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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-37933 April 15, 1988
FISCAL CELSO M. GIMENEZ and FEDERICO B. MERCADO, petitioners,
vs.
HON. RAMON E. NAZARENO, Presiding Judge, Court of First Instance of Cebu and TEODORO
DE LA VEGA, JR., respondents.
The Solicitor General for petitioners.
Victor de la Serna for respondents.
GANCAYCO, J.:
Two basic issues are raised for Our resolution in this petition for certiorari and mandamus. The first is
whether or not a court loses jurisdiction over an accused who after being arraigned, escapes from the
custody of the law. The other issue is whether or not under Section 19, Article IV of the 1973
Constitution, an accused who has been duly tried in absentia retains his right to present evidence on
his own behalf and to confront and cross-examine witnesses who testified against him.
The following facts are not in dispute:
On August 3, 1973, Samson Suan, Alex Potot, Rogelio Mula, Fernando Cargando, Rogelio Baguio and
the herein private respondent Teodoro de la Vega Jr., were charged with the crime of murder.
On August 22, 1973 all the above-named. accused were arraigned and each of them pleaded not guilty
to the crime charged. Following the arraignment, the respondent judge, Hon. Ramon E. Nazareno, set
the hearing of the case for September 18, 1973 at 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon. All the acused
including private respondent, were duly informed of this.
Before the scheduled date of the first hearing the private respondent escaped from his detention
center and on the said date, failed to appear in court. This prompted the fiscals handling the case (the
petitioners herein) to file a motion with the lower court to proceed with the hearing of the case against
all the accused praying that private respondent de la Vega, Jr. be tried in absentia invoking the
application of Section 19, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution which provides:
SEC. 19. In all criminal prosecution, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the
contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel, to be
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy,
impartial, and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory
process to the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf.
However, after arraignment trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the
accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustified.
(Emphasis supplied.) *
Pursuant to the above-written provision, the lower court proceeded with the trial of the case but
nevertheless gave the private respondent the opportunity to take the witness stand the moment he
shows up in court. 1
After due trial, or on November 6,1973, the lower court rendered a decision dismissing the case
against the five accused while holding in abeyance the proceedings against the private respondent.
The dispositive portion is as follows:
WHEREFORE, insofar as the accused Samson Suan Alex Potot, Rogelio Mula Fernando
Cargando and Rogelio Baguio are concerned, this case is hereby dismissed. The City
Warden of Lapu-Lapu City is hereby ordered to release these accused if they are no
longer serving sentence of conviction involving other crimes.
The proceedings in this case against the accused Teodoro de la Vega, Jr. who has
escaped on August 30,1973 shall remain pending, without prejudice on the part of the
said accused to cross-examine the witnesses for the prosecution and to present his
defense whenever the court acquires back the jurisdiction over his person. 2
On November 16,1973 the petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration questioning the above-quoted
dispositive portion on the ground that it will render nugatory the constitutional provision on "trial in
absentia" cited earlier. However, this was denied by the lower court in an Order dated November 22,
1973.
Hence, this petition.
The respondent court, in its Order denying the Motion for Reconsideration filed by the herein
petitioners, expressed the opinion that under Section 19, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution, the
private respondent, who was tried in absentia, did not lose his right to cross-examine the witnesses for

the prosecution and present his evidence. 3 The reasoning of the said court is that under the same
provision, all accused should be presumed innocent. 4 Furthermore the lower court maintains that
jurisdiction over private respondent de la Vega, Jr. was lost when he escaped and that his right to
cross-examine and present evidence must not be denied him once jurisdiction over his person is
reacquired. 5
We disagree.
First of all, it is not disputed that the lower court acquired jurisdiction over the person of the accusedprivate respondent when he appeared during the arraignment on August 22,1973 and pleaded not
guilty to the crime charged. In cases criminal, jurisdiction over the person of the accused is acquired
either by his arrest for voluntary appearance in court. Such voluntary appearance is accomplished by
appearing for arraignment as what accused-private respondent did in this case.
But the question is this was that jurisdiction lost when the accused escaped from the custody of the
law and failed to appear during the trial? We answer this question in the negative. As We have
consistently ruled in several earlier cases,6 jurisdiction once acquired is not lost upon the instance of
parties but continues until the case is terminated.
To capsulize the foregoing discussion, suffice it to say that where the accused appears at the
arraignment and pleads not guilty to the crime charged, jurisdiction is acquired by the court over his
person and this continues until the termination of the case, notwithstanding his escape from the
custody of the law.
Going to the second part of Section 19, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution aforecited a "trial in
absentia"may be had when the following requisites are present: (1) that there has been an
arraignment; (2) that the accused has been notified; and (3) that he fails to appear and his failure to
do so is unjustified.
In this case, all the above conditions were attendant calling for a trial in absentia. As the facts show,
the private respondent was arraigned on August 22, 1973 and in the said arraignment he pleaded not
guilty. He was also informed of the scheduled hearings set on September 18 and 19, 1973 and this is
evidenced by his signature on the notice issued by the lower Court. 7 It was also proved by a certified
copy of the Police Blotter 8 that private respondent escaped from his detention center. No explanation
for his failure to appear in court in any of the scheduled hearings was given. Even the trial court
considered his absence unjustified.
The lower court in accordance with the aforestated provisions of the 1973 Constitution, correctly
proceeded with the reception of the evidence of the prosecution and the other accused in the absence
of private respondent, but it erred when it suspended the proceedings as to the private respondent
and rendered a decision as to the other accused only.
Upon the termination of a trial in absentia, the court has the duty to rule upon the evidence presented
in court. The court need not wait for the time until the accused who who escape from custody finally
decides to appear in court to present his evidence and moss e the witnesses against him. To allow the
delay of proceedings for this purpose is to render ineffective the constitutional provision on trial in
absentia. As it has been aptly explained:
. . . The Constitutional Convention felt the need for such a provision as there were quite
a number of reported instances where the proceedings against a defendant had to be
stayed indefinitely because of his non- appearance. What the Constitution guarantees
him is a fair trial, not continued enjoyment of his freedom even if his guilt could be
proved. With the categorical statement in the fundamental law that his absence cannot
justify a delay provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is
unjustified, such an abuse could be remedied. That is the way it should be, for both
society and the offended party have a legitimate interest in seeing to it that crime
should not go unpunished. 9
The contention of the respondent judge that the right of the accused to be presumed innocent will be
violated if a judgment is rendered as to him is untenable. He is still presumed innocent. A judgment of
conviction must still be based upon the evidence presented in court. Such evidence must prove him
guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Also, there can be no violation of due process since the accused was
given the opportunity to be heard.
Nor can it be said that an escapee who has been tried in absentia retains his rights to cross-examine
and to present evidence on his behalf. By his failure to appear during the trial of which he had notice,
he virtually waived these rights. This Court has consistently held that the right of the accused to
confrontation and cross-examination of witnesses is a personal right and may be waived. 10 In the same
vein, his right to present evidence on his behalf, a right given to him for his own benefit and
protection, may be waived by him.

Finally, at this point, We note that Our pronouncement in this case is buttressed by the provisions of
the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, particularly Section 1 (c) of Rule 115 which clearly reflects the
intention of the framers of our Constitution, to wit:
... The absence of the accused without any justifiable cause at the trial on a particular
date of which he had notice shall be considered a waiver of his right to be present
during that trial. When an accused under custody had been notified of the date of the
trail and escapes, he shall be deemed to have waived his right to be present on said
date and on all subsequent trial dates until custody in regained....
Accordingly, it is Our considered opinion, and We so hold, that an escapee who has been duly tried in
absentia waives his right to present evidence on his own behalf and to confront and cross-examine
witnesses who testified against him. 11
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the judgment of the trial court in Criminal Case No. 112-L in so
far as it suspends the proceedings against the herein private respondent Teodoro de la Vega, Jr. is
reversed and set aside. The respondent judge is hereby directed to render judgment upon the
innocence or guilt of the herein private respondent Teodoro de la Vega, Jr. in accordance with the
evidence adduced and the applicable law.
No pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. 88451 September 5, 1991
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee
vs.
RONALD ALVAREZ y CRUZ, LEOPOLDO SABERON y CALUBAQUIB, CHRISTOPHER ARANETA @
TOPPER, accused-appellants.
The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
Augusta C. Montilla for Leopoldo Saberon.
Jurado Law Office for Ronald Alvarez.
Public Attorney's Office for Christopher Araneta.
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:p
With all three accused, namely, Ronald ALVAREZ, alias "Onie," Leopoldo SABERON, alias "Oyet," and
Christopher ARANETA, alias "Topper," convicted of Murder 1 for the death of Ismael Magpantay, and
sentenced to "life imprisonment three (3) times each," they have filed before us their separate
appeals.
The facts disclose that at about 6:30 A.M. on 13 June 1984, the Valenzuela police station received a
phone call from an unidentified caller that a dead man was found inside the Palasan Cemetery,
Palasan, Valenzuela, Metro Manila. The police proceeded to the place immediately and found "a lifeless
body of a male person lying on his belly with multiple stab wounds all over his body." Only a browncolored wallet was found on his person with no other identification papers. The cadaver was then
photographed and taken to the NBI, through Funeraria Popular, for autopsy.
According to the report of Pfc. Rolando Masanque, a Valenzuela police officer, in the early morning of
13 June 1984, a "grapevine source who refused to identify himself' called up P/Lt Carlos A. Tiquia by
phone and disclosed that the victim was killed by three men, namely, "Onie" Alverez, a former resident
of Bgy. Palasan, Valenzuela, one alias "Oyet," and another alias "Topper." Following the lead, Lt. Tiquia
asked Alfonso Alverez, a former Valenzuela policeman and father of Appellant ALVAREZ, to go to the
station to shed light on the investigation. The father was an old friend of Lt. Tiquia. After their talk,
forthrightly, Lt. Tiquia created a team to apprehend the three Appellants.
At about 12:30 A.M. of 14 June 1984, the arrest was effected, without a warrant, at the Alverez
residence in Tangali St., Bo. Manresa, Quezon City. Only ALVAREZ alias Onie and SABERON alias
"Boyet" were apprehended, as "Topper" (ARANETA) was not around. A fan knife (Exh. C) was recovered
from the person of ALVAREZ, while a bamboo stick (Exh. D), identified as a scabbard of an icepick, was
discovered in front of the residence (Tsn., 25 June 1986, p. 7).

ALVAREZ and SABERON were taken to the police station for investigation that same morning. In the
course thereof, ALVAREZ, assisted by Atty. Reynaldo P. Garcia, executed a sworn confession, which he
signed in the presence of his father and another lawyer, Atty. Antonio Dalag. Atty. Garcia signed as
"Saksi at gabay sa panahon ng pagsisiyasat" (Exhs. 5-12), while Atty. Dalag and Alfonso Alverez, the
father, separately signed as "Saksi" (Exhs. B13 and 1-D). ALVAREZ signed his Sworn Statement twice at
the end thereof, once before the Investigating Officer and the second time, on 15 June 1984, before
Fiscal Victoria F. Bernards, who had administered the oath (Exh. B10 ALVAREZ's signature further
appears twice on the left hand margin of pages 1, 2 and 3 of his Statement. Others present during the
investigation were SABERON, Lt. Tiquia, and ALVAREZS brother.
In said extrajudicial confession, ALVAREZ disclosed:
16. T: Papaano ba naganap ang pangyayaring pagpatay kay ISMAEL?
S Ganito po iyon, dahilang sa ito pong si ISMAEL ay nangholdap sa
Blumentritt, Manila na kung saan ay nakuhanan niya ang biktimang
babae ng alahas, at pitaka at sa dahilang parang niloloko kami ni
ISMAEL sa partihan ay ipinasiya ni CHRISTOPHER na patayin si ISMAEL.
Itong si RODOLFO SABERON JR., na kabarkada din namin ay isinama
namin sa Palasan, Valenzuela, Metro Manila. Umalis kami sa Quezon
City ng alas 9:00 ng gabi, ika-12 ng Hunyo 1984 nina ISMAEL, Ako,
RODOLFO SABERON JR., at CHRISTOPHER ARANETA. Dumating kami sa
Palasan, Valenzuela, MM ng humigit kumulang gawing alas 10:00 ng
gabi, ika-12 ng Hunyo 1984. Doon sa may sementeryo ng Palasan,
Valenzuela, MM ng makatalikod si ISMAEL ay bigla na lang siyang
sinakal mula sa likod ni RODOLFO SABERON JR., Alias BOYET at itong si
CHRISTOPHER ARANETA naman ay pinagsasaksak si ISMAEL hanggang
sa mabali ang panaksak rin CHRISTOPHER at kinuha ni CHRISTOPHER
ang hawak kong patalim, at ipinagpatuloy ang pananaksak kay
ISMAEL, si RODOLFO SABERON JR., Alias BOYET ay pinagsasaksak din si
ISMAEL. Nang makita ko na pinagsasaksak nina CHRISTOPHER at
BOYET si ISMAEL ay umalis na ako, nagkita-kita na lang kaming tatlo sa
Quezon City sa bahay nina CHRISTOPHER sa bahay ng kapatid ng
kanyang Nanay. Ipinauli sa akin CHRISTOPHER ang aking patalim,
matapos na iyon ay kanyang hugasan para maalis ang dugo. Tapos ay
nag-inuman na kami. kinabukasan, ika-13 ng Hunyo 1984 doon sa
aming bahay ay dumating ang tatay ni ISMAEL at tinanong ng Tatay rin
ISMAEL ang kanyang anak kina CHRISTOPHER at BOYET, pero sinabi
nina CHRISTOPHER at BOYET sa Tatay ni ISMAEL na hindi nila alam
kung nasaan si ISMAEL. Noong gabi ng ika-1 3 ng Hunyo 1984 ay hinuli
na lang ako ng mga Pulis at nahuli ko ding kasama si RODOLFO
SABERON JR., Alias BOYET at isinama na kami dito sa Valenzuela, Metro
Manila. (Exh. 1).
In the same confession, ALVAREZ Identified the slim bamboo found in his house as the "baena" of the
ice-pick belonging to SABERON.
26. T: Anong uring ice-pick ba naman ang dala nitong si CHRISTOPHER?
S Iyon po ay g turnilyong inilalagay sa trak na mahaba at pinatulis at
iyon ay ipinapasok sa isang payat na ka wayan.
27. T Ipinakikita ko sa iyo ang isang kawayan na payat, ano ang
masasabi mo tungkol dito?
S Iyan po ang pinakabaena ng kanyang (Christopher) icepick (At this
juncture declarant identified a slim bamboo stalk approximately 18
inches long). (Exh. 1-B)
As to his participation, ALVAREZ claimed:
36. T Pansamantala ay wala na akong itatanong sa iyo, mayroon ka pa
bang nais sabihin, Idagdag o kaya ay bawasin sa salaysay na ito?
S Wala na po, kundi kaya lamang ako nagbigay ng salaysay ay sa
dahilang gusto ko pong patunayan na ala akong kasalanan at malinis
ang aking konsiyensa sa naganap na pagpatay kay ISMAEL. (Exh. 1-C)
ARANETA, who turned out to be "Topper", was arrested on 14 June 1984 by the District Anti-Narcotics
Command and turned over to the Valenzuela police.
In no time at all, or on 15 June 1984, an Information charging all three Appellants with Murder was
filed. Having pleaded their innocence upon arraignment, trial ensued. SABERON bolted jail and was re-

arrested only after the defense had rested its case. He was represented throughout the proceedings,
however, by counsel.
The respective fathers of the victim and of ALVAREZ, who were good friends, had their roles to play.
Rosauro Magpantay, the victim's father, recounted that he knew ALVAREZ since 1984, as well as
ARANETA who used to go to his house before his son was killed; that he also knew SABERON when the
latter pawned his watch to their neighbor; he knew that his son and Appellants were 'barkada;" that at
around 12:00 noon of 12 June 1984, he saw his son and the three (3) Appellants together; when asked
where he was going, the son replied that they were going to Valenzuela (Exh. J that at around 12:00
o'clock midnight of 13 June 1984, because his son had not gone home, he went to ALVAREZ's house to
inquire about his son knowing that the latter and the three (3) Appellants had gone to Valenzuela
around noon the previous day. In the ALVAREZ residence, he found the three Appellants drinking Upon
seeing him, ALVAREZ shouted: "Anong ginagawa ng putang-inang matandang iyan dito, tayo pa ang
pinagbibintangang pumatay sa anak niya" SABERON pacified ALVAREZ stating: "Pare, nadudulas ka na"
(Tsn., 23 October 1987, p. 11). Then, replying to the victim's father, SABERON stated that they were
together in Valenzuela; that they had boarded a jeep when the victim robbed a woman passenger of
her necklace, after which they ran away leaving the victim and hoping that nothing untoward had
happened to him. Apprehensive that some misfortune had actually befallen his son, Rosauro
Magpantay went home.
Continuing, Rosauro narrated that at around 2:00 o'clock A.M. of 14 June 1984, ALVAREZ's father,
Alfonso, who was his good friend, fetched him and together they proceeded to Valenzuela. Alfonso
wanted him to verify if the man that was killed was his son. When told that the body was at Funeraria
Popular, they proceeded thereto and Rosauro confirmed that the dead man was, in fact, his son Ismael.
Rosauro and Alfonso then proceeded to the police station where Alfonso told Rosauro that he had the
two persons who had killed his son arrested (ibid., p. 12). The two persons referred to were his son
ALVAREZ and SABERON.
ALVAREZ's father, Alfonso, who used to be a Valenzuela policeman, had his own version. He stated that
ARANETA and SABERON were friends of his son; that the victim's father is his childhood friend; that on
12 June, while he was at home at around 8:00 P.M. the victim and the three (3) Appellants were also
there; that because his son was hooked on drugs, he left the house with some members of the family
and stayed at the Premier Hotel; his son ALVAREZ was left behind and did not seem his usual self; that
when he (the father) returned home on 13 June at around 9:00 A.M., he saw the three (3) Appellants
"Ronald, Christopher and Saberon" conversing; that around 10:00 A.M., the victim's father arrived
inquiring about his son; that he replied he did not know and when the victim's father addressed the
Appellants, the latter also denied any knowledge; the victim's father then left; that in the afternoon,
noticing that the three (3) Appellants were having a heated conversation and seemed to be high on
drugs, he went to the police precinct at about 10:00 P.M. to ask for help from Capt. Tiquia, a friend of
his; that he asked the latter to incarcerate the boys because they were hooked on drugs; that the
Captain initially denied his request for lack of basis; that while they were conversing Capt. Tiquia
informed him that an unidentified dead person was found in the Palasan, Valenzuela cemetery and
since he was a former resident thereat, perhaps he could help in identification; the dead individual was
described as a "person with tattoos;" that the father called his son at the house and asked for the
possible identification of El Magpantay," the son answered that the latter had a "bahala na tattoo" on
his body; that he then suggested to Capt. Tiquia that Appellants be charged with the victim's death,
since the description of the dead person fitted that of the victim; to which said officer acceded with a
warning that he might be sorry for the consequences of the request; that his intention was to help and
to avoid the circumstance that they (apparently referring to the boys) might be lulled or might kill
somebody; that he then went home and waited for the boys to fall asleep; then he went to the police
station, fetched the police, who then arrested ALVAREZ and SABERON from his residence at around
midnight. At the time, ARANETA had already left the house. After ALVAREZ and SABERON were jailed,
he went to the victim's father to ask him to identify the man who was found dead. That done, they
returned to the precinct. He then told the elder Magpantay that he caused the incarceration of
ALVAREZ and SABERON just to punish them and not because they were responsible for the victim's
death. Thereafter, he and Capt. Tiquia talked about the preparation of the statement but the former
told him to return the following morning so that two (2) lawyers' could be present. At around 9:00 A.M.
of 14 June, he forced his son, ALVAREZ, to give a written statement but it was he (the father) who
fabricated the story given (Tsn., 2 March 1988, pp. 1-7).
On the second day of his testimony, Alfonso ted that at around 8:00 P.M. of 11 June 1984 he saw the
barkada," that is, the victim and the three (3) Appellants together at his house; that because there was
trouble in their place, he brought them to the Premier Hotel to prevent their involvement, until the next
day when they checked out after he had signed the hotel bill; that he did not know where their son was
going but at about 5:00 P.M. of 12 June, he saw his son alone in the house without his friends and that

it seemed he was high on drugs again; since he would not Haten to scolding he and family left the
house at around 9:00 P.M. to return to his house only on 13 June where he saw the three (3) Appellants,
with other people.
Lastly, ALVAREZ's father admitted that he had signed his son's extrajudicial statement but explained
that although previously he had wanted his son in jail that was not his wish any longer. His son had
been incarcerated for four (4) years and had promised not to take drugs any more, because of which
he had forgiven his son.
The post-mortem findings of the Medico-Legal Officer of the NBI revealed that the victim had been
brutally attacked and killed; that he suffered two (2) incised wounds in the forearm; four (4) stab
wounds on the left side of the neck; thirteen (13) wounds in the chest, four (4) of which are punctured
wounds caused by an ice pick; and twenty-one (21) stab wounds in the back caused by a single bladed
weapon and inflicted when the victim was already helpless or dying. Said physician further declared
that there was more than one assailant and that a double-bladed and a single-bladed weapon had both
been used in addition to an ice pick.
On the part of the defense, ALVAREZ, 26, single, a soundman, testified that he could not remember his
"Sinumpaang Salaysay;" that he had signed something without knowing its contents; that although he
admits his signatures, the contents of his statement are not true and he does not affirm them; that
although lawyers were present, they were given by the police; that although he was brought before the
Investigating Fiscal, he does not remember that the Fiscal had explained anything to him; that he was
compelled to sign by the police; and that he never complained to the Fiscal because he was confused
and bewildered as to why he had been taken there.
ARANETA, 26, laborer, a house painter, gave an alibi as his defense and declared that the charge of
Murder against him is false; that he was not in the house of ALVAREZ when the victim's father went
there because he was then finishing the painting job of Jesse Reyes, about six (6) houses away from
ALVAREZ's; that he had known the victim since school days since their respective schools were near
each other; that he knows ALVAREZ and SABERON as they play basketball together; that he also knows
the victim's father who forbade him from going to their house as he was just teaching the son
"katarantaduhan."
ARANETA's mother corroborated her son's alibi.
As heretofore stated, SABERON escaped from jail while trial was in progress and was re-arrested only
after the defense had rested its case. He was accordingly unable to take the witness stand. However,
he was represented by Atty. Melody Javier during the initial stages of the case and, thereafter,
alternately by Attys. Augusto Montilla and Ricardo Perez. An Appellant's Brief has also been presented
on his behalf by Atty. Augusto Montilla.
Mainly premised on ALVAREZ's extrajudicial confession, the Trial Court found a clear indication of
conspiracy and convicted Appellants of Murder, attended by treachery, evident premeditation, abuse
of superior strength and nocturnity. Before us now are their respective appeals, to refute which the
Solicitor General has also filed separate Briefs.
Allegedly, the Trial Court erred
Per ALVAREZ:
... in admitting and considering the extrajudicial confession; ... in holding the presence
or
existence
of
conspiracy;
... in sentencing accused to suffer life imprisonment (3 times each).
Per ARANETA:
... in convicting (him) on the sole basis of the extrajudicial confession of co-accused
Ronald Alvarez; ... in not declaring the extrajudicial confession of accused Alvarez
inadmissible; ... in not giving credence to (his) defense of alibi.
PER SABERON:
... in not taking into consideration that there was no motive by accused Saberon to lull
the
victim,
Ismael
Magpantay;
... in finding that the escape of accused Leopoldo Saberon from jail indicates his guilt;
... in convicting accused Leopoldo Saberon when in its decision appear facts that will
lead to his acquittal.
Crucial to the determination of Appellants' culpability is ALVAREZ's extrajudicial confession.
With the exception of SABERON, who admitted that the confession was "executed legally and properly"
(p. 6, Brief for SABERON), ALVAREZ and ARANETA assail the admission of said confession as evidence
against them for having been executed irregularly and involuntarily. For one, they maintain that
ALVAREZ's constitutional right to counsel was not protected, a lawyer randomly picked by the police
not being a sufficient safeguard thereof. For another, they claim that ALVAREZ was in a drunken and
drugged state when he executed it such that he was in no position to either read or comprehend the
same, much less provide the details contained therein. That being so, the elder Alvarez's testimony

that he had invented the story and thereafter forced his son to sign the document "in order to give him
a lesson" should have been given credence and weight by the Trial Court and the extrajudicial
confession struck down as inadmissible evidence.
The averments do not persuade. While it may be that a lawyer was provided by the police, ALVAREZ
never signified his desire to have a lawyer of his choice. Besides, the evidence discloses that Atty.
Reynaldo P. Garcia, whom the police had called, was equal to his duties as a lawyer. He testified that
he was requested by Capt. Tiquia, a friend of ALVAREZ's father, to assist his son in the execution of his
extrajudicial confession (Tsn., 12 December 1986). After asking the investigator to leave them alone,
he explained to ALVAREZ the consequences of any statement that he would make and that it could be
used against him but that notwithstanding, ALVAREZ decided to give it just the same. Aside from Atty.
Garcia, Atty. Antonio Dalag, whom ALVAREZ knew, was also on hand and signed as a witness to the
confession. So did ALVAREZ's father. Two others presented the execution of the statement, SABERON
and ALVAREZ's brother. Under the circumstances, the Trial Court can not be faulted for holding that the
confession was "freely given, without force or intimidation, and with aid of counsel."
What is sought to be protected is the compulsory disclosure of incriminating facts. The right is
guaranteed merely to preclude the slightest coercion as would lead the accused to admit something
false (People v. Layuco G.R. No. 69210, 5 July 1989,175 SCRA 47), not to provide him with the best
defense. A lawyer is an officer of the Court and upon his shoulders lies the responsibility to see to it
that protection has been accorded the rights of the accused and that no injustice to him has been
committed. Absent any showing that the lawyers who assisted ALVAREZ were remiss in their duties,
the Court holds that the proceedings during the custodial interrogation of ALVAREZ, in the presence of
counsel, were regularly conducted.
The father's disclosure of having masterminded his son's confession is a futile and late attempt on the
part of a parent to exonerate a child from criminal responsibility. The confession speaks for itself. It
gives the motive for the killing, the manner by which it was accomplished, the kinds of weapon used,
the relative positions of the assailants and the victim, the exact location of the crime, the clothes the
assailants were wearing, the weather condition that fateful evening all of which are particulars that
could have been supplied only by someone in the know. They reflect spontaneity and coherence,
leaving no room to doubt its veracity, and particularly belying the elder Alvarez's claim that it was he
who had concocted the story.
The assertion that ALVAREZ was in, a drugged and drunken state and was in no position to provide
details nor read and comprehend his Statement is shorn of merit. A comparison of his signatures on
the left-hand margin of the first three pages of his written confession, as well as his two signatures on
the last page thereof, once during custodial interrogation and the other before the subscribing Fiscal,
shows that they are identical to the other, with no tremors or unsteadiness which would have
characterized the handwriting of one under the influence of either liquor or drugs. Besides, a
confession made by an accused while intoxicated is admissible, if he was physically able to re-collect
the facts and to state them truly (White v. State, Tex. Cr. App. 625,25 SW 784; People v. Farrington, 140
Cal., 656, 74 Pac. 288; cited in 5 Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court, 1963 Edition, p. 250), as is
the case with ALVAREZ's confession.
More, the details contained in the confession relative to the knives and the icepick used by the
assailants and the relative positions of the actors conform to the testimony (Tsn., 13 October 1986)
and autopsy report (Exh. G) of the medicolegal officer. The weapons described in the statement were
the same ones recovered on the person of ALVAREZ and picked up in front of his residence at the time
of arrest. To top it all, the confession contains exculpatory statements, which have been considered by
this Court as an index of voluntariness (People v. Balane, G.R. Nos. 48319-20, 25 July 1983, 123 SCRA
614).
It should be borne in mind that a confession constitutes evidence of high order because it is supported
by the strong presumption that no person of normal mind would deliberately and knowingly confess to
a crime unless he is prompted by truth and his conscience (People v. Salvador y Kiamco, G.R. No.
77964, 26 July 1988, 163 SCRA 574). This presumption of spontaneity and voluntariness stands unless
the defense proves otherwise. Appellants' evidence falls short of the required quantum of proof to
overcome the presumption.
ARANETA contends, however, that said confession is not admissible as specie of proof against him
because firstly, the same is hearsay as he never had any opportunity to cross-examine the confessant;
and secondly, it lacks the indispensable requisite of corroboration by other evidence (Brief for
ARANETA, pp. 8 & 9). He further states that the Trial Court erred in convicting him based solely on
ALVAREZ's confession.
The contentions are not tenable. ARANETA was represented by counsel all throughout the trial, who
could have taken all steps necessary for his protection. As to the second ground, the established
doctrine is, indeed, that an extrajudicial confession is binding only upon the confessant and is not

admissible against his co-accused. That rule, however, admits of exceptions. Where the confession is
used as circumstantial evidence to show the probability of participation by the conspirator, that
confession is receivable as evidence against a co-accused (People v. Condemena, G. R. No. 22426, 29
May 1968, 23 SCRA 910; People v. Vasquez, G.R. No. 54117, 27 April 1982, 113 SCRA 772).
The corroboration by other evidence is disclosed by the records, which show that Appellants and the
victim were close friends (Tsn., 2 March 1988), or "barkada" (Tsn., 14 March 1988, p. 5); that he usually
plays basketball with ALVAREZ and SABERON on Sundays (Tsn., 15 February 1988, pp. 12-13); that all
three Appellants and the victim were together in the Alvarez residence in the evening of 11 June (Tsn.,
14 March 1988, p. 5), or the night immediately before the incident on 12 June at around midnight; that
the victim was last seen together with Appellants about to go to Valenzuela (Exh. J the victim's father
knew of his own personal knowledge that the group was going to Valenzuela, so much so, that when
his son failed to return home, he went to the Alvarez residence immediately the next evening to
inquire and saw thereat all three Appellants drinking; upon seeing him ALVAREZ reacted with an
outburst, "anong ginagawa ng putang-inang matandang iyan dito, tayo pa ang pinagbibintangang
pumatay sa anak niya," actually an admission against interest, only to be cautioned by SABERON
stating "Pare, nadudulas ka na." ARANETA was there (as separately testified to by the two fathers) and
said nothing. Additionally, a knife was also recovered from the person of ALVAREZ, and a bamboo
scabbard of an ice pick found in front of his house.
All these corroborate the extrajudicial confession and prove that ARANETA was, indeed, one of the
malefactors. His defense of alibi can not prevail over such convincing evidence.
With respect to SABERON, the confession is admissible against him for two reasons. Firstly, he did not
dispute its admissibility and even admitted its proper execution (Brief for SABERON, p. 13). Secondly,
he acquiesced in or adopted the confession since he did not question its truthfullness considering that
it was made in his presence and he did not remonstrate against his being implicated therein (People v.
Amajul, G.R. Nos. 14626-27, 28 February 1961, 1 SCRA 682), even when ALVAREZ pointed to him.
There is, therefore, direct evidence to prove his participation in the commission of the crime, and the
requirement of motive for conviction by circumstantial evidence needs no looking into.
SABERON, however, further disputes the Trial Court's finding that his escape from jail was an indication
of guilt. He alleges that the lower Court should have given him the opportunity to present his side of
the charge and explain the reason for his escape instead of haphazardly convicting him even after he
was re-arrested.
Even assuming that his escape was not an indication of guilt, once an accused escapes from prison or
confinement, he loses his standing in Court and is deemed to have waived any right to seek relief from
the Court unless he surrenders or submits to the jurisdiction of the Court (People v. Mapalao and
Magumnang, G.R. No. 92415,14 May 1991; see Rule 11 5, Sec. 1 [c]). The records neither disclose that
SABERON moved for the reopening of the case when he was re-arrested, hence, he should now be held
barred from seeking the same. The Trial Court, in including SABERON in its judgment, acted within its
competence.
The detailed narration contained in the ALVAREZ confession, support the Trial Court's finding of
conspiracy characterized by treachery, abuse of superior strength and nocturnity. As aptly pointed out
by the Solicitor General:
Evidence adduced on record clearly shows that appellant Alverez and his co-accused
were close friends (barkada) and that they were drug-addicts (tsn, p. 23, Mar. 2, 1988;
Oct. 23, 1987, p. 8). Accused Araneta even admitted that he usually played basketball
with appellants Alvarez and Saberon on Sundays (tsn, Feb. 15, 1988, pp. 12-13). In
fact, appellant Alverez together with his two co-accused were last seen with the victim
and that they reportedly boarded a jeep and snatched a necklace from a woman
passenger (tsn, Oct. 23, 1987, pp. 11-12). The reason why appellant Alvarez and his
co-accused killed the victim was their differences in the partition of the criminal effects
of their various robberies (see Question No. 1 2, Exh. "B").
On June 13, 1984, one day after the murder of the victim, appellant Alvarez and his
two co-accused were again seen drinking together by Rosauro Magpantay who heard
appellant Alverez saying 'Anong ginagawa ng putang inang matandang ito. Tayo pa
ang pinagbibintangan pumatay sa anak niya.' To which statement, accused Saberon
made the following reply 'Pare nadudulas ka na (tsn, Oct. 23, 1987, pp. 10-11).
Surely, Alfonso Alverez, a former policeman and father of appellant Alvarez, was not
lying when he pointed to the three accused as the killers of the victim (tsn, Oct. 23,
1987, pp. 12-14). Alfonso Alverez even fetched Rosauro Magpantay (father of the
victim) to accompany him to Valenzuela, so that he (Rosauro) could Identify the body
of his son (id.). Alfonso Alverez did not only point to the three accused as the culprits,
but he also gave the information leading to the arrest of his own son (appellant Ronald

Alvarez), and his co-accused Leopoldo Saberon (tsn, July 14, 1986, pp. 3- 4). At the
time of their arrest, a life and a bamboo scabbard were recovered from the accused
(pp. 12-13, Id.). When appellant Alverez executed and signed his confession, his father
(Alfonso Alvarez) was present, and the latter also signed the confession as witness (see
Exhs. 'BN', 'B-l' to 'B-3').
All of the above, together with the detailed narration in Questions Nos. 4 to 35 of the
confession of appellant Alverez (quoted in pages 9 to 12 of the lower court's Decision),
clearly shows that conspiracy among the three accused was characterized by
treachery, evident premeditation, abuse of superior strength and nocturnity as defined
under Article 8 of the Revised Penal Code (see p. 12, Decision).
Even assuming that ALVAREZ, as he claims in his Sworn Statement, acted as a mere "look-out," that
does not excuse him from criminal liability as a principal. There being conspiracy, the act of one is the
act of all.
Appellants, however, also call attention to their warrantless arrest effected at around midnight of 13
June 1984, contending that it was in violation of their constitutional rights sufficient to nullify
subsequent proceedings.
Under Rule 113, Section 6 of the old Criminal Procedure (1964), a warrantless arrest can be effected by
a peace officer or private person when an offense has, in fact, been committed and said peace officer
or private person has reasonable ground to believe that the person to be arrested has committed it. In
the instant case, it was the elder Alverez who initiated the arrest a day after the crime was committed.
Having been once a policeman, he may be said to have been equipped with knowledge of crime
detection. And having had the opportunity to observe the conduct of the three Appellants, who were at
his house the whole day following the commission (Tsn., 2 March 1988, p. 3), it is logical to infer that
his act of going to the police, informing them that Appellants were the perpetrators of the crime and
even fetching them to make the arrest sprang from a went grounded belief that a crime had been
committed and that Appellants had committed it. In this regard, the arrests without a warrant were
validly effected.
Error is, however attributable to the Trial Court in imposing the sentence of "life imprisonment, three
times each." In the first place, it is always desirabale to employ the proper legal terminology in the
imposition of imprisonment penalties as provided in the Revised Penal Code because each penalty has
its distinct accessory penalties and effects (Aquino, the Revised Penal Code, Vol. I, 1976 Edition, p.
540). Thus, the proper penalty is not "life imprisonment" but "reclusion perpetua." In the second place,
since there is only one victim and only one offense of murder, the imposition of multiple penalties is
improper. This being so, the proper penalty, considering the attendant circumstances and in the light
of the 1987 Constitution, is reclusion perpetua for each of the Appellants. The death indemnity of
P50,000.00 should be required, for which appellants should be held jointly and severally liable.
WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED, with the MODIFICATION that Accusedappellants, Ronald Alvarez, Christopher Araneta, and Leopoldo Saberon are hereby each sentenced to
suffer a single penalty of reclusion perpetua; to indemnify, jointly and severally, the heirs of the victim,
Ismael Magpantay, in the sum of P50,000.00; and to pay the costs.
SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-29169
August 19, 1968
ROGER CHAVEZ, petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and THE WARDEN
OF THE CITY JAIL OF MANILA, respondents.
Estanislao E. Fernandez and Fausto Arce for petitioner.
Office of the Solicitor General for respondents.
SANCHEZ, J.:
The thrust of petitioner's case presented in his original and supplementary petitions invoking
jurisdiction of this Court is that he is entitled, on habeas corpus, to be freed from imprisonment upon
the ground that in the trial which resulted in his conviction 1 he was denied his constitutional right not
to be compelled to testify against himself. There is his prayer, too, that, should he fail in this, he be
granted the alternative remedies of certiorari to strike down the two resolutions of the Court of Appeals
dismissing his appeal for failure to file brief, and of mandamus to direct the said court to forward his
appeal to this Court for the reason that he was raising purely questions of law.
The indictment in the court below the third amended information upon which the judgment of
conviction herein challenged was rendered, was for qualified theft of a motor vehicle, one (1)
Thunderbird car, Motor No. H9YH-143003, with Plate No. H-16648 Pasay City '62 together with its
accessories worth P22,200.00. Accused were the following: Petitioner herein, Roger Chavez, Ricardo
Sumilang alias "Romeo Vasquez", Edgardo P. Pascual alias "Ging" Pascual, Pedro Rebullo alias "Pita",
Luis Asistio alias "Baby" Asistio, Lorenzo Meneses alias "Lory" Meneses, Peter Doe, Charlie Doe and
Paul Doe.2
Averred in the aforesaid information was that on or about the 14th day of November, 1962, in Quezon
City, the accused conspired, with intent of gain, abuse of confidence and without the consent of the
owner thereof, Dy Sun Hiok y Lim, in asporting the motor vehicle above-described.
Upon arraignment, all the accused, except the three Does who have not been identified nor
apprehended, pleaded not guilty.1wph1.t
On July 23, 1963, trial commenced before the judge presiding Branch IX of the Court of First Instance of
Rizal in Quezon City.
The trial opened with the following dialogue, which for the great bearing it has on this case, is here
reproduced:.
COURT:
The parties may proceed.
FISCAL GRECIA:
Our first witness is Roger Chavez [one of the accused].
ATTY. CARBON [Counsel for petitioner Chavez]:
I am quite taken by surprise, as counsel for the accused Roger Chavez, with this move of the
Fiscal in presenting him as his witness. I object.
COURT:
On what ground, counsel? .
ATTY. CARBON:
On the ground that I have to confer with my client. It is really surprising that at this stage,
without my being notified by the Fiscal, my client is being presented as witness for the

xxx

xxx

prosecution. I want to say in passing that it is only at this very moment that I come to know
about this strategy of the prosecution.
COURT (To the Fiscal):
You are not withdrawing the information against the accused Roger Chavez by making [him a]
state witness?.
FISCAL GRECIA:
I
am
not
making
him
as
state
witness,
Your
Honor.
I am only presenting him as an ordinary witness.
ATTY. CARBON:
As a matter of right, because it will incriminate my client, I object.
COURT:
The Court will give counsel for Roger Chavez fifteen minutes within which to confer and explain
to his client about the giving of his testimony.
xxx
xxx
COURT: [after the recess]
Are the parties ready? .
FISCAL:
We are ready to call on our first witness, Roger Chavez.
ATTY. CARBON:
As per understanding, the proceeding was suspended in order to enable me to confer with my
client.
I conferred with my client and he assured me that he will not testify for the prosecution this
morning after I have explained to him the consequences of what will transpire.
COURT:
What he will testify to does not necessarily incriminate him, counsel.
And there is the right of the prosecution to ask anybody to act as witness on the witness-stand
including the accused.
If there should be any question that is incriminating then that is the time for counsel to
interpose his objection and the court will sustain him if and when the court feels that the
answer of this witness to the question would incriminate him.
Counsel has all the assurance that the court will not require the witness to answer questions
which would incriminate him.
But surely, counsel could not object to have the accused called on the witnessstand.
ATTY. CARBON:
I submit.
xxx
xxx
ATTY. CRUZ [Counsel for defendants Pascual and Meneses]: .
MAY IT PLEASE THE COURT:
This incident of the accused Roger Chavez being called to testify for the prosecution is
something so sudden that has come to the knowledge of this counsel.
This representation has been apprised of the witnesses embraced in the information.
For which reason I pray this court that I be given at least some days to meet whatever
testimony this witness will bring about. I therefore move for postponement of today's hearing.
COURT:
The court will give counsel time within which to prepare his cross-examination of this witness.
ATTY. CRUZ:
I labored under the impression that the witnesses for the prosecution in this criminal case are
those only listed in the information.
I did not know until this morning that one of the accused will testify as witness for the
prosecution.
COURT:
That's the reason why the court will go along with counsels for the accused and will give them
time within which to prepare for their cross-examination of this witness.
The court will not defer the taking of the direct examination of the witness.
Call the witness to the witness stand.
EVIDENCE FOR THE PROSECUTION
ROGER CHAVEZ, 31 years old, single, buy and sell merchant, presently detained at the Manila
Police Department headquarters, after being duly sworn according to law, declared as follows:
ATTY. IBASCO [Counsel for defendant Luis Asistio]:
WITH THE LEAVE OF THE COURT:
This witness, Roger Chavez is one of the accused in this case No. Q-5311.

The information alleges conspiracy. Under Rule 123, Section 12, it states:
'The act or declaration of a conspirator relating to the conspiracy and during its existence, may
be given in evidence against the co-conspirator after the conspiracy is shown by evidence
other than such act or declaration.'
COURT:
That is premature, counsel. Neither the court nor counsels for the accused know what the
prosecution events to establish by calling this witness to the witness stand.
ATTY. IBASCO:
I submit.
COURT: The Fiscal may proceed. 3
And so did the trial proceed. It began with the "direct examination" of Roger Chavez by "Fiscal Grecia".
Came the judgment of February 1, 1965. The version of the prosecution as found by the court below
may be briefly narrated as follows:
A few days before November 12, 1962, Roger Chavez saw Johnson Lee, a Chinese, driving a
Thunderbird car. With Ricardo Sumilang (movie actor Romeo Vasquez) in mind, whom he knew was in
the market for such a car, Chavez asked Lee whether his car was for sale. Lee answered affirmatively
and left his address with Chavez. Then, on November 12, Chavez met Sumilang at a barbershop
informed him about the Thunderbird. But Sumilang said that he had changed his mind about buying a
new car. Instead, he told Chavez that he wanted to mortgage his Buick car for P10,000.00 to cover an
indebtedness in Pasay City. Upon the suggestion of Chavez, they went to see Luis Asistio, who he knew
was lending money on car mortgages and who, on one occasion, already lent Romeo Vasquez
P3,000.00 on the same Buick car. Asistio however told the two that he had a better idea on how to
raise the money. His plan was to capitalize on Romeo Vasquez' reputation as a wealthy movie star,
introduce him as a buyer to someone who was selling a car and, after the deed of sale is signed, by
trickery to run away with the car. Asistio would then register it, sell it to a third person for a profit.
Chavez known to be a car agent was included in the plan. He furnished the name of Johnson Lee who
was selling his Thunderbird. 1wph1.t
In the morning of November 14, Chavez telephoned Johnson Lee and arranged for an appointment.
Sometime in the afternoon. Chavez and Sumilang met Lee in his Thunderbird on Highway 54. Sumilang
was introduced as the interested buyer. Sumilang's driver inspected the car, took the wheel for a while.
After Sumilang and Lee agreed on the purchase price (P21.000.00), they went to Binondo to Johnson
Lee's cousin, Dy Sun Hiok, in whose name the car was registered. Thereafter, they went to see a
lawyer notary public in Quezon City, known to Chavez for the drafting of the deed of sale. After the
deed of sale was drawn up, it was signed by Sumilang as the vendee, Dy Sun Hiok the vendor, and
Sumilang's driver and Johnson Lee the witnesses thereto.
As payment was to be made at Eugene's restaurant in Quezon City, all of them then drove in the
Thunderbird car to that place. The deed of sale and other papers remained in the pockets of Johnson
Lee.
At Eugene's, a man approached Sumilang with a note which stated that the money was ready at the
Dalisay Theater. Sumilang then wrote on the same note that the money should be brought to the
restaurant. At the same time he requested Lee to exhibit the deed of sale of the car to the note
bearer.4
Then, the two Chinese were left alone in the restaurant. For Sumilang, who had left the table to pose
for pictures with some fans and come back, again left never to return. So did Chavez, who disappeared
after he left on the pretext of buying cigarettes. The two Chinese could not locate Sumilang and
Chavez. They went out to the place where the Thunderbird was parked, found that it was gone. They
then immediately reported its loss to the police. Much later, the NBI recovered the already repainted
car and impounded it.
Right after the meeting at Eugene's, Chavez, Sumilang and Asistio converged that same day at Barrio
Fiesta, a restaurant at Highway 54 near the Balintawak monument in Caloocan. There, Asistio handed
to Sumilang P1,000.00 cash and a golf set worth P800.00 as the latter's share in the transaction. On
the 14th of November, the registration of the car was transferred in the name of Sumilang in Cavite
City, and three days later, in the name of Asistio in Caloocan.
From the court's decision, Ricardo Sumilang's version, corroborated in part by Asistio, may be
condensed as follows:
In the last week of September, 1962, Sumilang saw Roger Chavez at a gas station. The latter informed
him that there was a Thunderbird from Clark Field for sale for a price between P20,000.00 and
P22,000.00. Chavez said that it could be held for him with a down payment of P10,000.00.
To raise this sum, Sumilang and Chavez, on October 1, went to the house of a certain Nena Hernaez de
los Reyes who wrote out a check for P5,000.00 as a loan to Sumilang. That check was exhibited in
court. Sumilang and Chavez then went to Pasay City to see a certain Mario Baltazar, an agent of the

Pasay City Mayor, and Narsing Cailles, Chief of the Fire Department. Sumilang asked the two for a
P10,000-loan backed up by the P5,000.00-check aforesaid on condition that it should not be cashed
immediately as there were not enough funds therefor. Baltazar and Cailles agreed to give the money
the nextday as long as the check would be left with them and Sumilang would sign a promissory note
for P10,000.00. Baltazar later informed Sumilang that Chavez picked up the money the next day. Four
or five days afterwards, Chavez returned P4,000.00 to Sumilang because P6,000.00 was enough for
the deposit. And so, Sumilang gave back the P4,000.00 to Baltazar.
About the end of October or at the beginning of November, Chavez asked Sumilang for another
P3,000.00. Sumilang sent Chavez to Baltazar and Cailles, with a note requesting that they
accommodate him once more. He also sent a check, again without funds. Baltazar gave the money
after verifying the authenticity of the note.
On November 14, Chavez appeared at Sumilang's house with the news that the car was ready if
Sumilang was ready with the rest of the money. So Sumilang got P9,000.00 from his mother and
another P4,000.00 from his aparador. He immediately gave P6,000.00 to Chavez, intending to pay out
the balance upon the car's delivery. It was then that Chavez told Sumilang that the car was already
bought by a Chinese who would be the vendor.
The purchase price finally agreed upon between Sumilang and Johnson Lee was P21,000.00, plus
P500.00 agents commission at the expense of the buyer. Sumilang told Lee that he already paid part of
the price to Chavez.
At Eugene's, Chavez asked Sumilang for the balance. Sumilang accommodated. There, Sumilang, also
saw a friend, "Ging" Pascual. In the course of their conversation at the bar, Sumilang mentioned the
proposed transaction thru Chavez. Pascual warned that Chavez was a "smart" agent and advised that
Sumilang should have a receipt for his money. A certain Bimbo, a friend of Pascual, offered to make out
a receipt for Chavez to sign.
After Sumilang returned from posing for some photographs with some of his fans, Bimbo showed him
the receipt already signed by Chavez. Sumilang requested Pascual and Bimbo to sign the receipt as
witnesses. And they did. This receipt was offered as an exhibit by the prosecution and by Sumilang.
When Sumilang was ready to leave Eugene's, Johnson Lee turned over to him the deed of sale, the
registration papers and the keys to the car. After shaking hands with Lee, Sumilang drove away in the
car with his driver at the wheel.
Two or three days afterwards, Sumilang dropped by the Barrio Fiesta on his way to a film shooting at
Bulacan. He saw Asistio with many companions. Asistio liked his Thunderbird parked outside. Asistio
offered to buy it from him for P22,500.00. As the offer was good, and knowing Asistio's and his friends'
reputation for always getting what they wanted, Sumilang consented to the sale. Asistio tendered a
down payment of P1,000.00; the balance he promised to pay the next day after negotiating with some
financing company. Before said balance could be paid, the car was impounded.
The trial court gave evidence to Sumilang's averment, strengthened by Baltazar's and Cailles'
corroborations, that he paid good money for the car. Sumilang was thus cleared. So was Asistio whom
the trial court believed to be a mere buyer of the car. And so, the prosecution's theory of conspiracy
was discounted.
As to the other accused, the court found no case against Pedro Rebullo alias "Pita" and Lorenzo
Meneses alias "Lory". The accused "Ging" Pascual was also acquitted for in the first place he was not
identified by Johnson Lee in court.
As to Roger Chavez, however, the court had this to say: "Roger Chavez does not offer any defense. As
a matter of fact, his testimony as witness for the prosecution establishes his guilt beyond reasonable
doubt."5 The trial court branded him "a self-confessed culprit". 6 The court further continued:
It is not improbable that true to the saying that misery loves company Roger Chavez tried to
drag his co-accused down with him by coloring his story with fabrications which he expected
would easily stick together what with the newspaper notoriety of one and the sensationalism
caused by the other. But Roger Chavez' accusations of Asistio's participation is utterly
uncorroborated. And coming, as it does, from a man who has had at least two convictions for
acts not very different from those charged in this information, the Court would be too gullible if
it were to give full credence to his words even if they concerned a man no less notorious than
himself.7
The trial court then came to the conclusion that if Johnson Lee was not paid for his car, he had no one
but Roger Chavez to blame.
The sum of all these is that the trial court freed all the accused except Roger Chavez who was found
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of qualified theft. He was accordingly sentenced to suffer
an indeterminate penalty of not less than ten (10) years, one (1) day, as minimum and not more than
fourteen (14) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day as maximum, to indemnify Dy Sun Hiok and/or
Johnson Lee in the sum of P21,000.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, to

undergo the accessory penalties prescribed by law, and to pay the costs. The Thunderbird car then in
the custody of the NBI was ordered to be turned over to Ricardo Sumilang, who was directed to return
to Asistio the sum of P1,000.00 unless the latter chose to pay P21,500.00, representing the balance of
the contract price for the car.
The foregoing sentence was promulgated on March 8, 1965. Roger Chavez appealed to the Court of
Appeals.
On April 18, 1968, the Court of Appeals required Atty. Natividad Marquez, counsel for Roger Chavez, to
show cause within ten days from notice why Chavez' appeal should not be considered abandoned and
dismissed. Reason for this is that said lawyer received notice to file brief on December 28, 1967 and
the period for the filing thereof lapsed on January 27, 1968 without any brief having been filed.
On May 13, 1968, Atty. Marquez registered a detailed written explanation. She also stated that if she
were allowed to file appellant's brief she would go along with the factual findings of the court below
but will show however that its conclusion is erroneous. 8
On May 14, 1968, the Court of Appeals, despite the foregoing explanation, resolved to dismiss the
appeal. A move to reconsider was unavailing. For, on June 21, 1968, the Court of Appeals, through a
per curiam resolution, disposed to maintain its May 14 resolution dismissing the appeal, directed the
City Warden of Manila where Chavez is confined by virtue of the warrant of arrest issued by the Court
of Appeals, to turn him over to Muntinlupa Bilibid Prisons pending execution of the judgment below,
and ordered remand of the case to the Quezon City court for execution of judgment.
It was at this stage that the present proceedings were commenced in this Court.
Upon the petitions, the return, and the reply, and after hearing on oral arguments, we now come to
grips with the main problem presented.
We concentrate attention on that phase of the issues which relates petitioner's assertion that he was
compelled to testify against himself. For indeed if this one question is resolved in the affirmative, we
need not reach the others; in which case, these should not be pursued here.
1. Petitioner's plea on this score rests upon his averment, with proof, of violation of his right
constitutionally entrenched against self-incrimination. He asks that the hand of this Court be made
to bear down upon his conviction; that he be relieved of the effects thereof. He asks us to consider the
constitutional injunction that "No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself," 9 fully
echoed in Section 1, Rule 115, Rules of Court where, in all criminal prosecutions, the defendant shall be
entitled: "(e) To be exempt from being a witness against himself." .
It has been said that forcing a man to be a witness against himself is at war with "the fundamentals of
a republican government"; 10 that [i]t may suit the purposes of despotic power but it can not abide the
pure atmosphere of political liberty and personal freedom." 11 Mr. Justice Abad Santos recounts the
historical background of this constitutional inhibition, thus: " "The maxim Nemo tenetur seipsum
accusare had its origin in a protest against the inquisitorial and manifestly unjust methods of
interrogating accused persons, which has long obtained in the continental system, and, until the
expulsion of the Stuarts from the British throne in 1688, and the erection of additional barriers for the
protection of the people against the exercise of arbitrary power, was not uncommon even in England.
While the admissions of confessions of the prisoner, when voluntarily and freely made, have always
ranked high in the scale of incriminating evidence, if an accused person be asked to explain his
apparent connection with a crime under investigation, the ease with which the questions put to him
may assume an inquisitorial character, the temptation to press, the witness unduly, to browbeat him if
he be timid or reluctant, to push him into a corner, and to entrap him into fatal contradictions, which is
so painfully evident in many of the earlier state trials, notably in those of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton,
and Udal, the Puritan minister, made the system so odious as to give rise to a demand for its total
abolition. The change in the English criminal procedure in that particular seems to be founded upon no
statute and no judicial opinion, but upon a general and silent acquiescence of the courts in a popular
demand. But, however adopted, it has become firmly embedded in English, as well as in American
jurisprudence. So deeply did the iniquities of the ancient system impress themselves upon the minds
of the American colonists that the states, with one accord, made a denial of the right to question an
accused person a part of their fundamental law, so that a maxim which in England was a mere rule of
evidence, became clothed in this country with the impregnability of a constitutional enactment."
(Brown vs. Walker, 161 U.S., 591, 597; 40 Law. ed., 819, 821)." 12 Mr. Justice Malcolm, in expressive
language, tells us that this maxim was recognized in England in the early days "in a revolt against the
thumbscrew and the rack." 13 An old Philippine case [1904] 14 speaks of this constitutional injunction as
"older than the Government of the United States"; as having "its origin in a protest against the
inquisitorial methods of interrogating the accused person"; and as having been adopted in the
Philippines "to wipe out such practices as formerly prevailed in these Islands of requiring accused
persons to submit to judicial examinations, and to give testimony regarding the offenses with which
they were charged."

So it is then that this right is "not merely a formal technical rule the enforcement of which is left to the
discretion of the court"; it is mandatory; it secures to a defendant a valuable and substantive right; 15 it
is fundamental to our scheme of justice. Just a few months ago, the Supreme Court of the United
States (January 29, 1968), speaking thru Mr. Justice Harlan warned that "[t]he constitutional privilege
was intended to shield the guilty and imprudent as well as the innocent and foresighted." 16
It is in this context that we say that the constitutional guarantee may not be treated with unconcern.
To repeat, it is mandatory; it secures to every defendant a valuable and substantive right. Taada and
Fernando (Constitution of the Philippines, 4th ed., vol. I, pp. 583-584) take note of U.S. vs. Navarro,
supra, which reaffirms the rule that the constitutional proscription was established on broad grounds of
public policy and humanity; of policy because it would place the witness against the strongest
temptation to commit perjury, and of humanity because it would be to extort a confession of truth by a
kind of duress every species and degree of which the law abhors. 17
Therefore, the court may not extract from a defendant's own lips and against his will an admission of
his guilt. Nor may a court as much as resort to compulsory disclosure, directly or indirectly, of facts
usable against him as a confession of the crime or the tendency of which is to prove the commission of
a crime. Because, it is his right to forego testimony, to remain silent, unless he chooses to take the
witness stand with undiluted, unfettered exercise of his own free, genuine will.
Compulsion as it is understood here does not necessarily connote the use of violence; it may be the
product of unintentional statements. Pressure which operates to overbear his will, disable him from
making a free and rational choice, or impair his capacity for rational judgment would in our opinion be
sufficient. So is moral coercion "tending to force testimony from the unwilling lips of the defendant." 18
2. With the foregoing as guideposts, we now turn to the facts. Petitioner is a defendant in a criminal
case. He was called by the prosecution as the first witness in that case to testify for the People during
the first day of trial thereof. Petitioner objected and invoked the privilege of self-incrimination. This he
broadened by the clear cut statement that he will not testify. But petitioner's protestations were met
with the judge's emphatic statement that it "is the right of the prosecution to ask anybody to act as
witness on the witness stand including the accused," and that defense counsel "could not object to
have the accused called on the witness stand." The cumulative impact of all these is that accusedpetitioner had to take the stand. He was thus peremptorily asked to create evidence against himself.
The foregoing situation molds a solid case for petitioner, backed by the Constitution, the law, and
jurisprudence.
Petitioner, as accused, occupies a different tier of protection from an ordinary witness. Whereas an
ordinary witness may be compelled to take the witness stand and claim the privilege as each question
requiring an incriminating answer is shot at him, 19 and accused may altogether refuse to take the
witness stand and refuse to answer any and all questions. 20 For, in reality, the purpose of calling an
accused as a witness for the People would be to incriminate him. 21 The rule positively intends to avoid
and prohibit the certainly inhuman procedure of compelling a person "to furnish the missing evidence
necessary for his conviction." 22 This rule may apply even to a co-defendant in a joint trial. 23
And the guide in the interpretation of the constitutional precept that the accused shall not be
compelled to furnish evidence against himself "is not the probability of the evidence but it is the
capability of abuse." 24 Thus it is, that it was undoubtedly erroneous for the trial judge to placate
petitioner with these words:.
What he will testify to does not necessarily incriminate him, counsel.
And there is the right of the prosecution to ask anybody to act as witness on the witness-stand
including the accused.
If there should be any question that is incriminating then that is the time for counsel to
interpose his objection and the court will sustain him if and when the court feels that the
answer of this witness to the question would incriminate him.
Counsel has all the assurance that the court will not require the witness to answer questions
which would incriminate him.
But surely, counsel could not object to have the accused called on the witness stand.
Paraphrasing Chief Justice Marshall in Aaron Burr's Trial, Robertsons Rep. I, 208, 244, quoted in VIII
Wigmore, p. 355, 25 While a defendant's knowledge of the facts remains concealed within his bosom,
he is safe; but draw it from thence, and he is exposed" to conviction.
The judge's words heretofore quoted "But surely counsel could not object to have the accused called
on the witness stand" wielded authority. By those words, petitioner was enveloped by a coercive
force; they deprived him of his will to resist; they foreclosed choice; the realities of human nature tell
us that as he took his oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, no genuine
consent underlay submission to take the witness stand. Constitutionally sound consent was absent.
3. Prejudice to the accused for having been compelled over his objections to be a witness for the
People is at once apparent. The record discloses that by leading questions Chavez, the accused, was

made to affirm his statement given to the NBI agents on July 17, 1963 at 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon.
26
And this statement detailed the plan and execution thereof by Sumilang (Vasquez), Asistio and
himself to deprive the Chinese of his Thunderbird car. And he himself proceeded to narrate the same
anew in open court. He identified the Thunderbird car involved in the case. 27
The decision convicting Roger Chavez was clearly of the view that the case for the People was built
primarily around the admissions of Chavez himself. The trial court described Chavez as the "star
witness for the prosecution". Indeed, the damaging facts forged in the decision were drawn directly
from the lips of Chavez as a prosecution witness and of course Ricardo Sumilang for the defense. There
are the unequivocal statements in the decision that "even accused Chavez" identified "the very same
Thunderbird that Johnson Lee had offered for sale"; that Chavez "testimony as witness for the
prosecution establishes his guilt beyond reasonable doubt and that Chavez is "a self-confessed culprit".
1wph1.t
4. With all these, we have no hesitancy in saying that petitioner was forced to testify to incriminate
himself, in full breach of his constitutional right to remain silent. It cannot be said now that he has
waived his right. He did not volunteer to take the stand and in his own defense; he did not offer himself
as a witness; on the contrary, he claimed the right upon being called to testify. If petitioner
nevertheless answered the questions inspite of his fear of being accused of perjury or being put under
contempt, this circumstance cannot be counted against him. His testimony is not of his own choice. To
him it was a case of compelled submission. He was a cowed participant in proceedings before a judge
who possessed the power to put him under contempt had he chosen to remain silent. Nor could he
escape testifying. The court made it abundantly clear that his testimony at least on direct examination
would be taken right then and thereon the first day of the trial.
It matters not that, after all efforts to stave off petitioner's taking the stand became fruitless, no
objections to questions propounded to him were made. Here involve is not a mere question of selfincrimination. It is a defendant's constitutional immunity from being called to testify against himself.
And the objection made at the beginning is a continuing one. 1wph1.t
There is therefore no waiver of the privilege. "To be effective, a waiver must be certain and
unequivocal, and intelligently, understandably, and willingly made; such waiver following only where
liberty of choice has been fully accorded. After a claim a witness cannot properly be held to have
waived his privilege on vague and uncertain evidence." 28 The teaching in Johnson vs. Zerbst 29 is this:
"It has been pointed out that "courts indulge every reasonable presumption against waiver" of
fundamental constitutional rights and that we "do not presume acquiescence in the loss of
fundamental rights." A waiver is ordinarily an intentional relinquishment or abandonment of a known
right or privilege." Renuntiatio non praesumitur.
The foregoing guidelines, juxtaposed with the circumstances of the case heretofore adverted to, make
waiver a shaky defense. It cannot stand. If, by his own admission, defendant proved his guilt, still, his
original claim remains valid. For the privilege, we say again, is a rampart that gives protection - even
to the guilty. 30
5. The course which petitioner takes is correct. Habeas corpus is a high prerogative writ. 31 It is
traditionally considered as an exceptional remedy to release a person whose liberty is illegally
restrained such as when the accused's constitutional rights are disregarded. 32 Such defect results in
the absence or loss of jurisdiction 33 and therefore invalidates the trial and the consequent conviction
of the accused whose fundamental right was violated. 34 That void judgment of conviction may be
challenged by collateral attack, which precisely is the function of habeas corpus. 35 This writ may issue
even if another remedy which is less effective may be availed of by the defendant. 36 Thus, failure by
the accused to perfect his appeal before the Court of Appeals does not preclude a recourse to the writ.
37
The writ may be granted upon a judgment already final. 38 For, as explained in Johnson vs. Zerbst, 39
the writ of habeas corpus as an extraordinary remedy must be liberally given effect 40 so as to protect
well a person whose liberty is at stake. The propriety of the writ was given the nod in that case,
involving a violation of another constitutional right, in this wise:
Since the Sixth Amendment constitutionally entitles one charged with crime to the assistance
of Counsel, compliance with this constitutional mandate is an essential jurisdictional
prerequisite to a Federal Court's authority. When this right is properly waived, the assistance of
Counsel is no longer a necessary element of the Court's jurisdiction to proceed to conviction
and sentence. If the accused, however, is not represented by Counsel and has not competently
and intelligently waived his constitutional right, the Sixth Amendment stands as a jurisdictional
bar to a valid conviction and sentence depriving him of his liberty. A court's jurisdiction at the
beginning of trial may be lost "in the course of the proceedings" due to failure to complete the
court as the Sixth Amendment requires by providing Counsel for an accused who is
unable to obtain Counsel, who has not intelligently waived this constitutional guaranty, and
whose life or liberty is at stake. If this requirement of the Sixth Amendment is not complied

with, the court no longer has jurisdiction to proceed. The judgment of conviction pronounced
by a court without jurisdiction is void, and one imprisoned thereunder may obtain release of
habeas corpus. 41
Under our own Rules of Court, to grant the remedy to the accused Roger Chavez whose case presents
a clear picture of disregard of a constitutional right is absolutely proper. Section 1 of Rule 102 extends
the writ, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, "to all cases of illegal confinement or detention
by which any person is deprived of his liberty, or by which the rightful custody of any person is
withheld from the person entitled thereto.
Just as we are about to write finis to our task, we are prompted to restate that: "A void judgment is in
legal effect no judgment. By it no rights are divested. From it no rights can be obtained. Being
worthless in itself, all proceedings founded upon it are equally worthless. It neither binds nor bars any
one. All acts performed under it and all claims flowing out of it are void. The parties attempting to
enforce it may be responsible as trespassers. ... " 42
6. Respondents' return 43 shows that petitioner is still serving under a final and valid judgment of
conviction for another offense. We should guard against the improvident issuance of an order
discharging a petitioner from confinement. The position we take here is that petitioner herein is
entitled to liberty thru habeas corpus only with respect to Criminal Case Q-5311 of the Court of First
Instance of Rizal, Quezon City Branch, under which he was prosecuted and convicted.
Upon the view we take of this case, judgment is hereby rendered directing the respondent Warden of
the City Jail of Manila or the Director of Prisons or any other officer or person in custody of petitioner
Roger Chavez by reason of the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Quezon City Branch, in
Criminal Case Q-5311, entitled "People of the Philippines, plaintiff, vs. Ricardo Sumilang, et al.,
accused," to discharge said Roger Chavez from custody, unless he is held, kept in custody or detained
for any cause or reason other than the said judgment in said Criminal Case Q-5311 of the Court of First
Instance of Rizal, Quezon City Branch, in which event the discharge herein directed shall be effected
when such other cause or reason ceases to exist.
No costs. So ordered.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-19052
December 29, 1962
MANUEL F. CABAL, petitioner,
vs.
HON. RUPERTO KAPUNAN, JR., and THE CITY FISCAL OF MANILA, respondents.
Francisco Carreon for petitioner.
Assistant City Fiscal Manuel T. Reyes for respondent City of Manila.
CONCEPCION, J.:
This is an original petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction, to restrain the Hon.
Ruperto Kapunan, Jr., as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Manila, from further proceeding in
Criminal Case No. 60111 of said court, and to set aside an order of said respondent, as well as the
whole proceedings in said criminal case. .
On or about August 1961, Col. Jose C. Maristela of the Philippine Army filed with the Secretary of
Nation Defense a letter-complaint charging petitioner Manuel Cabal, then Chief of Staff of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines, with "graft, corrupt practices, unexplained wealth, conduct unbecoming of an
officer and gentleman dictatorial tendencies, giving false statements of his as sets and liabilities in
1958 and other equally reprehensible acts". On September 6, 1961, the President of the Philippines
created a committee of five (5) members, consisting of former Justice Marceliana R. Montemayor, as
Chairman, former Justices Buenaventura Ocampo and Sotero Cabahug, and Generals Basilio J. Valdez
and Guillermo B. Francisco, to investigate the charge of unexplained wealth contained in said lettercomplaint and submit its report and recommendations as soon as possible. At the beginning of the
investigation, on September 15, 1961, the Committee, upon request of complainant Col. Maristela, or
considered petitioner herein to take the witness stand and be sworn to as witness for Maristela, in
support of his aforementioned charge of unexplained wealth. Thereupon, petitioner objected,
personally and through counsel, to said request of Col. Maristela and to the aforementioned order of
the Committee, invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination. The Committee insisted that
petitioner take the witness stand and be sworn to, subject to his right to refuse to answer such
questions as may be incriminatory. This notwithstanding, petitioner respectfully refused to be sworn to
as a witness to take the witness stand. Hence, in a communication dated September 18, 1961, the
Committee referred the matter to respondent City Fiscal of Manila, for such action as he may deem
proper. On September 28, 1961, the City Fiscal filed with the Court of First Instance of Manila a
"charge" reading as follows:
The undersigned hereby charges Manuel F. Cabal with contempt under section 580 of the
Revised Administrative Code in relation to sections I and 7, Rule 64 of the Rules of Court,
committed as follows:
That on or about September 15, 1961, in the investigation conducted at the U.P. Little
Theater:, Padre Faura, Manila, by the Presidential Committee, which was created by the
President of the Republic of the Philippines in accordance with law to investigate the
charges of alleged acquisition by respondent of unexplained wealth and composed of
Justice Marceliano Montemayor, as Chairman, and Justices Buenaventura Ocampo and
Sotero Cabahug and Generals Basilio Valdez and Guillermo Francisco, as members,
with the power, among others, to compel the attendance of witnesses and take their
testimony under oath, respondent who was personally present at the time before the
Committee in compliance with a subpoena duly issued to him, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully, and contumaciously, without any justifiable cause or reason refusal
and fail and still refuses and fails to obey the lawful order of the Committee to take the
witness stand, be sworn and testify as witness in said investigation, in utter disregard
of the lawful authority of the Committee and thereby obstructing and degrading the
proceedings before said body.
Wherefore, it is respectfully prayed that respondent be summarily adjudged guilty of contempt
of the Presidential Committee and accordingly disciplined as in contempt of court
imprisonment until such time as he shall obey the subject order of said committee.
This charge, docketed as Criminal Case No. 60111 of said court, was assigned to Branch XVIII thereof,
presided over by respondent Judge. On October 2, 1961, the latter issued an order requiring petitioner
to show cause and/or answer the charge filed against him within ten (10) days. Soon thereafter, or on
October 4, 1961, petitioner filed with respondent Judge a motion to quash the charge and/or order to
show cause, upon the ground: (1) that the City Fiscal has neither authority nor personality to file said
char and the same is null and void, for, if criminal, the charge has been filed without a preliminary

investigation, and, civil, the City Fiscal may not file it, his authority in respect of civil cases being
limited to representing the City of Manila; (2) that the facts charged constitute no offense for section
580 of the Revised Administrative Code, upon which the charge is based, violates due process, in that
it is vague and uncertain as regards the offense therein defined and the fine imposable therefor and
that it fail to specify whether said offense shall be treated also contempt of an inferior court or of a
superior court (3) that more than one offense is charged, for the contempt imputed to petitioner is
sought to be punished as contempt of an inferior court, as contempt of a superior court an as
contempt under section 7 of Rule 64 of the Rules Court; (4) that the Committee had no power to order
an require petitioner to take the witness stand and be sworn to, upon the request of Col. Maristela, as
witness for the latter, inasmuch as said order violates petitioner's constitutional right against selfincrimination.
By resolution dated October 14, 1961. respondent Judge denied said motion to quash. Thereupon, or
on October 20, 1961, petitioner began the present action for the purpose adverted to above, alleging
that, unless restrained by this court, respondent Judge may summarily punish him for contempt, and
that such action would not be appealable.
In their answer, respondents herein allege, inter alia, that the investigation being conducted by the
Committee above referred to is administrative, not criminal, in nature; that the legal provision relied
upon by petitioner in relation to preliminary investigations (Section '08-C, Republic Act No. 409, as
amended by Republic Act No. 1201) is inapplicable to contempt proceedings; that, under section 580
of the Revised Administrative Code. contempt against an administrative officer is to be dealt with as
contempt of a superior court; that petitioner herein is charged with only one offense; and that, tinder
the constitutional guarantee against self-incrimination, petitioner herein may refuse, not to take the
witness stand, but to answer incriminatory questions.
At the outset, it is not disputed that the accused in a criminal case may refuse, not only to answer
incriminatory questions, but, also, to take the witness stand (3 Wharton's Criminal Evidence, pp. 19591960; 98 C.J.S., p. 264). Hence, the issue before us boils down to whether or not the proceedings
before the aforementioned Committee is civil or criminal in character.
In this connection, it should be noted that, although said Committee was created to investigate the
administrative charge of unexplained wealth, there seems to be no question that Col. Maristela does
not seek the removal of petitioner herein as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. As a
matter of fact he no longer holds such office. It seems, likewise conceded that the purpose of the
charge against petitioner is to apply the provisions of Republic Act No. 1379, as amended, otherwise
known as the Anti-Graft Law, which authorizes the forfeiture to the State of property of a public officer
or employee which is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public officer or employee and
his other lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired property. Such for forfeiture has
been held, however, to partake of the nature of a penalty.
In a strict signification, a forfeiture is a divestiture property without compensation, in
consequence of a default an offense, and the term is used in such a sense in this article. A
forfeiture, as thus defined, is imposed by way of punishment not by the mere convention of the
parties, but by the lawmaking power, to insure a prescribed course of conduct. It is a method
deemed necessary by the legislature to restrain the commission of an offense and to aid in the
prevention of such a offense. The effect of such a forfeiture is to transfer the title to the
specific thing from the owner to the sovereign power (23 Am. Jur. 599) (Emphasis ours.)
In Black's Law Dictionary a "forfeiture" is defined to be "the incurring of a liability to pay a
definite sum of money as the consequence of violating the provisions of some statute or
refusal to comply with some requirement of law." It may be said to be a penalty imposed for
misconduct or breach of duty. (Com. vs. French, 114 S.W. 255.)
As a consequence, proceedings for forfeiture of proper are deemed criminal or penal, and, hence, the
exemption of defendants in criminal case from the obligation to be witnesses against themselves are
applicable thereto.
Generally speaking, informations for the forfeiture of goods that seek no judgment of fine or
imprisonment against any person are deemed to be civil proceedings in rem. Such
proceedings are criminal in nature to the extent that where the person using the res illegally is
the owner or rightful possessor of it, the forfeiture proceeding is in the nature of a punishment.
They have been held to be so far in the nature criminal proceedings that a general verdict on
several count in an information is upheld if one count is good. According to the authorities
such proceedings, where the owner of the property appears, are so far considered as quasicriminal proceeding as to relieve the owner from being a witness against himself and to
prevent the compulsory production of his books and papers. ... (23 Am. Jur. 612; emphasis
ours.)

Although the contrary view formerly obtained, the late decisions are to the effect that suits for
forfeitures incurred by the commission of offenses against the law are so far of quasi-criminal
nature as to be within the reason of criminal proceedings for all purposes of ... that portion of
the Fifth Amendment which declares that no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to
be a witness against himself. .... It has frequently been held upon constitutional grounds under
the various State Constitution, that a witness or party called as witness cannot be made to
testify against himself as to matters which would subject his property to forfeiture. At early
common law no person could be compelled to testify against himself or to answer any question
which would have had a tendency to expose his property to a forfeiture or to form a link in a
chain of evidence for that purpose, as well as to incriminate him. Under this common-law
doctrine of protection against compulsory disclosures which would tend to subject the witness
to forfeiture, such protection was claimed and availed of in some early American cases without
placing the basis of the protection upon constitutional grounds. (23 Am. Jur., 616; emphasis
ours.)
Proceedings for forfeitures are generally considered to be civil and in the nature of proceedings
in rem. The statute providing that no judgment or other proceedings in civil cases shall be
arrested or reversed for any defect or want of form is applicable to them. In some aspects,
however, suits for penalties and forfeitures are of quasi-criminal nature and within the reason
of criminal proceedings for all the purposes of ... that portion of the Fifth Amendment which
declares, that no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against
himself. The proceeding is one against the owner, as well as against the goods; for it is his
breach of the laws which has to be proved to establish the forfeiture and his property is sought
to be forfeited. (15 Am. Jur., Sec. 104, p. 368; emphasis ours.)lawphil.net
The rule protecting a person from being compelled to furnish evidence which would incriminate
him exists not only when he is liable criminally to prosecution and punishment, but also when
his answer would tend to expose him to a ... forfeiture .... (58 Am. Jur., See. 43, p. 48; emphasis
ours.)
As already observed, the various constitutions provide that no person shall be compelled in
any criminal case to be a witness against himself. This prohibition against compelling a person
to take the stand as a witness against himself applied only to criminal, quasi-criminal, and
penal proceedings, including a proceeding civil in form for forfeiture of property by reason of
the commission of an offense, but not a proceeding in which the penalty recoverable is civil or
remedial in nature, .... (58 Am. Jur., Sec. 44, p. 49: emphasis ours.)
The privilege of a witness not to incriminate himself is not infringed by merely asking the
witness a question which he refuses to answer. The privilege is simply an option of refusal, and
not a prohibition of inquiry. A question is not improper merely because the answer may tend to
incriminate but, where a witness exercises his constitutional right not to answer, a question by
counsel as to whether the reason for refusing to answer is because the answer may tend to
incriminate the witness is improper.
The possibility that the examination of the witness will be pursued to the extent of requiring
self-incrimination will not justify the refusal to answer questions. However, where the position
of the witness is virtually that of an accused on trial, it would appear that he may invoke the
privilege in support of a blanket refusal to answer any and all questions. (C.J.S., p. 252;
emphasis ours.)
A person may not be compelled to testify in an action against him for a penalty or to answer
any question as a witness which would subject him to a penalty or forfeiture, where the
penalty or forfeiture is imposed as a vindication of the public justice of the state.
In general, both at common law and under a constitution provision against compulsory selfincrimination, a person may not be compelled to answer any question as a witness which
would subject him to a penalty or forfeiture, or testify in action against him for a penalty.
The privilege applies where the penalty or forfeiture recoverable, or is imposed in vindication
of the public justice the state as a statutory fine or penalty, or a fine or penalty for violation of
a municipal ordinance, even though the action or proceeding for its enforcement is not brought
in a criminal court but is prosecuted through the modes of procedure applicable to ordinary
civil remedy. (98 C. J. S., pp. 275-6.)
Thus, in Boyd vs. U.S. (116 U.S. 616, 29 L. ed. 746), it was held that the information, in a proceeding to
declaration a forfeiture of certain property because of the evasion of a certain revenue law, "though
technically a civil proceeding is in substance and effect a criminal one", and that suits for penalties and
forfeitures are within the reason criminal proceedings for the purposes of that portion the Fifth
Amendment of the Constitution of the U.S. which declares that no person shall be compelled in a
criminal case to be a witness against himself. Similarly, a proceeding for the removal of an officer was

held, in Thurston vs. Clark (107 Cal. 285, 40 pp. 435, 437), to be in substance criminal, for said portion
of the Fifth Amendment applies "to all cases in which the action prosecution is not to establish, recover
or redress private and civil rights, but to try and punish persons charged with the commission of public
offenses" and "a criminal case is a action, suit or cause instituted to punish an infraction the criminal
laws, and, with this object in view, it matters not in what form a statute may clothe it; it is still a
criminal case ...". This view was, in effect confirmed in Lees vs. U.S. (37 L. ed. 1150-1151). Hence, the
Lawyer Reports Annotated (Vol. 29, p. 8), after an extensive examination of pertinent cases, concludes
that said constitutional provision applies whenever the proceeding is not "purely remedial", or
intended "as a redress for a private grievance", but primarily to punish "a violation of duty or a public
wrong and to deter others from offending in likewise manner. ...".
We are unmindful of the doctrine laid down in Almeda vs. Perez, L-18428 (August 30, 1962) in which
the theory that, after the filing of respondents' answer to a petition for forfeiture under Republic Act
No. 1379, said petition may not be amended as to substance pursuant to our rules of criminal
procedure, was rejected by this Court upon the ground that said forfeiture proceeding in civil in nature.
This doctrine refers, however, to the purely procedural aspect of said proceeding, and has no bearing
the substantial rights of the respondents therein, particularly their constitutional right against selfincrimination.
WHEREFORE, the writ prayed for is granted and respondent Judge hereby enjoined permanently from
proceeding further in Criminal Case No. 60111 of the Court of First Instance of Manila. It is so ordered.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. Nos. 111206-08 October 6, 1995
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
CLAUDIO TEEHANKEE, JR., accused-appellant.
PUNO, J.:
Three (3) separate Informations were filed against accused Claudio Teehankee, Jr. for the shooting of
Roland John Chapman, Jussi Olavi Leino and Maureen Hultman. Initially, he was charged with: MURDER
for the killing of ROLAND CHAPMAN, and two (2) FRUSTRATED MURDER for the shooting and wounding
of JUSSI LEINO and MAUREEN HULTMAN. When Hultman died on October 17, 1991, during the course of
the trial, the Information for Frustrated Murder against accused was amended to MURDER. 1
The Information for murder in Criminal Case No. 91-4605 thus reads:
That on or about the 13th day of July, 1991, in the Municipality of Makati, Metro Manila,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said Claudio
Teehankee, Jr. y Javier, armed with a handgun, with intent to kill and evident
premeditation and by means of treachery, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously attack, assault and shoot with and shoot with the said handgun Roland John
Chapman who war hit in the chest, thereby inflicting mortal wounds which directly
caused the death of said Roland John Chapman.
Contrary to law. 2
The Amended Information for Murder in Criminal Case No. 91-4606 reads:
That on or about the 13th day of July, 1991, in the Municipality of Makati, Metro Manila,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said Claudio
Teehankee, Jr. y Javier, armed with a handgun, with intent to kill and evident
premeditation, and by means of treachery, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously attack, assault and shoot with the said handgun Maureen Navarro Hultman
who was hit in the head, thereby inflicting moral wounds which directly caused the
death of the said Maureen Hultman.
CONTRARY TO LAW. 3
Finally, the Information for Frustrated Murder in Criminal Case No. 91-4607 reads:

That on or about the 13th day of July, 1991, in the Municipality of Makati, Metro Manila,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named
accused, while armed with a handgun, with intent to kill, treachery and evident
premeditation did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault
and shoot one Jussi Olavi Leino on the head, thereby inflicting gunshot wounds, which
ordinarily would have caused the death of said Jussi Olavi Leino, thereby performing all
the acts of execution which would have produced the crime of murder as a
consequence, but nevertheless did not produce it by reason of cause or causes
independent of his will, that is, due to the timely and able medical assistance rendered
to said Jussi Olavi Leino which prevented his death.
Contrary to law. 4
In the two (2) Informations for frustrated murder initially filed against accused, bail was set at twenty
thousand pesos (P20,000.00) each. No bail was recommended for the murder of Roland John Chapman.
A petition for bail was thus filed by accused. Hearing was set on August 9, 1991, while his arraignment
was scheduled on August 14, 1991.
At the hearing of the petition for bail on August 9, 1991, the prosecution manifested that it would
present the surviving victim, Jussi Leino, to testify on the killing of Chapman and on the circumstances
resulting to the wounding of the witness himself and Hultman. Defense counsel Atty. Rodolfo Jimenez
objected on the ground that the incident pending that day was hearing of the evidence on the petition
for bail relative to the murder charge for the killing of Chapman only. He opined that Leino's testimony
on the frustrated murder charges with respect to the wounding of Leino and Hultman would be
irrelevant. 5
Private prosecutor, Atty. Rogelio Vinluan, countered that time would be wasted if the testimony of Leino
would be limited to the killing of Chapman considering that the crimes for which accused were charged
involved only one continuing incident. He pleaded that Leino should be allowed to testify on all three
(3) charges to obviate delay and the inconvenience of recalling him later to prove the two (2)
frustrated murder charges. 6
By way of accommodation, the defense suggested that if the prosecution wanted to present Leino to
testify on all three (3) charges, it should wait until after the arraignment of accused on August 14,
1991. The defense pointed out that if accused did not file a petition for bail, the prosecution would still
have to wait until after accused had been arraigned before it could present Leino. 7
The private prosecutor agreed to defer the hearing on the petition for bail until after arraignment of
accused on the condition that there shall be trial on the merits and, at the same time, hearing on the
petition for bail. The defense counsel acceded. 8
Upon arraignment, accused pleaded not guilty to the three (3) charges. The prosecution then started
to adduce evidence relative to all three (3) cases. No objection was made by the defense. 9
A replay of the facts will show that on July 12, 1991, Jussi Olavi Leino invited Roland Chapman,
Maureen Hultman and other friends for a party at his house in Forbes Park, Makati. The party started at
about 8:30 p.m. and ended at past midnight. They then proceeded to Roxy's, a pub where students of
International School hang out. 10 After an hour, they transferred to Vintage, another pub in Makati,
where they stayed until past 3:00 a.m. of July 13, 1991. Their group returned to Roxy's to pick up a
friend of Maureen, then went back to Leino's house to eat. 11
After a while, Maureen requested Leino to take her home at Campanilla Street, Dasmarias Village,
Makati. Chapman tagged along. 12 When they entered the village, Maureen asked Leino to stop along
Mahogany Street, about a block away from her house in Campanilla Street. She wanted to walk the
rest of the way for she did not like to create too much noise in going back to her house. She did not
want her parents to know that she was going home that late. Leino offered to walk with her while
Chapman stayed in the car and listened to the radio. 13
Leino and Maureen started walking on the sidewalk along Mahogany Street. When they reached the
corner of Caballero and Mahogany Streets, a light-colored Mitsubishi box-type Lancer car, driven by
accused Claudio Teehankee, Jr., came up from behind them and stopped on the middle of the road.
Accused alighted from his car, approached them, and asked: "Who are you? (Show me your) I.D." Leino
thought accused only wanted to check their identities. He reached into his pocket, took out his plastic
wallet, and handed to accused his Asian Development Bank (ADB) I.D. 14 Accused did not bother to
look at his I.D. as he just grabbed Leino's wallet and pocketed it. 15
Chapman saw the incident. All of a sudden, he manifested from behind Leino and inquired what was
going on. He stepped down on the sidewalk and asked accused: "Why are you bothering us?" Accused
pushed Chapman, dug into his shirt, pulled out a gun and fired at him. Chapman felt his upper body,
staggered for a moment, and asked: "Why did you shoot me?" Chapman crumpled on the sidewalk.
Leino knelt beside Chapman to assist him but accused ordered him to get up and leave Chapman
alone. 16

Accused then turned his ire on Leino. He pointed gun at him and asked: "Do you want a trouble?" Leino
said "no" and took a step backward. The shooting initially shocked Maureen. When she came to her
senses, she became hysterical and started screaming for help. She repeatedly shouted: "Oh, my God,
he's got a gun. He's gonna kill us. Will somebody help us?"
All the while, accused was pointing his gun to and from Leino to Maureen, warning the latter to shut
up. Accused ordered Leino to sit down on the sidewalk. Leino obeyed and made no attempt to move
away. Accused stood 2-3 meters away from him. He knew he could not run far without being shot by
accused.
Maureen continued to be hysterical. She could not stay still. She strayed to the side of accused's car.
Accused tried but failed to grab her. Maureen circled around accused's car, trying to put some distance
between them. The short chase lasted for a minute or two. Eventually, accused caught Maureen and
repeatedly enjoined her to shut up and sit down beside Leino. 17
Maureen finally sat beside Leino on the sidewalk. Two (2) meters away and directly in front of them
stood accused. 18 For a moment, accused turned his back from the two. He faced them again and shot
Leino. Leino was hit on the upper jaw, fell backwards on the sidewalk, but did not lose consciousness.
Leino heard another shot and saw Maureen fall beside him. He lifted his head to see what was
happening and saw accused return to his car and drive away. 19
Leino struggled to his knees and shouted for help. He noticed at least three (3) people looking on and
standing outside their houses along Caballero Street. 20 The three were: DOMINGO FLORECE, a private
security guard hired by Stephen Roxas to secure his residence at #1357 Caballero Street, Dasmarias
Village, Makati; 21 VICENTE MANGUBAT, a stay-in driver of Margarita Canto, residing at #1352 Caballero
Street, corner Mahogany Street, Dasmarias Village; 22 and AGRIPINO CADENAS, a private security
guard assigned at the house of Rey Dempsey, located at #1351 Caballero Street, corner Mahogany
Street, Dasmarias Village. 23
Security guards Florece and Cadenas were then on duty at the house of their employer, while driver
Mangubat was in his quarters, preparing to return to his own house. These three (3) eyewitnesses
heard the first gunshot while at their respective posts.
Upon hearing the first shot, Florece went out to Caballero Street to see what was happening, while
Mangubat and Cadenas peeped over the fence of their employer's house and looked out to Caballero
Street. Each saw a man (Chapman) sprawled on the ground, another man (Leino) sitting on the
sidewalk, a third man standing up ad holding a gun and a woman (Hultman). They saw the gunman
shoot Leino and Hultman and flee aboard his Lancer car. However, because of Florece's distance from
the scene of the crime, 24 he was not able to discern the face of the gunman. He saw the control
numbers of the gunman's car as 566. He described the gateway car as a box-type Lancer, its color
somewhat white ("medyo maputi"). 25 Cadenas noticed in full the plate number of the getaway car and
gave it as PDW 566. He described the car as silver metallic gray. 26 Both Cadenas and Mangubat saw
the gunman's face. They had a good look at him. Cadenas was then a mere four (4) meters away from
the gunman's car, 27 while Mangubat was about twenty (20) meters away from the scene of the crime.
28
The three confirmed that the corner of Caballero and Mahogany Streets where the shooting took
place was adequately illuminated by a Meralco lamppost at the time of the incident. 29
After the gunman sped away, Mangubat ran outside his employer's house and went near the scene of
the crime. He noticed security guard Florece along Caballero Street. A man on a bike passed by and
Mangubat requested him to report the shooting incident to the security officers of Dasmarias Village.
30
Meanwhile, Florece returned to his post and narrated to his employer, Mrs. Helen Roxas, what he
saw. Mrs. Roxas repaired to the crime scene while Florece noted the incident in his logbook (Exhibit
"B"). He also jotted down the license plate control number of the gunman's car as 566. 31
The security guards of Dasmarias Village came after a few minutes. They rushed Leino and Maureen
to the Makati Medical Center for treatment. 32
The Makati police and agents of the NBI also came. Patrolman JAMES BALDADO of the Makati police,
together with SPO3 ALBERTO FERNANDEZ, investigated the incident. 33 Their initial investigation
disclosed that the gunman's car was a box-type Mitsubishi Lancer with plate control number 566. They
checked the list of vehicles registered with the village Homeowners' Association and were able to track
down two (2) Lancer cars bearing plate control number 566. One was registered in the name of JOSE
MONTAO of 1823 Santan Street, Dasmarias Village, with plate number PKX 566, and another was
traced to accused CLAUDIO TEEHANKEE, JR., of 1339 Caballero Street, Dasmarias Village, with plate
number PDW 566.
SALVADOR RANIN, Chief of the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the NBI, was also tasked by then NBI
Director Alfredo Lim 34 to head a team to investigate the shooting. Ranin's team immediately
proceeded to the house of Jose Montao 35 where they found ahead of them the Makati police and
operatives of the Constabulary Highway Patrol. Ranin tried to verify from Mrs. Montao whether the
white Lancer car registered in the name of Mr. Montao and bearing plate number 566 was the

gunman's car. Mrs. Montao denied and declared they had already sold the car to Saldaa Enterprises.
She averred the car was being used by one Ben Conti, a comptroller in said company, who resides in
Cubao, Quezon City. Mrs. Montao called up her husband and informed him about the investigation.
She also called up Conti and asked him to bring the car to the house. 36
Jose Montao came around noon. Conti followed with white Lancer car. Ranin brought them to the NBI
office for investigation, together with Lancer car. At the NBI Ranin inquired from Montao the
whereabouts of his car on July 12 and 13, 1991. Montao informed him that the car was at the
residence of his employee, Ben Conti, at E. Rodriguez Street, Cubao, Quezon City, the night of July 12,
1991. In the morning of July 13, 1991, Conti drove the car to their office at Saldaa Enterprises. Conti
confirmed this information. Ranin received the same confirmation from two (2) NBI agents who made a
countercheck of the allegation. Upon Ranin's request, Montao left his car at the NBI parking lot
pending identification by possible witnesses. 37
On July 14, 1991, a team of NBI agents conducted an on-the-spot investigation and neighborhood
inquiry of the shooting incident. They interviewed Domingo Florece and asked him to report to their
office the next day for further investigation. 38 They also interviewed Agripino Cadenas who was
reluctant to divulge any information and even denied having witnessed the incident. Sensing his
reluctance, they returned to Cadenas' post at Dasmarias Village that night and served him a
subpoena, inviting him to appear at the NBI office for investigation the next day. 39 The NBI agents also
talked with Armenia Asliami, an Egyptian national residing at #1350 Caballero Street, Dasmarias
Village, near the scene of the crime. Asliami informed the agents that the gunman's car was not white
but light gray. A foreign national, Asliami was afraid and refused to give a statement about the
incident. The agents exerted every effort to convince Asliami to cooperate, assuring her of their
protection. Ranin even asked a representative of the Egyptian embassy to coax Asliami to cooperate.
They failed. 40
On July 15, 1991, Florece and Cadenas appeared at the NBI office as summoned. Florece readily
executed a sworn statement. 41 Cadenas, however, continued to feign ignorance and bridled his
knowledge of the incident. He was lengthily interviewed. At around 2:00 p.m., the NBI agents informed
SOG Chief Ranin that Cadenas was still withholding information from them. Ranin talked to Cadenas in
his office. Cadenas confided to Ranin his fear to get involved in the case. He was apprehensive that the
gunman would harass or harm him or his family. After Ranin assured him of NBI protection, Cadenas
relented. 42
The next day, July 16, 1991, Cadenas gave a full disclosure to Ranin. He described the gunman's car as
a box-type Lancer with plate number PDW 566. He was brought to the NBI parking lot where Montao's
white Lancer car was parked to identify the gunman's car. Ranin asked Cadenas if Montao's was the
gunman's car. Cadenas replied that its color was different. Ranin directed him to look around the cars
in the parking lot and to point the color that most resembled the color of the gunman's car. He pointed
to a light gray car. Ranin told him that the color of the car he pointed to was not white but light gray. 43
Ranin then asked Cadenas if he could identify the gunman. Cadenas replied in the affirmative. Ranin
led Cadenas to his office and showed him ten (10) pictures of different men (Exhibits "CC-1" to "CC-10)
taken from the NBI files. One of the pictures belonged to accused Claudio Teehankee, Jr. Cadenas
studied the pictures, picked accused's picture (Exhibit "CC-7"), and identified him as the gunman.
Cadenas wrote his name and the date at the back of said picture. Atty. Alex Tenerife of the NBI then
took down Cadenas' statement. 44
Ranin sent his agents and the witnesses to the Makati Regional Trial Court to apply for a search
warrant. After a searching examination of the witnesses, Judge Rebecca Salvador issued a search
warrant (Exhibit "RR"), authorizing the NBI to search and seize the silver metallic gray, 1983 Mitsubishi
Lancer car owned by accused, bearing plate number PDW 566. Ranin and his agents drove to
accused's house at #1339 Caballero Street, Dasmarias Village, to implement the warrant. 45
At accused's house, Ranin informed Mrs. Pilar Teehankee, mother of accused, of their search warrant.
Ranin also told Mrs. Teehankee that they had orders from Director Lim to invite accused to the NBI
office for investigation. Mrs. Teehankee informed them that accused was not in the house at that time.
She excused herself, went to the kitchen and called up someone on the phone. 46
In the meantime, Ranin and his men slipped to the Teehankee garage and secured accused's car. After
a while, Mrs. Teehankee joined them. Ranin asked her for the car keys but she told him that the keys
were with accused. Upon Ranin's request, Mrs. Teehankee got in touch with accused on the phone.
Ranin conversed with accused and invited him to the NBI for investigation. Accused assured Ranin that
he would report to the NBI later that day. The agents then towed the car of accused to the NBI office. 47
At around 9:00 p.m., accused's brother, Raul Teehankee, arrived at the NBI office and waited for
accused. Accused came, escorted by three (3) Makati policemen, after an hour. He informed them that
he just came from the Makati police station where he was also investigated. He told Lim that he was
given a statement to the Makati police and was brought to the PC Crime Laboratory for paraffin test. 48

Accused's NBI investigation started. Lim asked accused of the whereabouts of his Lancer car at the
time of the shooting. Accused claimed that his car was involved in an accident a few weeks back and
was no longer functioning. The car had been parked in his mother's house at Dasmarias Village since
then. Due to the lateness of the evening, the group decided to continue the investigation the following
day. 49
The next day, July 17, 1991, after breakfast at the Manila Hotel, Lim pressed accused on what really
happened at Dasmarias Village. Accused said he did not see anything. Lim apprised accused that he
would be confronted with some eyewitnesses. Accused sank into silence. 50
Lim directed Ranin to prepare a lineup at his office. Accused was requested to join the lineup
composed of seven (7) men and he acceded. Cadenas was called from an adjoining room 51 and Ranin
asked him to identify the gunman from the lineup. Forthwith, Cadenas pointed to accused. 52 Accused
merely stared at Cadenas. 53
On the same day, then Asst. Director Epimaco Velasco, Ranin and two (2) other agents brought
accused to Forbes Park for further identification by the surviving victim, Jussi Leino. Leino has just been
discharged from the hospital the day before. Since Leino's parents were worried about his safety, they
requested the NBI to conduct the identification of the gunman in Forbes Park where the Leinos also
reside. The NBI agreed. 54
House security agents from the U.S. embassy fetched Leino at his house and escorted him and his
father to a vacant house in Forbes Park, along Narra Avenue. After a couple of minutes, Leino was
brought out of the house and placed in a car with slightly tinted windows. The car was parked about
five (5) meters away from the house. Inside the car with Leino was his father, NBI-SOG Chief Salvador
Ranin and a driver. Leino was instructed to look at the men who would be coming out of the house and
identify the gunman from the lineup. 55
A group of five to six men (including accused) then came out of the unoccupied house, into the street,
in a line-up. Leino noticed that one of them was wearing sunglasses. Since Leino could not yet speak at
that time due to the extensive injury on his tongue, he wrote down on a piece of paper a request for
one of the men in the lineup to remove his sunglasses. Leino handed this written request to his father.
The men in the lineup were herded back inside the house. After a couple of minutes, they again
stepped out and none was wearing sunglasses. From the lineup, Leino identified accused as the
gunman. 56
The agents brought back accused to the NBI. They prepared and referred the cases of murder and
double frustrated murder against accused to the Department of Justice for appropriate action. At the
inquest, Fiscal Dennis Villa-Ignacio did not recommend bail insofar as the murder charge was
concerned. Hence, accused was detained at the NBI. 57
The shooting incident was also investigated by the Makati Police. Pat. Baldado went to see security
guard Vicente Mangubat at his post, at the residence of his employer in Dasmarias Village. Baldado
interviewed Mangubat and invited him to the Makati police station where his statement (Exhibit "D")
was taken. 58
The next day, July 16, 1991, at about 8:30 a.m., Pat. Baldado fetched Mangubat from his house and
brought him to the Makati police station. At the station, Baldado told him to wait for a man who would
be coming and see if the person was the gunman. Mangubat was posted at the top of the stairs at the
second floor of the station. 59
After a couple of hours, accused, came with Makati police Major Lovete. He ascended the stairs, passed
by Mangubat and proceeded to Major Lovete's office at the second floor. While accused was going up
the stairs, Pat. Baldado inquired from Mangubat if accused was the gunman. Mangubat initially
declined to identify accused, saying that he wanted to see the man again to be sure. He also confided
to Pat. Baldado that he was nervous and afraid for accused was accompanied by a police Major. When
accused came out from Major Lovete's office, Pat. Baldado again asked Mangubat if accused was the
gunman. Mangubat nodded his head in response. 60 Accused, together with Major Lovete and Pat.
Baldado, boarded a Mercedes Benz and left. Mangubat was brought back to his post at Dasmarias
Village
by
other
Makati
policemen. 61
Two (2) days later, Pat. Baldado visited Mangubat at his employer's house and asked him again if
accused was really the gunman. Once more, Mangubat answered in the affirmative. Pat. Baldado told
Mangubat that he would no longer ask him to sign a statement which he (Baldado) earlier prepared
(Exhibit "HHH"). 62 Baldado then left. 63
In the afternoon of July 23, 1991, Mangubat was also questioned by the NBI agents. Director Lim asked
Mangubat if he could recognize the gunman. Mangubat said he could. Mangubat was shown twelve
(12) pictures (Exhibits "E" to "E-11) of different men and was asked to identify the gun gunman from
them. He chose one picture (Exhibit "E-10"), that of accused, and identified him as the gunman.

Mangubat's statement was taken. He was asked to return to the NBI the next day to make a personal
identification. 64
When Mangubat returned, a lineup was prepared in Lim's office in the presence of the media. At that
time, accused's counsels, Attys. Jimenez and Malvar, were at the office of then Asst. Director Epimaco
Velasco protesting to the submission of accused to identification. They pointed out that since the cases
against accused had already been filed in court and they have secured a court order for the transfer of
accused to the Makati municipal jail, any identification of accused should be made in the courtroom.
Asst. Director Velasco insisted on the identification as it was part of their on-going investigation.
Eventually, accused's counsels acquiesced but requested that identification be made without the
presence of the media. Velasco turned them down and explained that if accused is not identified n the
lineup, the media coverage would favor accused. 65
All that time, accused was at the SOG office. He refused to join the lineup at Lim's office and remained
seated. Ranin was compelled to bring to the SOG office the men composing the lineup and he asked
them to go near accused. Ranin then told Mangubat to go in the office. Mangubat pointed to accused
as the gunman.
With the identification of accused by Mangubat, the NBI wrote finis to its investigation. 66
JUSSI LEINO, the surviving victim, suffered the following injuries:
FINDINGS:
= Abrasion, 0.5 cm., temporal area, left.
= Wound, gunshot, entrance, circular in shape, 1.0 cm. in diameter,
located at the upper lip, mouth, along the medial line, directed
backwards and downwards, fracturing the maxillary bone and central
and lateral incisors, both sides, to the buccal cavity then lacerating the
tongue with fragments of the bullet lodged in the right palatine, tongue
and tonsillar region.
SKULL
CHEST
FOR
RIBS
X-RAY
#353322
July 13, 1991
No demonstrable evidence of fracture. Note of radioopaque foreign
body (bullet fragments) along the superior alveolar border on the right.
No remarkable findings.
CT SCAN #43992 July 13, 1991
Small hyperdensities presumably bullet and bone fragments in the
right palatine, tongue and tonsillar regions with associated soft tissue
swelling.
Anterior maxillary bone comminuted fracture.
Temporal lobe contusions with small hematomata on the right side.
Minimal subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Intact bone calvarium.
xxx xxx xxx 67
Dr. Pedro Solis, testified that the bullet entered the left temple of Leino. After entering Leino's head, it
fractured his upper jaw and his front teeth. Some of the bullet fragments pierced his palette and
tongue. Brain scanning revealed contusions on the temporal lobe and hemorrhage on the covering of
the brain. Physical deformity resulted as a consequence of the gunshot wound because of the
fractured upper jaw and the loss of the front teeth. Sutures were performed on the upper portion of his
tongue. Nonetheless, Leino's injuries on the tongue caused him difficulty in speaking. 68
Dr. Solis also testified as to the relative position of Leino and the gunman. He opined that the muzzle of
the gun, like in the case of Maureen, must have been at a higher level than the victim's head. He
concluded that the gun must have been pointed above Leino's head considering the acuteness and
downward trajectory of the bullet. 69
Dr. Leovigildo C. Isabela, a neuro-surgeon at the Makati Medical Center, operated on MAUREEN
HULTMAN. He testified that when he first saw Maureen, she was unconscious and her face was
bloodied all over. Maureen had a bullet hole on the left side of the forehead, above the eyebrow. Brain
tissues were oozing out of her nostrils and on the left side of the forehead where the bullet entered. 70
They brought Maureen to the x-ray room for examination of her skull. She was also given a CT scan.
The examination revealed that she suffered injuries on the skull and brain. There were several
splintered bullets in her brain and the major portion of the bullet, after it fragmented, was lodged
beneath her right jaw. 71
Maureen was rushed to the operating room for surgery. Dr. Isabela led a team who operated on her
brain to arrest the bleeding inside her head, remove devitalized brain tissues and retrieve the
splintered bullets embedded in her brain. Due to the extensive swelling of Maureen's brain and her

very unstable condition, he failed to patch the destroyed undersurface covering of her brain. 72 After
the surgery, Maureen's vital signs continued to function but she remained unconscious. She was
wheeled to the ICU for further observation.
Two (2) weeks later, brain tissues and fluid continue to flow out of Maureen's nostrils due to the
unpatched undersurface covering of her brain, leaving the swollen portion of her brain exposed. A
second surgery was made on July 30, 1991 to repair Maureen's brain covering. He used the fascia lata
of Maureen's right thigh to replace the destroyed covering of the brain. Nonetheless, Maureen
remained unconscious. The trickle of brain tissues through her nose was lessened but Maureen
developed infection as a result of the destruction of her brain covering. Maureen developed brain
abscess because of the infection. She underwent a third operation to remove brain abscess and all
possible focus of infection. 73
Testifying on the extensive injuries suffered by Maureen Hultman, Dr. Solis explained that Maureen was
shot at the left side of the forehead. The bullet entry was at 1.5 cm. above the eyebrow. Upon entering
the forehead, the bullet fragmented into pieces and went from the left to the right side of the temple,
fracturing the frontal bone of the skull. The bullet eventually settled behind the right jaw of Maureen. 74
The wound inflicted on Maureen was mortal for it hit one of the most vital parts of the body, the brain.
When Maureen was subjected to CT scan, they discovered hemorrhage in her brain. After the bullet hit
her head, it caused hemorrhagic lesion on the ventricles of the brain and the second covering of the
brain. 75
The bullet also injured Maureen's eye sockets. There was swelling underneath the forehead brought
about by edema in the area. Scanning also showed that Maureen's right jaw was affected by the
fragmented bullet. The whole interior portion of her nose was also swollen. 76
A team of doctors operated on Maureen's brain. They tried to control the internal bleeding and remove
the splintered bullets, small bone fragments and dead tissues. The main bullet was recovered behind
Maureen's right jaw. There was also an acute downward trajectory of the bullet. Hence, it was opined
that Maureen was shot while she was seated. 77
With each passing day, Maureen's condition deteriorated. Even if Maureen survived, she would have
led a vegetating life and she would have needed assistance in the execution of normal and ordinary
routines. 78 She would have been completely blind on the left eye and there was possibility she would
have also lost her vision on the right eye. All her senses would have been modified and the same
would have affected her motor functions. There was practically no possibility for Maureen to return to
normal. 79
Maureen did not survive her ordeal. After ninety-seven (97) days of confinement in the hospital, she
ceased to be a breathing soul on October 17, 1991.
For his exculpation, accused relied on the defense of denial and alibi. Accused claimed that on said
date and time, he was not anywhere near the scene of the crime. He alleged that he was then in his
house at #53 San Juan, Barrio Kapitolyo, Pasig. He slept at around 1:00 a.m. on July 13, 1991 and woke
up at around 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. that same morning. Accused avowed his two (2) maids could attest to
his presence in his house that fateful day. 80
Accused averred that he only came to know the three (3) victims in the Dasmarias shooting when he
read the newspaper reports about it. He denied knowing prosecution eyewitnesses Agripino Cadenas
and Vicente Mangubat before they identified him as the gunman. 81
Accused admitted ownership of a box-type, silver metallic gray Mitsubishi Lancer, with plate number
PDW 566. He, however, claimed that said car ceased to be in good running condition after its
involvement in an accident in February 1991. Since May 1991 until the day of the shooting, his Lancer
car had been parked in the garage of his mother's house in Dasmarias Village. He has not used this
car since then. Accused, however, conceded that although the car was not in good running condition, it
could still be used. 82
Accused said that on July 16, 1991, he went to the Makati police station at around 5:00 p.m. upon
invitation of Chief of Police Remy Macaspac and Major Lovete who wanted to ask him about the
ownership of the Lancer car parked in his mother's house. He readily gave a statement to the Makati
police denying complicity in the crime. He submitted himself to a paraffin test. He was accompanied by
the Makati police to the Crime Laboratory in Camp Crame and was tested negative for gunpowder
nitrates. 83 After the test, he asked the Makati policemen to accompany him to the NBI for he had
earlier committed to his mother that he would present himself to Director Lim. 84
He arrived at Director Lim's office at about 9:30 to 10:00 p.m. He furnished Lim with the statement he
earlier gave to the Makati police. Thereafter, Lim detained him at the NBI against his will. 85
The following day, July 17, 1991, Lim and his agents brought him to the Manila Hotel for breakfast.
When they returned to the NBI, he was asked to proceed to Lim's office. On his way, he saw a lineup
formed inside Lim's office. The NBI agents forced him to join the lineup and placed him in the number

seven (7) slot. He observed that the man who was to identify him was already in the room. As soon as
he walked up to the lineup, Cadenas identified him as the gunman. 86
A second identification was made on the same day at a house in Forbes Park. The NBI agents brought
him to Forbes Park but he never saw Jussi Leino who allegedly identified him as the gunman in a
lineup. 87
A third identification was conducted on July 24, 1991. He was then seated at the office of Ranin for he
refused to join another lineup. Despite his protest, the NBI agents insisted on the conduct of the
identification and ordered a group of men to line up alongside him. While thus seated, he was
identified by Mangubat as the gunman. He complained that he was not assisted by counsel at any
stage of said investigation. 88
The defense also presented CLAUDIO TEEHANKEE III, son of accused Claudio Teehankee, Jr. He testified
that from May 1989 to February 1991, he had been using his father's Lancer car bearing plate number
PDW 566 in going to school. 89
In February 1991, while driving his father's Lancer car, he accidentally hit a bicycle driver and two (2)
trucks parked at the side of the road. The accident resulted in the death of the bicycle driver and
damage to his father's car, 90 especially on its body. The timing of the engine became a little off and
the car was hard to start. They had the car repaired at Reliable Shop located in Banawe Street, Quezon
city. After a month, he brought the car to the residence of his grandmother, Pilar Teehankee, at
Dasmarias Village, Makati. He personally started the car's engine and drove it to Makati from the shop
in Quezon City. He did not bring the car to their house in Pasig for it was still scheduled for further
repairs and they preferred to have the repair done in a shop in Makati. Teehankee III claimed that from
that time on, he was prohibited by his father from using the car because of his careless driving. He
kept the keys to the car and since he was busy in school, no further repair on said car had been made.
91

Accused also imputed the commission of the crimes at bar to Anders Hultman, adoptive father of
deceased victim Maureen Hultman. He capitalized on a newspaper report that the gunman may have
been an overprotective father. This theory was formed when an eyewitness allegedly overheard
Maureen pleading to the gunman: "Huwag Daddy. Huwag, Daddy." The defense presented Anders
Hultman as a hostile witness.
ANDERS HULTMAN, testified that he is a Swedish national. He and Vivian Hultman were married in the
Philippines in 1981. Vivian had two (2) children by her previous marriage, one of whom was Maureen.
He legally adopted Vivian's two (2) daughters in 1991. He and Vivian had three (3) children of their
own. 92
The defense confronted Anders with one of the angles of the crime in the initial stage of the
investigation, i.e., that Maureen was overhead pleading to the gunman: "Huwag, Daddy. Huwag,
Daddy." Anders explained that Maureen could not have uttered those words for Maureen never spoke
Tagalog. He also said that all his children call him "Papa," not "Daddy." 93
On July 12, 1991, he and Vivian permitted Maureen to have a night out but instructed her to be home
by 2:00 a.m. Maureen just received her first salary in her first job and she wanted to celebrate with
friends. At the time of the shooting, he and his wife were sleeping in their house. He woke up at around
5:15 a.m. of July 13, 1991 when a security guard came to their house and informed them about the
killings. 94
Anders admitted he had been vocal about the VIP treatment accorded to accused at the Makati
municipal jail. On several occasions, he checked on accused in jail and discovered that accused was
not in his cell. The jail guards even covered up accused's whereabouts. His complaint was investigated
by the Congressional Committee on Crime Prevention, headed by Congressman Concepcion. 95
The defense also presented two (2) Makati policemen, PAT. JAMES F. BALDADO and SPO3 ALBERTO
FERNANDEZ, who investigated the shooting.
Pat. Baldado testified that in the course of his investigation, he learned from Mr. Jose Montao that he
sold his white Lancer car, with plate number PKX 566, to Saldaa Lending Investors in February 1991.
This car was assigned to Ben Conti, Operations Manager of said company and was in the residence of
Conti at the time of the shooting. The other witnesses he interviewed confirmed that Montao's white
Lancer car was not in the vicinity of Montao's residence at the time of the incident. 96
SPO3 Fernandez testified that he interviewed security guard Vicente Mangubat. Mangubat saw the
gunman and the get-away car but could not give the central letters of the car's license plate.
Fernandez went to one of the houses at the corner of Mahogany and Caballero Streets and asked the
maid therein if he could use the phone. After placing a call, the maid told him that he saw the gunman
and heard one of the victims say: "Daddy, don't shoot. Don't, don't." Fernandez tried to get the maid's
name but the latter refused. The defense did not present this maid in court nor asked the court to
subpoena her to testify. Neither was the alleged statement of the maid included in the Progress Report
(Exhibit "13") prepared by the Makati police investigators. 97

SPO3 Fernandez saw Mangubat the next time on July 16, 1991 when he and Baldado fetched the latter
at Dasmarias Village for identification of the gunman at the Makati police station.
At the police station, Fernandez and Baldado posted Mangubat at the lobby. After a few minutes,
accused and company arrived. When accused passed by them, they instructed Mangubat to look
around and see if he could identify the gunman. Mangubat failed to identify accused. Mangubat told
Fernandez that the gunman was younger and shorter than accused. 98
SPO3 Fernandez also took the statement of security guard Domingo Florece (Exhibit "MM"). It was
signed by Florece in his presence. In said statement, Florece described the gunman's car as "medyo
puti" (somewhat white). 99
ELIZABETH AYONON, forensic chemist of the PNP Crime Laboratory, testified on the paraffin test she
conducted on July 17, 1991 on both hands of accused. 100 As per Chemistry Report No. C 274-91, 101 the
test yielded a negative result of gunpowder nitrates on accused's hands. In said Report, she noted that
accused was subjected to paraffin test more than seventy-two (72) hours after the shooting incident.
She explained that 72 hours is the reasonable period within which nitrate residues may not be
removed by ordinary washing and would remain on the hands of a person who has fired a gun. 102
ATTY. MANUEL Q. MALVAR, one of accused's counsel of record, also took the stand for the defense. He
testified that in the course of handling the cases, he was able to confer with Ponferrada, Cadenas'
supervisor at the Security agency where Cadenas was employed. Ponferrada informed him that
Cadenas confided to him that he was tortured at the NBI and was compelled to execute a statement.
Ponferrada, allegedly, refused to testify. Atty. Malvar, however, admitted the defense did not compel
the attendance of Ponferrada by subpoena. On rebuttal, Cadenas denied the torture story.
Atty. Malvar also admitted that he and Atty. Jimenez were aware of the irregularities committed in the
off-court identification of their client. When asked what he did to remedy this perceived irregularity,
Malvar said he objected to the conduct of the lineup. When further pressed whether he filed a petition
for review raising this issue with the Department of Justice upon the filing of the cases therewith, he
said he did not. He offered the excuse that he deferred to Atty. Jimenez, the principal counsel of
accused at that time. He also declared that although they knew that arraignment would mean waiver
of the alleged irregularities in the conduct of the investigation and preliminary investigation, he and
Atty. Jimenez allowed accused to be arraigned. 103
The defense likewise relied on a number of news accounts reporting the progress in the investigation
of the case. It presented seven (7) newspaper reporters as witnesses, viz: Nestor Barrameda of the
Manila Times, Martin Marfil and Dave Veridiano of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Nida Mendoza of
Malaya, Itchie Kabayan and Alex Allan of the People's Journal and Elena Aben of the Manila Bulletin.
The bulk of defense evidence consists of newspaper clippings and the testimonies of the news
reporters, thus:
NESTOR BARRAMEDA, a news reporter of the Manila Times identified two (2) news reports as having
been partly written by him. One was a news item, entitled: "JUSTICE DEP'T ORDERS PROBE OF THREE
METRO KILLINGS" (Exhibit "1"), appearing on the July 16, 1991 issue of the Manila Times. 104 He,
however, clarified that a news report is usually the product of collaborative work among several
reporters. They follow the practice of pooling news reports where several reporters are tasked to cover
one subject matter. The news editor then compiles the different reports they file and summarizes them
into one story. 105
The defense lifted only certain portions of Exhibit "1" and marked them in evidence as follows:
Exhibit "1-A":
Bello directed NBI Deputy Director Epimaco Velasco to take over the investigation of
the murders of Roland Chapman, 21, Eldon Maguan, 25, and three members of a family
Estrellita Vizconde and her daughters, Carmela, 19, and Anne Marie Jennifer, 7.
Exhibit "1-B"
Police said that Chapman's assailant could have been angered when Hultman, a 10th
grader at the International School in Makati was escorted home by Chapman after
going to a disco.
Exhibit "1-C"
The lone gunman, witnesses told police, first pistol-whipped Hultman.
Exhibit "l-D"
The same witnesses said Chapman and Leino were shot when they tried to escape.
Exhibit "1-E"
Other angles
Velasco said "we are pursuing two angles" in the Chapman murder.
One, he said, is the jealousy angle and the other is a "highly sensitive" matter that
might involve influential people. 106

Barrameda testified that he had no personal knowledge of the content of the news items marked as
Exhibits "1-C" to "1-D". He just culled them from previous news reports of other newspapers. He
admitted that the only portion he wrote based on an actual interview with NBI Asst. Director Velasco
was Exhibit "I-E."
Barrameda identified another news item in the July 23, 1991 issue of the Manila Times, entitled: "NBI
INSISTS IT HAS "RIGHT" SUSPECT IN CHAPMAN SLAY" which was marked as Exhibit "2." Certain portions
thereof, which were not written by Barrameda, 107 were lifted by the defense and offered in evidence,
viz:
Exhibit "2-a"
Superintendent Lucas Managuelod, CIS director for the national capital region, claims,
however, that another security guard, Vic Mangubat, had testified before the police
that another man, not Teehankee, had fired at Chapman and his companions.
Exhibit "2-b"
The CIS official added that the absence of nitrite or powder burns on Teehankee's
hands as shown by paraffin tests at the CIS laboratory indicated that he may not have
fired the gun. 108
MARTIN MARFIL, a reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer identified two (2) newspaper clippings which
were partly written by him.
One news item, which appeared on the July 17, 1991 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, was entitled:
"FBI JOINS PROBE OF DASMA SLAY" (Exhibit "3"). 109
Again, the defense marked in evidence certain portions of Exhibit "3", thus:
Exhibit "3-a"
Witnesses said Hultman talked with the gunman whom she called "Daddy" shortly
before Chapman's shooting.
Exhibit "3-b"
But Ranin said they were also looking into reports that Hultman was a dancer before
she was adopted by her foster parent.
Exhibit "3-c"
Investigations showed that the gunman sped along Caballero street inside the village
after the shooting and was believed to have proceeded toward Forbes Park using the
Palm street gate.
On cross-examination, Marfil admitted that he did not write Exhibits "3-a" and "3-c". He just reiterated
previous reports in other newspapers. They were based on speculations.
Marfil also wrote some portions of a news item, entitled: "TEEHANKEE SON HELD FOR DASMA SLAY,"
which appeared on the July 18, 1991 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Exhibit "4"), viz:
Exhibit "4-B"
According to NBI Director Alfredo Lim, the break in the case came when the witness
showed up and said that the gunman was on board a silver-metallic Lancer.
Exhibit "4-C"
The witness said the gunman was standing a few feet away near the car and was
talking to Hultman, who was shouting "Huwag! Daddy!" several times. 110
Marfil's source of information was Director Lim. On cross-examination, Marfil admitted that the
news reports marked as Exhibits "3" and "4" were written based on information available at
that time. 111
NIDA MENDOZA, a reporter of the Malaya identified a news report, entitled: "TEEHANKEE SON HELD ON
DASMA SLAYING," which appeared on the July 18, 1991 issue of Malaya. She testified that she wrote a
portion thereof, marked as Exhibit "5-c", and the sources of her information were several Makati
policemen. 112 Exhibit "5-c" reads:
Makati policemen, meanwhile, disputed NBI accounts that Teehankee was arrested at
his house.
They said Teehankee, the last remaining owner of a car with plate control number 566
who had not been questioned, voluntarily went to police headquarters upon invitation
of Makati police chief Superintendent Remy Macaspac. 113
The defense presented EXHIBITS "1-5" to prove: (a) the alleged concerted effort of the investigators to
implicate accused as the lone gunman; (b) that there were other suspects aside from accused and that
someone whom Maureen called as "Daddy" was the actual gunman; (c) that the initial police
investigation showed that the gunman's car was a white Lancer with plate no. 566; and, (d) that after
the NBI took over the investigation, the white Lancer car of the gunman became a silver gray Lancer of
accused and thereafter, he became the gunman.

ITCHIE CABAYAN, a reporter of the People's Journal identified the portions she wrote in the news item,
entitled: ''I WILL HOUND YOU", which appeared on the October 24, 1991 issue of People's Journal
(Exhibit "6"). She identified the source of her information as Mr. Anders Hultman himself. 114
The portions thereof were marked in evidence by the defense, viz:
Exhibit "6-a"
"I will be visiting him often and at the most unexpected occasion," Hultman said the
day after his 17-year old daughter was cremated. 115
Exhibit "6-b"
The day Maureen died, a congressional hearing granted the Hultman family's request
for permission to visit Teehankee in his cell "at anytime of their choice."
Exhibit "6-c"
"If on my next visit he still refuses to come out and is still hiding behind the curtain,"
Hultman said, "Congress told me that I can take the curtain down and jail authorities
will pull him out." 116
ALEX ALLAN, also a reporter of People's Journal co-wrote the news item marked as Exhibit "6".
Specifically, he wrote Exhibits "6-d" and "6-e" 117 which read:
Exhibit "6-d"
"Kaawaawa naman ang mga Hultmans, tulungan natin sila," Ong was quoted as telling
Vergel de Dios.
Exhibit "6-e"
BIR insiders said Ong has shown a keen interest in the Chapman-Hultman, Vizconde
and Eldon Maguan cases because he belongs to a secret but very influential multisectoral group monitoring graft and corruption and other crimes in high levels of
government and society. 118
Allan was not able to check or verify the information in Exhibit "6-e" given to him by BIR insiders for
the latter refused to be identified. 119
Exhibit "6" and its sub-markings were offered to prove: (a) the alleged blind and consuming personal
rage and bias of Anders Hultman against accused; and (b) the unwarranted pressure, prejudice and
prejudgment by some congressional leaders in favor of the Hultmans in violation of due process.
DAVE VERIDIANO, a reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, identified the news account which
appeared on the July 16, 1991 issue of the Inquirer, entitled: "DASMA SLAY SUSPECT IDENTIFIED"
(Exhibit "7"). He wrote a portion of said article (Exhibit "7-c") and the source of his information was
Camp Crame. 120 It reads:
Exhibit "7-c"
Witnesses said the gunman fled aboard a white Mitsubishi Lancer with plate number
"566." The witnesses cannot tell the plate's control letters. 121
Veridiano likewise identified a news item which appeared on the July 1991 issue of the Inquirer,
entitled: "N.B.I. FINDINGS DISPUTED, SECOND WITNESS TAGS TEEHANKEE" (Exhibit "8"). The portions
of said news item which he wrote were marked in evidence by the defense, viz:
Exhibit "8-a"
At the Criminal Investigation Service, however, an investigator who asked not to be
identified insisted that the NBI got the wrong man. The NBI has taken over the case
from the CIS.
Exhibit "8-c"
He said the CIS will shortly identify the suspect killer whom he described as
"resembling Teehankee but looks much younger."
Exhibit "8-e"
The source said that the police's "prime witness," identified only as Mangubat, saw
everything that happened in the early morning of July 13. The witness, however, failed
to identify Teehankee as the gunman. 122
Veridiano was shown another news report, entitled: "CIS GIVES UP CHAPMAN SLAY CASE", which
appeared on the July 26, 1991 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Exhibit 9). 123 He wrote the entire
news account, 124 portions of which were marked by the defense in evidence, thus:
Exhibit "9-a"
The CIS pulled out from the case a day after its so-called "surprise witness" picked
Claudio Teehankee, Jr. from an NBI lineup.
He gathered this information from his source but he was not able to interview Mangubat
himself. 125
Exhibit "9-b"

Sira ulo pala siya (Mangubat). Ilang beses kong pinarada sa kanya si Bobby
(Teehankee Jr.) puro iling siya. Hindi raw ito ang suspect. Ngayon bigla niyang ituturo,
said a red-faced Makati investigator who, as usual, did not want to be identified.
ELENA ABEN, a reporter from the Manila Bulletin, wrote the entire article, entitled: "US DIPLOMAT'S
SON SHOT DEAD", which appeared on the July 14, 1991 issue of the Manila Bulletin (Exhibit "10"). 126
Two (2) portions thereof were marked as evidence by the defense, viz:
Exhibit "10-a-1"
The victims were on their way home in Olanileino's Mercedez Benz with a diplomat's
plate number when a white Lancer with plate number PKX-566 blocked its path.
Exhibit "10-a-2"
US embassy spokesman Stanley Schrager said Chapman's father is a communications
specialist. He said the shooting could be the result of an altercation on the street. 127
Finally, VICTOR VEGA, a reporter of the Manila Bulletin, identified the news account he wrote which
appeared on the July 16, 1991 issue of the Bulletin, entitled: "4 MURDER SUSPECTS FALL" (Exhibit
"22"). Portions of said news item were marked by the defense as follows:
Exhibit "22-b"
. . . He was shot to death by a group of armed men at the corner of Mahogany and
Caballero Sts. in Dasmarias Village at past 4 a.m. Friday.
Exhibit "22-c"
The NBI sources said that jealousy sparked the slaying of Chapman who was killed in
front of his friends on his way home from a party. The armed men, on board a white
Lancer car, blocked the path of the victim's Mercedes Benz car inside the village before
the shooting.
Exhibit "22-a-1"
The gunmen then alighted from their car and at gunpoint ordered Chapman to alight
from the car. They shot Chapman several times in the body, while his companions
identified as Maureen Hultman, and Jussi Olanileino, were seriously wounded when the
gunmen sprayed the car with bullets.
The gunmen escaped after the shooting. Lim said he will announce later the names of
the detained suspects after their initial investigation. 128
Finally, his article, entitled: "MAKATI SLAY SUSPECT IDENTIFIED" (Exhibit "23"), which appeared on the
July 18, 1991 issue of the Manila Bulletin, was introduced by the defense in evidence as follows:
Exhibit "23-a-1"
The NBI said Teehankee was one of four men who blocked Chapman's car on Mahogany
St. in the subdivision.
Exhibit "23-a-2"
Witnesses said they saw Teehankee order Chapman and his two companions, Maureen
Hultman and Jussi Olanileino, a Finn, to get out of their car.
Exhibit "23-a-3"
They identified the car used by the suspect, a silver gray Lancer with plate No. PDW
566. They added that they saw the same car in the garage of the Teehankee family. 129
On cross-examination, Vega declared that the source of his two (a) stories was the NBI and they were
based on information available to the NBI at that time 130
The prosecution recalled to the stand eyewitness VICENTE MANGUBAT as its rebuttal witness.
Mangubat insisted that he was able to identify accused when he saw the latter at the Makati police
station. Her reiterated that the next day, Pat. Baldado of the Makati police went to his place of work in
Dasmarias Village and asked him if he was sure about the identity of the gunman. He told Baldado he
was positive. Baldado then said him he would no longer require him to sign the statement he prepared
for him earlier. 131
LEONORA C. VALLADO, chief of the Forensic Chemistry Division of the NBI, was also presented as a
prosecution rebuttal witness. She testified that extensive washing of hands or excessive perspiration
can eliminate gunpowder nitrates lodged on skin pores of the hands. Continued washing with hot water
can induce perspiration and remove nitrate residue embedded in the skin pores. Application of vinegar
on the hand can register the same effect. 132
She testified that their practice at the NBI is to take the paraffin test on a suspect within 72 hours from
the time of the alleged firing of a gun, during which time, any possible trace of nitrate may still be
found. 133
She divulged that questions have been raised regarding the reliability of the paraffin test. She related
that she once attended a training in Baguio City where they tried to test the accuracy of a paraffin test.
In said training, two (2) NBI agents fired a .38 revolver. One of them washed his hands. They then
subjected both agents to a paraffin test using diphylamine reagent. Both yielded a negative result.

Thus, she opined, the result of a paraffin test should merely be taken as a corroborative evidence and
evaluated together with other physical evidence. 134
The records show that the case was set for hearing on October 29, 1992 for the presentation by the
defense of sur-rebuttal evidence. However, a day before the scheduled hearing, the defense filed a
Constancia 135 manifesting that it shall waive its right to present sur-rebuttal evidence, the same being
unneccesary. The defense, however, declared that this is without prejudice to the presentation of its
evidence in the trial proper should the same be necessary.
At the hearing of October 29, 1992, the defense counsels did not appear. The prosecution moved in
open court that the main cases and the petition for bail be submitted for decision in view of the
absence of defense counsels who had manifested that they would no longer present their sur-rebuttal
evidence. The motion was granted and the parties were given ten (10) days from receipt of the Order
within which to submit their simultaneous Memorandum. 136 It does not appear that the defense
objected to this Order. The records show that the defense even filed a motion asking for additional
time to file its Memorandum. 137 In due time, both parties submitted their respective Memorandum.
On December 22, 1992, the trial court convicted accused CLAUDIO TEEHANKEE, JR. of the crimes
charged. 138 The dispositive portion of the Decision reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court hereby renders judgment:
(1) In criminal Case No. 91-4605, finding accused Claudio J. Teehankee, Jr., guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of Murder, qualified by treachery, for the fatal
shooting of Roland John Chapman, and sentencing said accused to suffer imprisonment
of Reclusion perpetua, and to pay the heirs of the said deceased the sum of Fifty
Thousand Pesos (P50, 000.00), Philippine Currency, plus moderate or temperate and
exemplary damages in the sum of Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00),
Philippine Currency;
(2) In Criminal Case No. 91-4606, finding accused Claudio J. Teehankee, Jr., guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of Murder, qualified by treachery, for the fatal
shooting of Maureen Navarro Hultman, and sentencing him to suffer imprisonment of
Reclusion Perpetua, and to pay the heirs of the said deceased the sum of Fifty
Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00), Philippine Currency, plus the sums of Two Million Three
Hundred Fifty Thousand Four Hundred Sixty-One Pesos and Eighty-Three Centavos
(P2,350,461.83), Philippine Currency, as actual damages; Thirteen Million Pesos
(P13,000,000.00), Philippine Currency, for loss of earning capacity of the said
deceased; and One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00), Philippine Currency, as moral,
moderate and exemplary damages;
(3) In Criminal Case No. 91-4607, finding accused Claudio J. Teehankee, Jr., guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of Frustrated Murder, qualified by treachery,
for the shooting of Jussi Olavi Leino, and sentencing him to suffer the indeterminate
penalty of eight (8) years of prision mayor, as minimum, to ten (10) years and one (1)
day of prision mayor, as maximum, and to pay the said offended party the sum of
Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00), Philippine Currency; plus the sum of One Hundred
Eighteen Thousand Three Hundred Sixty-Nine Pesos and Eighty-Four Centavos
(P118,369.84), Philippine Currency, and another sum equivalent in Philippine Pesos of
U.S. $55,600.00, both as actual damages; an amount equivalent in Philippine Pesos of
U.S. $40,000.00, as loss of earning capacity of said offended party; and One Million
Pesos (P1,000,000.00), Philippine Currency, as moral, moderate and exemplary
damages.
(4) In all these three cases ordering said accused to pay all the offended parties the
sum of Three Million Pesos (P3,000,000.00), Philippine Currency, as and for attorney's
fees and expenses of litigation; and
(5) To pay the costs in these three cases.
Consequently the petition for bail is hereby denied for utter lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.
Accused hired a new counsel in the person of Atty. Nicanor B. Gatmaytan, Jr. He filed a Motion for New
Trial, 139 alleging for the first time that the trial court erred in considering as submitted for decision not
only the petition for bail but also the case on the merits. He claimed that accused's right to adduce
further evidence was violated. His motion for new trial was denied.
Accused interposed the present appeal. 140 He contends that:
I. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE ACCUSED HAD BEEN POSITIVELY
IDENTIFIED BY JUSSI LEINO, CADENAS AND MANGUBAT AS THE ONE WHO SHOT HIM,
ROLAND CHAPMAN AND MAUREEN NAVARRO HULTMAN.

II. THE PROSECUTION HAS FAILED TO ESTABLISH THE GUILT OF THE ACCUSED BEYOND
REASONABLE DOUBT.
III. THE PUBLICITY GIVEN THE CASE AGAINST THE APPELLANT WAS MASSIVE,
OVERWHELMING, AND PREJUDICIAL AS TO EFFECTIVELY DEPRIVE THE ACCUSED OF
RIGHT TO IMPARTIAL TRIAL.
IV. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE KILLING OF CHAPMAN AND
HULTMAN AND THE SHOOTING OF LEINO WAS ATTENDED BY TREACHERY.
V. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN GRANTING EXORBITANT MORAL AND EXEMPLARY
DAMAGES AND LOSS OF EARNING CAPACITY.
VI. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN AWARDING ATTORNEY'S FEES OF THREE MILLION
PESOS (P3,000,000.00).
VII. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN RENDERING JUDGMENT ON THE MERITS AND ON THE
PETITION FOR BAIL AT THE SAME TIME WITHOUT GIVING THE ACCUSED THE
OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE IN HIS DEFENSE ON THE MERITS OF
THE CASE AND DENYING THE ACCUSED'S MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL.
We shall discuss these alleged errors in seriatim.
Appellant was convicted on the strength of the testimonies of three (3) eyewitnesses who positively
identified him as the gunman. He vigorously assails his out-of-court identification by these
eyewitnesses.
He starts by trying to discredit the eyeball account of Jussi Leino, the lone surviving victim of the
crimes at bar. Appellant urges:
First, that Leino's identification of him outside an unoccupied house in Forbes Park was highly irregular.
Second, that Leino saw his pictures on television and the newspapers before he identified him.
Third, that Leino's interview at the hospital was never put in writing.
Fourth, that the sketch of appellant based on the description given by Leino to the CIS agents was
suppressed by the NBI. It is surmised that the sketch must have been among the evidence turned over
to the NBI when the latter assumed jurisdiction over the investigation.
Lastly, that Leino could not have remembered the face of appellant. The shooting lasted for only five
(5) minutes. During that period, his gaze could not have been fixed only on the gunman's face. His
senses were also dulled by the five (5) bottles of beer he imbibed that night.
It is understandable for appellant to assail his out-of-court identification by the prosecution witnesses
in his first assignment of error. Eyewitness identification constitutes vital evidence and, in most cases,
decisive of the success or failure of the prosecution. Yet, while eyewitness identification is significant, it
is not as accurate and authoritative as the scientific forms of identification evidence such as the
fingerprint or DNA testing. Some authors even describe eyewitness evidence as "inherently suspect."
141
The causes of misidentification are known, thus:
xxx xxx xxx
Identification testimony has at least three components. First, witnessing a crime,
whether as a victim or a bystander, involves perception of an event actually occurring.
Second, the witness must memorize details of the event. Third, the witness must be
able to recall and communicate accurately. Dangers of unreliability in eyewitness
testimony arise at each of these three stages, for whenever people attempt to acquire,
retain, and retrieve information accurately, they are limited by normal human
fallibilities and suggestive influences. (Emphasis Supplied) 142
Out-of-court identification is conducted by the police in various ways. It is done thru show-ups where
the suspect alone is brought face to face with the witness for identification. It is done thru mug shots
where photographs are shown to the witness to identify the suspect. It is also done thru line-ups where
a witness identifies the suspect from a group of persons lined up for the purpose. Since corruption of
out-of-court identification contaminates the integrity of in-court identification during the trial of the
case, courts have fashioned out rules to assure its fairness and its compliance with the requirements of
constitutional due process. In resolving the admissibility of and relying on out-of-court identification of
suspects, courts have adopted the totality of circumstances test where they consider the following
factors, viz: (1) the witness' opportunity to view the criminal at the time of the crime; (2) the witness'
degree of attention at that time; (3) the accuracy of any prior description given by the witness; (4) the
level of certainty demonstrated by the witness at the identification; (5) the length of time between the
crime and the identification; and, (6) the suggestiveness of the identification procedure. 143
Using the totality of circumstances test, we hold that the alleged irregularities cited by appellant did
not result in his misidentification nor was he denied due process. There is nothing wrong in Leino's
identification of appellant in an unoccupied house in Forbes Park. The records reveal that this mode
was resorted to by the authorities for security reasons. 144 The need for security even compelled that
Leino be fetched and escorted from his house in Forbes Park by U.S. embassy security officials and

brought to the house where he was to make the identification. The Leinos refused to have the
identification at the NBI office as it was cramped with people and with high security risk. 145 Leino's
fear for his safety was not irrational. He and his companions had been shot in cold blood in one of the
exclusive, supposedly safe subdivisions in the metropolis. Atty. Salvador Ranin, Chief of the Special
Operations Group of the NBI, correctly testified that there is no hard and fast rule as to the place where
suspects are identified by witnesses. Identification may be done in open field. It is often done in
hospitals while the crime and the criminal are still fresh in the mind of the victim. 146
Appellant cannot also gripe that Leino saw his pictures and heard radio and TV accounts of the
shooting before he personally identified him. Indeed, the records show that on July 15, 1991, while
Leino was still in the hospital, he was shown three (3) pictures of different men by the investigators. He
identified appellant as the gunman from these pictures. He, however, categorically stated that, before
the mug shot identification, he has not seen any picture of appellant or read any report relative to the
shooting incident. 147 The burden is on appellant to prove that his mug shot identification was unduly
suggestive. Failing proof of impermissible suggestiveness, he cannot complain about the admission of
his out-of-court identification by Leino.
We have no reason to doubt the correctness of appellant's identification by Leino. The scene of the
crime was well-lighted by a Meralco lamp post. Appellant was merely 2-3 meters away when he shot
Leino. The incident happened for a full five (5) minutes. Leino had no ill-motive to falsely testify against
appellant. His testimony at the trial was straightforward. He was unshaken by the brutal crossexamination of the defense counsels. He never wavered in his identification of appellant. When asked
how sure he was that appellant was responsible for the crime, he confidently replied: "I'm very sure. It
could not have been somebody else." 148
Appellant cannot likewise capitalize on the failure of the investigators to reduce to a sworn statement
the information revealed by Leino during his hospital interviews. It was sufficiently established that
Leino's extensive injuries, especially the injury to his tongue, limited his mobility. The day he identified
appellant in the line-up, he was still physically unable to speak. He was being fed through a tube
inserted in his throat. 149 There is also no rule of evidence which requires the rejection of the testimony
of a witness whose statement has not been priorly reduced to writing. Reliance by appellant on the
case of People v. Alindog 150 to erode Leino's credibility is misplaced. In Alindog, accused was acquitted
not solely on the basis of delay in taking his statement, but mainly on the finding that the prosecution
evidence was, at best, circumstancial and "suspiciosly short in important details," there being no
investigation whatsoever conducted by the police.
We also reject appellant's contention that the NBI suppressed the sketch prepared by the CIS on the
basis of the description given by Leino. There is nothing on the record to show that said sketch was
turned over by the CIS to the NBI which could warrant a presumption that the sketch was suppressed.
The suspicion that the sketch did not resemble appellant is not evidence. It is unmitigated guesswork.
We are not likewise impressed with the contention that it was incredible for Leino to have remembered
appellant's face when the incident happened within a span of five (5) minutes. Five (5) minutes is not a
short time for Leino to etch in his mind the picture of appellant. Experience shows that precisely
because of the unusual acts of bestiality committed before their eyes, eyewitnesses, especially the
victims to a crime, can remember with a high degree of reliability the identity of criminals. 151 We have
ruled that the natural reaction of victims of criminal violence is to strive to see the appearance of their
assailants and observe the manner the crime was committed. Most often, the face end body
movements of the assailant create an impression which cannot be easily erased from their memory. 152
In the case at bar, there is absolutely no improper motive for Leino to impute a serious crime to
appellant. The victims and appellant were unknown to each other before their chance encounter. If
Leino identified appellant, it must be because appellant was the real culprit.
Appellant also assails his identification by Cadenas. He contends that Cadenas did not witness the
crime. He stresses that when the Dasmarias security force and the Makati police conducted an onthe-spot investigation on the day of the incident, neither came across Cadenas. The next day, in the
afternoon of July 14, 1991, an NBI agent interviewed Cadenas and asked if he saw the incident. He
merely replied: "Nakita ko pero patay na." He did not volunteer information to anyone as to what he
supposedly witnessed. That same night, the NBI subpoenaed him for investigation. He went to the NBI
the next morning. It was only the next day, July 16, 1991, that he gave his statement to the NBI.
Cadenas allegedly told Ponferrada, his supervisor, that the NBI tortured him.
We reject appellant's submission. Cadenas' initial reluctance to reveal to the authorities what he
witnessed was sufficiently explained during the trial. He related that he feared for his and his family's
safety. His fear was not imaginary. He saw with his own eyes the senseless violence perpetrated by
appellant. He knew appellant belonged to an influential family. It was only after consistent prodding
and assurance of protection from NBI officials that he agreed to cooperate with the authorities. 153 The
Court has taken judicial notice of the natural reticence of witnesses to get involved in the solution of

crimes considering the risk to their lives and limbs. In light of these all too real risks, the court has not
considered the initial reluctance of fear-gripped witnesses to cooperate with authorities as an
authorities as an indicium of credibility. 154 It will not depart from this ruling.
Appellant's assertion that Cadenas was tortured by the NBI is not borne out by the records.
Supposedly, Cadenas passed on to his superior, a certain Ponferrada, information about his torture.
The allegation is an out and out hearsay as Ponferrada was not presented in the witness stand.
Cadenas himself stoutly denied this allegation of torture. The claim of torture is also belied by the fact
that Cadenas' entire family was allowed to stay with him at the NBI headquarters and likewise
extended protection. 155
Appellant then discredits his identification by VICENTE MANGUBAT, citing the testimony of defense
witness Pat. James Baldado of the Makati Police. Pat. Baldado testified that Mangubat failed to identify
appellant as the gunman the first time he was brought to the Makati police station. Mangubat,
however, belied Baldado's story. He declared he positively identified appellant as the gunman at the
Makati police station. He averred that the day after he identified appellant, Pat. Baldado returned to his
place of work in Dasmarias and asked him again whether appellant was the gunman. Again, he
replied in the affirmative. Forthwith, Pat. Baldado said he would no longer ask him to sign a statement
(Exhibit "HHH") 156 earlier prepared by Baldado. In said statement previously prepared by Baldado,
Mangubat was supposed to state that appellant, whom he saw at the Makati police station, was NOT
the gunman. We give more weight to the testimony of Mangubat. We find nothing in the records to
suspect that Mangubat would perjure himself. The Court cannot be as generous to Pat. Baldado of the
Makati Police. Mr. Hultman has proved that the Makati police, including some of its jail officials, gave
appellant favored treatment while in their custody. The anomaly triggered nothing less than a
congressional investigation.
II
We now rule on appellant's second assignment of error, i.e., that the trial court erred in not holding
that the prosecution failed to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
First, he claims the trial court erred in citing in its Decision his involvement in previous shooting
incidents for this contravenes the rule 157 that evidence that one did or omitted to do a certain thing at
one time is not admissible to prove that he did or omitted to do the same or similar thing at another
time. Second, the NBI failed to conduct an examination to compare the bullets fired from the gun at
the scene of the crime with the bullets recovered from the body of Chapman. Third, the prosecution
eyewitnesses described the gunman's car as white, but the trial court found it to be silver mettalic
gray. Fourth, appellant could not have been the gunman for Mangubat, in his statement dated July 15,
1991, said that he overheard the victim Maureen Hultman plead to the gunman, thus: "Please, don't
shoot me and don't kill me. I promise Mommy, Daddy." Appellant also contends that a maid in a house
near the scene of the crime told Makati police Alberto Fernandez that she heard Maureen say: "Daddy
don't shoot. Don't." Fifth, the NBI towed accused's car from Dasmarias Village to the NBI office which
proved that the same was not in good running condition. Lastly, the result of the paraffin test
conducted on appellant showed he was negative of nitrates.
Appellant points to other possible suspects, viz:. ANDERS HULTMAN, since one of the eyewitnesses was
quoted in the newspapers as having overheard Maureen plead to the gunman: "Huwag, Daddy."; and,
(b) JOSE MONTAO, another resident of Dasmarias Village, who had a white Lancer car, also bearing
license plate number 566.
We reject appellant's thesis as bereft of merit.
Appellant cannot hope to exculpate himself simply because the trial judge violated the rule on res inter
alios acta when he considered his involvement in previous shooting incidents. This stance is a specie of
a mid-1800 rule known as the English Exchequer Rule pursuant to which "a trial court's error as to the
admission of evidence was presumed to have caused prejudice and therefore, almost automatically
required a new trial." 158 The Exchequer rule has long been laid to rest for even English appellate
courts now disregard an error in the admission of evidence "unless in its opinion, some substantial
wrong or miscarriage (of justice) has been occasioned." 159 American courts adopted this approach
especially after the enactment of a 1915 federal statute which required a federal appellate court to
"give judgment after an examination of the entire record before the court, without regard to technical
errors, defects, or exceptions which do not affect the substantial rights of the parties." 160 We have
likewise followed the harmless error rule in our jurisdiction. In dealing with evidence improperly
admitted in trial, we examine its damaging quality and its impact to the substantive rights of the
litigant. If the impact is slight and insignificant, we disregard the error as it will not overcome the
weight of the properly admitted evidence against the prejudiced party. 161
In the case at bar, the reference by the trial judge to reports about the troublesome character of
appellant is a harmless error. The reference is not the linchpin of the inculpatory evidence appreciated

by the trial judge in convicting appellant. As aforestated, the appellant was convicted mainly because
of his identification by three (3) eyewitnesses with high credibility.
The NBI may have also failed to compare the bullets fired from the fatal gun with the bullets found at
the scene of the crime. The omission, however, cannot exculpate appellant. The omitted comparison
cannot nullify the evidentiary value of the positive identification of appellant.
There is also little to the contention of appellant that his Lancer car was not in running condition.
Allegedly, this was vicariously proved when the NBI towed his car from Dasmarias Village where it
was parked to the NBI office. Again, the argument is negated by the records which show that said car
was towed because the NBI could not get its ignition key which was then in the possession of
appellant. Clearly, the car was towed not because it was not in running condition. Even appellant's
evidence show that said car could run. After its repairs, appellant's son, Claudio Teehankee III, drove it
from the repair shop in Banawe, Quezon City to Dasmarias Village, in Makati, where it was
parked. 162
Nor are we impressed by the alleged discrepancies in the eyewitnesses' description of the color of the
gunman's car. Leino described the car as light-colored; Florece said the car was somewhat white
("medyo puti"); 163 Mangubat declared the car was white; 164 and Cadenas testified it was silver
metallic gray. 165 These alleged discrepancies amount to no more than shades of differences and are
not meaningful, referring as they do to colors white, somewhat white and silver metallic gray.
Considering the speed and shocking nature of the incident which happened before the break of dawn,
these slight discrepancies in the description of the car do not make the prosecution eyewitnesses
unworthy of credence.
Appellant's attempt to pin the crimes at bar on Anders Hultman, the adoptive father of Maureen
Hultman, deserves scant consideration. Appellant cites a newspaper item 166 where Maureen was
allegedly overheard as saying to the gunman: "Huwag, Daddy. Huwag, Daddy." The evidence on
record, however, demonstrates that Anders Hultman could not have been the gunman. It was clearly
established that Maureen could not have uttered said statement for two (2) reasons: Maureen did not
speak Tagalog, and she addressed Anders Hultman as "Papa," not "Daddy." 167 Moreover, Leino
outrightly dismissed this suspicion. While still in the hospital and when informed that the Makati police
were looking into this possibility, Leino flatly stated that Anders Hultman was NOT the gunman. 168
Leino is a reliable witness.
Appellant cannot also capitalize on the paraffin test showing he was negative of nitrates. Scientific
experts concur in the view that the paraffin test has ". . . proved extremely unreliable in use. The only
thing that it can definitely establish is the presence or absence of nitrates or nitrites on the hand. It
cannot be established from this test alone that the source of the nitrates or nitrites was the discharge
of a firearm. The person may have handled one or more of a number of substances which give the
same positive reaction for nitrates or nitrites, such as explosives, fireworks, fertilizers,
pharmaceuticals, and leguminous plants such as peas, beans, and alfalfa. A person who uses tobacco
may also have nitrate or nitrite deposits on his hands since these substances are present in the
products of combustion of tobacco." 169 In numerous rulings, we have also recognized several factors
which may bring about the absence of gunpowder nitrates on the hands of a gunman, viz: when the
assailant washes his hands after firing the gun, wears gloves at the time of the shooting, or if the
direction of a strong wind is against the gunman at the time of firing. 170 In the case at bar, NBI
Forensic Chemist, Leonora Vallado, testified and confirmed that excessive perspiration or washing of
hands with the use of warm water or vinegar may also remove gunpowder nitrates on the skin. She
likewise opined that the conduct of the paraffin test after more than seventy-two (72) hours from the
time of the shooting may not lead to a reliable result for, by such time, the nitrates could have already
been removed by washing or perspiration. 171 In the Report 172 on the paraffin test conducted on
appellant, Forensic Chemist Elizabeth Ayonon noted that when appellant was tested for the presence of
nitrates, more than 72 hours has already lapsed from the time of the alleged shooting.
III
In his third assigned error, appellant blames the press for his conviction as he contends that the
publicity given to his case impaired his right to an impartial trial. He postulates there was pressure on
the trial judge for high-ranking government officials avidly followed the developments in the case (as
no less than Vice-President Joseph Estrada and then Department of Justice Secretary Franklin Drilon
attended some of the hearings and, President Corazon Aquino even visited victim Maureen Hultman
while she was still confined at the hospital). He submits that the trial judge failed to protect him from
prejudicial publicity and disruptive influences which attended the prosecution of the cases. He claims
there were placards displayed during the hearing of the cases, spectators inside the courtroom
clapped their hands and converted the proceedings into a carnival. In another instance, he was
allegedly given the "finger sign" by several young people while he was leaving the courtroom on his
way back to his cell.

We cannot sustain appellant's claim that he was denied the right to impartial trial due to prejudicial
publicity. It is true that the print and broadcast media gave the case at bar pervasive publicity, just like
all high profile and high stake criminal trials. Then and now, we rule that the right of an accused to a
fair trial is not incompatible to a free press. To be sure, responsible reporting enhances an accused's
right to a fair trial for, as well pointed out, "a responsible press has always been regarded as the
handmaiden of effective judicial administration, especially in the criminal field . . . The press does not
simply publish information about trials but guards against the miscarriage of justice by subjecting in
the police, prosecutors, and judicial processes to extensive public scrutiny and criticism." 173
Pervasive publicity is not per se prejudicial to the right of an accused to fair trial. The mere fact that
the trial of appellant was given a day-to-day, gavel-to-gavel coverage does not by itself prove that the
publicity so permeated the mind of the trial judge and impaired his impartiality. For one, it is
impossible to seal the minds of members of the bench from pre-trial and other off-court publicity of
sensational criminal cases. The state of the art of our communication system brings news as they
happen straight to our breakfast tables and right to our bedrooms. These news form part of our
everyday menu of the facts and fictions of life. For another, our idea of a fair and impartial judge is not
that of a hermit who is out of touch with the world. We have not installed the jury system whose
members are overly protected from publicity lest they lose their impartiality. Criticisms against the jury
system are mounting and Mark Twain's wit and wisdom put them all in better perspective when he
observed: "When a gentleman of high social standing, intelligence, and probity swears that testimony
given under the same oath will outweigh with him, street talk and newspaper reports based upon mere
hearsay, he is worth a hundred jurymen who will swear to their own ignorance and stupidity . . . Why
could not the jury law be so altered as to give men of brains and honesty an equal chance with fools
and miscreants?" 174 Our judges are learned in the law and trained to disregard off-court evidence and
on-camera performances of parties to a litigation. Their mere exposure to publications and publicity
stunts does not per se fatally infect their impartiality.
At best, appellant can only conjure possibility of prejudice on the part of the trial judge due to the
barrage of publicity that characterized the investigation and trial of the case. In Martelino, et al. v.
Alejandro, et a1., 175 we rejected this standard of possibility of prejudice and adopted the test of actual
prejudice as we ruled that to warrant a finding of prejudicial publicity, there must be allegation and
proof that the judges have been unduly influenced, not simply that they might be, by the barrage of
publicity. In the case at bar, the records do not show that the trial judge developed actual bias against
appellant as a consequence of the extensive media coverage of the pre-trial and trial of his case. The
totality of circumstances of the case does not prove that the trial judge acquired a fixed opinion as a
result of prejudicial publicity which is incapable of change even by evidence presented during the trial.
Appellant has the burden to prove this actual bias and he has not discharged the burden.
We have minutely examined the transcripts of the proceedings and they do not disclose that the trial
judge allowed the proceedings to turn into a carnival. Nor did he consent to or condone any
manifestation of unruly or improper behavior or conduct inside the courtroom during the trial of the
case at bar. The transcripts reveal the following:
1. At the August 14, 1991 hearing, the defense counsel called the attention of the
court to the visible display of a placard inside the courtroom. Acting on the
manifestation, the trial judge immediately directed that the placard be hidden. Only
then did he order the start of the arraignment of accused. 176
On the same hearing, the defense counsel asked for the exclusion of the media after
they had enough opportunity to take pictures. The court granted defense's request,
noting that the courtroom was also too crowded. 177
2. During the testimony of Domingo Florece, an argument ensued between the defense
lawyer and the fiscal. When part of the audience clapped their hands, the defense
counsel invoked Rule 119, Section 13 of the Rules of Court and moved for the exclusion
of the public. Assistant Prosecutor Villa-Ignacio objected on the ground that the public
was not unruly. The trial judge noted that there were yet no guidelines drafted by the
Supreme Court regarding media coverage of the trial proceedings. 178 Collaborating
defense counsel, Atty. Malvar, complained that the outpouring of sympathy by
spectators inside the courtroom has turned the proceedings into a carnival. He also
manifested that he personally saw that when accused was being brought back to his
cell from the courtroom, a group of young people were pointing dirty fingers at
accused in full view of policemen. Forthwith, the trial judge declared that he could not
be dissuaded by public sentiments. He noted that the clapping of hands by the public
was just a reaction at the spur of the moment. He then admonished the audience not
to repeat it. 179

3. At the hearing of July 14, 1992, the parties again argued on the coverage of the trial
by the press. The defense alleged that the media coverage will constitute mistrial and
deny accused's constitutional right to due process. It invoked the provision in the Rules
of Court which allows the accused to exclude everybody in the courtroom, except the
organic personnel. The prosecutor, however, argued that exclusion of the public can be
ordered only in prosecution of private offenses and does not apply to murder cases. He
added that the public is entitled to observe and witness trial of public offenses. He
quoted the U.S. case of Sheppard v. Maxwell 180 where it was held: "A responsible press
is always regarded as the handmaiden of effective judicial administration especially in
the criminal field. The press does not simply publish information about trials but guards
against the miscarriage of justice by subjecting the police, the prosecutors and judicial
processes to extensive public scrutiny and criticism. What transpires in the courtrooms
public property." The trial judge then ruled that the media should be given a chance to
cover the proceedings before the trial proper but, thereafter, he prohibited them from
taking pictures during the trial. They were allowed to remain inside the courtroom but
were ordered to desist from taking live coverage of the proceedings. 181
4. At the August 14, 1992 hearing, before the hearing began, the trial judge gave the
media two (2) minutes to take video coverage and no more. Trial then ensued. 182
5. At the September 8, 1992 hearing, the trial judge again gave the media two (2)
minutes to take pictures before the trial proper. Afterwards, the reporters were duly
admonished to remain silent, to quietly observe the proceedings and just take down
notes. 183
6 On September 10, 1992 before the start of the afternoon session, the judge
admonished the media people present in the courtroom to stop taking pictures. 184
Parenthetically, appellant should be the last person to complain against the press for prejudicial
coverage of his trial. The records reveal he presented in court no less than seven (7) newspaper
reporters and relied heavily on selected portions of their reports for his defense. The defense's
documentary evidence consists mostly of newspaper clippings relative to the investigation of the case
at bar and which appeared to cast doubt on his guilt. The press cannot be fair and unfair to appellant
at the same time.
Finally, it would not be amiss to stress that on May 29, 1992, the trial judge voluntarily inhibited
himself from further hearing the case at bar to assuage appellant's suspicion of bias and partiality. 185
However, upon elevation of the trial judge's voluntary Order of Inhibition to this Court, we directed the
trial judge to proceed with the trial to speed up the administration of justice. 186 We found nothing in
the conduct of the proceedings to stir any suspicion of partiality against the trial judge.
IV
In his fourth assigned error, appellant claims that treachery was not present in the killing of Hultman
and Chapman, and the wounding of Leino for it was not shown that the gunman consciously and
deliberately adopted particular means, methods and forms in the execution of the crime. Appellant
asserts that mere suddenness of attack does not prove treachery.
The three (3) Informations charged appellant with having committed the crimes at bar with treachery
and evident premeditation. Evident premeditation was correctly ruled out by the trial court for,
admittedly, the shooting incident was merely a casual encounter or a chance meeting on the street
since the victims were unknown to appellant and vice-versa It, however, appreciated the presence of
the qualifying circumstance of treachery.
We hold that the prosecution failed to prove treachery in the killing of Chapman. Prosecution witness
Leino established the sequence of events leading to the shooting. He testified that for no apparent
reason, appellant suddenly alighted from his car and accosted him and Maureen Hultman who were
then walking along the sidewalk. Appellant questioned who they were and demanded for an I.D. After
Leino handed him his I.D., Chapman appeared from behind Leino and asked what was going on.
Chapman then stepped down on the sidewalk and inquired from appellant what was wrong. There and
then, appellant pushed Chapman, pulled a gun from inside his shirt, and shot him. The gun attack was
unexpected. "Why did you shoot me?" was all Chapman could utter.
Concededly, the shooting of Chapman was carried out swiftly and left him with no chance to defend
himself. Even then, there is no evidence on record to prove that appellant consciously and deliberately
adopted his mode of attack to insure the accomplishment of his criminal design without risk to himself.
It appears to us that appellant acted on the spur of the moment. Their meeting was by chance. They
were strangers to each other. The time between the initial encounter and the shooting was short and
unbroken. The shooting of Chapman was thus the result of a rash and impetuous impulse on the part
of appellant rather than a deliberate act of will. We have consistently ruled that mere suddenness of
the attack on the victim would not, by itself, constitute treachery. 187 Hence, absent any qualifying

circumstance, appellant should only be held liable for Homicide for the shooting and killing of
Chapman.
As to the wounding of Jussi Leino and the killing of Maureen Hultman, we hold that treachery clearly
attended the commission of the crimes. The evidence shows that after shooting Chapman in cold
blood, appellant ordered Leino to sit on the pavement. Maureen became hysterical and wandered to
the side of appellant's car. When appellant went after her, Maureen moved around his car and tried to
put some distance between them. After a minute or two, appellant got to Maureen and ordered her to
sit beside Leino on the pavement. While seated, unarmed and begging for mercy, the two were gunned
down by appellant. Clearly, appellant purposely placed his two victims in a completely defenseless
position before shooting them. There was an appreciable lapse of time between the killing of Chapman
and the shooting of Leino and Hultman a period which appellant used to prepare for a mode of
attack which ensured the execution of the crime without risk to himself. Treachery was thus correctly
appreciated by the trial court against appellant insofar as the killing of Hultman and the wounding of
Leino are concerned.
V and VI
We come now to the civil liability imposed against appellant. Appellant posits that the awards of moral
and exemplary damages and for loss of earning capacity of Maureen Hultman, Roland Chapman and
Jussi Leino were exorbitant. He likewise claims that the trial court's award of attorney's fees was
excessive.
In its Decision, the trial court awarded to Jussi Leino end the heirs of victims Hultman and Chapman
the following damages:
1. For the murder of Roland John Chapman, appellant was sentenced to pay the heirs
of the deceased the sum of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) as indemnity for death
and the sum of Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00) as moderate or temperate
and exemplary damages.
2. For the murder of Maureen Navarro Hultman, appellant was sentenced to pay the
heirs of the deceased the sum of: Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) as indemnity for
death; Two Million Three Hundred Fifty Thousand Four Hundred Sixty-One Pesos and
Eighty-Three
Centavos
(P2,350,461.83) as actual damages; Thirteen Million Pesos (P13,000,000.00) for loss of
earning capacity of deceased; and, One Million Pesos as moral, moderate and
exemplary damages.
3. For the shooting of Jussi Olavi Leino, appellant was sentenced to pay: Thirty
thousand pesos (P30,000.00) as indemnity for the injury; One Hundred Eighteen
Thousand Three-Hundred Sixty Nine Pesos and Eighty-Four Centavos (P118,369.84)
and the sum equivalent in Philippine pesos of U.S.$55,600.00, both as actual damages;
an amount equivalent in Philippine pesos of U.S.$40,000.00, for loss of earning
capacity of Jussi Leino; and, One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) as moral, moderate and
exemplary damages.
4. In all three cases, appellant was also ordered to pay each of the offended parties the
sum of One Million Pesos (or a total of three million pesos) for attorney's fees and
expenses of litigation.
5. Costs of litigation. 188
The early case of Heirs of Raymundo Castro v. Bustos 189 discussed in detail the matter of damages
recoverable in case of death arising from a felony, thus:
When the commission of a crime results in death, the civil obligations arising therefrom
are governed by penal laws, ". . . subject to the provisions of Art. 2177, and of the
pertinent provisions of Chapter 2, Preliminary Title on Human Relations, and of Title
XVIII of this Book (Book IV) regulating damages." (Art. 1161, Civil Code)
Thus, "every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable." (Art. 100, Revised
Penal Code). This civil liability, in case the felony involves death, includes
indemnification for consequential damages (Art. 104, id.) and said consequential
damages in turn include ". . . those suffered by his family or by a third person by
reason of the crime." (Art. 107, id.) Since these provisions are subject, however, as
above indicated, to certain provisions of the Civil Code, (w)e will now turn to said
provisions.
The general rule in the Civil Code is that:
In crimes and quasi-delicts, the defendant shall be liable for all
damages which are the natural and probable consequences of the act
or omission complained of. It is not necessary that such damages have

been foreseen or could have reasonably foreseen by the defendant.


(Art. 2202)
When, however, the crime committed involves death, there is Art. 2206 which provides
thus:
The amount of damages for death caused by a crime or quasi-delict
shall be at least three thousand pesos even though there may have
been mitigating circumstances. In addition:
(1) The defendant shall be liable for the loss of the earning capacity of
the deceased, and the indemnity shall be paid to the heirs of the latter;
such indemnity shall in every case be assessed and awarded by the
court, unless the deceased on account of permanent physical disability
not caused by the defendant, had no earning capacity at the time of
his death;
(2) If the deceased was obliged to give support according to the
provisions of article 291, the recipient who is not an heir called to the
descendant's inheritance by law of testate or intestate succession, may
demand support from the person causing the death, for a period not
exceeding five years, the exact duration to be fixed by the court;
(3) The spouse, legitimate or illegitimate descendants and ascendants
of the deceased may demand moral damages for mental anguish by
reason of the death of the deceased.
The amount of P3,000 referred to in the above article has already been increased by
this Court first, to P6,000.00 in People v. Amansec, 80 Phil. 426, and lately to
P12,000.00 in the case of People v. Pantoja, G.R. No. L-18793, promulgated October
11, 1968 190, and it must be stressed that this amount, as well as the amount of moral
damages, may be adjudicated even without proof of pecuniary loss, the assessment of
the moral damages being "left to the discretion of the court, according to the
circumstances of each case." (Art. 2216)
Exemplary damages may also be imposed as a part of this civil liability when the crime
has been committed with one or more aggravating circumstances, such damages
being "separate and distinct from fines and shall be paid to the offended party." (Art.
2230). Exemplary damages cannot however be recovered as a matter of right; the
court will decide whether or not they should be given. (Art. 2233)
In any event, save as expressly provided in connection with the indemnity for the sole
fact of death (1st par., Art. 2206) and is cases wherein exemplary damages are
awarded precisely because of the attendance of aggravating circumstances, (Art.
2230) ". . . damages to be adjudicated may be respectively increased or lessened
according to the aggravating or mitigating circumstances," (Art. 2204) "but the party
suffering the loss or injury must exercise the diligence of a good father of a family to
minimize the damages resulting from the act or omission in question." (Art. 2203)
"Interest as a part of the damages, may, in a proper case, be adjudicated in the
discretion of the Court." (Art. 2211) As to attorneys' fees and expenses of litigation, the
same may be recovered only when exemplary damages have been granted (Art. 2208,
par. 1) or . . . when there is a separate civil action.
Stated differently, when death occurs as a result of a crime, the heirs of the deceased
are entitled to the following items of damages:
1. As indemnity for the death of the victim of the offense P12,000.00
(now P50,000.00), without the need of any evidence or proof of
damages, and even though there may have been mitigating
circumstances attending the commission of the offense.
2. As indemnity for loss of earning capacity of the deceased an
amount to be fixed by the court according to the circumstances of the
deceased related to his actual income at the time of death and his
probable life expectancy, the said indemnity to be assessed and
awarded by the court as a matter of duty, unless the deceased had no
earning capacity at said time on account of permanent disability not
caused by the accused. If the deceased was obliged to give support,
under Art. 291, Civil Code, the recipient who is not an heir, may
demand support from the accused for not more than five years, the
exact duration to be fixed by the court.

3. As moral damages for mental anguish, an amount to be fixed by


the court. This may be recovered even by the illegitimate descendants
and ascendants of the deceased.
4. As exemplary damages, when the crime is attended by one or more
aggravating circumstances, an amount to be fixed in the discretion
of the court, the same to be considered separate from fines.
5. As attorney's fees and expenses of litigation, the actual amount
thereof, (but only when a separate civil action to recover civil liability
has been filed or when exemplary damages are awarded).
6. Interests in the proper cases.
7. It must be emphasized that the indemnities for loss of earning
capacity of the deceased and for moral damages are recoverable
separately from and in addition to the fixed sum of P12,000.00 (now
P50,000.00) corresponding to the indemnity for the sole fact of death,
and that these damages may, however, be respectively increased or
lessened according to the mitigating or aggravating circumstances,
except items 1 and 4 above, for obvious reasons. 191
We shall first review the damages awarded to the heirs of ROLAND JOHN CHAPMAN in light of the law
and the case law.
Appellant claims that the award of Five Hundred Thousand (P500,000.00) pesos as moderate or
temperate and exemplary damages to the heirs of Roland John Chapman was baseless.
We start with the observation that the trial court should not have lumped together the awards for
moderate or temperate and exemplary damages at Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00),
without specifying the particular amount which corresponds to each, as they are of a different kind. We
shall, however, consider their propriety and reasonableness.
The amount of Five Hundred Thousand (P500,000.00) pesos cannot be given as temperate or
moderate damages for the records do not show any basis for sustaining the award. Nor can it be given
as exemplary damages. The killing of Chapman was not attended by either evident premeditation or
treachery. Be that as it may, the award can be considered as one for moral damages under Article
2206 (3) of the New Civil Code. 192 It states:
Art. 2206. The amount of damages for death caused by a crime . . . shall be at least
(fifty thousand pesos, under current jurisprudence) . . . In addition:
xxx xxx xxx
(3) The spouse, legitimate or illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the deceased
may demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the death of the
deceased.
Moreover, considering the shocking and senseless aggression committed by appellant, we increase the
amount of moral damages to One Million (P1,000,000.00) pesos for the death of Chapman.
We next rule on the legality of damages awarded to the heirs of MAUREEN NAVARRO HULTMAN.
Appellant argues that the damages for the death of Maureen should be awarded to her mother, Vivian
Hultman, and her natural father. He contends that under Article 352 of the New Civil Code, Anders
Hultman as adoptive father of Maureen, is not entitled to said award. Only the parents by nature of
Maureen should inherit from her.
We reject the argument. Under the Family Code which was already in effect at the time of Maureen's
death, Anders Hultman, as adoptive father, is entitled to the award made by the trial court. Article 190
of the Family Code provides:
xxx xxx xxx
(2) When the parents, legitimate or illegitimate, or the legitimate descendants of the
adopted concur with the adopters, they shall divide the entire estate, one-half to be
inherited by the parents or ascendants and the other half, by the adopters;
xxx xxx xxx
(5) When only the adopters survive, they shall inherit the entire estate;
It does not appear on the records whether Maureen was survived by her natural father. During the trial
of these cases, only Vivian and Anders Hultman testified on their claim of damages. Hence, we find
that the award of damages in their favor has sufficient factual and legal basis.
Appellant also urges that the award to the heirs of Maureen Hultman of One Million Pesos
(P1,000,000.00) as moral and exemplary damages is unjustified or, at the very least, exorbitant and
should be reduced.
We hold that the award of One Million (P1,000,000.00) pesos is amply justified by the circumstances.
The records reveal that Maureen recovered between life and death for ninety-seven (97) days. Her
family experienced the peaks and valleys of unspeakable suffering. During that time, she underwent

brain surgery three (3) times. Her condition was never stable and remained critical. It was always
touch and go with death. She could not be left alone at the hospital. Her parents had to be perpetually
by her side at least six (6) to seven (7) hours daily. After the shooting, their siblings had to be sent
back to Sweden for their safety. Left unattended, her family's business took a downspin. Soon, her
family's assets were depleted, then wiped out. A total of twenty-three (23) doctors attended to her and
their bills ballooned without abatement. They were forced to rely on the goodness of the gracious. Her
family started receiving contributions from other people to defray the medical expenses and hospital
bills. 193 Maureen never regained consciousness until her demise on October 17, 1991, at the tender
age of seventeen. Under the foregoing circumstances, we thus find the award of One Million Pesos
(P1,000,000.00) as moral damages to be reasonable.
Moreover, we find that the grant of exemplary damages is called for by the circumstances of the case.
Under Article 2229 of the Civil Code, 194 in addition to the award of moral damages, exemplary or
corrective damages may be adjudged in order to deter the commission of similar acts in the future.
The award for exemplary damages is designed to permit the courts to mould behavior that has socially
deleterious consequences. Its imposition is required by public policy to suppress the wanton acts of an
offender.
In the case at bar, appellant's unprovoked aggression snuffed the life of Maureen Hultman, a girl in the
prime of her youth. Hultman and her companions were gunned down by appellant in cold-blood, for no
apparent reason. Appellant's vicious criminality led to the suffering of his victims and their families.
Considering our soaring crime rate, the imposition of exemplary damages against appellant to deter
others from taking the lives of people without any sense of sin is proper. Moreover, since the killing of
Hultman was attended by treachery and pursuant to Article 2229 of the new Civil Code, 195 we impose
an award of Two Million (P2,000,000.00) pesos as exemplary damages against appellant for the death
of Maureen Hultman.
We now review the award of One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) as moral, moderate and exemplary
damages to victim JUSSI LEINO.
From the record, it is incontrovertible that Leino likewise suffered extensive injuries as a result of the
shooting. His upper jaw bone was shattered. He would need a bone transplant operation to restore it.
His tongue was also injured. He partially lost his sense of taste for his taste buds were also affected.
When he was discharged from the hospital, he had difficulty in speaking and had to be fed through a
tube running down his nose. He lost eight of his teeth. The roots of his teeth were cut off and the raw
nerves were exposed. But all these speak only of his physical injuries and suffering. More devastating
was the emotional strain that distressed Leino. His parents were in Europe for a vacation at the time of
the shooting. Only a neighbor attended to him at the hospital. It took two (2) days for his father to
come and comfort by his bedside. Leino had trouble sleeping in peace at night. The traumatic event
woke him up in the middle of the night. Black memories of the incident kept coming back to
mind. 196 Understably, the ill-effects of the incident spilled over his family. Seppo Leino, Jussi's father,
was tortured by thoughts of insecurity. He had to relocate his entire family to Europe where he felt they
would be safe. 197 Under the foregoing circumstances, we find that an award of One Million
(P1,000,000.00) pesos to Jussi Leino as indemnity for moral damages is justified and reasonable.
As in the case of Hultman, since the shooting of Leino was committed with treachery and pursuant to
Article 2229 of the New Civil Code, 198 appellant is additionally adjudged liable for the payment to
Leino of Two Million (P2,000,000.00) pesos as exemplary damages.
We come now to the trial court's monetary award to compensate the LOSS OF EARNING CAPACITY OF
VICTIMS JUSSI LEINO and MAUREEN HULTMAN.
To be compensated for loss of earning capacity, it is not necessary that the victim, at the time of injury
or death, is gainfully employed. Compensation of this nature is awarded not for loss of earnings but for
loss of capacity to earn money. In Cariaga v. Laguna Tayabas Bus Company, 199 we awarded to the
heirs of Cariaga a sum representing loss of his earning capacity although he was still a medical student
at the time of injury. However, the award was not without basis for Cariaga was then a fourth year
medical student at a reputable school; his scholastic record, which was presented at the trial, justified
an assumption that he would have been able to finish his course and pass the board in due time; and a
doctor, presented as witness for the appellee, testified as to the amount of income Cariaga would have
earned had he finished his medical studies.
In the case at bar, the trial court awarded the amount, equivalent in Philippine pesos, of Forty capacity
of JUSSI LEINO. We agree with appellant that this amount is highly speculative and should be denied
considering that Leino had only earned a high school degree at the International School, Manila, in
1989. He went back to Finland to serve the military and has just arrived in Manila in February 1991 to
pursue his ambition to become a pilot. At the time of the shooting on July 13, 1991, he has just
enrolled at the Manila Aero Club to become a professional pilot. He was thus only on his first year, first
semester, in said school and was practically, a mere high school graduate. Under the foregoing

circumstances, we find the records wanting with substantial evidence to justify a reasonable
assumption that Leino would have been able to finish his studies at the Manila Aero Club and
ultimately become a professional pilot.
We now pass upon the propriety of the award of Thirteen Million Pesos (P13,000,000.00) for loss of
earning capacity of deceased MAUREEN HULTMAN. We find that the award is not supported by the
records.
In adjudging an award for Maureen's loss of earning capacity, the trial court incorrectly used the
monthly salary of a secretary working in Sweden, computed at two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) a
month, as per the estimate given by Anders Hultman. Nowhere in the records does it appear that, at
the time of her death, Maureen had acquired the skills needed for a secretarial job or that she intended
to take a secretarial course in preparation for such job in Sweden. Anders Hultman himself testified
that there was uncertainty as to Maureen's future career path, thus:
ATTY. VINLUAN:
Q Mr. Witness, if Maureen would not been (sic) shot and she continued
her studies, what professional career would she (sic) like to pursue
considering her interests and inclinations?
WITNESS:
A That is very difficult to say. She has just turned 17 and our projection
is that, certainly she would have been an artist in the creative side.
She would have become an actress or a movie producer or probably
she would have been a college graduate.
ATTY. VINLUAN:
Q But if you would just say based on the salary of a secretary in
Sweden, how much would she have much earned?
A. Not less than Two Thousand Dollars a month. 200
Clearly, there is no factual basis for the award of thirteen million (P13,000,000.00) pesos to the heirs of
Maureen far loss of earning capacity as a probable secretary in Sweden.
In any event, what was proved on record is that after graduating from high school, Maureen took up a
short personality development course at the John Roberts Powers. Maureen was employed at the John
Roberts Powers at the time of her death. It was her first job. In fact, she had just received her first
salary, for which reason she went out with her friends to celebrate on that fateful day. However,
neither the nature of her work nor her salary in said company was disclosed at the trial. Thus, to
compute the award for Maureen's loss of earning capacity, we are constrained to use the minimum
wage prevailing as of the date of her death (October 17, 1991), i.e., one hundred eighteen pesos
(P118.00). 201 Allowing for reasonable and necessary expenses in the amount of P19,800.00, her net
income per annum would amount to P26,859.17. 202 Hence, using the formula repeatedly adopted by
this Court: 203 (2/3 x [80 age of victim at time of death]) x a reasonable portion of the net income
which would have been received by the heirs as support, 204 we fix the award for loss of earning as
capacity of deceased Maureen Hultman at Five Hundred Sixty-Four Thousand Forty-Two Pesos and FiftySeven Centavos (P564,042.57).
It also bears emphasis that in the computation of the award for loss of earning capacity of the
deceased, the life expectancy of the deceased's heirs is not factored in. The rule is well-settled that the
award of damages for death is computed on the basis of the life expectancy of the deceased, and not
the beneficiary. 205
Lastly, appellant seeks a reduction of the award of attorney's fees in the amount of Three Million Pesos
(P3,000,000.00), claiming that the same is exorbitant.
We disagree. The three (3) private complainants were represented by the ACCRA law firm, with Atty.
Rogelio Vinluan as lead counsel. They agreed to pay the amount of One Million (P1,000,000.00) pesos
each as attorney's fees and for litigation expenses. The three criminal cases were consolidated. A
continuous trial was conducted, with some hearings having both morning and afternoon sessions. The
trial lasted for almost one and a half years. More than forty (40) witnesses testified during the
hearings. Several pleadings were prepared and filed. A total of sixty-eight (68) documentary exhibits
were presented by the prosecution. Incidents related to the trial of the cases came up to this Court for
review at least twice during the pendency of the trial. 206 Given these circumstances and the evident
effort exerted by the private prosecutor throughout the trial, the trial court's award of a total of Three
Million (P3,000,000.00) pesos as attorney's fees and litigation expenses appears just and reasonable.
VII
In his last assigned error, appellant urges that the hearings conducted on the cases, where no less
than forty-one (41) witnesses were presented by the parties, 207 were merely hearings on the petition
for bail concerning the murder charge for the killing of Roland Chapman, and not a trial on the merits
of all three (3) cases. Appellant insists that after the termination of the hearing, he still had the right to

adduce evidence at the trial proper. He claims he was denied due process when the trial court
considered all the cases submitted for decision after the defense waived its right to present its
surrebuttal evidence.
Appellant's position is untenable. This issue was resolved at the very first hearing of the cases on
August 9, 1991. The incident then pending was appellant's petition for bail for the murder of Chapman.
It will be remembered that, initially, there was only one murder charge against appellant since
Maureen Hultman succumbed to death during the course of the proceedings on October 17, 1991.
Thus, at the initial hearing on August 9, 1991, the incident for resolution was appellant's petition for
bail. The prosecution sought to present the surviving victim, Jussi Leino, to testify on all three (3)
charges to obviate delay and inconvenience since all three (3) charges involved one continuing
incident. Appellant, through counsel, objected to the testimony of Leino insofar as the two (2)
frustrated murder charges (with respect to the wounding of Leino and Hultman) were concerned. He
argued that since the pending incident was the petition for bail with respect to the killing of Chapman,
any testimony relative to the two (2) other charges in which bail were recommended was irrelevant.
After arguments, the defense suggested that if the prosecution would present Leino to testify on all
three (3) charges, it should wait until after accused's arraingment on August 14, 1991. 208 The
prosecution agreed on the condition that there shall be trial on the merits and, at the same time,
hearing on the petition for bail. Defense counsel agreed. 209
As agreed upon, accused was arraigned and the prosecution presented Jussi Leino as its first witness to
testify on all three (3) cases. No objection was made by the defense. 210
Subsequent proceedings likewise disprove appellant's insistence that the hearings conducted by the
trial court were limited to the petition for bail, viz:
1. The prosecution presented all their witnesses and documentary evidence relative to
the shooting incident, including evidence in support of the claim for damages. These
witnesses were extensively cross-examined by the defense counsels. The defense
never objected that evidence on damages would be unnecessary if its intention was
really to limit presentation of evidence to appellant's petition for bail.
2. After the prosecution and the defense rested their cases, the trial court issued an
Order 211 directing the parties to submit their Memorandum, after which "the main case
as well as the petition for bail are respectively submitted for Decision and Resolution."
After receipt of this Order, the defense counsel filed two (2) motions for extension of
time to file the defense Memorandum. In both Motions, the defense did not object to
the trial court's Order submitting for decision the main case and the petition for bail.
Neither did it move for a reconsideration of this Order and notify the court that it still
had witnesses to present.
3. In compliance with said Order, appellant's counsel, Atty. Rodolfo Jimenez, filed a
Memorandum and Supplemental Memorandum praying for accused's acquittal. This is
inconsistent with the defense's position that the hearing conducted was only on the
petition for bail. If the defense insist that what was submitted for decision was only his
petition for bail, he would have only prayed that he be granted bail.
4. Upon receipt of the notice of promulgation of judgment from the trial court, the
defense did not interpose any objection to the intended promulgation. In fact, the
defense attended the promulgation of the Decision and manifested that they were
ready therefor.
All these clearly show that the merits of the cases and the petition for bail were heard simultaneously
and appellant acquiesced thereto. Moreover, appellant's right to present additional evidence was not
abridged by the trial court. On the contrary, the records disclose that the trial court afforded the
defense fair opportunity to adduce its evidence. It took the defense almost one and a half years to
submit its evidence. The defense presented more than twenty (20) witnesses and several documentary
evidence. It was only after the trial court rendered a decision against appellant that he filed a motion
for
new
trial, 212 through his new counsel, Atty. Gatmaytan, Jr. For the first time, he alleged that the joint
decision of the cases, both on the merits and on the petition for bail, was irregular for he was not given
a chance to present further evidence to corroborate his alibi. We note that in his motion for new trial,
213
appellant did not even identify his alleged additional witnesses and the substance of their
testimonies. Nor was it shown that he could not have produced these evidence at the trial with
reasonable diligence. Appellant's motion was a patent ploy to delay the decision on his cases. His
motion was properly denied by the trial court.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, we hereby AFFIRM WITH MODIFICATIONS the Decision of the trial court, dated
December 22, 1992, thus:

(1) In Criminal Case No. 91-4605, finding accused Claudio J. Teehankee, Jr., guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide for the shooting of Roland John
Chapman, and sentencing said accused to suffer an indeterminate penalty of
imprisonment of eight (8) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum to
fourteen (14) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal as
maximum, and to pay the heirs of the said deceased the following amounts: Fifty
Thousand (P50,000.00) pesos as indemnity for the victim's death; and, One Million
(P1,000,000.00) pesos as moral damages.
(2) In Criminal Case No. 91-4606, finding accused Claudio J. Teehankee, Jr., guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder, qualified by treachery, for the
shooting of Maureen Navarro Hultman, and sentencing him to suffer imprisonment of
reclusion perpetua, and to pay the heirs of the said deceased the following amounts:
Fifty Thousand (P50,000.00) pesos as indemnity for her death; Two Million Three
Hundred Fifty Thousand Four Hundred Sixty-One Pesos and Eighty-Three Centavos
(P2,350,461.83) as actual damages; Five Hundred Sixty-Four Thousand Fourty-Two
Pesos and Fifty-Seven Centavos (P564,042.57) for loss of earning capacity of said
deceased; One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) as moral damages; and Two Million
(P2,000,000.00) pesos as exemplary damages.
(3) In Criminal Case No. 91-4807, finding accused Claudio J. Teehankee, Jr., guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Frustrated Murder, qualified by treachery, for
the shooting of Jussi Olavi Leino, and sentencing him to suffer the indeterminate
penalty of eight (8) years of prision mayor as minimum, to fourteen (14) years and
eight (8) months of reclusion temporal as maximum, and to pay the said offended
party the following amounts: (P30,000.00) pesos as Thirty Thousand (P30,000.00)
pesos as indemnity for his injuries; One Hundred Eighteen Thousand Three Hundred
Sixty-Nine pesos and Eighty-Four Centavos (P118,369.84) and equivalent in Philippine
Pesos of U.S.$55,600.00, both as actual damages; One Million (P1,000,000.00) pesos
as moral damages; and, Two Million (P2,000,000.00) pesos as exemplary damages.
(4) In all three cases, ordering said accused to pay each of the three (3) offended
parties the sum of One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00; or a total of Three Million
[P3,000,000.00] pesos] for attorney's fees and expenses of litigation; and
(5) To pay the costs in all three (3) cases.
SO ORDERED.