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People vs.

Corpuz
COMMANDO GANG/Charged with Murder and frustrated murder: Romeo Corpuz, Hernanie
Soto, Danilo Chico, Pablito Abasula, Rogelio Corpuz, Reynaldo Godoy, Ricardo Mabalot,
Victor Bangayan, Felipe Alcera and Miguel Coro
Victims: Rodolfo Legaspi, Antonio Silva, Leodegario Fartin, Leonardo Fuentes, Manuel
Arciaga

December 30, 1970 in the New Bilibid Prison, Muntinlupa, Rizal: The accused,
members of the Commando Gang, assaulted the above mentioned victims by
wounding them in different parts of their bodies in an assault.
o Rodolfo Legaspi and Antonio Silva multiple stab wounds, died instantly
because they were unable to defend themselves
o Leodegario Fartin, Leonardo Fuentes, Manuel Arciaga stab wounds, which
could have caused their death
Upon being arraigned, the accused pleaded not guilty.
o July 29, 1972: after the prosecution had rested its case, Romeo Corpuz,
Victor Bangayan, and Hernanie Soto were permitted to withdraw their plea
of not guilty and to substitute the same with the plea of guilty after the
trial court had apprised them of the consequences of their plea of guilty.
(3)
o August 12, 1972: Felipe Alcera also changed his plea. (1)
o Danilo Chico, Pablito Abasula, Rogelio Corpuz, Reynaldo Godoy, Ricardo
Mabalot, and Miguel Coro did not change their plea. (6)
They were all found guilty for the crime of murder and were sentenced to death.

W/N the 6 defendants, along with the 4 who had previously pleaded guilty
(please see numbers indicated above) are responsible for the death of Rodolfo
Legaspi and Antonio Silva - NO
Leodegario Fajartin declared that the persons who stabbed Rodolfo Legaspi were the 2
Corpuzes and that he did not know Antonio Silva because they were many. Manuel
Arciaga testified that he was stabbed by Hernanie Soto and that he could not point to the
persons who stabbed Rodolfo Legaspi because he was quite far from them.
The NBI physician, Dr. Ricardo Ibarrola, testified that Rodolfo Legaspi sustained 3 stab
wounds, and that said wounds could not have been inflicted by more than 3 persons, and
that Antonio Silva sustained 2 stab wounds which could not have been inflicted by more
than 2 persons. The doctor also said that the stab wounds sustained by Legaspi could not
have been inflicted by only one person. It is clear, therefore, that only the 4 defendants
who pleaded guilty can be convicted of the fatal stabbing.
W/N there was conspiracy NO
Conspiracy can only be deduced from the alleged confessions of the 6 defendants. These
alleged confession, however, are not sufficient to establish conspiracy, it appearing that
said confessions have been repudiated. They testified that they were inflicted with
physical injuries and were brought to the bartolina. The contention of the prosecution
that if the defendants were really maltreated or intimidated they should have reported
such maltreatment to the Asst. director of Prisons, before whom hey swore and signed
their confessions, is puerile, to say the least. The defendants are all prisoners, and if they
reported such, they could have been maltreated much more. The Court also observed
that each one of them admitted to having stabbed Rodolfo Legaspi.
Conspiracy cannot be inferred from the manner that the defendants attacked the victims.
There is no sufficient showing that all the defendants should be held liable for his
individual act.

W/N the crime was committed in a tumultuous affray (claimed by defendants) NO


The quarrel was between 2 well-known groups of prisoners. There was no confusion.
There is no crime of death in a tumultuous affray if the quarrel is between 2 well-known
groups. The evidence shows that only Rogelio, Ricardo, and Pablito inflicted the wounds
of Leodegracio, which were healed within a period of 9 days. The intent to kill was not
proven. Therefore, the said defendants who inflicted injuries on Leodegracio are liable
only for slight physical injuries.
The other defendants were acquitted.