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People vs.

G.R. No. L-51304-05 (1983)
Ponente: Guerrero
Martin Mandolado was sentenced to death for the shooting Nolasco Mendoza at different parts
of his body, causing the latter's instantaneous death. The incident happened on October 3,
1977 in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. In another criminal case, he was charged for the murder
of Herminigildo Fajardo Tenorio. Both criminal cases had the aggravating circumstances of
treachery, evident premeditation and use of superior strength.
On October 3, 1977, Julian Ortillano, Martin Mandolado, Conrado Erinada, and Anacleto
Simon, draftees of the AFP, were passengers of a bus bound for Midsayap, South
Cotabato. In a bus terminal, they all met each other and decided to drink rum.
Mandolado got drunk and went inside a public market. When he returned, he grabbed
his .30 caliber machine gun and started firing. His companions tried to stop him, but he
continued firing his gun.
Conrado and Anacleto hailed and boarded a passing Ford Fiera. The others also followed
and boarded, and they forced the driver to being them to the crossing. Mandolado
grabbed his knife and tried to attack the driver, then he fired his gun at a speeding
vehicle, hitting the right side of the back of the driver's sister who was onboard the
vehicle. At the crossing, a privately-owned jeep, driven by Herminigildo, passed by.
Nolasco Mendoza was on board that jeep bound for Cotabato City. Conrado and
Anacleto boarded the jeep, while the others ran after it at shouted at Herminigildo to stop
the vehicle. Thereafter, Mandolado and Ortillano also boarded the jeep, but kept firing
their guns. Herminigildo said that if they did not stop firing their guns, he will "ram the
jeep" into something.
Upon learning that the jeep was bound of Cotabato City and not Pikit, North Cotabato,
Mandolado got mad and pointed his gun at Herminigildo. After alighting the vehicle,
Mandolado fired his machine gun at the jeep and hit Nolasco and Herminigildo.
Mandolado and Ortillano were able to escape, and they even watched a movie. It was
only when they met a certain Sgt. Villanueva that they were informed of being suspects
in the Herminigildo's and Nolasco's deaths. As such, Mandolado purchased 2 passenger
tickets for Manila. Before they could board the ship, however, they were apprehended by
a team led by Lt. Licas, and were brought to Pikit, North Cotabato for investigation.
All evidence pointed to the guilt of Ortillano and Mandolado. The sole assignment of error in the
case at bar is that trial court erred because their guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt
in terms of being actual perpetrators of the crime. They cited that the prosecution did not
present any witness who can prove that the empty shells recovered from the crime scene
belonged to Mandolado's machine gun.
1. W/N the trial court failed to acknowledge Ortillano and Mandolado's drunkenness -YES
The drunkenness of both appellants were put into consideration as a mitigating circumstance.
Consequently, the Court decided to reduce their sentences.

2. W/N the trial court correctly qualified the crime as murder - YES
It is murder because of the presence of the qualifying circumstance of treachery. There is
treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against the person, employing means,
methods or forms in the execution which tend directly and specially to insure its execution.
3. W/N the trial court correctly found that the aggravating circumstances of (a) advantage was
taken of being a draftee in the Philippine army and (2) abuse of confidence or obvious
ungratefulness were present in the commission of the crime -NO
While it is true that they were draftees, there is no evidence that when they stopped the jeep,
the accused already intended to shoot the occupants of the vehicle. Simply stated, there was
no proof that they intended to take advantage of being a draftee in order to commit the
crime. They also cannot be charged with the aggravating circumstance of abuse of confidence
because there was no proof that the victims had a "relation of trust and confidence" with the
accused. As stated in People vs. Comendador, in order for abuse of confidence to be
considered an aggravating circumstance, it is necessary that "there exists a relation of trust and
confidence between the accused and the one against whom the crime was committed and the
accused made use of such relationship to commit the crime."