify as independent and competent counsel.‖ An extra-judicial confession to be admissible in evidence must be express and voluntarily executed in writing with the assistance of an independent and competent counsel[16] and a person under custodial investigation must be continuously assisted by counsel from the very start thereof[17] The presence of counsel is intended to secure the voluntariness of the extra-judicial confession. incommunicado. Pedro Rudio of the IBP. Rudio stated that he even raised Pulga‘s shirt to check if he had been subjected to physical violence and found none. intimidation or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. testified that Pulga expressed his consent to be assisted by said counsel and signified that his confession is voluntary. (2) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him. it appears that the principal evidence presented by the prosecution to establish the alleged conspiracy among the appellants to commit murder is the extra-judicial confession of accused Elmerto Pulga. threat or reward and that in view of the appellants‘ failure to prove any of the aforementioned circumstances that vitiate consent.[20] To establish the validity of Pulga‘s extra-judicial confession. Considering the totality of the evidence. providing full protection to the constitutional rights of the accused. force violence threat. solitary.[21] Atty. Secret detention places. and how he and his cousin appellant Edgar Acebuche accomplished Marietta‘s bidding. he must be provided with one. Atty. the police investigator PO3 Jovencio Villacorte testified that appellant Pulga voluntarily surrendered to the police and told them the whole story of how his younger sister appellant Marietta Patungan masterminded the murder of her husband to be able to marry her lover.[18] The presence of a lawyer alone. intimidation. the trial court did not err in upholding the validity of Pulga‘s extra-judicial confession. The assistance of counsel must be independent and competent that is. or other similar forms of detention are prohibited. Section 12 (1). The appellee asserts that confessions are presumed valid unless proven to have been obtained through violence. Quezon City Chapter. (1) No torture. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel.

Q. Yes. sir. The questioning and interviewing was done in the office of the IBP on August 11 when he executed an extra-judicial confession. Did you provide him with a counsel when you talked to him? A. PO3 Villacorte testified as follows: ―Q. . there is no showing that the police investigator. In our blotter. 1994. Yes. mentioned or investigated accused Elmerto Pulga on August 10. First of all. that custodial investigation will start immediately? A. A. assuming that he surrendered. (emphasis supplied). sir? A. COURT: Because when I questioned Elmer Pulga. That was the term used by Gacute on August 9. COURT: Ang tinatanong kung may abogado? WITNESS: No. a closer examination of the transcript of stenographic notes regarding Pulga‘s extra-judicial confession is rather disturbing. ATTY. sir. COURT: You answer. he denied to us. Without any counsel. sir. Q. And the person of Elmer Pulga was taken in custody or apprehended because that is the term used. Yes. Yes. he denied to us because he pointed to us…. correct sir? A. Do you know that a person who is undergoing custodial investigation is entitled to counsel? A. Q. our witness. yes. Q. sir. Q. And it was on August 10 that you propounded questions to Elmer Pulga when he was referred to you by Gacute. your Honor please. sir. arrested. when I conducted the investigation on August 10. Why did you not provide or why did you not make it sure that this Elmer Pulga was assisted by counsel when you were conducting the custodial investigation on August 10. sir. sir. sir. And do you know that once a suspect is arrested or surrendered for that matter. sir. 1994? PROSECUTOR BAUTISTA: Objection. Q. correct. it was August 10. PRADO: Q: Do you know that a person under custodial investigation is entitled to counsel to assist him? A. No.However. August 10? A. (emphasis supplied).

Q. Do you know that once a person is under custodial investigation. Q. as I said. Yes. accused Elmerto Pulga was not assisted by counsel more specifically of his own choice. No. But did you give him a lawyer? A. Q.Q. Witness. from August 10 up to 2:00 o‘clock in the afternoon or August 11. Q. sir? A. he lied to us. in short. Q. No. COURT? Go ahead. the police officer who actually took all three appellants into custody. your Honor. Villacorte himself admitted that Pulga at first did not want to confess and pointed to another suspect as the perpetrator of the crime. testified that the appellants were all ―invited‖ to the police station on August 9. He said he will confess but he even pointed one alleged suspect. in particular. when he surrendered. So. were in police custody and subjected to custodial investigation for two and a half days without the assistance of counsel before he decided to confess. Pulga testified that he was arrested on August 9. he is immediately entitled to a counsel especially of his own choice? A. your Honor. sir. The block commander including Pulga.[24] This means that the appellants. the IBP provided the accused a counsel? A. sir. ATTY. Q. Yes. 1994. Because. PRADO: Q. 1994. and appellant Pulga. sir. He narrated in court that during custodial investigation he was blindfolded with hands tied behind him and was electrocuted by . And why did you not make it sure that from August 10 up to August 11 up to 2:00 o‘clock in the afternoon considering that this Elmer Pulga was already under custodial investigation he was not provided with counsel? A.‖[23] Contrary to PO3 Villacorte‘s assertion that Pulga was taken into custody on August 10. Mr. This statement negates the police‘s claim of voluntary surrender and places in serious doubt the voluntariness of Pulga‘s extra-judicial confession. So. correct. Did he object to the nomination given by IBP? A. Yes. SPO2 Orlando Gacute. 1994. Later in the morning when he tell us that he has already the evidence and then he is telling us the truth and then later I brought him to IBP to get a counsel there. 1994 and that they were all subjected to custodial investigation without counsel. Who requested you to bring him to IBP? A. sir. How come that there was a lawyer assisting Elmerto Pulga? How come? A.

We also note from the above testimonies that it was only after appellant Pulga verbally confessed at the police precinct. We are inclined to believe that when he was brought to the IBP office his body and his will were in no position to raise any objection much less to complain to the IBP lawyer about what he has gone through.‖[28] Villacorte testified that while he was taking Pulga‘s statement the IBP lawyer was working on something else using two other tables four meters apart. the following . He simply cried and could not do anything else but to accede to his tormentors‘ demand. The situation was not at all alleviated by the counsel who was supposed to assist Pulga at the taking of the extra-judicial confession. He stated that he signed a pre-prepared document at the precinct before he was taken to the IBP office near the Sulo Restaurant in Quezon City on August 11. without the assistance of counsel. the fiscal nor to the medical officer out of fear of his police investigators and when he was taken to a medical officer for examination. Not only was Pulga subjected to custodial investigation without counsel.[29] The mere presence of a lawyer is not sufficient compliance with the constitutional requirement of assistance of counsel.m. The prosecution evidence simply establishes the presence of Pulga and Acebuche near or at the place where the victim was last seen alive. It is observed that Antonio and Antonia allegedly saw Pulga and Acebuche inside the van at around 10:00 p. the police escort answered the questions for him. It would appear to us that whatever statement Pulga allegedly gave to the police for transcription in the presence of counsel is the product of two and a half days of coercive and uncounselled custodial investigation. to compel him to admit commission of the crime charged.[30] A counsel who could just hear the investigation going on while working on another case hardly satisfies the minimum requirements of effective assistance of counsel. None of his relatives visited him in jail and he only saw his lawyer in court. and that the victim was last seen with Marietta at around 3:30 a. as the prosecution suggests. the fiscal and the medical officer and Pulga did not find the opportunity to complain to the authorities. For the reasons above stated. He stated that he was ―not totally concentrated on the appealed case because he could still hear the investigation being conducted then.m. vigilant and independent. 1994. The prosecution relied heavily on Pulga‘s extra-judicial confession but the rest of the evidence presented fail to satisfy the required quantum of proof to establish conspiracy.[25] He explained that he narrated his ordeal only for the first time in court because he could not complain to the IBP lawyer.[26]Until he was brought to court he had no one to confide to and he was at the mercy of the police investigators while he was detained at the Quezon City Jail. when he was brought to the IBP office allegedly for the actual transcription of his confession in writing in the presence of a lawyer. To our mind. We find that the extra-judicial confession of appellant Elmerto Pulga is inadmissible in evidence for having been obtained without effective assistance of counsel. The other pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution fail to establish the charge of conspiracy among the appellants to murder the deceased. Said lawyer admitted that he was working on an appeal in another case two to three meters away from the police investigator who was then taking Pulga‘s statement.the police investigators while he was either sitting on a steel bar or had a piece of wet cloth placed on his feet. Assistance of counsel must be effective. he was likewise denied effective assistance of counsel during the actual taking of his extra-judicial confession.[27] As a detention prisoner he was always escorted by the police when he was before the IBP lawyer. appellant Pulga‘s fear of his police escorts is well founded and his delay in revealing what he underwent during custodial investigation does not cast doubt on its veracity.

when you were able to grapple that screwdriver from your brother-in-law.m. 1994.[32] In an apparent attempt to show Marietta‘s implied admission of guilt.‖ Aside from you brother-in-law.‖ Nauwi po yan sa pagtatalo dahil ayaw siyang pumayag sa aking paliwanag. without the extra-judicial confession of appellant Pulga. There is no proof that Pulga and Acebuche were still inside the van at 3:30 a. For this reason we are constrained to acquit them of the crimes charged.e. What happened after your brother-in-law told you that statement. and the only circumstance that might indicate that Marietta may have lured her husband to go inside the van to enable Pulga and Acebuche to kill him that morning was her alleged motive to get rid of her husband to marry her lover. an estimate. what did you do? Q: . The evidence as it stands. We may add that even if she did attempt to commit suicide a female suspect under custodial investigation in a police-dominated atmosphere and without the assistance of counsel. Due to the advanced stage of decomposition of the body of the victim when it was autopsied at around 7:00 p. ―Ikaw na lang ang umuwi. the prosecution presented one of the police officers who ―invited‖ the appellants for questioning who testified that appellant Marietta tried to commit suicide after the investigation. the medico-legal officer who conducted the autopsy testified that the victim must have been dead for about thirty-six hours.‖ And after that. Marietta cannot be expected to act rationally.[31] The estimated time of death of the victim is nothing but such.morning.[33] However. Marietta denied that she tried to commit suicide and testified that she woke up in the hospital. no medical record was presented to substantiate this testimony and we note that the police officer did not testify that he saw Marietta stab herself. After that. I turned over the key to him and I told him that. 1994. what did you actually do with your brother-in-law then? A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: I was the one driving the car in going to Dangwa and while the car was running he told me. for them to buy flowers before dawn. my brother-in-law got a screwdriver and stabbed me and I was able to grapple. that Marietta stabbed herself with a Batangas knife in the bathroom at the police precinct when she found out that her brother Elmerto pointed to her as the mastermind of the murder of her husband. ―Bakit ka nakikialam pag sinasaktan ko ang asawa ko. Nakikisali ka.. After that pagtatalo or verbal tussle. is not sufficient to support conviction for parricide against appellant Marietta nor for murder against appellant Acebuche.m. ―Bakit ka nakikialam pag sinasaktan ko ang asawa ko. Only the judicial admission of Elmerto Pulga remains on record for consideration of the court. He testified as follows: ―Q: When you said you agreed to leave at 10:00 o‘clock in the evening on May 22. who was with you then in that van you were driving? We were only two. i. Nakikisali ka. It is on record that Marietta and her husband run a flower shop and it is not uncommon. much less suspicious.[34] Whether or not she stabbed herself is not proven by the prosecution and can by no means be considered as an implied admission of guilt of appellant Marietta. what happened next? When we arrived at Dangwa. of May 24.

―[35] ON CROSS-EXAMINATION. I stabbed him and then after he fell unconscious. The autopsy report reveals that the victim was 63 inches tall[37] and Pulga testified that he stands 5 feet 4 inches tall. I lost control and ―binanatan ko siya ng binanatan. to have been intentionally inflicted to add suffering to the victim. the said penalty is to be imposed in its medium period[41] of 14 years. Mr. were all on the left side of the body of the victim. sir. the stabbing or the strangulation? A: The stabbing.e. I remember what he was doing to my sister and ―nawala ako sa aking sarili. Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: And so after stabbing him three times you left the place? No. Pulga‘s statement that he was seated at the driver‘s seat while the victim sat at the passenger‘s seat which means that Pulga was at the left side of the victim also coincides with the medical finding which states that the stab wounds. How many times. Pulga is hereby convicted of homicide and to suffer the penalty of reclusion temporal. Pulga‘s admission can be sustained but he cannot be convicted for murder in the absence of proof of any of the qualifying circumstances alleged in the information. . Mr. and it was not herein shown. So which occurred first. After I stabbed him three times. Witness? A: Three times. ma‘am.[40] In the absence of any mitigating or aggravating circumstance. At any rate. Witness that you recall having stabbed your brother-in-law three times and the rest you do not know anymore? I cannot remember. 8 months and 1 day to 17 years and 4 months. ma‘am.[38] The alleged impossibility was not proven by the prosecution with moral certainty. treachery and evident premeditation. except those on the victim‘s abdomen.‖ And you kept stabbing him? Yes. i. sir how may times I stabbed him.[39] On the contrary.A: Q: I stabbed him. the premises? And I saw a rope that I put around his neck and pulled him back. fifty-one in the abdomen and three in the upper part of his body.‖ Q: A: Are you telling the court.. I was not able to control myself. Accordingly. Pulga testified: Q: How many times did you stab Alejandro Patungan? A: Three times. ma‘am. we hold that there is no other evidence on record to show that Pulga was not alone in the commission of the crime. And then you left the place. The number of stab wounds sustained by the victim. Pulga testified that he countlessly stabbed the victim after he fell unconscious.‖[36] Pulga‘s admission that he stabbed the victim thrice coincides with the autopsy report that the victim sustained three stab wounds. The prosecution tried to establish the impossibility of Pulga pulling the victim by himself to the back of the van but no competent evidence was presented to prove the theory. by itself is not aggravating unless it was shown.

as minimum to 17 years and 4 months of reclusion temporal in its medium period. Vitug.00 for moral damages. Kapunan. Quisumbing. Domingo Lazo and Celedonio Itape..00 for actual damages and P50. Cesar Barrera.This court is not blind to the suffering of the victim‘s family arising from his untimely death. Bellosillo. SO ORDERED. Panganiban.000. Criminals cannot be apprehended. J.A. the above named accused. PHILIPPINES. 1998 denying the motion for reconsideration. andSandoval-Gutierrez. with evident premeditation . G. and his erstwhile co-accused. Ynares-Santiago. Pardo.. P80. 134727..000. JR.00 as indemnity for death. in an Information that reads: That on or about May 24. Let this be a stern lesson to the police authorities and to the prosecution to perform their sworn tasks with utmost regard to the mandates of the Constitution. and imposing the indeterminate penalty of 10 years of prision mayor in its medium period. and its Resolution[3]dated July 24.R.000. 19650. February 19. prosecuted and punished under the law by resorting to non-legal means. concur. Jr. De Leon. Jr. WHEREFORE.J. Laguna and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. appellants Marietta Patungan and Edgar Acebuche are acquitted of the crimes charged against them and the judgment of conviction rendered by the trial court is hereby reversed and set aside.. C. 1998 in C. Davide. Calamba. PEOPLE OF THE DECISION DE LEON. Buena. 2001] CESAR BARRERA. Melo. JJ.. No.R. SECOND DIVISION [G. were charged with the crime of murder. The judgment of conviction for murder against appellant Elmerto Pulga is hereby likewise set aside and a new one entered convicting him of the crime of homicide. This Court affirms the pecuniary awards given by the trial court and orders the appellant Pulga to pay the heirs of the victim the sum of P50. petitioner.: This is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals[2] dated March 25. vs. Puno. respondent. 1981 in the evening at Brgy. but we are bound to uphold the constitutional rights of the accused. Mayapa. confederating and jointly helping with (sic) each other. defined and penalized under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. conspiring. as maximum. CR No. The petitioner. Mendoza.

and his companion. 1981.[5] Anacay also mentioned to prosecution witness. trial on the merits ensued. the three accused. near the fair ground (―periahan‖) on the eve of the fiesta in Barangay Mayapa. As Anacay turned to leave with Fernandez. police officer Malabanan interrogated the victim. Celedonio Itape and Domingo Lazo whom he had known for a long time because they were engaged in the same business of ―beto-beto‖. It appears from the evidence adduced that the victim. Lauro Ejeda. Thereafter. Barrera suddenly stabbed Anacay once on the back thereby causing the victim to fall on the ground. Laguna on May 24.[4] Police officers Cosme Malabanan. Fernandez ran away to seek help from their other companions. Jojo Fernandez. Thereafter. Doming and Dolong as his attackers. attack. Afraid that he might also be stabbed.‖) when asked by police officer Malabanan how he felt as a result of his stab wound. Barera confronted Anacay about Domingo Lazo's cousin whom Anacay allegedly stabbed in Silang Cavite. CONTRARY TO LAW. Upon being arraigned on November 9. Calamba. Domingo Lazo and Celedonio Itape. At the hospital. That the crime was committed with the aggravating circumstances of nighttime. Doming . Ejeda knew that Anacay was referring to Cesar Barrera. the same names of Cesar Dictado. separately entered the plea of ―Not guilty‖ to the charge in the information. unlawfully and feloniously. Juanito Fajardo and Eugenio Banaag went to the scene of the crime in Barangay Mayapa. who declared that Cesar Dictado. The declaration of the victim was put down in writing which he thumbmarked with his own blood. with intent to kill. they proceeded to the Canlubang Estate Hospital in Laguna where the victim was brought earlier. Calamba. Laguna after receiving a report of the stabbing incident. did then and there wilfully. evident premeditation and treachery in the commission thereof. Laguna and helped them identify the victim‘s attackers. Mario Anacay. Anacay believed that he was going to die (―Mamatay po ako. 1981.and treachery. Doming and Dolong were his attackers. assault and stab one Mario Anacay with a deadly weapon (knife) thereby inflicting upon the latter serious stab wounds at the back which immediately caused his death. to the damage and prejudice of the surviving heirs of the victim Mr. Upon the request of Anacay. Ejeda accompanied the policemen back to Barangay Mayapa in Calamba. Anacay. Mario Anacay. were setting up a ―beto-beto‖ stall when they met the group of herein petitioner Cesar Barrera. assisted by counsel.

COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE REVERSIBLE ERROR WHEN IT RULED THAT PETITIONER‘S DENIAL OF THE CRIME CHARGED CANNOT PREVAIL OVER THE POSITIVE TESTIMONY OF THE PROSECUTION WITNESS JOJO FERNANDEZ. the quantum of proof for their conviction not having been met. DESPITE THE FACT THAT . four (4) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal as maximum.(Domingo Lazo) and Dolong (Celedonio Itape) voluntarily surrendered to the policemen while the petitioner attempted to evade arrest but was prevented by Ejeda. to seventeen (17) years. He shall indemnify the heirs of Anacay the amount of P50. Aggrieved by the decision of the trial court. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: ―WHEREFORE. to wit: I THE HON.[8] On January 26. the victim was transferred to the Philippine General Hospital in Manila where he died on May 25. he never left his place and that he learned only later what actually happened when people began talking about the stabbing incident. He shall be sentenced to an indeterminate jail term of ten (10) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum. After his motion for reconsideration was denied on July 24. On March 25. 1998 by the appellate court.00 and shall be credited for time spent in jail. ACQUITTING accused Domingo Lazo and Celedonio Itape.000. the trial court rendered its decision convicting herein petitioner of the crime of homicide but acquitting his two (2) co-accused of the crime charged in the information. 1981 due to shock secondary to stab wound in the back. SO ORDERED. the petitioner filed with this Court the instant petition for review on certiorari containing the following assignments of error. judgment is hereby rendered1. 1998. CONVICTING Cesar Barrera but only for homicide. He claimed that on the said occasion he was busy attending to his ―beto-beto‖ business when a commotion occurred at the fair ground. 1998. Nevertheless. the prosecution having proved his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. the Court of Appeals rendered its decision affirming the decision of the trial court.[7] Petitioner Cesar Barrera denied that he stabbed Mario Anacay in the evening of May 24. 2.[6] Meanwhile. 1981. the petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals.

ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THAT HIS CO-ACCUSED. WERE ACQUITTED BY THE TRIAL COURT. Fernandez categorically declared on the witness stand that he was able to recognize petitioner Barrera for the reason that he (Fernandez) was with the victim. COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE REVERSIBLE ERROR IN NOT ACQUITTING THE ACCUSED-PETITIONER OF THE CRIME CHARGED. In substance. as the same person whom he saw stabbed Mario Anacay on the evening of May 24. THEIR GUILT NOT HAVING BEEN PROVED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. IV THE HON. II A DOCUMENT CONSISTING OF AN AFFIDAVIT HEREIN SUBMITTED WHICH ACCOMPANIES THE INSTANT PETITION IF ADMITTED WILL CERTAINLY EXCULPATE THE ACCUSED-PETITIONER OF THE CRIME CHARGED." The said dying declaration of the victim was confirmed by a prosecution witness. Regardless of whatever name Anacay may have known his attacker. himself identified his attackers as "Cesar Dictado. Doming and Dolong. and the premises were well-lighted when the victim was stabbed by the petitioner. the same is not sufficient to overturn the .FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES EXIST WHICH RENDER THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE PETITIONER AS BOUBTFUL AND CANNOT BE THE BASIS OF HIS CONVICTION. Cesar Barrera. DOMINGO LAZO AND CELEDONIO ITAPE. police officer Cosme Malabanan who investigated the victim in the hospital where he was brought after the stabbing incident. Petitioner's contention is not impressed with merit. 1981. AND THE ABOVE-MENTIONED AFFIDAVIT EXCULPATING THE ACCUSED OF THE CRIME CHARGED. Mario Anacay. COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A SERIOUS REVERSIBLE ERROR WHEN IT ACCORDED CREDENCE TO THE TESTIMONY OF PROSECUTION WITNESS JOJO FERNANDEZ DESPITE THE FACT THAT HIS TESTIMONY IS FULL OF CONTRADICTIONS AND INCONSISTENCIES WHICH CLEARLY IMPAIR HIS CREDIBILITY. the petitioner contends that there is doubt as to his identity as the perpetrator of the crime inasmuch as the victim. Prosecution eyewitness Jojo Fernandez positively identified the petitioner. III THE HON.

as the perpetrator of the crime. After all. Besides. that if Fernandez were indeed an eyewitness to the crime. that it was highly improbable for the petitioner to exact revenge on Anacay when it was Domingo Lazo whose cousin was stabbed by the victim. that the three (3) accused and the victim and Jojo Fernandez set up their ―beto-beto‖ tables at 10:00 o‘clock in the evening on the very day of the fiesta is not cause for disbelieving the testimony of the prosecution eyewitness Jojo Fernandez. Mayapa.[10] Petitioner assails the testimony of prosecution eyewitness Jojo Fernandez for being allegedly incredible. 1998 and hence do not warrant a review [11] by this Court. are negative and self-serving evidence undeserving of weight in law. another prosecution witness. Calamba. Lauro Ejeda testified during the trial that he knew Cesar Dictado. the victim and Fernandez put up their ―beto-beto‖ stands at 10:00 o‘clock in the evening on the very day of the fiesta.fact that petitioner Barrera was positively identified by prosecution eyewitness. The above contentions refer to factual matters which have already been raised by the petitioner and thoroughly passed upon by the Court of Appeals in its Decision dated March 25.[9] Consequently. as testified to by Jojo Fernandez. Jojo Fernandez. Laguna only on the eve of the fiesta. and that his non-flight from the scene of the crime until the police officers arrived and arrested him and his erstwhile coaccused indicated his innocence. Jojo Fernandez. such customary practice does not make incredible that the three (3) accused. . if not without basis in fact. ―beto-beto‖ stands are not difficult or expensive to put up and the decision to put them up naturally depends on the volume of the crowd or ―beto-beto‖ players. The fact. if not substantiated by clear and convincing evidence. the defense of denial by the petitioner pales in the light of the categorical identification made by the prosecution eyewitness. to put up his ―beto-beto‖ stall in Brgy. Laguna. thus: The arguments are. even if already on the very night of the fiesta. whom he (Ejeda) had known for a long time. While it is true that it is customary to put up the ―beto-beto‖ stands on the eve of the fiesta. he would not have deserted the wounded Anacay who was his ―kumpadre‖. Cesar Barrera. as in the case at bar. to be the same person as the herein petitioner. He contends that it would be contrary to human experience for the victim. We quote with approbation the appellate court‘s disquisition. Positive identification where categorical and consistent and without any showing of ill-motive on the part of the eyewitness testifying on the matter. who used to operate ―beto-beto‖ business in Canlubang. prevails over alibi and denial which. clearly insubstantial and inconsequential. who was referred to by Anacay in his dying declaration as his attacker.

‗Appellants pretended innocence is clearly non sequitur to his decision not to flee. independent of their relationship. that she learned from the petitioner of his conviction for the death of Mario Anacay. The said affidavit of Elena de Sagun vda. That Fernandez volunteered to be a prosecution witness and that Anacay was his ―compadre‖ did not render Fernandez‖s testimony unreliable. We also have to reject appellant‘s contention with respect to the lack of motive on his part to stab the victim. de Gatdula. that she recalled and informed the Barrera couple of her alleged late husband‘s admission to the killing on May 24. the argument does not hold weight in the light of the positive identification of the appellant‘. Fernandez explained in his testimony why he ran away. It is well-established rule that proof of motive is not crucial where the identity of the accused has been amply established. carries no probative value. that she had no opportunity then to give her statement on the matter.[12] In a desperate attempt to escape criminal liability. that affiant Gatdula met and befriended petitioner Cesar Barrera and his wife on June 1. In other words.[14] It appears therein that she learned of the identity of the alleged culprit when her husband. in substance. purportedly admitted to her having killed Mario Anacay on May 24. 1996.That Fernandez and the victim are ―compadres‖ does not by itself render the testimony of the former inadmissible or devoid of probative value. because his testimony. Fernandez‘s testimony that he was at the crime scene and was a witness to the crime is credible. Finally. it is argued that all three (3) accused did not leave the ―peryahan‖ even after the stabbing. and therefore. The fact that Fernandez ran away upon seeing the stabbing incident and did not help the fallen victim is not difficult to understand. Apart from the fact that there is no case law holding that non-flight is a conclusive proof of innocence. The affidavit states. who died in 1983. the petitioner presented at this late stage an Affidavit[13] dated September 3. 1998 allegedly executed by a certain Elena de Sagun vda. is not inherently improbable and neither is there proof that he might have been compelled by improper or evil motive in pointing to the accused-appellant as the assailant. It is an established doctrine that when . He explained that he was overcome by fear that he would be stabbed next. To quote from a decision of the Supreme Court. 1981. she had no personal knowledge of the killing of Mario Anacay except for the information allegedly revealed to her by her late husband. and that she decided to do it now allegedly for the sake of truth and justice to petitioner. de Gatdula is patently hearsay. 1981 of a certain person by the name of Mario Anacay.

vs. accused-appellant.. and mutually helping one another who were charged with the same offense at the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the amount of P50. with evident premeditation and treachery. by then and there stabbing him with a knife hitting him on the different parts of his body. did. taking advantage of superior strength.the evidence is based on what was supposedly told the witness. the said accused [CESAR GIVERA]. Quezon City finding accused-appellant Cesar Givera y Garote guilty of murder of Eusebio Gardon y Arrivas and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua with the accessory penalties prescribed by law.: This is an appeal from the decision[1] of the Regional Trial Court. 1995. the instant petition is hereby denied for lack of merit. conspiring together. (Chairman).000. the same is without any evidentiary value or weight. and to pay the costs of the suit. plaintiff-appellee. dated April 10. then and there. unlawfully and feloniously. Branch 104. assault. 1993.R. willfully. in Quezon City. Philippines. charged as follows: That on or about the 2nd day of May. 132159. being patently hearsay. SO ORDERED. J. and docketed as Criminal Case No. with intent to kill. concur. January 18.[15] WHEREFORE. DECISION MENDOZA. attack. thereby inflicting upon him serious and mortal wounds which were the direct and immediate cause of his untimely death. and employ personal violence upon the person of EUSEBIO GARDON y ARRIVAS. to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of EUSEBIO GARDON y ARRIVAS. The information in this case. Bellosillo. 2001] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Quisumbing. and Buena.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.[3] . JJ. and striking him with a piece of stone on the head. Branch 102. CESAR GIVERA y GAROTE. SECOND DIVISION [G. No. confederating with EPEFANIO GAYON y GERALDE[2] and ARTURO GAYON y GERALDE. Q-93-44315. Mendoza. CONTRARY TO LAW.

000. namely Epifanio Gayon. in Diliman. sir. Branch 104.. sir. On appeal to this Court. Q-93-44315. Old Balara. On the other hand.. and ordering them to indemnify the heirs of the deceased Eusebio Gardon in the amount of P100.Accused-appellant pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on April 10. Who was stoning your house? Could you tell us who was throwing stones to your house? Particularly about 4:00 p. Accused-appellant‘s companions.[4] For the prosecution. Laura St. the victim‘s daughter Milagros Gardon and his niece Melinda Delfin were presented as witnesses. and I was watching him so that he will not go outside. A: Q: [O]ur house was being stoned. the decision of the trial court was affirmed with modification. We instead find accused-appellants EPIFANIO GAYON. 1996. Area 5. The three were sentenced to suffer the penalty ofreclusion perpetua with the accessory penalties prescribed by law. were separately prosecuted and found guilty of murder by the Regional Trial Court. in Crim. whereupon he was tried. dated June 6. the judgment appealed from is MODIFIED. and Maximo Givera.000. At that time and place while you were watching your father. Arturo Gayon. Milagros Gardon testified on direct examination:[5] Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: .. Case No. Quezon City. only accused-appellant testified in his defense.. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE. ARTURO GAYON and MAXIMO GIVERA guilty beyond reasonable doubt of MURDER committed with grave abuse of superior strength and imposes upon each of them the penalty of reclusion perpetua with the accessory penalties provided by law. And what were you doing there at that time? I was in the house because I was watching my father. on May 2. What was your father doing at that time? I let him go to sleep because he was a little bit drunk. The incident took place at about 4 p. Costs against accused-appellants. he will kill my father. were you at your residence at that time? Yes. 1993 at Purok IV. Why do you say you were watching him so that he would not anymore go out? Because he was warned by [accused-appellant Cesar Givera] that if he goes outside.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay the costs of the suit. to indemnify the heirs of the deceased the sum of P100. 1994.m.00. Quezon City in a decision.. what else happened if any? .m.

by the name of Onying went inside the house. what happened after this person Cesar and the other one Onying went inside the house? Onying asked my father to go out of the house while Cesar was stoning the house. A: What did these 4 persons do when her father was with them if any? Cesar was stoning the house. Then Cesar scampered away and my father followed him.. correct? A: Yes. sir. sir. Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Who was stoning your house? Cesar Givera... Q: They were Laura Gardon and Leonardo Gardon. and that person stabbed my father. the person who stabbed him ran away. sir. Q: . sir.. You said a while ago that there was somebody with Cesar who went to your house. sir. and when they were already outside. sir. On cross-examination. sir. Then Onying got my father from the house. Was he alone at that time? They were in a group.. Now.. Milagros Gardon said:[6] Q: A: Who else were with you at that time? My brother and sister. And the other one. Q: A: . could you recall that somebody? Onying [Epifanio Gayon]. Cesar caused my father to run after him until they reached the place where there was another person.. . Onying led my father out of the house. Turing [Arturo Gayon] told the other one to stab my father while the one who stabbed my father was waiting under the bridge. So how many persons in all have you seen? They were four in all. . COURT: She mentioned that because her father was not coming out of the house.... Q: A: What happened to your father after you said he was stabbed or mauled? After he was stabbed. but he was the only one stoning the house. sir.. Cesar was waiting for them.. the accused started stoning the house. who was already arrested.. You said he was already ―nakakulong‖? Yes.

sir.... they were situated right near to your father.. sir. correct? Yes. sir. You were in the sala right next to your father. sir. correct? Yes. correct? A: Q: A: Q: A: .. Q: A: Q: A: . Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: . is that correct? Yes. sir. sir. And your father. sir... when this Onying entered the house. And then suddenly you heard stones being thrown on the roof of your house. did he call out the name of your father if you can remember? Yes. .. correct? Yes. At that time were you in a position so as to see him actually effect his entrance through the front door? Yes. Q: This Onying [Epifanio Gayon] suddenly entered your house. sir.. is that correct? Yes.. And your father inside the house because he was already resting after having been from a drinking spree. Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Now. sir. Why? Where were you at that time? I was in the sala. And likewise with your two other companions Laura and Leonardo. What was his response if any? He asked Onying if he need anything.. sir. sir. How did he effect his entrance in your house? He went inside directly. did he give any response thereto? Yes.Q: A: . And you were watching TV at that time. He was alone when he entered your house. And Onying asked him to go out with him. sir. Yes. correct? Yes..

Who were these people running away? Onying and Cesar. .... sir. And where was Laura hit? At her left shoulder. What is the name of that sister of yours who was also hit? Laura Gardon. sir. Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: .. sir. sir... No. We followed him outside... But you stayed inside the house.. sir. thereafter you heard stones thrown again towards your house. because while they were stoning they were running away. sir. that is why he was not at all stoning your father. Are you saying that Onying also stoned your father? No. Because he was right next by your father at that time. Was Onying also hit by any of those stones? No. is that what you mean? Yes. And how many stones if you know hit Laura? Only one... correct? He was boxing him. sir.. But just the same. sir.. And your father stood up and joined Onying in going out of the house? Yes. sir. Q: A: Q: A: . sir. you and your two other companions? No. sir.. Now. Q: Then you together with your two other companions got back to watching the television show is that correct? A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: .. you did not peep out through any opening of your house for safety? We were already outside when they were stoning the house. Q: A: You saw Cesar Givera actually stoning towards the direction of your father. is that correct? Yes. Q: A: . Only my father and my sister..

Did you actually see him stab your father? Yes.. Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: And your father followed Cesar Givera. sir. Milagros said:[7] Q: A: . Likewise. . he followed Cesar Givera? Yes. does that mean that you just stayed in front of your house? We stopped because we already saw the place where my father was stabbed. sir. sir. And who was this? Bingo Givera [Maximo Givera]. And they ran quite a distance.. you said a while ago that you saw while your father was stabbed. Q: Now. But because you did not state that you also followed your father as he ran after Cesar. sir.. and the name of that person is Onying who stabbed your father? Maximo Givera. correct? No. correct? Yes. sir. using as reference the front door of your house? How far did they get as they ran away? About fifteen meters away. sir. sir. sir. where was Cesar at that time? Madam witness. How far did they get. correct? Yes. Q: They turned a corner after your father was stabbed? A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Yes.. sir. On re-direct examination. Did they not turn corners? It is straight. sir. I was outside the house. because they ran away. When the incident happened. sir. that is why we did not follow them. with Onying. They only made a turn after the stabbing incident. sir. And then you lost sight of them yes or no? No. sir. sir. But you stayed in the house.. I was already outside the house.. is that what you mean? Yes. Only one of the accused stabbed your father.. when you saw Maximo Givera stab your father.

what did you notice or observe when you were about to arrived at that place of his residence? I saw ―Onying‖ [Epifanio Gayon] with his hand on the shoulder of Eusebio Gardon going out of their yard. (Nakita ko si Onying akbay akbay si Eusebio Gardon palabas sa bakuran nila. And the other 3 accused Arturo Gayon and Efipanio Gayon. I was about to reach the house of Eusebio Gardon.. they both helped each other in boxing Eusebio Gardon. Q: A: What else did you notice? When I came out of the gate I saw Cesar Givera boxed Eusebio Gardon. sir... corroborated the testimony of Milagros Gardon....m.) . A: Q: A: He was also at the same place. and then they back to the house of Eusebio Gardon and my uncle followed them.. 1993..m. You said you were about to arrive at the residence of Eusebio Gardon at 4:00 p. could you tell us where they were when Maximo was stabbing your father? They were also at that place. A: . Not quite far. of May 4. She said:[8] Q: A: Q: A: Q: At about 4:00 p. Actually. sir.. sir. Bingo [Maximo Givera] and Turing [Arturo Gayon] were there. Melinda Delfin.. on May 4. and they were also kicking Eusebio Gardon. could you tell us where you were at that time? Yes.) . (Paglabas ko ng bakuran nakita ko si Cesar na sinalubong ng suntok si Eusebio Gardon. sir. Eusebio Gardon was boxed by Onying and Cesar Givera? Yes. sir. What was your purpose in going there? Eusebio Gardon called me up because he has just come from Bicol and he will give me rice. Q: A: What else did you see aside from the fact that you saw Cesar Givera boxing Eusebio Gardon? Cesar boxed him and also Onying boxed him. niece of the victim. 1993.. And stabbed by? Bingo.. how many persons were there when [Eusebio] Gardon was stabbed and being boxed? . Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: And what happened when you said this Bingo was there? Onying and Cesar gave fistic blows to Eusebio Gardon and he was also stabbed by Bingo..

A: Q: A: .. sir.. sir. Cesar and Onying. And what happened to Eusebio Gardon. bato at sipa. correct? Yes. You said earlier that you saw Cesar Givera and Epifanio Givera threw stones towards the victim‘s house.. and then his children arrived. Did you see who were throwing those stones? It was Cesar. Were there stones being hurled to Onying and Eusebio? Yes. sir. Q: A: Q: A: Did you see if Gardon was hit by any of these stones? Yes. MASCALAS: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Where did you see them doing these acts on Eusebio? Outside the premises. the witness said she saw that fellow by the name of Onying and Cesar boxing .? WITNESS: ―Suntok. .. sir... sir. Would you made these four (4)? Turing..‖ You even saw Onying embracing Eusebio Gardon. Did you not say earlier that Onying came out with Eusebio Gardon from the latter‘s house? I saw Onying. sir. Your Honor.. sir. sir. And you also saw Onying hit by stones.. is that true? PROSECUTOR CONCHA: Excuse me.. mauled and then stabbed? He was lying down under the bridge for about thirty (30) minutes. ―akbay-akbay niya. correct? No. Q: A: . Bingo. Whose premises? The premises of Eusebio Gardon...‖ ATTY.. whom you said was boxed. Q: A: Q: A: .. Q: I saw four of them. .

They were going towards them. sir.although outside their house she was still inside the premises of their lot? She was still inside. . sir.. When did Cesar box your uncle? When they come near to my uncle. Not yet. Q: So you were also about 15 meters away from the bridge where the alleged incident took place? No.. sir. Q: There were only -... sir.You said that there were only four (4) persons in that place where your uncle was stabbed and those persons do not include Milagros Gardon? A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: . how near did Cesar get to your uncle? Maybe three to four meters. sir. sir. Q: A: And when they were able to come near. Q: A: Q: A: And then Cesar Givera ran away and your uncle gave chase? Yes.. Q: A: Q: A: . Q: That was when Cesar boxed your uncle? A: Q: A: . sir. And upon reaching the bridge which is about fifteen (15) meters away from the victim‘s house. Because Milagros Gardon was still in their house? She was already outside their house.. And that premises of the victim was about 15 meters away from the bridge where the alleged incident took place? Yes. but she saw the incident. Who boxed your uncle? Cesar... She was outside their house -..... Are you saying that Cesar while throwing stones to your uncle was so close to him that he was able to box him? Because they were advancing towards my uncle and Onying. you saw Bingo stabbed your uncle? Yes.. Were you also with Milagros Gardon at the time that stabbing was done? We were not together but I was approaching their house.

on his posterior middle left arm. Accused-appellant said he was fetched by his cousin. sir.m. as a result of which the victim Eusebio was knocked down. sir. Without his knowledge. Eusebio went back and again engaged Maximo in a fist fight. Recto Gardon. because Maximo and the victim Eusebio Gardon were having an altercation.. Q: A: Q: A: . Who. What was Cesar Givera doing when the victim was stabbed by Bingo? They were kicking and boxing my uncle. Q-93-44315. sir. as well as an incised wound caused by a bladed weapon. however. but he saw the .[11] The stab wound appears to be fatal because it pierced the pericardium and left ventricle of the heart. (Makalampas lang ng konti). todasin na yan!‖ Yes. Eusebio Gardon. Maximo Givera and Arturo Gayon were in the victim‘s house also having drinks. The testimony shows that the victim sustained one fatal stab wound possibly caused by a single bladed weapon. Quezon City at the time of the incident. P/Maj. To prove the fact and cause of death of Eusebio Gardon. he sustained abrasions in his lower chin. shock and eventual death of the victim.. He went to pacify the protagonists and then led the victim to his house. some 30 meters away from the victim‘s house.[12] A death certificate[13] evidencing the death of the victim was presented by the prosecution.A: Q: A: Yes. he was having a drink in his cousin‘s house.. Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: You said that it was Bingo who stabbed the victim Eusebio Gardon.[14] Accused-appellant claimed that at the time of the incident on May 2.. He was a resident of Laura St. which could be the immediate effect of hemorrhage. Accused-appellant testified in his behalf.. . And it was Bingo [Maximo Givera] whom you saw stabbed your uncle? Yes. possibly hitting a rough surface. And that is your distance when you were claiming that you saw this incident? It was just a little less. It was Turing Gayon [Arturo Gayon] whom you heard shout: ―Sige. On the other hand.[10] In addition. sir. Old Balara. You said that you saw it? Yes. Florante Baltazar. Accused-appellant said he was going to help the victim get up. He denied any involvement in the killing of the victim who was his relative by affinity. Givera was doing that? I was asking you about Cesar Givera? He was boxing and kicking my uncle.. given in Criminal Case No. sir. the victim? Yes. the prosecution presented in evidence the testimony[9] of medico-legal officer.. at around 4:00 p.. 1993.

In the process. were responsible for the killing of Eusebio Gardon on May 2. Nonetheless. The dispositive portion of its decision reads:[18] WHEREFORE. an excerpt from which is quoted at the beginning of this opinion. He added. The prosecution presented evidence which shows beyond reasonable doubt that accused-appellant and his companions (Epifanio Gayon. She then saw accused-appellant hitting the victim with stones. as when she testified that she knew at the very beginning that it was accused-appellant who was stoning their house when in fact. therefore. . was hit by the stones hurled by accused-appellant as she came out of their house. this appeal.000. Milagros Gardon‘s testimony. that he did not see if his three companions did anything more than box the victim. Arturo Gayon. 1996 at the East Avenue Medical Center. Ronilo Gardon. as shown earlier. a close reading of the records will show that indeed it was accused-appellant who was stoning the house because when the witness followed the victim outside. all of whom were convicted of murder in another case. she only knew this because the victim said so.victim‘s son. ran away and left the victim behind. Accused-appellant‘s sole assignment of error is that DUE TO THE PRESENCE OF REASONABLE DOUBT.[16] Accused-appellant was arrested on May 4. but. with the accessory penalties of the law. and to pay the costs. it may be doubted whether the victim‘s other daughter. and consistent. judgment is hereby rendered finding the accused Cesar Givera guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder as charged. the trial court rendered its decision finding accused-appellant guilty of murder. as she admitted. since the door of the house was so narrow that only one person at a time could pass through it. Laura was also hit. is spontaneous. she saw accused-appellant throwing stones at their house. 1997. detailed. Hence. Moreover. and Maximo Givera). He. There are apparent lapses in the testimony of Milagros. the defense only succeeded in enabling her to give further details of her testimony in chief. First. 1993. SO ORDERED.[17] On August 29. and to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the amount of P50. coming with a bolo. The defense tried to discredit through cross examination. THE COURT A QUO HAS COMMITTED AN ERROR IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSEDAPPELLANT OF THE CRIME CHARGED The appeal has no merit.[15] Accused-appellant said he learned that the victim had died only two days after the incident. Laura. The accused is hereby sentenced to reclusion perpetua.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. He stated that the children of the victim implicated him in the killing of Eusebio Gardon only because he was present when the incident happened.

Melinda testified:[20] Q: The police did not get your statement because you did not tell them that you were an eyewitness and if it is true. You were only asked by your relatives . sir. The defense also tries to discredit the testimony of the other prosecution witness. What do you mean by saying that you voluntarily testified? Did you just come to court and asked the court to take you as witness in this case? No. sir. armed with a bolo. That was the first time that incident happened to my life.. They will just ―ihahabol na lang ako. because I saw the incident. Accused-appellant . she was not really present at the incident. accused-appellant taunted the victim and challenged him to come out of the house. because in the police station the police told me that they will not take my statement. contrary to her claim.In any event. such inconsistencies tend to strengthen their credibility because they discount the possibility of their being rehearsed testimony. Milagros‘ testimony belies accused-appellant‘s claim that he was merely trying to pacify the victim and Maximo Givera and that he ran away because the victim‘s son. Nor is it probable that accused-appellant did not see what his companions did to the victim aside from giving him fist blows and kicks. accusedappellant and his companions ganged up on him. As Melinda explained. sir. Melinda Delfin. charged at him (accused-appellant). and that in fact some of them are related to the witnesses. The contention has no merit. according to Milagros Gardon. For this purpose.‖ Did you not inquire from them why your statement will not longer be taken and what do you mean by that ―ihahabol na lang ikaw‖? I did not ask because I do not know anything about that. these discrepancies are minor and insignificant and do not detract from the substance of her testimony. It is noteworthy that both Milagros Gardon and Melinda Delfin knew accused-appellant and the other assailants. because according to accused-appellant. kicking and pummeling him and finally stabbing him. This Court has time and again said that a few discrepancies and inconsistencies in the testimonies of witnesses referring to minor details and not in actuality touching upon the central fact of the crime do not impair the credibility of the witnesses.[19] Thus. she did not give a statement to the police because she was told they would call on her later for her statement. It is contended that.You testified in this case in the sala of Judge Asuncion after the children of the victim asked you to? Correct? They did not tell me. he ran away shortly after they had attacked the victim. I voluntarily testified. correct? A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: No. this could only be after they had been done with their victim. if the latter was merely trying to help the victim. Instead of weakening their testimonies. As accused-appellant said he saw the assailants run way. After succeeding in drawing the victim out of his house. There was no reason for the victim‘s son to want to attack accused-appellant. it is pointed out that she failed to give a sworn statement regarding said incident to the police.

it can be concluded that they are responsible for the victim‘s death. when the accused-appellant and his companions stoned his house to force him to come out. Where conspiracy is directly established. However. In conspiracy. he was attacked by the gang. He was kicked and boxed by Onying and when Arturo shouted ―Sige todasin na yan!. the victim went with Onying. accused-appellant is guilty of the crime of murder as if he himself dealt the deathblow that sent the victim to his grave. Disoriented because he was drunk. we think the trial court correctly dismissed accused-appellant‘s claim and gave credence to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses.‖ Maximo stabbed the victim. Then Onying and accused-appellant ran away to lure him to go toward the bridge where the other two. accused-appellant pelted him with stones.‖ There should be a showing that the accused had the opportunity for reflection . one of them. The allegations of conspiracy in the information have been established. Second.[23] But in an implied conspiracy. The evidence thus clearly and convincingly shows a coordinated action by the group in the execution of the crime. went inside the victim‘s house and told him to come out. As correctly observed by the trial court:[21] [T]he court has no reason to doubt the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. the existence of evident premeditation can be appreciated. When the victim reached the place. The victim was at home sleeping after coming from a drinking session. In the first place. There is. accused Cesar Givera has not shown any motive on the part of the prosecution witnesses to testify as they did against said accused. From the fact that the victim died and that accused-appellant and his companions were the last persons seen with the victim before he died. Arturo Gayon and Maximo Givera. with proof of the attendant deliberation and selection of the method. evident premeditation cannot be appreciated in the absence of proof as to how and when the plan to kill the victim was hatched or what time elapsed before it was carried out. evident premeditation cannot be appreciated in this case. Once the victim was outside. were waiting. and are even related by affinity to the deceased. no reason to doubt their identification by the prosecution witnesses. The act of each conspirator in furtherance of the common purpose is in contemplation of law the act of all. so that it cannot be determined if the accused had ―sufficient time between its inception and its fulfillment dispassionately to consider and accept the consequences. What is important is that all participants performed specific acts with such closeness and coordination as to unmistakably indicate a common purpose or design to bring about the death of the victim. therefore.has not shown that these witnesses were motivated by ill will against him. Epifanio (Onying) Gayon. Second. such as in this case. When they failed. it is not necessary to show that all the conspirators actually hit and killed the victim.‖ All things considered. Consonant with this legal principle.[22] Third. time and means of executing the crime. accused Cesar Givera and the other accused in this case are all residing within the vicinity where the crime was committed. while Onying started raining fistic blows on him.

even if present at a subsequent stage. without any warning and without giving him an opportunity to defend himself or repel the initial assault.[27] However. his daughter Milagros testified that prior to the stoning incident. Treachery must be proven by convincing evidence.[29] . otherwise. the victim cannot be said to have been totally oblivious of the impending attack by all the group of accusedappellant. the warrant of arrest was returned unserved by the arresting officer on June 7. In fact. which is why she stayed beside her father to make sure he did not go out of the house. with one of them armed with a knife. However. He was arrested by virtue of a warrant issued by the court on April 27. Indeed. He was finally found only on May 4.and persisted in effectuating his criminal design which the prosecution failed to establish in the case at bar. the same remains enforceable until it is executed. The deceased was unarmed when he was stabbed by on Maximo Givera and boxed and kicked by accused Cesar Givera and two other accused.[28] Fourth. . accused Givera and Epifanio Gayon taunted and provoked the deceased by throwing stones at him and then lured him to run after them towards the bridge where the other accused were lying in wait ready to pounce on the deceased without risk to themselves as the deceased was then defenseless. Accused-appellant claims that his arrest at the East Avenue Medical Center on May 4. §4 is only a directive to the officer executing the warrant to make a return to the court. 1995 as accused-appellant could not be found. the presence of the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superiority was correctly appreciated in this case.‖ Treachery is the deliberate and unexpected attack on the victim. The ten-day period provided in Rule 113. 1996. it must be shown to be present at the inception of the attack. 1995. recalled or quashed. [T]reachery will also be deduced from the evidence on record. the victim had been forewarned of the danger posed by accused-appellant and his group. He thus had every opportunity to escape from the attack. 1996 was made without a warrant. The trial court held:[25] .[26] In the instant case. . From the evidence adduced. Moreover. . . The fact that the victim may have been surprised because he had not expected that he would be outnumbered when he saw two other attackers waiting for him under the bridge is not sufficient to show that the victim was completely unaware of the attack that might come from his assailants. by coming out of his house and running after two of the assailants. the victim had been threatened with harm by accused-appellant the moment he went out of his house.[24] Nor can the qualifying circumstance of treachery be taken into account. . This is not true. no alias warrant of arrest is needed to make the arrest. the victim showed that he was prepared for the attack by accused-appellant and his gang and could have been hardly surprised when he was actually attacked. as the records show. it cannot be considered. Unless specifically provided in the warrant. The victim was unarmed and was clearly outnumbered by the four assailants. Now. For treachery to be appreciated.

No. JJ. involving the three other accused for the death of the same victim. .At any rate.[30] As this Court has held. the fact and cause of death of the victim had been sufficiently proved by the accounts of the two eyewitnesses.00 to be paid as indemnity. Bellosillo. vs. The award of damages by the trial court in favor of the victim should be modified. Quezon City finding accused-appellant Cesar Givera y Garote guilty of murder of Eusebio Gardon y Arrivas and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua with the accessory penalties prescribed by law is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that.000. corroborated by the offer in evidence of the death certificate of the victim. offered in evidence in the case at bar. Still and all.000. 2001] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. accused-appellant must be deemed to have waived his right to object thereto because he failed to move for the quashal of the information before the trial court. this Court in several cases held:[32] Oral testimony may be taken into account only when it is complete. But when crossexamination is not and cannot be done or completed due to causes attributable to the party offering the witness. if the witness has been wholly cross-examined by the adverse party or the right to crossexamine is lost wholly or in part thru the fault of such adverse party. accused-appellant is hereby ordered to pay to the heirs of Eusebio Gardon amount of P50. that is. in addition to the amount of P50. Aside from the award of P50. Buena. April 2. this Court must declare the same inadmissible. Indeed. Jr. (Chairman). and De Leon. any objection involving a warrant of arrest or procedure in the acquisition by the court of jurisdiction over the person of an accused must be made before he enters his plea. because they did not have the opportunity to cross-examine Dr. the uncompleted testimony is thereby rendered incompetent.000. 141767. Fifth. plaintiff-appellee. the decision of the Regional Trial Court.. otherwise the objection is deemed waived.00 as moral damages irrespective of proof thereof.00 as moral damages. HILARION TEVES y CANTOR.[33] WHEREFORE. EN BANC [G.R. where the opposing party failed to cross-examine a witness. As correctly contended by the defense.000. the heirs of Eusebio Gardon are entitled to an award of P50. plus the costs of the suit. entered a plea of not guilty and participated in the trial.. Baltazar. Branch 102.00 as indemnity. Quisumbing.[31] On the matter of the admissibility of the testimony of the medico-legal taken in the first case. accused-appellant. his testimony cannot be used in evidence against accused-appellant. SO ORDERED. concur.

. Angel Lapitan and Jose Bello. 1996 at around 10:30 o‘clock in the evening four (4) barangay tanods. stabbing the latter on the left side of her chest causing her instantaneous death. Upon being arraigned on January 13. Hilarion C. 1997. namely: Milagros Tayawa. Branch 25. herein appellant. During the investigation of the case. Teves.: Before us on automatic review is the Decision[1] of the Regional Trial Court of Binan. 1996. J. It was also gathered by the police that the spouses purportedly had misunderstanding prior to the incident. in Criminal Case No. assisted by his counsel. accused HILARION TEVES y CANTOR. Hilarion C. 1996. CONTRARY TO LAW. trial on the merits ensued. to the damage and prejudice of her surviving heirs.DECISION DE LEON. in an Information[2] that reads: That on or about August 25. Teves. Hilarion Teves y Cantor was charged with the crime of parricide defined and penalized under Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code. 9620-B convicting the appellant. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. with intent to kill his wife TERESA CAPUCHINO y TEVES (sic) with whom he was united in lawful wedlock. did then and there wilfully. Santa Rosa. Milagros was behind the steering wheel. the husband of the victim. Laguna. Laguna in the late evening of August 25. while conveniently armed with a deadly weapon. they entered the NIA road which was an isolated dirt road seldom used by commuters due to its narrow width. . Laguna. was identified as the driver of the passenger jeep that was allegedly met by the barangay tanods shortly before they chanced upon the dead body of the victim on that fateful evening of August 25. It appears from the evidence adduced by the prosecution that on August 25. The body of the victim bore strangulation marks around the neck and a stab wound just below the left armpit. 1996. Thereafter. Jerry Pantilla. were patrolling on board a barangay patrol vehicle in Barangay Macabling. On December 3. as amended. Province of Laguna. Santa Rosa. unlawfully and feloniously stab and strangle the said TERESA CAPUCHINO TEVES with the aforesaid deadly weapon. JR. 1996. of the crime of parricide and sentencing him to suffer the supreme penalty of death. The lifeless body of Teresita Teves y Capuchino was found by a group of barangay tanods in Barangay Macabling. entered the plea of ―Not guilty‖ to the charge as contained in the Information. in the Municipality of Santa Rosa. herein appellant. From the old national highway.

right lateral abdominal region.[3] As the patrol vehicle advanced. Laguna Police Station to report the incident. Erwin Escal. Trunk and Extremeties: 1.5 cm. No skull fracture noted and the brain was grossly normal. while her black pants were lowered down to her knees. Palpabral conjunctive are pale. Milagros and her companions immediately informed their chief before proceeding to the Santa Rosa. Milagros had to maneuver backward to accommodate the other vehicle. Upon ascertaining that the woman was dead. Dr. 3. they met a passenger jeep that was coming from the opposite direction. 1996.5 x 0. and then took the sworn statement[5] of Milagros Tayawa on the same evening of August 25. Hematoma 0. right lumbar region. Dr. On opening up: The scalp was deflicted to expose the skull and was sawing it off coronally. the barangay tanods saw a body of a woman lying on the left side of the NIA road.There were no houses and streetlights along the immediate vicinity as the road was bound by an irrigation canal on one side and a stretch of rice field on the other. x 0. [4]The police examined the cadaver. Hematoma 0. The woman‘s white polo shirt was raised above the chest exposing her right breast and a small wound just below her armpit. Abrasion 4 x 2 cm. fairly nourished female cadaver in rigor mortem with post mortem lividity at the dependent portion of the body.1 cm. mid-pariento occipital area left. Contusion hematoma 12 x 4 cm. measuring 6 cm. 6. Area of contusion hematoma with abrasion right buttocks measuring 7 x 6 cm. 7.5 cm. There are petechial hemorrhages on the face and neck and subconjunctival hemorrhage on the left lateral conthal region. conducted the autopsy on the body of Teresa Teves upon the request of PO2 Tony Gangano. Head. Punctured wound triangular in shape at the mid-axillary line. 4. parieto occipital area right.5 x 0. Lips and nail beds are cyanotic. non-penetrating. medico-legal officer. 2. 5. Neck. left pectoralis region measuring 1 x 0. Contusion hematoma right lateral neck. Subsequently. Escal identified in court the Autopsy Report[6] which shows the following findings: Post Mortem Examination: Fairly developed.. Conclusion: .5 x 0.5 cm.

Santa Rosa. who turned out to be the husband of the victim. to identify a certain person and a passenger jeep in connection with the incident on August 25. [7] On August 29. Teresa was able to confide with an aunt. Laguna Police Station by the PNP Provincial Director. She also noted the distinguishing features of the passenger jeep such as: a) the maroon paint on the bumper. who was present at the Santa Rosa.[13] In July 1996 Teresa approached her uncle. Felix Padua. that she had a marital problem. 1996 Milagros was invited to the Santa Rosa. Paula counseled her that it was natural for any husband and wife to have occasional problems. 1996. Milagros executed another sworn statement[10] before the police. Arthur Castillo. 1996.The cause of death is asphyxia by strangulation. the appellant allegedly requested the aunt of the victim. Laguna shortly before they chanced upon the body of a dead woman later identified as Teresa C. and c) the green reflectorized paints on the bumper. Supt. Milagros explained that she instructed her fellow barangay tanods to train their flashlight on its direction after the passenger jeep sped away and she read partly the plate number at the back as ―DJN 6‖ which she wrote on a cigarette foil[9] (―palara‖). Teves. 1996. herein appellant Hilarion . to seek the latter‘s advice concerning her marital problem. According to Dr.[11] Vicente turned down the request as he noted during the wake of Teresa that Hilarion was not actually sorry for his wife‘s death although he appeared worried (―balisa‖). herein appellant Hilarion C. Laguna Police Station. b) the small lights attached to the bumper. She remembered the person. Maria Alulod.[12] It also appears that before her untimely demise. Milagros likewise recognized the passenger jeep[8] as the same vehicle being driven by the appellant when they met on the NIA road in the late evening of August 25. a rope or a nylon cord and that the victim may have been dead for not less than thirty-six (36) hours when it was brought to him for autopsy examination at 5:00 o‘clock in the afternoon on August 26. Paula Beato Dia. to send his Tata Enteng (Vicente Alulod) to the police station and to bring money for a certain barangay tanod of Barangay Macabling so that his sentence for the commission of the crime would be reduced. Upon his detention on the same date of August 29. 1996. She had also seen the appellant while the latter was sitting on a bench at the back of the Santa Rosa. Apparently. Laguna Police Station when she came to verify the status of the case on August 27. as the driver of the passenger jeep that they met on the NIA road in Barangay Macabling. the victim could have been strangled (―binigti‖) with the use of a constricting material which may be a wire. Escal. her husband. She even suggested to Teresa to seek the advice of her Tata Felix. After identifying the appellant and the passenger jeep. Teves. She recognized the appellant when their respective vehicles momentarily stopped facing each other with their headlights switched on. 1996.

On July 30.[15] On July 20. at around 9:00 o‘clock in the evening while she was on board a tricycle behind the driver which was bound for the town proper. advised her niece to bring the matter to the barangay officials. Leizel saw her mother board a tricycle behind the driver.Teves. Laguna. Paula then. Upon arrival at exactly 8:30 o‘clock in the evening. Before leaving however. the . the appellant disclosed that he could no longer put up with Teresa‘s jealousy that often caused him embarrassment before his friends. Since Felix was busy at that time. 1996. he advised Teresa to visit him on another occasion so that they could discuss her problem thoroughly. Leizel. He helped his wife.[19] Meanwhile due to heavy traffic. Santa Rosa. 1996 Paula Beato Dia learned from Teresa that the couple had finally decided to live separately after conferring with their Tata Felix. Teresa. Both even greeted each other. the appellant managed to ply his route 2½ times only after which he proceeded to the house of his Tiyo Caloy in Barangay Tagapo. a certain Edwin Carapatan. the appellant would not listen and even imputed that his wife had a bad character. Felix tried to explain that it was common between any husband and wife to get jealous and that appellant should realize that his wife simply loved him very much. Santa Rosa. Laguna. washed their clothes. he told his wife that he would spend the night in the house of his uncle Caloy in Barangay Tagapo. proposed that they live separately. He also wanted to secure an arrangement regarding the custody of their children and his wife‘s consent regarding the disposition of their house and lot. Teresa also left the house at about 8:30 o‘clock in the evening on the same day allegedly to confer with somebody. inasmuch as there were already two passengers in its sidecar. In the afternoon. 1996 Teresa informed Paula that the appellant became violent (―nagwala‖) over her refusal to sell their properties. he was requested by the family to help in returning some of the borrowed equipment on the following day.[18] Teresa was also seen by another tricycle driver. He started to ply the Binan-Cabuyao route with his passenger jeep at 6:30 o‘clock in the evening as it was his usual schedule. Teresa could not recall any serious reason for her husband‘s behavior but she surmised that the appellant resented her comment that his peers were all ―dalaga‖ and ―binata‖. When asked about their problem.[14] In the same month of July. not to lock the door when they go to sleep. Laguna. Teresa and the appellant went to the house of Felix Padua in Santa Rosa. 1996.[17] It appears that the daughter of his uncle Caloy celebrated her debut which the appellant and his children attended on August 24. When the party ended. he watched basketball game on the television and also helped his children with their school assignments. She instructed her daughter. However.[16] The evidence of the defense shows that the appellant stayed in their house during the day on August 25.

however. the trial court rendered a Decision.[22] On August 27. At 11:30 in the evening. Castillo requested them to identify the appellant. Laguna on August 26. he learned later that he was a suspect in the killing of his wife when he was investigated by the police.A. According to appellant. At 10:00 o‘clock in the evening. Castillo urged the three (3) barangay tanods to take a good look at the appellant to refresh their memory after which he asked: ―Ano sa tingin niyo?‖ When no response from the tanods was forthcoming. Laguna Police Station together with a certain Lebong Dia and was instructed by the police to proceed to Funeraria Lim after hearing his description of his wife. the appellant joined the family in watching basketball game on the television until the same was over at 10:00 o‘clock in the evening. Subsequently. Castillo again asked: ―Hindi pa ba ninyo nakikilala yan?‖ After putting his hand on the shoulder of Barangay Tanod Milagros Tayawa. Laguna where he was initially informed by a certain police officer Laurel that his wife might be a victim of gang rape. Laguna. Milagros Tayawa and Gerry Pantilla were present in the police station. Arthur Castillo would investigate the case. Santa Rosa. 1996. Laguna upon being informed that Supt. he thought that his wife left early on that day to look for a job. Imposing Death Penalty on . Three (3) barangay tanods. Col. He went to Santa Rosa. he returned to the police station in Santa Rosa. the latter remarked: ―Parang kahawig niya.[23] On December 7. Lalaine. he heard of talks that a body of a dead woman was found in Barangay Balibago. The appellant was asked to sit behind the steering wheel of his passenger jeep and was even ordered to wave his hand while pictures of him were being taken. Santa Rosa.[21] The appellant and his neighbors searched for Teresita in the entire afternoon but in vain. this court finds accused Hilarion Teves y Cantor. none of the three (3) was able to recognize him. GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Parricide. from school at 12:00 o‘clock noon. 1999. restored in R. On August 29. He learned that his wife left the house at 8:30 o‘clock in the previous evening upon arrival of his second eldest daughter. However.appellant ate his supper. he was informed by his youngest child that his wife was not around. he saw the dead body of his wife at the funeral parlor which he brought home after midnight. namely: Angel Lapitan. No. the appellant went back to the police station in Santa Rosa. 7659. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. 1996. defined and penalized under Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code.[20] When the appellant arrived home in Barangay Sinalhan.‖ Thereafter. Before going to sleep. Thereafter. 1996. Castillo ordered the appellant‘s arrest. they arranged the things for him to bring home on the following day.

00. V . Muntinlupa City. New Bilibid Prison.Certain Heinous Crimes. Hilarion C. The Provincial Jail Warden of Santa Rosa. and (c) with the use of a motor vehicle (jeepney). EDWIN ESCAL IN FAVOR OF GUILT AND AGAINST THE INNOCENCE OF THE ACCUSED. as moral damages. 9620B DESPITE FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO PROVE THE MATERIAL ALLEGATIONS IN THE INFORMATION. II THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSED GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT DESPITE THE INCOHERENCE. Aggrieved by the decision. immediately upon receipt hereof.00. SO ORDERED. Teves appealed to this Court raising the following assignment of errors: I THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE CRIME OF PARRICIDE AS CHARGED IN CRIMINAL CASE NO. and there being present the aggravating circumstances the herein accused killed his wife (a) during nighttime. IV THE TRIAL COURT LIKEWISE ERRED IN INTERPRETING THE EQUIVOCAL TESTIMONY OF DR. hereby imposes upon him the DEATH PENALTY and orders him to indemnify the heirs of Teresa Teves the sum of P100. III THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT THE ACCUSED IS THE PERPETRATOR OF THE CRIME CHARGED BASED ON THE TESTIMONIES OF MILAGROS TAYAWA AND MARIA ALULOD WHICH ARE INCREDIBLE BASED ON COMMON OBSERVATION AND HUMAN EXPERIENCE. INCREDIBILITY AND INADEQUACY IN WEIGHT AND VALUE OF THE CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE RELIED UPON. (b) in an uninhabited place. Laguna is hereby ordered to transfer accused Hilarion Teves y Cantor to the National Penitentiary.

The trial court relied on the identification made . we find sufficient basis to warrant the reversal of the assailed judgment of conviction. Edwin Escal suggests that several malefactors may be responsible for the killing of the victim.[28] After thorough review. the alleged implied admission by the appellant of his alleged guilt before Maria Alulod. if considered. unless it is found that the trial courts have overlooked certain facts of substance and value that. the testimony of Dr. might affect the result of the case. having heard the witnesses themselves and observed their deportment and manner of testifying. He also contends that the testimonies of prosecution witnesses Felix Padua and Paula Beato Dia to the effect that the appellant and his wife had a misunderstanding were basically anchored on mere suspicion. The facts of this case clearly show that nobody had actually witnessed the killing of the victim. it is necessary that: 1) there is more than one circumstance. in essence. In order to convict an accused based on circumstantial evidence. VI THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN APPRECIATING THE PRESENCE OF AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES. who is an aunt of the victim is incredible as it contradicts common human experience. the prosecution relied on circumstantial evidence. Lastly. 1996. In his brief. It is well-settled rule that the trial judge‘s assessment of the credibility of witnesses‘ testimonies is accorded great respect on appeal. Under the factual milieu of the case. circumstantial evidence is sufficient to support a conviction where the multiple circumstances are proven and are consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty and at the same time inconsistent with the hypothesis that the accused is innocent as well as incompatible with every rational hypothesis except that of guilt on the part of the accused.THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DISREGARDING THE DEFENSE OF ALIBI. To prove its case of parricide against the appellant. [27]Appellate courts will generally not disturb the factual findings of the trial courts since the latter are in a better position to weigh conflicting testimonies. the trial court found that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses were credible and sufficient.[26] In convicting the appellant of the crime of parricide based on circumstantial evidence. in the evening of August 25. Teresita Teves. however.[24] the appellant contends. Moreover. and 3) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. 1996. that the prosecution failed to establish the identity of the perpetrator of the crime. 2) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven.[25] In other words. Milagros could not have recognized the vehicle and its driver which she allegedly met on August 25.

subverted the identification of the appellant by the witness.[30] If the man on the driver‘s seat was not cognizable in broad daylight. was alone inside the investigation room of the Santa Rosa. Castillo to board his passenger jeep. activated visual imagination and. When the barangay patrol vehicle backed off to accommodate the passenger jeep. There is more reason to doubt the reliability of the testimony of Milagros Tayawa upon consideration of the sworn statement[31] that she gave before the police . falls within the same ambit of the constitutionally entrenched protection. 1997. to be observed by Milagros and two (2) other barangay tanods namely: Jerry Pantilla and Angel Lapitan. the two (2) vehicles were thirty-six and one-half (36 ½) feet apart. Laguna in the late evening of August 25. We note. however. Milagros allegedly recognized the appellant when their respective vehicles momentarily stopped facing each other while their headlights were switched on. generated confidence where there was none. In the ocular inspection conducted during the trial on July 2. Santa Rosa. at which distance the trial court made the observation that the man behind the steering wheel was not cognizable in broad daylight. who was allegedly met by the barangay tanods at around 10:30 o‘clock in the evening on August 25. if not impossible. We agree with the Solicitor General‘s observation that the pre-trial identification in which the prosecution witness was made to identify the suspect (herein appellant) in a one-on-one confrontation.[29] Besides. as if doing some kind of a re-enactment. who was already a suspect in his wife‘s murder. Laguna Police Station and without his counsel. This method of identification is as tainted as an uncounseled confession and thus. 1996 was made by Milagros. clear visibility was practically improbable. the appellant. from a distance. there is reason to doubt the reliability of the said testimony of Milagros Tayawa. it was demonstrated that the two (2) vehicles were initially twenty and one-half (20 ½) feet apart when they stopped facing each other. At that time. this court is not convinced that an accurate identification of the driver of the passenger jeep. all told. was pointedly suggestive. the irregular manner by which the pre-trial identification of the appellant and his passenger jeep during the custodial investigation on August 29. It must be pointed out that the two (2) vehicles were then passing along an isolated dirt road where there were no houses and streetlights in the immediate vicinity. He was also ordered by Supt. extend part of his body outside of the vehicle while waving his hand.by Milagros Tayawa during the trial of this case in finding that the appellant was the person driving the passenger jeep that was allegedly met by the four (4) barangay tanods along the NIA road in Barangay Macabling. Under the circumstances. 1996 shortly before they accidentally found the dead body of Teresita Teves. 1996. can be made even from a distance of twenty and one-half (20 ½) feet by the prosecution witness.

to be worthy of credit. This is not difficult to understand considering that the statements elicited from Angel Lapitan during the investigation of the case run counter to the testimony that she gave during the trial. must not only proceed from a credible source but must. These prosecution witnesses failed to furnish any specific incident to the . Her sworn statement contains a narration of the circumstances leading to the discovery of Teresita‘s dead body. no mention was made therein that she had seen the driver of the passenger jeep that they allegedly met in the late evening of August 25. Laguna Police Station since August 27. the passenger jeep of the appellant had been impounded at the Santa Rosa. was also rendered doubtful. Notably. 1996 or two (2) days before the pre-trial identification of the said vehicle. 1996 to corroborate the testimony of Milagros. such as the identity of the perpetrator thereof. to wit: Tanong: Nakilala ba ninyo ang nagmamaneho at nakuha ba ninyo ang plaka nito? Sagot: Hindi namin nakilala ang driver dahil patay ang kanyang ilaw sa loob at ng aming ilawan and kanyang likuran ay walang plaka. much less described his face or his other physical features. while vehemently denying to the police authorities any participation for the death of his wife. Significantly. It is absurd to believe that Milagros forgot or the police investigators had been so negligent as to overlook this omission in her affidavit. is not convincing. as testified by prosecution witnesses Felix Padua and Paula Dia. the prosecution failed to present the testimony of the other barangay tanods who were likewise present during the incident on August 25. It would be highly unlikely and contrary to common sense for the appellant to admit his guilt before this witness. It was only during the custodial investigation on August 29. It is well-settled rule that evidence. Both prosecution witnesses simply stated in general terms that the appellant and his wife were having a family problem out of the latter‘s jealous attitude and that they decided to separate. 1996 on the NIA road. the purpose of the investigation was to elicit basic information about the killing. who is an aunt of the victim.[34] We also doubt the testimony of Maria Alulod for being contrary to common human experience.[33] Due to the above statement of Angel Lapitan before the police investigator. be credible in itself. in addition. In the first place. even the testimony of Milagros Tayawa that she recognized the passenger jeep of the appellant as the same vehicle that they met along the NIA road shortly before having accidentally discovered the dead body of the victim. Besides.[35] The motive that allegedly drove the appellant to kill his wife. 1996 that Milagros claimed in her subsequent affidavit[32] that she had seen the driver of the same passenger jeep after the irregular one-on-one confrontation with the appellant and after unwarranted suggestions had been made to the said witness by the police officer.authorities during the investigation of this case.

[40] It is well-entrenched rule in criminal law that the conviction of an accused must be based on the strength of the prosecution‘s evidence and not on the weakness or absence of evidence of the defense. on official leave.[39] In view of the foregoing. and SandovalGutierrez. Puno J. testified that her family was a normal and happy family. The appellant Hilarion Teves y Cantor is acquitted of the crime of parricide on the ground of reasonable doubt. At the most. the victim‘s daughter. EN BANC [G. JJ. Melo. Jr. Davide. 9620-B is reversed and set aside. the appeal is GRANTED. suspicion no matter how strong can not sway judgment. who testified that the Teves family was a harmonious and happy family. Gonzaga-Reyes. Unless convicted for any other crime or detained for some lawful reason. appellant Hilarion Teves y Cantor is ordered released immediately.. The prosecution miserably failed to establish the circumstantial evidence to prove its case against the appellant beyond reasonable doubt.[41] WHEREFORE. Ynares-Santiago. it can not be reasonably inferred therefrom that the appellant is responsible for killing his wife in the absence of any other circumstance that could link him to the said killing. a friend of the Teves family and a neighbor for over seventeen (17) years. however. Rosita Barreto. we cannot sustain the appealed judgment of the trial court in the case at bar.. attested that the relations of the appellant and his wife were generally smooth. motive is not sufficient to support a conviction if there is no other reliable evidence from which it may reasonably be adduced that the accused was the malefactor. The assailed Decision in Criminal Case No.[37] Additionally. Mendoza. Bellosillo. Quisumbing.[38] Even if we would assume that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses were true. we need not pass upon the merits of his defense of alibi.effect that Teresita had actually feared for her life or that appellant had become so desperate as to will the death of his wife. C. their testimonies simply manifest a suspicion of appellant‘s responsibility for the crime. Pardo. SO ORDERED. Consequently. 2001] . Leizel Teves. Needless to state. Panganiban. Nos.. concur. Vitug. To be sure.R. Leizel‘s testimony was corroborated by the victim‘s cousin. 132635 & 143872–75.[36] On the other hand. February 21. Kapunan. Minerva Diaz.J.. Buena.

were dismissed by the court for lack of jurisdiction. In another case for acts of lasciviousness. 97-308. as maximum. Philippines. by inserting his finger into Mary Joy‘s vagina. in Brgy. DECISION MENDOZA. by means of force and against the will of the said complainant. Brgy. Municipality of Mabalacat. 97-307. Dau. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court.00. while two other ones. unlawfully and feloniously commit acts of lasciviousness upon the person of AIRA G. by means of force and against the will of the said complainant. with lewd design and taking advantage of the innocence and tender age of the victim. and to indemnify Aira Velasquez in the amount of P30.000. Dau. being the stepfather of the complainant. Province of Pampanga. then 13 years old. convicting accused-appellant Lamberto Velasquez of (1) acts of lasciviousness committed against his granddaughter Aira Velasquez and sentencing him to suffer imprisonment from 12 years and 1 day ofreclusion temporal minimum. plaintiff-appellee. being the grandfather of the complainant. as minimum. J.[1] dated February 12. accused-appellant was acquitted. Province of Pampanga. Angeles City. . OCAMPO. VELASQUEZ.: This is an appeal from the decision. ALL CONTRARY TO LAW. with lewd design and taking advantage of the innocence and tender age of the victim. and (2) rape of his stepdaughter Mary Joy Ocampo and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of death and to indemnify Mary Joy Ocampo in the amount of P50. In Criminal Case No. did then and there willfully. accused-appellant. to 17 years of reclusion temporal medium. it was alleged— That sometime in the month of April. 1997. Municipality of Mabalacat. 1998. by inserting his finger into Aira‘s vagina. 1994.THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. the above-named accused. of the Regional Trial Court.000. did then and there willfully. Branch 59. also for acts of lasciviousness.00. a girl of 2 years of age. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. the above-named accused. vs. LAMBERTO VELASQUEZ. unlawfully and feloniously commit acts of lasciviousness upon the person of MARY JOY D.[2] In Criminal Case No. the charge was— That sometime in the month of October. Philippines.

unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with one MARY JOY D. it was recited— That sometime in the month of March.ALL CONTRARY TO LAW. 97-309. unlawfully and feloniously commit acts of lasciviousness upon the person of KIMBERLY O. Province of Pampanga. 1997. ALL CONTRARY TO LAW. Dau. ALL CONTRARY TO LAW.[3] In Criminal Case No. in Brgy. the above-named accused. caressing and fondling her private parts. in Brgy. Municipality of Mabalacat. ALL CONTRARY TO LAW. with lewd design and taking advantage of the innocence and tender age of the victim. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. being the stepfather of the complainant.[5] In Criminal Case No. by then and there kissing her. a girl of 2 years of age. Province of Pampanga. did then and there willfully. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. it was alleged— That sometime in the month of October.[4] In Criminal Case No. Philippines. . did then and there willfully. the above-named accused. by means of force and against the will of the said complainant. 97-310. Dau. did then and there willfully. in Brgy. OCAMPO. Municipality of Mabalacat. Dau. 1997. by inserting his finger into Kimberly‘s vagina. Province of Pampanga. Municipality of Mabalacat. with lewd design and taking advantage of the innocence and tender age of the victim. a girl of 16 years of age. Philippines. being the grandfather of the complainant. with lewd design and taking advantage of the innocence and tender age of the victim. the above-named accused. VELASQUEZ. being the stepfather of the complainant. by means of force and against her will and consent. 1994. 97-311.[7] whereupon the cases were consolidated and jointly tried. it was alleged— That sometime in the month of April. by means of force and against the will of the said complainant. OCAMPO. then 13 years old. unlawfully and feloniously commit acts of lasciviousness upon the person of MARY JOY D.[6] Accused-appellant pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court.

the defense presented accusedappellant. and Judan. while Mary Joy was watching television alone in the living room. and her vagina was bleeding. Angelina Velasquez. and Raymond. Renato Cruz.[13] Angelina already had three children by her husband Roberto Ocampo. Robert. Rhea. Raygel. then 13 years of age.[9] and Ryan. Mabalacat. 1989. Mario Manarang. Sonia Velasquez. During their marriage.The prosecution presented Mary Joy Ocampo. Accused-appellant then left. Ranold. Caridad.[15] On November 8. he succeeded in forcing her to their room.[11] After Dolores died in 1984. Mary Joy. He lived with Dolores and their children for more than eight years in a house which they rented from Eladio Dungca. Don Cornelio. Adelaido Velasquez. slept in a room she shared with accused-appellant. Mary Joy felt a sharp pain and tried to resist by kicking accused-appellant. Accusedappellant kissed her on the mouth and the breasts. [18] Mary Joy ran to the bathroom and examined herself.[17] In October 1994. 12. Mary Joy Ocampo. and started kissing her. her mother having left for the market. Dominic Aguda as witnesses. but not before warning her to keep quiet and not to tell anyone what he had done to her. She felt pain when she washed herself. and Roberto Velasquez as its witnesses. namely. accusedappellant inserted his middle finger into Mary Joy‘s vagina.[12] accused-appellant lived in common-law relation with Eladio‘s married daughter. Rochelle. namely. raised her shirt and bra.[8] Regail. her mother Angelina. and NBI medico-legal officer Dr. Afterward. Then he inserted his . When she woke up in the morning. and Edward. Renel. but because of fear of accused-appellant she said nothing. still in the month of October. In 1987. died of cancer. and kissed her private parts. which made the latter remove his finger although he continued kissing her. Randy. he lived in common-law relation with Dolores Cabinan. Regail Velasquez. He lowered her shorts and underwear. Her mother returned as she was about to go to school. 1965 and begot six children by her. pulled down her shorts and underwear. The evidence for the prosecution is as follows: Accused-appellant Lamberto Velasquez married Caridad Guevarra on March 14. Rochelle Velasquez. Angelina. On the other hand. Then he raised her shirt. [10] Roan. Her underwear had bloodstains. Mary Grace. though she tried to evade him.[19] Two weeks later. 5. and her two half-brothers. Edwin Manson. by whom he had five children. [14] She begot two more children by accused-appellant. she found accusedappellant beside her on the floor. namely. Dr. accused-appellant‘s wife. named Raymond and Raygel. Pampanga. Dau. accusedappellant married Angelina Dungca[16] and brought his children by Caridad and Dolores to live with them in Angelina‘s three-bedroom house at 5069 New York Street. Roel. Ma. Mary Grace Velasquez. accused-appellant approached her and.

middle finger into her vagina and later had sexual intercourse with her. Mary Joy cried out in pain, prompting him to stop, although he continued kissing and fondling her.[20] Up to April 1997, accused-appellant continuously molested Mary Joy, sometimes forcing her to masturbate him and at other times licking her vagina.[21] Regail Velasquez, accused-appellant‘s daughter by Caridad, has a daughter named Aira. On April 16, 1997, at 3 o‘clock in the afternoon, while Regail was folding clothes, Aira walked into the room crying. Aira complained that her grandfather did something to her, which she demonstrated by opening her right leg and moving one of her right fingers toward her vagina.[22] Regail did not want to believe her daughter and thought that her father was just joking with the latter. However, Aira started to cry. In the days that followed, she noticed that Aira complained of pain in her vagina while taking a bath. When Regail asked her why her vagina hurt, Aira said it was because of the things her grandfather had been doing to her vagina, showing her mother what had been done to her. [23] On April 28, 1997, Regail noticed pus coming out of Aira‘s vagina. She also noticed that her daughter was running a fever, and that her vagina was red and swollen. She took Aira to Dr. Lydia Buyboy, a private physician, who told her that her daughter had lacerations in her vaginal area and that she had probably been fingered. However, the doctor declined to give a medical certificate as she did not want to get involved in any case.[24] Regail went home and told her stepmother everything. Angelina cried as she could not believe what she had been told. Remembering that a similar thing had happened to her sister-in-law‘s daughter, Regail talked to Mary Grace. Mary Grace Ocampo Velasquez, Angelina‘s daughter, married Ranold Velasquez, accused-appellant‘s son by Caridad and Regail‘s brother. Mary Grace testified that she had been molested by her father when she was nine years old. She recalled when, as a new couple, Angelina and accused-appellant spent the night at an aunt‘s house in San Fernando, Pampanga. Mary Grace was with them. According to Mary Grace, accused-appellant went to her side, raised her clothes, and fondled her breasts. His hands went lower. She was unable to resist accused-appellant‘s advances because of his strength and threats. To prevent a recurrence of the event, Mary Grace moved out of their house and went to live with her aunt in Angeles City. [25] Kimberly was around Aira‘s age, and Regail remembered hearing that pus had also come out of the child‘s vagina. When she told her about Dr. Buyboy‘s findings, Mary Grace lost no time and took Kimberly to Dr. Buyboy, who made the same findings.[26]

That evening, Mary Grace told her husband Ranold about the doctor‘s examination and findings. But they did not know what to do. They could not talk to accused-appellant as he was always drunk and they were afraid of him.[27] On April 30, 1997, a despedida was held for Angelina‘s sister Loida Kellow, who was leaving for the United States. On that occasion, Regail told her aunt about Aira‘s and Kimberly‘s ordeal. Angelina was brought in. They also called Mary Joy who, after drinking beer, began to tell everything. Mary Grace and Regail were summoned, and eventually they pieced together accused-appellant‘s pattern of abuse. They decided to file a case against him. Early the next morning, Angelina and Loida went to the police station to make a report. They then went back to the house, fetched the children, and brought them to Dr. Lydia Buyboy for medical examination. However, Dr. Buyboy refused to examine the children. They next went to the Mabalacat District Hospital. Meeting the same rejection, they went to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), where they obtained the assistance of a certain Mrs. Dimabuyu. They proceeded to the Ospital ng Angeles where, with Mrs. Dimabuyu‘s help, they were able to prevail on Dr. Edwin Manson to conduct a physical examination of Aira, Kimberly, and Mary Joy. However, Dr. Manson told them that ―Sige, titingnan ko sila pero walang magandang resulta akong maibibigay sa inyo.‖[28] After the examination, they went home. Accused-appellant was no longer there. They gathered their things and, with their relatives, checked in at the Monte Carlo Hotel in Dau, Mabalacat. There were over 40 of them. They went back to the Mabalacat Police Station and gave their statements.[29] They stayed at the Monte Carlo Hotel for over four days. When they returned home, accused-appellant had not returned. On May 9, 1997, at Loida‘s prompting, they went to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for another physical examination. NBI medico-legal officer Dr. Dominic Aguda reported the following findings on Aira Velasquez: GENERAL PHYSICAL EXAMINATION: (Aira Velasquez) Height: 82 cms. Weight: _____ Fairly nourished/developed, conscious, coherent, ambulatory subject Breasts - underdeveloped, immature No extragenital physical injury noted on the subject. GENITAL EXAMINATION: Pubic hair - absent; Labia majora and minora, underdeveloped, coaptated; Hymennal opening - barely admits the tip of the small finger

Hymen - short, thin, with old healed incomplete lacerations at 11 and 5 o‘clock position, corresponding to the walls of a clock; Fourchetteclassically V-shaped. CONCLUSIONS: 1. No evidence of extragenital findings noted on the subject at the time of examination. 2. Genital findings compatible with penetration of an object, on or about the alleged date of commission.[30] On the other hand, Mary Joy Ocampo‘s medical examination yielded the following results: GENERAL PHYSICAL EXAMINATION: (Mary Joy Ocampo) Height: 4‘10 Weight: 90 lbs. Well developed/nourished, conscious, coherent, ambulatory subject Breasts, developed, hemispherical, doughy, areolae, light brown, 2.0 cms. in diameter. Nipples, protruding, 0.9 cm. in diameter. GENITAL EXAMINATION: Pubic hair - thick, fully grown; Labia majora and minora -coaptated, Fourchette, V-shaped, tense. Vestibular mucosa, pinkish. Hymen-short, thin, with old healed lacerated wound complete at 11, 6 o‘clock; incomplete at 4, 9 o‘clock position, corresponding to the face of a clock. Hymenal orifice - admits a tube, 2.0 cms. in diameter with slight resistance. Vaginal walls - moderately tight. Rugosities - deep CONCLUSIONS: 1. No extragenital physical injuries noted on the subject at the time of examination. 2. The above described genital findings are compatible with sexual intercourse with man, on or about the alleged date of commission.[31] The defense then presented the following evidence: In 1965, accused-appellant worked as a photographer/laboratory technician in the Audio Visual American Company at Clark Air Field. In August 1967, as a result of a reduction of the labor force, he was forced to leave the company and thereafter worked as a jeepney driver until 1982 when he was reinstated.[32] In 1988, he was transferred to the Department of Defense Police, with the rank of major, earning P560.00 a day. He worked at Clark Air Field in January 1991.[33] At that time, he was living with Angelina. They earned a living as fish dealers while receiving financial help from relatives abroad.[34]

Sabi ko. ang sasabihin si tatay. kinuha ko ang lighter. and again when she went out with her cousin after she had married Meryll Robertson.[37] Accused-appellant believed that Mary Joy had accused him because he always noticed whenever she came home late and scolded her. Pero may insidenteng nangyari diyan noong nagdumi siya sa labas. Doon tumakbo siyang umiiyak.[41] Of his granddaughter Aira.[38] As for Mary Grace Ocampo‘s complaint. Paluin mo maski hindi ikaw ang kumuha ng pera. Madaldal ang batang iyan. Lumalaban pa at pinalo ko. And you did what you threatened? No.[39] Accused-appellant believes that Regail filed the complaint against him because he had scolded her and punished her when she went out on a date with a married man.[36] He said there were always several people in their house at any time. Si Aira ay nagpunta sa amin noong galing siya sa mga auntie niya sa Mabalacat at ang nanay niya sometimes in January dahil pakakasal nga siya sa Amerikano. Q A Q A .Accused-appellant remembered having met Angelina Dungca for the first time in the middle of 1984.[40] As to Roan. Toward the end of that year. accused-appellant claimed he was in fact the one who caught Kimberly playing with her organ and that he reported this to Kimberly‘s parents. he started courting her. wala siyang panty. si Aira ay isang maldita at lumalaban ng bata. sabi ko pumasok ka‘t mag-panty. And Aira was then only less than two (2) years old? Opo. susunugin ko iyan pekpek mo kako. ang sasabihin niyan si Tatay. accused-appellant said:[42] COURT: How about this Aira. accused-appellant claimed he never molested her. and so it was impossible for him to have an opportunity to molest any of the complainants. the daughter of Regale Velasquez. Pinalo ko siya ng flies wiper (sic). pumasok ka sa loob at mag-panty ka dahil maraming sasakyang dumadaan diyan. Sabi ko. COURT: That was the reason why she pointed to you? A Maari po. Umasta siyang paganoon. sir. Noong napunta sa amin si Aira. [35] Accused-appellant denied the allegations against him. did you take care of your granddaughter Aira? A Yes. Paluin mo maski hindi ikaw ang pumalo sasabihin niyan si Tatay. Pinalo ko lang ng flies wiper (sic). sir. Madaldal na po iyan maski bata pa. It was only when he was already detained at the Angeles City Jail that he asked his brother to verify the legal status of Angelina Dungca‘s previous marriage. Noong sinasawata kong lumalaban siyang paganoon. because he thought that her marriage was void as it had been performed by a barangay captain. Ano man ang gawin mo sa kanya marunong nang magsinungaling. Kunin niya o mo ang pera at tanungin mo kung sino ang kumuha ng pera. Hindi lang po iyon.

he went to Manila. during Loida Kellow‘s despedida. he learned of the cases filed against him from the newspapers and television. Her brother Ranold Velasquez and sister-in-law Mary Grace Velasquez also told her that Kimberly had been molested by their father. testified that. her father lived with Angelina Dungca but occasionally visited her mother Caridad. he set it aside. but they were not around. Adelaido Velasquez. Angelina and Loida then suggested that their father should be killed. The drink contained sleeping pills. another son of Lamberto Velasquez. As her brothers Ranold. a younger sister of accused-appellant. At 9 o‘clock that evening.[45] Three weeks later. Rochelle‘s husband.[50] Roberto Velasquez. She testified that while her father was still married to her mother Caridad. She also testified that he is a karate instructor. According to her. but they did not have the courage to do so.[44] The following day. accused-appellant‘s daughter by his first wife. He also testified that Loida and Angelina wanted accused-appellant‘s children to cover their father‘s mouth with a pillow while he was asleep. saying that her aunt Loida ordered his brothers to kill their father but Renel did not agree and suggested instead to give him sleeping tablets. also testified for his father. When he woke up the next morning. from the window in their house. He was found in Cebu and arrested in July.[46] Accused-appellant‘s younger brother. he was drinking with his friends when he developed a headache and decided to sleep. he was unable to return to Pampanga to clear his name. Angelina Dungca had disclosed to her and to Adelaido accused-appellant‘s abuses.[43] After taking one sip. 1997.On April 30.[48] Rochelle. described the latter as a brave and strict man with a loud voice. he looked for his family. he divided his time between her mother and Dolores. he saw accused-appellant being given a drink containing a sleeping pill. Angelina and Loida decided to leave the house and escape from Lamberto Velasquez. because he had no job and no money. [49] Renato Cruz.[47] Sonia Velasquez. Rolando Velasquez. and Roberto did not agree. a teacher by profession. but she never got around to confronting him. She said that her sister Regail had told her what accused-appellant had done to Aira. but there was still no sign of them. He got home at 8 o‘clock in the evening. However. testified that accused-appellant Lamberto Velasquez is a man of good repute and moral character. He pawned his watch and ring and bought a ticket on the Super Ferry 10. and could hurt another by merely holding him. When Dolores died.[51] . At around 10 o‘clock in the evening. They respect and obey him. he sailed for Cebu and stayed with his eldest son. Renel. also described her father as a disciplinarian. he was awakened by his son Renel who gave him glass of bitter liquid to drink.

97-307 for acts of lasciviousness against accused-appellant‘s granddaughter Aira Velasquez. judgment is hereby rendered as follows: 1. 97-311. Accused-appellant assigns the following errors as having been committed by the trial court: I The trial court erred in denying the accused of his right to preliminary investigation.00 and Aira Velasquez in Criminal Case No. 97-307. Mabalacat. the accused is hereby ACQUITTED of the crime charged in the Complaint. is the trial court‘s decision in Criminal Case No. he was not very familiar with his friend‘s family life. but the latter refused. the accused is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Acts of Lasciviousness and is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment ranging from twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal minimum as minimum to seventeen (17) years of reclusion temporal medium as maximum. only with Angelina. II.Mario Manarang. and admitted that. . 97-307 the sum of P30. In Criminal Case No. premises considered. testified that he used to play cards and mahjong almost everyday after lunch with the Velasquez family.000. For review in these proceedings. Accused Lamberto Velasquez is further ordered to indemnify the victim Mary Joy Ocampo in Criminal Case No. for insufficiency of evidence. 97-308 and Criminal Case No. the trial court rendered a decision.00.[53] the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. 97-309 are hereby DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction. He admitted having asked Angelina Velasquez to have the cases dismissed and to settle things peacefully. 3. He was not familiar with the former women in accused-appellant‘s life. Criminal Cases No.000. 4. a barangay councilman of Dau. 1998. and in Criminal Case No. 2. 97-311 the sum of P50. 97-811 for rape against his stepdaughter Mary Joy Ocampo. though he gambled with accused-appellant almost everyday. Pampanga and a long-time friend and neighbor of Lamberto Velasquez. therefore. In Criminal Case No. In Criminal Case No. 97-310. The trial court erred in admitting the testimony of Regail Velasquez even if it is hearsay evidence and polluted testimony. the accused is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Incestuous Rape and is hereby sentenced to suffer the supreme penalty of DEATH.[52] On April 14.

in appellant‘s arguments. Paras. 1997. Yet. The trial court erred in not giving credence to the testimonies of Lamberto Velasquez.[54] Indeed. correctly denied his motion. when he heard of the same on television and read it in the newspapers in Cebu City. accused-appellant learned of the filing thereof shortly thereafter.III. The trial court. appellant is now estopped to raise this issue (for) the first time on appeal. the . As the Solicitor General points out in his brief for the appellee: It is an established jurisprudence that the issue of lack of or a defective preliminary investigation should be raised before or during trial and such statutory right to a preliminary investigation is deemed waived when appellant. Moreover. it must be presumed that the proceedings in the trial court were in accordance with law. IV. Here. the complaints against accused-appellant were filed in the Regional Trial Court of Angeles on May 22. it is unclear whether this alleged motion for preliminary investigation which was denied by the trial court was anchored on the lack of it or merely a defect thereon or a mere motion for reinvestigation. requests for preliminary investigation must be made to the trial court within five days from the time the accused learns of the filing of complaint or information. When it does not appear from the record that a preliminary investigation was not granted the accused. §7(3) of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. At any rate. 1994 and erred in giving credibility to Mary Joy Ocampo‘s testimony despite her unbeli[e]vable and inconsistent testimonies. he did not ask for preliminary investigation until September 3. So that where no objection has been made at the trial. Roselle VelasquezCruz. absence of preliminary investigation merely affects the regularity of the proceedings but does not affect the trial court‘s jurisdiction or impair the validity of the information. failed to claim it before plea (People vs. Adelaido Velasquez.[55] By his own admission. he went into hiding and [was] arrested only recently after the cases were filed against him several months ago. thus: [I]t appearing that the accused was indeed aware of the filing of the charges against him several months ago before the Office of the City Prosecutor and that instead of participating in the said preliminary investigation. First. appellant must be taken to have waived his right to a preliminary investigation if in fact he was not given the benefit thereof. Accused-appellant‘s claim that he was deprived of the right to a preliminary investigation deserves scant consideration. as in this case. therefore. The trial court erred in holding there was rape on October. Sonia Velasquez. 56 SCRA 248). Mario Manarang. Failing to raise the issue of lack of preliminary investigation during the trial. Renato Cruz and Roberto Velasquez. 1997. under Rule 112.

do you recall of any unusual incident that came into your personal knowledge? Opo. who testified on what her daughter had told her. While you were doing all those things. In contrast. What exactly did you notice when Aira went up to your room and reported this matter to you? Sinabi niya sa akin kung paano inaano ng tatay ko. Binukaka niya iyong isa niyang paa tapos inaano ang daliri sa ari niya. the accused assisted by his counsel pleaded NOT GUILTY to all the charges filed against him. The trial court based its conviction of accused-appellant for acts of lasciviousness against Aira Velasquez on the testimony of Regail Velasquez. accused-appellant is deemed to have waived the same. PORNILLOS: You mean to tell us. Rolito Go. Aira‘s mother. is different because there the accused asked the public prosecutor‘s office for preliminary investigation on the same day the information for murder was filed in the trial court. (Witness demonstrating how it was done by exactly opening her right foot and her finger pointing to her vagina and doing to and fro movement) PROS. Where were you then on that time and day? Nasa kuwarto po ako nagtutupi ako ng sinampay. Upon being arraigned. The presumption is that an investigation had been held but accused-appellant could not be found. the relevant portion of the same should be quoted: Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A In the month of April 1997 at about 3:00 o‘clock in the afternoon. Umakyat po sa kuwarto si Aira.[56] The case of People v. being a mere child of two and a half years old. Umiiyak po siya na nagsasabi siya sa akin na inaano po siya ng tatay ko. He is obviously late in invoking his right. Second. Aira herself was not presented in court. do you recall where were you? Opo.[57] which accused-appellant invokes. What do you mean by inaano? Tinutusok ang daliri. accused-appellant Lamberto Velasquez waited until he was arrested and brought to court before invoking his right to a preliminary investigation. minomolestiya.accused‘s motion for reinvestigation and to defer arraignment was denied in open court. she demonstrated how the act was done? . Failing to invoke his right to a preliminary investigation during the trial. To aapreciate Regail‘s testimony.

COURT: How old was Aira then? WITNESS: 2 years old and 4 months. Mama sabi niya tapos umiiyak po siya. She went to you crying? Opo. ―Mama‖ what did you say? Ninanu ka. po. What did you receive from Aira was the one who was doing that? Tatay ko daw po. When she uttered. Will you please stand up and demonstrate how Aira demonstrated what was done to her? Ganoon nga po. What were the exact word uttered by that Aira? Mama. Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A Q 2 years old and 4 months? Opo. She was crying with tears flowing from her eyes? Opo. . itatang. sir. Bakit ninanu na kang tatang‖ sabi ko. si Lamberto Velasquez. ―ninano ka‖? ―I-tatang. (Witness demonstrating by raising her right foot with the right finger pointing to her sex organ doing to and from movement towards her vagina) Q A Q A Did you come to know from her who was doing that? Opo. 3:00 o‘clock in the afternoon. (What happened to you) What did Aira tell you? . (Witness pointing to Lamberto Velasquez) COURT: When was that when your daughter came to you? WITNESS: April po iyon. . Q Who is this Tatay or Tatang you are referring to? Siya po. . Ang tawag niya sa tatay ko ay tatang.A Q A Yes. . tapos sabi ko. April 16.

COURT: Ano ang eksaktong salita ng bata. COURT: Then what happened next? WITNESS: Tinanong ko siya kung ano ang ginawa sa kanya. Q A Q A What is the exact word? Masakit ang pek-pek ko. Iyon nga po laging sinasabi sa akin na inaano daw ng tatay ko. araw-araw ko siyang pinapaliguan dumadaing po siya. I-tatang kasi. tapos tinanong ko siya kung bakit dahil wala naman akong alam na dahilan na ikakasakit ng ari niya. WITNESS (Interpretation) (Tatang is doing something on me on my vagina) . masakit daw ang kanyang ari. (Witness demonstrating that she slightly opened her foot and her finger pointing to her vagina making to and fro movement) COURT: Then what happened next? WITNESS: Sinabi ko sa kanya baka niloloko ka lang.A Si Tatang kakayan na ku pu. Inaano daw po ng tatay ko. 1997. what did you find out next? WITNESS: Noong sumunod na iyon. INTERPRETER: Tatang is doing something on me. PROS. (My vagina hurts) Then what did you do next? Hindi ko gaanong pinansin dahil baka binibiro lang siya ng tatay ko. tapos umiiyak po siya. PORNILLOS: After that you said you did not mind the same because you said he was just joked upon or teased. masakit daw ang ari niya. kinayi ne pu ing pekpek ku kaya masakit ya. Binukaka ang paa. After that April 16. WITNESS: Sabi niya. COURT: She was crying? WITNESS: Iyon nga po.

(Witness demonstrating how it was done by slightly opening her right foot or raising her foot and by using her right finger pointing to her vagina with a to and fro movement) Q A Q A Q A Q A What did you notice on the vagina of your daughter? My lumalabas na ―nana. kinayi ne pu ing pekpek ku kaya masakit ya. Lydia Buyboy Sa private doctor. tied his . po. "Pinatay siya ng sariling ama!" (―He was killed by his own father. if any? Nilalagnat po siya noon. Buyboy? Sinabi niya na may laceration iyong ari ng anak ko tapos may impeksiyon po siya.[58] As the Solicitor General contends. In People v.‖ Did you inspect the vagina? Opo.‖) (3) She showed her mother her private part. Ganoon din po dinemonstrate kung paano. The old woman. The inculpatory and spontaneous statements were: (1) ―Si Tatang kakayan na ku pu. The boy‘s face was swollen and bruised and his body covered with dry blood. Pulang-pula tapos may lumalabas na ―nana‖ sa vagina. apparently the boy‘s grandmother. what action did you take.COURT: Did you ask her what her tatang did to her vagina? WITNESS: Opo. Ginanon o. Q A Q A The answer.‖) (2) “I-tatang kasi. Aira‘s acts and statements constitute exceptions to the hearsay rule because they were part of the res gestae. which was swollen and oozing with pus.‖) The old woman told the people inside the emergency room that the boy's father had beaten him up. that is why it hurts. she will demonstrate? Opo.” (―Because Tatang has been doing something to my private part. cried and repeatedly screamed. Dinala ko kay Dra. How? Binuka iyong isang paa. Cloud. to show what accused-appellant had done to it.[59] Josephine Aguilar was at the emergency room of a hospital to have some stitches removed from her daughter's head when she saw a boy being carried by a man. What happened at the clinic of Dra.” (―Tatang (accused-appellant) has been doing something to me. When you notice this ―nana‖ on the vagina of your daughter. by slightly opening or raising her right foot and using her right finger. tapos dinala ko siya sa doctor Pinatignan ko po siya. and then she gestured. followed by an old woman who was shouting hysterically.

how proof of her past relationships with other men can have any bearing on her credibility as a witness in her daughter‘s trial.[61] Accused-appellant seeks to discredit the testimony of Regail Velasquez by attempting to prove that she is a woman of loose morals. and stabbed him. bad hygiene. While he admitted that the pus in the vagina could be caused by an infection. uttered shortly thereafter by her with spontaneity. Regail‘s account of Aira‘s words and. however. Q: Like what? . As the trial court reminded accusedappellant‘s counsel. and the statements are admissible as evidence. Aguda testified: WITNESS: I am referring to the findings of the hymen. Since an examination of the hymen. they are admissible as part of the res gestae. Aira‘s gestures. it was found out that there is an incomplete laceration at 11 o'clock and 5 o‘clock position.[62] Regail‘s testimony is buttressed by Dr. Aguilar‘s testimony. The hearsay rule does not apply. Meaning that there was an object that forcefully entered into the hymenal opening causing the incomplete laceration. Dr. Her account of said statements of Alconyes are admissible under the doctrine of independently relevant statements. or improper urination. more importantly. therefore. Evidence as to the making of such statement is not secondary but primary. and these were shortly thereafter uttered by her with spontaneity. On the question of the admissibility of Mrs. they having been caused by and did result from the startling. regardless of their truth or falsity. the fact that such statements have been made is relevant. Aguda‘s testimony and medico-legal report. since independent of the truth or falsity of the same they are relevant to the issue on the cause of the death of the victim. The report made thereof by Josephine Aguilar is not hearsay since she was actually there and personally heard the statements of Alconyes which she recounted in court. he also said the infection could have been caused by the insertion of the finger.hands. as it was made immediately subsequent to a startling occurrence. with respect to the tenor and not the truth thereof. this Court ruled: Insofar as the statements of Rufina Alconyes are concerned. without prior opportunity to contrive the same. if not gruesome. that Aira‘s statements and acts constitute res gestae. the witness is not the accused in this case. without prior opportunity to contrive the same. for the statement itself may constitute a fact in issue or be circumstantially relevant as to the existence of such a fact. occurrence that she witnessed. constitutes independently relevant statements distinct from hearsay and admissible not as to the veracity thereof but to the fact that they had been thus uttered. Under the doctrine of independently relevant statements. We fail to see.[60] We hold.

the penalty ―shall be imposed in the maximum period when the perpetrator is an ascendant. The rule is settled that we give due deference to the observations of trial courts on questions of credibility of witnesses since they have a better opportunity for observation than appellate courts. in this case. For this reason. 1997. Applying the provisions of the Indeterminate Sentence Law. which usually indicates that the injury was inflicted more than one month prior to the examination.A: Finger but not erected penis. 7610. To sum up. her personal knowledge of the pus discharged from her daughter‘s vagina and the NBI medico-legal report confirming it. Aguda to the satisfaction of the trial court. as provided by R. Aguda discovered an old healed laceration. bringing little more with him than the clothes on his back.[63] Accused-appellant also questions the fact that when Aira was examined on May 9. the chain of facts cannot but produce an inference consistent with guilt and not with innocence. all consonant with the requisites therefor. 7610. Accused-appellant is Aira‘s grandfather. and accused-appellant‘s bare denials. stepparent or collateral relative within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity. the medical classifications and periods were based on adult cases. and the laceration was very superficial.A. His relationship to his victim aggravates the crime. these are sufficient to convince us of the truth of the allegations against accused-appellant. one week short of a month. According to the doctor. It is highly unlikely that a child of Aira‘s age would be able to concoct such a depraved tale and compliment it with such disturbing gestures with only the fantastic intention of implicating her grandfather. reinforced by corroboration and yielding a conclusion of guilt.‖ Hence. compounded with his unexplained flight to Cebu. Section 31. This discrepancy was already explained by Dr.[67] Aira is a two-year old child. That is why it has spent an unusual amount of time and effort to reflect upon all the circumstances which the lower court accepted as an unbroken chain of events. guardian.[66] Taken together. the maximum period of reclusion temporal medium should be imposed. then. and. parent. Dr. whereas the date of the alleged molestation was on April 16.[68] . 1997. The penalty imposable for acts of lasciviousness against children under 12 years of age should be that provided by R. the following circumstances establish accused-appellant‘s guilt: Regail‘s account of her daughter‘s words and actions.A.[64] The Court is not unaware of the caution to be observed when circumstantial evidence is to be considered as inculpatory indicia in a criminal prosecution.[65] But. whereas Aira was a little child with a very small hymen. the trial court‘s evaluation of testimonial evidence is accorded great respect. which is reclusion temporal in its medium period. Understandably. the minimum of the penalty to be imposed should be reclusion temporal minimum. the results varied slightly.

the trial court sentenced accused-appellant to suffer a prison term ranging from 12 years and 1 day of reclusion temporalminimum. Mary Joy‘s alleged inconsistent testimonies as to whether or not she knew Jesus ―Tootsie Mendoza‖ or ―Robertson‖ is inconsequential. nobody. and close relatives fled their home and lived in a hotel for four days to escape his ire. however: Similarly. As the trial court said. Accused-appellant questions the credibility of Mary Joy Ocampo because of a three-year delay in reporting the alleged rape. and to indemnify complainant Aira Velasquez in the amount of P30. tsn.[69] In these cases. 1997). the accused may be convicted solely on the basis of the testimony of the rape victim. The trial court convicted accused-appellant for the rape of Mary Joy Ocampo based on her testimony and the physical evidence presented.In Criminal Case No. but not a ―Jesus Mendoza. he could hurt a person merely by holding his hand.[70] It is. as maximum. 41. He brooked no disobedience even from his own brothers and sisters and was so feared that. therefore. was willing to wake him and confront him with the accusations. This is correct. We adhere to this principle in the case at bar. both of the prosecution and of the defense. as minimum. and we. easy to see why Mary Joy kept her silence. 97-307. December 31. his children. If this ―Robertson‖ is a family name. At any rate. Accused-appellant contends that there were several inconsistencies in the testimony of Mary Joy Ocampo. Mary Joy clarified these points: 1. he was intimidating. and consistent with human nature and the normal course of things. Physically. Third. Delay in reporting an incident of rape is not necessarily an indication that the charge is fabricated. to 17 years of reclusion temporal medium. therefore. It is apparent from the testimony of witnesses. the delay was caused by fear. As to Jesus Mendoza alias Tootsie. not even his own brother. Mary Joy claims that she does not know Jesus Mendoza although her mother declared that Mary Joy knew ―Tootsie Mendoza. she knew (him) as the person who will marry her sister (p. if such testimony is credible. 2. affirm it. even when his life and his freedom were gravely threatened. accused-appellant threatened Mary Joy with harm if she told anyone what accusedappellant had done to her. He is a black belter in karate and. natural.‖ It is apparent that Mary Joy knew of a Tootsie Mendoza. His wife. Indeed. In fact.000.‖ . according to his own sister‘s testimony. convincing. that accused-appellant was a man to be feared.00.

despite the fact that he had no money and no extra clothes to bring with him for a long trip. nobody was at home except her other brothers who were asleep. In degree of compatibility. . however. sir.[73] Mary Joy‘s testimony is corroborated by medical findings of hymenal lacerations. Dr. . they strengthen rather than weaken the credibility of the prosecution witnesses because they erase the suspicion of a rehearsed testimony. nor detract from the witnesses‘ testimony. His only excuse was that ―masama ang loob ko‖[75] and that he feared for his life. You mentioned that the described findings were possible with sexual intercourse with a man and you confirmed to this Honorable court that the most logical object that entered the female organ of Mary Jane was the penis of a man? Yes an erected penis. Aguda testified on cross examination: ATTY. As relayed to me it started on October 1994 up to April 1997. sir. accused-appellant merely makes a bare denial of the charges against him. Yet. he hastily left for Cebu City. sir. [72] A rape victim cannot be expected to keep an accurate account of her traumatic experience. Evidently. it is possible. Mary Joy testified that the first time Lamberto inserted his finger on her sexual organ. how much percent sure that it is an erected penis that entered the female organ of Mary Joy? 80%.So.[71] Inconsistencies on minor or inconsequential matters do not impair the essential integrity of the prosecution‘s evidence as a whole. Mary Joy‘s mother was not in the house. her mother was in the market and when appellant finally succeeded in inserting his sexual organ into Mary Joy‘s. Q A So the most probable is male organ? Yes. Mary Joy‘s alleged inconsistent testimony as to whether her mother was in the market or asleep in the house when she was raped is readily explicable or reconcilable. . the types of laceration were old and healed and it [is] possible that those laceration[s] were made on the victim at the time of the commission of the crime. .[74] Q A Q A On the other hand. On the contrary. in both instances. Discrepancies could be caused by the natural fickleness of human memory. When you said date or commission when was that? A As I stated earlier. which the trial court found meritorious. CLEMENTE: You mentioned about this conclusion that the above description genital findings were compatible on sexual intercourse with a man on or about the alleged date of commission. He did not. report . also.

along the roadside. inside an occupied house. in parks. 335 of the Revised Penal Code.the alleged attempt on his life. as amended by §11 of R. step-parent. It can be committed in places where people congregate. it is not impossible for the rape to have taken place inside a small room with five occupants therein. When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent. At the time of the trial. The concurrence of the minority of the victim and her relationship to the offender being a special qualifying circumstance. and had a family of her own. 97-311 must be modified. who testified on Aira‘s behalf and admitted she too had been molested as a child. It is inconceivable that they would concoct a story of defloration and expose either themselves or their daughters to public trial unless they were motivated by the desire to have the culprit apprehended and punished. lived in another house.[77] Besides. Rape has been known to be committed in places ordinarily considered as unlikely. provides in pertinent part: The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following attendant circumstances: 1. Mary Joy was 17. was 20. which increases the penalty (distinguished from a generic aggravating circumstance which only affects the period of the penalty). As we have observed. and Regail is not even Angelina‘s daughter. 7659.[76] In this case. Art. . within school premises. and Mary Grace. Nor is there merit in accused-appellant‘s claim that Angelina instigated their children to file these cases so she can be free to marry an American.[78] Fourth. the presence of other members of the family is not necessarily a deterrent to the commission of this crime. nor did he surrender himself to the Cebu authorities when he learned of the cases filed against him. guardian. Accused-appellant said that there was always a large number of people in their house. or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim. it is unnatural for a parent. ascendant. such that he would have had no opportunity to commit the crimes charged against him.A. including accusedappellant and Mary Joy. accused-appellant‘s children are already grown up. Among couples with big families who live in cramped quarters. The penalty imposed by the trial court on accused-appellant in Criminal Case No. The scene of the rape is not always nor necessarily isolated or secluded. Regail was 28. and even in a room where other members of the family are sleeping. relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree. to use her offspring as an engine of malice and expose her daughters to the pity attached to rape victims simply for a stab at a better life. especially a mother.

97-311. In Criminal Case No. Branch 59. succeeded in having carnal knowledge of the latter. The accused was convicted of simple rape only. the decision of the same court finding accusedappellant Lamberto Velasquez guilty of rape and sentencing him to death is hereby MODIFIED. However. the Court has serious doubts about the validity of their marriage. Angeles City.000. 97-311 alleged that accused-appellant.000. 97-307. As to the civil liability of accused-appellant. accused-appellant must be held liable only for simple rape and sentenced to reclusion perpetua as the proper penalty. F). 1989 (Exh. In fact. 97-311 against him is different from that actually proven. Manggasin. In addition.00 as moral damages which requires no proof because it is assumed that the victim has suffered moral injuries entitling her to such an award. the father of Mary Joy Ocampo. and ordering him to indemnify Aira Velasquez in the sum of P30.should be alleged in the information. he should be ordered to pay P50. while it appears that accused-appellant married Angelina Dungca on November 8. who is the stepfather of the complainant. consistent with the constitutional right of the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. In this case.000. nevertheless the death penalty cannot be imposed on accused-appellant in this case because the relationship alleged in the information in Criminal Case No. In People v. although a common-law husband is subject to punishment by death in case he commits rape against his wife‘s daughter.[80] WHEREFORE.[79] the information charged the accused with the rape of his stepdaughter but the evidence showed that the accused and the complainant‘s mother were not married but had merely been living in common-law relationship. the decision of the Regional Trial Court.000.00 as civil indemnity ordered by the trial court to be paid by him.00 for civil indemnity is in order. was still subsisting at that time. Mary Joy admitted that her father Roberto Ocampo was still alive when her mother contracted her second marriage. considering that Angelina‘s previous marriage to Roberto Ocampo. to 17 years of reclusion temporal medium. is hereby AFFIRMED. who was then 13 years old. as minimum.000. in Criminal Case No. the information in the Criminal Case No. SO ORDERED. Accused-appellant Lamberto Velasquez is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of simple rape and sentenced to reclusion perpetua and ordered to pay P50. however.000. . finding accused-appellant Lamberto Velasquez guilty of acts of lasciviousness and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from 12 years and 1 day of reclusion temporal minimum.00 in moral damages in addition to the amount of P50. as maximum. the Court finds that the award of P50. Thus. Accordingly.

Jr. Quisumbing. Ynares-Santiago. Puno. Pardo. De Leon. . JJ. Kapunan. Panganiban. andSandoval-Gutierrez..Davide. Buena. concur. Vitug.J.. Melo. C. Jr. Gonzaga-Reyes... Bellosillo.

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