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SecLlon 36 Lo 31

1. Þeople versus pruna
2. Þeople versus cablnLoy
3. Þeople versus bagano
4. Þeople versus roxas
3. CounLry bankers versus llanga bay
6. CoLesco versus chaLo
7. lerla versus ca
8. LsLrada versus deslerLo
9. Þeople versus compeLenLe
10. Malayan versus phll nalls
11. Scc chemlcal versus ca
12. 8p versus helrs of ale[aga
13. Þeople versus monLanez
14. Þeople versus preclados
13. Þeople versus boller

[G.k. No. 138471. Cctober 10, 2002]
ÞLCÞLL CI 1nL ÞnILIÞÞINLS, !"#$%&$''(#!!)""))* ,-. MANULL ÞkUNA y kAMIkL2 or LkMAN ÞkUNA y
kAMIkL2, #../-)0(#!!)""#%&.
D L C I S I C N
DAVIDL, Ik., 123.:
1he case of LlzeLLe Arabelle Conzales (hereafLer LlZL11L), who had been deflled aL a very Lender age. She
was aL Lhe Llme voldlng her body wasLe aL Lhelr nelghbor's backyard, buL LhaL dld noL deLer hereln appellanL from
lmposlng hls lechery on her.
lnformaLlon
[2]
for rape was flled agalnsL accused-appellanL Manuel Þruna y 8amlrez or Lrman Þruna y
8amlrez (hereafLer Þ8unA), Lhe accusaLory porLlon of whlch reads:
1haL on or abouL !anuary 3, 1993 aL SlLlo 1ablng-llog, 8rgy. Þanllao, Þllar, 8aLaan, Þhlllpplnes,
and wlLhln Lhe [urlsdlcLlon of Lhls Ponorable CourL, Lhe sald accused Lhru force and
lnLlmldaLlon, dld Lhen and Lhere wlllfully, unlawfully and felonlously lle and succeed Lo have
sexual lnLercourse wlLh Lhe offended parLy, LlzeLLe Arabelle Conzales, a 3-year-old mlnor glrl,
agalnsL Lhe wlll and consenL of Lhe laLLer, Lo her damage and pre[udlce.
upon moLlon of Þ8unA's counsel, Lhe Þubllc ALLorney's Cfflce (ÞAC), Lhe lnformaLlon was amended
changlng Lhe name of Lhe accused from Manuel Þruna y 8amlrez Lo Lrman Þruna y 8amlrez, whlch was Lhe name
reflecLed ln hls blrLh cerLlflcaLe.
[3]
Powever, when he LesLlfled ln courL, he sLaLed LhaL hls name was Manuel
Þruna, and ln Lhe mlnuLes of Lhe courL proceedlngs, he slgned Lhe name Manuel Þruna.
Cn 27 november 1993, upon Lhe MoLlon Lo ÞuL Lhe Accused under ÞsychlaLrlc or MenLal LxamlnaLlon
[4]
flled
by Þ8unA's counsel on Lhe ground LhaL he could noL secure from Þ8unA a coherenL answer Lo even slmple
quesLlons, Lhe Lrlal courL ordered LhaL Lhe accused be broughL Lo Lhe naLlonal MenLal PosplLal ln Mandaluyong
ClLy for psychlaLrlc or menLal examlnaLlon.
[3]
Accordlngly, Lhe Lrlal was suspended, and Þ8unA was senL Lo Lhe
naLlonal CenLer for MenLal PealLh (nCMP), Mandaluyong ClLy.
Cn 28 !une 1996, Lhe Lrlal courL recelved a Lelegram
[6]
from Lhe nCMP sLaLlng LhaL Þ8unA was ln ºfalr
condlLlon." 1he nCMP laLer submlLLed Lo Lhe Lrlal courL a reporL
[7]
on Lhe psychlaLrlc evaluaLlon of Þ8unA wlLh a
recommendaLlon Lo puL hlm back Lo [all for Lhe resumpLlon of courL proceedlngs. 1he reporL also sLaLed LhaL
Þ8unA narraLed LhaL whlle he and hls frlends were under Lhe brldge snlfflng rugby and drlnklng alcohol, Lhey saw
a 3-year-old glrl defecaLlng ln Lhe rlver bank, LhaL Lhey called her, and, upon Lhe order of hls frlends he placed her
on hls lap and aLLempLed Lo caress her senslLlve parLs. Sald reporL was noL, however, offered ln evldence by Lhe
prosecuLlon or Lhe defense.
1he prosecuLlon presenLed flve wlLnesses, whose LesLlmonles can be summed up as follows:
!acquellne Conzales, Lhe moLher of LlZL11L, LesLlfled LhaL on 3 !anuary 1993, aL 9:30 a.m., she was feLchlng waLer
from Lhe arLeslan well locaLed Len meLers away from her house, whlle LlZL11L was defecaLlng aL Lhe back of Lhe
house of Lhelr nelghbor Clorla 1olenLlno. !acquellne Lhen carrled her pall of waLer and wenL back Lo her
house. Slnce LlZL11L was noL home yeL, !acquellne headed Loward Lhe place where Lhe former was movlng her
bowel. She looked for LlZL11L buL dld noL flnd her. lL was when !acquellne was already reLurnlng Lo her house
LhaL she saw LlZL11L from behlnd -- red-faced, crylng, and appeared Lo be very frlghLened. When asked where
she came from, LlZL11L answered LhaL she was broughL by a cerLaln º8oy" Lo Lhe grassy area aL Lhe back of
Clorla's house where she was sexually molesLed (or ºkloootot" ln Lhe 1agalog dlalecL). LlZL11L Lhen pulled her
moLher and led her Lo Lhe house of Þ8unA, whlch was abouL elghL meLers away from Lhelr house. Þ8unA, Lhe
only one known ln Lhelr communlLy as º8oy," was noL Lhere. !acquellne forLhwlLh requesLed her moLher-ln-law
Lo reporL Lhe maLLer Lo Lhe pollce, whlle !acquellne and LlZL11L wenL Lo Lhe 8aLaan Þrovlnclal PosplLal.
[8]

!acquellne furLher declared LhaL aL Lhe Llme of Lhe alleged rape, LlZL11L was 3 years old, buL aL Lhe Llme
!acquellne LesLlfled on 17 CcLober 1993, LlZL11L was 4 years old. LlZL11L's lasL blrLhday was on 19 Aprll 1993.
[9]

LlZL11L LesLlfled LhaL she knew Þ8unA whom he called º8oy." She polnLed Lo hlm lnslde Lhe
courLroom. Accordlng Lo her, Þ8unA lald her down ln a grassy area and lnserLed hls penls lnLo her vaglna. When
Lhe presldlng [udge asked her wheLher she knew LhaL lL ls a sln Lo Lell a lle, she answered ln Lhe afflrmaLlve.
[10]

ur. LmellLa Culroz, an obsLeLrlclan and gynecologlsL aL Lhe 8aLaan Þrovlnclal PosplLal, LesLlfled LhaL on 3
!anuary 1993, she conducLed a compleLe physlcal examlnaLlon on LlZL11L and Look weL smear speclmen from her
vaglnal wall Lhrough scraplng. 1he speclmen was senL Lo Lhe laboraLory for analysls by a medlcal
LechnologlsL. lurLher, she requesLed a urlnalysls for LlZL11L.
[11]
1he Medlco-Legal 8eporL
[12]
prepared by ur.
Culroz reveals Lhe followlng flndlngs:
LssenLlally normal ÞL-llndlngs
lnfanLlle areola & nlpples
llaL breasLs (-) hemaLoma
(-) publc halr
Labla mlnora and ma[ora -well coapLaLed
Pymenal rlng lnLacL (+) hyperemla (-) laceraLlon
(vaglnal Cpenlng)
LA8C8A1C8? 8LSuL1:
WL1 SMLA8: kCP - negaLlve for 1-vaglnalls
nSS- negaLlve for fungl
SÞL8M AnAL?SlS -ÞCSl1lvL for sperm cells
Cram sLalnlng-few, eplLhellal cells seen, no oLher mlcroorganlsm
u8lnAL?SlS: 88C-3-7-/hpf eplLhellal cells -few.
W8C-0-2
AlLhough noL sLaLed ln Lhe Medlco-Legal 8eporL of ur. Culroz, Lhe urlnalysls reporL
[13]
lncludes a poslLlve
flndlng for ºsperm cells." ur. Culroz explalned LhaL Lhe presence of sperm cells ln Lhe vaglnal canal slgnlfled LhaL
sexual lnLercourse and e[aculaLlon had occurred on Lhe person of Lhe paLlenL. 1here was no laceraLlon, buL Lhere
was hyperemla, whlch means reddenlng of Lhe Llssue around Lhe vaglnal openlng. Among Lhe causes of
hyperemla ls Lhe lnserLlon of a hard ob[ecL llke penls and flnger.
[14]

1ereslLa MagLagnob, Lhe medlcal LechnologlsL who conducLed Lhe laboraLory examlnaLlons and prepared
Lhe correspondlng reporLs,
[13]
LesLlfled LhaL sperm cells were found ln Lhe weL smear speclmen and urlne Laken
from LlZL11L.
[16]

SÞC2 8omeo u. 8unsoy, a member of Lhe Þhlllpplne naLlonal Þollce asslgned aL Lhe Þllar Munlclpal SLaLlon,
LesLlfled LhaL on 3 !anuary 1993 Lhe parenL of Lhe mlnor rape vlcLlm flled a complalnL agalnsL Þ8unA. Pe referred
Lhe maLLer Lo Lhe desk offlcer Lo have lL bloLLered. upon hls advlse, Lhe mlnor was broughL Lo Lhe hosplLal for
examlnaLlon. When Lhey reLurned from Lhe hosplLal, he Look Lhelr sLaLemenLs. LaLer, he conducLed an ocular
lnspecLlon and lnvesLlgaLlon aL Lhe alleged place of Lhe lncldenL and caused Lhe place Lo be phoLographed, whlch
showed LhaL Lhe grasses were flaLLened. Pe lnqulred from Lhe people ln Lhe nelghborhood, and one of Lhem
answered LhaL he saw Lhe mlnor belng broughL by Þ8unA Lo Lhe place where Lhe mlnor was found. When
Þ8unA was broughL Lo Lhelr sLaLlon by four botooqoy toooJs of Þanllao, Þllar, 8aLaan, SÞC2 8unsoy Lrled Lo
converse wlLh hlm, buL Lhe former dld noL glve any reply.
[17]


Cn Lhe parL of Lhe defense, CarllLo 8ondoc and Þ8unA Look Lhe wlLness sLand.
CarllLo LesLlfled LhaL on 3 !anuary 1993, he feLched waLer aL Lhe publlc arLeslan well LogeLher wlLh
!acquellne. AfLer havlng drawn waLer from Lhe well, !acquellne called her daughLer, who was Lhen defecaLlng on
Lhe road near Lhe rlver, and Lhey boLh wenL home. AfLer a whlle, Lhe parenLs of LlZL11L shouLed LhaL Lhelr
daughLer was raped, and Lhen Lhey proceeded Lo Lhe house of Þ8unA and accused hlm of havlng raped Lhe
chlld. CarllLo asserLed LhaL Þ8unA could noL have raped LlZL11L because he (Þ8unA) was ln hls house from Lhe
Llme LhaL LlZL11L was movlng her bowel up Lo Lhe Llme LhaL her moLher wenL Lo Lhe house of Þ8unA. CarllLo
knew LhaL Þ8unA was aL home because Lhe former was also ln Lhe laLLer's house Lo have coffee. CarllLo and Lhe
SullL famlly LhereafLer broughL Þ8unA Lo Lhe barangay hall. Slnce Lhe barangay capLaln was noL around, Lhey
broughL Þ8unA Lo Lhe munlclpal bulldlng Lo prove LhaL he was lnnocenL.
[18]

Þ8unA denled havlng raped LlZL11L. Pe clalmed LhaL ln Lhe mornlng of 3 !anuary 1993, he was ln hls house
preparlng coffee for CarllLo. AfLer CarllLo lefL, several men arrlved and boxed hlm for reasons noL known Lo
hlm. CarllLo and Lhe laLLer's frlend Lhen broughL hlm Lo Lhe barangay hall. 1here, LlZL11L's faLher boxed hlm. Pe
was LhereafLer broughL Lo Lhe Þllar Munlclpal !all. 1here, Lhe moLher of Lhe chlld Lhrew aL hlm Lhe lld cover of a
keLLle. Pe was also asked by Lhe pollce Lo Lake off hls cloLhes and lle flaL, Lhen he was mauled. 1hereafLer, he
was Lold Lo puL hls feeL beLween Lhe grllls, and he was made Lo masLurbaLe. Worse, hls LesLes were burned wlLh
clgareLLe buLLs. Lvery nlghL, he was asked Lo kneel on a chalr and was hlL wlLh a 2"x 2" plece of wood.
[19]

AfLer Lrlal, Þ8unA was convlcLed by Lhe Lrlal courL of Lhe crlme of rape ln lLs quallfled form and senLenced Lo
suffer Lhe supreme penalLy of deaLh and Lo lndemnlfy Lhe vlcLlm ln Lhe sum of Þ30,000, plus cosLs.
[20]
Pence, Lhls
auLomaLlc revlew.
ln hls AppellanL's 8rlef,
[21]
Þ8unA aLLrlbuLed Lo Lhe Lrlal courL Lhe followlng errors:
I
. ln 8LL?lnC Cn 1PL 1LS1lMCn? Cl !ACCuLLlnL S. CCnZALLS, 1PL MC1PL8 Cl 1PL CPlLu, 1PA1 1PL LA11L8
WAS 1P8LL (3) ?LA8S CLu WPLn 1PL ALLLCLu 8AÞL CCCu88Lu WPLn 1PL 8LS1 LvluLnCL 1PL8LlC8 lS 1PL
8l81P CL81lllCA1L Cl 1PL CPlLu.
II
. ln 8LL?lnC Cn 1PL PLA8SA? 1LS1lMCn? Cl !ACCuLLlnL S. CCnZALLS AS 1C 1PL ALLLCLu 8AÞL Cl PL8
CPlLu.
III
. ln AuMl11lnC Anu 8LL?lnC Cn 1PL 1LS1lMCn? Cl CCMÞLAlnAn1[ ] CPlLu WPC WAS CnL? 1P8LL (3) ?LA8S
CLu WPLn 1PL ALLLCLu 8AÞL CCCu88Lu LvLn AS SPL WAS CnL? llvL (3) ?LA8S CLu WPLn SPL 1LS1lllLu.
IV
. ln CCnvlC1lnC 1PL ACCuSLu Cn uu8lCuS LvluLnCL.
1he Cfflce of Lhe SollclLor Ceneral (hereafLer CSC) seeks Lhe afflrmaLlon of Lhe Lrlal courL's declslon wlLh Lhe
modlflcaLlon LhaL an addlLlonal award of Þ30,000 as moral damages be granLed ln favor of Lhe offended parLy.
As culled from Lhe argumenLs of Lhe parLles, Lhe lssues Lo be resolved ln Lhls case are as follows:
(1) WheLher LlZL11L was a compeLenL and credlble wlLness conslderlng LhaL she was allegedly
only 3 years old when Lhe alleged rape occurred and 3 years old when she LesLlfled,
(2) WheLher !acquellne's LesLlmony as Lo Lhe declaraLlons of LlZL11L ls hearsay,
(3) WheLher Lhe fallure of Lhe prosecuLlon Lo presenL Clorla 1olenLlno as a wlLness ls faLal,
(4) WheLher appellanL's gullL has been proved beyond reasonable doubL,
(3) WheLher Lhe quallfylng clrcumsLance of mlnorlLy has been duly proved as Lo [usLlfy Lhe
lmposlLlon of Lhe deaLh penalLy.

We shall resolve Lhese lssues ln setlotlm.
I. LI2L11L's Competency and Cred|b|||ty as a W|tness
AppellanL dlspuLes Lhe compeLency of LlZL11L Lo LesLlfy by reason of her Lender age. When LlZL11L was
called Lo LesLlfy, hls counsel lnLerposed a vlgorous ob[ecLlon Lo Lhe admlsslon of her LesLlmony because of her
Lender age. 1he Lrlal courL noLed Lhe ob[ecLlon and allowed her Lo LesLlfy, Lhus:
ul8LC1 LxAMlnA1lCn 8?
Þ8CS. LuMA8AS:
uo you know Manuel Þruna?
A ?es, slr.
C Pow do you call Manuel Þruna?
A 8oy, slr.
C Where ls he?
A 1here, slr. (WlLness polnLlng Lo a person wearlng blue 1-shlrL, who when asked, gave hls name as
Manuel Þruna)
.
Þ8CS. LuMA8AS:
WhaL dld Manuel Þruna or 8oy do Lo you?
A ºlolblqo olyo oko" and lnserLed hls penls Lo my vaglna, slr.
C And ln whaL place dld he do Lhls Lo you?
A ln Lhe grassy area, slr.
C AfLer he lnserLed hls penls Lo your vaglna, whaL happened nexL?
A11?. 8ALu?C1:
1he wlLness for qulLe someLlme could noL answer Lhe quesLlon.
Þ8CS. LuMA8AS:
l Lhlnk LhaL wlll be all for Lhe wlLness.
[22]

AfLer whlch, Lhe defense counsel manlfesLed LhaL he would noL cross-examlne her and LhaL he lnLended Lo
flle a moLlon for her dlsquallflcaLlon as a wlLness.
[23]
1he courL Lhen proceeded Lo ask her a few quesLlons, Lhus:
CCu81 :
uo you know whaL wlll happen Lo a chlld lf she ls noL Lelllng Lhe LruLh?
A ºSa lupa."
C uo you know LhaL lL ls a sln Lo Lell a lle?
A ?es, slr.
C 1he wlLness ls excused conslderlng Lhe manlfesLaLlon of ALLy. 8aluyoL LhaL he wlll be flllng a wrlLLen
moLlon for Lhe sLrlklng ouL of Lhe LesLlmony of Lhe wlLness conslderlng her Lender age.
[24]

no such moLlon ls exLanL on Lhe records. AL Lhe nexL hearlng, Lhe defense counsel cross-examlned LlZL11L,
as follows:
A11?. 8ALu?C1:
Cn !anuary 3, 1993, ln Lhe mornlng where were you?
A l was ln Lhe grassy area, slr.
C ln LhaL grassy area Lhere were oLher chlldren wlLh you playlng?
A none, slr.
C ?ou were Lhen removlng[slc] your bowel, ls lL noL?
A ?es, slr.
C 1hen whlle removlng your bowel you saw your moLher pass[ ] by, ls lL noL?
A ?es, slr.
C She was Lhen carrylng a pall Lo feLch some waLer, ls lL noL?
A ?es, slr.
C 1he waLer from where she wlll feLch ls [slc]. a few meLer[s] away from you, ls lL noL?
A near, slr.
.
A11?. 8ALu?C1:
Conslderlng LhaL Lhe grassy place where you were Lhen dlscharglng your bowel ls beslde a sLreeL?
A ?es, slr.
C And you saw your moLher brlnglng a pall of waLer Lowards your house afLer her pumplng from Lhe
well, ls lL noL?
A ?es, slr.
C When she passed by she llkewlse saw you, ls lL noL?
A ?es, slr.
C 1hen how far were you from your house when you were dlscharglng your bowel? Þlease
demonsLraLe Lhe dlsLance?
A up Lo LhaL door, slr.
C lrom LhaL poslLlon you were aL Lhe grass you could see your house, ls lL noL?
A ?es, slr.
C Could you Lell Lhe Ponorable CourL how long dld lL Lake you Lo dlscharge your bowel?
.
A lor a shorL perlod of Llme, slr.
(Sandall lang po.)
[23]

As a general rule, when a wlLness Lakes Lhe wlLness sLand, Lhe law, on ground of publlc pollcy, presumes
LhaL he ls compeLenL. 1he courL cannoL re[ecL Lhe wlLness ln Lhe absence of proof of hls lncompeLency. 1he
burden ls, Lherefore, upon Lhe parLy ob[ecLlng Lo Lhe compeLency of a wlLness Lo esLabllsh Lhe ground of
lncompeLency.
[26]

SecLlon 21 of 8ule 130 of Lhe 8ules on Lvldence enumeraLes Lhe persons who are dlsquallfled Lo be
wlLnesses. Among Lhose dlsquallfled are º[c]hlldren whose menLal maLurlLy ls such as Lo render Lhem lncapable
of percelvlng Lhe facLs respecLlng whlch Lhey are examlned and relaLlng Lhem LruLhfully."
no preclse mlnlmum age can be flxed aL whlch chlldren shall be excluded from LesLlfylng. 1he lnLelllgence,
noL Lhe age, of a young chlld ls Lhe LesL of Lhe compeLency as a wlLness.
[27]
lL ls seLLled LhaL a chlld, regardless of
age, can be a compeLenL wlLness lf he can percelve and, ln percelvlng, can make known hls percepLlon Lo oLhers
and LhaL he ls capable of relaLlng LruLhfully Lhe facLs for whlch he ls examlned.
[28]

ln deLermlnlng Lhe compeLency of a chlld wlLness, Lhe courL musL conslder hls capaclLy (a) aL Lhe Llme Lhe
facL Lo be LesLlfled Lo occurred such LhaL he could recelve correcL lmpresslons Lhereof, (b) Lo comprehend Lhe
obllgaLlon of an oaLh, and (c) Lo relaLe Lhose facLs Lruly Lo Lhe courL aL Lhe Llme he ls offered as a wlLness.
[29]
1he
examlnaLlon should show LhaL Lhe chlld has some undersLandlng of Lhe punlshmenL whlch may resulL from false
swearlng. 1he requlslLe appreclaLlon of consequences ls dlsclosed where Lhe chlld sLaLes LhaL he knows LhaL lL ls
wrong Lo Lell a lle, and LhaL he would be punlshed lf he does so, or LhaL he uses language whlch ls equlvalenL Lo
saylng LhaL he would be senL Lo hell for false swearlng.
[30]
A chlld can be dlsquallfled only lf lL can be shown LhaL
hls menLal maLurlLy renders hlm lncapable of percelvlng facLs respecLlng whlch he ls belng examlned and of
relaLlng Lhem LruLhfully.
[31]

1he quesLlon of compeLency of a chlld-wlLness resLs prlmarlly ln Lhe sound dlscreLlon of Lhe Lrlal courL. 1hls
ls so because Lhe Lrlal [udge sees Lhe proposed wlLness and observes hls manner of LesLlfylng, hls apparenL
possesslon or lack of lnLelllgence, as well as hls undersLandlng of Lhe obllgaLlon of an oaLh.
[32]
Slnce many of Lhe
wlLness' manners cannoL be phoLographed lnLo Lhe record, Lhe flndlng of Lhe Lrlal [udge wlll noL be dlsLurbed or
reversed unless from whaL ls preserved lL ls clear LhaL such flndlng was erroneous.
[33]

ln Lhls case, appellanL quesLlons Lhe compeLency of LlZL11L as a wlLness solely on Lhe ground of her age. Pe
falled Lo dlscharge Lhe burden of showlng her menLal lmmaLurlLy. lrom Lhe above-quoLed LesLlmony, lL can be
gleaned LhaL LlZL11L had Lhe capaclLy of observaLlon, recollecLlon, and communlcaLlon
[34]
and LhaL she could
dlscern Lhe consequence of Lelllng a lle. We, Lherefore, susLaln Lhe Lrlal courL ln admlLLlng her LesLlmony and
accordlng lL greaL welghL.
We are noL persuaded by appellanL's asserLlon LhaL LlZL11L should noL be allowed Lo LesLlfy Lwo years afLer
Lhe alleged rape ºwhen Lhe lnLerplay of frall memory comblnes wlLh Lhe lmaglnaLlon of earller years." lL musL be
noLed LhaL lL ls a mosL naLural reacLlon for vlcLlms of crlmlnal vlolence Lo have a lasLlng lmpresslon of Lhe manner
ln whlch Lhe crlme was commlLLed and Lhe ldenLlLy of Lhe person responslble Lherefor.
[33]

ln a sLrlng of cases, we have sald LhaL Lhe LesLlmony of a rape vlcLlm who ls of young or Lender age ls
credlble and deserves full credlL,
[36]
especlally where no moLlve ls aLLrlbuLed Lo Lhe vlcLlm LhaL would make her
LesLlfy falsely agalnsL Lhe accused.
[37]
lndeed, a glrl of such age as LlZL11L would noL concocL a sLory of
defloraLlon, allow Lhe examlnaLlon of her prlvaLe parLs, and undergo Lhe expense, Lrouble, lnconvenlence, and
Lhe Lrauma of a publlc Lrlal unless she was ln facL raped.
[38]


II. 1he A||eged nearsay 1est|mony of Iacque||ne Gonza|es
ConLrary Lo appellanL's conLenLlon, !acquellne's LesLlmony LhaL LlZL11L Lold her LhaL appellanL lald her ln
Lhe grassy area and lnserLed hls penls lnLo her vaglna ls noL covered by Lhe hearsay evldence rule, whlch flnds
appllcaLlon when Lhe declaranL does noL LesLlfy. 1hls rule, as enunclaLed under SecLlon 36, 8ule 130 of Lhe 8ules
on Lvldence, provldes LhaL a wlLness can LesLlfy only Lo Lhose facLs whlch he knows of hls personal knowledge
excepL as oLherwlse provlded ln Lhe 8ules of CourL.
1he Lerm ºhearsay" as used ln Lhe law on evldence, slgnlfles evldence whlch ls noL founded upon Lhe
personal knowledge of Lhe wlLness from whom lL ls ellclLed and whlch consequenLly does noL depend wholly for
lLs credlblllLy and welghL upon Lhe confldence whlch Lhe courL may have ln hlm, lLs value, lf any, ls measured by
Lhe credlL Lo be glven Lo some Lhlrd person noL sworn as a wlLness Lo LhaL facL, and consequenLly noL sub[ecL Lo
cross-examlnaLlon.
[39]
lf one Lherefore LesLlfles Lo facLs whlch he learned from a Lhlrd person noL sworn as a
wlLness Lo Lhose facLs, hls LesLlmony ls lnadmlsslble as hearsay evldence.
[40]

1he reason for Lhe excluslon of hearsay evldence ls LhaL Lhe parLy agalnsL whom Lhe hearsay LesLlmony ls
presenLed ls deprlved of Lhe rlghL or opporLunlLy Lo cross-examlne Lhe person Lo whom Lhe sLaLemenLs are
aLLrlbuLed.
[41]
Moreover, Lhe courL ls wlLhouL opporLunlLy Lo LesL Lhe credlblllLy of hearsay sLaLemenLs by
observlng Lhe demeanor of Lhe person who made Lhem.
[42]

ln Lhe lnsLanL case, Lhe declaranL (LlZL11L) herself was sworn as a wlLness Lo Lhe facL LesLlfled Lo by
!acquellne. 1he appellanL even cross-examlned her (LlZL11L). Moreover, Lhe Lrlal courL had Lhe opporLunlLy Lo
observe her manner of LesLlfylng. Pence, !acquellne's LesLlmony on Lhe lncldenL relaLed Lo her by her daughLer
cannoL be dlsregarded as hearsay evldence.
Lven assumlng LhaL Lhe aforemenLloned LesLlmony of !acquellne ls hearsay, lLs non-admlsslon would noL
save Lhe day for Lhe appellanL. Such LesLlmony ls noL lndlspensable, as lL merely serves Lo corroboraLe LlZL11L's
LesLlmony LhaL Þ8unA lald her down ln Lhe grass and lnserLed hls prlvaLe organ lnLo hers. As dlscussed earller,
LlZL11L's LesLlmony, whlch was found Lo be credlble by Lhe Lrlal courL, ls sufflclenL basls for convlcLlon.
AL any raLe, !acquellne's LesLlmony ls proof of Lhe vlcLlm's conducL lmmedlaLely afLer Lhe rape. lL shows LhaL
LlZL11L lmmedlaLely revealed Lo her moLher Lhe rape lncldenL and Lhe ldenLlLy of her defller. As wlll be dlscussed
laLer, such conducL ls one of Lhe earmarks of Lhe LruLh of Lhe charge of rape.
III Non-Þresentat|on of G|or|a 1o|ent|no as a W|tness
AppellanL harps on Lhe prosecuLlon's fallure Lo puL on Lhe wlLness sLand Clorla 1olenLlno, who was llsLed as
a wlLness and execuLed an affldavlL on 4 !anuary 1993 LhaL she saw Lhe appellanL carrylng and brlnglng LlZL11L Lo
a grassy area aL Lhe back of her house.
lL ls undlspuLed LhaL aL Lhe Llme Lhe case was called for Lrlal, Clorla had already moved ouL of her resldence
ln Þanllao, Þllar, 8aLaan, and could noL be found anymore. ln any evenL, as oplned by Lhe CSC, her lnLended
LesLlmony could be dlspensed wlLh, as lL would only be corroboraLlve of LlZL11L's LesLlmony LhaL Þruna broughL
her Lo a grassy area.
IV. Suff|c|ency of the Þrosecut|on's Lv|dence Aga|nst Appe||ant
When LlZL11L was puL ln Lhe wlLness sLand, she unheslLaLlngly ldenLlfled Þ8unA, Lhelr nelghbor, as Lhe one
who deflled her. A rape vlcLlm can easlly ldenLlfy her assallanL especlally lf he ls known Lo her because durlng Lhe
rape, she ls physlcally close Lo her assallanL LhaL enables her Lo have a good look aL Lhe laLLer's physlcal
feaLures.
[43]

LlZL11L LesLlfled LhaL on 3 !anuary 1993 Þ8unA, whom she called 8oy, lald her ln a grassy area and lnserLed
hls penls lnLo her genlLalla. When a glrl or a woman says LhaL she has been raped she says ln effecL all LhaL ls
necessary Lo show LhaL rape was Lruly commlLLed.
[44]
She ls noL expecLed Lo remember all Lhe ugly deLalls of Lhe
ouLrage commlLLed agalnsL her.
[43]
And when her LesLlmony passes Lhe LesL of credlblllLy, Lhe accused can be
convlcLed on Lhe basls Lhereof, for ln mosL cases lL ls Lhe only evldence LhaL can be offered Lo esLabllsh hls
gullL.
[46]

Llkewlse, LlZL11L's moLher LesLlfled LhaL rlghL afLer Lhe lncldenL LlZL11L dlsclosed whaL happened Lo her
and readlly ldenLlfled Þ8unA as Lhe culprlL. She even led her moLher Lo Lhe house of Þ8unA.
[47]
1hereafLer, Lhe
Lwo wenL Lo Lhe pollce auLhorlLles Lo reporL Lhe lncldenL, and Lhen Lo Lhe hosplLal for LlZL11L's medlcal
examlnaLlon.
8y and large, Lhe medlcal evldence lends credence Lo LlZL11L's LesLlmony LhaL Þ8unA lnserLed hls penls lnLo
her vaglna. 1he Medlco-Legal 8eporL shows LhaL Lhere was hyperemla or reddenlng of Lhe vaglnal openlng of
LlZL11L. As oplned by ur. Culroz, who was presenLed as an experL wlLness, hyperemla can be caused by Lhe
lnserLlon of a hard ob[ecL llke penls and flnger.
[48]
1he presence of sperm cells ln Lhe vaglnal canal and urlne of
LlZL11L ls also a muLe LesLlmony of Lhe sexual conLacL LhaL furLher sLrengLhens LlZL11L's clalm of rape.
1hls CourL ls noL obllvlous of Lhe flndlng LhaL no laceraLlon was found ln LlZL11L's organ desplLe Lhe facL LhaL
she was examlned lmmedlaLely afLer she was raped. We have already ruled, however, LhaL Lhe absence of fresh
laceraLlons does noL preclude Lhe flndlng of rape,
[49]
especlally when Lhe vlcLlm ls of Lender age.
[30]
Well- seLLled ls
Lhe rule LhaL rape ls consummaLed by Lhe sllghLesL penlle peneLraLlon of Lhe labla or pudendum of Lhe
female.
[31]
1he presence of hyperemla ln LlZL11L's vaglnal openlng and Lhe exlsLence of sperm cells ln her vaglnal
canal and urlne are clear lndlcaLlons LhaL Þ8unA's organ lndeed Louched Lhe labla or pudendum of LlZL11L.
ln a nuLshell, Lhe followlng overwhelmlngly esLabllsh Lhe LruLh of Lhe charge of rape: (a) Lhe sponLanelLy of
Lhe ldenLlflcaLlon by LlZL11L of Þ8unA as Lhe raplsL, (b) her lmmedlaLe revelaLlon Lo her moLher of Lhe dasLard
acL commlLLed agalnsL her, (c) her acL of leadlng her moLher Lo appellanL's house rlghL afLer Lhe lncldenL, (d) Lhe
prompL flllng of Lhe complalnL before Lhe auLhorlLles, (e) LlZL11L's submlsslon Lo medlcal examlnaLlon, (f) Lhe
hyperemla ln her prlvaLe parL, and (g) Lhe presence of sperm cells ln her vaglnal canal and urlne.
1he Lrlal courL correcLly dlsregarded Lhe defense of allbl ralsed by Lhe accused. We have conslsLenLly held
LhaL for allbl Lo prosper, lL musL be proved LhaL durlng Lhe commlsslon of Lhe crlme, Lhe accused was ln anoLher
place and LhaL lL was physlcally lmposslble for hlm Lo be aL Lhe crlme scene. !usL llke denlal, allbl ls an lnherenLly
weak defense, and unless supporLed by clear and convlnclng evldence, Lhe same cannoL prevall over Lhe poslLlve
declaraLlon of Lhe vlcLlm.
[32]
We have also held LhaL when allbl ls esLabllshed only by Lhe accused, hls relaLlves, or
close frlends, Lhe same should be LreaLed wlLh sLrlcLesL scruLlny.
[33]

CarllLo, who was admlLLedly a close frlend of appellanL's parenLs, corroboraLed Þ8unA's LesLlmony LhaL he
(Þ8unA) was ln hls house durlng Lhe Llme LhaL LlZL11L was raped. lL ls, however, an esLabllshed facL LhaL Lhe
place where Lhe rape occurred was [usL a few meLers away from Lhe house of Þ8unA. 1hus, Lhere was no
physlcal lmposslblllLy for Þ8unA Lo be ln Lhe grassy area Lo consummaLe Lhe crlme of rape.
1he defense, Lhrough CarllLo, aLLempLed Lo lmpuLe moLlve Lo !acquellne ln flllng agalnsL Þ8unA Lhe charge
of rape. Accordlng Lo hlm, LlZL11L's grandparenLs, Lhe SullLs, wanLed Lo buy Lhe place of Lhe Þ8unA famlly, buL
Lhe laLLer refused.
[34]
Aslde from Lhe facL LhaL such LesLlmony was noL corroboraLed, sald moLlve, lf aL all, ls Loo
fllmsy Lo be even consldered. no moLher ln her rlghL mlnd would use her offsprlng as an englne of mallce. She
would noL sub[ecL her chlld Lo Lhe humlllaLlon, dlsgrace, and even Lhe sLlgma aLLendanL Lo a prosecuLlon for rape
unless she ls moLlvaLed by Lhe deslre Lo brlng Lo [usLlce Lhe person responslble for her chlld's defllemenL.
[33]

V. Suff|c|ency of Lv|dence of LI2L11L's M|nor|ty and Þropr|ety of the Impos|t|on of the Death Þena|ty
1he commlsslon of Lhe crlme of rape by Þ8unA havlng been duly esLabllshed by Lhe prosecuLlon, we now
come Lo Lhe quesLlon of Lhe penalLy Lo be meLed upon hlm.
ArLlcle 333, sevenLh paragraph, no. 4, of Lhe 8evlsed Þenal Code, as amended by 8epubllc AcL no. 7639,
provldes LhaL Lhe deaLh penalLy shall be lmposed lf Lhe crlme of rape ls commlLLed agalnsL a ºchlld below seven
(7) years old." We have held LhaL ln such a case Lhe mlnorlLy of Lhe vlcLlm musL be proved wlLh equal cerLalnLy
and clearness as Lhe crlme lLself. 1he fallure Lo sufflclenLly esLabllsh Lhe vlcLlm's age ls faLal and consequenLly
bars convlcLlon for rape ln lLs quallfled form.
[36]

A person's age ls besL proved by Lhe blrLh cerLlflcaLe. 8uL ls Lhe presenLaLlon of Lhe vlcLlm's blrLh cerLlflcaLe
a sloe poo ooo requlremenL Lo prove her age for Lhe appreclaLlon of mlnorlLy elLher as an elemenL of Lhe crlme or
as a quallfylng clrcumsLance? 8ecenL [urlsprudence has confllcLlng pronouncemenLs.
ln Lhe followlng cases, no blrLh cerLlflcaLe was presenLed and Lhls CourL ruled LhaL Lhe age of Lhe vlcLlm was
noL duly proved by Lhe prosecuLlon:
1. ln leople v. votqos,
[37]
Lhe LesLlmonles of Lhe vlcLlm and her aunL LhaL Lhe former was 10 years old aL Lhe
Llme of Lhe rape were noL consldered proof of her age for belng hearsay. 1hls CourL also observed LhaL Lhe vlcLlm
could easlly be mlsLaken for a chlld below 12 years of age, and hence lL was noL correcL Lo [udge Lhe vlcLlm's age
by her appearance. We held: º1he dlfference of Lwo or Lhree years ln age may noL always be readlly apparenL by
mere physlcal manlfesLaLlons or appearance."
2. ln leople v. Iovlet,
[38]
Lhe vlcLlm was alleged Lo be 16 years old, and Lhe accused dld noL conLesL her
age. 8aLloclnaLlng LhaL ln Lhls age of modernlsm, Lhere ls hardly any dlfference beLween a 16-year-old glrl and an
18-year-old one lnsofar as physlcal feaLures and aLLrlbuLes are concerned, Lhls CourL held LhaL an lndependenL
proof of Lhe acLual age of a rape vlcLlm ls vlLal and essenLlal so as Lo remove an loLa of doubL LhaL Lhe vlcLlm ls
lndeed under 18 years of age as Lo fall under Lhe quallfylng clrcumsLances enumeraLed ln 8.A. no. 7639.
3. ln leople v. 8tlqllJo,
[39]
aslde from Lhe fallure of Lhe prosecuLlon Lo presenL Lhe offended parLy's blrLh
cerLlflcaLe or oLher equally accepLable offlclal documenL concernlng her age, Lhe LesLlmonles on record were noL
clear as Lo her exacL age. 1he vlcLlm declared LhaL she was 11 years old when she LesLlfled ln courL a year afLer
Lhe lncldenL, whlle her moLher clalmed LhaL she was around 13 years old aL Lhe Llme of Lhe commlsslon of Lhe
crlme. 1he lnformaLlons even alleged a dlfferenL age. Pence, Lhls CourL refused Lo appreclaLe Lhe quallfylng
clrcumsLance of mlnorlLy because of Lhe uncerLalnLy regardlng her age.
4. ln leople v. 1lpoy,
[60]
Lhe offended parLy was alleged ln Lhe lnformaLlon Lo be under 16 years of age. no
ºlndependenL" evldence was presenLed Lo prove lL. 1hls CourL recognlzed LhaL Lhe mlnorlLy of a vlcLlm who may
be below Lhe age of 10 ls qulLe manlfesL and may be Laken [udlclal noLlce of by Lhe courL. 8uL when Lhe vlcLlm ls
beLween Lhe cruclal years of 13 and 17 where mlnorlLy may seem Lo be dublLable due Lo one's physlcal
appearance, Lhe prosecuLlon should prove Lhe facL of mlnorlLy wlLh cerLalnLy. 1he lack of ob[ecLlon on Lhe parL of
Lhe accused concernlng Lhe vlcLlm's age does noL excuse Lhe prosecuLlon from dlscharglng lLs burden.
3. ln leople v. colo,
[61]
Lhe vlcLlm was alleged ln Lhe complalnL Lo be 16 years old when Lhe rape was
commlLLed, buL no evldence aL all was presenLed Lo prove her age. We held LhaL Lhe fallure of Lhe accused Lo
deny such allegaLlon cannoL make up for Lhe fallure of Lhe prosecuLlon Lo prove wlLh cerLalnLy Lhe vlcLlm's
mlnorlLy. 8ecause of Lhe lacuna ln Lhe prosecuLlon's evldence, coupled wlLh Lhe Lrlal courL's fallure Lo make a
caLegorlcal flndlng of mlnorlLy of Lhe vlcLlm, we decllned Lo conslder Lhe quallfylng clrcumsLance of mlnorlLy.
6. ln leople v. veloso,
[62]
Lhe vlcLlm was alleged Lo be 9 years of age when she was raped. ClLlng leople v.
votqos,
[63]
Lhls CourL refused Lo conslder Lhe LesLlmonles of Lhe vlcLlm and her faLher as sufflclenL proof of her
age.
7. ln leople v. lecoyo,
[64]
Lhe vlcLlm slmply sLaLed durlng Lhe beglnnlng of her dlrecL examlnaLlon LhaL she was
14 years old and LhaL she was born on 13 !anuary 1983. We held LhaL Lhe vlcLlm's casual LesLlmony as Lo her age
ls noL enough, and LhaL Lhe lack of denlal on Lhe parL of Lhe accused does noL excuse Lhe prosecuLlon from
provlng her age Lhrough compeLenL evldence such as a duly cerLlfled cerLlflcaLe of llve blrLh, bapLlsmal cerLlflcaLe,
or some oLher auLhenLlc documenL showlng her age.
8. ln leople v. 1ooJoq,
[63]
Lhe vlcLlm LesLlfled LhaL she was 13 years of age when she was raped, buL she dld
noL know exacLly when she was born. unable Lo secure a copy of her blrLh cerLlflcaLe, Lhe prosecuLlon moved
LhaL [udlclal noLlce be Laken of Lhe facL LhaL she was below 18 years old aL Lhe Llme of Lhe rape. uesplLe Lhe
admlsslon by Lhe defense of such facL, Lhls CourL held LhaL Lhe age of Lhe vlcLlm ls noL a maLLer of [udlclal noLlce,
wheLher mandaLory or dlscreLlonary. under SecLlon 3, 8ule 129 of Lhe 8ules on Lvldence, a hearlng ls requlred
before such facL can be Laken [udlclal noLlce of by courLs.
9. ln leople v. Cetoboo,
[66]
Lhe vlcLlm's LesLlmony was caLegorlcal ln declarlng LhaL she was 13, buL her
moLher's LesLlmony regardlng her age was noL clear. We Lhus declared LhaL Lhe prosecuLlon falled Lo dlscharge
Lhe burden of provlng mlnorlLy.
10. ln leople v. llboo
[67]
and leople v. llooJelot,
[68]
Lhe only evldence adduced Lo prove Lhe mlnorlLy of Lhe
vlcLlms was Lhe vlcLlms' bare LesLlmony LhaL Lhey were 10 and 16 years old, respecLlvely. 1hls CourL held LhaL
whlle Lhe declaraLlon of a vlcLlm as Lo her age, belng an excepLlon Lo Lhe hearsay proscrlpLlon, would be
admlsslble under Lhe rule on pedlgree, Lhe quesLlon on Lhe relaLlve welghL LhaL may be accorded Lo lL ls anoLher
maLLer. 1he prosecuLlon should presenL Lhe vlcLlm's blrLh cerLlflcaLe or, ln lleu Lhereof, any oLher documenLary
evldence, llke a bapLlsmal cerLlflcaLe, school records, and documenLs of slmllar naLure, or credlble LesLlmonlal
evldence LhaL can help esLabllsh Lhe age of Lhe vlcLlm. nelLher Lhe obvlous mlnorlLy of Lhe vlcLlm nor Lhe absence
any conLrary asserLlon from Lhe defense can exoneraLe Lhe prosecuLlon from lLs burden. !udlclal noLlce of Lhe
lssue of age wlLhouL Lhe requlslLe hearlng under SecLlon 3 of 8ule 129 of Lhe 8ules on Lvldence would noL be
sufflclenL compllance wlLh Lhe law.
11. ln leople v. AlvotoJo,
[69]
Lhe vlcLlm LesLlfled LhaL she was 14 years old aL Lhe Llme of Lhe rape, and Lhls was
conflrmed by Lhe accused, who was vlcLlm's faLher. 1he vlcLlm's moLher, however, LesLlfled as Lo her daLe of
blrLh whlch showed LhaL she was 13 years of age aL Lhe Llme of Lhe commlsslon of Lhe crlme. lor Lhls doubL as Lo
Lhe vlcLlm's age, Lhe accused was held gullLy of slmple rape only and meLed Lhe penalLy of
recluslon petpetoo, and noL deaLh penalLy.
Cn Lhe oLher hand, ln Lhe followlng cases, we ruled LhaL Lhe age of Lhe rape vlcLlm was sufflclenLly
esLabllshed desplLe Lhe fallure of Lhe prosecuLlon Lo presenL Lhe blrLh cerLlflcaLe of Lhe offended parLy Lo prove
her age:
1. ln leople v. kofoles,
[70]
Lhe LesLlmony of Lhe vlcLlm and her moLher LhaL Lhe former was only 10 years old
when she was raped, whlch was noL denled by Lhe accused, was deemed sufflclenL Lo prove her age for Lhe
purpose of deLermlnlng wheLher Lhe accused could be held gullLy of sLaLuLory rape, whlch ls carnal knowledge of
a woman below 12 years of age.
2. ln leople v. ue lo ctoz,
[71]
Lhe LesLlmony of Lhe moLher alone LhaL her Lwo daughLers were boLh 14 years
old aL Lhe Llme of Lhe rape lncldenLs was deemed sufflclenL because Lhere was no reason Lo doubL Lhe LesLlmony
of Lhe moLher, who had personal knowledge of Lhe ages of her chlldren. Moreover, sald LesLlmony was never
challenged by Lhe accused and sLood unrebuLLed by any oLher evldence.
3. ln leople v. 8oll-bollto,
[72]
Lhe vlcLlm's LesLlmony as Lo her age, whlch was corroboraLed by her half-slsLer,
was deemed sufflclenL. We noLed LhaL Lhe vlcLlm LesLlfled ln courL four monLhs afLer Lhe rape, and hence lL was
noL dlfflculL for Lhe Lrlal courL Lo Lake [udlclal noLlce LhaL she was under 18 years of age.
4. ln leople v. velosco,
[73]
Lhe mlnorlLy of Lhe vlcLlm was deemed esLabllshed by (a) Lhe complalnanL herself,
who was held Lo be compeLenL Lo LesLlfy on her age, as lL consLlLuLed famlly LradlLlon, (b) Lhe open admlsslon of
Lhe accused LhaL Lhe vlcLlm was a 12-year-old mlnor, and (c) Lhe caLegorlcal flndlng of Lhe Lrlal courL LhaL she was
ºa mlnor of a llLLle over Lwelve years."
3. ln leople v. kemoJo,
[74]
Lhe Lrlal courL appreclaLed Lhe quallfylng clrcumsLance of mlnorlLy on Lhe sLrengLh
of (a) Lhe offended parLy's LesLlmony as Lo Lhe daLe of her blrLh, whlch showed LhaL she was 13 years old aL Lhe
Llme of Lhe rape, and (b) Lhe admlsslon of sald daLe of blrLh by Lhe accused who was Lhe vlcLlm's broLher.
6. ln leople v. lloolto
[73]
Lhe only evldence presenLed by Lhe prosecuLlon Lo esLabllsh LhaL Lhe vlcLlm was
below 7 years old aL Lhe Llme of Lhe alleged rape was Lhe vlcLlm's own LesLlmony. AlLhough hearsay because she
could noL have personal knowledge of Lhe daLe of her blrLh buL could only acqulre knowledge Lhereof from her
parenLs or relaLlves, sald LesLlmony was held admlsslble for belng an asserLlon of famlly LradlLlon regardlng
pedlgree. Per LesLlmony and Lhe accused's admlsslon LhaL she was 3 years old durlng Lhe commlsslon of Lhe
crlme were held sufflclenL Lo esLabllsh her age.
7. ln leople v. Aqostlo,
[76]
Lhe vlcLlm's LesLlmony LhaL she was 14 years old aL Lhe Llme of Lhe rape lncldenLs,
coupled wlLh Lhe express admlsslon of her age by Lhe accused who was her faLher, sufflclenLly proved her
mlnorlLy.
8. ln leople v. ísoelo,
[77]
Lhe LesLlmony of Lhe vlcLlm's moLher LhaL Lhe vlcLlm was 13 years of age aL Lhe Llme
of Lhe rape was held sufflclenL Lo esLabllsh mlnorlLy for Lhe reason LhaL as a moLher she was ln Lhe besL poslLlon
Lo know when she dellvered her chlld. Also consldered were Lhe vlcLlm's own LesLlmony regardlng her age, as
well as Lhe observaLlon of Lhe Lrlal courL LhaL she could noL have been more Lhan 18 years old when she LesLlfled.
ln order Lo remove any confuslon LhaL may be engendered by Lhe foregolng cases, we hereby seL Lhe
followlng guldellnes ln appreclaLlng age, elLher as an elemenL of Lhe crlme or as a quallfylng clrcumsLance.
1. 1he besL evldence Lo prove Lhe age of Lhe offended parLy ls an orlglnal or cerLlfled Lrue copy of Lhe
cerLlflcaLe of llve blrLh of such parLy.
2. ln Lhe absence of a cerLlflcaLe of llve blrLh, slmllar auLhenLlc documenLs such as bapLlsmal cerLlflcaLe and
school records whlch show Lhe daLe of blrLh of Lhe vlcLlm would sufflce Lo prove age.
3. lf Lhe cerLlflcaLe of llve blrLh or auLhenLlc documenL ls shown Lo have been losL or desLroyed or oLherwlse
unavallable, Lhe LesLlmony, lf clear and credlble, of Lhe vlcLlm's moLher or a member of Lhe famlly elLher by
afflnlLy or consangulnlLy who ls quallfled Lo LesLlfy on maLLers respecLlng pedlgree such as Lhe exacL age or daLe
of blrLh of Lhe offended parLy pursuanL Lo SecLlon 40, 8ule 130 of Lhe 8ules on Lvldence shall be sufflclenL under
Lhe followlng clrcumsLances:
a. lf Lhe vlcLlm ls alleged Lo be below 3 years of age and whaL ls soughL Lo be proved ls LhaL she ls less Lhan 7
years old,
b. lf Lhe vlcLlm ls alleged Lo be below 7 years of age and whaL ls soughL Lo be proved ls LhaL she ls less Lhan 12
years old,
c. lf Lhe vlcLlm ls alleged Lo be below 12 years of age and whaL ls soughL Lo be proved ls LhaL she ls less Lhan 18
years old.
4. ln Lhe absence of a cerLlflcaLe of llve blrLh, auLhenLlc documenL, or Lhe LesLlmony of Lhe vlcLlm's moLher
or relaLlves concernlng Lhe vlcLlm's age, Lhe complalnanL's LesLlmony wlll sufflce provlded LhaL lL ls expressly and
clearly admlLLed by Lhe accused.
[78]

3. lL ls Lhe prosecuLlon LhaL has Lhe burden of provlng Lhe age of Lhe offended parLy. 1he fallure of Lhe
accused Lo ob[ecL Lo Lhe LesLlmonlal evldence regardlng age shall noL be Laken agalnsL hlm.
1he Lrlal courL should always make a caLegorlcal flndlng as Lo Lhe age of Lhe vlcLlm.
ln Lhe presenL case, no blrLh cerLlflcaLe or any slmllar auLhenLlc documenL, such as a bapLlsmal cerLlflcaLe of
LlZL11L, was presenLed Lo prove her age. ln lmposlng Lhe deaLh penalLy, Lhe Lrlal courL raLloclnaLed ln Lhls wlse:
ln Lhe lnsLanL case, Lhe vlcLlm, LlzeLLe Arabelle Conzales, was a 3-year-old mlnor glrl as alleged ln Lhe lnformaLlon
and Lhe defense dld noL conLesL her age and as a maLLer of facL was quesLlonlng her quallflcaLlon Lo LesLlfy
because of her Lender age when she LesLlfled Lwo (2) years laLer ln CourL. 1he vlcLlm's Medlco-Legal CerLlflcaLe
daLe[d] !anuary 3, 1993 . esLabllshed Lhe facL LhaL aL Lhe Llme of Lhe commlsslon of Lhe rape on !anuary 3, 1993,
Lhe chlld was only 3 years old.
[79]

lL Lhus appears LhaL Lhe Lrlal courL's flndlng LhaL LlZL11L was 3 years old when she was raped was based on
Lhe Medlco-Legal 8eporL prepared by ur. Culroz, as well as on Lhe facL LhaL Lhe defense dld noL conLesL her age
and even quesLloned her quallflcaLlon Lo LesLlfy because of her Lender age.
Powever, Lhe Medlco-Legal 8eporL relled upon by Lhe Lrlal courL does noL ln any way prove Lhe age of
LlZL11L, for Lhere ls noLhlng Lhereln whlch even menLlons her age. Cnly LesLlmonlal evldence was presenLed Lo
esLabllsh LlZL11L's age. Per moLher, !acquellne, LesLlfled on 17 CcLober 1993 as follows:
C. now, on !anuary 3, 1993 aL abouL 9:30 ln Lhe mornlng, do you sLlll recall where you were?
A. ?es, slr.
C. Where were you aL LhaL parLlcular daLe and Llme?
A. l was feLchlng waLer from an arLeslan well beslde Lhe house of my nelghbor, slr.
.
C. Where was Lhls daughLer of yours Lhen when you were feLchlng waLer?
A. My daughLer was dlscharglng her bowel who was Lhen aL Lhe back of Lhe house of our nelghbor,
slr.
Pow old ls your daughLer LlzeLLe Arabelle Conzales?
A. 1hree years old, slr.
C. AL Lhe Llme LhaL she was dlscharglng her bowel, how old [was] she?
A. 1hree years old, slr. She ls four years old now.
C. When was her lasL blrLhday?
A. Aprll 19, 1993, slr.
[80]

Llkewlse, LlZL11L LesLlfled on 20 november 1996, or almosL Lwo years afLer Lhe lncldenL, LhaL she was 3
years old.
[81]
Powever, when Lhe defense counsel asked her how old she was on 3 !anuary 1993, or aL Lhe Llme of
Lhe rape, she replled LhaL she was 3 years old. upon furLher quesLlon as Lo Lhe daLe she was born, she could noL
answer.
[82]

lor Þ8unA Lo be convlcLed of rape ln lLs quallfled form and meLed Lhe supreme penalLy of deaLh, lL musL be
esLabllshed wlLh cerLalnLy LhaL LlZL11L was below 7 years old aL Lhe Llme of Lhe commlsslon of Lhe crlme. lL musL
be sLressed LhaL Lhe severlLy of Lhe deaLh penalLy, especlally lLs lrreverslble and flnal naLure once carrled ouL,
makes Lhe declslon-maklng process ln caplLal offenses apLly sub[ecL Lo Lhe mosL exacLlng rules of procedure and
evldence.
[83]

ln vlew of Lhe uncerLalnLy of LlZL11L's exacL age, corroboraLlve evldence such as her blrLh cerLlflcaLe,
bapLlsmal cerLlflcaLe or any oLher auLhenLlc documenL should be lnLroduced ln evldence
[84]
ln order LhaL Lhe
quallfylng clrcumsLance of ºbelow seven (7) years old" ls appreclaLed agalnsL Lhe appellanL. 1he lack of ob[ecLlon
on Lhe parL of Lhe defense as Lo her age dld noL excuse Lhe prosecuLlon from dlscharglng lLs burden. 1haL Lhe
defense lnvoked LlZL11L's Lender age for purposes of quesLlonlng her compeLency Lo LesLlfy ls noL necessarlly an
admlsslon LhaL she was below 7 years of age when Þ8unA raped her on 3 !anuary 1993. Such belng Lhe case,
Þ8unA cannoL be convlcLed of quallfled rape, and hence Lhe deaLh penalLy cannoL be lmposed on hlm.
Powever, conformably wlLh no. 3(b) of Lhe foregolng guldellnes, Lhe LesLlmony of LlZL11L's moLher LhaL she
was 3 years old aL Lhe Llme of Lhe commlsslon of Lhe crlme ls sufflclenL for purposes of holdlng Þ8unA llable for
sLaLuLory rape, or rape of a glrl below 12 years of age. under Lhe second paragraph of ArLlcle 333, as amended by
8.A. no. 7639, ln relaLlon Lo no. 3 of Lhe flrsL paragraph Lhereof, havlng carnal knowledge of a woman under 12
years of age ls punlshable by teclosloo petpetoo. 1hus, Lhe penalLy Lo be lmposed on Þ8unA should beteclosloo
petpetoo, and noL deaLh penalLy.
As regards Lhe clvll llablllLy of Þ8unA, Lhe lndemnlLy ln Lhe amounL of Þ30,000 awarded by Lhe Lrlal courL ls
noL sufflclenL. ln accordance wlLh recenL [urlsprudence, LlZL11L should also be awarded moral damages ln Lhe
amounL of Þ30,000 wlLhouL need of pleadlng or proof because Lhe menLal, physlcal and psychologlcal Lrauma
suffered by her ls Loo obvlous.
[83]

WnLkLICkL, Lhe declslon of Lhe 8eglonal 1rlal CourL, 8ranch 1, 8alanga, 8aLaan, ln Crlmlnal Case no. 6044
ls hereby AIIIkMLD wlLh Lhe modlflcaLlon LhaL accused Manuel Þruna y 8amlrez or Lrman Þruna y 8amlrez ls
held gullLy beyond reasonable doubL of sLaLuLory rape, and noL quallfled rape, and ls senLenced Lo
suffer teclosloo petpetoo and Lo pay Lhe vlcLlm LlzeLLe Arabelle Conzales Lhe sum of Þ30,000 as moral
damages ln addlLlon Lo Lhe lndemnlLy of Þ30,000.
CosLs de oflclo.
SC CkDLkLD.
G.k. No. 107S34 August 21, 199S
ÞLCÞLL CI 1nL ÞnILIÞÞINLS, plalnLlff-appellee,
vs.
kAUL CA8IN1C¥ y IN1CNG and CLLSC ILkNANDC y ANC, accused-appellanLs.

ILLICIANC, 324
AppellanLs 8aul CablnLoy and Celso lernando, LogeLher wlLh one lernando Carcla who ls sLlll aL large, were
charged wlLh Lhe crlme of robbery wlLh homlclde commlLLed on Lhe evenlng of 24 May 1991 agalnsL Lhe person
of Wllfredo ulaz, who was Lhen drlvlng a 3-! 1axl along Cen. Luna SLreeL, CulLnangbayan l, San MaLeo, 8lzal.
8oLh appellanLs pleaded noL gullLy Lo Lhe charge durlng Lhe arralgnmenL, and Lhe case proceeded Lo Lrlal.

1he evldence for Lhe prosecuLlon dlscloses LhaL on 24 May 1991 aL around 11:30 ln Lhe evenlng, Þ/Þfc. 8lchard Þ.
Salvador, Chlef of Lhe lnvesLlgaLlon SecLlon of Lhe San MaLeo Þollce, recelved lnformaLlon LhaL robbery wlLh
homlclde had been commlLLed ln Ceneral Luna SLreeL ln fronL of Lhe CaLhollc CemeLery ln 8arangay
CulLnangbayan, San MaLeo, 8lzal. Pe was also lnformed LhaL Lhe vlcLlm was one Wllfredo ulaz, a Laxl drlver, who
was broughL Lo Lhe nearesL hosplLal buL pronounced dead upon arrlval.
Þfc. Salvador and Þfc. Ano conducLed an ocular lnspecLlon aL Lhe scene of Lhe crlme and saw Lhe 3-! Laxl lylng on
lLs rlghL slde. 8loodsLalns were scaLLered lnslde Lhe 3-! Laxl and Lhe rear wlndshleld of Lhe Laxl was smashed. 1hey
recovered a knlfe, presumably used durlng Lhe commlsslon of Lhe crlme, and a palr of sllppers lnslde Lhe Laxl. 1he
knlfe recovered ls a klnd of knlfe commonly used by buLchers. 1hey also found a Lrall of blood from Lhe scene of
Lhe crlme up Lo 8esurrecLlon SL. golng Lowards uaang-8akal, hence, Lhey surmlsed LhaL one of Lhe suspecLs had
been ln[ured durlng Lhe lncldenL.
1
Accordlngly, ÞaL. Carlno LogeLher wlLh ÞaL. Culllermo were dlrecLed Lo go Lo
dlfferenL hosplLals on Lhe premlse LhaL one of Lhe suspecLs mlghL have been wounded. 1hls lnvesLlgaLlve efforL
carrled ouL on Lhe mornlng of 23 May 1991 ylelded no resulLs.
2

Meanwhlle, on Lhe same mornlng of 26 May 1991, Þ/Þfc. 8lchard Salvador wenL Lo Lhe San MaLeo, 8lzal slaughLer
house locaLed near Lhe publlc markeL ln 8rgy. CulLnangbayan Lo lnqulre abouL Lhe knlfe found lnslde Lhe Laxl. Þfc.
Salvador quesLloned Lhe buLchers Lhereln and showed Lhem Lhe knlfe. 1hree (3) buLchers ldenLlfled Lhe knlfe as
one used frequenLly by a person named "Amang" or Celso lernando, who also worked as a buLcher ln Lhe same
slaughLer house. Þfc. Salvador proceeded Lhen Lo Lhe resldence of Celso lernando or ollos "Amang" ln 1ubo
nAWASA, 8rgy. CulLnangbayan, and asked abouL "Amang's" whereabouLs. 1he nelghbors and relaLlves lnformed
hlm LhaL "Amang" was aL work ln Lhe slaughLer house. Þfc. Salvador reLurned Lo Lhe sLaLlon and dlscussed Lhe
evldence Lhe pollce had gaLhered.
ln Lhe mornlng of 26 May 1991, Þfc. Salvador was lnformed by pollce lnformer LhaL Lhe suspecLs were ln a
consLrucLlon slLe ln uaplLan, Sampaloc, Manlla. Pe lmmedlaLely formed a pollce Leam Lo Lrack down and lf
posslble, Lo arresL Lhe accused. 1he Leam proceeded Lo Lhe Manlla pollce sLaLlon whlch had [urlsdlcLlon over Lhe
area and coordlnaLed wlLh Lhem. 1he pollce were able Lo arresL accused-appellanLs CablnLoy and lernando ln
uaplLan SL., Sampaloc, Manlla and broughL Lhem Lo Lhe San MaLeo Þollce SLaLlon.
3

Þ/Þfc. 8lchard Salvador LesLlfled ln courL LhaL accused-appellanLs were lnformed of Lhelr consLlLuLlonal rlghLs ln
Lhe presence of counsel, ALLy. 8en[amln Þozon of Lhe Þubllc ALLorney's Cfflce (ÞAC), on 26 May 1991. Cn Lhe
same day, each appellanL execuLed a walver of Lhe rlghL Lo counsel slgned ln Lhe presence of ALLy. Þozon.
1hereafLer, appellanL 8aul CablnLoy execuLed a sworn sLaLemenL admlLLlng hls parLlclpaLlon ln Lhe crlme and
lmpllcaLlng Celso lernando and one lernando Carcla, When Lhls wrlLLen confesslon was execuLed, ALLy. Þozon
was presenL. When Celso lernando made hls confesslon he was noL represenLed by a lawyer, buL ALLy. Þozon was
sLlll Lhere because he was curlous abouL Lhe case.
4

8oLh Þ/Þfc. Salvador and ÞaL. Carlno LesLlfled aL Lhe Lrlal LhaL aL Lhe Llme of Lhe arresL, CablnLoy had a wound on
Lhe lefL Lhlgh. When asked abouL hls Lhlgh wound, CablnLoy verbally admlLLed LhaL he susLalned Lhls wound
durlng Lhe lncldenL.
S
Lven before Lhe Lwo (2) appellanLs were formally lnvesLlgaLed, Lhey verbally admlLLed Lhelr
parLlclpaLlon ln Lhe crlme. Celso lernando acknowledged ownershlp of Lhe knlfe recovered aL Lhe scene of Lhe
crlme. 1hese admlsslons were, however, made before appellanLs were lnformed of Lhelr rlghLs.
6

Cn Lhe oLher hand, appellanLs deny LhaL Lhey had commlLLed Lhe crlme and allege LhaL Lhe exLra[udlclal
confesslons were noL volunLarlly nor valldly execuLed.
Celso lernando LesLlfled LhaL on 24 May 1991, he reporLed aL Lhe slaughLer house aL around 10:30 ln Lhe evenlng.
Pe lefL Lhe place aL 6:00 a. m. Lhe nexL day and proceeded Lo Lhe publlc markeL. 1here was no unLoward lncldenL
on LhaL day of 24 May 1991. 1he followlng day, or on 23 May, he was also aL Lhe slaughLer house from 10:00 ln
Lhe evenlng unLll mornlng of Lhe nexL day. 1hereafLer, aL around nlne o'clock ln Lhe same mornlng (26 May), he
wenL Lo uaplLan SLreeL ln Sampaloc Lo vlslL 8aul CablnLoy and Lhere Lhey were boLh arresLed by ÞaL. Carlno and
company. 1hey were Lhen broughL Lo Lhe San MaLeo Þollce SLaLlon. LaLer LhaL same day, and wlLhouL Lhe
asslsLance of a lawyer, Celso lernando slgned a wrlLLen confesslon presenLed Lo hlm by Lhe pollce. Pe had been
able Lo read only Lhe beglnnlng of Lhe confesslon when Lhe pollce lnslsLed LhaL he slgn lL. Cn cross-examlnaLlon,
Celso lernando LesLlfled LhaL he dld noL know anyLhlng abouL Lhe knlfe recovered by Lhe pollce. Pe had reached
Crade v only aL elemenLary school and could read a llLLle. 1he pollce asked hlm lf he wanLed Lo be asslsLed by a
lawyer only on 27 May 1991, Lhe same day Lhey were broughL before ALLy. Þozon of Lhe ÞAC.
7

8aul CablnLoy, for hls parL, LesLlfled LhaL on 24 May 1991, he was ln Lhe consLrucLlon slLe of uaplLan, Sampaloc,
Manlla, where he was worklng. 1here were no unLoward lncldenLs LhaL happened on Lhe 24Lh or on Lhe 23Lh of
May, 1991. Cn 26Lh of May, Celso lernando vlslLed hlm ln Lhe consLrucLlon slLe and ln Lhe afLernoon whlle Lhey
were sleeplng, Lhe pollcemen came and arresLed Lhem. upon arrlval aL Lhe San MaLeo Þollce SLaLlon, Lhey were
puL ln [all and hls co-lnmaLes forced hlm Lo admlL commlLLlng Lhe offense wlLh whlch he was charged. When he
was broughL ouLslde Lhe cell, he was also forced by Lhe pollce Lo admlL he had commlLLed Lhe crlme. CablnLoy
clalmed LhaL Lhe pollcemen mauled hlm, alLhough he exhlblLed no slgns of ln[urles upon hls body. Pe was noL
asslsLed by counsel when he slgned Lhe exLra[udlclal confesslon. 1hey were asked Lo slgn Lhe walver of Lhe rlghL
Lo counsel ln Lhe afLernoon of 26 May 1991 and Lhen afLer slgnlng lL, Lhey were broughL Lo Lhe offlce of ALLy.
Þozon, where Lhe laLLer slgned Lhe documenL. ALLy. Þozon explalned Lhe documenL Lo Lhem and asked Lhem lf
Lhey sLlll needed a counsel alLhough Lhey (accused-appellanLs) "cannoL do anyLhlng anymore" because Lhey had
already slgned Lhe documenL. CablnLoy denled LhaL he had a wound on hls lefL leg aL Lhe Llme of Lhe arresL. Pe
was readlng and slgnlng Lhe confesslon aL Lhe same Llme, and because he was very confused aL Lhe Llme, he could
noL fully undersLand Lhe conLenLs of Lhe documenL.
8

1he courL o poo rendered a declslon
9
flndlng boLh accused 8aul CablnLoy and Celso lernando gullLy of Lhe crlme
of robbery wlLh homlclde.
Accused-appellanLs 8aul CablnLoy and Celso lernando are now before Lhls CourL, asserLlng LhaL Lhe Lrlal courL
had erred ln glvlng credence Lo Lhelr exLra[udlclal confesslons and, accordlngly, ln flndlng Lhem gullLy beyond
reasonable doubL of Lhe speclal complex crlme of robbery wlLh homlclde.
1he record of Lhls case reveals LhaL Lhere were no eyewlLnesses Lo Lhe crlme lmpuLed Lo CablnLoy and lernando.
1he CourL also noLes LhaL Lhe Lrlal courL, ln lLs quesLloned [udgmenL of convlcLlon, Look lnLo accounL Lhe
exLra[udlclal confesslons of accused-appellanLs:
As no eyewlLness was presenLed by Lhe prosecuLlon buL Lhere was a [slc] wrlLLen confesslon[s] by boLh
accused 8aul CablnLoy and Celso lernando, Lhe admlsslblllLy of such confesslon[s] deLermlnes [slc] Lhe
falLh [slc] of boLh accused. . . .
1hls CourL never doubLed Lhe volunLarlness, LruLhfulness and exacLness of Lhe wrlLLen confesslons of
boLh accused 8aul CablnLoy and Celso lernando. 1he clalm[s] of boLh accused when Lhey LesLlfled, LhaL
Lhey were LhreaLened or forced Lo slgn Lhe confesslon[s] are Lhe usual excuses of an [slc] accused who
recanLed Lhelr confesslons afLer reallzlng Lhe gravlLy of Lhelr offense and Lhe penalLy LhaL mlghL be
lmposed on Lhe crlme Lhey have commlLLed.
1he maln lssue ln Lhls appeal, Lherefore, ls Lhe admlsslblllLy of Lhe Lwo confesslons execuLed by appellanLs durlng
Lhelr cusLodlal lnvesLlgaLlon by Lhe San MaLeo Þollce. 1he prosecuLlon clalms LhaL prlor Lo Lhe Laklng of Lhe
exLra[udlclal confesslons, boLh appellanLs slgned wrlLLen walvers of Lhelr consLlLuLlonal rlghLs Lo remaln sllenL and
Lo be asslsLed by counsel, ln Lhe presence of ALLy. Þozon of Lhe ÞAC.
AfLer carefully examlnlng Lhe record of Lhls case, Lhe CourL flnds LhaL Lhese walvers were slgned by ALLy. Þozon on
Lhe 27Lh of May, 1991 as lndlcaLed by Lhe daLe wrlLLen by ALLy. Þozon hlmself beslde hls slgnaLure.
10
1here ls no
dlspuLe, on Lhe oLher hand, LhaL Lhe confesslons of appellanLs were execuLed ln Lhe evenlng of Lhe 26Lh of May,
1991.
11
1hese facLs Lend Lo conflrm Lhe LesLlmonles of accused-appellanLs LhaL Lhey were broughL before ALLy.
Þozon afLer Lhey had already slgned Lhe exLra[udlclal confesslons, and belle Lhe asserLlon of Lhe prosecuLlon LhaL
Lhe walvers were slgned ahead of Lhe confesslons on Lhe same evenlng of Lhe 26Lh of May, 1991. 1he purporLed
walvers, lL should be noLed, are seL ouL ln Lhe same documenLs seLLlng ouL Lhe respecLlve confesslons of Lhe Lwo
(2) appellanLs.
lrom Lhe foregolng, one ls led Lo Lhe lnevlLable concluslon LhaL aL Lhe Llme Lhe quesLloned confesslons were
execuLed, Lhere were no prlor valld walvers of Lhelr consLlLuLlonal rlghLs by CablnLoy and lernando. 1hls defecL
alone ls sufflclenL Lo render Lhe confesslons lnadmlsslble ln evldence agalnsL accused-appellanLs. Moreover, Lhe
confesslons do noL lndlcaLe LhaL boLh accused were represenLed by counsel durlng Lhe lnvesLlgaLlon. 1he seLLled
rule ls LhaL an uncounselled exLra[udlclal confesslon wlLhouL a valld walver of Lhe rlghL Lo counsel - l.e., ln
wrlLlng and ln Lhe presence of counsel - ls lnadmlsslble ln evldence.
12

We are aware LhaL Lhe Lrlal courL noLed LhaL Lhe confesslons are lnLerlocklng and repleLe wlLh mlnor deLalls
lndlcaLlng LhaL Lhey were volunLarlly glven. 1hls CourL, however, has ruled before ln a number of cases LhaL even
lf Lhe confesslon of Lhe accused were "gospel LruLh," lf lL was made wlLhouL Lhe asslsLance of counsel and wlLhouL
a valld walver of such asslsLance, Lhe confesslon ls lnadmlsslble ln evldence regardless of Lhe absence of coerclon
or even lf lL had been volunLarlly glven.
13

1he quesLlon may be ralsed wheLher Lhe walvers, Lhough ln facL execuLed on 26 May 1991 by CablnLoy and
lernando, could be deemed Lo have been subsequenLly valldaLed by Lhe slgnaLure of ALLy. Þozon of Lhe ÞAC Lhe
nexL day 27 May 1991. We musL answer Lhls quesLlon ln Lhe negaLlve. 1here ls noLhlng ln Lhe record Lo lndlcaLe
LhaL CablnLoy and lernando lnLended Lo valldaLe reLroacLlvely Lhelr uncounselled walver and confesslon when
Lhey were broughL lnLo Lhe offlce of ALLy. Þozon of Lhe ÞAC aL Lhe Llme ALLy. Þozon slgned Lhe confesslon
documenL. 1o Lhe conLrary, Lhe Lwo (2) appellanLs here expllclLly re[ecLed Lhelr exLra[udlclal confesslons when
Lhey LesLlfled before Lhe Lrlal courL, such re[ecLlon makes lL very dlfflculL Lo assume any lnLenL Lo own and adopL
reLroacLlvely Lhelr exLra[udlclal confesslons. Any, suggesLlon LhaL an uncounselled confesslon and walver were
subsequenLly valldaLed by Lhe laLer slgnaLure of counsel for Lhe accused, musL be Laken wlLh exLreme care lesL
Lhe consLlLuLlonal rlghL lnvolved be eroded lnLo an empLy formallLy.
We conclude, noL wlLhouL relucLance, LhaL Lhe exLra[udlclal confesslons of CablnLoy and lernando musL be
regarded as lnadmlsslble ln evldence. lL follows LhaL Lhe convlcLlon of appellanLs by Lhe Lrlal courL musL sLand or
fall on Lhe basls of oLher evldence of record.
1he SollclLor Ceneral avers LhaL Lhere exlsLs oLher evldence of record Lo warranL Lhe afflrmance of appellanLs'
convlcLlons:
llrsLly, Lhe credlble LesLlmonles of Lhe arresLlng pollceman ln open courL clearly reflecL LhaL:
a) Lhe ownershlp of Lhe knlfe found aL Lhe scene of Lhe crlme lnslde Lhe 3-! Laxl of Lhe
vlcLlm was Lraced Lo Celso lernando [1Sn, 8/27/91, pp. 8-12]. 1hree buLchers who
were co-workers of lernando aL Lhe San MaLeo slaughLerhouse ldenLlfled Lhe knlfe as
LhaL owned and used by hlm aL sald slaughLerhouse.
b) Þfc. LdllberLo Carlno LesLlfled LhaL aL Lhe Llme of Lhe arresL of appellanLs, he
personally noLed Lhe exlsLence of a wound on Lhe leg of CablnLoy, conflrmlng Lhe
pollcemen's earller susplclon ln Lhe course of Lhelr offlclal lnvesLlgaLlon LhaL one of Lhe
robbers susLalned a wound aL Lhe hands of Lhe vlcLlm. Þfc. Carlno LesLlfled LhaL
CablnLoy verbally admlLLed LhaL he susLalned Lhe sald wound when Lhe vlcLlm hlL hlm
wlLh a screwdrlver ln Lhe course of Lhe robbery/hold-up [1Sn, 8/6/91, pp. 8-10].
c) Þfc. Carlno LesLlfled LhaL boLh lernando and CablnLoy, aL Lhe Llme of Lhelr arresL,
verbally admlLLed Lo Lhe arresLlng pollcemen Lhelr parLlclpaLlon ln Lhe crlme, and LhaL
lL was CablnLoy who sLabbed Lhe vlcLlm [lblJ.].
xxx xxx xxx
ln Lhls case, Lhe credlble LesLlmonles of Lhe publlc offlcers aforeclLed conflrm Lhe exlsLence of Lhe Lwo
lncrlmlnaLlng clrcumsLances, l.e., Lhe wound on Lhe leg of appellanL CablnLoy and Lhe ownershlp by
appellanL lernandez of Lhe knlfe recovered from Lhe crlme scene. 1hese, Laken LogeLher, polnL
unerrlngly Lo appellanL's gullL [Þeople vs. Agan, 181 SC8A 836].
14

1he CourL ls noL persuaded. ConLrary Lo Lhe clalm of Lhe SollclLor Ceneral, Lhe knlfe found aL Lhe scene of Lhe
crlme was noL adequaLely proved Lo be owned by Celso lernando. 1he LesLlmony of Þfc. Salvador LhaL ln Lhe
course of hls lnvesLlgaLlon, Lhree (3) buLchers had ldenLlfled Lhe sub[ecL knlfe as frequenLly used by appellanL
lernando, ls noL sufflclenL Lo prove such ownershlp, such evldence belng merely hearsay ln naLure.
1S
Clearly, Þfc.
Salvador had no personal knowledge of Lhe ownershlp or use by appellanL lernando of Lhe sub[ecL knlfe. noL one
of Celso lernando's Lhree (3) fellow buLchers who had allegedly ldenLlfled Lhe sald knlfe as belonglng Lo
lernando, LesLlfled ln courL. Pence, lernando was deprlve of hls rlghL Lo confronL hls fellow buLchers and Lo
cross-examlne Lhem for Lhelr LruLhfulness. 1he hearsay characLer of evldence commonly affecLs Lhe lnLrlnslc
welghL and credlblllLy of such evldence.
16

1he verbal admlsslons allegedly made by boLh appellanLs of Lhelr parLlclpaLlon ln Lhe crlme, aL Lhe Llme of Lhelr
arresL and even before Lhelr formal lnvesLlgaLlon, are lnadmlsslble, boLh as vlolaLlve of Lhelr consLlLuLlonal rlghLs
and as hearsay evldence. 1hese oral admlsslons, assumlng Lhey were ln facL made, consLlLuLe uncounselled
exLra[udlclal confesslons wlLhln Lhe meanlng of ArLlcle lll, SecLlon 12 of Lhe ConsLlLuLlon.
1he only clrcumsLance lefL, Lherefore, agalnsL Lhe appellanLs ls Lhe wound LhaL 8aul CablnLoy allegedly had on hls
lefL leg aL Lhe Llme of hls arresL, as LesLlfled Lo by Þ/Þfc. Salvador and ÞaL. Carlno and as reflecLed ln Lhe [olnL
affldavlL of Lhe arresLlng pollcemen. 1hls clrcumsLance, however, does noL measure up Lo proof beyond
reasonable doubL. ln a long llne of cases, Lhls CourL ruled LhaL clrcumsLanLlal evldence ls sufflclenL for convlcLlon
lf: (1) Lhere ls more Lhan one clrcumsLance, (2) Lhe facLs from whlch Lhe lnferences are derlved are proven, and
(3) Lhe comblnaLlon of all clrcumsLances ls such as Lo produce a convlcLlon beyond reasonable doubL.
17
ln Lhe
case aL bar, Lhese requlslLes are noL meL.
llnally, Lhe Lrlal courL ln lLs appealed declslon
18
noLed LhaL afLer Lhe commlsslon of Lhe crlme boLh accused fled
and lefL Lhelr usual resldences. AppellanLs, however, explalned ln open courL LhaL, aL Lhe Llme of Lhelr arresL, 8aul
CablnLoy was a sLay-ln worker ln Lhe consLrucLlon slLe ln uaplLan SLreeL and LhaL Celso lernando was Lhere
because Lhe laLLer was vlslLlng Lhe former aL Lhe Llme of Lhelr arresL. 1hus, appellanLs cannoL be regarded as
concluslvely shown Lo have fled from Lhelr resldences and Lhereby Lo have lndlcaLed Lhelr gullL.
lL ls, of course, posslble LhaL appellanLs may ln facL have commlLLed Lhe robbery wlLh whlch Lhey were charged. lL
ls also unforLunaLe LhaL Lhe work done by pollce offlcers and Lhe prosecuLlon servlce leadlng Lo Lhe arresL, Lrlal
and convlcLlon of accused-appellanLs ls rendered lnuLlle for fallure Lo observe Lhe consLlLuLlonal rlghLs of persons
under cusLodlal lnvesLlgaLlon. 1he CourL, however, has no cholce on Lhls maLLer, lL ls, [usL as pollce offlcers and
publlc prosecuLors are, bound by Lhe provlslons of Lhe consLlLuLlon. More careful observance of such provlslons
by pollcemen and prosecuLors ls essenLlal lf wasLage of execuLlve and [udlclal resources ls Lo be avolded.
WPL8LlC8L, ln vlew of Lhe foregolng, Lhe declslon of Lhe 8eglonal 1rlal CourL, 8ranch 77, San MaLeo, 8lzal, ln
Crlmlnal Case no. 1473 ls hereby 8LvL8SLu and SL1 ASluL and appellanLs are hereby ACCul11Lu of Lhe crlme
charged, Lhe evldence lawfully before Lhe Lrlal courL noL belng sufflclenL Lo esLabllsh Lhelr gullL beyond
reasonable doubL. no cosLs.
SC C8uL8Lu.
[G.k. No. 139S31. Ianuary 31, 2002]
ÞLCÞLL CI 1nL ÞnILIÞÞINLS, !"#$%&$''(#!!)""))* ,-. kL¥NALDC 8AGANC
*
a||as 5/67& a.k.a. kL¥NALDC
IkICLC, and ÞA8LI1C CAÑL1L, #../-)0(#!!)""#%&-.
D L C I S I C N
8LLLCSILLC, 32:
1hls ls an appeal from Lhe ueclslon
[1]
of Lhe 8eglonal 1rlal CourL of Cebu ClLy, Crlm. Case no. C8u-39043,
flndlng 8eynaldo 8agano allas loqot and ÞabllLo CaneLe gullLy of murder.
8eynaldo 8agano allas loqot a.k.a. 8eynaldo lrlolo and ÞabllLo CaneLe were charged wlLh murder quallfled
by consplracy and aggravaLed by Lreachery and evldenL premedlLaLlon ln an lnformaLlon daLed 3 !uly
1993.
[2]
upon arralgnmenL, 8eynaldo 8agano and ÞabllLo CaneLe pleaded "noL gullLy." Cn 13 CcLober 1997 Lhe
Lrlal courL convlcLed boLh accused of murder for Lhe kllllng of !eremlas MonLeclno and senLenced
8eynaldo 8agano allas loqot, a recldlvlsL, Lo teclosloo petpetoo, and ÞabllLo CaneLe Lo sevenLeen (17) years, four
(4) monLhs and one (1) day of teclosloo tempotol Lo teclosloo petpetoo. 1hey were furLher ordered solldarlly Lo
pay Lhe helrs of !erlmlas MonLeclno Þ30,000.00 as deaLh compensaLlon and Þ4,660.00 for burlal expenses.
1he courL o poo re[ecLed Lhe defense of allbl and denlal ralsed by accused 8agano and CaneLe on Lhe basls
of Lhe followlng flndlngs: Cn 23 May 1993, abouL 3:00 o'clock ln Lhe mornlng, !eremlas MonLeclno and hls
wlfe Merllnda MonLeclno were sleeplng ln Lhelr home ln SlLlo Wangyu, Alaska, 8arangay Mamballng, Cebu ClLy,
when Lhey were awakened by someone repeaLedly calllng !eremlas' name. 1he call came from
ouLslde. !eremlas wenL Lo Lhe wlndow Lo see who lL was and LhereafLer lefL Lhelr room Lo go
ouLslde. Merllnda remalned ln Lhelr room, buL peerlng Lhrough Lhe wlndow she saw ÞabllLo CaneLe suddenly
embrace !eremlas as Lhe laLLer was openlng Lhe gaLe. 1hereupon, 8eynaldo 8agano wlLh lce plck ln hand
sLabbed !eremlas on Lhe chesL. !eremlas sLruggled Lo free hlmself from ÞabllLo CaneLe's clasp and ran, buL
8eynaldo 8agano gave chase. upon hearlng Merllnda's screams for help
[3]
8eynaldo wlLhdrew and fled
wlLh ÞabllLo CaneLe followlng hlm. Merllnda rushed !eremlas Lo Lhe Cebu ClLy Medlcal CenLer buL he succumbed
Lo severe hemorrhage secondary Lo Lhe sLab wound on Lhe lefL slde of hls chesL. Pe dled upon arrlval aL Lhe
hosplLal.
Accused-appellanLs 8agano and CaneLe now argue LhaL Lhelr convlcLlon was erroneous as Lhe prosecuLlon
falled Lo prove Lhelr gullL beyond reasonable doubL, grounded as lL was on Lhe LesLlmony
of Merllnda MonLeclno whlch Lhey clalm was unrellable and lncredlble. 1hey quesLlon her clalm Lo have vlvldly
seen Lhe sLabblng lncldenL when she admlLLed LhaL Lhe aLLack occurred aL 3:00 o'clock ln Lhe mornlng when lL
was sLlll dark. Assumlng LhaL Lhey were lndeed gullLy of Lhe kllllng of Lhe vlcLlm, accused-appellanLs argue LhaL
Lhey should only be convlcLed of homlclde as Lhe kllllng was noL aLLended by Lreachery LhaL would quallfy Lhe
offense Lo murder.
1he argumenLs of Lhe defense are berefL of merlL. WlLhouL falLer or
vaclllaLlon, Merllnda MonLeclno narraLed ln open courL how accused-appellanLs aLLacked her husband, Lhus we
have no reason Lo dlsbelleve her. lndeed, she admlLLed LhaL aL 3:00 o'clock ln Lhe mornlng darkness enshrouded
Lhe vlclnlLy, noneLheless Lhelr fronL yard was well-llL by a mercury bulb on a lamp posL across Lhelr house whlch
adequaLely lllumlned Lhe place LhaL enabled her Lo clearly ldenLlfy Lhe assallanLs,
[4]
parLlcularly so LhaL Lhey were
noL sLrangers Lo Merllnda as Lhey were frlends of her husband who frequenLed Lhelr home.
[3]
1hey were
Lherefore easlly recognlzable Lo her even ln shadows.
As Lhe wldow of Lhe vlcLlm and lone wlLness Lo Lhe crlme, Merllnda MonLeclno would noL lmpuLe Lhe kllllng
of her husband on accused-appellanLs lf she was noL cerLaln LhaL Lhey were hls LormenLors. She had no reason
Lo. A wlLness' relaLlonshlp Lo a vlcLlm of a crlme would even make hls or her LesLlmony more credlble as lL would
be unnaLural for a relaLlve who ls lnLeresLed ln esLabllshlng Lhe crlme Lo accuse somebody oLher Lhan Lhe real
culprlL.
[6]

ConLrary Lo Lhe clalm of accused-appellanLs, Lreachery aLLended Lhe kllllng of Lhe vlcLlm. Powever, lL ls noL
because Lhe aLLack was made aL an unholy hour, or Lhe vlcLlm was roused from hls sleep, or LhaL accused-
appellanLs were known Lo Lhe vlcLlm,
[7]
LhaL we afflrm Lhe lower courL's flndlng of Lreachery, buL raLher for Lhe
suddenness of Lhe aLLack and Lhe facL LhaL Lhe vlcLlm was unarmed wlLh no opporLunlLy Lo defend hlmself from
Lhe aggresslon.
SecLlon 16, ArL. 14, of 1be kevlseJ leool coJe provldes LhaL Lhere ls Lreachery when Lhe offender commlLs
any of Lhe crlmes agalnsL person, employlng means, meLhods, or forms ln Lhe execuLlon Lhereof whlch Lend
dlrecLly and speclally Lo lnsure lLs execuLlon, wlLhouL rlsk Lo hlmself arlslng from Lhe defense whlch Lhe offended
parLy mlghL make. 1he elemenLs of Lreachery are: (a) Lhe employmenL of means of execuLlon LhaL glves Lhe
person aLLacked no opporLunlLy Lo defend hlmself or reLallaLe, and, (b) Lhe dellberaLe and consclous adopLlon of
Lhe means of execuLlon. 1he law Lherefore sLresses Lhe manner of performance or accompllshmenL of Lhe crlme
Lhan any oLher facLor. ClrcumsLances of Llme and relaLlonshlp wlll noL be of relaLlve lmporLance unless Lhey
alded or made easy Lhe execuLlon of Lhe crlme and Lhus denled Lhe vlcLlm Lhe chance Lo defend hlmself. 1he facL
LhaL Lhe aLLack was made aL dawn and Lhe vlcLlm who was Lhe frlend of Lhe malefacLors had [usL awakened may
have faclllLaLed Lhe commlsslon of Lhe crlme alLhough Lhe crlme noneLheless may have been commlLLed even
wlLhouL Lhose clrcumsLances. 1reachery here was exLanL from Lhe acL of accused-appellanL ÞabllLo CaneLe ln
locklng Lhe vlcLlm ln a sudden embrace and glvlng hls co-accused-appellanL 8eynaldo 8agano full opporLunlLy Lo
sLab Lhelr vlcLlm on hls lefL chesL. 1he suddenness and Lhe meLhod employed by CaneLe compleLely
deprlved !eremlas of any chance Lo defend hlmself.
As observed by ur. !esus Cerna, Þollce Medlco-Legal Cfflcer who conducLed Lhe auLopsy
[8]
on Lhe vlcLlm, Lhe
laLLer dld noL susLaln any defenslve wound, whlch meanL LhaL lL was posslble LhaL he was noL able Lo defend
hlmself because somebody was holdlng hls hands
[9]
or LhaL Lhe aLLack was so sudden. lor Lhls reason, we susLaln
Lhe flndlng of Lreachery by Lhe Lrlal courL.
lrom Lhe records lL ls clear LhaL Lreachery aLLended Lhe commlsslon of Lhe crlme, buL Lhls alone should be
appreclaLed agalnsL accused-appellanLs. 1he aggravaLlng clrcumsLance of recldlvlsm cannoL be held
agalnsL 8alano as lL was noL alleged ln Lhe lnformaLlon.
[10]
8e LhaL as lL may, Lreachery can only be consldered as a
quallfylng clrcumsLance LhaL would affecL Lhe naLure of Lhe crlme and noL as a generlc aggravaLlng clrcumsLance
LhaL would ralse Lhe penalLy Lo deaLh.
Consplracy ls aLLendanL ln Lhe commlsslon of Lhe crlme. lor consplracy Lo exlsL, lL ls sufflclenL LhaL aL Lhe
Llme of Lhe commlsslon of Lhe offense Lhe accused had Lhe same purpose and were unlLed ln lLs
execuLlon.
[11]
Þroof of an acLual plannlng of Lhe perpeLuaLlon of Lhe crlme ls noL a condlLlon precedenL. lrom Lhe
mode and manner ln whlch Lhe offense was perpeLraLed, and as can be lnferred from Lhelr acLs, lL ls evldenL
LhaL 8agano and CaneLe were one ln Lhelr lnLenLlon Lo klll !eremlas MonLeclno. Pence, ln accordance wlLh Lhe
prlnclple LhaL ln consplracy Lhe acL of one ls Lhe acL of all, Lhe facL LhaL lL was 8agano who dellvered Lhe faLal blow
on MonLeclno and CaneLe's parLlclpaLlon was llmlLed Lo a mere embrace ls lmmaLerlal. Consplracy besLows upon
Lhem equal llablllLy, hence, Lhey shall suffer Lhe same faLe for Lhelr acLs.
ArLlcle 248 of 1be kevlseJ leool coJe prescrlbes Lhe penalLy of teclosloo petpetoo Lo deaLh for Lhe crlme of
murder. AbsenL any mlLlgaLlng or aggravaLlng clrcumsLance ln Lhe commlsslon of Lhe crlme, Lhe lower penalLy
of teclosloo petpetoo shall be lmposed.
WnLkLICkL, Lhe ueclslon of Lhe courL o poo of 13 CcLober 1997 ln Crlm. Case no. C8u-39043, flndlng
accused-appellanLs 8eynaldo 8agano allas loqot a.k.a. 8eynaldo lrlolo andÞabllLo CaneLe gullLy of murder ls
Alll8MLu wlLh Lhe MCulCA1lCn LhaL boLh accused-appellanLs shall suffer Lhe penalLy
of teclosloo petpetoo. 1hey are also ordered, ln addlLlon LoÞ30,000.00 as lndemnlLy for deaLh and Þ4,660.00 for
burlal expenses awarded by Lhe Lrlal courL, Lo pay [olnLly and severally Lhe helrs
of !eremlas MonLeclno Þ30,000.00 more for moral damages. CosLs agalnsL boLh accused-appellanLs.
SC CkDLkLD.
[G.k. No. 140762. September 10, 2003]
ÞLCÞLL CI 1nL ÞnILIÞÞINLS, a!!)""))* ,-2 ÞC3 kCGLk kCkAS y CA8ASAG, #!!)""#%&2
D L C I S I C N
VI1UG, 3.:
1he 8eglonal 1rlal CourL of Cuezon ClLy, 8ranch 103, ln Crlmlnal Case no. C-96-63242, found appellanL
8oger 8oxas y Cabasag gullLy beyond reasonable doubL of Lhe crlme of murder and lmposed on hlm Lhe penalLy
of deaLh for Lhe kllllng of Lorna Maceda Þuno. 1he lnformaLlon under whlch he was arralgned, Lrled and
convlcLed, read:
º1haL on or abouL Lhe 8
Lh
day of March, 1996, ln Cuezon ClLy, Þhlllpplnes, Lhe above-named accused dld Lhen and
Lhere wlllfully, unlawfully and felonlously wlLh lnLenL Lo klll, quallfled by Lreachery and by Laklng advanLage of
superlor sLrengLh, aLLack, assaulL and employ personal vlolence upon Lhe person of LC8nA ÞunC nee MACLuA,
by Lhen and Lhere shooLlng her wlLh Lhe use of a hand gun, hlLLlng her on her lefL forehead, Lhereby lnfllcLlng
upon her serlous and grave wounds whlch were Lhe dlrecL and lmmedlaLe cause of her unLlmely deaLh, Lo Lhe
damage and pre[udlce of Lhe helrs of sald Lorna Þuno nee Maceda."
[1]

lollowlng appellanL's plea of ºnoL gullLy" Lo Lhe crlme charged, Lhe prosecuLlon and Lhe defense presenLed
Lhelr respecLlve verslons of Lhe case.
!oelyn 8. Maceda, a securlLy guard aL Lhe llrsL unlLy 1exLlle Mllls ln novallches, Cuezon ClLy, sLayed wlLh her
slsLer, Lorna Maceda Þuno, ln San 8oque, 8agong Þag-asa, Cuezon ClLy, ln a one-sLorey sLrucLure wlLh Lhe fronL
door leadlng Lo Lhe klLchen and wlLh Lwo sLeps leadlng Lo Lhe sala. !oelyn shared Lhe house wlLh Lorna and her
husband, Lhe couple's flve-year-old son, !onas, and a nlece. Lorna, llke !oelyn, was a securlLy guard aL Lhe
ClLlbank ln MakaLl ClLy. When on duLy, Lhe slsLers were lssued callber .38 servlce flrearms LhaL Lhey were noL,
however, allowed Lo brlng home and, lnsLead, had Lo enLrusL each Llme Lo a rellever. AlLhough Lhe slsLers were
Lralned Lo handle flrearms, Lhey, upon Lhe oLher hand, only had mlnlmal lnsLrucLlon on self-defense.
8eLween nlne o'clock and nlne-LhlrLy on Lhe evenlng of 8 March 1996, !oelyn was washlng cloLhes ln fronL of
Lhe door of Lhelr house, llghLed by a fluorescenL lamp, when she saw Lorna comlng home from work ln her Lype 8
unlform and carrylng a brown bag. lrom a dlsLance of barely four Lo flve meLers, !oelyn could see Lorna runnlng
away from appellanL. AppellanL, apparenLly drunk, had no cloLhes from walsL up, was wearlng shorLs and carrylng
a gun. When !oelyn asked Lhe pale and Lrembllng Lorna why she was runnlng, Lhe laLLer replled, ºLyn, Lyn, enLer,
close Lhe door, a man (ls) followlng me!" (lyo, lyo, posok, sotoJo ooq ploto, moy somosoooJ so oklo
lolokl). !oelyn prompLly closed Lhe door buL appellanL was able Lo klck lL open. !oelyn, her forehead hlL by Lhe
door, was pushed aslde. AppellanL grabbed Lorna's bag, opened lL and, apparenLly noL flndlng whaL he could
have been looklng for, hurled Lhe bag Lo Lhe floor (bloollboq po olyo ooq boq so soblq). AppellanL asked Lorna,
ºWhy dld you run? Why dld you noL mlnd me?" (8oklt ko tomokbo? 8oklt ´Jl mo ´ko ploooslo?). Lorna answered,
ºl dld noL hear you." !oelyn Lrled Lo hold Lhe hand of appellanL buL he pushed her hand away. AppellanL Lhen
shoL Lorna wlLh a callber .43 gun wlLh lLs muzzle [usL Lwo feeL away from Lorna's face. Lorna fell on Lhe floor wlLh
half of her body ouLslde Lhe door and Lhe oLher half lnslde Lhe house. !oelyn held her slsLer. Lorna was sLlll
allve. A nelghbor responded Lo !oelyn's crles for help. Lorna was broughL Lo Lhe hosplLal. AL slx o'clock Lhe
followlng mornlng of 9 March 1996, !oelyn wenL Lo Camp karlngal Lo reporL Lhe lncldenL. LaLer, !oelyn,
accompanled by 8andy who Look down her sLaLemenL aL Lhe camp, wenL Lo Lhe LasL Avenue PosplLal where
Lorna had been Laken.
Mellnda 1allno was feLchlng waLer from a nearby arLeslan well (poso) on Lhe evenlng of 8 March 1996. She
proceeded Lo Lhe house of Lorna from where a gunshoL rang ouL. She saw Lhe bloodled Lorna on Lhe floor [usL as
appellanL, holdlng a gun, was abouL Lo run ouL of Lhe house (potokbo). Mellnda shouLed for help. nobody dared
Lo lmmedlaLely respond because appellanL was sLlll aL Lhe corner of an alley, a shorL dlsLance away, polnLlng and
swaylng a gun. AppellanL's wlfe and a cerLaln !un were seen Lrylng Lo paclfy hlm. !un Lapped appellanL's hand
LhaL caused Lhe gun Lo fall. AppellanL's wlfe plcked up Lhe gun and hld lL behlnd her. AppellanL's wlfe and !un
Lhen pulled appellanL away.
Lorna's husband, !oseph Þuno, a securlLy guard aL Lhe 8roadway CenLrum ln Cuezon ClLy, learned of Lhe
lncldenL aL flve o'clock on Lhe mornlng of 9 March 1996 when he reLurned home from work. 1here were
bloodsLalns around Lhe house. AppellanL, who llved near Lhe baskeLball courL around a hundred meLers away,
was !oseph's kompote. !oseph had known appellanL, who, along wlLh Lhe laLLer's wlfe, usually managed Lhe
º8SuC" semlnar LhaL !oseph aLLended. !oseph Þuno surrendered a callber .43 empLy shell whlch he had found aL
hls house Lo ÞC1 llorenclo Lscobldo. 1he Chlef of Lhe ÞnÞ Crlmlnal lnvesLlgaLlon ulvlslon ln Camp karlngal
forwarded Lhe empLy shell Lo Lhe ulrecLor of Lhe ÞnÞ Crlme LaboraLory Servlce ln Camp Crame. ln llrearms
ldenLlflcaLlon 8eporL no. lAlu-143-96, Þ/lnspecLor 8eynaldo ulmalanLa de Cuzman sLaLed LhaL Lhe empLy callber
.43 shell marked º!AÞ" ºwas flred from a callber .43 plsLol havlng slx (6) lands and slx (6) grooves LwlsLed Lo Lhe
lefL."
[2]
ue Cuzman could only conclude LhaL Lhe empLy shell was flred from a .43 callber plsLol. 1he plsLol was
noL recovered.
Lorna, only 27 years old, dled Lhree days afLer she was shoL. ur. Ma. CrlsLlna 8. lreyra, Þollce Senlor
lnspecLor and Medlco-Legal Cfflcer aL Lhe ÞnÞ CenLral Crlme LaboraLory of Lhe norLhern Þollce ulsLrlcL Command
ln kamunlng, Cuezon ClLy, conflrmed LhaL Lorna had suffered from a gunshoL wound aL Lhe lefL Lemporal reglon
wlLh LaLLoolng evldenL and a conLuslon on Lhe lefL perl-orblLal reglon and mulLlple abraslons on Lhe lefL arm. She
oplned LhaL Lhe LaLLoolng around Lhe wound would aLLesL Lo Lhe facL LhaL Lhe dlsLance beLween Lhe muzzle of Lhe
gun and Lhe ºpolnL of conLacL" could have barely been abouL Lwo feeL.
AppellanL, a member of Lhe Speclal Weapons and 1acLlcs (SWA1) Leam of Lhe Þhlllpplne naLlonal Þollce, dld
noL deny hls presence ln Lhe vlclnlLy of Lhe crlme scene buL he presenLed a dlfferenL verslon of Lhe lncldenL. Cn
Lhe laLe afLernoon of 8 March 1996, abouL slx o'clock, he was playlng baskeLball ln 8otooqoy 8agong Þag-asa, San
8oque ll, up unLll an hour laLer. ShorLly LhereafLer, he had dlnner. Pe and hls wlfe Lhen vlslLed Lhelr comoJte,
?olanda uaraman, whose husband, a seaman, was expecLed Lo reLurn home. AL ?olanda's house, LhaL evenlng,
Lhe couple was Lold LhaL ?olanda's husband had noL yeL arrlved. Cn Lhelr way home, appellanL noLlced a
susplclous-looklng person who was hlgh on drugs. 1he bulge on Lhe man's walsL appeared Lo hlm Lo be a Lucked
gun. AppellanL approached Lhe man, who was noL from Lhe place, Lo verlfy and Lo conducL a body search buL [usL
as he drew near, Lhe man ran away. AppellanL chased Lhe man and as he dld so, he passed by Lwo botooqoy
toooJs, lnocenclo uaLu and 8udy Llmbaga, who were asked by hls wlfe Lo exLend help by meeLlng Lhe man aL Lhe
oLher slde of Lhe area (solobooqlo oloyo so kobllo). AppellanL saw Lhe man enLer a house by klcklng open lLs
door. AppellanL flred hls servlce .38 callber gun. Pe pushed Lhe door, already half-open, buL Lorna Þuno sprayed
Lear gas on hlm, hlLLlng boLh hls eyes and momenLarlly loslng hls slghL. AppellanL soon heard a gunshoL from
lnslde Lhe house. AppellanL dove face down Lo seek cover. ln Lhe process, he losL conLrol of hls flrearm. Pe
shouLed for help and heard Lhe volces of hls wlfe and Lhe Lwo botooqoy toooJs. 1he botooqoy toooJsbroughL
hlm back Lo hls house where he was lnformed LhaL Lorna Þuno had been shoL. Pls wlfe admlnlsLered flrsL ald Lo
hls eyes buL, because hls eyes were noL healed, he was broughL Lhe followlng mornlng by hls wlfe Lo Lhe Cuezon
ClLy Ceneral PosplLal.
lrom Lhe hosplLal, appellanL proceeded Lo Camp karlngal Lo clear hls name afLer havlng heard LhaL he was
belng lmpllcaLed ln Lhe shooLlng lncldenL. AppellanL was dlsarmed by hls commandlng offlcer and lnsLrucLed Lo
sub[ecL hlmself Lo an lnvesLlgaLlon. 1he nexL day, as so dlrecLed, he came back and resLrlcLed hlmself Lo
camp. Pls commandlng offlcer laLer broughL hlm Lo Lhe lnvesLlgaLlon ulvlslon Lo surrender hlm for
lnvesLlgaLlon. Asked Lo glve a sLaLemenL, appellanL Lold Lhe lnvesLlgaLor LhaL he would walL for hls lawyer. lrom
Lhe 10
Lh
Lo Lhe 14
Lh
of March, no case was flled agalnsL appellanL. Cn Lhe 13
Lh
of Lhe same monLh, he was
presenLed Lo Lhe lnquesL flscal.
1he Lrlal courL, convlnced of Lhe ºlack of problLy and credlblllLy of Lhe defense paLh Laken by Lhe
accused,"
[3]
found appellanL gullLy of Lhe crlme of murder. lL ruled LhaL Lhe commlsslon of Lhe crlme was quallfled
by ºabuse of superlorlLy" because ºLorna was unarmed when shoL on Lhe head by Lhe accused whlch slngle shoL
caused her lnsLanLaneous deaLh."
[4]
lL appreclaLed agalnsL appellanL Lhe aggravaLlng clrcumsLance of dwelllng
slnce boLh Lhe prosecuLlon and Lhe defense evldence showed LhaL Lorna was faLally shoL lnslde her house. 1he
Lrlal courL dlsposed of Crlmlnal Case no. C-96-63242 Lhusly:
ºACCC8ulnCL?, [udgmenL ls hereby rendered flndlng Lhe accused ÞC3 8CCL8 8CxAS y Cabasag CulL1? beyond
reasonable doubL as Þrlnclpal of Lhe crlme of Mu8uL8, as charged hereln, as deflned and penallzed ln Lhe
8evlsed Þenal Code, quallfled by Laklng advanLage of superlor sLrengLh and, wlLh Lhe aggravaLlng clrcumsLance of
dwelllng, he ls hereby senLenced Lo suffer Lhe penalLy of uLA1P.
ºCn Lhe clvll aspecL, accused 8oger 8oxas y Cabasag ls ordered Lo pay Lhe helrs of Lorna Þuno y Maceda Lhe sum
of Þ30,000.00 as lndemnlLy damages and Þ100,000.00 as exemplary damages.
º1he A8MSCC8 callber .38 revolver wlLh serlal number ÞC7161 (LxhlblL M) shall be forwarded Lo Lhe ÞnÞ
llrearms and Lxploslves ulvlslon, Camp Crame, Cuezon ClLy for safekeeplng ln accordance wlLh law.
ºÞursuanL Lo law and Lhe 8ules of CourL, leL Lhe enLlre records of Lhls case be forwarded forLhwlLh Lo Lhe
Ponorable Supreme CourL for auLomaLlc revlew."
[3]

AppellanL assalls Lhe credlblllLy of prosecuLlon wlLnesses !oelyn 8. Maceda and Mellnda 1allno. 8uL, as lL has
so ofLen been sLaLed by Lhls CourL, Lhe lssue of credlblllLy of wlLnesses ls a quesLlon for Lhe Lrlal courL baslcally Lo
resolve. 1he rule ls loglcal and well founded. lL ls Lhe Lrlal [udge whlch has all Lhe opporLunlLy Lo observe
wlLnesses when Lhey LesLlfy before hlm and for hlm Lo Lhen draw Lhe llne beLween facL and falsehood. An
appellaLe courL Lhus would flnd lLself relylng mosLly on Lhe assessmenL of Lhe Lrlal courL ln Lhls respecL. 1he
records of Lhls case do noL dlsclose any reason for Lhls CourL Lo now devlaLe from Lhls long-seLLled docLrlne.
AppellanL conLends LhaL Lhe prosecuLlon has suppressed evldence ln falllng Lo presenL Lhe affldavlL of
Mellnda calllng aLLenLlon Lo Lhe presumpLlon LhaL ºevldence wlllfully suppressed would be adversed (slc) lf
produced." 1he conLenLlon ls a fuLlle aLLempL Lo lnvoke exoneraLlon. íx-potte affldavlLs, whlch are ofLen
lncompleLe and lnaccuraLe, are scarcely depended on and wlll cerLalnly noL prevall over credlble sLaLemenLs of a
wlLness on Lhe sLand,
[6]
parLlcularly when Lhe defense has had Lhe full opporLunlLy Lo cross-examlne such a
wlLness.
AppellanL's argumenL LhaL Lhe Lrlal courL dlsregarded ºLhe law on balllsLlcs" when lL lgnored Lhe facL LhaL Lhe
slug found was LhaL of a callber .43 gun, noL LhaL of a .38 callber handgun, llke Lhe servlce revolver of appellanL,
hardly could be maLerlal. lL would only show LhaL lL was noL appellanL's servlce revolver whlch was used ln Lhe
commlsslon of Lhe crlme. WlLh Lhe poslLlve ldenLlflcaLlon by eyewlLness !oelyn of appellanL as belng Lhe
perpeLraLor of Lhe crlme, Lhe non-presenLaLlon by Lhe prosecuLlon of Lhe weapon used ln commlLLlng Lhe crlme
would noL aL all be faLal.
[7]
!oelyn wlLnessed aL close range Lhe kllllng of her slsLer. Per LesLlmony, an eyewlLness
accounL, was found credlble by Lhe Lrlal courL.
1he relaLlonshlp of !oelyn Lo Lhe vlcLlm would noL be a reason Lo elLher dlscredlL her or dlsbelleve her
LesLlmony, ln facL, lL should be unnaLural for an aggrleved relaLlve Lo falsely accuse someone else oLher Lhan Lhe
acLual culprlL hlmself.
[8]
noLhlng was shown Lo lndlcaLe ln any way LhaL !oelyn was lmpelled by lmproper moLlve
ln LesLlfylng agalnsL appellanL LhaL should Lhus add Lo her credlblllLy.
[9]

ln asseveraLlng LhaL Lhe quallfylng clrcumsLance of abuse of superlor sLrengLh was noL proven aL Lhe Lrlal,
appellanL would premlse hls argumenL on Lhe conLenLlon LhaL Lhe vlcLlm used Leargas Lo lmmoblllze hlm. 1here
was, however, no convlnclng proof LhaL Lhe vlcLlm had lndeed used Leargas on appellanL. 1he hosplLal record
presenLed ln courL by ÞasLora 8arLe, Lhe records offlcer of Lhe Cuezon ClLy Ceneral PosplLal, LhaL appellanL was
LreaLed for eye lrrlLaLlon and for abraslons on hls rlghL hand,
[10]
was noL aLLesLed Lo by any supposed aLLendlng
physlclan. All LhaL ÞasLora could LesLlfy on was LhaL a cerLaln ur. lernandez and one ur. Cslal, who allegedly
aLLended Lo appellanL, were no longer connecLed wlLh Lhe hosplLal. ÞasLora admlLLed LhaL she had no personal
knowledge abouL Lhe conLenLs of Lhe record, nelLher could she aLLesL Lo Lhe LruLh and veraclLy of lLs conLenLs. A
medlcal cerLlflcaLe would be hearsay and lnadmlsslble ln evldence wlLhouL Lhe afflrmaLlon or conflrmaLlon on Lhe
wlLness sLand of Lhe physlclan who prepared lL
[11]
and corroboraLed by Lhe LesLlmony of Lhe physlclan who had
examlned Lhe paLlenL.
[12]

1he Lrlal courL descrlbed appellanL as belng a ºblg hulk of a man," 3'7" ln helghL, and ºmuscularly bulky." AL
Lhe wlLness sLand, when !oelyn sLood Lo ldenLlfy appellanL, Lhe prosecuLor noLed for Lhe record LhaL appellanL
was ºvery much Laller Lhan Lhe wlLness" who sLood aL 3'3" ln helghL. Accordlng Lo !oelyn, Lorna was only abouL
3'3" ln helghL, a facL LhaL Lhe defense dld noL dlspuLe. 1he case could brlng Lo mlnd leople v. OoesoJo.
[13]
ln LhaL
case, Lhe CourL, noLlng LhaL Lhe appellanL was a ºrobusL, mlddle-aged man" whlle Lhe deceased was a woman of
abouL 22 years of age, appreclaLed Lhe aggravaLlng clrcumsLance of Laklng advanLage of superlor sLrengLh when
Lhe malefacLor sLabbed Lhe deceased ºwhlle she was Lrylng Lo escape from hls grasp, and unable Lo repel Lhe
aLLack." ln Lhls lnsLance, Lorna was 27 years old Lrylng Lo escape from appellanL, an armed ºhulk of a man," 3'7"
ln helghL, and around 33 years of age,
[14]
when she was senselessly shoL aL close range. SLlll ln anoLher case, Lhls
CourL sald: ºln several cases, we have held LhaL an aLLack made by a man wlLh a deadly weapon upon an unarmed
and defenseless woman consLlLuLes Lhe clrcumsLance of abuse of LhaL superlorlLy whlch hls sex and Lhe weapon
used ln Lhe acL afforded hlm, and from whlch Lhe woman was unable Lo defend herself. 1hls ls Lhe exacL scenarlo
ln Lhls case."
[13]

ln lmposlng Lhe deaLh penalLy, Lhe Lrlal courL appreclaLed Lhe aggravaLlng clrcumsLance of dwelllng LhaL was
noL alleged ln Lhe lnformaLlon.
1he SollclLor Ceneral, supporLlng Lhe sLand Laken by Lhe Lrlal courL, would lnvlLe a revlslL of
Lhe Mootlclo
[16]
rule, he urges:
ºWe respecLfully pray LhaL Lhls Ponorable CourL Lake a second look aL lLs rullng ln Mootlclo and oLher cases
reLroacLlvely applylng 8ule 110, SecLlon 9. 1he rule prevalllng before Lhe effecLlvlLy of Lhe new 8ules of Crlmlnal
Þrocedure was LhaL generlc aggravaLlng clrcumsLances, even lf noL alleged ln Lhe lnformaLlon, may be
appreclaLed lf proven aL Lhe Lrlal. ÞrosecuLors and Lrlal [udges relled on Lhls former rule. WlLh all due
respecL, tbe tettooctlve oppllcotloo of tbe oew tole ls moolfestly oofolt to tbe ptosecotots ooJ ttlol joJqes wbo
telleJ lo otmost qooJ foltb oo tbe olJ tole.
ºCn March 27, 2000, a mere nlne (9) monLhs before Lhe new 8ules of Crlmlnal Þrocedure Look effecL on
uecember 1, 2000, Lhls Ponorable CourL ln leople v. Mltto, 328 SC8A 774, 792-793 re[ecLed Lhe conLenLlon LhaL
generlc aggravaLlng clrcumsLances should be alleged ln Lhe lnformaLlon."
[17]
(Lmphasls supplled)
WlLh all due respecL Lo Lhe SollclLor Ceneral, Lhe CourL flnds lL dlfflculL Lo reconslder lLs pronouncemenL
ln Mootlclo, whlch has slnce been relLeraLed ln several cases. SecLlon 9, 8ule 110, of Lhe new 8ules on Crlmlnal
Þrocedure, provldes:
ºSLC. 9. coose of tbe occosotloo. - 1he acLs or omlsslons complalned of as consLlLuLlng Lhe offense and Lhe
quallfylng and aggravaLlng clrcumsLances musL be sLaLed ln ordlnary and conclse language and noL necessarlly ln
Lhe language used ln Lhe sLaLuLe buL ln Lerms sufflclenL Lo enable a person of common undersLandlng Lo know
whaL offense ls belng charged as well as lLs quallfylng and aggravaLlng clrcumsLances and for Lhe courL Lo
pronounce [udgmenL."
ln Mootlclo,
[18]
Lhe CourL has explalned Lhe reason for Lhe reLroacLlve appllcaLlon of Lhe rule.
º1he use of Lhe word `musL' lndlcaLes LhaL Lhe requlremenL ls mandaLory, Lherefore fallure Lo comply wlLh Sec. 9,
8ule 110, means LhaL generlc aggravaLlng clrcumsLances, alLhough proven aL Lhe Lrlal, cannoL be appreclaLed
agalnsL Lhe accused lf such clrcumsLances are noL sLaLed ln Lhe lnformaLlon. lt ls o cotJlool tole tbot toles of
ctlmlool ptoceJote ote qlveo tettooctlve oppllcotloo losofot os tbey beoeflt tbe occoseJ.´ (lLallcs supplled.)
Lven beyond LhaL, as so expressed above, ls Lhe overrldlng prlnclple LhaL an accused has Lhe unfeLLered rlghL ºLo
be lnformed of Lhe naLure and cause of Lhe accusaLlon agalnsL hlm."
[19]
1he CourL has no reason Lo doubL Lhe facL
LhaL Lhe prosecuLor and Lrlal [udge musL have relled ln ºuLmosL good falLh" on Lhe old rule (LhaL a generlc
aggravaLlng clrcumsLance may be appreclaLed agalnsL Lhe accused even lf lL ls noL alleged ln Lhe lnformaLlon), buL
lL ls noL enough for Lhls CourL Lo now Lake LhaL bellef lnLo accounL agalnsL appellanL and Lo abandon a sLandlng
LeneL LhaL Lhe law, as well as rules of procedure favorable Lo Lhe accused, musL be glven reLroacLlve effecL. 1he
CourL reallzes LhaL nelLher Lhe SollclLor Ceneral and Lhe prosecuLor nor Lhe Lrlal [udge, are ouL of llne, lndeed,
ln leople v. Mltto
[20]
Lhe CourL has vlrLually agreed Lo conslder aggravaLlng clrcumsLances noL alleged ln Lhe
lnformaLlon buL proved durlng Lhe Lrlal and appreclaLed ln lmposlng Lhe senLence, wlLhouL necessarlly lmplnglng
Lhe consLlLuLlonal rlghL of Lhe accused Lo be lnformed of Lhe naLure and cause of Lhe accusaLlon agalnsL
hlm. neverLheless, ln subsequenL cases, sLarLlng wlLh leople v. 5olollmo,
[21]
Lhe CourL, Laklng a hard look on Lhe
lssue has concluded LhaL Lhe new rules musL be glven reLroacLlve effecL ºln Lhe llghL of Lhe well seLLled rule LhaL
sLaLuLes regulaLlng Lhe procedure of Lhe courL wlll be consLrued as appllcable Lo acLlons pendlng and
undeLermlned aL Lhe Llme of Lhelr passage."
[22]

ArLlcle 248(1) of Lhe 8evlsed Þenal Code, as amended, penallzes a person who commlLs Lhe crlme of
murder, aLLended by Lhe quallfylng clrcumsLance of, among oLher clrcumsLances, Laklng advanLage of superlor
sLrengLh, wlLh teclosloo petpetoo Lo deaLh. no generlc aggravaLlng penalLy belng aLLendanL, Lhe lesser penalLy
of teclosloo petpetoo should be lmposed.
[23]

1he Lrlal courL awarded ºlndemnlLy damages" of Þ30,000.00 and exemplary damages of Þ100,000.00. Clvll
lndemnlLy ls auLomaLlcally lmposed upon Lhe accused wlLhouL need of proof oLher Lhan Lhe facL of Lhe
commlsslon of murder or homlclde.
[24]
1he award should Lhus be afflrmed. 1he award of exemplary damages ls
[usLlfled conslderlng Lhe aLLendance of Lhe aggravaLlng clrcumsLance of abuse of superlor sLrengLh LhaL quallfled
Lhe kllllng Lo murder buL, conslderlng prevalllng [urlsprudence, LhaL amounL should be reduced Lo
Þ23,000.00.
[23]
ConslsLenLly llkewlse wlLh recenL declslons of Lhe CourL, an award of only LemperaLe damages of
Þ23,000.00, no adequaLe proof of acLual damages havlng been shown, ls warranLed.
[26]

WnLkLICkL, Lhe declslon of Lhe courL o poo flndlng appellanL ÞC3 8oger 8oxas y Cabasag gullLy beyond
reasonable doubL of Lhe crlme of murder for Lhe kllllng of Lorna Maceda Þuno ls Alll8MLu sub[ecL Lo Lhe
MCulllCA1lCnS LhaL appellanL shall suffer, lnsLead of deaLh, Lhe penalLy of teclosloo petpetoo and LhaL he shall
pay Lhe helrs of Lhe vlcLlm clvll lndemnlLy of Þ30,000.00, exemplary damages of Þ23,000.00, and LemperaLe
damages of Þ23,000.00. CosLs agalnsL appellanL.
SC CkDLkLD.
[G.k. No. 136914. Ianuary 2S, 2002]
CCUN1k¥ 8ANkLkS INSUkANCL CCkÞCkA1ICN, !)&$&$7%)8* ,-2 LIANGA 8A¥ AND CCMMUNI1¥ MUL1I-
ÞUkÞCSL CCCÞLkA1IVL, INC.,8)-!7%0)%&.
D L C I S I C N
DL LLCN, Ik., 3.:
8efore us ls a peLlLlon for revlew on cettlototl of Lhe ueclslon
[1]
of Lhe CourL of Appeals
[2]
daLed uecember
29, 1998 ln CA-C.8. Cv Case no. 36902 afflrmlng lo toto Lhe ueclslon
[3]
daLed uecember 26, 1991 of Lhe 8eglonal
1rlal CourL of Llanga, Surlgao del Sur, 8ranch 28, ln Clvll Case no. L-318 whlch ordered peLlLloner CounLry 8ankers
lnsurance CorporaLlon Lo fully pay Lhe lnsurance clalm of respondenL Llanga 8ay and CommunlLy MulLl-Þurpose
CooperaLlve, lnc., under llre lnsurance Þollcy no. l-1397, for loss susLalned as a resulL of Lhe flre LhaL occurred on
!uly 1, 1989 ln Lhe amounL of 1wo Pundred 1housand Þesos (Þ200,000.00), wlLh lnLeresL aL Lwelve percenL (12°)
per annum from Lhe daLe of flllng of Lhe complalnL unLll fully pald, as well as llfLy 1housand Þesos (Þ30,000.00) as
acLual damages, llfLy 1housand Þesos (Þ30,000.00) as exemplary damages, llve 1housand Þesos (Þ3,000.00) as
llLlgaLlon expenses, 1en 1housand Þesos (Þ10,000.00) as aLLorney's fees, and Lhe cosLs of sulL.
1he facLs are undlspuLed:
1he peLlLloner ls a domesLlc corporaLlon prlnclpally engaged ln Lhe lnsurance buslness whereln lL
underLakes, for a conslderaLlon, Lo lndemnlfy anoLher agalnsL loss, damage or llablllLy from an unknown or
conLlngenL evenL lncludlng flre whlle Lhe respondenL ls a duly reglsLered cooperaLlve [udlclally declared lnsolvenL
and represenLed by Lhe elecLed asslgnee, Cornello !amero.
lL appears LhaL someLlme ln 1989, Lhe peLlLloner and Lhe respondenL enLered lnLo a conLracL of flre
lnsurance. under llre lnsurance Þollcy no. l-1397, Lhe peLlLloner lnsured Lhe respondenL's sLocks-ln-Lrade
agalnsL flre loss, damage or llablllLy durlng Lhe perlod sLarLlng from !une 20, 1989 aL 4:00 p.m. Lo !une 20,
1990 aL 4:00 p.m., for Lhe sum of 1wo Pundred 1housand Þesos (Þ200,000.00).
Cn !uly 1, 1989, aL or abouL 12:40 a.m., Lhe respondenL's bulldlng locaLed aL 8arangay ulaLagon, Llanga,
Surlgao del Sur was guLLed by flre and reduced Lo ashes, resulLlng ln Lhe LoLal loss of Lhe respondenL's sLocks-ln-
Lrade, pleces of furnlLures and flxLures, equlpmenLs and records.
uue Lo Lhe loss, Lhe respondenL flled an lnsurance clalm wlLh Lhe peLlLloner under lLs llre lnsurance Þollcy
no. l-1397, submlLLlng: (a) Lhe SpoL 8eporL of Þfc. ArLuro v. !uarbal, lnÞ lnvesLlgaLor, daLed !uly 1, 1989, (b) Lhe
Sworn SLaLemenL of !ose Lomocso, and (c) Lhe Sworn SLaLemenL of LrnesLo urblzLondo.
1he peLlLloner, however, denled Lhe lnsurance clalm on Lhe ground LhaL, based on Lhe submlLLed
documenLs, Lhe bulldlng was seL on flre by Lwo (2) nÞA rebels who wanLed Lo obLaln canned goods, rlce and
medlclnes as provlslons for Lhelr comrades ln Lhe foresL, and LhaL such loss was an excepLed rlsk under paragraph
no. 6 of Lhe pollcy condlLlons of llre lnsurance Þollcy no. l-1397, whlch provldes:
1hls lnsurance does noL cover any loss or damage occasloned by or Lhrough or ln consequence, dlrecLly or
lndlrecLly, of any of Lhe followlng occurrences, namely:
xxx xxx xxx
(d) MuLlny, rloL, mlllLary or popular uprlslng, lnsurrecLlon, rebelllon, revoluLlon, mlllLary or usurped power.
Any loss or damage happenlng durlng Lhe exlsLence of abnormal condlLlons (wheLher physlcal or oLherwlse)
whlch are occasloned by or Lhrough or ln consequence, dlrecLly or lndlrecLly, of any of sald occurrences shall be
deemed Lo be loss or damage whlch ls noL covered by Lhls lnsurance, excepL Lo Lhe exLenL LhaL Lhe lnsured shall
prove LhaL such loss or damage happened lndependenLly of Lhe exlsLence of such abnormal condlLlons.
llndlng Lhe denlal of lLs clalm unaccepLable, Lhe respondenL Lhen lnsLlLuLed ln Lhe Lrlal courL Lhe complalnL
for recovery of ºloss, damage or llablllLy" agalnsL peLlLloner. 1he peLlLloner answered Lhe complalnL and
relLeraLed Lhe ground lL earller clLed Lo deny Lhe lnsurance clalm, LhaL ls, LhaL Lhe loss was due Lo nÞA rebels, an
excepLed rlsk under Lhe flre lnsurance pollcy.
ln due Llme, Lhe Lrlal courL rendered lLs ueclslon daLed uecember 26, 1991 ln favor of Lhe respondenL,
declarlng LhaL:
8ased on lLs flndlngs, lL ls Lherefore Lhe consldered oplnlon of Lhls CourL, as lL so holds, LhaL Lhe defenses ralsed
by defendanL-CounLry 8ankers has uLLerly crumbled on accounL of lLs lnherenL weakness, lncredlblllLy and
unrellablllLy, and afLer applylng Lhose helpful Lools llke common sense, loglc and Lhe CourL's honesL appralsal of
Lhe real and acLual slLuaLlon obLalnlng ln Lhls area, such defenses remalns (slc) unlmpresslve and unconvlnclng,
and Lherefore, Lhe defendanL-CounLry 8ankers has Lo be lrreverslbly ad[udged llable, as lL should be, Lo plalnLlff-
lnsolvenL CooperaLlve, represenLed ln Lhls acLlon by lLs Asslgnee, Cornello !amero, and Lhus, orderlng sald
defendanL-CounLry 8ankers Lo pay Lhe plalnLlff-lnsolvenL CooperaLlve, as follows:
1. 1o fully pay Lhe lnsurance clalm for Lhe loss Lhe lnsured-plalnLlff susLalned as a resulL of Lhe flre
under lLs llre lnsurance Þollcy no. l-1397 ln lLs full face value of Þ200,000.00 wlLh lnLeresL of 12°
per annum from daLe of flllng of Lhe complalnL unLll Lhe same ls fully pald,
2. 1o pay as and ln Lhe concepL of acLual or compensaLory damages ln Lhe LoLal sum of Þ30,000.00,
3. 1o pay as and ln Lhe concepL of exemplary damages ln Lhe LoLal sum of Þ30,000.00,
4. 1o pay ln Lhe concepL of llLlgaLlon expenses Lhe sum of Þ3,000.00,
3. 1o pay by way of relmbursemenL Lhe aLLorney's fees ln Lhe sum of Þ10,000.00, and
6. 1o pay Lhe cosLs of Lhe sulL.
lor belng unsubsLanLlaLed wlLh credlble and poslLlve evldence, Lhe ºcounLerclalm" ls dlsmlssed.
l1 lS SC C8uL8Lu.
ÞeLlLloner lnLerposed an appeal Lo Lhe CourL of Appeals. Cn uecember 29, 1998, Lhe appellaLe courL
afflrmed Lhe challenged declslon of Lhe Lrlal courL ln lLs enLlreLy. ÞeLlLloner now comes before us vla Lhe lnsLanL
peLlLlon anchored on Lhree (3) asslgned errors,
[4]
Lo wlL:
1. 1nL nCNCkA8LL CCUk1 CI AÞÞLALS IAILLD 1C AÞÞkLCIA1L AND GIVL CkLDLNCL 1C 1nL SÞC1
kLÞCk1 CI ÞIC. Ak1UkC IUAk8AL (Lkn. 3) AND 1nL SWCkN S1A1LMLN1 CI ICSL LCMCCSC
(Lkn. 4) 1nA1 1nL kLSÞCNDLN1'S S1CCk-IN-1kADL WAS 8UkNLD 8¥ 1nL NÞA kL8LLS, nLNCL
AN LkCLÞ1LD kISk UNDLk 1nL IIkL INSUkANCL ÞCLIC¥.
2. 1nL nCNCkA8LL CCUk1 CI AÞÞLALS LkkLD IN nCLDING ÞL1I1ICNLk LIA8LL ICk 12¼ IN1LkLS1
ÞLk ANNUM CN 1nL IACL VALUL CI 1nL ÞCLIC¥ IkCM 1nL IILING CI 1nL CCMÞLAIN1 UN1IL
IULL¥ ÞAID.
3. 1nL nCNCkA8LL CCUk1 CI AÞÞLALS LkkLD IN nCLDING 1nL ÞL1I1ICNLk LIA8LL ICk AC1UAL
AND LkLMÞLAk¥ DAMAGLS, LI1IGA1ICN LkÞLNSLS, A11CkNL¥S ILLS AND CCS1 CI SUI1.
A parLy ls bound by hls own afflrmaLlve allegaLlons. 1hls ls a well-known posLulaLe echoed ln SecLlon 1 of
8ule 131 of Lhe 8evlsed 8ules of CourL. Lach parLy musL prove hls own afflrmaLlve allegaLlons by Lhe amounL of
evldence requlred by law whlch ln clvll cases, as ln Lhls case, ls preponderance of evldence, Lo obLaln a favorable
[udgmenL.
[3]

ln Lhe lnsLanL case, Lhe peLlLloner does noL dlspuLe LhaL Lhe respondenL's sLocks-ln-Lrade were lnsured
agalnsL flre loss, damage or llablllLy under llre lnsurance Þollcy no. l- 1397 and LhaL Lhe respondenL losL lLs
sLocks-ln-Lrade ln a flre LhaL occurred on !uly 1, 1989, wlLhln Lhe duraLlon of sald flre lnsurance. 1he peLlLloner,
however, poslLs Lhe vlew LhaL Lhe cause of Lhe loss was an excepLed rlsk under Lhe Lerms of Lhe flre lnsurance
pollcy.
Where a rlsk ls excepLed by Lhe Lerms of a pollcy whlch lnsures agalnsL oLher perlls or hazards, loss from
such a rlsk consLlLuLes a defense whlch Lhe lnsurer may urge, slnce lL has noL assumed LhaL rlsk, and from Lhls lL
follows LhaL an lnsurer seeklng Lo defeaL a clalm because of an excepLlon or llmlLaLlon ln Lhe pollcy has Lhe
burden of provlng LhaL Lhe loss comes wlLhln Lhe purvlew of Lhe excepLlon or llmlLaLlon seL up. lf a proof ls made
of a loss apparenLly wlLhln a conLracL of lnsurance, Lhe burden ls upon Lhe lnsurer Lo prove LhaL Lhe loss arose
from a cause of loss whlch ls excepLed or for whlch lL ls noL llable, or from a cause whlch llmlLs lLs
llablllLy.
[6]
SLaLed elsewlse, slnce Lhe peLlLloner ln Lhls case ls defendlng on Lhe ground of non-coverage and
relylng upon an exempLlon or excepLlon clause ln Lhe flre lnsurance pollcy, lL has Lhe burden of provlng Lhe facLs
upon whlch such excepLed rlsk ls based, by a preponderance of evldence.
[7]
8uL peLlLloner falled Lo do so.
1he peLlLloner relles on Lhe Sworn SLaLemenLs of !ose Lomocso and LrnesLo urblzLondo as well as on Lhe
SpoL 8eporL of Þfc. ArLuro v. !uarbal daLed !uly 1, 1989, more parLlcularly Lhe followlng sLaLemenL Lhereln:
xxx lnvesLlgaLlon revealed by !ose Lomocso LhaL Lhose armed men wanLed Lo geL can goods and rlce for Lhelr
consumpLlon ln Lhe foresL Þu lnvesLlgaLlon furLher dlsclosed LhaL Lhe perpeLraLor are member (slc) of Lhe nÞA Þu
end. x x x
A wlLness can LesLlfy only Lo Lhose facLs whlch he knows of hls personal knowledge, whlch means Lhose facLs
whlch are derlved from hls percepLlon.
[8]
ConsequenLly, a wlLness may noL LesLlfy as Lo whaL he merely learned
from oLhers elLher because he was Lold or read or heard Lhe same. Such LesLlmony ls consldered hearsay and
may noL be recelved as proof of Lhe LruLh of whaL he has learned. Such ls Lhe hearsay rule whlch applles noL only
Lo oral LesLlmony or sLaLemenLs buL also Lo wrlLLen evldence as well.
[9]

1he hearsay rule ls based upon serlous concerns abouL Lhe LrusLworLhlness and rellablllLy of hearsay
evldence lnasmuch as such evldence are noL glven under oaLh or solemn afflrmaLlon and, more lmporLanLly, have
noL been sub[ecLed Lo cross-examlnaLlon by opposlng counsel Lo LesL Lhe percepLlon, memory, veraclLy and
arLlculaLeness of Lhe ouL-of-courL declaranL or acLor upon whose rellablllLy on whlch Lhe worLh of Lhe ouL-of-
courL sLaLemenL depends.
[10]

1hus, Lhe Sworn SLaLemenLs of !ose Lomocso and LrnesLo urblzLondo are lnadmlsslble ln evldence, for belng
hearsay, lnasmuch as Lhey dld noL Lake Lhe wlLness sLand and could noL Lherefore be cross-examlned.
1here are excepLlons Lo Lhe hearsay rule, among whlch are enLrles ln offlclal records.
[11]
1o be admlsslble ln
evldence, however, Lhree (3) requlslLes musL concur, Lo wlL:
(a) LhaL Lhe enLry was made by a publlc offlcer, or by anoLher person speclally en[olned by law Lo do so,
(b) LhaL lL was made by Lhe publlc offlcer ln Lhe performance of hls duLles, or by such oLher person ln
Lhe performance of a duLy speclally en[olned by law, and
(c) LhaL Lhe publlc offlcer or oLher person had sufflclenL knowledge of Lhe facLs by hlm sLaLed, whlch
musL have been acqulred by hlm personally or Lhrough offlclal lnformaLlon.
[12]

1he Lhlrd requlslLe was noL meL ln Lhls case slnce no lnvesLlgaLlon, lndependenL of Lhe sLaLemenLs gaLhered from
!ose Lomocso, was conducLed by Þfc. ArLuro v. !uarbal. ln facL, as Lhe peLlLloner lLself polnLed ouL, clLlng Lhe
LesLlmony of Þfc. ArLuro !uarbal,
[13]
Lhe laLLer's SpoL 8eporL ºwos boseJ oo tbe petsoool koowleJqe of tbe
cotetoket Iose lomocso wbo wltoesseJ evety sloqle loclJeot sottoooJloq tbe focts ooJ cltcomstooces of tbe cose."
1hls argumenL undenlably weakens Lhe peLlLloner's defense, for Lhe SpoL 8eporL of Þfc. ArLuro !uarbal relaLlve Lo
Lhe sLaLemenL of !ose Lomocso Lo Lhe effecL LhaL nÞA rebels allegedly seL flre Lo Lhe respondenL's bulldlng ls
lnadmlsslble ln evldence, for Lhe purpose of provlng Lhe LruLh of Lhe sLaLemenLs conLalned ln Lhe sald reporL, for
belng hearsay.
1he sald SpoL 8eporL ls admlsslble only lnsofar as lL consLlLuLes parL of Lhe LesLlmony of Þfc. ArLuro v.
!uarbal slnce he hlmself Look Lhe wlLness sLand and was avallable for cross-examlnaLlon. 1he porLlons of hls SpoL
8eporL whlch were of hls personal knowledge or whlch conslsLed of hls percepLlons and concluslons are noL
hearsay. 1he resL of Lhe sald reporL relaLlve Lo Lhe sLaLemenL of !ose Lomocso may be consldered as
lndependenLly relevanL sLaLemenLs gaLhered ln Lhe course of !uarbal's lnvesLlgaLlon and may be admlLLed as such
buL noL necessarlly Lo prove Lhe LruLh Lhereof.
[14]

1he peLlLloner's evldence Lo prove lLs defense ls sadly wanLlng and Lhus, glves rlse Lo lLs llablllLy Lo Lhe
respondenL under llre lnsurance Þollcy no. l-1397. noneLheless, we do noL susLaln Lhe Lrlal courL's lmposlLlon of
Lwelve percenL (12°) lnLeresL on Lhe lnsurance clalm as well as Lhe moneLary award for acLual and exemplary
damages, llLlgaLlon expenses and aLLorney's fees for lack of legal and valld basls.
Concernlng Lhe appllcaLlon of Lhe proper lnLeresL raLes, Lhe followlng guldellnes were seL ln íosteto
5blpploq lloes, loc. v. coott of Appeols ooJ Metcootlle losotooce co., loc..
[13]

l. When an obllgaLlon, regardless of lLs source, l.e., law, conLracLs, quasl-conLracLs, dellcLs or quasl-dellcLs, ls
breached, Lhe conLravenor can be held llable for damages. 1he provlslons under 1lLle xvlll on ºuamages" of Lhe
Clvll Code govern ln deLermlnlng Lhe measure of recoverable damages.
ll. WlLh regard parLlcularly Lo an award of lnLeresL ln Lhe concepL of acLual and compensaLory damages, Lhe
raLe of lnLeresL, as well as Lhe accrual Lhereof, ls lmposed, as follows:
1. When Lhe obllgaLlon ls breached, and lL conslsLs ln Lhe paymenL of a sum of money, l.e., a loan or
forbearance of money, Lhe lnLeresL due should be LhaL whlch may have been sLlpulaLed ln wrlLlng. lurLhermore,
Lhe lnLeresL due shall lLself earn legal lnLeresL from Lhe Llme lL ls [udlclally demanded. ln Lhe absence of
sLlpulaLlon, Lhe raLe of lnLeresL shall be 12° per annum Lo be compuLed from defaulL, l.e., from [udlclal or
exLra[udlclal demand under and sub[ecL Lo Lhe provlslons of ArLlcle 1169 of Lhe Clvll Code.
2. When an obllgaLlon, noL consLlLuLlng a loan or forbearance of money, ls breached, an lnLeresL on Lhe
amounL of damages awarded may be lmposed aL Lhe dlscreLlon of Lhe courL aL Lhe raLe of 6° per annum. no
lnLeresL, however, shall be ad[udged on unllquldaLed clalms or damages excepL when or unLll Lhe demand can be
esLabllshed wlLh reasonable cerLalnLy. Accordlngly, where Lhe demand ls esLabllshed wlLh reasonable cerLalnLy,
Lhe lnLeresL shall begln Lo run from Lhe Llme Lhe clalm ls made [udlclally or exLra[udlclally (ArL. 1169, Clvll Code)
buL when such cerLalnLy cannoL be so reasonably esLabllshed aL Lhe Llme Lhe demand ls made, Lhe lnLeresL shall
begln Lo run only from Lhe daLe Lhe [udgmenL of Lhe courL ls made (aL whlch Llme Lhe quanLlflcaLlon of damages
may be deemed Lo have been reasonably ascerLalned). 1he acLual base for Lhe compuLaLlon of legal lnLeresL
shall, ln any case, be on Lhe amounL flnally ad[udged.
3. When Lhe [udgmenL of Lhe courL awardlng a sum of money becomes flnal and execuLory, Lhe raLe of legal
lnLeresL, wheLher Lhe case falls under paragraph 1 or paragraph 2, above, shall be 12° per annum from such
flnallLy unLll lLs saLlsfacLlon, Lhls lnLerlm perlod belng deemed Lo be by Lhen an equlvalenL Lo a forbearance of
credlL.
ln Lhe sald case of íosteto 5blpploq, Lhe CourL furLher observed LhaL a ºforbearance" ln Lhe conLexL of Lhe usury
law ls a ºconLracLual obllgaLlon of lender or credlLor Lo refraln, durlng a glven perlod of Llme, from requlrlng Lhe
borrower or debLor Lo repay a loan or debL Lhen due and payable."
Conslderlng Lhe foregolng, Lhe lnsurance clalm ln Lhls case ls evldenLly noL a forbearance of money, goods or
credlL, and Lhus Lhe lnLeresL raLe should be as lL ls hereby flxed aL slx percenL (6°) compuLed from Lhe daLe of
flllng of Lhe complalnL.
We flnd no [usLlflcaLlon for Lhe award of acLual damages of llfLy 1housand Þesos (Þ30,000.00). Well-
enLrenched ls Lhe docLrlne LhaL acLual, compensaLory and consequenLlal damages musL be proved, and cannoL be
presumed.
[16]
1haL parL of Lhe dlsposlLlve porLlon of Lhe ueclslon of Lhe Lrlal courL orderlng Lhe peLlLloner Lo pay
acLual damages of llfLy 1housand Þesos (Þ30,000.00) has no basls aL all. 1he [usLlflcaLlon, lf any, for such an
award of acLual damages does noL appear ln Lhe body of Lhe declslon of Lhe Lrlal courL. nelLher ls Lhere any
LesLlmonlal and documenLary evldence on Lhe alleged acLual damages of llfLy 1housand Þesos (Þ30,000.00) Lo
warranL such an award. 1hus, Lhe same musL be deleLed.
Concernlng Lhe award of exemplary damages for llfLy 1housand Þesos (Þ30,000.00), we llkewlse flnd no
legal and valld basls for granLlng Lhe same. ArLlcle 2229 of Lhe new Clvll Code provldes LhaL exemplary damages
may be lmposed by way of example or correcLlon for Lhe publlc good. Lxemplary damages are lmposed noL Lo
enrlch one parLy or lmpoverlsh anoLher buL Lo serve as a deLerrenL agalnsL or as a negaLlve lncenLlve Lo curb
soclally deleLerlous acLlons. 1hey are deslgned Lo permlL Lhe courLs Lo mould behavlor LhaL has soclally
deleLerlous consequences, and lLs lmposlLlon ls requlred by publlc pollcy Lo suppress Lhe wanLon acLs of an
offender. Powever, lL cannoL be recovered as a maLLer of rlghL. lL ls based enLlrely on Lhe dlscreLlon of Lhe
courL. We flnd no cogenL and valld reason Lo award Lhe same ln Lhe case aL bar.
WlLh respecL Lo Lhe award of llLlgaLlon expenses and aLLorney's fees, ArLlcle 2208 of Lhe new Clvll
Code
[17]
enumeraLes Lhe lnsLances where such may be awarded and, ln all cases, lL musL be reasonable, [usL and
equlLable lf Lhe same were Lo be granLed. ALLorney's fees as parL of damages are noL meanL Lo enrlch Lhe
wlnnlng parLy aL Lhe expense of Lhe loslng llLlganL. 1hey are noL awarded every Llme a parLy prevalls ln a sulL
because of Lhe pollcy LhaL no premlum should be placed on Lhe rlghL Lo llLlgaLe.
[18]
1he award of aLLorney's fees ls
Lhe excepLlon raLher Lhan Lhe general rule. As such, lL ls necessary for Lhe courL Lo make flndlngs of facLs and law
LhaL would brlng Lhe case wlLhln Lhe excepLlon and [usLlfy Lhe granL of such award. We flnd none ln Lhls case Lo
warranL Lhe award by Lhe Lrlal courL of llLlgaLlon expenses and aLLorney's fees ln Lhe amounLs of llve 1housand
Þesos (Þ3,000.00) and 1en 1housand Þesos (Þ10,000.00), respecLlvely, and Lherefore, Lhe same musL also be
deleLed.
WnLkLICkL, Lhe appealed ueclslon ls MCulllLu. 1he raLe of lnLeresL on Lhe ad[udged prlnclpal amounL of
1wo Pundred 1housand Þesos (Þ200,000.00) shall be slx percenL (6°) per annum compuLed from Lhe daLe of
flllng of Lhe ComplalnL ln Lhe Lrlal courL. 1he awards ln Lhe amounLs of llfLy 1housand Þesos (Þ30,000.00) as
acLual damages, llfLy 1housand Þesos (Þ30,000.00) as exemplary damages, llve 1housand Þesos (Þ3,000.00) as
llLlgaLlon expenses, and 1en 1housand Þesos (Þ10,000.00) as aLLorney's fees are hereby uLLL1Lu. CosLs agalnsL
Lhe peLlLloner.
SC CkDLkLD.