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8.

Anghel FACTS: On 30 October 2001, the Assistant City Prosecutor filed an Information against petitioner Ubales for the crime of homicide. It was alleged that on October 17, 2001, in the City of Manila, the said accused, armed with a .38 caliber paltik revolver marked Smith and Wesson, shot MARK TANGLAW SANTOS y ORPIANA on the head, thereby inflicting upon him mortal gunshot wound which was the direct and immediate cause of his death thereafter. Petitioner Ubales, assisted by counsel, pleaded not guilty of the offense charged. One of the witnesses presented by the prosecution was Eduardo Galvan. After the prosecution rested its case, 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. The trial court denied the Motion and accordingly set the hearing for presentation of the evidence of the defense. On 20 July 2004, the Regional Trial Court rendered its Decision finding Angel Ubales guilty of the crime of homicide. On appeal, the CA rendered its Decision affirming with modification the Decision of the RTC. Hence, this Petition. Petitioner Ubales claims that the prosecution has failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt, and the Court of Appeals had erred in giving credence to Galvans testimony which allegedly defies common experience. Upon examining Eduardo Galvans testimony, it was found that he seemed not to remember a lot of things about the places involved in his testimony.

ISSUE: Whether or not Galvans testimony should be given credence. RULING: If Galvans version of the facts is to be believed, Ubales and Mark had even been together for a several hours more before Mark was killed. 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, the absence of such motive is important in ascertaining the truth as between two antagonistic theories or versions of the killing. Proof as to motive is essential when the evidence on the commission of the crime is purely circumstantial or inconclusive. Verily, the dominating rule is that, with respect to the credibility of witnesses, the findings of the trial court is accorded the highest degree of respect, unless there is proof of misappreciation of evidence which is precisely the situation in the case at bar. It is better to acquit ten guilty individuals than to convict one innocent person. Every circumstance against guilt and in favor of innocence must be considered. Where the evidence admits of two interpretations, one of which is consistent with guilt, and the other with innocence, the accused must be given the benefit of doubt and should be acquitted. In the instant case, while it is possible that the accused has committed the crime, there is also the possibility, based on the evidence presented, that he has not. He should be deemed to have not for failure to meet the test of moral certainty. Finally, an accused should not be convicted by reason of the weakness of his alibi. 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. Since there are very serious doubts in the testimony of the lone eyewitness to the killing of Mark Santos, petitioner Angel Ubales must be acquitted on the ground of reasonable doubt.

9. QUINTO V. ANDRES 10. PP V. PAGE 11. People vs. Cabareno 12. Rivera v. People Facts: As the victim, Ruben Rodil, went to a nearby store to buy food, accused Edgardo Rivera mocked him for being jobless and dependent on his wife for support. Ruben resented the rebuke and thereafter, a heated exchange of words ensued. In the evening of the following day, when Ruben and his three-year-old daughter went to the store to buy food, Edgardo, together with his brother Esmeraldo Rivera and Ismael Rivera, emerged from their house and ganged up on him. Esmeraldo and Ismael mauled Ruben with fist blows. And as he fell to the ground, Edgardo hit him three times with a hollow block on the parietal area. Esmeraldo, Ismael and Edgardo fled to their house only when the policemen arrived. Ruben sustained injuries and was brought to the hospital. The doctor declared that the wounds were slight and superficial, though the victim could have been

Issues: 1) Whether or not there was intent to kill. 2) Whether or not the Court of Appeals was correct in modifying the crime from frustrated to attempted murder. 3) Whether or not the aggravating circumstance of treachery was properly applied. 4) Whether or not the correct penalty was imposed. HELD: 1) Yes. The Court declared that evidence to prove intent to kill in crimes against persons may consist, inter alia, in the means used by the malefactors, the nature, location and number of wounds sustained by the victim, the conduct of the malefactors before, at the time, or immediately after the killing of the victim, the circumstances under which the crime was committed and the

killed had the police not promptly intervened. The trial court found the accused guilty of the crime of frustrated murder. An appeal was made by the accused, but the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial courts decision with modification, changing the crime to attempted murder and imposed an indeterminate penalty of 2 years of prision correccional as minimum to 6 years and 1 day of prision mayor as maximum.

motives of the accused. In the present case, Esmeraldo and Ismael pummeled the victim with fist blows, while Edgardo hit him three times with a hollow block. Even though the wounds sustained by the victim were merely superficial and could not have produced his death, intent to kill was presumed. 2) Yes. Article 6 of the Revised Penal Code provides that there is an attempt when the offender commences the commission of a felony directly by overt acts, and does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the felony by reason of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance. Although the wounds sustained by the victim were merely superficial and could not have produced his death, it does not negate criminal liability of the accused for attempted murder. The intent to kill was already presumed based on the overt acts of the accused. In fact, victim could have been killed had the police not promptly intervened. 3) Yes. The essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack, which gives no opportunity for the victim to repel it or defend himself. In the present case, the accused attacked the victim in a sudden and unexpected manner as he was walking with his three-year-old daughter, impervious of the imminent peril to his life. He was overwhelmed with the assault of the accused and had no chance to defend himself and retaliate. Thus, there was treachery. 4) No. Under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659, the penalty for murder is reclusion perpetua to death. Since the accused were guilty only of attempted murder, the penalty should be reduced by two degrees, in accordance to Article 51 of the Revised Penal Code. Thus, under Article 61 (2), in relation to Article 71 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty should be prision mayor. In the absence of any modifying circumstance in the commission of the crime other than the qualifying circumstance of treachery, the maximum of the indeterminate penalty shall be taken from the medium period of prision mayor which has a range of from eight (8) years and one (1) day to ten (10) years. To determine the minimum of the indeterminate penalty, the penalty of prision mayor should be reduced by one degree, prision correccional, which has a range of six (6) months and one (1) day to six (6) years. Hence, the accused were sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of from two (2) years of prision correccional in its minimum period, as minimum, to nine (9) years and four (4) months of prision mayor in its medium period, as maximum. WHEREFORE, premises considered, all the accused are found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt and are sentenced to an imprisonment of six (6) years and one (1) day to eight (8) years of prision mayor as the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt the culpability of the accused. Likewise, the accused are to pay, jointly and severally, civil indemnity to the private complainant in the amount of P30,000.00. WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Imus, Cavite, Branch 90, is MODIFIED in that the appellants are

convicted of ATTEMPTED MURDER and sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of 2 years of prision correccional as minimum to 6 years and 1 day of prision mayor as maximum. In all other respects, the decision appealed from is AFFIRMED. 13. VELASCO V. PP Facts: While private complainant Frederick Maramba was cleaning and washing his owner type jeep, a motorized tricycle stopped near him. Accused Rodolfo Velasco dashed out of the tricycle, approached the complainant and fired at him several times with a .45 caliber pistol. The accused missed with his first shot but the second one hit the complainant at the upper arm, causing him to stumble on the ground. The complainant stood up and ran, while the accused continued firing at him but missed. The shooting incident was reported to the police sub-station. The police then pursued the accused who proceeded on board a motorized tricycle to the highway going to Barangay Banaoang in Calasiao town. The police caught up with the tricycle and brought the accused to the police sub-station. A firearm protruding from the waistline of the accused, three (3) magazines and fourteen (14) live ammunitions were confiscated from the possession of the accused. The police also recovered seven (7) spent ammunitions at the crime scene. At the City Jail in Dagupan City where the accused was subsequently brought, the private complainant Frederick Maramba identified and pointed to the accused as the one who fired at him, hitting him on the upper left arm. After trial, the RTC as affirmed by CA found the accused guilty with attempted murder. Issue: Whether or not accused committed attempted homicide. Held: Having commenced the criminal act by overt acts but failing to perform all acts of execution as to produce the felony by reason of some cause other than his own desistance, petitioner committed an attempted felony. Petitioner already commenced his attack with a manifest intent to kill by shooting private complainant seven times, but failed to perform all the acts of execution by reason of causes independent of his will, that is, poor aim and the swiftness of the latter. Private complainant sustained a wound on the left arm that is not sufficient to cause his death. The settled rule is that where the wound inflicted on the victim is not sufficient to cause his death, the crime is only attempted murder, since the accused did not perform all the acts of execution that would have brought about death. Treachery is present in the commission of the crime - (a) at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a position to defend himself; and (b) the accused consciously and deliberately adopted the particular means, methods or forms of attack employed by him. The essence of treachery is the swift and unexpected attack on an unarmed victim without the slightest provocation on the part of the victim.It was clearly established that private complainant, while washing his jeep, was suddenly fired upon by petitioner for no reason at all. It is likewise apparent that petitioner consciously and deliberately adopted his mode of attack making sure that private complainant will have no chance to defend himself by reason of the surprise attack. The penalty imposed by the trial court is correct. Under Article 51 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty lower than two degrees than that prescribed by law for the consummated felony shall be imposed upon the principal in an attempted felony. Under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty for murder is reclusion perpertua to death. The penalty two degrees lower is prision mayor. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, and there being no aggravating or mitigating circumstances, the minimum of the penalty to be imposed should be within the range of prision correccional, and the maximum of the penalty to be imposed should be within the range of prision mayorin its medium period. WHEREFORE, finding accused Rodolfo C. Velasco guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of attempted murder, defined and penalized under Article 248, in relation to the 3rd par. of Arts. 6 and 51 of the Revised Penal Code, he is hereby sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of Four (4) years of prision correccional, as minimum to Eight (8) years and One (1) day of prision mayor, as maximum. 14. VALEROS ARTICLE 6 and 7 Consummated, Frustrated and Attempted Felonies ISSUES 1. Whether the evidence adduced by prosecution has

BALEROS, JR. VS. PEOPLE 483 SCRA 10 FACTS Early morning of Dec. 13, 1991, Malou was awakened by a smell of chemical on a piece of cloth pressed on her face. She struggled to break free but his attacker was pinning her down, holding her tightly. When her right hand finally got free, she grabbed and squeezed the sex organ of his attacker. The man let her go, enabling Marilou to seek help from her maid and classmates living nearby. An investigation was conducted in which the evidences pointed to Chito as the attacker. The RTC thus found Chito guilty for attempted rape and ordered him to suffer an indeterminate sentence (from prision correccional as minimum to prision mayor as maximum) and to pay Malou PHP 50,000. Chito made an appeal to the CA only to be denied. He moved for a reconsideration but to no avail. He thus made an appeal to the SC arguing that: 1. There was not enough evidence to find him guilty of the crime 2. Prosecution failed to satisfy all requisites for conviction 3. Circumstances relied on to convict him were unreliable, inconclusive and contradictory. 4. There was no motive. 5. The awarding of damages to complainant was improper and unjustified. 6. In failing to appreciate in his favour the constitutional presumption of innocence and that moral certainty has not been met, he should be acquitted on the basis that the offense charged has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. 2.

established beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the petitioner for the crime of attempted rape Whether or not the CA erred in affirming the ruling of the RTC finding petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of attempted rape

HELD: 1. 2.

No. The courts decision was merely based on speculations. Yes. SC reversed and modifies the decision of the CA, acquitting Chito of attempted rape. He is adjudged guilty of light coercion and is ordered to serve 30 days of arresto mayor and pay PHP 200.

Doctrine/Ratio Art. 335 of the RPC, rape is committed by a man who has carnal knowledge or intercourse with a woman under any of the following circumstances: 1. By using force or intimidation 2. When woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious 3. When woman is under 12 years of age or demented Art. 6 of the RPC defines attempted rape when offender commences the commission of rape directly by overt acts and does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the crime of rape by reason of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance. The attempt which RPC punishes is the act that has logical connection to the crime that should it have been successful, the attempt would lead to the consummation of rape. However, there was no carnal knowledge in the case. The pressing of a chemical-soaked cloth while on top of Malou did not necessarily constitute an overt act of rape. Moreover, the petitioner did not commence any act that was indicative of an intent to rape Malou. The petitioner was fully clothed; there was no attempt to neither undress her nor touch her private part. In the crime of rape, penetration is an essential requisite. Therefore for an attempted rape, accused must have commenced the act of penetrating but for some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance, the penetration was not completed. Thus petitioners act of lying on top of her, embracing and kissing her or touching her private part do not constitute rape or attempted rape. WHEREFORE, under cool reflection and prescinding from the foregoing, the Court finds the accused Renato D. Baleros, Jr., alias "Chito", guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of attempted rape as principal and as charged in the information and hereby sentences him to suffer an imprisonment ranging from FOUR (4) YEARS, TWO (2) MONTHS AND ONE (1) DAY of Prision Correctional, as Minimum to TEN (10) YEARS of Prision Mayor as Maximum, with all the accessory penalties provided by law, and for the accused to pay the offended party Martina Lourdes T. Albano, the sum of P50,000.00 by way of Moral and

exemplary damages, plus reasonable Attorneys fees of P30,000.00, without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs. WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals affirming that of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and a new one entered ACQUITTING petitioner Renato D. Baleros, Jr. of the charge for attempted rape. Petitioner, however, is adjudged GUILTY of light coercion and is accordingly sentenced to 30 days of arresto menor and to pay a fine of P200.00, with the accessory penalties thereof and to pay the costs. 15. PP V. Dino Facts On June 20, 1946, Roberto Dio was hired as a driver of the US army at a station in Quezon City. At above 11:30 in the morning, he brought a truck load of articles to manila harbor; the article came from the US army. At the check point a guard approached the truck and found three boxes, containing ten caliber 30 army rifles. The guard brought Dio to the lieutenant of the US army for questioning, Dio pointed to the gang but later denied. Later Dio confessed that there were four persons who placed the boxes on board and he was instructed to bring them out of the area. While they were to meet after the truck passed the checkpoint. 16. SPIRITU 17. VALENZUELA V. PP FACTS: While a security guard was manning his post at the open parking area of a supermarket, he saw the accused, Aristotel Valenzuela, hauling a push cart loaded with cases of detergent and unloaded them where his co-accused, Jovy Calderon, was waiting. Valenzuela then returned inside the supermarket, and later emerged with more cartons of detergent. Thereafter, Valenzuela hailed a taxi and started loading the cartons inside. As the taxi was about to leave, the security guard asked Valenzuela for the receipt of the merchandize. The accused reacted by fleeing on foot, but were subsequently apprehended at the scene. The trial court convicted both Valenzuela and Calderon of the crime of consummated theft. Valenzuela appealed before the Court of Appeals, arguing that he should only be convicted of frustrated theft since he was not able to freely dispose of the articles stolen. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial courts decision, thu s the Petition for Review was filed before the Supreme Court. Issue: whether or not the crime f theft was consummated considering the foregoing. Ruling: Trial Court: Dio was found guilty as an accomplice in the consummated crime of theft. Supreme Court: Dio was found guilty as a principal in the frustrated crime of theft. Reason: in order for the crime of theft to be consummated the article should have passed the checkpoint, so that the thief could have full control and could dispense of the property.

ISSUE: Whether or not the crime of theft has a frustrated stage. HELD: No. Article 6 of the Revised Penal Code provides that a felony is consummated when all the elements necessary for its execution and accomplishment are present. In the crime of theft, the following elements should be present: (1) that there be taking of personal property; (2) that said property belongs to another; (3) that the taking be done with intent to gain; (4) that the taking be done without the consent of the owner; and (5) that the taking be accomplished without the use of violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things. The Court held that theft is produced when there is deprivation of personal property by one with intent to gain. Thus, it is immaterial that the offender is able or unable to freely dispose the property stolen since he has already committed all the acts of execution and the deprivation from the owner has already ensued from such acts. Therefore, theft cannot have a frustrated stage, and can only be attempted or consummated. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. Costs against petitioner.

18. PP V. BULAG 19. PP V. FABRO Facts: Appellant Fabro together with her common-law husband Donald Pilay and Irene Martin, was charged with the crime of "violation of Section 21 (b) Art. IV, in relation to Section 4, Art. II of Republic Act No. 6425. They conspired and sold/delivered to PO2 APDUHAN, who acted as poseur-buyer, one (1) kilo of dried

ISSUE: Whether or Not, there is conspiracy in the commission of the crime? RULING: Appellants contention that Irene Martin was the real culprit being the source of the contraband does not in any way

marijuana leaves. Two concerned individuals, Gloria and Emma Borce, reported to Chief Inspector Evasco that a in Baguio City, was engaged in selling marijuana. They added that sales usually took place between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. Acting on that report, Chief Inspector Evasco organized two teams to conduct a buybust operation. Senior Inspector Mabanag was to be the overall team leader with Batag as his assistant. SPO2 Ellonito Apduhan was designated poseur-buyer in the operation. After briefing the group, Chief Inspector Evasco gave P600.00 as purchase money to Apduhan. The amount consisted of six P100-bills with their serial numbers duly listed down. As Apduhan, Gloria and Emma drew near Pilays residence, appellant met them. Donald Pilay who appeared drunk was inside the house by the main door. Gloria and Emma introduced Apduhan to appellant as a stranger in the place who wanted to buy marijuana. Appellant told them that a kilo would cost them P700.00 but she agreed to Apduhans price of P600.00. After Apduhan had ordered a kilo of the contraband, appellant told them to wait a while. Appellant then went to a house just behind her own. After a few minutes, she returned in the company of another woman who was later identified as Irene Martin. Appellant handed the stuff to Apduhan. Her companion, Irene Martin, demanded payment therefor. Apduhan gave her the P600.00. After ascertaining that it was a brick of marijuana, he made the pre-arranged signal of lighting his cigarette. Immediately, the back-up team rushed towards their direction. However, before the team could reach them, Irene Martin ran away. Apduhan held appellant so that she could not escape. Donald Pilay was also arrested. 20. PP V. BELLO Facts: Accused Bello and Eladio were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of robbery with homicide. Accused were arrested singly after renting a room at a lodge wherein a man, a messenger/collector in a moneychanger, was found stabbed and dead. There were no actual witnesses to the actual commission of the crime so the prosecution built its case through circumstantial evidence.

absolve her of the crime of selling marijuana. While it is true that it was Irene Martin who took the money, appellant was the one who negotiated with the poseur-buyers; fetched her co-accused; carried and handed over the marijuana to Apduhan. The acts of Martin and appellant clearly show a unity of purpose in the consummation of the sale of marijuana. In other words, between Martin and appellant, conspiracy in the commission of the crime was indubitably proven by the prosecution. Section 21 (b) of R.A. 6425 punishes the mere conspiracy to commit the offense of selling, delivering, distributing and transporting of dangerous drugs. Conspiracy herein refers to the mere agreement to commit the said acts and not the actual execution thereof. While the rule is that a mere conspiracy to commit a crime without doing any overt act is not punishable, the exception is when such is specifically penalized by law, as in the case of Section 21 of Republic Act 6425. Conspiracy as crime should be distinguished from conspiracy as a manner of incurring criminal liability the latter being applicable to the case at bar. WHEREFORE, the Court Finds the accused Berly Fabro guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of Violation of Section 4 Article II of Republic Act No. 6425 as amended (Sale and/or Delivery of Marijuana) as charged in the body of the Information, not its caption, and hereby sentences her to Life Imprisonment and to pay a Fine of Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00) without subsidiary imprisonment in case of Insolvency and to pay the costs.

Issue: WON it can be proved that conspiracy exists. Held: Yes. Conspiracy exists where the plotters agree, expressly or impliedly, to commit the crime and decide to pursue it. Consequently, direct proof is not essential to establish it. It may be inferred from proof of facts and circumstances which, taken together, indicate that accused are parts of the complete plan to commit the crime. WHEREFORE, accused Marife Bello y Rosco and Eladio M. Consuelo, Jr. are found guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principals in the commission of the crime of robbery with homicide, as charged in the aforequoted Information; and because of the aggravating circumstance of their having collaborated, confederated and mutually helped one another for the purpose of gain in the preparation of the offense, they are each sentenced to suffer the penalty of death. Both accused are also ordered, jointly and severally, to return to or reimburse the Sunshine Money Changer the sum of P114,000.00 as restitution or reparation of the damage caused; and to pay Zenaida Andasan, the surviving wife of the deceased Rolando Andasan, P50,000.00 as indemnification for consequential damages; P50,000.00 as compensation for the death of her husband; P591,999.98 as indemnity for the loss of the earning capacity of the deceased; and P40,000.00 as moral damages. Accused Bello and Consuelo are likewise required to shoulder the costs of the suit.

21. PP V. QUIROL FACTS: On December 4, 1993, in celebration of a fiesta in Apas, Lahug, Cebu City, a benefit disco dance was held at the local UCMA Village. Appellants, Juanito and Mario Quirol, and the two victims, Benjamin Silva and Roel Ngujo, attended. At the dance, Juanito, Mario and Jed were together and drank all through the night with some friends. Jed was later seen in a drunken state chasing people around while Juanito was seen toying with a Batangas knife. The dance ended just prior to 4 a.m. and prosecution principal witness Wilson Cruz testified that it was about that time when he was asked by Benjamin and Roel to accompany them in escorting some ladies home. Wilson told them to go ahead and that he would just follow. Wilson saw Jed stop the two victims in front of his house and frisk them. The ladies, perhaps not wanting to be delayed, went ahead. Thereafter, Wilson saw Jed bind Benjamin and Roel together with a pair of handcuffs and lead them towards the control tower of the old airport of Lahug, Cebu City. There, the three were met by Juanito and Mario and together they proceeded to the airport runway. A few seconds later, Jed took out his .38 caliber service revolver and shot Benjamin at point-blank range on the head. At around 7 a.m. that same morning, Juanito went to collect his wages at the house of Galileo Banate, a construction foreman for whom the former was working. Galileo observed Juanito to be somewhat in an inebriated state, and so when Juanito asked permission to sleep on the floor, Galileo acceded. Juanito was so sleepy that he unconsciously dropped his Batangas knife. Galileo later saw it beside him on the floor, picked it up and kept it as there were children around who could play with it. When he later gave Juanito his wages, he forgot to return the knife. Four days later, at the construction site, Mario arrived with a policeman and picked up Juanito. Before leaving the construction site, Juanito asked his knife back from Galileo. Galileo retrieved the knife from his house and turned it over to the policeman. A subsequent examination on the knife revealed that it had human bloodstains on it.

ISSUE: Whether or not the prosecutions evidence was sufficient to establish appellants guilt beyond reasonable doubt? HELD: The court ruled that the Appellants attack on the credibility of Wilson by claiming it was unnatural for Wilson not to help the victims who were supposedly his friends is without basis. Whether he could have helped them but did not is not an issue that is determinative of the veracity of the testimony as not every witness to a crime can be expected to act reasonably and conformably to expectation. The fact of the matter is that different people react differently to a given situation or type of situation and there is no standard form of human behavioral response when one is confronted with a strange or frightful experience. All things considered, it is more reasonable to expect that rather than leave his hiding place and risk being seen, the witness would stay put and wait until after the perpetrators of the crime had left, which is exactly what he did. Similarly, while it may have been unnecessary for Mario to hold Roel, that does not mean that it did not occur. And, contrary to the contention of appellants, there was no testimony that Mario was still holding Roel when he was shot and, therefore, risked being accidentally hit. Anent Marios defense of alibi, despite corroboration from Exequiel Aranas, it is still an inherently weak defense and cannot prevail over a positive identification from a witness found credible by the trial court. Absent arbitrariness or oversight of some fact or circumstance of significance and influence, we will not interfere with the credence given to the testimony of Wilson over that of Mario and that of Exequiel, as assessments of credibility are generally left to the trial court whose proximate contact with those who take the witness stand places it in a more competent position to discriminate between true and false testimony. Moreover, as correctly discussed by the Court of Appeals, the distance between the scene of the crimes and where Mario claims he passed out is not so far away as to prevent him from being physically present at the place of the crimes or its immediate vicinity at the time the crimes were committed. Treachery was correctly found to be present as the evidence shows that the concerted acts of appellants and Jed were consciously and deliberately adopted so that the victims would not be in a position to defend themselves or to retaliate. We, therefore, concur in the finding that the crimes were properly qualified to murder. WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 20088, which affirmed the decision of Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, Branch 24, in Criminal Case No. CBU-33569, finding appellants Juanito Quirol y Pilit and Mario Quirol y Pilit GUILTY of the murders of Benjamin Silva and Roel Ngujo are AFFIRMED including their being sentenced to each suffer two penalties of RECLUSION PERPETUA and to pay jointly and severally the heirs of Benjamin Silva, the amounts of P50,000 as death indemnity

and P50,000 as moral damages, and the heirs of Roel Ngujo the amounts of P50,000 as death indemnity and P50,000 as moral damages. The Decision is MODIFIED in that appellants are also ORDERED to pay jointly and severally the heirs of Benjamin Silva P15,000 as temperate damages and the heirs of Roel Ngujo P15,000 as temperate damages, in lieu of actual damages, without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. 22. PP V. PILOLA Facts: On February 5, 1988, at around 11:30 p.m., Elisa Rolan was inside their store at 613 Nueve de Pebrero Street, Mandaluyong City, waiting for her husband to arrive. Joselito Capa and Julian Azul, Jr. were drinking beer. Edmar Aguilos and Odilon Lagliba arrived at the store. Joselito and Julian invited them to join their drinking spree, and although already inebriated, the two newcomers obliged. An altercation between the Edmar and Julian ensued. Edmar and Odilon left the store. Joselito and Julian were also about to leave, when Edmar and Odilon returned, blocking their way. Edmar took off his eyeglasses and punched Julian in the face. For his part, Odilon positioned himself on top of a pile of hollow blocks and watched as Edmar and Julian swapped punches. Joselito tried to placate the protagonists to no avail. Ronnie and the appellant, who were across the street, saw their gangmate Odilon stabbing the victim and decided to join the fray. They pulled out their knives, rushed to the scene and stabbed Joselito. Odilon and the appellant fled, while Ronnie went after Julian and tried to stab him. When Julian noticed that Ronnie was no longer running after him, Julian stopped, looked back and saw Ronnie bashed Joselitos head with hollow block. Not content, Ronnie got a piece of broken bottle and struck Joselito once more. The appellant denied stabbing the victim and interposed the defense of alibi. He testified that at around 11:00 p.m. of February 5, 1988, he was in the house of his cousin, Julian Cadion, at 606 Nueve de Pebrero Street, Mandaluyong City. He suddenly heard a commotion coming from outside. Julian rushed out of the house to find out what was going on. The appellant remained inside the house because he was suffering from ulcer and was experiencing excessive pain in his stomach. The following morning, the appellant learned from their neighbor, Elisa Rolan, that Joselito had been stabbed to death. The appellant did not bother to ask who was responsible for the stabbing. On June 7, 1988, Edmar Aguilos, Odilon Lagliba y Abregon and appellant Rene Gayot Pilola were charged with murder. ISSUE: WON conspiracy exists that would hold appellant (Pilola) criminally liable as a principal? RULING The SC affirmed the RTC decision with modification. RATIO There is conspiracy when two or more persons agree to commit a felony and decide to commit it. Conspiracy as a mode of incurring criminal liability must be proved separately from and with the same quantum of proof as the crime itself. Conspiracy need not be proven by direct evidence. After all, secrecy and concealment are essential features of a successful conspiracy. It may be inferred from the conduct of the accused before, during and after the commission of the crime, showing that they had acted with a common purpose and design. One who joins a criminal conspiracy in effect adopts as his own the criminal designs of his co-conspirators. If conspiracy is established, all the conspirators are liable as co-principals regardless of the manner and extent of their participation since in contemplation of law, the act of one would be the act of all. Each of the conspirators is the agent of all the others. Even if two or more offenders do not conspire to commit homicide or murder, they may be held criminally liable as principals by direct participation if they perform overt acts which mediately or immediately cause or accelerate the death of the victim, applying Article 4, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code. In such a case, it is not necessary that each of the separate injuries is fatal in itself. It is sufficient if the injuries cooperated in bringing about the victims death. Both the offenders are criminally liable for the same crime by reason of their individual and separate overt criminal acts. In this case, all the overt acts of Odilon, Ronnie and the appellant before, during, and after the stabbing incident indubitably show that they conspired to kill the victim. The victim died because of multiple stab wounds inflicted by two or more persons. There is no evidence that before the arrival of Ronnie and the appellant at the situs criminis, the victim was already dead. It cannot thus be argued that by the time the appellant and Ronnie joined Odilon in stabbing the victim, the crime was already consummated. All things considered, we rule that Ronnie and the appellant conspired with Odilon to kill the victim; hence, all of them are criminally liable for the latters death. The appellant is not

On May 3, 1995, the trial court rendered its assailed decision, hence this appeal.

merely an accomplice but is a principal by direct participation.

WHEREFORE, the Decision, dated May 3, 1995, of Branch 164 of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City in Criminal Case No. 73615, finding appellant Rene Gayot Pilola GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder is AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION. The appellant is hereby directed to pay to the heirs of the victim Joselito Capa the amount of P50,000 as civil indemnity; the amount of P50,000 as moral damages; and the amount of P25,000 as exemplary damages. 23. PP V. ANTONIO Facts: On November 2, 1996, what should have been an amiable game of cards between two erstwhile friends turned into a deadly confrontation resulting in the fatal shooting of one by the hand of the other. The victim, Arnulfo Arnie Tuadles, a former professional basketball player, succumbed instantaneously to a single gunshot wound. Convicted of murder by the trial court as the killer is Alberto Ambet S. Antonio, a one-time chairman of GAB. It was during his stint as such that he and Tuadles became socially acquainted. They somehow lost touch, but later became reacquainted when they both started frequenting the International Business Club (IBC. Often, the two would meet with other members and friends to play cards in the gameroom at the second floor of the club. Their preferred games were poker or pusoy dos, ordinary poker or Russian poker. Their bets always ran into the tens of thousands of pesos. The tragic events began to unravel in the final hours of November 1, 1996. Antonio, Tuadles, and a certain Danny Debdani, then president of the IBC, had agreed to meet at the club for another poker session, their third night in a row. Antonio arrived at the club first, followed by Tuadles at around midnight. Debdani, however, failed to appear, so after waiting for sometime, Antonio and Tuadles decided to play pusoy dos, a game for two (2) players only. They continued playing until morning, pausing only when either of them had to visit the restroom. They stopped playing at around 9:00 oclock in the morning of November 2, 1996, to eat breakfast. When it came time to tally their scores and collect the winnings from the loser, an argument arose. It is at this point where the prosecution and the defense presented two very different scenarios. The prosecution alleged and sought to prove that in the course of an argument, without warning or cause, Antonio pulled his gun from behind his back and shot Tuadles at very close range, thus employing treacherous means to accomplish the nefarious deed. The pivotal evidence presented by the prosecution was the testimony of one Jose Jimmy T. Bobis, a security guard who testified as to how the shooting of Tuadles Issue: Whether or not Nieto is liable as an accessory.

Held: The Revised Penal Code in Article 19 defines an accessory as one who has knowledge of the commission of the crime, yet did not take part in its commission as principal or accomplice, but took part in it subsequent to its commission by any of three modes: (1) profiting himself or assisting the offender to profit by the effects of the crime; (2) concealing or destroying the body of the crime, or the effects or instruments thereof in order to prevent its discovery; and (3) harboring, concealing, or assisting in the escape of the principals of the crime, provided the accessory acts with abuse of his public functions or when the offender is guilty of treason, parricide, murder, or an attempt to take the life of the Chief Executive, or is known to be habitually guilty of some other crime. Under Article 19(3) of the RPC, there are two (2) classes of accessories, one of which is a public officer who harbors, conceals or assists in the escape of the principal. Such public officer must have acted with abuse of his public functions, and the crime committed by the principal is any crime, provided it is not a light felony. Appellant SPO4 Nieto is one such public officer, and he abused his public function when he failed to effect the immediate arrest of accused Antonio and to conduct a speedy investigation of the crime committed. The evidence in the case at bar, insofar as appellant Nieto's culpability is concerned, shows that in the middle of the argument between appellant Antonio and the deceased, Antonio called Nieto by shouting, Sarge! Sarge! Hearing this, SG Bobis woke Nieto up and the latter went upstairs. Immediately thereafter, appellant Antonio shot Tuadles, and then ordered Nieto to get the scoresheet and the cards from the table, which Nieto did. Antonio, Nieto and Bobis went downstairs. Antonio told guards Bobis and Ernesto Olac to go with them, and they all boarded Antonio's Mercedes Benz van, including Nieto. They arrived at Antonio's residence in Greenmeadows Subdivision at around 11:30 o'clock in the morning. There, they had coffee while Antonio made some telephone calls. Soon after, a certain Atty. Abaya arrived and talked to the two security guards, while

occurred. On the other hand, the defense hinged its opposing arguments on the testimony of accused Antonio himself, who testified that their argument was caused by Tuadles refusal to pay Antonios winnings. In the middle of a heated altercation where they traded expletives, Tuadles suddenly grabbed Antonios gun from atop a sidetable. Fearing for his life, Antonio claimed that he reached for Tuadles hand and they grappled for possession of the gun. Antonio alleged that the shooting was accidental, and his only motivation was to defend himself.

Nieto was present. Nieto then told Bobis that in his statement, he should say that the two of them, i.e., Bobis and Nieto, were seated outside the entrance of the Club when the incident took place. At 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon, Nieto, Bobis and Olac returned to the Club. They waited outside until members of the San Juan police, together with Mayor Jinggoy Estrada and Vice Mayor Philip Cezar, arrived at 6:00 o'clock in the evening. After the police investigated the scene, they proceeded to the police station. There, Nieto reiterated his instruction to Bobis to say that the two of them were outside the club. While Bobis gave his statement to the police, Nieto remained in front of him and dictated to him what he should answer to the questions of the police investigator. The foregoing facts were culled from the testimony of SG Bobis. Appellant Nieto's actuations immediately after the commission of the crime demonstrate his liability as an accessory. Being a police officer in the active service, he had the duty to arrest appellant Antonio after the latter committed a crime in his presence, and which he himself witnessed. Unfortunately, he failed to do what was incumbent upon him to do. Instead, he rode with the offender to the latter's house where they stayed for more than five (5) hours. WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the appealed Decision in Criminal Case No. 111232-H is hereby MODIFIED. Accusedappellant Alberto "Ambet" Antonio is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of HOMICIDE and is correspondingly sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of ten (10) years and one (1) day of prision mayor, as minimum to fourteen (14) years and eight (8) months of reclusion temporal, as maximum. Accused-appellant Juanito Nieto y Nemer is likewise found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt as accessory to the crime of HOMICIDE, and is correspondingly sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of six (6) months of arresto mayor, as minimum, to four (4) years of prision correccional, as maximum.

24. PP V. MARIANO Facts: Driven by grinding poverty in her home province and lured by the prospect of a lucrative employment in the big city, Michelle Priol, then only sixteen (16), left home for Manila in January 1996 to work as a domestic help. Soon enough Michelle found herself hired at the household of the sisters Ruth Mariano and Ruby Mariano in Bambang, Pasig City. Jenny Priol, Michelle's older sister, testified that she often visited Michelle at the Mariano.residence. However, whenever she would visit Michelle, she and her sister could not freely talk as Ruth and Ruby were always hovering about. Apparently unhappy with the manner she was allowed to visit Michelle they being constantly watched by the Mariano sisters and denied their privacy - Jenny never went to her sister again after her last visit in November 1996. Sometime afterwards, Ruth and Ruby brought Michelle to her sister Jenny to complain to her that their rice cooker no longer functioned and heaped the Issue: Whether or not Ruby, as sister of Ruth Mariano, is considered by law as an accessory exempt from criminal liability by reason of their relationship. Held: While these circumstances strongly indicate that Ruby had knowledge of what her sister Ruth did to Michelle, they are too insufficient to support a finding that Ruby had something to do with the crime so that she should likewise be answerable. With her nominal role, we cannot conscientiously declare that Ruby was a principal or even an accomplice in the crime. The presumption of innocence in her favor has not been overcome by proof beyond reasonable doubt. The SC do not agree with the Solicitor General that Ruby should have been convicted as an accessory after the fact x x x x since her act of driving the car where the corpse of Michelle was hidden, her resistance to stop the car when chased

blame on Michelle. On that occasion Jenny noticed that Michelle's hair was unevenly cut to the scalp. When asked what happened, Michelle told her that it was Ruby who gave her the ugly haircut. Concerned with the condition of her sister, Jenny confronted Ruby. But the latter angrily replied. Jenny then told Ruby that she was going to take her sister back from them but the furious Ruby hurriedly left with Ruth, taking Michelle with them. That was the last time Jenny saw her younger sister alive. On 17 August 1997, a police received an anonymous call reporting that a woman was seen carrying a rectangular box with a human leg protruding. The caller further informed that the woman then placed the box inside the compartment of a car bearing plate number UPR-561. On the basis of this information, the policemen immediately conducted a "stake-out and surveillance operation" in the vicinity of Bambang as reported. After a couple of minutes, the police officers spotted two (2) women boarding a car with the reported plate number. They turned out to be accused-appellants Ruth Mariano y Lara and Ruby Mariano y Lara. The vehicle was owned and driven by Ruby. The law enforcers, riding in their patrol car followed the vehicle. But the women, perhaps sensing that they were being trailed, drove fast. Alarmed by the suspects' reaction to their presence, the policemen sounded their siren. After a brief chase, the officers overtook the suspects' vehicle and blocked its path. SPO2 Hernandez and SPO1 Fidelino alighted, from their patrol car and introduced themselves as police officers. They ordered Ruth and Ruby to alight from their vehicle. The lawmen then announced that they would be conducting a visual search of the luggage compartment of the vehicle. Initially, Ruby refused saying that only dirty clothes were in the compartment but later relented the police officers insisted. Upon opening the compartment, SPO2 Hernandez was greeted by a putrid odor emanating from a decomposing body inside the box. Ruth and Ruby identified the body as that of their maid Michelle Priol. Ruth and Ruby were then arrested. With the foregoing findings, Ruth and Ruby were charged with murder. Ruth denied the charge claiming that the victim "died because she got sick, and not because I mauled her." Nevertheless, by her own narration and admission during the trial, Ruth described in lurid details what really happened to Michelle. According to Ruth, Michelle was kind, industrious and respectful at first. However, sometime November 1996 she and her sister Ruby caught Michelle stealing money and jewelry from their bedroom. Thus, they brought her to the police but later desisted from prosecuting Michelle when she pleaded for a second chance and promised that she would not do it again. After that incident, Michelle's attitude changed completely. Ruth claimed that she often caught her stealing money from them and destroying the appliances whenever she

by the police and to immediately open the luggage compartment as requested by the police, her act of lying to the police by claiming that the box in the compartment contained only dirty clothes, and her refusal to open said box sufficiently indicate knowledge of the crime and assistance to Ruth Mariano in concealing the corpus delicti to prevent its discovery. Accused-appellant Ruby Mariano is the sister of accusedappellant Ruth Mariano. As such, their relationship exempts appellant Ruby Mariano from criminal liability under Art. 20 of The Revised Penal Code Art. 20. Accessories who are exempt from criminal liability. - The penalties prescribed for accessories shall not be imposed upon those who are such with respect to their spouses, ascendants, descendants, legitimate, natural and adopted brothers and sisters, or relatives by affinity within the same degrees, with the single exception of accessories falling within the provisions of paragraph 1 of the preceding article (underscoring supplied). The reason for exemption is obvious; it is based on ties of blood and the preservation of the cleanliness of one's name, which compels one to conceal crimes committed by relatives so near as those mentioned in the above-quoted article. This Court is thus mandated by law to acquit accused-appellant Ruby Mariano. As for accused-appellant Ruby Mariano, the Court finds the evidence insufficient to establish beyond reasonable doubt her guilt as an accomplice in the commission of the said crime. Neither can she be held liable as an accessory after the fact, as she is exempt from criminal liability by reason of her relationship with her co-accused pursuant to Art. 20 of The Revised Penal Code. Consequently, she is ACQUITTED WHEREFORE, the Decision of the court a quo of 22 June 1998 is MODIFIED. Accused-appellant Ruth Mariano is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of MURDER qualified by extreme cruelty and is sentenced to DEATH. She is further ORDERED to pay the heirs of victim Michelle Priol y Beronio the following amounts: P50,000.00 for civil indemnity, P35,000.00 for actual damages, P300,000.00 for moral damages, another P50,000.00 for exemplary damages, and to pay the costs.

cleaned the house, and that whenever she scolded Michelle she would answer back, triggering a fight between them. Ruth confessed in her testimony that she doused boiling water on Michelle several times whenever she was angry. Ruth likewise admitted having pulled Michelle's hair and banged her head (inuumpog ang ulo), and that in the month of July 1997 alone they fought at least six (6) times. She added that she was remorseful afterwards for what she had done and treated Michelle's seared flesh with antibiotics and washed her wounds with guava leaves. On 22 June 1998 Ruth and Ruby were convicted of murder by the trial court. Accordingly, Ruth was sentenced to death while Ruby was found guilty as an accomplice.