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People v.

G.R. No. 191752
June 10, 2013
In this case the appellants Cachuela and Ibanez assail the decision of the CA, affirming
with modification the decision of RTC, finding them guilty of the special complex crime of
robbery with homicide.
The evidence revealed that Ibaez went to Weapons System Corporation (WSC) and told
Henessy Auron, WSCs Secretary and Sales Representative, that he was the one who bought a gun
barrel at the companys gun show. Ibaez inquired about the firing range, the days when there are
many people in the firing range, and whether Henessy was the only female employee. Two days
after Henessy arrived at WSC but no one opened the door. She called Zaldy Gabao, another
employee who answered from inside the store saying that he could not open the door because his
hands were tied. Eventually the police arrived and when they entered the premises, they saw that
Zaldy had been handcuffed to the vault and the companys gunsmith, Rex Dorimon, was seen in
the firing range dead, suffering from several gunshot wounds. Upon investigation, NBI received an
information that the group of Cachuela was involved in the crime and that they have been looking
for buyers of firearms. The NBI conducted an entrapment operation upon the execution of which,
Melvin Nabilgas approached them and told them that he had been sent by Cachuela and Ibaez to
look for buyers of firearms. The police told Nabilgas that they were conducting an entrapment
operation, so Nabilgas surrendered to the police, and gave the names of the other persons involved.
Using Nabilgas, the police eventually was able to catch Catchuela and Ibanez separately, selling
the firearms. At the NBI Main Office, during a police line-up, Zaldy pointed out the persons
responsible for the crime. Nabilgas also executed a handwritten confession implicating the
appellants and even Zaldy in the crime. An information was filed for robbery with homicide but
during the trial Zaldy eventually died. RTC acquitted Nabilgas, but found the other appellants
guilty of the crime, ordering them to pay the heirs of Rex and to pay the amount for restitution of
the value of the stolen. The CA latter affirmed the decision of the RTC but decreasing the amount
for restitution and the indemnity for the heirs of Rex.
1. Whether or not the out- of court identification by Zaldy of the perpetrators of the crime is
admissible as evidence
2. Whether or not the extrajudicial confession of Nabilgas is admissible as evidence.
1. No.
Zaldy identified the appellants as the persons involved in the crime in a police line-up held at the
Main office of the NBI. Zaldy did not testify in court for he died during the trial. All of these were
testified in court by Special Investigator Lino who did not state when the line-up took place, how it
was conducted, if there were the persons in the line-up with the appellants and whether the line-up
Prepared by: Jo-Anne D. Coloquio

was confined to persons of the same height and built as the appellants. Linos failure to state these
relevant details renders unreliable the out-of-court identification.
2. No.
Nabilgas executed an extrajudicial confession at the NBI Main Office, implicating the appellants
and even Zaldy in the crime. During trial he repudiated this confession, claiming that he had been
tortured by the NBI agents, and that he was forced to copy a prepared statement. The Court ruled
that Nabilgas extrajudicial confession is inadmissible in evidence. An extrajudicial confession
must satisfy the following to be admissible: (1) the confession must be voluntary (2) it must be
made with the assistance of a competent and independent counsel preferably of the confessant's
choice (3) it must be express and (4) it must be in writing.
When Nabilgas confessed, he was already under custodial investigation or when the police
investigator already starts interrogating or exacting a confession from the suspect. The Court
emphasized that the lawyer called to be present should be as much as possible the choice of the
confessant but if the lawyer is furnished for the accused, the lawyer should be competent,
independent and can fully safeguard the constitutional rights of the accused. In the case at bar,
Atty. Go was provided by the NBI itself despite Nabilgas declaration that he already had a lawyer,
Atty. Paglinawan. Nabilgas also testified that Atty. Go merely represented herself to be a mere
witness to the confession and not a lawyer. There was nothing in the records to show that Atty. Go
ascertained whether Nabilgas confession was voluntary, and if he fully understood the
consequence of his confession and its impact on his rights. The Court also added that the
confession was not corroborated by a witness who was present at the time the written confession
was made for the prosecution did not present Atty. Go at the witness stand. Also, the confession is
inadmissible in evidence against the appellants in view of the res inter alios acta rule which
provides that the rights of a party cannot be prejudiced by an act, declaration, or omission of
another. An extrajudicial confession is binding only on the confessant and is not admissible against
his co-accused because it is considered as hearsay against them. The only exception is when
conspiracy is proved but Nabilgas participation in the conspiracy was not proved for he was even
Despite that, the circumstantial evidence against Ibanez and Cachuela was sufficient for their
conviction. The court rules that no doubt exists, based on the appellants' actions, that their primary
objective was to rob WSC, and that the killing of Rex was done on occasion, or by reason, of the
robbery. The Court considered the act of Ibanez inquiring from Henessy two days earlier before the
crime, and the fact that Cachuela and Ibanez were caught in an entrapment operation selling the
firearms and ammunition. Also, the same bullets found in Rexs body came from the subject
firearms. However, the Court stated that cannot second-guess on what could have been the reason
behind the perpetrators act of sparing Zaldys life, but the only evidence against Zaldy, which is
Nabilgas extrajudicial confession, is inadmissible so it can only be a mere speculation, thus not
proving Zaldys liability.

Prepared by: Jo-Anne D. Coloquio