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345364 57 894 39:6:33:%4; <" 4;8=>:5

lalnLlffs: eople of Lhe hlllpplnes

uefendanL: ablo L. LsLaclo !r. and MarlLess Ang

CASL: LsLaclo and MarlLess are accused wlLh Lhe kldnapplng and murder
of Charlle Chua. 1helr co-accused Pldalgo Sumlpo was subsequenLly
dlscharged as a sLaLe wlLness.

Accordlng Lo Lhe prosecuLlon, Lhe Lhree accused meL wlLh Chua aL a bar-
resLauranL on CcLober 1993. 1hereafLer, Lhe Lhree boarded Chua's car.
LaLer, LsLaclo pulled ouL a gun and made Sumlpo drlve Lo 8ulacan, whlle
MarlLess Lled Chua's hands and placed Lape over hls mouLh ln Lhe
backseaL. Sumlpo Lrled Lo dlssuade LsLaclo and MarlLess. 1he murder
Look place aL a grassy place ln 8ulacan, buL Sumlpo had sLayed ln Lhe
car. 1he followlng mornlng aL Sumlpo's resldence, LsLaclo called Chua's
moLher from whome he demanded ransom money. 1wo more call were
made laLer LhaL day because ln Lhe flrsL Lwo calls, Chua's moLher sald
she could noL afford Lhe ransom. Cn May 1996, Sumlpo surrendered Lo
Lhe n8l, and laLer also LsLaclo. 1he laLLer admlLLed Lo Lhe kllllng of Chua
and even lead Lhe pollce and Lhe moLher (who ldenLlfled Lhe remalns of
Chua) Lo Lhe crlme scene. LsLaclo and MarlLess boLh clalm LhaL Lhe
deaLh was accldenLal Lhough Lhelr verslons varled.

1he Supreme CourL ruled LhaL (1) LsLaclo and MarlLess were gullLy only
of Murder and noL wlLh kldnapplng because Lhe laLLer was noL
sufflclenLly proven. (2) 1he dlscharge of Sumlpo as sLaLe wlLness was
proper as lL fulfllled Lhe requlslLes for such dlscharge.

uCC18lnL/ALlCA1lCn: See (1) and (2) of Case Summary.

vlcLlm: Charlle Mancllla Chua ! buslnessman allegedly
kldnapped from Lhe Casa Leonlsa 8ar, Lxamlner SL., Cuezon ClLy
MarlLess Ang was charged wlLh kldnapplng for ransom of
Charlle Chua before Lhe 8eglonal 1rlal CourL of Cuezon ClLy.
1he lnformaLlon was subsequenLly amended Lo lnclude ablo
LnasLaclo, !r. ln Lhe amended charge of kldnapplng wlLh
1he lnformaLlon was furLher amended laLer Lo lnclude Pldalgo
Sumlpo, who was subsequenLly dlscharged as sLaLe wlLness.
CcLober 10, 1993 ! AL around 10:00pm, MarlLess LogeLher
wlLh LsLaclo and Sumlpo, arrlved aL Casa Leonlsa, a bar-
resLauranL Lhey would meeL wlLh Chua (Lhe vlcLlm). MarlLesss
had earller Lold Sumlpo LhaL she would seLLle her debL Lo Lhe
vlcLlm and Lhen dereLsong dukoL na rln x x x kay Charlle."
Sumlpo LhoughL MarlLesss was [usL [oklng.
o AL pasL mldnlghL, Lhe Chua arrlved and Lalked wlLh
MarlLess for a whlle. 1hereafLer, Lhe group boarded
Chua's car wlLh MarlLess Laklng Lhe fronL passenger seaL
beslde Lhe vlcLlm who was drlvlng.
o LsLaclo pulled ouL a gun and ordered Lhe vlcLlm Lo sLop
Lhe car. MarlLess and Chua Lransferred Lo Lhe back seaL
where MarlLess Lled Chua's hands and placed Lape on
hls mouLh. LsLaclo saL ln fronL and made Sumlpo drlve
Lo San !ose, del MonLe, 8ulacan.
o Whlle Sumlpo Lrled Lo dlssuade appellanLs from
pursulng Lhelr plan, Lhey replled LhaL Lhey would klll Lhe
vlcLlm so LhaL he would noL Lake revenge.
o upon reachlng a secluded place ln 8ulacan, LsLaclo
ordered Sumlpo Lo sLop, and he and MarlLess broughL
Chua Lo a grass place. LsLaclo wlLh bloodled hands laLer
o 1he Lhree Lhen headed Lo MallnLa, valenzuela, 8ulacan
(where Lhey laLer abandoned Lhe car). Cn Lhe way,
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LsLaclo Lold MarlLess, Poney, wala na Layong problema
dahll slguradong paLay na sl Charlle sa daml ng saksak
na nakuha nlya."
o Cn LsLaclo's and MarlLess' dlrecLlve, Sumlpo sLopped by
a drug sLore where MarlLess boughL alcohol Lo clean
Lhelr hands. !"#$% '() *+,- .+/0')11 +$2 31'+40# '(/)*
!"# #%& '()#(*+, -##-)%. )-,&/ 0-1(#&,, 2-#&1 #!23 4,#-)(!
Poney, sana hlndl muna naLln plnaLay sl Charlle para
makahlngl pa Layo ng pera sa mga magulang [nlya]."
1he followlng mornlng, LsLaclo wenL Lo Lhe resldence of Sumlpo
where he called up by Lelephone Lhe vlcLlm's moLher and
demanded a 13,000,000 ransom. 1he moLher sald LhaL she
could noL afford LhaL amounL.
o ln Lhe afLernoon of Lhe same day, MarlLess and LsLaclo
wenL Lo Sumlpo's resldence agaln where LsLaclo agaln
called up Lhe vlcLlm's moLher, Lhls Llme lowerlng Lhe
ransom demand Lo 10,000,000 whlch she sLlll found Lo
be Loo sLeep. Sumlpo expressed hls mlsglvlngs abouL
fuLure calls, as Lhey mlghL geL caughL, buL LsLaclo and
MarlLess assured hlm LhaL LhaL call would be Lhe lasL.
o 1he group Lhen wenL Lo Creenhllls where LsLaclo sLlll
agaln called up Lhe vlcLlm's moLher, sLlll lowerlng Lhe
ransom demand Lo 3,000,000, 1,000,000 of whlch
should be advanced. 1he vlcLlm's moLher havlng agreed
Lo Lhe demand, MarlLess and LsLaclo dlrecLed her Lo
place Lhe money ln a garbage can near lzza PuL ln
Creenhllls aL 11:30 ln Lhe evenlng.
Sumlpo soon learned LhaL MarlLess and LsLaclo sold Chua's gun,
waLch, and necklace from Lhe proceeds of whlch he was glven
May 16, 1996 ! Sumlpo surrendered Lo Lhe naLlonal 8ureau of
May 23, 1996 ! LsLaclo surrendered Lo Lhe pollce where he
admlLLed Lo kllllng Chua, and accompanled Lhe pollce and
Chua's moLher Lo Lhe crlme scene.
o AL Lhe crlme scene, Lhe vlcLlm's remaln were ldenLlfled
by Lhe moLher by Lhe cloLhes aLLached Lo hls bones.
o 1he vlcLlm's denLlsL conflrmed Lhe LeeLh Lo maLch
Chua's denLal record.
;,NHO& ! (explalned ln an affldavlL whlch he ldenLlfled ln open
courL) LhaL MarlLess goL angry wlLh Lhe vlcLlm afLer he lenL
money Lo her husband, one 8oberL Cng, enabllng hlm Lo leave
Lhe counLry wlLhouL her knowledge, whlle LsLaclo was [ealous of
Lhe vlcLlm wlLh whom MarlLess had a relaLlonshlp.
4GKPMH& ! (ln open courL) clalmed LhaL a quarrel broke ouL ln
Lhe car beLween Lhe vlcLlm and MarlLess abouL a debL Lo Lhe
vlcLlm, LhaL he Lrled Lo paclfy Lhe Lwo, buL Lhe vlcLlm goL angry
aL hlm, prompLlng hlm Lo polnL a fan knlfe aL Chua's neck, and
LhaL he Lhen asked Sumlpo Lo drlve Lhe car up Lo 8arangay SLo.
CrlsLo, San !ose del MonLe, 8ulacan where he dragged Lhe
vlcLlm away from Lhe car and accldenLally sLabbed hlm.
o AccldenLal" because he and MarlLess orlglnally planned
Lo leave Lhe vlcLlm ln 8ulacan, buL slnce Lhere was Lalk
of Lhe vlcLlm geLLlng back aL Lhem, he goL confused and
so lL happened."
QPFHKEGG ! clalmed LhaL whlle on board Lhe car, Lhe vlcLlm Look
lssue wlLh her frlendshlp" wlLh LsLaclo, whom he lnsulLed.
lncensed, LsLaclo grabbed Lhe vlcLlm by Lhe collar, prompLlng
Lhe vlcLlm Lo pull ouL a gun from under Lhe drlver's seaL whlch
he almed aL LsLaclo. She Lrled Lo paclfy Lhe quarrellng men, LhaL
Lhe car sLopped aL San !ose del MonLe and Lhe Lhree men
allghLed, LhaL Sumlpo reLurned Lo Lhe car and was laLer
followed by LsLaclo who sald Masama raw ang nangyarl," he
addlng LhaL he dld noL lnLend Lo sLab Lhe vlcLlm.
#ERH&IP- 8FHP- >&,FK ! found boLh LsLaclo and MarlLess gullLy
of kldnapplng on Lhe occaslon of whlch Lhe vlcLlm was kllled,"
penallzed by deaLh.
>&,FK &J =OOEP-G ! afflrmed Lhe Lrlal courL's rullng buL
modlfled Lhe award for damages by lowerlng lL.
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o 1he case was orlglnally forwarded dlrecLly Lo Lhe
Supreme CourL for auLomaLlc revlew, buL Lhe SC
referred lL Lo Lhe CA.

:;;A4; 85 ?4 #4;56D4BC
1. WheLher or noL Lhe offense of whlch appellanLs were convlcLed
was erroneously deslgnaLed.
2. WheLher or noL lL was an error Lo dlscharge Sumlpo as sLaLe

#4;56A8:5%; =%B =#!AQ4%8;
:;;A4 ' ! WheLher or noL Lhe offense of whlch appellanLs were
convlcLed was erroneously deslgnaLed. ! ?LS. AppellanLs were
evenLually charged wlLh and convlcLed of Lhe speclal complex crlme of
kldnapplng wlLh murder, deflned ln Lhe lasL paragraph of ArLlcle 267 of
Lhe 8evlsed enal Code. ln a speclal complex crlme, Lhe prosecuLlon
musL prove each of Lhe componenL offenses wlLh Lhe same preclslon
LhaL would be necessary lf Lhey were made Lhe sub[ecL of separaLe

QPS&F 3&HIK 'C kldnapplng was noL sufflclenLly proven.
eople v. adllla ! 1he facL alone LhaL ransom money ls
demanded would noL per se quallfy Lhe acL of prevenLlng Lhe
llberLy of movemenL of Lhe vlcLlm lnLo Lhe crlme of kldnapplng,
unless Lhe vlcLlm ls acLually resLralned or deprlved of hls llberLy
for some appreclable perlod of Llme or LhaL such resLralnL was
Lhe baslc lnLenL of Lhe accused. AbsenL such deLermlnanL lnLenL
and duraLlon of resLralnL, Lhe mere curLallmenL of freedom of
movemenL would aL mosL consLlLuLe coerclon.
AlLhough appellanLs bound and gagged Chua and LransporLed
hlm Lo 8ulacan agalnsL hls wlll, Lhey dld Lhese acLs Lo faclllLaLe
hls kllllng, noL because Lhey lnLended Lo deLaln or conflne hlm.
o As soon as Lhey arrlved aL Lhe locus crlmlnls, appellanLs
wasLed no Llme ln kllllng hlm. 1haL appellanLs' lnLenLlon
from Lhe beglnnlng was Lo klll Lhe vlcLlm ls conflrmed by
Lhe conversaLlon whlch Sumlpo heard ln Lhe car ln
whlch MarlLess sald LhaL a knlfe would be used Lo klll
hlm so LhaL lL would noL creaLe nolse.
o 1he subsequenL demand for ransom was an
afLerLhoughL whlch dld noL quallfy appellanLs' prlor acLs
as kldnapplng.
1he crlme commlLLed was Lhus plaln Murder.
o 1he kllllng was quallfled by Lreachery. 1he vlcLlm was
gagged, bound, and Laken from Cuezon ClLy Lo an
lsolaLed place ln 8ulacan agalnsL hls wlll Lo prevenL hlm
from defendlng hlmself and Lo faclllLaLe Lhe kllllng.

:;;A4 / ! WheLher or noL lL was an error Lo dlscharge Sumlpo as sLaLe
wlLness. ! nC.

CondlLlons for Lhe dlscharge of an
accused as a sLaLe wlLness
1he condlLlons as applled Lo
1here ls absoluLe necesslLy for Lhe
LesLlmony of Lhe accused whose
dlscharge ls requesLed,
Sumlpo was Lhe only person oLher
Lhan appellanLs who had personal
knowledge of Lhe acLs for whlch
Lhey were belng prosecuLed. Cnly
he could poslLlvely ldenLlfy
appellanLs as Lhe perpeLraLors of
Lhe crlme.
1here ls no oLher dlrecL evldence
avallable for Lhe proper
prosecuLlon of Lhe offense
commlLLed, excepL Lhe LesLlmony
of sald accused,
1he LesLlmony of sald accused can
be subsLanLlally corroboraLed ln lLs
maLerlal polnLs,
Sumlpo's LesLlmony was
corroboraLed on maLerlal polnLs.
1he vlcLlm's moLher LesLlfled
regardlng Lhe demands for
Cesar Moscoso, an employee
of Casa Leonlsa, LesLlfled Lo
seelng Lhe vlcLlm, LsLaclo, and
MarlLess aL Lhe bar-resLauranL
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on Lhe day and aL Lhe Llme ln
Penry Pong, Lhe vlcLlm's
cousln who arrlved aL lzza
PuL, Creenhllls ahead of Lhe
vlcLlm's broLher durlng Lhe
scheduled dellvery of Lhe
ransom, LesLlfled Lo seelng
LsLaclo Lhere wlLh
And Lhe vlcLlm's skeleLal
remalns were found aL Lhe
scene of Lhe crlme upon
LsLaclo's lnformaLlon and
Sald accused does noL appear Lo
be Lhe mosL gullLy, and
Pe does noL appear Lo be Lhe mosL
Pe dld noL parLlclpaLe ln
plannlng Lhe commlsslon of
Lhe crlme. Pe ln facL aL flrsL
LhoughL LhaL MarlLess was
Pe Lrled Lo dlssuade appellanLs
from pursulng Lhelr plan.
Pe dld noL parLlclpaLe ln Lhe
acLual sLabblng.
And he Lrled Lo exLrlcaLe
hlmself from Lhe aLLempLs Lo
exLracL ransom from Lhe
vlcLlm's famlly.
Sald accused has noL aL any Llme
been convlcLed of any offense
lnvolvlng moral LurplLude.
1here ls no proof LhaL Sumlpo had,
aL any Llme, been convlcLed of a
crlme lnvolvlng moral LurplLude.

7:%=6 D4#B:>8C 1hls CourL's flndlng LhaL Lhe offense commlLLed ls
Murder noLwlLhsLandlng, Lhe resulLlng penalLy ls Lhe same. under
ArLlcle 248 of Lhe 8evlsed enal Code, murder shall be punlshed by
recluslon perpeLua Lo deaLh. 1he use of a moLor vehlcle, havlng been
alleged ln Lhe lnformaLlon and proven, can be appreclaLed as a generlc
aggravaLlng clrcumsLance. 1here belng one generlc aggravaLlng
clrcumsLance, Lhe resulLlng penalLy ls deaLh. ln vlew, however, of Lhe
enacLmenL of 8epubllc AcL no. 9346 on !une 24, 2006 prohlblLlng Lhe
lmposlLlon of deaLh penalLy, Lhe penalLy ls reduced Lo recluslon
perpeLua, wlLhouL ellglblllLy for parole"

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