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People v.

Jorolan
Quisumbing, J.; June 23, 2003
I. Facts

Sergio Jorolan was charged with murder and rape with homicide for the death
of 12 year-old Leonil Jimenez and the rape and killing of 15 year-old Rodelyn
Roxas.
The incident happened at about 2 pm of Nov. 19, 1997, in the residence of
Leonils older brother Joselito in Marikina Heights, Marikina City. The owners
of the house (Joselito and his wife Sherryl) and Leonil were away. Sergio
Jorolan worked for the Jimenezes as a helper.
At about 2:00 PM, Rodelyn was shot to death. 15 minutes later, Leonil
returned to the house. He was brought to the comfort room where he was
shot twice in the head, causing his instant death.
The deaths were discovered at 4:00 PM, when Sherryl and the family driver
returned to the house after not hearing from Leonil and Rodelyn over the
phone. Sherryl and the driver found Jorolan in the living room lying on a
wooden sofa with his mouth, arms, and feet tied loosely with cloth, to the
sofa armrest. He had a gunshot wound on the chest.
Everything in the house was intact, including the cabinet where Joselitos gun
was kept. It was found that Joselitos gun was the murder weapon.
Jorolan tested positive for powder burns. In his defense, he testified that the
murders were committed by 2 intruders who were looking for Joselito
Jimenez. The intruders allegedly searched the house for valuables and
demanded money from Jorolan, which he was unable to give. Jorolan alleged
that the intruders mauled him, and killed Rodelyn when she tried to run away.
He also alleged that it was the intruders who led Leonil into the comfort room,
but that he did not see how Leonil was shot. After Leonil and Rodelyn were
killed, the intruders tied Jorolan down and shot him in the upper right chest.
He also asserted that the Jimenezes were being threatened by some persons
who had a grudge against Joselito. The rape was not proven.
Sherryls sister, Cherry; and a family employee, Felicidad Desamiro, testified
that when Jorolan was in the hospital, he said that Leonil sustained two
wounds to the head and could not have survived [contrary to Jorolans
testimony that he only heard two shots and did not see how Leonil died]; and
that when he heard that Leonil had not yet died (a lie concocted by Cherry to
elicit a reaction from Jorolan), Jorolan uttered that he wished he had died.
After trial, Jorolan was found guilty of murder for the death of Leonil,
aggravated by treachery and use of unlicensed firearm and was sentenced to
death. He was also found guilty of homicide for the death of Rodelyn, and was
sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of 12 years prision mayor as
minimum to 20 years reclusion temporal as maximum. The case was
elevated to the SC on automatic review.

II. Issue
1. WON Jorolan is guilty of murder and homicide - <YES>

III. Ratio
1. ON CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE
a. There was no direct evidence presented to prove Jorolans guilt beyond
reasonable doubt. However, SC finds that the circumstantial evidence
presented was enough to establish Jorolans guilt as required under the
Rules of Court: there was more than one circumstance; the factual
bases of the inferences are proven; and the combination of all
circumstances produce Jorolans guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
b. The following facts prove Jorolans guilt:
i. Leonil, Rodelyn, and Jorolan all suffered gunshot wounds
ii. The gun used in the killing was owned by Joselito, owner of the
house
iii. The gun was found near the spot where Sergio lay
iv. Everything in the house was kept intact except for the gun,
contrary to Jorolans assertion that the house was ransacked
v. There were no marks or contusions on Jorolan to prove his
assertion that he was mauled
vi. Both his hands tested positive for gunpowder nitrates.
c. Jorolans statements in the hospital did not constitute res gestae
because they were not uttered as a direct result of the startling
incident, more than 24 hours having passed from the time of the
murder to the time the statements were made. Furthermore, during
that span, Jorolan had already been brought to the hospital and
interviewed by the media. The statements were made only by
elicitation of Cherry and Felicidad and on the false pretense that Leonil
was still alive.
d. Jorolans defenses such as his non-flight from the crime scene; the fact
that he sustained a gunshot wound; and the threats directed at the
Jimenezes, were discounted by the SC.
i. Re: non-flight: People react differently to a given type of
situation and there is no standard form of behavioral response to
a strange or startling occurrence.
ii. Re: gunshot wounds and being tied up: Jorolan was tied up
loosely and appeared to be sleeping when he was found by
Sherryl Jimenez.
iii. The threats were directed at Sherryls mother and they could not
be reasonably related to the killings.
2. ON TREACHERY
a. It was established that Leonil was 12 years old at the time he was
killed.
b. Jurisprudence has maintained that killing of a minor is considered
attended with treachery even if the manner of attack is not shown, as
children of tender age could not be expected to put up a defense.
3. ON USE OF UNLICENSED FIREARM
a. This aggravating circumstance was not alleged in the information, as
required in the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, which should be
retroactively applied to benefit Jorolan.
4. PENALTY

a. For Leonils death: Murder is punishable by reclusion perpetua, which is


imposed with no modifications, considering the lack of any modifying
circumstances.
b. For Rodelyns death: Homicide is punishable by reclusion temporal
medium. Applying the IS Law, the penalty imposed should be 6 years
and 1 day prision mayor as minimum to 14 years, 8 months, and 1 day
reclusion temporal medium, as maximum.
c. P50,000 as civil indemnity for each victim, and additional P50,000 for
each victim as moral damages, without need for proof.