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G.R. No.

May 29, 2002
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
JOEL GONZALES and ROMEO BERNALDEZ, accused-appellants
On July 5, 1992, the spouses Nicanor and Carolita Suralta had visitors at their house when two armed men
suddenly entered through the kitchen door. The one carrying a gun had a bonnet over his face, with only his
eyes exposed and while the other carrying a knife had the lower half of his face covered with a handkerchief.
The knif-wielder announced holdup. All persons in the house were ordered to go inside the bedroom, about two
meters away from the sala. There, the man with a gun demanded a gun and money from Nicanor. Nicanor
answered that he had no gun, but asked his wife to give money to the holduppers. In addition, they also took the
familys Sanyo cassette recorder, some clothes, and one of the guests Seiko divers wristwatch and then left.
As the holduppers were leaving, two gunshots rang out and they found Nicanor lying in a pool of his own
blood. Nicanor was brought to the hospital but eventually died.
RTC found the accused-appellants guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of robbery with homicide.
Hence, this appeal.
Accused-appellant Gonzales contends that during the interrogation and investigation, he and his co-appellant
Romeo Bernaldez were not informed of their rights to remain silent and to secure the services of counsel, in
violation of 2 and 12, Art. III of the Constitution. Hence, their admission of the commission of the crime is
inadmissible in evidence against them.
ISSUE: W/N the RTC gravely erred in finding that the admissions made by the appellants are admissible in law.
Inspector Arnold Malintad testified that on July 14, 1992, accused-appellant Joel Gonzales was picked up at around
8:00 a.m. near his residence in Tandang Sora, Governor Generoso. Accused-appellant Gonzales had a handgun
tucked in his waistline and was wearing a wristwatch. According to Inspector Malintad, accused-appellant Gonzales
admitted participation in the crime upon interrogation and voluntarily surrendered the stolen goods to him.
To be sure, accused-appellants were already under custodial investigation when they made their admissions to the
police. At that point, the investigation had ceased to be a general inquiry into an unsolved crime and had began to
focus on the guilt of a suspect and for this reason the latter were taken into custody or otherwise deprived of freedom
in a substantial way. Hence, the admissions made by accused-appellants are inadmissible in evidence pursuant
to Art. III, 2(1) and (3) of the Constitution. However, the defense failed to raise its objections to the
admissibility of these statements immediately, as required by Rule 132, 36, when Inspector Malintad was
presented as a witness for the prosecution or when specific questions concerning the confession were asked of
him. Consequently, accused-appellants are deemed to have waived their right to object to the admissibility of
Inspector Malintad's testimony. Indeed, it was even the defense counsel who provided the opportunity for
Inspector Malintad to elaborate on the circumstances of accused-appellant Gonzales' admission in the course of his
cross-examination of the said witness.
G.R. No. 110829 April 18, 1997
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
CALDERON, accused-appellants.
On October 30, 1992 at about 6PM, while Ferdinand Furigay was in his office and his employees, Melchor
Bacani and Conrado Caliguiran, were in front of the establishment, the accused-appellants and two John Does
came. Accused Diaz asked Caliguiran where his boss was and informed him that he was in his office. Diaz then
entered the establishment and went to Furigays office. Accused Luto and the 2 John Does then posted
themselves outside. After a shortwhile, a gunshot was heard from Furigays office. Bacani and Caliguiran then
rushed to Fugirays office and found the latter was shot in the neck which proved to be fatal.
RTC found the appellants guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of robbery with homicide. Hence, this

1. W/N RTC gravely erred in giving credence to incredible, unreliable and unworthy testimonies of the
prosecution witnesses.
2. W/N RTC gravely erred in ruling that conspiracy was present in the instant case and in finding all the
accused guilty of the crime charged despite failure on the part of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond
reasonable doubt.
3. W/N RTC gravely erred in giving imprimatur to the search, seizure and arrest conducted on the three
accused herein notwithstanding the fact that these were made in clear violation of their constitutional rights.
1) NO
In light of the positive identification by witnesses who have no motive to falsely testify, accused-appellants' alibis
and denials are worthless.
Trite too is the jurisprudence that where an accused's alibi is established only by himself, his relatives and friends,
his denial of culpability should be given the strictest scrutiny. In this case, accused-appellants' alibis are supported
by the testimonies of their wives, close friends and a business partner for two decades. They are necessarily suspect
and cannot prevail over the testimonies of the more credible witnesses for the prosecution.
2) NO
We hold otherwise. The finding of conspiracy made by the trial court is well-grounded. We quote with approval its
ratiocination, viz:
. . . as Manuel entered the establishment as well as office of Ferdinand, Eddie and Arnald stood guard
beside the establishment's door, apparently to ensure for Manuel all the freedom he needed to execute the
job, and as soon as it appeared that Manuel was finished with the job inside, the trio (not to mention their
other cohorts) together and as one fled from the crime scene.
It is settled that to hold an accused liable as co-principal by reason of conspiracy, he must be shown to have
performed an overt act in pursuance or furtherance of the conspiracy. That overt act may consist of active
participation in the actual commission of the crime or moral assistance to his co-conspirators by being present at the
time of the commission of the crime. One who participates in the material execution of the crime by standing guard
or lending moral support to the actual perpetrator is criminally responsible to the same extent as the
latter. Luto and Angquillo were not innocent latter bystanders when the crime at bar was committed. They were there
on purpose. They stood as guards while Diaz robbed and shot the victim.
3) NO
Their objection is too late. The records show that they failed to object to the admissibility of said evidence during
their formal offer. Thus, waived their right against their admissibility. Amidst a waiver, the trial court did not err in
admitting the evidence.