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G.R. Nos. 111206-08 October 6, 1995 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. CLAUDIO TEEHANKEE, JR., accused-appellant. PUNO, J.

: Three (3) separate Informations were filed against accused Claudio Teehankee, Jr. for the shooting of Roland John Chapman, Jussi Olavi Leino and Maureen Hultman. Initially, he was charged with: MURDER for the killing of ROLAND CHAPMAN, and two (2) FRUSTRATED MURDER for the shooting and wounding of JUSSI LEINO and MAUREEN HULTMAN. When Hultman died on October 17, 1991, during the course of the trial, the Information for Frustrated Murder against accused was amended to MURDER. 1 The Information for murder in Criminal Case No. 91-4605 thus reads: That on or about the 13th day of July, 1991, in the Municipality of Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said Claudio Teehankee, Jr. y Javier, armed with a handgun, with intent to kill and evident premeditation and by means of treachery, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shoot with and shoot with the said handgun Roland John Chapman who war hit in the chest, thereby inflicting mortal wounds which directly caused the death of said Roland John Chapman. Contrary to law. 2 The Amended Information for Murder in Criminal Case No. 91-4606 reads: That on or about the 13th day of July, 1991, in the Municipality of Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said Claudio Teehankee, Jr. y Javier, armed with a handgun, with intent to kill and evident premeditation, and by means of treachery, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shoot with the said handgun Maureen Navarro Hultman who was hit in the head, thereby inflicting moral wounds which directly caused the death of the said Maureen Hultman . CONTRARY TO LAW. 3 Finally, the Information for Frustrated Murder in Criminal Case No. 91-4607 reads: That on or about the 13th day of July, 1991, in the Municipality of Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, while armed with a handgun, with intent to kill, treachery and evident premeditation did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shoot one Jussi Olavi Leino on the head, thereby inflicting gunshot wounds, which ordinarily would have caused the death of said Jussi Olavi Leino, thereby performing all the acts of execution which would have produced the crime of murder as a consequence, but nevertheless did not produce it by reason of cause or causes independent of his will, that is, due to the timely and able medical assistance rendered to said Jussi Olavi Leino which prevented his death. Contrary to law. 4 In the two (2) Informations for frustrated murder initially filed against accused, bail was set at twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) each. No bail was recommended for the murder of Roland John Chapman. A petition for bail was thus filed by accused. Hearing was set on August 9, 1991, while his arraignment was scheduled on August 14, 1991. At the hearing of the petition for bail on August 9, 1991, the prosecution manifested that it would present the surviving victim, Jussi Leino, to testify on the killing of Chapman and on the circumstances resulting to the wounding of the witness himself and Hultman. Defense counsel Atty. Rodolfo Jimenez objected on the ground that the incident pending that day was hearing of the evidence on the petition for bail relative to the murder charge for the killing of Chapman only. He opined that Leino's testimony on the frustrated murder charges with respect to the wounding of Leino and Hultman would be irrelevant. 5 Private prosecutor, Atty. Rogelio Vinluan, countered that time would be wasted if the testimony of Leino would be limited to the killing of Chapman considering that the crimes for which accused were charged involved only one continuing incident. He pleaded that Leino should be allowed to testify on all three (3) charges to obviate delay and the inconvenience of recalling him later to prove the two (2) frustrated murder charges. 6 By way of accommodation, the defense suggested that if the prosecution wanted to present Leino to testify on all three (3) charges, it should wait until after the arraignment of accused on August 14, 1991. The defense pointed out that if accused did not file a petition for bail, the prosecution would still have to wait until after accused had been arraigned before it could present Leino. 7 The private prosecutor agreed to defer the hearing on the petition for bail until after arraignment of accused on the condition that there shall be trial on the merits and, at the same time, hearing on the petition for bail. The defense counsel acceded. 8 Upon arraignment, accused pleaded not guilty to the three (3) charges. The prosecution then started to adduce evidence relative to all three (3) cases. No objection was made by the defense. 9 A replay of the facts will show that on July 12, 1991, Jussi Olavi Leino invited Roland Chapman, Maureen Hultman and other friends for a party at his house in Forbes Park, Makati. The party started at about 8:30 p.m. and ended at past midnight. They then proceeded to Roxy's, a pub where students of International School hang out. 10 After an hour, they transferred to Vintage, another pub in Makati, where they stayed until past 3:00 a.m. of July 13, 1991. Their group returned to Roxy's to pick up a friend of Maureen, then went back to Leino's house to eat. 11 After a while, Maureen requested Leino to take her home at Campanilla Street, Dasmariñas Village, Makati. Chapman tagged along. 12 When they entered the village, Maureen asked Leino to stop along Mahogany Street, about a block away from her house

in Campanilla Street. She wanted to walk the rest of the way for she did not like to create too much noise in going back to her house. She did not want her parents to know that she was going home that late. Leino offered to walk with her while Chapman stayed in the car and listened to the radio. 13 Leino and Maureen started walking on the sidewalk along Mahogany Street. When they reached the corner of Caballero and Mahogany Streets, a light-colored Mitsubishi box-type Lancer car, driven by accused Claudio Teehankee, Jr., came up from behind them and stopped on the middle of the road. Accused alighted from his car, approached them, and asked: "Who are you? (Show me your) I.D." Leino thought accused only wanted to check their identities. He reached into his pocket, took out his plastic wallet, and handed to accused his Asian Development Bank (ADB) I.D. 14 Accused did not bother to look at his I.D. as he just grabbed Leino's wallet and pocketed it. 15 Chapman saw the incident. All of a sudden, he manifested from behind Leino and inquired what was going on. He stepped down on the sidewalk and asked accused: "Why are you bothering us?" Accused pushed Chapman, dug into his shirt, pulled out a gun and fired at him. Chapman felt his upper body, staggered for a moment, and asked: "Why did you shoot me?" Chapman crumpled on the sidewalk. Leino knelt beside Chapman to assist him but accused ordered him to get up and leave Chapman alone. 16 Accused then turned his ire on Leino. He pointed gun at him and asked: "Do you want a trouble?" Leino said "no" and took a step backward. The shooting initially shocked Maureen. When she came to her senses, she became hysterical and started screaming for help. She repeatedly shouted: "Oh, my God, he's got a gun. He's gonna kill us. Will somebody help us?" All the while, accused was pointing his gun to and from Leino to Maureen, warning the latter to shut up. Accused ordered Leino to sit down on the sidewalk. Leino obeyed and made no attempt to move away. Accused stood 2-3 meters away from him. He knew he could not run far without being shot by accused. Maureen continued to be hysterical. She could not stay still. She strayed to the side of accused's car. Accused tried but failed to grab her. Maureen circled around accused's car, trying to put some distance between them. The short chase lasted for a minute or two. Eventually, accused caught Maureen and repeatedly enjoined her to shut up and sit down beside Leino. 17 Maureen finally sat beside Leino on the sidewalk. Two (2) meters away and directly in front of them stood accused. 18 For a moment, accused turned his back from the two. He faced them again and shot Leino. Leino was hit on the upper jaw, fell backwards on the sidewalk, but did not lose consciousness. Leino heard another shot and saw Maureen fall beside him. He lifted his head to see what was happening and saw accused return to his car and drive away. 19 Leino struggled to his knees and shouted for help. He noticed at least three (3) people looking on and standing outside their houses along Caballero Street. 20 The three were: DOMINGO FLORECE, a private security guard hired by Stephen Roxas to secure his residence at #1357 Caballero Street, Dasmariñas Village, Makati; 21VICENTE MANGUBAT, a stay-in driver of Margarita Canto, residing at #1352 Caballero Street, corner Mahogany Street, Dasmariñas Village; 22 and AGRIPINO CADENAS, a private security guard assigned at the house of Rey Dempsey, located at #1351 Caballero Street, corner Mahogany Street, Dasmariñas Village. 23 Security guards Florece and Cadenas were then on duty at the house of their employer, while driver Mangubat was in his quarters, preparing to return to his own house. These three (3) eyewitnesses heard the first gunshot while at their respective posts. Upon hearing the first shot, Florece went out to Caballero Street to see what was happening, while Mangubat and Cadenas peeped over the fence of their employer's house and looked out to Caballero Street. Each saw a man (Chapman) sprawled on the ground, another man (Leino) sitting on the sidewalk, a third man standing up ad holding a gun and a woman (Hultman). They saw the gunman shoot Leino and Hultman and flee aboard his Lancer car. However, because of Florece's distance from the scene of the crime, 24 he was not able to discern the face of the gunman. He saw the control numbers of the gunman's car as 566. He described the gateway car as a box-type Lancer, its color somewhat white ("medyo maputi"). 25 Cadenas noticed in full the plate number of the getaway car and gave it as PDW 566. He described the car as silver metallic gray. 26 Both Cadenas and Mangubat saw the gunman's face. They had a good look at him. Cadenas was then a mere four (4) meters away from the gunman's car, 27 while Mangubat was about twenty (20) meters away from the scene of the crime. 28 The three confirmed that the corner of Caballero and Mahogany Streets where the shooting took place was adequately illuminated by a Meralco lamppost at the time of the incident. 29 After the gunman sped away, Mangubat ran outside his employer's house and went near the scene of the crime. He noticed security guard Florece along Caballero Street. A man on a bike passed by and Mangubat requested him to report the shooting incident to the security officers of Dasmariñas Village. 30 Meanwhile, Florece returned to his post and narrated to his employer, Mrs. Helen Roxas, what he saw. Mrs. Roxas repaired to the crime scene while Florece noted the incident in his logbook (Exhibit "B"). He also jotted down the license plate control number of the gunman's car as 566. 31 The security guards of Dasmariñas Village came after a few minutes. They rushed Leino and Maureen to the Makati Medical Center for treatment. 32 The Makati police and agents of the NBI also came. Patrolman JAMES BALDADO of the Makati police, together with SPO3 ALBERTO FERNANDEZ, investigated the incident. 33 Their initial investigation disclosed that the gunman's car was a box-type Mitsubishi Lancer with plate control number 566. They checked the list of vehicles registered with the village Homeowners' Association and were able to track down two (2) Lancer cars bearing plate control number 566. One was registered in the name of JOSE MONTAÑO of 1823 Santan Street, Dasmariñas Village, with plate number PKX 566, and another was traced to accused CLAUDIO TEEHANKEE, JR., of 1339 Caballero Street, Dasmariñas Village, with plate number PDW 566. SALVADOR RANIN, Chief of the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the NBI, was also tasked by then NBI Director Alfredo Lim 34 to head a team to investigate the shooting. Ranin's team immediately proceeded to the house of Jose Montaño 35 where they found ahead of them the Makati police and operatives of the Constabulary Highway Patrol. Ranin tried to verify from Mrs. Montaño whether the white Lancer car registered in the name of Mr. Montaño and bearing plate number 566 was the gunman's car. Mrs. Montaño denied and declared they had already sold the car to Saldaña Enterprises. She averred the car was being used by one Ben Conti, a comptroller in said company, who resides in Cubao, Quezon City. Mrs. Montaño called up her husband and informed him about the investigation. She also called up Conti and asked him to bring the car to the house. 36

Jose Montaño came around noon. Conti followed with white Lancer car. Ranin brought them to the NBI office for investigation, together with Lancer car. At the NBI Ranin inquired from Montaño the whereabouts of his car on July 12 and 13, 1991. Montaño informed him that the car was at the residence of his employee, Ben Conti, at E. Rodriguez Street, Cubao, Quezon City, the night of July 12, 1991. In the morning of July 13, 1991, Conti drove the car to their office at Saldaña Enterprises. Conti confirmed this information. Ranin received the same confirmation from two (2) NBI agents who made a countercheck of the allegation. Upon Ranin's request, Montaño left his car at the NBI parking lot pending identification by possible witnesses. 37 On July 14, 1991, a team of NBI agents conducted an on-the-spot investigation and neighborhood inquiry of the shooting incident. They interviewed Domingo Florece and asked him to report to their office the next day for further investigation. 38 They also interviewed Agripino Cadenas who was reluctant to divulge any information and even denied having witnessed the incident. Sensing his reluctance, they returned to Cadenas' post at Dasmariñas Village that night and served him a subpoena, inviting him to appear at the NBI office for investigation the next day. 39 The NBI agents also talked with Armenia Asliami, an Egyptian national residing at #1350 Caballero Street, Dasmariñas Village, near the scene of the crime. Asliami informed the agents that the gunman's car was not white but light gray. A foreign national, Asliami was afraid and refused to give a statement about the incident. The agents exerted every effort to convince Asliami to cooperate, assuring her of their protection. Ranin even asked a representative of the Egyptian embassy to coax Asliami to cooperate. They failed. 40 On July 15, 1991, Florece and Cadenas appeared at the NBI office as summoned. Florece readily executed a sworn statement. 41 Cadenas, however, continued to feign ignorance and bridled his knowledge of the incident. He was lengthily interviewed. At around 2:00 p.m., the NBI agents informed SOG Chief Ranin that Cadenas was still withholding information from them. Ranin talked to Cadenas in his office. Cadenas confided to Ranin his fear to get involved in the case. He was apprehensive that the gunman would harass or harm him or his family. After Ranin assured him of NBI protection, Cadenas relented. 42 The next day, July 16, 1991, Cadenas gave a full disclosure to Ranin. He described the gunman's car as a box-type Lancer with plate number PDW 566. He was brought to the NBI parking lot where Montaño's white Lancer car was parked to identify the gunman's car. Ranin asked Cadenas if Montaño's was the gunman's car. Cadenas replied that its color was different. Ranin directed him to look around the cars in the parking lot and to point the color that most resembled the color of the gunman's car. He pointed to a light gray car. Ranin told him that the color of the car he pointed to was not white but light gray. 43 Ranin then asked Cadenas if he could identify the gunman. Cadenas replied in the affirmative. Ranin led Cadenas to his office and showed him ten (10) pictures of different men (Exhibits "CC-1" to "CC-10) taken from the NBI files. One of the pictures belonged to accused Claudio Teehankee, Jr. Cadenas studied the pictures, picked accused's picture (Exhibit "CC-7"), and identified him as the gunman. Cadenas wrote his name and the date at the back of said picture. Atty. Alex Tenerife of the NBI then took down Cadenas' statement. 44 Ranin sent his agents and the witnesses to the Makati Regional Trial Court to apply for a search warrant. After a searching examination of the witnesses, Judge Rebecca Salvador issued a search warrant (Exhibit "RR"), authorizing the NBI to search and seize the silver metallic gray, 1983 Mitsubishi Lancer car owned by accused, bearing plate number PDW 566. Ranin and his agents drove to accused's house at #1339 Caballero Street, Dasmariñas Village, to implement the warrant. 45 At accused's house, Ranin informed Mrs. Pilar Teehankee, mother of accused, of their search warrant. Ranin also told Mrs. Teehankee that they had orders from Director Lim to invite accused to the NBI office for investigation. Mrs. Teehankee informed them that accused was not in the house at that time. She excused herself, went to the kitchen and called up someone on the phone. 46 In the meantime, Ranin and his men slipped to the Teehankee garage and secured accused's car. After a while, Mrs. Teehankee joined them. Ranin asked her for the car keys but she told him that the keys were with accused. Upon Ranin's request, Mrs. Teehankee got in touch with accused on the phone. Ranin conversed with accused and invited him to the NBI for investigation. Accused assured Ranin that he would report to the NBI later that day. The agents then towed the car of accused to the NBI office. 47 At around 9:00 p.m., accused's brother, Raul Teehankee, arrived at the NBI office and waited for accused. Accused came, escorted by three (3) Makati policemen, after an hour. He informed them that he just came from the Makati police station where he was also investigated. He told Lim that he was given a statement to the Makati police and was brought to the PC Crime Laboratory for paraffin test. 48 Accused's NBI investigation started. Lim asked accused of the whereabouts of his Lancer car at the time of the shooting. Accused claimed that his car was involved in an accident a few weeks back and was no longer functioning. The car had been parked in his mother's house at Dasmariñas Village since then. Due to the lateness of the evening, the group decided to continue the investigation the following day. 49 The next day, July 17, 1991, after breakfast at the Manila Hotel, Lim pressed accused on what really happened at Dasmariñas Village. Accused said he did not see anything. Lim apprised accused that he would be confronted with some eyewitnesses. Accused sank into silence. 50 Lim directed Ranin to prepare a lineup at his office. Accused was requested to join the lineup composed of seven (7) men and he acceded. Cadenas was called from an adjoining room 51 and Ranin asked him to identify the gunman from the lineup. Forthwith, Cadenas pointed to accused. 52 Accused merely stared at Cadenas. 53 On the same day, then Asst. Director Epimaco Velasco, Ranin and two (2) other agents brought accused to Forbes Park for further identification by the surviving victim, Jussi Leino. Leino has just been discharged from the hospital the day before. Since Leino's parents were worried about his safety, they requested the NBI to conduct the identification of the gunman in Forbes Park where the Leinos also reside. The NBI agreed. 54 House security agents from the U.S. embassy fetched Leino at his house and escorted him and his father to a vacant house in Forbes Park, along Narra Avenue. After a couple of minutes, Leino was brought out of the house and placed in a car with slightly tinted windows. The car was parked about five (5) meters away from the house. Inside the car with Leino was his father, NBI-

suffered the following injuries: FINDINGS: = Abrasion. along the medial line. They pointed out that since the cases against accused had already been filed in court and they have secured a court order for the transfer of accused to the Makati municipal jail. Baldado told him to wait for a man who would be coming and see if the person was the gunman.SOG Chief Salvador Ranin and a driver. Asst. Intact bone calvarium. Hence. 1991. 57 The shooting incident was also investigated by the Makati Police. boarded a Mercedes Benz and left. left. = Wound. Leino was instructed to look at the men who would be coming out of the house and identify the gunman from the lineup. passed by Mangubat and proceeded to Major Lovete's office at the second floor. accused's counsels acquiesced but requested that identification be made without the presence of the media. Velasco turned them down and explained that if accused is not identified n the lineup. entrance. Pat. fracturing the maxillary bone and central and lateral incisors. Anterior maxillary bone comminuted fracture.0 cm. Temporal lobe contusions with small hematomata on the right side. a lineup was prepared in Lim's office in the presence of the media. Baldado went to see security guard Vicente Mangubat at his post. the NBI wrote finis to its investigation. Mangubat was brought back to his post at Dasmariñas Village by other Makati policemen. he wrote down on a piece of paper a request for one of the men in the lineup to remove his sunglasses. in a line-up. any identification of accused should be made in the courtroom. Director Velasco insisted on the identification as it was part of their on-going investigation. From the lineup. Jimenez and Malvar. He also confided to Pat. accused. Attys. Ranin was compelled to bring to the SOG office the men composing the lineup and he asked them to go near accused. temporal area. the media coverage would favor accused. Mangubat's statement was taken. Mangubat was also questioned by the NBI agents. No remarkable findings. At the inquest. 61 Two (2) days later. accused was detained at the NBI. were at the office of then Asst. He was asked to return to the NBI the next day to make a personal identification. Leino identified accused as the gunman. 1991. Minimal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Director Epimaco Velasco protesting to the submission of accused to identification. They prepared and referred the cases of murder and double frustrated murder against accused to the Department of Justice for appropriate action. Baldado again asked Mangubat if accused was the gunman. 58 The next day. While accused was going up the stairs. accused was at the SOG office. 63 In the afternoon of July 23. Mangubat nodded his head in response. together with Major Lovete and Pat. Baldado. Mangubat was posted at the top of the stairs at the second floor of the station. Ranin then told Mangubat to go in the office. Baldado interviewed Mangubat and invited him to the Makati police station where his statement (Exhibit "D") was taken. Mangubat said he could. 55 A group of five to six men (including accused) then came out of the unoccupied house. 65 All that time. Baldado inquired from Mangubat if accused was the gunman. After a couple of minutes. 59 After a couple of hours. When accused came out from Major Lovete's office. Fiscal Dennis Villa-Ignacio did not recommend bail insofar as the murder charge was concerned. circular in shape. Since Leino could not yet speak at that time due to the extensive injury on his tongue. 0. they again stepped out and none was wearing sunglasses. the surviving victim. 66 JUSSI LEINO. He refused to join the lineup at Lim's office and remained seated. Once more. Mangubat was shown twelve (12) pictures (Exhibits "E" to "E-11) of different men and was asked to identify the gun gunman from them. 64 When Mangubat returned. Pat. The men in the lineup were herded back inside the house. Baldado told Mangubat that he would no longer ask him to sign a statement which he (Baldado) earlier prepared (Exhibit "HHH"). located at the upper lip.. Baldado visited Mangubat at his employer's house and asked him again if accused was really the gunman. gunshot. Mangubat initially declined to identify accused. 60 Accused. Pat. Mangubat pointed to accused as the gunman.m. at about 8:30 a. 56 The agents brought back accused to the NBI. at the residence of his employer in Dasmariñas Village. saying that he wanted to see the man again to be sure. Leino noticed that one of them was wearing sunglasses. and identified him as the gunman. He chose one picture (Exhibit "E-10"). . Baldado that he was nervous and afraid for accused was accompanied by a police Major. Pat.. both sides. Leino handed this written request to his father. mouth. At the station. tongue and tonsillar regions with associated soft tissue swelling. tongue and tonsillar region. Pat. into the street. to the buccal cavity then lacerating the tongue with fragments of the bullet lodged in the right palatine. Baldado fetched Mangubat from his house and brought him to the Makati police station. At that time.5 cm. in diameter. Note of radioopaque foreign body (bullet fragments) along the superior alveolar border on the right. 1991 Small hyperdensities presumably bullet and bone fragments in the right palatine. came with Makati police Major Lovete. He ascended the stairs. Director Lim asked Mangubat if he could recognize the gunman. SKULL CHEST FOR RIBS X-RAY #353322 July 13. 62 Baldado then left. 1. Eventually. 1991 No demonstrable evidence of fracture. that of accused. July 16. Pat. CT SCAN #43992 July 13. Mangubat answered in the affirmative. directed backwards and downwards. With the identification of accused by Mangubat. accused's counsels.

The examination revealed that she suffered injuries on the skull and brain. 76 A team of doctors operated on Maureen's brain. 73 Testifying on the extensive injuries suffered by Maureen Hultman. he failed to patch the destroyed undersurface covering of her brain. claimed that said car ceased to be in good running condition after its involvement in an accident in February 1991. it was opined that Maureen was shot while she was seated. Sutures were performed on the upper portion of his tongue. Scanning also showed that Maureen's right jaw was affected by the fragmented bullet. 1991 to repair Maureen's brain covering. Solis explained that Maureen was shot at the left side of the forehead. he went to the Makati police station at around 5:00 p. 1991. He readily gave a statement to the Makati police denying complicity in the crime.m. He slept at around 1:00 a. conceded that although the car was not in good running condition. she would have led a vegetating life and she would have needed assistance in the execution of normal and ordinary routines. 1991 and woke up at around 8:00 or 9:00 a. it could still be used. Leino's injuries on the tongue caused him difficulty in speaking. Isabela led a team who operated on her brain to arrest the bleeding inside her head. 78 She would have been completely blind on the left eye and there was possibility she would have also lost her vision on the right eye. For his exculpation.xxx xxx xxx 67 Dr. 70 They brought Maureen to the x-ray room for examination of her skull. testified that the bullet entered the left temple of Leino. Maureen had a bullet hole on the left side of the forehead. After entering Leino's head. 79 Maureen did not survive her ordeal. however. the bullet fragmented into pieces and went from the left to the right side of the temple. Since May 1991 until the day of the shooting. Due to the extensive swelling of Maureen's brain and her very unstable condition. must have been at a higher level than the victim's head. Dr. small bone fragments and dead tissues. like in the case of Maureen.5 cm. He used the fascia lata of Maureen's right thigh to replace the destroyed covering of the brain. he was not anywhere near the scene of the crime. After ninety-seven (97) days of confinement in the hospital. she was unconscious and her face was bloodied all over. however. 1991. 82 Accused said that on July 16. Barrio Kapitolyo. operated on MAUREEN HULTMAN. 72 After the surgery. it caused hemorrhagic lesion on the ventricles of the brain and the second covering of the brain. that same morning. He concluded that the gun must have been pointed above Leino's head considering the acuteness and downward trajectory of the bullet. The bullet entry was at 1. above the eyebrow. He submitted himself to a paraffin test. After the bullet hit her head. Accused. All her senses would have been modified and the same would have affected her motor functions. The main bullet was recovered behind Maureen's right jaw. Nonetheless. She underwent a third operation to remove brain abscess and all possible focus of infection. upon invitation of Chief of Police Remy Macaspac and Major Lovete who wanted to ask him about the ownership of the Lancer car parked in his mother's house. the brain. on July 13. Nonetheless. 75 The bullet also injured Maureen's eye sockets. Two (2) weeks later. Maureen remained unconscious. they discovered hemorrhage in her brain. remove devitalized brain tissues and retrieve the splintered bullets embedded in her brain. 68 Dr. There was also an acute downward trajectory of the bullet. There was swelling underneath the forehead brought about by edema in the area. Dr. 81 Accused admitted ownership of a box-type. Isabela. Solis also testified as to the relative position of Leino and the gunman. brain tissues and fluid continue to flow out of Maureen's nostrils due to the unpatched undersurface covering of her brain. He testified that when he first saw Maureen. 74 The wound inflicted on Maureen was mortal for it hit one of the most vital parts of the body. his Lancer car had been parked in the garage of his mother's house in Dasmariñas Village. When Maureen was subjected to CT scan. it fractured his upper jaw and his front teeth. Accused claimed that on said date and time.m. The bullet eventually settled behind the right jaw of Maureen. They tried to control the internal bleeding and remove the splintered bullets. Some of the bullet fragments pierced his palette and tongue. 71 Maureen was rushed to the operating room for surgery. Accused avowed his two (2) maids could attest to his presence in his house that fateful day. Maureen's vital signs continued to function but she remained unconscious. He has not used this car since then. silver metallic gray Mitsubishi Lancer. Hence. Upon entering the forehead. fracturing the frontal bone of the skull. The trickle of brain tissues through her nose was lessened but Maureen developed infection as a result of the destruction of her brain covering. after it fragmented. There were several splintered bullets in her brain and the major portion of the bullet. He denied knowing prosecution eyewitnesses Agripino Cadenas and Vicente Mangubat before they identified him as the gunman. He. Leovigildo C. leaving the swollen portion of her brain exposed. 69 Dr. She was also given a CT scan. above the eyebrow. a neuro-surgeon at the Makati Medical Center. Pasig. Physical deformity resulted as a consequence of the gunshot wound because of the fractured upper jaw and the loss of the front teeth.m. Brain tissues were oozing out of her nostrils and on the left side of the forehead where the bullet entered. 77 With each passing day. There was practically no possibility for Maureen to return to normal. Even if Maureen survived. accused relied on the defense of denial and alibi. He alleged that he was then in his house at #53 San Juan. Maureen developed brain abscess because of the infection. she ceased to be a breathing soul on October 17. He was accompanied by the Makati police to the Crime Laboratory in Camp Crame and was tested negative for gunpowder . was lodged beneath her right jaw. 80 Accused averred that he only came to know the three (3) victims in the Dasmariñas shooting when he read the newspaper reports about it. with plate number PDW 566. She was wheeled to the ICU for further observation. He opined that the muzzle of the gun. A second surgery was made on July 30. The whole interior portion of her nose was also swollen. Pedro Solis. Brain scanning revealed contusions on the temporal lobe and hemorrhage on the covering of the brain. Maureen's condition deteriorated.

The jail guards even covered up accused's whereabouts. 1991. headed by Congressman Concepcion. he brought the car to the residence of his grandmother. At the police station. He and Vivian Hultman were married in the Philippines in 1981. testified that he is a Swedish national. forensic chemist of the PNP Crime Laboratory. he accidentally hit a bicycle driver and two (2) trucks parked at the side of the road. son of accused Claudio Teehankee. When accused passed by them. C 274-91. After a month. On several occasions. he was prohibited by his father from using the car because of his careless driving. accused and company arrived. 95 The defense also presented two (2) Makati policemen. Despite his protest. 98 SPO3 Fernandez also took the statement of security guard Domingo Florece (Exhibit "MM"). he asked the Makati policemen to accompany him to the NBI for he had earlier committed to his mother that he would present himself to Director Lim. BALDADO and SPO3 ALBERTO FERNANDEZ. at Dasmariñas Village. 88 The defense also presented CLAUDIO TEEHANKEE III. 94 Anders admitted he had been vocal about the VIP treatment accorded to accused at the Makati municipal jail.. After placing a call. 87 A third identification was conducted on July 24. While thus seated. He was then seated at the office of Ranin for he refused to join another lineup. who investigated the shooting. He woke up at around 5:15 a. he saw a lineup formed inside Lim's office. he and his wife were sleeping in their house. 1991. This theory was formed when an eyewitness allegedly overheard Maureen pleading to the gunman: "Huwag Daddy. he was identified by Mangubat as the gunman. he and Vivian permitted Maureen to have a night out but instructed her to be home by 2:00 a. Mangubat told Fernandez that the gunman was younger and shorter than accused. they instructed Mangubat to look around and see if he could identify the gunman. 91 Accused also imputed the commission of the crimes at bar to Anders Hultman. 100 As per Chemistry Report No. PAT. Huwag. Pat. Florece described the gunman's car as "medyo puti" (somewhat white). Mangubat failed to identify accused. while driving his father's Lancer car. 96 SPO3 Fernandez testified that he interviewed security guard Vicente Mangubat." The defense presented Anders Hultman as a hostile witness. Quezon city. He legally adopted Vivian's two (2) daughters in 1991. Jose Montaño that he sold his white Lancer car. He and Vivian had three (3) children of their own. he checked on accused in jail and discovered that accused was not in his cell. 83 After the test. of July 13. 90 especially on its body. July 17. Fernandez and Baldado posted Mangubat at the lobby. At the time of the shooting. the NBI agents insisted on the conduct of the identification and ordered a group of men to line up alongside him. He did not bring the car to their house in Pasig for it was still scheduled for further repairs and they preferred to have the repair done in a shop in Makati. Don't. 85 The following day." not "Daddy. The NBI agents forced him to join the lineup and placed him in the number seven (7) slot. 86 A second identification was made on the same day at a house in Forbes Park. to Saldaña Lending Investors in February 1991. one of whom was Maureen. 1991. with plate number PKX 566. Baldado testified that in the course of his investigation. Neither was the alleged statement of the maid included in the Progress Report (Exhibit "13") prepared by the Makati police investigators. don't. Fernandez went to one of the houses at the corner of Mahogany and Caballero Streets and asked the maid therein if he could use the phone. Lim and his agents brought him to the Manila Hotel for breakfast. Jr. On his way. The accident resulted in the death of the bicycle driver and damage to his father's car.84 He arrived at Director Lim's office at about 9:30 to 10:00 p. The NBI agents brought him to Forbes Park but he never saw Jussi Leino who allegedly identified him as the gunman in a lineup. Operations Manager of said company and was in the residence of Conti at the time of the shooting. 97 SPO3 Fernandez saw Mangubat the next time on July 16. When they returned to the NBI. adoptive father of deceased victim Maureen Hultman. don't shoot. He testified that from May 1989 to February 1991. Maureen just received her first salary in her first job and she wanted to celebrate with friends. 92 The defense confronted Anders with one of the angles of the crime in the initial stage of the investigation. ANDERS HULTMAN." Anders explained that Maureen could not have uttered those words for Maureen never spoke Tagalog. testified on the paraffin test she conducted on July 17. 1991 when a security guard came to their house and informed them about the killings. After a few minutes. In said statement. He furnished Lim with the statement he earlier gave to the Makati police. As soon as he walked up to the lineup." Fernandez tried to get the maid's name but the latter refused.m. he learned from Mr.m. This car was assigned to Ben Conti. The timing of the engine became a little off and the car was hard to start.m. Daddy. 1991 on both hands of accused. no further repair on said car had been made. that Maureen was overhead pleading to the gunman: "Huwag.nitrates. The defense did not present this maid in court nor asked the court to subpoena her to testify. His complaint was investigated by the Congressional Committee on Crime Prevention. 89 In February 1991. The other witnesses he interviewed confirmed that Montaño's white Lancer car was not in the vicinity of Montaño's residence at the time of the incident. They had the car repaired at Reliable Shop located in Banawe Street. i. 99 ELIZABETH AYONON. 101 the test yielded a negative result of gunpowder . He also said that all his children call him "Papa. Vivian had two (2) children by her previous marriage. Lim detained him at the NBI against his will. He personally started the car's engine and drove it to Makati from the shop in Quezon City.e. He kept the keys to the car and since he was busy in school. Teehankee III claimed that from that time on. He complained that he was not assisted by counsel at any stage of said investigation. Thereafter. he was asked to proceed to Lim's office. Daddy. Mangubat saw the gunman and the get-away car but could not give the central letters of the car's license plate. he had been using his father's Lancer car bearing plate number PDW 566 in going to school. He observed that the man who was to identify him was already in the room." 93 On July 12. It was signed by Florece in his presence. Huwag. 1991 when he and Baldado fetched the latter at Dasmariñas Village for identification of the gunman at the Makati police station. He capitalized on a newspaper report that the gunman may have been an overprotective father. Cadenas identified him as the gunman. the maid told him that he saw the gunman and heard one of the victims say: "Daddy. Daddy. Makati. JAMES F. Pilar Teehankee.

allegedly. thus: Exhibit "3-a" Witnesses said Hultman talked with the gunman whom she called "Daddy" shortly before Chapman's shooting. and three members of a family — Estrellita Vizconde and her daughters. 107 were lifted by the defense and offered in evidence. When asked what he did to remedy this perceived irregularity. Exhibit "1-C" The lone gunman. MANUEL Q. MALVAR. he and Atty. which appeared on the July 17. Malvar said he objected to the conduct of the lineup. admitted the defense did not compel the attendance of Ponferrada by subpoena. 108 MARTIN MARFIL. Eldon Maguan. Jimenez allowed accused to be arraigned. It presented seven (7) newspaper reporters as witnesses. clarified that a news report is usually the product of collaborative work among several reporters. she noted that accused was subjected to paraffin test more than seventy-two (72) hours after the shooting incident. Cadenas denied the torture story. 21. Itchie Kabayan and Alex Allan of the People's Journal and Elena Aben of the Manila Bulletin. He admitted that the only portion he wrote based on an actual interview with NBI Asst. Exhibit "2-b" The CIS official added that the absence of nitrite or powder burns on Teehankee's hands as shown by paraffin tests at the CIS laboratory indicated that he may not have fired the gun. . 25. 7. viz: Nestor Barrameda of the Manila Times. appearing on the July 16. One news item. that another security guard.nitrates on accused's hands. refused to testify. Malvar. 1991 issue of the Manila Times. 1991 issue of the Manila Times. thus: NESTOR BARRAMEDA. When further pressed whether he filed a petition for review raising this issue with the Department of Justice upon the filing of the cases therewith. Carmela. The bulk of defense evidence consists of newspaper clippings and the testimonies of the news reporters. and Anne Marie Jennifer. also took the stand for the defense. One. 105 The defense lifted only certain portions of Exhibit "1" and marked them in evidence as follows: Exhibit "1-A": Bello directed NBI Deputy Director Epimaco Velasco to take over the investigation of the murders of Roland Chapman. 109 Again. 19. Cadenas' supervisor at the Security agency where Cadenas was employed. however. CIS director for the national capital region. which were not written by Barrameda. He testified that in the course of handling the cases. He also declared that although they knew that arraignment would mean waiver of the alleged irregularities in the conduct of the investigation and preliminary investigation. a reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer identified two (2) newspaper clippings which were partly written by him. One was a news item. first pistol-whipped Hultman. He offered the excuse that he deferred to Atty. Malvar also admitted that he and Atty." Barrameda identified another news item in the July 23. is the jealousy angle and the other is a "highly sensitive" matter that might involve influential people. however. one of accused's counsel of record. Ponferrada informed him that Cadenas confided to him that he was tortured at the NBI and was compelled to execute a statement. was entitled: "FBI JOINS PROBE OF DASMA SLAY" (Exhibit "3"). had fired at Chapman and his companions. Atty. 1991 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Exhibit "l-D" The same witnesses said Chapman and Leino were shot when they tried to escape. 106 Barrameda testified that he had no personal knowledge of the content of the news items marked as Exhibits "1-C" to "1-D". 102 ATTY. witnesses told police. Jimenez. the defense marked in evidence certain portions of Exhibit "3". he was able to confer with Ponferrada. 104 He. The news editor then compiles the different reports they file and summarizes them into one story. Martin Marfil and Dave Veridiano of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Jimenez were aware of the irregularities committed in the off-court identification of their client. Director Velasco was Exhibit "I-E. 103 The defense likewise relied on a number of news accounts reporting the progress in the investigation of the case. They follow the practice of pooling news reports where several reporters are tasked to cover one subject matter. viz: Exhibit "2-a" Superintendent Lucas Managuelod. had testified before the police that another man. Exhibit "1-E" Other angles Velasco said "we are pursuing two angles" in the Chapman murder. entitled: "JUSTICE DEP'T ORDERS PROBE OF THREE METRO KILLINGS" (Exhibit "1"). Exhibit "1-B" Police said that Chapman's assailant could have been angered when Hultman." Certain portions thereof. Ponferrada. She explained that 72 hours is the reasonable period within which nitrate residues may not be removed by ordinary washing and would remain on the hands of a person who has fired a gun. Vic Mangubat. a news reporter of the Manila Times identified two (2) news reports as having been partly written by him. entitled: "NBI INSISTS IT HAS "RIGHT" SUSPECT IN CHAPMAN SLAY" which was marked as Exhibit "2. claims. He just culled them from previous news reports of other newspapers. Nida Mendoza of Malaya. the principal counsel of accused at that time. In said Report. not Teehankee. a 10th grader at the International School in Makati was escorted home by Chapman after going to a disco. On rebuttal. Atty. he said he did not. he said. however.

Anders Hultman himself. "Congress told me that I can take the curtain down and jail authorities will pull him out.Exhibit "3-b" But Ranin said they were also looking into reports that Hultman was a dancer before she was adopted by her foster parent." Hultman said. 1991 issue of Malaya. 115 Exhibit "6-b" The day Maureen died. Exhibit "6-e" BIR insiders said Ong has shown a keen interest in the Chapman-Hultman. entitled: "TEEHANKEE SON HELD ON DASMA SLAYING. a congressional hearing granted the Hultman family's request for permission to visit Teehankee in his cell "at anytime of their choice. a reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. entitled: ''I WILL HOUND YOU". 113 The defense presented EXHIBITS "1-5" to prove: (a) the alleged concerted effort of the investigators to implicate accused as the lone gunman. meanwhile. a reporter of the Malaya identified a news report." which appeared on the July 18. voluntarily went to police headquarters upon invitation of Makati police chief Superintendent Remy Macaspac. DAVE VERIDIANO." 116 ALEX ALLAN. he wrote Exhibits "6-d" and "6-e" 117 which read: Exhibit "6-d" "Kaawaawa naman ang mga Hultmans. 120 It reads: Exhibit "7-c" . the break in the case came when the witness showed up and said that the gunman was on board a silver-metallic Lancer. entitled: "DASMA SLAY SUSPECT IDENTIFIED" (Exhibit "7"). 112 Exhibit "5-c" reads: Makati policemen. and. Marfil admitted that the news reports marked as Exhibits "3" and "4" were written based on information available at that time. 118 Allan was not able to check or verify the information in Exhibit "6-e" given to him by BIR insiders for the latter refused to be identified. the white Lancer car of the gunman became a silver gray Lancer of accused and thereafter. 1991 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Exhibit "4"). They were based on speculations. viz: Exhibit "4-B" According to NBI Director Alfredo Lim. 119 Exhibit "6" and its sub-markings were offered to prove: (a) the alleged blind and consuming personal rage and bias of Anders Hultman against accused. 1991 issue of People's Journal (Exhibit "6"). He wrote a portion of said article (Exhibit "7-c") and the source of his information was Camp Crame. 114 The portions thereof were marked in evidence by the defense. disputed NBI accounts that Teehankee was arrested at his house. and (b) the unwarranted pressure. 1991 issue of the Inquirer. (d) that after the NBI took over the investigation. and the sources of her information were several Makati policemen. They said Teehankee. Exhibit "4-C" The witness said the gunman was standing a few feet away near the car and was talking to Hultman. also a reporter of People's Journal co-wrote the news item marked as Exhibit "6". Marfil also wrote some portions of a news item. Marfil admitted that he did not write Exhibits "3-a" and "3-c". he became the gunman. Exhibit "3-c" Investigations showed that the gunman sped along Caballero street inside the village after the shooting and was believed to have proceeded toward Forbes Park using the Palm street gate. 111 NIDA MENDOZA. a reporter of the People's Journal identified the portions she wrote in the news item. marked as Exhibit "5-c"." Exhibit "6-c" "If on my next visit he still refuses to come out and is still hiding behind the curtain. 110 Marfil's source of information was Director Lim. She testified that she wrote a portion thereof. who was shouting "Huwag! Daddy!" several times. 566. identified the news account which appeared on the July 16. entitled: "TEEHANKEE SON HELD FOR DASMA SLAY. He just reiterated previous reports in other newspapers." which appeared on the July 18. Vizconde and Eldon Maguan cases because he belongs to a secret but very influential multi-sectoral group monitoring graft and corruption and other crimes in high levels of government and society. She identified the source of her information as Mr. (b) that there were other suspects aside from accused and that someone whom Maureen called as "Daddy" was the actual gunman." Ong was quoted as telling Vergel de Dios. which appeared on the October 24. (c) that the initial police investigation showed that the gunman's car was a white Lancer with plate no. ITCHIE CABAYAN. the last remaining owner of a car with plate control number 566 who had not been questioned. viz: Exhibit "6-a" "I will be visiting him often and at the most unexpected occasion. On cross-examination. prejudice and prejudgment by some congressional leaders in favor of the Hultmans in violation of due process. Specifically. tulungan natin sila. On cross-examination." Hultman said the day after his 17-year old daughter was cremated.

122 Veridiano was shown another news report. his article. Maureen Hultman and Jussi Olanileino. Portions of said news item were marked by the defense as follows: Exhibit "22-b" . They added that they saw the same car in the garage of the Teehankee family. however. ELENA ABEN. from an NBI lineup. He said the shooting could be the result of an altercation on the street. .I. The witness. He gathered this information from his source but he was not able to interview Mangubat himself. 1991 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Exhibit 9). They shot Chapman several times in the body. The armed men. blocked the path of the victim's Mercedes Benz car inside the village before the shooting.m. entitled: " N. He was shot to death by a group of armed men at the corner of Mahogany and Caballero Sts. failed to identify Teehankee as the gunman. 123 He wrote the entire news account. 124portions of which were marked by the defense in evidence. The gunmen escaped after the shooting. a Finn. on board a white Lancer car.B. Exhibit "23-a-2" Witnesses said they saw Teehankee order Chapman and his two companions. thus: Exhibit "9-a" The CIS pulled out from the case a day after its so-called "surprise witness" picked Claudio Teehankee. 121 Veridiano likewise identified a news item which appeared on the July 1991 issue of the Inquirer. PDW 566. wrote the entire article." identified only as Mangubat. 1991 issue of the Manila Bulletin (Exhibit "10"). however. was introduced by the defense in evidence as follows: Exhibit "23-a-1" The NBI said Teehankee was one of four men who blocked Chapman's car on Mahogany St. ." Exhibit "8-e" The source said that the police's "prime witness. Lim said he will announce later the names of the detained suspects after their initial investigation.Witnesses said the gunman fled aboard a white Mitsubishi Lancer with plate number "566. The portions of said news item which he wrote were marked in evidence by the defense. in Dasmariñas Village at past 4 a. a reporter of the Manila Bulletin. while his companions identified as Maureen Hultman. said a red-faced Makati investigator who. to get out of their car. Friday. Jr. Exhibit "22-a-1" The gunmen then alighted from their car and at gunpoint ordered Chapman to alight from the car. Exhibit "8-c" He said the CIS will shortly identify the suspect killer whom he described as "resembling Teehankee but looks much younger. Ngayon bigla niyang ituturo. entitled: "4 MURDER SUSPECTS FALL" (Exhibit "22"). viz: Exhibit "8-a" At the Criminal Investigation Service. in the subdivision. and Jussi Olanileino. which appeared on the July 18. saw everything that happened in the early morning of July 13. SECOND WITNESS TAGS TEEHANKEE" (Exhibit "8")." The witnesses cannot tell the plate's control letters. 128 Finally. 126 Two (2) portions thereof were marked as evidence by the defense. did not want to be identified. a reporter from the Manila Bulletin. Hindi raw ito ang suspect. as usual. viz: Exhibit "10-a-1" The victims were on their way home in Olanileino's Mercedez Benz with a diplomat's plate number when a white Lancer with plate number PKX-566 blocked its path. 129 . VICTOR VEGA. were seriously wounded when the gunmen sprayed the car with bullets. entitled: "CIS GIVES UP CHAPMAN SLAY CASE". an investigator who asked not to be identified insisted that the NBI got the wrong man. which appeared on the July 26. 127 Finally. Ilang beses kong pinarada sa kanya si Bobby (Teehankee Jr. 1991 issue of the Manila Bulletin. a silver gray Lancer with plate No. which appeared on the July 14. Exhibit "23-a-3" They identified the car used by the suspect.) puro iling siya. Exhibit "10-a-2" US embassy spokesman Stanley Schrager said Chapman's father is a communications specialist. 1991 issue of the Bulletin. entitled: "MAKATI SLAY SUSPECT IDENTIFIED" (Exhibit "23"). identified the news account he wrote which appeared on the July 16. entitled: "US DIPLOMAT'S SON SHOT DEAD". The NBI has taken over the case from the CIS. 125 Exhibit "9-b" Sira ulo pala siya (Mangubat). FINDINGS DISPUTED. Exhibit "22-c" The NBI sources said that jealousy sparked the slaying of Chapman who was killed in front of his friends on his way home from a party.

91-4605. Thirteen Million Pesos (P13. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of Murder. for the fatal shooting of Maureen Navarro Hultman. He told Baldado he was positive. Both yielded a negative result. and sentencing said accused to suffer imprisonment of Reclusion perpetua. Mangubat insisted that he was able to identify accused when he saw the latter at the Makati police station.461. Continued washing with hot water can induce perspiration and remove nitrate residue embedded in the skin pores. and One Million Pesos (P1.600. He filed a Motion for New Trial. Philippine Currency. qualified by treachery. However. 133 She divulged that questions have been raised regarding the reliability of the paraffin test. plus moderate or temperate and exemplary damages in the sum of Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500. and another sum equivalent in Philippine Pesos of U. 136 It does not appear that the defense objected to this Order. 1992. Philippine Currency. the trial court convicted accused CLAUDIO TEEHANKEE. the defense counsels did not appear. both as actual damages. qualified by treachery.00). Application of vinegar on the hand can register the same effect. One of them washed his hands. moderate and exemplary damages. The motion was granted and the parties were given ten (10) days from receipt of the Order within which to submit their simultaneous Memorandum. for the shooting of Jussi Olavi Leino. premises considered.000.00). plus the sum of One Hundred Eighteen Thousand Three Hundred Sixty-Nine Pesos and Eighty-Four Centavos (P118. she opined. Teehankee. Philippine Currency. for loss of earning capacity of the said deceased. qualified by treachery. (2) In Criminal Case No. Philippine Currency. 139alleging for the first time that the trial court erred in considering as submitted for decision not only the petition for bail but also the case on the merits. VALLADO. the same being unneccesary. They then subjected both agents to a paraffin test using diphylamine reagent. and to pay the heirs of the said deceased the sum of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50.000. as and for attorney's fees and expenses of litigation.84). 138The dispositive portion of the Decision reads: WHEREFORE. finding accused Claudio J. Philippine Currency. and sentencing him to suffer imprisonment of Reclusion Perpetua. was also presented as a prosecution rebuttal witness. during which time.000.S.000.. 000. Teehankee. 1992 for the presentation by the defense of sur-rebuttal evidence. In said training. of the crimes charged. an amount equivalent in Philippine Pesos of U. She testified that extensive washing of hands or excessive perspiration can eliminate gunpowder nitrates lodged on skin pores of the hands. Consequently the petition for bail is hereby denied for utter lack of merit. chief of the Forensic Chemistry Division of the NBI. Pat. for the fatal shooting of Roland John Chapman. 91-4607. $55. She related that she once attended a training in Baguio City where they tried to test the accuracy of a paraffin test. as loss of earning capacity of said offended party.000. $40. Philippine Currency. and (5) To pay the costs in these three cases. 131 LEONORA C.000. Thus. Accused hired a new counsel in the person of Atty. Jr. declared that this is without prejudice to the presentation of its evidence in the trial proper should the same be necessary. Vega declared that the source of his two (a) stories was the NBI and they were based on information available to the NBI at that time 130 The prosecution recalled to the stand eyewitness VICENTE MANGUBAT as its rebuttal witness. however. He claimed that accused's right to adduce further evidence was violated.. Philippine Currency. as moral. Baldado then said him he would no longer require him to sign the statement he prepared for him earlier. the result of a paraffin test should merely be taken as a corroborative evidence and evaluated together with other physical evidence.00).000. any possible trace of nitrate may still be found. finding accused Claudio J. Her reiterated that the next day.00).00).00). His motion for new trial was denied.00). finding accused Claudio J.S. a day before the scheduled hearing.000. 132 She testified that their practice at the NBI is to take the paraffin test on a suspect within 72 hours from the time of the alleged firing of a gun. 134 The records show that the case was set for hearing on October 29. Jr. both parties submitted their respective Memorandum. as moral. JR.. as maximum. The defense. Gatmaytan.38 revolver. On December 22.00). and to pay the heirs of the said deceased the sum of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50.000. the defense filed a Constancia 135manifesting that it shall waive its right to present sur-rebuttal evidence. The prosecution moved in open court that the main cases and the petition for bail be submitted for decision in view of the absence of defense counsels who had manifested that they would no longer present their sur-rebuttal evidence.000. moderate and exemplary damages. At the hearing of October 29. (4) In all these three cases ordering said accused to pay all the offended parties the sum of Three Million Pesos (P3. Accused interposed the present appeal. Teehankee. Nicanor B.00. Jr. Jr. and sentencing him to suffer the indeterminate penalty of eight (8) years of prision mayor. as actual damages. 137 In due time.000. Philippine Currency. 1992. two (2) NBI agents fired a . and to pay the said offended party the sum of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30. plus the sums of Two Million Three Hundred Fifty Thousand Four Hundred Sixty-One Pesos and Eighty-Three Centavos (P2. (3) In Criminal Case No. Baldado of the Makati police went to his place of work in Dasmariñas Village and asked him if he was sure about the identity of the gunman. to ten (10) years and one (1) day of prision mayor. as minimum.369.00.000.83). and One Million Pesos (P1. 91-4606. Philippine Currency. 140 He contends that: . the Court hereby renders judgment: (1) In criminal Case No.On cross-examination. Philippine Currency. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of Murder. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of Frustrated Murder.350. The records show that the defense even filed a motion asking for additional time to file its Memorandum. SO ORDERED.

while eyewitness identification is significant. that Leino's interview at the hospital was never put in writing. we hold that the alleged irregularities cited by appellant did not result in his misidentification nor was he denied due process.000. He and his companions had been shot in cold blood in one of the exclusive. involves perception of an event actually occurring. During that period. that Leino could not have remembered the face of appellant. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN GRANTING EXORBITANT MORAL AND EXEMPLARY DAMAGES AND LOSS OF EARNING CAPACITY.I. Chief of the Special Operations Group of the NBI. courts have adopted the totality of circumstances test where they consider the following factors. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN AWARDING ATTORNEY'S FEES OF THREE MILLION PESOS (P3. Eyewitness identification constitutes vital evidence and. embassy security officials and brought to the house where he was to make the identification. it is not as accurate and authoritative as the scientific forms of identification evidence such as the fingerprint or DNA testing. AND PREJUDICIAL AS TO EFFECTIVELY DEPRIVE THE ACCUSED OF RIGHT TO IMPARTIAL TRIAL. VII. His senses were also dulled by the five (5) bottles of beer he imbibed that night." 141 The causes of misidentification are known. (3) the accuracy of any prior description given by the witness.000. OVERWHELMING. It is surmised that the sketch must have been among the evidence turned over to the NBI when the latter assumed jurisdiction over the investigation. courts have fashioned out rules to assure its fairness and its compliance with the requirements of constitutional due process. He starts by trying to discredit the eyeball account of Jussi Leino. Appellant was convicted on the strength of the testimonies of three (3) eyewitnesses who positively identified him as the gunman. (Emphasis Supplied) 142 Out-of-court identification is conducted by the police in various ways. 143 Using the totality of circumstances test. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN RENDERING JUDGMENT ON THE MERITS AND ON THE PETITION FOR BAIL AT THE SAME TIME WITHOUT GIVING THE ACCUSED THE OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE IN HIS DEFENSE ON THE MERITS OF THE CASE AND DENYING THE ACCUSED'S MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL. First. they are limited by normal human fallibilities and suggestive influences. There is nothing wrong in Leino's identification of appellant in an unoccupied house in Forbes Park. THE PROSECUTION HAS FAILED TO ESTABLISH THE GUILT OF THE ACCUSED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. The shooting lasted for only five (5) minutes. It is also done thru line-ups where a witness identifies the suspect from a group of persons lined up for the purpose. IV. Atty. the witness must be able to recall and communicate accurately. VI. witnessing a crime. Appellant urges: First. (2) the witness' degree of attention at that time. We shall discuss these alleged errors in seriatim. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE KILLING OF CHAPMAN AND HULTMAN AND THE SHOOTING OF LEINO WAS ATTENDED BY TREACHERY. Salvador Ranin. retain. in most cases. It is understandable for appellant to assail his out-of-court identification by the prosecution witnesses in his first assignment of error. Yet. supposedly safe subdivisions in the metropolis. 145 Leino's fear for his safety was not irrational. correctly testified that there is no hard and fast rule as to the place where suspects are . that Leino's identification of him outside an unoccupied house in Forbes Park was highly irregular. Some authors even describe eyewitness evidence as "inherently suspect. ROLAND CHAPMAN AND MAUREEN NAVARRO HULTMAN. viz: (1) the witness' opportunity to view the criminal at the time of the crime. the lone surviving victim of the crimes at bar. the witness must memorize details of the event. It is done thru mug shots where photographs are shown to the witness to identify the suspect. Third. V. (6) the suggestiveness of the identification procedure. whether as a victim or a bystander. Fourth. Third. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE ACCUSED HAD BEEN POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED BY JUSSI LEINO. that Leino saw his pictures on television and the newspapers before he identified him. thus: xxx xxx xxx Identification testimony has at least three components. and. Since corruption of out-of-court identification contaminates the integrity of in-court identification during the trial of the case.S. that the sketch of appellant based on the description given by Leino to the CIS agents was suppressed by the NBI. 144 The need for security even compelled that Leino be fetched and escorted from his house in Forbes Park by U. (5) the length of time between the crime and the identification. CADENAS AND MANGUBAT AS THE ONE WHO SHOT HIM. for whenever people attempt to acquire. and retrieve information accurately. his gaze could not have been fixed only on the gunman's face. In resolving the admissibility of and relying on out-of-court identification of suspects. It is done thru show-ups where the suspect alone is brought face to face with the witness for identification. Second.00). Second. II. decisive of the success or failure of the prosecution. (4) the level of certainty demonstrated by the witness at the identification. He vigorously assails his out-of-court identification by these eyewitnesses. Dangers of unreliability in eyewitness testimony arise at each of these three stages. THE PUBLICITY GIVEN THE CASE AGAINST THE APPELLANT WAS MASSIVE. The records reveal that this mode was resorted to by the authorities for security reasons. Lastly. The Leinos refused to have the identification at the NBI office as it was cramped with people and with high security risk. III.

Cadenas' initial reluctance to reveal to the authorities what he witnessed was sufficiently explained during the trial. Appellant also assails his identification by Cadenas. Baldado said he would no longer ask him to sign a statement (Exhibit "HHH") 156 earlier prepared by Baldado. 1991. The incident happened for a full five (5) minutes. Supposedly. neither came across Cadenas. citing the testimony of defense witness Pat. The allegation is an out and out hearsay as Ponferrada was not presented in the witness stand. Cadenas himself stoutly denied this allegation of torture. II . Hultman has proved that the Makati police. Mangubat was supposed to state that appellant. in the afternoon of July 14. We reject appellant's submission. circumstancial and "suspiciosly short in important details." there being no investigation whatsoever conducted by the police. Pat. especially the injury to his tongue. Mr. If Leino identified appellant. limited his mobility. information about his torture. That same night. his supervisor. Indeed. Leino had no ill-motive to falsely testify against appellant. but mainly on the finding that the prosecution evidence was. He merely replied: "Nakita ko pero patay na. he has not seen any picture of appellant or read any report relative to the shooting incident. Alindog 150 to erode Leino's credibility is misplaced. Appellant's assertion that Cadenas was tortured by the NBI is not borne out by the records. the face end body movements of the assailant create an impression which cannot be easily erased from their memory. Baldado returned to his place of work in Dasmariñas and asked him again whether appellant was the gunman. accused was acquitted not solely on the basis of delay in taking his statement. He. Forthwith. however. The scene of the crime was well-lighted by a Meralco lamp post. We also reject appellant's contention that the NBI suppressed the sketch prepared by the CIS on the basis of the description given by Leino. he was still physically unable to speak. 147 The burden is on appellant to prove that his mug shot identification was unduly suggestive. that he gave his statement to the NBI. 153 The Court has taken judicial notice of the natural reticence of witnesses to get involved in the solution of crimes considering the risk to their lives and limbs. Five (5) minutes is not a short time for Leino to etch in his mind the picture of appellant. Cadenas allegedly told Ponferrada. He saw with his own eyes the senseless violence perpetrated by appellant. Again. He identified appellant as the gunman from these pictures. He never wavered in his identification of appellant. especially the victims to a crime. We find nothing in the records to suspect that Mangubat would perjure himself. In light of these all too real risks. The Court cannot be as generous to Pat. The suspicion that the sketch did not resemble appellant is not evidence. Experience shows that precisely because of the unusual acts of bestiality committed before their eyes. he confidently replied: "I'm very sure. Pat. Appellant was merely 2-3 meters away when he shot Leino. Identification may be done in open field. was NOT the gunman. We have no reason to doubt the correctness of appellant's identification by Leino. It could not have been somebody else. while Leino was still in the hospital. There is nothing on the record to show that said sketch was turned over by the CIS to the NBI which could warrant a presumption that the sketch was suppressed. The next day. The anomaly triggered nothing less than a congressional investigation. We give more weight to the testimony of Mangubat. 155 Appellant then discredits his identification by VICENTE MANGUBAT. 149 There is also no rule of evidence which requires the rejection of the testimony of a witness whose statement has not been priorly reduced to writing. The victims and appellant were unknown to each other before their chance encounter. can remember with a high degree of reliability the identity of criminals. it must be because appellant was the real culprit. he cannot complain about the admission of his out-of-court identification by Leino. He declared he positively identified appellant as the gunman at the Makati police station." 148 Appellant cannot likewise capitalize on the failure of the investigators to reduce to a sworn statement the information revealed by Leino during his hospital interviews. When asked how sure he was that appellant was responsible for the crime. at best. the NBI subpoenaed him for investigation. It was only after consistent prodding and assurance of protection from NBI officials that he agreed to cooperate with the authorities. gave appellant favored treatment while in their custody. He related that he feared for his and his family's safety. a certain Ponferrada. whom he saw at the Makati police station. before the mug shot identification. Cadenas passed on to his superior. Reliance by appellant on the case of People v. It is often done in hospitals while the crime and the criminal are still fresh in the mind of the victim. an NBI agent interviewed Cadenas and asked if he saw the incident. In Alindog. 154 It will not depart from this ruling. In said statement previously prepared by Baldado. We are not likewise impressed with the contention that it was incredible for Leino to have remembered appellant's face when the incident happened within a span of five (5) minutes. he replied in the affirmative." He did not volunteer information to anyone as to what he supposedly witnessed. His testimony at the trial was straightforward. He was being fed through a tube inserted in his throat. Baldado of the Makati Police. 1991. Mangubat. 146 Appellant cannot also gripe that Leino saw his pictures and heard radio and TV accounts of the shooting before he personally identified him. The day he identified appellant in the line-up. The claim of torture is also belied by the fact that Cadenas' entire family was allowed to stay with him at the NBI headquarters and likewise extended protection. however. July 16. Most often. He was unshaken by the brutal cross-examination of the defense counsels. He stresses that when the Dasmariñas security force and the Makati police conducted an on-the-spot investigation on the day of the incident. He knew appellant belonged to an influential family. there is absolutely no improper motive for Leino to impute a serious crime to appellant. belied Baldado's story. James Baldado of the Makati Police.identified by witnesses. categorically stated that. Failing proof of impermissible suggestiveness. 1991. It is unmitigated guesswork. including some of its jail officials. Pat. He contends that Cadenas did not witness the crime.152 In the case at bar. It was only the next day. the records show that on July 15. the court has not considered the initial reluctance of fear-gripped witnesses to cooperate with authorities as an authorities as an indicium of credibility. He went to the NBI the next morning. Baldado testified that Mangubat failed to identify appellant as the gunman the first time he was brought to the Makati police station. that the NBI tortured him. eyewitnesses. It was sufficiently established that Leino's extensive injuries. he was shown three (3) pictures of different men by the investigators. He averred that the day after he identified appellant. 151 We have ruled that the natural reaction of victims of criminal violence is to strive to see the appearance of their assailants and observe the manner the crime was committed. His fear was not imaginary.

Florece said the car was somewhat white ("medyo puti"). i." 167 Moreover. This stance is a specie of a mid-1800 rule known as the English Exchequer Rule pursuant to which "a trial court's error as to the admission of evidence was presumed to have caused prejudice and therefore. deserves scant consideration. Daddy." The evidence on record. We reject appellant's thesis as bereft of merit. Considering the speed and shocking nature of the incident which happened before the break of dawn. Clearly. Allegedly. She likewise opined that the conduct of . While still in the hospital and when informed that the Makati police were looking into this possibility." Appellant also contends that a maid in a house near the scene of the crime told Makati police Alberto Fernandez that she heard Maureen say: "Daddy don't shoot. and alfalfa. Appellant cites a newspaper item 166 where Maureen was allegedly overheard as saying to the gunman: "Huwag. however. referring as they do to colors white. the prosecution eyewitnesses described the gunman's car as white. fertilizers. we examine its damaging quality and its impact to the substantive rights of the litigant . in his statement dated July 15. A person who uses tobacco may also have nitrate or nitrite deposits on his hands since these substances are present in the products of combustion of tobacco." 160 We have likewise followed the harmless error rule in our jurisdiction. 170 In the case at bar. viz:. Leino described the car as light-colored. and leguminous plants such as peas. or if the direction of a strong wind is against the gunman at the time of firing. I promise Mommy. since one of the eyewitnesses was quoted in the newspapers as having overheard Maureen plead to the gunman: "Huwag. the argument is negated by the records which show that said car was towed because the NBI could not get its ignition key which was then in the possession of appellant. another resident of Dasmariñas Village. . Even appellant's evidence show that said car could run. in Makati. The only thing that it can definitely establish is the presence or absence of nitrates or nitrites on the hand. the NBI failed to conduct an examination to compare the bullets fired from the gun at the scene of the crime with the bullets recovered from the body of Chapman." 159American courts adopted this approach especially after the enactment of a 1915 federal statute which required a federal appellate court to "give judgment after an examination of the entire record before the court. It was clearly established that Maureen could not have uttered said statement for two (2) reasons: Maureen did not speak Tagalog. 164 and Cadenas testified it was silver metallic gray. don't shoot me and don't kill me. Daddy. Daddy." 169 In numerous rulings. 165 These alleged discrepancies amount to no more than shades of differences and are not meaningful. said that he overheard the victim Maureen Hultman plead to the gunman. or exceptions which do not affect the substantial rights of the parties. In dealing with evidence improperly admitted in trial. cannot exculpate appellant. the car was towed not because it was not in running condition. Scientific experts concur in the view that the paraffin test has ". Leino outrightly dismissed this suspicion. the appellant was convicted mainly because of his identification by three (3) eyewitnesses with high credibility. where it was parked. ANDERS HULTMAN. 168 Leino is a reliable witness. The reference is not the linchpin of the inculpatory evidence appreciated by the trial judge in convicting appellant. Third. thus: "Please. Leino flatly stated that Anders Hultman was NOT the gunman.e. The omission." Fifth. (b) JOSE MONTAÑO. some substantial wrong or miscarriage (of justice) has been occasioned. but the trial court found it to be silver mettalic gray. these slight discrepancies in the description of the car do not make the prosecution eyewitnesses unworthy of credence.". almost automatically required a new trial. we disregard the error as it will not overcome the weight of the properly admitted evidence against the prejudiced party. It cannot be established from this test alone that the source of the nitrates or nitrites was the discharge of a firearm. and." not "Daddy. The omitted comparison cannot nullify the evidentiary value of the positive identification of appellant. viz: when the assailant washes his hands after firing the gun. Leonora Vallado. NBI Forensic Chemist. Appellant points to other possible suspects. testified and confirmed that excessive perspiration or washing of hands with the use of warm water or vinegar may also remove gunpowder nitrates on the skin. he claims the trial court erred in citing in its Decision his involvement in previous shooting incidents for this contravenes the rule 157 that evidence that one did or omitted to do a certain thing at one time is not admissible to prove that he did or omitted to do the same or similar thing at another time. If the impact is slight and insignificant. 1991. 161 In the case at bar. the NBI towed accused's car from Dasmariñas Village to the NBI office which proved that the same was not in good running condition. There is also little to the contention of appellant that his Lancer car was not in running condition.. that the trial court erred in not holding that the prosecution failed to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. wears gloves at the time of the shooting. the result of the paraffin test conducted on appellant showed he was negative of nitrates. After its repairs. somewhat white and silver metallic gray. . Fourth. proved extremely unreliable in use. Claudio Teehankee III. Again. 163Mangubat declared the car was white. and she addressed Anders Hultman as "Papa. such as explosives. defects. Don't. Daddy. As aforestated. 162 Nor are we impressed by the alleged discrepancies in the eyewitnesses' description of the color of the gunman's car. The person may have handled one or more of a number of substances which give the same positive reaction for nitrates or nitrites. beans. fireworks. demonstrates that Anders Hultman could not have been the gunman. Quezon City to Dasmariñas Village. who had a white Lancer car. we have also recognized several factors which may bring about the absence of gunpowder nitrates on the hands of a gunman. First. Appellant cannot also capitalize on the paraffin test showing he was negative of nitrates. however. Second. also bearing license plate number 566." 158 The Exchequer rule has long been laid to rest for even English appellate courts now disregard an error in the admission of evidence "unless in its opinion. drove it from the repair shop in Banawe. appellant's son. Lastly. Appellant cannot hope to exculpate himself simply because the trial judge violated the rule on res inter alios actawhen he considered his involvement in previous shooting incidents. Huwag. the reference by the trial judge to reports about the troublesome character of appellant is a harmless error. this was vicariously proved when the NBI towed his car from Dasmariñas Village where it was parked to the NBI office.We now rule on appellant's second assignment of error. Appellant's attempt to pin the crimes at bar on Anders Hultman. without regard to technical errors. The NBI may have also failed to compare the bullets fired from the fatal gun with the bullets found at the scene of the crime. the adoptive father of Maureen Hultman. pharmaceuticals. appellant could not have been the gunman for Mangubat.

Why could not the jury law be so altered as to give men of brains and honesty an equal chance with fools and miscreants?" 174 Our judges are learned in the law and trained to disregard off-court evidence and on-camera performances of parties to a litigation. Acting on the manifestation. there must be allegation and proof that the judges have been unduly influenced. he was allegedly given the "finger sign" by several young people while he was leaving the courtroom on his way back to his cell. The press does not simply publish information about trials but guards against the miscarriage of justice by subjecting in the police. Then and now. He also manifested that he personally saw that when accused was being brought back to his cell from the courtroom. we rule that the right of an accused to a fair trial is not incompatible to a free press. These news form part of our everyday menu of the facts and fictions of life. In the case at bar. It invoked the provision in the Rules of Court which allows the accused to exclude everybody in the courtroom. the trial judge declared that he could not be dissuaded by public sentiments. especially in the criminal field . He postulates there was pressure on the trial judge for high-ranking government officials avidly followed the developments in the case (as no less than Vice-President Joseph Estrada and then Department of Justice Secretary Franklin Drilon attended some of the hearings and. the parties again argued on the coverage of the trial by the press. Appellant has the burden to prove this actual bias and he has not discharged the burden. prosecutors. He submits that the trial judge failed to protect him from prejudicial publicity and disruptive influences which attended the prosecution of the cases. not simply that they might be. III In his third assigned error. he is worth a hundred jurymen who will swear to their own ignorance and stupidity . a group of young people were pointing dirty fingers at accused in full view of policemen. Only then did he order the start of the arraignment of accused. The trial judge noted that there were yet no guidelines drafted by the Supreme Court regarding media coverage of the trial proceedings. spectators inside the courtroom clapped their hands and converted the proceedings into a carnival. 178 Collaborating defense counsel. We cannot sustain appellant's claim that he was denied the right to impartial trial due to prejudicial publicity. our idea of a fair and impartial judge is not that of a hermit who is out of touch with the world. For one. the defense counsel called the attention of the court to the visible display of a placard inside the courtroom. At the hearing of July 14. Section 13 of the Rules of Court and moved for the exclusion of the public. We have not installed the jury system whose members are overly protected from publicity lest they lose their impartiality. It is true that the print and broadcast media gave the case at bar pervasive publicity. Their mere exposure to publications and publicity stunts does not per se fatally infect their impartiality. . In another instance. Forensic Chemist Elizabeth Ayonon noted that when appellant was tested for the presence of nitrates. 177 2. During the testimony of Domingo Florece. To be sure. Criticisms against the jury system are mounting and Mark Twain's wit and wisdom put them all in better perspective when he observed: "When a gentleman of high social standing. The transcripts reveal the following: 1. "a responsible press has always been regarded as the handmaiden of effective judicial administration. . . We have minutely examined the transcripts of the proceedings and they do not disclose that the trial judge allowed the proceedings to turn into a carnival. the records do not show that the trial judge developed actual bias against appellant as a consequence of the extensive media coverage of the pre-trial and trial of his case. The court granted defense's request. by such time. more than 72 hours has already lapsed from the time of the alleged shooting. He noted that the clapping of hands by the public was just a reaction at the spur of the moment. the nitrates could have already been removed by washing or perspiration. 175 we rejected this standard of possibility of prejudice and adopted the test of actual prejudice as we ruled that to warrant a finding of prejudicial publicity. responsible reporting enhances an accused's right to a fair trial for. The state of the art of our communication system brings news as they happen straight to our breakfast tables and right to our bedrooms. street talk and newspaper reports based upon mere hearsay. The mere fact that the trial of appellant was given a day-to-day. the defense counsel invoked Rule 119. When part of the audience clapped their hands. He then admonished the audience not to repeat it."173 Pervasive publicity is not per se prejudicial to the right of an accused to fair trial. the defense counsel asked for the exclusion of the media after they had enough opportunity to take pictures. Forthwith. President Corazon Aquino even visited victim Maureen Hultman while she was still confined at the hospital). v. 176 On the same hearing. Assistant Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio objected on the ground that the public was not unruly. Nor did he consent to or condone any manifestation of unruly or improper behavior or conduct inside the courtroom during the trial of the case at bar. At the August 14. complained that the outpouring of sympathy by spectators inside the courtroom has turned the proceedings into a carnival. Atty. and judicial processes to extensive public scrutiny and criticism.the paraffin test after more than seventy-two (72) hours from the time of the shooting may not lead to a reliable result for. For another. et a1. it is impossible to seal the minds of members of the bench from pre-trial and other off-court publicity of sensational criminal cases. Malvar. . 1992. At best. appellant blames the press for his conviction as he contends that the publicity given to his case impaired his right to an impartial trial. et al. intelligence.. 171 In the Report 172 on the paraffin test conducted on appellant. The defense alleged that the media coverage will constitute mistrial and deny accused's constitutional right to due process. by the barrage of publicity. gavel-to-gavel coverage does not by itself prove that the publicity so permeated the mind of the trial judge and impaired his impartiality. 179 3. noting that the courtroom was also too crowded. as well pointed out. an argument ensued between the defense lawyer and the fiscal. The totality of circumstances of the case does not prove that the trial judge acquired a fixed opinion as a result of prejudicial publicity which is incapable of change even by evidence presented during the trial. . 1991 hearing. and probity swears that testimony given under the same oath will outweigh with him. In Martelino. just like all high profile and high stake criminal trials. Alejandro. appellant can only conjure possibility of prejudice on the part of the trial judge due to the barrage of publicity that characterized the investigation and trial of the case. the trial judge immediately directed that the placard be hidden. He claims there were placards displayed during the hearing of the cases.

"Why did you shoot me?" was all Chapman could utter. we directed the trial judge to proceed with the trial to speed up the administration of justice.D. Maureen moved around his car and tried to put some distance between them. 183 6 On September 10. and the wounding of Leino for it was not shown that the gunman consciously and deliberately adopted particular means. 1992. As to the wounding of Jussi Leino and the killing of Maureen Hultman.D. 185 However. Appellant posits that the awards of moral and exemplary damages and for loss of earning capacity of Maureen Hultman. 1992 hearing. When appellant went after her. there is no evidence on record to prove that appellant consciously and deliberately adopted his mode of attack to insure the accomplishment of his criminal design without risk to himself. He added that the public is entitled to observe and witness trial of public offenses. Their meeting was by chance. Concededly. V and VI We come now to the civil liability imposed against appellant. and shot him. Evident premeditation was correctly ruled out by the trial court for.. Appellant questioned who they were and demanded for an I. he prohibited them from taking pictures during the trial. the judge admonished the media people present in the courtroom to stop taking pictures. The prosecutor. The defense's documentary evidence consists mostly of newspaper clippings relative to the investigation of the case at bar and which appeared to cast doubt on his guilt. The records reveal he presented in court no less than seven (7) newspaper reporters and relied heavily on selected portions of their reports for his defense. appellant purposely placed his two victims in a completely defenseless position before shooting them. Appellant asserts that mere suddenness of attack does not prove treachery. pulled a gun from inside his shirt. appellant got to Maureen and ordered her to sit beside Leino on the pavement. There was an appreciable lapse of time between the killing of Chapman and the shooting of Leino and Hultman — a period which appellant used to prepare for a mode of attack which ensured the execution of the crime without risk to himself. constitute treachery. the trial judge gave the media two (2) minutes to take video coverage and no more. we hold that treachery clearly attended the commission of the crimes. They were strangers to each other. 1992 hearing. appellant pushed Chapman. IV In his fourth assigned error. It appears to us that appellant acted on the spur of the moment. The three (3) Informations charged appellant with having committed the crimes at bar with treachery and evident premeditation. We hold that the prosecution failed to prove treachery in the killing of Chapman. In its Decision. He likewise claims that the trial court's award of attorney's fees was excessive. Finally. the reporters were duly admonished to remain silent.S. Afterwards. appellant should only be held liable for Homicide for the shooting and killing of Chapman. thereafter. admittedly. The time between the initial encounter and the shooting was short and unbroken. Prosecution witness Leino established the sequence of events leading to the shooting. After Leino handed him his I. appellant suddenly alighted from his car and accosted him and Maureen Hultman who were then walking along the sidewalk. the trial judge voluntarily inhibited himself from further hearing the case at bar to assuage appellant's suspicion of bias and partiality." The trial judge then ruled that the media should be given a chance to cover the proceedings before the trial proper but. 187Hence. They were allowed to remain inside the courtroom but were ordered to desist from taking live coverage of the proceedings. Roland Chapman and Jussi Leino were exorbitant. unarmed and begging for mercy. Trial then ensued. 181 4. Chapman appeared from behind Leino and asked what was going on. Maxwell 180where it was held: "A responsible press is always regarded as the handmaiden of effective judicial administration especially in the criminal field. Chapman then stepped down on the sidewalk and inquired from appellant what was wrong. case of Sheppard v. methods and forms in the execution of the crime. Maureen became hysterical and wandered to the side of appellant's car. Even then. the shooting of Chapman was carried out swiftly and left him with no chance to defend himself. to quietly observe the proceedings and just take down notes. The gun attack was unexpected. the shooting incident was merely a casual encounter or a chance meeting on the street since the victims were unknown to appellant and vice-versa It. argued that exclusion of the public can be ordered only in prosecution of private offenses and does not apply to murder cases. appellant claims that treachery was not present in the killing of Hultman and Chapman. 184 Parenthetically. by itself. The shooting of Chapman was thus the result of a rash and impetuous impulse on the part of appellant rather than a deliberate act of will. 182 5. Clearly. At the August 14. however.except the organic personnel. The press cannot be fair and unfair to appellant at the same time. The evidence shows that after shooting Chapman in cold blood. While seated. the two were gunned down by appellant. appellant should be the last person to complain against the press for prejudicial coverage of his trial. appreciated the presence of the qualifying circumstance of treachery. He testified that for no apparent reason. upon elevation of the trial judge's voluntary Order of Inhibition to this Court. the prosecutors and judicial processes to extensive public scrutiny and criticism. What transpires in the courtrooms public property. before the hearing began. 186 We found nothing in the conduct of the proceedings to stir any suspicion of partiality against the trial judge. 1992 before the start of the afternoon session. absent any qualifying circumstance. At the September 8. There and then. We have consistently ruled that mere suddenness of the attack on the victim would not. Treachery was thus correctly appreciated by the trial court against appellant insofar as the killing of Hultman and the wounding of Leino are concerned. He quoted the U. appellant ordered Leino to sit on the pavement. the trial judge again gave the media two (2) minutes to take pictures before the trial proper. it would not be amiss to stress that on May 29. however. After a minute or two. The press does not simply publish information about trials but guards against the miscarriage of justice by subjecting the police. the trial court awarded to Jussi Leino end the heirs of victims Hultman and Chapman the following damages: .

. Costs of litigation." (Art.R. may demand support from the person causing the death. 100. had no earning capacity at the time of his death.00) as indemnity for the injury.000. 2206) and is cases wherein exemplary damages are awarded precisely because of the attendance of aggravating circumstances. 1161. 426. In addition: (1) The defendant shall be liable for the loss of the earning capacity of the deceased. 2230) ".00) for loss of earning capacity of deceased. Amansec. both as actual damages. save as expressly provided in connection with the indemnity for the sole fact of death (1st par. par. when there is a separate civil action. 2233) In any event. It is not necessary that such damages have been foreseen or could have reasonably foreseen by the defendant. 2202) When.84) and the sum equivalent in Philippine pesos of U. Preliminary Title on Human Relations. Pantoja. includes indemnification for consequential damages (Art.00 in the case of People v. the assessment of the moral damages being "left to the discretion of the court.) Since these provisions are subject. 4. those suffered by his family or by a third person by reason of the crime. may.000.000. ." (Art.461. (w)e will now turn to said provisions. . Stated differently.000 referred to in the above article has already been increased by this Court first. and.00 in People v.00) as moderate or temperate and exemplary damages. as well as the amount of moral damages.000. Thirteen Million Pesos (P13. One Million Pesos (P1." (Art.00) as indemnity for death and the sum of Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500. L18793. "every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable. 2230). 107. 1968 190. (2) If the deceased was obliged to give support according to the provisions of article 291. damages to be adjudicated may be respectively increased or lessened according to the aggravating or mitigating circumstances.00) as moral. such indemnity shall in every case be assessed and awarded by the court. and of the pertinent provisions of Chapter 2. the court will decide whether or not they should be given.000. No. The general rule in the Civil Code is that: In crimes and quasi-delicts. 80 Phil. the defendant shall be liable for all damages which are the natural and probable consequences of the act or omission complained of." (Art." (Art. (Art.1. promulgated October 11. the recipient who is not an heir called to the descendant's inheritance by law of testate or intestate succession.350. . id. 188 The early case of Heirs of Raymundo Castro v..S. . and the indemnity shall be paid to the heirs of the latter." (Art. and. 2208. Bustos 189 discussed in detail the matter of damages recoverable in case of death arising from a felony. in case the felony involves death. Two Million Three Hundred Fifty Thousand Four Hundred Sixty-One Pesos and Eighty-Three Centavos (P2. 1) or . 2211) As to attorneys' fees and expenses of litigation. thus: When the commission of a crime results in death. 3. and it must be stressed that this amount. such damages being "separate and distinct from fines and shall be paid to the offended party. (3) The spouse.000. however. the civil obligations arising therefrom are governed by penal laws. One Hundred Eighteen Thousand Three-Hundred Sixty Nine Pesos and Eighty-Four Centavos (P118. For the murder of Maureen Navarro Hultman.369. 2216) Exemplary damages may also be imposed as a part of this civil liability when the crime has been committed with one or more aggravating circumstances.000. .83) as actual damages. 2177. . for loss of earning capacity of Jussi Leino. the crime committed involves death. In all three cases. the heirs of the deceased are entitled to the following items of damages: ." (Art. This civil liability. and lately to P12. 2204) "but the party suffering the loss or injury must exercise the diligence of a good father of a family to minimize the damages resulting from the act or omission in question. appellant was sentenced to pay: Thirty thousand pesos (P30. subject to the provisions of Art. 2203) "Interest as a part of the damages. may be adjudicated even without proof of pecuniary loss.S. to certain provisions of the Civil Code. 2206 which provides thus: The amount of damages for death caused by a crime or quasi-delict shall be at least three thousand pesos even though there may have been mitigating circumstances. G. be adjudicated in the discretion of the Court.00) as indemnity for death. legitimate or illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the deceased may demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the death of the deceased. and of Title XVIII of this Book (Book IV) regulating damages.$40. moderate and exemplary damages. in a proper case. the exact duration to be fixed by the court.00. .000. The amount of P3. 2. according to the circumstances of each case. (Art. ". id. an amount equivalent in Philippine pesos of U. moderate and exemplary damages. when death occurs as a result of a crime. (Art. unless the deceased on account of permanent physical disability not caused by the defendant. For the shooting of Jussi Olavi Leino. the same may be recovered only when exemplary damages have been granted (Art. however. Revised Penal Code). for a period not exceeding five years." (Art. as above indicated. 5.000. 104. appellant was sentenced to pay the heirs of the deceased the sum of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50. appellant was also ordered to pay each of the offended parties the sum of One Million Pesos (or a total of three million pesos) for attorney's fees and expenses of litigation. One Million Pesos as moral.000.000. Civil Code) Thus. appellant was sentenced to pay the heirs of the deceased the sum of: Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50.00. Art. Exemplary damages cannot however be recovered as a matter of right. there is Art.) and said consequential damages in turn include ". to P6. For the murder of Roland John Chapman.$55.600.

only Vivian and Anders Hultman testified on their claim of damages. 3. This may be recovered even by the illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the deceased. 5. . He contends that under Article 352 of the New Civil Code. be respectively increased or lessened according to the mitigating or aggravating circumstances. may demand support from the accused for not more than five years. without specifying the particular amount which corresponds to each.000.000.000. however. Hence.00 (now P50. is entitled to the award made by the trial court. by the adopters. the said indemnity to be assessed and awarded by the court as a matter of duty. The amount of Five Hundred Thousand (P500. Appellant argues that the damages for the death of Maureen should be awarded to her mother.000. we increase the amount of moral damages to One Million (P1.000. The records reveal that Maureen recovered between life and death for ninety-seven (97) days. Nor can it be given as exemplary damages. It must be emphasized that the indemnities for loss of earning capacity of the deceased and for moral damages are recoverable separately from and in addition to the fixed sum of P12. for obvious reasons. xxx xxx xxx (5) When only the adopters survive. we find that the award of damages in their favor has sufficient factual and legal basis. 191 We shall first review the damages awarded to the heirs of ROLAND JOHN CHAPMAN in light of the law and the case law.000. The amount of damages for death caused by a crime . We start with the observation that the trial court should not have lumped together the awards for moderate or temperate and exemplary damages at Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500. Article 190 of the Family Code provides: xxx xxx xxx (2) When the parents. Interests in the proper cases. During that time. Under the Family Code which was already in effect at the time of Maureen's death. Appellant also urges that the award to the heirs of Maureen Hultman of One Million Pesos (P1. Civil Code. If the deceased was obliged to give support. 4. one-half to be inherited by the parents or ascendants and the other half. however. Appellant claims that the award of Five Hundred Thousand (P500. consider their propriety and reasonableness. they shall inherit the entire estate. without the need of any evidence or proof of damages. unless the deceased had no earning capacity at said time on account of permanent disability not caused by the accused. at the very least. 2206. the same to be considered separate from fines. Be that as it may. 192 It states: Art. they shall divide the entire estate.000.00) pesos as moderate or temperate and exemplary damages to the heirs of Roland John Chapman was baseless.00) as moral and exemplary damages is unjustified or. exorbitant and should be reduced.00) pesos is amply justified by the circumstances. — an amount to be fixed in the discretion of the court. As indemnity for the death of the victim of the offense — P12. Her family experienced the peaks and valleys of unspeakable suffering. except items 1 and 4 above. As indemnity for loss of earning capacity of the deceased — an amount to be fixed by the court according to the circumstances of the deceased related to his actual income at the time of death and his probable life expectancy.000.00). . Anders Hultman as adoptive father of Maureen.000. 7. — an amount to be fixed by the court. 6. . As attorney's fees and expenses of litigation. It does not appear on the records whether Maureen was survived by her natural father. — the actual amount thereof. and her natural father.000.00) corresponding to the indemnity for the sole fact of death. the recipient who is not an heir. During the trial of these cases. Moreover. We shall.1. (but only when a separate civil action to recover civil liability has been filed or when exemplary damages are awarded). Anders Hultman. the exact duration to be fixed by the court. under Art.00) pesos cannot be given as temperate or moderate damages for the records do not show any basis for sustaining the award. We hold that the award of One Million (P1.000.000.00) pesos for the death of Chapman. and that these damages may. shall be at least (fifty thousand pesos. as adoptive father. legitimate or illegitimate. We reject the argument. or the legitimate descendants of the adopted concur with the adopters. under current jurisprudence) . The killing of Chapman was not attended by either evident premeditation or treachery. . as they are of a different kind. legitimate or illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the deceased may demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the death of the deceased. 291. Vivian Hultman.000. We next rule on the legality of damages awarded to the heirs of MAUREEN NAVARRO HULTMAN.00). Her condition was never stable and . As exemplary damages.00 (now P50. the award can be considered as one for moral damages under Article 2206 (3) of the New Civil Code. 2. and even though there may have been mitigating circumstances attending the commission of the offense. she underwent brain surgery three (3) times. when the crime is attended by one or more aggravating circumstances. considering the shocking and senseless aggression committed by appellant. Only the parents by nature of Maureen should inherit from her. In addition: xxx xxx xxx (3) The spouse. As moral damages for mental anguish. is not entitled to said award.

We find that the award is not supported by the records. He was thus only on his first year. We agree with appellant that this amount is highly speculative and should be denied considering that Leino had only earned a high school degree at the International School. He lost eight of his teeth. We now pass upon the propriety of the award of Thirteen Million Pesos (P13.00) as moral damages to be reasonable.00) pesos as exemplary damages.00) pesos as exemplary damages against appellant for the death of Maureen Hultman. it is not necessary that the victim. More devastating was the emotional strain that distressed Leino. To be compensated for loss of earning capacity. in said school and was practically. at the time of her death. a mere high school graduate. Anders Hultman himself testified that there was uncertainty as to Maureen's future career path. the imposition of exemplary damages against appellant to deter others from taking the lives of people without any sense of sin is proper. equivalent in Philippine pesos. At the time of the shooting on July 13. Under the foregoing circumstances.000. we thus find the award of One Million Pesos (P1. In Cariaga v. Maureen had acquired the skills needed for a secretarial job or that she intended to take a secretarial course in preparation for such job in Sweden. at the time of injury or death. exemplary or corrective damages may be adjudged in order to deter the commission of similar acts in the future. first semester. Left unattended. The roots of his teeth were cut off and the raw nerves were exposed. thus: ATTY. We now review the award of One Million Pesos (P1.000.00) a month. was tortured by thoughts of insecurity. the trial court incorrectly used the monthly salary of a secretary working in Sweden. what professional career would she (sic) like to pursue considering her interests and inclinations? WITNESS: .000. Hultman and her companions were gunned down by appellant in cold-blood. her family's assets were depleted. 196 Understably. for no apparent reason. VINLUAN: Q Mr. then wiped out.000. Manila. justified an assumption that he would have been able to finish his course and pass the board in due time. her family's business took a downspin. Laguna Tayabas Bus Company. Witness. From the record. 194 in addition to the award of moral damages. his scholastic record.000. 1991. 199 we awarded to the heirs of Cariaga a sum representing loss of his earning capacity although he was still a medical student at the time of injury. as per the estimate given by Anders Hultman. Leino had trouble sleeping in peace at night. which was presented at the trial. Compensation of this nature is awarded not for loss of earnings but for loss of capacity to earn money.000. Seppo Leino. She could not be left alone at the hospital. of Forty capacity of JUSSI LEINO. His parents were in Europe for a vacation at the time of the shooting. Black memories of the incident kept coming back to mind. and a doctor.00) as moral. Nowhere in the records does it appear that. the trial court awarded the amount. the ill-effects of the incident spilled over his family. moderate and exemplary damages to victim JUSSI LEINO. 1991. We come now to the trial court's monetary award to compensate the LOSS OF EARNING CAPACITY OF VICTIMS JUSSI LEINO and MAUREEN HULTMAN. Moreover. In the case at bar. a girl in the prime of her youth. His upper jaw bone was shattered. their siblings had to be sent back to Sweden for their safety.00) for loss of earning capacity of deceased MAUREEN HULTMAN. appellant's unprovoked aggression snuffed the life of Maureen Hultman. But all these speak only of his physical injuries and suffering. They were forced to rely on the goodness of the gracious. It took two (2) days for his father to come and comfort by his bedside. Jussi's father. Her family started receiving contributions from other people to defray the medical expenses and hospital bills. A total of twenty-three (23) doctors attended to her and their bills ballooned without abatement. As in the case of Hultman. Only a neighbor attended to him at the hospital. since the shooting of Leino was committed with treachery and pursuant to Article 2229 of the New Civil Code. The award for exemplary damages is designed to permit the courts to mould behavior that has socially deleterious consequences. in 1989. When he was discharged from the hospital. since the killing of Hultman was attended by treachery and pursuant to Article 2229 of the new Civil Code. testified as to the amount of income Cariaga would have earned had he finished his medical studies. he had difficulty in speaking and had to be fed through a tube running down his nose. Moreover. we find that an award of One Million (P1.000. is gainfully employed.000. He partially lost his sense of taste for his taste buds were also affected. 197 Under the foregoing circumstances. if Maureen would not been (sic) shot and she continued her studies.000. he has just enrolled at the Manila Aero Club to become a professional pilot. 195 we impose an award of Two Million (P2. However. Under Article 2229 of the Civil Code.000. It was always touch and go with death. Soon. The traumatic event woke him up in the middle of the night. the award was not without basis for Cariaga was then a fourth year medical student at a reputable school. He went back to Finland to serve the military and has just arrived in Manila in February 1991 to pursue his ambition to become a pilot. He had to relocate his entire family to Europe where he felt they would be safe. we find that the grant of exemplary damages is called for by the circumstances of the case. we find the records wanting with substantial evidence to justify a reasonable assumption that Leino would have been able to finish his studies at the Manila Aero Club and ultimately become a professional pilot.000. computed at two thousand dollars ($2. He would need a bone transplant operation to restore it. In the case at bar. presented as witness for the appellee. Appellant's vicious criminality led to the suffering of his victims and their families. After the shooting. it is incontrovertible that Leino likewise suffered extensive injuries as a result of the shooting. at the tender age of seventeen. Her parents had to be perpetually by her side at least six (6) to seven (7) hours daily.remained critical. Considering our soaring crime rate.00) pesos to Jussi Leino as indemnity for moral damages is justified and reasonable.000. In adjudging an award for Maureen's loss of earning capacity.000. Under the foregoing circumstances. 193 Maureen never regained consciousness until her demise on October 17. Its imposition is required by public policy to suppress the wanton acts of an offender. His tongue was also injured. 198 appellant is additionally adjudged liable for the payment to Leino of Two Million (P2.

209 As agreed upon. to testify on all three (3) charges to obviate delay and inconvenience since all three (3) charges involved one continuing incident. Thus.57). neither the nature of her work nor her salary in said company was disclosed at the trial. 204 we fix the award for loss of earning as capacity of deceased Maureen Hultman at Five Hundred Sixty-Four Thousand Forty-Two Pesos and Fifty-Seven Centavos (P564. accused was arraigned and the prosecution presented Jussi Leino as its first witness to testify on all three (3) cases.00) pesos as attorney's fees and litigation expenses appears just and reasonable. Maureen took up a short personality development course at the John Roberts Powers. Appellant.000. to compute the award for Maureen's loss of earning capacity. it should wait until after accused's arraingment on August 14. the trial court issued an Order 211 directing the parties to submit their Memorandum. She has just turned 17 and our projection is that. After the prosecution and the defense rested their cases. the defense suggested that if the prosecution would present Leino to testify on all three (3) charges. viz: 1.00. using the formula repeatedly adopted by this Court: 203 (2/3 x [80 — age of victim at time of death]) x a reasonable portion of the net income which would have been received by the heirs as support.000. 210 Subsequent proceedings likewise disprove appellant's insistence that the hearings conducted by the trial court were limited to the petition for bail. for which reason she went out with her friends to celebrate on that fateful day. claiming that the same is exorbitant. the trial court's award of a total of Three Million (P3. He claims he was denied due process when the trial court considered all the cases submitted for decision after the defense waived its right to present its surrebuttal evidence.859.A That is very difficult to say. The three (3) private complainants were represented by the ACCRA law firm. the incident for resolution was appellant's petition for bail.00) pesos each as attorney's fees and for litigation expenses. 205 Lastly.000. appellant seeks a reduction of the award of attorney's fees in the amount of Three Million Pesos (P3. Appellant's position is untenable. In any event. Incidents related to the trial of the cases came up to this Court for review at least twice during the pendency of the trial. at the initial hearing on August 9. 1991. However.00) pesos to the heirs of Maureen far loss of earning capacity as a probable secretary in Sweden. She would have become an actress or a movie producer or probably she would have been a college graduate.e.00). Jussi Leino. Defense counsel agreed. Maureen was employed at the John Roberts Powers at the time of her death. objected to the testimony of Leino insofar as the two (2) frustrated murder charges (with respect to the wounding of Leino and Hultman) were concerned." After receipt of this Order. Not less than Two Thousand Dollars a month. The defense never objected that evidence on damages would be unnecessary if its intention was really to limit presentation of evidence to appellant's petition for bail.00).. 200 Clearly. certainly she would have been an artist in the creative side. It will be remembered that. 208 The prosecution agreed on the condition that there shall be trial on the merits and. A total of sixty-eight (68) documentary exhibits were presented by the prosecution. This issue was resolved at the very first hearing of the cases on August 9. he still had the right to adduce evidence at the trial proper. 1991. The incident then pending was appellant's petition for bail for the murder of Chapman. and not the beneficiary. In fact. More than forty (40) witnesses testified during the hearings. The prosecution presented all their witnesses and documentary evidence relative to the shooting incident. appellant urges that the hearings conducted on the cases. The trial lasted for almost one and a half years.000. we are constrained to use the minimum wage prevailing as of the date of her death (October 17. Appellant insists that after the termination of the hearing.17. the life expectancy of the deceased's heirs is not factored in. hearing on the petition for bail. her net income per annum would amount to P26. It also bears emphasis that in the computation of the award for loss of earning capacity of the deceased. In both Motions. A continuous trial was conducted.000. 1991. Several pleadings were prepared and filed. ATTY. there was only one murder charge against appellant since Maureen Hultman succumbed to death during the course of the proceedings on October 17. 1991. The three criminal cases were consolidated. one hundred eighteen pesos (P118. what was proved on record is that after graduating from high school. with Atty. They agreed to pay the amount of One Million (P1. 207 were merely hearings on the petition for bail concerning the murder charge for the killing of Roland Chapman. VII In his last assigned error. 201 Allowing for reasonable and necessary expenses in the amount of P19. i. 2. He argued that since the pending incident was the petition for bail with respect to the killing of Chapman. including evidence in support of the claim for damages. any testimony relative to the two (2) other charges in which bail were recommended was irrelevant. she had just received her first salary. the defense counsel filed two (2) motions for extension of time to file the defense Memorandum. After arguments. The rule is well-settled that the award of damages for death is computed on the basis of the life expectancy of the deceased. initially. These witnesses were extensively cross-examined by the defense counsels. VINLUAN: Q But if you would just say based on the salary of a secretary in Sweden. where no less than forty-one (41) witnesses were presented by the parties. 1991). through counsel.000.042. at the same time. 202 Hence. No objection was made by the defense. 206 Given these circumstances and the evident effort exerted by the private prosecutor throughout the trial. and not a trial on the merits of all three (3) cases. with some hearings having both morning and afternoon sessions.800. the defense did not object to the trial . It was her first job. The prosecution sought to present the surviving victim. Thus. We disagree.000. how much would she have much earned? A. Rogelio Vinluan as lead counsel. there is no factual basis for the award of thirteen million (P13.000. after which "the main case as well as the petition for bail are respectively submitted for Decision and Resolution.

This is inconsistent with the defense's position that the hearing conducted was only on the petition for bail.000. 3. Jr.000. and sentencing him to suffer the indeterminate penalty of eight (8) years of prision mayoras minimum. and sentencing said accused to suffer an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum to fourteen (14) years.00.000.00] pesos] for attorney's fees and expenses of litigation..000.369. and to pay the heirs of the said deceased the following amounts: Fifty Thousand (P50. We note that in his motion for new trial. Two Million Three Hundred Fifty Thousand Four Hundred Sixty-One Pesos and Eighty-Three Centavos (P2. and (5) To pay the costs in all three (3) cases.00) as moral damages. Nor was it shown that he could not have produced these evidence at the trial with reasonable diligence. (2) In Criminal Case No. 4. In compliance with said Order. the defense did not interpose any objection to the intended promulgation. Jr.00) pesos as indemnity for her death. and Two Million (P2. Atty. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Frustrated Murder. was irregular for he was not given a chance to present further evidence to corroborate his alibi.00) pesos as Thirty Thousand (P30.000. Atty.00. appellant's counsel.000. he alleged that the joint decision of the cases.000. One Hundred Eighteen Thousand Three Hundred Sixty-Nine pesos and Eighty-Four Centavos (P118. finding accused Claudio J.$55. and sentencing him to suffer imprisonment of reclusion perpetua. for the shooting of Jussi Olavi Leino. Jr. On the contrary. In fact. dated December 22.000. and to pay the said offended party the following amounts: (P30..000.00) pesos as moral damages.000. 91-4605. both as actual damages. the records disclose that the trial court afforded the defense fair opportunity to adduce its evidence. SO ORDERED. For the first time. One Million Pesos (P1.000. Moreover.00) pesos as exemplary damages. 1992.00) pesos as indemnity for the victim's death.57) for loss of earning capacity of said deceased. If the defense insist that what was submitted for decision was only his petition for bail. finding accused Claudio J. 213 appellant did not even identify his alleged additional witnesses and the substance of their testimonies.000. Upon receipt of the notice of promulgation of judgment from the trial court. Rodolfo Jimenez. 91-4807. All these clearly show that the merits of the cases and the petition for bail were heard simultaneously and appellant acquiesced thereto. It took the defense almost one and a half years to submit its evidence. ordering said accused to pay each of the three (3) offended parties the sum of One Million Pesos (P1. he would have only prayed that he be granted bail.83) as actual damages. Teehankee.600. 91-4606. Jr. or a total of Three Million [P3.000. One Million (P1. filed a Memorandum and Supplemental Memorandum praying for accused's acquittal. IN VIEW WHEREOF. 212 through his new counsel.S..042.00) pesos as moral damages. the defense attended the promulgation of the Decision and manifested that they were ready therefor. Gatmaytan.000. His motion was properly denied by the trial court. . The defense presented more than twenty (20) witnesses and several documentary evidence.00) pesos as indemnity for his injuries. qualified by treachery. and to pay the heirs of the said deceased the following amounts: Fifty Thousand (P50. appellant's right to present additional evidence was not abridged by the trial court. One Million (P1. Appellant's motion was a patent ploy to delay the decision on his cases. Five Hundred Sixty-Four Thousand Fourty-Two Pesos and Fifty-Seven Centavos (P564.000. It was only after the trial court rendered a decision against appellant that he filed a motion for new trial. Two Million (P2.000. both on the merits and on the petition for bail. thus: (1) In Criminal Case No. finding accused Claudio J.000. qualified by treachery.461. eight (8) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal as maximum. (3) In Criminal Case No. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder.000.court's Order submitting for decision the main case and the petition for bail.00) pesos as exemplary damages. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide for the shooting of Roland John Chapman. Teehankee. Teehankee. and. for the shooting of Maureen Navarro Hultman. to fourteen (14) years and eight (8) months of reclusion temporal as maximum.84) and equivalent in Philippine Pesos of U. Neither did it move for a reconsideration of this Order and notify the court that it still had witnesses to present. we hereby AFFIRM WITH MODIFICATIONS the Decision of the trial court. and.350. (4) In all three cases.

REYES. BENASING MACARAMBON. No. FRANCIS NEPOMUCENO. CECILIA PAPA. SORIANO. SPEAKER JOSE G. ANTONIO H. JR. FAUSTO SEACHON. 2003 SEDFREY M. respondent-in-intervention. ROSELLER BARINAGA. respondents. CARLOS P. AUGUSTO SYJUCO. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. INC. AMADO ESPINO. respondents. respondents. No. vs. GREGORIO IPONG. JAIME N. AND JOSE G. INC. DE VENECIA. INC. AND REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. JR. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. IN HIS CAPACITY AS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. CAGAMPANG. JULIO LEDESMA IV. MICHAEL DUAVIT. petitioners-in-intervention. petitioner-in-intervention. petitioner-in-intervention. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. FUENTEBELLA. JACINTO PARAS. FRANKLIN M. ZENAIDA CRUZ-DUCUT. 2003 FRANCISCO I. 160277 November 10. GIORGIDI AGGABAO. respondents. vs. JR. ALFREDO MARAÑON.. NERISSA SOON-RUIZ. DOUGLAS CAGAS. REPRESENTED BY SPEAKER JOSE G. CONRADO ESTRELLA III. AUGUSTO BACULIO. THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT. JV BAUTISTA. ROLEX SUPLICO. SAMUEL DANGWA. ROZZANO RUFINO BIAZON. AND RUY ELIAS LOPEZ. DRILON. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. ROMULO B.R. ROQUE. JAIME N. REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO C. ERIC SINGSON.. ALFREDO C. JR.. JOSE G. JR. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. JR. NAPOLEON C. 160261 November 10. MACALINTAL AND PETE QUIRINO QUADRA. SORIANO. petitioner-in-intervention.. RENE VELARDE. TEODORO. REYLINA NICOLAS. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. FRANKLIN M. JESNAR FALCON. EMILIO MACIAS. DE CASTRO AND SOLEDAD M.. GEORGILU YUMUL-HERMIDA. petitioners-in-intervention. JOSE CARLOS LACSON. ATTYS. IN HIS CAPACITY AS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. No. LIGON. JR. INC. INC. HERMINO TEVES. JR. MANUEL ORTEGA. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. DRILON. SORIANO... FUENTEBELLA. IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. 2003 ERNESTO B. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. ELIAS BULUT. . THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. JOSEPH SANTIAGO. FELIX WILLIAM FUENTEBELLA. LUIS BERSAMIN. petitioners.. vs. DE VENECIA. CARLOS COJUANGCO.G. 160292 November 10. INC. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. DE VENECIA. CELIA LAYUS. JR. FRANCIS ESCUDERRO. ABAD. RODOLFO ALBANO. ISMAEL MATHAY.. JOAQUIN CHIPECO.R. SORAYA JAAFAR. CHAVEZ. HENRY LANOT. respondent-in-intervention.. MARK COJUANGCO. petitioner-in-intervention. JOSE SOLIS. No. DEL DE GUZMAN. 2003 ARTURO M. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL. PERPETUO YLAGAN. ULIRAN JUAQUIN. JAIME N. WILHELMINO SY-ALVARADO. NAGMAMALASAKIT NA MGA MANANANGGOL NG MGA MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO. petitioner. respondent-in-intervention. MAURICIO DOMOGAN. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. JR. PIMENTEL. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. vs.. CLAUDE BAUTISTA. JR. RONALDO ZAMORA. JURDIN ROMUALDO. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. respondent-in-Intervention. MARCELINO LIBANAN. ALETA SUAREZ. JUAN MIGUEL ZUBIRI. JR. GILBERT REMULLA. 160263 November 10. IN HIS CAPACITY AS SENATE PRESIDENT. petitioners. 2003 HERMINIO HARRY L. PIMENTEL. CELSO LOBREGAT. GILBERT TEODORO. MA. ARTHUR PINGOY. JAIME N. respondent-in-intervention. KIM BERNARDO-LOKIN. ANGELO MONTILLA. ITS OFFICERS AND MEMBERS. petitioners. EMMYLOU TALIÑO-SANTOS. petitioner. MALLARI. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. FRANCISCO. SERRANO AND GARY S. respondent-in-intervention... GENEROSO TULAGAN. DARLENE ANTONIOCUSTODIO. JR. JR. JOEL RUIZ BUTUYAN. petitioner-in-intervention. respondent-in-intervention. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. DRILON. TEODORO. JUAN PABLO BONDOC. THE SENATE..R.R. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. LEOVIGILDO BANAAG. JR. DE VENECIA. AGAPITO AQUINO. DIDAGEN DILANGALEN. 160262 November 10. CECILIA CARREON-JALOSJOS. THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR ACTING SPEAKER OR PRESIDING OFFICER. No. REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. FAUSTINO DY III. JOSEFINA JOSON. CANDELARIA.. MEDINA.. ALIPIO BADELLES. PIMENTEL. JESLI LAPUS. JOSEPH DURANO. REPRESENTED BY SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M.R. SHERWIN GATCHALIAN. RODOLF PLAZA. RENATO MATUBO. ERNESTO NIEVA. EDGAR ERICE. JOAN P.. ABRAHAM MITRA.. AND HENEDINA RAZON-ABAD.. DRILON. REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G. SORIANO. JR.. respondent-in-intervention.

2003 LEONILO R. respondents. JAIME N. No. No. 2003 PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER. SPEAKER JOSE G. DE VENECIA. NELSON A. REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G. petitioner. 160318 November 10. FLORES. SOON. GABITO.. SORIANO. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTA-TIVES. MONICO PABLES. petitioner-in-intervention.R. MANILA III. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M.. THE HOUSE OF REPRESEN-TATIVES.. petitioners. vs. AQUINO. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. EDUARDO SARMIENTO.. ANTONIO LIBREA. EDGARD SMITH. SPEAKER JOSE G. REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. RIZALDY EMPIG. 2003 CLARO B. respondent-in-intervention. THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT.R..R.. MILA P. respondent-in-intervention. SPEAKER JOSE C.R. REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. PIMENTEL. SIMEON ARCE. CRISPIN T.R. respondents. TEODORO. AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. AND ROBERTO P. DRILON. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. MENEZ JR. DRILON. DE VENECIA. JAIME N. THE SENATE. EMETERIO MENDIOLA. EDUARDO MALASAGA. No. respondents. RODOLFO MAGSINO. petitioner-in-intervention. SPEAKER JOSE G. DANTE DIAZ. ANGELITA Q. EMILY SENERIS. KATE ANN VITAL. IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THROUGH THE SPEAKER. petitioners. vs. ET AL.vs. INC. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. GUZMAN. LITA A. MAU RESTRIVERA. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. EDGARDO NAOE. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. 2003 INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES. IN HIS CAPACITY AS A TAXPAYER AND MEMBER OF THE ENGINEERING PROFESSION. ANNA CLARISSA LOYOLA. vs. MARIO TOREJA. MAXIMO N. 160360 November 10. GUILLERMO CASTASUS. RAMON MIQUIBAS. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTA-TIVES REPRESENTED BY THE 83 HONORABLE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE LED BY HON.. BATERINA AND DEPUTY SPEAKER RAUL M. 160310 November 10. SAMUEL DOCTOR. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. DRILON. AND ALL MEMBERS. HON. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DRILON. BING ARCE. 160295 November 10. MAX VILLAESTER. respondent-in-intervention. EL DELLE ARCE. DE VENECIA. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. INC. THROUGH THE SENATE PRESIDENT. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. vs. LOYOLA. DR. respondents. AND THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. petitioners. REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G. REPRESENTED BY HON. NAZARENO. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. WILLIE RIVERO. respondents. REPRESENTED BY HON.. FUENTEBELLA. respondents. FILEMON SIBULO. FUENTEBELLA. PIMENTEL. HOMER CALIBAG.. petitioners. 160342 November 10. JANETTE ARROYO. JR. petitioner. JR. ALFONSO. 160343 November 10. SALVACION LOYOLA. ALL MEMBERS. GONZALES. DE VENECIA. vs. JR. PHILIPPINE SENATE. 2003 SALACNIB F.R. HON.. JR.. THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT. HON. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. ALBERTO BUENAVISTA. No. IN HIS CAPACITY AS A MEMBER OF THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES. LEONARDO GARCIA. MELVIN MATIBAG. vs. AND NOEL ISORENA. JR. RONNIE TOQUILLO. RAINIER QUIROLGICO. FAUSTO BUENAVISTA. respondents.R. JR. No. JULITO U. . THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR ACTING SPEAKER OR PRESIDING OFFICER. TEODORO. HON. DE VENECIA. COMIA. PERITO. respondent-in-intervention. VIRGILIO LUSTRE. MANUEL D. SORIANO. AND ENGR. THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR ACTING SPEAKER OR PRESIDING OFFICER. JR. 2003 ATTY. FELIX FUENTEBELLA. WILFREDO BELLO. No. SPEAKER JOSE G. REYES. PETER ALVAREZ. INC. AND EDILBERTO GALLOR. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. ERNA LAHUZ. JAIME BOAQUINA. FERNANDO P. WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAM FUENTEBELLA. JOSEPH LEANDRO LOYOLA.

DEAN OF THE COLLEG EOF LAW.. AND THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. MANDAUE LAWYERS ASSOCIATION. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. REPRESENTED BY ITS SPEAKER. [YLAC]. REPRESENTED BY FELIPE VELASQUEZ. JR. POCA. AGUIRREPADERANGA. THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. No. FEDERACION INTERNACIONAL DE ABOGADAS [FIDA]. MALANYAON. No. REPRESENTED BY SENATOR FRANKLIN DRILON. FELIX WILLIAM FUENTEBELLA AND GILBERT TEODORO. HON. No. SPEAKER JOSE G. LUIS V.R. JOSE G. PRESIENT OF CEBU CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY AND CEBU LADY LAWYERS ASSOCIATION. TEODORO. REPRESENTED BY REP. petitioner. FRANKLIN DRILON. INC. KAREN B. CO. 160365 November 10. 2003 IN THE MATTER OF THE IMPEACHMENT COMPLAINT AGAINST CHIEF JUSTICE HILARIO G.C. respondents. vs. AS SENATE PRESIDENT. PAST PRESIDENT CEBU CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES. INC. REPRESENTED BY THELMA L. respondents. J. x---------------------------------------------------------x G.. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. respondents. 160403 November 10.P. MAAMBONG. 160392 November 10. No. REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G. DAVIDE. PROVINCIAL BOARD MEMBER. vs. MARIBELLE NAVARRO AND BERNARDITO FLORIDO. BY THEMSELVES AND AS REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GROUP OF MORE THAN 80 HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES WHO SIGNED AND FILED THE IMPEACHMENT COMPLAINT AGAINST SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE HILARIO G. AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. No.. vs. AS HOUSE SPEAKER AND THE SENATE. ESTENZO-RAMOS. PRESIDING OF IBP. INC. DANILO V. JORDAN. THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. ELSA R. FLORES AND HECTOR L. ADELINO B. CORRO. REPRESENTED BY RODERIC R. respondents. UNIVERSITY OF CEBU. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTA-TIVES. 160376 November 10. DIOSCORO U. VALLEJOS. vs. petitioners. SYLVA G. GOERING G. 160405 November 10. MANUEL LEGASPI.. petitioner. DE VENECIA. 2003 NILO A. DE VENECIA.R. CEBU PROVINCE. THROUGH SPEAKER JOSE G. petitioner. NONATO. INC. vs. ROLANDO P. HOFILEÑA. THROUGH SENATE PRESIDENT. CEBU CHAPTER. CEBU CITY CHAPTER. CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES. 160370 November 10.]. PADERANGA.R. CAPARROS-ARQUILLANO. HON. respondents. HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES FELIX FUENTEBELLA AND GILBERTO TEODORO. DE VENECIA. PRESIDENT OF IBP. JOSE G. IN REPRESENTATION OF THE 86 SIGNATORIES OF THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST CHIEF JUSTICE HILARIO G. INC]. DIVINAGRACIA. DAVIDE. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. BARCENAS. 2003 U. BENJAMIN S. THROUGH SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DRILON. THE HONORABLE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. JR. INC. RANHILIO CALLANGAN AQUINO.R. MANUEL M. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. DE VENECIA. petitioners. ORTIZ. LAW ALUMNI CEBU FOUNDATION. SR. HON. DANTE T. HON. petitioner. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. 2003 DEMOCRITO C. LIZA D. MONZON. THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR PRESIDING OFFICER. JR. FOR THEMSELVES AND IN BEHALF OF OTHER CITIZENS OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES.: . VICTOR A. 2003 VENICIO S. JR. CARLOS G. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.R. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. THE HONORABLE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE. SITOY. [MANLAW]. vs. respondents. CONFEDERATION OF ACCREDITED MEDIATORS OF THE PHILIPPINES. RAMOS. [CELLA. 160397 November 10. DIORES. JR. 2003 PHILIPPINE BAR ASSOCIATION. No. GLORIA C. DAVIDE. petitioners. REPRSEENTED BY ATTY.R. YOUNG LAWYERS ASSOCAITION OF CEBU. RALLON. [CAMP.. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DRILON. No. JOSE G. DE VENECIA. REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. CARPIO MORALES. FUENTEBELA.x---------------------------------------------------------x G. ATTY. 2003 FR.R. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTA-TIVES.

(7) Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines. Our nation's history is replete with vivid illustrations of the often frictional. Verily. integrity. intended as they are to insure that governmental power is wielded only for the good of the people. (3) A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee. SECTION 3. but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution. treason. and whether the resolution thereof is a political question – has resulted in a political crisis. executive or judicial branches of government by no means prescribes for absolute autonomy in the discharge by each of that part of the governmental power assigned to it by the sovereign people. the Vice-President. salus populi est suprema lex. but not by impeachment. and efficiency. which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days. superseding the previous House Impeachment Rules 1 approved by the 11th Congress. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law. the Members of the Supreme Court. at the first instance. This Court is confronted with one such today involving the legislature and the judiciary which has drawn legal luminaries to chart antipodal courses and not a few of our countrymen to vent cacophonous sentiments thereon. loyalty. and conviction of. The President. (4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House. no matter how passionate and seemingly irreconcilable it may appear to be. other high crimes. after hearing. the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. Jr. Article XI of our present 1987 Constitution provides: ARTICLE XI Accountability of Public Officers SECTION 1. the 12th Congress of the House of Representatives adopted and approved the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings (House Impeachment Rules) on November 28. the corollary doctrine of checks and balances which has been carefully calibrated by the Constitution to temper the official acts of each of these three branches must be given effect without destroying their indispensable co-equality. interpreting and enforcing laws are harmonized to achieve a unity of governance. Davide. shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral. and punishment according to law. with the House of Representatives falls within the one year bar provided in the Constitution. In any event. culpable violation of the Constitution. on impeachment for. When sitting for that purpose. When the President of the Philippines is on trial. (8) The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Following the above-quoted Section 8 of Article XI of the Constitution. act with patriotism and justice. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate. the Constitution. scope and extent of their respective constitutional powers where the Constitution itself provides for the means and bases for its resolution. the Members of the Constitutional Commissions. or betrayal of public trust. it is with the absolute certainty that our Constitution is sufficient to address all the issues which this controversy spawns that this Court unequivocally pronounces. (1) The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. and lead modest lives. (2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. graft and corruption. not departure from. or override its contrary resolution. trial. this Court is ever mindful of the essential truth that the inviolate doctrine of separation of powers among the legislative. (5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year. The Committee. In passing over the complex issues arising from the controversy. At the same time. and by a majority vote of all its Members. the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside. and the Ombudsman may be removed from office. SECTION 2. Both its resolution and protection of the public interest lie in adherence to. 2001. There may indeed be some legitimacy to the characterization that the present controversy subject of the instant petitions – whether the filing of the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. serve them with utmost responsibility. over the determination by the independent branches of government of the nature. the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people. dynamics of the relationship among these co-equal branches. Taken together. that the feared resort to extra-constitutional methods of resolving it is neither necessary nor legally permissible. guided only by what is in the greater interest and well-being of the people. bribery. Perhaps even more truth to the view that it was brought upon by a political crisis of conscience. at times turbulent. The relevant distinctions between these two Congresses' House Impeachment Rules are shown in the following tabulation: . Public office is a public trust. but shall not vote.There can be no constitutional crisis arising from a conflict. mandate a relationship of interdependence and coordination among these branches where the delicate functions of enacting. and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. together with the corresponding resolution. The vote of each Member shall be recorded. (6) The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. these two fundamental doctrines of republican government.

Scope of Bar. and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated at the time of the filing of such verified complaint or resolution of impeachment with the Secretary General. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. Mode of Initiating Impeachment. RULE V BAR AGAINST IMPEACHMENT Section 14. The House Committee on Justice ruled on October 13. . after hearing. – No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within the period of one (1) year. the House of Representatives adopted a Resolution. The Committee. as such. In cases where a verified complaint or a resolution of impeachment is filed or endorsed. (Italics in the original. Section 17. 12TH CONGRESS NEW RULES RULE V BAR AGAINST INITIATION OF IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE SAME OFFICIAL Section 16. 10 To date. – In cases where a Member of the House files a verified complaint of impeachment or a citizen files a verified complaint that is endorsed by a Member of the House through a resolution of endorsement against an impeachable officer. 2003 that the first impeachment complaint was "sufficient in form. impeachment proceedings against such official are deemed initiated on the day the Committee on Justice finds that the verified complaint and/or resolution against such official. which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days. in aid of legislation. Suplico. 2002. as the case may be. no impeachment proceedings. 20038 in accordance with Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution which reads: Section 3(2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. which directed the Committee on Justice "to conduct an investigation. Estrada filed an impeachment complaint 4 (first impeachment complaint) against Chief Justice Hilario G. as the case may be. former President Joseph E. the Committee Report to this effect has not yet been sent to the House in plenary in accordance with the said Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution. and seven Associate Justices5 of this Court for "culpable violation of the Constitution. – Within a period of one (1) year from the date impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated as provided in Section 16 hereof. Fuentebella.11TH CONGRESS RULES RULE II INITIATING IMPEACHMENT Section 2. shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral. and by a majority vote of all its Members.2 sponsored by Representative Felix William D." 9 but voted to dismiss the same on October 22. together with the corresponding resolution." 3 On June 2. as the case may be. 2003.7 and was referred to the House Committee on Justice on August 5. – Impeachment Proceedings Deemed Initiated. on the manner of disbursements and expenditures by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF). is not sufficient in substance. – Impeachment shall be initiated only by a verified complaint for impeachment filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof or by a verified complaint or resolution of impeachment filed by at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House. emphasis and underscoring supplied) On July 22. Bar Against Initiation Of Impeachment Proceedings. Zamora and Didagen Piang Dilangalen. or on the date the House votes to overturn or affirm the finding of the said Committee that the verified complaint and/or resolution. by at least one-third (1/3) of the Members of the House. is sufficient in substance. betrayal of the public trust and other high crimes." 6 The complaint was endorsed by Representatives Rolex T. 2003 for being insufficient in substance. Ronaldo B. can be initiated against the same official. Davide Jr.

In G. allege in their petition for Certiorari and Prohibition that it is instituted as "a class suit" and pray that (1) the House Resolution endorsing the second impeachment complaint as well as all issuances emanating therefrom be declared null and void. and to promulgate rules which are consistent with the Constitution. PEA-Amari Coastal Bay Development Corporation. petitioners Leonilo R. a day after the House Committee on Justice voted to dismiss it. et. founded on the alleged results of the legislative inquiry initiated by above-mentioned House Resolution.R. In G. Factoran17 which was filed in behalf of succeeding . petitioner-taxpayer Atty. as members of the House of Representatives. 160343. 6. petitioner Public Interest Center. alleging that their petition for Prohibition involves public interest as it involves the use of public funds necessary to conduct the impeachment trial on the second impeachment complaint. as citizens and taxpayers. In G. Baterina and Deputy Speaker Raul M. petitioners Arturo M.. in their petition for Prohibition and Injunction which they claim is a class suit filed in behalf of all citizens. the issuance of a writ "perpetually" prohibiting respondent House of Representatives from filing any Articles of Impeachment against the Chief Justice with the Senate.R.. (2) this Court issue a writ of mandamus directing respondents House of Representatives et. No. 2003. 160261. No. Fernando P. and (3) this Court permanently enjoin respondent House of Representatives from proceeding with the second impeachment complaint. R. In G. whose members are citizens and taxpayers. 7. 160310. to return the second impeachment complaint and/or strike it off the records of the House of Representatives. 13 Thus arose the instant petitions against the House of Representatives.Four months and three weeks since the filing on June 2. petitioner Atty. This second impeachment complaint was accompanied by a "Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment" signed by at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House of Representatives. pray in their petition for Certiorari/Prohibition that the second impeachment complaint and any act proceeding therefrom be declared null and void.R. alleging that he has a duty as a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to use all available legal remedies to stop an unconstitutional impeachment. Gonzalez. as citizens. pray in their petition for Prohibition for an order prohibiting respondent House of Representatives from drafting. petitioner Atty. and for the issuance of a writ "perpetually" prohibiting respondents Senate and Senate President Franklin Drilon from accepting any Articles of Impeachment against the Chief Justice or. Inc. Sections 5. Sections 16 and 17 and Rule III. hearing. Candelaria. No. 7. 160262. No. Alfonso et al. 160277. Chavez. No. Jr. and respondents De Venecia and Nazareno from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. 6. that the filing of the second impeachment complaint involves paramount public interest and pray that Sections 16 and 17 of the House Impeachment Rules and the second impeachment complaint/Articles of Impeachment be declared null and void. Claro Flores prays in his petition for Certiorari and Prohibition that the House Impeachment Rules be declared unconstitutional. 8. and that he "himself was a victim of the capricious and arbitrary changes in the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings introduced by the 12th Congress." In G. as a taxpayer.R. No. 160295. al. pray for the issuance of a writ of prohibition enjoining Congress from conducting further proceedings on said second impeachment complaint. from proceeding with the impeachment trial. approving and transmitting to the Senate the second impeachment complaint. In G.R. 160342. (3) and (5) of the Constitution. alleging that this Court has recognized that he has locus standi to bring petitions of this nature in the cases of Chavez v.R. Law Alumni Cebu Foundation Inc. pray. trying and deciding the second impeachment complaint. 2003 of the first complaint or on October 23. al. they have a legal interest in ensuring that only constitutional impeachment proceedings are initiated. Davide. In G. In G. and the integrity of the Judiciary. 160263. which does not state what its nature is.. that the issues raised in his petition for Certiorari. al. 160292. most of which petitions contend that the filing of the second impeachment complaint is unconstitutional as it violates the provision of Section 5 of Article XI of the Constitution that "[n]o impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year.16 prays in his petition for Injunction that the second impeachment complaint be declared unconstitutional. Fuentebella (Third District. both allege in their petition. Francisco. the second impeachment complaint 11 was filed with the Secretary General of the House12 by Representatives Gilberto C.R. alleging that the issues of the case are of transcendental importance. Jr. petitioners U. in their petition for Certiorari/Prohibition.P. 160365. to comply with Article IX. lawyers and members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.. No. Maximo N. and (2) this Court enjoin the Senate and the Senate President from taking cognizance of. its prosecutors and agents to desist from conducting any proceedings or to act on the impeachment complaint.R.. de Castro and Soledad Cagampang. No. petitioner Integrated Bar of the Philippines..." 14 posits that his right to bring an impeachment complaint against then Ombudsman Aniano Desierto had been violated due to the capricious and arbitrary changes in the House Impeachment Rules adopted and approved on November 28. et. alleging that. Camarines Sur) against Chief Justice Hilario G. and issue a writ of prohibition commanding the Senate. No.. al. No. No. adopting. citing Oposa v. petitioners Representatives Salacnib F. et. Perito. prays in its petition for Certiorari and Prohibition that Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V and Sections 5. Reyes. pray in their petition for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and Permanent Injunction to enjoin the House of Representatives from proceeding with the second impeachment complaint. Jr.R. taxpayer and a member of the Philippine Bar. 160360. and petitioner Engr. No. Harry L. as taxpayers and members of the legal profession. In G. 8. 160318. and 9 thereof be declared unconstitutional. Roque. Prohibition and Mandamus are of transcendental importance.R.. in the event that the Senate has accepted the same. PCGG15 and Chavez v. Jr. taxpayers. and its co-petitioner Crispin T. petitioner Francisco I. petitioners Atty. Tarlac) and Felix William B. al. et. In G.. claiming that they have a right to be protected against all forms of senseless spending of taxpayers' money and that they have an obligation to protect the Supreme Court. petitioners Sedfrey M. the Chief Justice. Teodoro. Menez. as a citizen and a member of the Philippine Bar Association and of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Ernesto B. 9 of Rule III of the House Impeachment Rules be declared unconstitutional and that the House of Representatives be permanently enjoined from proceeding with the second impeachment complaint. a citizen. (First District. In G. Section 3 (2). 2001 by the House of Representatives and prays that (1) Rule V.R.R. alleging that it is mandated by the Code of Professional Responsibility to uphold the Constitution. In G.

petitioner Philippine Bar Association." In G. authority and jurisdiction of the Senate as the impeachment court to try and decide impeachment cases. 160277. alleging that the issues in his petition for Prohibition are of national and transcendental significance and that as an official of the Philippine Judicial Academy. without alleging his locus standi. the Articles of Impeachment have yet to be forwarded to the Senate. No. No.. much less prohibit or enjoin the House of Representatives. pray for the issuance of a writ prohibiting respondents House of Representatives and the Senate from conducting further proceedings on the second impeachment complaint and that this Court declare as unconstitutional the second impeachment complaint and the acts of respondent House of Representatives in interfering with the fiscal matters of the Judiciary.R.20 In addition.m. Jr. 2003.. at 10:00 a. this Court in its Resolution of October 28. from the performance of its constitutionally mandated duty to initiate impeachment cases. 160262 and 160263. (c) set the petitions for oral arguments on November 5. Petitions bearing docket numbers G. petitioner Nilo A. during the plenary session of the House of Representatives. alleging that the issues raised in the filing of the second impeachment complaint involve matters of transcendental importance. 160370. which is an independent and co-equal branch of government under the Constitution. 2003.. Petition bearing docket number G. Jr. to date. petitioner Atty. 19 and as reflected above. and/or its corespondents. 160261 likewise prayed for the declaration of the November 28. Hofileña. In G." pray that the House of Representatives be enjoined from endorsing and the Senate from trying the Articles of Impeachment and that the second impeachment complaint be declared null and void. al.. resolved to (a) consolidate the petitions.R.R. Malanyaon. but the Court directed him to participate. and (3) respondent Senate be prohibited from accepting the Articles of Impeachment and from conducting any proceedings thereon. in his own behalf. 160405. 2001 House Impeachment Rules as null and void for being unconstitutional.R. in the event that they have accepted the same. but the Court rejected their offer. No. alleges in his petition for Prohibition that respondents Fuentebella and Teodoro at the time they filed the second impeachment complaint. but alleging that the second impeachment complaint is founded on the issue of whether or not the Judicial Development Fund (JDF) was spent in accordance with law and that the House of Representatives does not have exclusive jurisdiction in the examination and audit thereof. as well as the Solicitor General. were "absolutely without any legal power to do so. 160376. and (d) appointed distinguished legal experts as amici curiae. Nos. he has a direct and substantial interest in the unhampered operation of the Supreme Court and its officials in discharging their duties in accordance with the Constitution. prays for the issuance of a writ prohibiting the House of Representatives from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate and the Senate from receiving the same or giving the impeachment complaint due course.generations of Filipinos. Pimentel. praying that "the consolidated petitions be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction of the Court over the issues affecting the impeachment proceedings and that the sole power. but it was not carried because the House of Representatives adjourned for lack of quorum. filed a Motion to Intervene ( Ex Abudante Cautela)21 and Comment. 160292 and 160295. Nos. the first three of the eighteen which were filed before this Court. In G. petition bearing docket number G.R. 2003. On even date. Petitions bearing docket numbers G. 2003. a motion was put forth that the second impeachment complaint be formally transmitted to the Senate. No. enjoining all the parties and others acting for and in their behalf to refrain from committing acts that would render the petitions moot. No. alleging that as professors of law they have an abiding interest in the subject matter of their petition for Certiorari and Prohibition as it pertains to a constitutional issue "which they are trying to inculcate in the minds of their students. Senator Aquilino Q. Justice Panganiban inhibited himself. 2003. 160292 alleged that House Resolution No.R. petitioner-taxpayer Father Ranhilio Callangan Aquino.R.18 prayed for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or preliminary injunction to prevent the House of Representatives from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment arising from the second impeachment complaint to the Senate. Barcenas et. this Court called on petitioners and respondents to maintain the status quo. that they be prohibited from proceeding with the impeachment trial. No. to comment on the petitions not later than 4:30 p. prays in its petition for Certiorari/Prohibition that (1) the second impeachment complaint and all proceedings arising therefrom be declared null and void. 160397. Before acting on the petitions with prayers for temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction which were filed on or before October 28. 160403. On October 28. pray in their petition for Certiorari/Prohibition that (1) the second impeachment complaint as well as the resolution of endorsement and impeachment by the respondent House of Representatives be declared null and void and (2) respondents Senate and Senate President Franklin Drilon be prohibited from accepting any Articles of Impeachment against the Chief Justice or. 160392. Without necessarily giving the petitions due course. Justices Puno and Vitug offered to recuse themselves. as citizens and taxpayers.R. Dioscoro Vallejos.R. In addition. Flores and Hector L. Also on October 28. sought similar relief."22 . No. as a taxpayer. petitioners Attorneys Venicio S. petitioners Democrit C. 2003. of November 3. prays in his petition "To Declare Complaint Null and Void for Lack of Cause of Action and Jurisdiction" that the second impeachment complaint be declared null and void. as they acted without jurisdiction as far as the Articles of Impeachment assail the alleged abuse of powers of the Chief Justice to disburse the (JDF). by way of special appearance. In G. (2) respondent House of Representatives be prohibited from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. submitted a Manifestation asserting that this Court has no jurisdiction to hear. De Venecia. In G.m. when respondent House of Representatives through Speaker Jose C. be recognized and upheld pursuant to the provisions of Article XI of the Constitution. 160261. (b) require respondent House of Representatives and the Senate. Jr. 260 (calling for a legislative inquiry into the administration by the Chief Justice of the JDF) infringes on the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers and is a direct violation of the constitutional principle of fiscal autonomy of the judiciary.R. No. In G. which were filed on October 28. 2003. including the one where the Chief Justice is the respondent.

2003. that instrument which is the expression of their sovereignty however limited. Nos. Jaime Soriano filed a "Petition for Leave to Intervene" in G. and whether it should be exercised by this Court at this time. (Emphasis supplied) Such power of judicial review was early on exhaustively expounded upon by Justice Jose P. this Court resolved to (a) consolidate them with the earlier consolidated petitions. filed a Motion for Intervention in G." On November 4. petitioners plead for this Court to exercise the power of judicial review to determine the validity of the second impeachment complaint.R.R. which it had not. 160277. 160261. b) ripeness(prematurity. 160261. and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government . 2003 on the ground that it would unnecessarily put Congress and this Court in a "constitutional deadlock" and praying for the dismissal of all the petitions as the matter in question is not yet ripe for judicial determination. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. 160292. the Senate of the Philippines. 160263. and Solicitor General Alfredo Benipayo on the principal issues outlined in an Advisory issued by this Court on November 3. unlike the present Constitution. Attorneys Romulo B. In discussing these issues. Judicial Review As reflected above. No. In cases of conflict. World War II Veterans Legionnaires of the Philippines. f) constitutionality of the House Rules on Impeachment vis-a-vis Section 3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution. 160262. (2) whether or not the essential pre-requisites for the exercise of the power of judicial review have been fulfilled. and 160310. and g) judicial restraint (Italics in the original) In resolving the intricate conflux of preliminary and substantive issues arising from the instant petitions as well as the myriad arguments and opinions presented for and against the grant of the reliefs prayed for. 2 on what judicial power includes. 160292. filed a Manifestation stating that insofar as it is concerned. on what issues and at what time. Justice Laurel discoursed: x x x In times of social disquietude or political excitement. 2003. this Court has sifted and determined them to be as follows: (1) the threshold and novel issue of whether or not the power of judicial review extends to those arising from impeachment proceedings. and (2) the principal issues raised by the petitions pertain exclusively to the proceedings in the House of Representatives. no justiciable issue was presented before it since (1) its constitutional duty to constitute itself as an impeachment court commences only upon its receipt of the Articles of Impeachment. Inc. if not entirely obliterated . No. Drilon. Article VIII of our present 1987 Constitution: SECTION 1. 2003. 2003. the following may be taken up: a) locus standi of petitioners. of November 3. to wit: Whether the certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may be invoked. and (3) the substantive issues yet remaining. Thus. also filed a "Petition-in-Intervention with Leave to Intervene" in G. our Constitution is of course lacking perfection and perfectibility. under a system of checks and balances. Section 1. the petitions are plainly premature and have no basis in law or in fact.R.Acting on the other petitions which were subsequently filed. On November 5. 160277. has established a republican government intended to operate and function as a harmonious whole. Macalintal and Pete Quirino Quadra filed in G. and (c) include them for oral arguments on November 5. On November 3. 160262. c) political question/justiciability. 2003. Nos.m. Electoral Commission23 after the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution whose provisions. and subject to specific limitations and restrictions provided in the said . did not contain the present provision in Article VIII. (b) require respondents to file their comment not later than 4:30 p. acting through their delegates to so provide. Laurel in the definitive 1936 case of Angara v. par. questioning the status quo Resolution issued by this Court on October 28. On November 5-6.R. 2003. this Court heard the views of the amici curiae and the arguments of petitioners. and 160295. intervenors Senator Pimentel and Attorney Makalintal. Inc. As any human production. Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino. the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments and among the integral or constituent units thereof. This Court's power of judicial review is conferred on the judicial branch of the government in Section 1. but as much as it was within the power of our people. the great landmarks of the Constitution are apt to be forgotten or marred. 160262 a "Motion for Leave of Court to Intervene and to Admit the Herein Incorporated Petition in Intervention. 160295. 2003. mootness). 160263. On October 29. Atty. e) Senate's "sole" power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. who can invoke it. through Senate President Franklin M. 160261. d) House's "exclusive" power to initiate all cases of impeachment. These matters shall now be discussed in seriatim. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. The motions for intervention were granted and both Senator Pimentel's Comment and Attorneys Macalintal and Quadra's Petition in Intervention were admitted. 2003. adding that as of the time of the filing of the petitions. On October 30. 2003.

and their violation or non-observance shall not be excused by disuse. scope and extent of such powers? The Constitution itself has provided for the instrumentality of the judiciary as the rational way. This is in truth all that is involved in what is termed "judicial supremacy" which properly is the power of judicial review under the Constitution." To be sure. but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them. the possession of this moderating power of the courts. to wit: It is also not entirely unworthy of observation. with the Supreme Court as the final arbiter. But it does not follow from the fact that the three powers are to be kept separate and distinct that the Constitution intended them to be absolutely unrestrained and independent of each other. emphasis supplied) In our own jurisdiction. as well as other departments. as early as 1902. Each department of the government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction. have that rank. the particular phraseology of the constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle. (Emphasis supplied) As indicated in Angara v. not to speak of its historical origin and development there. it does not assert any superiority over the other departments. it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature.30 the executive and legislative branches of our government in fact effectively acknowledged this power of judicial review in Article 7 of the Civil Code.instrument. courts accord the presumption of constitutionality to legislative enactments. and that courts. such power has "been set at rest by popular acquiescence for a period of more than one and a half centuries. Narrowed as its function is in this manner. Even then. forms the bedrock of our republican form of government and insures that its vast powers are utilized only for the benefit of the people for which it serves. this "moderating power" to "determine the proper allocation of powers" of the different branches of government and "to direct the course of government along constitutional channels" is inherent in all courts25 as a necessary consequence of the judicial power itself. which is "the power of the court to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. decades before its express grant in the 1935 Constitution. Mendoza. even in the United States where the power of judicial review is not explicitly conferred upon the courts by its Constitution. the power of judicial review was exercised by our courts to invalidate constitutionally infirm acts. and not the laws of the United States generally. x x x And the judiciary in turn. justice or expediency of legislation. or custom or practice to the contrary. When the courts declare a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution. the judiciary does not pass upon questions of wisdom. not only because the legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution but also because the judiciary in the determination of actual cases and controversies must reflect the wisdom and justice of the people as expressed through their representatives in the executive and legislative departments of the government. that a law repugnant to the constitution is void. this moderating power is granted. has been set at rest by popular acquiescence for a period of more than one and a half centuries. that in declaring what shall be the supreme law of the land. and limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis mota presented.31 judicial review is indeed an integral component of the delicate system of checks and balances which. but those only which shall be made in pursuance of the constitution. by clear implication from section 2 of article VIII of our Constitution. this power of judicial review is limited to actual cases and controversies to be exercised after full opportunity of argument by the parties. In our case. to wit: Article 7. together with the corollary principle of separation of powers. More than that. orders and regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the Constitution. If these restrictions and limitations are transcended it would be inconceivable if the Constitution had not provided for a mechanism by which to direct the course of government along constitutional channels. And when the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries. Administrative or executive acts. are bound by that instrument. Thus.28 (Italics in the original. It obtains not through express provision but by actual division in our Constitution.24 (Italics in the original. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones. and hence to declare executive and legislative acts void if violative of the Constitution. Who is to determine the nature. In the United States where no express constitutional grant is found in their constitution. supposed to be essential to all written constitutions. Electoral Commission. "x x x judicial review is essential for the maintenance and enforcement of the separation of powers and the balancing of powers among the three great departments of ." 26 Thus. it was in the 1803 leading case of Marbury v. the bill of rights mere expressions of sentiment. and the principles of good government mere political apothegms.32 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) In the scholarly estimation of former Supreme Court Justice Florentino Feliciano.29 And as pointed out by noted political law professor and former Supreme Court Justice Vicente V. The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system of government . emphasis and underscoring supplied) As pointed out by Justice Laurel. the former shall be void and the latter shall govern. Any attempt at abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions and to sterile conclusions unrelated to actualities. the constitution itself is first mentioned. The Constitution is a definition of the powers of government. and is supreme within its own sphere. if not expressly. Certainly. The Constitution has provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government. Madison27 that the power of judicial review was first articulated by Chief Justice Marshall. for then the distribution of powers would be mere verbiage. the limitations and restrictions embodied in our Constitution are real as they should be in any living constitution. The Constitution sets forth in no uncertain language the restrictions and limitations upon governmental powers and agencies. effectively checks the other departments in the exercise of its power to determine the law.

First. As a matter of fact."34 To ensure the potency of the power of judicial review to curb grave abuse of discretion by " any branch or instrumentalities of government. encouraged further violations thereof during the martial law regime. indeed the only. its language as much as possible should be understood in the sense they have in common use. the words used in the Constitution must be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed. A doubtful provision will be examined in the light of the history of the times." 33 To him. x x x xxx Briefly stated. former Chief Justice Constitutional Commissioner Roberto Concepcion: xxx The first section starts with a sentence copied from former Constitutions. but it. into block letter law the so-called "expanded certiorari jurisdiction" of this Court. medium of participation – or instrument of intervention – of the judiciary in that balancing operation. and the condition and circumstances under which the Constitution was framed. courts of justice determine the limits of power of the agencies and offices of the government as well as those of its officers. v. We do not of course stop there. in J. And the Supreme Court said: "Well. I suppose nobody can question it. It says: The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. It did not merely request an encroachment upon the rights of the people. but that is where we begin. sought to be prevented or remedied.36 this Court. speaking through Chief Justice Enrique Fernando. The words of the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with the intent of its framers. based on the postulate that the framers and the people mean what they say. Inc. the solicitor general set up the defense of political questions and got away with it . What it says according to the text of the provision to be construed compels acceptance and negates the power of the courts to alter it. And so did this Court apply this principle in Civil Liberties Union v. but the role of the judiciary during the deposed regime was marred considerably by the circumstance that in a number of cases against the government. Executive Secretary38 in this wise: A foolproof yardstick in constitutional construction is the intention underlying the provision under consideration. Fellow Members of this Commission." the afore-quoted Section 1. the nature of and rationale for which are mirrored in the following excerpt from the sponsorship speech of its proponent.35 (Italics in the original. by claiming that such matters constitute a political question . we have no authority to pass upon it. This is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature. the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question whether or not a branch of government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction. As a consequence. This is the background of paragraph 2 of Section 1. the authority of courts to order the release of political detainees. "[j]udicial review is the chief. or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction. it has been held that the Court in construing a Constitution should bear in mind the object sought to be accomplished by its adoption. where there is ambiguity. The primary task in constitutional construction is to ascertain and thereafter assure the realization of the purpose .. Land Tenure Administration .37 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Second.39 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) As it did in Nitafan v. wherever possible.government through the definition and maintenance of the boundaries of authority and control between them. Judicial power includes the duty of courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part or instrumentality of the government. Commissioner on Internal Revenue40 where. emphasis and underscoring supplied) To determine the merits of the issues raised in the instant petitions. It is to be assumed that the words in which constitutional provisions are couched express the objective sought to be attained. verba legis. it being essential for the rule of law to obtain that it should ever be present in the people's consciousness. The object is to ascertain the reason which induced the framers of the Constitution to enact the particular provision and the purpose sought to be accomplished thereby. in order to construe the whole as to make the words consonant to that reason and calculated to effect that purpose. in effect. and other matters related to the operation and effect of martial law failed because the government set up the defense of political question. Thus. Article VIII of the Constitution engraves. Tuason & Co. MelencioHerrera. Thus these are the cases where the need for construction is reduced to a minimum. In other words. They are to be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed in which case the significance thus attached to them prevails. I will read it first and explain. it has some antecedents in the past. ratio legis est anima. certain principles concerning particularly the writ of habeas corpus.M. The next provision is new in our constitutional law. Thus. As the Constitution is not primarily a lawyer's document. which means that the courts cannot hereafter evade the duty to settle matters of this nature. if any. since it is political. this is actually a product of our experience during martial law. that is. it declared: x x x The ascertainment of that intent is but in keeping with the fundamental principle of constitutional construction that the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the people adopting it should be given effect. declared: We look to the language of the document itself in our search for its meaning. speaking through Madame Justice Amuerfina A. and the evils. that is. this Court must necessarily turn to the Constitution itself which employs the well-settled principles of constitutional construction. for the first time into its history. which then had no legal defense at all." The Committee on the Judiciary feels that this was not a proper solution of the questions involved.

much less the American Constitution.44 this Court affirmed that: It is a well-established rule in constitutional construction that no one provision of the Constitution is to be separated from all the others. they permitted. that impeachment is a political action which cannot assume a judicial character. United States. Sec. When they adopted subsection 2. much less of the mass of our fellow citizens whose votes at the polls gave that instrument the force of fundamental law. although the Philippine Constitution can trace its origins to that of the United States. Said American jurisprudence and authorities. however. but they give us no light as to the views of the large majority who did not talk. XI.of the framers and of the people in the adoption of the Constitution. it is the position of respondents Speaker De Venecia et. the court must harmonize them." The proper interpretation therefore depends more on how it was understood by the people adopting it than in the framers's understanding thereof. the plain meaning of the word is not found to be clear. Briefly stated. resort to other aids is available. ut magis valeat quam pereat. as expressly provided for in the Constitution. and intervenor Senator Pimentel rely heavily on American authorities. Supreme Court is that while the power of judicial review is only impliedly granted to the U. intervenor Senator Pimentel contends that the Senate's "sole power to try" impeachment cases48 (1) entirely excludes the application of judicial review over it.41 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Finally. they contend that the exercise of judicial review over impeachment proceedings is inappropriate since it runs counter to the framers' decision to allocate to different fora the powers to try impeachments and to try crimes. In still the same case of Civil Liberties Union v. not by itself alone. al." as provided for under Art. and as indicating the reasons for their votes. but that all the provisions bearing upon a particular subject are to be brought into view and to be so interpreted as to effectuate the great purposes of the instrument. this Court expounded: While it is permissible in this jurisdiction to consult the debates and proceedings of the constitutional convention in order to arrive at the reason and purpose of the resulting Constitution. if not willed. 43 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Likewise. resort thereto may be had only when other guides fail as said proceedings are powerless to vary the terms of the Constitution when the meaning is clear." The major difference between the judicial power of the Philippine Supreme Court and that of the U. Thus. the two can be made to stand together. Executive Secretary. and intervenor Senator Pimentel raise the novel argument that the Constitution has excluded impeachment proceedings from the coverage of judicial review. any question. respondents Speaker De Venecia. The Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole. "[w]e have cut the umbilical cord. 3(6) of the Constitution. is a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of all issues pertaining to impeachment to the legislature. and must lean in favor of a construction which will render every word operative. the American Constitution and American authorities cannot be credited to support the proposition that the Senate's "sole power to try and decide impeachment cases. . their paths of development have long since diverged. Nor can it reasonably support the interpretation that it necessarily confers upon the Senate the inherently judicial power to determine constitutional questions incident to impeachment proceedings. under which impeachment is the only legislative check on the judiciary. Hence. [this Court] should not be beguiled by foreign jurisprudence some of which are hardly applicable because they have been dictated by different constitutional settings and needs. are of dubious application for these are no longer controlling within our jurisdiction and have only limited persuasive merit insofar as Philippine constitutional law is concerned.S. COMELEC. still in Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary.42 this Court. in Chiongbian v. issue or incident arising at any stage of the impeachment proceeding is beyond the reach of judicial review.45 (Emphasis supplied) If. As held in the case of Garcia vs. through Chief Justice Manuel Moran declared: x x x [T]he members of the Constitutional Convention could not have dedicated a provision of our Constitution merely for the benefit of one person without considering that it could also affect others. it disturbs the system of checks and balances. We think it safer to construe the constitution from what appears upon its face. but in conjunction with all other provisions of that great document. that said provision should function to the full extent of its substance and its terms."53 Indeed. In the colorful words of Father Bernas. et. Debates in the constitutional convention "are of value as showing the views of the individual members. is not just a power but also a duty. 51 Respondents likewise point to deliberations on the US Constitution to show the intent to isolate judicial power of review in cases of impeachment. rather than one which may make the words idle and nugatory. Respondents' and intervenors' reliance upon American jurisprudence.49 In furthering their arguments on the proposition that impeachment proceedings are outside the scope of judicial review.S. that granted to the Philippine Supreme Court and lower courts. to the total exclusion of the power of judicial review to check and restrain any grave abuse of the impeachment process.50 Thus. Supreme Court and is discretionary in nature. al. principally the majority opinion in the case of Nixon v. al. if practicable. and it was given an expanded definition to include the power to correct any grave abuse of discretion on the part of any government branch or instrumentality. De Leon. and (2) necessarily includes the Senate's power to determine constitutional questions relative to impeachment proceedings. if by any reasonable construction. It may also be safely assumed that the people in ratifying the Constitution were guided mainly by the explanation offered by the framers. to be considered alone.52 "[i]n resolving constitutional disputes.47 For his part. In other words. et. 46 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) It is in the context of the foregoing backdrop of constitutional refinement and jurisprudential application of the power of judicial review that respondents Speaker De Venecia. Sections bearing on a particular subject should be considered and interpreted together as to effectuate the whole purpose of the Constitution and one section is not to be allowed to defeat another. and it would create a lack of finality and difficulty in fashioning relief.

is not essential before such member-elect may discharge the duties and enjoy the privileges of a member of the National Assembly.There are also glaring distinctions between the U.55 provides for several limitations to the exercise of such power as embodied in Section 3(2).71 and that procedural matters are subordinate to the need to determine whether or not the other branches of the . Singson. irrespective of whether his election is contested. (2) the person challenging the act must have "standing" to challenge. required vote to impeach. voters. These limitations include the manner of filing. Verily. and limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis mota presented. concerned citizens. Constitution and the Philippine Constitution with respect to the power of the House of Representatives over impeachment proceedings. Electoral Commission. they call upon this Court to exercise judicial statesmanship on the principle that "whenever possible. the legislative power is vested exclusively in Congress. it held that the petition raises a justiciable controversy and that when an action of the legislative branch is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution. and do not concern the exercise of the power of judicial review. and rescinding the election. Quezon. Essential Requisites for Judicial Review As clearly stated in Angara v. the Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole and "one section is not to be allowed to defeat another.S." 56 But did not the people also express their will when they instituted the above-mentioned safeguards in the Constitution? This shows that the Constitution did not intend to leave the matter of impeachment to the sole discretion of Congress. While the U. is subject to several limitations. justice or expediency of legislation. direct injury as a result of its enforcement. it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute. it provided for certain well-defined limits. legislators in cases involving paramount public interest70 and transcendental importance.60 this Court ruled that it is well within the power and jurisdiction of the Court to inquire whether the Senate or its officials committed a violation of the Constitution or grave abuse of discretion in the exercise of their functions and prerogatives. and the one year bar on the impeachment of one and the same official.69 Intervenor Soriano. The cases of Romulo v.. Angara. (3). Instead. Mitra. namely: (1) an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power. Electoral Commission. Article VI of the Constitution is subject to judicial review. courts accord the presumption of constitutionality to legislative enactments. Upon the other hand. in the past. are not in point. this power of judicial review is limited to actual cases and controversies to be exercised after full opportunity of argument by the parties. In Daza v. the courts' power of judicial review. Pineda. Carr. this does not detract from the power of the courts to pass upon the constitutionality of acts of Congress. in Santiago v. Thus.61 in seeking to nullify an act of the Philippine Senate on the ground that it contravened the Constitution. there exists no constitutional basis for the contention that the exercise of judicial review over impeachment proceedings would upset the system of checks and balances. of a congressman as a member of the House Electoral Tribunal for being violative of Section 17. Article VI of the Constitution. the Court should defer to the judgment of the people expressed legislatively. Yniguez58 and Alejandrino v. contends that petitioners do not have standing since only the Chief Justice has sustained and will sustain direct personal injury. The gist of the question of standing is whether a party alleges such personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. like almost all powers conferred by the Constitution. x x x Even then. Article XI thereof. and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.64 it held that the act of the House of Representatives in removing the petitioner from the Commission on Appointments is subject to judicial review. In Tanada v.59 cited by respondents in support of the argument that the impeachment power is beyond the scope of judicial review. In Coseteng v."67 Both are integral components of the calibrated system of independence and interdependence that insures that no branch of government act beyond the powers assigned to it by the Constitution. In Tanada v. accorded standing to taxpayers. In Angara v. Finally. though vesting in the House of Representatives the exclusive power to initiate impeachment cases. More than that. through the power of judicial review. recognizing full well the perils of judicial willfulness and pride.S. (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity. Thus. Respondents are also of the view that judicial review of impeachments undermines their finality and may also lead to conflicts between Congress and the judiciary. or in the language of Baker v. There is indeed a plethora of cases in which this Court exercised the power of judicial review over congressional action. the Solicitor General asserts that petitioners have standing since this Court had. Guingona. in praying for the dismissal of the petitions. he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained.54 our Constitution. 68 (Italics in the original) Standing Locus standi or legal standing or has been defined as a personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged.62 this Court declared null and void a resolution of the House of Representatives withdrawing the nomination. or will sustain. Amicus curiae former Justice Minister and Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza similarly contends. Narrowed as its function is in this manner. not only because the legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution but also because the judiciary in the determination of actual cases and controversies must reflect the wisdom and justice of the people as expressed through their representatives in the executive and legislative departments of the government. the judiciary does not pass upon questions of wisdom. In Bondoc v. Constitution bestows sole power of impeachment to the House of Representatives without limitation.65 it held that although under the Constitution. These cases concern the denial of petitions for writs of mandamus to compel the legislature to perform non-ministerial acts.57"judicially discoverable standards" for determining the validity of the exercise of such discretion. Any attempt at abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions and to sterile conclusions unrelated to actualities.66 it ruled that confirmation by the National Assembly of the election of any member. Cuenco. (4) and (5).63 it held that the resolution of whether the House representation in the Commission on Appointments was based on proportional representation of the political parties as provided in Section 18. Jr.

81 This Court opts to grant standing to most of the petitioners. standing restrictions require a partial consideration of the merits. Dioscoro U. invokes the sole ground of transcendental importance. When suing as a citizen. members of Congress. However.74 In view of the arguments set forth regarding standing. On the contrary. is mum on his standing. taxpayers and legislators when specific requirements have been met have been given standing by this Court. he is allowed to sue where there is a claim that public funds are illegally disbursed. although undoubtedly true. the question as to "real party in interest" is whether he is "the party who would be benefited or injured by the judgment. There is.72 Amicus curiae Dean Raul Pangalangan of the U. 77 In fine. when the proceeding involves the assertion of a public right. cannot himself invoke the jurisdiction of this Court. is very different from questions relating to whether a particular plaintiff is the real party in interest or has capacity to sue. in G. 88 for a judgment in a class suit. Inc.'"76 (Citations omitted) While rights personal to the Chief Justice may have been injured by the alleged unconstitutional acts of the House of Representatives.80 At all events. Morato75 to clarify what is meant by locus standi and to distinguish it from real party-in-interest. citizens. therefore.86It. however. when dealing with class suits filed in behalf of all citizens. It is shared by other groups and the whole citizenry. does not suffice to clothe it with standing. or that public money is being deflected to any improper purpose. The Philippine Bar Association. Since petitioners additionallyallege standing as citizens and taxpayers. It must appear that the person complaining has been or is about to be denied some right or privilege to which he is lawfully entitled or that he is about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by reason of the statute or act complained of. . for ethical reasons. the following instructive determinants formulated by former Supreme Court Justice Florentino P. Its interest is too general. He must be able to show. It is not sufficient that he has merely a general interest common to all members of the public. that standing because of its constitutional and public policy underpinnings. In the case of a taxpayer. when the real party in interest is unable to vindicate his rights by seeking the same remedies. in G." xxx On the other hand.83 While an association has legal personality to represent its members. the courts will grant petitioners standing. and not merely that he suffers thereby in some indefinite way. as in the case of the Chief Justice who. courts are vested with discretion as to whether or not a taxpayer's suit should be entertained.R. Standing is a special concern in constitutional law because in some cases suits are brought not by parties who have been personally injured by the operation of a law or by official action taken. for the former is a concept of civil procedure73 while the latter has constitutional underpinnings. given their allegation that any impending transmittal to the Senate of the Articles of Impeachment and the ensuing trial of the Chief Justice will necessarily involve the expenditure of public funds. however. . Feliciano are instructive: (1) the character of the funds or other assets involved in the case.85 the mere invocation by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any member of the legal profession of the duty to preserve the rule of law and nothing more. No.P. behooves this Court to relax the rules on standing and to resolve the issues presented by it. is. not only that the law or any government act is invalid.79 Before he can invoke the power of judicial review. v. their petition will stand.R. none of the petitioners before us asserts a violation of the personal rights of the Chief Justice.82 Indeed. Hence the question in standing is whether such parties have "alleged such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. however. but by concerned citizens. a reading of the petitions shows that it has advanced constitutional issues which deserve the attention of this Court in view of their seriousness. 160403. binding on all members of the class whether or not they were before the court. taxpayers or voters who actually sue in the public interest. . 78 the mere fact that he is a citizen satisfies the requirement of personal interest. No. a member of the House of Representatives has standing to maintain inviolate the prerogatives. 89 Where it clearly appears that not all interests can be sufficiently represented as shown by the divergent issues raised in the numerous petitions before this Court. No. There being no doctrinal definition of transcendental importance. concerned citizens. he must specifically prove that he has sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by taxation and that he would sustain a direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the questioned statute or contract.government have kept themselves within the limits of the Constitution and the laws and that they have not abused the discretion given to them. Although all three requirements are directed towards ensuring that only certain parties can maintain an action. it behooves the Court to reiterate the ruling in Kilosbayan. but also that he sustained or is in imminent danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its enforcement. College of Law is of the same opinion. and members of the bar and of the legal profession – which were supposedly violated by the alleged unconstitutional acts of the House of Representatives. under the res judicata principle. however. citing transcendental importance and the well-entrenched rule exception that. individually or in a class suit. a difference between the rule on real-party-in-interest and the rule on standing. G. As for a legislator. or the 'party entitled to the avails of the suit. they invariably invoke the vindication of their own rights – as taxpayers. 84 especially when it is composed of substantial taxpayers and the outcome will affect their vital interests. The difference between the rule on standing and real party in interest has been noted by authorities thus: "It is important to note .R. he is allowed to sue to question the validity of any official action which he claims infringes his prerogatives as a legislator. the interest of the petitioner assailing the constitutionality of a statute must be direct and personal. as well as broader policy concerns relating to the proper role of the judiciary in certain areas. whether favorable or unfavorable to the class. 160397. In the same vein. In a long line of cases. novelty and weight as precedents. or that there is a wastage of public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law. 160365 as a class suit ought to fail. persons intervening must be sufficiently numerous to fully protect the interests of all concerned87 to enable the court to deal properly with all interests involved in the suit. while Atty. Vallejos. powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in his office.

as earlier stated. or is so situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of the court or of an officer thereof. save for one additional issue. they seek to join petitioners Candelaria. filed a "Petition-in-Intervention with Leave to Intervene" to raise the additional issue of whether or not the second impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice is valid and based on any of the grounds prescribed by the Constitution. Inc.95 this Court. and (3) the lack of any other party with a more direct and specific interest in raising the questions being raised.92 In Intervenors Attorneys Romulo Macalintal and Pete Quirino Quadra's case. Inc. Soriano's motion to intervene."96 Only then may the courts pass on the validity of what was done. The questioned acts having been carried out. he failed to allege any interest in the case.e.90 Applying these determinants. the same must be denied for. they raise the same issues and the same standing. et al. Section 2 of the Rules of Court requires an intervenor to possess a legal interest in the matter in litigation.R. or in the success of either of the parties. Salonga opines that there may be no urgent need for this Court to render a decision at this time. 160262. Amicus curiaeformer Senate President Jovito R. 160261. as when the issues raised are of paramount importance to the public. Additionally. Taking a similar stand is Dean Raul Pangalangan of the U. Rule 19. Finding that Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino. In not a few cases. and no objection on the part of petitioners Candelaria. sought to join petitioner Francisco in G.R. and 160310 were of transcendental importance. or that public money is being deflected to any improper purpose. Neither do petitioners seek to restrain respondent from wasting public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law. possess a legal interest in the matter in litigation the respective motions to intervene were hereby granted. held that for a case to be considered ripe for adjudication." this Court found the requisites for intervention had been complied with. he being a member of Congress against which the herein petitions are directed. Macapagal. Soriano failed even to allege that the act of petitioners will result in illegal disbursement of public funds or in public money being deflected to any improper purpose. et. The dean maintains that even assuming that the . as Tan v. Invoking their right as citizens to intervene. Alleging that the issues raised in the petitions in G. he failed to meet the standing requirement for bringing taxpayer's suits as set forth in Dumlao v. this Court is satisfied that the issues raised herein are indeed of transcendental importance. the second impeachment complaint had been filed with the House of Representatives and the 2001 Rules have already been already promulgated and enforced. Senator Aquilino Pimentel. and to fully ventilate all substantial issues relating to the matter at hand. Inc. He thus recommends that all remedies in the House and Senate should first be exhausted. while he asserts an interest as a taxpayer. Clearly. Since. nowhere in their Petition do said petitioners allege that their tax money is "being extracted and spent in violation of specific constitutional protection against abuses of legislative power. No. In petitioner Vallejos' case. i. the prerequisite that the alleged unconstitutional act should be accomplished and performed before suit. Inc. at the very least. A party must. Comelec.91 Such liberality does not. has been interposed. and World War II Veterans Legionnaires of the Philippines. al. 94 (Citations omitted) In praying for the dismissal of the petitions. this Court as earlier stated. his Motion to Intervene was granted and he was. his mere interest as a member of the Bar does not suffice to clothe him with standing. Related to the issue of ripeness is the question of whether the instant petitions are premature. 160263. "it is a prerequisite that something had by then been accomplished or performed by either branch before a court may come into the picture. 160261. He alleges that submitting to this Court's jurisdiction as the Senate President does will undermine the independence of the Senate which will sit as an impeachment court once the Articles of Impeachment are transmitted to it from the House of Representatives. still plead the existence of such interest... Ripeness and Prematurity In Tan v.. Macapagal holds. With respect to the motions for intervention.(2) the presence of a clear case of disregard of a constitutional or statutory prohibition by the public respondent agency or instrumentality of the government. in G. et. No. 160292. For this reason. through Chief Justice Fernando. or an interest against both. it not being one of which courts can take judicial notice. Nos. College of Law who suggests to this Court to take judicial notice of on-going attempts to encourage signatories to the second impeachment complaint to withdraw their signatures and opines that the House Impeachment Rules provide for an opportunity for members to raise constitutional questions themselves when the Articles of Impeachment are presented on a motion to transmit to the same to the Senate. Lastly. He does not thus have standing. allowed to argue. The instant petitions raise in the main the issue of the validity of the filing of the second impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice in accordance with the House Impeachment Rules adopted by the 12th Congress. sought to intervene for the limited purpose of making of record and arguing a point of view that differs with Senate President Drilon's. has been complied with. granted the Motion for Leave of Court to Intervene and Petition-in-Intervention. however. Senator Pimentel possesses a legal interest in the matter in litigation. 160277. it being the final arbiter on questions of constitutionality anyway. World War II Veterans Legionnaires of the Philippines. if and when the latter is challenged in an appropriate legal proceeding. 160262. on the other hand. alleging that "they will suffer if this insidious scheme of the minority members of the House of Representatives is successful.93 to wit: x x x While. this Court has in fact adopted a liberal attitude on the locus standi of a petitioner where the petitioner is able to craft an issue of transcendental significance to the people. the elections to be held involve the expenditure of public moneys. as to Jaime N." or that there is a misapplication of such funds by respondent COMELEC. Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino. 160295. the constitutionality of which is questioned. mean that the requirement that a party should have an interest in the matter is totally eliminated. While intervention is not a matter of right. it may be permitted by the courts when the applicant shows facts which satisfy the requirements of the law authorizing intervention. al. al.P.R. et. concededly.

Executive Secretary102 which raised the issue of whether the 1973 Constitution was ratified. The next provision is new in our constitutional law. Commissioner Calderon. under the Constitution. hence. The frequency with which this Court invoked the political question doctrine to refuse to take jurisdiction over certain cases during the Marcos regime motivated Chief Justice Concepcion. I will proceed to read the provisions drafted by the Committee on the Judiciary. or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the Legislature or executive branch of the Government. Article VIII of the Constitution. Martial law was announced on September 22. the futility of seeking remedies from either or both Houses of Congress before coming to this Court is shown by the fact that. are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity. I will read it first and explain. when he became a Constitutional Commissioner. we have no authority to pass upon it. it had barely agreed in the fundamentals of the Constitution. In some cases. allow me to explain. in legal parlance.98 Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion defined the term "political question. as said power is exclusively vested in the judiciary by the earlier quoted Section I. the judiciary has nothing with which to enforce its decisions or commands except the power of reason and appeal to conscience which. Remedy cannot be sought from a body which is bereft of power to grant it. The dean's position does not persuade. The first section starts with a sentence copied from former Constitutions. the unfinished draft of the Constitution was taken over by representatives of Malacañang. to clarify this Court's power of judicial review and its application on issues involving political questions. this Court hid behind the cover of the political question doctrine and refused to exercise its power of judicial review. Judicial power includes the duty of courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part or instrumentality of the government." It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom." viz: [T]he term "political question" connotes. cure the House Impeachment Rules of their constitutional infirmity. Fellow Members of this Commission. what it means in ordinary parlance. I am sure the members of the Bar are familiar with this situation. this is actually a product of our experience during martial law. In fact. this Court vacillated on its stance of taking cognizance of cases which involved political questions. it refers to "those questions which. that is. since it is political. So that when martial law was announced on September 22. the Secretary of Justice. without consistency and seemingly without any rhyme or reason. The obvious reason for the delay in its publication was that the administration had apprehended and detained prominent newsmen on September 21. Mr. the media hardly published anything about it. The 1971 Constitutional Convention had begun on June 1. it being a question decided by the people in their sovereign capacity. not legality. Thank you. the media could not publish any story not only because our main writers were already incarcerated. although the proclamation was dated September 21. In other words.Articles are transmitted to the Senate. which then had no legal defense at all. if I am not mistaken. x x x And so. certain principles concerning particularly the writ of habeas corpus. however. I suppose. but it. the withdrawal by the Representatives of their signatures would not. As a matter of fact. Ratification by the people of a Constitution is a political question. Cuenco. this Court shunted the political question doctrine and took cognizance thereof. but the role of the judiciary during the deposed regime was marred considerably by the circumstance that in a number of cases against the government. I forgot to say that upon the proclamation of martial law. Since the legislature holds the purse and the executive the sword. by itself. the usual comment that the judiciary is the weakest among the three major branches of the service. I suppose nobody can question it. 100 In other cases. were picked up. I will start with a decision of the Supreme Court in 1973 on the case of Javellana vs. despite the seeming political nature of the therein issues involved. Presiding Officer. as previously discussed." The Committee on the Judiciary feels that this was not a proper solution of the questions involved. the Chief Justice can raise the issue of their constitutional infirmity by way of a motion to dismiss. petitioners would continue to suffer their injuries. and is the most powerful of all other powers without exception. but also because those who succeeded them in their jobs were under mortal threat of being the object of wrath of the ruling party. namely. the authority of courts to order the release of political detainees. a question of policy. So. in the language of Corpus Juris Secundum. everybody has made. encouraged further violations thereof during the martial law regime. But for the benefit of the Members of the Commission who are not lawyers. reflects the will of God. Justiciability In the leading case of Tanada v. of a particular measure. I will speak on the judiciary. after all. First. it has some antecedents in the past. dozens of them. CONCEPCION. whether concerning impeachment proceedings or otherwise. the solicitor general set up the defense of political questions and got away with it. As a consequence. 1971 and by September 21 or 22 had not finished the Constitution. in effect. neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate is clothed with the power to rule with definitiveness on the issue of constitutionality. Second and most importantly. this Court assumed jurisdiction whenever it found constitutionally imposed limits on powers or functions conferred upon political bodies. in force. It says: The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. obliterate the questioned second impeachment complaint since it would only place it under the ambit of Sections 3(2) and (3) of Article XI of the Constitution97 and. and other matters related to the operation and effect of martial law failed because the government set up the defense of political question. with the body's indulgence. And the Supreme Court said: "Well. Neither would such a withdrawal. It did not merely request an encroachment upon the rights of the people. One of them was our very own colleague. viz: MR.101 Even in the landmark 1988 case of Javellana v. Practically. therefore. by itself. some delegates to that 1971 Constitutional Convention. In .99 (Italics in the original) Prior to the 1973 Constitution.

much less public discussions of certain matters of public concern. hypothetical questions. Chief Justice Concepcion further clarified the concept of judicial power. The Gentleman used the term "judicial power" but judicial power is not vested in the Supreme Court alone but also in other lower courts as may be created by law. the vast majority ratified the draft of the Constitution." Thus the barangays came into existence. it faced the following questions: What is judicial power? What is a political question? The Supreme Court. therefore. xxx x x x When your Committee on the Judiciary began to perform its functions. This is not the only major case in which the plea of "political question" was set up. a majority of the members of the Court felt that there had been no referendum. If I may use a word famous by our colleague. The purpose was presumably to allow a free discussion on the draft of the Constitution on which a plebiscite was to be held sometime in January 1973. much less decide. Whereupon. the Executive and the Judiciary. The Court said: "We can tell your wife what her duties as such are and that she is bound to comply with them. A number of other cases were filed to declare the presidential proclamation null and void. So.103 (Italics in the original. I have made these extended remarks to the end that the Commissioners may have an initial food for thought on the subject of the judiciary. I proceeded to the session room where the case was being heard. NOLLEDO. Commissioner Ople. . the Minister of Justice delivered to the Court a proclamation of the President declaring that the new Constitution was already in force because the overwhelming majority of the votes cast in the referendum favored the Constitution. There are rights which are guaranteed by law but cannot be enforced by a judiciary party. The courts. which means that the courts cannot hereafter evade the duty to settle matters of this nature. Immediately after the departure of the Minister of Justice.17 days. cannot entertain. There are some rights guaranteed by law. There have been a number of other cases in the past. even local gossips spread like wild fire. Note that all members of the Supreme Court were residents of Manila. the Supreme Court has. however. Second. but none of them had been notified of any referendum in their respective places of residence. a referendum cannot substitute for a plebiscite. 1972. whereupon the President issued a decree calling a plebiscite which suspended the operation of some provisions in the martial law decree which prohibited discussions. . a motion was filed with the Supreme Court praying that the holding of the referendum be suspended. In the Philippines. So. But another group of justices upheld the defense that the issue was a political question. a husband complained that his wife was unwilling to perform her duties as a wife. x x x The defense of the political question was rejected because the issue was clearly justiciable. during the interregnum. but of what was then designated as "citizens assemblies or barangays. like all other courts. suggesting that it was unnecessary to hold a plebiscite because the answers given in the referendum should be regarded as the votes cast in the plebiscite. The powers of government are generally considered divided into three branches: the Legislative. None of them saw any referendum proceeding. But the questions to be submitted in the referendum were not announced until the eve of its scheduled beginning. In a presidential system of government. There is a big difference between a referendum and a plebiscite. Briefly stated. In a decided case. . xxx The government said that in a referendum held from January 10 to January 15. they finished what the delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention had been unable to accomplish for about 14 months." This is why the first part of the second paragraph of Section I provides that: Judicial power includes the duty of courts to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable or enforceable . they dismissed the case. I then informed the Court and the parties the presidential proclamation declaring that the 1973 Constitution had been ratified by the people and is now in force. also another important function. The questions to be propounded were released with proposed answers thereto. the draft of the Constitution was analyzed and criticized with such a telling effect that Malacañang felt the danger of its approval. thus: MR. Each one is supreme within its own sphere and independent of the others. or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction. This is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature. under the supposed supervision not of the Commission on Elections. the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question whether or not a branch of government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction. by claiming that such matters constitute a political question. Because of that supremacy power to determine whether a given law is valid or not is vested in courts of justice. In other words. The draft of the 1973 Constitution was presented to the President around December 1. This is the background of paragraph 2 of Section 1. has one main function: to settle actual controversies involving conflicts of rights which are demandable and enforceable. but they are so personal that to enforce them by actual compulsion would be highly derogatory to human dignity. emphasis supplied) During the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. Thereupon. The main defense put up by the government was that the issue was a political question and that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the case. When the motion was being heard before the Supreme Court. much less did they participate in the alleged referendum. but we cannot force her physically to discharge her main marital duty to her husband. the President suspended indefinitely the holding of the plebiscite and announced that he would consult the people in a referendum to be held from January 10 to January 15. courts of justice determine the limits of power of the agencies and offices of the government as well as those of its officers.

this Court declared: The "allocation of constitutional boundaries" is a task that this Court must perform under the Constitution." From this clarification it is gathered that there are two species of political questions: (1) "truly political questions" and (2) those which "are not truly political questions. FR. or an unusual need for questioning adherence to a political decision already made. The Gentleman seems to identify political questions with jurisdictional questions. No. BERNAS." Truly political questions are thus beyond judicial review. On the other hand. Manglapus. held: The present Constitution limits resort to the political question doctrine and broadens the scope of judicial inquiry into areas which the Court. "(t)he political question doctrine neither interposes an obstacle to judicial determination of the rival claims. MR. So. MR. in proper cases. When this provision was originally drafted. CONCEPCION. although said provision by no means does away with the applicability of the principle in appropriate cases. . In Marcos v. would have normally left to the political departments to decide. and (3) the . or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it. speaking through Madame Justice Irene Cortes. it sought to define what is judicial power. Because of the expression "judicial power"? MR. MR. And so. FR. however. amounting to a lack of jurisdiction. Article VIII was not intended to do away with "truly political questions. Ultimately. this Court ruled: In the case now before us. On another point. this Court has in fact in a number of cases taken jurisdiction over questions which are not truly political following the effectivity of the present Constitution. even the political question. Yes. BERNAS. There has been no clear standard. even if we were to assume that the issue presented before us was political in nature. MR.109 speaking through Justice Isagani Cruz. No. It is not. BERNAS. the more reliable have been the first three: (1) a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department. CONCEPCION. is it the intention of Section 1 to do away with the political question doctrine? MR. of the Court does not define what are justiciable political questions and non-justiciable political questions. The jurisdiction to delimit constitutional boundaries has been given to this Court. I know this is not. it will always have to be decided by the Supreme Court according to the new numerical need for votes.MR. So. No. 107 through Justice Teodoro Padilla.104 (Emphasis supplied) From the foregoing record of the proceedings of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. courts can review questions which are not truly political in nature. because whenever there is an abuse of discretion. Carr111 attempts to provide some: x x x Prominent on the surface of any case held to involve a political question is found a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department. that Section 1. The reason is that. Chief Justice Concepcion hastened to clarify. But the Gentleman will notice it says. or the impossibility of a court's undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government. Therefore. No. CONCEPCION. It cannot abdicate that obligation mandated by the 1987 Constitution. the jurisdictional objection becomes even less tenable and decisive. Judicial power. or the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for non-judicial discretion. a duty which cannot be abdicated by the mere specter of this creature called the political question doctrine. (2) the lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it. But there is a difference. Article VIII of the Constitution. The American case of Baker v. by virtue of Section 1. the reason for respect of the doctrine of separation of powers to be maintained. FR. CONCEPCION. Article VIII. xxx FR.105 this Court. it is also a duty.112 (Underscoring supplied) Of these standards. the court has the duty to decide. BERNAS. MR. therefore. however.110 x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied. refers to ordinary cases but where there is a question as to whether the government had authority or had abused its authority to the extent of lacking jurisdiction or excess of jurisdiction. Identification of these two species of political questions may be problematic. CONCEPCION. Moreover. as I said. this is not an attempt to solve the problems arising from the political question doctrine. "judicial power includes" and the reason being that the definition that we might make may not cover all possible areas. CONCEPCION. . we would still not be precluded from resolving it under the expanded jurisdiction conferred upon us that now covers.) Section 1. certainly not. it is clear that judicial power is not only a power. As pointed out by amicus curiae former dean Pacifico Agabin of the UP College of Law."108 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) And in Daza v. NOLLEDO. No. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. that is not a political question. under previous constitutions. I am satisfied with the answer that it is not intended to do away with the political question doctrine. CONCEPCION. NOLLEDO. is this only an example? MR. as held in a recent case. It definitely does not eliminate the fact that truly political questions are beyond the pale of judicial power. or thepotentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question. 106 x xx In Bengzon v. Singson.

In determining whether one.118[Emphasis supplied] Succinctly put. In fact. which would thus be broader than is required by the facts of these consolidated cases. 160310."119 In G. 6657 for being confiscatory and violative of due process.115 this Court held: x x x It is a well-established rule that a court should not pass upon a constitutional question and decide a law to be unconstitutional or invalid. Alfonso. Moreover. These petitions raise five substantial issues: I. without arriving at their clear cut definition or even a standard therefor. the instant consolidated petitions. namely. which Resolution and legislative inquiry petitioners claim to likewise be unconstitutional for being: (a) a violation of the rules and jurisprudence on investigations in aid of legislation. some or all of the remaining substantial issues should be passed upon. V. The first issue goes into the merits of the second impeachment complaint over which this Court has no jurisdiction. this Court is guided by the related cannon of adjudication that "the court should not form a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is applied. the resolution of said issue would. Whether Sections 15 and 16 of Rule V of the Rules on Impeachment adopted by the 12th Congress are unconstitutional for violating the provisions of Section 3. Whether the second impeachment complaint was filed in accordance with Section 3(4). the constitutional question must have been opportunely raised by the proper party.R. Article VIII of the Constitution provides our courts with far less discretion in determining whether they should pass upon a constitutional issue. The problem in applying the foregoing standards is that the American concept of judicial review is radically different from our current concept. Thus. (b) an open breach of the doctrine of separation of powers. No. the issue calls upon this court to decide a non-justiciable political question which is beyond the scope of its judicial power under Section 1. in the case of Sotto v. More importantly. Article XI of the Constitution. al. two of these. it is the studied opinion of this Court that the issue of the constitutionality of the said Resolution and resulting legislative inquiry is too far removed from the issue of the validity of the second impeachment complaint. Article VIII. argue that. Whether the second impeachment complaint is barred under Section 3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution. These standards are not separate and distinct concepts but are interrelated to each in that the presence of one strengthens the conclusion that the others are also present. Secretary of Agrarian Reform. petitioners Leonilo R. the determination of a truly political question from a non-justiciable political question lies in the answer to the question of whether there are constitutionally imposed limits on powers or functions conferred upon political bodies. This opinion is further strengthened by the fact that said petitioners have raised other grounds in support of their petition which would not be adversely affected by the Court's ruling. collectively raise several constitutional issues upon which the outcome of this controversy could possibly be made to rest.116 [Emphasis and underscoring supplied] The same principle was applied in Luz Farms v. Whether the legislative inquiry by the House Committee on Justice into the Judicial Development Fund is an unconstitutional infringement of the constitutionally mandated fiscal autonomy of the judiciary.'s claims. for Section 1. in the Court's opinion. elude a precise definition. if the record also presents some other ground upon which the court may rest its judgment. 121 Without going into the merits of petitioners Alfonso. while all seeking the invalidity of the second impeachment complaint. and (d) an assault on the independence of the judiciary. Article XI of the Constitution. This Court shall thus now apply this standard to the present controversy. 113 Although Section 2 of Article XI of the Constitution enumerates six grounds for impeachment. If there are. other high crimes and betrayal of public trust. et. then our courts are duty-bound to examine whether the branch or instrumentality of the government properly acted within such limits. IV.impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for non-judicial discretion. In our jurisdiction. unless such question is raised by the parties and that when it is raised. Commission on Elections. that course will be adopted and the constitutional question will be left for consideration until a case arises in which a decision upon such question will be unavoidable. III. As noted earlier. any discussion of this issue would require this Court to make a determination of what constitutes an impeachable offense. to wit: It has been established that this Court will assume jurisdiction over a constitutional question only if it is shown that the essential requisites of a judicial inquiry into such a question are first satisfied. require it to form a rule of constitutional law touching on the separate and distinct matter of legislative inquiries in general.117 where this Court invalidated Sections 13 and 32 of Republic Act No. Such a determination is a purely political question which the Constitution has left to the sound discretion of the legislation.114 Clearly. et al. Such an intent is clear from the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. Thus. II. there must be an actual case or controversy involving a conflict of legal rights susceptible of judicial determination. (c) a violation of the constitutionally mandated fiscal autonomy of the judiciary. an examination of the records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission shows that the framers could find no better way to approximate the boundaries of betrayal of public trust and other high crimes than by alluding to both positive and negative examples of both. Lis Mota It is a well-settled maxim of adjudication that an issue assailing the constitutionality of a governmental act should be avoided whenever possible. among other reasons. courts will not touch the issue of constitutionality unless it is truly unavoidable and is the very lis mota or crux of the controversy. . the second impeachment complaint is invalid since it directly resulted from a Resolution120 calling for a legislative inquiry into the JDF. Whether the offenses alleged in the Second impeachment complaint constitute valid impeachable offenses under the Constitution. and the resolution of the question is unavoidably necessary to the decision of the case itself.

" not merely endorsed. after hearing. they concede that the second impeachment complaint should have been calendared and referred to the House Committee on Justice under Section 3(2). Jr. No. Article XI of the Constitution which reads: Section 3(4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House.. 160262. the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment. Intervenors' foregoing position is echoed by Justice Maambong who opined that for Section 3 (4). and (2) whether. No. 160262. the investigation must be "in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure" and that "the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. Judicial Restraint Senator Pimentel urges this Court to exercise judicial restraint on the ground that the Senate. Thus. inextricably linked as they are. viz: Section 3(2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof." With the exception of Representatives Teodoro and Fuentebella. therefore absolute or unlimited. constitute the very lis mota of the instant controversy: (1) whether Sections 15 and 16 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules adopted by the 12th Congress are unconstitutional for violating the provisions of Section 3. Fuentebella x x x"124 Intervenors Macalintal and Quadra further claim that what the Constitution requires in order for said second impeachment complaint to automatically become the Articles of Impeachment and for trial in the Senate to begin "forthwith.R. have raised this issue as a ground for invalidating the second impeachment complaint. respondents Speaker De Venecia et. intervenors in G. to adopt this additional ground as the basis for deciding the instant consolidated petitions would not only render for naught the efforts of the original petitioners in G. adopting the latter's arguments and issues as their own. The power of both houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is not. While the foregoing issue. argue that "[t]here is a moral compulsion for the Court to not assume jurisdiction over the impeachment because all the Members thereof are subject to impeachment. Section 21. and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. The Committee." Intervenors point to the "Verification" of the Resolution of Endorsement which states that: "We are the proponents/sponsors of the Resolution of Endorsement of the abovementioned Complaint of Representatives Gilberto Teodoro and Felix William B. intervenors Romulo B. Macalintal and Pete Quirino Quadra. Jr. the second impeachment complaint is barred under Section 3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution. 160262. Thus. which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days. They assert that while at least 81 members of the House of Representatives signed a Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. sitting as an impeachment court. al. Chief among this is the fact that only Attorneys Macalintal and Quadra. et. Again. such resolution of endorsement being necessary only from at least one Member whenever a citizen files a verified impeachment complaint. the signatories to said Resolution are alleged to have verified the same merely as a "Resolution of Endorsement. al. there should be 76 or more representatives who signed and verified the second impeachment complaint as complainants. as provided therein. Consequently. including the right to due process and the right not be compelled to testify against one's self. No. et. Article VI thereof provides: The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. more compelling considerations militate against its adoption as the lis mota or crux of the present controversy. and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. On the other hand. as argued by intervenors Macalintal and Quadra. has the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. Not having complied with this requirement." It follows then that the right rights of persons under the Bill of Rights must be respected. Article XI of the Constitution. al. Again.123 In G. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected."125 But this argument is very . they are not unduly prejudiced by this Court's decision. In sum. this Court reiterates that the power of judicial review includes the power of review over justiciable issues in impeachment proceedings. by at least one-third of the Members of the House of Representatives. Thus. this Court notes that a standard for the conduct of legislative inquiries has already been enunciated by this Court in Bengzon. as a result thereof. this Court holds that the two remaining issues. and by a majority vote of all its Members. while joining the original petition of petitioners Candelaria. Justice Maambong likewise asserted that the Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment signed by at least one-third of the members of the House of Representatives as endorsers is not the resolution of impeachment contemplated by the Constitution. the same does not fall under the provisions of Section 3 (4)." is that the verified complaint be "filed. but the efforts presented by the other petitioners as well. Its exercise is circumscribed by the afore-quoted provision of the Constitution.R. 122 viz: The 1987 Constitution expressly recognizes the power of both houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation.. does indeed limit the scope of the constitutional issues to the provisions on impeachment. and Felix William Fuentebella. the decision to discard the resolution of this issue as unnecessary for the determination of the instant cases is made easier by the fact that said intervenors Macalintal and Quadra have joined in the petition of Candelaria. Article XI of the Constitution to apply. the same did not satisfy the requisites for the application of the afore-mentioned section in that the "verified complaint or resolution of impeachment" was not filed "by at least one-third of all the Members of the House.R. v. Senate Blue Ribbon Commttee. Article XI of the Constitution. together with the corresponding resolution. shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral.En passant. signed and verified the signatories to a resolution of impeachment. introduce the new argument that since the second impeachment complaint was verified and filed only by Representatives Gilberto Teodoro.

For this reason." 130 The duty to exercise the power of adjudication regardless of interest had already been settled in the case of Abbas v. a situation is created which precludes the substitution of any Senator sitting in the Tribunal by any of his other colleagues in the Senate without inviting the same objections to the substitute's competence. would leave the Tribunal no alternative but to abandon a duty that no other court or body can perform. The Court will not 'formulate a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is to be applied. The Court will not 'anticipate a question of constitutional law in advance of the necessity of deciding it. What we are merely saying is that in the light of the Constitution. the Senate Electoral Tribunal cannot legally function as such. VIII. In Demetria v. the proposed mass disqualification. enunciated by US Supreme Court Justice Brandeis in Ashwander v. such possibility might surface again in the wake of the 1992 elections when once more. with detachment and fairness. 128 On the occasion that this Court had been an interested party to the controversy before it. Litigants in such situations must simply place their trust and hopes of vindication in the fairness and sense of justice of the Members of the Tribunal. Indeed.' 2. Alba. through Justice Marcelo Fernan cited the "seven pillars" of limitations of the power of judicial review. TVA135 as follows: 1. Let us not be misunderstood as saying that no Senator-Member of the Senate Electoral Tribunal may inhibit or disqualify himself from sitting in judgment on any case before said Tribunal. this is the overriding consideration — that the Tribunal be not prevented from discharging a duty which it alone has the power to perform. but for the last time. "jurisdiction is not just a power. The exercise of judicial restraint over justiciable issues is not an option before this Court. by means of a friendly suit. 133 (Italics in the original) Besides. To our mind. as his conscience dictates. declining because to decide such questions 'is legitimate only in the last resort. as here. the performance of which is in the highest public interest as evidenced by its being expressly imposed by no less than the fundamental law. and as a necessity in the determination of real. the deprivation of his or their judicial power is equivalent to the deprivation of the judicial power of the court itself. a party beaten in the legislature could transfer to the courts an inquiry as to the constitutionality of the legislative act. refrain from participating in the resolution of a case where he sincerely feels that his personal interests or biases would stand in the way of an objective and impartial judgment. the Court under our system of government cannot inhibit itself and must rule upon the challenge because no other office has the authority to do so. 002-87 on the ground that all of them were interested parties to said case as respondents therein. it has acted upon the matter "not with officiousness but in the discharge of an unavoidable duty and. More than being clothed with authority thus. It is aptly noted in the first of the questioned Resolutions that the framers of the Constitution could not have been unaware of the possibility of an election contest that would involve all Senators —elect. Adjudication may not be declined. Senate Electoral Tribunal.' . This Court held: Where. the petitioners filed with the respondent Senate Electoral Tribunal a Motion for Disqualification or Inhibition of the Senators-Members thereof from the hearing and resolution of SET Case No. "by [his] appointment to the office. It never was the thought that. non-adversary proceeding. 'It is not the habit of the Court to decide questions of a constitutional nature unless absolutely necessary to a decision of the case. this Court would be shirking from its duty vested under Art. six of whom would inevitably have to sit in judgment thereon. but which it cannot lawfully discharge if shorn of the participation of its entire membership of Senators. This would have reduced the Tribunal's membership to only its three Justices-Members whose disqualification was not sought. . the public has laid on [a member of the judiciary] their confidence that [he] is mentally and morally fit to pass upon the merits of their varied contentions. Every Member of the Tribunal may."126 Otherwise. Justices and Senators. it is a solemn duty which may not be renounced. would leave the Court no alternative but to abandon a duty which it cannot lawfully discharge if shorn of the participation of its entire membership of Justices.much like saying the Legislature has a moral compulsion not to pass laws with penalty clauses because Members of the House of Representatives are subject to them. absent its entire membership of Senators and that no amendment of its Rules can confer on the three Justices-Members alone the power of valid adjudication of a senatorial election contest. they expect [him] to be fearless in [his] pursuit to render justice. all 24 seats in the Senate will be at stake. this Court is duty-bound to take cognizance of the instant petitions. because this Court is not legally disqualified. is nothing short of pro tanto depriving the Court itself of its jurisdiction as established by the fundamental law. Nor can jurisdiction be renounced as there is no other tribunal to which the controversy may be referred.' .127 In the august words of amicus curiae Father Bernas." Even in cases where it is an interested party." 129 After all.' 3. interest or power and to be equipped with a moral fiber strong enough to resist the temptations lurking in [his] office.132 it was held that: Moreover. even if it is vexatious. if sanctioned and ordered.131 In that case. would be a dereliction of duty. particularly a majority of them. To renounce it. there are specific safeguards already laid down by the Court when it exercises its power of judicial review. Sec. leaving them to decide the matter. . Desierto. if sanctioned and ordered. earnest and vital controversy between individuals.134 this Court. to disqualify any of the members of the Court. to be unafraid to displease any person. as always. 1(2) of the Constitution. It affects the very heart of judicial independence. Yet the Constitution provides no scheme or mode for settling such unusual situations or for the substitution of Senators designated to the Tribunal whose disqualification may be sought. as is the case with the Justices of this Court. The Court will not pass upon the constitutionality of legislation in a friendly. And if that judge is the one designated by the Constitution to exercise the jurisdiction of his court. Disqualification of a judge is a deprivation of his judicial power. The proposed mass disqualification. singly and collectively. More recently in the case of Estrada v.

4. The Court will not pass upon a constitutional question although properly presented by the record, if there is also present some other ground upon which the case may be disposed of. This rule has found most varied application. Thus, if a case can be decided on either of two grounds, one involving a constitutional question, the other a question of statutory construction or general law, the Court will decide only the latter. Appeals from the highest court of a state challenging its decision of a question under the Federal Constitution are frequently dismissed because the judgment can be sustained on an independent state ground. 5. The Court will not pass upon the validity of a statute upon complaint of one who fails to show that he is injured by its operation. Among the many applications of this rule, none is more striking than the denial of the right of challenge to one who lacks a personal or property right. Thus, the challenge by a public official interested only in the performance of his official duty will not be entertained . . . In Fairchild v. Hughes, the Court affirmed the dismissal of a suit brought by a citizen who sought to have the Nineteenth Amendment declared unconstitutional. In Massachusetts v. Mellon, the challenge of the federal Maternity Act was not entertained although made by the Commonwealth on behalf of all its citizens. 6. The Court will not pass upon the constitutionality of a statute at the instance of one who has availed himself of its benefits. 7. When the validity of an act of the Congress is drawn in question, and even if a serious doubt of constitutionality is raised, it is a cardinal principle that this Court will first ascertain whether a construction of the statute is fairly possible by which the question may be avoided (citations omitted). The foregoing "pillars" of limitation of judicial review, summarized in Ashwander v. TVA from different decisions of the United States Supreme Court, can be encapsulated into the following categories: 1. that there be absolute necessity of deciding a case 2. that rules of constitutional law shall be formulated only as required by the facts of the case 3. that judgment may not be sustained on some other ground 4. that there be actual injury sustained by the party by reason of the operation of the statute 5. that the parties are not in estoppel 6. that the Court upholds the presumption of constitutionality. As stated previously, parallel guidelines have been adopted by this Court in the exercise of judicial review: 1. actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power 2. the person challenging the act must have "standing" to challenge; he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement 3. the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity 4. the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.136 Respondents Speaker de Venecia, et. al. raise another argument for judicial restraint the possibility that "judicial review of impeachments might also lead to embarrassing conflicts between the Congress and the [J]udiciary." They stress the need to avoid the appearance of impropriety or conflicts of interest in judicial hearings, and the scenario that it would be confusing and humiliating and risk serious political instability at home and abroad if the judiciary countermanded the vote of Congress to remove an impeachable official.137 Intervenor Soriano echoes this argument by alleging that failure of this Court to enforce its Resolution against Congress would result in the diminution of its judicial authority and erode public confidence and faith in the judiciary. Such an argument, however, is specious, to say the least. As correctly stated by the Solicitor General, the possibility of the occurrence of a constitutional crisis is not a reason for this Court to refrain from upholding the Constitution in all impeachment cases. Justices cannot abandon their constitutional duties just because their action may start, if not precipitate, a crisis. Justice Feliciano warned against the dangers when this Court refuses to act. x x x Frequently, the fight over a controversial legislative or executive act is not regarded as settled until the Supreme Court has passed upon the constitutionality of the act involved, the judgment has not only juridical effects but also political consequences. Those political consequences may follow even where the Court fails to grant the petitioner's prayer to nullify an act for lack of the necessary number of votes. Frequently, failure to act explicitly, one way or the other, itself constitutes a decision for the respondent and validation, or at least quasi-validation, follows." 138 Thus, in Javellana v. Executive Secretary139 where this Court was split and "in the end there were not enough votes either to grant the petitions, or to sustain respondent's claims," 140 the pre-existing constitutional order was disrupted which paved the way for the establishment of the martial law regime. Such an argument by respondents and intervenor also presumes that the coordinate branches of the government would behave in a lawless manner and not do their duty under the law to uphold the Constitution and obey the laws of the land. Yet there is no reason to believe that any of the branches of government will behave in a precipitate manner and risk social upheaval, violence, chaos and anarchy by encouraging disrespect for the fundamental law of the land. Substituting the word public officers for judges, this Court is well guided by the doctrine in People v. Veneracion, towit:141 Obedience to the rule of law forms the bedrock of our system of justice. If [public officers], under the guise of religious or political beliefs were allowed to roam unrestricted beyond boundaries within which they are required by law to exercise the duties of their office, then law becomes meaningless. A government of laws, not of men excludes the exercise of broad discretionary powers by those acting under its authority. Under this system, [public officers] are guided by the Rule of Law, and ought "to protect and enforce it without fear or favor," resist encroachments by governments, political parties, or even the interference of their own personal beliefs.142

Constitutionality of the Rules of Procedure for Impeachment Proceedings adopted by the 12th Congress Respondent House of Representatives, through Speaker De Venecia, argues that Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules do not violate Section 3 (5) of Article XI of our present Constitution, contending that the term "initiate" does not mean "to file;" that Section 3 (1) is clear in that it is the House of Representatives, as a collective body, which has the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment; that initiate could not possibly mean "to file" because filing can, as Section 3 (2), Article XI of the Constitution provides, only be accomplished in 3 ways, to wit: (1) by a verified complaint for impeachment by any member of the House of Representatives; or (2) by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any member; or (3) by at least 1/3 of all the members of the House. Respondent House of Representatives concludes that the one year bar prohibiting the initiation of impeachment proceedings against the same officials could not have been violated as the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide and seven Associate Justices had not been initiated as the House of Representatives, acting as the collective body, has yet to act on it. The resolution of this issue thus hinges on the interpretation of the term "initiate." Resort to statutory construction is, therefore, in order. That the sponsor of the provision of Section 3(5) of the Constitution, Commissioner Florenz Regalado, who eventually became an Associate Justice of this Court, agreed on the meaning of "initiate" as "to file," as proffered and explained by Constitutional Commissioner Maambong during the Constitutional Commission proceedings, which he (Commissioner Regalado) as amicus curiae affirmed during the oral arguments on the instant petitions held on November 5, 2003 at which he added that the act of "initiating" included the act of taking initial action on the complaint, dissipates any doubt that indeed the word "initiate" as it twice appears in Article XI (3) and (5) of the Constitution means to file the complaint and take initial action on it. "Initiate" of course is understood by ordinary men to mean, as dictionaries do, to begin, to commence, or set going. As Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language concisely puts it, it means "to perform or facilitate the first action," which jibes with Justice Regalado's position, and that of Father Bernas, who elucidated during the oral arguments of the instant petitions on November 5, 2003 in this wise: Briefly then, an impeachment proceeding is not a single act. It is a comlexus of acts consisting of a beginning, a middle and an end. The end is the transmittal of the articles of impeachment to the Senate. The middle consists of those deliberative moments leading to the formulation of the articles of impeachment. The beginning or the initiation is the filing of the complaint and its referral to the Committee on Justice. Finally, it should be noted that the House Rule relied upon by Representatives Cojuangco and Fuentebella says that impeachment is "deemed initiated" when the Justice Committee votes in favor of impeachment or when the House reverses a contrary vote of the Committee. Note that the Rule does not say "impeachment proceedings" are initiated but rather are "deemed initiated." The language is recognition that initiation happened earlier, but by legal fiction there is an attempt to postpone it to a time after actual initiation. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) As stated earlier, one of the means of interpreting the Constitution is looking into the intent of the law. Fortunately, the intent of the framers of the 1987 Constitution can be pried from its records: MR. MAAMBONG. With reference to Section 3, regarding the procedure and the substantive provisions on impeachment, I understand there have been many proposals and, I think, these would need some time for Committee action. However, I would just like to indicate that I submitted to the Committee a resolution on impeachment proceedings, copies of which have been furnished the Members of this body. This is borne out of my experience as a member of the Committee on Justice, Human Rights and Good Government which took charge of the last impeachment resolution filed before the First Batasang Pambansa. For the information of the Committee, the resolution covers several steps in the impeachment proceedings starting with initiation, action of the Speaker committee action, calendaring of report, voting on the report, transmittal referral to the Senate, trial and judgment by the Senate. xxx MR. MAAMBONG. Mr. Presiding Officer, I am not moving for a reconsideration of the approval of the amendment submitted by Commissioner Regalado, but I will just make of record my thinking that we do not really initiate the filing of the Articles of Impeachment on the floor. The procedure, as I have pointed out earlier, was that the initiation starts with the filing of the complaint. And what is actually done on the floor is that the committee resolution containing the Articles of Impeachment is the one approved by the body. As the phraseology now runs, which may be corrected by the Committee on Style, it appears that the initiation starts on the floor. If we only have time, I could cite examples in the case of the impeachment proceedings of President Richard Nixon wherein the Committee on the Judiciary submitted the recommendation, the resolution, and the Articles of Impeachment to the body, and it was the body who approved the resolution. It is not the body which initiates it. It only approves or disapproves the resolution. So, on that score, probably the Committee on Style could help in rearranging these words because we have to be very technical about this. I have been bringing with me The Rules of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress. The Senate Rules are with me. The proceedings on the case of Richard Nixon are with me. I have submitted my proposal, but the Committee has already decided. Nevertheless, I just want to indicate this on record. xxx MR. MAAMBONG. I would just like to move for a reconsideration of the approval of Section 3 (3). My reconsideration will not at all affect the substance, but it is only in keeping with the exact formulation of the Rules of the House of Representatives of the United States regarding impeachment.

I am proposing, Madam President, without doing damage to any of this provision, that on page 2, Section 3 (3), from lines 17 to 18, we delete the words which read: "to initiate impeachment proceedings" and the comma (,) and insert on line 19 after the word "resolution" the phrase WITH THE ARTICLES, and then capitalize the letter "i" in "impeachment" and replace the word "by" with OF, so that the whole section will now read: "A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a resolution WITH THE ARTICLES of Impeachment OF the Committee or to override its contrary resolution. The vote of each Member shall be recorded." I already mentioned earlier yesterday that the initiation, as far as the House of Representatives of the United States is concerned, really starts from the filing of the verified complaint and every resolution to impeach always carries with it the Articles of Impeachment. As a matter of fact, the words "Articles of Impeachment" are mentioned on line 25 in the case of the direct filing of a verified compliant of one-third of all the Members of the House. I will mention again, Madam President, that my amendment will not vary the substance in any way. It is only in keeping with the uniform procedure of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress. Thank you, Madam President. 143 (Italics in the original; emphasis and udnerscoring supplied) This amendment proposed by Commissioner Maambong was clarified and accepted by the Committee on the Accountability of Public Officers.144 It is thus clear that the framers intended "initiation" to start with the filing of the complaint. In his amicus curiaebrief, Commissioner Maambong explained that "the obvious reason in deleting the phrase " to initiate impeachment proceedings" as contained in the text of the provision of Section 3 (3) was to settle and make it understood once and for all that the initiation of impeachment proceedings starts with the filing of the complaint, and the vote of one-third of the House in a resolution of impeachment does not initiate the impeachment proceedings which was already initiated by the filing of a verified complaint under Section 3, paragraph (2), Article XI of the Constitution ."145 Amicus curiae Constitutional Commissioner Regalado is of the same view as is Father Bernas, who was also a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, that the word "initiate" as used in Article XI, Section 3(5) means to file, both adding, however, that the filing must be accompanied by an action to set the complaint moving. During the oral arguments before this Court, Father Bernas clarified that the word "initiate," appearing in the constitutional provision on impeachment, viz: Section 3 (1) The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. xxx (5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year, (Emphasis supplied) refers to two objects, "impeachment case" and "impeachment proceeding." Father Bernas explains that in these two provisions, the common verb is "to initiate." The object in the first sentence is "impeachment case." The object in the second sentence is "impeachment proceeding." Following the principle of reddendo singuala sinuilis, the term "cases" must be distinguished from the term "proceedings." An impeachment case is the legal controversy that must be decided by the Senate. Above-quoted first provision provides that the House, by a vote of one-third of all its members, can bring a case to the Senate. It is in that sense that the House has "exclusive power" to initiate all cases of impeachment. No other body can do it. However, before a decision is made to initiate a case in the Senate, a "proceeding" must be followed to arrive at a conclusion. A proceeding must be "initiated." To initiate, which comes from the Latin word initium, means to begin. On the other hand, proceeding is a progressive noun. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It takes place not in the Senate but in the House and consists of several steps: (1) there is the filing of a verified complaint either by a Member of the House of Representatives or by a private citizen endorsed by a Member of the House of the Representatives; (2) there is the processing of this complaint by the proper Committee which may either reject the complaint or uphold it; (3) whether the resolution of the Committee rejects or upholds the complaint, the resolution must be forwarded to the House for further processing; and (4) there is the processing of the same complaint by the House of Representatives which either affirms a favorable resolution of the Committee or overrides a contrary resolution by a vote of one-third of all the members. If at least one third of all the Members upholds the complaint, Articles of Impeachment are prepared and transmitted to the Senate. It is at this point that the House "initiates an impeachment case." It is at this point that an impeachable public official is successfully impeached. That is, he or she is successfully charged with an impeachment "case" before the Senate as impeachment court. Father Bernas further explains: The "impeachment proceeding" is not initiated when the complaint is transmitted to the Senate for trial because that is the end of the House proceeding and the beginning of another proceeding, namely the trial. Neither is the "impeachment proceeding" initiated when the House deliberates on the resolution passed on to it by the Committee, because something prior to that has already been done. The action of the House is already a further step in the proceeding, not its initiation or beginning. Rather, the proceeding is initiated or begins, when a verified complaint is filed and referred to the Committee on Justice for action. This is the initiating step which triggers the series of steps that follow. The framers of the Constitution also understood initiation in its ordinary meaning. Thus when a proposal reached the floor proposing that "A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary… to initiate impeachment proceedings," this was met by a proposal to delete the line on the ground that the vote of the House does not initiate impeachment proceeding but rather the filing of a complaint does.146 Thus the line was deleted and is not found in the present Constitution. Father Bernas concludes that when Section 3 (5) says, "No impeachment proceeding shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year," it means that no second verified complaint may be accepted and referred to the Committee on Justice for action. By his explanation, this interpretation is founded on the common understanding of the meaning of "to initiate" which means to begin. He reminds that the Constitution is ratified by the people, both ordinary and sophisticated, as they understand it; and that ordinary people read ordinary meaning into ordinary words and not abstruse meaning, they ratify words as they understand it and not as sophisticated lawyers confuse it.

Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated. impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated (1) if there is a finding by the House Committee on Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is sufficient in substance. after hearing. and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. Its argument is premised on the assumption that Congress has absolute power to promulgate its rules.3 (5) of Article XI. Moreover.To the argument that only the House of Representatives as a body can initiate impeachment proceedings because Section 3 (1) says "The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. Respondent House of Representatives counters that under Section 3 (8) of Article XI." Hence." Clearly. (1) x x x (2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. Section 3 of Article XI clearly provides for other specific limitations on its power to make rules. the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment. Puno. Avelino147 wherein this Court stated that "their personal opinions (referring to Justices who were delegates to the Constitution Convention) on the matter at issue expressed during this Court's our deliberations stand on a different footing from the properly recorded utterances of debates and proceedings. In the same case of Arroyo v. If as alleged Congress had absolute rule making power. Joseph & Co. speaking for this Court and quoting Justice Brandeis in United States v. and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter.149 this Court held that it is within the province of either House of Congress to interpret its rules and that it was the best judge of what constituted "disorderly behavior" of its members. It is basic that all rules must not contravene the Constitution which is the fundamental law. in his Concurring and Dissenting Opinion. another impeachment complaint may not be filed against the same official within a one year period. together with the corresponding resolution. (5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year.151 declared that where the construction to be given to a rule affects persons other than members of the Legislature. its power to promulgate its rules on impeachment is limited by the phrase "to effectively carry out the purpose of this section.153 Justice Vicente Mendoza. this Court has not simply relied on the personal opinions now given by members of the Constitutional Commission. Section 3 (8) of Article XI provides that "The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section. these rules cannot contravene the very purpose of the Constitution which said rules were intended to effectively carry out. it is without a doubt that the term "to initiate" refers to the filing of the impeachment complaint coupled with Congress' taking initial action of said complaint. It is only within these limitations that all matters of method are open to the determination of the Legislature. Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing and referral or endorsement of the impeachment complaint to the House Committee on Justice or. it is clear and unequivocal that it and only it has the power to make and interpret its rules governing impeachment. or (2) once the House itself affirms or overturns the finding of the Committee on Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is not sufficient in substance or (3) by the filing or endorsement before the Secretary-General of the House of Representatives of a verified complaint or a resolution of impeachment by at least 1/3 of the members of the House. but has examined the records of the deliberations and proceedings thereof.150 Justice (later Chief Justice) Enrique Fernando. by the filing by at least one-third of the members of the House of Representatives with the Secretary General of the House. he states that this Court likened the former members of the Constitutional Convention to actors who are so absorbed in their emotional roles that intelligent spectators may know more about the real meaning because of the latter's balanced perspectives and disinterestedness. held that while the Constitution empowers each house to determine its rules of proceedings.152 quoting United States v. speaking for this Court. In Osmeña v. and further that there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceeding established by the rule and the result which is sought to be attained. Justice Hugo Gutierrez posits that this Court could not use contemporaneous construction as an aid in the interpretation of Sec. citing Vera v. Under Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules. or override its contrary resolution. De Venecia. viz: . in Paceta v. it may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights. shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral. and by a majority vote of all its Members." This is a misreading of said provision and is contrary to the principle of reddendo singula singulisby equating "impeachment cases" with "impeachment proceeding. Pendatun. was even more emphatic as he stressed that in the Philippine setting there is even more reason for courts to inquire into the validity of the Rules of Congress. The vote of each Member shall be recorded. In his amicus curiae brief. viz: Section 3.148 Justice Gutierrez's statements have no application in the present petitions. In Arroyo v. Justice Reynato S. However. the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. (3) A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary to either affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee. Smith. The Committee. then it would by necessary implication have the power to alter or amend the meaning of the Constitution without need of referendum." From the records of the Constitutional Commission. Ballin. De Venecia. which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days. Moreover. This assumption. is misplaced. to the amicus curiae briefs of two former Constitutional Commissioners." Further citing said case. (4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House. These rules clearly contravene Section 3 (5) of Article XI since the rules give the term "initiate" a meaning different meaning from filing and referral.. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. Chief Justice Davide has not taken part in these proceedings for obvious reasons. There are at present only two members of this Court who participated in the 1986 Constitutional Commission – Chief Justice Davide and Justice Adolf Azcuna. Secretary of the Commission on Appointments. the question becomes judicial in nature. however.

and be counted and announced in determining the presence of a quorum to do business. and (3) its method had a reasonable relationship with the result sought to be attained. It is no objection to the validity of a rule that a different one has been prescribed and in force for a length of time. the Constitution imposed it as a duty of this Court to strike down any act of a branch or instrumentality of government or any of its officials done with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. (2) it did not violate any fundamental right. provides. passed this as one of its rules: Rule XV 3. and within the limitations suggested. there is a shift in stress – this Court is mandated to approach constitutional violations not by finding out what it . clearly confirmed the jurisdiction of courts to pass upon the validity of congressional rules. whether they are constitutional. the principle of separation of power is no longer an impregnable impediment against the interposition of judicial power on cases involving breach of rules of procedure by legislators. Precisely to deter this disinclination. i. dictated by our distinct experience as nation. or at the suggestion of the Speaker. It is a continuous power. The question. The CONCOM granted this enormous power to our courts in view of our experience under martial law where abusive exercises of state power were shielded from judicial scrutiny by the misuse of the political question doctrine. This transformation. It held: "x x x "The Constitution. more accurate. this Court approached constitutional violations by initially determining what it cannot do. The power to make rules is not one which once exercised is exhausted. prior to that day. the President and the legislators being elected by the people. It may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights. always subject to be exercised by the House. Rightly. (House Journal. It was not also xeroxed from the US Constitution or any foreign state constitution. the CONCOM expanded and sharpened the checking powers of the judiciary vis-à-vis the Executive and the Legislative departments of government. 1890) The action taken was in direct compliance with this rule. and there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceedings established by the rule and the result which is sought to be attained. For section 1. On the demand of any member. the names of members sufficient to make a quorum in the hall of the House who do not vote shall be noted by the clerk and recorded in the journal. under the 1987 Constitution. Neither do the advantages or disadvantages." This power is new and was not granted to our courts in the 1935 and 1972 Constitutions. Under the 1935 and the 1973 Constitutions. that each house may determine the rules of its proceedings. This provision was dictated by our experience under martial law which taught us that a stronger and more independent judiciary is needed to abort abuses in government. nor what matters the Speaker or clerk may of their own volition place upon the journal. I submit that in imposing to this Court the duty to annul acts of government committed with grave abuse of discretion. the Constitution has elongated the checking powers of this Court against the other branches of government despite their more democratic character. 14." It appears that in pursuance of this authority the House had.156 xxx The provision defining judicial power as including the 'duty of the courts of justice. is as to the validity of this rule. Rule XV was examined by the Court and it was found to satisfy the test: (1) that it did not ignore any constitutional restraint.154 xxx In the Philippine setting.e. x x x xxx In sum. 230. and reported to the Speaker with the names of the members voting." Ballin. Article VIII of our Constitution was intentionally cobbled to empower courts "x x x to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. and not what methods the Speaker may of his own motion resort to for determining the presence of a quorum.155 xxx The Constitution cannot be any clearer. Feb. is not merely evolutionary but revolutionary. there is a more compelling reason for courts to categorically reject the political question defense when its interposition will cover up abuse of power. Rightly or wrongly. and it is no impeachment of the rule to say that some other way would be better. . the wisdom or folly. What it granted to this Court is not a mere power which it can decline to exercise. But within these limitations all matters of method are open to the determination of the House. in the same section. the Court did not allow its jurisdiction to be defeated by the mere invocation of the principle of separation of powers. the ponencia uses the 1891 case of US v Ballin (144 US 1) as a window to view the issues before the Court. . the new Constitution transformed this Court from passivity to activism. Led by the eminent former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion. It is in Ballin where the US Supreme Court first defined the boundaries of the power of the judiciary to review congressional rules. absolute and beyond the challenge of any other body or tribunal. to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government' constitutes the capstone of the efforts of the Constitutional Commission to upgrade the powers of this court vis-à-vis the other branches of government. Nor do I agree that we will trivialize the principle of separation of power if we assume jurisdiction over he case at bar. or even more just. By examining Rule XV. The Constitution empowers each house to determine its rules of proceedings. therefore. I do not agree that the issues posed by the petitioner are non-justiciable. Even in the United States. of such a rule present any matters for judicial consideration.With due respect. With the courts the question is only one of power.

This Court in the present petitions subjected to judicial scrutiny and resolved on the merits only the main issue of whether the impeachment proceedings initiated against the Chief Justice transgressed the constitutionally imposed one-year time bar rule.from the business. therefore. We will not be true to our trust as the last bulwark against government abuses if we refuse to exercise this new power or if we wield it with timidity. the Court found the existence in full of all the requisite conditions for its exercise of its constitutionally vested power and duty of judicial review over an issue whose resolution precisely called for the construction or interpretation of a provision of the fundamental law of the land. In resolving the case at bar. Through all these and as early as the time when the Articles of Impeachment had been constituted. In fine. it is that there is always a phenomenon that takes the center stage of our individual and collective consciousness as a people with our characteristic flair for human drama. What lies in here is an issue of a genuine constitutional material which only this Court can properly and competently address and adjudicate in accordance with the clear-cut allocation of powers under our system of government.should not do but what itmust do. I urge my brethren in the Court to give due and serious consideration to this new constitutional provision as the case at bar once more calls us to define the parameters of our power to review violations of the rules of the House. told. the U. Various sectors of society . Conclusion If there is anything constant about this country. this Court was specifically asked. For many of us. 2003. Here. took to the streets armed with their familiar slogans and chants to air their voice on the matter. When the present petitions were knocking so to speak at the doorsteps of this Court. Federal Constitution simply provides that "the House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment. was filed by former President Estrada against Chief Justice Hilario G. Neither may respondent House of Representatives' rely on Nixon v. and Felix William Fuentebella against the Chief Justice on October 23. Jr." "non-justiciability. It gives no clue whatsoever as to how this "sole power" is to be exercised. the US Supreme Court concluded that there was a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of a constitutional power to the House of Representatives. the third parties alleging the violation of private rights and the Constitution are involved. retired military. the same clamor for non-interference was made through what are now the arguments of "lack of jurisdiction. Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated in the foregoing manner. This reasoning does not hold with regard to impeachment power of the Philippine House of Representatives since our Constitution. another may not be filed against the same official within a one year period following Article XI. I endorsed the view of former Senator Salonga that this novel provision stretching the latitude of judicial power is distinctly Filipino and its interpretation should not be depreciated by undue reliance on inapplicable foreign jurisprudence. Both sides have fought bitterly a dialectical struggle to articulate what they respectively believe to be the correct position or view on the issues involved." and "judicial self-restraint" aimed at halting the Court from any move that may have a bearing on the impeachment proceedings. The claim. To reiterate what has been already explained. the initial action taken thereon. As already observed. To be sure. if not defy. the second impeachment complaint filed by Representatives Gilberto C.. or (2) once the House itself affirms or overturns the finding of the Committee on Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is not sufficient in substance or (3) by the filing or endorsement before the Secretary-General of the House of Representatives of a verified complaint or a resolution of impeachment by at least 1/3 of the members of the House thus clearly contravene Section 3 (5) of Article XI as they give the term "initiate" a meaning different from "filing. The Court must discharge this solemn duty by not resuscitating a past that petrifies the present. no other course of action can be had but for it to pass upon that problem head on. 2003 violates the constitutional prohibition against the initiation of impeachment proceedings against the same impeachable officer within a one-year period. Davide. urged and argued to take no action of any kind and form with respect to the prosecution by the House of Representatives of the impeachment complaint against the subject respondent public official. considering that the first impeachment complaint. The provisions of Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules which state that impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated (1) if there is a finding by the House Committee on Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is sufficient in substance. Teodoro. the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. . to the academe and denominations of faith – offered suggestions for a return to a state of normalcy in the official relations of the governmental branches affected to obviate any perceived resulting instability upon areas of national life. orders of our courts. Passions had ran high as demonstrators. that this Court by judicially entangling itself with the process of impeachment has effectively set up a regime of judicial supremacy. Thus. is patently without basis in fact and in law. Pendatun is not applicable to the instant petitions." Validity of the Second Impeachment Complaint Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing of the impeachment complaint and referral to the House Committee on Justice. the ruling in Osmena v." It adds nothing more. furnishes several provisions articulating how that "exclusive power" is to be exercised. it is this exceeding timidity to unsheathe the judicial sword that has increasingly emboldened other branches of government to denigrate. along with seven associate justices of this Court. conflict or tragedy. No limitation whatsoever is given.S. Section 3(5) of the Constitution. mentally and emotionally exhausting experience. Face-to-face thus with a matter or problem that squarely falls under the Court's jurisdiction. as earlier enumerated. the past two weeks have proven to be an exasperating. whether for or against the impeachment of the Chief Justice. Jr. Of course this is not to demean the seriousness of the controversy over the Davide impeachment. This Court did not heed the call to adopt a hands-off stance as far as the question of the constitutionality of initiating the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide is concerned. 2003 and referred to the House Committee on Justice on August 5. on June 2. In Tolentino. the lessons of our own history should provide us the light and not the experience of foreigners. US158 as basis for arguing that this Court may not decide on the constitutionality of Sections 16 and 17 of the House Impeachment Rules. 157 (Italics in the original emphasis and underscoring supplied) Thus.

so long as it rendered judgment according to the law and the facts. section 3 of Article XI of the Constitution. it is equally important that it went through this crucible of a democratic process. The law is solicitous of every individual's rights irrespective of his station in life. Jr. Why can it not now be trusted to wield judicial power in these petitions just because it is the highest ranking magistrate who is involved when it is an incontrovertible fact that the fundamental issue is not him but the validity of a government branch's official act as tested by the limits set by the Constitution? Of course. there is no other government branch or instrumentality that is most zealous in protecting that principle of legal equality other than the Supreme Court which has discerned its real meaning and ramifications through its application to numerous cases especially of the high-profile kind in the annals of jurisprudence. the raison d'etre of the judiciary is to complement the discharge by the executive and legislative of their own powers to bring about ultimately the beneficent effects of having founded and ordered our society upon the rule of law. which is simply a non sequitur. Fuentebella with the Office of the Secretary General of the House of Representatives on October 23. That the members' interests in ruling on said issue is as much at stake as is that of the Chief Justice. But though it is indeed immensely a blessing for this Court to have found answers in our bedrock of legal principles. This is a basic precept in any legal system which recognizes equality of all men before the law as essential to the law's moral authority and that of its agents to secure respect for and obedience to its commands. Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings which were approved by the House of Representatives on November 28. No one is above the law or the Constitution. this Court has resorted to no other than the Constitution in search for a solution to what many feared would ripen to a crisis in government. unaffected by whomsoever stood to benefit or suffer therefrom. Jr. Consequently. Accordingly. But just because he is the Chief Justice does not imply that he gets to have less in law than anybody else. it did not go about assuming jurisdiction where it had none. and Felix William B. But to disqualify this entire institution now from the suit at bar is to regard the Supreme Court as likely incapable of impartiality when one of its members is a party to a case. 2001 are unconstitutional.Beyond this. The Filipino nation and its democratic institutions have no doubt been put to test once again by this impeachment case against Chief Justice Hilario Davide. Teodoro. the members of this Court have actually closed ranks to protect a brethren. It is suggested that by our taking cognizance of the issue of constitutionality of the impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice. Davide. the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. SO ORDERED. 2003 is barred under paragraph 5. Nothing could be farther from the truth. which was filed by Representatives Gilberto C. Because it is not at all the business of this Court to assert judicial dominance over the other two great branches of the government. there are rules on the inhibition of any member of the judiciary from taking part in a case in specified instances. WHEREFORE. if only to discover that it can resolve differences without the use of force and aggression upon each other. This Court has dispensed justice over the course of time. unfraid by whatever imputations or speculations could be made to it. The institution that is the Supreme Court together with all other courts has long held and been entrusted with the judicial power to resolve conflicting legal rights regardless of the personalities involved in the suits or actions. nor indiscriminately turn justiciable issues out of decidedly political questions. Rather. Perhaps. . The Chief Justice is not above the law and neither is any other member of this Court.

Efren A. Regional Trial Court of Quezon City and RAFAEL S. Romeo F. the Court of Appeals has likewise rendered a decision in a way not in accord with law and with applicable decisions of the Supreme Court. on grounds of lack of marriage license and/or psychological incapacity of the petitioner. ORTANEZ. the Court of Appeals rendered judgment which is the subject of the present petition. On 10 June 1993. vs. the petition for certiorari being devoid of merit. neither does it impinge on jurisdiction. The complaint was docketed as Civil Case No. the Court of Appeals has decided a question of substance not theretofore determined by the Supreme Court as the question of admissibility in evidence of tape recordings has not. HON.: This is a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court which seeks to reverse the decision * of respondent Court of Appeals in CA-G. ROMEO F.1 In affirming the questioned order of respondent judge. Santos for private respondent. Oscar A. properly correctible by appeal and not by certiorari. 110662 August 4. RTC of Quezon City presided over by respondent Judge Romeo F. incorporating in said appeal the grounds for assailing the interlocutory order. petitioner. Ortanez". orally formally offered in evidence Exhibits "A" to "M". This we cannot sanction. 2 The main issue to be resolved is whether or not the remedy of certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court was properly availed of by the petitioner in the Court of Appeals.1 Although the questioned order is interlocutory in nature. However. R. 28545 entitled " Teresita Salcedo-Ortanez versus Hon. They and any other variant thereof can be admitted in evidence for certain purposes. on the same day. Regional Trial Court of Quezon City and Rafael S. 10. WHEREFORE. the same can still be [the] subject of a petition for certiorari. 1994 TERESITA SALCEDO-ORTANEZ. No. The proper remedy in such cases is an ordinary appeal from an adverse judgment. the Court may allow certiorari as a mode of redress. Br. The extraordinary writ of certiorari is generally not available to challenge an interlocutory order of a trial court. Among the exhibits offered by private respondent were three (3) cassette tapes of alleged telephone conversations between petitioner and unidentified persons. J. 3 . been addressed and decided squarely by the Supreme Court. thus far. The error. Petitioner submitted her Objection/Comment to private respondent's oral offer of evidence on 9 June 1992. Presiding Judge. 11. Q-90-5360 and raffled to Branch 94. A motion for reconsideration from petitioner was denied on 23 June 1992. Inocentes & Associates Law Office for petitioner. The decision of respondent [Court of Appeals] has no basis in law nor previous decision of the Supreme Court. In affirming the questioned order of respondent judge. cannot be anymore than an error of law. 11. 1 From this adverse judgment. stating: Grounds for Allowance of the Petition 10. petitioner filed the present petition for review. Zamora. which in part reads: It is much too obvious that the petition will have to fail. is hereby DISMISSED. for two basic reasons: (1) Tape recordings are not inadmissible per se. The relevant facts of the case are as follows: On 2 May 1990. Ortanez filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City a complaint for annulment of marriage with damages against petitioner Teresita Salcedo-Ortanez. Br. assuming gratuitously that it exists. respondents. depending on how they are presented and offered and on how the trial judge utilizes them in the interest of truth and fairness and the even handed administration of justice. the ruling should be questioned in the appeal from the judgment on the merits and not through the special civil action of certiorari. ZAMORA. we will have the sorry spectacle of a case being subject of a counterproductive "ping-pong" to and from the appellate court as often as a trial court is perceived to have made an error in any of its rulings with respect to evidentiary matters in the course of trial. after presenting his evidence. 94. SP No. COURT OF APPEALS.R. A petition for certiorari was then filed by petitioner in the Court of Appeals assailing the admission in evidence of the aforementioned cassette tapes.Otherwise. where the assailed interlocutory order is patently erroneous and the remedy of appeal would not afford adequate and expeditious relief. Private respondent. If it is erroneous. private respondent Rafael S. The ruling on admissibility is interlocutory. 94. (2) A petition for certiorari is notoriously inappropriate to rectify a supposed error in admitting evidence adduced during trial.G. Zamora. PADILLA. the trial court admitted all of private respondent's offered evidence. Presiding Judge.

Clearly. SP No. Sec. to secretly overhear.In the present case. legislative or administrative hearing or investigation. Additionally. purport. or meaning of the same or any part thereof. obtained or secured by any person in violation of the preceding sections of this Act shall not be admissible in evidence in any judicial. 4200. R. or however otherwise described. The subject cassette tapes are declared inadmissible in evidence. intercept. SO ORDERED. . the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. substance. the inadmissibility of the subject tapes is mandatory under Rep. having arrived at the conclusion that the subject cassette tapes are inadmissible in evidence under Philippine law. or any information therein contained. to tap any wire or cable. Act No. 4 Rep. 28545 is hereby SET ASIDE. WHEREFORE. or by using any other device or arrangement. 4200 are as follows: Sec. contents. . not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word. or the existence. Any communication or spoken word. It shall be unlawful for any person. Act No. These tape recordings were made and obtained when private respondent allowed his friends from the military to wire tap his home telephone. including tape recordings of telephone conversations of petitioner with unidentified persons. the trial court issued the assailed order admitting all of the evidence offered by private respondent. 5 We need not address the other arguments raised by the parties. Absent a clear showing that both parties to the telephone conversations allowed the recording of the same. Act No. involving the applicability of American jurisprudence. it should be mentioned that the above-mentioned Republic Act in Section 2 thereof imposes a penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) months and up to six (6) years for violation of said Act. respondents trial court and Court of Appeals failed to consider the afore-quoted provisions of the law in admitting in evidence the cassette tapes in question. or record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape-recorder. . . The relevant provisions of Rep. 4. quasi-judicial. and for other purposes" expressly makes such tape recordings inadmissible in evidence. 1. 4200 entitled "An Act to Prohibit and Penalize Wire Tapping and Other Related Violations of the Privacy of Communication.

said to him: "Putang ina. as maximum. where authorities are supposed to be engaged in the discharge of their duties. Alex Sioco. Province of Quezon. Lingan fell on the floor." 15The two then had a heated exchange. but petitioner Navarro gave him a fist blow on the forehead which floored him. I just came here to ayusin things. Enrique "Ike" Lingan. the said accused. Navarro: Who is that abusing? Lingan: I'm here to mediate. Lingan said: "Masyado kang abusado. and they asked Jalbuena and his companions to join them. in the nighttime. and fourteen (14) years and eight (8) months. Sgt. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. I'm out of the problem. Do not say bad things against me.23 Capt.16 Finally. did then and there willfully. press. No. 1992. including petitioner Navarro. I am here to mediate. I'm the number one loko sa media. as minimum. dated July 27. proceeded there. pare. Lingan intervened and said to petitioner Navarro: "Huwag namang ganyan pumarito kami para magpa-blotter." 21 He then poked his gun at the right temple of Jalbuena and made him sign his name on the blotter. THE COURT OF APPEALS and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. together with one Mario Ilagan. Lucena City. Three of the policeman on duty. learning that Lingan had been taken to the hospital."12He then turned to Sgt. 8Afterwards. buhay kang testigo."17 Petitioner Navarro replied: "Ah. Añonuevo and told him to make of record the behavior of Jalbuena and Lingan. 1990. Casañada.G. . Ako at si Stanley. Liquin and Sioco arrived on a motorcycle. The station manager of DWTI. As she removed her brassieres. Dante Liquin. arrived and. while a policeman took Lingan to the Quezon Memorial Hospital.13 This angered Lingan. Boy.000. which affirmed the judgment of the Regional Trial Court. MENDOZA. but increased the death indemnity awarded to the heirs of the victim. the station commander. called petitioner Navarro to his office. who were reporters of the radio station DWTI in Lucena City. Okay. with a security guard. Do not include me in the problem. went to the Entertainment City following reports that it was showing the nude dancers. . pressing it on the face of Jalbuena. Añonuevo: "Ilagay mo diyan sa blotter sa harap ni Alex Sioco at Dante Liquin. blood flowing down his face."11 Petitoner Navarro replied: "Walang press.2 At that point. petitioner Navarro hit him with the handle of the pistol above the left eyebrow. finding petitioner Felipe Navarro guilty beyond reasonable doubt of homicide and sentencing him to ten (10) years of prision mayor." 20 He said to Sgt.000. J. and (1) day of reclusion temporal. He tried to get up. .: This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision1 of the Court of Appeals. a scantily clad dancer appeared on stage and began to perform a strip act. I'm the best media man. xxx xxx xxx Navarro: Wala sa akin yan. alisin mo yang baril mo at magsuntukan na lang tayo. dalawa kami.R. unlawfully and feloniously assault one Ike Lingan inside the Lucena police headquarters. Branch 5. Do not fight with me. by banging his head against the concrete pavement. vs. 22 Jalbuena could not affix his signature. 1999 FELIPE NAVARRO. he ran out of the joint followed by his companions.00 to P50. petitioner Navarro turned to Jalbuena and. In a while. were having drinks in front of the police station.7 Sioco and Liquin were met by petitioner Navarro who talked with them in a corner for around fifteen minutes.6 Jalbuena and his companions went to the police station to report the matter. by boxing the said Ike Lingan in the head with the butt of a gun and thereafter when the said victim fell. hindi mo ba kilala?" 9 Petitioner Navarro then pulled out his firearm and cocked it. uutasin na kita?" 10 At this point." 4 Sioco pushed Jalbuena towards the table as he warned the latter that he would kill him. you are abusing yourself. Jalbuena was able to record on tape the exchange between petitioner and the deceased. respondents. kinakalaban mo si Kabo Liquin. with intent to kill. Stanley Jalbuena and Enrique "Ike" Lingan. who said: "O. the floor manager.3 Jalbuena replied: "Wala kang pakialam. Coronado. in the City of Lucena.00. 1994. na si Ike Lingan ang naghamon. petitioner. . to report the incident. pushing him to the wall. di ilagay mo diyan" 14 Petitioner Navarro retorted: "Talagang ilalagay ko. ganoon?" 18 As Lingan was about turn away. The information against petitioner alleged — That on or about the 4th day of February. at around 8:40 in the evening of February 4. from P30. approached Jalbuena and demanded to know why he took a picture. mag-sampu pa kayo. Lingan: Kalaban mo ang media. as a consequence of which said Ike Lingan suffered cerebral concussion and shock which directly caused his death. anak yan ni Kabo Liquin. Jalbuena declined and went to the desk officer. The evidence show that. si Ike Lingan and naghamon. But Lingan died from his injuries. 121087 August 26. being then a member of the Lucena Integrated National Police. His right hand was trembling and he simply wrote his name in print. dated December 14. Ang kaso lang . After the three had seated themselves at a table and ordered beer. Añonuevo. 24 Unknown to petitioner Navarro. Jalbuena brought out his camera and took a picture. 25 The following is an excerpt from the tape recording: Lingan: Pare. and.5 When Jalbuena saw that Sioco was about to pull out his gun.19 Petitioner Navarro turned to Jalbuena and said: "Kita mo yan ha. 1990. Philippines. said "Ano. Navarro: Huwag tayong mag-lokohan sa ganyan! Huwag na tayong mag-takotan! Huwag mong sabihing loko ka! . because this is my job. .

Testigo kayo. far from proving his innocence. petitioner Navarro has not shown that the trial court erred in according weight to the testimony of Jalbuena. THE INFERENCE IT MADE IS MANIFESTLY MISTAKEN. Wala ka namang masasabi sa akin dahil nag-tatrabaho lang ako ng ayon sa serbisyo ko. concrete and sufficient to create that moral certainty in the mind of the court that accused herein is criminally responsible. Lingan: You are challenging me and him. Bakit kalaban nyo ang press? Navarro: Pulis ito! Aba! Lingan: Alisin mo ang baril mo! Alisin mo ang baril mo! Suntukan tayo. the trial court stated: After a thorough and in-depth evaluation of the evidence adduced by the prosecution and the defense. lacked any motive to make false accusation. left eyebrow. It is in fact contradicted by the number. this court finds that the evidence for the prosecution is the more credible. hinamon ako sa harap ni Stanley. Pare. AND ITS FINDING IS DEVOID OF SUPPORT IN THE RECORD.). Navarro: Ay lalo na ako. testify falsehood or cause accusation of one who had neither brought him harm or injury. Eva Yamamoto confirms the detailed account given by Stanley Jalbuena on how Lingan sustained head injuries. Hence. each time hitting his head on the concrete. ni Joe. Petitioner Felipe Navarro claims that it was the deceased who tried to hit him twice. We have carefully evaluated the conflicting versions of the incident as presented by both parties. ITS CONCLUSION IS A FINDING BASED ON SPECULATION. which the defense has virtually admitted. In fact. In the first place. hinamon ako. Lingan suffered lacerated wounds in his left forehead. D). the postmortem report issued by Dra. these injuries could not have been resulted from Lingan's accidental fall. Going over the evidence on record. Navarro: Talagang kalaban namin ang press. ABSURD OR IMPOSSIBLE. gestures. having a grudge against him. Lingan fell two times when he was outbalanced in the course of boxing the appellant. 26 In giving credence to the evidence for the prosecution. First. between his left and right eyebrows. and contusion in the right temporal region of the head (Exh. hinamon ako. SURMISE OR CONJECTURE. hindi lang ikaw! Lingan: You are wrong. Hinamon ako nyan. And yet. testigo kayo. Sa harap ni Alex. Huwag mong sabihin na . Hinamon ako nyan. the same motivation that led him into assailing Jalbuena must have provoked him into also attacking Lingan who had interceded for Jalbuena and humiliated him and further challenged to a fist fight. hinamon ako. The defense's evidence which consists of outright denial could not under the circumstance overturn the strength of the prosecution's evidence. but he (petitioner) was able to duck both times. The appeal is without merit. unreliable. suntok lang ang inabot nyan. IT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION. and tones of voice of a witness while testifying. Pulis tayo eh.Lingan: I'm brave also. ni Stanley. . Parang minomonopoly mo eh. Certainly. . Puta. ilagay mo diyan. Sige. kinig nyo ha. . and that Lingan was so drunk he fell on the floor twice.nêt xxx xxx xxx On the other hand. ITS FINDING IS CONTRADICTED BY EVIDENCE ON RECORD. . dalhin nyo sa hospital yan. The testimony of a witness who has an interest in the conviction of the accused is not. 28 In the instant case. sige. distort the truth. nature and location of Lingan's injuries as shown in the post-mortem report (Exh. buti nga. Petitioner Navarro questions the credibility of the testimony of Jalbuena on the ground that he was a biased witness. appellant's unwarranted assault upon Jalbuena. Navarro: Ay walastik ka naman Ike! Pag may problema ka dito sinasabihan kita na may balita tayong maganda. This court finds that the prosecution witnesses. and we find the trial court's factual conclusions to have better and stronger evidentiary support. . more particularly Stanley Jalbuena. Lingan: Pati ako kalaban ninyo. Navarro: Mayabang ka ah! (Sounds of a scuffle) Navarro: Hinamon ako nyan! Pare hinamon ako nyan! Pare hinamon ako nyan. ITS JUDGMENT IS BASED ON A MISAPPREHENSION OF FACTS. .27 Trial courts. Pare. Pambihira ka Ike. The Court of Appeals affirmed: We are far from being convinced by appellant's aforesaid disquisition. Alisin ko daw ang baril ko. for this reason alone. the mere fact that Jalbuena was himself a victim of appellant's aggression does not impair the probative worth of his positive and logical account of the incident in question. Apparently. appellant's explanation as how Lingan was injured is too tenuous and illogical to be accepted. E. Tahimik lang naman ako. are competent to determine whether his or her testimony should be given credence.1âwphi1. Said post-mortem report together with the testimony of Jalbuena sufficiently belie the claim of the defense that the head injuries of deceased Lingan were caused by the latter's falling down on the concrete pavement head first. According to the defense. this appeal. Petitioner Navarro contends: THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS HAS DECIDED THE CASE NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW AND WITH THE APPLICABLE DECISIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT. clearly betrays his violent character or disposition and his capacity to harm others. which have the opportunity observe the facial expressions. Lahat.

4.31 that the tape played in the court was the one he recorded. Left = Lacerated wound. and (3) that the voices on the tape are those of the persons such are claimed to belong. The law provides: Sec. sir. or copies thereof. could have it been caused by bumping on a concrete floor? A Possible. right = Lacerated wound. sir. Furthermore. substance. or meaning of the same or any part thereof. Jalbuena's testimony is confirmed by the voice recording had made. or any other such record. Thus. or by using any other device or arrangement. shall not be covered by this prohibition. lateral eyebrow. xxx xxx xxx Sec. sir. forehead & face = No blood oozed from the ears. or any information therein contained obtained or secured by any person in violation of the preceding sections of this Act shall not be admissible in evidence in any judicial. or to replay the same for any other person or persons. and (2) that some form of violence occurred involving petitioner Navarro and Lingan. or record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as dictaphone or dictagraph of dectectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape-recorder. 29 Since the exchange between petitioner Navarro and Lingan was not private. or recording of private communications. wire record. It may be asked whether the tape is admissible in view of R. whether complete or partial. Q And findings No. 4? A By a bump or contact of the body to a hard object. who performed the autopsy on the body of Lingan. sir. not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word. which prohibits wire tapping. sir. intercept. 2 doctor? WITNESS: It may be caused by bumping to a hard object. Q Could a metal like a butt of a gun have caused this wound No. 1990. superficial. 3 cm x 2 cm. criminal investigation or trial of offenses mentioned in section 3 hereof. 1-2 in depth. The voice recording made by Jalbuena established: (1) that there was a heated exchange between petitioner Navarro and Lingan on the placing in the police blotter of an entry against him and Jalbuena. Nor is there any question that it was duly authenticated. disc record. 1 cm in depth. A voice recording is authenticated by the testimony of a witness (1) that he personally recorded the conversations. 30 In the instant case. or to furnish transcriptions thereof. forehead. which is oozing of blood from the forehead? A It may be due to a blow on the forehead or it bumped to a hard object. (2) that the tape played in the court was the one he recorded. Q Could a butt of a gun have caused it doctor? A The swelling is big so it could have not been caused by a butt of a gun because the butt of a gun is small. effect. Q And in the alternative. 2 cm in length. Q This findings No. either verbally or in writing. sir. Yamamato testified: Q Give your opinion as to what was the possible cause of this findings number one. No. the law prohibits the overhearing. purport. Q How about this findings No. Eva Yamamoto. The answer is in the affirmative. legislative or administrative hearing or investigation. its tape recording is not prohibited. Left = Cyanosis of the tips of fingers & toes CAUSE OF DEATH: = CEREBRAL CONCUSSION & SHOCK = BLOW ON THE HEAD Dr. Second. nose & mouth = Swelling. intercepting.Indeed. 6 what could have caused this wound? . quasi-judicial. That the use of such record or any copies thereof as evidence in any civil.32 and that the speakers on the tape were petitioner Navarro and Lingan. with the latter getting the worst of it. to tap any wire or cable. Any communication or spoken word. 2 cm in length. 5 what could have caused it? A Same cause. or the existence. 0. 4200. sir. contents. temporal region.33 A sufficient foundation was thus laid for the authentication of the tape presented by the prosecution. or to communicate the contents thereof. between the left & right eyebrow = Lacerated wound. It shall be unlawful for any person. containing the following findings: Post Mortem Findings: = Dried blood. to secretly overhear. head. to knowingly possess any tape record.A.? A It is possible. 1.5 cm in length. issued the medical certificate. of any communication or spoken word secured either before or after the effective date of this Act in the manner prohibited by this law. be he a participant or not in the act or acts penalized in the next preceding sentence. or however otherwise described: It shall also be unlawful for any person. Dr. 34 dated February 5. FISCAL: What could have been the cause of the contusion and swelling under your findings No. 1. Jalbuena testified that he personally made the voice recording. to any other person: Provided.

Third. the aggravating circumstance of commission of a crime in a place where the public authorities are engaged in the discharge of their duties should be appreciated against petitioner Navarro. this mitigating circumstance should be considered in favor of petitioner Navarro.42 the mitigating circumstance of lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong as that committed was appreciated in favor of the accused while finding him guilty of homicide. which immediately preceded the act of petitioner.38 And it must immediately precede the act so much so that there is no interval between the provocation by the offended party and the commission of the crime by the accused.35 The above testimony clearly supports the claim of Jalbuena that petitioner Navarro hit Lingan with the handle of his pistol above the left eyebrow and struck him on the forehead with his fist. FISCAL: Which of these two more likely. sir. this mitigating circumstance should be taken into account in determining the penalty that should be imposed on petitioner Navarro. the remarks of Lingan. the minimum of which is within the range of the penalty next lower degree. As there were two mitigating circumstances and one aggravating circumstances. Macaso. it must be adequate to excite a person to commit the wrong. xxx xxx xxx FISCAL: Could a bumping or pushing of one's head against a concrete floor have caused shock? WITNESS: Possible. Hence. and the maximum of which is reclusion temporal in its minimum period. In People v. capable of exciting.000. sir. The offense in this case was committed right in the police station where policemen were discharging their public functions. sir. The allowance of this mitigating circumstance is consistent with the rule that criminal liability shall be incurred by any person committing a felony although the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended.00 to P50. However. sir. a policeman. which must accordingly be proportionate in gravity. sir. prision mayor. 249 of the Revised Penal Code is reclusion temporal.43 The crime committed as found by the trial court and the Court of Appeals was homicide. sir. i.40 we appreciated this mitigating circumstance in favor of the accused. Q What about the shock.e. FISCAL: In this same post mortem report and under the heading cause of death it states: Cause of Death: Cerebral concussion and Shock. cyanosis of tips of fingers and toes. what could have caused it doctor? WITNESS: It indicates there was cardiac failure. sir.46 . Q How about the last finding. what could have caused it? A It was due to peripheral circulatory failure. Q Please explain further the meaning of the medical term shock? A It is caused by peripheral circulatory failure as I have said earlier sir. 44 Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law.37 To be sufficient. who shot a motorist after the latter had repeatedly taunted him with defiant words.000. the mitigating circumstance that the offender had no intention to commit so grave a wrong as that committed should also be appreciated in favor of petitioner. It is argued that the mitigating circumstances of sufficient provocation or threat on the part of the offended party immediately preceding the act should have been appreciated in favor of petitioner Navarro. constituted sufficient provocation. petitioner Navarro should be sentenced to an indeterminate penalty.. 36 The provocation must be sufficient and should immediately precede the act. Castro. Thus. Q What could have been the cause of jarring of the brain? A It could have been caused by a blow of a hard object. inciting or irritating anyone. for which the penalty under Art. Furthermore. could it cause shock? A Possible. sir. will you explain it? A Cerebral concussion means in Tagalog "naalog ang utak" or jarring of the brain. 39 In the present case.00 is in accordance with the current jurisprudence. Q Could cerebral concussion alone have caused the death of the deceased? A May be. to cause death? WITNESS: Shock.A Same thing sir.45 The indemnity as increased by the Court of Appeals from P30. How about striking with a butt of a gun. Provocation is defined to be any unjust or improper conduct or act of the offended party. Q Could any one of both caused the death of the victim? A Yes.41 In People v. the penalty should be fixed in its minimum period. sir. The frantic exclamations of petitioner Navarro after the scuffle that it was Lingan who provoked him shows that he had no intent to kill the latter.

WHEREFORE. as maximum.1âwphi1.nêt . as minimum. the decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED with the modification that petitioner Felipe Navarro is hereby SENTENCED to suffer a prison terms of 18 years of prision mayor. SO ORDERED. to 14 years and 8 months of reclusion temporal.

CRUZ. 20 another two weeks 21 and a third "weeks before June 25. 13 He also argued that the marijuana he was alleged to have been carrying was not properly Identified and could have been any of several bundles kept in the stock room of the PC headquarters. one saying it was two days before the arrest. inspected his bag and finding what looked liked marijuana leaves took him to their headquarters for investigation. not to mention his other expenses. 4 Subsequently. they waited for him in the evening of June 25. This made the search also valid as incidental to a lawful arrest.000. Their only justification was the tip they had earlier received from a reliable and regular informer who reported to them that Aminnudin was arriving in Iloilo by boat with marijuana. the information was amended to include Farida Ali y Hassen. and trial proceeded only against the accusedappellant. you mean with respect to the coming of Idel Aminnudin on June 25. strangely.00 for fare. 7 He was Identified by name. The only exception we may make in this case is the trial court's conclusion that the accused-appellant was not really beaten up because he did not complain about it later nor did he submit to a medical examination." 5 The motion was granted. For his part. 74869 July 6. 1984. discovering for himself the truant fact amidst the falsities. 10 who testified that she conducted microscopic. in Iloilo City.R. 6 According to the prosecution. 8 Acting on this tip. and in fact it is admitted by the PC officers who testified for the prosecution. plaintiff-appellee. 1984. averring that all he had in his bag was his clothing consisting of a jacket. J. defendant-appellant. he was manhandled to force him to admit he was carrying the marijuana. noting from its own examination of the accused that he claimed to have come to Iloilo City to sell watches but carried only two watches at the time. Aminnudin disclaimed the marijuana. Their testimony varies as to the time they received the tip. the fiscal filed a motion to dismiss the charge against Ali on the basis of a sworn statement of the arresting officers absolving her after a 'thorough investigation. But the trial judge sees all of this. It is not disputed." 22 On this matter. Herminio T. Q When did you receive this intelligence report? . held it was high time to put him away and sentenced him to life imprisonment plus a fine of P20. who had also been arrested with him that same evening and likewise investigated. No bail has been allowed for his release. and approached him as he descended from the gangplank after the informer had pointed to him. Nuances of tone or voice. the corresponding charge was then filed against Aminnudin. tried and found guilty of illegally transporting marijuana. traveling from Jolo for that purpose and spending P107. When they were verified as marijuana leaves. shortly after disembarking from the M/V Wilcon 9 at about 8:30 in the evening. that they had no warrant when they arrested Aminnudin and seized the bag he was carrying. observing that he had not sufficiently proved the injuries sustained by him. 9 They detained him and inspected the bag he was carrying. 18 The trial court also rejected his allegations of maltreatment. 17 to a friend whose full name he said did not even know. which may reveal the truth or expose the lie. the PC officers had earlier received a tip from one of their informers that the accused-appellant was on board a vessel bound for Iloilo City and was carrying marijuana. The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee. although the watches belonged not to him but to his cousin. It is possible Aminnudin never had that opportunity as he was at that time under detention by the PC authorities and in fact has never been set free since he was arrested in 1984 and up to the present. flush of face and dart of eyes. Section 6(b) of the Rules of Court on warrantless arrests. sir. chemical and chromatographic tests on them. disbelieving him.. IDEL AMINNUDIN y AHNI. On the basis of this finding. considering that it was the trial judge who had immediate access to the testimony of the witnesses and had the opportunity to weigh their credibility on the stand. are not described in the impersonal record. meaningful pauses and hesitation. the Solicitor General dismissed this after an all-too-short argument that the arrest of Aminnudin was valid because it came under Rule 113. who was eventually convicted . 1 Idel Aminnudin was arrested on June 25. 15 Aminnudin testified that he kept the two watches in a secret pocket below his belt but. an information for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act was filed against him. Cipriano Querol. 1984? A Yes. they were not discovered when he was bodily searched by the arresting officers nor were they damaged as a result of his manhandling. Llariza counsel de-officio for defendant-appellant. In his defense. Lt.00 and gave away the other. 16 He also said he sold one of the watches for P400. the investigator hitting him with a piece of wood in the chest and arms even as he parried the blows while he was still handcuffed. At the PC headquarters.00. Jr. 3 Both were arraigned and pleaded not guilty. The PC officers who were in fact waiting for him simply accosted him.No. The two bundles of suspect articles were confiscated from him and later taken to the NBI laboratory for examination. The decision did not even discuss this point. 2Later. The trial court. making the marijuana allegedly found in his possession inadmissible in evidence against him under the Bill of Rights. 11 He alleged that he was arbitrarily arrested and immediately handcuffed. 19 There is no justification to reverse these factual findings. 12 He insisted he did not even know what marijuana looked like and that his business was selling watches and sometimes cigarettes. however. That is hardly fair or realistic. and it is Aminnudin's claim that he was arrested and searched without warrant. who testified as follows: Q You mentioned an intelligence report.: The accused-appellant claimed his business was selling watches but he was nonetheless arrested. There is one point that deserves closer examination. vs. 14 The trial court was unconvinced. we may prefer the declaration of the chief of the arresting team. 1988 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. It was found to contain three kilos of what were later analyzed as marijuana leaves by an NBI forensic examiner. two shirts and two pairs of pants.G. His bag was confiscated without a search warrant.

COURT: Q Previous to that particular information which you said two days before June 25. prior to June 25. Q And this information respecting Idel Aminnudin's coming to Iloilo with marijuana was received by you many days before you received the intelligence report in writing? A Not a report of the particular coming of Aminnudin but his activities. COURT: Q And as a result of that report. LLARIZA: Q Previous to June 25. did not know that he was coming but on June 23. 1984 and it was supported by reliable sources. Q So that even before you received the official report on June 23. sir. and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after . Q Are you sure of that? A On the 23rd he will be coming with the woman. sir. Q Why not? A Because we were very very sure that our operation will yield positive result.1984. we have reports that he was already consummated the act of selling and shipping marijuana stuff. The Supreme Court cannot countenance such a statement. Q From whom did you get that information? A It came to my hand which was written in a required sheet of information. I have received also other reports but not pertaining to the coming of Wilcon 9. houses. sir. Q You said you received an intelligence report two days before June 25. 1984 you did not know that minnudin was coming? A Before June 23. I. Q Did you receive any other report aside from this intelligence report? A Well. 1984. report of illegal gambling operation. Q But you received it from your regular informer? A Yes. This is still a government of laws and not of men. Q In the intelligence report. 2. sir. The right of the people to be secure in their persons. you had already gathered information to the effect that Idel Aminnudin was coming to Iloilo on June 25. in my capacity. especially as it comes from a mere lieutenant of the PC. maybe for security reason and we cannot Identify the person. Regarding the reports on his activities. sir. 1984 with respect to the coming of Wilcon 9? A Yes.1984 two days before? A Yes. ATTY. did you also receive daily report regarding the activities of Idel Aminnudin A Previous to June 25. only the name of Idel Aminnudin was mentioned? A Yes. Q What were those activities? A Purely marijuana trafficking. Q Were you informed of the coming of the Wilcon 9 and the possible trafficking of marijuana leaves on that date? A Yes.A Two days before June 25. For instance. 1984 that was the time when I received the information that he was coming. 1984 when we received this information from that particular informer. more. Q You mean that before June 23. papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable. 1984. Q Is that your procedure that whenever it will yield positive result you do not need a search warrant anymore? A Search warrant is not necessary. 1984? A Only on the 23rd of June. you were more or less sure that Idel Aminnudin is coming with drugs? A Marijuana. Q You did not try to secure a search warrant for the seizure or search of the subject mentioned in your intelligence report? A No. 1984 we have already reports of the particular operation which was being participated by Idel Aminnudin. 1984. Q You only knew that he was coming on June 25. 1984 we received reports on the activities of Idel Aminnudin. sir. two days before June 25. sir. The mandate of the Bill of Rights is clear: Sec. 23 That last answer is a cavalier pronouncement. you put him under surveillance? A Yes.

Arca. Here it was held that vessels and aircraft are subject to warrantless searches and seizures for violation of the customs law because these vehicles may be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction before the warrant can be secured. including the basest of criminals. the accused-appellant was not. But as demanding as this campaign may be. No effort was made to comply with the law. the accused-appellant was not caught in flagrante nor was a crime about to be committed or had just been committed to justify the warrantless arrest allowed under Rule 113 of the Rules of Court. Those who are supposed to enforce the law are not justified in disregarding the rights of the individual in the name of order. we will have only ourselves to blame if that kind of arbitrariness is allowed to return. As Justice Holmes. as a result of what are popularly called "buy-bust" operations of the narcotics agents. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. Contrary to the averments of the government. it has always been shown that they were caught red-handed. to justify the issuance of a warrant. The Identification by the informer was the probable cause as determined by the officers (and not a judge) that authorized them to pounce upon Aminnudin and immediately arrest him. the case of the prosecution must fall. for indeed his very own words suggest that he is lying. that fact alone does not justify a finding that he is guilty. It was the furtive finger that triggered his arrest. again. In the case at bar. That evidence cannot be admitted. And from the information they had received. The present case presented no such urgency. The Court strongly supports the campaign of the government against drug addiction and commends the efforts of our lawenforcement officers against those who would inflict this malediction upon our people. Now that we have succeeded in restoring democracy in our country after fourteen years of the despised dictatorship. "I think it a less evil that some criminals should escape than that the government should play an ignoble part. To all appearances. indeed. said. his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt and he must therefore be discharged on the presumption that he is innocent. Yet they did nothing. especially if the law violated is the Constitution itself.handedness from the authorities. Hence. at the moment of his arrest. it is clear that they had at least two days within which they could have obtained a warrant to arrest and search Aminnudin who was coming to Iloilo on the M/V Wilcon 9. The date of its arrival was certain. . he was like any of the other passengers innocently disembarking from the vessel. While this is not to say that the accused-appellant is innocent. The search was not an incident of a lawful arrest because there was no warrant of arrest and the warrantless arrest did not come under the exceptions allowed by the Rules of Court. especially the susceptible youth. The Constitution covers with the mantle of its protection the innocent and the guilty alike against any manner of high. committing a crime nor was it shown that he was about to do so or that he had just done so. It is the fruit of the poisonous tree." In the many cases where this Court has sustained the warrantless arrest of violators of the Dangerous Drugs Act. had determined on his own authority that a "search warrant was not necessary. to use Justice Holmes' felicitous phrase. Without the evidence of the marijuana allegedly seized from Aminnudin. What he was doing was descending the gangplank of the M/V Wilcon 9 and there was no outward indication that called for his arrest. His name was known. the decision of the trial court is REVERSED and the accused-appellant is ACQUITTED. and should never have been considered by the trial court for the simple fact is that the marijuana was seized illegally. to once more flaunt its disdain of the Constitution and the individual liberties its Bill of Rights guarantees. The vehicle was Identified. the warrantless search was also illegal and the evidence obtained thereby was inadmissible. The constitutional presumption is that he is innocent.examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. In the case at bar." It is simply not allowed in the free society to violate a law to enforce another. when any one could be picked up at will. Order is too high a price for the loss of liberty. It is so ordered. there was no warrant of arrest or search warrant issued by a judge after personal determination by him of the existence of probable cause. The Bill of Rights was ignored altogether because the PC lieutenant who was the head of the arresting team. 25 Rule 113 was clearly applicable because at the precise time of arrest the accused was in the act of selling the prohibited drug. 24 for example. We find that with the exclusion of the illegally seized marijuana as evidence against the accused-appellant. it cannot be more so than the compulsions of the Bill of Rights for the protection of the liberty of every individual in the realm. It was only when the informer pointed to him as the carrier of the marijuana that he suddenly became suspect and so subject to apprehension. and he will be so declared even if his defense is weak as long as the prosecution is not strong enough to convict him. they could have persuaded a judge that there was probable cause. detained without charges and punished without trial. ACCORDINGLY. From the conflicting declarations of the PC witnesses. Even expediency could not be invoked to dispense with the obtention of the warrant as in the case of Roldan v. however praiseworthy their intentions.

as witnesses. accusedappellants.8 At about 7:30 in the morning of August 8. 133917 February 19. jointly filed a Demurrer to Evidence. as amended by Republic Act No. 1996. did then and there willfully. "Boss. in Criminal Case No. accused-appellant Mula. for the automatic review of their case by the Supreme Court and its appropriate action as the case may be. His informer pointed to the motorcycle driver.G. NASARIO MOLINA y MANAMA @ "BOBONG" and GREGORIO MULA y MALAGURA @ "BOBOY".R. Davao City. Matina. of the same day. Subsequently. Act 7659. SO ORDERED. the trial court rendered the assailed decision.17A motion for reconsideration was filed by accused-appellants. No.. 1996. unlawfully and feloniously was found in their possession 946. accused-appellants. At that instance. as the pusher. . 1 For automatic review is the Decision2 of the Regional Trial Court of Davao City. then a member of the Philippine National Police detailed at Precinct No. SPO1 Paguidopon pointed to the accused-appellants as the pushers. 3. finding accused-appellants Nasario Molina y Manamat alias "Bobong" and Gregorio Mula y Malaguraalias "Boboy. The Branch Clerk of Court of this court.9 grants of dried marijuana which are prohibited. 18 the decretal portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. are sentenced to suffer a SUPREME PENALTY OF DEATH through lethal injection under Republic Act 8176. SPO1 Paguidopon had no occasion to see him before the arrest. YNARES-SANTIAGO. to be effected and implemented as therein provided for by law.264-96. SEARCHES AND SEIZURES. 3. Ma. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. received an information regarding the presence of an alleged marijuana pusher in Davao City. 6425). Manila. Thereafter. is ordered to immediately elevate the entire records of this case with the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court." guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 8. Accused-appellants contend: I. SPO1 Paguidopon received an information that the alleged pusher will be passing at NHA. SPO1 Marino Paguidopon. Paguidopon. 37. SPO1 Pamplona introduced himself as a police officer and asked accusedappellant Molina to open the bag. 7 The first time he came to see the said marijuana pusher in person was during the first week of July 1996. the above-named accused. THAT THE MARIJUANA IS IN ADMISSIBLE IN EVIDENCE FOR HAVING BEEN SEIZED IN VIOLATION OF APPELLANTS' CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AGAINST UNREASONABLE. The antecedent facts are as follows: Sometime in June 1996. Pamplona. contending that the marijuana allegedly seized from them is inadmissible as evidence for having been obtained in violation of their constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures. Davao City. plaintiff-appellee. through counsel.12 The police officers then ordered the "trisikad" to stop. Matina. Accused-appellants waived presentation of evidence and opted to file a joint memorandum.6Trial ensued. 20. At that point. if possible we will settle this. at around 8:00 A.M.: To sanction disrespect and disregard for the Constitution in the name of protecting the society from lawbreakers is to make the government itself lawless and to subvert those values upon which our ultimate freedom and liberty depend. SPO1 Leonardo Y. SPO1 Paguidopon was then with his informer when a motorcycle passed by. 2001 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. a "trisikad" carrying the accused-appellants passed by. Jr. 5 of Republic Act 7659.16 The demurrer was denied by the trial court. he called for assistance at the PNP. Branch 17. J. accused-appellants pleaded not guilty to the accusation against them. more than sufficient to prove the guilt of both accused of the offense charged beyond reasonable doubt. which immediately dispatched the team of SPO4 Dionisio Cloribel (team leader). 1997. the team boarded their.13 Molina replied. in relation to Sec.a. Section 10 of the Rules of Court. Jr. accused-appellants Mula and Molina were handcuffed by the police officers. Thereupon. sub. in the City of Davao. 1996.5 Upon arraignment on September 4. and SPO1 Marino S. and SPO1 Pamplona. CONTRARY TO LAW. par. vs. which revealed dried marijuana leaves inside. On April 25.9 Consequently. Davao City any time that morning.15 On December 6." 11 SPO1 Paguidopon was left in his house. Philippines.appellants came to the knowledge of SPO1 Paguidopon only after they were arrested. pursuant to Sec. the case was elevated to this Court on automatic review. while the team were positioned in the house of SPO1 Paguidopon."14 SPO1 Pamplona insisted on opening the bag. thirty meters from where the accused-appellants were accosted. The information against accused-appellants reads: That on or about August 8. 3 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 (Republic Act No.4 and sentencing them to suffer the supreme penalty of death. 24 of Rep. but this was likewise denied. the names and addresses of the accused. 1996. vehicle and overtook the "trisikad. 10 At around 9:30 in the morning of August 8. Moreover. wherein the prosecution presented Police Superintendent Eriel Mallorca. accused-appellant Mula who was holding a black bag handed the same to accused-appellant Molina. As to accused-appellant Molina. in conspiracy with each other. SPO2 Paguidopon (brother of SPO1 Marino Paguidopon). 7659. Precinct No.19 Pursuant to Article 47 of the Revised penal Code and Rule 122. accused NASARIO MOLINA and GREGORIO MULA. finding the evidence of the prosecution alone without any evidence from both accused who waived presentation of their own evidence through their counsels. 1996. to proceed to the house of SPO1 Marino Paguidopon where they would wait for the alleged pusher to pass by.

(2) search of a moving motor vehicle. It was only when the informer pointed to him as the carrier of the marijuana that he suddenly became suspect and so subject to apprehension. supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when. Search and seizure may be made without a warrant and the evidence obtained therefrom may be admissible in the following instances: (1) search incident to a lawful arrest. in the absence of actual belief of the arresting officers.26 As a rule. NOT DEATH..32 the Court did not consider "eyes. Without this rule. arrest a person when.. darting from side to side :. FINALLY. The arresting officer. 23 The foregoing constitutional proscription. the court a quo anchored its judgment of conviction on a finding that the warrantless arrest of accusedappellants. In this instance. As discussed in People v. must have personal knowledge of such fact or. THE IMPOSABLE PENALTY FOR VIOLATION OF SEC. What he was doing was descending the gangplank of the MNWilcon 9 and there was no outward indication that called for his arrest. houses. THE GOVERNMENT HAS NOT OTHERWISE PROVED THEIR GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. wherein he prayed for the acquittal of both accusedappellants. Section 3. recognizes permissible warrantless arrests. The right of the people to be secure in their persons. Chua Ho San. in his presence. by virtue or on the strength of a search warrant predicated upon the existence of a probable cause. as overt acts and circumstances sufficient to arouse suspicion and indicative of probable cause. absent any overt act indicative of a felonious enterprise in the presence and within the view of the arresting officers.the process cannot be reversed. 8 OF RA No. in People v. and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. THAT. therefore. the person to be arrested has committed. Aminnudin. (4) seizure of evidence in plain view.28 This brings us to the issue of whether or not the warrantless arrest. 2. Doria. i. In People v. in his presence. As applied to in flagrante delicto arrests. To all appearances. The Rules of Court. Thus. AND III. it is settled that "reliable information" alone. According to the Court.22 Thus: Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. (b) when an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it (arrest effected in hot pursuit). valueless and undeserving of mention in a perpetual charter of inestimable human liberties. Mengote.a valid warrant of arrest. arrest a person: (a) when. The fundamental law of the land mandates that searches and seizures be carried out in a reasonable fashion. in a crowded street at 11:30 in the morning. search and seizure in the present case fall within the recognized exceptions to the warrant requirement.21 Complementary to the foregoing provision is the exclusionary rule enshrined under Article III. he was like any of the other passengers innocently disembarking from the vessel. (3) search in violation of customs laws. is actually committing." Likewise. a peace officer or a private person may. 27 In the case at bar. ASSUMING THEIR GUILT HAS BEEN PROVED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. the person to be arrested has committed. at the moment of his arrest. personal knowledge of facts or circumstances convincingly indicative or constitutive of probable cause. that is. without a warrant. and (c) when the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or a place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending.30 probable cause means an actual belief or reasonable grounds of suspicion. coupled with good faith on the part of the peace officers making the arrest. is actually committing. A reasonable suspicion therefore must be founded on probable cause.e. The pertinent provision of the Constitution provides: SEC. and the subsequent search conducted by the peace officers. the suspicion that the person to be arrested is probably guilty of committing the offense. (5) when the accused himself waives his right against unreasonable searches and seizures. which bolsters and solidifies the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. so too. committing a crime nor was it shown that he was about to do so or that he had just done so. a peace officer or a private person may. and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable. papers.II.. is not without exceptions. are not sufficient to constitute probable cause that would justify an in flagrante delicto arrest. or was actually being committed or was at least being attempted in [the arresting . Thus. however.31 it was held that "the accused-appellant was not. "[b]y no stretch of the imagination could it have been inferred from these acts that an offense had just been committed.. IS LIFE IMPRISONMENT. without this rule. are valid because accused-appellants were caught in flagrante delicto in possession of prohibited drugs. an arrest is considered legitimate if effected with . in People v. or is attempting to commit an offense. IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE. [one's] abdomen". the freedom from state invasions of privacy would be so ephemeral and so neatly severed from its conceptual nexus with the freedom from all brutish means of coercing evidence as not to merit this Court's high regard as a freedom implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.24 and (6) stop and frisk situations (Terry search). 7659 (sic).. is based on actual facts. the law requires that there be first a lawful arrest before a search can be made --. or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another ( arrest of escaped prisoners ). paragraph 2. or is attempting to commit an offense (arrest in flagrante delicto). THAT ASSUMING IT IS ADMISSIBLE IN EVIDENCE. [while] holding . however. the right to privacy would be a form of words. as recent case law adverts to. 20 The Solicitor General filed a Manifestation and MO1ion (In Lieu of Brief). 25 The first exception (search incidental to a lawful arrest) includes a valid warrantless search and seizure pursuant to an equally valid warrantless arrest which must precede the search. without warrant..29 the Court held that in cases of in flagrante delicto arrests.

None was visible to Yu. he was able to see Mula in person only once. it could not be said that accused-appellants waived their right against unreasonable searches and seizure.an observation which leaves us incredulous since Yu and his teammates were nowhere near petitioner and it was already 6:30 p. assuming that petitioner was indeed hiding a grenade. . It is worthy to note that. While the Court strongly supports the campaign of the government against drug addiction and commends the efforts of our lawenforcement officers towards this drive. and from all indications as to the distance between Yu and petitioner. to believe that petitioner was armed with a deadly weapon.1âwphi1. 37 Clearly. is entirely baseless SPO1 Pamplona could not have learned the name of accused-appellants from SPO1 Paguipodon because Paguipodon himself. and were. merely fishing for evidence at the time of the arrest. which protection extends even to the basest of criminals.m.33the Court ruled that no probable cause is gleanable from the act of riding a motorela while holding two plastic baby chairs. could not have been more than mere passive conformity given under intimidating or coercive circumstances and is thus considered no consent at all within the purview of the constitutional guarantee. It matters not that accused-appellant Molina responded "Boss. on the part of petitioner. SPO1 Paguidopon admitted that he had never seen him before the arrest. in People v. the arresting officer in the said case knew appellant Encinada even before the arrest because of the latter's illegal gambling activities. 41 Withal. indicating that a crime had just been committed. or is attempting to commit a crime. accused-appellants could not be the subject of any suspicion. the Court declared in said case that the warrantless arrest and the consequent search were illegal. there could have been no valid in flagrante delicto . two requisites must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed. Petitioner and his companions were merely standing at the comer and were not creating any commotion or trouble. who allegedly conducted the surveillance. holding that "[t]he prosecution's evidence did not show any suspicious behavior when the appellant disembarked from the ship or while he rode the motorela. thus. Hence. is an equivocal statement which standing alone will not constitute probable cause to effect an inflagrante delicto arrest.. in Malacat v. accused-appellants could not be said to be committing.'" 35 In declaring the warrantless arrest therein illegal. SPO1 Paguidopon. Court of Appeals. however. SPO1 Paguidopon.nêt Then. there was at all no ground. Encinada. He told that the one who is big one that is Gregorio Mula and the thin one is Nazario Molina"39 The aforecited testimony of SPO1 Pamplona. SPO1 Paguidopon caught a glimpse of him. left with no choice but to find in favor of accusedappellants.officers'] presence.. lending at least a semblance of validity on the arrest effected by the peace officers. With respect to accused-appellant Molina. Third. the Court holds that the arrest of accused-appellants does not fall under the exceptions allowed by the rules. when they pass by through the street near the residence of Paguidopon. pinpointed to him by his informer while they were on the side of the road. could not have been visible to Yu. was not even aware of accused-appellants' name and address prior to the arrest. Nevertheless. Implied acquiescence to the search. thus presumably dusk. 36 It went on to state that – Second." So also. from all indications. In holding a bag on board a trisikad. to wit – "QWhen you said that certain Mula handed a black bag to another person and how did you know that it was Mula who handed the black bag to another person? ABecause I have already information from Paguidopon. or an overt physical act. the arresting officer. accused-appellants manifested no outward indication that would justify their arrest. Consequently. any telltale bulge. considering that the latter was then driving a motorcycle when. Such response which allegedly reinforced the "suspicion" of the arresting officers that accused-appellants were committing a crime. attempting to commit or have committed a crime.. Evidently. for as he admitted. more so the arresting officers themselves. could not have been certain of accused-appellants' identity. therefore. arrest preceding the search in light of the lack of personal knowledge on the part of V u. if possible we will settle this" to the request of SPO1 Pamplona to open the bag. it is doubtful if SPO1 Paguidopon indeed recognized accused-appellant Mula. Compared to People v. too. Encinada.. the search conducted on their person was likewise illegal. No act or fact demonstrating a felonious enterprise could be ascribed to appellant under such bare circumstances. the alleged grenade was "discovered" "inside the front waistline" of petitioner. This belies the claim of SPO1 Pamplona that he knew the name of accused-appellants even before the arrest..38 In the case at bar. who acted as informer of the arresting officers.34 the trial court concluded that petitioner was attempting to commit a crime as he was "`standing at the comer of Plaza Miranda and Quezon Boulevard' with his eyes 'moving very fast' and 'looking at every person that come (sic) nearer (sic) to them. there was nothing in petitioner's behavior or conduct which could have reasonably elicited even mere suspicion other than that his eyes were "moving very fast" . and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer. admitted that he only learned Mula's name and address after the arrest. Note that were it not for SPO1 Marino Paguidopon (who did not participate in the arrest but merely pointed accused-appellants to the arresting officers). reasonable or otherwise. What is more. regarding Mula and Molina. the Court said: Here. was being committed or was going to be committed. to constitute a valid in flagrante delicto arrest. if there was any. These circumstances could not have afforded SPO1 Paguidopon a closer look at accused-appellant Mula. the marijuana seized by the peace officers could not be admitted as evidence against accused-appellants. While SPO1 Paguidopon claimed that he and his informer conducted a surveillance of accused-appellant Mula." 40 Moreover. before the arrest. is actually committing. and the Court is thus. probable or otherwise. all efforts for the achievement of a drug-free society must not encroach on the fundamental rights and liberties of individuals as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

. 264-96. the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Davao City. is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. No costs. 37. Branch 17. areACQUITTED and ordered RELEASED from confinement unless they are validly detained for other offenses. For lack of evidence to establish their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.WHEREFORE. in Criminal Case No. accused-appellants Nasario Molina y Manamat alias "Bobong" and Gregorio Mula y Malagura alias "Boboy". SO ORDERED.

13 Petitioner was the lone defense witness. Yu further admitted that petitioner and Casan were merely standing on the corner of Quezon Boulevard when Yu saw them on 27 August 1990. informing them of their rights to remain silent and to be assisted by competent and independent counsel. testified that on 27 August 1990.. 3. Serapio. Police Station No.m. he received a request dated 19 March 1991 from Lt. near the Mercury Drug store at Plaza Miranda. the former were unable to catch any of the latter. 5 At trial on the merits. but nothing was found on him. he was arrested with two others." Petitioner denied the charges and explained that he only recently arrived in Manila. "E"). in the City of Manila. Serapio admitted that he took petitioner's confession knowing it was inadmissible in evidence. with each group. The police officers then approached one group of men. The attempt was aborted when Yu and other policemen chased petitioner and his companions. However. Manila.m." 7 Yu's companion. since they were supposedly acting suspiciously. apprehended Abdul Casan from whom a . 11 On cross-examination. petitioner. JR. the investigating officer. there being no PAO lawyer available." 15 Probable cause was not required as it was not . Thereafter. Serapio declared that at about 9:00 a. . Yu and his companions approached them. police officer Rogelio Malibiran. who examined the grenade. unlawfully and knowingly keep. Yu caught up with and apprehended petitioner." where a "warrant and seizure can be effected without necessarily being preceded by an arrest" and "whose object is either to maintain the status quo momentarily while the police officer seeks to obtain more information. several other police officers mauled him. At arraignment 3 on 9 October 1990. petitioner Sammy Malacat y Mandar was charged with violating Section 3 of Presidential Decree No. COURT OF APPEALS." This officer then inserted the muzzle of his gun into petitioner's mouth and said. and Orlando Ramilo. 14 The trial court ruled that the warrantless search and seizure of petitioner was akin to it a "stop and frisk.38 caliber revolver was recovered. likewise at Plaza Miranda. These men were acting suspiciously with "[t]heir eyes." "A-1.R. Branch 5. a copy of which he forwarded to Diotoy on 11 August 1991. petitioner. The policemen searched petitioner and two other men. he issued a certification stating his findings. Forthwith. . Josefino G." and "A-2. 9 Josefino G. hitting him with benches and guns. the said accused did then and there willfully. he was on foot patrol with three other police officers (all of them in uniform) along Quezon Boulevard. however. "[y]ou are the one who shot me. Petitioner and Casan were then brought to Police Station No. in Criminal Case No. wherein petitioner admitted possession of the grenade. the date and time he received the specimen." On even date. As the policemen gave chase. posted at opposite sides of the corner of Quezon Boulevard near the Mercury Drug Store. Ramilo then affixed an orange tag on the subject grenade detailing his name. 25 August 1990. Yu declared that they conducted the foot patrol due to a report that a group of Muslims was going to explode a grenade somewhere in the vicinity of Plaza Miranda. petitioner and Casan manifested their willingness to answer questions even without the assistance of a lawyer. he went to Plaza Miranda to catch a breath of fresh air." 6 Yu and his companions positioned themselves at strategic points and observed both groups for about thirty minutes. petitioner admitted the existence of Exhibits "A. Yu did not issue any receipt for the grenade he allegedly recovered from petitioner. the arresting officer.G. who then fled in different directions. Eduardo Cabrera and PO Diosdado Diotoy for examination of a grenade. 3." and concluded that the grenade was "[l]ive and capable of exploding. At around 6:30 in the evening of 27 August 1990. Quiapo. assisted by counsel de oficio. entered a plea of not guilty. Serapio then took petitioner's uncounselled confession (Exh. in response to bomb threats reported seven days earlier. Rodolfo Yu of the Western Police District. He declared that he arrived in Manila on 22 July 1990 and resided at the Muslim Center in Quiapo. among other things." 4 while the prosecution admitted that the police authorities were not armed with a search warrant nor warrant of arrest at the time they arrested petitioner. Despite Serapio's advice. moving very fast. 8 On cross-examination. vs.. During the preliminary examination of the grenade. respondents. The officer showed the gunshot wounds he allegedly sustained and shouted at petitioner "[i]to ang tama mo sa akin. of 28 August 1990. several policemen arrived and ordered all males to stand aside. a member of the Bomb Disposal Unit. Manila. 90-86748 before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. 1866. testified that on 22 March 1991. Yu saw petitioner and 2 others attempt to detonate a grenade. Later. Upon searching petitioner. brought to and detained at Precinct No. Yu recognized petitioner as the previous Saturday. Manila. 123595 December 12. 2 as follows: That on or about August 27. Philippines. comprised of three to four men. possess and/or acquire a hand grenade. However. the prosecution presented the following police officers as its witnesses: Rodolfo Yu. whose principal duties included. 3 where Yu placed an "X" mark at the bottom of the grenade and thereafter gave it to his commander. Although they were not creating a commotion. 1990. the examination of explosive devices.: In an Information 1 filed on 30 August 1990. No. Metropolitan Police Force of the Integrated National Police. He saw the grenade only in court when it was presented. without first securing the necessary license and/or permit therefor from the proper authorities. Yu found a fragmentation grenade tucked inside petitioner's "front waist line. Petitioner was once again searched. 12 Orlando Ramilo. Serapio turned over the grenade to the Intelligence and Special Action Division (ISAD) of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit for examination. where he was accused of having shot a police officer. but found nothing in their possession. Serapio conducted the inquest of the two suspects. Shortly after. Saquilla 10 for investigation. at about 6:30 p. They chanced upon two groups of Muslim-looking men. he "[f]ound that [the] major components consisting of [a] high filler and fuse assembly [were] all present. Serapio prepared the affidavit of arrest and booking sheet of petitioner and Casan. At pre-trial on 11 March 1991. and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 1997 SAMMY MALACAT y MANDAR. DAVIDE. Quiapo. J. petitioner and a certain Abdul Casan were brought in by Sgt.

R. place and "reported cases of bombing. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE SEARCH UPON THE PERSON OF ACCUSED-APPELLANT AND THE SEIZURE OF THE ALLEGED HANDGRENADE FROM HIM "WAS AN APPROPRIATE INCIDENT TO HIS ARREST. Meeting the issue squarely. In its decision 19 dated 10 February 1994 but promulgated on 15 February 1994. after receiving intelligence reports about a bomb threat aimed at the vicinity of the historically notorious Plaza Miranda. 21 In his Appellant's Brief 22 filed with the Court of Appeals. and the hand grenade seized. 24 In its decision of 24 January 1996. but to allow the officer to pursue his investigation without fear of violence. the search was illegal.D. [can] claim that he was not attempting to commit an offense. 26 which petitioner relied upon. petitioner's group suddenly ran away in different directions as they saw the arresting officers approach. the factual finding of the trial court that the grenade was seized from petitioner's possession was not raised as an issue. the Court of Appeals held that the rule laid down in People v. petitioner filed a notice of appeal 20 indicating that he was appealing to this Court. or is attempting to commit an offense. Moreover. the situation called for an investigation. Finally." 2. the purpose of which is not necessarily to discover evidence of a crime. the fact that PO Yu chased petitioner two days prior to the latter's arrest. We need not mention that Plaza Miranda is historically notorious for being a favorite bomb site especially during times of political upheaval. As the mere possession of an unlicensed grenade is by itself an offense. the Court of Appeals observed: The police officers in such a volatile situation would be guilty of gross negligence and dereliction of duty. Here. thus "[i]t is reasonable for an officer to conduct a limited search. Mengote." 16 The RTC emphasized that Yu and his companions were "[c]onfronted with an emergency. inadmissible in evidence. noting. 25 the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court.certain that a crime had been committed. first. was inapplicable in light of "[c]rucial differences. that petitioner abandoned his original theory before the court a quo that the grenade was "planted" by the police officers. In so doing. PO3 Yu [had] personal knowledge of the fact that he chased Malacat in Plaza Miranda two days before he finally succeeded in apprehending him. they conducted foot patrols for about seven days to observe suspicious movements in the area. as maximum. considering the time. is actually committing." to wit: [In Mengote] the police officers never received any intelligence report that someone [at] the corner of a busy street [would] be in possession of a prohibited article. or on 27 August 1990. No. before arriving at what would then be an assured but moot conclusion that there was indeed probable cause for an arrest. who was in possession of a live grenade and in the company of other suspicious character[s] with unlicensed firearm[s] lurking in Plaza Miranda at a time when political tension ha[d] been enkindling a series of terroristic activities. and second. CR No. the Office of the Solicitor General agreed with the trial court and prayed that its decision be affirmed in toto. and." Further. FOUR (4) MONTHS AND ONE (1) DAY OFRECLUSION TEMPORAL. In sum. the "accumulation" of which was more than sufficient to convince a reasonable man that an offense was about to be committed." the hand grenade seized from petitioner." 18 The trial court then ruled that the seizure of the grenade from petitioner was incidental to a lawful arrest." as petitioner and his companions were acting suspiciously. 186. in Mengote. petitioner asserted that: 1. Mengote. and not more than THIRTY (30) YEARS OF RECLUSION PERPETUA. the Court of Appeals ruled that the arrest was lawful on the ground that there was probable cause for the arrest as petitioner was "attempting to commit an offense. Malacat's posture is simply too preposterous to inspire belief. and kill several innocent persons while maiming numerous others. However. but rather the practical considerations of everyday life on which a reasonable and prudent mind. the police officers [had] no personal knowledge that the person arrested has committed. 23 As such. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING AS EVIDENCE AGAINST ACCUSEDAPPELLANT THE HANDGRENADE ALLEGEDLY SEIZED FROM HIM AS IT WAS A PRODUCT OF AN UNREASONABLE AND ILLEGAL SEARCH. and not legal technicians. On 18 February 1994. Here the police officers were responding to a [ sic] public clamor to put a check on the series of terroristic bombings in the Metropolis. In its Brief for the Appellee. We are in agreement with the lower court in saying that the probable cause in such a situation should not be the kind of proof necessary to convict. the trial court thus found petitioner guilty of the crime of illegal possession of explosives under Section 3 of P. as minimum." thus: We are at a loss to understand how a man. the record of the case was forwarded to the Court of Appeals which docketed it as CA-G. the Court of Appeals took into account petitioner's failure to rebut the testimony of the prosecution witnesses that they received intelligence reports of a bomb threat at Plaza Miranda. however. 15988 and issued a notice to file briefs. not to mention of gross incompetence. . respondent court focused on the admissibility in evidence of Exhibit "D. threatens the destruction of evidence" 17 and the officers "[h]ad to act in haste. Further. will ordinarily act. in which the delay necessary to obtain a warrant. and sentenced him to suffer: [T]he penalty of not less than SEVENTEEN (17) YEARS. and that petitioner and his companions acted suspiciously. citing People vs. and since petitioner "[l]ater voluntarily admitted such fact to the police investigator for the purpose of bombing the Mercury Drug Store. if they [would] first wait for Malacat to hurl the grenade. petitioner argued that the warrantless arrest was invalid due to absence of any of the conditions provided for in Section 5 of Rule 113 of the Rules of Court." concluded that sufficient evidence existed to establish petitioner's guilt beyond reasonable doubt. hence to require probable cause would have been "premature. Furthermore.

THE RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE FINDING OF THE TRIAL COURT THAT THE WARRANTIES ARREST OF PETITIONER WAS VALID AND LEGAL. Petitioner's Notice of Appeal indicated that he was appealing from the trial court's decision to this Court. In his testimony. In its Comment. Blg.MENGOTE DOES NOT FIND APPLICATION IN THE INSTANT CASE. the grenade he allegedly seized. 27 in relation to Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948. petitioner forthwith filed the instant petition and assigns the following errors: 1. The penalty provided by Section 3 of P. Blg. To repeat. Second. Yu did not. 1866 upon any person who shall unlawfully possess grenades is reclusion temporal in its maximum period to reclusion perpetua. In support thereof. Since the maximum of the penalty is reclusion perpetua. further. the comment thereon by the Office of the Solicitor General as the Brief for the Appellee and the memoranda of the parties as their Supplemental Briefs. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel. Notably. the penalty imposed by the trial court was: [N]ot less than SEVENTEEN (17) YEARS. No lawyer was present and Serapio could not have requested a lawyer to assist petitioner as no PAO lawyer was then available.P. the waiver was invalid as it was not in writing. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. Plainly. the commander was not presented to corroborate this claim. xxx xxx xxx (3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him. and not more than THIRTY (30) YEARS OF RECLUSION PERPETUA. pursuant to Section 9(3) of the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980 (B. and was not made to. petitioner merely restates his arguments below regarding the validity of the warrantless arrest and search. THE RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE RULING IN PEOPLE VS. we find ourselves convinced that the prosecution failed to establish petitioner's guilt with moral certainty. We then set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals for having been rendered without jurisdiction. the maximum of the penalty. FOUR (4) MONTHS AND ONE (1) DAY OF RECLUSION TEMPORAL. there was no evidence whatsoever that what Ramilo received was the very same grenade seized from petitioner. and Yu and his fellow officers chased.. . 2. Note that Yu observed petitioner for thirty minutes and must have been close enough to petitioner in order to discern petitioner's eyes "moving very fast. in court.D. if indeed petitioner had a grenade with him. is taken into account. 28 Section 5(2) of Article VIII of the Constitution 29 and Section 3(c) of Rule 122 of the Rules of Court. and not the Court of Appeals. 30 The term "life imprisonment" as used in Section 9 of B. On the other hand." Finally. it was then unnatural and against common experience that petitioner simply stood there in proximity to the police officers. even assuming that petitioner admitted possession of the grenade during his custodial investigation by police officer Serapio. even if petitioner consented to the investigation and waived his rights to remain silent and to counsel. he must be provided with one. then considering that Yu and his three fellow officers were in uniform and therefore easily cognizable as police officers. Serapio conducted the custodial investigation on petitioner the day following his arrest. Deliberating on the foregoing pleadings. Yu never declared that the grenade passed on to Ramilo was the grenade the former confiscated from petitioner. According to him. such admission was inadmissible in evidence for it was taken in palpable violation of Section 12(1) and (3) of Article III of the Constitution. identify the grenade examined by Ramilo. Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. however. yet the trial court transmitted the record to the Court of Appeals and the latter proceeded to resolve the appeal. as maximum. the Office of the Solicitor General prays that we affirm the challenged decision. with the petition for review as petitioner's Brief for the Appellant.P. First. or on 19 March 1991. as minimum. The challenged decision must immediately fall on jurisdictional grounds. the law enforcement authorities failed to safeguard and preserve the chain of evidence so crucial in cases such as these. No. but nearly seven (7) months later. he turned it over to his commander after putting an "X" mark at its bottom. Thus. 129. Mengote to demonstrate that the Court of Appeals miscomprehended the latter. the grenade presented in court and identified by police officer Ramilo referred to what the latter received from Lt. then disagrees with the finding of the Court of Appeals that he was "attempting to commit a crime. 129). which provide as follows: Sec." as the evidence for the prosecution merely disclosed that he was "standing at the corner of Plaza Miranda and Quezon Boulevard" with his eyes "moving very fast" and "looking at every person that come (sic) nearer (sic) to them. and consider the appeal as having been directly brought to us. serious doubt surrounds the story of police officer Yu that a grenade was found in and seized from petitioner's possession." Finally. 12 (1). Yu did not identify. For purposes of determining appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases. For being impressed with merit. and the latter did not claim that the grenade he examined was that seized from petitioner. and that two days earlier he was with a group about to detonate an explosive at Plaza Miranda. the appeal therefrom should have been to us. and Section 3 of Rule 122 must be deemed to includereclusion perpetua in view of Section 5(2) of Article VIII of the Constitution. the Judiciary Act of 1948. neither was it executed in the presence of counsel. we resolved to give due course to the petition. Eduardo Cabrera and police officer Diotoy not immediately after petitioner's arrest. and not the minimum. but failed to arrest them. petitioner points out the factual similarities between his case and that ofPeople v.Unable to accept his conviction.

31 The Constitutional prohibition against unreasonable arrests. A warrantless arrest under the circumstances contemplated under Section 5(a) has been denominated as one " in flagrante delicto. Rule 113 of the Rules of Court. or the fruit of the crime. Such a search is a reasonable search under the Fourth Amendment . (4) consent searches. or which might furnish the arrestee with the means of escaping or committing violence. and where nothing in the initial stages of the encounter serves to dispel his reasonable fear for his own or others' safety. upon arrival of five (5) other police officers." as laid down in Terry. and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped ." while that under Section 5(b) has been described as a "hot pursuit" arrest. Having thus shown the invalidity of the warrantless arrest in this case. the person to be arrested has committed. . as the precedent arrest determines the validity of the incidental search. whether an arrest was merely used as a pretext for conducting a search." hence necessitating a brief discussion on the nature of these exceptions to the warrant requirement. 36 In this instance. Here. (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed. — Arrest. we harbor grave doubts as to Yu's claim that petitioner was a member of the group which attempted to bomb Plaza Miranda two days earlier. We now proceed to the justification for and allowable scope of a "stop-and-frisk" as a "limited protective search of outer clothing for weapons. searches and seizures is that a warrant is needed in order to validly effect the same. or is attempting to commit an offense. a "stop-and-frisk" serves a two-fold interest: (1) the general interest of effective crime prevention and detection. thus: We merely hold today that where a police officer observes unusual conduct which leads him reasonably to conclude in light of his experience that criminal activity may be afoot and that the persons with whom he is dealing may be armed and presently dangerous. 37 At bottom. on the part of petitioner. approach a person for purposes of investigating possible criminal behavior even without probable cause. as will be discussed below. the search conducted on petitioner could not have been one incidental to a lawful arrest. Turning to valid warrantless searches. and (2) the more pressing interest of safety and self-preservation which permit the police officer to take steps to assure himself that the person with whom he deals is not armed with a deadly weapon that could unexpectedly and fatally be used against the police officer." . and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it. or that which may be used as evidence. the arresting officer may search the person of the arrestee and the area within which the latter may reach for a weapon or for evidence to destroy. there could have been no valid in flagrante delicto or hot pursuit arrest preceding the search in light of the lack of personal knowledge on the part of Yu. without warrant. under appropriate circumstances and in an appropriate manner. and seize any money or property found which was used in the commission of the crime. 41 Finally. the arresting officer. assuming a valid arrest." 35 In the instant petition. was being committed or was going to be committed.. e.e. in light of the police officer's experience and surrounding conditions. which reads. At the outset. This claim is neither supported by any police report or record nor corroborated by any other police officer who allegedly chased that group. (2) search of moving vehicles. the legality of the arrest is questioned in a large majority of these cases. 39 Other notable points of Terry are that while probable cause is not required to conduct a "stop and frisk. As regards valid warrantless arrests." 40it nevertheless holds that mere suspicion or a hunch will not validate a "stop and frisk. 38 Here. . searches and seizures refers to those effected without a validly issued warrant. the trial court validated the warrantless search as a "stop and frisk" with "the seizure of the grenade from the accused [as an appropriate incident to his arrest. 5. arrest a person: (a) When. which underlies the recognition that a police officer may." A genuine reason must exist. . These two types of warrantless searches differ in terms of the requisite quantum of proof before they may be validly effected and in their allowable scope. i. 33 (5) a search incidental to a lawful arrest.Even granting ex gratia that petitioner was in possession of a grenade.34 and (6) a "stop and frisk. plainly. in his presence. is actually committing. in part: Sec. he is entitled for the protection of himself and others in the area to conduct a carefully limited search of the outer clothing of such persons in an attempt to discover weapons which might be used to assault him. indicating that a crime had just been committed. there are at least three (3) reasons why the "stop-and-frisk" was invalid: First. when lawful — A peace officer or a private person may.. . In a search incidental to a lawful arrest. contrary to his claim that petitioner and his companions had to be chased before being apprehended. the affidavit of arrest (Exh. the law requires that there first be a lawful arrest before a search can be made — the process cannot be reversed. Aside from impairing Yu's credibility as a witness. 32 subject to certain exceptions.g. these are found in Section 5. where in the course of investigating this behavior he identifies himself as a policeman and makes reasonable inquiries. to warrant the belief that the person detained has weapons concealed about him. If only to further tarnish the credibility of Yu's testimony. they are limited to the following: (1) customs searches. or an overt physical act. petitioner and his companions were "immediately collared. The general rule as regards arrests. "A") expressly declares otherwise. this likewise diminishes the probability that a genuine reason existed so as to arrest and search petitioner. we note that the trial court confused the concepts of a "stop-and-frisk" and of a search incidental to a lawful arrest. without a warrant. the arrest and search of petitioner were invalid. (3) seizure of evidence in plain view.

. Vitug. Mendoza. In fact. A chromatographic test of the wallet contents positively affirmed the lawmen's suspicions. Costs de oficio. Lacerna 3 and People vs. Lawmen Had Sufficient Opportunity to Secure Warrant in Encinada . introduced themselves and inquired as to what was in his hands. The police had sufficient reason to stop Manalili.Second. SO ORDERED. and the admission of the marijuana as evidence. C.Court of Appeals. and from all indications as to the distance between Yu and petitioner. Q Neither did you see them create commotion? A None. to believe that petitioner was armed with a deadly weapon. to correlate the present case with four relevant decisions I authored for the Court: Manalili vs. Francisco and Martinez. that: 1. Justice Hilario G. there was nothing in petitioner's behavior or conduct which could have reasonably elicited even mere suspicion other than that his eyes were "moving very fast" — an observation which leaves us incredulous since Yu and his teammates were nowhere near petitioner and it was already 6:30 p.. thus. they were not yet aware that a handgrenade was tucked inside his waistline. Kapunan.m. 15988 is SET ASIDE for lack of jurisdiction on the part of said Court and. Puno. the Court of Appeals had no jurisdiction to entertain the appeal from the trial court's decision. The situation verily called for a stop-and-frisk. particularly. They did not see any bulging object in [ sic] his person. He subsequently challenged before us the legality of his search and arrest. 43 What is unequivocal then in this case are blatant violations of petitioner's rights solemnly guaranteed in Sections 2 and 12(1) of Article III of the Constitution. to law enforcement officers. the challenged decision of the Seventeenth Division of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Separate Opinions PANGANIBAN. as Yu explicitly declared on cross-examination: Q And what were they doing? A They were merely standing. thus presumably dusk. and chanced upon Manalili who was observed to have reddish eyes and to be walking in a wobbly manner. as noted by the trial court: When the policemen approached the accused and his companions. Rejecting his appeal. [in] a popular hangout of drug addicts. Melo. 1 People vs. tried and convicted of illegal possession of the prohibited substance. this Court held that the search was akin to a stop-and-frisk. Manalili Involved a Valid Stop-and-Frisk In Manalili. anti-narcotics policemen conducted a surveillance in response to information that drug addicts were roaming the area fronting the city cemetery of Kalookan. the grenade found in his person cannot be admitted as evidence against him. however. Q And when you saw them standing. on ground of reasonable doubt. Let me first present a background on each. Cuizon. They took Manalili to their station for further investigation. WHEREFORE.J. J. Encinada. He contended that the latter two were products of the illegal search. Q You are sure of that? A Yes. probable or otherwise." the lawmen approached him. 42 Third." in order to investigate if he was actually "high" on drugs.R. could not have been visible to Yu. None was visible to Yu. the bar and. Bellosillo. separate opinion: I agree with the persuasive ponencia of Mr. 4 all of which were promulgated without any dissenting view. sir. Romero. sir. Manalili was thus charged. and 2. there were nothing or they did not create any commotion. Narvasa. the alleged grenade was "discovered" " inside the front waistline" of petitioner. At first. Because his appearance was characteristic of a person "high on drugs. Regalado. Davide Jr. 2 People vs. assuming that petitioner was indeed hiding a grenade. CR No. unless his further detention is justified for any other lawful cause. A None. the decision of 10 February 1994 of Branch 5 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila is REVERSED and petitioner SAMMY MALACAT y MANDAR is hereby ACQUITTED and ORDERED immediately released from detention. concur. the search conducted on petitioner (a) was not incidental to a lawful arrest and (b) did not constitute a valid stop-and-frisk. This correlation may be of benefit to the bench.. for as he admitted. The anti-narcotics men found inside what they suspected to be crushed marijuana residue. there was at all no ground. Manalili resisted but the police prevailed and he showed them his wallet. . who "had red eyes and was wobbling like a drunk . Petitioner and his companions were merely standing at the corner and were not creating any commotion or trouble.. I wish.. sir. JJ. any telltale bulge.

Pua and Lee consented in writing. the NBI team proceeded to the Cuizon residence where they found a bag allegedly containing the same substance. Reiterating the doctrine that "where a person is searched without a warrant. but because he freely consented to the search. then asked permission to search the vehicle. and raw intelligence information was not a sufficient ground for a warrantless arrest.m. Shortly after noon. . In emphasizing the importance of according respect to every person's constitutional right against illegal arrests and searches. On appeal. the Court stressed that their permission for the search was expressly sought and obtained by the law enforcers. the Court exhorted: Lawmen cannot be allowed to violate every law they are expected to enforce. Art. upon a mere suspicion that he has embarked on some criminal activity. in Cuizon." Mere Suspicion of Criminal Activity Did Not Justify Search of Cuizon Lastly. Besides. however. This consent validated the search. at the time of his arrest. is absolutely inadmissible for any purpose and in any proceeding. Although appellant and his companion were stopped by the police on mere suspicion — without probable cause — that they were engaged in a felonious enterprise. was . ruled that the search was valid. they saw the suspect. An illegal search cannot be undertaken and then an arrest effected on the strength of the evidence yielded by the search. Taking with them the two accused (who. On these particulars. 7 . only Cuizon challenged the validity of his warrantless arrest. upon later examination. The team merely trailed the taxicab which proceeded to the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati. not because Lacerna was caught in flagrante delicto. But he failed to do so. After introducing themselves. received in the morning a tip from an informant that Cuizon and his wife were arriving at NAIA that same day. Such failure or neglect cannot excuse him from violating a constitutional right of the appellant. a police officer observed that the occupants of a taxicab bowed their heads and slouched when they passed through the checkpoint he was manning. Lacerna questioned his warrantless arrest and seizure. and/or for the purpose of discovering if indeed a crime has been committed by him. s. . Hence. he was charged. the lawmen proceeded early next morning to the city wharf. he failed to challenge the validity of his arrest and search and the admission of the evidence obtained thereby. Cuizon handed four travelling bags to Pua and Lee who thereafter bearded a taxicab. 4. a police officer received late in the afternoon a tip from an informant that the following morning. appellant would be arriving at the Surigao port bringing marijuana. waiver being a generally recognized exception to the rule against warrantless search. . About 8:30 a. this Court stressed the following: Encinada was not committing a crime in the presence of the police. after conducting a surveillance on Cuizon for about a month. The warrantless arrest and search were not justified by the rules on " in flagrante delicto" or "hot pursuit" for. the NBI.'" 11 The same would have been true as regards Pua and Lee. II of RA 6425. therefore. The three were charged and convicted of illegal transport of the regulated drug. 1987). Reversing the trial court. holding that Encinada was caught in flagrante delicto. While at the airport arrival area. [The policeman's] receipt of the intelligence information regarding the culprit's identity. the particular crime he allegedly committed and his exact whereabouts underscored the need to secure a warrant for his arrest. the policemen asked Encinada to alight and to hand over his luggage for inspection. The police followed immediately and ordered the driver to stop. any evidence obtained during the illegal search. the law enforcers could have secured a warrant of arrest even within such limited period (per Administrative Circular No. tried and convicted by the trial court for violation of Sec. however. Found inside three of the four bags similar to those handed to them by Cuizon at the airport were plastic packages of white crystalline substances which. the case against Lee. which were later discovered to contain marijuana. 13 and Circular No. The occupants consented.In Encinada. claiming that they were violative of his constitutional rights. failed to intercept the suspects. the Cuizon spouses arrived. . 9 The marijuana. then the search made of such person as well as his arrest [is] deemed illegal. bringing a large quantity of shabu. 19. the latter did not have personal knowledge of facts indicating that he just committed an offense. "even if tending to confirm or actually confirming the initial suspicion. who could not speak English or Filipino. But Pua effectively waived his right against the warrantless search when he agreed in writing for the NBI team to search his luggage. making him suspect that something was amiss. the warrantless search following his arrest was valid. The Court. disembark and thereafter board a tricycle. "There was no poisonous tree to speak of. the same being 'the fruit of the poisonous tree. the team asked permission to search their bags in the presence of the hotel's chief security officer. carrying two plastic baby chairs. A team was immediately organized and sent to the airport to intercept the suspect.. 8 Consent Validated an Otherwise Illegal Search in Lacerna In Lacerna meanwhile. 5 Furthermore. was admissible in evidence. despite declaring that the prior attendant circumstances did not justify a warrantless search and seizure. and the marijuana seized was admissible in evidence. did not cure its patent illegality. nor did the latter have personal knowledge of facts indicating that Cuizon authored an offense that had just in fact been committed. After identifying themselves to the suspects in their hotel room. The NBI team members posted at the NAIA parking area. did not implicate Cuizon). That the search disclosed a prohibited substance in appellant's possession and thus confirmed the police officers' initial information and suspicion. Without securing a search warrant allegedly because courts were already closed for the day. Found inside a plastic bag were several blocks wrapped in newspaper. while the Cuizons took a different vehicle. ." 10 this Court declared unlawful the arrest of Cuizon as well as the incidental search and seizure. were confirmed to be shabu. Consequently. Cuizon was inside his home resting with his wife and child. search and seizure. No act or fact demonstrating a felonious enterprise could be ascribed to appellant under such bare circumstances. Found between the baby chairs was a bulky package which was later found to contain marijuana. He signaled the driver to stop. and under circumstances other than chose justifying a warrantless arrest . No offense had just been committed or was actually being committed or attempted by him in the presence of the lawmen. "[t]he prosecution's evidence did nor show any suspicious behavior when the appellant disembarked from the ship or while he rode the motorela." 6 Having known the identity of their suspect the previous day. However.

the occupants of the taxicab bowed their heads and slouched when they passed through the police checkpoint. Thus. by any stretch of imagination. while in the instant case. they did not provide sufficient reason for the police to stop and investigate them for possible criminal operation. Such act by itself does not. Justice Isagani A. urgency must attend such arrests and searches. for although he was provided with one." The police approached them and identified themselves. the police on patrol were ordinary law enforcers on the lookout for possible bombers. because he was effectively denied his right to counsel. As the Court. 12 Instant Case Correlated with Four Cited Now to the correlation with the case at bar. it was. . further. In fact. the ineptness of the NBI team dispatched to intercept him which foiled his arrest and search. a fan knife. Mengote Supports Present Ponencia Bolstering the invalidity of the arrest and search of Malacat is People vs. The stark difference. there was sufficient time to priorly obtain a warrant for his arrest." In Lacerna. there was sufficient genuine reason to stop and frisk the suspect. the search would have been undoubtedly declared illegal. The simple handing over of the baggage by Cuizon to Pua and Lee was far from being indicative of any illegal activity. the Western Police District dispatched a surveillance team to said place. suspicious behavior. In the present case.remanded for a retrial. such as where the policemen are not specially trained. It must be stressed that raw unverified intelligence information alone is not sufficient to justify a warrantless arrest or search. . Specifically with respect to Encinada. the law enforcers concerned may be presumed to possess special knowledge and skill to detect the physical features exhibited by a current drug user. In the former. Most important is that the law enforcers must act immediately on the information received. (1) As in Manalili. true. Manila. if it were true that the arresting officer saw Malacat two days earlier attempting to detonate a grenade in the same vicinity. and recovered from Mengote was a fully loaded pistol. such as the "distinct odor of marijuana. [or] failure to produce identification papers" to justify warrantless arrests and searches. but was actually able to leave the premises and reach his house unhampered by the police. from his companion." He did not attempt to flee. If they excited suspicion in the minds of the arresting officers. As regards Cuizon. whereupon the two tried to flee but failed as other lawmen surrounded them. (3) In Lacerna. presumably reliable. The policemen merely observed that Malacat's eyes were moving very fast. Upon receiving a telephone call shortly before noon from an informer that there were suspicious-looking persons at a certain street corner in Tondo. attempt to flee. suspicions raised or probable cause established. through Mr. however. There they saw two men "looking from side to side" with one" holding his abdomen. tipped off their alleged criminal activity. Similarly. (2) In relation to the cases of Encinada and Cuizon. why his eyes were darting from side to side and he was holding his abdomen. the reported activity involved drug use and the lawmen belonged to the anti-narcotics group. the policemen themselves testified that they were dispatched to that place only because of the telephone call from . It is well to emphasize that under different circumstances. That is why it is important to bring one's evidence before a judge who shall independently determine if probable cause exists for the issuance of the warrant. and in a known hangout of drug users. he could not understand and communicate with him concerning his defense. reports about drug transporting or positive identification by informers. although connoting unusual behavior. The Court ruled that the situation was not one calling for a lawful warrantless search and arrest. if not for the passengers' free and express consent. there was no justification for a stopand-frisk. at the time of the arrests of the suspects. as where motor vehicles are used and there is great probability that the suspect would get away before a warrant can be procured. the same features displayed by a person will not normally justify a warrantless arrest or search on him. it has nevertheless not been shown what their suspicion was all about. Granting that indeed an offense was committed by Cuizon at the airport. worse. the fast-moving eyes of Malacat. 13 another classic on the right against unreasonable searches and seizures. was not indicative that he was armed and dangerous as to justify a search on his person. The case before us presents such a situation. A checkpoint search is limited to a roving view within the vehicle. Likewise. There was considerable interruption between the supposed commission of the crime and his subsequent arrest in his house where he was already resting. lawmen were on surveillance in response to information that a criminal activity could be in the offing at a specified place. The suspects were searched. and in common places where people ordinarily converge. They did not notice any bulges or packets about the bodies of these men indicating that they might be hiding explosive paraphernalia. to conduct an extensive search of their belongings. Mengote. none of the actions of Accused Encinada and Cuizon were beyond normal as to suggest that they were then engaged in felonious activities. much less. Although such acts could raise suspicions. and should effect the arrests and searches without any delay. After reviewing previous decisions on valid warrantless arrests and searches. as the prosecution suggests. From their outward look. succinctly put it: "What offense could possibly have been suggested by a person 'looking from side to side' and 'holding his abdomen' and in a place not exactly forsaken?" . It is not for the police to make such determination. [T]here could have been a number of reasons. Cruz. even appear to be suspicious. his subsequent arrest cannot even be justified under the rule on "hot pursuit. again it was the policemen's ineptitude that frustrated his valid arrest there and then and. nothing suggested that they were at the time armed and dangerous. Police informants themselves. Moreover. A further search may be validly effected only if something probably illegal is within his "plain view. is that in Manalili. the Court underscored in sum that there was need for facts providing probable cause. all of them innocent. their inability to effectively investigate and identify the culprit — so as to have obtained a lawful arrest warrant — that hindered his valid seizure thereafter. Hence. when these specially trained enforcers saw Manalili with reddish eyes and walking in a wobbly manner characteristic of a person "high" on drugs per their experience. Encinada and Cuizon had been previously identified and subjected to surveillance.

disembark and thereafter board a tricycle. 4. tried and convicted of illegal possession of the prohibited substance. [in] a popular hangout of drug addicts. A chromatographic test of the wallet contents positively affirmed the lawmen's suspicions. Such failure or neglect cannot excuse him from violating a constitutional right of the appellant. Hence. Justice Hilario G. At first. the Court lamented and thus warned: It would be a sad day. the bar and. introduced themselves and inquired as to what was in his hands. 1 People vs. the particular crime he allegedly committed and his exact whereabouts underscored the need to secure a warrant for his arrest. This correlation may be of benefit to the bench. II of RA 6425.the informer that there were 'suspicious-looking' persons in that vicinity who were about to commit a robbery at North Bay Boulevard. 14 In closing. a police officer received late in the afternoon a tip from an informant that the following morning. Encinada.m. however. . Separate Opinions PANGANIBAN. unjust and inhuman. Let me first present a background on each.Court of Appeals. I wish. the law enforcers could have secured a warrant of arrest even within such limited period (per Administrative Circular No. separate opinion: I agree with the persuasive ponencia of Mr. the policemen asked Encinada to alight and to hand over his luggage for inspection." the lawmen approached him. Found between the baby chairs was a bulky package which was later found to contain marijuana. carrying two plastic baby chairs. I vote to SET ASIDE the assailed decision and to ACQUIT Petitioner Sammy Malacat y Mandar. Reversing the trial court. Davide Jr. anti-narcotics policemen conducted a surveillance in response to information that drug addicts were roaming the area fronting the city cemetery of Kalookan. He subsequently challenged before us the legality of his search and arrest. indeed. 15 Under our rule in Mengote. The anti-narcotics men found inside what they suspected to be crushed marijuana residue. who "had red eyes and was wobbling like a drunk . the lawmen proceeded early next morning to the city wharf. After introducing themselves. and the admission of the marijuana as evidence. they saw the suspect. Lacerna 3 and People vs. Lawmen Had Sufficient Opportunity to Secure Warrant in Encinada In Encinada. But he failed to do so. This simply cannot be done in a free society. even if it be possibly because of a stomach-ache. [The policeman's] receipt of the intelligence information regarding the culprit's identity. Manalili resisted but the police prevailed and he showed them his wallet. if any person could be summarily arrested and searched just because he is holding his abdomen. and 2. he was charged. Art. The situation verily called for a stop-and-frisk. On these particulars. Rejecting his appeal. ." in order to investigate if he was actually "high" on drugs. Nothing can be more wrong. Manalili was thus charged. thus. Without securing a search warrant allegedly because courts were already closed for the day. He contended that the latter two were products of the illegal search. 13 and Circular No. 7 . This is not a police state where order is exalted over liberty or. 5 Furthermore. holding that Encinada was caught in flagrante delicto. the Court exhorted: Lawmen cannot be allowed to violate every law they are expected to enforce. "[t]he prosecution's evidence did nor show any suspicious behavior when the appellant disembarked from the ship or while he rode the motorela. The police followed immediately and ordered the driver to stop. appellant would be arriving at the Surigao port bringing marijuana. About 8:30 a. the search conducted on petitioner (a) was not incidental to a lawful arrest and (b) did not constitute a valid stop-and-frisk. They took Manalili to their station for further investigation. the grenade found in his person cannot be admitted as evidence against him... 19. In emphasizing the importance of according respect to every person's constitutional right against illegal arrests and searches. No act or fact demonstrating a felonious enterprise could be ascribed to appellant under such bare circumstances. particularly. and raw intelligence information was not a sufficient ground for a warrantless arrest. s. To convict a person on the basis only of his queer behavior and to sentence him to practically a lifetime in prison would simply be unfathomable. 1987). The caller did not explain why he thought the men looked suspicious nor did he elaborate on the impending crime. J. that: 1. to law enforcement officers. the Court of Appeals had no jurisdiction to entertain the appeal from the trial court's decision. this Court held that the search was akin to a stop-and-frisk." 6 Having known the identity of their suspect the previous day. worse. The police had sufficient reason to stop Manalili. and the marijuana seized was admissible in evidence. Because his appearance was characteristic of a person "high on drugs. Cuizon. personal malice on the part of the arresting officer may be justified in the name of security. to correlate the present case with four relevant decisions I authored for the Court: Manalili vs. the warrantless search following his arrest was valid. WHEREFORE. the latter did not have personal knowledge of facts indicating that he just committed an offense. Manalili Involved a Valid Stop-and-Frisk In Manalili. 4 all of which were promulgated without any dissenting view. or if a peace officer could clamp handcuffs on any person with a shifty look on suspicion that he may have committed a criminal act or is actually committing or attempting it. this Court stressed the following: Encinada was not committing a crime in the presence of the police. and chanced upon Manalili who was observed to have reddish eyes and to be walking in a wobbly manner. tried and convicted by the trial court for violation of Sec. 2 People vs. petitioner's dubious act of moving his eyes swiftly from side to side can in no way justify a stop-andfrisk.

Found inside a plastic bag were several blocks wrapped in newspaper. Shortly after noon. Reiterating the doctrine that "where a person is searched without a warrant. such as the "distinct odor of marijuana. but because he freely consented to the search. the Court underscored in sum that there was need for facts providing probable cause. The stark difference. After identifying themselves to the suspects in their hotel room. After reviewing previous decisions on valid warrantless arrests and searches. The NBI team members posted at the NAIA parking area. while in the instant case. The team merely trailed the taxicab which proceeded to the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati. were confirmed to be shabu. only Cuizon challenged the validity of his warrantless arrest. search and seizure. Likewise. and in a known hangout of drug users. did not cure its patent illegality. such as where the policemen are not specially trained. Most important is that the law enforcers must act immediately on the information received. the reported activity involved drug use and the lawmen belonged to the anti-narcotics group. a police officer observed that the occupants of a taxicab bowed their heads and slouched when they passed through the checkpoint he was manning. But Pua effectively waived his right against the warrantless search when he agreed in writing for the NBI team to search his luggage. lawmen were on surveillance in response to information that a criminal activity could be in the offing at a specified place. nor did the latter have personal knowledge of facts indicating that Cuizon authored an offense that had just in fact been committed. bringing a large quantity of shabu. received in the morning a tip from an informant that Cuizon and his wife were arriving at NAIA that same day. the law enforcers concerned may be presumed to possess special knowledge and skill to detect the physical features exhibited by a current drug user. . however. Taking with them the two accused (who. then asked permission to search the vehicle. the NBI. "There was no poisonous tree to speak of. then the search made of such person as well as his arrest [is] deemed illegal. A team was immediately organized and sent to the airport to intercept the suspect. for although he was provided with one. 8 Consent Validated an Otherwise Illegal Search in Lacerna In Lacerna meanwhile. . This consent validated the search. the case against Lee. Cuizon was inside his home resting with his wife and child. The three were charged and convicted of illegal transport of the regulated drug. Consequently. suspicious behavior. as where motor vehicles are used and there is great probability that the suspect would get away before a warrant can be procured. Lacerna questioned his warrantless arrest and seizure. In the former.'" 11 The same would have been true as regards Pua and Lee. The Court. when these specially trained enforcers saw Manalili with reddish eyes and walking in a wobbly manner characteristic of a person "high" on drugs per their experience. the Cuizon spouses arrived. upon later examination. he could not understand and communicate with him concerning his defense." 10 this Court declared unlawful the arrest of Cuizon as well as the incidental search and seizure. did not implicate Cuizon). is absolutely inadmissible for any purpose and in any proceeding. ruled that the search was valid. which were later discovered to contain marijuana. No offense had just been committed or was actually being committed or attempted by him in the presence of the lawmen. and under circumstances other than chose justifying a warrantless arrest . making him suspect that something was amiss. despite declaring that the prior attendant circumstances did not justify a warrantless search and seizure. That the search disclosed a prohibited substance in appellant's possession and thus confirmed the police officers' initial information and suspicion. . claiming that they were violative of his constitutional rights. the NBI team proceeded to the Cuizon residence where they found a bag allegedly containing the same substance. While at the airport arrival area. 12 Instant Case Correlated with Four Cited Now to the correlation with the case at bar. He signaled the driver to stop. therefore. however. after conducting a surveillance on Cuizon for about a month. waiver being a generally recognized exception to the rule against warrantless search. the team asked permission to search their bags in the presence of the hotel's chief security officer. suspicions raised or probable cause established. "even if tending to confirm or actually confirming the initial suspicion. Found inside three of the four bags similar to those handed to them by Cuizon at the airport were plastic packages of white crystalline substances which. urgency must attend such arrests and searches. failed to intercept the suspects. the same features displayed by a person will not normally justify a warrantless arrest or search on him. Besides. attempt to flee. Thus. there was sufficient genuine reason to stop and frisk the suspect. the same being 'the fruit of the poisonous tree. Cuizon handed four travelling bags to Pua and Lee who thereafter bearded a taxicab. On appeal. Pua and Lee consented in writing. upon a mere suspicion that he has embarked on some criminal activity. is that in Manalili. . 9 The marijuana. at the time of his arrest. (1) As in Manalili. . reports about drug transporting or positive identification by informers. The occupants consented. and/or for the purpose of discovering if indeed a crime has been committed by him. [or] failure to produce identification papers" to justify warrantless arrests and searches.. who could not speak English or Filipino. the police on patrol were ordinary law enforcers on the lookout for possible bombers. and in common places where people ordinarily converge. because he was effectively denied his right to counsel. any evidence obtained during the illegal search. . and should effect the arrests and searches without any delay. An illegal search cannot be undertaken and then an arrest effected on the strength of the evidence yielded by the search. in Cuizon. It is well to emphasize that under different circumstances. however. while the Cuizons took a different vehicle. not because Lacerna was caught in flagrante delicto. Although appellant and his companion were stopped by the police on mere suspicion — without probable cause — that they were engaged in a felonious enterprise. he failed to challenge the validity of his arrest and search and the admission of the evidence obtained thereby. was admissible in evidence. the Court stressed that their permission for the search was expressly sought and obtained by the law enforcers. was remanded for a retrial." Mere Suspicion of Criminal Activity Did Not Justify Search of Cuizon Lastly. However. The warrantless arrest and search were not justified by the rules on " in flagrante delicto" or "hot pursuit" for.

unjust and inhuman. Justice Isagani A. if any person could be summarily arrested and searched just because he is holding his abdomen. a fan knife. I vote to SET ASIDE the assailed decision and to ACQUIT Petitioner Sammy Malacat y Mandar. Police informants themselves. Upon receiving a telephone call shortly before noon from an informer that there were suspicious-looking persons at a certain street corner in Tondo." In Lacerna. succinctly put it: "What offense could possibly have been suggested by a person 'looking from side to side' and 'holding his abdomen' and in a place not exactly forsaken?" . Moreover. The simple handing over of the baggage by Cuizon to Pua and Lee was far from being indicative of any illegal activity. 14 In closing. This is not a police state where order is exalted over liberty or. As the Court." The police approached them and identified themselves. WHEREFORE. indeed. the policemen themselves testified that they were dispatched to that place only because of the telephone call from the informer that there were 'suspicious-looking' persons in that vicinity who were about to commit a robbery at North Bay Boulevard. Cruz. If they excited suspicion in the minds of the arresting officers. worse. The suspects were searched. even if it be possibly because of a stomach-ache. 13 another classic on the right against unreasonable searches and seizures. It must be stressed that raw unverified intelligence information alone is not sufficient to justify a warrantless arrest or search. Mengote Supports Present Ponencia Bolstering the invalidity of the arrest and search of Malacat is People vs. Hence. the occupants of the taxicab bowed their heads and slouched when they passed through the police checkpoint. much less. or if a peace officer could clamp handcuffs on any person with a shifty look on suspicion that he may have committed a criminal act or is actually committing or attempting it. the ineptness of the NBI team dispatched to intercept him which foiled his arrest and search. To convict a person on the basis only of his queer behavior and to sentence him to practically a lifetime in prison would simply be unfathomable. why his eyes were darting from side to side and he was holding his abdomen. his subsequent arrest cannot even be justified under the rule on "hot pursuit. Similarly. Manila. The caller did not explain why he thought the men looked suspicious nor did he elaborate on the impending crime. This simply cannot be done in a free society. none of the actions of Accused Encinada and Cuizon were beyond normal as to suggest that they were then engaged in felonious activities." He did not attempt to flee. if not for the passengers' free and express consent. by any stretch of imagination. There they saw two men "looking from side to side" with one" holding his abdomen. and recovered from Mengote was a fully loaded pistol. Granting that indeed an offense was committed by Cuizon at the airport. the Western Police District dispatched a surveillance team to said place. to conduct an extensive search of their belongings. the Court lamented and thus warned: It would be a sad day. there was sufficient time to priorly obtain a warrant for his arrest. Mengote. although connoting unusual behavior. tipped off their alleged criminal activity. presumably reliable. personal malice on the part of the arresting officer may be justified in the name of security. they did not provide sufficient reason for the police to stop and investigate them for possible criminal operation. The policemen merely observed that Malacat's eyes were moving very fast. Such act by itself does not. their inability to effectively investigate and identify the culprit — so as to have obtained a lawful arrest warrant — that hindered his valid seizure thereafter. at the time of the arrests of the suspects. From their outward look. from his companion. As regards Cuizon. true. was not indicative that he was armed and dangerous as to justify a search on his person. again it was the policemen's ineptitude that frustrated his valid arrest there and then and. A checkpoint search is limited to a roving view within the vehicle. (3) In Lacerna. The Court ruled that the situation was not one calling for a lawful warrantless search and arrest. Although such acts could raise suspicions. . it has nevertheless not been shown what their suspicion was all about. nothing suggested that they were at the time armed and dangerous. as the prosecution suggests. the search would have been undoubtedly declared illegal. there was no justification for a stopand-frisk. Nothing can be more wrong. There was considerable interruption between the supposed commission of the crime and his subsequent arrest in his house where he was already resting. A further search may be validly effected only if something probably illegal is within his "plain view. They did not notice any bulges or packets about the bodies of these men indicating that they might be hiding explosive paraphernalia. through Mr. . In fact. all of them innocent. In the present case. whereupon the two tried to flee but failed as other lawmen surrounded them. . if it were true that the arresting officer saw Malacat two days earlier attempting to detonate a grenade in the same vicinity. 15 Under our rule in Mengote. worse. That is why it is important to bring one's evidence before a judge who shall independently determine if probable cause exists for the issuance of the warrant. it was. but was actually able to leave the premises and reach his house unhampered by the police. petitioner's dubious act of moving his eyes swiftly from side to side can in no way justify a stop-andfrisk. further. Encinada and Cuizon had been previously identified and subjected to surveillance. (2) In relation to the cases of Encinada and Cuizon. It is not for the police to make such determination. the fast-moving eyes of Malacat. Specifically with respect to Encinada.The case before us presents such a situation. even appear to be suspicious. [T]here could have been a number of reasons.

who identified the subject weapon as among the articles stolen from him during the robbery in his house in Malabon on June 13. There is no question that evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search or seizure is inadmissible in any proceeding for any purpose. was found with a . one other witness presented by the prosecution was Rigoberto Danganan. of the Rules of Court reading as follows: Sec. is actually committing. 2. J. 1987. and C and admitted over the objection of the defense. papers. Sec. were offered as Exhibits A.D. plaintiff-appellee. in his presence. had a fan knife secreted in his front right pants pocket. the following information was filed against the accused-appellant before the Regional Trial Court of Manila: The undersigned accuses ROGELIO MENGOTE y TEJAS of a violation of Presidential Decree No. unlawfully and knowingly have in his possession and under his custody and control a firearm. 1992 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.G. while conceding the rule. committed as follows: That on or about August 8. Section 5. (a) When. 5. A surveillance team of plainclothesmen was forthwith dispatched to the place. (2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. 87059 June 22. He was sentenced to reclusion perpetua. As later narrated at the trial by Patrolmen Rolando Mercado and Alberto Juan.: Accused-appellant Rogelio Mengote was convicted of illegal possession of firearms on the strength mainly of the stolen pistol found on his person at the moment of his warrantless arrest. arrest a person. . CRUZ. 1866. the weapon was the principal evidence that led to Mengote's conviction for violation of P. They approached these persons and identified themselves as policemen. in the City of Manila. and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable.R. or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law. This is the celebrated exclusionary rule based on the justification given by Judge Learned Hand that "only in case the prosecution. Philippines. The defense also contends that the testimony regarding the alleged robbery in Danganan's house was irrelevant and should also have been disregarded by the trial court." one of whom was holding his abdomen. 3 (1). houses. The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court. His reason is that the arrest and search of Mengote and the seizure of the revolver from him were lawful under Rule 113. having been also effected without a warrant. the person to be arrested has committed. indicating the articles stolen from him. to wit: one (1) cal. Arrest without warrant when lawful. without a warrant. ROGELIO MENGOTE y TEJAS.38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver with six live bullets in the chamber. As previously stated. 1 they there saw two men "looking from side to side. 4 It is submitted in the Appellant's Brief that the revolver should not have been admitted in evidence because of its illegal seizure. He had duly reported the robbery to the police. Section 3(2). That is the absolute prohibition of Article III. together with the live bullets and its holster. It insists that the revolver was validly received in evidence by the trial judge because its seizure was incidental to an arrest that was doubtless lawful even if admittedly without warrant. which itself controls the seizing officials. 8720-T without first having secured the necessary license or permit therefor from the proper authorities. whereupon the two tried to run away but were unable to escape because the other lawmen had surrounded them. — A peace officer or private person may. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. no warrant therefor having been previously obtained. 1987. Mengote made no effort to prove that he owned the firearm or that he was licensed to possess it and claimed instead that the weapon had been "Planted" on him at the time of his arrest. The Government disagrees. In this appeal. One of them. The right of the people to be secure in their persons. The weapons were taken from them. vs. 1987. Neither could it have been seized as an incident of a lawful arrest because the arrest of Mengote was itself unlawful. later identified as Nicanor Morellos. The suspects were then searched. knows that it cannot profit by their wrong will the wrong be repressed. His companion. 1987. after the Western Police District received a telephone call from an informer that there were three suspicious-looking persons at the corner of Juan Luna and North Bay Boulevard in Tondo. The incident occurred shortly before noon of August 8. Manila. or is attempting to commit an offense. of the Constitution. He pointed to Mengote as one of the robbers. On August 11. Mengote and Morellos were then turned over to police headquarters for investigation by the Intelligence Division. he pleads that the weapon was not admissible as evidence against him because it had been illegally seized and was therefore the fruit of the poisonous tree. Besides the police officers. 1866. B. the said accused did then and there wilfully. maintains that it is not applicable in the case at bar. 38 "S & W" bearing Serial No." The Solicitor General. The following are the pertinent provision of the Bill of Rights: Sec. and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. accused-appellant. who turned out to be the accusedappellant. 2 For his part. including the revolver. 3 The gun. No.

the person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail. It was only later. if at all. Before these events. In the recent case of People v. all of them innocent. as the prosecution suggests. 6 the accused boarded a bus and placed the buri bag she was carrying behind the seat of the arresting officer while she herself sat in the seat before him. (b) is no less applicable because its no less stringent requirements have also not been satisfied. upon inspection. (Emphasis supplied) xxx xxx xxx . as the prosecution incorrectly suggested." The question is. after Danganan had appeared at the Police headquarters. (Sayo v. 7 where the Court held that the warrantless arrest of the accused was unconstitutional. the accused-appellant was merely "looking from side to side" and "holding his abdomen. There was apparently no offense that had just been committed or was being actually committed or at least being attempted by Mengote in their presence. that they learned of the robbery in his house and of Mengote's supposed involvement therein. He had not committed nor was be actually committing or attempting to commit an offense in the presence of the arresting officers. the officer arresting a person who has just committed. (c) of Section 5 is obviously inapplicable as Mengote was not an escapee from a penal institution when he was arrested. By no stretch of the imagination could it have been inferred from these acts that an offense had just been committed. Section 7. and about a crime that had yet to be committed. But he was arrested at 11:30 in the morning and in a crowded street shortly after alighting from a passenger jeep with I his companion. Claudio. He was not skulking in the shadows but walking in the clear light of day. We therefore confine ourselves to determining the lawfulness of his arrest under either Par. which he found to contain marijuana. These requirements have not been established in the case at bar. be surreptitiously examined the bag. (2) in the presence of the arresting officer. (b) of this section. On the other hand. the Peace officers had no knowledge even of Mengote' identity. We have carefully examined the wording of this Rule and cannot see how we can agree with the prosecution. All they had was hearsay information from the telephone caller. In the landmark case of People v. And the setting of the arrest made them less so. like a darkened alley at 3 o'clock in the morning. let alone the fact (or suspicion) that he was unlawfully carrying a firearm or that he was involved in the robbery of Danganan's house.(b) When an offense has in fact just been committed. Par. The Solicitor General submits that the actual existence of an offense was not necessary as long as Mengote's acts "created a reasonable suspicion on the part of the arresting officers and induced in them the belief that an offense had been committed and that the accused-appellant had committed it. Par. dispensed with the constitutional requirement of a warrant. Par. 9 this Court declared: Under Section 6(a) of Rule 113. or is about to commit an offense must have personal knowledge of the fact. the policemen themselves testified that they were dispatched to that place only because of the telephone call from the informer that there were "suspicious-looking" persons in that vicinity who were about to commit a robbery at North Bay Boulevard. 8 As for the illegal possession of the firearm found on Mengote's person. In cases failing under paragraphs (a) and (b) hereof. or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it. He was not even acting suspiciously. if at all. had been committed and neither were they aware of the participation therein of the accused-appellant. Malmstedt. This was effected while be was coming down a vessel. His suspicion aroused." according to the arresting officers themselves. The offense must also be committed in his presence or within his view. He then and there made the warrantless arrest and seizure that we subsequently upheld on the ground that probable cause had been sufficiently established. It might have been different if Mengote bad been apprehended at an ungodly hour and in a place where he had no reason to be. This case is similar to People v. In fact. What offense? What offense could possibly have been suggested by a person "looking from side to side" and "holding his abdomen" and in a place not exactly forsaken? These are certainly not sinister acts. The caller did not explain why he thought the men looked suspicious nor did he elaborate on the impending crime. In short. The prosecution has not shown that at the time of Mengote's arrest an offense had in fact just been committed and that the arresting officers had personal knowledge of facts indicating that Mengote had committed it. it has nevertheless not been shown what their suspicion was all about. Aminnudin. turned out to be a pouch containing hashish. In People v. (a) or Par. why his eyes were darting from side to side and be was holding his abdomen. 859). 80 Phil. Burgos. and he shall be proceeded against in accordance with Rule 112. At the time of the arrest in question. or was at least being attempted in their presence. (a) requires that the person be arrested (1) after he has committed or while he is actually committing or is at least attempting to commit an offense. and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending. Chief of Police. to all appearances no less innocent than the other disembarking passengers. there was no probable cause that. 5 the Court sustained the warrantless arrest of the accused because there was a bulge in his waist that excited the suspicion of the arresting officer and. If they excited suspicion in the minds of the arresting officers. the policemen discovered this only after he had been searched and the investigation conducted later revealed that he was not its owners nor was he licensed to possess it. there could have been a number of reasons. The case before us is different because there was nothing to support the arresting officers' suspicion other than Mengote's darting eyes and his hand on his abdomen. The truth is that they did not know then what offense. is committing. or was actually being committed. There was nothing clandestine about his being on that street at that busy hour in the blaze of the noonday sun.

We commend Atty. the appealed decision is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. the officer making the arrest must have personal knowledge of the ground therefor as stressed in the recent case of People v. WHEREFORE. being committed. resulting in their disregard of the requirements of a valid search and seizure that rendered inadmissible the vital evidence they had invalidly seized. Castro. Section 5(b). A crime must in fact or actually have been committed first. The fact that she was acting only as a counsel de oficio with no expectation of material reward makes her representation even more commendable. escaping the clutches of the law because. Their impulsiveness may be the very cause of the acquittal of persons who deserve to be convicted. The accused-appellant is ACQUITTED and ordered released immediately unless he is validly detained for other offenses. SO ORDERED. it has not been observed by those who are supposed to enforce it. it is not enough that there is reasonable ground to believe that the person to be arrested has committed a crime. the prosecution of the accused-appellant might have succeeded. however. There is no need to discuss the other issues raised by the accused-appellant as the ruling we here make is sufficient to sustain his exoneration. No costs. what was that crime? There is no allegation in the record of such a falsification. This is not a police state where order is exalted over liberty or. or just committed. Parenthetically. which she did not have to file but did so just the same to stress the constitutional rights of her client. That a crime has actually been committed is an essential precondition. or if a peace officer could clamp handcuffs on any person with a shifty look on suspicion that he may have committed a criminal act or is actually committing or attempting it. (Emphasis supplied) It would be a sad day. Section 5. It is not enough to suspect that a crime may have been committed. Burgos. As it happened. personal malice on the part of the arresting officer may be justified in the name of security. the prosecution has lost its most important exhibit and must therefore fail.In arrests without a warrant under Section 6(b). The fact of the commission of the offense must be undisputed. The Court feels that if the peace officers had been more mindful of the provisions of the Bill of Rights. 10 thus: If the arrest was made under Rule 113. even if it be possibly because of a stomach-ache. This should be a lesson to other peace officers. if any person could be summarily arrested and searched just because he is holding his abdomen. Without the evidence of the firearm taken from him at the time of his illegal arrest. This simply cannot be done in a free society. indeed. of the Rules of Court in connection with a crime about to be committed. (Emphasis supplied) This doctrine was affirmed in Alih v. The testimonial evidence against Mengote (which is based on the said firearm) is not sufficient to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt of the crime imputed to him. it may be observed that under the Revised Rule 113. they allowed their over-zealousness to get the better of them. The test of reasonable ground applies only to the identity of the perpetrator. Violeta Calvo-Drilon for her able and spirited defense of the accused-appellant not only in the brief but also in the reply brief. . worse. ironically enough.

96-149990 for Violation of Section 16. who was described to the operatives by Teck. Contrary to law. without the corresponding license or prescription therefor. 96-149991 for Violation of Presidential Decree No. Philippines. J. unlawfully and knowingly have in his possession and under his custody and control a bulk of white and yellowish crystalline substance known as SHABU contained in thirty-two (32) transparent plastic bags weighing approximately 29. 2007 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio were arrested while they were about to hand over another bag of shabu to SPO2 De Dios and company.G. in the City of Manila. police operatives of the Public Assistance and Reaction Against Crime of the Department of Interior and Local Government.S.6 They also disclosed that they knew of a scheduled delivery of shabu early the following morning of 17 May 1996.. namely: (1) Criminal Case No. Manila. at about 7:00 p. Article III in relation to Section 2(e)(2). 96-149990 to 96-149992. the said accused did then and there willfully. 128587 March 16. petitioner People of the Philippines has directly come to this Court via this petition for review on certiorari to nullify and set aside the Resolution1 dated 13 March 1997 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila. Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio did not disclose their source of shabu but admitted that they were working for Wang. came out of the apartment and walked towards a parked BMW car. the said accused did then and there willfully.2941 kilograms. of Glamour Modeling Agency owned by Lawrence Wang. (2) Criminal Case No. Philippines. 96-149992 (Violation of Comelec Gun Ban): That on or about the 17th day of May 1996. namely. An entrapment operation was then set after the three were prevailed upon to call their source and pretend to order another supply of shabu. No. and LAWRENCE WANG Y CHEN.. and Joseph Junio were identified as the source of the drug. Philippines. the said accused did then and there willfully. entitled People of the Philippines v. Article I of Republic Act (R. Branch 18. 96-149991 (Illegal Possession of Firearms): That on or about the 17th day of May 1996. Petitioner.380 9mm automatic backup pistol with magazine loaded with ammunitions without first having secured the necessary license or permit therefor from the proper authorities. At around 11:00 p. Manila. The three (3) separate Informations filed against Lawrence C. In the course of the investigation of the three arrested persons. Lawrence Wang y Chen. 7166 (COMELEC Gun Ban). Police Inspector Cielito Coronel and SPO3 Reynaldo Cristobal. At the same time. the other members of the operatives searched the BMW car and found inside it were the following items: (a) 32 transparent plastic bags containing white crystalline substance with a total weight of 29. 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act). a regulated drug popularly known as shabu. DECISION GARCIA. on the date which is covered by an election period. Redentor Teck. without first securing the written permission or authority from the Commission on Elections. unlawfully and knowingly have in his possession and under his custody and control one (1) DAEWOO Cal. HON. carrying the same along Maria Orosa St. alias Frank. Prosecution witness Police Inspector Cielito Coronel testified that at about 2:10 a. 96-149992 for Violation of Comelec Resolution No. that same date. which is a public place. 9mm automatic pistol with one loaded magazine and one (1) AMT Cal. RTC. there was found inside the front right pocket of Wang and confiscated from him an unlicensed AMT Cal.R. Police Inspector Cielito Coronel and his men then proceeded to Maria Orosa Apartment and placed the same under surveillance. Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio informed the police operatives that they were working as talent manager and gymnast instructor. The police operatives decided to look for Wang to shed light on the illegal drug activities of Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio. Captain Margallo. granting private respondent Lawrence C. Questioned. 9mm. a regulated drug. and that their employer (Wang) could be found at the Maria Orosa Apartment in Malate. in the City of Manila.A. containing methamphetamine hydrochloride. Contrary to law. LAGUIO. the trial court ordered that a plea of "Not Guilty" be entered for him. 2828 in relation to R. arrested SPO2 Vergel de Dios. 1866 ( Illegal Possession of Firearms).m. asked his name and.m. of 17 May 1996. as provided by the COMELEC Resolution 2828 in relation to Republic Act 7166. automatic pistol with one loaded magazine and one AMT Cal. Ermita. and (3) Criminal Case No. 380 9mm automatic Back-up Pistol loaded with ammunitions. accused Wang refused to enter a plea to all the Informations and instead interposed a continuing objection to the admissibility of the evidence obtained by the police operatives.: On pure questions of law. introduced themselves to him as police officers.2941 kilograms. upon hearing that he was Lawrence Wang. in his capacity as Presiding Judge. .5 Thereafter. The pertinent facts are as follows: On 16 May 1996. Manila.. 3 Criminal Case No.m. PERFECTO A.) No. 4 During his arraignment. Thus. which substance was later analyzed as positive for . Rogelio Anoble and a certain Arellano. Branch 18. Wang’s Demurrer to Evidence and acquitting him of the three (3) charges filed against him. in Criminal Case Nos. joint trial of the three (3) consolidated cases followed. JR. No. unlawfully and knowingly have in his possession and under his custody and control one (1) DAEWOO Cal.2 Criminal Case No. immediately frisked him and asked him to open the back compartment of the BMW car.7 When frisked. 96-149990 (Violation of Dangerous Drugs Act): That on or about the 17th day of May 1996. respectively. 380 9mm automatic backup pistol with magazine loaded with ammunitions. in the City of Manila. Respondents. vs. for unlawful possession of methamphetamine hydrochloride. Wang. On nearing the car. he (witness) together with Captain Margallo and two other police officers approached Wang.A. Wang in the court of origin respectively read: Criminal Case No. Contrary to law.

11 praying for his acquittal and the dismissal of the three (3) cases against him for lack of a valid arrest and search warrants and the inadmi ssibility of the prosecution’s evidence against him. it must be emphasized that the present case is an appeal filed directly with this Court via a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 in relation to Rule 41. the right of the People to appeal is. the Court resolved to give due course to the petition and required the parties to submit their respective memoranda.19 On 20 October 2004. the Hon. for lack of evidence. and (d) an unlicensed Daewoo 9mm Pistol with magazine. in the very same provision. First off. accused Wang was granted 25 days from said date within which to file his intended Demurrer to Evidence.00 to the accused. AS A RESULT OF HIS SUBMISSION AND FAILURE TO PROTEST THE SEARCH AND HIS ARREST. Wang filed his undated Demurrer to Evidence. On 10 September 1997. Article III of the Dangerous Drugs Act. Perfecto A. Laguio. the prosecution filed its Opposition 13 alleging that the warrantless search was legal as an incident to the lawful arrest and that it has proven its case. David Lee. Then and there. 9mm. and the officer-in-charge of PARAC. Department of Interior and Local Government. Manila.methamphetamine hydrochloride. without giving due course to the petition. Accordingly. Considering that the prosecution has not yet filed its Opposition to the demurrer.. Private respondent Wang filed his comment 17on 18 August 1997. Rule 122 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure states that any party may appeal. Court of Appeals21). 96-149990 is concerned. (c) one electronic and one mechanical scales.000. the 32 bags of shabu with a total weight of 29. Then. the prosecution rested its case and upon motion. for proper disposition. the respondent judge. that is why any appeal from a judgment of . Illegal Possession of Firearms.S. submitting that the trial court erred I XXX IN HOLDING THAT THE UNDISPUTED FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES DID NOT CONSTITUTE PROBABLE CAUSE WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF SECTION 2. PNP. On 9 January 1997. HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT AGAINST UNREASONABLE SEARCH AND SEIZURE AND HIS OBJECTION TO THE ADMISSION OF THE EVIDENCE SEIZED. Case No.2941 kilograms and the two unlicensed pistols. a regulated drug locally known as shabu. Quezon City. search and seizure by the police operatives in this case despite the absence of a warrant of arrest and/or a search warrant. thus: WHEREFORE. The case presents two main issues: (a) whether the prosecution may appeal the trial court’s resolution granting Wang’s demurr er to evidence and acquitting him of all the charges against him without violating the constitutional proscription against double jeopardy. are ordered confiscated in favor of the government and the branch clerk is directed to turn over the 32 bags of shabu to the Dangerous Drugs Board in Intramuros. No costs. Jr. so it is now time for the defense to present its evidence. the Court. it being merely a statutory privilege which may be exercised only in the manner provided for by law (Velasco v. required the public and private respondents to comment thereon within ten days from notice. paragraph (c) of the Rules of Court raising only pure questions of law. expressly made subject to the prohibition against putting the accused in double jeopardy. SO ORDERED. ordinary appeal by mere filing of a notice of appeal not being allowed as a mode of appeal directly to this Court. the accused's undated Demurrer to Evidence is hereby granted. the Court required the People to file a reply. issued the herein assailed Resolution 14 granting Wang’s Demurrer to Evidence and acquitting him of all charges for lack of evidence. IV XXX IN NOT DECLARING THE ACCUSED AS HAVING WAIVED. It also basic that appeal in criminal cases throws the whole records of the case wide open for review by the appellate court.380 9mm and one Daewoo Cal. lII XXX IN DECLARING THE WARRANTLESS ARREST OF THE ACCUSED AND THE SEARCH AND SEIZURE OF HIS HANDGUNS UNLAWFUL. and the confiscated BMW car to its registered owner. the prosecution filed a Manifestation10 to the effect that it had rested its case only in so far as the charge for Violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act in Criminal Case No. and not as regards the two cases for Illegal Possession of Firearms (Crim. and Violation of Comelec Gun Ban. IN EFFECT. (b) cash in the amount ofP650. On 13 March 1997. Wang filed an Amplification 12 to his Demurrer of Evidence on 20 January 1997. one AMT Cal.000. 96-149992). after several extensions. ARTICLE III OF THE CONSTITUTION. and the two firearms to the Firearms and Explosive Units. trial continued.00. Section 2. V XXX IN NOT ADMITTING IN EVIDENCE THE EVIDENCE SEIZED AND OFFERED BY THE PROSECUTION AND IN NOT DENYING ACCUSED'S DEMURRER TO EVIDENCE. On 12 February 1997. THAT A WARRANTLESS SEARCH IS CONSTITUTIONALLY ALLOWABLE AND CAN ONLY BE VALID AS AN INCIDENT TO A LAWFUL ARREST. Although Section 2. and (b) whether there was lawful arrest. In its Resolution16 of 9 July 1997. it bears stressing that the right to appeal is neither a natural right nor a part of due process.9 On 19 December 1996. Camp Crame. Wang resisted the warrantless arrest and search. is ordered to return the confiscated amount of P650. 96-149991) and Violation of the Comelec Gun Ban (Crim.18 which the Office of the Solicitor General did on 5 December 1997.8 On 6 December 1996. the accused is acquitted of the charges against him for the crimes of Violation of Section 16. too. AND IN HOLDING THAT SUCH FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES NEITHER JUSTIFIED THE WARRANTLESS SEARCH OF ACCUSED'S VEHICLE AND THE SEIZURE OF THE CONTRABAND THEREIN. Hence. ll XXX IN HOLDING. Case No. this petition15 for review on certiorari by the People.20 which they did. .

the finality-of-acquittal doctrine as a safeguard against double jeopardy faithfully adheres to the principle first enunciated in Kepner v. however. Lutero. which is the very essence of due process of law. There will be time and opportunity to present all these arguments and considerations at the remand and retrial of the cases herein ordered before a neutral and impartial court. In resolving the petition for certiorari filed directly with this Court. Flores. In this case.acquittal necessarily puts the accused in double jeopardy. xxx xxx xxx Legal jeopardy attaches only (a) upon a valid indictment. resulting in their acquittal of their respective charges of murder due to insufficiency of evidence. Generally. instead of repositories of judicial power whose judges are sworn and committed to render impartial justice to all alike who seek the enforcement or protection of a right or the prevention or redress of a wrong. 49 SCRA 416 Feb. to name a few. 27. Sandiganbayan22 presents one exception to the rule on double jeopardy. when the prosecution is denied due process of law: No court whose Presiding Justice has received "orders or suggestions" from the very President who by an amendatory decree (disclosed only at the hearing of oral arguments on November 8. courts are ousted of their jurisdiction. This renders moot and irrelevant for now the extensive arguments of respondents accused. and (e) the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without the express consent of the accused (People vs. the violation of the State's right to due process raises a serious jurisdictional issue (Gumabon vs. the first jeopardy was never terminated. (d) a valid plea having been entered. Any judgment or decision rendered notwithstanding such violation may be regarded as a "lawless thing. 1973]). 37 SCRA 420 [Jan. 1. Uy. No double jeopardy. In life. L-30111-12. and it amounts to an acquittal . In point is the fairly recent case of People v. The celebrated case of Galman v. can be an impartial court. disallows appeal by the People from judgments of acquittal. 1850 at the time providing for exclusive jurisdiction of courts martial over criminal offenses committed by military men) made it possible to refer the cases to the Sandiganbayan. the very same Section 2 of Rule 122 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure. 30. People v. its right to due process is thereby violated. People v. — It is settled doctrine that double jeopardy cannot be invoked against this Court's setting aside of the trial courts' judgment of dismissal or acquittal where the prosecution which represents the sovereign people in criminal cases is denied due process. Respondent Judge's dismissal order dated July 7. particularly Generals Ver and Olivas and those categorized as accessories. As the writer then wrote. In effect. Yam Tung Way. deception and duplicity to subvert and suppress the truth. 58 Phil. 1971]) which cannot be glossed over or disregarded at will. which is. Bocar. People v. Another exception is when the trial court commits grave abuse of discretion in dismissing a criminal case by granting the accused’s demurrer to evidence. Thus. and not by preselection of the Executive. (b) before a competent court. Where the denial of the fundamental right of due process is apparent. the same does not constitute a proper basis for a claim of double jeopardy (Serino vs. Court of Appeals explains the rationale of this rule: In our jurisdiction. which can be treated as an outlaw and slain at sight. both with leave of court. 23 which involved the trial court’s decision which granted the two separate demurrers to evidence filed by the two accused therein. People v. supra). 851). L-30370 [May 25. (c) after arraignment. as an accused before the military tribunal Ninoy had pleaded in vain that as a civilian he was entitled to due process of law and trial in the regular civil courts before an impartial court with an unbiased prosecutor. The courts of the land under its aegis are courts of law and justice and equity. Cabarles. or ignored wherever it exhibits its head" (Aducayen vs. that there has been no evidence or witness suppressed against them. L30026. supra). and does not expose the accused to a second jeopardy.D. and the integrity of our judicial system is at stake. that the erroneous conclusions of Olivas as police investigator do not make him an accessory of the crimes he investigated and the appraisal and evaluation of the testimonies of the witnesses presented and suppressed. the Court has previously made some exceptions. Bao. 51 SCRA 78. are illustrative cases. The fundamental philosophy behind the constitutional proscription against double jeopardy is to . The cases of United States v." This criminal collusion as to the handling and treatment of the cases by public respondents at the secret Malacañang conference (and revealed only after fifteen months by Justice Manuel Herrera) completely disqualified respondent Sandiganbayan and voided ab initio its verdict. we had the occasion to explain: The general rule in this jurisdiction is that a judgment of acquittal is final and unappealable. They would have no reason to exist if they were allowed to be used as mere tools of injustice. Ninoy. The cardinal precept is that where there is a violation of basic constitutional rights. as the victim of the "treacherous and vicious assassination" and the relatives and sovereign people as the aggrieved parties plead once more for due process of law and a retrial before an impartial court with an unbiased prosecutor. As the Court stressed in the 1985 case of People vs. The Court is constrained to declare the sham trial a mock trial — the non-trial of the century — and that the predetermined judgment of acquittal was unlawful and void ab initio. vs. United States. a decision rendered in disregard of that right is void for lack of jurisdiction (Aducayen vs. and the remand of the criminal case for further hearing and/or trial before the lower courts amounts merely to a continuation of the first jeopardy. as mandatorily required by the known P. Bringas. Ylagan. To this general rule. An order granting an accused’s demurrer to evidence is a resolution of the case on the merits. Zosa. In death. 1984 on a petition challenging the referral of the Aquino-Galman murder cases to the Tanodbayan and Sandiganbayan instead of to a court martial. More so. The lower court was not competent as it was ousted of its jurisdiction when it violated the right of the prosecution to due process. which could be much too easily transformed into a means of predetermining the outcome of individual cases. 19731. In effect. verdicts of acquittal are to be regarded as absolutely final and irreviewable. 1967 being null and void for lack of jurisdiction. Director of the Bureau of Prisons. Gandicela v. Enage. any further prosecution of the accused after an acquittal would violate the constitutional proscription on double jeopardy. Flores. without fear or favor and removed from the pressures of politics and prejudice. in the case at bar where the people and the world are entitled to know the truth. The Supreme Court cannot permit such a sham trial and verdict and travesty of justice to stand unrectified. "jurisdiction over cases should be determined by law. Shell Co. Where the prosecution is deprived of a fair opportunity to prosecute and prove its case.

However. sustained the CA’s power to review the order granting the demurrer to evidence. the above-said rule is not absolute. This constitutes an exception to the rule that the dismissal of a criminal case made with the express consent of the accused or upon his own motion bars a plea of double jeopardy. when brought in unequal contest with the State xxx. the court is merely required to ascertain whether there is competent or sufficient evidence t o sustain the indictment or support a verdict of guilt. in acquitting the accused. This may be done via the special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65 based on the ground of grave abuse of discretion." It is axiomatic that on the basis of humanity. as well as enhancing the possibility that even though innocent. the case ends there." Such dismissal of a criminal case by the grant of demurrer to evidence may not be appealed. once the court grants the demurrer.24 the Court allowed the review of a decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) which reversed the accused’s acquittal upon demurrer to evidence filed by the accused with leave of court. committed not merely reversible errors of judgmentbut also grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction or a denial of due process. Such dismissal order." The interest in the finality-of-acquittal rule. expense and ordeal and compelling him to live in a continuing state of anxiety and insecurity. tantamount to an acquittal of the accused . 25 we have enumerated the distinction between the two remedies/actions.) By this time.) In Sanvicente v. is that the State with all its resources and power should not be allowed to make repeated attempts to convict an individual for an alleged offense thereby subjecting him to embarrassment. explaining thus: Under Rule 119. the petitioner in such an extraordinary proceeding must clearly demonstrate that the trial court blatantly abused its authority to a point so grave as to deprive it of its very power to dispense justice. while certiorari may be availed of to correct an erroneous acquittal. which is different from a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. the right of the accused against double jeopardy is not violated. Thus. to wit: Appeal and Certiorari Distinguished Between an appeal and a petition for certiorari. he may be found guilty. Velasco: The fundamental philosophy highlighting the finality of an acquittal by the trial court cuts deep into the "humanity of the laws and in jealous watchfulness over the rights of the citizens. (Emphasis supplied. As held in the case of People v. As succinctly observed in Green v. expense and ordeal and compelling him to live in a continuing state of anxiety and insecurity. who has been acquitted. Guingona. it calls "for an appreciation of the evidence adduced by the prosecution and its sufficiency to warrant conviction beyond reasonable doubt. as well as enhancing the possibility that even though innocent. resulting in a dismissal of the case on the merits. Thus Green expressed the concern that "(t)he underlying idea." which supposedly "positively identified therein petitioner as the perpetrator of the crime charged. People. there are substantial distinctions which shall be explained below. The verdict being one of acquittal. in a petition for certiorari. is easy to understand: it is a need for "repose". Sandiganbayan: The demurrer to evidence in criminal cases. a judgment of acquittal in a criminal case may be assailed in a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court upon a clear showing by the petitioner that the lower court. will not be found guilty in a subsequent proceeding. The grant or denial of a demurrer to evidence is left to the sound discretion of the trial court and its ruling on the matter shall not be disturbed in the absence of a grave abuse of discretion. amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. is " filed after the prosecution had rested its case. the CA ruling that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in preventing the prosecution from establishing the due execution and authenticity of certain letter marked therein as Exhibit "LL. Significantly. thus rendering the assailed judgment void. The only instance when double jeopardy will not attach is when the trial court acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. such as where the prosecution was denied the opportunity to present its case or where the trial was a sham. when the order of dismissal is annulled or set aside by an appellate court in an original special civil action via certiorari. being considered void judgment. an acquitted defendant is entitled to the right of repose as a direct consequence of the finality of his acquittal. even an appeal based on an alleged misappreciation of evidence will not lie. . United States "(t)he underlying idea. does not result in jeopardy. it is settled that the appellate court may review dismissal orde rs of trial courts granting an accused’s demurrer to evidence. a desire to know the exact extent of one’s liability." and when the same is granted. The philosophy underlying this rule establishing the absolute nature of acquittals is "part of the paramount importance criminal justice system attaches to the protection of the innocent against wrongful conviction. the trial court may dismiss the action on the ground of insufficiency of evidence upon a demurrer to evidence filed by the accused with or without leave of court. The finality-of-acquittal rule was stressed thus in People v. he may be found guilty. and then Solicitor General Silvestre H. even those whose innocence rests upon a jury’s leniency. such order amounts to an acquittal and any further prosecution of the accused would violate the constitutional proscription on double jeopardy. In resolving accused’s demurrer to evidence. v." The Court. Jr. however.afford the defendant. filed with the Court in the present case is an appeal by way of a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 raising a pure question of law. Given the far-reaching scope of an accused’s right against double jeopardy. Section 23 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure." (Underscoring supplied) The same rule applies in criminal cases where a demurrer to evidence is granted. Bello. III. what petitioner People of the Philippines. Lapanday Holdings Corporation. In Madrigal Transport Inc. confined exclusively to verdicts of not guilty. the criminal justice system has built in a protection to insure that the innocent. one that is deeply ingrained in at least the Anglo-American system of jurisprudence. for to do so would be to place the accused in double-jeopardy. By way of exception. is that the State with all its resources and power should not be allowed to make repeated attempts to convict an individual for an alleged offense. one that is deeply ingrained in at least the Anglo-American system of jurisprudence. as amended. (Emphasis supplied. thereby subjecting him to embarrassment. final repose and safeguard him from government oppression through the abuse of criminal processes. fairness and justice. such as the one at bar. Unfortunately. (Italics in the original) Like any other rule. With this right of repose. through then Secretary of Justice Teofisto T.

In contrast. Even if the findings of the court are incorrect. An appeal is thus a continuation of the original suit. Ordinary appeals should be filed within fifteen days from the notice of judgment or final order appealed from. If it did. Since the issue is jurisdiction. And the handgun was bantam and slim in size that it . the period shall be counted from the denial of the motion. as long as it has jurisdiction over the case. The trial court’s ratiocination is quoted as fol lows: The threshold issue raised by the accused in his Demurrer to Evidence is whether his warrantless arrest and search were lawful as argued by the prosecution. Over a certiorari. The accused was not committing any visible offense at the time of his arrest. the trial court granted private respondent's demurrer to evidence and acquitted him of all the three charges for lack of evidence. In Pure Foods Corporation v. but of an error of law or fact -a mistake of judgment -. or unlawful as asserted by the defense. the instant petition will nevertheless fail on the merits as the succeeding discussion will show. which definitely this Court has the power to do. the accused may be lawfully arrested in flagrante delicto27 without need for a warrant of arrest. however. is allowed. in order to afford the tribunal an opportunity to correct the alleged errors. an error of judgment that the court may commit in the exercise of its jurisdiction is not correct[a]ble through the original civil action of certiorari. On the other hand. Only judgments or final orders and those that the Rules of Court so declared are appealable. is actually committing. The parties to an appeal are the original parties to the action. None of these circumstances were present when the accused was arrested. NLRC. Also in Madrigal. the petition should be filed also within fifteen days from the notice of judgment or final order. or of the wisdom or legal soundness of the decision. when there is a clear showing of grave abuse of discretion committed by the lower court. Even assuming that the Court may treat an "appeal" as a special civil action of certiorari. such correction is normally beyond the province of certiorari. The unlicensed AMT Cal. As to the Manner of Filing. or resolution. if there are valid reasons to conduct lawful search and seizure which thereafter shows that the accused is currently committing a crime.appeal is the remedy. respectively). speedy or adequate remedy. or where there is no appeal or any plain. A petition for review should be filed and served within fifteen days from the notice of denial of the decision. or is attempting to commit an offense. an error committed while so engaged does not deprive it of the jurisdiction being exercised when the error is committed. and the prevailing parties (the public and the private respondents. 26However. Rule 113 of the New Rules of Court. we explained the simple reason for the rule in this light: "When a court exercises its jurisdiction. The law requires that there be first a lawful arrest before a search can be made. a petition for certiorari should be filed not later than sixty days from the notice of judgment. Certiorari is a remedy designed for the correction of errors of jurisdiction. the warrantless arrest and the warrantless search. not errors of judgment.380 9mm Automatic Back-up Pistol that the accused had in his possession was concealed inside the right front pocket of his pants. this petition is outrightly dismissible. or of the denial of the petitioner’s motion for new trial or motion for reconsideration. The administration of justice would not survive such a rule. we stressed that the special civil action of certiorari and appeal are two different remedies mutually exclusive.As to the Purpose. Under Section 5. the appellant must file a notice of appeal and a record on appeal within thirty days from the said notice of judgment or final order. they are neither alternative nor successive. or of the petitioner’s timely filed motion for new trial or motion for reconsideration. Note also that this motion is a plain and adequate remedy expressly available under the law. Over an appeal. Finding that the warrantless arrest preceded the warrantless search in the case at bar. The accused was merely walking from the Maria Orosa Apartment and was about to enter the parked BMW car when the police officers arrested and frisked him and searched his car. namely. This cannot be allowed. a peace officer may arrest a person without a warrant: (a) when in his presence. an original action for certiorari may be directed against an interlocutory order of the lower court prior to an appeal from the judgment. Where appeal is available. There are actually two (2) acts involved in this case. In an appeal by certiorari. while a petition for certiorari is an original and independent action that was not part of the trial that had resulted in the rendition of the judgment or order complained of. the higher court uses its original jurisdiction in accordance with its power of control and supervision over the proceedings of lower courts. Neither was there an indication that he was about to commit a crime or that he had just committed an offense. For being the wrong remedy taken by petitioner People of the Philippines in this case. The Court cannot reverse the assailed dismissal order of the trial court by appeal without violating private respondent’s right a gainst double jeopardy. Where the error is not one of jurisdiction. and (c) when the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while being transferred from one confinement to another. every error committed by a court would deprive it of its jurisdiction and every erroneous judgment would be a void judgment." The supervisory jurisdiction of a court over the issuance of a writ of certiorari cannot be exercised for the purpose of reviewing the intrinsic correctness of a judgment of the lower court -.on the basis either of the law or the facts of the case. As to the Period of Filing. As to the Subject Matter. certiorari will not prosper. order. Consequently. because the unlawful arrest resulted in the inadmissibility of the evidence gathered from an invalid warrantless search. Such motion is not required before appealing a judgment or final order. (b) when an offense has in fact just been committed. A motion for reconsideration is generally required prior to the filing of a petition for certiorari. the process cannot be reversed. In the dismissal of a criminal case upon demurrer to evidence. There is no question that warrantless search may be conducted as an incident to a valid warrantless arrest. If a motion for new trial or motion for reconsideration was timely filed. Where a record on appeal is required. Certiorari. the CA exercises its appellate jurisdiction and power of review. the parties to a petition for certiorari are the aggrieved party (who thereby becomes the petitioner) against the lower court or quasi-judicial agency. and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it. As to the Need for a Motion for Reconsideration. the person to be arrested has committed. appeal is not available as such an appeal will put the accused in double jeopardy.

Q. When the car was further search we later found another firearm. The arresting officers had no information and knowledge that the accused was carrying an unlicensed handgun. You asked Redentor Teck where he is employed. Q. On this matter. What about your other companions where were they? A. Witness? A. Yes. . Yes. LOZANO TO WITNESS: CROSS Q. A. The Glenmore Modeling Agency is owned by Lawrence Wang. Ditto on the 32 bags of shabu and the other unlicensed Daewoo Cal. When you established that he was somewhere at Maria Orosa. or that the accused had placed them there. Q. is it not? . Q. pertinent portions of the testimonies of Police Inspector Cielito Coronel and SP03 Reynaldo are hereunder quoted: POLICE INSPECTOR CIELITO CORONEL’S TESTIMONY "PROSECUTOR TO WITNESS: Direct-Examination Q. 1996. I am one of those responsible for the arrest of the accused. Q. Q. November 15. what was your role or participation in this case? A. Q. You arrested Joseph Junio and Redentor Teck for alleged transporting of shabu on May 16. or knowledge that the banned articles were inside the car. They were position in strategic places within the area. Witness. The police offi cers had no information. The apprehension was made in front of an apartment along Maria Orosa Street. What about the suspected shabu that you recovered. How many of your approached him. You yourself. Q.Q. myself and two other operatives. is it not? A. Witness. what did you do with that? A. what was the result of that? A. Where did you make that arrest. 3-8. What was the reason why you together with other policemen effected the arrest of the accused? A. Mr. It was found positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride. Yes. Sir. nor did they see him in possession thereof immediately prior to his arrest. 1996). Mr. We arrested him because of the information relayed to us by one of those whom we have previously apprehended in connection with the delivery of shabu somewhere also in Ermita. I was inside a vehicle waiting for the accused to appear. Mr. Witness? A. He was found in possession of one back-up pistol with one loaded magazine and likewise when the compartment was opened several plastic bags containing white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu (were found).. The suspected shabu that we recovered were forwarded to the NBI for laboratory examination. Inspector Margallo. xxx xxx xxx Q. It was on May 17. That was when the accused arrived. Q. at 11:00 p. a Daewoo Pistol at the place under the seat of the driver.would not give an outward indication of a concealed gun if placed inside the pant's side pocket as was done by the accused. What date was that when you arrested the accused? A. You said you frisked him. Manila. Sir. We introduced ourselves as police officers and we frisked him and we asked him to open the back compartment of his car. is it not? A. The contraband items in the car were not in plain view. What did you do when you found out Mr. 1996. xxx xxx xxx Q.m. Then what happened? A. is it not? A. what did you do? A. Witness? A. Sir. The police officers searched the car on mere suspicion that there was shabu therein. Ermita. We waited for him. Mr. Q. Did you come to know the results? A. xxx xxx xxx Q. Q. (TSN. xxx xxx xxx Q. Redentor Teck told you that he is a talent manager at the Glenmore Modeling Agency. Manila. He was brought to our headquarters at Mandaluyong for further investigation. The 32 bags of shabu were in the trunk compartment. What happened when you approached the accused. xxx xxx xxx Q. at about 2:10 a. where did you position yourself during that time? A. ATTY. and the Daewoo handgun was underneath the driver’s seat of the car. pp. 9mm Pistol with magazine that were found and seized from the car. What happened when you and your companions were positioned in that place? A.m.

there was no search warrant.A. COURT: So. COURT: How were they arrested? A. What kind of specific offense did the accused allegedly do so that you arrested him. Q. For unlawful possession of shabu . Yes. He was outside. Q. It was a series of arrest. COURT: The same date? A. One Alias Frank. For violation of R. naturally. is it not? A. Sir. your companions at the same time searched the BMW car described in your affidavit of arrest. is it not? A.m. please tell us the antecedent circumstances which led you to recover or confiscate these items? A. While you were arresting Lawrence Wang. 6425. Q. COURT: So there was an entrapment? A. I supposed. Sir. pp. we arrested three (3) persons. COURT: So. of May 16. xxx xxx xxx Q. is it not? A. Lawrence Wang was not inside the BMW car while the same was searched. COURT: Why were these people. Yes. is it not? A. Sir. .A. Your Honor. is it not? A. Q. Sir. Yes. Then they divulged to us the name of the person from whom they get shabu. Q. Q. I was one of the arresting officers and investigator. xxx xxx xxx Q. They were arrested and when they were investigated. is it not? A. who turned out to be Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio. none. He was likewise outside. Yes. you said that you recovered drug from the car of the accused. of May 16. arrested? A. And that is why immediately after Redentor Teck told you that he is an employee of the Glenmore Modeling Agency owned by Lawrence Wang. witness. Yes. about 11:00 p. Q. 3-12. Earlier in the evening about 11:00 p. Witness? A. we arrested one Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio. Sir. Sir. Yes. They were arrested while in the act of transporting shabu or handling shabu to another previously arrested person. Yes. May 16. there was no warrant of arrest. a certain Arellano and a certain Rogelio Noble. Mr. What is you role or participation in this case? A. Your Honor. 1996) SPO3 REYNALDO CRISTOBAL’S TESTIMONY PROSECUTOR TO WITNESS: DIRECT EXAMINATION Q. Teck mentioned the name of Lawrence Wang as his employer. Sir. is it not? A. xxx xxx xxx Q. COURT: They were arrested for what. Yes. Thereafter. COURT: Where did you arrest these people? A They were arrested in Metro Manila also.m. COURT: And these two reveals (revealed) some information to you as to the source of the shabu? A. SPO2 Vergel de Dios. Your Honor. He was arrested on the basis of the recovered drugs in his possession placed inside his car. these two (2) were arrested? A. for possession? A. November 15. Sir. (TSN. this involved a series of operation? A. you and your companions look for Lawrence Wang to shed light on the transporting of shabu by Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio. you spotted a person previously described by Redentor Teck as Lawrence Wang. Lawrence Wang did resist arrest and search is it not? A. When they were arrested they divulged the name of the source. Yes. Yes. Your Honor. Sir. When you effected the arrest. Mr.m. The driver of the car was inside the car when the arrest and search were made. About 11:00 p. We let them call Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio thru the cellphone and pretend and to order another supply of shabu. COURT: Whose name did they mention: A. While they were about to hand over another bag of shabu to Noble and company. Sir. When the search was made on the BMW car.

COURT: At what place? A. 1996. thru entrapment base[d] on your testimony you were able to apprehend also these two men. . we saw him opening his car together with his driver. Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio? A: Yes. Sir. when you saw the accused opened his car. COURT: What did you do? A. We saw him opened his car and we have a suspicion that there was a shabu inside the compartment of the car. COURT: What happened when you approached him? A. CLARIFICATORY QUESTIONING OF SPO3 CRISTOBAL BY THE COURT COURT: From your testimony and that of Police Inspector Cielito Coronel. Sir. Of that date early morning of May 17. COURT: What did you do when you were told about that? A. COURT: And this shabu that you saw inside the compartment of the car. Q: Now. Sir. Sir. When the person of the accused was identified to us. he was about to leave when you saw him? A.COURT: What was the information? A. xxx xxx xxx COURT: All right. he was first arrested by Captain Margallo and Lt. Probably. they told me that they were working for the accused. Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio they were also investigated by your team? A: Yes. We suspected that he was the source of the shabu. A: Yes. 1996). (TSN. Q: You also testified that Redentor informed you that there was another delivery of shabu scheduled that morning of (stop) was it May 16 or 17? The other delivery that is scheduled on? A: On the 17th. what did you do with that? A. Sir. xxx xxx xxx COURT: What happened during the stake out? A. Sir. xxx xxx xxx Q: Did he tell you who was to make the delivery? A: No. December 16. Did you and did your team suspect the accused as being involved in the transaction that lead (led) to the arrest of Redentor and Joseph? A: Yes. Sir. Sir. Q: You were present while they were investigated? A: I was the one whom investigated them. however. We suspected the shabu inside the compartment of his car. Sir. One of whom is a police officer. xxx xxx xxx Q: Did you ask Redentor and Joseph the source of shabu that you confiscated from them at the time of the (their) arrest? A: Yes. We asked them where we could find Lawrence Wang and Teck lead us to Maria Orosa Apartment where we conducted a stake out which lasted up to 2:00 a. COURT: When? A. Coronel while I was the one who inspected and opened the compartment of the car and saw the shabu. Teck told us that he is an employee of Lawrence Wang. They refuse to say the source.m. you were able to discover that Redentor Teck and Joseph Junio were the source of the regulated drug that were confiscated from the three men that you have arrested? A: Yes. xxx xxx xxx Q: At that time when you decided to look for the accused to ask him to shed light on the matter concerning the arrest of these two employees in possession of shabu. 15-24. Well. xxx xxx xxx COURT: And on the occasion of the arrest of these three men shabu were confiscated from them? A: Yes. this Court has gathered that prior to the arrest of the accused there were three (3) men that your team arrested. COURT: So. xxx xxx xxx Q: These two men. They also told us that there was an ongoing delivery of shabu on that morning. what did you do? A. Q: And in the course of the investigation of these three men. We approached him. pp.

26. however.291awphi1.xxx xxx xxx Q: When you saw the accused walking towards his car.nét The facts and circumstances surrounding the present case did not manifest any suspicious behavior on the part of private respondent Lawrence Wang that would reasonably invite the attention of the police." (TSN pp. 5." 28In effect. x x x The trial court resolved the case on the basis of its findings that the arrest preceded the search. unlawful and derogatory of his constitutional right of liberty. Arrest without warrant. 5. the People now contends that the warrantless search preceded the warrantless arrest. the trial court dismissed the case for lack of evidence. Since a dismissal order consequent to a demurrer to evidence is not subject to appeal and reviewable only by certiorari. there can be no valid warrantless arrest in flagrante delicto under paragraph (a) of Section 5. is a matter of credibility of evidence. which was later on found to be owned by his friend. is not sufficient to constitute probable cause that would justify an in flagrante delicto arrest. Sir. or is attempting to commit a crime. and c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending. Rule 113. Thus. Sir. when lawful. the only time that you and your team learned that he was in possession of the gun is when he was bodily search? A: Yes. and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it. The pertinent provisions of Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure on warrantless arrest provide: Sec. and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer. the factual finding that the arrest preceded the search is conclusive upon this Court. absent any overt act indicative of a felonious enterprise in the presence and within the view of the arresting officers. without a warrant. or is attempting to commit an offense. Therefore. it ruled that the incidental search is likewise unlawful. the person to be arrested has committed. What is clearly established from the testimonies of the arresting officers is that Wang was arrested mainly on the information that he was the employer of Redentor Teck and . there is probable cause that said suspect was the author of a crime which had just been committed. then the warrantless arrest of the accused must necessarily have to be regarded as having been made on the occasion of the commission of the crime in flagrante delicto. 3-16. David Lee. He was not committing any visible offense then. Q: It was concealed? A: Yes. Contrary to its position at the trial court.A peace officer or a private person may. Q: When you searched the car. now posits that "inasmuch as it has been shown in the present case that the seizure without warrant of the regulated drugs and unlicensed firearms in the accused’s possession had been validly made upon probable cause and under exigent circumstances. Sir. Any and all pieces of evidence acquired as a consequence thereof are inadmissible in evidence. provides three (3) instances when warrantless arrest may be lawfully effected: (a) arrest of a suspect in flagrante delicto. . For a warrantless arrest of an accused caught in flagrante delicto under paragraph (a) of Section 5 to be valid. above. (b) arrest of a suspect where. (c) arrest of a prisoner who has escaped from custody serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending. is actually committing. (Sec. b) When an offense has just been committed. Section 5. It entails appreciation of evidence. frisked and searched his person and commanded him to open the compartment of the car. or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. Sir. Feb. It cannot be seen. and finding no basis to rule in favor of a lawful arrest. based on personal knowledge of the arresting officer. Sir. Margallo handed to me the gun. but not in the case of a petition for certiorari where the factual findings of the trial court are binding upon the Court. is actually committing.30 Neither may the warrantless arrest be justified under paragraph (b) of Section 5. Rules of Court) and is therefore. arrest a person: a) When. Q: Other than walking towards his car. It is settled that "reliable information" alone. the police officers were justified in requiring the private respondent to open his BMW car’s trunk to see if he was carrying ille gal drugs. The conflicting versions as to whether the arrest preceded the search or vice versa. two requisites must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed. He was merely walking from the Maria Orosa Apartment and was about to enter the parked BMW car when the police operatives arrested him. the People. did the accused protest or try to prevent your team from searching his car? A: No. in his presence. the accused was not doing anything else? A: None. did you know whether he was carrying a gun? A: No. and therefore constitutionally and statutorily permissible and lawful. the warrantless arrest of the accused and the search of his person and the car were without probable cause and could not be licit. Q: That would invite your suspicion or give indication that he was intending to do something unlawful or illegal? A: No. Since the case falls under an exception to the general rule requiring search warrant prior to a valid search and seizure. 1997) Clearly therefore. The arrest of the accused did not fall under any of the exception to the requirements of warrantless arrests. Sir. The only legal basis for this Court to possibly reverse and set aside the dismissal order of the trial court upon demurrer to evidence would be if the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in excess of jurisdiction when it ruled that there was no legal basis to lawfully effect a warrantless arrest. which may be done in an appeal of a criminal case because the entire case is thrown open for review. Q: So. That is the only time that I came to know about when Capt.

the instant petition is DENIED. in disregard of the Bill of Rights: In the case at bar.31 the Court declared as inadmissible in evidence the marijuana found in appellant’s possession during a search without a warrant. committing a crime nor was it shown that he was about to do so or that he had just done so. While we agree in principle that consent will validate an otherwise illegal search. however. Wang resisted his arrest and the search on his person and belongings. We cannot close this ponencia without a word of caution: those who are supposed to enforce the law are not justified in disregarding the rights of the individual in the name of order. . 33 Moreover. based on the evidence on record. To all appearances. It was the fugitive finger that triggered his arrest. the warrantless search incidental to the illegal arrest is likewise unlawful. The identification of the informer was the probable cause as determined by the officer (and not a judge) that authorized them to pounce upon Aminnudin and immediately arrest him. the employer of Teck and Junio. at the moment of his arrest. especially if the law violated is the Constitution itself. the accused-appellant was not. the warrantless arrest does not fall under paragraph (c) of Section 5. if there was any. And doubtless. is that the warrantless arrest was illegal. could not have been more than mere passive conformity given under intimidating or coercive circumstances and is thus considered no consent at all within the purview of the constitutional guarantee. It was only when the informer pointed to him as the carrier of the marijuana that he suddenly became a suspect and so subject to apprehension. Order is too high a price for the loss of liberty. The People’s contention that Wang waived his right against unreasonable search an d seizure has no factual basis. "I think it is less evil that some criminals should escape than that the government should play an ignoble part. which is only a few hours thereafter. the arresting officers conducted "surveillance" operation in front of said apartment." It is simply not allowed in free society to violate a law to enforce another. SO ORDERED. Aminnudin. he was like any of the other passengers innocently disembarking from the vessel.Joseph Junio who were previously arrested and charged for illegal transport of shabu. These circumstances do not sufficiently establish the existence of probable cause based on personal knowledge as required in paragraph (b) of Section 5. In People v. What he was doing was descending the gangplank of the M/V Wilcon 9 and there was no outward indication that called for his arrest. hoping to find a person which will match the description of one Lawrence Wang. 34 WHEREFORE. As Justice Holmes once said. because it had been illegally seized. and that Wang may be found in Maria Orosa Apartment along Maria Orosa Street. Upon the duo’s declaration that there will be a delivery of shabu on the early morning of the following day. Teck and Junio did not even categorically identify Wang to be their source of the shabu they were caught with in flagrante delicto.32 The implied acquiescence to the search. May 17. Ipso jure. the continuing objection to the validity of the warrantless arrest made of record during the arraignment bolsters Wang’s claim that he resisted the warrantless arrest and search. as correctly made by the trial court. The inevitable conclusion.

On 26 June 2003. Although petitioner divulged that it was he who opened and took out the contents of his bag at his friend’s house. 2007 ARSENIO VERGARA VALDEZ. on 17 March 2003. Nestor Aratas (Aratas) and Eduardo Ordoño (Ordoño). La Union. Laya maintained that the specimen submitted to him for analysis. while the power to search and seize may at times be necessary to the public welfare. tested positive of marijuana. Rogelio Bautista (Bautista). papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. as averred by Bautista. After alighting from the bus. he claimed that at Mercado’s house. par. petitioner claimed that he went to the house of a friend to drink water and then proceeded to walk to his brother’s house. the RTC rendered judgment against him and sentenced him to suffer indeterminate imprisonment ranging from eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor medium as minimum to fifteen (15) years of reclusion temporal medium as maximum and ordered him to pay a fine of P350. 170180 November 23. he testified that at around 8:30 p. license or prescription from the proper government agency. the above-named accused.12 The charges were denied by petitioner. 9165 in an Information 7which reads: That on or about the 17th day of March 2003. Petitioner. a cousin of his brother’s wife.G. his bag was opened by the tanod and Mercado himself.: The sacred right against an arrest. The Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons. Petitioner’s bag allegedly contained a pair of denim pants. Respondent.A. As petitioner declined. It was then that petitioner was taken to the police station for further investigation. Santol. of 17 March 2003. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. It is also zealously safeguarded. was ordered by Mercado to open his bag.10 grams and contained in a plastic bag.m.000. trial on the merits ensued with the prosecution presenting the three (3) barangay tanods of San Benito Norte. It was at this point that Bautista and Aratas joined them.m. prosecution witnes s Ordoño. alight from a mini-bus. petitioner was charged with violation of Section 11. houses. After inspecting all the contents of his bag. petitioner pleaded not guilty. 13 Petitioner maintained that at Mercado’s house.15 . CONTRARY TO LAW.00. 2(2) of R. The tanods observed that petitioner. Petitioner replied that he was going to his brother’s house. which later turned out to be marijuana leaves. without first securing the necessary permit. he was brought to the police station and charged with the instant offense. Petitioner denied ownership thereof. Indeed. seemed to be looking for something.000. eighteen pieces of eggplant and dried marijuana leaves wrapped in newspaper and cellophane. Ordoño testified that it was he who was ordered by Mercado to open petitioner’s bag and that it was then that they saw the purported contents thereof. DECISION TINGA. in the Municipality of Aringay. He disclosed on cross-examination. 10 Nonetheless. did then and there willfully. 2 On appeal is the Decision3 of the Court of Appeals dated 28 July 2005.8 On arraignment.1 Any evidence obtained in violation of said right shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. It was Aratas who carried the bag until they reached their destination. 11 The prosecution likewise presented Police Inspector Valeriano Laya II (Laya). for the enforcement of no statute is of sufficient importance to justify indifference to the basic principles of government. No. No. it was petitioner himself who brought out the contents of his bag upon orders from Mercado. put him under arrest and thereafter brought him to the house of Barangay Captain Orencio Mercado (Mercado) where he. J. They thus approached him but the latter purportedly attempted to run away.6 I. that he had knowledge neither of how the marijuana was taken from petitioner nor of how the said substance reached the police officers. weighing more or less twenty-five (25) grams. Agoo. control and custody dried marijuana leaves wrapped in a cellophane and newspaper page. Aratas admitted that he himself brought out the contents of petitioner’s bag before petitioner was taken to the house of Mercado. Moreover. They took out an item wrapped in newspaper. As the defense’s sole witness. On cross -examination. still it must be exercised and the law implemented without contravening the constitutional rights of the citizens. vs. unlawfully and feloniously have in his possession. Province of La Union. however. They chased him.A. Branch 31. replied that he was going to his brother'en proceeded to walk to his brother'w Finding that the prosecution had proven p etitioner’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. the forensic chemist who conducted the examination of the marijuana allegedly confiscated from petitioner. 9165) 5 and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment ranging from eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor medium as minimum to fifteen (15) years of reclusion temporal medium as maximum and ordering him to pay a fine ofP350. As he was walking. La Union namely. he arrived in Aringay from his place in Curro-oy. allegedly approached him and asked where he was going. 9165 (R. Ordoño then purportedly requested to see the contents of his bag and appellant acceded. petitioner testified that he was restrained by thetanod and taken to the house of Mercado. Aringay.00.14 e. he averred that it was one of the tanod who did so at Mercado’s house and that it was only there that they saw the marijuana for the first time. Thereafter. La Union together with Aratas and Ordoño when they noticed petitioner. For his part.R. No. he was conducting the routine patrol along the National Highway in Barangay San Benito Norte. He claimed to have been threatened with imprisonment by his arrestors if he did not give the prohibited drugs to someone from the east in order for them to apprehend such person. La Union dated 31 March 2004 finding petitioner Arsenio Vergara Valdez guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 11 of Republic Act No. search or seizure without valid warrant is not only ancient. Bautista testified that at around 8:00 to 8:30 p. a sachet of the substance weighing 23. lugging a bag. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Aringay. however. affirming the Judgment4 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). who arrested petitioner. he could not identify whose marking was on the inside of the cellophane wrapping the marijuana leaves.9 Aratas and Ordoño corroborated Bautista’s testimony on most material points. who appeared suspicious to them.

thereby curing any defect in his arrest. accused-appellant himself testified that the marijuana wrapped in a newspaper was taken from his bag. Well-settled is the rule that the findings of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies are accorded great respect and weight. the appellate court affirmed the challenged decision. he maintains. albeit for the first time on appeal. that after he was approached by the tanod and asked to show the contents of his bag. is actually committing. misunderstood or misapplied.19 Evaluating the evidence on record in its totality. we observe that nowhere in the records can we find any objection by petitioner to the irregularity of his arrest before his arraignment. Shabaz23 that "[f]light alone is not a reliable indicator of guilt without other circumstances because flight alone is inherently ambiguous. Rule 113 to operate. that the warrantless arrest effected against him by the barangay tanod was unlawful and that the warrantless search of his bag that followed was likewise contrary to law. petitioner’s flight le nds itself just as easily to an innocent explanation as it does to a nefarious one. petitioner testified that he did not run away but in fact spoke with the barangay tanod when they approached him. 20 The tanod did not have probable cause either to justify petitioner’s warrantless arrest. in the absence of any clear showing that some facts and circumstances of weight or substance which could have affected the result of the case have been overlooked.22 Of persuasion was the Michigan Supreme Court when it ruled in People v. the unlawfulness of petitioner’s ar rest stands out just the same. Petitioner maintains. is actually committing. The Court of Appeals. Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure provides the only occasions on which a person may be arrested without a warrant. the reasonable conclusion is that the arrest of petitioner without a warrant is not lawful as well. to wit: Section 5. and under the circumstances of this case. conducted as it was without a warrant. 18Petitioner’s warrantless arrest therefore cannot.] the existence of the marijuana and his possession thereof. i. 17 After meticulous examination of the records and evidence on hand. without a warrant.—A peace officer or a private person may. By their own admission. Consequently. was amply proven by accused-appellant Valdez’s own testimony. arrest a person: (a) When.16 In this appeal. That he purportedly attempted to run away as the tanod approached him is irrelevant and cannot by itself be construed as adequate to charge the tanod with personal knowledge that petitioner had just engaged in. jurisprudence dictates that petitioner is deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the trial court.e. he was simply herded without explanation and taken to the house of the barangay captain. The search. the person to be arrested has committed. petitioner appealed the decision of the RTC to the Court of Appeals. the conclusion will not be any different. The legality of an arrest affects only the jurisdiction of the court over his person. and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending. xxx It is obvious that based on the testimonies of the arresting barangay tanod. it is indispensable to ascertain whether or not the search which yielded the alleged contraband was lawful. as earlier intimated. He denies ownership over the contraband allegedly found in his bag and asserts that he saw it for the first time at the barangay captain’s house. not one of these circumstances was obtaining at the time petitioner was arrested. in itself. in his presence. petitioner’s act of looking around after getting off the bus was but natural as he was finding his way to his destination. It is not unreasonable to expect that petitioner.[. was actually engaging in or was attempting to engage in criminal activity. when lawful. 21 Here. walking the street at night. it was Aratas who carried his bag. this Court has ruled that two (2) elements must be present: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed. 1âwphi1 On 28 July 2005. (b) When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it. in line with our assumption from the start. nor did he appear to be then committing an offense. However. and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer. petitioner was not committing an offense at the time he alighted from the bus. At the outset. More importantly. the Court finds and so holds that a reversal of the decision a quo under review is in order. II. Flight per se is not synonymous with guilt and must not always be attributed to one’s consciousness of guilt. . On their way there. is justified only if it were incidental to a lawful arrest. agreed with the trial court that there was probable cause to arrest petitioner. or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. would attempt to flee at their approach. Even casting aside petitioner’s version and basing the resolution of this case on the general thrust of the prosecution evide nce. to determine the admissibility of the seized drugs in evidence. in a nutshell. after being closely observed and then later tailed by three unknown persons. or is attempting to commit an offense. Even taking the prosecution’s version generally as the truth. be the basis of his acquittal. He argues. The corpus delicti of the crime. For the exception in Section 5(a). Arrest without warrant. In this case. Such circumstance finds prominence only when the existence of the seized prohibited drugs is denied. or is attempting to commit a crime." Alone. petitioner prays for his acquittal and asserts that his guilt of the crime charged had not been proven beyond reasonable doubt. finding no cogent reason to overturn the presumption of regularity in favor of the barangay tanod in the absence of evidence of ill-motive on their part. the marijuana leaves purportedly seized from him are inadmissible in evidence for being the fruit of a poisonous tree. It observed further: That the prosecution failed to establish the chain of custody of the seized marijuana is of no moment. Section 5. however. Considering this and his active participation in the trial of the case.Aggrieved.

In its Comment. The last includes a valid warrantless search and seizure pursuant to an equally valid warrantless arrest. for. following the theory of the prosecution — albeit based on conflicting testimonies on when p etitioner’s bag was actually opened.24 "[t]he phrase ‘in his presence’ therein. Court of Appeals 31 — Doubtless.. The question whether a consent to a search was in fact voluntary is a question of fact to be determined from the totality of all the circumstances. (8) the environment in which the questioning took place. We likewise find that it has failed to convincingly establish the identity of the marijuana leaves purportedly taken from petitioner’s bag. if there be any. if at all.27 must precede a warrantless arrest. 28 Accordingly."25 Indeed. petitioner’s lack of objection to the search and seizure is not tantamount to a waiver of his constitutional right or a voluntary submission to the warrantless search and seizure. 34 III. nor the specific words spoken by petitioner indicating his alleged "consent.e. Its application cannot be extended beyond the cases specifically provided by law. but must be shown by clear and convincing evidence. (5) the presence of coercive police procedures. The failure of the agents to comply with the requirement raises doubt whether what was submitted for laboratory examination and presented in court was actually recovered from appellant. Moreover. petitioner’s waiver of his right to question his arrest notwithstanding. be limited to the person’s outer clothing. petitioner had consented to the search. (2) arrests effected in hot pursuit. consent to a search is not to be lightly inferred. in light of the police officer’s experience and surrounding conditions. In all prosecutions for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. where we deemed the prosecution to have failed in establishing all the elements necessary for conviction of appellant for illegal sale of shabu – First. and or his representative. 35 The existence of dangerous drugs is a condition sine qua non for conviction for the illegal sale of dangerous drugs. he was neither caught in flagrante delicto committing a crime nor was the arrest effected in hot pursuit. there appears nothing in the record showing that police officers complied with the proper procedure in the custody of seized drugs as specified in People v. a stop-and-frisk situation. while as a rule. The right of the accused to be secure against any unreasonable searches on and seizure of his own body and any deprivation of his liberty being a most basic and fundamental one. immediately after seizure or confiscation. the constitutional immunity against unreasonable searches and seizures is a personal right which may be waived. The consent must be voluntary in order to validate an otherwise illegal detention and search. it cannot therefore be reasonably argued that the warrantless search conducted on petitioner was incidental to a lawful arrest. (7) the nature of the police questioning. we have ruled as fatal to the prosecution’s case its failure to prove that the specimen submitted for laboratory examination was the same one allegedly seized from the accused. and. 37 There can be no crime of illegal possession of a prohibited drug when nagging doubts persist on whether the item confiscated was the same specimen examined and established to be the prohibited drug. the search most permissible for the tanod to conduct under the prevailing backdrop of the case was a stop-and-frisk to allay any suspicion they have been harboring based on petitioner’s behavior. and intelligently given. i. the prosecution failed to prove any specific statement as to how the consent was asked and how it was given. 29 As we pronounced in People v.Moreover. have the same physically inventoried and photographed in the presence of the accused. As we explained in Caballes v. it is apparent that petitioner was already under the coercive control of the public officials who had custody of him when the search of his bag was demanded. is considered no consent at all within the contemplation of the constitutional guarantee. The following searches and seizures are deemed permissible by jurisprudence: (1) search of moving vehicles (2) seizure in plain view (3) customs searches (4) waiver or consent searches (5) stop and frisk situations (Terry Search) and (6) search incidental to a lawful arrest. even assuming that they appeared dubious. an arrest is considered legitimate if effected with a valid warrant of arrest. that the necessary consent was obtained and that it was freely and voluntarily given. his implied acquiescence. It is the State which has the burden of proving. the statute or rule that allows exception to the requirement of a warrant of arrest is strictly construed. the consent is unequivocal. Relevant to this determination are the following characteristics of the person giving consent and the environment in which consent is given: (1) the age of the defendant. However. We are not convinced. (3) whether he objected to the search or passively looked on. Hence. 26 If at all. by clear and positive testimony. could not have been more than mere passive conformity given under coercive or intimidating circumstances and hence. Verily. (6) the defendant's belief that no incriminating evidence will be found. 36 In a line of cases.e. and (2) presentation in court of the corpus delicti or the illicit drug as evidence. any apprehending team having initial control of said drugs and/or paraphernalia should. the Office of the Solicitor General posits that apart from the warrantless search being incidental to his lawful arrest. uncontaminated by any duress or coercion.38 As we discussed in People v." Even granting that petitioner admitted to opening his bag when Ordoño asked to see its contents. it being the very corpus delicti of the crime. Bacla-an — A waiver of an illegal warrantless arrest does not also mean a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during an illegal warrantless arrest. Ohio. connot[es] penal knowledge on the part of the arresting officer. (4) the education and intelligence of the defendant. cannot be viewed as sufficient to incite suspicion of criminal activity enough to validate his warrantless arrest. (2) whether he was in a public or secluded location. It negates the presumption that official duties have been regularly performed by the police officers. 33 As a result. Notably. Lim. followingTerry v.. to warrant the belief that the person detained has weapons concealed about him. . as we pointed out in People v. the inadmissibility in evidence of the seized marijuana leaves for being the fruit of an unlawful search is not the lone cause that militates against the case of the prosecution. Orteza39 .30 When petitioner was arrested without a warrant. the Rules of Court recognize permissible warrantless arrests. the marijuana leaves allegedly taken du ring the search cannot be admitted in evidence against him as they were seized during a warrantless search which was not lawful. Tudtud. the following elements must concur: (1) proof that the transaction took place. to wit: (1) arrests in flagrante delicto. and should be grounded upon a genuine reason. specific. and (9) the possibly vulnerable subjective state of the person consenting. i. who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof. the supposed acts of petitioner.32 In the case at bar. (3) arrests of escaped prisoners.

This guarantee of the integrity of the evidence to be used against an accused goes to the very heart of his fundamental rights. it defies logic to require a denial of ownership of the seized drugs before the principle of chain of custody comes into play. Consequently. The Court thus acquitted the accused due to the prosecution’s failure to indubitably show the identity of the shabu. what is worse. 45 Among the constitutional rights enjoyed by an accused. Laxa. one inconsistent with the presumption of innocence and the other compatible with the finding of guilt.47 Drug addiction has been invariably denounced as "an especially vicious crime. without taking the statement in full context. and must exist from the time the evidence is found until the time it is offered in evidence."51 Indeed. the forensic chemist. Not only did the three tanod contradict each other on the matter of when petitioner’s bag was opened. the Court concluded that the prosecution failed to establish the identity of the corpus delicti. we note that the courts a quo neglected to give more serious consideration to certain material issues in the determination of the merits of the case. Thus." 42We cannot agree. the havoc created by the ruinous effects of prohibited drugs on the moral fiber of society cannot be underscored enough. In the case at bar. A final word. The chain of evidence is constructed by proper exhibit handling."46 Moreover. the evidence of the defense is weak and uncorroborated. neglected to explain the discrepancies. The onus of proving culpability in criminal indictment falls upon the State. Kimura. We are not oblivious to the fact that in some instances. how it reached the police authorities or whose marking was on the cellophane wrapping of the marijuana. Concededly. storage. in the rightfully vigorous campaign of the government to eradicate the hazards of drug use and drug trafficking. In this case." 48 and "one of the most pernicious evils that has ever crept into our society. labeling and recording. where the Narcom operatives failed to place markings on the seized marijuana at the time the accused was arrested and to observe the procedure and take custody of the drug. this "[c]annot be used to advance the cause of the prosecution as its evidence must stand or fall on its own weight and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the defense. is fatal to the case. although petitioner testified that the marijuana was taken from his bag. law enforcers and public officers alike have the corollary duty to preserve the chain of custody over the seized drugs. The Joint Affidavit 40 executed by the tanod merely states that they confiscated the marijuana leaves which they brought to the police station together with petitioner. 44Furthermore. Each person who takes possession of the specimen is duty-bound to detail how it was cared for. that he did not know how the specimen was taken from petitioner. in Zarraga v."49 for those who become addicted to it "not only slide into the ranks of the living dead. without justifiable reason. We find it fitting to take this occasion to remind the courts to exercise the highest degree of diligence and prudence in deliberating upon the guilt of accused persons brought before them. safeguarded and preserved while in his or her control to prevent alteration or replacement while in custody. IV. the Court held that the material inconsistencies with regard to when and where the markings on the shabu were made and the lack of inventory on the seized drugs created reasonable doubt as to the identity of the corpus delicti."50whereas "peddlers of drugs are actually agents of destruction. courts are duty-bound to be "[e]xtra vigilant in trying drug cases lest an innocent person be made to suffer the unusually severe penalties for drug offenses. they become a grave menace to the safety of law-abiding members of society. To buttress its ratiocination. the totality of the evidence presented utterly fails to overcome the presumption of innocence which petitioner enjoys.43 Contrary to the Court of Appeals’ findings. despite these material inconsistencies. The failure of the prosecution to prove all the elements of the offense beyond reasonable doubt must perforce result in petitio ner’s exoneration from criminal liability." 52 In the same vein. they also gave conflicting testimony on who actually opened the same. The presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty invoked by the prosecution and relied upon by the courts a quo cannot by itself overcome the presumption of innocence nor constitute proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The non-presentation. Nevertheless. More recently. where the buy-bust team failed to mark the confiscated marijuana immediately after the apprehension of the accused. the Court held that the deviation from the standard procedure in anti-narcotics operations produced doubts as to the origins of the marijuana. the most primordial yet often disregarded is the presumption of innocence. The Court made a similar ruling in People v. People. the court must acquit the accused for the reason that the evidence does not satisfy the test of moral certainty and is inadequate to support a judgment of conviction. The prosecution. Likewise. the records only show that he was taken to the house of the barangay captain and thereafter to the police station. Here. However. The Court of Appeals found as irrelevant the failure of the prosecution to establish the chain of custody over the seized marijuana as such "[f]inds prominence only when the existence of the seized prohibited drug is denied. righteousness and respect for the law. the prosecution neglected to establish the crucial link in the chain of custody of the seized marijuana leaves from the time they were first allegedly discovered until they were brought for examination by Laya. of the police officers who conducted the inquest proceedings and marked the seized drugs. law enforcers resort to the practice of planting evidence to extract information or even harass civilians.In People v. In conjunction with this. he consistently denied ownership thereof. after the arrest of petitioner by the barangay tanod. Even more damning to its cause was the admission by Laya. This elementary principle accords every accused the right to be presumed innocent until the contrary is proven beyond reasonable doubt. especially in light of the fundamental rights at stake. . Accordingly. if such was the case. let this serve as an admonition to police officers and public officials alike to perform their mandated duties with commitment to the highest degree of diligence. where the circumstances are shown to yield two or more inferences. the appellate court narrowed on petitioner’s testimony that the marijuana was taken from his b ag. it cannot be permitted to run roughshod over an accused’s right to be presumed innocent until proven to the contrary and neither can it shirk from its corollary obligation to establish such guilt beyond reasonable doubt. the Receipt 41 issued by the Aringay Police Station merely acknowledged receipt of the suspected drugs supposedly confiscated from petitioner. Plainly. the burden of proving the guilt of the accused rests upon the prosecution.

and to inform the Court of the date of his release. The Director of the Bureau of Corrections is directed to cause the immediate release of petitioner. SO ORDERED. Petitioner Arsenio Vergara Valdez is ACQUITTED on reasonable doubt. the assailed Decision is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. No costs. within ten (10) days from notice. unless the latter is being lawfully held for another cause. or the reasons for his continued confinement.WHEREFORE. .

2007 Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. plaintiff-appellee vs. which were on top of a table or drawer. accused-appellant. He lied face down when gunshots rang. CR-H. he was told that it was because he was a companion of Boy Bicol. without any lawful authority.R.4 On December 7.D. the Court finds said accused CARLOS DELA CRUZ Y VICTORINO.5 It pointed out that accused-appellant was positively identified by prosecution witnesses. The Facts On November 15. While accused-appellant was there. and (4) the prosecution failed to establish the chain of custody of the illegal drug allegedly in his possession. an informant tipped off the Drug Enforcement Unit of the Marikina Police Station that wanted drug pusher Wifredo Loilo alias "Boy Bicol" was at his nipa hut hideout in San Mateo. As to accused-appellant's alleged illegal arrest. accused-appellant claimed that: (1) the version of the prosecution should not have been given full credence. The dispositive portion of the RTC Decision reads: WHEREFORE.3 The RTC acquitted accused-appellant of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition but convicted him of possession of dangerous drugs. Rizal in Criminal Case Nos. . CARLOS DELA CRUZ. did then and there willfully. prompting accused-appellant to scamper away. 2When he asked the reason for his apprehension. charges against accused-appellant were made before the RTC. did then and there willfully. The buy-bust team then helped him get up. Once there. In Criminal Case No. not being authorized by law. 2005. a digital weighing scale. They shouted "Boy Bicol sumuko ka na may warrant of arrest ka . 2008 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.00). unlawfully and knowingly have in his possession. JR.C. (3) his arrest was patently illegal. They saw a plastic bag of suspected shabu. The facts. on the bag containing the seized drug. The substance seized from the hideout was sent to the Philippine National Police crime laboratory for examination and tested positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. The RTC found accused. Accused-appellant was seen holding a shotgun through a window. 2 nd paragraph of Republic Act 9165. Accused-appellant was subsequently arrested. which are high powered firearm and ammunition respectively. 1866 as amended by RA 8294. 2005 Decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). 1108533 loaded with four (4) live ammunition. a dangerous drug. DECISION VELASCO. Rizal. No. in the Municipality of San Mateo. rendering his uncorroborated denial and allegation of frame-up weak. Branch 77 in San Mateo.: This is an appeal from the November 29.G. The team entered the nipa hut and apprehended accused-appellant. Carlos Dela Cruz which affirmed the September 16. He dropped his shotgun when a police officer pointed his firearm at him. 6518 for Possession of Dangerous Drug under Section 11. 6517 for violation of P. 182348 November 20. ammunition. He saw the police officers searching the premises and finding shabu and firearms. the Court based on insufficiency of evidence hereby ACQUITS accused CARLOS DELA CRUZ Y VICTORINO in Criminal Case No. A team was organized to arrest Boy Bicol. According to the defense. according to the prosecution. and magazines lying on the table. The CA sustained accused-appellant's conviction.000. they saw Boy Bicol by a table talking with accused-appellant. (2) the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he was guilty of possession of an illegal drug. persons who identified themselves as police officers approached the place. accused-appellant was at Boy Bicol's house having been asked to do a welding job for Boy Bicol's motorcycle. in the Municipality of San Mateo. Jr. the above-named accused. 2002. direct custody and control one (1) heat-sealed transparent plastic bag weighing 49. 6517 th That. without first securing the necessary license to possess or permit to carry said firearm and ammunition from the proper authorities. The Informations read as follows: Criminal Case No. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court.. SO ORDERED. Boy Bicol engaged them in a shootout and was fatally shot. He was thus separately indicted for violation of RA 9165 and for illegal possession of firearm.appellant Carlos Dela Cruz guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 11(2) of Republic Act No. being then a private citizen. and knowingly have in his possession and under his custody and control One (1) Gauge Shotgun marked ARMSCOR with Serial No. showed that in the morning of October 20. Province of Rizal. 6518 th That on or about the 20 day of October 2002. 02286 entitled People of the Philippines v. (Surrender yourself Boy Bicol you have a warrant of arrest.84 grams of white crystalline substance. GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt and is hereby sentenced to Life Imprisonment and to Pay a Fine of FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P400. No. PO1 Calanoga. the above-named accused.)" Upon hearing this." the initials of accused-appellant. put the markings "CVDC. drug paraphernalia. (RA) 9165 or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. unlawfully. In his appeal to the CA. which gave positive results for Methamphetamine Hydrochloride.1 Accused-appellant entered a not guilty plea and trial ensued. accused-appellant filed a Notice of Appeal of the RTC Decision. Criminal Case No. on or about the 20 day of October 2002. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. J.R. He denied under oath that the gun and drugs seized were found in his possession and testified that he was only invited by Boy Bicol to get the motorcycle from his house. 6517 (Illegal Possession of Firearm and Ammunition) and 6518 (Possession of Dangerous Drug). 2002. Province of Rizal.

find this too broad an application of the concept of constructive possession. Accused-appellant was merely a . Animus possidendi. The target of the operation was Boy Bicol. ARTICLE II.11 we sustained the conviction of the accused husband and wife for illegal possession of dangerous drugs. ammunition. including the space under the bed.9 Given the circumstances. digital weighing scale. This fact was used by the prosecution to show that accused-appellant exercised dominion and control over the shabu on the table. (2) such possession is not authorized by law. he was talking to Boy Bicol inside the nipa hut. RA 9165 DESPITE THE FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO PROVE THE COMMISSION OF THE OFFENSE CHARGED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT III THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE OFFENSE CHARGED DESPITE THE PATENT ILLEGALITY OF HIS ARREST IV THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF VIOLATION OF SECTION 11. for which reason the prosecution was required to establish that he had constructive possession over theshabu. accused-appellant filed his Notice of Appeal of the CA Decision. and magazines. RA 9165 DESPITE THE FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO ESTABLISH THE CHAIN OF CUSTODY OF THE ILLEGAL DRUG ALLEGEDLY FOUND IN HIS POSSESSION Accused-appellant claims that the presence of all the elements of the offense of possession of dangerous drug was not proved beyond reasonable doubt since both actual and constructive possessions were not proved. In the instant case. In People v. Neither was accused-appellant a tenant or occupant of the nipa hut. a person's mental state of awareness of a fact is involved. ARTICLE II. was the same table where they saw the shabu once inside the nipa hut. the appellate court held that accused-appellant's claim is unpersuasive absent any evidence showing that the plastic sachet of shabu had been tampered or meddled with. we find that the prosecution failed to establish possession of the shabu. the latter dropped his shotgun. a fact not disputed by the prosecution. Their residence was searched and their bed was found to be concealing illegal drugs underneath. That table. Accused-appellant later admitted that he knew what the content of the seized plastic bag was. they testified. the prosecution likewise failed to prove constructive possession. In all these cases. The Court's Ruling The appeal has merit.10 we held there was constructive possession of prohibited drugs even when the accused was not home when the prohibited drugs were found in the master's bedroom of his house. we have held that the possession must be with knowledge of the accused or that animus possidendi existed with the possession or control of said articles. we have ruled that: Since courts cannot penetrate the mind of an accused and thereafter state its perceptions with certainty. drug paraphernalia. this Court required the parties to submit supplemental briefs if they so desired. and when apprehended. He did not have dominion or control over the nipa hut. he was in a room which had the seized shabu. however. In People v. as a state of mind. he was seen holding a shotgun. may be determined on a case-to-case basis by taking into consideration the prior or contemporaneous acts of the accused. Its existence may and usually must be inferred from the attendant events in each particular case. 2008. The two buy-bust team members corroborated each other's testimonies on how they saw Boy Bicol talking to accused-appellant by a table inside the nipa hut. The elements in illegal possession of dangerous drug are: (1) the accused is in possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug. and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed the said drug. when PO1 Calanoga. 8 The prior or contemporaneous acts of accused-appellant show that: he was inside the nipa hut at the time the buy-bust operation was taking place. 2007. the accused was held to be in constructive possession of illegal drugs since they were shown to enjoy dominion and control over the premises where these drugs were found. Torres. applied for bail. On the supposedly broken chain of custody of the illegal drug. Tira. whether in its actual or constructive sense. Accused-appellant presents the following issues before us: I THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN GIVING FULL CREDENCE TO THE VERSION OF THE PROSECUTION II THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT GUILTY OF VIOLATION OF SECTION 11. People. The parties later signified their willingness to submit the case on the basis of the records already with the Court. pointed his firearm at accused-appellant. and actively participated in the trial without questioning such arrest. He asserts that the shabu was not found in his actual possession. there is no question that accused-appellant was not the owner of the nipa hut that was subject of the buy-bust operation. He maintains that as he had no control and dominion over the drug or over the place where it was found. On June 25.6 On the third element. however. We held that the wife cannot feign ignorance of the drugs' existence as she had full access to the room.7 Considering that as to this knowledge. on the part of accused-appellant. as well as the surrounding circumstances. We.the CA held that he is deemed to have waived his objection when he entered his plea.12 we affirmed the finding that the accused was in constructive possession of prohibited drugs which had been found in the drawer located in her bedroom. On December 20. In Abuan v. resort to other evidence is necessary. Jr.

5.14 Accused-appellant's act of pointing a firearm at the buy-bust team would have been sufficient basis for his arrest in flagrante delicto. Accused-appellant Carlos Dela Cruz is ACQUITTEDof violation of Sec. arrest a person: a) When. and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer. or is attempting to commit a crime. SO ORDERED. the prosecution curiously failed to produce the firearm that accused-appellant supposedly used. Rizal. the person to be arrested has committed. and c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending. Rule 113 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure on warrantless arrest provides: Sec. or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. The warrantless arrest of accused-appellant was effected under Sec. He was merely found inside a room with shabu. independent of the buy-bust operation targeting Boy Bicol.guest of Boy Bicol. b) When an offense has just been committed. He was eventually acquitted by the trial court because of this gaffe.C. In sum. is actually committing. that accused-appellant was part of a gang dealing in illegal activities. 11(2) of RA 9165 in Criminal Case No. however. we find that there is insufficient evidence to show accused-appellant's guilt beyond reasonable doubt. we deem it unnecessary to deal with the other issue raised. the prosecution was not able to adequately prove that accused-appellant was committing an offense. CR-H. The prosecution in this case clearly failed to show all the elements of the crime absent a showing of either actual or constructive possession by the accused-appellant. 2007 in CA-G. Although accused-appellant merely denied possessing the firearm. 5(a). is actually committing. and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it. Branch 77 in San Mateo. For this type of warrantless arrest to be valid.--A peace officer or a private person may. While he allegedly pointed a firearm at the buy-bust team. the trial court declared the following: It cannot be denied that when the accused was talking with Boy Bicol he knew that the shabu was on the table with other items that were confiscated by the police operatives. without a warrant. . Since accused-appellant was not in possession of the illegal drugs in Boy Bicol's nipa hut. 02286 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Apart from his presence in Boy Bicol's nipa hut. The CA Decision dated November 29.R. the prosecution was not able to show his participation in any drugdealing. 13 The trial court cannot assume. arrest of a suspect in flagrante delicto. He was not even in possession of drugs in his person. the appeal is GRANTED. two requisites must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed. WHEREFORE. No. not as the room's owner or occupant but as a guest. his subsequent arrest was also invalid. based on the prosecution's evidence. Arrest without warrant. His arrest. when lawful. in his presence. was therefore not lawful as he was not proved to be committing any offense. Having ruled on the lack of material or constructive possession by accused-appellant of the seizedshabu and his succeeding illegal arrest. 6518 of the RTC. or is attempting to commit an offense. The court [surmises] that the accused and boy Bicol were members of a gang hiding in that nipa hut where they were caught red-handed with prohibited items and dangerous [drugs]. But in spite of the lack of evidence pinning accused-appellant to illegal possession of drugs. the prosecution's charge was weak absent the presentation of the alleged firearm.

3 Their testimonies constitute the version of the case according to the prosecution’s point of view. and decided to have some beer. He suspected that appellants were planning something sinister because they followed too closely and were concealing something at their backs.located at the medial part of the left wrist joint 5. Magno Gomez testified that around 6:30 p. Magno added that Santiago saw appellants drinking tuba inside Ana’s store. testified that he conducted the post-mortem examination of the victims at around 7:00 a. the following injuries: 1.4 After that. RICO CALUMPANG and JOVENAL OMATANG. Appellee. Magno and the spouses left the store and took a shortcut through the coconut plantation.8 He decided to spend the night there. at Pamplona Coconut Plantation. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. and offered them a glass of beer. Magno saw appellants follow them. Branch 36. assault. more or less. 2. appellant Omatang attacked Alicia. 1991.9 Magno further testified that he did not tell either Alexander or Rolando about what he saw at the waterway because he was afraid. 6 When Magno had crossed five feet of the waterway. Hacked Wound .: On appeal is the Decision1 dated November 29. Dr. but was arrested for questioning by members of the Philippine Army on his way out of the store of Picio Yan. Santiago just drank the glass of beer he was offering. and Alexander Ebias. He was with his neighbors. Negros Oriental. evident premeditation and treachery. Magno turned around to wait for his companions and saw appellants attacking the spouses. After a kilometer.located at the left lateral part of chest wall 6 (six) inches below the armpit 5 inches in depth. 2 On arraignment. thereby inflicting upon ALICIA CATIPAY. Stabbed Wound . with which the said accused were then armed and provided. Municipal Health Officer of the Rural Health Unit. Incised Wound . Appellants were charged under an Information which reads: That on or about July 14. appellants.located at the left side of the face extending from the ear to the lateral part of the orbital bones . Magno removed his slippers and started to cross ahead of the spouses. but the latter just told him not to worry about appellants.located at the middle medial part of the left forearm and upon SANTIAGO CATIPAY.located at the antero-lateral part of the left chest wall measuring 4 inches in depth 2 inches in width 3. Kadili. Incised Wound . walking home to Sitio Makapa. Stabbed Wound .7 Scared that appellants would also attack him. which wounds or injuries caused the death of said ALICIA CATIPAY and SANTIAGO CATIPAY shortly thereafter. After 50 meters. on July 15. he reached Alexander Ebias’s house. 2005 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Mangoto.located at the left side of the face extending from the ear to the lateral part of the orbital bones. the following injuries: 1. 12 The results of his examination showed the wounds on Santiago and Alicia Catipay as follows: [Santiago Catipay] 1. 2002.located at the sternal area 3 inches in depth and 1 inch in width 5. Pamplona. vs. confederating and helping one another. Negros Oriental. Hacked Wound . unlawfully and feloniously attack. appellants entered a plea of not guilty. Santiago and Alicia stayed slightly behind because Santiago had to remove his shoes.5 Magno and the spouses simply continued walking for another half-kilometer until they reached the narrow waterway that let water from the river into the plantation. 158203 March 31. He asked Alexander for a torch then continued walking towards Sitio Makapa. the above-named accused conspiring.located at the Right Temporal area involving the temporal bones 4 inches in length 2. he saw the house of his cousin Rolando Retada. Contrary to Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. 1991.m. Magno ran away. Pamplona.m. Mangoto. appellant Calumpang hacked Santiago on the head and stabbed his abdomen. 1991 at 7:00 o’clock in the evening. with intent to kill. Pamplona.located at the abdomen 2 inches above the navel protruding the intestines 4.G. 10152. Incised Wound . DECISION QUISUMBING. Rogelio M. J.located at the left occipital area involving the occipital bone and the brain tissues 3. however. where he had to attend to some personal business. in Criminal Case No. Pamplona. of the Regional Trial Court of Dumaguete City. 3 inches in width 6. No. The prosecution presented three witnesses: Magno Gomez. Hacked Wound . and ordering them to pay damages to the heirs of the victims. Stabbed wound . Magno added that he left Rolando’s house around 6:30 the next morning to report the incident at the municipal hall in the poblacion of Pamplona.R.10 It was only after he was turned over to the police authorities of Pamplona and brought to the police station that he reported what he saw the day before at the waterway in the plantation. Magno declared that he did not report to them that appellants killed the spouses. Thereafter trial ensued. the spouses Santiago and Alicia Catipay. Negros Oriental. With a bolo. stab and hack ALICIA CATIPAY and SANTIAGO CATIPAY with the use of bolos. At the same time. Stabbed Wound . of July 14. Rogelio Kadili. Magno cautioned Santiago. Incised Wound . Hacked Wound . 11 Dr. they stopped at the store of Ana Andagan. Pamplona. convicting appellants Rico Calumpang and Jovenal Omatang of two counts of murder and sentencing each of them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.located at the left dorsal part of the little and the ring finger. he was at Talay. did then and there willfully. located near the Pamplona Coconut Plantation. but appellants refused. On their way.located at the medial part of the left hand 4.

He walked home with her and Conchito Nilas. SO ORDERED. and continued talking with his two companions. She added that Santiago continued calling Magno useless at Ana’s store until Alicia prevailed upon Santiago to go home. (sic) His conduct after the incident added more credibility to his testimony. Stabbed Wound . He left when his 12-year-old nephew. during and after the killing offers a complete picture of the incident that only an eyewitness could supply.m.located at the left dorsal part of the little and the ring finger. Moments later. the trial court convicted appellants as follows: WHEREFORE. with Joseph. Rolando confirmed that Magno spent the night at his house on July 14. upon the order of his mother. and left very early the next morning without drinking coffee. at Talay.located at the antero-lateral part of the left chest wall measuring 4 inches in depth 2 inches in width 3. each accused.00.14 Dr. but did not do anything to investigate. Analyn further testified that appellants did not follow Magno. He claimed that he learned of the murders only upon his arrest the next day. from the store around 7:00 p. He also claimed he had nothing to do with the killing of the spouses and averred that he was at home in the same room with Joseph. ate supper.m. on the other hand. He added that he and appellant Omatang slept in the same room that night. testified that she overheard Santiago berating Magno when they passed her store around 6:30 p.located at the sternal area 3 inches in depth and 1 inch in width 5. Negros Oriental. Incised Wound . stayed until 8:00 p. for his part. he went home.25 . 20 Appellant Omatang likewise corroborated Analyn’s testimony that he left around 7:00 p. when the spouses were murdered. He added that he saw his friend appellant Calumpang go inside the latter’s house. 1991.m. she was tending the store of her mother. and further ordered to indemnify jointly and severally the heirs of the spouses Santiago and Alicia Catipay the amount of PhP100. defense witness Joseph Rabor. Analyn Andagan testified that on July 14. 21 Appellant Calumpang vehemently denied killing the spouses. No standard form of behavioral response. Appellant Calumpang likewise averred that after helping Analyn close the store. 23 The trial court gave credence to the testimony of Magno Gomez and accepted his account of the murders. the actuation of witness Magno Gomez of not telling other people of the crime he just experience[d] for fear of his life.m. Magno followed them. and his coming back to town after sunrise. Kadili likewise identified the death certificates of Santiago and Alicia Catipay which showed the cause of death as hemorrhage shock. Even declining Retada’s offe r of a cup of coffee [and] to report to the authorities the incident that he witnessed the night before. he heard Magno calling from outside the house. Pamplona. appellants Calumpang and Omatang arrived with one Conchito Nilas. He gave Magno what he wanted then asked about the noise from the waterway. as Magno was supposed to.located at the Right Temporal area involving the temporal bones 4 inches in length 2. the defense contradicted the version of the prosecution and presented Analyn Andagan. 1991. is consistent with human behavior and should be accorded great respect and given more weight. Appellant Omatang stayed until 7:00 p. could be expected from everyone when confronted with a strange. came to fetch him for supper. 16 For its part. the defense presented Rolando Retada and Visitacion Rabor. Santiago and Alicia when the three left her mother’s store. Magno wanted some dried coconut leaves to make a torch..19 Joseph Rabor corroborated Analyn’s testimony that he fetched his uncle. As to the fear he exhibited after the killing of the spouses. 2002.000. Hacked Wound . Appellant Calumpang.22 In addition to the above witnesses. he heard noise from the direction of the waterway.m. They each had one bottle of beer and immediately left after finishing their beers.located at the middle medial part of the left forearm. and went to bed. and to pay moral damages in the amount of PhP100. on July 14. Said the trial court: The testimony of the lone eyewitness describing vividly the events prior. Hacked Wound . 3 inches in width 6.00. The bail bond posted by both accused for their temporary liberty during the trial of this case is hereby cancelled. and helped her close the store. He declared that Santiago and Alicia had no known enemies and were good people. RICO CALUMPANG and JOVENAL OMATANG are hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment of the maximum penalty of reclusion perpetua. The three ordered a gallon of tuba and started drinking. Stabbed wound . the Supreme Court has this to say "there is no standard form of behavior when one is confronted by a shocking incident especially if the assailant (assailants in this case) is physically near. Magno said he did not know.located at the medial part of the left wrist joint 5.located at the abdomen 2 inches above the navel protruding the intestines 4. Stabbed Wound .15 Alexander Ebias. sleeping. Around 3:00 p. quite often said. Ana Andagan.24 In its judgment dated November 29. who lives near the waterway at the Pamplona Coconut Plantation.13 [Alicia Catipay] 1.located at the medial part of the left hand 4.000. in view of the foregoing. He corroborated all of Analyn’s testimony.2. testified that around the time Santiago and Alicia were murdered. startling or frightful occurrence.located at the left lateral part of chest wall 6 (six) inches below the armpit 5 inches in depth.18 Conchito Nilas’s testimony dovetailed Analyn Andagan’s testimony. Moreover. appellant Calumpang and Conchito Nilas. Around 6:30 p. Visitacion Rabor.located at the left occipital area involving the occipital bone and the brain tissues 3.17 Joseph Rabor and appellants to prove that appellants were nowhere near the waterway at the precise time that Santiago and Alicia Catipay were murdered. Pamplona.m. Conchito Nilas. appellant Omatang.m. and added that Magno and Santiago were arguing when the two came into the store. When Santiago and Alicia left. Santiago was mad at Magno because Magno did not want to help Santiago clean the dam at Mangoto. Magno and the spouses arrived. 1991. Stabbed Wound . Incised Wound . Incised Wound . Incised Wound .

Q Was Alicia Catipay hit? A Yes. Q What part of her body was hit? A On [the] left side of her ear." Magno also claimed that appellants tried to hack him after they had hacked Santiago. Magno said. that Santiago tried to escape but was overtaken by appellants.29 Significantly. which is false and unbelievable. justifying a departure from the settled rule that factual findings of the trial c ourt bind this Court." Magno declared that Santiago "attempted to run away but he was chased" and "was overtaken and was hacked by both accused. it was Alicia who was hacked and followed by stabbing immediately Santiago was also hacked and when he attempted to flee by crossing the [waterway] both accused stabbed Santiago and he fell to the river. After a careful review of the records of this case. during the preliminary examination.33 The OSG concludes that appellants deserve acquittal on reasonable doubt. with appellant Calumpang attacking Santiago and appellant Omatang attacking Alicia. In his sworn statement. render his credibility suspect. the fact that Magno was a principal suspect and that he did not choose to exonerate himself right away when he was arrested for questioning by members of the Philippine Army. Appellants argue that the trial court erred in giving credence to Magno Gomez’s testimony. the Office of the Solicitor General contends that reasonable doubt concerning the guilt of the appellants exist in this case.28 Appellants likewise argue that the trial court erred in dismissing their defense of alibi on the ground that it was a weak defense. for the State. what did Santiago Catipay do? A He attempted to save his wife and instead he was hacked. They stress that Magno’s testimony that he never saw Santiago try to escape during the attacks contradicts his statements in his affidavit.31 Further. Q You said both accused hacked Alicia Catipay first. we find that the trial court overlooked pertinent pieces of evidence favorable to the accused and disregarded several significant facts and circumstances that cast doubt on the veracity of the testimony of the prosecution’s lone eyewitness. 26 Essentially. Q What weapon did Jovenal Omatang use in hacking and stabbing Alicia Catipay? A Bolo. 30 The OSG cites that Magno testified that the spouses were simultaneously attacked by appellants.35 executed during the preliminary examination conducted by Judge Ananson E.Hence. Magno Gomez. the OSG stresses that it was not shown in this case that appellants had any ill motive to kill Santiago and Alicia Catipay. which he executed during the preliminary examination. INSTEAD OF LOOKING INTO THE VAGUENESS AND WEAKNESS OF THE UNCORROBORATED TESTIMONY OF THE PROSECUTION’S LONE EYEWITNESS. Q What part of her body was hit? A At the stomach. Q When Alicia Catipay was hacked was she hit? A Yes. the records show that serious discrepancies attended Magno’s testimony in court and his sworn statement. Appellant now assigns the following as errors: I THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN BELIEVING THE TESTIMONY OF MAGNO GOMEZ SINCE HE WAS A PRINCIPAL SUSPECT HIMSELF.34 While Magno claimed to have witnessed the gruesome killings. HIS TESTIMONY IS REPLETE WITH MATERIAL INCONSISTENCIES. Jayme on July 15. Q How did the hacking incident happen? A At first. Q You said Santiago Catipay was hit what part of his body was hit when he was hacked by the accused? A He was hit on his arm. Q And who hacked her? A Both accused hacked her. II THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN COMPLETELY DISREGARDING THE EVIDENCE OF THE DEFENSE. for our resolution is the issue of whether the appellants’ guilt for double murder has been proven beyond reason able doubt. Q And who stabbed Alicia Catipay? A [Jovenal] Omatang. 27 They suspect that Magno was himself the killer. The OSG stresses that material inconsistencies exist between Magno’s testimony in court and hi s affidavit. Magno narrated that both appellants "hacked Alicia Catipay first" and that Santiago was attacked after "he attempted to save his wife. this appeal.32 In addition. and posit that because he was already a prime suspect. AND MANY OF HIS CLAIMS ARE CONTRARY TO HUMAN EXPERIENCE. 1991. Magno accused appellants of the murder to save himself. AND III THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED A GRAVE MISTAKE IN CONCENTRATING ON THE DEFENSE OF ALIBI BY THE ACCUSED. executed during preliminary examination. at the 1st Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Pamplona-Amlan-San Jose. . Negros Oriental. Magno declared that both appellants attacked Alicia first and that Santiago was hacked because Santiago attempted to save his wife. However.

Q According to you Alicia Catipay was hacked and stabbed by Jovenal Omatang. I ran away. In fact.Q After he was hit on his arm what did he do? A He attempted to run away but he was chased. Q During that hacking of Santiago Catipay. it was simultaneous. forewarns that when serious and inexplicable . Q That is why you told this Honorable Court that you did not see Santiago Catipay run when he was being hacked and stabbed by Rico Calumpang? A Regarding that question. being taken ex parte. What I saw is that he was hacked and stabbed. he averred that he never saw Santiago run away. Magno testified: Q According to you.. is considered almost always incomplete and often inaccurate or lacking in details and is deemed inferior to the testimony given in open court. was Alicia hit by the hacking of Jovenal Omatang? A Yes. however. More important. Magno gave a different version of how the murders happened. Q Who hacked him at the head? A Rico Calumpang. Q Was the attack of Santiago Catipay by Rico Calumpang and the attack of Jovenal Omatang on Alicia Catipay simultaneous or they were hacking and stabbing almost at the same time by these two accused performing their own individual acts? (sic) A Yes. Jurisprudence. what happened to Santiago Catipay? A He fell to the edge of the river. Q When [Santiago] was overtaken by the accused what part of his body was hit when he was hacked? A I know he was hit but I do not know what part of his body was hit.38 Generally. After that. during cross-examination. Q How many times did Rico Calumpang hack Santiago Catipay? A Santiago Catipay was stabbed once and he was hacked also once. Q Who hacked and stabbed her? A It was Jovenal Omatang. Q You ran after they were killed or they were still under attack? A They were still attacking when I ran away. What I saw was he was hacked and stabbed. that you did not see Santiago Catipay run? A That is what I can say. Q You testified that Alicia was killed.. Q And according to you. Magno testified at direct examination that only appellant Calumpang hacked Santiago and that Alicia was hacked only by appellant Omatang. however. Gomez. Q After seeing Santiago Catipay hacked and stabbed by Rico Calumpang and Alicia Catipay hacked and stabbed by Jovenal Omatang. After that.36 On the witness stand.37 Magno never said that appellants also tried to hack him and even claimed that they were still hacking the victims when he ran away. I ran away. he was overtaken and was hacked by both accused. he was also stabbed by Rico Calumpang. How was Santiago Catipay quarreled? A He was hacked at the head. Q Will you please point to the portion where Santiago Catipay was hit by the hacking of Rico Calumpang? A Witness pointing at the left side of his head. Magno testified. what did the accused do? A They also hacked me but I ran away.. he averred that the victims were attacked simultaneously. Q And where was Santiago Catipay hit by the hacking of Rico Calumpang? A Head. Magno also never mentioned that Santiago tried to save his wife or that Santiago was chased or even that Santiago tried to run. Q What did Rico Calumpang use in hacking Santiago Catipay? A A bolo. . was Santiago Catipay able to run? A I do not know whether he was able to run or not. Q When Santiago Catipay fell to the water. Q Did Santiago Catipay succeed in escaping? A No. she was hit. Q And you are very sure of that. Santiago Catipay and Alicia Catipay were quarreled by Rico Calumpang and Jovenal Omatang. what I can say is that I saw the hacking and stabbing incident. how was she killed? A She [was] hacked and stabbed.. an affidavit. Mr. . where was Santiago Catipay hit by the stabbing? A Here – witness pointing to this abdomen which is the lower part on the right side to the breast. what did you do? A I ran. Q When both accused hacked and stabbed Santiago Catipay while running.

As the OSG points out. It is basic that the prosecution evidence must stand or fall on its own weight and cannot draw strength from the weakness of the defense.47 There being no sufficient evidence beyond reasonable doubt pointing to appellants as the perpetrators of the crime. . It is highly improbable that appellants would murder the spouses because Santiago had offered appellants a glass of beer and they refused him. Magno was asked the same questions asked in court. However. WHEREFORE. but must be credible in itself —such as the common experience and observation of mankind can approve as probable under the circumstances. with respect to a person’s participation in a serious imputation such as murder. the supposed grudge. Magno chose to run only a short distance of only 50 meters. it should have been Santiago whose offer appellants refused. 41 Similarly. if it were true that he was running away for fear that appellants might also attack him. But there is no evidence of any grudge between Santiago and the appellants. Magno took the time to stop by Alexander Ebias’s house. The Director of the Bureau of Corrections is directed to implement this Decision and to report to this Court the action taken hereon within five (5) days from receipt hereof. it makes no sense why. the rule that an accused must satisfactorily prove his alibi was never intended to change or shift the burden of proof in criminal cases. Magno’s claim that he intended to go to the authorities and report that he saw appellants kill the spouses is far from credible. which Magno claimed could have motivated appellants to kill the spouses. is too flimsy to be believed. 43 Finally. asked for som e dried coconut leaves. 46 Unless the prosecution overturns the constitutional presumption of innocence of an accused by competent and credible evidence proving his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. unless they are being lawfully held for another cause.39 The trial court believed that Magno’s accusations against appellants are true. since their alibis were corroborated only by their relatives and friends. 40 But the court failed to consider that at the preliminary examination. Appellants Rico Calumpang and Jovenal Omatang are ACQUITTED on reasonable doubt. considering that he did not do so. the decision dated November 29. barely a day after the incident.45 Appellants’ defense of alibi was indeed weak. and made a torch to light his path. Well settled is the rule that evidence to be believed must not only proceed from the mouth of a credible witness. The lighted torch and the noise he made calling out to Alexander would have revealed his location to the very people he said he was running from. and while still unsure that appellants did in fact not run after him. several portions of Magno’s testimony are unworthy of belief. Magno’s actions were certainly not the actions of someone seeking to avoid peril to his life. the presumption remains. but could not even recall where Santiago was hit when appellants hacked him. in Criminal Case No. There seems to be no explanation as to why appellant s ignored Magno and did not chase him42 considering that he was only five feet away when he allegedly got an unobstructed view of appellants murdering the spouses. appellants’ presumed innoce nce stands. even for the sake of exonerating himself right away when members of the Philippine Army arrested him for questioning. 10152 is REVERSED. and it w as not shown that it was impossible for them to be at the place of the incident. there is raised a grave doubt on the veracity of the witness’ account. no convincing proof could show that appellants had any reason to kill Santiago and Alicia in cold blood. and as Magno testified. of the Regional Trial Court of Dumaguete City.44 If anybody should harbor a grudge from such an incident. Likewise.discrepancies exist between a previously executed sworn statement of a witness and his testimonial declarations. called out to Alexander. Branch 36. SO ORDERED. basing on the fact that Magno was able to testify on direct examination as to the precise location of the hack wound on Santiago’s head and the stab wound on his abdomen. 2002. They are ordered released from custody immediately. No explanation was given how Magno was able to supply during the trial the precise location of Santiago’s wounds 19 months after the incident. Santiago simply drank the glass of beer himself.

SPO2 Fernandez reported to the Homicide Section of the WPD that a murder suspect was seen in the vicinity of Malacañang. Fernandez. SPO2 Fernandez admitted during cross examination that the arrest of Ubales came before witness Galvan appeared and executed a sworn statement. Laila Cherry Cruz. Ubales ran towards Atienza Street. Galvan is certain about this. of 25 October 2001. SPO2 Fernandez and Ubales went to the Philippine General Hospital in order to have Ubales undergo a medical examination. Ko. San Miguel. while he was at home. Laila Cruz approached him and asked for his assistance in apprehending Ubales who was spotted near the Malacañang area. Manila. SPO2 Fernandez. which had no injury other than a gunshot wound on the forehead. Ubales was brought to the Homicide Section for investigation and description. a 65-year old balut vendor and the best friend of the deceased Mark Santos. Branch 33. in Criminal Case No. at about 8 p. the Assistant City Prosecutor filed an Information against petitioner Ubales for the crime of homicide allegedly committed as follows: That on or about October 17. Mark told Ubales not to meddle because he (Ubales) did not know what was happening within his (Mark’s) family. Mendez. Petitioner. the said accused. corner Matienza St. while he was selling balut near the Malacañang area. On 19 November 2001. T hey were with a group which included a certain Jon-Jon. with intent to kill. thereby inflicting upon him mortal gun shot wound which was the direct and immediate cause of his death thereafter.P. Mesa. petitioner Ubales and the deceased Mark Santos (Mark) were drinking liquor in front of the victim’s house at 4334 Interior 5 Albina Street.R. The Court of Appeals affirmed with modification the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila. SPO1 Eduardo E. saw Mark’s body. and Efigenia Santos. in the morning of 17 October 2001. did then and there willfully. CR No. Before Ubales went inside the comfort room. Laurel Street and also asked for money so that they could eat lugaw on their way there. 2008 ANGEL UBALES y VELEZ. the Executive Judge issued an Order of Release in view of a personal bail bond filed by Ubales. he saw Mark and Ubales quarreling around a meter away from him. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO.. introducing himself as a police officer. Laurel St. Before going to the PNP Field Force. The gunshot appeared to have been fired at close range because it had powder burns around the entry of the wound. Laila Cruz saw Ubales place his gun with black stripes on top of the dining table. he received a . and the place was well-illuminated. The gun was marked as Exhibit "H".m.38 caliber paltik revolver with three bullets and one empty shell from Desk Officer PO2 Lopez. 01-196713 finding petitioner Angel Ubales y Velez (Ubales) guilty of the crime of homicide. No. testified that at 3 a. 175692 October 29. He apprised Ubales of his rights and invited him to go to the PNP Field Force for proper investigation. he. testified that on 5 November 2001. Mark asked permission from his mother to bring Ubales to his house in J.m.: While the correctness of a Decision is not impaired solely by the fact that the writer took over from a colleague who had earlier presided at trial.m..38 Caliber snub nose paltik revolver with three live bullets and one empty shell. They proceeded to interview people at the scene. during which time a barangay official named Abraham Sison turned over a . Laila Cruz then testified that said gun was the same one she saw Mark place on the dining table the night before her brother was killed. Sta. Upon arrival thereat. SPO2 Rosales M. SPO2 Rosales Fernandez testified that at around 3 p. pleaded not guilty of the offense charged. since the latter made the initial investigation of the shooting incident. as he was still only one meter away from Mark and Ubales when the former shot the latter. Galvan also testified that he was an acquaintance of Ubales for about five months prior to the incident. The argument was soon apparently resolved. P/Chief Inspector Carlos G. and Jojo Santos. petitioner Ubales.m. culminating with Ubales taking out his gun and shooting Mark on the head. Mark and Ubales went inside the house. SPO2 Fernandez found out that Ubales was a former member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force. Philippines. armed with a . with Ubales patting the shoulders of Mark. the sister of Mark Santos. Respondent. Laila Cherry Cruz. P/Chief Inspector Carlos G. SPO2 Fernandez and Ubales proceeded to the PNP Malacañang Field Force to coordinate with them. attack. He examined it by firing the same.m. On 30 October 2001. Mark and Ubales then left. 2 On the same date. The gun was recovered several meters away from where the victim’s body was found. Manila.R. At the Malacañang Field Force.38 caliber paltik revolver marked Smith and Wesson. The prosecution also presented as evidence Medico Legal Report No. Solo Perez. where Laila Cruz pointed at the person she identified to be the one who killed her brother. W-737-2001 and the receipt of the funeral expenses incurred. it is the bounden duty of appellate courts to even more closely examine the testimonies of the witnesses whose deportment the writer was not able to observe. Mendez. J. Ubales told SPO2 Fernandez that he would voluntarily join him to prove to him that he was not in hiding. approached Ubales. The argument lasted for about three minutes. vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. SPO1 Eduardo Ko testified that he was assigned as the night-shift investigator of the Homicide Section of the Western Police District (WPD) when he received a report at around 3:55 a. 28813 dated 30 November 2006. SPO2 Fernandez and Laila Cruz then proceeded to J.G. 2001. a forensic firearm examiner. This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking the reversal of the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. lying on its left side. the following day. assault and use personal violence upon one MARK TANGLAW SANTOS y ORPIANA by then and there shooting the latter on the head. The prosecution presented as witnesses Eduardo Galvan. The carousal ended at 1 a. When Mark fell. Laurel Street. Ubales asked permission from Laila Cruz to use their comfort room. together with SPO1 Benito Cabatbat. In the course of their carousal. of 17 October 2001 that a body was found at Jose P. Ubales and Mark engaged in an argument about the former calling the latter’s cousin a homosexual. unlawfully and feloniously. Eduardo Galvan (Galvan). assisted by counsel. in the City of Manila. . P. testified that on 16 October 2001.

He arrived at Alex’s house at around 11 p. either.m. Romeo Salen. 3 cm right of the anterior midline.000. on 16 October 2001. On the way home.000. Mark went along with him to the place where he could get a ride home. Along the way.R. where he saw Joseph Karunungan. Up to the time of this arrest. lacerating both cerebral hemisphere of the brain.P50.The prosecution and the defense stipulated that the cause of death of Mark was a gunshot wound. Ubales saw the group of Guido Almosera still having drinks. Branch 33 in Criminal Case No.00 as civil indemnity. The accused is also ordered to pay the heirs of the offended party the amount of P50.m.4 cm. of 17 October 2001. to 2 a. the prosecution having established the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. documented as Medico-Legal Report No. testified that her brother was at their home until around 7:00 p. he no longer had a gun and that his sidearm is in the custody of the WPD.00 as temperate damages.m. and P8.m.P. at around 6 or 7 p. as follows: WHEREFORE. At around 12 midnight. the medico-legal officer of OIC WPDCLO. This gun found several meters away from where Mark’s body was found but was never identified as the gun where the bullet that killed Mark came from. premises considered.. Ubales appealed to the Court of Appeals. with a deformed slug recovered at the cerebellum as stated in the Crime Laboratory report prepared and signed by Dr.m. She stated that Ubales did not leave the house after he returned because she stayed awake until 4 a. Rico Sison. He decided to join them again until around 1 a. The heirs of the victim Mark Tanglaw Santos are further awarded the amount ofP25. measuring 0.4 Hence. The trial court denied the Motion and accordingly set the hearing for presentation of the evidence of the defense. he went to the home of his friend Guido Almosera on Uli-Uli Street. The slug found in the head of Mark was never subjected to a ballistic examination. Eric Marquez and Henry Ponce. Ubales testified that on 16 October 2001.m. Ubales stayed with the group until 10 p. the trial court issued an Order giving provisional liberty to Ubales provided the bonding company agrees to the extension of the bond. Both witnesses essentially corroborated the testimony of Ubales that he was with their group from 7 p. on 16 October 2001 and then from around 12:30 a. judgment is hereby rendered CONVICTING the accused as principal in the crime of homicide and he is sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of ten (10) years of Prision Mayor as minimum. the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila. eight days after Mark’s body was found. to 10 p..00) AS TEMPERATE DAMAGES IS IN ACCORD WITH LAW AND THE RELEVANT DECISIONS OF THE HONORABLE SUPREME COURT. They parted ways and Ubales got on a jeep which he rode to J.2 and an area of tattooing measuring 6x5 cm. W-737-2001. On 30 November 2006. eight (8) months and one (1) day medium of Reclusion Temporal. Petitioner Ubales was arrested on 25 October 2001. directed posteriorward. but left immediately when he learned that Boy was already asleep. 01196713 finding the accused-appellant Angel Ubales y Velez guilty of the crime of Homicide is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION..5 Petitioner Ubales claims that the prosecution has failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.00 as actual damages. and he returned around 1 a. of 17 October 2001. he saw Mark who had been having a drinking spree with other persons.000. Ubales’ sister. He stopped by a 7-Eleven convenience store and bought something to eat before proceeding home. On 20 July 2004. 28813.3 On 28 July 2004. The defense also presented the testimonies of Guido Almosera and Henry Norman Ponce. CR No. when he left for Sta. the bonding company manifested its assent to continue its undertaking as bondsman for Ubales during the pendency of his appeal.m. the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision affirming with modification the Decision of the Regional Trial Court. fracturing the frontal bone. . we are constrained to agree with petitioner Ubales. Ubales bade leave to go home. the Regional Trial Court rendered its Decision finding Angel Ubales guilty of the crime of homicide. this Petition. Laurel Street.38 caliber paltik revolver with three bullets and one empty shell. Irene Riparip. who approached SPO2 Fernandez for assistance in apprehending Ubales.m. to fourteen (14) years. downward and medialward. After the prosecution rested its case. with a uniform collar measuring 0. On 30 July 2004. as maximum. the only piece of evidence which remotely links Ubales to the killing of Mark Santos is the recovery of a gun resembling a gun allegedly seen by Laila Cruz in his (Ubales’) posse ssion the night Mark was killed.m.000. frontal region. The group was initially engaged in light conversation until Guido Almosera brought out some liquor while they were playing the guitar. He decided to join the group for a while before returning home. After a meticulous review of the records of the case at bar. Mesa to go to the house of a certain Alex to meet a man named Boy.5 x 0. where Ubales presents the following issues for our consideration: I WHETHER OR NOT THE EVIDENCE FOR THE PROSECUTION PROVES THAT PETITIONER COMMITTED THE CRIME CHARGED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. He stated further that he was arrested without a warrant. and the Court of Appeals had erred in giving credence to Galvan’s testimony which allegedly defies common experience.m. Ubales’ arrest was made by SPO2 Rosales Fernandez at the insistence of Laila Cruz. II WHETHER OR NOT THE ADDITIONAL AWARD OF TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (PHP25. in the morning of 17 October 2001. Ubales filed a Motion to File Demurrer to Evidence on the ground that the prosecution presented insufficient evidence to destroy the presumption of innocence of the accused.000. All that the forensic firearm examiner testified to about this gun was that this is a . The case was docketed thereon as CA-G.m.00 as moral damages. Ubales testified that although he is a former policeman. as follows: WHEREFORE.

MORALES: Q: Can’t you recall the name of the street? WITNESS: A: Yes. appeared and executed a sworn statement that he was an eyewitness to the killing of Mark Santos. ATTY. how far were you from them? A: About one (1) meter more or less. Q: What part of the body was hit by the bullet? . have you witnessed an incident? A: Yes. MORALES: Q: From where did he pull the gun? WITNESS: A: From his right waist and shot. Q: You said the street near Malacañang? A: Yes. Where were you when you saw them quarreling. Q: Now while selling balut near Malacañang. He proceeded to identify Angel Ubales without the benefit of a police line-up. Q: After three (3) minutes what happened? A: Angel suddenly drew something. sir. he became the star witness in the prosecution of Angel Ubales. ATTY. ATTY. MORALES: What did he do with the gun when he pulled it out from his waist? A: Shot and hit the victim. Q: At that time in what place were you? A: Near Malacañang. when Angel Ubales had already been arrested despite the lack of evidence clearly linking him to the crime. what is the surname of Angel? A: I cannot recall the surname. that Mark Santos’ best friend. Q: And who? A: Mark. sir. Q: If Angel is inside the courtroom will you please go down and approach him and point to him? A: (witness tap shoulder of a person who when asked his name answered Angel Ubales) Q: Now you said there was a quarrel between Angel and Mark. Q: What is that incident? A: A quarrel. GARENA: May we put on record that witness is demonstrating his hand pulling a gun pointing upward. Thereafter. Q: What is that something that Angel drew? A: Gun. did you sell your balut? A: Yes. sir. we reproduce its relevant portions as follows: Q: On October 17. Q: How long did they quarrel? A: About three (3) minutes. sir. sir.It was at this point. Q: What is the name of the street? A: I forgot the name of the street. In order to illuminate the analysis of Eduardo Galvan’s testimony against Angel Ubales. Q: After Angel pulled out a gun what did he do? COURT: He said he fired. Q: Whom he shot? A: Mark. balut vendor Eduardo Galvan. a shining gun. Q: What is the surname of Mark? A: I forgot the surname but the name is Mark. Q: Who was quarrelling at that time? A: Angel. ATTY. Q: How about Angel. 2001 at about 3:00 in the morning.

observation.m. we can easily see that Galvan’s version of the facts raises very serious questions. this Court is guided by the rule that for evidence to be believed. Q: Why (sic) is the place? A: There was a light there. we learned from Galvan that it was the first of the two options: he was walking from the checkpoint at Malacañang towards Legarda Street before the incident.6 (Emphasis supplied. Mark. and experience. there can be only two ways by which Galvan could have witnessed the altercation based on his testimony that he saw the whole thing within one meter from him. First. Whatever is repugnant to these belongs to the miraculous. Upon further inquiry from Judge Romulo Lopez. MORALES: Q: How about the light.7 Since the alleged eyewitness was the best friend and acquaintance of the victim since childhood. Q: What kind of light was there? A: There is an electric bulb. At the onset. there were no other people at the scene of the crime. and stopped within one meter from him to engage in their quarrel. Galvan walked towards the protagonists and stopped within one meter from them during their three minutes of altercation.? In reading Eduardo Galvan’s testimony. MORALES: Q: How far were you from these two (2) people Angel and Mark when Angel shot Mark? WITNESS: A: Only one (1) meter away. but not the one who penned the RTC Decision. Galvan’s testimony pointing to the accused as the perpetrator must be subjected to a rigid test which should demonstrate beyond cavil his truthfulness. Q: How far were these two people referring to Mark and Angel Ubales when Angel Ubales shot Mark? A: About one (1) meter away. what time do you start? . Second. nor Galvan’s best friend. Q: How many times was Mark shot by Ubales? A: Only once. Q: When you sell ballot. COURT: Q: Facing each other? WITNESS: A: Yes. and in a well-illuminated place at that? After Angel Ubales ran away following his shooting of Mark. Why would Eduardo Galvan. what (sic) it dark or bright? A: It was lighted. sir. As argued by the defense. 8Galvan’s account is nowhere probable under the circumstances. acknowledge Galvan’s presence for the entire three minutes that they were all were barely one meter from each other. what happened to Ubales? A: He ran away. Q: And what is the condition of the place. Furthermore. ATTY. as he had already seen Angel Ubales flee. honesty and rectitude as actual eyewitness to the perpetration of the criminal act. how far is the light from Mark Ubales? A: About one (1) arm length.m. it can fairly be assumed that if Galvan’s version of the facts were true. ATTY. and is outside of juridical cognizance. it is hard to ignore how he se emed not to remember a lot of things about the places involved in his testimony: COURT: Q: How far is the place of the incident from the house of Mark? A: I cannot estimate how far is the place of the incident and the house of Mark. We have no test of the truth of human testimony except its conformity to our knowledge.A: Forehead. and stay there to watch for three minutes as if what he was witnessing is a movie scene? How come neither Angel Ubales. I was near the flower box. Q: You said that it was 3:00 o’clock in the morning when the incident happened? A: Yes. Galvan was already at the place where he saw the protagonists. Q: You said that after Ubales shot Mark he fell down. Your Honor. why did Galvan simply leave his bloodied best friend to die on the pavement? We should take note that Eduardo Galvan could not claim to be afraid at this point. a 65year old man.) In the assessment of the testimonies of witnesses. Q: What happened to Mark after he was shot? A: He fell to the ground. since it took an hour after the killing before the presence of the dead body of Mark Santos was reported to the police. it must not only proceed from the mouth of a credible witness. stop one meter away from two quarreling men at the very dangerous hour of 3 a. Why was Galvan selling balut at a place with no pedestrian traffic at 3 a. the judge who had heard the testimony of Galvan. but must be credible in itself such as the common experience of mankind can approve as probable under the circumstances. who walked towards him.

2001 you saw Mark the victim? A: In the evening. your Honor. Q: Where? A: In the house of my friend. Q: Where do you get your balot? A: It was only delivered to me. you said you know Mark the victim since childhood. Q: How do you conduct your vending of balot? A: I sell. Q: On October 17. is that correct? A: Yes. to Balic-balic. it was just delivered to me. Q: How many pieces have you sold when the incident occurred? A: About 15 pieces. Q: How about the parents of Mark. Q: Now Mr. A: Balik – Balik. Q: Prior to that night when you took 40 pieces of balot. your Honor. Q: And you started selling from 8:00 o’clock in the evening to 3:00 o’clock in the morning? A: Yes.A: From 8:00 o’clock in the evening up to 3:00 o’clock in the morning. how many balot have you sold? A: About thirty (30) pieces. sir. I just walk and walk. Q: Since when you started selling balot which you get from that place? A: About one year. Q: From your friend? A: Yes. Q: From your house how far was that place of the incident? A: I cannot estimate. GARENA: How many blocks from your house? A: I cannot estimate. Witness. Q: So you are changing your previous statement that you took the balot from the place of your friend? A: When I went to the place. you have been frequenting the place because you used to get your balot there? A: The balot was delivered to me. Q: Where is that house of your friend located? A: Palawan St. COURT What time? A: About 3:00 o’clock in the morning. you start selling from 8:00 o’clock in the evening. ATTY. ATTY. 2001 when was the first time on October 17. do you know them? . GARENA: That was the first time you saw Mark? A: 3:00 o’clock in the morning. Q: How many balot? A: 40 pieces of balot. Q: By your friend? A: Yes. Q: From where did you get the balot that night? A: I do not know the owner of the balot. Q: From Palawan St. Q: Describe the vicinity of the place where you took the balot? A: I cannot remember. sir. Q: What is the name of your friend? A: I cannot remember. Q: Where is that Palawan St. COURT: Do you remember the place where this friend of yours resides when you took the balot that night? A: I cannot remember. sir.

sir. sir. Q: Facing Malacañang.9 . Q: Mr. Q: You usually shout balot? A: Yes. sir. Q: You also do not know the hospital in front or opposite St. on October 17. do you know the first street in the right when you are standing at Mendiola? A: No. Q: But you used to sell balot along Mendiola going to the gate of Malacañang? A: Yes. Q: Where? A: I do not know the school. ATTY. sir. Q: I am asking you facing the gate of Malacañang. Witness. 2001 at about 3:30 in the morning prior to that time where have you been? A: I came from Legarda. Q: What gate is nearer to the place where Mark was shot? A: I cannot remember the gate. Which school is near to the place where Mark was shot? A: I cannot remember because it was night time. do you know the first street by the right side facing Malacañang? A: Gate 1. Jude Church? A: No. sir. Q: You also do not know what he finished? A: I do not know. Q: What time you were in Mendiola at that time? A: I cannot tell the time I was just walking. Q: You also do not know if he has sister? A: He has sister how many I do not know Your Honor. sir. Your Honor. do you know if he is attending school? A: Yes. Q: How about the mother? A: Also I know her by face. Q: When you know Mark since childhood. Q: How many brothers has this Mark? A: I do not know Your Honor. Q: How about the sisters and brothers. Q: Were there still so many people in Mendiola at that time? COURT He do not know the exact place. ATTY. Q: That is from Mendiola to Malacañang? A: Yes. GERENA: Do you know St. sir. GERANA: That is why I am asking leading question to the witness Your Honor. Jude church? A: No. COURT: Do you know the gate of Malacañang? A: Yes. Q: There are schools along Mendiola proceeding towards gate 1 or gate (sic). Q: What is the name of Mark’s father? A: I don’t know but I know his face.A: Yes. Your Honor. Your Honor. Q: In Mendiola that is the time you are vending balot? A: Yes. Q: So you are familiar with the schools along Mendiola? A: I do not know the schools. sir. do you know them? A: Yes. Q: Did you pass by Mendiola? A: Yes. sir.

as testified by Laila Cruz herself. Your Honor. Q: Did you talk to a member of Mark’s family in the wake? A: No. which relates to the temperate damages which petitioner would have been liable for had he been found guilty. 17 Since there are very serious doubts in the testimony of the lone eyewitness to the killing of Mark Santos. Judge Romulo Lopez asked several clarificatory questions in order to test Galvan’s credibility. but the righteous stand fast as bold as a lion. The prosecution seeks to establish Ubales’ motive in killing Mark by the alleged altercation between the two during their drinking spree. unless there is proof of misappreciation of evidence – which is precisely the situation in the case at bar. We have said that it is better to acquit ten guilty individuals than to convict one innocent person. Ubales and Mark had even been together for a several hours more before Mark was killed. allowing himself to undergo a medical examination. Q: There was a wake following that in the residence of Mark? A: No.15 Where the evidence admits of two interpretations. Q: That was the first time you narrated? A: Yes. the dominating rule is that. in both versions of the facts. Your Honor. with respect to the credibility of witnesses. Furthermore. Q: Did you attend the wake? A: Yes. Your Honor. Edua rdo Galvan repeatedly changed his answer on whether he told anyone about the incident before he executed his statement with the police station: COURT: Q: Under what circumstance were you able or you were make to execute your statement? A: I went to the police station myself. It is fundamental that the prosecution must prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and must not rely on the weakness of the evidence of the defense. based on the evidence presented. . and the other with innocence. Q: So you are impressing the Court that from the time you saw Mark due to the shooting fall to the ground you did not relay the story you saw to any person? A: None. the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 12 Verily. the argument was soon apparently resolved. which apparently yielded nothing as the findings thereof was not presented as evidence. However. we have no choice but to acquit petitioner Angel Ubales on the ground of reasonable doubt. and Galvan failed the test miserably. CR No. If Galvan’s version of the facts is to be believed. and going with the SPO2 Fernandez to the PNP Malacañang Field Force.The original judge himself. one of which is consistent with guilt. Your Honor. Having ruled that the prosecution has failed to prove the guilt of petitioner beyond a reasonable doubt.10 Upon reading Galvan’s testimony. Q: The following day you were not brought by Mark’s parents to the police station to give your statement? A: No. even when no man pursues. 11 Proof as to motive is essential when the evidence on the commission of the crime is purely circumstantial or inconclusive. We also take note of petitioner Ubales’ stance when he was confronted by Laila Cruz and SPO2 Fernandez. the absence of such motive is important in ascertaining the truth as between two antagonistic theories or versions of the killing. While the correctness of a Decision is not impaired solely by the fact that the writer took over from a colleague who had earlier presided at trial. Ubales then cooperated fully with SPO2 Fernandez. the second issue. 14 Every circumstance against guilt and in favor of innocence must be considered. Judge Romulo Lopez. Your Honor. We have ruled that though the general rule is that motive is not essential to a conviction especially where the identity of the assailant is duly established by other competent evidence or is not disputed. we find it hard to lend credence to the testimony of the lone alleged eyewitness. we do not find the same sufficient to prove Ubales’ guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. Flight evidences guilt and guilty conscience: the wicked flee. clearly showing that whatever misunderstanding they had during their drinking spree was already resolved. it is the bounden duty of appellate courts to even more closely examine the testimonies of the witnesses whose deportment the writer was not able to observe. Q: Where was the wake held? A: The wake was held at the Arlington. 28813 dated 30 November 2006 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. is now mooted. does not seem impressed with the testimony of Eduardo Galvan. Your Honor. lawphi1Ubales told SPO2 Fernandez that he would voluntarily join him to prove to him that he was not in hiding. an accused should not be convicted by reason of the weakness of his alibi. that he has not. while it is possible that the accused has committed the crime. 13 In all. He should be deemed to have not for failure to meet the test of moral certainty. Mark had been gracious enough to accompany Ubales after their carousal. with Ubales patting the shoulders of Mark Santos. Finally. Petitioner Angel Ubales y Velez is hereby ACQUITTED of the crime of homicide on account of reasonable doubt. WHEREFORE. Q: What what (sic) reason do you have when you voluntarily went to the police station? A: Because I was bothered by my conscience. this Court has always accorded the highest degree of respect to the findings of the trial court. there is also the possibility. Q: Despite the fact that you were neighbor of Mark and his family you did not relay the incident to Mark’s parents? A: On the following day I narrated it to them the incident. the accused must be given the benefit of doubt and should be acquitted. 16 In the instant case.R.

1998.12 Trial ensued. she wants the title in the name of Nena cancelled and the subject property reconveyed to her. de Tating (Daniela) as evidenced by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. Pro-indiviso owner of one-fourth (¼) portion. exemplary and moral damages as well as attorney’s fees and litigation expe nses. title over the subject property was transferred in the name of Nena. herein petitioner Nena Lazalita Tating (Nena). 2007 * NENA LAZALITA TATING.10 The complaint also prayed for the award of moral and exemplary damages as well as attorney’s fees and litigation expenses. Daniela sold the subject property to her granddaughter. Branch 60. containing an area of 200 square meters. 1989. Felicidad. the CA rendered its Decision affirming the judgment of the RTC. Cadiz City.000.G. CARLOS TATING. 3. She also denied having received the letter of her uncle. Negros Occidental. filed a complaint with the RTC of Cadiz City. 2002. Pro-indiviso owner of one-fourth (¼) portion of the property. as a consequence. SO ORDERED. 64122. On November 4. and hereby declaring the document of sale dated October 14. On March 19. 1969. Carlos and Felicidad. Negros Occidental against Nena praying for the nullification of the Deed of Absolute Sale executed by Daniela in her favor. In her Answer. Julio Tating. Respondents. 155208 March 27. CV No. all of lot 56 after payment of the prescribed fees.R. on September 6.R. 1975 to 1986 and 1988. In a letter dated March 1. Pro-indiviso owner of one-fourth (¼) portion and Nena Lazalita Tating. was owned by Daniela Solano Vda. 2002 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. T-4393 issued by the Registry of Deeds of the City of Cadiz. and Nena as his sole heirs.00 by way of moral damages. ¼ Pro-indiviso portion.3 On October 14. Carlos and Cirilo who predeceased Daniela and was represented by herein petitioner. she later discovered that Nena did not secure any loan nor mortgage the property. Daniela executed a sworn statement claiming that she had actually no intention of selling the property. Petitioner.00 by way of attorney’s fees and P3.P10. which affirmed the Decision2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cadiz City. Negros Occidental. the true agreement between her and Nena was simply to transfer title over the subject property in favor of the latter to enable her to obtain a loan by mortgaging the subject property for the purpose of helping her defray her business expenses. 1977 and. Pay the costs of suit. 2002 and the Resolution dated August 22. Felicidad. Felicidad Tating Marcella. namely: Ricardo. The Register of Deeds of Cadiz City to cancel TCT No. she asked the trial court for the award of actual. Julio. Carlos. 2002.: Assailed in the Special Civil Action for Certiorari before the Court are the Decision1 dated February 22. they are demanding from Nena the return of their rightful shares over the subject property as heirs of Daniela. he having died intestate and without issue in March 1991. She prayed for the dismissal of the complaint.000. The present case arose from a controversy involving a parcel of land denominated as Lot 56 of Subdivision plan Psd-31182. the land remained in possession of Daniela. 5975 and in lieu thereof to issue a new title in the names of Carlos Tating. de Tating and Nena Lazalita Tating as NULL and VOID and further ordering: 1. J. Hence. 1977. The City Assessor of the City of Cadiz to cancel Tax Declaration No. Carlos informed Nena that when Daniela died they discovered the sworn statement she executed on December 28. 1973. the RTC rendered judgment with the following dispositive portion: WHEREFORE.13 Nena filed an appeal with the CA. Julio. Efforts to settle the case amicably proved futile. 6 However.7 Daniela died on July 29. "Q") executed between Daniela Solano Vda. FELICIDAD TATING MARCELLA. represented by SALVADOR MARCELLA. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendant. 143-00672 and in lieu thereof issue a new Tax Declaration in the names of Carlos Tating. 11 He left Carlos. The subject lot. located at Abelarde St.00 by way of exemplary damages.9 Nena did not reply. On December 28. and in her counterclaim.. DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. 4 Subsequently. P5. No. 19888 leaving her children as her heirs. Felicidad Tating Marcella. The contract of sale was embodied in a duly notarized Deed of Absolute Sale executed by Daniela in favor of Nena. and the COURT OF APPEALS. ¼ Pro-indiviso portion.000. 1969 (Exh. in view of all the foregoing. 2. The defendant is furthermore ordered to pay plaintiffs the sum of P20.00 by way of litigation expenses. the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint with leave of court for the purpose of excluding Ricardo as a party plaintiff. ¼ Pro-indiviso portion. 1989.15 . represented by her son Salvador. 1993. and to 4. 14 Nena’s Motion for Reconsideration was denied by the CA in its Resolutio n dated August 22. and Nena Lazalita Tating. Pro-indiviso owner of one-fourth (¼) portion. Julio Tating. 5 She declared the property in her name for tax purposes and paid the real estate taxes due thereon for the years 1972. and issuance of a new title and tax declaration in favor of the heirs of Daniela. Nena denied that any fraud or misrepresentation attended the execution of the subject Deed of Absolute Sale. cancellation of the TCT issued in the name of Nena. all of lot 56 as well as the house standing thereon be likewise declared in the names of the persons mentioned in the same proportions as above-stated after payment of the prescribed fees. vs.000. ¼ Pro-indiviso portion. On February 22.

in effect. the petition actually avers errors of judgment. there is no allegation that the CA committed grave abuse of discretion.Hence. The trial court admitted the said sworn statement as part of private respondents’ evidence and gave credence to it. Hence. in accordance with the liberal spirit pervading the Rules of Court and in the interest of justice. The Court finds for the petitioner. affidavits are generally rejected for being hearsay. petitioner argues that said Sworn Statement should have been rejected outright by the lower courts considering that Daniela has long been dead when the document was offered in evidence. the Sworn Statement was purportedly executed only on December 28. which may thus be either omitted or misunderstood by the one writing them. and that.19 The primary consideration in determining the true nature of a contract is the intention of the parties. the main evidence presented by private respondents in proving their allegation that the subject deed of sale did not reflect the true intention of the parties thereto is the sworn statement of Daniela dated December 28. 1969. 1977." 16 At the outset. However. she never uttered a word of complaint against petitioner. on the part of the vendee. private respondents failed to present any other documentary evidence to prove their claim. as a consequence.25 Moreover.26 For this reason. unless the affiants themselves are placed on the witness stand to testify thereon. especially considering that it was filed within the reglementary period for filing the same. Daniela would have taken action against the petitioner during her lifetime. Private respondents should have presented other evidence to sufficiently prove their allegation that Daniela. in fact. Petitioner has shown that from 1972 to 1988 she religiously paid the real estate taxes due on the said lot and that it was only in . the proper remedy is a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.22 The admissibility of evidence depends on its relevance and competence while the weight of evidence pertains to evidence already admitted and its tendency to convince and persuade. In Suntay v. rather than of jurisdiction. the burden is on the plaintiff to prove the material allegations of his complaint and he must rely on the strength of his evidence and not on the weakness of the evidence of the defendant. petitioner contends that the case for the private respondents rests on the proposition that the Deed of Absolute Sale dated October 14. had no intention of disposing of her property when she executed the subject deed of sale in favor of petitioner. that Daniela’s Sworn Statement is sufficient evidence to prove that the contract of sale by and between her and petitioner was merely simulated. 1977. There is no issue in the admissibility of the subject sworn statement. 20 Such intention is determined from the express terms of their agreement as well as from their contemporaneous and subsequent acts. Petitioner also argues that the RTC and the CA erred in its pronouncement that the transaction between Daniela and petitioner created a trust relationship between them because of the settled rule that where the terms of a contract are clear. however. the Court decided to treat the present petition for certiorari as having been filed under Rule 45. 1969 is simulated because Daniela’s actual intention was not to dispose of her property but simply to help petitioner by providing her with a collateral. In their Comment and Memorandum.29 the Court ruled that the most protuberant index of simulation is the complete absence. which it has affirmed. the fact remains that up to the time of her death or almost 20 years after the Deed of Absolute Sale was executed. Petitioner also contends that while the subject deed was executed on October 14. A contract is simulated if the parties do not intend to be bound at all (absolutely simulated) or if the parties conceal their true agreement (relatively simulated). The Court notes that while the instant petition is denominated as a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Considering that the assailed Decision and Resolution of the CA finally disposed of the case. private respondents contend that petitioner failed to show that the CA or the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion in arriving at their assailed judgments. which are the proper subjects of a petition for review on certiorari. The CA also accorded grea t probative weight to this document. 27 The Court finds that both the trial court and the CA committed error in giving the sworn statement probative weight. Even the testimonies of their witnesses failed to establish that Daniela had a different intention when she entered into a contract of sale with petitioner. The CA and the trial court ruled that the contract of sale between petitioner and Daniela is simulated. 21 In the present case. is not supported by and is even against the evidence on record. the evidence clearly shows that petitioner declared the property for taxation and paid realty taxes on it in her name. Petitioner asserts that the sole evidence which persuaded both the RTC and the CA in holding that the subject deed was simulated was the Sworn Statement of Daniela dated December 28.28 Aside from Daniela’s sworn statement. 1977 and was discovered only after the death of Daniela in 1994. Petitioner further asserts that the RTC and the CA erred in departing from the doctrine held time and again by the Supreme Court that clear. a particular item of evidence may be admissible. As in all civil cases. However. thereby denying petitioner the right to cross-examine her. a trust relationship was created between them. Since Daniela is no longer available to take the witness stand as she is already dead. it must be stated that the filing of the instant petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is inappropriate. However. On the other hand. 30 In the present case.17 As to the merits of the case. 18Petitioner argues that if the deed of sale is indeed simulated. but its evidentiary weight depends on judicial evaluation within the guidelines provided by the rules of evidence.24 It is settled that affidavits are classified as hearsay evidence since they are not generally prepared by the affiant but by another who uses his own language in writing the affiant’s statements. herein petition for certiorari anchored on the ground that the CA "has decided the instant case without due regard to and in violation of the applicable laws and Decisions of this Honorable Court and also because the Decision of the Regional Trial Court. the admissibility of evidence should not be equated with weight of evidence. the RTC and the CA should not have given probative value on Daniela’s sworn statement for purposes of proving that the contract of sale between her and petitioner was simulated and that . 23Thus. the adverse party is deprived of the opportunity to cross-examine the affiant. Court of Appeals. it should be given full effect. of any attempt in any manner to assert his rights of ownership over the disputed property. strong and convincing evidence beyond mere preponderance is required to show the falsity or nullity of a notarial document. the agreement between petitioner and Daniela created a trust relationship between them.

the existence of which she kept secret from her relatives. 278-C. In fact. While tax receipts and declarations and receipts and declarations of ownership for taxation purposes are not. which confirmed the validity of the sale of the disputed lot in her favor. in themselves. Moreover. WHEREFORE. The first paragraph of Article 1498 of the Civil Code states that when the sale is made through a public instrument. the execution thereof shall be equivalent to the delivery of the thing which is the object of the contract. she simply chose to make known her true intentions through the sworn statement she executed on December 28. private respondents were not able to cross-examine the deceased-affiant on her declarations contained in the said affidavit. private respondents failed to present even a single tax receipt or declaration showing that Daniela paid taxes due on the disputed lot as proof that she claims ownership thereof. for being hearsay. petitioner continued to reside in Manila. The assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. but also the intention to contribute needed revenues to the Government. However. the fact remains that private respondents failed to prov e by clear. is transferred to the vendee by virtue of the notarized deed of conveyance. The only Tax Declaration in the name of Daniela. 31 The voluntary declaration of a piece of property for taxation purposes manifests not only one’s sincere and honest desire to obtain title to the property and announces his adverse claim against the State an d all other interested parties. SO ORDERED. Negros Occidental. it is well-established that ownership and possession are two entirely different legal concepts. the same has no probative value. they constitute at least proof that the holder has a claim of title over the property. However. along with ownership. As to Daniela’s affidavit dated June 9. affirming the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cadiz City. there is no more necessity to discuss the issue as to whether or not a trust relationship was created between them. she never told any of her relatives regarding her actual purpose in executing the subject deed. 1977. if from the deed the contrary does not appear or cannot clearly be inferred. neither is non-possession inconsistent with ownership. are REVERSED AND SET ASIDE.33 On the other hand. No costs. 35Just as possession is not a definite proof of ownership. she never took any concrete step to recover the subject property from petitioner until her death more than ten years later. It is true that Daniela retained physical possession of the property even after she executed the subject Absolute Deed of Sale and even after title to the property was transferred in petitioner’s favor. The legal presumption is in favor of the validity of contracts and the party who impugns its regularity has the burden of proving its simulation. 1983 is disregarded. as the sworn statement earlier adverted to. 64122. which private respondents presented in evidence. Considering that the Court finds the subject contract of sale between petitioner and Daniela to be valid and not fictitious or simulated. incontrovertible evidence of ownership. in Civil Case No.38 Since private respondents failed to discharge the burden of proving their allegation that the contract of sale between petitioner and Daniela was simulated. it is of no legal consequence that petitioner did not take actual possession or occupation of the disputed property after the execution of the deed of sale in her favor because she was already able to perfect and complete her ownership of and title over the subject property. Naturally. refers only to the house standing on the lot in controversy. Daniela continued to occupy the property in dispute until her death in 1988 while.R. why is it that she remained silent until her death. even if Daniela’s affidavit of June 9. strong and convincing evidence beyond mere preponderance of evidence37 that the contract of sale between Daniela and petitioner was simulated. Branch 60. CV No.1974 and 1987 that she failed to pay the taxes thereon. and despite her declaration therein that she is appealing for help in order to get back the subject lot. in the meantime. 1969 Deed of Absolute Sale stands. in light of the circumstances of the present case. the petition is GRANTED. 32 Such an act strengthens one’s bona fide claim of acquisition of ownership. the presumption of regularity and validity of the October 14. the Court agrees with petitioner that if the subject Deed of Absolute Sale did not really reflect the real intention of Daniela. 1983.34 Even the said Tax Declaration contains a notation that herein petitioner owns the lot (Lot 56) upon which said house was built. submitted by petitioner. Possession. The complaint of the private respondents is DISMISSED. .36 Thus.

Cruz. Noel Oboza and Paulina Paran. his children and grandchildren. 845. Francisco Comorposa occupied a portion of Marcos Saez' property without paying any rental. REVERSING and SETTING ASIDE the Decision of the Municipal Trial Court of Sta. denied the material allegations of the [C]omplaint and alleged that they entered and occupied the premises in their own right as true. 1 REMEDIOS COMORPOSA. He was succeeded in his possession by the respondents who likewise did not pay any rental and are occupying the premises through petitioners' tolerance." 4 The assailed Resolution5 denied petitioners' Motion for Reconsideration. SABANPAN and THELMA S. Francisco Comorposa approached the late Marcos Saez's son. in view of all the foregoing. OFELIA C. COMORPOSA. and therefore incredible. Davao del Su[r]. a formal demand was made upon the respondents to vacate the premises but the latter refused to vacate the same and claimed that they [were] the legitimate claimants and the actual and lawful possessor[s] of the premises. Being a close family friend of [Marcos] Saez. about his problem. [Adolfo] Saez. Adolfo allowed Francisco Comorposa to occupy the land of Marcos Saez. and that the Regional Director of the DENR. the husband of Gloria Leano Saez. Thus. the CA upheld the right of respondents as claimants and possessors. respondents had the better right to possess alienable and disposable land of the public domain. LARIEGO. therefore. MA. unless declared null and void. Hence. MA. "The [C]omplaint alleged that Marcos Saez was the lawful and actual possessor of Lot No. BELEN SAEZ and EMMANUEL SAEZ. continuous and uninterrupted possession thereof since 1960.. The appellate court held that -. he died leaving all his heirs. ARIEGO. The Case Before us is a Petition for Review2 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. this Petition. Davao del Sur with an area of 1. "Francisco Comorposa left for Hawaii. the Affidavits executed by Gloria Leano Saez.2 hectares. Hence. Cruz. The CA added that the Certification issued by the DENR's community environment and natural resources (CENR) officer was proof that when the cadastral survey was conducted. 2001 Decision and the February 27. physical. Davao del Sur rendered judgment in favor of petitioners but the Regional Trial Court of Digos. COMORPOSA. COMORPOSA. Cruz. The dispositive portion of the assailed Decision reads as follows: "WHEREFORE. PANGANIBAN. 2003 HEIRS OF LOURDES SAEZ SABANPAN: BERNARDO S. among them. 60645. CHU. SABANPAN. notorious. on appeal. COMORPOSA and ISABELITA H. because they have sufficiently proven their actual. HEIRS OF ADOLFO SAEZ: MA. According to the CA. x x x" 6 Ruling of the Court of Appeals Affirming the Regional Trial Court (RTC). The Facts The CA summarized the factual antecedents of the case as follows: "A [C]omplaint for unlawful detainer with damages was filed by [petitioners] against [respondents] before the Santa Cruz. petitioners.S. Region XI has already upheld their possession over the land in question when it ruled that they [were] the rightful claimants and possessors and [were]. No. and HEIRS OF CRISTINA SAEZ GUTIERREZ: ROY SAEZ GUTIERREZ and LUIS SAEZ JR.A.G. his nipa hut was carried by his neighbors and transferred to a portion of the land subject matter of this case. Out of pity and for humanitarian consideration. The termination of his employment caused a problem in relocating his house. J. the corresponding Certificate to File Action was issued by the said barangay and an action for unlawful detainer was filed by petitioners against respondents.1a BELINDA M. LUISA SAEZ TAPIZ. "In 1965. Such transfer was witnessed by several people. The appellate court deemed as self-serving. Davao del Sur. vs. DANILO S. Davao del Sur Municipal Trial Court.R.although not yet final -. VIRGILIO A. HERDIN C.: The admissibility of evidence should be distinguished from its probative value. A [C]omplaint was filed with the barangay office of Sta. petitioners raise the following issues for the Court's consideration: . SABANPAN. 2002 Resolution of the Court of Appeals3 (CA) in CA-GR SP No. Davao del Sur. Gloria Leano and Noel Oboza. possessors and owners of the said lot way back in 1960 and up to the present time. reversed and set aside the said decision. U. the Court hereby AFFIRMS the Decision dated 22 June 2000 rendered by Branch 18 of the Regional Trial Court of Digos. Just because a piece of evidence is admitted does not ipso facto mean that it conclusively proves the fact in dispute. entitled to the issuance of a title. in their Answer.7 The Issue In their Memorandum. valid and lawful claimants. "Respondents. "The Municipal Trial Court of Sta. Cruz[. Land 275 located at Darong. In 1960. exclusive. but the parties failed to arrive at an amicable settlement. VICTORIA SAEZ LAPITAN. Sta. RENE S. Francisco Comorposa who was working in the land of Oboza was terminated from his job.] Davao del Sur. seeking to set aside the August 7. open. ALBERTO C. respondents. "On 7 May 1998.the Order issued by the regional executive director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) remained in full force and effect. that they have acquired just and valid ownership and possession of the premises by ordinary or extraordinary prescription. the land was still alienable and was not yet allocated to any person. 152807 August 12.

1998 Order issued by the regional director of the DENR was erroneous. First Issue: The DENR Order of April 2. The powers given to the LMB and the DENR to alienate and dispose of public land does not. and err in declaring that."I Did the Court of Appeals gravely abuse its discretion and [err] in sustaining the ruling of the Regional Trial Court giving credence to the Order dated 2 April 1998 issued by the regional executive director? "II Did the Court of Appeals gravely abuse its discretion and err in sustaining the Regional Trial Court's ruling giving weight to the CENR Officer's Certification. In fact. divest regular courts of jurisdiction over possessory actions instituted by occupants or applicants to protect their respective possessions and occupations.14 The power to determine who has actual physical possession or occupation of public land and who has the better right of possession over it remains with the courts. Instead. In support of their argument. is being contested for bearing a facsimile of the signature of CENR Officer Jose F. they are not admissible in evidence.15 But once the DENR has decided. one elemental area at a time. allegedly held in abeyance the effectivity of the earlier one. was supposedly not yet final and executory. x x x the controverted lot x x x was not allocated to any person x x x. the DENR regional director has acknowledged and used it as reference in his Order dated April 2. the CENR Certification had already been marked as evidence for respondents as stated in the Pretrial Order. The reason was that the Order. and Paulina Paran for allegedly being self serving?'"8 To facilitate the discussion. We are not persuaded. while the issue as to who among the parties are entitled to a piece of public land remains pending with the DENR. certified among others. As such. The one mentioned here refers to a facsimile signature.9 issued later by the DENR regional director. 1999. . x x x" 18 Pleadings filed via fax machines are not considered originals and are at best exact copies. that: x x x per records available in his Office. because respondents had not been able to file their position paper. the Court held: "A facsimile or fax transmission is a process involving the transmission and reproduction of printed and graphic matter by scanning an original copy. Second Issue: CENR Officer's Certification Petitioners contend that the CENR Certification dated July 22. then. because the signature of the CENR officer is a mere facsimile. Tagorda. Petitioners' claim that the Certification was raised for the first time on appeal is incorrect. in a 'CERTIFICATION' dated 22 July 1997. then the regional director would not have used it as reference in his Order. however. Under the Public Land Act. which had upheld the claim of respondents. As early as the pretrial conference at the Municipal Trial Court (MTC). particularly through the grant of a homestead patent and the issuance of a certificate of title. Noel [Oboza].22 The Certification was not formally offered. 'neither is there error on the part of the Regional Trial Court. and representing the shade or tone of each area by a specified amount of electric current. CENR Officer Jose F. as there is no way of determining whether they are genuine or authentic. when it did not give importance to the affidavits by Gloria Leano Saez. 1997 is a sham document.10 the management and the disposition of public land is under the primary control of the director of lands11 (now the director of the Lands Management Bureau or LMB). it is a new matter raised for the first time on appeal? "III Did the Court of Appeals gravely abuse its discretion and err in holding that the land subject matter of this case has been acquired by means of adverse possession and prescription? "IV Did the Court of Appeals gravely abuse its discretion. 1998 Petitioners claim that the reliance of the CA upon the April 2.20 Note that the CENR officer has not disclaimed the Certification.17 and argue that the Certification is a new matter being raised by respondents for the first time on appeal."21 If the Certification were a sham as petitioner claims. which is defined as a signature produced by mechanical means but recognized as valid in banking. the question of recovery of possession of the disputed property is a matter that may be addressed to the courts. as the latter was under the former's direct control and supervision. Tagorda. [worse]. however. courts have no jurisdiction to intrude upon matters properly falling within the powers of the LMB. In Garvida. Sales Jr. on the other hand. 12 subject to review by the DENR secretary. Tagorda and.16 Therefore. the fourth and the third issues shall be discussed in reverse sequence. they cite Garvida v. 19 The Certification. The facsimile referred to is not the same as that which is alluded to in Garvida. he would have either verified it or directed the CENR officer to take the appropriate action. which only bears the facsimile of the alleged signature of a certain Jose F. and business transactions. financial. Another Order dated August 23. The Court's Ruling The Petition has no merit. 1998: "x x x.13 As a rule. its decision on these points will normally prevail.

set forth therein. The admissibility of evidence should not be confused with its probative value. They also claim that the failure of respondents to file their position paper and counter-affidavits before the MTC amounts to an admission by silence. Costs against petitioners. this is an issue of fact that cannot. For the Court to uphold the contention of petitioners.Neither the rules of procedure23 nor jurisprudence24 would sanction the admission of evidence that has not been formally offered during the trial. duly proven. insisting that the Rule on Summary Procedure authorizes the use of affidavits. 31 WHEREFORE. they have first to prove that the possession of respondents was by mere tolerance. because they are the ones asserting an affirmative relief. 30 The testimony of petitioners' witnesses alone cannot prevail over respondents' continued and uninterrupted possession of the subject lot for a considerable length of time.26 Thus. while probative value refers to the question of whether the admitted evidence proves an issue. 28 Fourth Issue: Defense of Prescription Petitioners claim that the court a quo erred in upholding the defense of prescription proffered by respondents. the failure of the adverse party to reply does not ipso facto render the facts. there was no basis for the claim of prescription. Petitioners still bear the burden of proving their cause of action. The only pieces of evidence submitted by the former to support their claim were a technical description and a vicinity map drawn in accordance with the survey dated May 22. 29 Both of these were discredited by the CENR Certification. but its evidentiary weight depends on judicial evaluation within the guidelines provided by the rules of evidence.25 Third Issue: Affidavit of Petitioners' Witnesses Petitioners assert that the CA erred in disregarding the Affidavits of their witnesses. as a rule. It is the former's contention that since the latter's possession of the land was merely being tolerated. which indicated that the contested lot had not yet been allocated to any person when the survey was conducted. Admissibility refers to the question of whether certain pieces of evidence are to be considered at all. be raised in a petition for review under Rule 45. SO ORDERED. 1936. We disagree. 27 While in summary proceedings affidavits are admissible as the witnesses' respective testimonies. . the Petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision AFFIRMED. Furthermore. not to cases covered by the rule on summary procedure -.cases in which no full-blown trial is held. a particular item of evidence may be admissible. But this evidentiary rule is applicable only to ordinary trials.

among others.687. The Case Before us is a Petition for Review1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. averred. vs. 151857.461.597. the CA reasoned out that no evidence other than that presented before the CTA was adduced to prove that excess tax payments had been made in 1995. "Petitioner also reported quarterly payments for the second and third quarters of 1995 in the amounts ofP2. INC.159. April 28.328. respectively.311. Petitioners.G.559. and ‘4) Claims for tax refund or tax credit are construed strictly against the taxpayer as they partake the nature of tax exemption. that: ‘1) Petitioner has no cause of action. Costs against Petitioner. Hence. Sole Issue: Entitlement to Tax Refund Section 69 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) 7 provides: . 58838. 1997 for the refund of P3.00. provided that the claim for such refund is filed with the internal revenue commissioner within two years after payment of said taxes. "The sole issue submitted for [o]ur determination is whether or not [p]etitioner is entitled to the refund ofP3.R.00 representing excess or unused creditable withholding taxes for the year 1995. 1997. thus making it difficult to determine whether such excess tax payments were utilized in 1996.00 representing excess or overpaid income tax for the taxable year 1995. (formerly JS STEEL CORPORATION). the Court stresses that the recognition of the entitlement to a tax refund does not necessarily mean the automatic payment of the sum claimed in the final adjustment return of the taxpayer. it was unable to use the excess tax paid for and in its behalf by the withholding agents. As a caveat. ‘2) Petitioner failed to comply with the procedural requirements set out in Section 5 of Revenue Regulations No. J.687.00. The instant petition was subsequently filed on April 18.00. an administrative claim was filed by the [p]etitioner on April 10.246. tax credits of P6.5 The Issue Petitioner raises this sole issue for our consideration: "Whether the Court of Appeals gravely erred when. 2005 CALAMBA STEEL CENTER. while purportedly requiring petitioner to submit its 1996 annual income tax return to support its claim for refund. ‘3) It is incumbent upon [p]etitioner to prove by competent and sufficient evidence that the tax refund or tax credit being sought is allowed under the National Internal Revenue Code and its implementing rules and regulations.747.: A tax refund may be claimed even beyond the taxable year following that in which the tax credit arises. 1996 declaring a net taxable income of P9. No. From the inception of the case to the formal offer of its evidence. "Petitioner filed an Amended Corporate Annual Income Tax Return on June 4. in his Answer.471. 2002 Decision2of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR SP No.00 and tax due in the amount of P3. excess income taxes paid in 1995 that have not been applied to or used in 1996 may still be the subject of a tax refund in 1997. [p]etitioner presented documentary and testimonial evidence. "Thus. "To buttress its claim." 4 Ruling of the Court of Appeals In denying petitioner’s refund.159. petitioner did not present its 1996 income tax return to disclose its total income tax liability. presented the [r]evenue [o]fficer who conducted the examination of [p]etitioner’s claim and found petitioner liable for deficiency value added tax.108. [(RR)] 12 -94. electronics in industrial and household appliances. Hence. several of its clients withheld taxes from their income payments to [p]etitioner and remitted the same to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in the sum ofP3.00. The assailed Decision disposed as follows: "IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING. Petitioner also presented rebuttal evidence. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE. DECISION PANGANIBAN. on the other hand. Respondent.687.082. The amount of the claim must still be proven in the normal course. the instant petition is DISMISSED and the assailed Decision and Resolution are AFFIRMED. the CA narrated the antecedents as follows: "Petitioner is a domestic corporation engaged in the manufacture of steel blanks for use by manufacturers of automotive. Petitioner further alleged that due to its income/loss positions for the three quarters of 1996." 6 The Court’s Ruling The Petition is partly meritorious. electrical."3 The Facts Quoting the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA). this Petition. Respondents. nonetheless ignored the existence of the tax return extant on the record the authenticity of which has not been denied or its admissibility opposed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.159.26 and P1. "It is the proposition of the [p]etitioner that for the year 1995. assailing the January 10. "Respondent.

The excess expanded withholding tax. shall be determined and refunded/credited to the taxpayer-applicant. in lieu of the aforesaid automatic application of his excess credit. Thus. to be able to claim a tax refund. at its option. 69. In 1995. Final adjustment return. Is this possible? Stating the argument otherwise. No provision in our tax law limits the entitlement to such a refund. that the taxpayer-applicant submitted for audit all his pertinent accounting records and that the aforesaid records established the veracity of his claim for a refund/credit of his excess expanded withholding tax credits. there is no need for petitioner to show again the income payments it received in 1995 as part of its gross income in 1996. "If the taxpayer. Petitioner filed its claim in 1997 -. however. the refundable amount shown on its final adjustment return may be credited against the estimated quarterly income tax liabilities for the taxable quarters of the succeeding taxable year. the refundable amount that is shown on its final adjustment return may be credited. provided. Petitioner herein does not claim a tax credit. Even the phrase "succeeding taxable year" in the second paragraph of the said Section 69 is a limitation that applies only to a tax credit. because it was still unable to use the excess income taxes paid in 1995 against its tax liabilities in 1996. against its quarterly income tax liabilities for the next taxable year. other than the requirement that the filing of the administrative claim for it be made by the taxpayer within a two-year prescriptive period. Section 5 of RR 12-948 states: xxxxxxxxx "(a) Claims for Tax Credit or Refund of income tax deducted and withheld on income payments shall be given due course only when it is shown on the return that the income payment received has been declared as part of the gross income and the fact of withholding is established by a copy of the Withholding Tax Statement duly issued by the payor to the payee showing the amount paid and the amount of tax withheld therefrom. not a tax refund. Consequently. it is a taxable corporation. he submits with his income tax return a copy of his income tax return for the aforesaid previous taxable period showing the amount of his aforementioned excess withholding tax credits. "(b) Excess Credits. The refund/credit shall be made within a period of sixty (60) days from date of the taxpayer's request provided. the taxpayer's income tax return showing the excess expanded withholding tax credits shall be examined. and that. If the sum of the quarterly tax payments made during the said taxable year is not equal to the total tax due on the entire taxable net income of that year the corporation shall either: ‘(a) Pay the excess tax still due. but a tax refund. it claimed in 1997 that it should get a refund. the statutory limitation does not apply. Petitioner is a corporation liable to pay income taxes under Section 24 of the NIRC. this excess should be credited against itsincome tax liabilities for 1996. Hence. he shall make a written request therefor." That petitioner filed its amended 1995 income tax return in 1996 is uncontested. Here are the reasons: Claim of Tax Refund Beyond the Succeeding Taxable Year First. applying the above-quoted Section 69. a tax refund may be claimed even beyond the taxable year following that in which the tax credit arises." Applying the aforequoted legal provisions. its unused tax credits in 1995 may still be refunded. provided that the claim for such a refund is made within two years after payment of the tax."9 Therefore. -.Every corporation liable to tax under Section 24 shall file a final adjustment return covering the total taxable income for the preceding calendar or fiscal year. if the excess income taxes paid in a given taxable year have not been entirely used by a taxable corporation against its quarterly income tax liabilities for the next taxable year. a taxpayer only needs to declare the income payments it received as part of its gross income and to establish the fact of withholding.A taxpayer's excess expanded withholding tax credits for the taxable quarter/taxable year shall automatically be allowed as a credit for purposes of filing his income tax return for the taxable quarter/taxable year immediately succeeding the taxable quarter/taxable year in which the aforesaid excess credit arose. . In addition.well within the two-year prescriptive period. Upon filing of his request. Therefore. the unused amount of the excess may still be refunded. as the case may be. However. 1997. may excess income taxes paid in 1995 that could not be applied to taxes due in 1996 be refunded in 1997? The answer is in the affirmative. wants a cash refund or a tax credit certificate for use in payment of his other national internal tax liabilities. however. reveals that the income accounts were "correctly declared based on the existing supporting documents. Section 204(3) of the NIRC states that no refund of taxes "shall be allowed unless the taxpayer files in writing with the Commissioner [the] claim for x x x refund within two years after the payment of the tax. the resulting investigation by the BIR on August 15. -." Tax Refund Allowed by NIRC A perusal of this provision shows that a taxable corporation is entitled to a tax refund when the sum of the quarterly income taxes it paid during a taxable year exceeds its total income tax due also for that year. "In case the corporation is entitled to a refund of the excess estimated quarterly income taxes paid. it reported that it had excess income taxes that had been paid for and on its behalf by its withholding agents."Sec. if any. Income Payments Merely Declared Part of Gross Income Second. or ‘(b) Be refunded the excess amount paid.

[I]n the absence of objection. binding and conclusive 15 on the parties and upon this Court. there was no objection raised to the inclusion of the said 1996 final adjustment return in petitioner’s Reply to Comment before the CA. While the petitioner in that case also filed a written claim for a tax refund. parties and causes of action. the CA and CTA could have taken judicial notice of the 1996 final adjustment return which had been attached in CTA Case No. and as a matter of convenience to all parties. as will be demonstrated shortly. it could not have applied or used the excess tax credits of 1995 against its tax liabilities in 1996. there is no such "undisputed fact" as yet. which has not been formally offered in evidence and examined by respondent. Judicial Notice of Attached Return Fifth. It cannot by any sweeping denial be deprived of what rightfully belongs to it." 21 In the present case. ."28 Section 2 of Rule 129 provides that courts "may take judicial notice of matters x x x ought to be known to judges because of their judicial functions. 25 Because of the close connection of that case with the matter in controversy. However. Moreover. they could have easily required respondent to ascertain its veracity and accuracy30 and to prove that petitioner did not suffer any net loss in 1996. Neither is it a collection agency for the government."12 Having been unable to use the excess income taxes paid in 1995 against its other tax liabilities in 1996. as an exception. the lack of such a return will not defeat its entitlement to a refund. and because the claim for the refund of those credits had been filed during the third (1997) taxable year. The mere admissio n into the records of petitioner’s 1996 final adjustment return is not a sufficient proof of the truth of the contents of or entries in that return. the latter still failed to controvert petitioner’s claim. BPI-Family Savings Bank v. . Verily. this rule admits of exceptions."13 As a rule. Itsfinal adjustment return was instead attached to its Reply to Comment filed before the CA. CA31 (on which it rests its entire arguments) is not on all fours with the facts of this case. the 1996 final adjustment return was attached as Annex A to the Reply to Comment filed by petitioner with the CA. reference is made to it for that purpose."32 In the instant case. However. . a court may properly treat all or any p art of the original record of a case filed in its archives as read into the record of a case pending before it. involving the same subject matter. as when reference to such records is sufficiently made without objection from the opposing parties: ‘". courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of the contents of records in other cases tried or pending in the same court. with the knowledge of the opposing party. it nonetheless offered in evidence its top-ranking official’s testimony and certification pertaining to only two taxable years (1989 and 1990). ordinary rules of procedure frown upon the submission of final adjustment returns after trial has been conducted."29 If the lower courts really believed that petitioner was not entitled to a tax refund.22 The return shows a negative amount for its taxable income that year.17 Our Rules of Court apply "by analogy or in a suppletory18 character and whenever practicable and convenient" 19and "shall be liberally construed in order to promote their objective of securing a just. speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and proceeding. Although we rule that petitioner is entitled to a tax refund.That petitioner filed its 1996 final adjustment return in 1997 is the crux of the controversy. However. is actually withdrawn from the archives by the court's direction. Petitioner in this case offered documentary and testimonial evidence that extended beyond two taxable years. The appellate court should have cast aside strict technicalities 27 and decided the case on the basis of such uncontested return." 23 As a general rule. it is a cardinal rule that "only legal issues may be raised" 10 in petitions for review under Rule 45. The said return was attached only to its Motion for Reconsideration before the CTA. at the request or with the consent of the parties. "[t]he paramount consideration remains the ascertainment of truth. and admitted as a part of the record of the case then pending.’ "24 Prior to rendering its Decision on January 12.11 The proper interpretation of the provisions on tax refund is a question of law that "does not call for an examination of the probative value of the evidence presented by the parties-litigants."20 After all. a question of fact. both the CTA law and jurisprudence mandate that the proceedings before the tax court "shall not be governed strictly by technical rules of evidence. This Court is not a trier of facts. involves. Furthermore. its findings of fact14 (as well as that of the CA) are final. 2000. when. petitioner was able to show "the undisputed fact: that petitioner had suffered a net loss in 1990 x x x. it had the authority to "take judicial notice of its records and of the facts [that] the record establishes. and likewise failed to present its 1990 corporate annual income tax return. a reference made with the knowledge of respondent. Tax Refund Provisions: Question of Law Third. Contrary to the contention of petitioner. Liberal Construction of Rules Fourth. or when the original record of the former case or any part of it. such findings may be reviewed or disturbed on appeal 16 when they are not supported by evidence. 5799. however. in BPI-Family Savings Bank. even when those cases were heard or are actually pending before the same judge. however. petitioner clearly deserves a refund. by name and number or in some other manner by which it is sufficiently designated. Despite clear reference to that return. Therefore. the amount of that refund is a matter for the CTA to determine judiciously based on the records that include its own copy of petitioner’s 1996 final adjustm ent return. the CTA could have easily taken judicial notice 26 of the contested document attached in that other case. the CTA was already well-aware of the existence of another case pending before it. because the excess credits in the first (1995) taxable year had not been used up during the second (1996) taxable year. "Judicial notice takes the place of proof and is of equal force. The truth or falsity of the contents of or entries in the 1996 final adjustment return.

36 While it seems that the "[non-production] of a document which courts almost invariably expect will be produced ‘unavoidably throws a suspicion over the cause. For its negligence. the Petition is hereby PARTLY GRANTED. paper. "the officers of the Bureau of Internal Revenue should receive the support of the courts when these officers attempt to perform in a conscientious and lawful manner the duties imposed upon them by law. WHEREFORE.’"37 this is not really the conclusion to be arrived at here. Admissibility Versus Weight Indeed. the appellate court should have required the filing of other responsive pleadings from respondent. In this case.In addition. 1997. After this return was attached to petitioner’s Reply to Comment before the CA. "[t]ax refunds are in the nature of tax exemptions" 41 and are to be construed strictissimi juris against the taxpayer. the obligation to return it arises. SO ORDERED. we hold that petitioner is entitled to a refund. the amount must still be proved in proper proceedings before the CTA. No pronouncement as to costs." 44 In brief. as was necessary and proper for it to rule upon the return.42 Failure to make an assessment of petitioner’s proper tax liability or to contest the return could be errors or omissions of administrative officers that should never be allowed to jeopardize the government’s financial position. the BIR has not been given the chance to challenge the veracity of petitioner’s final adjustment return. we allow a relaxation in the application of the rules. petitioner failed to offer such return as evidence during the trial phase of this case. Hence. however. The Bureau merely contended that this Court should not take judicial notice of the said Decision. however. After all. against whom they are being presented. When petitioner purportedly filed its administrative claim for a tax refund on April 10. petitioner "cannot be allowed to seek refuge in a liberal application of the [r]ules" 38by giving it a blanket approval of the total refund it claims. Verily." 43 Only after it is shown that "if something is received when there is no right to demand it. The case isREMANDED to the Court of Tax Appeals for the proper and immediate determination of the amount to be refunded to petitioner on the basis of the latter’s 1996 final adjustment return. For reasons unknown even to this Court. we never intend to forge a weapon for erring litigants to violate the rules with impunity. When attached to the Petition for Review filed before this Court. without affording the government a reasonable opportunity to contest the former’s allegations. Petitioner still bears the burden of proving the amount of its claim for tax refund. it could not have attached this return to its claim. the BIR in BPI-Family Savings Bank did not controvert the veracity of the return or file an opposition to the Motion and the return. weight is another. record or other data that may be relevant or material to such inquiry.40 Negligence consisting of the unexplained failure to offer the exhibit should not be rewarded with undeserved leniency. Finally. Neither has the CTA decided any other case categorically declaring a net loss for petitioner intaxable year 1996. the latter even declared in another case (CTA Case No. the deadline for filing the 1996 final adjustment return was not yet over. "While in certain instances. and the assailed Decision SET ASIDE. They do not even constitute evidence35adverse to respondent. The liberal interpretation and application of rules apply only in proper cases of demonstrable merit and under justifiable causes and circumstances. respondent is authorized by law to examine any book. 4897) that petitioner had suffered a net loss for taxable year 1990. even in the absence of a final adjustment return or any claim for a tax refund. ."34 Mere allegations by petitioner of the figures in its 1996 final adjustment return are not a sufficient proof of the amount of its refund entitlement. Despite the fact that the return was ignored by both the CA and the CTA. that Decision was not at all claimed by the BIR to be fraudulent or nonexistent. "[a]dmissibility x x x is one thing."39 It would not be proper to allow petitioner to simply prevail and compel a refund in the amount it claims. and it was duly delivered through mistake."33 "To admit evidence and not to believe it are not incompatible with each other x x x.

Once satiated.: On appeal is the decision1 dated February 15.G. they brought her to the Barangay Tanod and. DECISION LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. which is an old abandoned building located at Western Bicutan. in an instant. did then and there willfully. Accused-appellant opted not to testify.. appellant asked [AAA] to undress. Still overwhelmed with shock and fear. When arraigned on July 12..6 to wit: Private complainant [AAA]. 2000. When appellant learned that Kuya Manny was not at work. 1985. When she refused. Cabalquinto. The prosecution’s version of the incident is succinctly summarized by the Office of the Solicitor General in its Appellee’s Brief. She testified that at around 9:30 in the evening on November 11. he took liberties on her body as he rammed his penis into her vagina. as well as those of her immediate family or household members. When both of them were already naked. Believing the story. CR-H. trial on the merits ensued." Engulfed by his bestiality. Accused-appellant did not leave the house at any time from the moment he arrived at 9:30 in the evening until he finally left around midnight. As she could not contain her grief and misery. with a threat to keep quiet lest he would kill her. he brought [AAA] again to the dark narrow alley beside Temic Factory. a minor. Consistent with our decision in People v. He likewise undressed himself. [AAA] screamed for help but nobody seemed to have heard the outcry. When [AAA] reached her residence. forced his penis into her vagina until he satisfied his lust. Appellant initially brought her to the bus and jeepney terminal but he later changed his mind. in the course of which the prosecution presented the testimony of the victim herself. He told [AAA] that they have to go to Kuya Manny’s work place. she was so frightened and helpless. Thereafter. is a fourteen (14) year old lass having been born on July 8. after which.R. 117506-H. She felt helpless as she knew that appellant had killed someone before. (Words in bracket ours) On the other hand. appellant told [AAA] to dress up and warned her not to tell anybody.C. She knew that accused-appellant went home straight after the party because she even saw . collapsed and was in the clinic. she told her aunt [CCC] and her grandmother [DDD] that she was raped. As they reached a dark narrow alley. [BBB]. and (3) that the due execution of her statement is admitted.but near TEMIC Factory. fourteen (14) years of age. appellant ignored her please. After her relatives learned of the incident. This time. [AAA]. [AAA] could not run away as appellant pressed her against the wall of the building and blocked her way. 2008 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. He then kissed her on the different parts of her body and forced her down. 172874 December 17. accused-appellant was charged with the crime of rape in an Information4 dated February 2. He said that her elder sister. Appellant eventually told [AAA] to dress up. he satisfied his lust. accused-appellant. Also. appellant kissed her on the different parts of her body and. 1999 at about 11:00 in the evening. No. Startled and frightened. When she refused. In the court of origin. [AAA] went with appellant. Wasting no time. she immediately took a bath. finding accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape and imposing upon him the penalty of reclusion perpetua. appellant brought [AAA] . assisted by counsel de oficio. Appellant hurriedly pulled [AAA] to the side of a building and told her to undress. a lessee of accused-appellant’s mother at Signal Village in Taguig. (Word in bracket ours) CONTRARY TO LAW. He brought her to the terminal of the jeep and allowed her to go home.3 the real name of the rape victim in this case is withheld and instead. Taguig Metro Manila. All she could do was to plead: "Wag na po Kuya Mar.R. appellant suddenly stopped and held [AAA]’s left arm. fictitious initials are used to represent her. the personal circumstances of the victim or any other information tending to establish or compromise her identity. however. appellant fetched [AAA] from her Aunt’s house at PNR Compound. No." As before. unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with his sister-in-law. against her will and consent. pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. The crime was alleged to have been committed as follows: On or about November 11. 00126 which affirmed in toto an earlier decision2 of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City. by means of force and intimidation. [AAA] could not resist. As events turned out. MARIO CASTRO.5 For its part. he undressed himself. he himself removed her clothes – including her intimate garments. [AAA] was cowed into silence. the defense presented Margarita Salangsang as its lone witness. 1999. All the while. Branch 162 in Criminal Case No. are not disclosed in this decision. they passed by a different route which is near "Pepsi. in Taguig. The testimony of Jurita Olvido was dispensed with after both parties agreed to stipulate on the following: (1) that she is a social welfare officer of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. 2000. Metro Manila. accused-appellant. 1999. elder sister of [AAA].not in the clinic . the accused. appellant strangled her. plaintiff-appellee. Taguig. (2) that she assisted the victim in filing a complaint due to her minority. Again. On November 11. accused-appellant was in her house for her birthday celebration. vs. appellant undressed her. later to Camp Crame for medical examination. Appellant Mario Castro is the husband of [BBB]. J. Metro Manila and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. 2006 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. the defense relied on the testimony of Margarita Salangsang. They also proceeded to the Police Station located at the Municipal Hall of Taguig to give her statement.

Q. Did you undress.00) by way of moral damages with cost de oficio. Did he succeed in undressing you? A.11 From the CA. He contends that complainant did not particularly describe the details of the alleged rape as to whether she was forced to lie down or whether they were standing when he inserted a part of his organ into her vagina. Accused-appellant maintains that complainant failed to mention any pumping motion and whether she was standing or lying down when she was allegedly raped.000. Sir. that you willingly laid down with the accused? A.R. CR-HC No. JANDUSAY: Q. II THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF RAPE INSTEAD OF THE CRIME OF ACTS OF LASCIVIOUSNESS. No. No. Q. While you were at the side of the building. Sir. Accused-appellant’s contentions relate to the credibility of the testimony of complainant. Q. 8353). 2006. What else happened when you refused to undress? A. Madam Witness? A. the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50. Pursuant to People v. Yes. however. however. 00126.10 whereat it was docketed as CA-G.12 In its Resolution13 of August 9. do you mean that he was able to undress everything including your underwear? . thus: PROS. its findings on questions of facts will not be disturbed on appeal. manifested that they were dispensing with the filing of a supplemental brief as their arguments have already been substantially discussed in their respective briefs filed before the appellate court. spontaneous and straightforward. Accused-appellant also asserts that complainant failed to categorically state that accused-appellant succeeded in inserting his penis into her vagina. contrary to appellant's contention. Mateo. [AAA]. Q. complainant testified in no uncertain terms during cross-examination that she did not willingly lie down but was forced to do so by accused-appellant: ATTY. He asked me to undress. Accused Mario Castro is likewise ordered to indemnify private complainant. accused-appellant assails the credibility of the complainant branding her testimony as highly improbable and contrary to common human experience.A.16 Unless shown that the trial court overlooked or misunderstood some facts or circumstances of weight and substance that could affect the result of the case. the Court resolved to require the parties to submit their respective supplemental briefs. SO ORDERED.00) as civil indemnity and the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape committed under paragraph 1(a) of Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code (as amended by R. Margarita declared that her house was located just at the back of accused-appellant’s house. These matters. did he force you down? A Yes.9 accused-appellant appealed his conviction to the CA via a notice of appeal on September 30. the complainant’s narration of how accused -appellant perpetrated the sexual assault upon her was consistent. He undressed me. 2004. Sir. thus undermining her allegation of consummated rape. When you said he undressed you.17 We have reviewed the record of the instant case and found nothing which would warrant a reversal of the trial court’s findings.7 In a decision8 dated September 29. the CA upheld the conviction of accused-appellant and affirmed in toto the RTC decision. Besides. On February 15. CRISOLOGO: Q. Q.18 Further. So are you saying Miss Witness. Ma’am.14 In this appeal.him at his house when she returned the pans she borrowed from accused-appellant’s mother. Did you resist his act of undressing you. if any? A. Sir. What did he do. accused-appellant assigns the following errors: I THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN GIVING FULL WEIGHT AND CREDENCE TO THE HIGHLY INCREDIBLE TESTIMONY OF THE PRIVATE COMPLAINANT.15 Insisting that the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of rape. We have time and again said that the findings of the trial court pertaining to the credibility of witnesses are entitled to great respect since it has the opportunity to examine their demeanor on the witness stand. the trial court rendered its decision convicting accused-appellant of the crime of rape. Ma’am. 2006. if they so desire. Sir. the Court finds the accused Mario Castro. Q. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE.000. 2006. what else happened. have no bearing on the principal question of whether accused-appellant had carnal knowledge of the victim. Both parties. the case was then elevated to this Court upon filing by accused-appellant of a notice of appeal on March 10. and hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. 2004. Yes. Madam witness? A.

the above-quoted testimony of the complainant herself established the consummation of the crime of rape. which would somehow indicate that the private complainant was induced by any ill-motive in filing the case against accused-appellant Castro. For alibi to prosper. if it were not true. that there was at least a partial entry. Q. And after he succeeded in undressing you. in the case at bar. if credible. it was held that the crime was merely attempted rape because all that the victim said in that case was that accused's penis "touched her organ but did not penetrate it. it is enough that there is the slightest penetration of the male organ into the female sex organ. he cites the testimony of complainant that "not all" of accused-appellant's organ was inserted into her vagina. Did he succeed. The evidence on record is bereft of any showing. so as to make the crime consummated rape. Q. Margarita herself declared that the distance between the two places can easily be negotiated by foot within ten (10) minutes and by tricycle within five (5) minutes. and were all perfectly consistent with the rape of a young innocent girl. but also moral ascendancy over his 14-year old victim such that his threat to inflict physical harm on her effectively cowed her into submitting to his lustful designs. he would carry out his threat to kill her. humiliation and dishonor of exposing her own degradation were it not to condemn an injustice and have the offender apprehended and punished. since Margarita’s house and the TEMIC factory are both located within Taguig. As we have said in unnumbered cases. xxx. Madam Witness? A. The details of her story fail to show any telltale indications of falsehood. 26 It was therefore consummated rape which accusedappellant committed. Clearly. Considering her relatively tender age and minority.19 Courts usually give greater weight to the testimony of a girl who is a victim of sexual assault. Campuhan. The commission of rape against complainant cannot be negated simply because of the absence of the testimony of the doctor who examined the victim. When you said not all somehow a part of his organ was inserted. Sir.A." 23 Hence. In Campuhan.29 Accused-appellant’s defense of alibi is unavailing. In fact. if any? A. Corazon did not say. nay. however. this does not negate the possibility that he might be present at the TEMIC factory where the crime was committed. 25 The mere touching by the male organ of the labia of the pudendum of the woman’s private part is sufficient to consummate rape. 1999. Yes. Would this mean that you were totally naked after he was able to undress you? A.20 Nor is there any question that accused-appellant in this case committed rape by means of threat and intimidation. Q. what else happened. He was forcing his organ to insert into my organ. Accused-appellant argues that he cannot be held liable for consummated rape following the ruling in People v.27 In fact. He kissed me at different parts of my body. if any? A. Sir. Corazon even narrated that Primo had to hold his penis with his right hand. Sir. full or deep penetration is not necessary to consummate sexual intercourse. Sir. Said the CA: This Court finds nothing incredible or fantastic in [AAA’s] narration of the events surrounding the rape committed against her by accused-appellant Castro. this Court concluded: [The] testimony alone should dissipate the mist of confusion that enshrouds the question of whether rape in this case was consummated. the defense of alibi will not hold water. Q. Nor can it be deduced that in trying to penetrate the victim's organ the penis of the accused touched the middle portion of her vagina and entered the labia of her pudendum as the prosecution failed to establish sufficiently that Primo made efforts to penetrate Crysthel. The argument is misplaced. thus showing that he had yet to attain an erection to be able to penetrate his victim. however slight. complainant's statement that not all of accused-appellant's organ was inserted simply means that there was no full penetration. complainant was aware that accused-appellant had killed someone before21 which all the more engendered fear in her – fear that if she did not yield to accused-appellant's demands. it is well nigh inconceivable for her to have concocted such a serious accusation and brazenly impute such a crime to her own brother-in-law. Not all. It is well entrenched in our jurisprudence that a medical examination of the victim is not indispensable in a prosecution for rape inasmuch as the victim’s testimony alone. accused-appellant exercised not only physical superiority. 30 Where there is even the least chance for the accused to be present at the crime scene. is sufficient to convict the a ccused of the crime. On the contrary. not even hint that Primo's penis was erect or that he responded with an erection. Crysthel made a categorical statement denying penetration. a doctor’s certificate is merely corroborative in character and not an indispensable requirement in proving the commission of rape. 24 But. Accused-appellant likewise claims that the trial court erred in convicting him of the crime of consummated rape despite the prosecution’s failure to present the testimony of the examining physician. inconsistency or improbability. especially a minor. 31 Clearly in . the accused must establish by clear and convincing evidence (a) his presence at another place at the time of the perpetration of the offense and (b) the physical impossibility of his presence at the scene of the crime at the time. as in this case. My panty was pulled down to the knee. However. Sir. would that be correct. what else happened. It has foreclosed the possibility of Primo's penis penetrating her vagina. Madam Witness? A.28 We are also constrained to agree with the appellate court’s observation that there was nothing improbable and preposterous in complainant’s testimony. the lone defense witness. Margarita Salangsang. There can be no doubt.22 For this purpose. We find accused -appellant’s contention on this point untenable. claimed that accused -appellant was in her house from 9:30-11:45 in the evening of November 11. Q. In fact. Sir. because no woman would be willing to undergo a public trial and put up with the shame. Yes. Being 30 years old and the brother-in-law of complainant. After kissing the different parts of your body.

000. "the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent. sustain the conviction of accused-appellant for the crime of consummated simple rape under Article 266-A. complainant was only 14 years old. unlawfully and feloniously had sexual intercourse with his sister-in-law. Consistent with prevailing jurisprudence on simple rape. in the instant case. the physical impossibility of accused-appellant’s presence at the scene of the crime on the date and time of its commission. 37 Consequently. We. against her will. 8353. has not been sufficiently established. therefore. guardian. 00126 is herebyAFFIRMED. the amounts of P50. ascendant. the allegation that complainant is the sisterin-law of accused-appellant is not specific enough to satisfy the special qualifying circumstance of relationship. as amended by R. SO ORDERED. or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim. paragraph 1(a) of the Revised Penal Code." 36 Thus. is complainant’s relative by affinity within the third civil degree. among others. "by means of force and intimidation. He is also ordered to pay complainant.00 as civil indemnity andP50. The penalty of reclusion perpetua was likewise correctly imposed as the special qualifying circumstance of relationship had not been specifically alleged in the information. Under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. step-parent. . being the husband of complainant’s elder sister. the information charging accused-appellant of the crime of rape alleged that the accused. we have previously held that if the offender is merely a relation – not a parent. the decision dated February 15. due to the defect in the information charging accused-appellant of rape. CR-HC No. having been born on July 8. Accused appellant. did then and there willfully. thus.000.A.32 qualified rape is committed when. 38 WHEREFORE. It is necessary to specifically allege that such relationship was by affinity within the third civil degree. he can only be held liable for simple rape and meted the penalty of reclusion perpetua. 33 In the present case. or guardian or common-law spouse of the mother of the victim – it must be alleged in the information that he is "a relative by consanguinity or affinity (as the case may be) within the third civil degree. Accused-appellant Mario Castro is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Simple Rape and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.000. step-parent.this case." It is well-settled that these attendant circumstances of minority of the victim and her relationship to the offender are special qualifying circumstances which must be specifically alleged in the information and proved with certainty in order to warrant conviction for the crime of qualified rape and the imposition of the death penalty.00 as moral damages were correctly awarded by the trial court. [AAA]. a minor. fourteen (14) years of age. civil indemnity in the amount of P50. ascendant. 2006 of the CA in CA-G. relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree.00 and moral damages in the amount of P50.000.00. However. 1985. as evidenced by her birth certificate." 34 The prosecution was able to prove that at the time she was raped. 35 The prosecution likewise proved accused-appellant is the brother-in-law of complainant.R. No.

a certificate of sale was awarded to Ernesto on December 20. 1996 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of San Pedro. P-3225 in the name of Maria Sales was cancelled. EDUARDO SALES. Laguna filed their answers. 2005 MILA SALES LLANTO. J. DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. Maria died on August 27.000 per court appearance for and as attorney’s fees.19 . who was already deceased at that time. B. 1992. dominador alzona.12Accordingly. For lack of evidence. denying petitioners’ motion for reconsideration. 2001 in CA-G. Laguna. herein petitioners caused the inscription of an adverse claim on the title to the property. petitioners filed an appeal with the CA.: Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court assailing the Decision4 of theCourt of Appeals (CA) promulgated on March 19. 1997. EMERCIA-NA2 SALES ALGIRE. IS LEGALLY REQUIRED TO TAKE THE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS WHICH PRUDENCE WOULD DICTATE. P-3225 which she acquired under a free patent. BEFORE ENTERING INTO A MORTGAGE CONTRACT. 1993. Cabuyao.13 On December 17. YOLANDA SALES CABILLO. 1992. 1986 8 while Bernardo died on January 1.15 Respondents Ernesto and Dominador Alzona and the Register of Deeds of Calamba. CV No. respectively. Maria and Bernardo.000 plus P1. For paucity of evidence. LAGUNA. Calamba Branch.10 Respondent Ernesto Alzona admitted that while he was a co-mortgagee of his brother. The facts of the case are as follows: Bernardo Sales and Maria Sales were husband and wife. vs. ALBERTO SALES. lived on said land and in the house which they constructed thereon. 1990. the CA rendered a decision affirming the judgment of the RTC but deleting the attorney’s fees awarded to petitioners. 150730 January 31. herein petitioners filed before the RTC of San Pedro.000 per court appearance and P200. herein petitioners filed the present petition on the following grounds: GROUNDS FOR THE PETITION A. 9 Respondent Estela Sales Pelongco signed as an instrumental witness to the mortgage contract. Estela Sales Pelongco. the complaint of plaintiffs against defendant Register of Deeds of Laguna. with Reconveyance of Title and Damages. THE RULE THAT A PURCHASER OR MORTGAGEE OF LAND IS NOT OBLIGATED TO LOOK BEYOND THE CERTIFICATE OF TITLE CANNOT BE APPLIED WHERE THERE IS NO QUESTION AS TO THE TITLE OF THE MORTGAGOR AND WHERE A DIFFERENT PERSON MORTGAGED THE PROPERTY. ELENITA SALES SERRANO. SPECIALLY ONE WHO IS IN THE LENDING BUSINESS. together with some of their children. no judgment can be rendered by this Court on the other reliefs prayed for by defendants Dominador Alzona and Ernesto Alzona in their counterclaim against the plaintiffs and in their crossclaim against defendant Estela Sales. 1990. the RTC rendered judgment. 2001. petitioners. she was declared in default. is one of herein respondents.000 for moral damages. GLORIA SALES ALIPIO.17 Petitioners’ motion for reconsideration was denied in a resolution issued by the Court of Appeals on October 26. OSCAR SALES.6 The property is located at Banlic. They have twelve children. 2001.R. Transfer Certificate of Title No. his name does not appear in the mortgage contract. Dominador. and the Resolution dated October 26. Consequently. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and against defendant Estela Sales by ordering the latter to pay the plaintiffs the amount of P30. Laguna (Branch 31).5 which affirmed with modification the decision dated May 30.16 Aggrieved by the trial court’s decision. and CONRADO SALES. no judgment can be rendered on the other reliefs prayed for by plaintiffs in their complaint against defendant Estela Sales.11 and on January 22. The property was thereafter sold in a mortgage sale conducted on December 20. 7 Until they died. 2001. hereby DISMISSED. and Bernardo in favor of herein respondent Dominador Alzona. On January 29. Maria was the registered owner of a certain parcel of land with an area of 202 square meters and covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. For paucity of evidence.000 for and as attorney’s fees plus P1. respondents. The mortgage was subsequently foreclosed for alleged failure of Bernardo and Maria to settle their obligation secured by the said mortgage.R. However. the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: WHEREFORE. respondent Estela Sales Pelongco failed to file her answer. a real estate mortgage contract was purportedly executed by Maria. 52951. ERNESTO ALZONA. he executed a Consolidation of Ownership over the property.14 On October 15. 1990 wherein Ernesto Alzona was the highest bidder. No. After trial.G. Relative to plaintiffs’ complaint against defendant Estela Sales. A MORTGAGEE. FRANCISCO SALES. as a consequence of which. ACQUILINA1 SALES. T-261853 was issued in his name while OCT No. On March 19. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of defendants Dominador Alzona and Ernesto Alzona and against Estela Sales dismissing plaintiffs’ complaint with costs against plaintiffs. 18 Hence. Laguna a complaint for Annulment of Mortgage and of Auction Sale. and ordering plaintiffs to pay defendants Dominador Alz ona and Ernesto Alzona the sum of P50. ESTELA SALES PELONGCO. 3 and the REGISTER OF DEEDS OF CALAMBA. eleven of whom are the present petitioners while the remaining child. SO ORDERED. is as it is.

In the present case, since it is no longer disputed that the mortgagors were not the owners of the property subject of the petition the question that remains is whether Ernesto and Dominador are mortgagees in good faith. Petitioners contend that the principle regarding innocent purchasers for value enunciated by the CA in its decision is not applicable to the present case because in the cases cited by the CA there was no question that the mortgagors were the real owners of the property that was mortgaged, while in the instant case, the mortgagors were impostors who pretended as the real owners of the property. We do not agree. The principle of "innocent purchasers for value" is applicable to the present case. Under Article 2085 of the Civil Code, one of the essential requisites of the contract of mortgage is that the mortgagor should be the absolute owner of the property to be mortgaged; otherwise, the mortgage is considered null and void. 20 However, an exception to this rule is the doctrine of "mortgagee in good faith." Under this doctrine, even if the mortgagor is not the owner of the mortgaged property, the mortgage contract and any foreclosure sale arising therefrom are given effect by reason of public policy.21 This principle is based on the rule that all persons dealing with property covered by a Torrens Certificate of Title, as buyers or mortgagees, are not required to go beyond what appears on the face of the title. 22 This is the same rule that underlies the principle of "innocent purchasers for value" cited by the CA in its decision. The prevailing jurisprudence is that a mortgagee has a right to rely in good faith on the certificate of title of the mortgagor to the property given as security and in the absence of any sign that might arouse suspicion, has no obligation to undertake further investigation. 23 Hence, even if the mortgagor is not the rightful owner of, or does not have a valid title to, the mortgaged property, the mortgagee in good faith is, nonetheless, entitled to protection.24 For persons, more particularly those who are engaged in real estate or financing business like herein respondents Ernesto and Dominador Alzona, to be considered as mortgagees in good faith, jurisprudence requires that they should take the necessary precaution expected of a prudent man to ascertain the status and condition of the properties offered as collateral and to verify the identity of the persons they transact business with, particularly those who claim to be the registered property owners. 25 In the instant case, the CA affirmed the ruling of the trial court that Ernesto and Dominador are mortgagees in good faith. The trial court gave credence to Ernesto’s testimony that he conducted a credit investigation before he approved the loan sought and th e property mortgaged. It is well settled in our jurisdiction that the determination of credibility of witnesses is properly within the domain of the trial court as it is in the best position to observe their demeanor and bodily movements. 26 Further, findings of the trial court with respect to the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies are entitled to great respect, and even finality, unless said findings are arbitrary, or facts and circumstances of weight and influence have been overlooked, misunderstood, or misapplied by the trial judge which, if considered, would have affected the case. 27 These findings are binding on this Court especially when affirmed by the appellate court.28 After a re-examination of the evidence presented, we find no cogent reason to depart from this rule. Indeed, a perusal of the testimony of Ernesto proves that he exercised the necessary precautions to ascertain the status of the property sought to be mortgaged and the identity of the mortgagors. During his cross-examination he testified as follows: q. And according to you, you made a credit investigation of the property in question? a. Yes, sir. q. And you went to the place because according to you of a sketch given to you by Estela? a. Yes, sir. q. Where in Brgy. Banlic is the property specifically located in relation to any landmark? Pampolina: The question is rather vague, Your Honor. You mentioned perhaps a place that is known that is near the place. Court: Witness may answer. Where in Brgy. Banlic is the property located, Mr. Witness? a. It is about five (5) houses away before reaching the junction going to Brgy. Mamatid and in the corner, there is the Rural Bank of Cabuyao, sir. Mendoza: You were only equipped with a sketch given to you by Estela. How were you able to see specifically the property? a. I inquired from the neighbors, sir. q. Who among the neighbors did you inquire? a. The first one is a male residing….. Court: The question is who? a. Felix Icepel and the second one is Auring Sales, wife of Francisco Sales, sir. q. When you asked these persons, did you ask where was Maria Sales? a. No, sir. q. Did this Felix Icepel pointed to you the house of Bernardo Sales and Maria Sales? a. Yes, sir. q. Did you also ask Auring Sales about the house of Maria Sales? a. Yes, sir. q. Why did you ask again Auring Sales about the house of Maria Sales considering that you’ve asked Felix Icepel about this. a. Because I would like to have two witnesses, sir. q. Aside from asking their houses, did you ask whether Maria Sales and Bernardo Sales were there?

a. I did not ask, sir. Court: Considering that Auring’s surname is Sales and the one applying for a loan from you is also surnamed Sales, did you ask her if she has any relation with the Saleses? a. Yes, ma’am. She even volunteered…. q. What was the answer? a. That she is the daughter-in-law of Bernardo Sales and Maria Sales, sir. q. You also said that Auring is the wife of Francisco Sales? a. Yes, ma’am. q. And Francisco Sales is one of the children of Maria Sales and Bernardo Sales? a. Yes, ma’am. q. For which reason she is claiming that she is the daughter-in-law of Bernardo Sales and Maria Sales? a. Yes, ma’am. Court: Continue. Mendoza: You pointed to two persons earlier whom you said went to your house? a. Yes, sir. q. And who were they when you said them? a. They are Estela, the couple, Yolanda, Gloria, Conrado and three other women, sir. q. Where did you meet these persons? a. Inside the house of Bernardo Sales and Maria Sales, sir. q. And you were able to talk to Maria Sales at that time? a. Yes, sir. q. And when the couple went to you in November, 1989, they were the same couple whom you met in the house of Bernardo Sales? a. Yes, sir. q. And when you saw Bernardo Sales, he can walk? a. He was sitting down at that time, sir. q. At that time you went to their house, did he stand up? a. Yes, sir. I think he stood up. q. And Maria Sales offered you a coffee at that time? a. No, sir. q. What time did you go there when you made a credit investigation? a. It was in the morning, sir. q. And for how long did you talk with the couple, Yolanda, Gloria and Estela? a. It lasted for 30 minutes, sir. q. You pointed earlier the person of Yolanda whom you said you saw on January 26, 1990 inside the house of the Saleses? a. Yes, sir. q. And you also mentioned of Gloria Sales whom you said is not in court today? a. Yes, sir. q. And you saw this woman when she testified in court? a. Yes, sir. q. And you saw her several times before she testified in court until she completed her testimony? a. Yes, sir. When she came to my house. Mendoza: We would like to make it on record that Gloria Sales Alipio is now present in court. Pampolina: But with eyeglasses, Your Honor. She was not wearing an eyeglass when she took the witness stand. Mendoza: I would like to manifest Your Honor that even a person is wearing eyeglasses, if you saw her several times, you know her. Court: Alright. Gloria Sales is there. Continue. Mendoza: During that meeting with the couple, Estela, Gloria, Yolanda and Conrado in January 1990 at the house of the Saleses, were they together inside the house? a. Yes, sir. q. Who among the group greeted you? a. Estela, sir. q. And Estela told you the property they were mortgaging? a. Yes, sir. Their house. q. And again the couple was introduced to you by Estela?

a. No, sir. I was introduced to the brother and sisters. q. When you went to the place, Estela, Yolanda, Gloria, Conrado and the couple did not know that you would go to their place on January 26, 1990? Court: He will be incompetent. Mendoza: Why did you say that Yolanda, Gloria, Conrado were expecting you when in fact you have not met them? a. Because Estela asked when I am going to visit their place, she even made a sketch of their place, and I said, probably on January 26, 1990 because that is the feast day of St. Policarp and its… Mendoza: Okay, that’s it.29 The CA affirmed the findings of the trial court that petitioners never disputed Ernesto’s claim that when he in spected the subject property on January 26, 1990, he met petitioners Yolanda, Gloria and Conrado together with Estela and the persons whom he knew as Bernardo and Maria Sales at the house built inside the premises of the said property. A further reading of the transcript of stenographic notes reveals that Ernesto even went inside the house and, in the presence of the aforementioned persons, discussed with Estela the matter regarding the loan they were seeking and the mortgage of the subject property. 30 It was only in their motion for reconsideration filed with the CA did petitioners dispute the foregoing claims of Ernesto. However, their disputation merely consisted in denying that Ernesto met Gloria Sales inside the house of Bernardo and Maria. They did not contradict Ernesto’s claim that he also met Conrado and Yolanda inside the said house. On the contrary, the truth of the abovementioned claims of Ernesto is bolstered by the testimonies of Francisco and Gloria Sales to the effect that during the period between 1989 and 1990, Estela, Yolanda, Gloria and Conrado were all living in the house built on the subject property. 31 The trial court also gave credence to Ernesto’s testimony that prior to the execution of the contract of mortgage, he was even shown a copy of the OCT and the t ax declaration in the name of Maria Sales.32 From the foregoing, we find no error in the ruling of the CA that Ernesto sufficiently established that he acted in good faith by exercising due diligence in ascertaining the status of the property mortgaged and the identity of the owners and occupants of the said property; that it was Estela and the persons who represented themselves as Bernardo and Maria who perpetrated the fraud. Hence, Ernesto can no longer be faulted if he was led into believing that the old man and woman whom he met in November 1989 and January 1990 are Bernardo and Maria Sales when, in fact, they are not. While it was also established that petitioners Yolanda, Gloria and Conrado were present at the time Ernesto conducted his credit investigation on January 26, 1990, no direct and conclusive evidence was presented to show that they had sufficient knowledge of the fraud that was perpetrated by their sister Estela and the persons posing as Bernardo and Maria as to hold them equally guilty of such fraud. In fine, we hold that respondents Ernesto and Dominador Alzona are mortgagees in good faith and, as such, they are entitled to the protection of the law. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED and the assailed decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 52951 are AFFIRMED in toto. SO ORDERED.

On 5 June 2000. old.. (3) told AAA that the supposed persons who wanted to kill her were at her house. Camarines Sur. willfully. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. (3) undressed AAA.m. appellee. Talan was charged with forcible abduction with rape. 15 yrs. the three women were not there. AAA and Talan went to a hut owned by Talan. Camarines Norte. willfully. and (5) inserted his penis in AAA's vagina. When they arrived at the supposed meeting place. Talan told AAA that he knew three women who were offering a scholarship and whom they should meet in Barangay Pinagdapian. Camarines Norte. 2008 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. (4) dragged AAA towards the highway where a tricycle was waiting. Elena. at around 8 p. under the [pretext] that students from the University of the Philippines are waiting for them to talk to her about the possibility of sending her to school for free. to Bgy. using the tricycle. this court finds accused RICARDO TALAN y DOE Alias "Carding" GUILTY of the crimes as charged 1 . the prosecution having duly proved the guilt of the accused in these two cases for forcible abduction with rape. violence and intimidation and while armed with a knife succeeded in having sexual intercourse with aforesaid victim against her will and without her consent to her damage and prejudice. hymenal laceration at 9 o'clock position. Poblacion. did then and there. in Criminal Case Nos. Marcus and Rodolfo sought the help of the members of the barangay tanod. with lewd design. L-3373. Judicial Region V. at around 8 a. Talan (1) approached AAA. Dr. then went to a place with banana trees. Camarines Sur. (5) brought AAA to Tagkawayan. Talan then raped AAA again for around 10 minutes. No.m. On 17 May 2000. and thereat on June 1. AAA was on her way home from a friend's house. The RTC's Ruling In its 4 November 2004 Joint Judgment. Del Gallego. against her will and without her consent by forcibly taking her to San Lorenzo Ruiz. by means of deceit. The trial court found Ricardo Talan y Doe alias Carding (Talan) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of forcible abduction with rape. She resided in Poblacion Zone 2. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court and the above-named accused. to protect her from the persons who wanted to kill her. The Facts AAA was born on 15 July 1984. unlawfully and feloniously. with force. Talan asked AAA if she wanted to study at the University of the Philippines. Talan rested for around five minutes. AAA and Talan went to Barangay Pinagdapian. The Information stated: That on or before 8:30 o'clock in the morning of May 17. at Barangay Poblacion. (6) forced AAA to board a bus going to Santa Elena. (2) threatened to kill AAA. Camarines Sur. the trial court found Talan guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of forcible abduction with rape: WHEREFORE. The Information stated: That on or about 8:00 o'clock p. Talan raped AAA: (1) he told her to undress. On 30 May 2000. (3) he pushed her to the ground. (2) he brought AAA to Santa Elena. but once there. (4) he told her that they will do three positions. CR HC No. Diliman for free. According to him. her parents and her siblings.4 Talan pleaded not guilty to both charges. his fifteen (15) year old niece.R. Camarines Sur. Quezon. When the barangay tanod members saw AAA and Talan. Camarines Norte. The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. AAA's uncles and Talan's brothers. Bgy. allowing the victim to leave for home after 10:30 o'clock in the morning but only after warning her not to tell anyone or else he will kill her. Camarines Sur. 00410 affirming the 4 November 2004 Joint Judgment2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). Del Gallego. (6) he sucked her breasts. to her damage and prejudice. Zone 2.3 In another Information dated 16 July 2002. threat and intimidation and fraudulent machination. She is the niece of Talan. Adalid (Dr. Two members of the barangay tanod searched for AAA and Talan. (4) mounted AAA. to look for AAA. On 16 May 2000. unlawfully and feloniously take the victim. (5) he kissed her lips.. [AAA]. through force. On 2 June 2000. Camarines Norte. and (9) he told her not to tell anyone about what happened. Pinagdapian. On 1 June 2000. Libmanan. Del Gallego. had carnal knowledge with the victim against her will for three (3) times. appellant.G. Adalid) examined AAA. Ma. DECISION CARPIO. (2) he threatened to kill her. (7) he licked her vagina. the above-named accused. they handcuffed Talan and brought him to the police station. (8) he inserted his penis in her vagina. Talan (1) poked a knife on AAA's neck. (1) he was cutting and gathering bamboos with his nephew in Barangay Pinagdapian on 17 May 2000. 2000. Dr. Marcus and Rodolfo Talan (Marcus and Rodolfo). and (3) his siblings filed the present case against him because they were interested in his lands. Camarines Sur. went to Santa Elena." In an Information dated 13 August 2001. abduct [AAA]. and (7) brought AAA to a hut in the middle of rice fields in Barangay San Lorenzo. AAA said yes.m.R. A certain Graciano Romano (Romano) owned the hut. Del Gallego. Rizalina B. (2) forced AAA to go with him. vs. Branch 57. RICARDO TALAN y DOE @ CARDING. AAA and Talan spent the night in the hut. After raping AAA for around 15 minutes. Del Gallego. AAA did not tell anyone about the incident. 2000 at around 10:00 o'clock in the evening. L-3373 and L-3599. L-3599. 177354 November 14. There. The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. Sta. Philippines. Because of fear. J. Adalid found "incomplete healed. Romano informed Marcus and Rodolfo that AAA and Talan were there. 2000 at Zone 2. of May 30.: The Case This is an appeal from the 30 November 2006 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Talan was charged with forcible abduction with rape.

the trial court found AAA's testimony credible. The Court's Ruling An appeal in a criminal case opens the entire case for review.9 The evaluation of the credibility of the witnesses' testimonies is a matter best left to the trial court because it has the opportunity to observe the witnesses and their demeanor during the trial.000. the civil indemnity to be awarded to the Victim in Criminal Case No. and (3) denial was a valid defense. The trial court held that. what did the accused do next. the amount of Seventy[-]Five Thousand Pesos (P75. this appeal. When the victim's testimony is credible. if any? A: He was trying to insert his penis into my vagina. The Court of Appeals' Ruling In its 30 November 2006 Decision. what did you do? A: I was crying. Q: Why were you crying? A: Because he poked a knife on my neck. The Court accords great respect to the trial court's findings. L-3373 is hereby reduced to Fifty Thousand (Php 50. Q: And while he was according to you forcibly removing your short [sic] and underwear. what was his position to you [sic]? A: He was on top of me. "This court x x x noted that when [AAA] was describing how accused raped her she cried for at least two times. unless the trial court overlooked or misconstrued substantial facts which could have affected the outcome of the case. (2) that AAA did not cry for help while Talan was bringing her to Santa Elena. premises considered. what were you doing also? A: I was crying. the Court finds AAA's testimony convincing: Q: How did you know that your uncle were [sic] forcibly removing your T-shirt? A: I was awaken [sic] and I looked at him. the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's Joint Judgment with modification: WHEREFORE.5 On appeal. Q: What about him." The trial court added that. if any? A: He was forcibly removing my short [sic] and underwear. Likewise. what did the accused do next? A: He also removed his underwear. the penalty of Death imposed by the court a quo in Criminal Case No. was improbable. what did the accused do next? A: He forcibly opened my two (2) legs. Q: Now. it may be the sole basis for the accused's conviction. assuming that he was indeed guilty of the charges. Forcible abduction is absorbed in the crime of rape if the real objective of the accused is to rape the victim. 7 The Court finds Talan guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of rape. xxxx Q: After he was removing [sic] his underwear and you said he was already naked. after this accused able [sic] to remove your T-shirt.and hereby imposes against said accused the supreme penalty of DEATH in Criminal Case No. Camarines Norte. Q: Now. Camarines Norte. when you looked at him and when you said he was forcibly removing your T-shirt. the real objective of Talan was to rape AAA when he brought her to the place with banana trees and to Santa Elena.000. xxxx Q: And what was your position as well as the accused when he forcibly opening [sic] your legs? A: I was lying on my back. 10 In the present case. Talan claimed that the trial court erred in finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of forcible abduction with rape: (1) the trial court relied solely on AAA's testimony as the basis for its judgment. The assailed Decision is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. L-3373 and Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50.000. xxxx Q: Now. the trial court erred in considering the qualifying circumstance of relationship in Criminal Case No. L-3373. as civil indemnity in Criminal Case No. 8 Based on the records. after he opened your legs and according to you he forcibly opened your legs. what did the accused do next. this court gives more credence to the testimony of the prosecution witnesses as against the alibi and denial posited by the accused. The Court is not impressed. Talan claimed that the lower courts erred in relying solely on AAA's testimony.00) Pesos. In rape cases. "Evaluating the evidence presented both by the prosecution and the defense.000.00) as moral damages in these two cases. herein appeal is hereby DISMISSED. L3373. the credibility of the victim's testimony is almost always the single most important factor. .00). The Court can correct errors unassigned in the appeal. L-3373 and the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA in Criminal Case No." Indeed. Talan also claimed that. L-3599 and in line with recent jurisprudence where the death penalty is imposed he is hereby ordered to indemnify the victim [AAA]. L-3599 and the further sum of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100. is reduced to Reclusion Perpetua.6 Hence.00) as civil indemnity in Criminal Case No. xxxx Q: After he removed your short [sic] and panty.

" During the trial. xxxx Q: And what did you feel if any when he inserted his penis into your vagina? A: I felt pain.INTERPRETER: Witness is demonstrating by making push and pull movements. Q: What could have been the cause of this particular finding on [AAA]? . AAA's testimony is consistent with the medical findings. sir. Q: What else happened? A: He also kissed my vagina. Q: What did you feel when he inserted his penis into your vagina? A: Painful. sir. sir. Q: And after that. sir. Q: So what did he do on the second time? A: Same with the previous position. When the testimony of the victim is consistent with the medical findings. hymenal laceration at 9 o'clock position. sir. Dr. sir. what happened next? A: He told me that we will be changed [sic] position.13 In the medical certificate she prepared.12 Moreover. Dr. Q: After that what did he do? A: He told me that it is already finished and he told me that I should not be fear [sic] what had happened to us and he keeps [sic] on threatening me that he will kill me. Q: What happened after you undressed yourself? A: He made me lie on the ground. because of great fear.11 xxxx Q: What did you feel when you were being told to undress yourself? A: He told me if I will not undress he will kill me including my parents and my siblings. sufficient basis exists for the conclusion that the crime was committed. xxxx Q: When you were made to lie down. Q: After fifteen (15) minutes. what happened next? A: He told me that there will be three (3) positions to be made. Q: Did you undress after you were threatened that way? A: Yes. Q: Why were you crying? A: I am afraid. Adalid found "incomplete healed. Positive incomplete healed. that was the time when he told you that he wanted to do the side position? A: Yes. Q: And how long was he on top of you? A: Also 10 to 15 minutes. Adalid testified: Q: Now. Q: What were you doing while he was inserting his penis and making push and pull movements on top of you? A: I was crying. will you please read the findings and explain to us in layman's language the meaning of this medical findings? A: I have here my medical findings for the patient. he chose to do the previous position. the side position. but I did not agree with him. xxxx Q: What happened after that? A: He kissed my lips and my breast. Q: So after that what happened next? A: He keeps [sic] on touching my private parts and he repeatedly kissed my private parts and when he kissed my lips he inserted his penis into my vagina. so. And the "hymenal laceration at 9 o'clock position" this is compared to a clock. sir. after fifteen (15) minutes what did he do? A: He rested for a while. Q: For how long? A: About five (5) minutes. Q: How many times were you raped on May 17? A: For two (2) times. "Incomplete healed hymenal laceration" this means that the incident might have occurred four (4) to ten (10) days before I examined the patient. sir. the laceration was found at the 9 o'clock position. Q: You said that he was on top of you for about fifteen (15) minutes. hymenal laceration at 9 o'clock position. in this Exhibit A there are findings.

Denial as a defense is inherently weak and deserves scant consideration. Q: On [sic] top of your voice when you pleaded to him to bring you back to your house? A: Yes. Camarines Norte. AAA positively identified Talan: Q: Now. Q: Tiyo what? A: Tiyo Carding. Q: Do you know that you are charging your uncle a very serious offense? . xxxx Q: Did you not tell the trimobile driver that you were being forced by the accused in going to Tagkawayan. is he the same Ricardo Talan alias "Carding. because there were no people around. sir. Q: Tell us.18 Talan claimed that denial is a valid defense. xxxx Q: And did it not occur to [sic] your mind to tell the tricycle driver about what happened to you? A: No." the accused in this case? A: Yes. During the trial. Q: Will you please tell us if the accused is in court? A: Yes. tell us. because if I should talk to them he will be the one to kill me. Q: For instance. because if I should do so he will kill me. do you know a certain Ricardo Talan alias "Carding?" A: He is my uncle. Q: Why he became [sic] your uncle? A: He is the brother of my mother. 17 xxxx Q: Did you not talk to the passengers in the bus while you were inside the bus? A: No. Q: But no one helped you. INTERPRETER: Witness is pointing to a man seated inside the courtroom and when he was asked to identify his name responded [sic] by the name of Ricardo Talan.A: The possible cause of this particular laceration could have been a solid or hard object was inserted to the vagina of the victim. The Court is not impressed. Quezon? A: Yes. because he keeps on looking at me as if he is telling me not to tell anybody of what happened to us. The Court is not impressed. AAA testified: Q: Did it not occur to [sic] your mind to shout when he dragged you by the arm? A: No. he told me that I should not talk. particularly that I should not report to the trimobile driver. that might cause the laceration. AAA was a minor and Talan exercised moral ascendancy over her. Q: Did you not approach any passengers and tell them about your problem with respect to this alleged incident? A: No. The intimidation prevented AAA from crying for help. sir. sir. 19 During the trial. Q: And how do you call this Ricardo Talan? A: Tiyo. 16 xxxx Q: While you were being dragged to the other side of the highway did you not plead to the accused not to drag you? A: I pleaded to the accused and he said that he should bring me back to our house. Q: Tell us why? A: Because he often threatened me not to shout because the persons who wants [sic] to kill me were in our house. is that correct? A: Yes. Q: Will you please point to him. he would kill her. It is not improbable because Talan threatened AAA that if she cried for help. because we have no seatmates. being her uncle. 15 Moreover. It cannot prevail over the victim's positive identification of the accused. xxxx Q: Why did you board that bus going to Tabogon together with the accused? A: In order that the persons who wants [sic] to kill me will not be able to track us. sir. Q: While on board the trimobile did you not talk to each other? A: While on board the trimobile. because at that time the accused does [sic] not want me to talk to anybody inside the bus. sir. sir. an erected [sic] penis inserted on [sic] the vagina during sexual intercourse could cause this laceration? A: Yes.14 Talan claimed that it was improbable that he forced AAA to go with him because AAA did not cry for help while he was bringing her to Santa Elena.

SO ORDERED. Otherwise. relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree. L-3373.22 the Court held that: The allegation in the information x x x that the appellant is an uncle of the victim is not specific enough to satisfy the special qualifying circumstance of relationship. sir. guardian. In any event. The qualifying circumstance of relationship must be specifically alleged in the information – the information must clearly state that "the offender is a parent. the information in Criminal Case No. L-3373 merely states that Talan abducted and raped his "niece" without specifying that Talan is a relative of the victim within the third degree of consanguinity." in order to appreciate them as such and raise the penalty. We have previously ruled. step-parent. Factual allegations in the information do not need to be referred to as "qualifying circumstances. However. . these factual allegations must be specified completely. 00410 with the MODIFICATION that appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of simple rape. the Court AFFIRMS the 30 November 2006 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.23 WHEREFORE. in order to fully inform the accused of the circumstances which warrant the imposition of a higher offense. if your uncle will be convicted he could be sentenced for life imprisonment or death? A: Yes. In the present case. such circumstances cannot be appreciated to qualify the offense. The Court agrees. Ibarrientos. or the common law spouse of the parent of the victim. that it is necessary to spell out in the Information for rape that the accused is a "relative within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity" as stated in Article 266-B. and now we reiterate. the penalty for simple rape is still reclusion perpetua. Without such averment. CR HC No.A: Yes. sir.R. the Information x x x falls short of the statutory requirement for the imposition of capital punishment on the offender. ascendant. Q: Now." 21 In People v.20 Talan claimed that the qualifying circumstance of relationship should not be considered in Criminal Case No.

the others remained at large. causing the latter to fall to his knees. 173248 November 3..0 cm. 9 Alfonso testified further that he was informed of the full name of the victim on January 19. obliquely oriented. and that the place at that time was well-lighted. J. left side. Porpirio took a piece of wood and hit the victim on the head. Jr.0 cm.3 Of the three accused. left side 4. Del Pilar Street.. with sharp and a blunt extremities. Afterwards. 5. DECISION BRION.11 PO3 Basa. evident premeditation and abuse of superior strength. antecubital area. He went to the scene of the crime and was informed there by bystanders that the victim had been brought to the Chinese General Hospital. ANTECEDENT FACTS The prosecution charged the appellant. testified that her daughter. located at the anterior chest wall.0 cm.0 cm.. Del Pilar Street.: We review the appeal by accused-appellant Dante Nueva y Samaro (appellant) from the April 27. the appellant pleaded not guilty to the charge.. finding the appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and sentencing him to suffer the penalty ofreclusion perpetua. left side. directed backward.R.4 At the time he died. 2. Dr.0 x 1. Caloocan City. which eventually caused his death. 2000 and made the following findings: xxx Abrasions: 1. DANTE NUEVA y SAMARO. and Mariadita Revollido-Baytan (Mariadita). left hand. forehead.. Caloocan City. 4. after taking two (2) steps.. 3. penetrating the left ventrical of the heart. Lagat). assault. hit with a piece of wood on the head and stab at the back and chest one VIRGILIO REVOLLIDO. a police officer assigned at the Caloocan Police Headquarters. right knee. the father of the victim.0 cm. who was then at the victim's front.G.0 cm. Thereafter. he saw a person coming from M. The prosecution presented the following witnesses in the trial on the merits that followed: Virgilio Revollido. 10. Upon reaching 4th Avenue.10 On cross examination. he received a monthly pay of about P5. 3. 3.. 2000 in Caloocan City. 2004 Decision 2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). CR-HC No. Contrary to law. back. 00727. 2000 of his son's death. right side.. from the anterior median line.5 cm. (Alfonso). The appellant took the witness stand for the defense.. the Medico-Legal Officer of the National Bureau of Investigation. Annabelle Revollido. chest. plaintiff-appellee vs. his son was 31 years old5 and was single.H. conspiring together and mutually helping with one another. 3. 1. He proceeded to the emergency room of the hospital and saw the lifeless body of the victim who bore several stab wounds. JR. declared on the witness stand that he conducted an autopsy on the remains of the victim on December 30.0 cm. 2000. accused-appellant. Stab wounds. with a bladed weapon.00 for the wake and burial of his son. Lagat.0 cm. No. left supra scapular area.0 cm. from the anterior median line directed backward and medially involving the skin and soft tissue arteriorly. 2001 by the latter's relatives after he gave his statement to the police authorities. 2008 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. The victim stood up. shoulder. 5.7 Alfonso narrated that at around 10:00 in the evening of December 29. PO3 Jaime Basa (PO3 Basa).8 John Doe immediately stabbed the victim at the back. while he was standing outside the Great Taste Bakery located on 4th Avenue East. 2000. The appellant continued to box the victim until John Doe came.. the above-named accused. back. but. The appellant. At that point. with a depth of 13. without any justifiable cause. right side. he narrated that he was more or less 7 to 8 arms length away from the place of the incident.R. 2006 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.H.0 x 2.0 cm.0 cm. downward and medially involving the skin underlying soft tissue. before the RTC with the crime of murder under an Information that states: xxx That on or about the 29th day of December. Sr. informed him in the morning of December 30. the appellant held the victim's left hand and led him to the other side of the road. left 4. thereby inflicting upon the latter serious physical injuries. 1. then pulled out a knife and likewise stabbed the victim.0 x 1. Y ANTOLIN. (Virgilio).6 He affirmed that he incurred more than P60. There.0 x 1. Virgilio. unlawfully and feloniously attack. and with deliberate intent to kill with treachery.0 cms. did then and there willfully. back. 2 x 1. fell to the ground.000. right side. left.000. perforating the pericardial sac. obliquely oriented. an unidentified person came and brought the victim to a hospital on board a van. the person being chased passed in front of the appellant and Porpirio who were then standing near the corner of 4thAvenue. level of the 4th intercostal.H.. SPO1 Renato Aguilar (SPO1 Aguilar). Metro Manila and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. he received a verbal communication from the PNP Tactical Operation Center of a stabbing incident at M. located at the lateral aspect of the neck. Ludivino G. all elliptical. Del Pilar Street being chased by another (John Doe). Porpirio Maribuhok ( Porpirio) and John Doe. PO2 Edilberto Safuentes (PO2 Safuentes). the three accused ran towards M. only the appellant was apprehended.12 Dr.0 cm. 6. right ring finger.3 cm.. Branch 129.. one of the as yet unidentified assailants. The CA affirmed the November 12. Alfonso Bacar.00 as a machine operator in Vitan Industries. . Lagat (Dr. testified that on December 29. clean cut edges. Incised wounds. On arraignment.

until his arrest. more or less? ALFONSO BACAR. to pay the heirs of the victim. 20 He likewise narrated that he knows a person by the name of Porpirio Maribuhok.0 cms. the same is disallowed. sir. confirmed that she identified and requested an autopsy of her brother's remains. x x x13| According to Dr. he and his five (5) companions went to Letre.18 Mariadita. Entoy. located at the anterior chest wall.00 and P25. Virgilio Revollido. JR. Caloocan City. In his brief. Caloocan City Police. sir. beyond reasonable doubt of Murder. to 3:00 a. 21 On cross by Pros.000. accused Dante Nueva y Samaro. but failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it was he who killed the victim.26 the appellant argues that the lower court erred in finding him guilty of the crime charged despite the failure of the prosecution to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. causing the appellant to stop. which place is around 30/40 meters away from Great Taste Bakery.. qualified by treachery. the victim's sister. He posits that the prosecution merely established that a person was killed. sir.3. The CA ordered the appellant to additionally pay the victim's heirs the amounts of P50. 2001 testimony. 2000. Tonsuya. He said he does not know of any reason why he is being charged with murder. level of the 5th intercostals. He also knows one Edgar. right side. where is this located? A: At 4th Avenue East. Susano.24 [Emphasis in the original] The appellant appealed his conviction to the CA25 whose decision of April 27. they chanced upon the accused who. and several abrasions in different parts of his body. respectively. then penetrating the middle lobe of the right lobe with depth of 12. Jr. The dispositive portion of this decision reads: WHEREFORE.00) Pesos as actual damages.5 cms.00 as civil indemnity ex delicto. P50. directed backward. obliquely oriented. 17 SPO1 Aguilar was with the arresting team and essentially confirmed what PO2 Safuentes testified on. To directly quote from the records: FISCAL NEPTHALI ALIPOSA: Q: Mr. 3.Alfonso .000. we resolve to deny the appeal but modify the amount of the awarded indemnities. he was at work as bouncer at Yellow Submarine with one Wilmor that was from 10:00 p. Malabon to serve the arrest warrant on the appellant who was not in his house at the time. Bacar. can you recall where were you on the evening of December 29.0 cms.19 The appellant had a different version of the events.112. BODY. 4.22 He said that yellow Submarine is owned by one Maring Rinos whom he knows for three (3) years already. both of them at the chest. from the anterior median line. 2004.23 [Footnotes referring to the pertinent parts of the record supplied ] The RTC convicted the appellant in its decision of November 12. involving the skin and underlying soft tissue. eight (8) incise wounds. two (2) were fatal. Lagat.000. said accused testified that he knows for 3 months already [sic] Porpirio Maribuhok who is a customer of the Yellow Submarine near M. SO ORDERED. 2000.. His testimony was succinctly summarized by the RTC as follows: x x x Dante Nueva y Samaro testified that on December 29.m. He did not see Porpirio Maribuhok at the night of the incident. Q: Where were you? A: I was at Great Taste Bakery.: A: Yes. . Sufficiency of Prosecution Evidence A distinguishing feature of this case is the presence of an eyewitness . on seeing them. particularly at around 10:00 in the evening. Q: Outside or inside Great Taste Bakery? A: Outside. is hereby found Guilty. He does not know of any untoward or stabbing incident in his working place. In the interim. del Pilar St. PO1 Chu16 fired two (2) warning shots. Q: This bakery.. the case against him is Archived. Accused is ordered to pay the heirs of the victim. 2006 affirmed the RTC decision with modification.H. 14 PO2 Safuentes of the Mobile Patrol Division.00 as moral and exemplary damages. stated that he was one of the police officers who apprehended the appellant. According to him. one of the accused in this case who is a customer at Yellow Submarine. Fifty Six Thousand One Hundred Twelve (P56. turned his back and ran.15 On their way out of Letre. downward and medially. PO2 Safuentes showed him (appellant) then the corresponding warrant of arrest and then brought him to the hospital for mandatory physical examination. xxx Let alias warrant of arrest be issued against the accused Porpirio Maribuhok. at around 10:00 o'clock in the evening.who provided positive identification of the appellant in his July 31. THE COURT'S RULING After due consideration. and is sentenced to Reclusion Perpetua.m.. Val and Leo. In the absence of proof to prove loss of earning capacity. xxx CAUSE OF DEATH: STAB WOUNDS. the victim suffered three (3) stab wounds. Of the three stab wounds.

JR. Q: How many persons who [sic] were running after someone? A: One is chasing somebody. Q: While the victim who was hit on the head was on a kneeling position. what happened to the person being hit on the head? A: The person being chased was hit on the head with a piece of wood fell on his knees. he immediately stabbed the victim. sir. do you know what weapon was being used by this person? A: I don't know what weapon was that. because upon arrival of this person. what happened? A: While the person who was hit on the head fell on his knees. if any? A: Dante pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim on the front portion of the body and at the same time the other person was stabbing the victim. . Q: Where was Dante at that time when the victim was hit by that person pursuing at the back? A: Dante was there in front of the victim. Q: When Porpirio hit the head of the person being pursued. Q: You said that the person being pursued was being hit by a piece of wood on the head. if any? A: Dante Nueva boxed first the person being chased until the person who was chasing arrived . Q: What was that unusual incident? A: Somebody was chasing someone coming from M. Q: They turned around because Dante held the left arm of the person being pursued? A: Yes. Q: When they reached the other side of the road. Dante Nueva. Q: What happened after Dante held the left arm of the man being pursued? A: Then they proceeded to the other corner or turned around to the other corner. COURT: What is again the question? STENOGRAPHER: What happened to the victim who was conspired upon by the 3 persons. what did Dante do. what happened? A: Porpirio took a piece of wood (dos por dos) and he hit the person being chased on the head. Del Pilar St. then Dante Nueva held the left arm of the one running . xxxx Q: These 3 persons who attacked the victim one on the head. what was Dante Nueva doing in relation to the victim. FISCAL NEPTHALI ALIPOSA: Yes.H. Porpirio and the person who stabbed the victim at the back? ATTY.H. Q: What happened when the person chasing the victim arrived? A: Then that person stabbed the person being chased at the back who was then kneeling. conspire is already a conclusion.: He was kneeling while he was being stabbed or while they were stabbing that victim all at the same time and that person being stabbed by the 3 persons also tried to parry the stabbing. one of them stabbed the victim at the back and the other in front. Your Honor. Q: What happened to him? A: Then after that or after the stabbing of the victim. they ran away and went towards the direction of MH Del Pilar. are they inside the Courtroom now? A: Only one is inside. Q: What happened to that pursuit of one man with another man? A: When the person being chased reached 4th Avenue coming from M. the person who was chasing him arrived. sir. Q: What happened after the victim was stabbed at the back.Q: While outside Great Taste Bakery. Q: With what weapon did Dante use in stabbing the victim on the front part of the body ? A: A fan knife. Q: How about the other person who was pursuing the victim and who stabbed first the victim at the back. do you remember of any unusual incident that happened? A: Yes. sir. sir. Del Pilar and facing in front of two persons standing near the corner. JIMMY EDMUND BATARA: We object. Q: What happened to the victim who was conspired upon by the 3 persons Dante Nueva. sir. Porpirio and the person who stabbed the victim at the back? COURT: Successively attacked. ALFONSO BACAR. Your Honor. successively attacked.

He explained that he failed to get a certification from Yellow Submarine to prove that he was working at that time because no one visited him. conduct. and attitude. in his testimony of July 31.30 Alibi. The crime committed Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code defines the crime of murder as follows: Article 248. Alfonso testified that he knew the appellant prior to the stabbing incident for more or less four (4) years already. were both standing near the corner of 4 th Avenue. 37 There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons." 36 The CA concurred with this RTC finding of treachery without however offering any explanation for its concurrence.Any person who. this Court has held that positive identification. or of means or persons to insure or afford impunity. we have considered the the trial court's assessment of the credibility of witnesses to be binding except when the lower court had patently overlooked facts and circumstances of weight and influence that could alter the results of the case. The circumstances surrounding the murder must be proved as indubitably as the crime itself. he should have proven that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the crime when it was committed. INTERPRETER: Witness is pointing to a person who identified himself as Dante Nueva . hence there could not have been any doubt regarding his positive identification of the appellant as one of the assailants. he passed in front of the appellant and Porpirio who. Nor did we see anything on record showing any improper motive that would lead Alfonso to testify as he did. of the three assailants. are negative and self-serving and are undeserving of weight in law. the appellant's alibi cannot prevail over the positive identification made by Alfonso that the appellant was one of the victim's assailants. x x x [A]ccused stabbed the victim in succession even when he was already on the ground. 38 To constitute treachery. 2001. and (2) the offender's deliberate or conscious choice of the means.28 We carefully scrutinized the records of this case and found no reason to disbelieve Alfonso's straightforward narration of the events surrounding the death of the victim. it was the appellant himself who delivered the fatal blows on the victim. with the aid of armed men. method or forms which tend directly and especially to insure its execution. . These defenses. on December 29. the courts a quo appreciated the qualifying circumstance of treachery.32 The appellant fails this test as he insisted that he was at the Yellow Submarine working as a bouncer at the time of the stabbing incident. With treachery. xxxx a. To be believed. at that time. shall be guilty of murder and shall be punished by reclusion perpetua to death if committed with any of the following attendant circumstances: 1. almost always prevails over alibi and denial. he categorically stated that he had no misunderstanding with the appellant and his two (2) co-accused prior to the stabbing incident. methods or manner of execution that would ensure the offender's safety from any defense or retaliatory act on the part of the offended party. 34 Thus. There.33 and note as well that the victim's two fatal wounds were his chest wounds. Aside from being inherently weak. the appellant held his left hand and led him towards the other side of the road. the appellant claimed the defenses of denial and alibi. Murder. By physical impossibility we refer to the distance and the facility of access between the situs criminis and the place where he says he was when the crime was committed. As the victim passed. Treachery is not presumed. not falling within the provision of Article 246. who was not aware that he would be killed by the accused.m. we have ruled that the credibility of witnesses is a matter best left to the determination of the trial court because it had the unique advantage of having personally observed the witnesses. is one of the weakest defenses in a criminal case and should be rejected when the identity of the accused is sufficiently and positively established by the prosecution. wounded. By his own admission. 2000. or employing means to weaken the defense.39 We find it undisputed that prior to the killing.Q: Will you kindly point to the one who was or who is now inside this room? A: That person sir. no altercation between the assailants and the victim. shall kill another. arising from the defense that the offended party might make. In fact. As a consequence. if not substantiated by clear and convincing evidence. We particularly note that Alfonso categorically stated that he stabbed the victim from the front. Thus. "the attack was sudden and not provoked. on the other hand. He denied knowing the victim and insisted that he was at the Yellow Submarine bar on 4th Avenue/Del Pilar St. their demeanor.35 We see no reason in this case to deviate from these established rules. without risk to the offender. we adhere to the established rule that in the absence of evidence showing any reason or motive for the prosecution witness to perjure himself or herself.m. 29Moreover. he was there working as a bouncer from 10:00 p.31For the appellant's defense of alibi to prosper. In his defense. In a long line of cases. otherwise. and was not preceded by any exchange of words. the Yellow Submarine is only 30 to 40 meters from the Great Taste Bakery. we can conclude that no improper motive exists and his or her testimony is worthy of full faith and credit. According to the RTC. two conditions must concur: (1) the employment of means. method or manner of execution . This short distance does not render it physically impossible for the appellant to have been at the place where the victim was attacked. made categorically and consistently. Upon reaching 4 th Avenue. employing means. the victim was being chased by John Doe. Porpirio struck the victim on the head with a dos . denial must be supported by strong evidence of non-culpability. taking advantage of superior strength.27 [Emphasis supplied] Time and again. to 3:00 a. it is purely self-serving. No treachery In convicting the appellant of the crime of murder. We disagree with the lower courts in this conclusion as our review of the evidence points us to the conclusion that no treachery existed.

The appellant thereafter boxed the victim until John Doe came. To be entitled to actual damages. but also of weapons.41 we held that it is not only the sudden attack that qualifies a killing into murder. only P55. from the evidence presented. boxed by the appellant. or that the death of the victim was the result of premeditation. the prosecution did not even attempt to prove the presence of these elements. the act of one acting pursuant to this design is deemed the act of all. size and strength of the parties. we see no evidence indicating that the appellant and his co-accused made some preparation to kill the victim in such a manner as to ensure the execution of the crime or to make it impossible or hard for the victim to defend himself. premised upon competent proof and on the best evidence obtainable to the injured party.por dos causing him to fall to his knees. Conspiracy A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a crime and decide to commit it.00 to the victim's heirs as actual damages. However. Clearly. it is necessary to prove the actual amount of loss with a reasonable degree of certainty. and stab wounds on the neck and chest. struck on the head by Porpirio. Likewise. these circumstances were not adequately proven. the following elements must be established: (1) the time when the accused determined to commit the crime. Under these facts. Alfonso.47 The proper penalty The crime of murder qualified by abuse of superior strength is penalized under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code (as amended by Republic Act No. conformably with Article 63(2)48 of the Revised Penal Code. that abuse of superior strength attended the killing of the victim. It may be deduced from the mode and manner by which the offense was perpetrated or inferred from the acts of the accused showing a joint or common purpose and design. Proof of the agreement need not rest on direct evidence as the same may be inferred from the conduct of the parties indicating a common understanding among them with respect to the commission of the offense. Evident premeditation While evident premeditation was alleged in the Information. Antonio. c. he was overwhelmed by the combined efforts of all three (3) assailants who did not only enjoy superiority in number. For evident premeditation to be appreciated. Civil Liability The RTC awarded the amount of P56.42 we ruled that treachery cannot be considered when there is no evidence that the accused had resolved to commit the crime prior to the moment of the killing. incised wounds on the forehead. In the absence of mitigating and aggravating circumstances in the commission of the felony. the victim was in no position to defend himself. In People v. John Doe delivering the first blow from the back and the appellant doing it from the front. Porpirio hit the victim on the head with a piece of wood causing the latter to fall to his knees. Abuse of superior strength We agree. 7659) with reclusion perpetua to death. 43 It is present whenever there is inequality of forces between the victim and the aggressor so that the superiority of strength is notoriously advantageous for the latter who took advantage of this superiority in committing the crime. however.00 was duly supported by receipts. It is not necessary to show that two or more persons met together and entered into an explicit agreement setting out the details of an unlawful scheme or the details by which an illegal objective is to be carried out. concerted action and community of interest. who was at the victim's front. the appellant boxed the victim until John Doe came and stabbed him at the back.46 In the present case.45Significantly. It appears that out of the said amount. Each did an act that. b. the principal witness. though apparently independent. these joint actions sufficiently point to a common design to end the life of the victim. the manner of attack did not appear to have been deliberately adopted. Catbagan. the courts a quo correctly sentenced the appellant to reclusion perpetua.112. stabbed him in the chest. indicating closeness of personal association and a concurrence of sentiment. This numerical and physical disparity was manifest in the victim's various abrasions on the shoulders and knees. They then stabbed him. chest. and (3) sufficient lapse of time between decision and execution to allow the accused to reflect on the consequences of his act. the principal eyewitness. Thus. the court a quo correctly concluded that this circumstance was not proven. no evidence exists showing that the three (3) assailants previously met and came to an agreement to attack the victim. (2) an overt act manifestly indicating that the accused has clung to his determination. we restate what Alfonso. To the point of being repetitive. 40 There was nothing in the record that shows that the three (3) assailants carefully considered the mode or method of attack to ensure the killing of the victim. it was clear that they aimed their acts towards the accomplishment of the same unlawful object. There must be a conscious and deliberate adoption of the mode of attack for a specific purpose. 44 The records reveal that the lone and unarmed victim was held by the appellant by hand and led to the other side of the road. in People v.49 . then the appellant. In our view.438. While the intent to kill was patent. hand and back. That the assailants took advantage of their superior number and combined strength as against the relatively defenseless victim can be clearly discerned from these circumstances. positively narrated in court: the appellant held the hand of the victim and led him towards the other side of the road. The aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength depends on the age. To take advantage of superior strength means to use purposely excessive force. While treachery and evident premeditation were alleged in the Information. calculation or reflection. was in fact connected and cooperative. was not even aware of any prior incident or any possible reason that could have led the appellant and his co-accused to attack the victim. and then successively stabbed by John Doe and by the appellant. or force out of proportion to the means of defense available to the person attacked.

We also award indemnity for loss of earning capacity to the victim's heirs, as documentary evidence (Exh. "D") 50 was presented to substantiate this claim. Indemnity for loss of earning capacity is determinable under established jurisprudence based on the net earning capacity of the murder victim computed under the formula: Net Earning Capacity = 2/3 x (80 less the age of the victim at the time of death) x (Gross Annual Income less the Reasonable and Necessary Living Expenses)51 The records show that the victim's annual gross income was P61,245.60 computed from his weekly rate of P1,275.95 (or P5,103.80 per month). His reasonable and necessary living expenses are estimated at 50% of this gross income, leaving a balance of P30,622.80. His life expectancy, on the other hand, is assumed to be 2/3 of age 80 less 31, his age at the time of death. Applied to the above formula, these data yield the net earning capacity loss of P1,010,552.40. We affirm the awards of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity52 and P50,000 as moral damages53 pursuant to current jurisprudence. The heirs of the victim are likewise entitled to exemplary damages since the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength was firmly established. When a crime is committed with an aggravating circumstance, either qualifying or generic, an award of P25,000.0054 as exemplary damages is justified under Article 2230 of the New Civil Code. WHEREFORE, in light of all the foregoing, we hereby AFFIRM the April 27, 2006 Decision of the CA in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 00727 with the following MODIFICATIONS: (1) actual damages is REDUCED to P55,438.00; and (2) the appellant is ORDERED to pay the heirs of the victim P1,010,552.40 as indemnity for loss of earning capacity. Costs against appellant Dante Nueva. SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 157177 February 11, 2008 BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, petitioner, vs. JESUSA P. REYES and CONRADO B. REYES, respondents. DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:. Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to annul the Decision1of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated October 29, 2002 as well as its Resolution2 dated February 12, 2003, which affirmed with modification the Decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati, Branch 142, in Civil Case No. 91-3453,3 requiring Bank of Philippine Islands (petitioner) to return to spouses Jesusa P. Reyes and Conrado B. Reyes (respondents) the amount of P100,000.00 plus interest and damages. The conflicting versions of the parties are aptly summarized by the trial court, to wit: On December 7, 1990 at around 2:00 p.m., plaintiff Jesusa Reyes together with her daughter, Joan Reyes, went to BPI Zapote Branch to open an ATM account, she being interested with the ongoing promotions of BPI entitling every depositor with a deposit amounting to P2,000.00 to a ticket with a car as its prize to be raffled every month. She was accommodated, in lieu of the bank manager Mr. Nicasio, by Cicero Capati (Pats) who was an employee of the bank and in charge of the new accounts and time deposits characteristically described as having homosexual inclinations. They were entertained by Capati and were made to sit at a table occupied by a certain Liza. Plaintiff informed Capati that they wanted to open an ATM account for the amount of P200,000.00, P100,000.00 of which shall be withdrawn from her exiting savings account with BPI bank which is account no. 0233-2433-88 and the other P100,000.00 will be given by her in cash. Capati allegedly made a mistake and prepared a withdrawal slip for P200,00.00 to be withdrawn from her existing savings account with said bank and the plaintiff Jesusa Reyes believing in good faith that Capati prepared the papers with the correct amount signed the same unaware of the mistakes in figures. While she was being entertained by Capati, her daughter Joan Reyes was filling up the signature cards and several other forms. Minutes later after the slips were presented to the teller, Capati returned to where the plaintiff was seating and informed the latter that the withdrawable balance could not accommodate P200,000.00. Plaintiff explained that she is withdrawing the amount of P100,000.00 only and then changed and correct the figure two (2) into one (1) with her signature super-imposed thereto signifying the change, afterwhich the amount of P100,000.00 in cash in two bundles containing 100 pieces of P500.00 peso bill were given to Capati with her daughter Joan witnessing the same. Thereafter Capati prepared a deposit slip for P200,000.00 in the name of plaintiff Jesusa Reyes with the new account no. 0235-0767-48 and brought the same to the teller's booth. After a while, he returned and handed to the plaintiff her duplicate copy of her deposit to account no. 0235-0767-48 reflecting the amount of P200,000.00 with receipt stamp showing December 7, as the date. Plaintiff and daughter then left. On December 14, 1990, Mrs. Jesusa received her express teller card from said bank. Thereafter on December 26, 1990, plaintiff left for the United States (Exhs. "T", "U"- "U-1") and returned to Manila on January 31, 1991 (Exhs. "V"-"V-1"). When she went to her pawnshop, she was made aware by her statement of account sent to her by BPI bank that her ATM account only contained the amount of P100,000.00 with interest. She then sent her daughter to inquire, however, the bank manager assured her that they would look into the matter. On February 6, 1991, plaintiff instructed Efren Luna, one of her employees, to update her savings account passbook at the BPI with the folded deposit slip for P200,000.00 stapled at the outer cover of said passbook. After presenting the passbook to be updated and when the same was returned, Luna noticed that the deposit slip stapled at the cover was removed and validated at the back portion thereof. Thereafter, Luna returned with the passbook to the plaintiff and when the latter saw the validation, she got angry. Plaintiff then asked the bank manager why the deposit slip was validated, whereupon the manager assured her that the matter will be investigated into. When no word was heard as to the investigation made by the bank, Mrs. Reyes sent two (2) demand letters thru her lawyer demanding return of the missing P100,000.00 plus interest (Exhs. "B" and "C"). The same was received by defendant on July 25, 1991 and October 7, 1991, respectively. The last letter prompted reply from defendant inviting plaintiff to sit down and discuss the problem. The meeting resulted to the bank promising that Capati will be submitted to a lie detector test. Plaintiff, however, never learned of the result of said test. Plaintiff filed this instant case. Defendant on the other hand claimed that Bank of the Philippine Island admitted that Jesusa Reyes had effected a fund transfer in the amount of P100,000.00 from her ordinary savings account to the express teller account she opened on December 7, 1990 (Exhs. "3" to "3-C"), however, it was the only amount she deposited and no additional cash deposit of P100,000.00 was made. That plaintiff wanted to effect the transfer of P200,000.00 but the balance in her account was not sufficient and could not accommodate the same. Plaintiff thereafter agreed to reduce the amount to be withdrawn from P200,000.00 to P100,000.00 with plaintiff’s signature superimposed on said corrections; that the original copy of the deposit slip was also altered from P200,000.00 to P100,000.00, however, instead of plaintiff signing the same, the

clerk-in-charge of the bank, in this case Cicero Capati, signed the alteration himself for Jesusa Reyes had already left without signing the deposit slip. The documents were subsequently machine validated for the amount ofP100,000.00 (Exhs. "2" and "4"). Defendant claimed that there was actually no cash involved with the transactions which happened on December 7, 1990 as contained in the bank’s teller tape (Exhs."1" to "1 -C"). Defendant further claimed that when they subjected Cicero Capati to a lie detector test, the latter passed the same with flying colors (Exhs. "5" to "5-C"), indicative of the fact that he was not lying when he said that there really was no cash transaction involved when plaintiff Jesusa Reyes went to the defendant bank on December 7, 1990; defendant further alleged that they even went to the extent of informing Jesusa Reyes that her claim would not be given credit (Exh. "6") considering that no such transaction was really made on December 7, 1990. 4 On August 12, 1994, the RTC issued a Decision5 upholding the versions of respondents, the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court finds in favor of the plaintiff Jesusa P. Reyes and Conrado Reyes and against defendant Bank of the Philippine Islands ordering the latter to: 1. Return to plaintiffs their P100,000.00 with interest at 14% per annum from December 7, 1990; 2. Pay plaintiffs P1,000,000.00 as moral damages; 2. Pay plaintiffs P350,000.00 as exemplary damages; 3. Pay plaintiffs P250,000.00 for and attorney's fees.6 The RTC found that petitioner's claim that respondent Jesusa deposited only P100,000.00 instead of P200,000.00 was hazy; that what should control was the deposit slip issued by the bank to respondent, for there was no chance by which respondent could write the amount of P200,000.00 without petitioner's employee noticing it and making the necessary corrections; that it was deplorable to note that it was when respondent Jesusa's bankbook was submitted to be updated after the lapse of several months when the alleged error claimed by petitioner was corrected; that Article 1962 of the New Civil Code provides that a deposit is constituted from the moment a person receives a thing belonging to another with the obligation of safely keeping it and of returning the same; that under Article 1972, the depositary is obliged to keep the thing safely and to return it when required to the depositor or to his heirs and successors or to the person who may have been designated in the contract. Aggrieved, petitioner appealed to the CA which in a Decision dated October 29, 2002 affirmed the RTC decision with modification as follows: Nonetheless, the award of 14% interest per annum on the missing P100,000.00 can stand some modification. The interest thereon should be 12% per annum, reckoned from May 12, 1991, the last day of the five day-grace period given by plaintiff-appellees' counsel under the first demand letter dated May 6, 1991 (Exhibit B), or counted from May 7, 1991, the date when defendant-appellant received said letter. Interest is demandable when the obligation consist in the payment of money and the debtor incurs in delay. Also, we have to reduce the P1 million award of moral damages to a reasonable sum of P50,000.00. Moral damages are not intended to enrich a plaintiff at the expense of a defendant. They are awarded only to enable the injured party to obtain means, diversion, or amusements that will serve to alleviate the moral suffering he has undergone, by reason of the defendant's culpable action. The award of moral damages must be proportionate to the suffering inflicted. In addition, we have to delete the award of P350,000.00 as exemplary damages. The absence of malice and bad faith, as in this case, renders the award of exemplary damages improper. Finally, we have to reduce the award of attorney's fees to a reasonable sum of P30,000.00, as the prosecution of this case has not been attended with any unusual difficulty. WHEREFORE, with the modifications thus indicated, the judgment appealed from is in all other respects AFFIRMED. Without costs.7 In finding petitioner liable for the missing P100,000.00, the CA held that the RTC correctly gave credence to the testimonies of respondent Jesusa and Joan Reyes to the effect that aside from the fund transfer of P100,000.00 from Jesusa's savings account, Jesusa also made a cash deposit of P100,000.00 in the afternoon of December 7, 1990; that it is unlikely for these two to concoct a story of falsification against a banking institution of the stature of petitioner if their claims were not true; that the duplicate copy of the deposit slip showed a deposit of P200,000.00; this, juxtaposed with the fact that it was not machine-validated and the original copy altered by the bank's clerk from P200,000.00 to P100,000.00 with the altered amount "validated," is indicative of anomaly; that even if it was bank employee Cicero Capati who prepared the deposit slip, Jesusa stood her ground and categorically denied having any knowledge of the alteration therein made; that petitioner must account for the missing P100,000.00 because it was the author of the loss; that banks are engaged in business imbued with public interest and are under strict obligation to exercise utmost fidelity in dealing with its clients, in seeing to it that the funds therein invested or by them received are properly accounted for and duly posted in their ledgers. Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied in a Resolution dated February 12, 2003. Hence, the present petition on the following grounds: A. In affirming the decision of the trial court holding BPI liable for the amount of P100,000.00 representing an alleged additional deposit of respondents, the Honorable Court of Appeals gravely abused its discretion by resolving the issue based on a conjecture and ignoring physical evidence in favor of testimonial evidence. B. The Court of Appeals gravely abused its discretion, being as it is contrary to law, in holding BPI liable to respondents for the payment of interest at the rate of 12% per annum. C. This Honorable Court gravely abused its discretion, being as it is contrary to law, in holding BPI liable for moral damages and attorney's fees at the reduced amounts of P50,000.00 and P30,000.00, respectively. 8

for respondent Jesusa. 7) when the findings of the CA are contrary to those of the trial court.000.00 in words and figures are written. as long as they are borne out by the record or are based on substantial evidence. went beyond the issues of the case. we find that respondents failed to successfully prove by preponderance of evidence that respondent Jesusa made an initial deposit of P200. This is contrary to the claim of respondent Jesusa that she instructed Capati to make a fund transfer of only P100.00 in her Express Teller account. how determined. Respondent Jesusa and her daughter Joan testified that at the outset. respondent Jesusa signed the withdrawal slip.00 from her savings account to her new account. respondent Jesusa told Capati that she was opening an Express Teller account for P200. and also their personal credibility so far as the same legitimately appear upon the trial. and that she had an additional P100. it means that the testimony of one side is more believable than that of the other side. she could not have failed to notice that the amount of P200.14 Section 1. Thus. their interest or want of interest.000. and those findings are contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellee. However. The issue raises a factual question. 13 or that evidence which is of greater weight or is more convincing than that which is in opposition to it. we note that the space provided for her signature is very near the space where the amount of P200. 3) when the finding is grounded entirely on speculations. it must first be stressed that the judge who had heard and seen the witnesses testify was not the same judge who penned the decision. these assertions are not borne out by the other evidence presented.00 from her savings account to her new Express Teller account was further established by the teller's tape presented as petitioner's evidence and by the testimony of Emerenciana Torneros. The fact that respondent Jesusa initially intended to transfer the amount of P200. the nature of the facts to which they testify. the party having the burden of proof must establish his case by a preponderance of evidence. their intelligence. 8) when the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based. 1. 2) when there is a grave abuse of discretion.00 cash. In determining where the preponderance or superior weight of evidence on the issues involved lies the court may consider all the facts and circumstances of the case. surmises or conjectures. It is a basic rule in evidence that each party to a case must prove his own affirmative allegations by the degree of evidence required by law.000. to arrive at the truth.17 Exhibit "1" unequivocally shows the following data: 151159 07DEC90 1370 288A 233324299 151245 07DEC90 1601 288A 233243388 ***200000.00 from her savings account and depositP100.In civil cases..00 in cash with her. The Court is not a trier of facts. would justify a different conclusion. and that the probability of truth is on one side than on the other. and 9 which constrain us to resolve the factual issue.00. if properly considered.000.12 In civil cases. After a careful and close examination of the records and evidence presented by the parties.00 from her savings account to the Express Teller account she was opening. 9) when the CA manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed by the parties and which.000. the trial judge or the appellate court would not be in a better position than this Court to assess the credibility of witnesses on the basis of their demeanor. the witnesses' manner of testifying. Preponderance of evidence.000. the teller who had attended to respondent Jesusa's transactions.000. thus: SECTION 1. For a better perspective on the calibration of the evidence on hand. but is subject to well-established exceptions. The court may also consider the number of witnesses. their means and opportunity of knowing the facts to which they are testifying.00. the probability or improbability of their testimony.00 in her newly opened Express Teller account on December 7.10 Such rule however is not absolute. which are: 1) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken. absurd or impossible.9 As a rule. not having heard the testimonies himself. 3. the party having the burden of proof must establish his case by preponderance of evidence. though the preponderance is not necessarily with the greater number. we thoroughly reviewed the transcripts of the witnesses' testimonies and examined the pieces of evidence on record.00 151309 07DEC90 1601 288A 233243388 . Yet. the findings of fact of the trial court when affirmed by the CA are final and conclusive and cannot be reviewed on appeal by this Court.00 was written instead of P100. that she was going to withdraw and transfer P100.000.000. Notably. as a businesswoman in the regular course of business and taking ordinary care of her concerns. respondent Jesusa's claim that she signed the withdrawal slip without looking at the amount indicated therein fails to convince us. The teller's tape. 1990. We find it strange that she would sign the withdrawal slip if her intention in the first place was to withdraw only P100. 6) when the CA. Rule 133 of the Rules of Court provides the guidelines for determining preponderance of evidence.000. its jurisdiction being limited to reviewing only errors of law that may have been committed by the lower courts. and 10) when the findings of fact of the CA are premised on the absence of evidence and are contradicted by the evidence on record. It does not mean absolute truth. it is not refuted that Capati prepared a withdrawal slip15 for P200.000. Hence. thus.0018 BIG AMOUNT 151251 07DEC90 1601 288J 233243388 ***200000.11 We hold that this case falls under exception Nos.The main issue for resolution is whether the CA erred in sustaining the RTC's finding that respondent Jesusa made an initial deposit of P200. 4) when the judgment of the CA is based on a misapprehension of facts.16 would make sure that she would check the amount written on the withdrawal slip before affixing her signature. Significantly. Moreover.000. in making its findings. 5) when the findings of facts are conflicting.000. 4. rather.00.

***200000.00 PB BALANCE ERROR BAL. 229,257.64 151338 07DEC90 1601 288A 233243388 ***200000.00 BIG AMOUNT 151344 07DEC90 1601 288J 233243388 ***200000.00 151404 07DEC90 1601 288A 233243388 ***200000.00 TOD 151520 07DEC90 1601 288A 233320145 ***2000.00 151705 07DEC90 1789 288A 233324299 ***22917.00 151727 07DEC90 1601 288A 233243388 ***100000.00 BIG AMOUNT 151730 07DEC90 1601 288J 233243388 ***100000.00 151746 07DEC90 1601 288A 233243388 ***100000.0019 151810 07DEC90 1370 288A 235076748 151827 07DEC90 1790 288A 235076748 ***100000.00 ***100000.0020 151903 07DEC90 1301 288A 233282405 151914 07DEC90 1690 288A 235008955 ***1778.05 152107 07DEC90 1601 288A 3333241381 ***5000.00 152322 07DEC90 1601 288A 233314374 ***2000.00 152435 07DEC90 1370 288A 235076764 152506 07DEC90 1790 288A 235076764 ***4000.00 ***4000.00 152557 07DEC90 1601 288A 233069469 ***2000.00 152736 07DEC90 1601 288A 233254584 ***2000.00 152849 07DEC90 0600 288A 231017585 ***3150.00 686448 152941 07DEC90 1790 288A 3135052255 ***2800.00 ***2800.00 153252 07DEC90 1601 288A 233098264 (Emphasis supplied) The first column shows the exact time of the transactions; the second column shows the date of the transactions; the third column shows the bank transaction code; the fourth column shows the teller's code; and the fifth column shows the client's account number. The teller's tape reflected various transactions involving different accounts on December 7, 1990 which included respondent Jesusa's Savings Account No. 233243388 and her new Express Teller Account No. 235076748. It shows that respondent Jesusa's initial intention to withdraw P200,000.00, notP100,000.00, from her Savings Account No. 233324299 was begun at 3 o'clock, 12 minutes and 45 seconds as shown in Exhibit "1-c." In explaining the entries in the teller's tape, Torneros testified that when she was processing respondent Jesusa's withdrawal in the amount of P200,000.00, her computer rejected the transaction because there was a discrepancy; 21 thus, the word "BIG AMOUNT" appeared on the tape. "Big amount" means that the amount was so big for her to approve, 22 so she keyed in the amount again and overrode the transaction to be able to process the withdrawal using an officer's override with the latter's approval. 23 The letter "J" appears after Figure 288 in the fourth column to show that she overrode the transaction. She then keyed again the amount of P200,000.00 at 3 o'clock 13 minutes and 9 seconds; however, her computer rejected the transaction, because the balance she

keyed in based on respondent Jesusa's passbook was wrong;24 thus appeared the phrase "balance error" on the tape, and the computer produced the balance of P229,257.64, and so she keyed in the withdrawal ofP200,000.00.25 Since it was a big amount, she again had to override it, so she could process the amount. However, the withdrawal was again rejected for the reason "TOD, overdraft,"26 which meant that the amount to be withdrawn was more than the balance, considering that there was a debited amount of P30,935.16 reflected in respondent Jesusa's passbook, reducing the available balance to only P198,322.48.27 Torneros then called Capati to her cage and told him of the insufficiency of respondent Jesusa's balance.28Capati then motioned respondent Jesusa to the teller's cage; and when she was already in front of the teller's cage, Torneros told her that she could not withdraw P200,000.00 because of overdraft; thus, respondent Jesusa decided to just withdraw P100,000.00.29 This explains the alteration in the withdrawal slip with the superimposition of the figure "1" on the figure "2" and the change of the word "two" to "one" to show that the withdrawn amount from respondent Jesusa's savings account was only P100,000.00, and that respondent Jesusa herself signed the alterations. The teller's tape showed that the withdrawal of the amount of P100,000.00 by fund transfer was resumed at 3 o'clock 17 minutes and 27 seconds; but since it was a big amount, there was a need to override it again, and the withdrawal/fund transfer was completed. At 3 o'clock 18 minutes and 27 seconds, the amount of P100,000.00 was deposited to respondent Jesusa's new Express Teller Account No. 235076748. The teller's tape definitely establishes the fact of respondent Jesusa's original intention to withdraw the amount ofP200,000.00, and not P100,000.00 as she claims, from her savings account, to be transferred as her initial deposit to her new Express Teller account, the insufficiency of her balance in her savings account, and finally the fund transfer of the amount of P100,000.00 from her savings account to her new Express Teller account. We give great evidentiary weight to the teller's tape, considering that it is inserted into the bank's computer terminal, which records the teller's daily transactions in the ordinary course of business, and there is no showing that the same had been purposely manipulated to prove petitioner's claim. Respondent Jesusa's bare claim, although corroborated by her daughter, that the former deposited P100,000.00 cash in addition to the fund transfer of P100,000.00, is not established by physical evidence. While the duplicate copy of the deposit slip 30 was in the amount of P200,000.00 and bore the stamp mark of teller Torneros, such duplicate copy failed to show that there was a cash deposit of P100,000.00. An examination of the deposit slip shows that it did not contain any entry in the breakdown portion for the specific denominations of the cash deposit. This demolishes the testimonies of respondent Jesusa and her daughter Joan. Furthermore, teller Torneros's explanation of why the duplicate copy of the deposit slip in the amount ofP200,000.00 bore the teller's stamp mark is convincing and consistent with logic and the ordinary course of business. She testified that Capati went to her cage bringing with him a withdrawal slip for P200,000.00 signed by respondent Jesusa, two copies of the deposit slip for P200,000.00 in respondent Jesusa's name for her new Express Teller account, and the latter's savings passbook reflecting a balance of P249,657.6431 as of November 19, 1990.32 Thus, at first glance, these appeared to Torneros to be sufficient for the withdrawal of P200,000.00 by fund transfer. Capati then got her teller's stamp mark, stamped it on the duplicate copy of the deposit slip, and gave the duplicate to respondent Jesusa, while the original copy33 of the deposit slip was left in her cage.34However, as Torneros started processing the transaction, it turned out that respondent Jesusa's balance was insufficient to accommodate the P200,000.00 fund transfer as narrated earlier. Since respondent Jesusa had signed the alteration in the withdrawal slip and had already left the teller's counter thereafter and Capati was still inside the teller's cage, Torneros asked Capati about the original deposit slip and the latter told her, "Ok naman iyan,"35 and Capati superimposed the figures "1" on "2" on the deposit slip 36 to reflect the initial deposit of P100,000.00 for respondent Jesusa's new Express Teller account and signed the alteration. Torneros then machine-validated the deposit slip. Thus, the duplicate copy of the deposit slip, which bore Torneros’s stamp mark and which was given to respondent Jesusa prior to th e processing of her transaction, was not machine-validated unlike the original copy of the deposit slip. While the fact that the alteration in the original deposit slip was signed by Capati and not by respondent Jesusa herself was a violation of the bank's policy requiring the depositor to sign the correction, 37 nevertheless, we find that respondents failed to satisfactorily establish by preponderance of evidence that indeed there was an additional cash of P100,000.00 deposited to the new Express Teller account. Physical evidence is a mute but eloquent manifestation of truth, and it ranks high in our hierarchy of trustworthy evidence. 38 We have, on many occasions, relied principally upon physical evidence in ascertaining the truth. Where the physical evidence on record runs counter to the testimonial evidence of the prosecution witnesses, we consistently rule that the physical evidence should prevail.39 In addition, to uphold the declaration of the CA that it is unlikely for respondent Jesusa and her daughter to concoct a false story against a banking institution is to give weight to conjectures and surmises, which we cannot countenance. In fine, respondents failed to establish their claim by preponderance of evidence. Considering the foregoing, we find no need to tackle the other issues raised by petitioner. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The decision of the Court of Appeals dated October 29, 2002 as well as its Resolution dated February 12, 2003 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The complaint filed by respondents, together with the counterclaim of petitioner, is DISMISSED. No costs. SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 177147 November 28, 2007 (Formerly G.R. No. 147313) THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, vs. JOEMARIE CERILLA, VELASCO, JR., Appellant. DECISION TINGA, J.: For automatic review is the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals2 dated 26 October 2006 in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 00032 which affirmed with modification the Decision3 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Iloilo City, Branch 23 dated 15 August 2000 in Criminal Case No. 496502 finding appellant Joemarie Cerilla guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. On 6 July 1998, an Information was filed against appellant charging him of the crime of murder committed as follows: That on or about April 24, 1998, in the Municipality of Leganes, Province of Iloilo, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, armed with a firearm with deliberate intent and decided purpose to kill and by means of treachery, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously shoot Alexander Parreño with the firearm which the accused was then provided, hitting and inflicting pellet wound at the right back portion of his body which caused his death. CONTRARY TO LAW.4 The prosecution’s evidence shows that at around 6:00 pm on 24 April 1998, the victim, Alexander Parreño (Alexander), his 14 year old daughter, Michelle, and neighbor, Phoebe Sendin (Sendin), went to the house of appellant. They were cordially welcomed and entertained by appellant and his wife.5 An hour later, a blackout occurred. At this time, Alexander sought permission from the couple to leave, which the latter acknowledged. 6 On their way home, Michelle was walking ahead of Alexander with the latter closely following his daughter. Suddenly, after walking for about 100 meters from appellant’s house, Michelle heard an explosion. Michelle immediately turned her back and saw appellant pointing a gun at Alexander who, at that moment, was staggering towards her. 7 Sendin, who was also with Alexander and Michelle, did not look back but instead ran away and proceeded to the house of Mrs. Parreño.8Meanwhile, Michelle was cuddling Alexander beside the road when the latter repeatedly told her that it was appellant who shot him. 9 Twenty minutes later, Alexander’s other daughter, Novie Mae, arrived; she was also told by Alexander at that moment that it was appellant who shot him. 10 SPO3 Frederick Dequito (SPO3 Dequito) and other police officers rushed to the crime scene and helped carry Alexander to an ambulance. SPO3 Dequito was able to ask Alexander who shot him to which he answered "Pato." "Pato" is an alias by which appellant is known.11 Alexander’s wife, Susan, who rushed to the hospital was also told by Alexander that it was appellant who shot him.12 Alexander died the following day.13 Dr. Tito D. Doromal, Philippine National Police medico-legal officer, performed an autopsy on the body of Alexander. The autopsy report stated the cause of death to be hemorrhage secondary to pellet wounds. 14Testifying on his report, Dr. Doromal explained that Alexander died from a gunshot wound which penetrated the ribs and lacerated the right lobe of the liver, colon, stomach, duodenum, and right kidney. The entrance wound was located at the middle-back portion of the body. Seven (7) pellets were recovered on the muscle of the upper and middle abdominal wall. 15 The defense’s evidence consists of the testimonies of appellant himself and of his wife, Madoline, his stepdaughter, Franlin, PO1 Manolito Javelora, PO3 Alberto Sarmiento, and PO3 Wilson Allona. Appellant interposed alibi as his main defense. He claimed that Alexander, together with his daughter and Sendin, had gone to his house on 24 April 1998 at around 6:00 p.m. where they were welcomed and offered snacks.16 They were having a conversation when a blackout occurred. Alexander then asked permission to leave. After the visitors had left, appellant ordered his stepdaughter Franlin to buy candle at the store across their house. Appellant and Madoline posted themselves at their doorway holding a flashlight to light Franlin’s path. Upon Franlin’s return to the house, appellant heard an explosion and he immediately closed the door. Later, the policemen went to his house and told him that he was a suspect in the shooting of Alexander and was then brought to the police station. 17 The following day, he was subjected to paraffin test the result of which turned out to be negative. 18 Appellant’s testimony was corroborated by Madoline and Franl in. PO1 Javelora declared that when he asked Alexander who shot him, the latter did not answer. 19 Likewise, PO3 Sarmiento and Allona stated that when they went to the hospital to interrogate Alexander, the latter could not give a definite answer as to who shot him. 20 On 15 August 2000, the RTC found appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. The dispositive portion of the decision read: WHEREFORE, premises considered, and in the light of the facts obtaining and the jurisprudence aforecited, judgement is hereby rendered finding the accused GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of MURDER, hereby sentencing the said accused to the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA pursuant to Sec. 6 of Republic Act No. 7659[,] amending Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. The said accused is further condemned to indemnify the surviving heirs of the deceased, Alexander Parreño, the sum of P257,774.75 by way of actual damages; the amount of P30,000.00 by way of moral damages and the sum of P50,000.00 by way of death compensation. The accused who is detained is entitled to be credited in full with the entire period of his preventive detention. The Jail Warden, Iloilo Rehabilitation Center is ordered to remit the said accused to the National Penitentiary at the earliest opportunity. SO ORDERED.21 The trial court regarded the victim’s dying declaration as the most telling evidence pointing to appellant as the assailant. 22 It appreciated the presence of treachery in qualifying the crime to murder because the victim was unarmed and walking on his way

A dying declaration is a statement made by the victim of homicide. if not conclusive effect. its calibration of the testimonies of the witnesses and its assessment of the probative weight thereof. Ma’am. Q: You said you heard a shot.35 Significantly. stating the facts concerning the cause and circumstances surrounding his/her death. as well as its conclusions anchored on said findings are accorded high respect. did you remember anything unusual that happened? A: Yes. as evidenced by the presence of a power burn measuring four (4) centimeters in diameter surrounding the periphery of the wound 34 and penetrating his internal organs. COURT: Q: What did he point towards your Dad? A: Firearm. the case was initially elevated to this Court for review. Q: Please point to him. Mateo. This rule holds true especially when the trial court's findings have been affirmed by the appellate court. and the circumstances under which the assault was made upon him. The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s ruling but modified the award of moral damages from Thirty Thousand Pesos to Fifty Thousand Pesos.27 Hence. This is because the trial court has the unique opportunity to observe the demeanor of a witness and is in the best position to discern whether they are telling the truth. PROSECUTOR PADILLA: Q: You said Joemarie was pointing a firearm to your father. 33 In the same vein. it observed that appellant was not able to prove the impossibility of his presence at the crime scene which could have proven his alibi. In a Resolution dated 16 July 2007. 32 Michelle’s account of how her father was shot by appellant was corroborated by the post -mortem examination which reveals that the entrance wound is located at the back of the victim.24 Moreover.28 Both parties manifested that they would adopt their briefs filed before the appellate court.31 xxxx Q: If this Joemarie Cerilla is inside the Courtroom. The prosecution presented Michelle. what happened next? A: I saw my father staggering towards me and I saw Joemarie Cerilla ran. the instant appeal. as well as the dying declaration of Alexander considering that the circumstances under which the crime was committed rendered the identification of the gunman impossible. Michelle. 29 Thereafter. a dying declaration or ante mortem statement is evidence of the highest order and is entitled to utmost credence since no person aware of his impending death would make a careless and false accusation. referring to the material facts which concern the cause and circumstances of the killing and which is uttered under a fixed belief that death is impending and is certain to follow immediately. whose testimonies were relied upon by the trial court in convicting appellant.home when he was suddenly and unexpectedly shot from behind by appellant. including the eyewitness. In other words. viz: Q: While you and your father were walking towards home. what did you do when you heard a shot? A: When I heard the shot. However. Was it [a] long or short firearm? A: About 11 inches. I turned back and I saw Joemarie pointing to my Dad. or in a very short time. This argument essentially challenges the credibility of the witnesses. the eyewitness’s positive identification of appellant as the perpetrator of the crime is fully supported the victim’s dying declaration. Q: What was that? A: I heard an explosion. Q: Where were you in relation to your father when you heard that shot? A: I was in front of my Daddy and he was at my back. 30 Appellant’s authorship of the crime was proven by the positive identification of an eyewitness and the victim’s dying declara tion. Ma’am. it is a statement made by a person after a mortal wound has been inflicted. 25 In view of the penalty of reclusion perpetua imposed on appellant. 36 As an exception to the rule against hearsay evidence. Q: Where was he going? A: Maybe towards his house. pursuant to our ruling in People v. the medico-legal expert concluded that the gunshot was fired at a close range. The reasons for its admissibility is necessity and . without an opportunity of retraction and in the absence of all hopes of recovery. the case was deemed submitted for decision. can you identify him? A: Yes. to show the cause of death of the deceased.23 The trial court ruled that appellant’s alibi and denial could not prevail over the positive testimonies of credible witnesses. the Court required the parties to simultaneously submit their respective supplemental briefs if they so desired. 37 It is thus admissible to provide the identity of the accused and the deceased. Q: After you saw Joemarie pointing a firearm to your father. who categorically identified appellant as the one who shot Alexander.26 the case was referred to the Court of Appeals. Appellant argues that the trial court erred in giving full credence to the testimony of the prosecution's eyewitness. Basic is the principle that the findings of fact of a trial court. (Witness pointing to the accused Joemarie Cerilla). under a belief that death is certain.

Ma’am. the declarant must be under the consciousness of an impending death. nearly as soon as we find a hearsay rule. Ma’am. the proffered declarations will not be admissible. the declarant is competent as a witness. traditionally. Novie Mae arrived and was told by Alexander that it was appellant who opened fire at him: Q: When you reached Confessor Street. Necessity. or parricide. a fixed belief in inevitable and imminent death must be entered by the declarant. the declaration must be offered in a criminal case for homicide.38 Of the doctrines that authorize the admission of special classes of hearsay. Q: Why. the doctrine relating to dying declarations is the most mystical in its theory and. who responded immediately to the crime scene. because the declaration is made in extremity. prevents a failure of justice. because the declarant’s death renders it impossible his taking the witness stand. what [sic] happened next? A: And I immediately went near my father and asked him who shot him and he answered it was Joemarie Cerilla who shot him. what was his position at that time? A: He was in a position of lying with his hand on the road and my sister was assisting him. 42 Thus. [sic] what did you observe? A: My father was supporting himself in order that blood will not [ooze] from his body and his body will not fall down. The rule is that where the declarant would not have been a competent witness had he survived. This refers not only to the facts of the assault itself. Accordingly. thus: first. the prosecution had caused its witnesses to take the stand and testify in open court on the substance of Ale xander’s ante mortem statement in the present criminal case for murder. "Day. murder. we also find an exception for dying declarations. xxx Q: Were you able to observe why your father was sitting on the ground and supporting himself not to fall. Q: Before you reached your father. The test is whether the declarant has abandoned all hopes of survival and looked on death as certainly impending. in which the declarant is the victim. in the absence of evidence showing that the declarant could not have been competent to be a witness had he survived. The law considers the point of death as a situation so solemn and awful as creating an obligation equal to that which is imposed by an oath administered in court. 41 Third. Statements involving the nature of the declarant ’s injury or the cause of death. he was supporting with his arm and when I asked him he still made a response. at the time the declaration was made.trustworthiness. or indicating the absence of cause for the act are admissible. justifying or accusing the accused. the declaration must concern the cause and surrounding circumstances of the declarant's death. Not surprisingly. it was Joemarie who shot me. to wit: .] you saw him supporting his body. among the most arbitrary in its limitations. 44 Anent this requisite." Q: How many time he said he was shot? A: Not once but about 10 times. what happened next? A: I approached my father and cuddled him. in fact. And trustworthiness. It is not necessary that the approaching death be presaged by the personal feelings of the deceased. the same deserves no further elaboration as. the notion of the special likelihood of truthfulness of deathbed statements was widespread long before the recognition of a general rule against hearsay in the early 1700s. A: Yes. declarations made by a child too young to be a competent witness or by a person who was insane or incapable of understanding his own statements by reason of partial unconsciousness are not admissible in evidence.45 Shortly thereafter. indicating the reason or motive for the killing. when the party is at the point of death and when every motive to falsehood is silenced and the mind is induced by the most powerful considerations to speak the truth.39 Four requisites must concur in order that a dying declaration may be admissible. COURT: Proceed. The rule is that.43 Fourth. but also to matters both before and after the assault having a direct causal connection with it. what happened? A: I saw that my elder sister was assisting my father. 46 SPO3 Dequito. COURT: Q: What’s the name of your sister? A: Michelle. therefore. Michelle recounted: Q: You said your father moved towards you. It is the belief in impending death and not the rapid succession of death in point of fact that renders the dying declaration admissible. FISCAL: Q: When you saw your sister Michelle assisting your father. Q: What happened next? A: While I was cuddling my father he said. 40 Second. Q: You said [that] before you approached your father[. the presumption must be sustained that he would have been competent. In the United States. corroborated the testimonies of the Alexander’s children. allowing it. did you observe his physical appearance of what happened to him? A: Yes. those imparting deliberation and willfulness in the attack. and it often ha ppens that there is no other equally satisfactory proof of the crime. in order to make a dying declaration admissible. The victim communicated his ante-mortem statement to three persons who testified with unanimity that they had been told by the victim himself that it was appellant who shot him.

xxx Q: When you reached that hospital and your own mother led you to where Alexander was. We stress. It can be recalled that at the time Alexander was being questioned. the most natural reaction of the victims in criminal violence is to strive to see the looks and faces of their assailants and to observe the manner in which the crime is . 50 PO3 Allona and Sarmiento arrived at the hospital and questioned Alexander as to who shot him but the latter told them. First. the accused. While the place of occurrence was dark. Alexander’s wife. Parreño to the ambulance because the ambulance was on the way and after our mobile arrived." 51 These statements cannot be construed as a categorical statement of the victim denying knowledge as to the identity of his assailant. a person’s nocturnal eyesight. Oliano. Dolar. Second. Q: What were the exact words stated by your husband? A: He told me that it was Joemarie who shot him. Alias "Pato". 47 Likewise. In dismissing appellant’s contention. is not necessarily diminished just because there is no illumination from the moon. especially since the shot was delivered at close range. In the case of People v. Q: What was the situation of your husband when you first saw him? A: He was leaning on his side and many nurses attending to him and saying "araguy. 1âwphi1 PO1 Javelora alleged that he happened to pass by the crime scene and saw a young girl crying. what did you do? A: I looked for a taxi and proceeded to the hospital. Parreño to be brought to the hospital. The fact that the crime was committed during a blackout does not cast doubt on Alexander’s and Michelle’s positive identifica tion of appellant. COURT: Q: Meaning you loaded the victim into the ambulance? A: Yes. Other police officers were presented by the defense to refute the dying declaration." I am referring to Joemarie Cerilla. it would not be so hard for Michelle to identify a person’s fact especially if the latter – as in the present case – was barely two (2) arms length away from them which is confirmed by the presence of gunpowder nitrates on the body of the victim. it is the positive identification made by Alexander in his dying declaration which must be sustained. "Who shot you?" and he answered that it was Cerilla and I further asked him "The husband of Madoline" and he answered "Yes. "I am not sure because it was dark. Between these two seemingly conflicting testimonies.R. "visibility at nighttime is possible not only at the exact minute and date when the moon is full as indicated in the calendar. As held in People v.] promulgated on May 24. he would have been competent to testify had he survived. No. Thus.48 These statements comply with all the requisites of a dying declaration. in what part of the hospital did you first see him. I questioned the victim who shot him and he answered Alias "Pato.] citing the case of People v. He asked the victim who shot him but he did not get any reply. At that point. this did not prevent the Alexander or Michelle from identifying the assailant. xxx Q: When you arrived at the hospital. Appellant insists that there was an inherent impossibility in identifying the assailant with clarity since there was a power blackout at the time of the commission of the crime and was then a moonless night. the husband of Madoline. Sonia. Alexander’s declaration pertai ns to the identity of the person who shot him. The girl led him to her father who was sitting on the roadside. what did you do when you arrived at the crime scene? A: We advised the group to carry Mr. Hillado. he was already being readied for surgery. Your Honor. where did you go first? A: To my husband. Your Honor. Q: The accused Cerilla. because it is a fact that our eyes can actually adjust to the darkness so that we can still see objects clearly even without sufficient lighting. the ambulance arrived also [sic] so we carried Mr. the fatal quality and extent of the injuries 49 he suffered underscore the imminence of his death as his condition was so serious that his demise occurred the following morning after a thirteen (13)-hour operation. Alias "Pato"? A: Yes. that the normal reaction of the person is to direct his sight towards the source of a startling [shot] or occurrence. Q: And after he was loaded. In the case at bar. G. what did you do? A: Before the ambulance left the area. PROSECUTOR: Q: Can you remember the exact words uttered by the victim when you asked him who shot him? A: He answered me that: I questioned him. Third.Q: So. Fourth. A: Outside the operating room." xxx Q: Between you and your husband who spoke first? A: My husband. 122838[. he was understandably no longer fit to respond to questions. his dying declaration is offered in a criminal prosecution for murder where he was the victim. the trial court rationalized: x x x This argument deserves scant consideration. 1999[. testified: Q: You said from your house when you were told by the girls that your husband was shot.

We deem it proper to further impose exemplary damages in the amount of P25. we have ruled that a negative finding on paraffin test is not a conclusive proof that one has not fired a gun because it is possible for a person to fire a gun and yet bear no traces of nitrates or gunpowder. murder is punishable with reclusion perpetua to death. The presence of treachery was evident in the execution of the crime.00 which is recoverable in the presence of an aggravating circumstance. shot Alexander from his back. more or less. Michelle and Novie Mae. and without warning. who was unarmed.committed. is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that appellant is further ordered to pay the heirs of Alexander Parreño P25.58 WHEREFORE.55 Appellant counters that there was absence of any motive on his part to kill the victim. Added to this is the fact that the accused Joemarie Cerilla and the victim Alexander Parreño have known each other quite well before the incident so that they became familiar with each other’s face and physical features. as when the culprit washes his hands or wears gloves. Because the killing of Alexander. was suddenly and unexpectedly shot from behind by appellant without any risk to the latter from any defense which the former might make. being immediate relatives of the deceased.53 The positive identification of appellant must necessarily prevail over his alibi.56 The trial court correctly rejected the result of the paraffin test in light of the positive identification of appellant.57 We agree with the findings of the trial court. 7659. The distance of his house. that it was not clearly proven that he fired a gun. based on the paraffin test. and that he appeared calm and composed and showed no indication of guilt when he was invited by the police officers shortly after the commission of the crime. SO ORDERED. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder. There was no opportunity given to Alexander to repel the assault or offer any defense of his person. 54 It was not physically impossible for appellant to have been present at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission. whether qualifying or ordinary. the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 26 October 2006. affirming with modification the Regional Trial Court Judgment dated 15 August 2000 finding appellant. in the commission of the crime.000.00 as exemplary damages. where he supposedly was. The trial court held that the killing was qualified by treachery because Alexander.000. would naturally be interested in having the real culprit punished. from the locus criminis is only 120-150 meters. There was not the slightest provocation on his part. the proper imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua. although qualified by treachery. . Time and again. x x x 52 Moreover. Under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. Joemari Cerilla. Susan. the prosecution witnesses were not shown to be impelled by ill motive to testify falsely against appellant. was not attended by any other aggravating circumstance. Appellant suddenly. as amended by Republic Act No. Besides.

13546. face down and on top of AAA who was then wearing nothing but her shirt. willfully. the Branch Clerk of Court of RTC. 13 yrs. Muñoz. Rosita A. while she was exercising her official function. 177749 December 17. which affirmed in toto the Decision2 dated 27 December 2004 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Muntinlupa City. AAA came to her clinic at Sta. Lydia Villaflores from AAA on 5 February 1998.) The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. Rosita A. Muñoz was corroborated by Joven Acabal and Dr. the Medical Technologist at Bayawan District Hospital. xxx. She said that she did not conduct any medical examination on AAA and left it to the Bayawan District Hospital to conduct the same. Thereafter. She declared that she was given a copy of the said result. to get the chamber pot. Lydia Villaflores confirmed that she was the one who took the cervical smear from AAA on 5 February 1998 and after the examination of the specimen. Negros Oriental Police Station. He further stated that a Medical Certificate5 issued by Dr. plaintiff-appellee. SPO1 Wenifredo Jamandron averred that he interviewed and investigated AAA at the Sta. 00743. in Criminal Case No. Dumaguete City. Dr.13 She said that the appellant was her common-law husband. Catalina. but still the appellant did not answer which made her hit the appellant with a scythe. She affirmed that AAA was born on 26 January 1985.R. and the same was recorded in the police blotter on 5 February 1998. declared that she was previously married to deceased CCC with whom she had three children namely: DDD. Lydia Villaflores of the Bayawan District Hospital. Catalina. old. accused-appellant. she issued a Medical Certificate7 with the following findings: This is to certify that per examination results of the cervical smear. the mother of AAA. trial ensued.6 During her testimony. unlawfully and feloniously did lie and succeeded in having carnal knowledge with AAA. Negros Oriental.R. Catalina Police. below thirteen (13) years old and the stepdaughter of the said [appellant]. She also issued a Medical Certificate10 as requested by the Sta. assisted by counsel de oficio. a member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Sta.00 as exemplary damages. When she reached out for the chamber pot. while AAA slept in a room downstairs together with her half-brothers. The Laboratory Examination Sheet was filled up by the nurse whom she personally knows. Rosita A. (3) Joven Acabal. Catalina Police Station on the aforesaid date as regards the rape incident.8 The testimony of Dr. she was taken aback when her hands touched instead the bare buttocks of the appellant. she and appellant. Catalina Rural Health Unit and reported to her that she was raped. the victim herself. The medical examination was conducted by Joven Acabal and Dr. She discovered that the appellant was lying naked. docketed as Criminal Case No. CR H. physician from Bayawan District Hospital. she was able to determine the presence of spermatozoa. and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. The prosecution presented the following witnesses: (1) Atty. By virtue thereof. allegedly committed against AAA on 4 February 1998. The same was entitled People of the Philippines v.11 Police Senior Inspector Cresenciano Valiente Pagnanawon and SPO1 Wenifredo Jamandron testified that the rape incident that happened on 4 February 1998 was reported to the Sta. (7) BBB. xxx. Branch 207.14 BBB courageously divulged in court that on the evening of 4 February 1998.00 as moral damages and P25. Piñero. 9 Dr. When arraigned on 12 July 2000. female from xxx.000. BBB again asked the appellant what was he really doing. 13545. AAA. xxx. The result of the same indicates the presence of spermatozoa from a male seminal fluid. finding herein appellant Manuel Aguilar guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of simple rape committed against AAA. Appellant Manuel Aguilar was charged with the crime of rape before Branch 42 of the RTC of Dumaguete City. where AAA and her halfbrothers were sleeping.3 the daughter of his common-law wife BBB. Negros Oriental. No. Manuel Aguilar. The result of the medical examination revealed the presence of spermatozoa. committed as follows: That on [24 June 1997] at about 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon. (2) Dr. namely: FFF. Rolando A. 13545.000. (5) Police Senior Inspector Cresenciano Valiente Pagnanawon. [Municipality of] xxx. MANUEL AGUILAR. [Province of] xxx. together with their daughters HHH and III. slept in a room upstairs. She then brought the lamp closer to the appellant who was already seated but still naked. P50. pleaded NOT GUILTY to the crime charged. the above-named [appellant]. Muñoz disclosed that on 5 February 1998. At around midnight. Piñero testified that the appellant has a pending criminal case for rape before Branch 31 of the RTC of Dumaguete City. GGG. with lewd designs and by means of force and intimidation. Lydia Villaflores. Chief of Police of Sta. AAA did not . Joven Acabal avowed that he was the one who conducted the examination of the cervical smear which was taken by Dr. At first. and to indemnify the victim in the amount of P50. she woke up to answer the call of nature. with abuse of confidence. on the other hand.: For review is the Decision1 dated 28 February 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. and (8) AAA. with a kerosene lamp. stood up. AAA. Rosita A. they had been living together since 1989. spermatozoa were present taken from [AAA]. the mother of the victim. J. the Municipal Health Officer of Sta. Branch 31. Rolando A.C. at Sitio xxx. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO. (6) SPO1 Wenifredo Jamandron. No. vs. Philippines. HHH and III. and they had four children. (4) Dr. Muñoz in favor of AAA was presented therein as evidence to prove that AAA was physically examined after the reported rape of 4 February 1998. considering that there was no facility for spermatozoa examination in the said clinic. she referred AAA to the Bayawan District Hospital. proceeded to a room downstairs.000. Catalina Rural Health Unit. Lydia Villaflores. Catalina. After that. BBB repeatedly asked the appellant what he was doing but the latter did not give an answer and just kept silent. EEE and herein victim. appellant. 12 BBB. Brgy. she asked AAA what the appellant did to her. However. 2007 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.00 as civil indemnity. Atty. BBB.G.4 (Emphasis supplied.

however. No. P50. Dumaguete City.18 Resultantly. In fact.20 For its part. in their house at Sitio xxx. People of the Philippines v. and (2) Criminal Case No. He also maintained that he tried to convince BBB not to pursue the case but BBB told him that JJJ and the husband of the latter would sue her and have her put in jail if she withdrew the case against him. Out of fear. the instant case. AAA immediately ran away and went to the nearby house of her aunt named JJJ. undressed her. She neither followed his orders nor his instructions and all these started when AAA realized that he was not her real father. On 27 December 2004. The appellant then undressed himself. the victim herself. He claimed that there was no rape incident that happened in the kitchen of their house on 24 June 1997. In his brief.000. During her testimony. the defense presented the lone testimony of the appellant. Dumaguete City. She also admitted that the appellant is her stepfather. Barangay xxx. directing the Judge of the RTC of Dumaguete City. AAA felt pain. being the common-law husband of her mother.16 Immediately. the Court of Appeals forwarded to this Court the records of this case. in Criminal Case No.R. after that rape incident on 4 February 1998. Her mother at that time was in Bayawan to attend the birthday celebration of her lola. when she was still 12 years old. AAA replied that the appellant had sexual intercourse with her. went to the Sta.19 The rape incidents that happened on 24 June 1997 and 4 February 1998 were reported to the police authorities at Sta. 17 BBB further testified that she. She likewise failed to shout because the appellant threatened to kill her and her mother if she did. The final witness presented by the prosecution was AAA. the appellant's lone assignment of error was: THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THE [APPELANT] GUILTY OF THE CRIME CHARGED DESPITE THE FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO PROVE HIS GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT." AAA disclosed that in the afternoon of 24 June 1997. by the RTC. Manuel Aguilar. AAA never told her mother about her harrowing experience in the hands of the appellant. and was raffled to Branch 31 of RTC. The appellant admitted that AAA is his stepdaughter as she is the daughter of his common-law wife BBB. being the lone family court in Muntinlupa City. 13545. the appellant escaped. to commit the appellant to the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City. Municipality of xxx. In view of this. In view thereof. they tried to send him away many times but he did not leave because of his children with BBB. the Decision. 13546. together with JJJ and the husband of the latter. He likewise avowed his innocence and assailed that the charges against him were a mere scheme. the appellant averred that AAA was just making up stories because she never respected him.27 Dissatisfied. this Court issued Resolutions dated 27 July 2004 24 and 17 August 200425 directing the RTC of Muntinlupa City. He is ordered to pay the victim [AAA] P50. This Court. While BBB and AAA were at the house of JJJ. Barangay xxx.21 In his testimony. He also asserted that he and BBB were never married and they just live together without the benefit of marriage. the appellant filed a Notice of Appeal. BBB and AAA visited him twice and they even brought him bread and soap. Catalina Police Station where they reported the rape incident. Province of xxx. BBB also stated that AAA was brought to the doctor at Sta. AAA also revealed that the rape incident that happened on 24 June 1997 was continuously repeated until it was discovered by her mother on 4 February 1998. premises considered. the latter asked AAA what had happened. AAA responded that she was raped by the appellant. She felt pain and continuously had bleeding during and after the rape. She further stated that she was instructed to go to the Bayawan District Hospital for medical examination. he would kill her and her mother. while she was cooking food for supper and doing several household chores in their house at Sitio xxx. but he admitted that BBB was really not present in their house on the aforesaid date and the latter came back only on 25 June 1997. The appellant similarly warned her not to tell anyone what had happened because if she did.00 as civil indemnity. [appellant] is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of simple rape and is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. dated [27 December 2004]. and she calls him "papa. Branch 207. 13545. Criminal Case No. made her lie down on the kitchen floor and pinned her on the ground. to resolve Criminal Case No. Catalina Police Station.give any answer but when BBB asked her for the second time. 154848 entitled. the decretal portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. BBB. having convicted appellant for raping AAA on 4 February 1998. 13545 is hereby AFFIRMED in toto.000. had issued a Resolution23 dated 27 January 2004. who tried and heard Criminal Case No. It was recorded in the police blotter. Municipality of xxx. Similarly. that she had been raped several times by the appellant beginning 24 June 1997. was considered submitted for decision on 11 February 2004. lay on top of her until he finally inserted his penis into her vagina. in G. to wit: (1) Criminal Case No.15 during the time when BBB was in Bayawan to attend the birthday celebration of Nang Emang and returned only in the afternoon of 25 June 1997.26 the RTC of Muntinlupa City rendered a judgment of conviction against the appellant. the instant case.29 Intending to appeal the aforesaid Decision of the appellate court.22 After trial on the merits. the Court of Appeals rendered a Decision affirming in toto the Decision of the RTC of Muntinlupa City. 28 On 28 February 2007.000. for the rape incident which occurred on 24 June 1997 and raffled to Branch 42 of RTC. . The dispositive portion of the Decision reads: WHEREFORE.00 as exemplary damages.00 as moral damages and P25. she confirmed that she was born on 26 January 1985. he vehemently denied the rape accusations against him. Branch 42. Dumaguete City. concocted by AAA and her aunt JJJ and the husband of the latter because they never wanted him to be with BBB. Branch 31. She cried hard and tried to defend herself but appellant was much stronger than her. BBB followed AAA. Costs against the [appellant]. The appellant further declared that while he was detained at the provincial jail. Catalina as well as in Bayawan where AAA was examined. two separate charges were filed against the appellant. Province of xxx. the appellant asked her younger siblings to go out and fetch water from a place 700 meters away from their house. BBB. 13546 for the rape which happened on 4 February 1998. the appellant appealed the 27 December 2004 Decision of the RTC of Muntinlupa City before the Court of Appeals. 13545. She was already 15 years old when she testified in court. AAA was barely four years old when they first met. appellant pulled her. With only AAA and the appellant in their house. It was also at the house of JJJ where AAA tearfully revealed to her mother. of the [RTC] of Muntinlupa City.

After a careful review of the records of this case. First. Trial judges. 47 (Emphasis supplied. AAA broke down in tears . Both the Office of the Solicitor General and the appellant manifested that they were adopting their respective briefs filed before the Court of Appeals as their supplemental briefs. worth noting are the Supreme Court's pronouncement that. lose substance when faced by the principle that the testimony of a rape victim alone. we note that while testifying. it is an accepted doctrine that in the absence of evidence of improper motive on the part of the victim to falsely testify against the accused. A rape charge is a serious matter with pernicious consequences both for the appellant and the complainant. the Court is guided by certain principles. the findings of the trial courts carry great weight and respect and. utmost care must be taken in the review of a decision involving conviction of rape. can better determine if such witnesses are telling the truth. it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused. their demeanor and behavior in court. the prosecution has to show the guilt of the accused by proof beyond reasonable doubt or that degree of proof that. being in the ideal position to weigh conflicting testimonies.In this Court's Resolution dated 16 July 2007. blush of conscious shame. the primordial consideration in a determination concerning the crime of rape is the credibility of complainant's testimony. she would also expose herself to extreme humiliation. therefore.35 Time and again. the testimony of AAA can stand on its ground and is enough to convict the appellant. in truth. Third. been a victim of rape and impelled to seek justice for the wrong done to her. it was never shown that the complainant had an ill motive in filing a case against the appellant other than seeking justice for what had happened to her. might affect the result of the case.34 Accordingly. This observation is a matter of judicial cognizance borne out by human nature and experience. The appellant further alleges that the trial court failed to note that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses merely pertained to the presence of spermatozoa without even verifying that the said spermatozoa found in AAA belonged to the appellant. since when a woman. are entitled to great respect and will not be disturbed on appeal. allow an examination of her private parts and subject herself to public trial or ridicule if she has not. To reiterate. however.33 Moreover. There could not have been a more powerful testament to the truth than this "public baring of unspoken grief. the findings of trial courts. least of all a child.32 It is well-settled that the appellant may be convicted of rape based solely on the testimony of the victim. would concoct a story of defloration. [appellant's] arguments that the prosecution failed to prove that he has been raping [AAA] since [24 June 1997] because no evidence was adduced showing that [AAA's] hymen had old lacerations. Thus. thus: Thirdly. Her testimony on how she was raped by the appellant on 24 June 1997 was characterized by the trial court and affirmed by the Court of Appeals as clear. a medical examination and report is not indispensable to a conviction for rape.) . the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot draw strength from the weakness of the evidence of the defense. in which only two persons are usually involved. even the trial court mentioned in its Decision that even in the absence of the corroborative testimonies of the prosecution's other witnesses. still.37 Trial judges enjoy the advantage of observing the witness' deportment and manner of testifying. Fourth. presenting evidence showing the presence of old lacerations to sustain the aforesaid allegations of AAA. an accusation for rape can be made with facility. hence. this Court deems it necessary to quote the wordings of the Court of Appeals in connection with this matter.36 This is so because trial courts are in the best position to ascertain and measure the sincerity and spontaneity of witnesses through their actual observation of the witnesses' manner of testifying. calmness. sigh. she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape was committed. 30 the parties were required to submit their respective supplemental briefs. to disprove. is competent to convict the accused.43 Testimonies of child-victims are normally given full weight and credit. In this regard. hesitation. as long as the same is competent and credible. the appellate courts will not overturn the said findings unless the trial court overlooked. And fifth. says that she has been raped. if found credible.41Similarly. generally. we have held that when it comes to the issue of credibility of the victim or the prosecution witnesses. eventhough there was no evidence that [AAA's] hymen had old lacerations or that the spermatozoa found therein belonged to [appellant]. for it had the opportunity to observe the conduct and demeanor of the witnesses while testifying and detect if they were lying. her "furtive glance. This is primarily because the crime of rape is usually committed in a private place where only the aggressor and the rape victim are present. by thus charging him. its assessment must be respected.31 Thus. the latter's conviction can still be sustained in that a medical report is even not necessary to prove that the crime of rape was committed. that the spermatozoa found belonged to him. especially regarding the credibility of witnesses. AAA alleged that she had been repeatedly raped by the appellant without. Second. unless certain facts of substance and value were overlooked which.40 The crying of a victim during her testimony is eloquent evidence of the credibility of the rape charge with the verity borne out of human nature and experience.all of which are useful aids for an accurate determination of a witness' honesty and sincerity. the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution. Further. if considered.42 It is also highly inconceivable for a girl to provide details of a rape and ascribe such wickedness to her "stepfather" just because she resents being disciplined by him since. 46 And in this case.44 Youth and immaturity could indeed be badges of truth. to an unprejudiced mind. In this regard. in the disposition and review of rape cases."45 More so. or the scant or full realization of an oath" -. [AAA's] testimony is credible. fully agrees in the findings of both the trial court and the appellate court that the testimony of AAA is credible and enough to convict the appellant even without the corroborating testimonies of the other prosecution witnesses. straightforward and bereft of any material or significant inconsistencies. even stigma. misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and substance which will alter the assailed decision or affect the result of the case. Furthermore. this Court affirms appellant's conviction. upon examining the records of the present case. This argument of the appellant is specious. in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape. her testimony deserves credence. Again. flippant or sneering tone. unless there are special reasons. more so if she is a minor. no woman.39 This Court. and. though innocent.38 The rule finds an even more stringent application where the said findings are sustained by the Court of Appeals. produces conviction.

it was not for the appellant to prove that he did not rape AAA. his flight evidenced guilt. the absence of fresh lacerations does not negate rape either. it must be noted that the rape was committed prior to the effectivity of Republic Act No. otherwise. while the minority of the victim was properly alleged in the Information. 2. Indisputably. Accordingly. Denial. The crime of rape shall be punished by reclusion perpetua. 61 The Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure which took effect on 1 December 2000 now provides that aggravating circumstances must be alleged in the information to be validly appreciated by the court.56 And the best evidence to prove the marriage between the appellant and the mother of the complainant is their marriage contract.63 we held that the retroactive application of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure cannot adversely affect the rights of a private offended party that have become vested prior to the effectivity of the said Rules. guardian.51 It is also bears stressing that the appellant in the case at bar has evaded the law for almost three years."53 Applicable then is the old provision of Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. [appellant] has evaded the law for almost three (3) years. being an intrinsically weak defense. – Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: 1. as it can be clearly gleaned from the records that AAA positively identified the appellant as the person who raped her. In fact. indeed. In the same way that their presence does not mean the victim was not raped recently. aggravating circumstances which were not alleged in the information but proved during the trial may be appreciated for the limited purpose of determining the appellant's liability for exemplary damages. he must be legally married to AAA's mother. but for the prosecution to prove that the appellant did rape her.58 Case law also requires automatic award of moral damages to a rape victim without need of proof because from the nature of the crime. By using force or intimidation. is mandatory upon the finding of the fact of rape. To repeat.At any rate. we held in People v. step-parent. spontaneous and straightforward identification by the victim of the appellant as the malefactor. nonetheless. this Court agrees in the amount of civil indemnity and moral damages which the court a quo and the appellate court awarded to the victim. When and how rape is committed. A rape victim can easily identify her assailant especially if he is known to her because during the rape.62 In the case at bar. Catubig. In this case. or the common-law-spouse of the parent of the victim. which is actually in the nature of actual or compensatory damages.48 The appellant also argues that although the defense of denial is. the crime of rape and the filing of the information against the appellant occurred before the effectivity of the said Rules. both the appellant and the mother of AAA admitted that they were not really married. both minority and actual relationship must be alleged and proved in order to convict the appellant for qualified rape. there is flight when the [appellant] evades the course of justice by voluntarily withdrawing one's self in order to avoid arrest or detention or the institution or continuance of criminal proceedings. relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree. Hence. it can be assumed that she has suffered moral injuries entitling her to such award. Catubig60 that the presence of an aggravating circumstance. as amended by Section 11 of Republic Act No. otherwise known as "The Anti-Rape Law of 1997. When the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented. ascendant.57 But the records of this case failed to show that the appellant and the mother of AAA were legally married. the evidence of the prosecution has clearly established the guilt of the appellant beyond reasonable doubt. Article 335 of the same Code is hereby amended to read as follows: "Art. 50And in the present case. being a negative averment. whether ordinary or qualifying. Indeed hymenal laceration is not an element of the crime of rape . 7659. 54which states in part: Section 11. In People v. xxxx The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following attendant circumstances: 1. and 3. Civil indemnity. To this the Court of Appeals said: [I]t has long been settled that the flight of the [appellant] from the scene of the crime is proof of guilt or of a guilty mind. 49 The appellant's barefaced denial of the charge cannot prevail over the positive. her relationship with appellant was not properly stated therein because what appears in the information is that the victim is the stepdaughter of appellant. 8353. It is a negative self-serving assertion that deserves no weight in law if unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence. A stepdaughter is the daughter of one's spouse by a previous marriage. 55 In this case. must be buttressed by strong evidence of non-culpability in order to merit credibility.) From the aforesaid provision of law. Thus. entitles the offended party to an award of exemplary damages. Finally. she is physically close to her assailant.64 . The Information thus failed to allege specifically that appellant was the common-law spouse of the victim's mother. (Emphasis supplied. Instead. there being no marriage certificate ever presented to prove the same. a conviction for rape in its qualified form will be barred. the presence of old healed lacerations in the victim's hymen is irrelevant to appellant's defense. Such award is separate and distinct from civil indemnity. 52 As regards the penalty to be imposed upon the appellant. x x x. it cannot be doubted. enabling her to have a good look at the latter's physical features. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious.59 As regards exemplary damages. 335. For appellant to be the stepfather of AAA. the appellant is liable only for the crime of simple rape punishable by reclusion perpetua. when the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent. the Information erroneously alleged the qualifying circumstance that appellant was the stepfather of the victim. a weak defense. and what they had was merely a common-law relationship.

This being the case. Although the relationship alleged in the information was different from that proven during trial. this Court likewise agrees in the court a quo and in the appellate court in awarding exemplary damages to the victim. premises considered. finding herein appellant Manuel Aguilar GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of simple rape committed against AAA. is hereby AFFIRMED. the information filed against the appellant improperly alleged that AAA was his stepdaughter because what was proven during trial was the fact that the appellant was merely a common-law husband of the mother of the victim. 00743. No. CR H. this Court is not precluded from awarding exemplary damages to the private complainant because the aggravating circumstance of "common-law spouse" was duly proven.C.65 In conformity with our ruling in People v. BBB. Costs against appellant. WHEREFORE. the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. the daughter of his common-law wife. AAA cannot be the stepdaughter of the appellant. Catubig66 that aggravating circumstances which were not alleged in the information but proved during the trial may be appreciated for the limited purpose of determining the appellant's liability for exemplary damages. SO ORDERED. .R.In the present case.

nicknamed Toto. vs. Jr. pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. 01056. What she revealed was reduced into writing but she did not sign it and told the police she would sign the same only if the suspect would be apprehended. and the girlfriend of the victim were in the carinderia. convicting petitioner Jose S. She said she was at home when she learned that her son was stabbed and was brought to the Mary Johnston Hospital. While Toto was eating.k.m. However. attack. with the assistance of counsel de oficio. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO. Tondo.6 (3) Rosalinda Tan. thereby inflicting upon him mortal stab wounds which were the direct and immediate cause of his death thereafter.5 (2) Aida Bona. with intent to kill.R. Jr. taking advantage of their superior strength.4 The prosecution presented the following witnesses. Philippines. informing him that a stabbing victim died. The next witness for the prosecution was Aida Bona. Bona. She said she incurred hospital and funeral expenses. the owner of the carinderia where .G. The other witness was Benjamin C. a Security Guard of Mary Johnston Hospital. she immediately went to the hospital to see her son.8 (5) SPO2 Leon Salac. about two meters away. Boco. She added she did not see anyone helping the petitioner when he stabbed the victim. came to the carinderia and stabbed Rolando Domingo. He said the victim suffered four stab wounds. he conducted the autopsy on Rolando Domingo’s body which was identified12 by the latter’s sister. She said she was certain the assailant was the petitioner because of the right mole on his eyelid. pulled his hair and repeatedly stabbed him. Toto. Bona explained she gave her first written statement about the incident on 26 August 1994. A person. member of the WPD. he just walked away as if nothing happened. The victim was Rolando Domingo. No. assault and use personal violence upon the person of one ROLANDO DOMINGO y NALANGAN @ TOTO by then and there stabbing the latter on different parts of his body with a deadly weapon. a helper at the carinderia of Mrs. Petitioner. Petitioner thereafter removed the towel and walked away towards the end of Perla Street. 1987. identities and present whereabouts are still unknown and helping one another. He thereafter went to the crime scene and talked to Aida Bona.14 The testimony of Solomon Batallar. 2008 JOSE INGAL y SANTOS. Branch V. 173282 March 4. J. She said her son was still alive when she arrived in the hospital. she told the police about the appearance of the suspect.. After petitioner stabbed Toto.10 Myrna Nalangan Domingo. He remembered handling the case involving the murder of Rolando Domingo in which the suspect was the petitioner. only she.m.C. 3 When arraigned on 27 September 1994. dated 31 August 2005. He testified that on 27 August 1994. No. the said accused.: Assailed before Us is the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. He said the bladed weapon used was a tres cantos. On the night of the incident. a resident of Perla Street. a member of the WPD Command assigned to the Homicide Section. of 2 March 1987. Aside from the victim. He recounted that on 3 March 1987. She disclosed she was in front of the victim. He said he prepared documents .-H. For the death of one Rolando N. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Mrs. he received a call from a certain Mr. Garrote. Domingo a. of 2 March 1987. Rolando Domingo. Rosalinda Tan. The third one penetrated the left anterior while the fourth was non-penetrating at the back. petitioner. The primary cause of death was a penetrating stab wound on the chest.9 and (6) PFC Benjamin C.7 (4) Dr. She shouted for help but nobody came to help. he proceeded to the hospital and saw the victim at the morgue. Ceñido testified that on 3 March 1987. he was not the one who took the statements of Aida Bona and Rosalinda Tan. retired Police Inspector of the WPD assigned to the Homicide Section.and thereafter placed the petitioner under arrest. she executed a sworn statement when petitioner was arrested. and that the petitioner was brought to the police station. Boco. later identified as the petitioner. testified that at around 9:00 p. and the owner of the carinderia where the stabbing took place.a.Progress Report dated 27 August 1994 and the statements of witnesses . petitioner was charged with murder in an information which reads: That on or about March 2. he was assigned as an investigator in the Special Team of the WPDC that handles cases pertaining to crimes against persons. The second one was penetrating and located at the left cheek on the left side. which affirmed in toto the decision2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. W-87-16713 and the victim’s Certificate of Death. Like Mrs. Testifying next for the prosecution was SPO2 Leon Salac. in the City of Manila. Rosalinda Tan. The first wound was non-penetrating and located at the right upper thorax. and with others whose true names. Ceñido.R. and with treachery and evident premeditation. testified that her son was a nineteen-year-old student when he died on 2 March 1987. She explained that only one person stabbed the victim. two of which were penetrating and fatal. the mother of the victim.. was eating thereat. petitioner Jose Ingal approached him. unlawful and feloniously. namely: (1) Myrna Nalangan Domingo. Marcial G. Ingal of the crime of murder. Bona. Nympha Mationg. but he eventually passed away that same day. Upon receipt of said information. she was in front of her carinderia and the victim. The death of her son caused her anguish and pain. did then and there willfully. She said she first saw the petitioner on 2 March 1987 and saw him the second time when he was arrested on 26 August 1994. Marcial G. He issued Autopsy Report No. 11 Former Medico-Legal Officer of the Western Police District (WPD) Dr. 87-53676 with RTC of Manila. Manila. CR. She narrated that at around 9:00 p. Respondent. she was attending to the needs of the customers in the carinderia. She was around an arm’s length away from Toto when he was stabbed. right chest. Upon learning of the news. Branch 2. when petitioner placed a towel on the neck of the victim and stabbed him thrice. was dispensed with when the parties stipulated that his testimony would show that he accompanied the mother of the victim to the residence of the petitioner. conspiring and confederating together with one RICARDO LIDOT who has already been convicted of the said offense under Crim. Case No.

. and with the admission thereof by the trial court. From the time Domingo was stabbed until petitioner was arrested in 1994. he saw Rolando Domingo a. Thereafter. He denied he was called Bobot or Joseph. he heard the four agree that they would meet at Smokey Mountain. SPO1 Loreto A. a certain Joseph and two others. He finished his delivery at around 7:00 a. of 3 March 1987. Ingal said that he knew Rolando Domingo to be a loafer.m. He first saw Mrs. While he was approaching the carinderia. He likewise disputed the declarations of Mmes. She saw that Carding Daga and the person who stabbed the victim had two more companions who waited at the corner. Divisoria.21 Sgt." inclusive.18 (3) Ricardo de Leon.. Joseph. He narrated that on 2 March 1987. he went home and slept. for two months before transferring to Dagupan. at around 9:00 p. He likewise prepared the Booking and Information Sheet23 of Ricardo Lidot alias Carding Daga. This was the first time he divulged that he witnessed the crime. she noticed a man (whom she later learned was named Toto) and a woman eating in the carinderia.. . retired police officer. the latter was fondly called Aida.m. delivered fish at Elcano St. Toto was picked up by his lady companion.25 As rebuttal witnesses. the latter worked as a delivery man of fish and never lived outside of Tondo.m.20 and (5) Remedios A. took and prepared the statement24 of Gina dela Cruz regarding the murder of Rolando Domingo.m. She said she had known petitioner Ingal for a long time prior to 2 March 1987. De Leon said it is not true that Jose Ingal stabbed Rolando Domingo. 17 (2) SPO1 Loreto A. Ingal disclosed that it took him twenty minutes by jeepney to travel from his residence to his place of work in the Navotas Fish Port. Carding Daga and two others arrive." Toto did not answer. suddenly arrived and stabbed the victim. He did not know any reason why these two women testified against him. Tondo. Tondo. she was a resident of 85 Quezon St. Joseph and Carding Daga entered the carinderia with the latter handing a tres cantos to the former. approach Toto. Jose Ingal. De Paz." inclusive. Ibajo explained that she knew the petitioner because she knew his relatives. he was a resident of Perla Street." Then they walked away as if nothing happened.m. and was taken to the hospital. he was in his place of work in Navotas. The two who approached the victim went toward the two persons in the corner and told them.16 For the defense.for a weapon. De Leon said he was five arm’s length away when Carding Daga gave the weapon to Joseph.. He came to know that a certain Joseph stabbed the victim. He reported for work before 8:00 p. He was assigned a case involving the murder of Rolando Domingo in which there were four suspects.. De Leon insists. Concepcion of the WPD Homicide Section declared that on 31 March 1987 he.k. One of them tapped the shoulder of Toto and told him "Sumama ka sa amin. and at around midnight. Mrs. "Let us go and see each other at Smokey Mountain. the prosecution presented (1) Rosalinda Tan26 and (2) Elizabeth R. with sub-markings. with sub-markings which the trial court admitted. Mrs. the following took the witness stand: (1) Juanito Yang. was placed in a pedicab. She narrated that on said date. Bona when she testified in court. Remedios Ibajo testified that on 2 March 1987. because Ingal was not there in the carinderia. and that he only learned what happened to Domingo a day after the latter was stabbed to death.19 (4) petitioner Jose Ingal. His work was to deliver fish to Divisoria every night.m. Aida Bona and Rosalinda Tan that he was the one who stabbed Rolando Domingo. She did not see Jose Ingal at the carinderia before or after 9:00 p. together with five others. Ingal disclosed that his only nickname is Joe. She then saw two persons. the person who tapped the shoulder of Toto stabbed the latter three times. testified that on 3 April 1987. He revealed it was Lidot who told him there were three more suspects. he still stayed in his house at Coral St. Tan. Upon receiving the weapon. He saw Joseph approach Toto and stab the latter three times with the tres cantos. He explained that upon learning of the death of Domingo. the defense rested its case. he said he did not go anywhere.the stabbing happened. Ibajo. Ibajo said she was two to three feet away from the victim who was on her left. he went back to the office and prepared an Advance Report. Tondo.a. Boco who declined and told him that she would be willing to give her statement upon the apprehension of the suspect. Ingal testified he did not know Ricardo Lidot alias Carding Daga. This Carding Daga drew a tres cantos from his waist and handed it to another person.k. a laborer.a. while the other two stood as lookouts. After formally offering Exhibits "1" to "5. who arrived together. namely: Ricardo Lidot. while it was at the police headquarters that he first saw Mrs. Boco said he tried to get a written statement from Mrs. Tondo.whom she knew to be Carding Daga . Mrs. she was in the carinderia of Aling Bona which was located in Perla St. it is stated that Ricardo Lidot admitted to him that he (Lidot) stabbed Rolando Domingo. He broke his silence and decided to testify because his sister requested him to do so. Petitioner Jose Ingal testified for his defense. In the Progress Report 22 dated 3 April 1987 that he prepared. but the suspect was not there. and there was no instance when the former was called Aling Bona.27 Rosalinda Tan took the witness stand anew as rebuttal witness. Manila. After finishing delivery at 7:00 a. at around 9:00 p. Bona told him that the victim was eating in her carinderia when the suspect. While looking at the food being sold there. where he delivered fish on 2 March 1987 was only one ride away from his house. then a Patrolman.m.. At around 9:00 p. with a lady companion eating in the carinderia. Ricardo Lidot a.15 The prosecution formally offered Exhibits "A" to "G. So. He saw the group of Joseph. of said date. After the stabbing of Toto. De Leon did not tell anybody that he saw the stabbing incident. he was about to buy food at the carinderia of Aling Bona at Perla St. testified that on 2 March 1987. She added that her residence in March 1987 was only a block away from the crime scene. Tondo. He learned of the stabbing incident three days after from his neighbor. She had known Aida Bona long before the stabbing incident. and that Elcano St. Homicide Section of the WPD. She said she did not know any person by the name of Remedios Ibajo. She bared that this was the first time she revealed what she knew about the stabbing incident. Manila. is not Jose Ingal. Ricardo de Leon. During the time he reported for work up to the time he finished his job. of 3 March 1987. Concepcion. The one who tapped the shoulder of Toto asked his companion . the four left. Boco said he then went to a certain house where the suspect was allegedly hiding. he was assigned to the Command of Investigation Followup Unit. Toto. he. Juanito Yang. Manila.

1998 Decision of the Regional Trial Court is AFFIRMED in toto. CONTRARY TO THE INFORMATION GATHERED BY THE POLICE INVESTIGATOR. Seven years later. III IN HOLDING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF THE CRIME CHARGED. Carlos (GR-92860. Petitioner assails his conviction. FOUR (4) SUSPECTS. ONE OF WHOM IS RICARDO LIDOT WHO WAS ALREADY CHARGED AND CONVICTED FOR THE DEATH OF THE VICTIM. Bona and Tan finally gave their sworn statements pointing to petitioner as the assailant. petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal. the decretal portion reading: WHEREFORE. . 1987. who was alone. Pursuant. August 7. On 29 January 1999. who testified that in the course of his follow-up investigation. This case is hereby transmitted to the Honorable Supreme Court for final disposition. Mmes. however. the trial court. Mateo. since 1962. Crescencia C.33 the case was remanded to the Court of Appeals for appropriate action and disposition. stab the victim. Ricardo C. premises considered. It is likewise ordered that the accused be transmitted to the National Bureau of Prison thru the Philippine National Police (PNP) pursuant to the Supreme Court Resolution En Banc laid down in the case of People vs. Manila. because their testimonies contradicted the testimony of defense witness Sgt. POLICE INVESTIGATOR OF THE WESTERN POLICE DISTRICT WHO CONDUCTED FOLLOW-UP INVESTIGATION ON APRIL 3. finding the motion to be meritorious.Elizabeth R. admitted to him that it was he who stabbed the victim for which he was convicted and jailed. the owner of the carinderia where the stabbing happened. The victim was unarmed and was suddenly stabbed several times by the petitioner. it forwarded the records of the case to this Court. the Court finds the accused Jose Ingal y Santos guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder defined and penalized under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code and hereby sentences him to suffer the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment ranging from EIGHTEEN (18) YEARS. in the service of his sentence. Punong Barangay and resident of 94 Quezon Street. The court a quo said that the weapon used (tres cantos) and the manner in which the victim was stabbed (four times with two penetrating stab wounds on the chest) clearly indicated the intention of petitioner to kill the victim. TWO (2) MONTHS and TWENTY-ONE (21) DAYS as minimum to TWENTY (20) YEARS of reclusion temporal in its maximum period as maximum. 31 In an Order32 dated 9 March 1999. En Banc. after the arrest of the petitioner. Tondo. 1992. he shall be credited the full period of his temporary detention. On 31 August 2005. Ricardo de Leon and Remedios Ibajo. petitioner raises the defense of denial and alibi. IN THE ABSENCE OF SUFFICIENT PROOF TO JUSTIFY HIS CONVICTION. premises considered. GR-101127-31. the assailed December 9. As Punong Barangay in said place. PFC. he came to know that there were four (4) suspects in the killing of the victim and one of them – Ricardo Lidot alias Carding Daga – who was arrested. arguing there was error: I IN GIVING CREDENCE TO THE CLAIMS OF THE TWO (2) ALLEGED EYEWITNESSES THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE (1) SUSPECT IN THE KILLING OF VICTIM ROLANDO DOMINGO. if they so desired. IN FACT. testified she had been residing in Quezon St. Bona. she issued a Certification 28 stating that Remedios Ibajo had not been a resident of 85 Quezon St.30 On 12 February 1999. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. YANG. the Court of Appeals rendered a decision affirming in toto the decision of the trial court. within thirty (30) days from notice. the trial court convicted petitioner of murder in a decision. On the part of the petitioner. testified that petitioner was not the one who stabbed the victim because he was not there. The prosecution relies primarily on the testimonies of Aida Bona and Rosalinda Tan. II IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT ON THE BASIS OF THE TESTIMONIES OF TWO (2) ALLEGED EYEWITNESSES WHOSE STATEMENTS WERE GIVEN TO THE POLICE MORE THAN SEVEN (7) YEARS AFTER THE COMMISSION OF THE CRIME ON MARCH 2. The Office of the Solicitor General manifested that it was not submitting a Supplemental Brief. 1991) cited in the case of People vs. THAT IS. to our ruling in People v. considering that the arguments raised by petitioner had been discussed and refuted in its appellee’s brie f dated 8 November 2000. and no Remedios Ibajo lived there. Petitioner contends that the trial court should not have given credence to the allegations of Mmes. he manifested that it was likewise unnecessary to file a supplemental brief since the allegations contained in his appellant’s brief would be the same arguments he would submit to the Court. who allegedly witnessed the stabbing of Rolando Domingo in the carinderia they operate.. Manila. Tondo. She did not know anybody by that name. Juanito Yang. Since accused Jose Ingal is detained.29 The trial court gave credence to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses Aida Bona and Rosalinda Tan vis-à-vis petitioner’s defenses of denial and alibi. because they had a census in their barangay. Bona and Tan that they saw petitioner. THE ACCUSEDAPPELLANT HEREIN. We find his contention untenable. Said address was only four houses away from her residence. Reyes. informed the authorities that petitioner was the one who stabbed Rolando Domingo and said that she would not give a written statement until and unless the suspect had been apprehended. 1987 TO THE EFFECT THAT THERE WERE. Consequently. On the other hand. Mrs. On 11 February 1999. the parties were required to simultaneously file their respective supplemental briefs. the prosecution filed a Motion for Reconsideration asking that the penalty imposed on petitioner be modified to reclusion perpetua as prescribed by law. She added that she knew the residents in their place. JUANITO B. both of whom allegedly witnessed the stabbing. modified its decision and sentenced petitioner to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. He claims he was in his place of work when the stabbing happened. October 15. De Paz. the owner of the house told her that the place had never been rented or leased. 34 In our Resolution35 dated 19 June 2006.

She cannot be faulted for doing what she did. defense witness Ricardo de Leon testified that it was Lidot who handed the "tres cantos" to Joseph who in turn stabbed the victim thrice. The defense tries to destroy the credibility of Mmes. Bona and Tan by arguing that their testimonies that petitioner was alone at the time when he stabbed the victim was not consistent with the testimony of Sgt. because she was fearful that something bad might happen to her because the suspect was still at large.43Initial reluctance to volunteer information regarding a crime due to fear of reprisal is common enough that it has been judicially declared as not affecting a witness’ credibility. The statement of the defense that Mrs. Bona immediately gave her statement to the police that petitioner was the one who stabbed the victim. Bona contradicted her statement in her Sinumpaang Salaysay that she saw petitioner while she was being investigated in the WPD. Yang that there were four suspects in the killing of the victim. We find the testimony of Mrs.Sgt. However." This is further supported by Progress Report II 39 dated 27 August 1994 prepared by SPO2 Leon Salac.36 which declaration was contained in the Progress Report37 dated 3 April 1987 and the Booking and Information Sheet38 that he prepared. The fact that they did not see the other alleged accomplices in the execution of the crime does not detract from the veracity of their testimony that petitioner stabbed the victim. Bona said she was shocked and lost her composure because that was the first time she saw someone being killed in front of her. there is no inconsistency between the progress report and the testimonies of the prosecution eyewitnesses. Mrs. Having the full opportunity to observe directly the witn esses’ deportment and manner of testifying. which stated that "Lidot was established and found to have handed the assailant the bladed weapon used in stabbing aforenamed victim. The two prosecution witnesses were one in saying it was petitioner whom they saw stab the victim. 40 On the second assigned error. Her action revealed a spontaneous and natural reaction of a person who had yet to fully comprehend a shocking and traumatic event. 49 Moreover. Mrs. Bona by showing alleged inconsistencies in her testimony regarding the presence of petitioner while she was giving her Sinumpaang Salaysay at the WPD.42 This was what she did once petitioner was arrested and jailed. and two (2) unidentified persons as the suspects. There being statements that there were allegedly four witnesses to the stabbing of victim does not diminish the credibility of the two eyewitnesses. What he admitted was that "it was he who handed the death weapon to alias Joseph who stabbed the deceased. we find therein that Ricardo Lidot alias Carding Daga never admitted that he stabbed Rodolfo Domingo. If she truly were able to witness the crime. Certainly. the workings of the human mind are unpredictable. during or after the preparation of their statements is of no moment because they have clearly and unequivocally identified petitioner as the person who stabbed the victim. She explained she would only give her written statement when the suspect was apprehended. 47 Whether they saw petitioner before. Juanito Yang testified that Ricardo Lidot alias Carding Daga admitted to him that he was the one who stabbed the victim. After the incident. This is evidenced by the Advance Report 41 dated 3 March 1987 prepared by PFC Benjamin Boco. Bona to be worthy of belief. Fear of reprisal and the natural reluctance of a witness to get involved in a criminal case are sufficient explanations for a witness’ delay in reporting a crime to the authorities. the fact that she revealed what she saw only after seven years was contrary to ordinary human experience and conduct. for they erase the suspicion of rehearsed testimony. There is simply no standard form of behavioral response that can be expected from anyone when confronted with a strange. Bona waited for seven years after divulging what she knew about the stabbing incident is awry. De Leon said he was requested by petitione r’s sister to testify. thereby rendering her testimony unworthy of credence. the trial court’s assessment deserves great weight. People react differently to emotional stress. it is clear that Sgt. because petitioner was asking for assistance. 46 The defense further tries to discredit Mrs. The testimonies of close relatives and friends are necessarily suspect. What she did not immediately give to the police was her written statement under oath.50 . As to Mrs. the trial court is in a better position than the appellate court to evaluate testimonial evidence properly. 45 In her case. Indeed. When it comes to credibility. This was very clear. but in her testimony in court she said she had not seen him in the WPD. From their testimonies in court. after going over these two documents. The reason is obvious. We agree with the Office of the Solicitor General when it said that: Said witnesses merely testified that they did not see anybody else helping appellant in stabbing the victim. Bona for having waited for the apprehension of the assailant after more than seven years to divulge to the policemen what had transpired on the night of 2 March 1987. Tan. Joseph alias Bebot and Jose Ingal. Their failure to mention the three other malefactors simply means that they did not see them when the assault was made. it has been amply demonstrated that Ibajo has never been a resident of the place where victim was stabbed. The defense points out that Mrs. We find these inconsistencies to be too trivial to diminish the credibility of these two witnesses. Bona did not right away submit a written statement to the police was natural and within the bounds of expected human behavior. Ibajo revealed that she knows the relatives of petitioner. 48 The testimonies of the prosecution eyewitnesses are more convincing than those of the supposed defense eyewitnesses (Ricardo de Leon and Remedios Ibajo). the defense claims that she did not see the petitioner while her statement was being taken by the police which is contrary to what was stated in her Sinumpaang Salaysay that she saw petitioner while she was giving her statement. petitioner faults Mrs. Settled is the rule that inconsistencies on minor and trivial matters only serve to strengthen rather than weaken the credibility of witnesses. it is evident that they saw petitioner in the police station when he was arrested. startling or frightful occurrence. because the crime was a grave offense. Besides. and is even conclusive and binding. if not tainted with arbitrariness or oversight of some fact or circumstance of weight and influence. Both De Leon and Ibajo are friends of the petitioner." From these. Their testimonies did not rule out the presence of other assailants as subsequently established by the progress report naming one Ricardo Lidot alias Carding Daga. We find the evidence of the prosecution to be more credible than that adduced by petitioner.44 The fact that Mrs. Yang’s testimony in court was not in accord with the statements contain ed in the documents he prepared. It is not true that she waited for seven years before revealing what she knew.

As against the damning evidence of the prosecution. As correctly found by the trial court. who could testify that he was somewhere else when Rolando Domingo was attacked. Petitioner interposes the defenses of denial and alibi. and for which reason it is generally rejected. and (2) it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene at the time of its commission. (3) moral damages. he failed to present witnesses like his employer or any of his five companions who was allegedly with him when he went to Elcano St. The victim was not able to defend himself or retaliate because the attack was so sudden and unexpected. the penalty for murder should be imposed in its medium period or reclusion perpetua. they must necessarily fail. The intent to kill is shown by the weapon used by the offender and the parts of the victim’s body a t which the weapon was aimed. 51 Further.59 The essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack by the aggressor on an unsuspecting victim. it is imperative that the accused establish two elements: (1) he was not at the locus delicti at the time the offense was committed. the victim was attacked from behind while he was eating. the act of one becomes the act of all. and cannot therefore be given greater evidentiary value than the testimony of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative matters. Petitioner is guilty of murder.58 Thus. 53 Petitioner likewise interposes the defense of alibi. thereby ensuring its commission without risk to the aggressor. Since treachery was properly alleged in the information. both the trial court and the Court of Appeals did not award any. Bona and Tan only show that the assailant. The information alleged treachery in the commission of the crime.61 The Information likewise alleged the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation. The information. (4) exemplary damages. all the conspirators are answerable as co-principals regardless of their degree of participation. 1987. petitioner testified that he did not know of any reason why Mmes. Bona and Tan testified against him. the same can be used to qualify the killing to murder. It is hornbook doctrine that conspiracy must be proved by positive and convincing evidence. petitioner avers that he was working when the stabbing happened. conspired in killing Rolando Domingo. the heirs of the victim are not entitled thereto because said damages were not duly proved with reasonable degree of certainty. 54 For the defense of alibi to prosper. The information alleged that petitioner. On top of this. where he delivered fish on 2 March 1987 was only one ride away from his house.68 It is necessary for a party seeking actual damages to produce competent proof or the best evidence . Evident premeditation. depriving the latter of any real chance to defend himself. for the murder of Rolando Domingo. 56 Once conspiracy is established. supposedly the petitioner. for in the contemplation of the law.000. Article 8 of the Revised Penal Code provides that there is conspiracy when two or more persons agree to commit a crime and decide to commit it.60 In the case at bar. may not be appreciated where there is no proof as to how and when the plan to kill was hatched or the time that elapsed before it was carried out.62 In the case at bar.66 the award of P50. and that Elcano St. Anent the third assigned error. The number of times (four) petitioner stabbed the victim in the chest area supports this conclusion. No jurisprudence in criminal law is more settled than that alibi is the weakest of all defenses. the prosecution was able to prove that petitioner was the one who stabbed the victim. merits no weight in law. 63 Thus. In the case under consideration. In this regard. Conspiracy assumes pivotal importance in the determination of the liability of the perpetrators. 64 Civil indemnity is mandatory and granted to the heirs of the victim without need of proof other than the commission of the crime.65 Under prevailing jurisprudence. the following damages may be awarded: (1) civil indemnity ex delicto for the death of the victim. 57 Conspiracy is not an element of the crime of murder or homicide. he states. said findings are generally conclusive and binding upon this Court. The penalty for murder is reclusion perpetua to death. A denial unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence is negative. 52 In this case. self-serving. 55 Petitioner failed to do so. We now go to the imposition of the penalty. was alone when he attacked the victim then conspiracy was not established as alleged in the information. the other accused cannot be convicted because their respective liabilities were not satisfactorily proved as well. together with Ricardo Lidot and others whose names are still unknown. it was not possible for him to have been at the scene of the crime when the crime was being committed. Divisoria. and it matters not who among the accused inflicted the fatal blow to the victim. There being neither mitigating nor aggravating circumstances. Petitioner alone is liable for the death of the victim. only those whose liability can be established can be held liable for the crime charged. the prosecution failed to establish that evident premeditation attended the killing. and he should thus be exonerated.00 to the heirs of the victim as civil indemnity is in order. But since conspiracy was not shown in the instant case. At that time the penalty for murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code was reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death. if the evidence adduced by the prosecution fails to prove conspiracy. there being no other mitigating or aggravating circumstance attending the same. the penalty imposed on petitioner is reclusion perpetua. however. (2) actual or compensatory damages. it is settled that when the trial court’s findings have been affirmed by the appellate court. We now go to the nature of the crime committed. and without the slightest provocation on the part of the victim. With respect to award of damages. for it is easy to contrive and difficult to disprove. and (5) temperate damages. the same quantum of evidence as the crime itself. In the case at bar.The Court of Appeals further affirmed the findings of the RTC. He said that it takes him twenty minutes by jeepney to travel from his residence to his place of work in the Navotas Fish Port. Since the testimonies of Mmes. treachery attended the killing. the intention of petitioner was to kill the victim. Absence of improper motives makes a testimony worthy of full faith and credence. Thus. The crime was committed on March 2. When death occurs due to a crime. denial cannot prevail over the positive testimonies of prosecution witnesses who were not shown to have any ill motive to testify against appellants.. This intention was very clear when he treacherously attacked the victim when the latter was eating at the carinderia. 67 As to actual damages. petitioner maintains that the prosecution failed to discharge the quantum of proof required to support a conviction because it failed to establish all the elements of the crime charged as alleged in the information. accuses him of the crime of murder in conspiracy with Ricardo Lidot and two others. There is treachery in a sudden and unexpected attack which renders the victim unable to defend himself by reason of the suddenness and severity of the attack.1avvphi1 Without a doubt. We find no compelling reason to deviate from their findings.

temperate damages may be recovered. Costs against the petitioner. as it cannot be denied that the heirs of the victim suffered pecuniary loss. the award of P25. although the exact amount was not proved. all the foregoing considered.R.00 as exemplary damages.00 since the qualifying circumstance of treachery was firmly established. 01056. to justify an award therefor. dated 31 August 2005. SO ORDERED. P25.C. without need of allegation and proof other than the death of the victim. The heirs of the victim are likewise entitled to exemplary damages in the amount of P25.71 Moral damages must also be awarded because it is mandatory in cases of murder and homicide. There being no aggravating or mitigating circumstance in the commission of the crime.000. No.000.00 in temperate damages in homicide or murder cases is proper when no evidence of burial and funeral expenses is presented in the trial court.00 as temperate damages and P25.000. such as receipts.000.00 as civil indemnity.00 as moral damages is in order. 70 Under Article 2224 of the Civil Code. He is ORDERED to pay the heirs of Rolando Domingo the amount of P50. qualified by treachery. the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. he is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty ofreclusion perpetua. CR. .00 as moral damages.000.-H.000.72 The award of P50.obtainable. Petitioner is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of murder as defined in Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code.73 WHEREFORE. 69 The hospitalization and funeral expenses were not supported by receipts. However. is AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION.000. P50.

repulsive smell. to the damage and prejudice of the herein surviving heirs of Antonio Villamayor and offended party. unlawfully and feloniously. As Villamayor opened the door. Asaytono. 80. take. and in the course of the said occasion.3 Bajada and Calisay pleaded not guilty to the charge.000. JR. for help. and voice. and the green shirt which was given to him by Villamayor. J. the caller. DECISION VELASCO. assault and stab ANTONIO C. SC-8076.000 and USD 500 cash. saw the three accused unlock Villamayor's cabinet and took out its contents which consisted of documents and clothes. unlawfully and feloniously. steal and carry away the following valuables. for their own personal use and benefit.R.000. Villamayor. 2008 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 1999.000 and the PhP 20. John Doe. Asaytono was able to see Calisay repeatedly stab Villamayor on the back.R. resulting [in] his instantaneous death. Victor Calisay y Loyaga. owned and belonging to said Antonio C. did then and there willfully. Asaytono lost consciousness and regained the same after two days at the Philippine General Hospital .00. Asaytono denied having any money. John Doe made him lie face down on the floor and kicked his back several times. with intent to kill. Asaytono pretended to be dead as she lied on Villamayor who was still moving. VILLAMAYOR. 180507 November 20. Calisay wore a red handkerchief across his face and carried a 14-inch knife in his right hand. to wit: Cash Money Assorted jewelry $500. Villamayor's farm in Bayate. 2006 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. with intent to gain. enter the house of one ANTONIO C. "Hector. She noticed that Villamayor's dog wagged its tail as it followed the three men. Branch 28 in Sta. Province of Laguna and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court." Villamayor's grandson.: This is an appeal from the February 7.m. noting his hair cut. In this position. mouth. After telling about incident to her neighbor. confederating and mutually helping one another. eye bags. Asaytono likewise recognized one of the men as Calisay. Laguna at least four times a week to deliver vegetables from the farm. they visited Villamayor's house in Liliw.6 Thereafter. stab wound on her left chest. 2001 2 by the Regional Trial Court (RTC). attack. 1999.00 (current rate $1. The Facts An information dated January 21. at Brgy. wore a bonnet and carried a 2 ½ foot long gun with a magazine. Cristy Samparada. John Doe asked from Villamayor the key to the cabinet which was a meter away from the latter. Villamayor brought out a key from his pocket and handed it to Bajada. they heard someone call for Villamayor asking for coffee. VILLAMAYOR. the prosecution sought to establish the following facts: Bajada and Calisay were overseers at Antonio C. and John Doe which accused them of committing robbery with homicide and serious physical injuries. did not produce it by reason/cause independent of the will of the accused. and JOHN DOE. and by means of violence and intimidation upon person. Calisay then stabbed Asaytono on her left breast. around 11:30 p. Anabelle Asaytono. as a consequence. Asaytono recognized "Hector" as Bajada because of his average physique. Bajada pointed his gun at Asaytono and demanded for money. Said judgment was originally handed down on October 30. accused-appellants. Laguna in Criminal Case No. did then and there willfully. which prevented her death. Asaytono ran to the house of her neighbor. the black bonnet which he often wore at work.4 On December 22.7 Assured that the men had left the area.000. "There are many people in Calumpang who are angry at you because you are a usurer engaged in 5-6. NESTOR BAJADA y BAUTISTA. Accused-appellants also opened the drawer and took jewelry valued at PhP 80. The three men then hurriedly left the house. the way it did when accused-appellants would visit Villamayor. but Asaytono recognized the voice as Bajada's. VICTOR CALISAY y LOYAGA.00. The caller introduced himself as "Hector. and also inflicted upon ANABELLE ASAYTONO.00=40. Philippine Currency. Asaytono stood up and saw through the three men move towards the rice field. 20.00) PESOS. and some pertinent documents with the total amount of HUNDRED TWENTY THOUSAND (PhP 120. CR-H. Meanwhile. CONTRARY TO LAW.5 Upon entering the house.. but nevertheless. As overseers. and once inside. accused had commenced all the acts of execution which could have produced the crime of Homicide. Anabelle Asaytono.00. thus.000 right now. 2000 was filed against accused-appellants Nestor Bajada y Bautista. John Doe said. No.00) PhP 20. a lump on his cheek. Cruz. Bajada pushed Asaytono towards Villamayor. During trial. kick.C. laying her head sideways on Villamayor's head.000. Calumpang." John Doe made Villamayor sit down but when the latter refused. so give me PhP 100. the above-named accused. plaintiff-appellee vs. conspiring. Municipality of Liliw.G. No. the deep-set eyes. as follows: That on or about 11:30 o'clock in the evening of December 22. without the knowledge and consent of the owner thereof.. Laguna. She was then made to lie face down on the ground and was kicked. above-named accused while conveniently armed with a handgun and bladed weapon. while 81-year old Villamayor was at home with his 24 year-old live-in partner. The third unidentified man." pushed the door open with the barrel of a two-foot long gun. 01043 which affirmed the conviction of and death penalty for accused-appellants for the crime of robbery with homicide. who was able to stand up.

The CA did not lend credence to accused-appellants' defense of alibi since it was possible for them to be at the crime scene--they claimed that they slept at 11:00 p. Mateo.m. Calisay testified that he learned about the death of Villamayor from Villamayor's nephew when he and Editha chanced upon him in town. On September 21. Cruz. while Editha is Bajada's live-in partner and Calisay's mother. the attending physician. accused-appellants reiterated their defenses of denial and alibi. She opined that the stab wounds may have been caused by a single bladed knife inflicted by one person. physique. 1999.R. of the Regional Trial Court of Sta. 1999. 2004. Bajada and Calisay denied committing the crime and offered an alibi. the RTC rendered judgment. On December 28. hereby sentences both the said accused to suffer the SUPREME PENALTY OF DEATH and to pay the heirs of the deceased Antonio Villamayor the sum of P50. Laguna. Dr.10 Accused-appellants filed their brief before this Court on April 3. while the incident happened at 11:30 p. the Court finds both the accused NESTOR BAJADA and VICTOR CALISAY as GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT as co-principals of the offense of ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE as defined and punished under paragraph No. Asaytono gave her sworn statement to the police officers of Liliw. and the manner of identification of accusedappellants as the perpetrators of the crime. or the presence of air and blood in the thoracic cavity of the left lung. Marilou Cordon. 14 . which could cause death in six to eight hours if left untreated. she reiterated her statement during the preliminary investigation conducted by Judge Renato Bercales of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) in Magdalena. 2003. Calisay and his mother thereafter went to the funeral parlor to see the body of Villamayor. Thus. These alleged inconsistencies referred to the identity of the caller. Abdul. Calisay. He believed that Asaytono accused him as the perpetrator because he dissuaded Villamayor from visiting Asaytono's relatives in Bicol since Villamayor was too old and frail to travel. Calisay added that Asaytono used to get angry whenever Bajada would get money from Villamayor.. sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Accused-appellants are found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of robbery with homicide. on December 22. The following day.000. She added that the stab which pierced the right lung may have caused his instantaneous death due to blood loss. The CA held that Asaytono's testimony was categorical and straightforward. and Editha Loyaga Calisay as witnesses. applying People v. Laguna and identified Bajada and Calisay as the perpetrators of the crime. Laguna. Thereafter. This was allegedly overheard by Asaytono. and smell. dated 30 October 2001. she can readily identify their facial features.620.m. They went to sleep afterwards in view of the work they had to do at Villamayor's farm on the following day. however. When they got home. Bajada is Calisay's stepfather."12 It concluded that absent any mitigating or aggravating circumstances. 1999. testified that he did not see any ill motive on the part of Asaytono when she testified against accused-appellants.00 as reasonable expenses incurred by reasons of said death and to pay the cost of the instant suit. the CA granted Bajada's notice of appeal and entered judgment insofar as Calisay was concerned. however. 153218. voices. the penalty should be reduced to reclusion perpetua. the details which were lacking in her sworn statement but which she supplied in open court only served to strengthen her testimony. Michael Baccay. 8 The incident was reported to the police of Liliw. 1999. hence. 2001. is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. The following day. it cannot be appreciated even if proved during trial. 2000 were inconsistent to the statements she gave to the police on December 28. and her identification of accused-appellants was consistent. Bajada also alleged that Asaytono accused him of the crime because he warned Villamayor not to leave money in the house because Bajada suspected Asaytono's motives. The Public Attorney's Office filed a Notice of Appeal. According to the CA. IN THE LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS. The Decision. 2007. they informed Bajada of the news. Calisay. Also. the medico-legal officer.(PGH) in Manila. They claimed that Asaytono's testimonies in court on March 30. PO2 Pana and his team went to PGH to interview Asaytono. 1999.m. Bajada added that Villamayor fully trusted him with the secret that Asaytono will not inherit any land from Villamayor. and eventually charged with the crime. the state of intoxication of accused-appellants. and with the statements given to MCTC Judge Bercales on December 29. the instant appeal is DISMISSED. On October 30. the police also invited Calisay for questioning. 2007. It said that the information failed to specifically allege the aggravating circumstance of dwelling. The dispositive portion of the CA's judgment reads: WHEREFORE. Bajada was arrested in the wake.9 Bajada testified that he had known Villamayor for two years and had a good relationship with the latter and Asaytono. Based on the information given by Villamayor's daughter. (1) of Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by the Death Penalty Law (RA 7659) and as charged in the Information and taking into consideration the two (2) aggravating circumstances enumerated hereinbefore without any mitigating circumstance that would offset the same. 2000 and April 4 and 6. we transferred the case to the CA in accordance with People v. hereby. Laguna on December 22.13 Bajada's motion for reconsideration was denied in a resolution dated July 24. accused-appellants are. the appellate court held that the homicides or murders and physical injuries committed on occasion or by reason of the robbery are merged in the composite crime of "robbery with homicide. Having worked with accused-appellants in the farm for a year. and the victims' house was only 15 minutes away by jeep from the farm. on August 24. The CA. They said they were husking coconuts until around 11:00 p. Editha corroborated this alibi alleging that she helped accused-appellants in gathering young coconuts on the night in question. questioned by the police.00 as death indemnity and the sum of P78. Branch 28. Dr. Considering that there are neither mitigating nor aggravating circumstance which attended the commission of the crime. testified that Villamayor's death was caused by hypovolemic shock secondary to stab wounds. Perlita. PO2 Ronald Pana invited Bajada for questioning on December 26. there was neither a motion for reconsideration nor appeal on behalf of Calisay.11 The Ruling of the CA In their appeal before the CA. No. The defense presented Bajada. however. disagreed with the trial court's finding of the aggravating circumstances of dwelling and additional serious physical injury. testified that Asaytono suffered pneumochemo thorax. docketed as G. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. per verification. Bajada went to see the remains of Villamayor to know the circumstances surrounding the latter's death.

Bajada tries to discredit Asaytono by pointing out that as a paramour of Villamayor. How witness impeached by evidence of inconsistent statements. sworn statement before Judge Bercales. Samparada. she failed to mention what parts of accused-appellants' faces were covered by the bonnet and kerchief. were never mentioned in the preliminary investigation and in court. In her December 28. referred to by accused-appellant Bajada do not affect her credibility. 1999 sworn statement given to the police and the December 29. she had no compunction about seducing an 81-year-old man to meet her financial needs.. Bajada could not ascribe any plausible ill motive against the witness. Furthermore. Such testimony is allegedly inconsistent with the December 28. Castillano. Bajada believes that the manner of identification is suspicious since he and his co-accused were identified only after their arrest and detention based on the statements of random witnesses and not by Asaytono. 1999 statement given before MCTC Judge Bercales during the preliminary investigation. and cannot be admitted in evidence. 16 Bajada and Calisay also sent a letter entitled "Petition" addressed to former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban. frank.. The witness must be given a chance to recollect and to explain the apparent inconsistency between his two statements and state the circumstances under which they were made. 19The trial court's findings regarding the witness' credibility are accorded the highest degree of respect. and he must be asked whether he made such statements. Said letter alleged that an eyewitness who was afraid to testify revealed to Bajada that it was Asaytono's live-in partner and the children of Villamayor who were responsible for the crime. We see no reason to disturb this finding since trial courts are in a unique position to observe the demeanor of witnesses. stated that there was no prior misunderstanding between him and Asaytono and that he did not know any reason why Asaytono would accuse them of a crime. and consistent throughout the trial. Hence. Asaytono. hence. If the statements be in writing. allowed to explain them.e. 17 This is in line with Section 13. Calisay. Asaytono. This Court held in People v. His accusation against Asaytono that the latter was interested in inheriting from Villamayor is self-serving and uncorroborated. Asaytono consistently and clearly identified accusedappellants as the perpetrators. –Before a witness can be impeached by evidence that he has made at other times statements inconsistent with his present testimony. There was no evidence to support such allegation. she only told the latter that three persons robbed their house and stabbed her and Villamayor. uncorroborated. More controlling is our ruling in People v. they smelled like they had lambanog. The said letters were belatedly submitted.18 In any case. The letters accused Asaytono as one of the culprits–a defense which was already dismissed by the courts a quo. and Asaytono witnessed the stabbing and recognized two of the accused because she was familiar with the latter's physical attributes. The essential facts do not differ: three men entered and robbed the house of Villamayor and stabbed him and Asaytono. the Solicitor General correctly pointed out that the defense counsel did not confront Asaytono with these alleged inconsistencies. . the statements must be related to him. 1999 sworn statement. she accused Bajada and Calisay. accused-appellant Bajada reiterates his defenses and assigns the following error: THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANTS GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF THE CRIME OF ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE WITHOUT THEIR GUILT HAVING BEEN PROVED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. The details which she supplied to the police and to the investigating judge are trivial compared to the testimony she gave in open court. Sr. The trial court found her testimony to be credible. Rule 132 of the Revised Rules of Court which states: Section 13. Asaytono's familiarity with Bajada cannot be denied.15 Lastly. Bajada asserts that the lower court erred in convicting him and his co-accused based on the testimony in open court of the prosecution witness. Two handwritten letters from the said eyewitness were attached to the "Petition. She supplied these details only during the preliminary investigation and examination in open court. Alegado where we held that inconsistencies between the sworn statement and the testimony in court do not militate against the witness' credibility since sworn statements are generally considered inferior to the testimony in open court. The inconsistencies in the sworn statements and testimony of the prosecution witness. the cross-examiner must lay the predicate or the foundation for impeachment and thereby prevent an injustice to the witness being cross-examined. with the circumstances of the times and places and the persons present. Even Bajada's own stepson. Escosura that the statements of a witness prior to her present testimony cannot serve as basis for impeaching her credibility unless her attention was directed to the inconsistencies or discrepancies and she was given an opportunity to explain said inconsistencies. we held that: Before the credibility of a witness and the truthfulness of his testimony can be impeached by evidence consisting of his prior statements which are inconsistent with his present testimony. Asaytono was acquainted with Bajada's physical features. Asaytono was able to sufficiently identify Bajada as one of the perpetrators to the satisfaction of the trial court. The letters allegedly written by an eyewitness who was afraid to testify in trial cannot be given probative value." Asaytono also said that while the three accused were inside the house. In People v. Furthermore. while Asaytono told the police that she was able to identify the two accused because of the fluorescent lamp at the kitchen. Her alleged interest in inheriting from Villamayor led her to cause the latter's death and find a fall guy for it. i. when Asaytono sought the help of her neighbor. and if so. What is important is that in all three statements. she has known Bajada and Calisay for more than a year prior to the incident. The two accused were also frequent visitors at the victim's house. sworn statement before the police. Moreover. Also. Bajada alleges. they must be shown to the witness before any question is put to him concerning them. without identifying Bajada and Calisay as the perpetrators. Asaytono mentioned that she recognized Bajada as the caller though the latter misrepresented himself as "Hector. a native wine. and testimony in open court. These facts.Assignment of Error In the instant appeal." The Court's Ruling The appeal has no merit. straightforward.

. 01043 is AFFIRMEDIN TOTO. it must be shown that the accused was somewhere else at the time of the commission of the offense and that it was physically impossible for the accused to be present at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission. it was possible for him to be at the crime scene at or around the time the offense was committed. Liliw. No. Hence. The appellate court correctly reduced the penalty to reclusion perpetua.C. that the travel time from Bayate. however.Bajada's alibi likewise deserves no merit. Laguna to the crime scene is only 15 minutes by jeep. No costs. CR-H.R. WHEREFORE." we held in Abdul21 that this is merged in the crime of robbery with homicide. As regards the additional charge of "serious physical injuries. the February 7. For alibi to prosper. 2006 Decision of the CA in CA-G. SO ORDERED. The aggravating circumstance of dwelling was not specifically alleged in the information.20 Bajada himself admitted.

RICARDO SANTOS. 2008 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. sir. 13 Appellant was a neighbor and a drinking buddy of her second husband. sir. AAA underwent physical and genital examination at the PNP Crime Laboratory in Camp Crame. thus: Q: Now.7 an Information was filed with the RTC. BBB was awakened by the arrival of a family friend. the above-named accused. 2000. 8 Province of Rizal. 1999? A: He told me to go to their house. and asked her whether appellant had indeed molested her. appellant was a neighbor of AAA. 2002 Order3 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). 1999. 8353. Exhibit "E". do you remember what happened next AAA? A: Yes. with intent to cause or gratify his sexual desire or abuse and maltreat complainant AAA. BBB and AAA went to see him at the barangay hall and that the latter narrated how she was raped by appellant in October 1999. paragraph 1 and Article 266-B. sir. Q: What were you doing in your house? A: I was taking care of my brother. charging appellant for rape -. Only then did AAA divulge that on October 15. 1999. 2000. BBB testified that AAA is her daughter with her first husband 11 and submitted a Certificate of Live Birth. unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with said complainant against her will and consent which debases.14 In the evening of January 30. Branch 76. 12 showing that AAA was born on August 26. In 1999.19 The Barangay Captain confirmed that on January 31. threat or intimidation. accused-appellant. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. No. J.15 The following day. 7610 and Section 5 (a) of Republic Act No. 20 Her narration is recorded in thebarangay logbook.allegedly committed as follows: That on or about the 15th day of October 1999 in the Municipality of ZZZ. 23 On the witness stand. on October 15. affirming the July 31.R. do you remember where were you AAA? A: Yes. AAA was living with her and her second husband in a house at XXX. 1999. in relation to Republic Act No.17 On the following day. and the December 15. 2005 CA Resolution. 2000 by private complainant AAA6 and her mother BBB. who informed her that appellant had molested AAA. CONTRARY TO LAW. The evidence for the prosecution. sir. Q: What happened next when Ricardo Santos went to your house on October 15. 16 BBB then brought AAA back to XXX to be questioned by the Barangay Captain of XXX. Based on the sworn statements5 executed on February 1.22 The Barangay Captain also confirmed that. did then and there willfully. both being residents of XXX. sir. but AAA did not answer. if any? A: He told that he was going to give me something. Rizal.G. appellant raped her at gunpoint.21 Exhibit "G". 171452 October 17. sir. thirteen (13) years old.9 Appellant pleaded "Not Guilty" when arraigned on July 13. 10 after which trial ensued. 2001 Decision2 and April 12. paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code. degrades and demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of said child as a human being. sir. DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. with lewd design. at the time of the alleged rape incident in October 1999. 2005 Decision 1 of the Court of Appeals (CA). sir. which convicted Ricardo Santos (appellant) of the crime of qualified rape.18 As required by the police. 1986 in Quezon Province and was only thirteen (13) years old when she was raped .: Before the Court is an appeal from the July 26. 2000. a minor. armed with a gun and by means of force. Q: Where were you? A: In the house. Q: For what purpose.4 denying appellant's motion for reconsideration.as defined and penalized under Article 266-A. 2000. Bong Bautista (Bautista). Q: What happened? A: Ricardo Santos went to our house. sir. 8369 -. vs. Q: And while taking care of your brother. as amended by Republic Act No. plaintiff-appellee. Interpreter: Witness pointing to a certain person who when asked answered by the name of RICARDO SANTOS. BBB accompanied AAA to the XXX Police Station where they filed a complaint for rape against appellant. Q: If this Ricardo Santos is present inside this courtroom. Q: Will you kindly look around this courtroom and point to Ricardo Santos? A: That man wearing a yellow t-shirt. BBB went to see AAA in Caloocan City where the latter had been staying since January 16. . AAA narrated what transpired on October 15. will you be able to identify him AAA? A: Yes.

what happened? A: When I entered their door. Q: Upon reaching his house. sir. Q: What else? A: He sucked my nipple. Q: Did you undress? A: No. Q: At what point in time did Mr. sir. Q: After laying [sic] on top of you. Ricardo Santos was wearing clothes then? A: Yes. what followed next? A: He inserted his private part into mine. Q: What was your position when Ricardo Santos inserted his penis to your vagina. Q: How did Ricardo Santos insert his penis into your vagina? A: He also laid down and inserted his private part. Q: After undressing you. what did Ricardo Santos do. Q: When you said he undressed you. sir. Ricardo Santos poked a gun at your right temple? A: I was frightened. sir. sir. sir. sir. Q: And when you did not remove your dress. Q: How did Ricardo Santos lay or lie to [sic] you? A: He was lying face down on top of me. when Ricardo Santos undressed you? A: I cried and begged him and told him "Huwag po. sir. he suddenly closed the door of the house. after poking that gun at you? A: We went to a room. Q: Did you know what kind of gun Ricardo Santos used in poking at you? A: I cannot remember. if any? A: He undressed me. sir. he removed all of your clothing. what did Ricardo Santos do? A: He inserted his private part into mine and made an up and down motion. sir. sir. sir. Ricardo Santos remove his clothing from his body? A: After undressing me. Q: I presumed that Mr. including your undergarments? A: Yes. sir. Q: And then what else transpired? A: He asked me to undress. sir. if any. sir. Q: And did Ricardo Santos accede to your plea? A: No. sir. sir. if any. what did Ricardo Santos do next. Q: What else? A: He started kissing my lips going down. huwag po". Q: And after removing the shorts from his body. AAA? Were you standing. sir. Q: What did you feel when his penis entered your vagina? . sir. sir. sir. sir. sir. Q: Where did Ricardo Santos lay you down? A: On a bed. AAA. if any. Q: And what did you do. sir. Q: What else did Ricardo Santos do to you if any? A: He inserted his private part into mine. sir. he laid down on top of me.Q: And did you go to his house? A: Yes. Q: What else happened? A: He poked a gun at me. Q: And what did you feel when Mr. lying or what? A: I was lying down. AAA. if any? A: He kissed the different parts of my body. Q: In what particular part of your body did he poke his gun at you? A: At my right temple (sintido). Q: What else? A: No more. while Ricardo Santos was doing those things to you? A: I did not do anything because I was afraid during that time. Q: And what did Ricardo Santos do. Q: And what did you do. he removed his shorts. sir.

Hymen: Presence of shallow healed laceration at 3 o'clock and deep healed lacerations at 7 and 9 o'clock positions. Ricardo Santos was lying on top of you inserting his penis to your vagina and making an up and down movement? A: I was trying to push him but he still continued. Q: Aside from being hurt or feeling pain when Ricardo Santos succeeded in inserting his penis to your vagina. and deep healed laceration at 7:00 and 9:00 o'clock positions. sir. it necessarily jives [sic] with that incident which happened on October 15. Q: When you said "healed laceration"." will you kindly explain in layman's language your findings? A: That shallow healed laceration at 3:00 o'clock means that there is a hymenal tear which is healed and shallow. Dave). Q: And while dressing up. sir. Vaginal canal: Narrow with prominent rugosities. Q: And you claimed that Ricardo Santos was still holding that gun after. convex and coaptated. while Mr. AAA. Reynaldo Dave (Dr. sir. on October 15. 25 AAA further testified that appellant is no stranger to her family because he lives a few houses down their street and he is often invited by her step-father for drinking sessions in their house. Dave explained the significance of his findings. sir. Q: And where was Ricardo Santos. thus: Q: Now. sir. as contained in his Medico-Legal Report. Q: And what did you do. subportion hymen: Presence of shallow healed laceration at 3 o'clock and deep healed lacerations at 7 and 9 o'clock positions. what did you feel. can you determine how old is this laceration? A: Yes.: Physical injuries: No external signs of application of any form of trauma xxxx Labia Majora: Full. 2000? . if any? A: I was crying. Q: After dressing up. it is more than seven (7) days. Exhibit "C". meaning not more than one-half of the hymenal width was lacerated. 27 Dr. viz. Q: Did you see the gun after Ricardo Santos was through with his acts. where did you go? A: In our house. what else did Ricardo Santos do. 1999? A: Only one. sir. 1999. sir. if any? A: Something hot came out of him. sir. There are no external signs of application of any form of trauma. let's go to your medico-legal report in the portion "genital. dated February 1. Medico-Legal Officer. Posterior Fourchette: Abraded and rounded. 3:00 o'clock pertains to the 3:00 o'clock position in the clock. sir. Q: What else transpired? A: He stood up and asked me to dress. Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory. sir. Q: Where did you see it? A: He was holding it. sir. if any? A: I was crying and trembling with fear. sir. External Vaginal Orifice: Offers moderate resistance to examining index finger. Q: How many times did Ricardo Santos molest you after the afternoon of October 15. Labia Minora: Dark brown and non-hypertrophied. Q: And if this deep healed laceration is already more than seven (7) days old.26 Dr. did you come to know from the victim where (sic) was she molested? A: The victim allegedly said that she was molested at 3:00 p. what did he do with that gun? A: He kept it. sir. if any. Q: Now.A: I was hurt. what did you do. 1999 considering that you examined her on February 1. Q: Aside from ordering you to dress up. testified on the result of the physical and genital examination he conducted on AAA.24 AAA explained that she did not immediately report the incident to BBB nor to anyone else because she was afraid that appellant will carry out his threat against her and her family. sir. what did he do. 2000.m. in your interview. ordered you to stand up and dress? A: At my front. xxxx Conclusion: Subject is in a non-virgin state physically. Q: Aside from that. if any? A: No more. sir. AAA? A: Yes. after doing that to you. AAA. it is deep because it lacerated more than half of the hymenal width and it is healed. sir.

the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: WHEREFORE. Mr. sir. Witness? A: None. finding appellant guilty as charged. sir.A. Danilo Panaligan. 266-B. 266-A par. sir. 2 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by R. sir. 8353 in relation to R. my kumpare arrived and invited me to have a drink.000. sir.28 The evidence for the defense. do you go out everyday? A: Yes. 2001. 1999. sir.32 The RTC found that AAA positively identified the appellant as the person who raped her. 1999. Q: You mean that after 1:00 o'clock up to 6:00 o'clock in the afternoon. Q: Can you state before this Hon. pointed a gun at her . leave your group and went somewhere. Where did you wash this taxi of yours? A: In front of our house. sir. but always immediately returned to their drinking session. what did you do the whole afternoon? A: I rested and while resting. I cleaned the taxi and in the afternoon. at any time during the afternoon.30 Corroborating the testimony of appellant. Witness? A: In the morning. and once she stepped inside. sir. SO ORDERED. Q: You did not have any other companion? A: There was. 7610 and Sec. Q: Now. Q: And what did you do the whole day on that day. Witness. 5 (a) of R. did you go out. sir. Q: Were you the only two.00 as civil indemnity in addition to the amount of P50. Witness? A: More or less 1:00 o'clock to 6:00 o'clock. Q: So that while you were washing this taxi of yours. Q: Can you state the name of this friend of yours who invited you? A: Yes. They drank wine the entire time. 1 and Art. and candidly recounted that appellant lured her into his house by saying that there is something he needs to give her. He denied that he raped AAA. Court your companion that afternoon? A: Richard Fuentes. He recounted: Q: Will you state again before this Hon. although appellant occasionally went out to urinate. except Fridays because it is my color coding.A. and sentencing him to suffer the penalty fo Reclusion Perpetua.000. premises considered. what could have caused this laceration in her hymen? A: It is caused by the penetration of a blunt object. sir.31 The ruling of the RTC. sir. this Renato Fuentes and you were the only ones? A: Yes. Q: You said you washed your taxi. he claims that his activities that day were limited to washing his taxi and drinking beer with his neighbors. we gambled. sir. Mr. you were in the house of Mr.000. Renato Fuentes (Fuentes) affirmed that from 1:30 to 7:00 o'clock in the afternoon of October 15. Q: On the day of October 15. sir. sir. 1999. Mr. sir29 Appellant claimed that AAA and her mother filed the case to extort P1. sir.00. The RTC rendered a Decision dated July 31. 8369. Mr. Renato Fuentes. sir. Eduardo Jumalon. sir. or Family Court Law. Mr. judgment is hereby rendered finding accused Ricardo Santos GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape as defined and penalized under Art. Q: Did you not. even a single moment.000. Q: And how far is the house of this friend of yours from your house? A: In front of our house only. sir. Although he admitted that he was in XXX on October 15.A: Yes. Mr. Q: And what time was that.A.00 as moral damages and to pay the costs. par. Q: Is it possible that the same could have been caused by an erected male penis for that matter? A: Yes. xxxx Q: And in connection with your occupation. Court your occupation. Witness? A: No. Q: Up to what time on that day did you wash this taxi of yours? A: In the morning up to noontime. Renato Fuentes drinking with your friends? A: Yes. Appellant took the witness stand. Witness? A: A taxi driver. the entire neighborhood could see you there? A: Yes. appellant was with him in his house. Q: And how about in the afternoon. and to indemnify private complainant AAA the amount of P50.

the offer could not have been understood by a person like AAA who reached up to Grade 3 only.33 that the testimony of AAA. hence. 4930-00. fatal inconsistencies. a "child witness" is any person who at the time of giving testimony is below the age of 18 years. taking into consideration all the foregoing points. in a Resolution39 dated October 18. the leading questions propounded by the public prosecutor were necessary because AAA was found to be uneducated. thereby supplying details to her testimony. the questions were not objected to by appellant.49 While the rule is that leading questions are not allowed in direct examination.47 As it were. transferred the appeal to the CA for appropriate action and disposition. Whether the absence of physical evidence should have been material in the consideration and decision of the trial court. D.48 therefore. the Decision dated July 31. He claims that AAA’s testimony was mapped out for her by the public prosecutor who made an inordinately detailed offer of testimony that all AAA was left to do was parrot what was mentioned in the offer. appellant elevated his appeal to this Court on the following issues: A. nor could it have influenced her testimony.38 the Court. He can easily go to his house coming from Renato's house without anyone noticing it or under the guise of answering the call of nature because it would not take a lot of time to do the same. at critical points in AAA’s narration.42 The ruling of the Court. Appellant should have interposed his objections in the course of the oral examination of AAA. The accused testified that the reason why a complaint was filed against him was because the private complainant and her relatives were asking one million from him. illogical and general allegations. appellant subjected AAA to cross-examination on the very matters covered by the questions being objected to. it must be proved that it was physically impossible for the accused to go to the place of the incident. 41 Hence. Whether the trial court. Conformably with People v. he raised not a whimper of protest as the public prosecutor recited his offer or propounded questions to AAA. as soon as the grounds therefor became reasonably apparent.35 After his motion for reconsideration was denied by the RTC. or that the latter must have also removed AAA’s undergarments before consummating the rape. is highly credible for she would not have borne the humiliation of a public trial for rape had she not been motivated solely by the desire to obtain justice against the appellant. as noted by the CA.51 This exception is now embodied in Section 2052 of the Rule on Examination of a Child Witness. SO ORDERED. thus: The defense of alibi and denial posted by the accused must necessarily fail. is AFFIRMED. The first error appellant ascribes to the lower courts is that both permitted the rehearsed testimony of AAA who was coached by the public prosecutor throughout her direct examination. finding Ricardo Santos guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua. pointedly reminding AAA that appellant must have undressed himself at one point.45 For the same reason. This is highly improbable considering that he is a mere taxi driver even though his immediate family is in Canada. especially when said witness has difficulty giving an intelligible answer. leading & misleading questons. . Besides. Section 10 (c) 50 of Rule 132 allows leading questions to be asked of a witness who is a child of tender years. the house of Renato Fuentes where he was allegedly present having a drinking spree is only in front of his (Ricardo's) house where the rape incident happened. Whether a testimony marked by coaching. The ruling of the CA. It is too late in the day for appellant to object to the formulation of the offer and the manner of questioning adopted by the public prosecutor. failed to appreciate the existence of reasonable doubt. Whether the conviction was improper for being based on the weakness of defense evidence rather than the strength of prosecution's evidence. San Mateo. timid and easily confused. the trial court found the defenses of denial and alibi interposed by the appellant too weak. 2000. absurd. dismissing the appeal.44 The CA correctly observed that the offer made by the public prosecutor of the testimony of AAA was delivered in English and directed at the trial court. 46 The Court fully agrees with the CA. 2001 of the Regional Trial Court. 2005. the public prosecutor virtually rearranged the chronolog y of events. Branch 76. to wit: WHEREFORE. On July 26. The claim of denial likewise cannot stand.40 Appellant's motion for reconsideration was likewise denied by the CA in its Resolution dated December 15. B. Under Section 4 thereof. as when the latter has not reached that level of education necessary to grasp the simple meaning of a question. Worse. hence these were allowed to be answered. In the case at bar. as corroborated by the medico-legal report. he is barred from challenging the propriety thereof or the admissibility of the answers given. ignorant. Mateo. C. 36 appellant appealed37 to this Court.temple and suceeded in molesting her. 2004. 2005. moreso its underlying gravity. For alibi to prosper. Rizal in Criminal Case No. the CA rendered the Decision assailed herein. The trial court saw no indication that AAA or BBB was impelled by improper motives in bringing appellant to trial for rape. which took effect on December 15. 34 On the other hand. is entitled to faith and credit.43 Appellant further criticizes the public prosecutor for posing general questions to AAA. Also.

1999 scuttles the charge that he raped her in his house. A: I did not go out. Moreover.60 The Court notes that the CA merely glossed over the contention of appellant that the prosecution failed to present the gun and the soiled undergarment. AAA testified: ATTY. Dave that there are hymenal lacerations on the vagina of AAA which had already healed for more than seven days. 2000. and on the absence of physical signs of trauma on AAA. and second. AAA testified that on October 15.59 Thus. AAA was a witness of tender age of whom leading questions were properly asked. Dr. While the CA may have been remiss thereon. sir. and that she went to appellant's house and was raped there.61 It suffices that the rape victim truthfully testified that the accused was armed with a deadly weapon when he committed the crime. on cross-examination. 65 What remains to be resolved now may be capsulized as follows: whether appellant's conviction can be sustained on the sole basis of the testimony of AAA which he claims is riddled with material inconsistencies and improbabilities. inserted his penis into her vagina. 57 The Court subsribes to the view of the CA. such as an erect penis. AAA categorically and repeatedly stated that appellant poked a gun at her at the time of the rape incident. BRAGA: Q: Did you go out? A: Yes. ATTY. The non-presentation of the gun is of no consequence for it is a settled rule that the weapon used in the commission of rape is not essential to the conviction of the accused under Article 266-B. the same is easily explained by the fact that AAA was examined only on February 1. 54 Appellant further points out that while AAA testified that she bled after the incident. said witness did not categorically state that AAA was raped. has been inserted into it. Q: Where did you go? ATTY. On the lack of signs of extragenital physical trauma on AAA. which corroborate the testimony of AAA on two crucial points: first. when weighed along with the positive testimony of the complainant that her assailant. 2000. sir. Her testimony establishes the qualifying circumstance of use of a deadly weapon in the commission of rape under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. the absence of this piece of evidence casts no doubt on the testimony of AAA that appellant raped her. However. BRAGA: Q: Is it not a fact that on that date. on direct examination. The report and testimony of a medico-legal officer that there are hymenal lacerations found on the vagina of a complainant is the best evidence that an object. Court that she cannot even answer immediately. BRAGA: May we call the attention of this Hon. your Honor. 62 In the present case. he found no external signs of trauma. 1999. the CA held that there is sufficient physical evidence of rape consisting of the medico-legal report and testimony of Dr. that the healed state of these lacerations indicate that the insertion took place more than seven days prior to February 1. by which time whatever traces of force appellant applied on her would have already disappeared. she was only 14 years old and her level of education was that of a third grader. Dave. sufficiently establish the essential element of rape which is carnal knowledge against her will. Dave testified that AAA is in a non-virgin state. appellant argues that. 2000. appellant inserted his penis into her vagina and on the medical report and testimony of Dr. the date of the medical and physical examination. she was being made to relive a harrowing experience where she lost her youth in the hands of a family friend and neighbor.53 Next. that the hymenal lacerations on the vagina of AAA signify that a blunt object. 56 Unconvinced by the arguments of appellant. or four months after she was raped on October 15. Q: So. when AAA testified on direct examination on December 6.In the present case. to wit: First. appellant came to her house and told her to go to his house because he has something to give her.63 Neither is the soiled undergarment or clothing material to the case for it is not the presence or absence of blood thereon that determines the fact of rape. the RTC and the CA had basis to conclude that the element of carnal knowledge in rape was duly established based on the testimony of AAA that on October 15.67 . whereas before. armed with a gun. such as an erect male penis. while Dr. sir. you did not really go out of that house on that day and the accused did not come to your house? COURT: You divide your question. Dave confirmed that when he examined AAA. her soiled clothing or undergarments were not presented by the prosecution. had been inserted into her vagina.64 Thus. 1999. 55 and that the failure of the prosecution to present the gun that was allegedly used on AAA casts doubt not only on the existence of said weapon but also on whether one was actually used by appellant to threaten AAA. it could not even explain what became of this piece of evidence. you did not go out of that house on that day and at that time? A: I did not. 1999. 58 Such medical report and testimony. Certainly.66 Appellant contends that AAA's testimony that she did not leave her house on October 15. In fact. it hardly affects the result of the case. she said that she went to the house of the accused but now she cannot answer immediately.

put her clothes back on. 76 Appellant contends that if this testimony of BBB that he bragged about molesting AAA were true. when her testimony is plausible.80 in relation to Article 266-B. the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense. every court must abide by three fundamental principles: first. It must be emphasized that inconsistencies are of no consequence when they refer to minor details that have nothing to do with the essential fact of the commission of the rape. 85 But for as long as she remains steadfast in her testimony on the essential element of carnal knowledge. though innocent. For either way it shows that the accused had held the victim at gunpoint inside the house. AAA stated that it was only when they were inside the appellant's room that the latter whipped out his gun and threatened her with it. with the qualifying circumstance that the same was committed with the use of a deadly weapon. then the testimony of AAA that appellant threatened to kill her if she reports the molestation is false -. Often the only available evidence thereof is the testimony of the woman that the man. the testimony of BBB that she came to know about AAA's ordeal only when Bautista informed her that appellant had been spreading rumor around the neighborhood that he had molested AAA. she could not do anything because she was too afraid at that time. AAA testified that she did not notice where the gun was at the time appellant was forcing her legs apart. Third. then the prosecution should have presented AAA's grandmother to testify.73 Seventh. the victim remained firm and consistent in her testiony that the accused pointed a gun at her. the question as to whether the accused poked the victim with a gun as soon as she entered the house or when she was already inside the bedroom is a trivial one and does not point to any inconsistency at all. in her sworn statements. unless she is solely impelled by the desire for redress. They are minor inconsistencies that may be considered a badge of truthfulness that erases suspicions of a rehearsed testimony. when asked to identify her friend. much less one of tender age. 74 And eighth. spontaneous. but rather buttress.86 This rule holds especially true when the minor inconsistencies are between her sworn statements and testimony in open court for such discrepancies do not necessarily discredit her since ex-parte affidavits are almost always incomplete and therefore inferior to the testimony given in open court.81 of the Revised Penal Code. paragraph 2. but after the assault. inconsistencies or discrepancies on any other detail will not impair. the discrepency between the victim's testimony in court does not detract from the truthfulness of her allegation. as the crime of rape usually involves only two persons. the veracity of her testimony. the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution. allow an examination of her flesh and endure a public trial of her remaining dignity. on direct-examination. 72 Sixth. to wit: x x x Affidavits are usually subordinated in importance to open court declarations because they [affidavits] are generally incomplete and inaccurate being executed oftentimes when a person's mental faculties are not in such a state as to afford fair opportunity of narrating the incident in full or in recalling connected collateral circumstances. Appellant argues that if this were true. for no woman. On crossexamination. the latter poked a gun at her. paragraph 1. Yet. 82 It is within the foregoing framework that courts have consistently assigned full weight and credit to the testimony of a childcomplainant. AAA said that while appellant was molesting her. to ascertain with moral certainty the existence of this element.70 Fourth. while the accusation can be made with facility. in her statements before the Barangay Captain68 and the XXX Police Station. The basic element of the crime of qualified rape as defined under Article 266-A. Throughout her crossexamination. for lapses in her recollection of peripheral details are only to be expected for she is made to relive a harrowing experience. and third. she later testified that she tried to push away appellant but the latter still persisted in molesting her. AAA testified that she saw appellant still holding the gun after he consummated the rape. 1999 but was unable to go because she had to take care of her younger sibling. in her sworn statements. Now.75 Appellant likewise assails. AAA could not recall her full name. 84 And what can overcome the weight of her testimony is inconsistency on the fact of carnal knowledge or any credible physical evidence of the lack of it. she stood up.it is unnatural that he should spread word around that he molested AAA after having just threatened to kill her if she exposes him. the evidence of the prosecution failed to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. convincing and consistent with human nature and the ordinary course of things. as amended by The Anti-Rape Law of 1997.79 The Court finds no compelling reason to disturb the findings of fact of the lower courts. AAA testified that she bled and felt pain when appellant molested her. Thus. for not being credible. would broadcast a violation of her person. second. to disprove. AAA claimed that the threat was directed not only at her but also at the rest of her family.77 Moreover. appellant also questions AAA's recollection of the exact date of the alleged assault. Also. appellant imputes ill-motives to BBB and AAA in that they are accusing him of rape just to extortP1. But in her testimony on direct-examination and cross-examination. and walked home. The alleged inconsistencies do not negate the fact that the accused-appellant succeeded in sexually violating the victim at gunpoint and impressed upon her young mind a great fear not just for her life but for her loved ones as well.00.87 . is carnal knowledge by a man of a woman.000. 71 Fifth. it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused.Second. in her testimony. armed with a deadly weapon. Relying on the first-hand observation of the trial court that AAA is a credible witness. However. the former did not see nor hear appellant. AAA reckoned the date from the fact that she was invited to a friend's birthday party on October 14. it can indeed beget moral certainty of the guilt of her violator. AAA testified that although her grandmother was around when appellant told her to go to his house.69 AAA claimed that appellant threatened to kill her should she report the incident. AAA narrated that right after she stepped inside appellant's house. inserted his penis into her vagina.78 Appellant finally contends that with the foregoing inconsistencies and improbabilities in the testimony of AAA.000. undressed her against her will. 83 Thus. However. the CA rightly held that none of the inconsistencies or absurdities identified by appellant in the testimony of AAA is of any consequence. and forced her into submission despite her attempts to fight him off. Appellant finds this actuation of AAA unnatural.

101 AAA was raped in the house of appellant. second. AAA's testimony that after appellant raped her. the reviewing court wil