You are on page 1of 109

1

G.R. No. L-12155

February 2, 1917

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
PROTASIO EDUAVE, defendant-appellant.
Manuel Roxas for appellant.
Attorney-General Avanceña for appellee.
MORELAND, J.:
We believe that the accused is guilty of frustrated murder.
We are satisfied that there was an intent to kill in this case. A deadly weapon was used. The blow was
directed toward a vital part of the body. The aggressor stated his purpose to kill, thought he had killed, and
threw the body into the bushes. When he gave himself up he declared that he had killed the complainant.
There was alevosia to qualify the crime as murder if death had resulted. The accused rushed upon the girl
suddenly and struck her from behind, in part at least, with a sharp bolo, producing a frightful gash in the
lumbar region and slightly to the side eight and one-half inches long and two inches deep, severing all of
the muscles and tissues of that part.
The motive of the crime was that the accused was incensed at the girl for the reason that she had
theretofore charged him criminally before the local officials with having raped her and with being the cause
of her pregnancy. He was her mother's querido and was living with her as such at the time the crime here
charged was committed.
That the accused is guilty of some crime is not denied. The only question is the precise crime of which he
should be convicted. It is contended, in the first place, that, if death has resulted, the crime would not have
been murder but homicide, and in the second place, that it is attempted and not frustrated homicide.
As to the first contention, we are of the opinion that the crime committed would have been murder if the girl
had been killed. It is qualified by the circumstance of alevosia, the accused making a sudden attack upon
his victim from the rear, or partly from the rear, and dealing her a terrible blow in the back and side with his
bolo. Such an attack necessitates the finding that it was made treacherously; and that being so the crime
would have been qualified as murder if death had resulted.
As to the second contention, we are of the opinion that the crime was frustrated and not attempted murder.
Article 3 of the Penal Code defines a frustrated felony as follows:
A felony is frustrated when the offender performs all the acts of execution which should produce
the felony as a consequence, but which, nevertheless, do not produce it by reason of causes
independent of the will of the perpetrator.
An attempted felony is defined thus:

There is an attempt when the offender commences the commission of the felony directly by
overt acts, and does not perform all the acts of execution which constitute the felony by reason
of some cause or accident other than his own voluntarily desistance.
The crime cannot be attempted murder. This is clear from the fact that the defendant performed all of the
acts which should have resulted in the consummated crime and voluntarily desisted from further acts. A
crime cannot be held to be attempted unless the offender, after beginning the commission of the crime by
overt acts, is prevented, against his will, by some outside cause from performing all of the acts which
should produce the crime. In other words, to be an attempted crime the purpose of the offender must be
thwarted by a foreign force or agency which intervenes and compels him to stop prior to the moment when
he has performed all of the acts which should produce the crime as a consequence, which acts it is his
intention to perform. If he has performed all of the acts which should result in the consummation of the
crime and voluntarily desists from proceeding further, it can not be an attempt. The essential element
which distinguishes attempted from frustrated felony is that, in the latter, there is no intervention of a
foreign or extraneous cause or agency between the beginning of the commission of the crime and the
moment when all of the acts have been performed which should result in the consummated crime; while in
the former there is such intervention and the offender does not arrive at the point of performing all of the
acts which should produce the crime. He is stopped short of that point by some cause apart from his
voluntary desistance.
To put it in another way, in case of an attempt the offender never passes the subjective phase of the
offense. He is interrupted and compelled to desist by the intervention of outside causes before the
subjective phase is passed.
On the other hand, in case of frustrated crimes the subjective phase is completely passed. Subjectively the
crime is complete. Nothing interrupted the offender while he was passing through the subjective phase.
The crime, however, is not consummated by reason of the intervention of causes independent of the will of
the offender. He did all that was necessary to commit the crime. If the crime did not result as a
consequence it was due to something beyond his control.
The subjective phase is that portion of the acts constituting the crime included between the act
which begins the commission of the crime and the last act performed by the offender which, with the prior
acts, should result in the consummated crime. From that time forward the phase is objective. It may also
be said to be that period occupied by the acts of the offender over which he has control — that period
between the point where he begins and the points where he voluntarily desists. If between these two
points the offender is stopped by reason of any cause outside of his own voluntary desistance, the
subjective phase has not been passed and it is an attempt. If he is not so stopped but continues until he
performs the last act, it is frustrated.
That the case before us is frustrated is clear.
The penalty should have been thirteen years of cadena temporal there being neither aggravating nor
mitigating circumstance. As so modified, the judgment is affirmed with costs. So ordered.
Torres and Araullo, JJ., concur.
Carson and Trent, JJ., concur in the result.

2

THIRD DIVISION

[G.R. No. 124833. July 20, 1998]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ROMEO ENRIQUEZ y NICDAO, accusedappellant.
DECISION
ROMERO, J.:

3
Even as a mans eyes have been said to be the windows of his soul, his conscience serves as his
moral compass. Every man has an innate sense of morality but only a few actually follow the strait and
narrow. A terrified teenager listened to this still small voice deep within him and, with utter disregard for his
personal safety, opted to break his silence so that the truth may be unveiled. In doing so, he chose the
right path.
At around 4:30 in the vanishing daylight of June 17, 1991, after a hard days work at the construction
site of Centerville at Tandang Sora, Quezon City, laborers Romeo Enriquez, Manuel Biasa, and Ariel
Donato, Jr., began a drinking spree which would have a tragic ending. On their third round, after finishing
five bottles of gin, they asked security guard Eduardo Tupig to join them, and the latter acquiesced. Having
consumed the last two bottles of gin, they proceeded to take their supper. Enriquez, apparently not having
had his fill of alcohol, borrowed P500.00 from Biasas mother and decided to continue their carousal by
going to DMargs Beerhouse where they danced and had several more rounds of beer. After leaving the
beerhouse, around thirty meters away, at the parking lot of a 7-Eleven store at the corner of Tandang Sora
and Visayas Avenues, somebody suddenly stabbed Tupig from behind. His three companions rushed him
to the East Avenue Medical Center, but Tupig succumbed to the single stab wound at around 11:00 oclock
p.m.
On June 18, 1991, Enriquez, Donato, and Biasa gave their respective statements to the police, and
they all blamed a group of ten unidentified men for the death of Tupig. [1] Four months later, however, Biasa,
a protg of Enriquez, executed two sworn statements dated October 31 and November 22, 1991, pointing to
his patron as the one who stabbed Tupig and to Donato as the accomplice. [2] On the basis of this
development, an information for murder dated November 27, 1991, was filed against Enriquez and the
then still unknown Donato who remains at large.
At the hearings on March 11 [3] and April 14,[4] 1992, the 19-year old Biasa affirmed his two later
sworn statements and testified that he was allegedly threatened with death by Enriquez and Donato unless
he supported their narrative. He stated that on the night in question, as they were about to leave for the
beerhouse, he brought along his double-bladed knife upon Enriquez behest, apparently for protection.
[5]
During their beer-drinking session, and while Tupig was relieving himself, Enriquez asked for the knife
which Biasa passed under the table. On their way home, Enriquez drew this same knife from the waist of
his pants and stabbed Tupigs left side from behind.[6] With Tupig prostrate on the ground, Enriquez hailed
his two companions, then returned the knife to Biasa who gingerly accepted it. On their way to the hospital,
Enriquez retrieved the knife and threw it into a creek. [7] At the emergency room of the East Avenue Medical
Center, while the doctors were trying in vain to save Tupigs life, Donato grabbed Biasa by the collar,
hauled him to a dark spot in the hallway, hit him at the back of the head, and warned him under pain of
death not to tell a story to the police different from the version agreed upon by the other two. [8]
Upon examination by Medico-Legal Officer Bienvenido O. Muoz of the National Bureau of
Investigation, it was concluded that Tupig died of hemorrhage secondary to stab wound.[9]
Enriquez stuck to his earlier statement and maintained that after spending time at the DMargs
Beerhouse with his friends, he was trying to get a taxicab outside a 7-Eleven convenience store when a
group of ten unidentified men suddenly attacked his companions, resulting in the unfortunate demise of
Tupig.[10]
The other defense witness, SPO1 Armando Cruz, testified that he failed to find any witness to the
alleged rumble when he investigated the crime scene.[11]
After trial on the merits, Judge Felix M. de Guzman of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City,
Branch 99, rendered judgment, the decretal portion of which reads thus:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, this Court finds accused ROMEO ENRIQUEZ Y NICDAO GUILTY
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of MURDER penalized under Article 248 of the Revised Penal
Code, without any mitigating or aggravating circumstances, and hereby sentences said accused to suffer
the penalty of imprisonment of reclusion perpetua and to pay the heirs of the deceased victim damages in
the amount of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (PH50,000.00) pursuant to the decision of the Supreme Court
in People vs. Jose Adriano y Vargas (G.R. No. 104578, September 6, 1993).
It is understood that accused shall be credited in full of his preventive imprisonment.
SO ORDERED.
Enriquez is now before this Court still asserting his innocence and insisting that the trial courts
factual findings are erroneous. He also claims that the initial, not the later, sworn statement of Biasa should
have been considered by the court.
Accused-appellants conviction must stand.
Before proceeding, this Court reiterates its policy of paying fidelity to the factual findings of the trial
court, especially when, as in the case at bar, there seems no plausible reason to abandon its conclusions.
Enriquez contends that a group of ten unidentified men was responsible for Tupigs death. In the
investigation of the stabbing, Enriquez version was supported by Donato, but during the trial, he made no
mention at all of his co-accused who could have at least corroborated his testimony. Oddly, he also failed
to identify and could not describe even one of the supposed aggressors. [12] It is even more bizarre that
while he depicted the attack on his companions as a rumble, only one was injured, and fatally at that. The
weakness of the defense is further compounded by the manifest dearth of any corroborative evidence. But
as in all other criminal accusations, this one must bank on the strength of the States evidence, not on the
infirmity of the defense. We believe the prosecution was equal to this task and sufficiently established the
guilt of accused-appellant.
Enriquez was positively tagged by Biasa as the man who stabbed Tupig from behind. He could not
explain why Biasa made a turnabout and explicitly fingered him as the culprit. [13] That the young laborer
vacillated four months after his initial statement does not, however, detract from the fact that on the witness
stand, he did not hesitate to identify Enriquez, the man who recommended him for employment in the
construction site, as Tupigs assailant. Positive identification, where categorical and consistent and without
any showing of ill motive on the part of the eyewitness testifying on the matter, prevails over alibi and
denial which if not substantiated by clear and convincing evidence are negative and self-serving evidence
undeserving of weight in law.[14]
In the assaying of a mans conflicting deeds, as in the two sworn statements of Biasa, the later, more
recent act is presumed to be his true will and intent. This presumption gains more credibility when the
declarant affirms his assertions while testifying under oath on the witness stand.
Neither could the prosecution be faulted for presenting a single witness to prove that Enriquez
stabbed Tupig. Biasas testimony, substantiated as it was on its material points by the postmortem findings
of Dr. Muoz, adequately enlightened the court on the environmental setting of the victims death. Further
proof would, therefore, be redundant and would have been unnecessary in persuading the court of
accused-appellants culpability. As the Court declared in Bautista v. Court of Appeals,[15] criminals are
convicted, not on the number of witnesses against them, but on the credibility of the testimony of even one
witness who is able to convince the court of the guilt of the accused beyond a shadow of a doubt.
The Court agrees with the trial courts disposition of this case and the conclusions reached. Tupig
was literally stabbed in the back by Enriquez moments after they engaged in a drinking spree. The attack

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 2000] WHEREFORE. assault and stab one Jeonito Araque y Daniel at the back of his body. 91-5842 the Amended Information[1] for Murder alleges That on or about the 11th day of August 1991 in the Municipality of Muntinlupa. As the trial court correctly observed: Finally. Kapunan. C. Fealty. JJ. plaintiff-appellee. In Bautista. accused. concur. which would have spared the treacherous assailant. AGAPITO LISTERIO y PRADO.: For the deadly assault on the brothers Jeonito Araque and Marlon Araque. Bonifacio Bancaya and several others who are still at large were charged in two (2) separate Amended Informations with Murder and Frustrated Murder. . Marlon dela Torre.R. AGAPITO LISTERIO y PRADO and SAMSON DELA TORRE y ESQUELA. July 5. gratitude and fear drove him to initially prevaricate. He saw a co-worker.[17] Enriquez was. J. thereby inflicting serious and mortal wounds which would have cause[d] the death of the said victim thus performing all the acts of execution which should have produce[d] the crime of . the above-named accused. In Criminal Case No. Eduardo Tupigs death was vindicated only because of the lad who proved in the end to be more of a man than the older. his conscience. that Tupig never really knew what hit him. with intent to kill. (Chairman). and Purisima. treachery and evident premeditation with abuse of superior strength did then and there willfully. confederating together. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. He was completely defenseless against that treachery. George dela Torre. he even had the temerity to bring his victim to the hospital. . Accused-appellants life was never in jeopardy and. Agapito Listerio y Prado. mutually helping and aiding one another. so unexpected. unlawfully and feloniously attack.4 was so sudden. a drinking partner. other accused Donato was nearby to ensure or afford impunity. wily Romeo Enriquez. the Amended Information[2] for Frustrated Homicide charges: That on or about the 14th day of May 1991 in the Municipality of Muntinlupa.J. Narvasa. the above-named accused. which the postmortem report readily established. 91-5843. therefore. Costs against accused-appellant. vs. correctly convicted of the crime of murder qualified by treachery. conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping and aiding one another. the assailed decision dated September 18. SO ORDERED.. Philippines and within the jurisdiction this Honorable Court. CONTRARY TO LAW. Samson dela Torre y Esquela. the prosecution has sufficiently proven that the killing of the deceased was qualified by treachery in that the victim was stabbed from behind and that while accused Enriquez was stabbing the victim. is AFFIRMED in toto. DECISION YNARES-SANTIAGO.. . [G. 1995.[16] this Court had occasion to state that (a)n unexpected and sudden attack under circumstances which render the victim unable and unprepared to defend himself by reason of the suddenness and severity of the attack constitutes alevosia. Metro Manila. Metro Manila. accused-appellant. unlawfully and feloniously stab and hit with a lead pipe and bladed weapon one Marlon Araque y Daniel on the vital portions of his body. Manuel Biasa was already toiling in a mans world. thereby inflicting upon the latter mortal wounds which directly caused his death. prodded him to later reveal the truth. however. all armed with bladed weapons and GI lead pipes. conspiring. The murder weapon was his own knife. with intent to kill did then and there willfully. No. in a show of feigned concern. die before his very eyes at the hands of his patron. In Criminal Case No. 122099. FIRST DIVISION At a period when most boys his age are still reveling in juvenile pursuits.

5 Homicide as a consequence but nevertheless did not produce it by reason of causes independent of their will. 3. 1991 culled from the eyewitness account of Marlon Araque discloses that at around 5:00 p.[16] Marlon Araque who sustained injuries in the arm and back. Accused-appellant is 39 years old. married.00 as exemplary damages. balisong or any similar instrument. [14] When he regained his senses three (3) minutes later.[7] a group composed of Agapito Listerio. another on the lower right portion and the third on the middle portion of the left side of his back[12] causing him to fall down. that is by timely and able medical attendance rendered to said Marlon Araque y Daniel which prevented his death.[28] The first stab wound. And for the damages sustained by Marlon Araque y Daniel. he is sentenced: 1.[21] The second lacerated wound measuring 2 centimeters in length is located at the mid-frontal area commonly known as the forehead. side walk vendor and a resident of Purok 4. CONTRARY TO LAW. head of the Medico Legal Division of the UP-PGH.[6] On their way back while they were passing Tramo near Tinos place. Samson dela Torre. in Criminal Case No.66 as actual damages.4 centimeters. and P5.[24] Elaborating on the nature of Marlon Araques injuries. finding Accused AGAPITO LISTERIO guilty beyond reasonable doubt.[10] Agapito Listerio. He earns a living by selling vegetables. For the death of Jeonito Araque y Daniel in Criminal Case NO.000. 2. Metro Manila. he is required to pay Marlon Araque y Daniel. Marlon dela Torre and Bonifacio Bancaya [8] blocked their path[9] and attacked them with lead pipes and bladed weapons. measuring 1. Marlon and Jeonito then turned back. Their other co-accused have remained at large.[35] .[13] Marlon Araque was hit on the head by Samson dela Torre and Bonifacio Bancaya with lead pipes and momentarily lost consciousness. 91-5842.00 as moral damages. Upon arraignment. Salvador Manimtim. Trial thereafter ensued after which the court a quo rendered judgment only against accused Agapito Listerio because his co-accused Samson dela Torre escaped during the presentation of the prosecutions evidence and he was not tried in absentia.[32] Unlike the first. he saw that Jeonito was already dead. he is ordered to indemnify the heirs of Jeonito Araque y Daniel the sum[s] of : P54. [29] Considering the involvement of a vital organ and a major blood vessel.[17] was thereafter brought to a hospital for treatment. Bievenido Munoz. P50.[31] The third wound measuring 2.000. measuring 2.00 as exemplary damages SO ORDERED.[33] Dr. who were armed with bladed weapons. P5. NBI Medico Legal Officer conducted an autopsy on the cadaver of Jeonito Araque[26] and prepared an Autopsy Report[27] of his findings. the first and second wounds were inflicted by knife thrusts delivered starting below going upward by assailants who were standing behind the victim. RECLUSION PERPETUA.[22] A third lacerated wound measuring 1. [5] Having failed to collect anything from Tino.[34] On the other hand. Muntinlupa to collect a sum of money from a certain Tino.200. he is sentenced to six (6) months and one (1) day as minimum. the sum[s] of : P5. affected the skin and underlying soft tissues and did not penetrate the body cavity.00 as moral damages. stabbed Jeonito Araque from behind.7 centimeters was like the second and involved only the soft tissues. Muntinlupa. The dispositive portion of the decision[3] reads: WHEREFORE.000. 91-5843. Dr. 1991. the second and third wounds were non-fatal.[18] Marlon Araque was examined by Dr.m. [19] who thereafter issued a Medical Certificate[20] indicating that Marlon Araque sustained two (2) lacerated wounds. As civil indemnity.0 centimeters. [15] Their assailants then fled after the incident. Munoz averred that of the three.7 centimeters with an approximate depth of 11.[25] Dr.00 as actual damages. P5. [11] Jeonito sustained three (3) stab wounds on the upper right portion of his back. one measuring 5 centimeters in length located in the center (mid-parietal area) of the ear.[4] Dissatisfied.5 centimeters long is located at the forearm[23] and a fourth which is a stab wound measuring 3 centimeters is located at the right shoulder at the collar. he and his brother Jeonito were in Purok 4. Marlon dela Torre and George dela Torre. accused-appellants version of the incident is summed thus in his brief: 1. The version of the prosecution of what transpired on that fateful day of August 14.000. pointed and single-bladed instrument like a kitchen knife. Alabang. perforated the lower lobe of the left lung and the thoracic aorta.000. II THE COURT CONVICTED THE ACCUSED OF THE CRIME OF MURDER AND ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE DESPITE ABSENCE OF PROOF OF CONSPIRACY AND AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE OF TREACHERY. to four (4) years as maximum. accused Agapito Listerio y Prado and Samson dela Torre y Esquela pleaded not guilty to the crimes charged. George dela Torre. [30] The second wound. Bayanan. accused Agapito Listerio interposed this appeal alleging that I THE PROSECUTION EVIDENCE FAILED TO ESTABLISH THE GUILT OF THE ACCUSED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. 4. The report which contains a detailed description of the injuries inflicted on the victim shows that the deceased sustained three (3) stab wounds all of them inflicted from behind by a sharp. the wound was considered fatal. of August 14. Manimtim explained in detail during cross-examination that the two (2) wounds on the forearm and the shoulder were caused by a sharp object like a knife while the rest were caused by a blunt instrument such as a lead pipe. For the attempt to kill Marlon Araque y Daniel.

Q Do you know the person or persons who stabbed him? A Yes. Q Will you please inform the Honorable Court what is your own knowledge? A He was stabbed. Edgar Demolador and Andres Gininao were sent home. Marlon Araque answered because you eject[ed] us from your house. the well entrenched rule is that the testimony of a lone eyewitness. sir. At the Police Station.[36] 3. Q What are you doing at that time in [that] particular date? A Im collecting from a certain Tino. We disagree. Subsequently. Q Will you please inform the Honorable Court where were you at that time? A Im in Alabang at Purok 4 and Im collecting. In fine. trustworthy and credible witness could be sufficient to convict an accused. Q When you went back. sir. sir. These two (2) policemen together with co-accused Samson de la Torre came back and invited Accused-appellant for questioning at the Muntinlupa Police Headquarters together with Edgar Demolador and Andres Gininao. [40] More explicitly. Q Who was your companion? . While asleep. 1991. Accused-Appellant confronted Marlon Araque as to why he was being included in the case. Consequently appellate courts will not disturb the trial courts findings save only in cases where arbitrariness has set in and disregard for the facts important to the case have been overlooked. implicating him for the death of Jeonito Araque and the frustrated murder of Marlon Araque.[39] Professing his innocence. Marlon dela Torre and Bonifacio. sir. at about 5 oclock. sir (Witness pointing to a persons [sic] and when asked [identified themselves as] Agapito Listerio and Samson dela Torre. naturally and in a straightforward manner. Edgar Remolador and Andres Gininao woke him up and told him there was a quarrel near the railroad track.[38] 5.[42] The account of Marlon Araque as to how they were assaulted by the group of accused-appellant was given in a categorical. did you have any companion? A Yes.6 2. convincing and straightforward manner: Q Mr. if you know? A Its (sic) Agapito Listerio.[41] The trial court found Marlon Araques version of what transpired candid and straightforward. at around 5:00 oclock in the afternoon of August 14. Q Could you please point to this Honorable Court who are these two persons in side the courtroom? A Yes. Accused-Appellant was handed a Sinumpaang Salaysay executed by Marlon Araque. it is not at all uncommon to reach a conclusion of guilt on the basis of the testimony of a single witness. Q Were you able to collect? A No. Q Where is Jeonito Araque now? A He is already dead. do you recall where were you? A Yes. sir. Q If you said that there were no collections. such that the testimony of a single. Q And why do you know him? A He is my brother. conduct and attitude at the trial places him in a peculiar position to discriminate between the true and the false. We defer to the lower courts findings on this point consistent with the oft-repeated pronouncement that: the trial judge is the best and the most competent person who can weigh and evaluate the testimony of witnesses. Q When did he die? A Last August 14. Accused-Appellant was in the store of Nimfa Agustin having a little fun with Edgar Demolador and Andres Gininao drinking beer. Q Do you know of your own knowledge how he died? A Yes. hence. At around 6:00 oclock two (2) policemen passed by going to the house of Samson de la Torre while Accused-appellant was chatting with Edgar Remolador and Andres Gininao. sir. he insists that Marlons testimony is insufficient to convict him of the crimes charged. if found positive and credible by the trial court is sufficient to support a conviction especially when the testimony bears the earmarks of truth and sincerity and had been delivered spontaneously. sir. Witness. 1991. It is well settled that witnesses are to be weighed.[37] 4. do you know a certain Jeonito Araque y Daniel? A Yes. His firsthand look at the declarants demeanor. At around 1:00 oclock in the afternoon of August 14. what did you do? A We went back.) Q Now. could you identify them? A They (sic) are only two persons but the three persons is (sic) not around. not numbered. George dela Torre. accused-appellant claims that Marlon Araques uncorroborated testimony failed to clearly and positively identify him as the malefactor responsible for his brothers death. Q Do you have any companion at that time? A Yes. sir. At around 2:00 oclock Accused-appellant went to his house and slept. Samson dela Torre. Q Will you please inform the Honorable Court who are these person or persons. It has been held that witnesses are to be weighed not numbered. Q Now if these persons [are] inside the courtroom.

m. if you know? Q Bonifacio? A Three (3). How many stabbed [him]. Q And after he fall (sic) down. Samson dela Torre. 1991 when you visited Sonny Sari-Sari Store at 4:00 p. sir. if you recall? COURT A In Tramo. sir. Q How about your brother. sir. A At the back of his body. Q Marlon dela Torre? COURT A No. another on the lower right portion and another on the middle portion of the left side at the back. Q Were (sic) there no occasion on August 14. sir. what happened to them? A From what I know.7 A My brother. Q Will you please inform the Honorable Court how will (sic) you waylaid by these persons? A We were walking then suddenly they stabbed us with knife (sic) and ran afterwards. sir. the persons who way laid. what did you do? A He fall (sic) down. A Agapito. Q Do you know the reason why your brother fall (sic) before you painted (sic)? A Yes. sir. they ran away. Marlon and George. proved futile as Marlon steadfastly maintained on cross examination that he and his brother never drank liquor on that fateful day: Q After your work. do you know what happened? A I was hit by a lead pipe thats why I painted (sic). sir. what happened to your brother? A Agapito Listerio. Q Now. A With your borther (sic)? . sir. A Witness pointing to his back upper right portion of the back. was there an occasion when you drink something with your borther (sic)? Q Will you please inform the Honorable Court why your brother fall (sic) down? xxx xxx xxx A Yes. because he was stabbed. George and Marlon. Q And you stand to your testimony that you never drink (sic) on August 14. Q And did you not have a drinking spree with George dela Torre? Q Will you please inform the Honorable Court who was that persons was stabbed him? A No. what particular place [where] you were waylaid. sir. COURT Q While you were going back. Proceed. Q And who were the persons that were waylaid (sic)? A Agapito Listerio. 1991? Q Do you know the person or persons who was (sic) stabbed him? A No. Because I already painted (sic). near Tinos place. Q Will you please inform the Honorable Court why you are (sic) lost consciousness? A I was hit by [a] lead pipe by Samson and Bonifacio. sir. Q And when did you regain consciousness? A After three minutes. George dela Torre and Bonifacio. Q How about the accused.[43] Persistent efforts by defense counsel to establish that the attack was provoked. 1991? A Yes. Q How about you. A I go (sic) to the Hospital. Q Who were the persons that waylaid you? Q And when you gain[ed] consciousness. A Yes. was there any untoward incidents that happened? In what particular part of his body was stabbed wound (sic)? A Yes sir Hinarang po kami. Q What particular place of his body was [he] stabbed if you know? A No. on August 14. by eliciting from Marlon Araque an admission that he and the deceased had a drinking spree with their attackers prior to the incident. Q Do you know the reason why your brother fall (sic) down? A I cannot recall. what happened to him? A He was already dead.

[48] Accused-appellant likewise insists on the absence of conspiracy and treachery in the attack on the victims.8 Q So you want to tell this Honorable Court that there was no point in time on August 14. blocked (hinarang) the path of the victims effectively cutting off their escape. the deceased was stabbed three (3) times from behind by a sharp. The overt act may consist of active participation in the actual commission of the crime itself. It is settled that if the accused had nothing to do with the crime. the rule is that conspiracy must be shown to exist by direct or circumstantial evidence. Accused-appellant and his companions acted in concert during the assault on the victims. the accused had the same purpose and were united in its execution. but may and generally must be proved by a number of indefinite acts. the accused-appellant and his companions. all of them armed with deadly weapons at the locus criminis.[47] Likewise. pointed and single-bladed instrument like a kitchen knife.[59] Thus. direct proof is not essential since it may be shown by facts and circumstances from which may be logically inferred the existence of a common design among the accused to commit the offense charged. Witness. If there is a chain of circumstances to that effect. Each member of the group performed specific and coordinated acts as to indicate beyond doubt a common criminal design or purpose. In this case. he is expected to seek justice. Lumakang That will be all for the witness. or inferred from the acts of the accused themselves when such acts point to a joint purpose and design. it would be against the natural order of events to falsely impute charges of wrongdoing upon him. [45] Indeed. conspiracy can be established. during and after the commission of the crime which indubitably point to and are indicative of a joint purpose. It must be remembered that direct proof of conspiracy is rarely found for criminals do not write down their lawless plans and plots. method.[55] Q Mr. it can be clearly gleaned from the foregoing excerpts of his testimony that he remembered with a high degree of reliability the identity of the malefactors. Q Mr. and manner by which the offense was perpetrated. it is necessary that a conspirator should have performed some overt acts as a direct or indirectcontribution in the execution of the crime planned to be committed. or it may consist of moral assistance to his con-conspirators by being present at the commission of the crime or by exerting moral ascendancy over the other co-conspirators. To establish the existence of a conspiracy. COURT Ask another question. concert of action and community of interest.[63] It must be noted in this regard that the manner in which the stab wounds were inflicted on the deceased were clearly meant to kill without posing any danger to the malefactors considering their locations and the fact that they were caused by knife thrusts starting below going upward by assailants who were standing behind the victim. Nowhere is it more evident than in this case where accused-appellant and his cohorts blocked the path of the victims and as a group attacked them with lead pipes and bladed weapons. Thus. there is no showing that he was motivated by any ill-feeling or bad blood to falsely testify against accused-appellant. your Honor.[61] In the ensuing attack.[53] In the absence of direct proof thereof. it denotes an intentional participation in the transaction with a view to the furtherance of the common design and purpose. Being a victim himself.[44] That Marlon was able to recognize the assailants can hardly be doubted because relatives of the victim have a natural knack for remembering the faces of the attackers and they.[49] Conspiracy may be inferred from the acts of the accused before. sir. the act of one is the act of all. [57] From the legal standpoint.m. at the time of the commission of the offense. accused-appellant as a conspirator is equally liable for the crime as it is unnecessary to determine who inflicted the fatal wound because in conspiracy.[58] In this case.[60] As to the qualifying circumstances here present. family members who have witnessed the killing of a loved one usually strive to remember the faces of the assailants. Your Honor. sir. Marlon dela Torre and a certain Bonifacio were? Atty. We remain unconvinced. would be concerned with obtaining justice for the victim by the felons being brought to the face of the law. conspiracy need not be established by direct evidence of acts charged.[64] Treachery is present when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons employing means. it may be deduced from the mode. which vary according to the purpose accomplished. Witness. concerted action and community of interest. you testified that it was your brother the deceased who invited you to Purok 4? A Yes. more than anybody else. as clearly and convincingly as the crime itself. 1991 at 4:00 p. conditions and circumstances. Previous agreement to commit a crime is not essential to establish a conspiracy. the treacherous manner in which accusedappellant and his group perpetrated the crime is shown not only by the sudden and unexpected attack upon the unsuspecting and apparently unarmed victims but also by the deliberate manner in which the assault was perpetrated. it being sufficient that the condition attending to its commission and the acts executed may be indicative of a common design to accomplish a criminal purpose and objective. will you please tell the Honorable Court where this George dela Torre. balisong or similar instrument[62] while Marlon Araque sustained lacerated wounds in the head caused by blows inflicted by lead pipes as well as stab wounds on the shoulder and forearm which were caused by a sharp object like a knife.[46] Marlons credibility cannot be doubted in this case because as a victim himself and an eyewitness to the incident.[52] Q Neither your brother? Atty. [56] Conspiracy to exist does not require an agreement for an appreciable period prior to the occurrence. Agoot Witness is incompetent.[50] Indeed A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. that you did not take a sip of wine? More explicitly A No. indubitably shows their criminal design to kill the victims.[51] Conspiracy transcends mere companionship. Agoot Objection. as in the present case. Atty. conspiracy exists if. even assuming arguendo that the prosecution eyewitness may have been unclear as to who delivered the fatal blow on the victim. methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and . the question is vague. the presence of accused-appellant and his colleagues. all of them armed with bladed weapons and lead pipes.[54] Hence. or it may be deduced from the mode and manner in which the offense was perpetrated.

He is stopped short of that point by some cause apart from his voluntary desistance. [77] Suffice it to state that the intent to kill of the malefactors herein who were armed with bladed weapons and lead pipes can hardly be doubted given the prevailing facts of the case. If between these two points the offender is stopped by reason of any cause outside of his own voluntary desistance. in view of the facts of the case. [71] All told. 91-5843. is prevented. Article 250 of the Revised Penal Code provides that ART. At the risk of sounding trite. the subjective phase is completely passed. The commission of the crime was also attended by abuse of superior strength on account of the fact that accused-appellant and his companions were not only numerically superior to the victims but also because all of them. Nothing interrupted the offender while he was passing through the subjective phase. 2. The positive identification of the accused as one of the perpetrators of the crime by the prosecution eyewitness. and b. absent any showing of ill-motive. the accused must establish that: a. there is no intervention of a foreign or extraneous cause or agency between the beginning of the commission of crime and the moment when all the acts have been performed which should result in the consummated crime. murder or homicide. Marlons attackers apparently thought he was already dead and fled. [68] For alibi to serve as a basis for acquittal.9 specially to insure its execution. v. He did all that was necessary to commit the crime. wherein accused-appellant was indicted for Frustrated Homicide.] he is not able to perform all the acts of execution which should produce the felony.[66] Furthermore.[65] That circumstance qualifies the crime into murder. by some outside cause from performing all of the acts which should produce the crime. Manimtims testimony that none of the wounds sustained by Marlon Araque were fatal.] his failure to perform all the acts of execution was due to some cause or accident other than his spontaneous desistance. The courts. in the latter. in case of frustrated crimes.] the felony is not produced due to causes independent of the perpetrators will. it is frustrated. it bears stressing that intent to kill determines whether the infliction of injuries should be punished as attempted or frustrated murder. against his will. is not consummated by reason of the intervention of causes independent of the will of the offender.S. Subjectively the crime is complete. and 3.[83] With the presence of the aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength and no mitigating circumstances.However. without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make. homicide. although alleged in the information.[67] In stark contrast to the evidence pointing to him as one of the assailants of the victims. an overall scrutiny of the records of this case leads us to no other conclusion than that accused-appellant is guilty as charged for Murder in Criminal Case No. this aggravating circumstance is already absorbed in treachery. the penalty is to be imposed in its maximum period. 2. to be an attempted crime the purpose of the offender must be thwarted by a foreign force or agency which intervenes and compels him to stop prior to the moment when he has performed all of the acts which should produce the crime as a consequence. the subjective phase has not been passed and it is an attempt. though unassigned in the appealed judgement [79] or even reverse the trial courts decision on the basis of grounds other than those that the parties raised as errors. armed with bladed weapons and lead pipes. The essential element which distinguishes attempted from frustrated felony is that. parricide or consummated physical injuries. If he is not so stopped but continues until he performs the last act. after beginning the commission of the crime by overt acts. may impose upon the person guilty of the frustrated crime of parricide. should result in the consummated crime. it cannot be an attempt. while in the former there is such intervention and the offender does not arrive at the point of performing all of the acts which should produce the crime. With regard to the frustrated felony. considering the facts of the case. By subjective phase is meant [t]hat portion of the acts constituting the crime included between the act which begins the commission of the crime and the last act performed by the offender which. He is interrupted and compelled to desist by the intervention of outside causes before the subjective phase is passed.] he was present at another place at the time of the perpetration of the offense.[76] Homicidal intent must be evidenced by acts which at the time of their execution are unmistakably calculated to produce the death of the victim by adequate means. however. the penalty one degree lower would be prision mayor. accusedappellant proffers the defense of alibi. the trial court convicted accused-appellant of Attempted Homicide only on the basis of Dr. must prevail over the weak and obviously fabricated alibi of accused-appellant. 250. evident premeditation need not be further appreciated. In relation to the foregoing. defined and penalized in the preceding articles.] the offender commits overt acts to commence the perpetration of the crime. in an attempted felony: 1.[69] Suffice it to state that accused-appellant failed to discharge this burden. Eduave:[75] A crime cannot be held to be attempted unless the offender. as aptly pointed out by the trial court [t]he place where the accused was at the time of the killing is only 100 meters away. From that time forward. with the prior acts.] the offender has performed all the acts of execution which would produce the felony. we now address the question of the proper penalties to be imposed. The reasoning of the lower court on this point is flawed because it is not the gravity of the wounds inflicted which determines whether a felony is attempted or frustrated but whether or not the subjective phase in the commission of an offense has been passed. It also can not be denied that the crime is a frustrated felony not an attempted offense considering that after being stabbed and clubbed twice in the head as a result of which he lost consciousness and fell. evident premeditation was not proved by the prosecution. The penalty for Homicide is reclusion temporal[82] thus. On the other hand. or homicide. absent concrete proof as to how and when the plan to kill was hatched or what time had elapsed before it was carried out.[70] Furthermore. may likewise reduce by one degree the penalty which under article 51 should be imposed for an attempt to commit any of such crimes. To put it another way. murder. Penalty for frustrated parricide. The crime. In other words. [73] On the other hand. The distance of his house to the place of the incident makes him physically possible to be a participant in the killing [of Jeonito] and [the] wounding of Marlon.[81] The courts. An appeal in a criminal case throws the whole case wide open for review [78] and the reviewing tribunal can correct errors. it must be remembered that alibi is generally considered with suspicion and always received with caution because it can be easily fabricated. a penalty lower by one degree than that which should be imposed under the provisions of article 50. [72] It must be remembered that a felony is frustrated when: 1. It may also be said to be that period occupied by the acts of the offender over which he has control that period between the point where he begins and the point where hevoluntarily desists. [84] Prision mayor in its . In the light of the finding of conspiracy. If he has performed all the acts which should result in the consummation of the crime and voluntarily desists from proceeding further. 91-5842. the phase is objective. purposely used force out of proportion to the means of defense available to the persons attacked. [80] With the foregoing in mind.] it would thus be physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the crime. which acts it is his intention to perform. In Criminal Case No. If the crime did not result as a consequence it was due to something beyond his control. in case of an attempt the offender never passes the subjective phase of the offense.[74] The distinction between an attempted and frustrated felony was lucidly differentiated thus in the leading case of U.

10
maximum period ranges from ten (10) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years. Applying further the
Indeterminate Sentence Law,[85] the minimum of the imposable penalty shall be within the range of the
penalty next lower in degree, i.e. prision correccional in its maximum period which has a range of six (6)
months and one (1) day to six (6) years.

(6) Years of Prision Correccional, as minimum to Ten (10) Years and One (1) Day
of Prision Mayor, as maximum.
After finality of this Decision, the records shall be remanded to the Regional Trial Court of Makati
City, which is directed to render judgment based on the evidence against Samson dela Torre y Esquela.

What now remains to be determined is the propriety of the awards made by the trial court with
regard to the civil aspect of the case for the death of Jeonito Araque and the injuries sustained by Marlon
Araque.

SO ORDERED.
Davide, Jr., (Chairman), Puno, Kapunan, and Pardo, JJ., concur.

Anent actual or compensatory damages, it bears stressing that only substantiated and proven
expenses or those which appear to have been genuinely incurred in connection with the death, wake or
burial of the victim will be recognized by the courts. [86] In this case, the expenses incurred for the wake,
funeral and burial of the deceased are substantiated by receipts. [87]The trial courts award for actual
damages for the death of Jeonito Araque should therefore be affirmed.
In line with current jurisprudence,[88] the award of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity ex delicto must also
be sustained as it requires no proof other than the fact of death of the victim and the assailants
responsibility therefor.[89] The award for moral damages for the pain and sorrow suffered by the victims
family in connection with his untimely death must likewise be affirmed.The award is adequate, reasonable
and with sufficient basis taking into consideration the anguish and suffering of the deceaseds family
particularly his mother who relied solely upon him for support. [90] The award of exemplary damages should
likewise be affirmed considering that an aggravating circumstance attended the commission of the crime.
[91]

The trial court, however, correctly ignored the claim for loss of income or earning capacity of the
deceased for lack of factual basis. The estimate given by the deceaseds sister on his alleged income as a
pre-cast businessman is not supported by competent evidence like income tax returns or receipts. It bears
emphasizing in this regard that compensation for lost income is in the nature of damages[92] and as such
requires due proof thereof.[93] In short, there must be unbiased proof of the deceaseds average income.
[94]
In this case, the victims sister merely gave an oral, self-serving and hence unreliable statement of her
deceased brothers income.
As for the awards given to Marlon Araque, the award for actual damages must be affirmed as the
same is supported by documentary evidence.[95] With regard to moral and exemplary damages, the same
being distinct from each other require separate determination. [96] The award for moral damages must be
struck down as the victim himself did not testify as to the moral suffering he sustained as a result of the
assault on his person. For lack of competent proof such an award is improper. [97] The award for exemplary
damages must, however, be retained considering that under Article 2230 of the Civil Code, such damages
may be imposed when the crime is committed with one or more aggravating circumstances.[98]
Finally, this Court has observed that the trial court did not render judgment against accused Samson
dela Torre, notwithstanding that he was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to both charges. Under the
circumstances, he should be deemed to have been tried in absentia and, considering the evidence
presented by the prosecution against him, convicted of the crime charged together with appellant Agapito
Listerio.
WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is AFFIRMED with the following MODIFICATIONS:
1.] the award of P5,000.00 to Marlon Araque by way of moral damages in Criminal Case No.
91-5843 is DELETED;
2.] Accused-Appellant is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt in Criminal Case No. 915843 of Frustrated Homicide and is sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of Six

FIRST DIVISION
ESMERALDO RIVERA, ISMAEL G.R. No. 166326
RIVERA, EDGARDO RIVERA,
Petitioners, Present:
PANGANIBAN, C.J., Chairperson,
YNARES-SANTIAGO,
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,
- versus - CALLEJO, SR., and
CHICO-NAZARIO, JJ.
Promulgated:
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Respondent. January 25, 2006
x--------------------------------------------------x
DECISION
CALLEJO, SR., J.:

This is a petition for review of the Decision [1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR No.
27215 affirming, with modification, the Decision [2] of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cavite, Branch 90, in
Criminal Case No. 6962-99, entitled People of the Philippines. v. Esmeraldo Rivera, et al.
On April 12, 1999, an Information was filed in the RTC of Imus, Cavite, charging Esmeraldo,
Ismael and Edgardo, all surnamed Rivera, of attempted murder. The accusatory portion of the Information
reads:

11

was slight and superficial and would heal from one to seven days. [5] The doctor prescribed medicine for
That on or about the 3rd day of May 1998, in the Municipality of
Dasmarias, Province of Cavite, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually
helping one another, with intent to kill, with treachery and evident premeditation, did
then and there, wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously attack, assault and hit with a piece
of hollow block, one RUBEN RODIL who thereby sustained a non-mortal injury on
his head and on the different parts of his body, the accused thus commenced the
commission of the felony directly by overt acts, but failed to perform all the acts of
execution which would produce the crime of Murder by reason of some causes other
than their own spontaneous desistance, that is, the said Ruben Rodil was able to ran
(sic) away and the timely response of the policemen, to his damage and prejudice.
CONTRARY TO LAW.[3]

Rubens back pain, which he had to take for one month.[6]
Esmeraldo testified that at around 1:00 p.m. on May 3, 1998, Ruben arrived at his house and
banged the gate. Ruben challenged him and his brothers to come out and fight. When he went out of the
house and talked to Ruben, the latter punched him. They wrestled with each other. He fell to the ground.
Edgardo arrived and pushed Ruben aside. His wife arrived, and he was pulled away and brought to their
house.
For his part, Ismael testified that he tried to pacify Ruben and his brother Esmeraldo, but Ruben
grabbed him by the hair. He managed to free himself from Ruben and the latter fled. He went home

Ruben Rodil testified that he used to work as a taxi driver. He stopped driving in April 1998 after

afterwards. He did not see his brother Edgardo at the scene.

a would-be rapist threatened his life. He was even given a citation as aBayaning Pilipino by the television
network ABS-CBN for saving the would-be victim. His wife eked out a living as a manicurist. They and their

Edgardo declared that at about 1:00 p.m. on May 3, 1998, he was throwing garbage in front of

three children resided in Barangay San Isidro Labrador II, Dasmarias, Cavite, near the house of Esmeraldo

their house. Ruben arrived and he went inside the house to avoid a confrontation. Ruben banged the gate

Rivera and his brothers Ismael and Edgardo.

and ordered him to get out of their house and even threatened to shoot him. His brother Esmeraldo went
out of their house and asked Ruben what the problem was.

At noon of May 2, 1998, Ruben went to a nearby store to buy food. Edgardo mocked him for
being jobless and dependent on his wife for support. Ruben resented the rebuke and hurled invectives at
Edgardo. A heated exchange of words ensued.

A fist fight ensued. Edgardo rushed out of the house and pushed Ruben aside. Ruben fell to the
ground. When he stood up, he pulled at Edgardos shirt and hair, and, in the process, Rubens head hit the
lamp post.[7]

At about 7:30 p.m. the next day, a Sunday, Ruben went to the store to buy food and to look for
his wife. His three-year-old daughter was with him. Momentarily, Esmeraldo and his two brothers, Ismael

On August 30, 2002, the trial court rendered judgment finding all the accused guilty beyond reasonable

and Edgardo, emerged from their house and ganged up on Ruben. Esmeraldo and Ismael mauled Ruben

doubt of frustrated murder. The dispositive portion of the decision reads:

with fist blows and he fell to the ground. In that helpless position, Edgardo hit Ruben three times with a
hollow block on the parietal area. Esmeraldo and Ismael continued mauling Ruben. People who saw the
incident shouted: Awatin sila! Awatin sila! Ruben felt dizzy but managed to stand up. Ismael threw a stone
at him, hitting him at the back. When policemen on board a mobile car arrived, Esmeraldo, Ismael and
Edgardo fled to their house.
Ruben was brought to the hospital. His attending physician, Dr. Lamberto Cagingin, Jr., signed
a medical certificate in which he declared that Ruben sustained lacerated wounds on the parietal area,
cerebral concussion or contusion, hematoma on the left upper buttocks, multiple abrasions on the left
shoulder and hematoma periorbital left.[4] The doctor declared that the lacerated wound in the parietal area

WHEREFORE, premises considered, all the accused are found GUILTY beyond
reasonable doubt and are sentenced to an imprisonment of six (6) years and one (1)
day to eight (8) years ofprision mayor as the prosecution has proved beyond
reasonable doubt the culpability of the accused. Likewise, the accused are to pay,
jointly and severally, civil indemnity to the private complainant in the amount
of P30,000.00.
SO ORDERED.[8]
The trial court gave no credence to the collective testimonies of the accused and their witnesses. The
accused appealed to the CA, which rendered judgment on June 8, 2004affirming, with modification, the
appealed decision. The dispositive portion of the CA decision reads:

12
WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Imus, Cavite, Branch 90,
is MODIFIED in that the appellants are convicted of ATTEMPTED MURDER and
sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of 2 years of prision correccional as minimum
to 6 years and 1 day of prision mayor as maximum. In all other respects, the
decision appealed from is AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.[9]
The accused, now petitioners, filed the instant petition for review on certiorari, alleging that the CA erred in
affirming the RTC decision. They insist that the prosecution failed to prove that they had the intention to kill
Ruben when they mauled and hit him with a hollow block. Petitioners aver that, based on the testimony of
Dr. Cagingin, Ruben sustained only a superficial wound in the parietal area; hence, they should be held
criminally liable for physical injuries only. Even if petitioners had the intent to kill Ruben, the prosecution
failed to prove treachery; hence, they should be held guilty only of attempted homicide.
On the other hand, the CA held that the prosecution was able to prove petitioners intent to kill Ruben:
On the first assigned error, intent to kill may be deduced from the nature of the
wound inflicted and the kind of weapon used. Intent to kill was established by victim
Ruben Rodil in his testimony as follows:
Q: And while you were being boxed by Esmeraldo and Bong,
what happened next?
A: When I was already lying [down] xxx, Dagol Rivera showed
up with a piece of hollow block xxx and hit me thrice on
the head, Sir.
Q: And what about the two (2), what were they doing when
you were hit with a hollow block by Dagol?
A: I was already lying on the ground and they kept on boxing
me while Dagol was hitting, Sir.
As earlier stated by Dr. Cagingin, appellants could have killed the victim had the
hollow block directly hit his head, and had the police not promptly intervened so that
the brothers scampered away. When a wound is not sufficient to cause death, but
intent to kill is evident, the crime is attempted. Intent to kill was shown by the fact
that the (3) brothers helped each other maul the defenseless victim, and even after
he had already fallen to the ground; that one of them even picked up a cement
hollow block and proceeded to hit the victim on the head with it three times; and that
it was only the arrival of the policemen that made the appellants desist from their
concerted act of trying to kill Ruben Rodil.[10]
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), for its part, asserts that the decision of the CA is correct, thus:

petitioners as the perpetrators. Their intent to kill is very evident and was established
beyond reasonable doubt.
Eyewitnesses to the crime, Alicia Vera Cruz and Lucita Villejo clearly and
categorically declared that the victim Ruben Rodil was walking along St. Peter
Avenue when he was suddenly boxed by Esmeraldo Baby Rivera. They further
narrated that, soon thereafter, his two brothers Ismael and Edgardo Dagul Rivera,
coming from St. Peter II, ganged up on the victim. Both Alicia Vera Cruz and Lucita
Villejo recounted that they saw Edgardo Dagul Rivera pick up a hollow block and hit
Ruben Rodil with it three (3) times. A careful review of their testimonies revealed the
suddenness and unexpectedness of the attack of petitioners. In this case, the victim
did not even have the slightest warning of the danger that lay ahead as he was
carrying his three-year old daughter. He was caught off-guard by the assault of
Esmeraldo Baby Rivera and the simultaneous attack of the two other petitioners. It
was also established that the victim was hit by Edgardo Dagul Rivera, while he was
lying on the ground and being mauled by the other petitioners. Petitioners could
have killed the victim had he not managed to escape and had the police not promptly
intervened.
Petitioners also draw attention to the fact that the injury sustained by the victim was
superficial and, thus, not life threatening. The nature of the injury does not negate
the intent to kill. The Court of Appeals held:
As earlier stated by Dr. Cagingin, appellants could have killed
the victim had the hollow block directly hit his head, and had
the police not promptly intervened so that the brothers
scampered away. When a wound is not sufficient to cause
death, but intent to kill is evident, the crime is attempted. Intent
to kill was shown by the fact that the three (3) brothers helped
each other maul the defenseless victim, and even after he had
already fallen to the ground; that one of them picked up a
cement hollow block and proceeded to hit the victim on the
head with it three times; and that it was only the arrival of the
policemen that made the appellants desist from their
concerted act of trying to kill Ruben Rodil.[11]
The petition is denied for lack of merit.
An essential element of murder and homicide, whether in their consummated, frustrated or attempted
stage, is intent of the offenders to kill the victim immediately before or simultaneously with the infliction of
injuries. Intent to kill is a specific intent which the prosecution must prove by direct or circumstantial
evidence, while general criminal intent is presumed from the commission of a felony by dolo.
In People v. Delim,[12] the Court declared that evidence to prove intent to kill in crimes against
persons may consist, inter alia, in the means used by the malefactors, the nature, location and number of

The evidence and testimonies of the prosecution witnesses defeat the presumption
of innocence raised by petitioners. The crime has been clearly established with

wounds sustained by the victim, the conduct of the malefactors before, at the time, or immediately after the

The raison detre for the law requiring a direct overt act is that. It is necessary that the overt act should have been the ultimate step towards the consummation of the design. the conduct of the accused consisting merely of acts of preparation has never ceased to be equivocal. [17] Even if the attack is frontal but is sudden 3. and does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the felony by reason of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance. who acted in concert. in relation to Article 71 of the Revised Penal Code. they narrowly missed hitting the middle portion of his head. the overt acts must have an immediate and necessary relation to the offense. The last paragraph of Article 6 of the Revised Penal Code defines an attempt to commit a felony. Edgardo tried to hit Ruben on the head. The offender commences the commission of the felony directly by overt acts. and this is so for the reason that so long as the equivocal quality remains. indicating the intention to commit a particular crime.[14] period. Ruben would surely have died. that the attempt must have a causal relation to the intended crime. conformably to Article 51 of the The Court in People v. The offenders act be not stopped by his own spontaneous desistance. resulting in a lacerated wound and cerebral contusions. missed. will logically and necessarily ripen into a concrete offense. without being frustrated by external obstacles nor by the spontaneous desistance of the perpetrator. namely: The appellate court sentenced petitioners to suffer an indeterminate penalty of two (2) years of prision (1) That there be external acts. unable to defend himself against the sudden and sustained assault of petitioners. treachery is considered against all of them. In the words of Viada. In the absence of any modifying circumstance in the commission of the . intent to kill is presumed. as minimum. In the case at bar. He was overwhelmed by the synchronized assault of the three siblings. treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack on the victim.13 An overt or external act is defined as some physical activity or deed. He had no chance to defend himself and retaliate. Edgardo hit him three times with a hollow block. the circumstances under which the crime was committed and the motives of the accused. In the present case. It is necessary. petitioners assaulted the victim because of the altercation between him and petitioner Edgardo Rivera a day before. commenced the felony of murder by mauling the victim and hitting him three times with a hollow block. Under paragraph 2 of Article 61. There being conspiracy by and among petitioners. impervious of the imminent peril to his life. Even as Ruben fell to the ground. It is that quality of being equivocal that must be lacking before the act becomes one which may be said to be a commencement of the commission of the crime. The essence of 2. in a majority of cases. however. and unexpected. no one can say with certainty what the intent of the accused is. there would be treachery. If Edgardo had done so.[19] The first requisite of an attempted felony consists of two elements. as maximum. The act done need not constitute the last proximate one for completion. the prosecution mustered the requisite quantum of evidence to prove the intent of petitioners to kill Ruben. felony. This is erroneous. and this is necessarily so. correccional in its minimum period. If the victim dies as a result of a deliberate act of the malefactors. giving no opportunity for the victim to repel it or defend himself. irrespective of his declared intent. thus: There is an attempt when the offender commences the commission of a felony directly by overt acts. but still managed to hit the victim only in the parietal area. 7659. [18] 4. which if carried out to its complete termination following its natural course. Under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. It is sufficient if it was the first or some subsequent step in a direct movement towards the commission of the offense after the preparations are made. the penalty for murder is reclusion perpetua to death. Since petitioners are guilty only of attempted murder. He does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the felony. That the head wounds sustained by the victim were merely superficial and could not have produced his death does not negate petitioners criminal liability for attempted murder. Esmeraldo and Ismael pummeled the victim with fist blows. petitioners. Petitioners attacked the victim in a sudden and unexpected manner as Ruben was walking with his three-year-old daughter.[13] Obviously. The non-performance of all acts of execution was due to cause or accident other than his spontaneous desistance. more than a mere planning or preparation. thus: Revised Penal Code. We reject petitioners contention that the prosecution failed to prove treachery in the commission of the The essential elements of an attempted felony are as follows: 1. as amended by Republic Act No. or an overt act or before any fragment of the crime itself has been committed. such a penalty is prision mayor. Even if Edgardo did not hit the victim squarely on the head. petitioners are still criminally liable for attempted murder. to six years and one day of prision mayor in its maximum (2) Such external acts have direct connection with the crime intended to be committed. the penalty should be reduced by two degrees.[16] killing of the victim. Lizada[15] elaborated on the concept of an overt or external act.

G. the penalty of prision mayor should be reduced by one degree. Hence. 166479 February 28. 2006 .R. The Decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED WITH THE MODIFICATIONthat petitioners are sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of from two (2) years of prision correccional in its minimum period. To determine the minimum of the indeterminate penalty.14 felony (other than the qualifying circumstance of treachery). as minimum. IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING. to nine (9) years and four (4) months of prision mayor in its medium period. to nine (9) years and four (4) months of prision mayor in its medium period. petitioners should be sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of from two (2) years of prision correccional in its minimum period. the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. as minimum. SO ORDERED. prision correccional. the maximum of the indeterminate penalty shall be taken from the medium period of prision mayor which has a range of from eight (8) years and one (1) day to ten (10) years. as maximum. as maximum. No. No costs. which has a range of six (6) months and one (1) day to six (6) years.

Arturo de Vera. Fontanilla. The shooting incident was reported to the police sub-station in Malued District by Barangay Captain Dacasin of Lasip Grande. as maximum. 1998. to the damage and prejudice of said FREDERICK MARAMBA. The accused alighted and fired several shots at the victim. finding accused-petitioner Rodolfo C. of Arts.000. pleaded not guilty to the crime charged.: Before Us is a petition for review on certiorari which seeks to set aside the decision 1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. at the intersection of Pogo-Lasip Road. Branch 41. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. He said that on April 18. he went to a friend’s house in Lingayen. Executive Judge of RTC of Dagupan City. 3rd arm left" and. three (3) magazines (Exhibit "B". approached the complainant and fired at him several times with a . The police also recovered seven (7) spent ammunitions (Exhibits "D" to "D-6") at the crime scene. VELASCO. Dagupan City by Dr. The complainant stood up and ran. being then armed with a gun. Private complainant further testified that he was hospitalized and treated at the Region 1 Medical Center. "Gunshot wound point of entry: 1. 1998 in front of his residence at Lasip Grande. PO3 Rolando Alvendo. Accused testified that he did not know personally the complaining witness and denied having fired at him. The accused. 6 and 51 of the Revised Penal Code.5 On 29 September 1998. in relation to the 3rd par. He further said that his . An Information4 dated 20 April 1998 charged petitioner with the crime of Attempted Murder committed as follows: That on or about the 19th day of April. Pangasinan and spent the night there. Then the accused went back to the tricycle and ordered him to proceed to Calasiao. causing him to stumble on the ground. describing the suspect as wearing a vest or a "chaleco. testified that he picked up the accused who was wearing a chaleco. vs. by reason of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance. the driver of the tricycle in which the accused rode.5 cm lateral aspect distal. Dagupan City when a motorized tricycle stopped near him. the police lodged him in the City Jail of Dagupan. between 6:00 to 7:00 o’clock. 1998. 1998. April 19. Jr. From there he took a tricycle and told the driver to bring him at the foot of the bridge going to Bayambang." The police. petitioner. Philippines. The police caught up with the tricycle and brought the accused to the police sub-station. The accused missed with his first shot but the second one hit the complainant at the upper arm. He alighted at the corner of Banaoang diversion road. with the assistance of counsel de oficio. Armando Maramba.45 caliber pistol which was seized from him by the police is licensed (Exhibit "2").R. complainant incurred expenses for hospitalization and medicines in the total amount of P2. SN I RODOLFO C. 98-02175-D dated 29 June 1999. hitting him on the upper left arm. Accused Rodolfo Velasco dashed out of the tricycle. A firearm (Exhibit "A") protruding from the waistline of the accused. They confiscated his gun and then brought him to the police station for interrogation. Thereafter. interposed the defense of alibi. at about 7:30 o’clock in the morning. on the other hand. Witness executed an affidavit before the Police Headquarters in Dagupan City (Exhibit "G") and identified the accused as the one who shot the private complainant. the above-named accused. the private complainant Frederick Maramba identified and pointed to the accused as the one who fired at him. who issued a Medico-Legal Certificate stating that the victim sustained. the Hon. finding accused Rodolfo C. as minimum to Eight (8) years and One (1) day of prision mayor. 3rd arm left" (Exhibit "I"). the said accused having thus commenced a felony directly by overt acts but did not perform all the acts of execution which could have produced the crime of murder. while the accused continued firing at him but missed. The accused alighted at the intersection of the De Venecia Highway and Malued Road and took another tricycle. Petitioner. 7 In its decision dated 29 June 1999. he heard a jeep behind him blowing its horn and when he looked back he saw three men on board pointing their guns at him. with treachery and with intent to kill one FREDERICK MARAMBA. Complainant identified the affidavit which he executed naming the accused as his assailant (Exhibit "H") and who shot him on the morning of April 19. By reason of his wounds.06 (Exhibit "J" to "J-14"). ordered the release of petitioner after a surety bond was posted by the Mega Pacific Insurance Corporation in the amount ofP120. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. disposing of the case in this wise: WHEREFORE. the accused ordered him to stop. and its Resolution 3 dated 21 December 2004 denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. "B-1" & "B-2") and fourteen (14) live ammunitions (Exhibits ‘C" to "C-13") were confiscated from the possession of the accused. unlawfully and criminally. When arraigned. and SPO1 Soliven respondent and pursued the accused who proceeded on board a motorized tricycle to the highway going to Barangay Banaoang in Calasiao town. the RTC of Dagupan City. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO. he is hereby sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of Four (4) years of prision correccional.00.15 RODOLFO C. At the City Jail in Dagupan City where the accused was subsequently brought. hitting him on the left upper arm. J. 23366 dated 30 July 2004 which affirmed the decision2 of Branch 41 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Dagupan City in Criminal Case No. CR No.6 The evidence is summarized by the trial court as follows: The evidence of the prosecution tends to show that on April 19. assault and use personal violence upon the latter by shooting him. "Gunshot wound point of exit: 4 cm lateral aspect posterior. in the City of Dagupan. While on his way to Calasiao. did then and there. composed of SPO4 Romulo Villamil. Luis M.696. Velasco guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of attempted murder. defined and penalized under Article 248. Velasco guilty of Attempted Murder. . 1998. attack.45 caliber pistol. private complainant Frederick Maramba was cleaning and washing his owner type jeep in front of his house at Lasip Grande. VELASCO. Upon reaching the parked jeep which was being washed by the private complainant. He told the tricycle driver to stop and thereupon the three men approached him and introduced themselves as policemen. he left Lingayen riding in the Volkswagen car of Berting Soriano. found petitioner guilty of the crime charged. The following morning. wilfully. Respondent.

2004. It is not the function of this Court to reexamine the evidence submitted by the parties unless the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are not supported by evidence on record or the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts. the testimony of Armando Maramba is not credible. in Criminal Case No. He maintains there was suppression of evidence when the prosecution failed to present a ballistic report on the seven empty shells that would show the identity of the assailant. the latter’s testimony would have been adverse to the prosecution.11 On 30 July 2004. He adds that the findings of fact of the trial court do not support a conviction of attempted murder but only attempted homicide as there was no treachery since private complainant was still able to focus his eyes on the gunman until he was fired upon. respondent People of the Philippines.15 The trial court gave credence to the testimonies of the private complainant Frederick Maramba and Armando Maramba when they identified petitioner as the assailant. He alleges that the prosecution was not able to sufficiently establish the identity of the assailant because the Barangay Chairman. petitioner. In a resolution dated 6 April 2005. Branch 41 of Dagupan City.18 petitioner submits that a review of the facts of the case is justified on the ground that the Court of Appeals sanctioned substantial and jurisprudential departures committed by the trial court. Further. is hereby AFFIRMED. the petition likewise will fail. In his Reply. through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). (2) the trial court did not consider that the prosecution had no evidence proving his intention to kill. the latter being a total stranger.. after filing a Motion to Bail. 1999 of the Regional Trial Court. It rejected petitioner’s defense of alibi saying it was not impossible for him to be at the crime scene when the crime was committed because the place where he allegedly alighted from the car of a certain Berting Soriano was only about ten minutes away. II THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED WHEN IT DENIED THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION PER THE RESOLUTION DATED DECEMBER 21. It is his claim that the prosecution failed to conclusively establish the identity of the assailant and that he was merely framed-up. the appeal is DISMISSED.00. He contends that had the Barangay Chairman been presented." was not presented to corroborate the testimony of petitioner. (4) it was impossible for him. In its Comment17 dated 8 September 2005. raising the following grounds: I THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED WHEN IT AFFIRMED THE DECISION OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT. much less kill. he claims that since there was suppression of evidence on the part of the prosecution. The assailed Decision dated June 29. At the outset.16 Accused is further ordered to indemnify the complaining witness the amount of P2. motive becomes important and his alibi gains weight and value. as actual damages.10 To obviate the possibility of flight. He adds that he had no motive Petitioner primarily invokes the defenses of denial and alibi.e. (3) the trial court did not consider the fact that victim did not know him and vice-versa. the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) was directed to include petitioner in its hold departure list. the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decision of the RTC. he points out that the Court of Appeals made different findings as to where the seven spent shells were recovered. was allowed to post bail in the amount of P160. Petitioner is now before us via petition for review on certiorari. a navy man – a protector of the people – to have failed to fatally hit the victim after firing seven shots. 98-02175-D. It adds that even if the case is to be decided on the merits. 20 . The decretal portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE. it must be stressed that the instant petition for review on certiorari was filed pursuant to Rule 45 of the Rules of Court where a review is not a matter of right but of sound judicial discretion and will be granted only when there are special and important reasons therefor. It asserts that since the same deals with a question of fact and there being no instance present to take the case out of the general rule that factual findings of the Court of Appeals may be reviewed. petitioner further argues that the findings of fact in this case should be reviewed because the Court of Appeals erroneously restated the factual findings of the trial court when it purposely omitted and added words changing the tenor of the shooting incident as found by the trial court. the Court. who reported the incident to the policemen. without giving due course to the petition. On 17 October 2005. argues that the factual findings of the Court of Appeals cannot be reviewed since the issue (i.00. he points out that the prosecution presented police officers who were not eyewitnesses. and (5) the instant case is a frame up.19 In his memorandum. In addition. He denies having shot the victim. Costs against accused-appellant. He explains that since the identity of the assailant is in doubt.9 Pending appeal with the Court of Appeals. the victim.16 On 1 July 1999.696. the Court gave due course to the petition and required the parties to submit their respective memoranda. petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal signifying his intention to appeal to the Court of Appeals. required respondent to file a Comment.8 to harm. It concluded that his defense cannot prevail over the positive identification made by the prosecution witnesses.12 Petitioner moved for a reconsideration of the decision which motion was denied per resolution13 dated 21 December 2004. he being a relative of the victim. identified the assailant as one wearing a "chaleco. positive identification) petitioner is raising involves the credibility of witnesses and the weighing of evidence. a review thereof cannot be made because only a question of law can be re-examined if a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court has been filed.000. for lack of merit.14 Petitioner invokes the defenses of denial and alibi. This Court is limited to the review or revision of errors of law and not to analyze or weigh the evidence all over again. He maintains that (1) the trial court precipitately observed that alibi is a weak defense. Instead.

17
We agree with the OSG that as ruled by this Court, no questions of facts may be raised in this Court under
Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, unless, among other grounds, there is clear and convincing proof that the
judgment of the Court of Appeals is based on a misapprehension of facts or when the Court of Appeals
failed to notice and appreciate certain relevant facts of substance which if properly considered would justify
a different conclusion, and when there is a grave abuse of discretion in the appreciation of facts in the light
of the evidence on record. Anything less will not suffice to overturn the decision of the Court of Appeals
affirming on appeal the decision of the trial court. It bears stressing that the findings of facts of the trial
court, its calibration of the testimonial evidence of the parties and the assessment of the credibility and
probative weight of the evidence of the parties and its conclusion anchored on its findings are given high
respect if not conclusive effect by this Court, especially if affirmed by the Court of Appeals because of the
unique advantage of the trial court of observing and monitoring the demeanor, conduct and deportment of
the witnesses as they regale the court with their testimonies. The exception to this rule is when the trial
court ignored, overlooked, misconstrued or misappreciated cogent facts and circumstances of substance
which if considered would alter the outcome of the case.21 After scrutinizing the records of the case and
thoroughly evaluating all the evidence proffered, we find no reason to deviate from the findings of facts of
the trial court as affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
In the case at bar, the testimonies of private complainant Frederick Maramba and Armando Maramba were
given credence and full probative weight and credence by the trial court in the identification of petitioner as
the assailant. Private complainant saw petitioner alight from the tricycle of Armando Maramba before he
successively shot at him at a distance of about four meters while chasing him for 25 to 30
meters.22 Armando Maramba witnessed the shooting because he was the driver of the tricycle in which
petitioner rode in going to the house of private complainant and in leaving the crime scene.23 After the
shooting incident, private complainant went to the City Jail and identified petitioner as the person who shot
him.24 At the Dagupan City Police Station, Armando Maramba pointed to petitioner as the assailant not
because he saw a man wearing a chaleco, but because it was he whom he saw shoot the private
complainant.25
Petitioner asks that the findings of fact of the case should be reviewed because the Court of Appeals
erroneously restated the factual findings of the trial court when it purposely omitted and added words
changing the tenor of the shooting incident as found by the trial court. Petitioner said the Court of Appeals
purposely added the word "suddenly" and replaced the phrase "near him" with "in front of." He adds that
the Court of Appeals added the phrase "without any warning" and removed the phrase "approached the
complainant." He even claims that the Court of Appeals changed the manner how private complainant was
shot, when he was hit, and how he stumbled and how he was able to stand up and continue running. He
further states that the Court of Appeals made a different finding as to where the seven spent shells were
recovered. He points out that the Court said the seven spent shells were recovered from the accused while
the trial court found that the same were found in the crime scene.
As above discussed, the findings of the trial court on its assessment of the credibility of the witnesses and
their testimonies and the probative weight thereof, are accorded by the appellate court high respect if not
conclusive effect, unless the trial court ignored, misconstrued or misinterpreted facts and circumstances,
which if considered, would alter the outcome of the case.26 In the case at bar, the addition or omission of
these words, and the difference between the findings of the trial court and the Court of Appeals as to where
the seven spent shells were found, are too minor and inconsequential to affect the outcome of this case.
These, even if considered, would not overturn the established fact that petitioner was identified as the
assailant. Nothing in the record shows that there was any inconsistency as regards the identity of the
assailant. Both private complainant and Armando Maramba were one in pointing to petitioner as the culprit.

Petitioner interposes the defenses of denial and alibi. He denies participation in the crime claiming that he
was aboard a tricycle on his way to Calasiao, Pangasinan, when policemen arrested him and brought him
to the Dagupan Police Station. On the other hand, the victim himself identified petitioner as his attacker
which statement was corroborated by Armando Maramba.
To be believed, denial must be buttressed by strong evidence of non-culpability. Otherwise, it is purely selfserving and without merit.27 Settled is the rule that the defense of alibi is inherently weak and crumbles in
the light of positive declarations of truthful witnesses who testified on affirmative matters.28 Greater
weight is given to the categorical identification of the accused by the prosecution witnesses than to the
accused's plain denial of participation in the commission of the crime. 29 There being no strong and
credible evidence adduced to overcome the testimonies of private complainant and Armando Maramba
pointing to him as the culprit, no weight can be given petitioner’s denial.
Petitioner’s defense of alibi likewise fails. As against positive identification by prosecution witnesses, the
accused’s alibi is worthless.30 Having been identified by two credible witnesses, petitioner cannot escape
liability. Moreover, for alibi to prosper, it must be proven that during the commission of the crime, the
accused was in another place and that it was physically impossible for him to be at the locus
criminis.31 Courts view the defense of alibi with suspicion and caution not only because it is inherently
weak and unreliable, but also it can be fabricated easily.32As found by the trial court, it was not physically
impossible for petitioner to be at the crime scene when the crime was committed since it only takes a tenminute ride from the place where he allegedly alighted from the car of one Berting Soriano to the crime
scene. We have held that:
Alibi, the plea of having been elsewhere than at the scene of the crime at the time of the commission of the
felony, is a plausible excuse for the accused. Let there be no mistake about it. Contrary to the common
notion, alibi is in fact a good defense. But to be valid for purposes of exoneration from a criminal charge,
the defense of alibi must be such that it would have been physically impossible for the person charged with
the crime to be at the locus criminis at the time of its commission, the reason being that no person can be
in two places at the same time. The excuse must be so airtight that it would admit of no exception. Where
there is the least possibility of accused’s presence at the crime scene, the alibi will not hold water. 33
Petitioner contends there was suppression of evidence when the prosecution did not place on the witness
stand Barangay Captain Dacasain of Lasip Grande and when it failed to present a ballistic report on the
seven empty shells because both are vital evidence to prove the identity of the assailant.
We find such contention untenable.
As to the non-presentation of Barangay Captain Dacasin, the same does not constitute suppression of
evidence. Barangay Captain Dacasin was not an eyewitness to the shooting incident contrary to the claim
of petitioner. Although he was the one who reported the incident to the police station, he was merely
informed by Armando Maramba that the person who shot private complainant wore a "chaleko" or
vest.34 Thus, not being an eyewitness, his testimony, even if taken, would have nothing to do with the
identification of the assailant. If he really wanted to have Barangay Captain Dacasin take the witness
stand, he could have asked the trial court for a subpoena ad testificandum. This, he did not do.

18
As regards the failure of the police to present a ballistic report on the seven spent shells recovered from
the crime scene, the same does not constitute suppression of evidence. A ballistic report serves only as a
guide for the courts in considering the ultimate facts of the case.35 It would be indispensable if there are
no credible eyewitnesses to the crime inasmuch as it is corroborative in nature.36 The presentation of
weapons or the slugs and bullets used and ballistic examination are not prerequisites for conviction.
The corpus delicti and the positive identification of accused-appellant as the perpetrator of the crime are
more than enough to sustain his conviction.37 Even without a ballistic report, the positive identification by
prosecution witnesses is more than sufficient to prove accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. 38 In the
instant case, since the identity of the assailant has been sufficiently established, a ballistic report on the
slugs can be dispensed with in proving petitioner’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Petitioner’s asseveration that it is unthinkable for him to shoot private complainant because he has no
motive to harm, much less kill the latter, he being a total stranger, deserves scant consideration. It must be
stressed that motive is a state of (one’s) mind which others cannot discern. It is not an element of the
crime, and as such does not have to be proved. In fact, lack of motive for committing a crime does not
preclude conviction. It is judicial knowledge that persons have been killed or assaulted for no reason at
all.39 Even in the absence of a known motive, the time-honored rule is that motive is not essential to
convict when there is no doubt as to the identity of the culprit.40 Motive assumes significance only where
there is no showing of who the perpetrator of the crime was.41 In the case at bar, since petitioner has
been positively identified as the assailant, the lack of motive is no longer of consequence.
Petitioner argues that the testimony of prosecution witness Armando Maramba should not be given weight
because the same is biased and incredible on the ground that he is the uncle of the private complainant.
This argument does not inspire belief. The blood relationship of Armando Maramba and private
complainant would not render the former’s testimony unworthy of belief. On the contrary, relationship could
strengthen the witnesses’ credibility, for it is unnatural for an aggrieved relative to falsely accuse someone
other than the actual culprit. Their natural interest in securing the conviction of the guilty would deter them
from implicating a person other than the true offender.42 It is settled that where there is no evidence and
nothing to indicate that the principal witnesses for the prosecution were actuated by improper motive, the
presumption is that they were not so actuated and their testimonies are entitled to full faith and
credit.43 The weight of the testimony of witnesses is not impaired nor in anyway affected by their
relationship to the victim when there is no showing of improper motive on their part.44 Jurisprudence
likewise holds that if an accused had really nothing to do with a crime, it would be against the natural order
of events and of human nature, and against the presumption of good faith, that a prosecution witness
would falsely testify against him.45 In the case before us, aside from petitioner’s claim that he was
framed-up, there is nothing in the records that shows that Armando Maramba had ulterior motives in
testifying against him. Necessarily, the testimony of Armando Maramba must be given full credit.
Petitioner claims that as a navy man who is trained to kill enemies of the state, a "protector of the people,"
he could not have acted in the manner which the prosecution pointed out. He said it is against human
experience to attempt to kill a person in the presence of a witness and in broad daylight, and that it is
preposterous that after firing seven shots at close range, he failed to fatally hit the private complainant. All
these, he said, only point to a different assailant.

We are not convinced. The records show that the shooting happened at around 7:30 a.m. The fact that the
shooting occurred in broad daylight does not render its commission impossible.46 This Court takes notice
that it is not unusual that killings are perpetrated in front of witnesses. In the instant case, the attempted
killing was witnessed by Armando Maramba, the driver of the tricycle which petitioner rode in going to, and
in leaving, the crime scene.
Petitioner argues that he could not have been the assailant because it was simply impossible for him,
being a navy man, not to fatally hit private complainant after firing seven shots at close range. In effect,
what he is saying is that the bungled killing cannot be the handiwork of an experienced soldier like him.
Such an argument does not hold water. In the case of People v. Mamarion,47 we brushed aside the very
same argument raised by the accused therein who was an experienced military man. We ruled that an
accused is not entitled to an acquittal simply because of his previous, or even present, good moral
character and exemplary conduct. The fact that petitioner was a navy man -- a protector of the people -does not mean that he is innocent of the crime charged or that he is incapable of doing it. This argument
fails in light of the identification made by the victim himself and by Armando Maramba that it was petitioner
who was the assailant.
Finally, petitioner submits that if ever he committed a crime, he merely committed attempted homicide. He
maintains there was no sudden firing because the victim testified he was observing the alleged gunman for
a period of ten seconds before the latter finally drew his .45 caliber pistol and fired at him. After the first
shot, the victim was able to run away.
The lower court was correct in appreciating treachery in the commission of the crime. There is treachery
when the following essential elements are present, viz: (a) at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a
position to defend himself; and (b) the accused consciously and deliberately adopted the particular means,
methods or forms of attack employed by him.48 The essence of treachery is the swift and unexpected
attack on an unarmed victim without the slightest provocation on the part of the victim. 49 It was clearly
established that private complainant, while washing his jeep, was suddenly fired upon by petitioner for no
reason at all. The suddenness of the shooting and the fact that he was unarmed left private complainant
with no option but to run for his life. It is likewise apparent that petitioner consciously and deliberately
adopted his mode of attack making sure that private complainant will have no chance to defend himself by
reason of the surprise attack. Petitioner’s claim that the shooting was not sudden because private
complainant was observing him from the time he alighted from the tricycle is belied by the fact that private
complainant was not able to run when he was first fired upon. Though private complainant was looking at
him, the former was not forewarned by any outward sign that an attack was forthcoming. It was only after
the first shot that he felt his life was in danger.
Having commenced the criminal act by overt acts but failing to perform all acts of execution as to produce
the felony by reason of some cause other than his own desistance, petitioner committed an attempted
felony. Petitioner already commenced his attack with a manifest intent to kill by shooting private
complainant seven times, but failed to perform all the acts of execution by reason of causes independent
of his will, that is, poor aim and the swiftness of the latter. Private complainant sustained a wound on the
left arm that is not sufficient to cause his death. The settled rule is that where the wound inflicted on the
victim is not sufficient to cause his death, the crime is only attempted murder, since the accused did not
perform all the acts of execution that would have brought about death.50
The penalty imposed by the trial court is correct. Under Article 51 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty
lower than two degrees than that prescribed by law for the consummated felony shall be imposed upon the

19
principal in an attempted felony. Under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty for murder is
reclusion perpertua to death. The penalty two degrees lower is prision mayor. Applying the Indeterminate
Sentence Law, and there being no aggravating or mitigating circumstances, the minimum of the penalty to
be imposed should be within the range of prision correccional, and the maximum of the penalty to be
imposed should be within the range of prision mayor in its medium period.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition is DENIED. Costs against petitioner. SO ORDERED.

YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
This is an appeal from the decision [1] of the Regional Trial Court of Palawan and Puerto Princesa
City, Branch 47, in Criminal Case Nos. 9359, 9401, and 9489, convicting accused-appellant of the crimes
of murder, attempted murder and frustrated murder, respectively.
The informations filed against accused-appellant read:
In Criminal Case No. 9359, for murder:
That on or about the 6th day of March, 1991, in the afternoon, at Barangay Tagumpay, Puerto Princesa
City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, with treachery and
evident premeditation, with intent to kill and while armed with a knife, did then and there willfully, unlawfully
and feloniously assault, attack and stab therewith one Elsa Villon Rodriguez thereby inflicting upon the
latter stabbed (sic) wound on the chest, which was the immediate cause of her death.
CONTRARY TO LAW.[2]
In Criminal Case No.9401, for attempted murder:
That on or about the 6th day of March, 1991, in the afternoon, at Bgy. Tagumpay, Puerto Princesa City,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, with intent to kill, with
treachery and evident premiditation (sic) and while armed with a knife, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously assault, attack and stab therewith one Ricardo Maglalang thereby inflicting upon
the latter physical injuries on the different parts of his body, thus commencing the commission of the crime
of murder directly by overt acts and does not perform all the acts of execution which would produce the
felony by reason of some causes or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance that is, by the
timely and able medical assistance rendered to said Ricardo Maglalang which prevented his death.
CONTRARY TO LAW.[3]
In Criminal Case No.9489, for frustrated murder:

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. 129291. July 3, 2002]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ENRICO A. VALLEDOR, accused-appellant.
DECISION

That on or about the 6th day of March, 1991 at Bgy. Tagumpay, Puerto Princesa City, Philippines and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court the above-named accused, with intent to kill with treachery
and evidence (sic) premeditation and while armed with a butcher knife, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously assault, attack and stab therewith on (sic)Roger Cabiguen, hitting him on his
right forearm, thus performing all the acts of execution which produce the crime of murder as a
consequence but which nevertheless did not produce it by reason of causes independent of his will, that is,
by the timely and able medical attendance rendered to him which saved his life.
CONTRARY TO LAW.[4]
After his arrest, accused-appellant was intermittently confined at the National Center for Mental
Health. Thus, he was arraigned only on February 19, 1993 wherein he pleaded not guilty. [5] Thereafter, the
cases were archived until November 15, 1994, when accused-appellant was declared mentally fit to
withstand trial.[6] This time, accused-appellant admitted commission of the crimes charged but invoked the
exempting circumstance of insanity. The lower court thus conducted reverse and joint trial, at which the
following facts were established:

1991. Inside the boat. She left to buy Thoracin but when she returned he was nowhere to be found.[8] Cooperative. Puerto Princesa City. place and person Roger and Elsa were immediately brought to the hospital. Antonio noticed a commotion and saw that Ricardo Maglalang. 9401 as charged herein. Barangay Captain Rufino Nuez and Barangay Councilman Antonio Sibunga took accused-appellant out of the water and took him on board a pump boat. Thereafter. Metro Manila. suspiciousness. physical mental and psychological examinations the patient Enrico Valledor y Andusay is found suffering from Psychosis or Insanity classified under Schizophrenia. 9489. Roger was working at his table and seated on his bed while Elsa was across the table. he learned that accused-appellant killed and harmed somebody. accused-appellant courted Elsa but she jilted him. the accused ENRICO A. This is a thought disorder characterized by deterioration from previous level of functioning.[9] Respectfully recommending that subject patient be committed to the National Mental Hospital. ideas of reference. Elsa. Barangay Captain Nuez. [12] He prescribed a depressant known as Thoracin. and of ATTEMPTED MURDER in Criminal Case No. pertinent portion of which reads: Prosecution witness Roger Cabiguen testified that sometime in 1980. Accused-appellant then stabbed Elsa Rodriguez on the chest and said. Mandaluyong City. Sibunga acceded and thereafter took a jeepney with accused-appellant at Barangay Bahile. [18] Dr. For days he was restless and unable to sleep. [19] On February 28. Pacita Valledor was awakened by her daughter who told her that accused-appellant has returned. abuse. de Guzman diagnosed him as suffering from psychosis with schizophrenia. 1991. Deriomedes de Guzman. Roger on the other hand was treated for the 5-centimeter wound sustained by him on his right forearm. and imprisonment of from EIGHT (8) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY to TEN (10) YEARS in Criminal Case No. occupational. Melendres. who immediately boarded a tricycle. Puerto Princesa City. Later that day. of FRUSTRATED MURDER in Criminal Case No. at around 6:00 in the morning. he is found to be suffering from Psychoactive Substance Use Disorder. accused-appellant fled. accused-appellant entered the room. his mother noticed that accused-appellant was behaving abnormally. 1992 medical findings on accused-appellant by Dr. (I had my revenge. dusty and dirty.[13] On March 4. Oscar Magtang. In 1989.[11] REMARKS AND RECCOMENDATION: Accused-appellants defense of insanity was anchored on the following facts: Accused-appellant. VALLEDOR is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crimes of MURDER in Criminal Case No. Ako akabales den. Barangay Tagumpay. [16] PHYSICAL EXAMINATION: DISPOSITION AND RECOMMENDATION: In view of the foregoing history. After examining accusedappellant. accused-appellant kept on crying and uttering words to the effect that his family will be killed. and his friends.00 and to indemnify the victim Roger Cabiguen. the sum of P14.000. Thirty minutes later. Roger Cabiguen was in his house at Burgos Street. On their way out. City Health Officer I of Puerto Princesa City interviewed accused-appellant and thereafter made the following conclusions and recommendation. Metro Manila for proper medical care and evaluation soonest. Accordingly he is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua in Criminal Case No. Elsa spat on and slapped accused-appellant.[14] On March 6. 9359. while Simplicio was seated near the door. Simplicio Yayen and Antonio Magbanua. a medical practitioner. leaving the stunned Simplicio and Antonio unharmed. premises considered. Manuel Bilog. then 30 years of age. 1991.Antonio learned from the by-standers that Ricardo was likewise stabbed by accused-appellant. Pacita disclosed to Dr. Puerto Princesa City was likewise presented by the defense to interpret the aforecited findings of Dr. Palawan.[10] The defense offered in evidence the April 27. on the right side of Roger. Likewise.000. Antonio was on the left side. to wit: All of a sudden. the trial court rendered the assailed judgment of conviction. at around 1:45 in the afternoon. accused-appellant suspected him of killing his pet dog. de Guzman that insanity runs in their family. Alcohol. 9489. was a resident of Barangay Tagumpay. Suspecting that accused-appellant was mentally ill. This prompted Pacita to bring his son to Dr.[17] Upon reaching the hospital. He likewise complained that their neighbors were spreading rumors that he was a rapist and a thief. and employed as provincial jail guard at the Palawan Provincial Jail. psychological or physical problems. a psychiatrist assigned at the Medical Service of the PNP. auditory hallucination.20 On March 6. Pacita Valledor.00 as actual damages. Pacita noticed that accused-appellant was again acting strangely. San Vicente. a neighbor of the victim. This is characterized by a maladaptive pattern of psychoactive substance use indicated by continued use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent social. She asked him where he came from but his answer was Pinatay niya kayong lahat. which kept accused-appellant sane for a period two months. She rushed out of the house and saw him standing in the middle of the road.[7] On March 11. was wounded. Dr. It is understood that the accused shall serve these penalties successively or one after the other. accusedappellant jumped off the jeepney. Elsa). then 25-year old Elsa Rodriguez. The accused is also ordered to indemnify the heirs of the deceased victim Elsa Villon Rodriguez the sum of P50. poor judgment and absence of insight. Dr. but Roger was able to parry the thrust and was stabbed instead on the right forearm. 9359. 9401.[15] Meanwhile. asked Councilman Sibunga to accompany accused-appellant to Puerto Princesa City. He was working on a lettering job inside his bedroom together with his first cousin. 1991. Sibunga tried but failed to chase accused-appellant. delusion of control.00 for loss of income. The dispositive portion thereof reads: WHEREFORE. at around 2:00 in the afternoon of March 6. Considering that the accused is found to be suffering from a serious mental disorder at present as certified to by the National Center for Mental Health. 1997. accused-appellant was arrested and detained at the city jail. accused-appellant was seen swimming across the river of Barangay Caruray. talkative but incoherent Disoriented as to time. reclusion perpetua in Criminal Case No. 1991. and the sum P15.000. Pacita dragged him inside the house and later learned that he killed and wounded their neighbors. they reached Junction I at the intersection of the National Highway and Rizal Avenue. the service of his sentence is . uttered Rogers nickname (Jer) and immediately attacked him with a knife.On one occasion. observations. Elsa was declared dead on arrival. Suddenly. Puerto Princesa City. At about 1:00 in the afternoon. Sometime in January 1990. Guia Melendres of the National Center for Mental Health.

No. as it has been shown that Roger Cabiguen suffered some pecuniary loss but the amount thereof cannot be proved with certainty. Evidently. the award of P14. A man may act crazy but it does not necessarily and conclusively prove that he is legally so. In considering a plea of insanity as a defense. as well as his improvident bargains. 9359.000. The wound sustained by Roger Cabiguen on his right forearm was not fatal. 2) Accused-appellant called out the nickname of Roger before stabbing him.[29] The heirs of the deceased are likewise entitled to the amount of P29. the crime is only attempted murder.A. Branch 47. For this reason. Insanity is evinced by a deranged and perverted condition of the mental faculties which is manifested in language and conduct. Otherwise stated.[21] The appeal has no merit. in view of all the foregoing.[31] WHEREFORE. insanity exists when there is a complete deprivation of intelligence in committing the act. should be deleted. insanity may be shown by the surrounding circumstances fairly throwing light on the subject. Mere abnormality of the mental faculties will not exclude imputability.00 representing actual damages[30] based on the agreement of the parties. He (Enrico Valledor) is ordered shipped to and confined at the National Center for Mental Health.000.[20] Accused-appellant interposed this appeal and raised the lone assignment of error that: THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED DESPITE THE FACT THAT WHEN HE ALLEGEDLY COMMITTED THE OFFENSE CHARGED HE WAS MENTALLY ILL. (I had my revenge. accused-appellant is entitled to a minimum penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correcional in its medium period. Article 248 provided that the penalty for murder was reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death. the law presumes all acts to be voluntary. IT IS ORDERED. the penalty two degrees lower would be prision correccional maximum to prision mayor medium. which is prision mayor minimum. the medical findings showing that accused-appellant was suffering from a mental disorder after the commission of the crime. in Criminal Case No. the heirs of Elsa Rodriguez are entitled to another P50. Ako akabales den. the foregoing acts could hardly be said to be performed by one who was in a state of a complete absence of the power to discern. an award of P10.000. and 5) Accused-appellant hurriedly left the room after stabbing the victims. The accused must be "so insane as to be incapable of entertaining a criminal intent. Under the Indeterminate Sentence Law. the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Palawan and Puerto Princesa City." He must be deprived of reason and act without the least discernment because there is a complete absence of the power to discern or a total deprivation of freedom of the will. [24] In the case at bar. The settled rule is that where the wound inflicted on the victim is not sufficient to cause his death. 9359. [25]Then. his irrational acts and beliefs. What is decisive is his mental condition at the time of the perpetration of the offense. Failing to discharge the burden of proving that he was legally insane when he stabbed the victims. uttered the words. Muntinlupa. As there is no modifying circumstance. Finally. Metro Manila. Hence. Accused-appellants acts prior to the stabbing incident to wit: crying. to Roger Cabiguen in Criminal Case No. Metro Manila.00 for loss of income. 9489. accused-appellant was clearly aware and in control of what he was doing as he in fact purposely chose to stab only the two victims. he who invokes insanity as an exempting circumstance must prove it by clear and positive evidence. his acts and conduct consistent with his previous character and habits. and it is improper to presume that acts were done unconsciously.21 hereby ordered SUSPENDED pursuant to Article 12 and 79 of the Revised Penal Code. As to his civil liability. Two other people were also inside the room. Since the presumption is always in favor of sanity. 4) Accused-appellant. And the evidence on this point must refer to the time preceding the act under prosecution or to the very moment of its execution. Elsa. the penalty to be imposed upon the principal of an attempted crime shall be lower by two degrees than that prescribed for the consummated felony. Accused-appellants civil liability must be modified. and P15. too. by means of which we read thoughts. his act of immediately fleeing from the scene after the incident indicates that he was aware of the wrong he has done and the consequence thereof. were not sufficient to prove that he was indeed insane at the time of the commission of the crime. has no bearing on his liability. the trial court correctly imposed upon accused-appellant the penalty of reclusion perpetua.000. since the accused did not perform all the acts of execution that would have brought about death.00 as civil indemnity which was properly awarded by the trial court in Criminal Case No. considering that no aggravating or mitigating circumstance was proven by the prosecution.00 as moral damages which needs no proof since the conviction of accused-appellant for the crime of murder is sufficient justification for said award. I had my revenge after stabbing them. Mandaluyong City. Estrada. Not being substantiated by evidence. 3) Simplicio Yayen and Antonio Magbanua who were likewise inside the room were left unharmed.00 as actual damages. is MODIFIED as follows: . Before its amendment by R.[23] it was held that: In the eyes of the law. In Criminal Case No. but the latter went for the victims. and through which we determine whether the acts conform to the practice of people of sound mind. 7659. the medium period of the penalty. for his treatment. in lieu thereof. Elsa) after stabbing her. he should be held liable for his felonious acts. The vagaries of the mind can only be known by outward acts.000. However. a spurned suitor of Elsa. such as evidence of the alleged deranged person's general conduct and appearance. the penalty next lower than the penalty for attempted murder. An insane person has no full and clear understanding of the nature and consequences of his acts. motives and emotions of a person. accused-appellant failed to discharge the burden of overcoming the presumption of sanity at the time of the commission of the crime.250.[22] In People v.[28] In addition to the amount of P50. the starting premise is that the law presumes all persons to be of sound mind. As consistently held by this Court. should be imposed. His obvious motive of revenge against the victims was accentuated by calling out their names and uttering the words. temperate damages under Article 2224 of the Civil Code may be recovered.[27] For the murder of Elsa Rodriguez. and jumping off the jeepney. the same is subject to execution after this judgment shall have become final executory. until such time that he becomes fit for the service of his sentence at the national penitentiary. one of them was nearest to the door where accused-appellant emerged. Under Article 61(3). 9489. OUT OF HIS MIND OR INSANE AT THE (sic) TIME. accused-appellant should be held liable only for attempted murder and not frustrated murder. Judging from his acts. swimming in the river with his clothes on. The following circumstances clearly and unmistakably show that accused-appellant was not legally insane when he perpetrated the acts for which he was charged: 1) Simplicio Yayen was positioned nearest to accusedappellant but the latter chose to stab Roger and Elsa.[26] Pursuant to Article 51 of the Revised Penal Code.00 by way of temperate damages should suffice.

00 as moral damages and P29. 2. 139970. P50. concur. to eight (8) years of prision mayor.000. accused-appellant Enrico A. and to indemnify the heirs of the deceased Elsa Rodriguez the following amounts: P50. as maximum. accused-appellant is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt only of the crime of attempted murder and is sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of four (4) years and two (2) months of prision correccional. 9401. In Criminal Case No. 9489. DECISION QUISUMBING. as maximum. SECOND DIVISION [G.00 as civil indemnity. plaintiff-appellee. JJ.00 as actual damages. 3. JIMMY DELA CRUZ Y QUIMPO.. J. and Austria-Martinez.: .R. In Criminal Case No. Davide. as minimum.00 by way of temperate damages.J.000. C. to eight (8) years of prision mayor. (Chairman). In Criminal Case No. accusedappellant. Jr.250. as minimum. SO ORDERED. Valledor is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and is sentenced to suffer the penalty ofreclusion perpetua.. 2002] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. June 6. 9359. accused-appellant is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of attempted murder and is sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of four (4) years and two (2) months of prision correccional. Kapunan.000. No. and to indemnify Roger Cabiguen in the amount of P10..22 1. vs. Vitug.

Level of 6th Intercostal Space. At around 11:00 that evening. Barangay captain Isberto informed him that appellant surrendered to him (Isberto) after the stabbing incident. appellant requested Arnulfo to give the guitar to Gilbert. CONTRARY TO LAW. 5270. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital testified that he conducted an autopsy on the body of the victim. with appellant in tow. Gilbert and Greg Cipriano were having a drinking session. After stabbing Arnulfo. entered a plea of not guilty to the offense charged. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital. trial ensued. [4] His post-mortem examination revealed: EXTERNAL EXAMINATION: . SPO4 Tolentino . However. first cousin of the victim Arnulfo Inocencio. 3 cm . and SPO4 Dioscoro Tolentino. Anterior Pericardium. 1998. (L) MCL. Aklan. claiming to have acted in self-defense. JR. (L) MCL. According to the witness. DR.(+) Blood. M. barangay captain Gil Isberto of Barangay Tigayon. Level of 6th Intercostal Space. appellant proposed to plead guilty to the lesser crime of homicide. his two brothers Gilbert and Greg. Further. assisted by counsel de oficio. several visitors were in her house at Tigayon. Branch 2. another eyewitness to the stabbing. and Arnulfo. 3 cm . Municipality of Kalibo. When Arnulfo returned to his seat. The prosecution presented the following witnesses.M. TOLENTINO. They had a drinking spree at the house of Antonio Felizario at Brgy. to wit: EXTERNAL EXAMINATION: . testified that past midnight. and which injuries sustained by the victim have caused his instant death. appellant then pointed at Arnulfo and said.. Aklan. 1998 at around 11:00 P. Jovelyn Felizario said that she knew no reason for the attack. Arnulfo played a guitar while appellant sang along. FELIZARIO.M. 1999. JR. Segundo Anayan. On the following day. Jovelyn Felizario. Aklan since it was the birthday of her brother. Medical Officer III of Dr. SPO4 Tolentino made the appropriate entry in the police blotter and detained appellant. 1998. [8] SPO4 DIOSCORO G. He opined that the . copies of which are hereto attached as Annexes A and B. 3 cm in length. 1998 appellant. Jr. Aklan. Jr. Anayan. 3 cm . unlawfully and feloniously attack.[2] On December 1.000. The witness said he was just two meters away. There he is dead. That by reason of the unlawful acts of the accused. Kalibo. Tigayon. Province of Aklan. they were even singing and playing the guitar before the incident.(+) Stabbed Wound.(+) Stabbed Wound. He found that the victim suffered a single stab wound located two ribs below the left nipple. Rafael S. according to the witness. Aklan. The Information against him alleged: The undersigned Third Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of Aklan hereby accuses JIMMY DELA CRUZ y QUIMPO of Barangay Mobo. appellant suddenly stabbed Arnulfo with a knife hitting the latter on the left side of his breast.. and brothers Glenn. On cross-examination. The witness added she was just two meters away from the victim and the appellant when the stabbing incident happened.(+) Blood. and made as an integral part hereof. did then and there willfully. Anterior Pericardium.. the family of the victim rejected such offer. respectively. Jonel. inflicting upon the latter physical injuries. Medical Officer III of the Dr. committed as follows: wound could have been inflicted by the assailant while facing the victim. Kalibo. of the Regional Trial Court of Kalibo. he was with the birthday celebrant Jonel Felizario.00. the heirs of the victim have suffered actual and compensatory damages in the amount of P50. Republic of the Philippines. appellant suddenly drew his knife from his waist and stabbed Arnulfo. went to their station. Arnulfo Inocencio. corroborated the testimony of Jovelyn Felizario.(+) Stabbed Wound.D. he testified that the victim was unarmed when he was assaulted by appellant. 3 cm in length. appellant. Kalibo. Kalibo. desk officer of Kalibo PNP station. There. in Barangay Tigayon. 3 cm . of September 2. CIPRIANO. namely: Dr. while armed with a knife. 50 cc Pericardial Space as per Post-Mortem Examination Finding and Certificate of Death. Rafael S. Glen Cipriano. SEGUNDO ANAYAN. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. [6] testified that in the evening of September 1. with treachery and with intent to kill. He was seated in one corner talking to Jovelyn Felizario. 50 cc Pericardia Space CAUSE OF DEATH: Hypovolemic Shock due to Perforation of Right Ventricle due to Stab Wound.[3] During the plea-bargaining stage. issued by Segundo L. INTERNAL EXAMINATION: That on or about the 1st day of September.(+) Stabbed Wound/Perforation of Right Ventricle. Aklan of the crime of MURDER. Kalibo. which was fatal.[5] JOVELYN I.(+) Stabbed Wound. at around 12:45 A.. convicting accused-appellant JIMMY DELA CRUZ y QUIMPO of murder and sentencing him to reclusion perpetua. The stabbing was not preceded by any quarrel or altercation between Arnulfo and appellant. In front of them were appellant and Arnulfo who were standing beside each other. he is already dead. INTERNAL EXAMINATION: . the above-named accused. assault and stab one ARNULFO INOCENCIO. Arnulfo Inocencio..[7] GLEN M. in Criminal Case No. Afterwards. In fact.(+) Stabbed Wound/Perforation of Right Ventricle. Thereafter.23 Before us is the appeal from the decision [1] dated July 7. appellant Jimmy dela Cruz. appellant said. since no altercation between the two took place.. According to the witness. 1998 in the evening. He testified that on September 1. After his arraignment. Arnulfo obliged and rose to hand the guitar to Gilbert.

Tumbokon Memorial Hospital. factual findings of the trial court and its evaluation of the testimonies of the witnesses must be respected and given full weight on appeal. no self-defense may be successfully pleaded. Further. Felizario testified that appellants claim that he was in the kitchen when the latter asked permission to leave his birthday celebration is not true. He surrendered to barangay captain Gil Isberto of Tigayon. Appellant assails the credibility of the prosecution witnesses primarily on the basis of their relationship with the victim as well as the relative weight given by the trial court to their testimonies. the trial court convicted him of the crime or murder and sentenced him.M.[20] In this case. testified that on September 2. just bring this with you. appellant drew his own knife from his right waist and stabbed the victim.[9] Furthermore. According to the OSG. he saw Arnulfo thrusting a knife towards him. [19] If no unlawful aggression has been proved. He said he was not able to surrender the knife he used in stabbing Arnulfo because he threw it in the middle of the river. However. Kalibo. Kalibo. affording the helpless and unarmed victim no chance to resist or to escape. III THE COURT A QUO COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN RULING THAT TREACHERY IS ATTENDANT IN THE CASE AT BAR NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THE PROSECUTION FAILED TO ESTABLISH THE SAME. In particular. she treated appellant who suffered a one-inch long superficial incised wound at the back of his left hand. He did not ask permission from the owner of the house because the latter was already asleep and his son Jonel. barangay captain of Tigayon.M. He said that he was urinating outside of their house at the time of the stabbing incident and the victim was unarmed since no knife has been recovered at the scene of the crime. whether complete or incomplete. Aklan testified that at around 12:00 midnight of September 1. [18] Although all the three elements must concur. Aklan. He turned over appellant to the police. self-defense must rest firstly on proof of unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. was in the kitchen. however. be credited in full in the service of his sentence. Antonieta J. Neither was appellant stabbed by Arnulfo Inocencio with a knife. that the wound could have been self-inflicted and it could have been caused by a knife. appellants father. the birthday celebrant. brother-in-law.[16] The main issue to be resolved by this Court is whether or not the lower court erred in rejecting appellants plea of self-defense while giving full faith and credence to the prosecutions evidence. and drinking beer and tuba(toddy). he asked permission to go home from Arnulfo Inocencio. the Court finds the accused JIMMY DELA CRUZ y QUIMPO GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of MURDER and hereby imposes upon him the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA. appellant failed to show unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. The party was held at the residence of Jonels father. contends that the evidence for the defense failed to establish the elements of self-defense as a justifying circumstance. [14] Rejecting appellants claim of self-defense. If you are going home. SO ORDERED. 1998. appellant. Arnulfo Inocencio. Arnulfo did not allow him to leave and asked him to stay a little longer as there was still much liquor to drink. thus: WHEREFORE. of September 1. He claims that it was Arnulfo who attacked him first and that he had no recourse but to stab Arnulfo.[10] Appellant denied harboring any grudge against the victim although he admitted that his younger brother figured in a quarrel with Arnulfo sometime earlier. ANTONIETA TEMPLADO. in Brgy. For the appellee. Rafael S. he avers he did it in selfdefense. After a careful review of the record. The attack was sudden and unexpected. he joined the other visitors who at that time were engaged in singing. he immediately left the house and proceeded to his fathers residence. Tigayon. Aklan who turned over his person to the police. Appellant admits that he killed the victim. and appellant himself testified.[13] The prosecution presented rebuttal evidence through the testimony of Jonel Felizario.00 as indemnity for the death of the latter. For the defense.M. the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). Kalibo. this appeal. He testified that at around 6:30 P.[17] Further. the Court hereby orders that the said accuseds period of preventive imprisonment. Sometime between 10:00 P. and one Jimmy Inocencio. in which appellant contends that: I THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN DISREGARDING THE CLAIM OF SELF-DEFENSE RAISED BY THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE LATTER WAS ABLE TO DULY PROVE THE SAME WITH HIS CORROBORATED TESTIMONY. They informed him that appellant stabbed a certain Inocencio. the victim Arnulfo Inocencio. he attended the birthday party of Jonel Felizario after having been invited by Jonel. without . the OSG asserts that treachery attended the killing of Arnulfo Inocencio..24 conducted an investigation and after securing the necessary papers. However.[12] GIL ISBERTO. Medical Officer IV of Dr. and Isbertos nephew went to his house. and lack of sufficient provocation on his part. By invoking self-defense. CONJECTURES AND SURMISES WHICH ARE UNTENABLE GROUNDS.000.[11] DR. 1998. He claims that it was the victim who. When appellant turned around. playing a guitar. the burden is placed upon appellant to prove clearly and convincingly the elements thereof: unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. the Court hereby orders the said accused to pay the legal heirs of the victim ARNULFO INOCENCIO the amount of P50. Appellant insisted and informed Arnulfo that he had to go for he had promised his wife that he would be home by 10:00 P. witness Dr. Templado and barangay captain Gil Isberto. Thereafter. 1998. we find no cogent reason to overturn the assailed decision of the trial court.M. II THE COURT A QUO LIKEWISE ERRED IN FINDING THE TESTIMONY OF THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT NOT CREDIBLE ON THE BASIS OF SPECULATIONS. filed the case with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor. Antonio Felizario. appellants testimony miserably failed to prove the existence of unlawful aggression. After eating his dinner. He parried the thrust and the knife hit his left hand. Isberto noticed that appellant had a superficial wound about two inches long on his left wrist. She opined. reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the aggression. When Arnulfo attempted to stab him a second time. Appellant JIMMY DELA CRUZ y QUIMPO admitted stabbing the victim but claimed that it was the victim who attacked him and that he merely acted in self-defense. With COSTS against the accused. He was about to leave when Arnulfo told him. and 11:00 P.[15] Hence.

The suddenness and unexpectedness of the attack even failed to forewarn or arouse any alarm from the victims drinking companions. There is treachery when one employs means. misunderstood or misapplied. where it appears that the attack was not preceded by a dispute and the offended party was unable to prepare for his defense. but they are the result of observations by the judge that he properly took into account in the rendition of judgment. these circumstances in his personal behavior as keenly observed on the witness stand. the trial court considered the mitigating circumstance of his voluntary surrender to the barangay captain. Appellant assails as purely speculative or conjectural the trial courts findings that his testimony is of doubtful veracity and that the wound in his hand is nothing but a self-inflicted injury. we find that the trial court correctly imposed the minimum of the penalty prescribed by law for the crime of murder which is reclusion perpetua. although the victim and his assailant were face to face at the time the stabbing was made. Based on the established facts. Note that appellant did not present a knife during the trial to bolster his case.000 as moral damages. a judge enjoys the presumption of regularity in the performance of his functions. [29] The testimony of barangay captain Isberto and the police officer on this point were not contradicted by the prosecution. Certainly. Relationship by itself does not give rise to a presumption of bias or ulterior motive. Their positive declarations certainly outweigh the self-serving allegation of appellant. Unfortunately. another sum of P50. without need of further proof other than the fact of the victims death. appellant attempted to impugn the credibility of the prosecution witnesses on account of their relationship with the victim. There is no showing of any reason for him to testify falsely in favor of one and against the other. The witnesses for the prosecution denied that the victim was armed with a knife and. the testimonies of prosecution witnesses Jovelyn Felizario and Glen Cipriano controverted appellants version of the incident. methods or forms in the execution of a crime without risk to oneself arising from the defense which the offended party might make. and the matter of assigning values to the testimonies of witnesses is best performed by it. the natural interest of witnesses. Appellant spontaneously and unconditionally placed himself in the hands of the authorities. Glen is a good friend of both the appellant and the victim.Thus. in securing the conviction of the guilty would deter them from implicating persons other than the true culprits. 5270. Branch 2. the mere fact that Jovelyn and Jonel Felizario are relatives of the victim and that Glen is the victims friend does not prove bias or partiality on their part sufficient to undermine the veracity of their testimonies.[25] In our view. the Court agrees with the trial court that the killing of Arnulfo Inocencio was attended by the qualifying circumstance of treachery.[22] the trial judges assessment of the witnesses and their testimonies would not be disturbed on appeal.[26] The victim was then unarmed and oblivious to the possibility of a deadly attack as he was even having fun with his friends and appellant. appellants contention are not borne by the records of the case. the one-inch long wound in appellants left hand was too superficial to support his claim that it was inflicted while he was parrying the thrust of the victim. we note the trial courts observation of the appellant on the witness stand. [27] Moreover. the essence of treachery is the swift and unexpected attack on an unarmed victim that insures its execution without risk to the assailant arising from the defense of his victim. none was recovered from the scene of the crime. Indeed. They did not suspect that anything untoward would happen. to appellants credit. It was not shown that they had any ill motive that drove them to make false accusations against appellant. To defend himself. Appellant JIMMY DELA CRUZ y QUIMPO is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. For the determination of credibility is the domain of the trial court. The mere fact that he was wounded does not prove indubitably his claim that he acted in self-defense.000 as civil indemnity. the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Kalibo. Besides. who are relatives of the victim. in Criminal Case No. andP50. He seemed anxious on the witness stand and he appeared to be hiding something as he could not deliver his statements smoothly and naturally. However. There was no altercation or confrontation that preceded the attack. is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. suddenly attacked him. and saved them the time and effort attendant to a search. [30] WHEREFORE. Aklan. he was constrained to pull out the knife from his waist and stab the victim on the chest. Likewise. the well-settled rule is that in the absence of a clear showing that some fact or circumstance of weight or substance had been overlooked.000 as moral damages should also be awarded to the heirs of the victim. Moreover. SO ORDERED. We also find proper the award of P50.000 as civil indemnity but pursuant to current jurisprudence. as well as to pay the heirs of the victim P50. They both testified that the stabbing of the victim by appellant was sudden and unprovoked.25 provocation on his part. the guilty would go unpunished. indeed. otherwise. .[28] Finally. Nor that the victim and not he was the aggressor. ruined his credibility. [21] With respect to the matter of credibility of witnesses. treachery should be taken into account. He contends that these findings disclose partiality against him on the part of the trial judge. The findings by the trial judge are not manifestation of bias or partiality. However. thus: The accused seemed unconfident (sic) when he related before the Court his version of the stabbing incident. together with the costs.[23] Also. nor does it ipso facto impair the credibility of a witness. [24] Further.

Ray wanted to stay here. petitioner finally gave birth to Ray Perez II in New York on July 20. Petitioner was forced to move to her parents home on Guizo Street in Mandaue. PEREZ.00 monthly income 2 as they were not burdened with having to pay any debts. twice and took care of her when she became pregnant. she changed her mind and continued working. After six miscarriages.R. After a few weeks. private respondent. however.S. Petitioner did not want to live near her in-laws and rely solely on her husbands meager income of P5. 1986. She was supposed to come back immediately after winding up her affairs there. he had only a tourist visa and was not employed. He maintained that it would not be difficult to live here since they have their own home and a car. While there is a provision of law squarely in point. if. where he could raise his son even as he practiced his profession. Petitioner who began working in the United States in October 1988. his wife who is petitioner herein. the couple and their baby arrived in Cebu. they had agreed to reside permanently in the Philippines but once Nerissa was in New York. J. we are faced with the challenge of deciding. petitioner. as between father and mother. the couple was no longer on good terms. She wished for her son to grow up with his mother. She became a resident alien in February 1992. March 29. THE COURT OF APPEALS (Ninth Division) and RAY C. on the one hand. Unlike his wife. She also sought medical attention for her successive miscarriages in New York. used part of her earnings to build a modest house in Mandaue City. She alleged that they came home only for a five-week vacation and that they all had round-trip tickets. at times unorthodox. respondent Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the boys father Ray C. 1993. respondents. 1992.S. Perez.000. 1996] NERISSA Z. In the instant case. SECOND DIVISION [G. That their love for each other was fading became apparent from their serious quarrels. No. who should have rightful custody of a child who bears in his person both their genes. on the other. is a registered nurse. It has fallen upon us now to likewise act as judge between the trial court. reversing the trial courts decision to grant custody to Nerissa Z. her husband stayed behind to take care of his sick mother and promised to follow her with the baby.000. is a doctor of medicine practicing in Cebu while Nerissa. According to Ray. On January 17. 118870. However. and the appellate. DECISION When Nerissa came home a few days before Ray IIs first birthday. . she did not want to leave RJ (Ray Junior) with her husband and in-laws. the couple failed to reconcile. They were married in Cebu onDecember 6. Cebu. the childs mother. the daunting task that confronted the king/judge was to choose the true one. PEREZ. the most celebrated case being that when his authority was invoked to determine the identity of the real mother as between two women claiming the same infant. the two courts whose authority have been invoked to render a decision have arrived at diametrically opposite conclusions.00. vs. two operations and a high-risk pregnancy. manner of resolving conflicts.: Parties herein would have this Court duplicate the feat of King Solomon who was hailed in Biblical times for his sagacious. On the other hand. Thus.26 ROMERO. On the issue of custody over the minor Ray Perez II. Since there could only be one mother. Ray Perez. Despite mediation by the priest who solemnized their marriage. They could live comfortably on his P 15. Private respondent stayed with her in the U. Perez. only Nerissa returned to the U.1 She longed to be with her only child but he was being kept away from her by her husband.

foregoing premises considered. incapacity. When the parents of the child are separated. in reverting to the provision of the Civil Code that a child below seven years old should not be separated from the mother (Article 363). emotional. upon hearing the testimony as may be pertinent. citing the second paragraph of Article 213 of the Family Code which provides that no child under seven years of age shall be separated from the mother. It provides: ART. If she has erred. Article 213 of the Family Code is the applicable law. SO ORDERED. Nerissa Perez. 6 she filed the instant petition for review where the sole issue is the custody of Ray Perez II. unless such separation is grounded upon compelling reasons as determined by a court. In the past the following grounds have been considered ample justification to deprive a mother of custody and parental authority: neglect. 8 The Revised Rules of Court also contains a similar provision.18 It has long been settled that in custody cases.17 drug addiction. unless the court finds there are compelling reasons therefor. Perez to surrender the custody of their son. the court. Nerissa Z. to her. 603) which reduced the childs age to five years. paragraph three of the Child and Youth Welfare Code (Presidential Decree No. Ray Z. 6. Perez filed a petition for habeas corpus 3 asking respondent Ray C. On August 27. Moreover. those cases must indeed be rare. that warrant for his arrest will be issued. his passport and roundtrip ticket to herein petitioner with a warning that if he will escape together with the child for the purpose of hiding the minor child instead of complying with this Order.13 The general rule that a child under seven years of age shall not be separated from his mother finds its raison detre in the basic need of a child for his mothers loving care.15 unemployment and immorality. Separated in fact. the penalty of imprisonment and the divorce decree (relative divorce) will ordinarily be sufficient punishment for her.7 Before us is the unedifying situation of a husband and wife in marital discord. are covered within its terms. In fact.5 Petitioners motion for reconsideration having been denied. 14 Only the most compelling of reasons shall justify the courts awarding the custody of such a child to someone other than his mother. 1994. (Italics supplied) Since the Code does not qualify the word separation to mean legal separation decreed by a court. abandonment. By precept and example. shall award the care. or poverty x x x. such as petitioner and private respondent. maltreatment of the child. Rule 99. In case of separation of the parents. psychological. p. moral dereliction will not have any effect upon the baby who is as yet unable to understand her situation. habitual drunkenness. underscores its mandatory character.19 the foremost consideration is always the Welfare and best interest of the child. (Report of the Code Commission. has expressly repealed the earlier Article 17. The use of the word shall in Article 213 of the Family Code and Rule 99. unless the parent chosen is unfit. reversed the trial courts order and awarded custody of the boy to his father. they mold his character during his crucial formative years.27 On July 26. The Courts duty is to determine whether Ray Perez II will be better off with petitioner or with private respondent. parental authority shall be exercised by the parent designated by the Court. unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise. The exception allowed by the rule has to be for compelling reasons for the good of the child. struggling for custody of their only child. custody. Respondent court differed in opinion from the trial court and ruled that there were enough reasons to deny Nerissa Perez custody over Ray II even if the child is under seven years old. permitting the child to choose which parent it prefers to live with if it be over ten years of age. 1993. Section 6 (Adoption and Custody of Minors) provides: SEC.4 Upon appeal by Ray Perez. Appeal. Proceedings as to child whose parents are separated. . Perez II.When husband and wife are divorced or living separately and apart from each other.9 the Court declared: The use of the word shall in Article 36310 of the Civil Code. It is sad that petitioner and private respondent have not found it in their hearts to understand each other and live together once again as a family. No man can sound the deep sorrows of a mother who is deprived of her child of tender age. and the questions as to the care.11 The rationale for awarding the custody of children younger than seven years of age to their mother was explained by the Code Commission: The general rule is recommended in order to avoid many a tragedy where a mother has seen her baby torn away from her. as in cases of adultery. the Convention on the Rights of the Child provides: In all actions concerning children. and control of a child or children of their marriage is brought before a Court of First Instance by petition or as an incident to any other proceeding. and control of each such child as will be for its best interest. 213. 1993. No child under seven years of age shall be separated from its mother. the Courts intervention is sought in order that a decision may be made as to which parent shall be given custody over the young boy. whether undertaken by public or private social . The dispositive portion of the Order reads: WHEREFORE. Section 6 of the Revised Rules of Court connotes a mandatory character. However. mental. social and spiritual needs of the child. they now seek the Courts assistance in the matter of custody or parental authority over the child. no less than an international instrument. In the case of Lacson v. San Jose-Lacson. such as her unfitness to exercise sole parental authority. if the mothers heart is not to be unduly hurt. unless the parent chosen be unfit to take charge of the child by reason of moral depravity. the court a quo issued an Order awarding custody of the one-year old child to his mother.It held that granting custody to the boys father would be for the childs best interest and welfare. 12)12 The Family Code. especially the choice of the child over seven years of age. (Italics supplied) The provisions of law quoted above clearly mandate that a child under seven years of age shall not be separated from his mother unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise. Order is hereby issued ordering the respondent to turn over the custody of their child Ray Cortes Perez II. The Court shall take into account all relevant considerations. No child under seven years of age shall be separated from the mother. The father and the mother complement each other in giving nurture and providing that holistic care which takes into account the physical. now three years old. We are not called upon to declare which party committed the greater fault in their domestic quarrel. insanity and being sick with a communicable disease. coupled with the observations made by the Code Commission in respect to the said legal provision. unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise. the Court of Appeals. on September 27. couples who are separated in fact. It prohibits in no uncertain terms the separation of a mother and her child below seven years. The wisdom and necessity for the exercise of joint parental authority need not be belabored.16habitual drunkenness. custody.

SET ASIDE.A. her present work schedule is not so unmanageable as to deprive her of quality time for Ray II. only for the infant to be snatched from her before he has even reached his first year. many a mother. it is alleged that she cannot properly attend to him. In prose and poetry. finding herself in such a position. at times. children are often brought up by housemaids or yayas under the eagle eyes of the mother. Perez II is awarded to his mother. The Order of the trial court dated August 27. Fifth. petitioners work schedule cited in the respondent courts decision is not necessarily permanent. There being no one to help her look after the child. petitioner may be expected to arrange her schedule in such a way as to allocate time for him. and for psychological fulfillment. 1994 as well as its Resolution dated January 24. Regalado (Chairman). to name a few. applying time management principles judiciously. providing the latter with plane tickets and liberal allowances. The mothers role in the life of her child. 24 The Court takes judicial notice of the fact that a registered nurse. given a mothers instinctive desire to lavish upon her child the utmost care. such as their material resources. still abroad. such as petitioner. private respondents work schedule was not presented in evidence at the trial.S. should she desire to do so. Second. Unlike private respondent. and has taken this point against her. particularly since she works on twelve-hour shifts thrice weekly. J. The decision under review casts doubt on petitioners capability to take care of the child. administrative authorities or legislative bodies. 1993 is hereby REINSTATED. SO ORDERED. courts of law. The decision of the Court of Appeals dated September 27. Custody over the minor Ray Z. herein petitioner Nerissa Z. to look after the child until he is able to take care of himself. It is not difficult to imagine how heart-rending it is for a mother whose attempts at having a baby were frustrated several times over a period of six years to finally bear one. as long as the latter exercises supervision. petitioner should find no difficulty in obtaining work elsewhere. Perez. for even in our culture.g. concur. as well as for convenience. Fourth. 1995 are hereby REVERSED and EN BANC . not in fantasy but in reality. it does not follow that petitioner values her career more than her family simply because she wants to work in the United States.. however. There are any number of reasons for a persons seeking a job outside the country. Hospitals work in shifts and. Finally. The records. This decision is immediately executory. 23 She testified that she intends to apply for a job elsewhere. on leave.20 Courts invariably look into all relevant factors presented by the contending parents.Although he is a general practitioner.. the petition for review is GRANTED. Third. has invited her own mother or relative to join her abroad. Torres. respondent courts conclusion that his work schedule is flexible (and h)e can always find time for his son26 is not well-founded. the depth of a mothers love has been immortalized times without number. Jr.21 In the case at bench. Puno. its justification. social and moral situations. First. The transcripts of the three hearings are inadequate to show that petitioner did not exert earnest efforts and make sacrifices to save her marriage.. Quite a number of working mothers who are away from home for longer periods of time are still able to raise a family well. This conclusion is as unwarranted as it is unreasonable. such as Ray II. petitioner immediately got a job in New York. is still very much in demand in the United States. financial capacity is not a determinative factor inasmuch as both parties have demonstrated that they have ample means. and Mendoza. The record describes sketchily the relations between Ray and Nerissa Perez.25 Hence. Delegating child care temporarily to qualified persons who run day-care centers does not detract from being a good mother. at the time the petition was filed. finding as it does. Respondent court stated that petitioner has no permanent place of work in the U.28 welfare institutions. presumably to improve her work environment and augment her income. JJ. e. the fact that private respondent lives near his parents and sister is not crucial in this case. to augment her income for the familys benefit and welfare. In the instant case. Considering her skill and experience. the records merely show that he maintains a clinic. a doctor who by his own admission could not find employment there. is well-nigh irreplaceable. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila WHEREFORE. it has been shown that petitioner earned enough from her job to be able to construct a house for the family in Mandaue City. Others go on leave from work until such time as the child can be entrusted to day-care centers. even at night. the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration. works for several companies on retainer basis and teaches parttime. show that she is employed in a New York hospital22 and was.

S. 67. it may only be inferred as a logical conclusion that his evident intention was to enter by means of force said store against the will of its owner. From the fact established and stated in the decision. It is our opinion that the attempt to commit an offense which the Penal Code punishes is that which has a logical relation to a particular. upon its consummation. 606. 21 Phil.S. But it is not sufficient. J. they must show without any doubt. In the instant case. once he succeeded in entering the store. 615. that an act objectively performed constitute a mere beginning of execution. without the intent to commit an offense.. in order to commit an offense which. . with the deed which. to cause physical injury to the inmates. defendant-appellant. Viada (Vol. which is the beginning of the execution of the offense by overt acts of the perpetrator. plaintiff-appellee. (U. U. Under article 280 of the Revised Penal Code.. p. it is necessary to prove that said beginning of execution. who upon hearing the noise produced by the breaking of the wall. Thus. or that said acts be of such nature that they themselves should obviously disclose the criminal objective necessarily intended. RECTO. they would be meaningless. vs. that.1avvphil. are not punished except when they are aimed directly to its execution... 1935. . Ticson. Acts susceptible of double interpretation . will logically and necessarily ripen into a concrete offense. Silvano. Bausa for appellant. that is.. if carried to its complete termination following its natural course. passing through the opening which he had started to make on the wall.. vs. Tayag and Morales." Under the circumstances of this case the prohibition of the owner or inmate is presumed. 1892 — that in order to declare that such and such overt acts constitute an attempted offense it is necessary that their objective be known and established. 18 Phil. 509' U.S. There is no doubt that in the case at bar it was the intention of the accused to enter Tan Yu's store by means of violence. 47) holds the same opinion when he says that "the overt acts leading to the commission of the offense. there is nothing in the record from which such purpose of the accused may reasonably be inferred. did not develop beyond the first steps of its execution. the trial judge and the Solicitor-General. of some personal property belonging to another. due to the timely arrival of policeman Tomambing. and decisions of the Supreme Court of Spain therein cited). in order that the simple act of entering by means of force or violence another person's dwelling may be considered an attempt to commit this offense. this offense is committed when a private person shall enter the dwelling of another against the latter's will. 292. the offender must commence the commission of the felony directly by overt acts. caught the accused in the act of making an opening with an iron bar on the wall of a store of cheap goods located on the last named street. without being frustrated by external obstacles nor by the voluntary desistance of the perpetrator. when the policeman showed up. by the facts to which they are related. Office of the Solicitor-General Hilado for appellee.vs. The accused may be convicted and sentenced for an attempt to commit this offense in accordance with the evidence and the following allegation contained in the information: ". . for the purpose of gain. we are of the opinion. 2 Phil.S. with the accessory penalties of the law. U. and by the things connected therewith.S. In view of the foregoing. leading directly to its realization and consummation. At that time the owner of the store. Panes. . the mitigating circumstance of lack of instruction. and to pay the costs of the proceeding.ñet It must be borne in mind (I Groizard. in order to avoid regrettable instances of injustice. the intention must be ascertained from the facts and therefore it is necessary. vs. Honesto K.R. Villanueva.29 G. U. will develop into one of the offenses defined and punished by the Code. as the material damage is wanting. 59 Phil. and therefore they must have an immediate and necessary relation to the offense. The accused had only succeeded in breaking one board and in unfastening another from the wall. by the circumstances of the persons performing the same. promptly approached the accused . or to commit any other offense..) Against the accused must be taken into consideration the aggravating circumstances of nighttime and former convictions. must not and can not furnish grounds by themselves for attempted nor frustrated crimes. AURELIO LAMAHANG. finding him guilty of attempted robbery and sentencing him to suffer two years and four months of prision correccional and to an additional penalty of ten years and one day of prision mayor for being an habitual delinquent. that they are aimed at the consummation of a crime. policeman Jose Tomambing. the nature of the action intended (accion fin) cannot exactly be ascertained. That his final objective. 25 Phil. like the logical and natural relation of the cause and its effect. inasmuch as its nature in relation to its objective is ambiguous.. was sleeping inside with another Chinaman. there is nothing in the record to justify a concrete finding. 25 Phil. Tan Yu. p.. ." Considering — says the Supreme Court of Spain in its decision of March 21. Mesina. is not a juridical fact from the standpoint of the Penal Code. it must be shown that the offender clearly intended to take possession.S. Fuentes streets of the City of Iloilo. and which show an innocent as well as a punishable act.. it is necessary to establish its unavoidable connection. the accused armed with an iron bar forced the wall of said store by breaking a board and unfastening another for the purpose of entering said store . that is to say. the necessity that these acts be such that by their very nature. and so hold that the fact under consideration does not constitute attempted robbery but attempted trespass to dwelling (People vs. 31 Phil. U. that the accused on the day in question was making an opening by means of an iron bar on the wall of Tan Yu's store.: The defendant Aurelio Lamahang is before this court on appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo. for the purpose of imposing penal sanction. who instantly arrested him and placed him under custody. L-43530 August 3. 93. The breaking of the wall should not be taken into consideration as an aggravating circumstance inasmuch as this is the very fact which in this case constitutes the offense of attempted trespass to dwelling. This must have been the intention of the legislator in requiring that in order for an attempt to exist. The fact above stated was considered and declared unanimously by the provincial fiscal of Iloilo. vs. said objective and finality to serve as ground for the designation of the offense: . 215. in case of robbery. Ostrea. in favor as well as against the culprit. 99) that in offenses not consummated.. No. that the acts performed must be such that. I. that the mind be able to directly infer from them the intention of the perpetrator to cause a particular injury.R. was to rob. The attempt to commit an indeterminate offense. which we think is erroneous. The relation existing between the facts submitted for appreciation and the offense which said facts are supposed to produce must be direct. who was patrolling his beat on Delgado and C. vs. and that the accused did not succeed in entering the store due to the presence of the policeman on beat Jose Tomambing. concrete offense. Hence. as constituting attempted robbery. but the same must be inferred from the nature of the acts executed (accion medio). — inasmuch as the record shows that several final judgments for robbery and theft have been rendered against him — and in his favor. At early dawn on March 2... 1935 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. vs.

No.R. 51). J. concur. DECISION GARCIA. 91-101642 finding petitioner Renato Baleros. Branch 2. The assailed decision affirmed an earlier decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. is prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods and a fine not exceeding P1.3 The accusatory portion of the information4 dated December 17. vs. 17271 as reiterated in its March 31. Pursuant to article 29 of the same Code. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. Hull.: In this petition for review on certiorari.000 (art. C. petitioner Renato Baleros.30 The penalty provided by the Revised Penal Code for the consummated offense of trespass to dwelling. arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods. assails and seeks the reversal of the January 13.. in Criminal Case No. and Vickers.R. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Respondent. committed by means of force. par. 1991 charging petitioner with attempted rape reads as follow: .J. therefore the penalty corresponding to attempted trespass to dwelling is to degrees lower (art. Abad Santos. with the aforesaid aggravating and mitigating circumstances and sentenced to three months and one day of arresto mayor. y David (CHITO) guilty of attempted rape. Jr. Avanceña. Because of the presence of two aggravating circumstances and one mitigating circumstance the penalty must be imposed in its maximum period. 2006 RENATO BALEROS. Jr. 280. CR No.. Petitioner. with the accessory penalties thereof and to pay the costs. the accused is not entitled to credit for one-half of his preventive imprisonment. 1999 resolution2 denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. or. 1999 decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. Wherefore. 138033 February 22. JR. if committed with force. JJ.. 2). the sentence appealed from is revoked and the accused is hereby held guilty of attempted trespass to dwelling.

July 5. …. With Bernard. Marvilou. Bernard Baptista." 5 Thereafter. …. and her classmates. holding her tightly. her maid. 1993. p. p. The only thing she had made out during their struggle was the feel of her attacker’s clothes and weight. mahal kita" (TSN. July 5.7) and requested permission to go up to Room 306. inside Unit 307. p. who was her classmate …. . 1991. relented] …. established the following facts: Like most of the tenants of the Celestial Marie Building (hereafter "Building". Marvilou Bebania (Marvilou). Tomas [UST] in 1991. He … was wearing a t-shirt and shorts … Original Records. Lacson Street. MALOU then proceeded to seek help. 1992. 355). but still I let him inter (sic) for the reason that he will be our tenant this coming summer break as he said so I let him sign it here (Sgd. 1991 when he woke up again later to the sound of knocking at the door. Upon arraignment on February 5. wearing a white t-shirt with “‘…a marking on the front of the T-shirt T M and a Greek letter (sic) ΣΦ’ and below the quoted letters the word ‘1946’ ‘UST Medicine and Surgery’” (TSN. Outside. telling her: "Gusto kita. was friendly until a week prior to the attack. as narrated in some detail in the decision of the CA. Their testimonies. 1993. p. unlawfully and feloniously commenced the commission of rape by lying on top of her with the intention to have carnal knowledge with her but was unable to perform all the acts of execution by reason of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance. 1991 was corroborated by Joseph Bernard Africa (Joseph). Who it was she did not. did then and there willfully. assisted by counsel. She struggled but could not move. (TSN.M.H. He mentioned to the latter that something had happened and that they were not being allowed to get out of the building. …. She wanted to scream for help but the hands covering her mouth with cloth wet with chemicals were very tight (TSN. p. Her attacker had fled from her room going through the left bedroom window (Ibid. The man let her go and MALOU went straight to the bedroom door and roused Marvilou. Answers to Question number 5. 8). because he glanced at the alarm clock beside the bed when he was awakened by the knock at the door …. This Unit was being leased by Ansbert Co and at that time when CHITO was asking permission to enter. however. 1992. xxx." In the evening of December 12. Joseph also told CHITO to follow him to Room 310. MALOU retired at around 10:30. …. Meanwhile. pleaded "Not Guilty. was a medical student of the University of Sto. Joseph Bernard Africa. Renato Alagadan and Christian Alcala. at about 6 to 6:30 in the morning of December 13. Joseph noticed that CHITO was wearing dark-colored shorts and white T-shirt (Ibid. this time. 1993. Still. Sampaloc.M.6). xxx xxx xxx Later. 1993. 9) and black shorts with the brand name “Adidas” (TSN. Manila. Early morning of the following day. occupying Room 307 with her maid. said acts being committed against her will and consent to her damage and prejudice. p. MALOU continued fighting off her attacker by kicking him until at last her right hand got free. Albano with a piece of cloth soaked in chemical with dizzying effects. July 5. xxx xxx xxx (Exhibit "A-2") That CHITO arrived at Room 306 at 1:30 A. p.. With this …the opportunity presented itself when she was able to grab hold of his sex organ which she then squeezed. by Bernard Baptista (Bernard). Joseph then went to MALOU’s room and thereat was shown by Bernard the open window through which the intruder supposedly passed.) Baleros Renato Jr. To prove its case. 1991. It was at around 3 o’clock in the morning of December 13. Further. 1992. S/G Ferolin initially refused [but later. xxx xxx xxx Joseph was already inside Room 306 at 9 o’clock in the evening of December 12. pp. xxx. His upper garment was of cotton material while that at the lower portion felt smooth and satin-like (Ibid. p. July 5. October 16. petitioner. 13-14). of December 13. MALOU was awakened by the smell of chemical on a piece of cloth pressed on her face. trial on the merits ensued. July 5. CHITO confided his feelings for her. 17). Among them were private complainant Martina Lourdes Albano (Malou). 23) when he let the latter in. October 9. slept on a folding bed. 1991. while he was on duty. the above-named accused. Lutgardo Acosta and Rommel Montes were staying. Somebody was pinning her down on the bed. To Room 310 of the Building where her classmates Christian Alcala. Her nightdress was stained with blue … (TSN. He was able to fix the time of CHITO’s arrival at 1:30 A. xxx by the time CHITO’s knocking on the door woke him up. according to S/G Ferolin. p. p. another window inside her bedroom was now open. Aside from the window with grills which she had originally left opened. MALOU told S/G Ferolin that: "may pumasok sa kuarto ko pinagtangkaan ako" (Ibid. He asked CHITO to produce the required written authorization and when CHITO could not. It was then when MALOU saw her bed … topsy-turvy. by forcefully covering the face of Martina Lourdes T. Rommel Montes. 22) and she rejected him. the one without iron grills which leads to Room 306 of the Building (TSN. Joseph was finally able to talk to CHITO …. S/G Ferolin made the following entry in the security guard’s logbook …: "0130H Baleros Renato Jr. Over the intercom. right in front of her bedroom door. 1993. Id). …. MALOU testified that her relation with CHITO. the prosecution presented thirteen (13) witnesses. xxx. CHITO arrived at the Building at 1:30 in the early morning of December 13..31 That about 1:50 in the morning or sometime thereafter of 13 December 1991 in Manila and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. only Joseph Bernard Africa was in the room. know. 33). …) along A. 22). is a visitor of Ansbert Co who has not have (sic) a Request letter from our tenant of Unit #-306 Ansbert. MALOU.

CONCLUSION: Exhs. In their presence. 1) One (1) small white plastic bag marked ‘UNIMART’ with the following: Exh ‘C’ – One (1) night dress colored salmon pink. ‘C’ and ‘D’ contain chloroform. 1991. xxx. 1991. of the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory in Camp Crame. and the handkerchief he saw CHITO used at least once in December. Exh. CHITO used to wear on weekends. 2) One (1) small white pl astic bag marked ‘JONAS’ with the following: Exh. a volatile poison. ‘F’ – One (1) black short (sic) marked ‘ADIDAS’. as its main witness. as culled from the same decision of the appellate court: The forensic Chemist. Ibid. pp. He followed after Joseph to Unit 310. the Adidas short pants (Exhibit "D-5"). FINDINGS: Toxicological examination conducted on the above stated specimens gave the following results: Exhs. he was likewise a member of the Tau Sigma Phi Fraternity ….. Sampaloc. Loyloy found (TSN. Bernard. 45). having acted in response to the written request of PNP Superintendent Lucas M. He was included in the entourage of some . they saw the bag at the same place inside the bedroom where Renato had seen CHITO leave it. CHITO. 109. January 12. p. 7). ‘A’. xxx. 1991. Manila at about 7 o’clock in the evening of December 12. and the handkerchief (Exhibit "D-3) to be CHITO’s because CHITO had lent the very same one to him …. wearing the prescribed barong tagalog over dark pants and leather shoes. Bernard Baptista and Lutgardo Acosta (Gary) were called to the Building and were asked by the CIS people to look for anything not belonging to them in their Unit. 1993. non-volatile and/or metallic poison on the above stated specimens. was what consisted mainly of Renato R. Her Chemistry Report No. and Renato went back to Room 310 at around 3 to 4 o’clock that afternoon along with some CIS agents. Exh. xxx xxx xxx: People from the CIS came by before 8 o’clock that same morning …. p. When he saw the gray bag. was known to him being also a medical student at the UST at the time. C-487-91 (Exhibit "E". 112) reads in part. however. the defense presented. p. Not until later that night at past 9 o’clock in Camp Crame. He denied committing the crime imputed to him or making at any time amorous advances on Malou. Managuelod dated December 13. Christian knew right away that it belonged to CHITO (Ibid. With Robert Chan and Alberto Leonardo. another roommate of his. Christian recognized the t-shirt (Exhibit "D-4"). the defense sought to establish the following. a white t-shirt with a Taunu (sic) Sigma Phi sign (Ibid. CHITO was a medical student of … (UST). The colored gray bag had a handle and a strap. The t-shirt with CHITO’s fraternity symbol. a handkerchief . 44-45) from inside their unit which they did not know was there and surrender the same to the investigators. among others. Exhs. Alagadan’s testimony. p. ‘E’ and ‘F’ are insufficient for further analysis. ‘B’. Renato Alagadan at Room 401 to see if the others were there. ‘D’ – One (1) printed handkerchief. xxx xxx xxx. a Black Adidas short pants. PURPOSE OF LABORATORY EXAMINATION: To determine the presence of volatime (sic). went inside to search the Unit. 1991. MALOU. the petitioner himself. "SPECIMEN SUBMITTED: From Room 306 of the Celestial Marie Building …. ‘C’ and ‘D’ – POSITIVE to the test for chloroform. p. While they were outside Room 310 talking with the authorities. 55) as he had seen the latter usually bringing it to school inside the classroom (Ibid. Gary. and socks (Ibid). …. the CIS opened the bag and pulled out its contents. three (3) white T-shirts.) conducted laboratory examination on the specimen collated and submitted…. carrying his gray bag. p. At that time Christian. 19-20). Leslie Chambers. Rommel Montes (Loyloy). did Renato know what the contents of the bag were. an underwear. Unfolding a different version of the incident. None was in Room 310 so Joseph went to their yet another classmate. arrived at their Fraternity house located at … Dos Castillas.32 CHITO did just that. after their 3:30 class. ‘E’ – One (1) white T-shirt marked ‘TMZI’. xxx xxx xxx An occupant of Room 310 … Christian Alcala (Christian) recalled in Court that in the afternoon of December 13. he and his roommates."6 (Words in bracket added) For its part. a volatile poison. 6) a gray "Khumbella" bag cloth type (Ibid. thus: In December of 1991. xxx xxx xxx. pp. was elongated to about 11/4 feet and appeared to be full but was closed with a zipper when Renato saw it then (Ibid. They likewise invited CHITO and Joseph to go with them to Camp Crame where the two (2) were questioned …. That CHITO left his bag inside Room 310 in the morning of December 13. (Exhibit "C". Original Records.

xxx. when he and Joseph were brought before Fiscal Abesamis for inquest. p. the black striped short pants lent to him by Perla Duran (Exhibit "8-A". pp.M. Because of this. who both testified being with CHITO in the December 12. CHITO left the party with Robert Chan and Alberto at more or less past 1 A. April 25. Joseph told him that the security guard was not letting anybody out of the Building …. socks. 25). Rommel tried to open the door of Unit 306 … but was likewise unsuccessful. with t-shirt inside. 24). 17-18) at room 306 in the afternoon of the previous day …. 1991 trying to open the door of Room 306 while clad in dark short pants and white barong tagalog. p. CHITO was told by Rommel Montes that somebody. June 16. …. xxx xxx xxx CHITO had left his gray bag containing. (Ibid. whom MALOU was not able to identify. at No. CHITO knocked and …. Also taking the witness stand for the defense were petitioner’s fraternity brothers. Joseph told him that something had happened and to just go to Room 310 which CHITO did. … CHITO and Joseph were physically examined by a certain Dr. S/G Ferolin initially refused CHITO entry …. Alberto Leonardo and Robert Chan. 20).7 Rommel Montes..M.M.. Col. North Greenhills. with short pants and leather shoes at the time they parted after the party. 1991 and proceeded to the Building which they reached at about 1:30 A. Telling him. approached. 36). San Juan. Congressman Rodolfo B. were brought to Camp Crame. CHITO woke up …. 345). Perla Duran confirmed lending the petitioner the pair of short pants with stripes after the dunking party held in her father’s house. Original Records. father of MALOU. CHITO also looked at his own watch and saw that the time was 1:30 (Ibid. looking at his watch. He was already in his school uniform when. At the gate of the Building. without elaborating on it. CHITO presented himself. already about ten (10) minutes had lapsed since CHITO first arrived (Ibid. 25). 9 On December 14. at any time on December 13. 1991. xxx. CHITO . xxx. 3 John Street. 15). p. Perla Duran. Dr. When S/G Ferolin finally let him in. Managuelod asked Joseph inside his room and talked to him for 30 minutes.. made no effort to ask CHITO if the items thereat were his. p. He only found out for the first time that the black Adidas short pants was alluded to be among the items inside his gray bag late in the afternoon. CHITO went up the floor. and toothbrush (Ibid. p. a tenant of Room 310 of the said building. a forensic chemistry instructor whose actual demonstration in open court showed that chloroform. around 6:30 A.8 Presented as defense expert witness was Carmelita Vargas. One of the CIS agents had taken it there and it was not opened up in his presence but the contents of the bag were already laid out on the table of Fiscal Abesamis who. xxx CHITO had anticipated his turn … and was thus wearing his t-shirt and long pants when he was dunked. di mo mabuksan ang pinto (Ibid.33 fifty (50) fraternity members scheduled for a Christmas gathering at the house of their senior fraternity brother. 19). thus: .M. nor when he dressed up at about 6 o’clock in the morning to go to school and brought his gray bag to Room 310 (Ibid.. At 6 o’clock in the morning of December 13. 1994. of December 13. No one interviewed CHITO to ask his side. xxx. At Room 310. xxx. the trial court rendered its decision10 convicting petitioner of attempted rape and accordingly sentencing him. Duran’s place at Greenhills. CHITO included. 26). He likewise disavowed placing said black Adidas short pants in his gray bag when he returned to the apartment at past 1:00 o’clock in the early morning of December 13. riding on the same car going to and coming from the party and dropping the petitioner off the Celestial Marie building after the party. xxx . … approached him and even commented: "Okey ang suot mo ha. … the four (4) presidential nominees of the Fraternity. The CIS men looked inside the bedroom and on the windows. 1991. April 25. On the other hand. then asked him for the key to Room 306…. …changed to a thinner shirt and went to bed. also testified seeing CHITO between the hours of 1:30 and 2:00 A. were being dunked one by one into the pool. Both were one in saying that CHITO was wearing a barong tagalog. went to the room of MALOU and tried to rape her (TSN. He had left his gray traveling bag containing "white tshirt. however. being volatile. Joseph was told to dress up and the two (2) of them. at last answered the door. xxx. inside Room 310 at more/less 6:30 to 7 o’clock in the morning of December 13. CHITO and Joseph. 1994. found the key left for him by Joseph behind the opened jalousie window and for five (5) minutes vainly tried to open the door until Rommel Montes. de Guzman who told them to strip …. black short pants with stripe. "Ikaw na ang bahala diyan" Joseph immediately turned his back on CHITO and went inside the bedroom. offered each … dry clothes to change into and CHITO put on the white t-shirt with the Fraternity’s symbol and a pair of black shorts with stripes.. p.M. p. xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx Both CHITO and Joseph were taken to Prosecutor Abesamis who later instructed them to undergo physical examination at the Camp Crame Hospital …. evaporates in thirty (30) seconds without tearing nor staining the cloth on which it is applied. sando. He still had on the same short pants given by Perla Duran from the fraternity party (TSN. Joseph came to the room not yet dressed up. Albano. At the hospital. 1991 party held in Dr. p. In fact. CHITO denied putting in his gray bag which he had left at Room 306 in the early evening of December 12. When they arrived at Camp Crame …. 1994. when he was in Camp Crame. of December 13. he was not aware that his gray bag ever contained any black short Adidas pants (Ibid). The next time that he saw it was between 8 to 9 P. S/G Ferolin. underwear. S/G Ferolin called Unit 306 …. pp. It took another (5) minutes of calling out and knocking before Joseph.. among others. socks and shoes" (TSN. The black Adidas short pants purportedly found in the bag. …. 1991 (TSN. 1991. CHITO then decided to just call out to Joseph while knocking at the door. Soon after. He asked the latter why this was so and. 26-29). Jose Duran. Again riding on Alberto’s car and wearing "barong tagalog over a white t-shirt with the symbol TAU Sigma Phi. The party was conducted at the garden beside [the] swimming pool …. When two (2) CIS men came to the unit asking for Renato Baleros. 1991 before going to the fraternity house. 1994. June 16. 1994.

1999. if not well-nigh impossible. the decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED in toto. however. As stated at the threshold hereof. 1991.12 After a careful review of the facts and evidence on record in the light of applicable jurisprudence.00. the sum of P50. Costs against appellant. which forms part of circumstantial evidence. which. the positive identification of the petitioner forms part of circumstantial evidence. leads to only fair and reasonable conclusion. the Court finds the accused Renato D. SO ORDERED. This is the second type of positive identification. the latter is the person or one of the persons last seen with the victim immediately before and right after the commission of the crime. to wit: WHEREFORE. 17271. Circumstantial evidence. In the present case. competent and convincing evidence to prove the offense charged. 5. 4. 3. and c) The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. In convicting petitioner of attempted rape on the basis merely of circumstantial evidence since the prosecution failed to satisfy all the requisites for conviction based thereon. without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. under cool reflection and prescinding from the foregoing. and for the accused to pay the offended party Martina Lourdes T. A witness may identify a suspect or accused as the offender as an eyewitness to the very act of the commission of the crime.000. absent sufficient. 1. In not finding that it is improbable for petitioner to have committed the attempted rape imputed to him. as Minimum to TEN (10) YEARS of Prision Mayor as Maximum. Baleros. There may. petitioner went to the CA whereat his appellate recourse was docketed as CA-G. on the contention that the CA erred a) There is more than one circumstance. for instance. affirmed the trial court’s judgment of conviction. Crimes are usually committed in secret and under condition where concealment is highly probable. b) The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven. when taken together with the other pieces of evidence constituting an unbroken chain. TWO (2) MONTHS AND ONE (1) DAY of Prision Correctional. and to pay the costs.R. be instances where. although a witness may not have actually witnessed the very act of commission of a crime. In not finding that proof of motive is miserably wanting in his case. the Court is disposed to rule for petitioner’s acquittal. the prosecution of vicious felons who committed heinous crimes in secret or secluded places will be hard. Otherwise stated. in its assailed Decision dated January 13. In failing to appreciate in his favor the constitutional presumption of innocence and that moral certainty has not been met. Section 4 of Rule 133 of the Rules of Court provides the conditions when circumstantial evidence may be sufficient for conviction. The provision reads: Sec. He had access to the room of MALOU as Room 307 where he slept the night over had a window which allowed ingress and egress to Room 306 where MALOU stayed. S/G Ferolin. the CA. Jr. 1991. In awarding damages in favor of the complainant despite the fact that the award was improper and unjustified absent any evidence to prove the same. 4. Positive identification pertains essentially to proof of identity and not per se to that of being an eyewitness to the very act of commission of the crime. when sufficient – Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if – Petitioner is now with this Court. . We quote with approval the CA’s finding of the circumstantial evidence that led to the identity of the petitioner as such intruder: Chito was in the Building when the attack on MALOU took place.14 Aggrieved.00 by way of Moral and exemplary damages. In not finding that the circumstances it relied on to convict the petitioner are unreliable. the prosecution may resort to adducing circumstantial evidence to discharge its burden. Albano. SO ORDERED. 13 In the absence of direct evidence. alias "Chito". There are two types of positive identification. to prove. but not necessarily because there is no direct evidence pointing to him as the intruder holding a chemical-soaked cloth who pinned Malou down on the bed in the early morning of December 13. 2. but his motion was denied by the CA in its equally assailed resolution of March 31. 1999. CR No. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of attempted rape as principal and as charged in the information and hereby sentences him to suffer an imprisonment ranging from FOUR (4) YEARS.34 WHEREFORE. but Joseph Bernard Africa as well confirmed that CHITO was wearing a black "Adidas" shorts and fraternity T-shirt when he arrived at the Building/Unit 307 at 1:30 in the morning of December 13. This constitutes direct evidence. hence. he should be acquitted on the ground that the offense charged against him has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. he may still be able to positively identify a suspect or accused as the perpetrator of a crime as when.11 Petitioner moved for reconsideration.000.. Though it was dark during their struggle. Not only the Building security guard. finding no basis in fact and in law to deviate from the findings of the court a quo. 6. which is that petitioner was the intruder in question. plus reasonable Attorney’s fees of P30. the basic issue in this case turns on the question on whether or not the CA erred in affirming the ruling of the RTC finding petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of attempted rape. inconclusive and contradictory. If direct evidence is insisted under all circumstances. with all the accessory penalties provided by law.

35 MALOU had made out the feel of her intruder’s apparel to be something made of cotton material on top and shorts that felt satin-smooth on the bottom. indicating the intention to commit a particular crime. will logically and necessarily ripen into a concrete offense. speaking thru Justice Claro M. Thus.. A different witness. meaning the nature of the act in relation to its objective is ambiguous. as where the purpose of the offender in performing an act is not certain. Thus. (2) When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious.net Overt or external act has been defined as some physical activity or deed. the pressing of a chemical-soaked cloth while on top of Malou. For what reason petitioner wanted the complainant unconscious. rape is committed by a man who has carnal knowledge or intercourse with a woman under any of the following circumstances: (1) By using force or intimidation. then what obtains is an attempt to commit an indeterminate offense. a practice disfavored under the rule on evidence in criminal cases. As it turned out. termination following its natural course. he would not have lain on top of the victim. mere speculations and probabilities cannot substitute for proof required to establish the guilt of an accused beyond reasonable doubt. that which is the beginning of the execution of the offense by overt acts of the perpetrator. Recto in People vs. he would not have lain on top of the complainant. the Court is not saying that petitioner is innocent. For. identified these garments as belonging to CHITO. Christian Alcala. penetration is an essential act of execution to produce the felony. and (3) When the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented. Harmonizing the above definition to the facts of this case.20 At bottom then. xxx xxx xxx Petitioner’s act of lying on top of the complainant." Absent the unavoidable connection. this time. and a white fraternity T-shirt.1avvphil. inserting his hand inside her panty and touching her sexual organ. The Solicitor General maintained that petitioner. a volatile poison which causes first degree burn exactly like what MALOU sustained on that part of her face where the chemical-soaked cloth had been pressed. if that was really his immediate intention. under the premises.23 the Court held: xxx. leading directly to its realization and consummation. concrete offense. more than a mere planning or preparation. her unconsciousness. by pressing on Malou’s face the piece of cloth soaked in chemical while holding her body tightly under the weight of his own. the appellate court indulges in plain speculation. will have to come later. It is argued that petitioner’s actuation thus described is an overt act contemplated under the law. were discovered the most incriminating evidence: the handkerchief stained with blue and wet with some kind of chemicals. constitutes an overt act of rape.16 Expounding on the nature of an attempted felony. both of the attacker and his victim. The next question that thus comes to the fore is whether or not the act of the petitioner. Where the intended victim is an educated woman already mature in age. also stained with blue.e. it would be stretching to the extreme our credulity if we were to conclude that mere holding of the feet is attempted rape. As it were. echoing what the CA said. embracing and kissing her. The information filed against petitioner contained an allegation that he forcefully . Plodding on. It cannot be overemphasized that petitioner was fully clothed and that there was no attempt on his part to undress Malou. mashing her breasts. The CA maintained that if the petitioner had no intention to rape.18 There is absolutely no dispute about the absence of sexual intercourse or carnal knowledge in the present case. without being frustrated by external obstacles nor by the voluntary desistance of the perpetrator. which if carried out to its complete The shedding of the clothes.15 Under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. let alone touch her private part. it is very unlikely that a rapist would be in his naked glory before even starting his attack on her. the accused must have commenced the act of penetrating his sexual organ to the vagina of the victim but for some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance. is not completed. it would be too strained to construe petitioner's act of pressing a chemical-soaked cloth in the mouth of Malou which would induce her to sleep as an overt act that will logically and necessarily ripen into rape. Lamahang. rape is attempted when the offender commences the commission of rape directly by overt acts and does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the crime of rape by reason of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance.22 the Court acquitted therein petitioner of the crime of attempted rape. Lest it be misunderstood. the Court. Under Article 6. Likewise in People vs. He has to make her lose her guard first.19 From CHITO’s bag which was found inside Room 310 at the very spot where witness Renato Alagadan saw CHITO leave it. His sexual organ is not yet exposed because his intended victim is still struggling. i. slight. The Solicitor General. the penetration. like the logical and natural relation of the cause and its effect. laboratory examination on these items and on the beddings and clothes worn by MALOU during the incident revealed that the handkerchief and MALOU’s night dress both contained chloroform. or as in this case. Court of Appeals. pointing out that: xxx. appellant was merely holding complainant’s feet when his Tito Onio arrived at the alleged locus criminis. Wrote the CA: This brings the Court to the issue on whether the evidence adduced by the prosecution has established beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the petitioner for the crime of attempted rape. the appellate court even anticipated the next step that the petitioner would have taken if the victim had been rendered unconscious. petitioner did not commence at all the performance of any act indicative of an intent or attempt to rape Malou. for there to be an attempted rape. had commenced the performance of an act indicative of an intent or attempt to rape the victim. in relation to the aforementioned article of the same code. In the crime of rape. is anybody’s guess. a black "Adidas" satin short pants. while admittedly obscene and detestable acts. adds that if petitioner’s intention was otherwise. Pancho. do not constitute attempted rape absent any showing that petitioner actually commenced to force his penis into the complainant’s sexual organ. which is not a juridical fact from the standpoint of the Penal Code. however. xxx. for there can not be any other logical conclusion other than that the petitioner intended to ravish Malou after he attempted to put her to an induced sleep. of any wrongdoing whatsoever.21 In Perez vs.17 stated that "the attempt which the Penal Code punishes is that which has a logical connection to a particular.

R. And during the trial.24 it cannot be said that petitioner was kept in the dark of the inculpatory acts for which he was proceeded against. the information against petitioner contains sufficient details to enable him to make his defense. The penalty for coercion falling under the second paragraph of Article 287 of the Revised Penal Code is arresto menor or a fine ranging from P5. SO ORDERED.00 to P200. if not distressed by the acts of petitioner.00. Verily. as earlier discussed. would unjustly annoy or irritate an innocent person. although not productive of some physical or material harm. distress or disturbance to the mind of the person to whom it is directed. Malou testified about the pressing against her face of the chemical-soaked cloth and having struggled after petitioner held her tightly and pinned her down. No. with the accessory penalties thereof and to pay the costs. torment. WHEREFORE. April 2.36 covered the face of Malou with a piece of cloth soaked in chemical. 2003] . 149028-30. restraint or compulsion in an information for unjust vexation. Aquino. of the charge for attempted rape. there is no need to allege malice. while the series of acts committed by the petitioner do not determine attempted rape. In the context of the constitutional provision assuring an accused of a crime the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation. is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and a new one entered ACQUITTING petitioner Renato D. EN BANC [G. To be sure. 26 That Malou. is adjudged GUILTY of light coercion and is accordingly sentenced to 30 days of arresto menor and to pay a fine of P200. As aptly observed by then Justice Ramon C.25 The paramount question is whether the offender’s act causes annoyance. they constitute unjust vexation punishable as light coercion under the second paragraph of Article 287 of the Revised Penal Code. the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals affirming that of the Regional Trial Court of Manila.00 or both. however. Petitioner. unjust vexation exists even without the element of restraint or compulsion for the reason that this term is broad enough to include any human conduct which. after the incident in question. cried while relating to her classmates what she perceived to be a sexual attack and the fact that she filed a case for attempted rape proved beyond cavil that she was disturbed. As it were. Baleros. Jr. irritation.

Beside the compound was the house of Leonilo Broce. Villarante performed an autopsy on the cadaver of Leonilo. Myrna then left the window to pacify her crying baby. of said date. JR. Living in the same compound were Ricardo Caballero and his family. the sister of Eugene Tayactac.M. vs. Jr. Filped A. In the afternoon of August 3. Wounded. however. He was. were having a drinking spree in the house of their brother Ricardo in the Mondragon Compound. who was standing by the window of their house saw her brother Eugene going out of the store and proceeding to the house of Susana. San Carlos City.: Before the Court on automatic review is the Decision[1] of the Regional Trial Court of San Carlos City. joined him. 1994 @ 8:30 P. lacerating (L) auricle of the heart. Negros Occidental. or by three instruments. MARCIANO CABALLERO. Spontaneously. Forthwith. From the nearby house of Susana. help me because I am hit. Robito. RICARDO CABALLERO. Branch 57. J.[3] Dr. In the process. long directed anteriorly. Occ. male. and MARCIANO CABALLERO. His brothers Ricardo. Jr. who witnessed the whole incident. and Armando ganged up on Arnold. 22 years old. Robito (Bebot) and Marciano.Ricardo and Robito were armed with knives. Myrna Bawin. SR. will you buy?). all surnamed Caballero. Eugene replied: What is this all about? We dont have any quarrel between us. Leonilo and Arnold to the Planters Hospital for medical treatment. convicting appellants Armando Caballero. The Antecedents For his part. Arnold saw the commotion and rushed to the scene to pacify the protagonists.. Eugene and Leonilo eventually died from the stab wounds they sustained. and Myrna Bawin. 1994. Two of them stabbed Arnold on his forearm. Eugene had dinner in the store while Arnold proceeded to the house of Susana Broce. As Eugene was being assaulted. Wilma. She shouted for help for her hapless brother. ARMANDO CABALLERO. At about 7:00 p. Arnold fled for his life and hid under the house of a neighbor. Eugene Tayactac and Arnold Barcuma arrived in the sari-sari store of Wilma Broce which was across the Mondragon Compound. They all returned to the compound. In the meantime. San Carlos City. Place of Examination: San Carlos City Hospital Date & Time of Incident: August 3.. (Jun). to no avail. of murder in Criminal Cases Nos. Ricardo accosted Arnold and stabbed the latter on the left side of his body. When Wilma told Eugene that she was closing the store already. 5th ICS MCL directed postero laterally. Occ. and Robito joined Armando and assaulted Eugene.m. Leonilo rushed from his house to where the commotion was. and her family. and the (L) pulmonary artery and the left middle lobe of the lungs. met by Robito who stabbed him on the chest. Marciano. Neg. Myrna returned to the window of her house and saw the Caballero brothers assaulting Eugene. Neg. The latter tried to parry the blows of the Caballero brothers. Eugene was stabbed three times. Date & Time Examined: August 3. Armando (Baby). what is the trouble between you and Eugene? However. Maisog performed an autopsy on the cadaver of Eugene. = Stab wound (R) anterior chest 2 cm. RTC-1219 and imposing on them the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Dr. Armando took the wooden pole supporting the clothesline and hit Eugene with it. the uncle of Leonilo brought the injured Eugene. Ricardo. Teresito (Dodong) Mondragon and his family lived in a compound surrounded by a barbed-wire fence at New Sumakwel. Place of Incident: New Sumakwel.. RICARDO CABALLERO. a nephew of Wilma Broce. JR. was shocked to immobility at the sudden turn of events. Jr. Marciano. DECISION CALLEJO. He signed a postmortem report containing the following findings: POST-MORTEM EXAMINATION Name: Eugenio Tayactac. Momentarily. Susanas house was about 15 meters away from the store of Wilma. 1994 @ 10:40 P. and of frustrated murder in Criminal Case No. Jr. CAUSE OF DEATH: Severe Hemorrhage secondary to Multiple Stab wounds with Massive Hemothorax (L) and Hemopneumothorax (R). = Stab wound (R) posterior chest level 7th ICS 2 cm. accused. Eugene resisted. Armando suddenly grabbed Eugene towards the compound. male. Robito and Marciano. Broce Street. At that time.M. She called out to him and advised him to go home. ARMANDO CABALLERO. for a chat. Post-Mortem Findings: = Stab wound (L) anterior chest 2 cm.[2] He testified that the stab wounds could have been caused by a sharp-edged single-bladed or double-bladed instrument. appellee. Armando left the store but stood by the gate of the barbed-wired fence of the Mondragon Compound. Jose Carlos L. The commotion stopped only upon the arrival of Teresito Mondragon who was able to pacify the Caballero brothers. Ricardo Caballero and Marciano Caballero. Negros Occidental. Arnold told the Caballero brothers: Bay. Eugenes girlfriend. Leonilo retreated and pleaded to his uncle Lucio Broce for help: Tio. Lucio Broce. San Carlos City. appellants. single Address: New Sumakwel. Jr. RTC-1217 and RTC-1218 and meting on each of them the supreme penalty of death and ordering them to pay damages. he stood up and left the store on his way to Susanas house. He signed a postmortem report containing the following findings: POST-MORTEM EXAMINATION Name: Leonilo Broce. long 5th ICS parasternal line directed posteriorly. and ROBITO CABALLERO. 22 years old. Armando arrived in the store and asked Eugene in an angry tone: Gene mopalit ka? (Gene.37 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. married . As Eugene walked by the gate of the Mondragon Compound.

and with intent to kill.. wilfully. by striking the latter with use of pieces of wood and stabbing him thereby inflicting upon said Eugene Tayactac physical injuries which resulted to the death of the latter. at 8:00 a. then and there. attack. 1994. San Carlos City. They pleaded not guilty to all the charges. the above-named accused. Docketed as Criminal Case No. = Stabbed wound (R) chest penetrating thoracic cavity. Marciano. were charged with Murder for the death of Leonilo Broce.C. San Carlos City. 3. post. Negros Occidental. conspiring together and helping one another. wilfully. the above-named accused. by striking the latter with the use of pieces of wood and stabbing him. anterior axillary line at the level of the 7th intercostal space.38 Address: New Sumakwel.M. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Philippines. Robito Caballero remained at-large. Armando was a motor cab driver. P. Neg. assault and use personal violence upon the person of one ARNOLD BARCUMA. Armando and Marciano. Neg. unlawfully and feloniously attack. San Carlos City. about the level of the 6th and 7th RICS. then and there. Rigor Street. RTC-1219. Philippines. On August 5. and Robito. Jr. by striking him with the use of pieces of wood and stabbing him. assault and use personal violence upon the person of one LEONILO BROCE. He signed a medical certificate stating that Arnold sustained the following injuries: = Lacerated wound 2 cm. but nevertheless did not produce it. 1994 at New Sumakwel. [5] On the witness stand. as a consequence. Date & Time Examined: Aug. were it not for the timely medical intervention. was a resident of Don Juan Subdivision. Place of Incident: New Sumakwel. the timely medical assistance rendered to said Arnold Barcuma. did. Ricardo. (R) post chest. assault and use personal violence upon the person of one EUGENE TAYACTAC. axillary line. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. 1994 @ 8:30 P. August 3. then and there.. invoked the defenses of denial and alibi. thereby inflicting upon said Leonilo Broce physical injury described as follows: Another Information was filed against the Caballero brothers for frustrated murder for the injuries of Arnold Barcuma.. Robito resided in H. Armando went to the house of his brother Ricardo to help in the construction of the latters house and to take care of . conspiring together and helping one another. with intent to kill. it reads: That on or about 8:00 oclock.. by reason of causes independent of the will of the accused that is.[9] Ricardo. with treachery and evident premeditation.M. RTC 1217 reads: That on or about 8:00 oclock. were arraigned on September 15. Occ. 1994 at New Sumakwel. CONTRARY TO LAW. P. Armando. They adduced evidence that Ricardo was employed as electrician in the Office of the City Engineer of San Carlos City.. On August 3. wilfully. with the use of said weapons. 1994 @ 8:45 P.[4] Dr. assisted by counsel. did. Quisumbing attended to and operated on Arnold Barcuma. and with intent to kill. with treachery and evident premeditation. 1994 at New Sumakwel.m. Dr. thus performing all the acts of execution. did. August 3. with the use of said weapons. Occ. armed with pieces of wood and hunting knives. That an aggravating circumstances of abuse of superior strength is attendant in the commission of the offense. armed with pieces of wood and hunting knives. the above-named accused. Jr. Quisumbing testified that the wounds sustained by Arnold could have been caused by three different sharp-pointed instruments. Robito left San Carlos City and went to Bacolod City. The Information.[8] rd = Incised wound 2 inches (L) forearm middle 3rd = Stabbed wound. with treachery and evident premeditation. 2 inches in length (L) chest. docketed as Criminal Case No. Ricardo. and which injury caused massive hemorrhage which resulted to the death of Leonilo Broce.. Philippines. . 1994..M.M. 1994. August 3. attack. That an aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength is attendant in the commission of the offense. Negros Occidental. armed with pieces of wood and hunting knives. P. which reads: That on or about 8:00 oclock. which would have produced the crime of Murder. 3. Armando and Marciano. unlawfully and feloniously.M. unlawfully and feloniously. Jr.[6] He further testified that Arnold would have died because of the stab wound on his chest. Edgardo B. RTC-1218. conspiring together and helping one another. Negros Occidental. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. (R) forearm middle 3 They were also charged with the same crime for the death of Eugene Tayactac in an Information docketed as Criminal Case No. CAUSE OF DEATH: Hypovolemic shock secondary to multiple organ injury. penetrating thoracic cavity and abdominal cavity. Post-mortem findings: = Stab wound. CONTRARY TO LAW. San Carlos City. San Carlos City. San Carlos City and was employed with the Victorias Milling Corporation. San Carlos City while Marciano.[7] Place of Examination: San Carlos City Hospital Date & Time of Incident: Aug. thereby inflicting upon the latter physical injuries which would have resulted to the death of said Arnold Barcuma. Jr. That an aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength is attendant in the commission of the offense.

2001 finding all the three accused. RTC-1219. of days of healing: 5-7 days barring complication. Jr. to seventeen (17) years. their sister Mila and their younger brother Marciano. The appellants aver that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt their respective guilt for the deaths of Eugene and Leonilo and for the injuries sustained by Arnold. the trial court rendered judgment on May 7. Conspiracy may be proved through the collective acts of the accused. it concluded that all of them were equally liable for the deaths of Leonilo and Eugene and for the injuries of Arnold.They assert that the trial court committed reversible error in rejecting their defenses of denial and alibi. Jr. 2.[19] Mere knowledge. indicating closeness of personal association. While the trial court stated that it was only appellant Armando who stabbed II THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN APPRECIATING THE AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES OF TREACHERY AND ABUSE OF SUPERIOR STRENGTH ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT INDEED ACCUSED-APPELLANTS KILLED THE VICTIMS. They claim that at the time of the incident they were in the San Carlos Hospital for the treatment of the injuries of appellant Marciano. the maximum penalty of death and to pay the heirs of Leonilo Broce the sum of P75. [15] The overt act or acts of the accused may consist of active participation in the actual commission of the crime itself or may consist of moral assistance to his co-conspirators by moving them to execute or implement the criminal plan. hence. RTC-1217 for the murder of Leonilo Broce. that is. there being no mitigating circumstance present. Marciano.00 as indemnity. they are criminally liable for the death of Eugene and for the injuries sustained by Arnold.[14] However.00 as indemnity. Conspiracy may be proved by circumstantial evidence. The appellants are partly correct. having been found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the offenses charged them as principals.39 Ricardos fighting cocks while he was in his office. by proof beyond reasonable doubt. there being no mitigating circumstance present. and only the accused Robito who stabbed Leonilo. an imprisonment of twelve (12) years. with no award as to damages. SO ORDERED. alias Ricky and Marciano Caballero. the accused. Ricardo Caballero. Jr. In Criminal Case No.[10] Ricardo. now appellants guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principals of the crimes charged. Ricardo and Armando brought their brother Marciano. No. Conspiracy is always predominantly mental in composition because it consists primarily of a meeting of minds and intent. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT ACQUITTING ACCUSED-APPELLANTS IN CRIMINAL CASES NOS. Jr. [12] The Court will delve into and resolve the first two assignments of errors. Arnold and Myrna would implicate them for the deaths of Leonilo and Eugene and for the injuries of Arnold. as minimum.000. [18] Criminal conspiracy must always be founded on facts. acquiescence to or approval of the act without cooperation or . the maximum penalty of death. alias Baby. and had dinner with his family and Armando. and 4. In their Brief. one performing one part and another performing another for the attainment of the same objective.[16] Direct proof of a person in agreement to commit a crime is not necessary. the act of one is the act of all. to the hospital for treatment. Jr. all the conspirators are criminally liable as co-principals regardless of the degree of participation of each of them for in contemplation of the law. are hereby sentenced to suffer: 1. all the malefactors had the same purpose and were united in their execution. no evidence having been introduced to establish.m. Ricardo arrived home at 8:00 p. Armando and Marciano. = Contusion (R) lower lip lateral side. On August 4. alias Jun. denied killing Eugene and assaulting Arnold. Article 8 of the Revised Penal Code provides that there is conspiracy when two or more persons agree to commit a felony and decide to commit it. not on mere inferences. Jr. In Criminal Case No. Marciano.[13] Conspiracy must be proved with the same quantum of evidence as the crime itself. Jr. the same. concerted action and concurrence of sentiments. The trial court correctly found that all the appellants conspired to kill Eugene and assault Arnold. however. for Frustrated Murder. To pay the costs in all three (3) cases. direct proof is not required. 1217-1219 DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEIR GUILT WAS NOT PROVEN BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. for having seriously inflicted injuries upon the person of Arnold Barcuma which nearly resulted to his death. After due proceedings. during and after the commission of a felony. and to pay the heirs of Eugene Tayactac the sum of P75. allegedly was mauled by a group of men and sustained an abrasion. all the accused aiming at the same object. = Linear abrasion (L) scapula region. They also denied having any altercation with the victims. RTC-1218. four (4) months and one (1) day. and 3. III THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN IMPOSING THE DEATH PENALTY UPON ACCUSEDAPPELLANTS ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT INDEED THEY KILLED THE VICTIMS. 1994. was treated for: Eugene. In Criminal Case No.[17] Once established. their acts though apparently independent were in fact concerted and cooperative. They had no idea why Wilma. for the murder of Eugene or Eugenio Tayactac. with the attendant aggravating circumstances of treachery and abuse of superior strength. They also denied stabbing Leonilo. It is enough that at the time of the commission of a crime. the decretal portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. there being no mitigating circumstance present.000. before. conjectures and presumptions. now appellants assail the decision of the trial court contending that: I = Swelling left face.[11] In convicting the accused. with the attendant aggravating circumstances of treachery and abuse of superior strength. a contusion and swelling of the left side of his face.. Momentarily. arrived in the house of Ricardo. accused Armando Caballero. the trial court found that all of them conspired to kill Eugene and Leonilo and cause injuries to Arnold.

help me because I am hit. The evidence only shows conspiracy to kill Ireneo Gallarte and no one else. When Eugene passed by the gate to the compound. Jr. As this Court held in People v. The latter was not even going to the aid of his father Rafael but was fleeing away when shot. INTERPRETERS (observation) Witness demonstrating by holding her left armpit. Eugene was stabbed three times on his chest even as he tried to parry the thrusts. Q Do you know where Eugene Tayaktak now? A Already dead. one is not criminally liable for his act done outside the contemplation of the conspirators. Q Now what happened to Eugene Tayaktak? A He appeared very weak and he was staggering. stopped by accused Robito who suddenly stabbed him on the chest. what happened next? A Leonilo Broce came out of his house. In People v. The other appellants and accused Robito joined appellant Ricardo and ganged up on Arnold. the father-in-law of appellant Ricardo intervened and forthwith. appellant Ricardo stabbed him on the left side of his body. only Serapio killed (sic) Casiano Cabizares. he proceeded to approach them but he was not able to approach them because he was met by Robit Bebot Caballero and stabbed by Robito Caballero. the very house where Eugene Tayaktak leaned on when he was ganged up by the four? A Yes. only the actual perpetrators are liable. Co-conspirators are criminally liable only for acts done pursuant to the conspiring on how and what are the necessary and logic consequence of the intended crime. And the rule has always been that co-conspirators are liable only for acts done pursuant to the conspiracy. appellant Armando stationed himself by the gate of the Mondragon Compound near the sari-sari store of Wilma. However.There was no evidence presented by the prosecution to prove that all the appellants assisted the accused Robito in killing Leonilo. The act of one is the act of the others. Q Where is the house of Leonilo Broce? A Still located at Sumakwel. Here. Q What happened after that? A When he came out from the house and saw that it was Eugene Tayaktak. Q Now. and cause injuries to Arnold for trying to intervene and prevent bloodshed. appellant Armando pulled Eugene to the gate but when the latter resisted. when did the trouble stop if it stopped? A It stopped when Dodong Mondragon arrived. The appellants did not actually see Leonilo rushing out from his house to the situs criminis. Q In that case. Appellant Armando took the wooden support of the clothesline and hit Eugene with it. Teresito Mondragon. It does not matter who among the appellants stabbed Eugene or inflicted injuries on Arnold. Flora:[23] However. For acts done outside the contemplation of the conspirators only the actual perpetrators are liable. Q Was LeoniloBroce (sic) hit when he was stabbed by Robito Caballero? A Yes. [20] Moreover.. appellant Armando at the gate. Appellants Ricardo. They stabbed Arnold anew twice on his forearm. all the appellants are criminally liable for the death of Eugene and for the injuries of Arnold. He has no liability for the death of Emerita Roma nor the injuries of Flor Espinas caused by his co-accused Hermogenes Flora. all the appellants ganged up on Eugene.[21] In this case. to kill Eugene. the trial court committed reversible error in convicting the appellants of murder for the death of Leonilo.[22] In sum. is not enough to constitute one party to a conspiracy absent the intentional participation in the act with a view to the furtherance of the common objective and purpose. with the intention of aiding the victim or pacifying the protagonists. The prosecution failed to adduce evidence that the appellants and the accused Robito conspired to kill Leonilo. Crimes Committed by Appellants . He immediately ran back and said: Tio. when appellant Armando asked Eugene at the store of Wilma whether the latter was going to buy something from the store. all the appellants. Q What happened next? A Nothing happened. including accused Robito returned to the Mondragon Compound. Appellant Ricardo and accused Robito were armed with knives. all the appellants by their simultaneous collective acts before and after the commission of the crimes were united in one common objective. we cannot find Edwin Flora similarly responsible for the death of Emerita Roma and the injury of Flor Espinas. where is he now? A The two of them were (sic) already dead. and Robito joined their brother. we held: . He was. for the death of Leonilo. 21 SCRA 569. To conclude. the Court believes that the appellants are not criminally liable. Patently. appellant Edwin Flora is guilty beyond reasonable doubt only of the murder of Ireneo Gallarte. They had no foreknowledge that the accused Robito would stab Leonilo. Marciano. For other acts done outside the contemplation of the co-conspirators or which are not the necessary and logical consequence of the intended crime. Wilma Broce testified that only the accused Robito stabbed Leonilo: Q After that. De la Cerna. It must be recalled that Leonilo rushed out of his house when he saw the commotion. When Arnold rushed to the situs criminis to pacify the appellants and accused Robito. Eugene was peeved and remonstrated that he and Armando had no quarrel between them. 570 (1967). Hence. Appellant Armando was likewise irked at the reaction of Eugene because from the store. however.Leonilo retreated and asked for help. Q What did the accused do after the trouble was stopped? A They went inside the compound of his (sic) father. Q What happened to Leonilo Broce.40 agreement to cooperate. Both of them were brought to the hospital.. Q Was Eugene Tayaktak able to escape from the attach (sic) of the Caballero brothers? A Not (sic).

a crime is frustrated when the offender has performed all the acts of execution which should result in the consummation of the crime. appellant Armando was armed with a wooden pole while appellant Ricardo and accused Robito were armed with knives. [25] In this case. speaking for the Court. The offender has passed the subjective phase in the commission of the crime. The subjective phase in the commission of a crime is that portion of the acts constituting the crime included between the act which begins the commission of the crime and the last act performed by the offender which. The offender does not arrive at the point of performing all of the acts of execution which should produce the crime. distinguished an attempted from frustrated felony. In Criminal Case No. The attack on the hapless Eugene was swift and unannounced. Dr. The essence of treachery is a swift and unexpected attack on the unarmed victim.. 1996. But the felony is not produced. penetrating the chest near the thorax along the lateral line. the appellants are guilty as co-principals by direct participation of murder.[24] If one inflicts physical injuries on another but the latter survives. the appellants are guilty of frustrated murder under Article 248 in relation to Article 6.. RTC-1218 and RTC-1219 cannot prevail over Wilmas and Arnolds positive and straightforward testimonies that the appellants killed Eugene and stabbed Arnold. (1) the employment of means of execution that give the person attacked no opportunity to defend himself or to retaliate. aside from the 3rd wound there are wounds which are not really very serious? A As I said before. the prosecution is burdened to prove that: passing through the subjective phase. Appellant Ricardo and accused Robito used knives.[30] Equally barren of merit is appellants defense of alibi. (c) the nature and number of wounds inflicted on the victim. the crime committed is either consummated physical injuries. they were in a place other than the situs of the crimes such that it was physically impossible for them to have committed said crimes. 4. the appellants were burdened to prove with clear and convincing evidence that at the time the crimes were committed.[26] In the leading case of United States v. The appellants performed all the acts of execution but the crime was not consummated because of the timely medical intervention. Intent to kill may be proved by evidence of: (a) motive. Even a frontal attack is treacherous if it is sudden and the victim is unarmed. and it is frustrated when the offender performs all the acts of execution which would produce the felony as a consequence but which. On the other hand. the records show that Marciano. which was conveniently near the place where Eugene was killed and Arnold was assaulted. and (2) the means of execution was deliberately or consciously adopted. The essential elements of a frustrated felony are as follows: In this case. the appellants killed Eugene with treachery. first paragraph of the Revised Penal Code which reads: A felony is consummated when all the elements necessary for its execution and accomplishment are present. a day after the incident. A The first wound is 2 cm. Q So. Alibi as a defense is inherently weak for it is easy to fabricate and difficult to disprove. He did all that is necessary to consummate the crime. This belies the claim of appellants Ricardo and Armando that they were allegedly in the hospital at the time of the incident. 2. All the acts performed would produce the felony as a consequence. the crime is complete. Nothing interrupted the offender while A Yes. [31] The appellants dismally failed in this respect. the most serious is the 3rd wound. (b) the nature or number of weapons used in the commission of the crime. He said that to be an attempted crime the purpose of the offender must be thwarted by a foreign force or agency which intervenes and compels him to stop prior to the moment when he has performed all the acts which should produce the crime as a consequence. Wilma and Arnold had no motive to falsely implicate the appellants for the said crimes. and (e) words uttered by the offender at the time the injuries are inflicted by him on the victim. Subjectively. the appellants are guilty of frustrated murder. He had no inkling that he would be waylaid as he sauntered on his way to his girlfriend Susanas house. do not produce it by reason of causes independent of the will of the perpetrator. testified that the stab wound sustained by Arnold on the left side of his body was mortal and could have caused his death were it not for the timely and effective medical intervention: Q And how about the size and the depth of the wounds and how big is each wound and how deep. The offender performs all the acts of execution. appellant Armando was armed with a wooden pole. . and the 2nd is about 2 inches and the 3rd is 2 inches in the left. hence. To merit approbation. However.[29] It cannot be denied that the appellants had the intention to kill Arnold. should result in the consummated crime. Q So even without the other wounds the 3rd wound . Eduave. They testified that they were at the house of appellant Ricardo. Thereafter. who attended to and operated on Arnold. RTC-1218. He is stopped short of that point by some cause apart from his voluntary desistance. the phase is objective. He had no means and there was no time for him to defend himself. Moreover. the offender is said to have performed all the acts of execution if the wound inflicted on the victim is mortal and could cause the death of the victim barring medical intervention or attendance. qualified by treachery. In sum. The appellants denial of the crimes charged in Criminal Case Nos. [28] . which act it is his intention to perform. Jr. the crime is not consummated by reason of the intervention of causes independent of the will of the offender. Undeniably. nevertheless. By reason of causes independent of the will of the perpetrator. Eugene was unarmed. Sir.[27] Justice Moreland. (d) the manner the crime was committed. Quisumbing. In order that treachery may be considered as a qualifying circumstance. Moreover.41 In Criminal Case No. On the other hand. 3. their testimony must be accorded full probative weight.it could be the cause of the death of the victim? Elements: 1. In homicide cases. RTC-1219. Treachery attended the stabbing of Arnold because he was unarmed and the attack on him was swift and sudden. was treated for his superficial injuries on August 4. In case of an attempted crime.. the offender never passes the subjective phase in the commission of the crime.. with prior acts. if the offender had no intention to kill the victim or frustrated or attempted homicide or frustrated murder or attempted murder if the offender intends to kill the victim.

the amounts of P50.000 as moral damages. for frustrated murder. hence. as well entitled to actual damages. nevertheless.[32] The penalty for murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. In Criminal Case No. no other modifying circumstance was attendant in the commission of the crime. RTC-1219. the appellants should be meted an indeterminate penalty of from nine (9) years and four (4) months of prision mayor in its medium period as minimum to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months of reclusion temporal in its medium period. 2. first paragraph of the Revised Penal Code and are hereby sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of from nine (9) years and four (4) months of prision mayor in its medium period.000 as moral damages. RTC-1218 to pay in solidum the heirs of the victim Eugene Tayactac. the Court.000 by way of indemnity. The trial court did not award moral damages to said heirs.000 as moral damages and P10. the penalty for the crime taking into account any modifying circumstances in the commission of the crime. The appellants are hereby ordered to pay in solidum to the victim Arnold Barcuma the amount of P25. Since the penalty imposed on the appellants is reclusion perpetua. Costs de oficio. the proper penalty for the crime is reclusion perpetua conformably with Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code. The penalty for frustrated murder is one degree lower than reclusion perpetua to death. This is erroneous. as amended by Republic Act 7659. the appellants are found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of frustrated murder under Article 248 in relation to Article 6.000. and are sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and ordered to pay in solidum the heirs of the victim Eugene Tayactac. The Court agrees with the Solicitor General. [36] Having suffered injuries and undergone medical treatment he is. the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of San Carlos City (Negros Occidental). the amount of P75. the appellants are found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code.000 as temperate or moderate damages. Abuse of superior strength. in Criminal Cases Nos. which in the absence of evidence would. RTC-1219. The minimum of the indeterminate penalty shall be taken from the full range of prision mayor which is one degree lower than reclusion temporal. 4 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal as maximum.000 as civil indemnity and P50. as minimum.000. RTC-1218 on its finding that treachery and abuse of superior strength were attendant in the killing of Eugene. The Court disagrees with the trial court. which is reclusion temporal. 3. herein fixed at P10. should not be considered as a separate aggravating circumstance in the imposition of the penalty on the appellants. qualified by treachery. [35] He is entitled to moral damages in the amount of P25. In Criminal Case No. The Verdict of the Court THIRD DIVISION . In Criminal Case No. In Criminal Case No. imposed on the appellants is not correct. finding the appellants not guilty of the crime charged for failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The victim Arnold Barcuma himself testified on his injuries. as maximum. Since there is no modifying circumstance in the commission of frustrated murder.[34] In Criminal Case No.000. RTC-1217 up to RTC-1219 is AFFIRMED with the following MODIFICATIONS: 1. The Court agrees with the Solicitor General. the trial court did not award moral damages to the victim Arnold Barcuma on its finding that the prosecution failed to adduce any evidence to prove said damages. RTC-1219. IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING. RTC-1218. to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months ofreclusion temporal in its medium period. Since aside from the qualified circumstance of treachery. as maximum. The heirs of the victim should also be awarded the amount of P50. entitle him to an award of temperate or moderate damages. The maximum of the indeterminate penalty should be taken from reclusion temporal. RTC-1217. The Solicitor General does not agree with the trial court and contends that abuse of superior strength was absorbed by treachery.[33] The latter penalty has a range of 12 years and 1 day to 20 years. Civil Liabilities of Appellants The trial court ordered the appellants in Criminal Case No. concurring with treachery is absorbed by treachery. the civil indemnity should be only P50. SO ORDERED.42 Penalties Imposable on Appellants The trial court imposed the death penalty on appellants in Criminal Case No. to 17 years. Branch 57. is reclusion perpetua to death. REVERSES the judgment of the trial court and ACQUITS them of the said charge. the Solicitor General contends that the indeterminate penalty of from 12 years of reclusion temporal as minimum.

two of the men. the felony was not consummated by reason of causes independent of the will of the accused. 1987. The second was a depressed fracture. Sumabongs instruction. about 6 centimeters wide. CONTRARY TO LAW. herein petitioner. vs. i. When Sgt. He did not see if he hit any of them. to indemnify the sum of P3. pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. petitioner. 2005] PETER ANDRADA. and feloniously attack. identifying himself as a PC non-commissioned officer. Sgt. a neuro-surgery consultant. premises considered. The arresting officers then brought petitioner back to the restaurant where they recovered the bolo used in hacking the victim. with evident premeditation and with treachery. Ugerio. the Office of the City Prosecutor of Baguio City charged petitioner with frustrated murder committed as follows: That on or about the 24th day of September 1986. thus: WHEREFORE. and to pay the costs. But neither was present. unlawfully. 2) depressed comminuted skull fracture. assault and hack one ARSENIO UGERIO on the head twice with a bolo thereby inflicting upon latter: hacking wound. the Court finds the accused PETER ANDRADA guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of frustrated murder. the chopping off of a part of the victims skull. Francisco Fernandez. While Sgt. Sgt. J. thus performing all the acts of execution which would produce the crime of Murder as a consequence thereof. Fearful that he might be killed. craniectomy. the Court of Appeals affirmed with modification the trial courts Decision. 1998. he has remained incapable to remember or recall visual stimuli or information. Louis University Hospital. Sgt. petitioner. The first was a scalping avulsion. Without any warning or provocation. While they were waiting to be served. Ugerio and Sgt.[4] On appeal. found on the right parieto occipital area of the skull. 1987. Then he ran to his house in Camdas Subdivision. Ugerio was talking to her. Bokawkan Street. a woman passed by their table. Petitioner was hacking him on the head with a bolo. Arsenio Ugerio. The Court hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of 8 years and 20 days as MINIMUM to 14 years. On their way back to the camp at around 1:15 in the morning. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. according to Alcate. operation done. respondent. He checked to see if his mother or grandmother was at home so either of them could assist him in surrendering to the police. being fatal. the trial court rendered its Decision. Petitioner heeded Sgt. 1997 in CA-G. dural repair. After three (3) days. the suspicious persons have left. In an Information dated January 7. while Sgt. arriving there past midnight. assailing the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals dated September 18.00. later identified as Peter Andrada. head. found that the victim suffered two (2) major injuries. Because of the injuries he sustained. Sumabing followed. While Cpl. Witnesses to the incident were interviewed by the police and they pointed to petitioner as the culprit. The hearing of the case ensued. but nevertheless. followed by a companion. On his way to surrender to the police. They then proceeded to the police sub-station at Magsaysay Avenue where he surrendered. he learned that petitioner was arrested in a waiting shed at the corner of Camdas Road and Magsaysay Avenue. resulting in 1) skull and scalp avulsion vertex. that is. would have caused the death of the victim had it not been for a timely medical treatment. CR No. Sumabong turned around. for a snack. Sumabong chased them but to no avail. at around 11:30 in the evening. Sumabong. Ugerio sprawled on the floor. Luna Hospital in Quezon City. when three military men occupied the table next to them.. Baguio City. No. SO ORDERED. Dr. Baguio City.[3] When arraigned on February 9. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court.e.000. seated about a meter away. 10 months and 20 days as MAXIMUM. wrapped in a newspaper.R. Benguet when one Rommel Alcate called up requesting police assistance. Sgt. approached him. Ugerio. They had pistols tucked in their waists. Sumabong reported the incident to the police station at Camdas Road and thereafter proceeded to the hospital. advised petitioner to pay his bill and go home as he was apparently drunk. His version is that he and one Romy Ramos were drinking beer with a hospitality girl named Liza inside Morlows Restaurant. the group dropped by Morlows Restaurant. with the assistance of counsel de parte. of the defunct Philippine Constabulary (PC). petitioner pulled out his bolo. However. Ugerio then collared him and dragged him outside the restaurant. 15851 and its Resolution[2] dated August 13. he saw Cpl. the victim. he heard Cpl. Sumabong. Teodolfo Sumabong. Gaces and Cpl. Evidence for the prosecution shows that on September 23. approached the former and scolded him. around 5 centimeters wide. Upon Sgt.: Before us is a petition for review on certiorari filed by Peter Andrada. right parieto occipital with significant brain laceration. Sumabong approached them but petitioner ran away. Petitioner interposed self-defense and invoked the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. Sumabongs advice for he paid his bill and left the restaurant with his companions. the dispositive portion of which is quoted below. by the timely medical attendance extended to Arsenio Ugerio which prevented his death. vertex debridement. debridement. Cpl. DECISION SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ.R. from his waist and swung it at the two military men. was resting in the PC barracks at Camp Dado Dangwa. the above-named accused with intent to kill. After hearing. a man. he met his mother accompanied by a policeman. When he returned to the police station. Sgt. They cursed him and threatened to summarily execute him because he was so boastful. whom he identified as Cpl.43 [G. 1986. right parieto occipital. the victim was transferred to the V. went to Alcetes boarding house. to the St. craniectomy. slapped his face several times and pointed their guns to his head. T/Sgt. Alcate claimed that a group of persons was suspiciously roaming around his boarding house in Ferguson Street. thus: . Sumabong was paying his bill. in the City of Baguio. petitioner. La Trinidad. They ordered coffee and sandwiches. 135222. Sgt. Sumabong and two of his companions. Then Sgt. Either wound. moaning in pain. March 04. did then and there willfully. representing part of the victims expenses for medical services and medicine. Gaces brought Cpl.

SO ORDERED.[11] we held that the arraignment is not valid. We note that petitioner was present during the hearing. 1998. If the latters performance and competence fell short of petitioners expectations. AS MAXIMUM. At any rate. the sufficiency. [16] We find that the petitioner has not adequately discharged his burden of proving the elements of selfdefense. and threatened to salvage him were not duly proved by the evidence for the defense. and (4) whether he is entitled to any mitigating circumstance. AS MINIMUM. Petitioner was represented by counsel of his choice. failure to introduce evidence. Gimenez. found that petitioner is entitled to the privileged mitigating circumstance of minority as he was only 17 years. poked a handgun at him. Did not notify him to attend the hearing when Sgt.[12] The long-standing rule in this jurisdiction is that a client is bound by the mistakes of his lawyer. or so careless and negligent of his duties as to seriously prejudice the substantial rights of petitioner or prevent him from putting up a proper defense. (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to repel or prevent it. He contends that his counsel: 1. In sum. In Reyes v. Petitioner then filed a motion for reconsideration. then he should not blame either the trial court or the Court of Appeals. we held that there has been gross negligence or incompetence on the part of counsel for the accused. He did not.[6] In the following cases. Since the first element of self-defense is not present here. thus resulting in the precipitate conviction of his client.[10] we ordered a new trial after a showing that counsel for the accused abandoned her without explanation. For if an accused feels that his counsel is inept. the accused admits killing or seriously wounding the victim and thus. [8] we ordered a dismissed appeal from a conviction for estafa to be reinstated after it was shown that the failure to file the appellants brief on time was due to sheer irresponsibility on the part of appellants counsel. it is incumbent upon him to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he indeed acted in defense of himself. None of the foregoing incidents is present in the instant case. instead of waiting until an adverse decision is rendered and thereupon blame his counsel for incompetence. In Aguilar v. such defense must fail. The trial court and the Court of Appeals found that at the time he hacked the victim. said counsel might have valid reasons why he did not call to the witness stand those witnesses. Clearly. Failed to present the medical certificate showing the injuries inflicted upon him by the victim. petitioner argues that the Court of Appeals erred in not holding that the trial court violated his constitutional right to due process. Failed to present all the witnesses who could have testified that he is innocent of the crime charged. If he believed that his counsel de parte was not competent. For in invoking self-defense.44 WHEREFORE. Mistakes of attorneys as to the competency of a witness. relevancy or irrelevancy of certain evidence. and 4. TO EIGHT (8) YEARS AND TWENTY (20) DAYS OF PRISION MAYOR. Court of Appeals and People. Having decided to retain the services of his counsel during the entire proceedings. but this was denied by the Appellate Court in its Resolution dated August 13. petitioner ascribes gross incompetence or gross negligence to his counsel. On the first issue. thus precluding the accused to present his evidence. Hence. Sandiganbayan. Failed to submit a memorandum. he should take action by discharging him earlier.[7] we remanded a criminal case for new trial when counsel for an accused inadvertently substituted a plea of guilty for an earlier plea of not guilty.[14] On the second issue. the aggressor was petitioner. the proper defense or the burden of proof. (2) whether his plea of self-defense is in order. records show that counsel for petitioner actively participated in the cross-examination of the witnesses for the prosecution to test their credibility. we hold that he is bound by the decisions of his counsel regarding the conduct of the case. do not constitute gross incompetence or negligence. the latter was still seated while he (petitioner) was behind him. petitioner must be deemed bound by any mistake committed by him. Indeed. Instead. assuming he is guilty. In People v.[5] The Court of Appeals. thus: In US v. 3. how could there be an unlawful aggression on the part of the victim at that instance? Petitioners bare assertions that the victim slapped him. Rather. Besides. . petitioner invokes self-defense. in modifying the imposable penalty. THE DECISION APPEALED FROM IS HEREBY AFFIRMED WITH THE MODIFICATION THAT THE APPELLANT IS SENTENCED TO AN INDETERMINATE PENALTY OF FOUR (4) YEARS AND TWO (2) MONTHS OF PRISION CORRECIONAL. In criminal cases.[9] we remanded the case for reception of evidence after counsel for the accused filed a demurrer to the evidence notwithstanding that his motion for leave of court was denied. (3) whether the crime committed is frustrated murder or frustrated homicide. has the burden to justify his act. unless they prejudice the client and prevent him from properly presenting his case. the instant petition. [15] The requisites of self-defense are: (1) unlawful aggression. Hence. The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) counters that there was no violation of petitioners right to due process. the prosecution established that it was petitioner who unexpectedly attacked the victim from behind. In De Guzman v.[13] Having found that petitioners counsel was not so inept or motivated by bad faith. and to argue the case. Bascuiguin. the fact that he did not choose to present other witnesses did not affect any of petitioners substantial rights. The issues for our resolution are: (1) whether petitioners right to due process was violated. Sumabong was cross-examined. to summon witnesses. Court of Appeals. 2. the negligence or incompetence of counsel to be deemed gross must have prejudiced the constitutional right of an accused to be heard. The accused was not properly represented by counsel de officio since he merely conferred with his client for a few minutes and advised him to plead guilty to the crime of rape with homicide. 9 months and 20 days old at the time of the incident. he could have secured the services of a new counsel. and (3) lack of sufficient provocation of the part of the person defending himself.

of the Regional Trial Court.R. had it not been for timely medical assistance.[18] Here. the surrender must be spontaneous. SECOND DIVISION On the fourth issue. petitioner insists that the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender should have been appreciated in his favor. the petition is DENIED. alias Kokong. he should only be convicted of frustrated homicide. ACA-AC y DECISION Anent the modification of the penalty by the Court of Appeals. Costs against petitioner.000. removed the victims panty. methods. His back was towards petitioner when the latter.. the appeal was certified to this Court pursuant to Rule 124. as minimum. Corona. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. not frustrated homicide. having just finished a meal at a late hour. 1990 at Barangay Villalimpia. and Garcia. either because he acknowledges his guilt or wishes to save them the trouble and expenses that would be necessarily incurred in his search and capture. then. (Chairman). the crime committed is frustrated murder. or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and especially to ensure the execution of the crime without risk to himself from any defense which the offended party might make.00 as moral damages and P20. lured and brought the victim Fritzie Aca-ac. hacked him twice on his head with a bolo. Carpio-Morales. to seventeen (17) years. 7091. petitioner contends that assuming he is guilty. For voluntary surrender to be appreciated. the information alleged: That on or about the 22nd day of September. guilty of frustrated rape and sentencing him to suffer the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment from twelve (12) years of prision mayor. [G.[17] We agree with the lower courts that the petitioner planned to kill the victim with treachery in mind. DECOROSO MENDOZA. the above-named accused through craft. Province of Bohol. inserted his penis into her labia minora near the clitoris of the vagina . and one (1) day ofreclusion temporal. let her lie down while he lay on top her. He insists that treachery was not present. The attack was so sudden and unexpected that the victim had no opportunity either to avert the attack or to defend himself. April 20. Originally taken to the Court of Appeals.45 On the third issue.: This is an appeal from the decision.R. JJ. and to indemnify the complainant Fritzie Aca-ac the amount of P30. concur. made in such a manner that it shows the interest of the accused to surrender unconditionally to the authorities. CESPON. with intent to have sexual intercourse. 1994. 1997 and its Resolution dated August 13. not frustrated. J. with accessory penalties. four (4) months. rape and that the appropriate penalty to be imposed on accused-appellant is reclusion perpetua. Evidence for the prosecution shows that petitioner. the surrender was not spontaneous. the victim was seated. as maximum. In Criminal Case No. 2001] THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. four informations [4]for rape were filed against accused-appellant in the Regional Trial Court of Tagbilaran City.00 as exemplary damages. Panganiban. a cause not of the will of the petitioner. without warning. The facts are as follows: On the basis of criminal complaints [3] of the minor Fritzie Aca-ac. vs. His hacking the victim was a spur-of-the-moment act prompted by self-preservation. WHEREFORE. finding accused-appellant Decoroso Aca-ac y Cespon. 15851 are AFFIRMED. and considering further the presence of treachery. 142500. He was apprehended by responding police officers in the waiting shed at the corner of Cambas Road and Magsaysay Avenue. the same is in order. We are not persuaded. There is alevosia when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons employing means. Considering that petitioner had performed all the acts of execution which would have resulted in the death of the victim. [1] dated February 19.000. SO ORDERED. a minor below twelve years of age. No. accused-appellant. Branch 4. Municipality of Loay. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated September 18. At that time. after attacking the victim. City of Tagbilaran. plaintiff-appellee. 13 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure in view of the appeals courts ruling [2] that accused-appellant is guilty of consummated. to the formers house and to his bedroom and thereafter. ran away. CR No. 1998 in CA-G. not frustrated murder.

Bohol. CONTRARY TO LAW.m. accused-appellant came and forced her to remove her shorts and panty. Loay. In Criminal Case No. a minor below twelve years of age. Dr. Province of Bohol. Municipality of Loay. and.[6] In Criminal Case No.[7] In Criminal Case No. after gathering some guavas in Barangay Villalimpia. Complainant went home after the incident. Loay. Bohol.m. her classmate. 7094. of September 22. She said that when she confronted her daughter. she was asked by her mother Felipa Aca-ac to buy cooked fish (inon-onan) for dinner from a store in Barangay Villalimpia. Lonio said he knew that the two were having sexual intercourse. of October 17. Amora. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. she learned from Lonio that her daughter had been raped by accused-appellant. 1991. CONTRARY TO LAW. she passed by the house of accusedappellant on her way home. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. on February 27. 7091. Once inside. the next day. She was made to lie down on the ground covered with nipa leaves and was then raped by accused-appellant. upon reaching the place. 7094. 1990 at Barangay Villalimpia.[9] Complainants mother. Accused-appellant having pleaded not guilty to the charges. a minor below twelve years of age to remove her shorts and panty and to lie down on the ground. upon reaching the place. her mother. sensing that there was no papaya in the house. he followed the two and peeped through the fence at the back. Five witnesses were presented by the prosecution in support of its case. of January 12. the information asserted: That on or about the 8th day of September. Faustino Aca-ac. to an old uninhabited house. Stella Maris J.[10] Dr. complainant admitted that accused-appellant had raped her and then left crying. Felipa said that accused-appellant offered to pay P12. She said that in the afternoon of February 27. which was known in the neighborhood to be haunted. the information alleged: That on or about the 12th day of January. Loay. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. and rebuttal witness Esteban Dagandan. lured the victim Fritzie Aca-ac. Loay. He claimed he did not tell anyone what he saw for fear of his life. complainant said. complainant Fritzie Aca-ac. 1990 at Barangay Villalimpia. however. testified that at about 7:00 p. She said. complainant testified that at about 4:30 p. Municipality of Loay. which lasted for about three minutes.46 and succeeded in having carnal knowledge with the victim with her vitiated consent since she is below twelve years old. 1991. Complainant got inside the house but. she took Fritzie to Dr. of September 8. Accused-appellant. Loay. He then went on top of her and made push and pull movements. Municipality of Loay. Rosalio Pamayloan. Felipa Aca-ac. that it was possible that there could be a penetration of a male organ up to the labia minora and the hymen would still be intact. as she was gathering firewood in Barangay Villalimpia. February 28. 7092. He saw accused-appellant undress complainant. he and complainant had a quarrel in school during which he asked complainant about the rape. CONTRARY TO LAW. Felix Adorable. 1991 at Barangay Villalimpia. 1991. 7093. the accused inserted his penis into her vagina near the clitoris and vaginal opening and succeeded in having carnal knowledge with the victim with her vitiated consent since she is below twelve years old. accused-appellant removed complainants shorts and panty and made her lie down on the floor. Accused-appellant threatened her with harm if she told anyone about the incident. to the damage and prejudice of the said offended party.00 as settlement of the case. closed the door and brought her to his bedroom where he raped her. Lonio said. 1990. According to Lonio. 1990. 1990. She said she did not tell anyone what happened to her. the above-named accused through craft. Bohol. In Criminal Case No. the latter admitted that accused-appellant had raped her four times. 1990. to the damage and prejudice of the said offended party. 1991.m. Province of Bohol. to the damage and prejudice of the said offended party. she saw accused-appellant near the house of one Ned Reyes in Villalimpia. CONTRARY TO LAW. testified that accused-appellant is the cousin of her father-inlaw. lured the victim Fritzie Aca-ac. Algerico Lonio. Then he allegedly forced her to have sexual intercourse with him.000. In Criminal Case No. accused-appellant withdrew his penis and white fluid came out. the above-named accused through craft. Bohol and a classmate of complainant. Bohol. and thereafter. he said. which was covered with coconut leaves.m. a minor below twelve years of age to go to a bushy place near a nipa plantation.[11] The defense presented six witnesses. Stella Maris J. he tried to lure her on the pretext that he had some papayas for her. took off her shorts and her panty with intent to have sexual intercourse with her and then let her lie down after which the accused lay on top of her and inserted his penis into the labia minora near the clitoris of the vagina of the victim and succeeded in having carnal knowledge with her vitiated consent since she is below twelve years old. Accused-appellant seized her and dragged her to a bush near the plantation and made her undress and lie down. complainant testified that at about 4:00 p.[8] In Criminal Case No. Complainant said she then wiped her private parts and put on her clothes. the physician. Province of Bohol. lured and brought the victim Fritzie Aca-ac. he inserted his penis inside her vaginal opening near her clitoris and succeeded in having carnal knowledge with the victim with her vitiated consent since she is below twelve years old. 7093. a resident of Barangay Villalimpia. and make push and pull movements. Complainant claimed that accused-appellant fondled her breasts and licked her private parts. Out of curiosity. Petronia Aca-ac. go on top of her. the joint trial of the cases was set. Felipa Aca-ac. Lonio later narrated the incident to complainants mother. Amora testified that there was no laceration in the hymen of complainant. Faustino Acaac. as she was on her way home from the house of a certain Betty. On her way home. who held her by the hand and forced her to go with him to the vacant house of one Pinay Aguirre. bringing with her the firewood she had gathered. But. complainant testified that on September 8. the above-named accused through craft. accused-appellant Decoroso Aca-ac. namely. Amora of the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital for medical examination. and thereafter. 7092. let her undress and lie down while he lay on top of her. When he was through. he was at the house of one Emmie Blasco when he saw accused-appellant and complainant going inside the house of Pinay Aguirre.[5] Algerico Lonio. she met accused-appellant. the information charged: That on or about the 17th day of October. In Criminal Case No. When accused-appellant saw her. . she immediately tried to leave. complainant testified that at about 1:00 p. to the damage and prejudice of the said offended party. According to her. and Alberto Cempron. however. namely. and thereafter.

9 Phil. 48 Phil.00 as settlement of the case. the trial court relied on the findings of Dr. 56 SCRA 666 (1974). but the same was rejected.00. Loay. He said that sometime in May 1992. She said she saw accused-appellant insert his erect penis into her vulva.[16] On rebuttal. and manner of execution of the crime of rape and jurisprudence on the matter. the fact that there was no laceration of complainants private parts or that her hymen was intact. The offender merely commenced the commission of a felony directly by overt acts. As this Court explained in People v. 335 of the Revised Penal Code[23] prescribes death for attempted or frustrated rape.[26] Consequently. testified that she and her husband had been married for 36 years and had six children. People v. On appeal. Bohol for 12 years. 7094. Accused-appellant offered to pay Felipa P12. because the latter had suffered a stroke. Cempron.[25] It is enough that there is a penetration. He personally knew accused-appellant and vouched for the character of accused-appellant as a good man. People v. 7092. Roberto. the prosecution presented Esteban Dagandan. Thus. but Felipa wanted P30. to seventeen (17) years. Bohol. but he failed in his efforts.000.47 Accused-appellant Decoroso Aca-ac y Cespon. all for rape. In a long line of cases (People v. In holding that the crime committed was frustrated rape. Felipa. The dispositive portion of its decision reads: WHEREFORE. Criminal Case Nos. Hernandez. the mere touching of the labia or pudendum by the male organ is enough to consummate the crime of rape. 62 Phil. testified that he tried to bring the parties to an amicable settlement of their case because they are relatives and his wife is a cousin of complainants father. 58 SCRA 505 (1974)).00. 57 years old at the time of the alleged rape incidents. as minimum. is sufficient to warrant conviction. 1994. a nephew of accused-appellant.000. Tayaba. Amora which showed that complainant did not have any lacerations in her hymen which in factwas intact. as testified to by Dr.00 from him.[24] As the Court of Appeals noted. testified that he did not believe accused-appellant committed the crime.[19] On sur-rebuttal. Accused-appellant alleged that at 57. On the four occasions on which it was alleged accused-appellant had raped complainant. There can be no frustrated rape. 49 Phil. accused-appellant should be convicted of rape in its consummated stage and not merely for frustrated rape. Loay. Faustino Aca-ac. since the entry of the male organ into the labia of the female organ alone is sufficient to constitute consummated rape. with the Katarungang Pambarangay. 434 (1907)) because not all acts of execution were performed. this appeal. who testified that complainants mother.[12] indeterminate penalty of imprisonment ranging from twelve (12) years of prision mayor. denied the charges and claimed that Felipa Aca-ac had instigated complainant to file the charges because he told Felipas husband that Felipa was having an affair with another man. confirmed accused-appellants claim that he had filed a complaint against Roberto Aca-ac. to indemnify the offended party Fritzie Aca-ac the sum of P30. the trial court rendered a decision convicting accused-appellant of frustrated rape in Criminal Case No. alias Kokong. 559 (1935). [27] does not preclude a finding of rape against accusedappellant. Bohol and an incumbent barangay kagawad. People v. Oscar. Orita. Alberto A. two of whom had died. Aca-ac. made in behalf of accusedappellant. however slight.000. 980 (1925). he was already old and that he could no longer have an erection. Dagandan disputed accused-appellants claim that complainant and her mother had demanded P30. 694 (1927). She rebutted the testimony of accusedappellant that he could no longer have an erection. the Court finds accused Decoroso Aca-ac y Cespon guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of frustrated rape and he is hereby sentenced to undergo an As regards the three other above-entitled cases.00 offer. This Court said in Orita: Clearly. People v.[13] SO ORDERED.000. Carmen.[21] Felix Adorable.[14] Rosalio Pamayloan was a neighbor of accused-appellant and a resident of Villalimpia. rape is attempted if there is no penetration of the female organ (People v.[17] Felipa Aca-ac was recalled to the stand.[28] . 527 (1925). For that matter. Amora. we have set the uniform rule that for the consummation of rape. from the moment the offender has carnal knowledge of his victim. Hence. grandfather of complainant and a cousin of accused-appellant. Rabadan and Olaybar. Any penetration of the female organ by the male organ is sufficient.[20] On February 19. he actually attains his purpose and. the felony is consummated.000. He stated that Faustino Aca-ac tried to get the parties to settle the case. He testified that he had been a principal in a public school since 1983. in the crime of rape.[15] Petronia P. under Criminal Case No. Accusedappellant said he reported the matter to Barangay Captain Felix Adorable. the Court of Appeals held that accused-appellant was guilty of consummated rape and accordingly sentenced him to reclusion perpetua. he said he was unsuccessful as accused-appellants wife was willing to pay only P12. accused Decoroso Aca-ac y Cespon. it is hardly conceivable how the frustrated stage in rape can ever be committed. the barangay captain of Matin-aw. elements. Taking into account the nature. without rupture of the hymen or laceration of the vagina.000. Necessarily. with all its accessory penalties. worked as a nurse of his (Dagandans) wife.00 as moral damages and another amount of P20. He said accused-appellant and complainants parents had a misunderstanding which he tried to settle unsuccessfully. for the settlement of the case.[18] Complainant Fritzie Aca-ac was also recalled to the stand. the provision on frustrated rape is a dead provision. The trial court pointed out that there was no evidence of penetration into the vagina of complainant. and a homicide committed by reason or on the occasion thereof. & 7093. thrice went to his (Dagandans) house asking Felipa to withdraw the case against accused-appellant. complainants father. is hereby acquitted on the ground of reasonable doubt.[22] rape is either attempted or consummated. four (4) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal. of the external genitalia. a former barangay captain of Villalimpia. as maximum. This is error. 7094 and acquitting him of the charges in the rest of the cases.000. United States v.000. from that moment also all the essential elements of the offense have been accomplished.00 in the concept of exemplary damages.000. 53 Phil. Entry of the labia or lips of the female organ. wife of accused-appellant. accompanied by his wife Lydia. He also stated that he had a quarrel with Felipas husband. While the penultimate paragraph of Art. She said that she rejected Albert Cemprons P12. perfect penetration is not essential. However. It bears emphasis that a broken hymen or laceration of any part of the female genital is not a pre-requisite for a conviction for rape. Royeras. Nothing more is left to be done by the offender. First. because the latter had stolen his chicken.00 for the settlement of the case. 7091.00 and that accused-appellant had no criminal record in their barangay. Albert Berting Cempron. Petronia said her husband was in their house helping her make nipa shingles. She denied Rosalio Pamayloans testimony that she proposed a settlement of the case for P30. Amores. He said the charges were trumped up by Felipa because she wanted to extort P30. because he has performed the last act necessary to produce the crime. Garcia.

to commit the crime of rape because he could no longer have an erection is self-serving. C O U R T: Q. ALEXANDER H.And so what happened after that? A. sir.Now. the crime is statutory rape under Art.I did not.48 Accused-appellants claim that it was impossible for him.I did not. Q. 1990. will testify.I held the back of his head. LIM: Q. ALEXANDER H. I did not.Why did you not like to be kissed by the accused at that time? ATTY. when he did that to you.Because he told me not to make any noise for he will kill me. Second.That was the time that I squatted.Yes.You mean the accused pushed down your knees and thereafter pushed your body causing you to lie down face up? A. complainant was an 11 year-old Grade 5 student of Loay Central School in Loay. Q. paragraph 3 of the Revised Penal Code. Since complainant was then about 11 years old when she was raped by accused-appellant on September 8. Q. She told her story in open court. sir.Is that all? A. ATTY. 1991.Now. NAMOCATCAT: Is there a particular way of sucking nipples? ANSWER OF WITNESS: He raised my t-shirt. you did not shout? . thus: ATTY. Bohol. Q. then 57 years old. LIM: Q. 1991 when she executed a sworn statement [31] before the police authorities narrating therein how she had been raped four times by accused-appellant. after that kiss on your lips. did you not bite him? When you did not like his kiss? A. did you not resist? A.Now. After she was deflowered by accused-appellant. Complainant testified how she was raped on September 8. Q. provided her testimony meets the test of credibility.Now.Still you did not offer any resistance to shout? A. C) of complainant shows that she was born on April 9. The contention has no merit. I have no more panty and short pants.Did you not push him when he sucked your nipples? A.He told me not to shout.I told him.No. he raised your t-shirt in sucking your nipples? A. Where an alleged rape victim says she was sexually abused.Why did you not shout the way that it could be heard by your neighbors? A.He kissed me on the lips. Q.Why did you tell the Court that you uttered something? A. when you said you were squatting. A. Q. what happened after your short pants and panty were removed? A. Q. At the time she was raped. did it not occur to your mind to run away or shout? A. 1979. Age is not the criterion in determining sexual interest and potency. 335.[30] In this case. Q.After that what happened next? A. LIM: Q. Q. but the way a woman. Accused-appellant contends that the way complainant narrated the lurid details of how she was allegedly raped is not the way an innocent child below 12 years of age testifies. Q.I tried to avoid his kiss but he held my hands. sir. Q. LIM: Q.When he pushed down my knees.Now.He sucked my nipples.[29] For no woman would allow an examination of her private parts or go through the humiliation of a trial unless she has actually been so brutalized that she desires justice for her suffering.But he did not carry any weapon? A.How did he suck your nipples? FISCAL REINERIO S. C O U R T (TO WITNESS) The birth certificate (Exh. what happened next? A. she was forced to silence by threats on her life.Yes. Q.No.He pushed down my knees and caused me to lie down. so I squatted at that time and he also pushed my shoulder that caused me to lie down on my back. ALEXANDER H. ALEXANDER H. she says almost all that is necessary to show that rape had been inflicted on her person. Q. who is worldly and experienced in sex.I resisted but he held my hands. Accused-appellant questions complainants narration as he likens them to stories contained in pornographic magazines and movies. accused-appellant has not shown any reason for complainants testimony not to be given credence. ATTY.Meaning your voice was not heard? A.Still in raising your t-shirt.So. It was only on March 1.

So. where was the hand of the accused? Q.Now. A.He pressed my forehead. Q. A. sir.At the same time he was licking your vagina? ATTY. C O U R T: Q.I did not because he told me if I will make a noise or report the matter.But he did not press you? A. he held my hand and I was made to lie down again.In doing so. Q. Any further questions? Q. after that what happened? A.So. when I stood up. what happened after that? A.While he was licking your vagina. A.He licked my vagina.Yes.Yes. Q. he crawled and held my hands and let me lie down again. I was afraid he might press me. I tried to stand up but he pushed me and pressed my forehead.49 A. LIM: A.At that moment he was very busy licking your vagina. Q. C O U R T (TO WITNESS): Q. A.After I pushed his forehead. sir.When I pushed the forehead. he was holding your hands and you could cross your leg if you want to? Q. ALEXANDER H. what happened after that? Q. Q.You were afraid of him when you said he did not hold any weapon? ATTY.I told him dont.He also sucked the other nipple. A.I have not known of such danger.Still in a low voice? Q.Did you succeed when you stand up after pushing the forehead of the accused? A. Q.Yes.I did not shout.Before that. he used his two hands.In that process. the accused used his two hands? C O U R T: A.Yes. sir. his whole body. LIM: A. when you spread your legs.You did not shout loudly? Q. he will kill me. Q.And in that very moment you could stand up or you could squat or use your hand to fight back or to resist? A. you pushed his head? Q. .He mounted on me.I told him dont.Because my legs were apart.I pushed his forehead. were your legs apart? A. sir.After that. A. his body was over my two legs. but he did not heed. sir. ALEXANDER H. what else did he do? Q.Now. he licked my vagina.While he was licking your vagina. did you not shout? A.So.Because of his strength. the two nipples were sucked? Q.I was afraid he would box me. A. Q.Yes. sir. he was licking my vagina.And you succeeded in rising up pushing his forehead? A. what happened next? Q. Q. A.And how did you feel? A. at that time according to you he sucked your nipples.So. you did not consider that you were already endangered? Q. he will kill me. you did not shout or protest? Q. A.When he licked your vagina. while the accused was licking your vagina.Yes.I was the one who spread my two legs.You made it voluntarily or the accused made it apart? A. A.He mounted on me.I tried to rise up and pushed his forehead.But he told me if I will make noise.I cannot cross my legs because his two legs were over me. Q.His whole weight mounted on you? A. A.You mean his body was over your spread legs while mounting from the licking until he mounted on you? A. Q.I cannot push his head because he held my hands this was the time I could not move. Q.

Q. Her consistent testimony despite intense and lengthy interrogation [33] belies accused-appellants claim that she was telling a tale culled from pornographic magazines or movies. former deserves more credence. that despite the fact that the supposed incident happened between 7:00 to 8:00 p. no mention was made of any form of illumination of the place.What did you feel when he was doing that act of push and pull movement? A. thereby proving that there could not have been any penetration by accused-appellants organ. sir. Lonio categorically said: Q. Q You said that you followed the two. Unless it can be shown that complainant was moved by ill will to falsely implicate accused-appellant.Yes. Lonio said that he knew what would happen to complainant when accused-appellant took her to the empty house of Pinay Aguirre because his (Lonios) own younger sister and the sister of complainant had been abused by accused-appellant before. ALEXANDER H. Accused-appellant says complainant did not immediately report the incidents to the authorities nor tell the same to her mother. exercised moral ascendancy over complainant and even threatened her with death if she told anyone what he had done to her. COURT (TO WITNESS) Q. Q. COURT: . it went inside. The rule is that between the positive declarations of the prosecution witnesses and the negative statements of the accused. the Q How far is the gate to the house of Pinay Aguirre? To the main door of her house? INTERPRETER: Witness pointing to a distance indicating 3 to 4 meters. Did accused Decoroso not close the gate after they gained entrance to the gate? Q.What happened to your vagina. FISCAL REINERIO S. Accused-appellant doubts the veracity of Algerico Lonios testimony that he had witnessed the rape of complainant on September 8. accused and the complainant.Now.He made a push and pull movement.You mean in the vulva of your vagina? COURT: (TO WITNESS) A.So. He said he saw how accused-appellant violated complainant against her will.50 C O U R T: Any further questions? ATTY. what happened after that? A. Complainant was only 11 years old when the rape incidents took place.Where did the fluid come from? A.Did you feel the hot fluid coming from the penis of the accused and did you feel inside your vagina or from the labia of your vagina? A.It was not inside the opening of the vagina but near the clitoris. But how could this bind complainant and her mother or prove anything when the so-called affidavit is unsigned? Third. Q. did it bleed when the penis of the accused entered your vagina? A. Accused-appellant also points out certain improbabilities in the testimony of Lonio. 1990. On cross-examination.m. C O U R T: Why did you feel something hot in your vagina? A. accused-appellant could only offer the defense of denial. It was a sticky fluid. and that accused-appellant made push and pull movements when the medical findings show that complainants hymen was intact. It is well-settled that denial cannot prevail over the positive identification and categorical testimony of complainant. you said earlier that the penis of the accused penetrated your vagina and now you are changing your testimony by saying that the penis of the accused only touched the clitoris of your vagina? A Decoroso closed the gate.The penis did not enter but just inside the opening of my vagina. LIM: Q. These claims have no basis.May be it came out when he put his penis on my vagina. Nor is there any probable reason for complainant to allow herself to be used as a pawn of her mother Felipa to extort money from accused-appellant.. being the cousin of her paternal grandfather. This child is still very young to demonstrate the fact that the penetration was made up to the labia minora of the victim.There was something hot that I felt on my vagina.[36] Fourth. He claims that the cases were filed merely to extort money from him. 3) of complainant and her mother.Did you feel the penis of the accused penetrating your vagina? A. Accused-appellant points out that Lonio failed to report the incident to complainants parents or to the authorities despite the fact that there was no threat to his life. Faced with complainants testimony. The fact that complainant did not immediately report the matter to the authorities was fully explained by the prosecution.[37] Answering questions of the trial court.[34] That is why accused-appellant had to summon to his aid an alleged affidavit of desistance (Exh. after they entered the gate of the house of Pinay Aguirre. [35] Moreover. accusedappellant.The penis was inside my vagina because he tried to make way to the large opening of my vagina so that his penis will enter. Young girls usually conceal for some time their defilement.It seems that there was something hot that went out from my vagina. you are now changing your testimony. to wit: that he peeped through the back fence of the house and saw accused-appellant raping complainant. Q.[32] A He just closed it without locking. the inescapable conclusion is that her testimony is worthy of full faith and credit. These arguments have no merit. NAMOCATCAT: Q Was it locked? The witness is trying to say to enter the mouth of the vagina until the clitoris.

A It was well lighted because the opposite house was well lighted. A None. Q You said that the accused licked the vagina of the complainant. This is also testified to by you during the cross-examination. Q And the light would reach the house of Pinay Aguirre? Q How do you know that they were using the side door when they entered the house? A Yes. A From a hole of a fence which is a hogwire. Q Did you enter the house of Pinay Aguirre using the side door taken by the two when they entered the same house? Q Was his penis exposed? A No. the accused made a push-and-pull movement.[38] . Q The two were seeing you when you entered the gate following them? Q When you saw the complainant with her shorts already pulled down. Q In that precise moment. or a building without walls? Q You said earlier that the accused and the complainant had several intercourse. Q Since you said that the penis of the accused was exposed. how far were you to the two? Q How do you describe the house? Is it two storeys. Q Where were [you] posted then? A Inside the fence because I climbed over the bamboo fence. COURT: Q From complainant Fritzie. you did not enter the house of Pinay Aguirre where the complainant and the accused had entered at 7:00 oclock in the evening of September 8. A Because I saw them. as well as his underwear? Q So. A I peeped. or side door. A Side door. Q Was the place lighted. A No more. the licking of the vagina or the push-and-pull movement? A The licking of the vagina happened first and after that. A Because of the movement of Decoroso. considering that it was already 7:00 oclock in the evening the incident allegedly happened? Q After the push-and-pull movement. Do you know that the two were having sexual intercourse? A A two-storey house. COURT: Q How far was that fence made of hogwire to the house of Pinay Aguirre where the complainant and the accused entered? INTERPRETER: Q Did you hear any utterances [from] either of the two regarding the push-and-pull movement made by the accused? Did you hear anything from the accused while making a push-and-pull movement? Witness indicating a distance of 3 to 4 meters. INTERPRETER: Q There was a hole or there was a window? Witness indicating a distance of 3 to 4 meters.51 Q What door was used when they entered the house? The back door. did I hear you correctly that the accused with the bended knees made a push-and-pull movement of the body of the complainant? A They did not see me. Q Fence around the house of Pinay Aguirre? A Yes. I saw. did we understand from you that the accused also pulled down his trousers. Q Did you see the penis of the accused penetrate into the vagina of the complainant? Q Why did you say that Fritzie Aca-ac was already lying down and her short was pulled and her blouse was raised above her breast? A I did not see because Fritzie was under. what transpired next? A No wall. A I did not. 1990? A Yes. or front door. A It only connected the gate because there was a poultry. A Yes. did you hear anything from her while the accused was making a pushand-pull movement over her? Q So that that portion of the house where the two entered was not surrounded by any walling in such a way that they could be seen from the wire? A I did not hear any word from Fritzie. Only the first storey has no wall because it was already destroyed by a storm. Which happened first.

1990 rape incident are inconsequential. No. He cried after narrating to the court how he told his mother about the incident. Bellosillo.00 as exemplary damages should be deleted for lack of basis.[42] On the other hand. BIENVENIDO MENDOZA alias BEN ULO. When the trial judge asked him why he cried.00 for moral damages and P20. It was evident that Lonio was telling the truth. SO ORDERED.00 as civil indemnity. This ruling must be modified. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. Lonio said that he was hurt because the same thing happened to his younger sister.R. WHEREFORE.000. the decision of the Court of Appeals finding accused-appellant Decoroso Aca-ac y Cespon guilty of statutory rape and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that accused-appellant is ordered to pay complainant Fritzie Acaac P50.[40] The testimony of Lonio contains details that dovetails on material points with the testimony of complainant. [39] He also said that he kept his silence in the beginning because he feared for his life. Jr. the award of P20.. plaintiff-appellee. in addition.000.000. OSCAR CASTELO. complainant should be paid P50. L-10774 May 30.00 as civil indemnity and. The award ofP20. the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial courts award ofP30..00 as exemplary damages is hereby deleted.00 as moral damages. (Chairman).00.000. While increasing the imposable penalty to reclusion perpetua in view of its conclusion that accused-appellant was guilty of statutory rape. JJ. concur. Fifth. In accordance with current rulings of this Court.000. P50.on leave. the award of moral damages should be increased to P50.52 The alleged inconsistencies in the testimony of Lonio as to the details of the September 8. Quisumbing and De Leon Jr. ..000.[41] In addition. vs. JJ.00 for exemplary damages in favor of the complainant.000. and Buena..000. 1964 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. AUGUSTO MELENCIO alias AUGUST.

became Secretary of Justice.000. then a Judge of the Court of First Instance of Manila. Domingo Gonzales. So he invited Ben Ulo to "help him" and the latter became his trusted bodyguard. halos patay na siya" (Don't you worry. it appears that the prosecution has established the following: FACTS: In January 1953." Considering now the appeal on the merits. On June 8. The three others . Robles and Scarface went back to Camp Murphy where Ben Ulo handed Robles the latter's appointment as confidential agent. Pedro Enriquez alias Pedring Pasig alias Busog. and so he wanted his said "boys" to kill Monroy. L-9050. because Judge Rilloraza who had penned the original decision was then on vacation. Came June 1st. This prompted Castelo to move for a new trial. Domingo Gonzales y Salvacion alias Doming & Jockey Salvacion. Moreover. now deceased aired on the floor of the Senate charges against Castelo for bribery and extortion. but before boarding the plane at the airfield. the case was dismissed for lack of evidence. He held these twin positions until the end of the year 1953. he told Robles to come back on June 1st to get his appointment as special agent of the Department of National Defense. Pedro Enriquez and Salvador Realista. 3023. as against Adelaida Reyes. Recto's charges were investigated by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. 1953. namely. guilty of murder and sentencing them to death. with Monroy as Recto's star witness1 — to the charging or irritation of both Castelo and Ben Ulo who had exerted efforts to prevent him from so testifying. and the feud between them gained wide publicity. The trio left in Ben Ulo's jeep driven by Felix Miray and headed for Castelo's residence at Sampaloc Avenue. 1-New Trial) wherein he repudiated all he had testified to. the ex-convict apprised the Secretary of his enemies (those he had sent to jail as judge) and this aroused Castelos interest. a police character and an ex-convict.) About two days after Castelo had left. Quezon City. arriving there after eight that same morning. and by another jeep occupied by the "other boys" Peping de Jesus. DOMINGO GONZALES Y SALVACION alias DOMING & JOCKEY SALVACION. After the rehearing. In the morning of June 13th. Recto countered with a disbarment charge. Castelo told Ben Ulo "Kailangan mapatay si Monroy" (Monroy must be killed).I. Salvador Realista and Pedro Enriquez. A new trial was had only with respect to Castelo. his aide. During the course of the proceedings. Castelo and Ben Ulo had a huddle inside. went to Pasay looking for Monroy. accused-appellants. Later that same morning. which were repeatedly denied. 1957. PER CURIAM: This is an appeal from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Rizal in its Criminal Case No. filed by Castelo. appointed by Castelo — at the recommendation of Ben Ulo. to which Ben Ulo replied in Tagalog "I will take care of it. A joint trial was held at which about 150 witnesses testified and more than one thousand documentary exhibits were introduced. Senator Recto found himself a defendant in a bigamy case in the Court of First Instance of Bulacan. Castelo went home to Sampaloc Avenue riding in Car No. With this background. Jose de Jesus. These two motions were acted upon in our Resolution of July 15. Felix Tamayo and Leonardo Caparas. while Robles and Scarface remained at the balcony. Monroy in the night of June 15. taking turns in this observation day and night. involving as it did two prominent public officials. together with eight others. Tondo. PEDRO ENRIQUEZ alias PEDRING PASIG alias BUSOG. jeep driven by Felix Miray and. In the evening. together with the "other boys" riding in another jeep. he called his nephew Augusto Melencio (who was also agent of the Defense Department) and Ben Ulo and told them. When Ben Ulo came out. Ben Ulo sent for his "boys" Rogelio Robles and Florentino Suarez alias Scarface. both agreed. in the presence of and within the hearing of Robles and Scarface. Domingo Gonzales. Hipolito Bonifacio y de Guzman alias Pol. Bienvenido Mendoza alias Ben Ulo. and the seven other appellants likewise filed a motion for new trial on identical grounds. state witness Rogelio Robles executed an affidavit dated April 16. one early morning in the latter part of May. 1953. and Augusta Melencio alias August. Castelo filed a motion for bail and new trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence. Judge. but he was in addition required to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the amount of P3. but he could not be found. to which Ben Ulo nodded in quiet assent. Jose de Jesus y Lingat alias Peping. Recto. FELIX MIRAY Y GUTIERREZ alias PILE. Rogelio Robles turning state witness. and not long after Ben Ulo had become the personal bodyguard of Secretary Castelo. 1953. The Solicitor General questioned the Bocar order by certiorari in G. Castelo and Ben Ulo went inside. Robles and . several motions for reconsideration and for bail were one after another. finding appellants Oscar Castelo. Bienvenido Mendoza alias Ben Ulo. Ben Ulo came out and told Robles and Scarface to wait in the yard where Ben Ulo's "other boys" were idling by. followed by Ben Ulo. Ben Ulo introduced Robles and Scarface to Secretary Castelo in the balcony or porch of the house saying.R. however. Thereupon. Shortly afterwards. Secretary Castelo left for Korea. we sustained His Honor's decree. These eight defendants. Bocar.Salvador Realista. At eleven o'clock that noon. Once in the house. HIPOLITO BONIFACIO Y DE GUZMAN alias POL. Sometime in April. was discharged. got acquainted with Secretary Castelo at the Country Club in Baguio through Capt. all of whom were confidential agents of the Department of National Defense. They decided to postpone the killing and agreed to watch Monroy's habitual movements. Later Ben Ulo came out and sat beside the two.53 JOSE DE JESUS Y LINGAT alias PEPING. escorted Secretary Castelo to his office at Camp Murphy Castelo and Ben Ulo entered the office while Robles and Scarface remained outside. Five minutes later. he is as good as dead. Rading Doe and John Doe — were still at large. as the seven other appellants had already perfected their appeal. "Huwag lang hindi ninyo mapatay si Monroy bago ako dumating" (Don't fail to kill Monroy before my return) to which Ben Ulo replied.00. When these arrived at his house at the corner of Perla and Sande streets." Thereafter. which rested on the same charge of bribery. During the pendency of this trial. he was designated to act as Secretary of National Defense in addition to his duties in the Justice Department. and on March 1st of that year. Forthwith. Robles and Scarface in a jeep driven by Miray. On April 29. Emilio Rilloraza. appellant Oscar Castelo. branding it to be a series of falsehoods. 1953. The following month and at the instance of Secretary Castelo. No. Ben Ulo gathered his "boys" at his house in Tondo and discussed the killing of Monroy. 6. "Huwag kang mag-alala. The Hon. "These are my boys. 1953. which was granted by vacation judge Juan L. About a week after the promulgation of the decision. Senator Claro M. Ben Ulo. again Castelo was found guilty and sentenced as before. Castelo joined the trio in the balcony and told them. the group headed by Ben Ulo. "Gusto kong mapatay si Monroy pagkaalis ko" (I want Monroy killed after my departure)." Castelo nodded and smiled. to the effect that "action on the motions for bail and for new trial filed by appellants' counsel is deferred until the time when the appeal is considered upon the merits. Monroy was likely to be again a witness in the disbarment proceedings — instituted by Recto — before the Supreme Court. Felix Miray y Gutierrez alias Pile. were charged with having murdered Manuel P. However. in a long and exhaustive decision (186 printed pages) convicted the herein mentioned appellants. Ben Ulo told them that Senator Recto and Secretary Castelo were mutually suing each other (nagdedemandahan). 1955 (Exh. Robles and Scarface rode in a P. signed by Castelo. Dra. Alejo. Herminia Castelo-Sotto. Both being from Nueva Ecija. Ben Ulo then told them to wait downstairs. allegedly perpetrated when Castelo was still Manila judge.

Melencio.) Pursuant to the request of Chief Amor of Panay. after which he. Gonzales and De Jesus (Exh. went to Pasay and again reconnoitered in the vicinity of Monroy's place. he was found to have received three gunshot wounds. entered to deliver the cigarettes he had bought for one of the players. Felix Tamayo in car No. "Tila merong masamang nangyari. Ben Ulo and the "boys" were again at Castelo's house. Monroy's neighbor." were . Scarface and Robles were arrested. the only entrance or exit being from David Street. Ben. photographers and newspapermen (whom he had alerted earlier in the afternoon promising them that something "big" would be coming) went to the Shellborne Hotel at about eight o'clock that evening and posted himself and his men at the Ambassador Hotel nearby. 6 and in the Plymouth No. JJJ). he was Secretary of National Defense. Monroy was taken to the hospital where he soon died. Amor requested the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) and the Manila Police to have a conference with him so as to coordinate police work. as it was believed that the culprits were from Manila. RRR). 6 and the Plymouth arrived later. separated by a wide blind alley or "pasillo"." (Didn't I tell you already that the old man [Castelo] can take care of any case? Can the old man desert us when he is in it himself?) Scarface and Robles were later set free. (Remember. Castelo tapped Ben Ulo's shoulder and said. Ben Ulo told Melencio. 1176. pick apen natin. who had a suite in the fifth floor. Robles and Enriquez had a . but upon finding that he and the "boys" were not there. pero. Scarface and Hipolito Bonifacio went in an AC jeep directly from Tondo to Camp Murphy where they were supposed to meet Ben Ulo. they should shoot it out. The following morning. They agreed to use three motor vehicles: two cars and an AC jeep.) Inasmuch as the constabulary was slow in coming. Castelo's mistress. presumably waiting for some signal for them to rush to the Shellborne Hotel and take pictures of Castelo and Scarface while talking and. now we have nothing to worry about. gathered again. Enriquez.2 At least five men in the group were armed: Hipolito Bonifacio had a Thompson sub-machine gun. retraced his steps towards David. Miray and Realista in a Plymouth car bearing plate No. and in furtherance of their conspiracy. De Jesus. Robles. When Clemens was already inside. get a tape recording of their conversation (Exhs. Castelo returned from Korea on June 26th. Mario Bautista and Donato Baras at the ground floor of No. they disbanded and returned to their respective homes. It was dark already. natitiyak mo kayang walang nakakita?" (Good. Caparas. to send Army troops.) Consequently. and a picture was taken of the occasion (Exh. Pablo Canlas and Jose Moratalla (a Quezon City policeman off-duty) who were listening to another neighbor strumming a guitar at the entrance of the "pasillo". the group proceeded to Camp Murphy to get car No. "in full combat gear. almost blocking the way. and headed also for Adelaida's place where he found the two cars already there as well as Ben Ulo and the "boys". They went to Pasay in two cars. 6. and this request was confirmed by him in a letter to Mayor Lacson (Exh. Ben Ulo's "boys" became so apprehensive and jittery that he had to calm them down saying. Mayor Lacson of Manila likewise knew that both Castelo and Scarface were in the Hotel that night. On the other hand. gunman De Jesus alighted from the passenger jeep at Taft Avenue near La Salle College. A-3). Realista. Castelo observed from his suite and noticed that really there were armed men around the Shellborne. Alarmed. After everything had been set. De Jesus suddenly fired three successive shots at Monroy who. showed some hesitation. accompanied by armed policemen. a neighbor. Meanwhile. if possible. and upon previous understanding. After Ben Ulo had left and pursuant to his instructions. Immediately after the shooting. Later that night. as follows: Ben Ulo. Gonzales. was also there and knew that Scarface was with the "boys" in the second floor. while Ben Ulo and the "boys" were hanging around Castelo's office at Camp Murphy. while those in car No. in the evening of July 13th. It was then about 7:30 in the evening. In a gay mood and fingering his bow tie. and Jose de Jesus had a super . gun in hand." (It seems that something went wrong. PI-1176 proceeded to the house of Adelaida Reyes. In addition. spotted and tried to chase De Jesus but lost him. P. Robles. clutching his belly. Enriquez and Realista walked along David Street. De Jesus tarried a while pretending to watch the game from the door. exclaimed. there were spare guns in the cars.38 caliber automatic pistol. The Pasay Police soon started its investigation and Chief Antonio C. Ben Ulo then gave hurried instructions to Gonzales.45 caliber gun each. Orestes Montano. and on June 26th. Scarface. Ben Ulo enjoining them that should there be any opposition or untoward incident. Gonzales and Peping de Jesus. and the latter answered affirmatively. These apartments were located inside a compound and consist of twin buildings facing each other. Alerted by the shots. and there finalized their plans. the Manila Police made its own investigation. but they did not see him. Enriquez. thence to Harrison. Informed that Lacson and some thirty "armed hoodlums" were looking for him. Scarface and Bonifacio boarded their AC jeep and returned to Tondo. the job was very neatly done. Enriquez. 18-C Gamboa Apartments occupied by Paula Montes. "Wala. Alejo. one of which was fatal (Exh. Miray. in such a manner that when William Clemens. Ben Ulo briefly asked Scarface whether Monroy was there. Castelo. Its important that the old man talk to him. Car No. but were under police surveillance. "Hindi ba sinabi ko sa inyo na kaya ng matanda iyan. De Jesus Scarface and Realista. Babaliktad na si Scarface. he had to ask De Jesus to allow him to got in. and upon autopsy performed by Dr. Ben Ulo and his "boys" Enriquez. malinis na malinis ang trabajo" (Nobody. Castelo directed that some constabulary soldiers be sent to that hotel for his protection. Commotion ensued and De Jesus.I. maski anong asunto. and then boarded a passing passenger jeep which was heading towards Manila. Scarface is about to turn around. they proceeded to Pasay and parked their jeep near the corner of Harrison and David streets. took a taxi. The Montes apartment was well lighted with fluorescent bulbs and the game could be seen from the door. 6 and sped towards Manila. but. On hand to greet him in the airport were Ben Ulo and Melencio. and Jose de Jesus. this time at the Happy Valley in Quezon City. KK). Miray. Then in the afternoon of June 15th. "Pinatira ako" (Someone had me shot). They reported the negative results to Ben Ulo. Some days after. Castelo directed his confidential assistant to telephone Capt. At this. Scarface found himself in the Shellborne Hotel with Ben Ulo. about two or three hours before the actual killing. At the time Ben Ulo was giving last-minute instructions to his "boys". The Mayor.54 Scarface using Ben Ulo's jeep. Pedro Solis of the NBI the following day. the Secretary's aide at Camp Murphy. taking different routes. Gonzales. Scarface who was supposed to be the triggerman. so De Jesus3 entered the pasillo and went towards the apartment where Monroy was playing. Ben. Thirty enlisted men and two officers under Capt. 57-A-Castelo to 57-U-Castelo). Kailangan makausap ng matanda. Puede ba tayong iwanan ng matanda (Secretary Castelo) ay kasama siya diyan. can you be sure nobody saw?) Ben retorted. Scarface had another gun. attired in coat and tie. went back to car No. Monroy was unconcernedly playing "mahjong" with his wife. Let's pick him up. Manuel P. 6 and to fetch Caparas. "Mabuti wala na tayong iintindihin ngayon.

H-8. were fired from that gun (Exh. ikaw ang bahala sa kanila. Both bundles were hidden by them in two places: one was buried in the grounds seven inches deep. Col. Domingo Gonzales. including the Mayor's house. the motives thereof and the names of the raiding parties. Siguruhin mo lang ni walang magsasalita at delikado tayo" (Ben. he trained his fighting cock with other roosters until he was called for supper. and that the contents thereof were not true. Sayson went down. Enriquez and Ben Ulo were turned over by the NBI to the Manila Police where.55 dispatched posthaste to the Shellborne Hotel. Scarface. Tamayo and Rading to the murder and conspiracy. and having been informed by Floring Cabanatuan that Pile (Felix Miray) was probably the least tough of the gang. he went to bed and never left the house that night. Sayson answered in the negative. they again made confessions (Exhs. Scarface was taken to Camp Crame for better security instead of leaving him in the hotel under the Captain's protection (Exhs. Their alibi consisted in the following: Jose de Jesus. G-3 to G-3-14) were wrapped by Scarface. It appears that the day after Monroy's murder. with multiple stab wounds. was assigned to make the corresponding investigation. The three slugs (Exhs. G3 to G-2-L. Cols. Five days later. 2). BBBB-3. Ten minutes later. In his statement Exh. Domingo Gonzales was arrested on the 28th. K-1 and K-2) as well as the three empty shells (Exhs. 1953. the story of the assassination. Domingo Gonzales. G) and a magazine to Scarface. Realista. with some variations as to minor details. J-1 and J-2) found on the night of June 15th by Patrolman Matias Soriano of the Pasay Police on duty at Harrison at the time of the shooting. and he also made the confession Exh. Gayares. and the conspiracy with Ben Ulo. the authorities cautious y proceeded. He contacted Clemens and thru him. Meantime. arrived with twelve men and two officers at ten o'clock that evening. Miray was listening to it in another room. and refused to make any declaration. he went to La Loma where he took a siesta with his common-law wife Andrea Marifosque at about dusk. ang mga bata. Pedro Enriquez. Scarface then dismantled the gun. Miray. Enriquez was arrested on December 24. BBBB-2. whereupon Mayor Lacson said that if the Colonel would insist in arresting him. but the Captain failed to meet the latter after looking for him in several places. He confessed. Montano found Castelo in his suite "pale and jittery". Francisco Villa. Velarde and Cabal arrived. and H-9) in the house of Robles' sister. an agent of the NBI. but he denied everything. BBBB-6. K. except Ben Ulo. picked up Ben Ulo. During said tape-recording. One month after the Shellborne incident. then he read comics and retired at about eight or nine o'clock. Castelo at last lifted his order. He did not sign it until he obtained the assurance from the NBI that he would be given adequate protection. under the "papag" bed in the house of Robles' aunt. Sayson desisted and reported back to Castelo. Scarface and Robles. and his narration was likewise tape-recorded. . DEFENSES: Appellants set up the defense of alibi. three months after the Shellborne incident. BBBB. Then on May 24th and 26th. then reduced to writing. on pages 2 and 4 of his written statement. and his narration was tape-recorded and later reduced to writing in five pages (Exh. This revelation resulted in several apprehensions. 1953). Col. thereupon Castelo ordered the Captain to arrest Mayor Lacson. GG. and upon his indication. 1954 (Exhs. Scarface was found dead. Antonio Sayson. — After receiving his salary at three o'clock in the afternoon of June 15th. Robles. Asked whether the Colonel had a warrant of arrest. having taken his supper at Rizalina's house. G). Sayson was likewise ordered by Castelo to arrest Mayor Lacson and to provide security for Scarface in the second floor of the hotel. His death still remains a mystery. Miray named Ben Ulo. . and thereafter. Peping de Jesus who executed statement Exhibit EE describing how he shot Monroy. Sensing that the situation was tense. BBBB-7. Realista. the police recovered the gun parts hidden by him as well as the bullets. BB. he would have to do it over Lacson's dead body. Augusto Melencio voluntarily surrendered to the police. even as they claimed that the statements they gave to the NBI and the Manila Police had been extorted from them by means of violence. saying "Iyan daw ang ginamit pagpatay kay Monroy " (That's said to be the one used in killing Monroy). Upon suggestion of Capt. before Atty. "Ben. Peping de Jesus. riding in two weapons carriers. were likewise turned over to Major Cabe who. H-7. De Jesus. Pedro Enriquez. J. Manila. He confessed. All these statements or confessions 3a relate. The Manila Police. at home at 707 Pablo Carreon. upon laboratory tests. Gonzales linked Enriquez. . there being two opposing armed groups standing by. Robles and Scarface were called to Ben Ulo's house where the latter banded a super . Gonzales. but before his departure. Having known the latter's connection with Ben Ulo and his "boys". Arturo Xavier of the NBI. they took the latter into custody of the (NBI) on December 18th for questioning. both went to Robles' house and there Scarface wondered where they could hide the gun and the bullets. On October 20. — The night Monroy was killed (June 15. Gonzales and Melencio in the manner already stated. Rogelio Robles was then apprehended and questioned. which were turned over to the NBI and then to Major Cabe. and the incident was closed. Hipolito Bonifacio was likewise taken into custody by the Manila Police. the handle and the bullets (Exhs. JJ and HH-1) while out on bail and when the case was already being heard. one Remedios Tagle came and had supper with them. he made the revelations later to be quoted herein. the ballistics expert of the Armed Forces. ascertained the identity of the killer Peping de Jesus. In this statement. BBBB-5. Gonzales even made corrections with his initials. 1953.38 caliber pistol (Exh. in turn. and his statement was tape-recorded and later written and subscribed to. He confessed too. and the other (Exhs. — He stayed the whole day. H-6. Felix Miray. The NBI on December 30th. Domingo Gonzales. Castelo went to the United States. Manila. he told Ben Ulo in the presence of Melencio. BBBB-11). a scout car and a jeep. De Jesus. CC and FF). Miray. he was playing "cuajo" in the house of Rizalina de la Rosa in Calle Asuncion. — After taking a siesta on June 15th. Then Generals Vargas and Selga. concluded that the three slugs came from the three empty shells which. Enriquez. nursing a toothache. take care of the boys be sure nobody talks as we would be in danger). June 15th. Scarface and Robles left. Capt. he started playing from about two or three o'clock in the afternoon up to five o'clock in the following morning. on its part arrested on December 29. BBBB-4. saw the Mayor and informed the latter that he was being arrested upon orders of the Secretary. — unknown to Gonzales — and Miray assured the NBI that what Gonzales had said was all true. Deputy Chief of the Constabulary (who was also called by Castelo). DD naming Ben Ulo. Salvador Realista and a certain Rading as among the conspirators.

De Jesus. his catholicity does not permit him to entertain such a wish to kill. Those confessions unfurl a picture of conspiracy amongst themselves and other persons to snuff out the life of Monroy. he told Ben Ulo to take care of the "boys" and see to it that they do not talk. it contradicts their individual confessions wherein each mutually names one another as his partner in crime. that be and Monroy made up since then. arriving there at about seven o'clock.00 ff he would turn witness against Castelo. because. it was Ben Ulo who planned the whole strategy of the rub-out. and that he was merely cajoled into making said statements. If torture were the standard police practice in obtaining statements. having been a fiscal and a judge. that they rode in a jeep driven by Patrolman Maximo Francisco. and asked for forgiveness for having so testified. and each corroboration or supplementing one another's narration of material facts. Francisco. his flight while under detention betrayed a guilty conscience. Besides. — He escorted Mrs. admitting. Gianzon. He denied all the imputations of Robles. and on the same day. as the contents thereof were merely dictated by Fiscal Andres Reyes to stenographer Miss Paredes.00 by Mayor Lacson if he would testify against Castelo — which he rejected. reluctant to believe that these five appellants had no other choice but to make statements. June 16th. But it is of record that Enriquez was arrested on December 24. he could have just told his brother to shoot the victim without the need of anybody else's help. the positive testimony of Robles conclusively shows that this appellant was the active leader of the plot. Ben Ulo himself refutes them on this score when he testified that he was never subjected to any indemnity. and between six and eight o'clock on the night of June 15th. Hipolito and De Jesus deserves little attention for its flimsiness. He further said that on January 5. DISCUSSION: We shall first take up the case of the six defendants against whom the People recommends conviction. Monroy promising that at some subsequent time. because his wife had a severe attack of asthma. whom he did not know. He even declined to make any statement before the NBI and the Manila Police — and was not bothered at all. on the last week of May. and that Domingo Gonzales was taken into custody by the NBI on December 28. as he claimed to lay the basis for his alibi. after learning from the newspapers that he was included in the information. besides. to kill Monroy because. although he was somehow threatened.5 Note further. that they returned from Cabanatuan the following morning. — In the afternoon of June 15th. that as proved by the prosecution. and that Lacson had offered to give him P10. embraced him. the acknowledged leader of the group. He denies having told Ben Ulo. Elaborating on the contention that the interlocking confessions of De Jesus. he too confessed. Gianzon and others. Ben Ulo. He also denied another Melencio's insinuation that after his arrival from Korea he Their claim that their confessions were extorted by means of force and violence may not be taken at its face value.000. who immediately confirmed that "Monroy must be killed". in the presence of witnesses Robles and Scarface. It was he who broached the subject of killing Monroy to Robles and Scarface. that Monroy be killed after he had left for Korea. confessed his participation. Leuterio. and that after the cruise he attended a BZSCOM meeting then went to the Philippine National Bank at the Escolta to act on some important papers. The defense of alibi set up by Miray. Enriquez. which offer he refused. To cap it all. Miray and Hipolito had been extracted thru violence. Juan Luna. He further said that it would have been better for him to have Monroy alive because it was Monroy who could precisely vindicate him from the accusations of Senator Recto. a disinterested witness. We are. Oscar Castelo. wept. Mr. by the National Bureau of Investigation and on the same day. Bonifacio. Gonzales. Castelo. and it was he who delivered the lethal gun Exh. — He was in his house at 1247 Interior 9. to a party at the Jai-Alai with friends. having left Manila on the 8th and returned on the 26th. on June 15th. 4 With respect to Ben Ulo.000. from its inception down to its actual accomplishment. Monroy. he could not have committed the gross indiscretion of telling such serious matter in the presence of strangers. that he was not forced to make a statement nor subjected to any physical violence by the police. in the presence of Robles and Scarface. however. after which he went to V. Afterwards we shall consider that of both Melencio and Castelo. he left the scene of the crime at about 6 p. JJ and HH-1 were not given by him voluntarily. 1953. lends special credence to the People's theory.m. Gonzales. should have been spared from such ordeal. each describing his own participation therein. 1954. whose acquittal the Solicitor General recommends. it is hard to believe that the NBI and the Manila Police could have added incidental details to said confessions without the declarants having furnished them themselves. He similarly branded as false the insinuation in Melencio's written statement that before he boarded the plane for Korea he (Castelo) called Ben Ulo and Melencio aside and reminded them that Monroy should be killed before his return. that it was likewise false that before he left for the United States in August. They could have refused. accompanied by his cousin. Castelo from six o'clock in the evening of June 15th. Clarita Tan Kiang. Augusto Melencio. bearing in mind that Manila is just 15 to 20 minutes drive to the scene of the crime. their attorney de-officio calls attention to the several days they had been under detention before they signed the corresponding confessions (before the police). he stated that he was even offered P10. he swore that this is a lie because he did not go to his office that morning as he had a cruise on board a navy vessel around Manila Bay with prominent persons such as Commodore and Mrs. De Jesus was positively identified by William Clemens. and introduced his "boys" to Castelo. Luna Hospital for dental treatment. and Mrs. and it is very unlikely that the officials of that Bureau would lend . Enriquez. G to Scarface and Robles for them to hide. — He was in Korea on June 15th. Gonzales and Melencio — all of whom point to Ulo as the leader and moving spirit but also by the mass of evidence on record. This point. because the NBI operates under the Department of Justice. already well-dressed. The testimony of Robles is amply corroborated not only by the confessions of Miray. on the contrary. which lasted up to June 17th. Enriquez. 1953. Fiscal Milagros German. Mrs. Castelo likewise denied the imputation of Robles that on June 1st.56 Hipolito Bonifacio. he voluntarily surrendered to Mayor Lacson and that his statements Exhs. that leaves no room for doubting his guilt. asked Ben Ulo in the presence of Melencio how was the "job" done and if anybody saw it done. besides refuting the defense' contention that it was Mayor Lacson and the Manila Police who had framed up this prosecution and extracted the confessions. such as Mrs. and all mentioning Ben Ulo as their leader. he was massaging his wife's back on account of her ailment. he went to Cabanatuan City with Major Vina of the Quezon City Police on a robbery case which they were investigating. same as Ben Ulo. Moreover. he would retract what he had testified before the Committee and would issue a statement to that effect in the press. and stayed there until early hours in the morning when he conducted Mrs. because his brother is a sharpshooter of note and is a worthy representative of the Philippines in international shooting competitions. Atty. and others. De Jesus actually firing the fatal shots and the others lending him support while posted at strategic places. he instructed Ben Ulo. and by Canlas who singled him out in a police line-up. it surely strikes us why Ben Ulo. Castelo home. after having testified before the Blue Ribbon Committee. Cancio purposely came to see him on May 21st. So he could have gone from there directly to accompany Mrs. adding that if he really ever wanted to do away with anybody. as Scarface and Robles. therefore.

. xxx xxx xxx Q." wherein I am one of the accused. — He is one of the accused in this case. — Where did you finish your high school? A. and partly perhaps. — To give information that I wish to be a state witness in the case of "PPI vs. They told me it is up to me.. et al. At this juncture. — He was telling me that he will liquidate me and my family if I testify against them. sir. because he is the nephew of Castelo and was his confidential agent at the time. — She told me that if I knew something I should tell it. sir. — Yes. sir. But not all confessions are attacked as having been obtained thru violence. it may be stated that Mayor Lacson's participation and interest was due to the request for help from the Pasay Police. — How do you call him? A. one of the accused in this case. — What is your motive? Q. — Do you have any criminal record? xxx A. sir. Q. xxx xxx . to his natural apprehension that the police officers might be slow or reluctant to pursue the "lead" implicating an official of the highest level. and this is significant. Q. — Have you studied this matter seriously? A. Castelo. — Yes. why are you here now before me? A. Melencio. — Do you realize what you are doing? A. — None. job or money for you to testify in this case as state witness? A. A. Q. Q. — Mr. Q. a member of the Cabinet — holding two pivotal portfolios at that. Melencio never claimed that the police laid violent hands on him. Melencio. sir. — Because I want to have a clear conscience. the original information did not include Castelo. he is the cousin of my father. — One of the reasons why you did not testify in the very beginning is because you were afraid of Ben Ulo. Since the very beginning of this case I have been thinking to testify in this case in favor of the prosecution but thinking that Oscar Castelo is my relative. — He merely said he confessed because he was afraid. Q. — Yes. Q. . — Because I have known him as a killer. Here are pertinent parts thereof: Q. A. — I call him Tio Oscar. — I think so.6 In fact. Who is this Ben Ulo? Q. yet he made his confession while he was at liberty under bail. — Yes. — If I am not mistaken Mr..57 themselves to any moves to frame up their boss. Melencio.7 This confession has a very peculiar value. you are related to Mr. — Did he threaten you or intimidate you? Q. — In a private college run by catholic priests. Oscar Castelo. I was ashamed to testify against him and I feared Ben Ulo. And many details could not have appeared therein unless he had given them out himself voluntarily. — Have you been promised any reward. — Why are you afraid of him? Q. A. A. since the very beginning of my assignment. sir. are you not? A. — How did he threaten you? A. — Have you consulted your father and mother? A. sir. — And in spite of that you are coming to me and are willing to testify against him in the trial? Q. — Have you consulted your wife? A. A. Q. Q. — Yes. — No.

Alfredo de Leon. sir. the latter part of May. — Did you ask Ben Mendoza why be wanted to survey the place? A. A. — I understand that you were working before in the Office of the National Defense? A. — Do you know Rogelio Robles? A. — Certainly. A.ñët Q. — When we were in Camp Murphy. — How do you know that he was the personal bodyguard? A. why did you not think of testifying? Q. Jose de Jesus. xxx A. Emeterio Espiritu. — When was that? Q. we. because I saw him with Ben Mendoza in the residence of the Secretary of National Defense. A. sir. — On what occasion? A. — Did you hear about the name of Manuel Monroy again? Q. — What was Robles doing in the house of Castelo during the latter part of May? A. Felix Miray and Totoy Reyes. 1äwphï1. Pedro Enriquez. Q. Salvador Realista. A. — What was your position in the office? Q. — At the time that Robles was testifying you were one of the accused present were you not? Q. he told me that the Secretary desired that Monroy be silenced. xxx xxx xxx Q. I asked Miray who is that small fellow and Miray answered: "Matigas na bata ni Ben yan" and since then I saw him once in a while going with us to escort the secretary. xxx xxx Q. Several times I have seen Rogelio Robles join us. do you know what was the relationship between Ben Mendoza and Oscar Castelo. Ben Mendoza. — Up to when did you stay in the National Defense as confidential agent? Q. — We used to go everywhere he went. sir. I can remember that I asked the guard in the house. — In the latter part of May? xxx xxx xxx A. — Yes. — Yes. — In the middle part of July. — I know it because I have seen him day and night with the secretary and he is the one who gives order to some of the escorts. — In the office of the Secretary. in the National Defense. what did you do? Q. Ben Mendoza told me to go with him in company of Gonzales and Felix Miray to survey the place where Manuel Monroy lives. — Yes. — When was that you saw him for the first time? A. ex-secretary Oscar Castelo. Domingo Gonzales. — Yes. — When I saw Rogelio Robles there in the house of Castelo. A. — Confidential Agent. — Who was the Secretary of the National Defense at that time when you started as confidential agent? xxx xxx xxx Q. A. When I learned that. xxx xxx xxx A. 1953. — You stated that you chose to be an escort of Oscar Castelo. He told me that is the companion of Ben. — I started working in April. Q. — After Robles testified. sir. — I had been thinking of my uncle. Q. 1953. A. . Q. — Oscar Tombo Castelo. — When you say.58 Q. were you accompanied by other people? Q. — You said that Ben Mendoza also escorted Secretary Castelo. — He is the personal bodyguard of the secretary.

— They just stayed outside. that prosecuting arm of the Government would seem to reject the confession in so far as it affects Castelo and Melencio. Q. What is the difference? At least. he told Ben in Tagalog in my presence: "Huwag lang hindi ninyo mapatay si Monroy bago ako dumating". — We are leading the Secretary to the plane. et al. PAREDES Clk-Stenographer Q. they tried all their efforts to prevent him from testifying and in spite of that he testified. It says "we are not prepared to admit as true everything stated" in it. pero Ben. he called Ben and me in a place where we will not be heard by anybody and he told us in a hurried manner. — Who was "we"? A. — What was your reaction when Ben Mendoza told you that? A. — I felt a little nervous. and Bonifacio). which were merely "subscribed and sworn to" before Fiscal Andres Reyes. A. — Yes. Pick apen natin. (Sgd. — We waited for the Secretary to come because he was dressing when we arrived. — Why did you not bring the gang? A. . Fiscal Andres Reyes." Q. Gonzales. furthermore." In connection with this confession. Q. And there is one decisive consideration. etc. malinis na malinis ang trabajo. — Did you see him (Castelo) after he arrived from Korea ? A. — The gang but we left them outside and we went inside. We were then in the sala of the house when he came down. "Huwag kang magalala. did you verify or later on did you find out if it was really the desire of Castelo to silence Monroy? A. — While we were conversing.59 Q. Enriquez. — What happened? A. when we escorted him on the plane. Q. xxx xxx xxx Q. — What were you doing there near Castelo? A. Q. Q. — Ben Ulo further stated: "Kaylangan maareglo ito baka bumaglitad ito". but would apparently consider it as against the other co-defendants. He was very happy. — Because Ben Ulo told me that Castelo was double crossed by Monroy. We do not think such "wheedling" could invalidate a confession. sir. in an ordinary investigation by the Fiscal. and then the reply of Ben was. must be accorded full evidentiary value.) ESTER P. wala na tayong intindihin ngayon. All of which means: the confession of Melencio like those of De Jesus. xxx xxx xxx Q. — Now. the Solicitor General's Office appears to have taken a peculiar stand. — Do you know the reason why Castelo wanted to silence Monroy? A. I was even carrying his portfolio. was out on bail when he signed it. xxx xxx xxx Q.. Babaligtad na si Scarface. — What was the reaction of Ben Ulo when he learned that Scarface was arrested? A. was it not a confession that interlocked with the confessions of the other defendants and must accordingly be considered with such confessions? Specially because unlike the other defendants. And then. 1954 by Asst. of the Secretary and he called me personally and told me: "Tila merong masamang nangyari. and. "Wala. flattery. Wheedled means coaxed by soft words. halos patay na siya". Ben Ulo came out excited from the Office. Unlike the other confessions of the accused (De Jesus. in so far as Melencio was concerned. Kaylangan makausap ng matanda. the confession of Melencio contains this certification signed by two women-stenographers:8 We hereby certify that this is a true and correct transcription of the stenographic notes taken during the preliminary investigation conducted on May 26. — Who was with you when you saw him? A. — I cannot call it verify because when Castelo was leaving for Korea. because he was "wheedled" by the Police Department to testify for the prosecution. natitiyak mo kaya walang nakakita? and Ben said. Melencio never claimed to have been physically harmed by the Police.) JULIETA HERRERA Clk-Stenographer (Sgd. — What did you do then? Which certification shows the answer given by Melencio had been given before said two women — not the police — and taken down stenographically by them. Miray. and holding his bow tie he tapped the shoulder of Ben and said Mabuti. — Ben Ulo and myself.

as claimed. which were being trampled upon by a mere "police character". 906. First. We have carefully examined his lengthy testimony during the original trial and have come to the conclusion that the facts narrated therein. Valdez. alleging mistreatment and coercion. Castelo must have understood that they could be trusted. they kept their mouths shut. The Blue Ribbon investigation could only produce removal from office. which should be received with caution. Ben are you sure nobody saw?" to which Ben Ulo replied. Melencio mentions in his confession (3) that before Castelo boarded the plane for Korea on June 8th. These confessions are so intimately interwoven that it is hard. it is not improbable that Castelo and Ben Ulo had previously discussed between themselves the elimination of Monroy before Ben Ulo ever broached the subject to Scarface and Robles one morning. was backing them up to the hilt with his double-barreled power as head of both the Justice Department and the Armed Forces of the country. that we do not hesitate to hold it to be a mere afterthought. "Good. supposing it was made. Even the MPD which was in the light track when it arrested Robles and Scarface ten days after the crime failed in its efforts because of the stubborn silence of both. it was a clean job. Noteworthy it is that when subjected for several weeks to a searching and unrelenting crossexamination by several defense lawyers. although quite unusual. Castelo had reasons to distrust such promise. hardy henchmen to bring it about. and to consider them collectively merely as corroborative and/or confirmatory of the evidence independent therefrom. his recantation at the new trial.) And why should the operatives of the NBI — subordinates of Castelo — cooperate in getting confessions reflecting against their boss. apart from our wariness and skepticism in matters of retraction of prosecution witnesses made after a judgment of conviction. he had already made up his mind to proceed to Korea? (Castelo. for it finds adequate support. Monroy. In the absence of collusion among the declarants. Castelo's counsel and the Solicitor General strenuously insist that the lone testimony of Robles. This. Coming now to Castelo. perhaps. . to say nothing of Melencio's repudiation thereof. (Cf. and so. this thought occurs to us: if this prosecution was a mere concoction of Mayor Lacson and his police — as defense insinuates — how did they know that on June 1 (date when he made the order to kill Monroy during his absence). to draw a line with a view to sifting the individually admitted facts. "Ben. designed to rescue his former co-defendants and to deliver Castelo from the hands of the law. Castelo argued that if he had wished to eliminate Monroy. this witness stood firm and steadfast in his assertions and answered his questioners with straightforward alacrity. Scarface and witness that Monroy should be killed AFTER he had left for Korea. In the light of the confessions and the testimony. 503. the defense contends. The evidence shows that none of Castelo's co-appellants had any motive for desiring Monroy's demise. but in the totality of the evidence.S. the only direct evidence9 against him is the testimony of Robles. requires examination of the testimony of Robles in both the original and the new trials. he had made plans to travel abroad. that Melencio's confession is utterly incompetent as against Castelo. and Melencio and the finding of the gun parts in his possession. It was only Castelo.60 It must be observed that said confessions were presented in a joint trial of all the accused. Enrique A. So "kailangan mapatay si Monroy. but. he could have asked his brother who was a sharpshooter— instead of employing so many accomplices. in order to form a complete picture of the whole situation. The defense insists that contrary to the prosecution's theory. Bonifacio. who had such motive. 11a This view is highly speculative. The Solicitor General regards Ben Ulo as the central figure in the conspiracy. Dacir. and so he was outspoken in suggesting Monroy's destruction. 9b This. and urged that Monroy be killed BEFORE his return. and that considering Robles' recantation. And third. for it is not likely that one would take another man's life. And so. vs. Castelo. Castelo admonished Ben Ulo in the presence of Melencio. we have nothing to worry about. And this mode of reasoning does Castelo no credit. It is unbelievable. But disbarment will scuttle his means of support. to determine which of his conflicting stories reflected the true facts. 1953. Thus. in a gay mood patted Ben Ulo's back to say. Ben Ulo being still "strong" and Castelo powerful. and (2) that on June 1st Castelo again suggested to Ben Ulo. sans Castelo. or to show that he. to impress upon the "boys" that Ben Ulo was not joking. Francisco Espiritu. Robles later explained that he did not confess anything at that time because he and Scarface enjoyed a certain degree of immunity. partly in revenge and partly to silence him forever. during the trial admitted that before June. Not to mention the three fiscals — also under Castelo — who vigorously handled the prosecution. vs. and confirmation not only in the collective confessions of Miray. At this point. there was still time to avert any further harm. it reveals him as a man who would not hesitate to endanger the life or liberty of his own brother to further his ends. 9a On the other hand. called him and Ben Ulo aside. is insufficient to warrant conviction." However." had testified in the Senate imputing bribery to him.) Furthermore.S. he assumed nobody would believe any witness who would testify to such recklessness of a Cabinet member. 12 This is an indication that — contrary to defense's theory — the police were not bent on obtaining confessions. we would be in bad fix. because the latter had voluntarily promised to retract his testimony given before the Blue Ribbon Committee. 30 Phil. having been a fiscal. . 61 Phil. he was issuing orders to a loyal subordinate or to would be subordinates. Fiscal Andres Reyes and newspaperman Primitive Mijares. Castelo did not want Monroy to die. liquidation of Monroy appeared to be the only solution. And as instructed. had to be protected. himself. place his head on a silver platter and give it as a present to his master merely for a pat in the back. because besides assuming that his brother would do it. Yet it is not certain that his brother would be willing to expose his own neck.e. by hook or by crook. De Jesus.S. his experience foresaw an airtight alibi should Monroy be killedwhile he was in Korea. In addition to this. then. Enriquez. no proof remains in the record against Castelo who. and a rap for bribery could lead to prison. U. Neither is it improbable that when Ben Ulo introduced them later that same morning as his "boys". and the Shellborne incident shows him to be capable of carelessness — if not naughtiness — when he directed a colonel to arrest the Mayor of the City of Manila without any judicial warrant10. Second. are not improbable considering the situation as a whole. Cu Unjieng. there are at least two additional reasons to explain this apparent "imprudence".. and release them. vs." as he said. disbarment and jail. U. take care of the boys. who swore: (1) that when he and Scarface were introduced by Ben Ulo one morning in May. that Castelo should be so imprudent as to speak out his liquidation order to Mendoza in the presence of strangers. for being doubly hearsay. His agents acted swiftly and surely. 26 Phil. Castelo. Castelo told the latter in the presence of both Robles and Scarface that there was NEED to kill Monroy. And his trip to Korea offered a favorable coincidence. i. Gonzales. U. and apparent spontaneity. the testimony of Robles linking Castelo with the conspiracy does not stand alone. whom he knew as a man "without scruples and capable of swindling his own mother. So the MPD had to release them. as well as by Mayor Lacson. so that even though Monroy had already testified. 293. either. a fortiori must be acquitted. (4) that a day after his return on June 26th. Castelo chose violent death having as he had." and (5) that before Castelo left for the United States in August. and suggests that he killed Monroy merely to curry Castelo's favor. But knowing him as a "blackmailer" and double-crosser11. has been so completely rebutted by Feliciano Lazaro. "Nobody. Morales and Adolfo Arguelles of the Manila Police. be sure nobody otherwise. if not impossible. their confessions should be read together. Castelo's reputation and career.

CONCLUSION: To summarize. given our findings. — All the confessions point to him as the mastermind. Pasay. (Cf.B. the guilt of all the appellants: Bienvenido Mendoza. He was "pale and jittery" (quoting Captain Montano) and. like nighttime. The testimony of Robles as to his orders to kill. The Shellborne incident occurring three weeks thereafter marked the beginning of the revelation. such motion is denied. Labrador. There are aggravating circumstances. — Their confessions. Castelo must have been apprised of this. beyond reasonable doubt. L-5849. the potential squealer was killed mysteriously. The Solicitor General recommending conviction of six appellants. And Pedro Enriquez' confession. . They were all pointed out at the trial by Rogelio Robles. JUDGMENT: WHEREFORE. Bengzon. what a coincidence — while Castelo was abroad again. JJ. Given his guilty connection with Scarface. Padilla. Gonzales.L. 1952. People vs. Hipolito Bonifacio. Castelo's reaction to this could not be other than fright. Pedro Enriquez. At that time. In fine. This accounts for Mayor Lacson's leading the press. for the purpose of proving that others killed Monroy.. Hernandez. 1954.) . both of whom identified him in court.. Regala and Makalintal. And a few weeks later. And shortly after the death of Monroy. aid of armed men. Motion for New Trial. Bonifacio was appointed agent too — by Castelo naturally. . was seen by William Clemens and by Canlas.. Felix Miray drove one of the cars that carried the group to David Street. directing his "boys" in the slaying expedition He in turn had received orders from Castelo: Rogelio Robles so declared in court. On top of all this. and. strangers to each other. There is no doubt. etc. only to be frustrated by the Mayor's presence of mind. but for lack of sufficient votes. . after all. the case of the People is so strong against him. brushing aside his knowledge of the law and forgetting that he bad been a fiscal and a judge. People vs. photographers and policemen to the Shellborne in order to take pictures of Castelo and Scarface together and/or to tape-record their conversation. jointly and severally. and to pay the costs.000. De Jesus as the triggerman. May 23. Robles. People vs. J. — His confession. It confirmed that Castelo and Scarface were not. without warrant. he was the trusted bodyguard of Castelo-and a known killer. took no part. and Concepcion. Reyes. that it would be unjust to set him free and yet imprison his seven subordinates who merely carried out his commands. So ordered. while the others were located at strategic places nearby ready to shoot it out if necessary and/or to furnish means of retreat. Melencio's Confession furnishes a very plausible explanation why Scarface was in the hotel. wherein admitting their own participation in the crime. he ordered. Bautista Angelo. 52 Off. The confession of Melencio as to such orders too. parts of which have been transcribed above. and thus his reaction and pronounced interest in keeping Scarface out of the reach of the police 14 — conduct which is certainly incompatible with his innocence. Oscar Castelo. Domingo Gonzales and Felix Miray. his "boys"). 2010. in the sum of six thousand pesos (P6. He had subservient bodyguards or agents to do his bidding. Melencio and De Jesus were special agents of the Department of National Defense (recommended by Ben Ulo. Manadi. the arrest of Lacson. Gaz. C. and our rulings in the matter. fearing that his complicity with the Monroy murder would at last be uncovered. the conviction for murder — qualified by premeditation — all the herein accused-appellants is affirmed.61 But truth will always out. The confessions of his co-accused describing his participation.. L-3391. The confessions of such agents. — His desire and interest to eliminate Monroy. JJ. Dizon. concur. The MPD watching Scarface's movements must have known when he was actually "picked up" 13 and brought to the Shellborne Hotel where Castelo had his suite. May 24. corroborated their assertions. his conduct at the Shellborne hotel revealed his culpable connection with the assassination plot. Augusto Melencio.J.00). Enriquez. impliedly disagrees with the motion. Buluran. the following sufficiently show.. — There is pending here a motion for new trial. So he had to summon the Constabulary and the Army to come to his aid. he stated that Ben Ulo had told him that they would pick up Scarface for confrontation with the old man (Castelo) because Scarface was about to spill the beans (babaligtad). they indicated the other members of the liquidating squad. The testimony of Robles linking him with the liquidation squad. Paredes. So. Jose de Jesus. they are all sentenced to life-imprisonment and to indemnify the heirs of Monroy. Jose de Jesus shot Monroy15. Barrera.

who examined her and certified to the following findings: 1. punctured wound. Abrasion. who witnessed the ravishment. Racela Jr.62 G. 2. she went home and cried. on July 17. Julito Santillan. The prosecution's evidence shows that at about nine o'clock in the morning of July 12. Hymen not intact. the Municipal Health Officer. for plaintiff-appellee. he feared that Amores might also "wrestle" with him. and her half-brother. External examination of the vulva showed no external injury. slight right and left legs. 1966 Petronila Baligasa. Without any preliminaries. unbottoned his pants. Superficial. Her brother. . Amores seized her hands. pulled her legs. Upon overtaking her. Unto for accused-appellant. removed her panties (Exh. J. eleven years old. Office of the Solicitor General Estelito P. His house was not far from her residence. pushed her to the ground. D). Julito. Amores held Petronila's arm. Bantug is related to Petronila. L-32996 August 21. Mendoza. Amores' superior strength frustrated her efforts. Wendelino Amores and Proculo Inquig (eighteen and sixteen years old. vs. WENDELINO AMORES. to gather cornstalks (kumpay) in that farm. While Amores was abusing Petronila. Amores chased her and overtook her when she was forced to stop in order to remove a thorn which had pricked her left foot. They resided in the same barrio. accused-appellant. While they were engaged in that task. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION Petronila did not reveal at once to her grandmother what Amores had done because she was afraid to do so. AQUINO. Her grandmother was not in the house. So. fourteen years old. 1966. They had been directed by their grandmother. plaintiff-appellee. placed himself on top of her and succeeded in having carnal knowledge of her.:p This is a rape case. Assistant Solicitor General Hector C. After the assault. She disclosed the outrage to the old woman five days thereafter. she repeatedly shouted for help and struggled to free herself from his clutches by scratching. Kho. respectively) appeared at the scene. Oriental Negros. No.R. Fule and Solicitor Jose F. could not do anything. He ran away after the act was consummated. she was brought to the office of Doctor Severiano M. Elpidio D. left foot. Petronila had known Amores for a long time. were in the farm of Sedronico Bantug located at Barrio Bungao. She was unsuccessful. Valentina Sarmiento. boxing and kicking him. Valencia. She extricated herself from his grasp and ran away. both orphans. Thinking like a child. 1974 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 3.

Appellant's denial is not sufficient to overthrow the declaration of the complainant that she was raped. 1966. when defendant overtook her. He stayed for only fifteen minutes in the farm. The defense counsel cross-examined the complainant. the evidence of record shows that they are already motherless. The small size vaginal speculum admits without difficulty (sic). her brother and Doctor Kho. on the alleged affidavit but.000 "as moral damages" (Criminal Case No. then the rape of Petronila by Amores was not an isolated instance in Barrio Bungao. 8336). June 28. Zaldivar (Chairman). and undoubtedly. Garcines. the broken condition of her hymen was due to the introduction of the defendant's member into her vagina. February 27. 1974). May 31. After Emiteria Amores had testified. 32 and 33 tsn). the abrasions on the legs could have been caused by the contact of the said legs as she was kicking and struggling to free herself from the defendant as the latter was raping her. The doctor's findings and the facts unfolded by the offended party and her brother are in complete harmony with each other. 5. A). the son of Valentina Sarmiento. applies to this case. 1966. Genaro Bantug and Proculo Inquig corroborated the testimony of Amores. 1966. sentencing him to an indeterminate penalty of "eighteen (18) years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal. 7. In this appeal. the lower court rendered a judgment convicting Amores of rape. he manifested that he was resting his case. 480. admitted that he was in Sedronico Bantug's farm in the morning of July 12. He first saw her at the house of his elder brother who had married her aunt. which was cited by the lower court). 335 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by Republic Act No. Mauro. 843). as minimum. A). concur. raped Proculo Inquig's sister. 37 SCRA 813. If that was true. The appeal is devoid of merit. L-32321. We agree with the following conclusions of the trial court: The findings of the doctor who conducted the physical examination on the person of the complainant riveted (meaning confirmed) the testimonies of Petronila Baligasa and Julito Santillan who. 1967 which was the basis of the prosecution in this case. 1971. in his fourth assignment of error. Excusing Amores of rape (Exh. 1966 to the police. The transcript and the record do not show that the defense ever tried to offer in evidence such an affidavit. 82 Phil. JJ. B). Doctor Kho declared that Petronila's hymen was not intact because it was ruptured possibly by a male organ. It is difficult to believe that a fourteen-year old girl would undergo the trouble and inconvenience of a physical examination of her private parts. Appellant's counsel (The Mayor of Valencia). Bantug blundered because he said that he first came to know that he would be a witness in this case on July 12. That was the day when the rape was committed. Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code (not its article 64[1]. According to the evidence for the defense. he contends that the trial court erred in giving credence to the testimonies of Petronila. L-31127. supposedly signed by Petronila and sworn to before the defense counsel. he did not produce that document and did not mark it as an exhibit. Doctor Kho explained that no spermatozoa was found in the victim's vagina because the sperm cells would disintegrate or deteriorate five days after coition. dealing with indivisible penalties. He conducted a preliminary investigation. Appellant Amores is sentenced to reclusion perpetua.. L-31238. Emiteria Amores. 483. who finished Grade V. complains that the trial court did not allow him to present a supposed affidavit of desistance. He denied that he chased and raped her. The incident was reported on July 18. Petronila wrote a letter-complaint about the rape to the Provincial Fiscal (Exh. But it erred in giving him the benefit of the Indeterminate Sentence Law. These circumstances could not have been the fabrication of a fertile imagination. On internal examination. 4111). the Mayor and the Municipal Judge. As noted by the trial court. On October 11. Amores. Antonio and Fernandez. He did not offer any documentary evidence. Canastre. 1967 Petronila's verified complaint for rape was filed in the Court of First Instance of Negros Oriental. an unmarried laborer. Her charge was formally affirmed in a subsequent complaint dated October 3. That circumstance might explain why Inquig accompanied his friend. Annex 1 of his brief is a carbon copy of an affidavit of retraction in English dated July 28. Nearly a month after the incident. Petronila was sitting and swinging on a fallen coconut tree. and interrogated his witness. People vs. Moreover. Amores.63 4. Barredo. Costs against the appellant. The trial court did not err in convicting appellant Amores of simple rape which is penalized with reclusion perpetua(Art. it has no probative value. . There were efforts to settle the case amicably (6. Petronila's subsequent letter-complaint to the Provincial Fiscal. In rape the slightest penetration of the female organ consummates the crime (People vs. 110 Phil. Not having been presented formally in evidence. at eight o'clock in the morning (15 tsn). SO ORDERED. 1966 and that he saw Petronila. His version is that he was pasturing his cow in that occasion. They did not take any action. People vs. 839. Rule 110 of the Rules of Court. curiously enough. dated August 10. (Exh. The trial court's judgment should be modified. when the latter ravished Petronila. their absence does not necessarily mean that the subject of the examination has not had any sexual intercourse. constitutes a revocation of that affidavit of desistance or retraction. That possibility was confirmed by the fact that her vaginal canal admits the entrance of one finger. Smear taken from the posterior wall of vaginal fornix is negative for spermatozoa. It cannot be construed as a pardon within the meaning of article 344 of the Revised Penal Code and section 4. Selfaison. The defense could not have been precluded from marking it as an exhibit and causing it to be attached to the record if the lower court rejected it. the vaginal canal admits one finger easily. That gripe is unfounded. to reclusion perpetua. the superficial punctured wound on her left foot was caused by the thorn that pierced her left foot when she was fleeing from the defendant. Savellano. After trial. He admitted that he had known Petronila for sometime. The indemnity is increased to twelve thousand pesos (People vs. Amores appealed to the Court of Appeals which transmitted the records to this Court. submit to a public trial and sully her reputation by admitting that she was raped if her purpose was not to bring to justice the person who had grievously wronged her (People vs. as maximum" and ordering him to pay Petronila an indemnity of P5. Amiscua. Although an examination within three days after intercourse may reveal the presence of spermatozoa. 1974). and which caused her to stop to remove it. Amores had not explained why Petronila would falsely impute to him the grave crime of rape. Fernando. He asseverated that he did not do anything to her.

MARVIN MILLORA. Tayaba and Mislang were standing by Millora. Manuel B. the accused then vented their violence on Aquilino. who all ask for a reversal." hitting him in the mouth and killing him as he fell. one has not appealed and thus impliedly accepted his sentence.64 The prosecution presented a bizarre case of arbitrary condemnation and instant punishment meted out by what appear to be the members of a private army. shot Alejandro twice in the head.R. plaintiff-appellee. Tomas Tayaba. along with their companions. the unfortunate victims were only innocent farmers and not the dangerous criminals they were pronounced to be. was kicked in the head until he bled before he too had his brains blown out. 10 Alejandro's wife. Finally. he was met by Millora who simply shot him at arm's length with a "long firearm. 3 As established by the prosecution. who was only sixteen years old. Muñoz ordered Alejandro and his wife to lie down and then. At that precise time. San Carlos City. Having found their supposed quarry.: Of the four persons convicted in this case. Of the eleven persons who were charged with murder in three separate informations. CRUZ. FELICIANO MUÑOZ. Aquilino D. as the trial court agreed. whom Muñoz again brutally kicked as the others looked on. defendants-appellants. 9 Mauro's son and Aquilino's brother. Bizarre but true. and Pedro . J. Alejandro Bulatao. Aquilino. Abelardo P. namely. the four who stood trial were found guilty. The brief for the appellee would affirm the finding of guilt and in fact even increase the penalty. they proceeded to execute each one of them in cold blood without further ado and without mercy. accused. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. Muñoz kicked him several times in the head as he lay on the ground while the others looked on in silent approval or at least without objection. before his terrified wife and son.. Muñoz and Minora then picked up all the empty shells and fled with the rest of their companions. merely stood by as the brutal act was committed. The third. Baniqued for appellant Tomas Tayaba. Tomas Tayaba. Eleven persons. Marvin Millora. In Alejandro's house. went out in a jeep at the behest of one of them who had complained of having been victimized by cattle rustlers. and neither does the Solicitor General now. The others have questioned their conviction and insist that they are innocent. Juana Bulatao. also in the head. Tayaba and Mislang. Juana watched her husband's death in terror and the 12-year old boy made a desperate run for his life as one of the accused fired at him and missed. Muñoz ended the boy's agony and shot him to death. 1989 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. and the other seven unidentified men went to the house of Mauro Bulatao and asked for the address of his son Arsenic. L-38969-70 February 9. killing him instantly. the four accused dragged out of the house his sixteen year old son. in Balite Sur. Marvin Millora. 7 The above events were narrated at the trial by Melecia Bulatao. Aquilino was entirely defenseless. vs. 2 We deal here only with the appeals of the other convicts. Fermin for appellant Jose Mislang. The prosecution did not think so. Millora for appellant Marvin Millora. who was then bathing his horse. To all appearances. alias "Tamy Tayaba" and JOSE MISLANG. The killings occurred in the morning of June 30. They found him tending to their cows with his son Pedro. 1972. leaving the terrified Juana with the two grisly corpses. Mauro. and knocked him down. None of them made any move to restrain or dissuade him. 5 The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee. Muñoz. has long become final and executory and is now being served. No. Pangasinan. Jose Mislang. 4 After killing Mauro. Jose Bulatao. even as Pedro pleaded for his father's life. They then took the bleeding man with them to look for their third target. was called by the accused. TOMAS TAYABA. All four of them went inside while the rest surrounded the house. The second was forced to lie down on the ground and then shot twice. 6 The second victim having been murdered as the first. The sentence of Feliciano Muñoz. 1 The other seven have yet to be identified and tried. As he approached and while under his house. 8 Mauro's daughter and Aquilino's sister. and Jose Mislang. alias "Tony". Millora. evidently giving him armed support. who did not appeal. the group forced his wife. All eleven men were armed. most of them bodyguards of the town mayor. hitting him in the head and body. et al. Feliciano Muñoz. Juana to go with them and direct them to her husband. One was shot in the mouth and died instantly as his son and daughter looked on in horror.

De Vera. He claimed he had stayed there overnight with a female companion after drinking beer with Atty. Melecia and Jose testified on the killing of their father by Marvin Minora as the other accused stood by and the mauling of their brother Aquilino before he was dragged away by the group. who positively identified Minora as the killer and described the participation of the others.1/2 inches in diameter. Gunshot wound at the upper left shoulder out the middle of the left clavicle around 1.1/2 cm. 18 The brutality of the murders and the veracity of the testimony of the said witnesses are emphasized by the medical reports 19 of the injuries sustained by the victims. de Vera went to the scene of the crime at 9 o'clock that morning to investigate the killings. Alejandro Bulatao: 1. including Tayaba. The trial court especially noted the straightforward account given by Jose. let alone his 16 year old son. however. 15 Her testimony was corroborated by Pedro. as testified to by Dr. stayed in the former's house the whole night of June 29. 1972. Orlando de los Santos. 28 but he cannot be more credible than Mauro's own children. also by Muñoz. 2. The decision noted that Lomibao was mysteriously absent when the police chief and Dr. leaving only at 8 o'clock the following morning of June 30. however. also of alibi. 17 but these are minor flaws that do not detract from the essential truthfulness of their accounts of the ruthless killings. Aquiline Bulatao: 1. Gunshot wound at the lower lip left side of the mouth. it expressed the suspicion that Lomibao and Patrolman Liwanag. who positively identified Millora as the person who actually shot their father in the face and killed him instantly. in diameter.00 to redeem his stolen carabao. Thru and thru gunshot wound with point of entrance at the upper lip left side around 1 cm. Such a traumatic experience could not have been forgotten by these witnesses who saw their father murdered without warning or mercy nor could their memory of the heartless killer have been easily wiped out from their minds. In fact. might have been among the seven . Lacerated gunshot wound at the left eye with the whole eye practically lacerated. including the savage kicking of his brother by Muñoz. these witnesses were naturally deterred from doing so for fear that they would meet the same fate that befell their relatives. is only two kilometers from Balite Sur. including Mauro. 31Moreover. 14 For her part.000. 29 Tayaba and Mislang offered a common defense. 23 Moreover. barrio Bacnar where Mislang's house was located. She narrated in detail how Alejandro was killed before her very eyes and how Aquilino was later kicked and then also shot to death. Juana related how she was threatened with death unless she accompanied the accused to where her husband was. Their testimony was corroborated by Dr. Lomibao. as follows: Mauro Bulatao: 1.30 Significantly. in diameter and with the exit at the middle of the back of the head around 1-1/2 cm. Both claimed that Mislang having complained of cattle rustlers. a group of policemen. 2. The three appellants invoked individual defenses which the trial court correctly rejected as false and unbelievable. Victoriano Bacani said that the latter included Tayaba. These were humble barrio folk whose timidity did not allow them to report their grievances beyond the barrio officials they knew. It is true that there were several inconsistencies in the testimony of these witnesses as painstakingly pointed out by the appellants. She explained her turn-about by confessing that she had earlier agreed to exonerate Minora in exchange for the sum of P3. 26 Millora's own defense was that he was in Dagupan City at the time of the killings. testified to having seen the encounter between the Bulataos and the other group and declared that the former were armed with carbines and Garand rifles. 16 The defense makes much of the fact that it was only months after the killings that it occurred to these witnesses to denounce the accused and suggests that this delay should impugn their credibility. which he also did not mention that same afternoon when he visited Mauro's family to condole with them. more so since the higher authorities appeared to be indifferent and gave no attention. who corroborated them and spoke of having heard the gunfire narrated by Millora's witnesses. in diameter and with the exit at the middle of the back of the head around 2 cm. 13 Melecia earlier pointed to Mislang as the one who had shot her father but changed her mind later on crossexamination and named Millora as the actual killer. 12 who performed the autopsy on the three victims. Antonio Resngit returning to San Carlos City only between 8 and 9 o'clock the following morning or June 30. who was found not in the supposed battleground but under his house. 25 As for De los Santos. who also testified for the accused. while the other accused stood by. the trial court doubted the testimony given by Sgt. 21 Another witness for Millora. 24 It is also not believable that the group would flee because they had no more bullets when their supposed three adversaries were already dead in the field. 2. especially since no shred of evidence had been presented to show that Mauro was a cattle rustler. 11 their son. whom the accused had also thought of killing because he was "talkative" and indeed was shot at when he successfully escaped after his father's murder. Mislang and five others who fled from the scene in a jeep. It is stressed that Juana Bulatao and her son Pedro also categorically declared that Millora was with the group that she took to the field where her husband and Aquilino were killed by Muñoz. 1972. her son. said he himself saw seven men in a jeep coming from the sound of the gunfire after he had paid Mauro P400. All claimed the Bulataos were killed as a result of an exchange of gunfire with a rather hazy group and each claimed he was not involved in the shoot-out. no firearms were discovered beside the dead bodies of the Bulataos. Lacerated gunshot wound of the right eye and the forehead practically opened with the brain tissue outside. As correctly pointed out by the trial judge. much less encouragement. 1972. after Mislang had served them breakfast.00 promised by his father although she actually did not receive the money. 1972. 20 Graciano Muñoz. 22 The trial court rejected Bacani's testimony because he appeared hesitant and suspicious on the stand and did not give the impression that he was telling the truth. in diameter. Jose and Melecia.65 Bulatao. corroborating Bacani. it took him all of one year to report the alleged shooting encounter. having gone there in the evening of June 29. Testifying for Millora on the alleged encounter between the Bulataos and their adversaries. Juanita de Vera. The alleged redemption made by Muñoz was described by the trial court as preposterous. to their complaints. Thru and thru gunshot wound with point of entrance at the upper right jaw bone around 1. 27 The lawyer corroborated him.

for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes. like the records of the constitutional convention. being still applicable in all other cases. the Congress hereafter provides for it. it is neither necessary nor permissible to resort to extrinsic aids. who had the opportunity to observe the demeanor of the witnesses and to assess their credibility. and reclusion perpetua as the maximum. The majority of the Court. the appellants and the others stood by with guns at the ready. When they reached Mauro Bulatao's house. These should now be divided into three new periods in keeping with the three-grade scheme intended by the legislature. 34 In support of this finding. if already imposed. This conclusion is not unanimous. without categorically saying so. 41 . 32 All told. As we said in a previous case: We see no reason to reverse the factual findings of the trial judge. The written record will not show that nuance of tone or voice. Mauro was completely taken by surprise when he was shot in the face. The language. The maximum period of the penalty was thus in effect lowered to the medium. through Justice Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera in People v. Section 19(l) of the 1987 Constitution providing as follows: Excessive fines shall not be imposed. Paras in People v. while rather awkward. by reducing it to reclusion perpetua. There was treachery because every one of the three victims was completely helpless and defenseless when shot and killed by the accused with no risk to themselves. Together they dragged Aquilino from the house and the rest watched while Muñoz kicked him in the head while helpless on the ground. 0177 and 0178. we do not accept the different degrees of participation assigned by the court a quo to each of the appellants in each of the three offenses imputed to them. that made each of them part of a conspiracy. and in Criminal Case Nos. None of the three victims had a chance to resist. regardless of who actually pulled the trigger that killed the three victims. Together. who had the opportunity to observe the witnesses at the trial and assess their credibility.66 unidentified persons who were with Muñoz and the three appellants herein when the Bulataos were murdered. after extended discussion. there is much to be said of the opposite view. unless. Alejandro was lying down when he was shot in the head. Article III of the 1987 Constitution. as before. The rest stood by with their weapons as Muñoz shot Alejandro in the head. Millora was found guilty as principal and Muñoz and the other two herein appellants only as accomplices. No one interceded to stop him from also killing Aquilino.reclusion temporal maximum. Narvasa in People v. with the minimum period. Section 19(l) merely prohibits the imposition of the death penalty and has not. also correspondingly reduced the remaining penalties. The Court has reconsidered the above cases and. When Millora shot Mauro. A reading of Section 19(l) of Article III will readily show that there is really nothing therein which expressly declares the abolition of the death penalty. is of the belief that the original interpretation should be restored as the more acceptable reading of the constitutional provision in question. Indeed. where the offense was not attended by any modifying circumstance. however. which was in fact shared by many of those now voting for its reversal. Intino. These should be maintained intact. There is no question that the group moved in concert. Aquilino was seated when he was shot in the head and shoulders. It is settled that in a conspiracy the act of one is the act of all. the minimum and the medium. 36 Each of the three killings constituted the crime of murder. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua. we affirm the findings of the trial judge. Nobody moved to dissuade or stop him. degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted Neither shall death penalty be imposed. the same period applied. i. pursuing a common design previously agreed upon. the Court.. come to the conclusion that the doctrine announced therein does not reflect the intention of the framers as embodied in Article III. Section 19(l) of the Constitution. the trial court said that there was no evidence of conspiracy to justify holding each of the accused equally liable for the three murders. nor cruel. They knew where to look for them. but this was modified by Article III. there was already an agreement among them to ferret out and punish the Bulataos whom they had condemned beforehand. four of them went inside while the rest deployed themselves in strategic positions. Indeed. for its interpretation. 1987 not imposed the death penalty whenever it was called for under the said article but instead reduced the same to reclusion perpetua as mandated by the above provision. is still plain enough. to wit. qualified by alevosia. Gavarra 37 Justice Pedro L. We hold that there was. All these subtle factors could be considered by the trial judge in weighing the conflicting declarations before him. including death. when the eleven men went out to look for the suspected cattle rustlers. However. together with Muñoz and their seven other companions. was thus maintained except that the maximum period was not imposed because of the constitutional prohibition. In Criminal Case No. In People v. They sought each of them with drawn and ready weapons. Muñoz was found guilty as principal and the herein appellants only as accomplices. 0176. The three-grade scheme of the original penalty. the Court has since February 2. it is clear that from the very start. Yap declared for the Court that "in view of the abolition of the death penalty under Section 19. They knew whom they were looking for. The provision merely says that the death penalty shall not be imposed unless for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes the Congress hereafter provides for it and. the limits of which were specified by Justice Edgardo L. e. Those who disagree feel that Article III. each of them is liable in equal degree with the others for each of the three killings. And it is a settled rule of legal hermeneutics that if the language under consideration is plain. the meaningful contrast between the hesitant pause and the prompt reply. Each member of the conspiracy to commit the crime of murder is guilty as a co-principal. the upper half of reclusion temporal maximum as the medium. shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua. Masangkay 38 and through Justice Andres R. Conformably. the penalty that may be imposed for murder is reclusion temporal in its maximum period to reclusion perpetua" thereby eliminating death as the original maximum period. they took him with them and then forced Juana Bulatao to lead them to her husband. rejected as undeserving of belief in the light of the more convincing and telling evidence submitted by the government. as they properly were. 35 As such. participated in the killings of the three Bulataos in the manner described by the witnesses for the prosecution. and we do not find that he has erred. The advocates of the Masangkay ruling argue that the Constitution abolished the death penalty and thereby limited the penalty for murder to the remaining periods. 33 We agree that the three appellants. The penalty for murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code was reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death. Later. 40 as follows: the lower half of reclusion temporal maximum as the minimum. to be sure. Atencio 39 divided the modified penalty into three new periods. The defenses of the herein appellants should be. and the expression or color or tilt of face that will affirm the truth or expose the fabrication.

While we are told that the trodden path is best. if there is a range. Penalties are prescribed by statute and are essentially and exclusively legislative. with the hope that "as judges." Assuming that Commissioner Bernas's answer reflected the consensus of the body. for the tenets it lays down are not immutable." especially so since he also said and we think with more definiteness-that "all we are saying is that the judges cannot impose the death penalty" (Emphasis supplied). it is an indivisible penalty. 1986. REGALADO: That would be reclusion perpetua. CONCOM. not construction. You cannot divide reclusion perpetuainto two. we return to our original interpretation and hold that Article III. BERNAS: As I said. express or even implied. the judges cannot impose the death penalty (Record. The statute is not abolished. One searches in vain for such a statement. Accepting arguendo that it was the intention of the framers to abolish the death penalty. It would have been so easy. FR. have a range of penalty of 17 years. Accordingly. We understand this to mean that they were not saying more. 749). I. this should not prevent us from opening a fresh trial or exploring the other side or testing a new idea in a spirit of continuing inquiry. FR. (we) will be equal to (our) tasks. we can only interpret and apply them and . While it has a duration of 30 years. MAAMBONG: That is what I am worried about. Masangkay.67 At that. The maximum period is death. the range cannot go as far as death (Record. because the statutes. It is definite that such a requirement. That is a question of wisdom. this is a matter which lawyers can argue with judges about. we are still not persuaded that it was the intention of the framers to lower not only the maximum period but also the other periods of the original penalty. I. Instead. It is virtually the same Court that is changing its mind after reflecting on the question again in the light of new perspectives. especially in the General Criminal Law. we are still not convinced from the debates in the Constitutional Commission that there was also a requirement to adjust the two remaining periods by dividing them into three shorter periods. we will. True enough. considering their loquacity elsewhere — did not say enough. All but two members 42 at that time still sit on the Court today. what we should determine is whether or not they also meant to require a corresponding modification in the other periods as a result of the prohibition against the death penalty. Atencio and Intino cases represented the unanimous thinking of the Court as it was then constituted. Whatever the intention was. And what would be the effect on the judges. even if made. BERNAS: The effect is the abolition of the death penalty from those statutes-only the death penalty. therefore. to state it categorically and plainly. If we now remove the death penalty. if the range is reclusion temporal to death and he can no longer impose the death penalty? He will have difficulty in computing the degrees. p. Thus. BERNAS: Certainly. MR. Sometimes it has a range of reclusion temporal to death or reclusion perpetua to death. July 18. but the penalty is abolished. So there we have it — "this is a matter which lawyers can argue with judges about. The decisions of this Court are not petrified rules grown rigid once pronounced but vital. And well it might. When he complained because he felt unjustly treated by the householder. Vol. Section 19(l) of the Constitution or indicated therein by at least clear and unmistakable implication. do not necessarily punish directly with death. 1986. a person originally subject to the death penalty and another who committed the murder without the attendance of any modifying circumstance will now be both punishable with the same medium period although the former is concededly more guilty than the latter. would not be of much assistance either in the case at bar. The following exchange cited by those in favor of Masangkay is at best thought-provoking but not decisive of the question: FR. The original ruling as applied in the Gavarra. That is not necessarily inferable from his statement that "the judges will be equal to their task. 750). leaving no doubt as to its meaning." whatever that means. the Court finds that such resort. MR. it is not because of a change in the composition of this body. But the range of the penalty for murder consists of three periods. CONCOM July 18. The only thing is. If we have seen fit to take a second look at the doctrine on which we were all agreed before. This is not a necessary consequence of the provision as worded. the latter replied: "Friend. the penalties lower than death remain. The range of the medium and minimum penalties remains unchanged. The medium period isreclusion perpetua. The writer of this opinion makes the personal observation that this might be still another instance where the framers meant one thing and said another-or strangely. Of some relevance perhaps is the parable in the Bible of the workman who was paid the stipulated daily wage of one penny although he had worked longer than others hired later in the day also paid the same amount. Section 19(l) does not change the periods of the penalty prescribed by Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code except only insofar as it prohibits the imposition of the death penalty and reduces it to reclusion perpetua. Where do we get the medium period now until such time that Congress gets around to accommodate this amendment? FR. Could the committee enlighten us on how the judge will look at the specific situation. But that is the will not of this Court but of the Constitution. 4 months and 1 day to 20 years of reclusion temporal up to reclusion perpetua. Vol. The question as we see it is not whether the framers intended to abolish the death penalty or merely to prevent its imposition. if there really was one. we hereby reverse the current doctrine providing for three new periods for the penalty for murder as reduced by the Constitution. All we are saying is. I do you no wrong. is not at all expressed in Article III. for example. assuming such intention. BERNAS: I grant that the judges will have difficulty. The Court relies that this interpretation may lead to certain inequities that would not have arisen under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code before its modification. As judges. and can. growing things subject to change as all life is. but I suppose that the judges will be equal to their tasks. which is the Revised Penal Code. The maximum period of reclusion temporal under the present status is the minimum period for the penalty for murder. Did you not agree with me for a penny?' The problem in any event is addressed not to this Court but to the Congress.

Each of them is sentenced to suffer three (3) penalties ofreclusion perpetua. the Court being morally certain of the guilt of accused CEILITO ORITA @ LITO. as minimum to TWELVE (12) YEARS PRISION MAYOR. 1985. with the aggravating circumstances of dwelling and nightime (sic) with no mitigating circumstance to offset the same. ABAYAN. SO ORDERED. the accused appealed to the Court of Appeals. C. 1988. Abayan against her will and without her consent. beyond reasonable doubt. is still reclusion perpetua.000.000. 1983. This is the penalty we impose on all the accused-appellants for each of the three murders they have committed in conspiracy with the others. maximum. or a total indemnity of P90. in their arrogance. the appealed decision is MODIFIED and all the accused-appellants are hereby declared guilty as principals in Criminal Case Nos. conformably to the new doctrine here adopted and announced. We should not encroach on this prerogative of the lawmaking body. the defense opted not to present any exculpatory evidence and instead filed a Motion to Dismiss.J. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. the prosecution rested its case. the dispositive portion of which reads (p. to indemnify CRISTINA S. No. Rollo): The undersigned Second Assistant Provincial Fiscal upon prior complaint under oath by the offended party. The Office of the Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee. Borongan. we find that there being no generic aggravating or mitigating circumstance attending the commission of the offenses. was charged with the crime of rape in Criminal Case No. Manalo for defendant-appellant. On December 29. 83-031-B before the Regional Trial Court. After the witnesses for the People testified and the exhibits were formally offered and admitted. plaintiff-appellee. Branch II. the amount of Four Thousand (P4. Philippines.: The accused. then and there wilfully. at about 1:30 o'clock in the morning inside a boarding house at Victoria St. the trial court rendered its decision. The courage and conscientiousness they displayed are still the most potent weapons against those who. the dispositive portion of which reads (pp.00 for each of the deceased. It remains to observe that the crimes inflicted upon the humble farmers would have remained unpunished were it not for the vigilance of certain responsible officials.000. Griño-Aquino and Medialdea. Ceilito Orita alias Lito. Borongan. the accused entered the plea of not guilty to the offense charged. Eastern Samar.00) Pesos. CEILITO ORITA alias "Lito." defendant-appellant. JJ. Gutierrez. Not satisfied with the decision. Gancayco.000. 88724 April 3. and considering the provisions of the Indeterminate Sentence Law. Coming back to the case at bar. 1990 WHEREFORE. unlawfully and feloniously lay with and succeeded in having sexual intercourse with Cristina S. The award of civil indemnity for the heirs of each of the victims is affirmed but the amount thereof is hereby increased to P30. and to pay solidarily to the heirs of their victims civil indemnity in the sum of P30. Padilla. RPC). J. 102. C. Thereafter. SO ORDERED. who took up the cudgels for the victims' families. CONTRARY TO LAW... believe that they can flout the law and frustrate justice because they have the protection of powerful patrons.. without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. Rollo): . 59-60. the applicable sentence is the medium period of the penalty prescribed by Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code which. WHEREFORE.00. Bidin. the Court of Appeals rendered its decision. Eastern Samar. especially the police and the prosecuting officer. 335. MEDIALDEA. and to pay costs.00 in line with the present policy.68 have no authority to modify them or revise their range as determined exclusively by the legislature.R. above named accused with lewd designs and by the use of a Batangas knife he conveniently provided himself for the purpose and with threats and intimidation. 47. On August 5. with costs.. concur. Jr. of the crime of Frustrated Rape (Art. Poblacion. 0176. The information filed in the said case reads as follows (p. 0177 and 0178. accuses CEILITO ORITA alias LITO of the crime of Rape committed as follows: That on March 20. Feliciano. did. PRISION MAYOR. Upon being arraigned. vs. imposes on accused an imprisonment of TEN (10) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY. Fernan. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Rollo): Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G.

ibid). came in with loose clothing with no under-clothes. At said position. With one hand holding the knife. linear abrasions below (L) breast. the accused assigns the following errors: 1) The trial court erred in disregarding the substantial inconsistencies in the testimonies of the witnesses." (p. truth and validity. appellant undressed himself. considering the provision of Section 9. 23. She followed his order as he continued to poke the knife to her. As aforementioned.ibid).00. All of a sudden. tsn. 129 in conjunction with Section 17. the resident physician who examined complainant. Appellant then lay down on his back and commanded her to mount him. and knocked on the door. She fled to another room and jumped out through a window (p. Only a portion of his penis entered her as she kept on moving (p. no discharges noted. Eastern Samar. Appellant pursued her and climbed the partition. issued a Medical Certificate (Exhibit "A") which states: Physical Examination — Patient is fairly built. In this position. Donceras and two other policemen rushed to the boarding house. but he ordered her to go upstairs with him.69 WHEREFORE. Pat. Ma. With the Batangas knife still poked to her neck. the policemen brought complainant to the Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital where she was physically examined. When they reached the second floor. When they discovered what happened. per unambulatory. the trial court's judgment is hereby MODIFIED. however. she took off her T-shirt. the trial court convicted the accused of frustrated rape. Abayan was a 19-year old freshman student at the St. 1984). She pleaded with him to release her. ibid). Donceras because they "show remarkable and vital inconsistencies and its incredibility amounting to fabrication and therefore casted doubt to its candor. In the early morning of March 20. and 2) The trial court erred in declaring that the crime of frustrated rape was committed by the accused. Since the door which led to the first floor was locked from the inside. pants and panty (p. Meanwhile. When there was no answer. appellant dragged complainant up the stairs (p. Then he pulled off her bra. she ran around the building and knocked on the back door. examining finger can barely enter and with difficulty. He made her hold his penis and insert it in her vagina. With his left arm wrapped around her neck and his right hand poking a "balisong" to her neck. the Court of Appeals issued a resolution setting aside its December 29. only a small part again of his penis was inserted into her vagina. 44. appears in state of shock. ibid). Breast — Well developed. She dashed out to the next room and locked herself in. PE Findings — Pertinent Findings only. and the appellant found guilty of the crime of rape. May 23. Appellant again chased her. no laceration fresh and old noted. somebody held her and poked a knife to her neck. 1983. She then recognized appellant who was a frequent visitor of another boarder (pp. In this appeal. Scared. sentenced to suffer imprisonment of reclusion perpetua and to indemnify the victim in the amount of P30. errythematous (sic)areas noted surrounding vaginal orifice. On January 11. appellant could not fully penetrate her. Donceras. They heard a sound at the second floor and saw somebody running away. Joseph's College at Borongan. took off his jacket and wrapped it around her. Pat. Vulva — No visible abrasions or marks at the perineal area or over the vulva. 1989. 71-75. Appellant was a Philippine Constabulary (PC) soldier. When the policemen who were inside the building opened the door. Shortly after her classmates had left. Luisa Abude. At this stage. vaginal canal tight. they entered complainant's room. appellant pushed complainant who hit her head on the wall. they failed to apprehend appellant. hymen intact. he commanded her to look for a room. Back — Multiple pinpoint marks. ibid). He ordered her to lie down on the floor and then mounted her. they found complainant naked sitting on the stairs crying. Her classmates had just brought her home from a party (p. complainant arrived at her boarding house. ibid). appellant had both his hands flat on the floor. Dr.— Circumscribed hematoma at Ant. 20. 14. subparagraph 1 of the Judiciary Act of 1948. 77. Rollo): Complainant Cristina S. and consequently. conical in shape with prominent nipples. Neck. Rollo) . Still naked. paragraph 3. 20. she darted to the municipal building. ibid).000. Upon entering the room. the first policeman to see her. Due to darkness. paragraph 3 of Batas Pambansa Blg. SO ORDERED. The accused assails the testimonies of the victim and Pat. He then ordered complainant to take off her clothes. 27. neck. Extremities — Abrasions at (R) and (L) knees. tender. she ran to another room. When she saw him inside the room. 5. she knocked at the door of her boarding house (p. Complainant thought of escaping (p. 8-9. 1988 decision and forwarded the case to this Court. which was about eighteen meters in front of the boarding house. 33. appellant forced complainant to use the back door leading to the second floor (p. ibid). The antecedent facts as summarized in the People's brief are as follows (pp.

securedly nailed. The accused contends that there is no crime of frustrated rape.R. had traversed illegally her honor.R. Summing up. The partitions of every room were of strong materials. Reinerio Zamora (who was presented in view of the unavailability of Dr. G. When a woman testifies that she has been raped. 1985. No. 1989. Sambili G. one of the alleged inconsistencies deserves a little discussion which is. 66387-88. G. To the Court she was a picture of supplication hungry and thirsty for the immediate vindication of the affront to her honor.R. Sadly. G. the trial court stated that it was by agreement of the parties that another physician testified inasmuch as the medico-legal officer was no longer available. These little deviations also confirm that the witnesses had not been rehearsed. This is a material part of the victim's testimony which the accused conveniently deleted. Samson. Nos.R. Cabato. Some were not even substantiated and do not. According to the accused. she had to run away from the latter and managed to gain sanctuary in a house owned by spouses hardly known to her. G. May 31. Rollo). Bazar. The victim testified further that the accused was holding a Batangas knife during the aggression. like the offended party to whom honor appears to be more valuable than her life or limbs? Besides.R. The most candid witnesses may make mistakes sometimes but such honest lapses do not necessarily impair their intrinsic credibility (People v. A little insight into human nature is of utmost value in judging rape complaints (People v. However.R. . No. People v. September 30. Rollo): . L-41829. And the jump executed by the offended party from that balcony (opening) to the ground which was correctly estimated to be less than eight (8) meters. The accused did not bother to contradict this statement.R. 153 SCRA 487.R. are conclusive proof of struggle against force and violence exerted on the victim (pp. the exposure of her private parts when she sought assistance from authorities. et al. April 15. August 31. We ruled that: What particularly imprints the badge of truth on her story is her having been rendered entirely naked by appellant and that even in her nudity. Her answer to every question profounded (sic). 1983. Rollo). Donceras. Court of Appeals. By using force or intimidation. circumscribed hematoma at the anterior neck. Soterol G.. People v. G. 162 SCRA 609). The allegation would have been meritorious had the testimony of the victim ended there.70 A close scrutiny of the alleged inconsistencies revealed that they refer to trivial inconsistencies which are not sufficient to blur or cast doubt on the witnesses' straightforward attestations. August 25. No. G. L-48731. 126 SCRA 265). 52-53. are plain and straightforward. L-41358. the inconsistencies in their testimonies may in fact be justifiably considered as manifestations of truthfulness on material points. complete uniformity in details would be a strong indication of untruthfulness and lack of spontaneity (People v. G. June 27. 55520. The trial court even inspected the boarding house and was fully satisfied that the narration of the scene of the incident and the conditions therein is true (p. However. No.R. 135 SCRA 280. 335. even in the manner as narrated. 72573. Common experience will tell us that in occasion of conflagration especially occuring (sic) in high buildings. . free from suspicion (People v Alfonso. Alcid. merit consideration. therefore. the arguments raised by the accused as regards the first assignment of error fall flat on its face. . 55. Torio. Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code defines and enumerates the elements of the crime of rape: Art. 158 SCRA 695). The victim's testimony from the time she knocked on the door of the municipal building up to the time she was brought to the hospital was corroborated by Pat. December 16. 54. 56679.. No. and would not give way even by hastily scaling the same. there is not much to be desired as to the sincerity of the offended party in her testimony before the court. 1988. February 28. is enough indication that something not ordinary happened to her unless she is mentally deranged. People v. Somera. et al. 1988. The trial court was of the belief that there is no conclusive evidence of penetration of the genital organ of the victim and thus convicted the accused of frustrated rape only. . L-37400. L-44408. G. The Solicitor General shares the same view. she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape was committed provided her testimony is clear and free from contradiction and her sincerity and candor. It is inculcated into the mind of the Court that the accused had wronged her. The accused questions also the failure of the prosecution to present other witnesses to corroborate the allegations in the complaint and the non-presentation of the medico-legal officer who actually examined the victim. As for the non-presentation of the medico-legal officer who actually examined the victim. this is strange because "this is the only case where an aggressor's advances is being helped-out by the victim in order that there will be a consumation of the act. 1988. multiple pinpoint marks. Court of Appeals.. 160 SCRA 98). How much more for a frightened barrio girl. All these acts she would not have done nor would these facts have occurred unless she was sexually assaulted in the manner she narrated. will perhaps occasion no injury to a frightened individual being pursued. 1989). No. the trial court added (p." (p. Far from being badges of fabrication. December 21. Rather than discredit the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. No. is whether or not the accused's conviction for frustrated rape is proper.R. under all circumstances. March 16. Suffice it to say that it is up to the prosecution to determine who should be presented as witnesses on the basis of its own assessment of their necessity (Tugbang v. the testimony of the victim that the accused asked her to hold and guide his penis in order to have carnal knowledge of her. 1985. Dr. 140 SCRA 400). 1982.R. No. We are convinced that the accused is guilty of rape. et al. No. We believe the subject matter that really calls for discussion. 34. Rollo): . 65589. 117 SCRA 312). v. — Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: 1. G. Abude) declared that the abrasions in the left and right knees. Interpreting the findings as indicated in the medical certificate. Thus. nothing was adduced to show that she was out of her mind. 1987. When and how rape is committed. The staircase leading to the first floor is in such a condition safe enough to carry the weight of both accused and offended party without the slightest difficulty. 53498. many have been saved by jumping from some considerable heights without being injured. . June 29. as corroborated. The victim in this case did not only state that she was raped but she testified convincingly on how the rape was committed. linear abrasions below the left breast. 1989). discrepancies on minor details must be viewed as adding credence and veracity to such spontaneous testimonies (Aportadera et al. We quote with favor the trial court's finding regarding the testimony of the victim (p 56. In a similar case (People v. erythematous area surrounding the vaginal orifice and tender vulva. Rollo): As correctly pointed out in the memorandum for the People. We find no cogent reason to depart from the well-settled rule that the findings of fact of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses should be accorded the highest respect because it has the advantage of observing the demeanor of witnesses and can discern if a witness is telling the truth (People v. As a matter of fact. No.

there is no intervention of a foreign or extraneous cause or agency between the beginning of the commission of the crime and the moment when all of the acts have been performed which should result in the consummated crime. 4111 (dated March 29. both should in all respect. 1960) and Republic Act No. 6. People v. perfect penetration is not essential. If he has performed all of the acts which should result in the consummation of the crime and voluntarily desists from proceeding further. 49 Phil. 980. it is stated in the medical certificate that the vulva was erythematous (which means marked by abnormal redness of the skin due to capillary congestion. 527. 559 People v. In a long line of cases (People v. the victim positively testified that there was penetration. Entry of the labia or lips of the female organ. . When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious and 3. People v. a very disturbing doubt has surfaced in the mind of the court. We have set the uniform rule that for the consummation of rape. In other words. and does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the felony by reason of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance. Royeras People v. Eduave.1âwphi1 Our concern now is whether or not the frustrated stage applies to the crime of rape. in the crime of rape. that conviction for rape could proceed from the uncorroborated testimony of the offended party and that a medical certificate is not necessary (People v. But the citations the people relied upon cannot be applicable to the instant case. April 29. The offender merely commenced the commission of a felony directly by overt acts. rape is attempted if there is no penetration of the female organ (People v. Garcia: 9 Phil. The essential element which distinguishes attempted from frustrated felony is that. L-32996. When the woman is under twelve years of age. 6 SCRA 109. The requisites of a frustrated felony are: (1) that the offender has performed all the acts of execution which would produce the felony and (2) that the felony is not produced due to causes independent of the perpetrator's will. A crime cannot be held to be attempted unless the offender. Reinerio Zamora and the equivocal declaration of the latter of uncertainty whether there was penetration or not. — Consummated felonies as well as those which are frustrated and attempted. People v. in its penultimate paragraph. and attempted felonies. G. from that moment also all the essential elements of the offense have been accomplished. 212. and the Court is not oblivious. are punishable. he tossed back to the offended party the answer as to whether or not there actually was penetration. United States v. 998 [1927] where We found the offender guilty of frustrated rape there being no conclusive evidence of penetration of the genital organ of the offended party. 1974. 1974. In concluding that there is no conclusive evidence of penetration of the genital organ of the victim. Hernandez. Eriña 50 Phil. is prevented. Orteza. The alleged variance between the testimony of the victim and the medical certificate does not exist. May 23. It bears emphasis that Dr. 53. do not produce it by reason of causes independent of the will of the perpetrator. in the latter. A felony is consummated when all the elements necessary for its execution and accomplishment are present.Nothing more is left to be done by the offender. We are of the opinion that this particular provision on frustrated rape is a dead provision. 1984): .s. Oscar.n. and it is frustrated when the offender performs all the acts of execution which would produce the felony as a consequence but which. August 21. without rupture of the hymen or laceration of the vagina is sufficient to warrant conviction. Zamora when he "categorically declared that the findings in the vulva does not give a concrete disclosure of penetration. by some outside cause from performing all of the acts which should produce the crime. Rabadan et al. No. for the penalty of death when the rape is attempted orfrustrated and a homicide is committed by reason or on the occasion thereof. There is an attempt when the offender commences the commission of a felony directly by overt acts. 58 SCRA 505). the trial court stated (p. to be an attempted crime the purpose of the offender must be thwarted by a foreign force or agency which intervenes and compels him to stop prior to the moment when he has performed all of the acts which should produce the crime as a consequence. The testimony of the offended party is at variance with the medical certificate. No. Amores. elements and manner of execution of the crime of rape and jurisprudence on the matter. Fifth Edition. frustrated.. from the moment the offender has carnal knowledge of his victim he actually attains his purpose and. 209. the trial court relied on the testimony of Dr. 434) because not all acts of execution was performed. On the contrary. 56 SCRA 666. Royeras. Consummated. On the other hand. would be productive of mischievous results.71 2. He is stopped short of that point by some cause apart from his voluntary desistance. In the leading case of United States v. . the felony is consummated. nevertheless. . 53 Phil. there is no debate that the attempted and consummated stages apply to the crime of rape. supra. even though neither of the circumstances mentioned in the two next preceding paragraphs shall be present. after beginning the commission of the crime by overt acts. 193). it is hardly conceivable how the frustrated stage in rape can ever be committed. As a matter of fact. which acts it is his intention to perform. because he has performed the last act necessary to produce the crime. xxx xxx xxx Carnal knowledge is defined as the act of a man in having sexual bodily connections with a woman (Black's Law Dictionary. as in inflammation) and tender. 694. 113). against his will. t. It cannot be insensible to the findings in the medical certificate (Exhibit "A") as interpreted by Dr. As such. G. Any penetration of the female organ by the male organ is sufficient. We are aware of our earlier pronouncement in the case of People v. Likewise. p. 62 Phil. might have prompted the law-making body to include the crime of frustrated rape in the amendments introduced by said laws. 304.R. it can not be an attempt. Tayaba. 57. Zamoradid not rule out penetration of the genital organ of the victim. Justice Moreland set a distinction between attempted and frustrated felonies which is readily understood even by law students: ." (p.R. while in the former there is such intervention and the offender does not arrive at the point of performing all of the acts which should produce the crime. Article 6 of the same Code provides: Art. It should be stressed that in cases of rape where there is a positive testimony and a medical certificate. 1965) which provides. It is true. 302. Taking into account the nature. . as amended by Republic Act No. The Eriña case. However. Clearly. L-31886. Rollo) Furthermore. Of course.. Necessarily. Correlating these two provisions. Rollo): . compliment each other. 36 Phil. He merely testified that there was uncertainty whether or not there was penetration. 2632 (dated September 12. Thus. even if only partially (pp. Anent this testimony. it appears that this is a "stray" decision inasmuch as it has not been reiterated in Our subsequent decisions. We are aware of Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. 48 Phil. for otherwise to rely on the testimony alone in utter disregard of the manifest variance in the medical certificate.

G. People v. Amadeo Peralta.R. Eugenio Barbosa and Santos Cruz.000. Andres Factora. In view. Taduyo. February 14. The accused Ceilito Orita is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape and sentenced to reclusion perpetua as well as to indemnify the victim in the amount of P30. 1989. L-43752. People v.. Nos. 25 SCRA 759 Republic of the Philippines The fact is that in a prosecution for rape. Arizala. L-19069. L-3792829. 1968 G. May 31. G.R. No. Nos. G.. Gervasio Larita and Florencio vs. The information recites: .000.72 Q Was the penis inserted on your vagina? A It entered but only a portion of it. ET AL. 1987. People v. Section 19(1) of the 1987 Constitution and Our ruling in People v. of the Revised Penal Code provides that whenever the crime of rape is committed with the use of a deadly weapon. it will not tilt the scale in favor of the accused because after a thorough review of the records.. et al. Zamora's testimony is merely corroborative and is not an indispensable element in the prosecution of this case (People v. Ramirez. the Court has since February 2. AMADEO PERALTA. Tabago. that the cited Constitutional provision did not declare the abolition of the death penalty but merely prohibits the imposition of the death penalty. 138 SCRA 569. J.R. G. March 15.. LEONARDO DOSAL. Torres and Antonio Ibarra for plaintiff-appellee. February 9. paragraph 1. No. JJ. Jose Carriego. Angel Parumog. when you said comply? A I inserted his penis into my vagina. R. Revised Penal Code. ANDRES FACTORA. No. paragraph 3.R.. We find the evidence sufficient to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of consummated rape. ACCORDINGLY. 1985. Moreover. 1990).R. Gancayco and Griño-Aquino. et al. G. the decision of the Regional Trial Court is hereby MODIFIED. 112 SCRA 615. 1985. namely. The trial court appreciated the aggravating circumstances of dwelling and nighttime. L-38968-70. People v. 78732-33. September 29. November 8. Nuguid for defendants-review. defendants. Cruz. Thus. Dr. L38449. PER CURIAM: In the decision in criminal case 7705 of the Court of First Instance of Rizal. plaintiff-appellee. No. People v.00.R. November 25. G. of Article 111. Manzano. No. xxx xxx xxx Q What do you mean when you said comply. G. SO ORDERED. SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC October 29. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Peralta et al. corresponding share of the costs. however. concur. 136 SCRA 702). 70744. Q And was it inserted? A Yes only a little. supra). the accused may be convicted even on the sole basis of the victim's testimony if credible (People v. and all sentenced to death. in the sum of P6. No.R. paragraph 3. L-19069 Article 335. Solis. AMADEO PERALTA. FLORENCIO LUNA and GERVASIO LARITA. is imposed regardless of any mitigating or aggravating circumstances (in relation to Article 63. 118 SCRA 705. see People v. the proper imposable penalty is death. being a single indivisible penalty under Article 335. 167 SCRA 65. September 19. Alfonso. G. Leonardo Dosal. G. Although the second assignment of error is meritorious. to indemnify jointly and severally the heirs of each of the victims.R. and each to pay his Narvasa. 1982. No.subject of the present automatic Luna (six among the twenty-two defendants[[1]]charged therein with multiple murder) were pronounced guilty. review. 1982. Millora. Assistant Solicitors General Vicente A. Reclusion perpetua. 1988. or what act do you referred (sic) to. 154 SCRA 349).R. ANGEL PARUMOG. 69778. Nos. the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death. Aragona. 59713.R. defendants-review. 1987 not imposed the death penalty whenever it was called for under the Revised Penal Code but instead reduced the same to reclusion perpetua (People v.

(b) two the remaining defendants. inmates. After trial. stabbing and striking them with ice picks. out in Bldg. namely. while the inmates of the penitentiary were preparing to Contrary to law with the following aggravating circumstances: attend Sunday mass.73 That on or about the 16th day of February. conspiring. while a majority of the prisoners confined in Bldg. Hardly had conditions returned to normal when a riot broke 2. 4. were confined in 4-A. 4. unlawfully and feloniously kill Jose Carriego. however. 1. inmates from Visayas and Mindanao. then and there. which is composed of four brigades. 4-A and 4-B (upper floor) and 4-C and 4-D (first floor). the lower court dismissed the charge against one of the Jose Carriego: (a) lacerated wound on the lower lip. That the crime was committed by a band. 1958. the latter comprised mainly of prisoners from the Visayas and Mindanao. Afterwards. the "Sigue-Sigue" and the "OXO". also convicts confined in the same institution. the prison compound has been rocked time and time again by bloody riots resulting in the death of many of did. That use of superior strength or means was employed to weaken the defense. 3 [[ ]] [[ ]] . and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. 4. a great number of inmates confined in the national penitentiary at Muntinglupa arrayed Philippines. Upon motion of the provincial fiscal before trial. 6. Since then helping and aiding one another. After the prosecution had rested its case. the abovenamed accused. they forcibly opened the door of 4-C and killed two more 5. in length and 3 cm. Moments later. invading inmates to retreat and return to Bldg. The three victims sustained injuries which swiftly resulted in their death — before they could be brought to 7. and (c) five punctured wounds in the chest. from whom the "OXO" drew most of its That the aggravating circumstance of quasi-recidivism is present in the commission of the crime in that the members.m. province of Rizal. crime was committed after the accused have been convicted by final judgments and while they are serving the said judgments in the New Bilibid Prisons. with evident premeditation and treachery. One penetrating the lungs. that a fight between two rival members of the "Sigue-Sigue" and "OXO" gangs occurred in the plaza where the prisoners were assembled. while the rest of the prisoners were ordered to return to their respective quarters. In an effort to avert violent clashes between the contending Cruz. mostly "OXO" members and sympathizers. willfully. the former composed predominantly confined in the New Bilibid Prisons by virtue of final judgments. That means was employed which add ignominy to the natural effects of the act. That the crime was committed where public authorities were engaged in the discharge of their duties. 5 cm. (c) lacerated wounds on the right oxilla. quelled. another riot erupted in Bldg. 1. the hospital. on February 16. That the crime was committed with insult to public authorities. causing a big commotion. puncturing the intestines. The timely arrival of the guards forced the 3. thereby inflicting upon the victims multiple 1 housed "Sigue-Sigue" members. confederating and mutually of Tagalog inmates. about 2 inches in diameter. 1. Building clubs and other improvised weapons. The fight was. Even in Bldg. As early as in 1956. Eugenio Barbosa and Santos Cruz. The inmates thereof tried to invade Bldg. pointed and/or sharpened. accused[[3]] were dismissed for failure of the prosecution to establish a prima facie case against them. "OXO". by hitting. Cause of death: internal hemorrhage from multiple fatal wounds in the chest. in depth. the charges against six of the hematoma of the back of the neck. a known lair of the "Sigue-Sigue". 1958. 4. That as a means to the commission of the crime doors and windows have been broken. 3 inches in length and 1 cm. The invading prisoners from 4-A. an inmate of 4-B. 4 belonged to the serious injuries which directly caused their deaths. That the crime was committed by armed men or persons who insure or afford impunity. who are convicts themselves into two warring gangs. namely. groups. prison officials segrerated known members of the "Sigue-Sigue" from those of the "OXO". as the inmates of brigade 4-A destroyed the lock of their door and then rampaged from one brigade to another. Eugenio Barbosa and Santos their members and suspected sympathizers. clubbed and stabbed to death Jose Carriego. It was at about 7:00 a. and those involved were led away for investigation. in the municipality of Muntinglupa. all armed with deadly weapons. where many members and sympathizers of the "OXO" gang were confined. penetrating wounds in the abdomen.in depth. the court a quo acquitted eight 5 of Eugenio Barbosa: (a) lacerated wound in the occipital region. of the defendants died 4 during the pendency of the case. (b) contusion and accused[[2]] for lack of evidence.

Gervacio Larita. that as one of the assailants of Cruz. Carriego and Santos Cruz. Santos Cruz was brought to 4-A by the invading inmates but Cruz was able to slip back to his Romeo Pineda. while the accused so charged with their The testimony of Pineda was corroborated in all its material points by Juanito Marayoc and Avelino Sauza. and sympathizers proceeded to hunt for Santos Cruz. the accused who were confined in Brigade 4-A of Building No. who was at the time the representative of the prisoners confined in 4-B to the clubbed and stabbed to death by Parumog. that among the invading of the Oxo members and their sympathizers were confined. repeatedly stabbed him." as the invading inmates from brigade 4-A stampeded into 4-B. Another inmate of 4-C. The trial judge summarized the evidence for the prosecution." that Luna hematoma on the right hand. that Factora turned up the face of his fallen victim and struck him again in the face. in depth. declared that he saw Peralta stab Barbosa. They destroyed the inmate of 4-C. It was evident that the clash that occurred in the plaza produced a chain reaction among the members and followers of the two organizations. an "OXO" member from 4-A. Larita... were forced to retreat by the inmates who forced open the door of 4-C. Parumog and lock of their dormitories and with the help of their companions succeeded in bolting the door of the different Factora clubbed the hapless victim. Peralta nevertheless claims self- declared that he saw Parumog. Peralta Factora and Larita assault and kill Barbosa. Ernesto Fernandez and Jose Tariman. testified that while he was taking his cell only to be recaptured by Factora. The inmates of Building No. defense. saying. killing were mostly members if not sympathizers of the Oxo organization. were preparing to go the mass . of Barbosa. that he saw Peralta. These three killings were sparked both inmates of 4-B. known From 4-B. Admitting that he was one among several who killed Jose Carriego. Marami akong anak. that Santos upper lip cutting the lip in two. with Luna. and (f) three punctured wounds on the left hand. secondary to internal hermorrhage in the abdomen. Larita. Halili Santos Cruz: (a) lacerated wound on the head. When the members of the Oxo in Building in 4-C. Pabarlan declared that after the death skull. Fontillas and Espino corroborated inmate carcel. that he saw Carriego surrender his club to Andres Factora. (e) Cruz knelt down and pleaded for his life. two of which were penetrating. Peralta and Dosal as the by the commotion that happened in the plaza between 8:00 and 9:00 in the morning. an inmate and first quarter-in-charge of brigade 4-B. not only corroborated the testimony brigades. they went on a rampage looking for members of the Sigue Sigue or their he saw Factora. with help from the inside provided by Visayan prisoners confined timely arrival of the guards who sent them back to their building. thus: Factora clubbed Carriego on the nape causing the latter to fall. and (d) several bruises at the right and left lower extremities. Parumog. the invading "OXO" members death: shock. lair of the Sigue Sigues bolted the door of their cells and tried to invade Building No. "Maawa kayo sa akin. were Factora. Factora and Fernandez. that as Carriego started to walk away. that as soon as they discovered their enemies they clubbed under a cot. Dosal and Luna and brought to near the fire escape where he was breakfast with Jose Carriego. He testified that on the morning of the riot he was attacked by Carriego and Juan Estrella near .74 cm. 1. These two prosecution witnesses identified Factora. Amadeo Peralta and Leonardo Dosal. it clearly appears that the three killings in question were an offshoot of the rivalry between the two organizations. were Tagalogs and well known as members if not sympathizers of the Sigue Sigue. Cause of death: fractured and Peralta were unmoved as they stabbed Santos Cruz to death. as Dosal. 4 where a big number an inmate of 4-C. As the evidence of the prosecution Visayans to leave their cell and ordered the "Manila boys" (Tagalogs) to remain. armed with clubs and sharp instruments. and once they succeeded in bolting the doors of the different brigades. Jose Halili. Carlos Espino. He declared that while Barbosa was trying to hide to segregate the Tagalogs from their group. he "suddenly heard commotion" near the door of their brigade. they went inside and tried of Fontillas and Pabarlan but as well added grim details. Cause of The same witnesses for the prosecution testifies that after killing Barbosa. 2 inches in length. he was beaten and stabbed to death by Dosal. and stabbed them to death . while the prisoners assailants of Carriego. and both mentioned Larita started shouting "pinapasok na tayo. namely. Larita. he and Carriego took hold of their clubs and stood at the end of the passageway. Cogol and Tugaya take Santos Cruz to 4-A from 4-C. All those who were killed. (b) fractured skull. another shows. that No. Larita and Fernandez kill Barbosa. Dosal. Angel Parumog. 4 learned about this. while the rest of their companies instructed the sympathizers who were confined with them in the same building. that his fellow prisoners the declarations of Halili and Pabarlan with respect to the killing of Santos Cruz. ". also confined in 4-C. companions of Factora.. but. Barbosa.. another Tagalog like Carriego and Barbosa. Antonio Pabarlan. in length and 2 cm. that while Carriego was in this prostrate position. however. in readiness to repel any intervention from the Tagalog inmates. Florencio Luna. 4 led the attack. Factora and Peralta. (d) seven punctured wounds in the chest. Pedro Cogol and Eilel Tugaya standing guard. he saw the prisoners from 4-A rushing toward their brigade. the invading inmates of 4-A went down and forcibly entered 4-C. (c) wound on the testified. Dosal. According to Oscar Fontillas.

there should have been a record of the alleged investigation. Espino. Larita claims that For his part. Anent the killing of Barbosa and Santos Cruz. that when he (Peralta) was already dizzy due to the head wound he declarations of the prosecution witnesses. if Parumog and Larita were really confined in the police trustee brigade for investigation on the day of the stand unrebutted. Contrary to the Santos Cruz. since he was an inmate of 4-A where he was allegedly attacked. Pabarlan. With The alibis of the accused are thus sufficiently overcome by strong evidence to the contrary. Leonardo Dosal stated that he killed Santos Cruz. Halili and Espino who saw him that they saw Larita kill Santos Cruz. Carriego an alleged "Sigue-Sigue" member. Fontillas and Espino who identified him as one of the murderers of that entire hapless day in the office of the trustees for investigation after the fight in the plaza. that he did not hit Barbosa anymore because the squeezing Carriego's head with his hands. Larita and Luna merit no credence when set against the positive testimonies of hold of his ice pick and stabbed Cruz repeatedly until the latter fell. The active participation of Factora in the killing. which were accorded full credence by the trial court. that he was able to parry the second blow of Carriego and then succeeded in who threatened to kill him if he disobeyed their order. instrument. Espino and Fontillas declared that Larita was one of the killers of Barbosa. why is it that the body of killing of Santos Cruz. that it was his co-accused who actually killed the three victims. 1 and Santos Cruz. which is clear index of voluntariness. Espino and Fontillas declared Dosal's avowal is clearly belied by the positive testimonies of Pabarlan. Pabarlan and Halili declared that Luna participated in the fatal assault on Barbosa Santos Cruz was found at the fire escape near the pasillo between 4-C and 4-D of the first floor of Bldg. that he is not a Visayan but a Tagalog from Nueva Ecija. Pabarlan and Espino pointed to Factora as one of the killers of Barbosa. that he then heard Santos Cruz call Carlos he was escorted back to his brigade only in the afternoon. Hence. Fontillas. he got The alibis of Parumog. and when guilt of Factora beyond reasonable doubt. by Marayoc. and accept it only when proved by positive. prosecution witnesses. Fontillas and Pabarlan stated that Parumog took part in the latter together with his companions supposedly invaded Dosal's brigade (4-A). thus pretensions of Peralta. would not have attacked him. that Carriego Andres Factora declared that he clubbed Carriego and Santos Cruz under compulsion of his co-accused clubbed him on the head. instead of in 4-A which is located in the upper floor? Moreover. 4 was an "OXO" lair where the "Sigue-Sigue" members were outnumbered. incident. Luna likewise disclaims any knowledge of the Espino. [[6]] In the case at bar. Jose Carriego. If it is true that Dosal killed Santos Cruz in self-defense when the participate in the murder of Barbosa. and advise the latter to go away as "I will be the one to kill that person (Dosal). courts view it with no small amount of evidence in his behalf. Halili and Espino testified that they saw Parumog participate in the killing of Santos Cruz." that with a sharp killing and asserts that for the entire duration of the riot he remained in his cell (brigade 4-A). it was Factora who started the mass assault by clubbing Carriego treacherously. but also claims self-defense in exculpation. Cruz hit him on the head and then on the nose. Pabarlan. Peralta failed to offer any explicit defense to rebut the Angel Parumog. implicated in the killing by the prosecution witnesses because of his refusal to accede to their request to testify against his co-accused. while at least three actively participate in the killing of the three victims pointed to him as the aggressor. saw Factora participate in the slaying of Pineda. The impressive array of prosecution witnesses who saw him Halili. fully well that Building No. not the aggrieved. that as Cruz was about to hit him again. Carriego managed to slip away. killers of Carriego and those of Pabarlan. Gervasio Larita and Florencio Luna take refuge in the exculpatory device of alibi. which he does not deny. he did not know about the killing until he was informed that three inmates had died. according to Pineda. that he was Santos Cruz. inculpatory declarations of prosecution witnesses Pabarlan and Espino who saw him participate in the Parumog testified that he did not participate in the killing of the three inmates because he stayed during killing of Barbosa and those of Halili. expose the sustained from the clubbing. The . that 4-A where he was confined. Again. the stabbed Carriego several times. the testimonies of Pineda. Fontillas and Espino. clear and satisfactory evidence. namely. that he then became unconscious. In fact. whose testimony was corroborated he regained consciousness he found himself on a tarima with his head bandaged. But none was presented.75 the door of 4-A while he was returning to his brigade from the chapel with some companions. For this reason. Halili and Espino implicating him in the death of Santos Cruz. The defense of respect to the murder of Carriego and Barbosa with which Dosal was also charged. that a free-for-all forthwith ensued. that on the day in He declared that Santos Cruz. Dosal failed to explain why he was seen in 4-C. Carlos Espino and Oscar Fontillas invaded question he was brought to the police trustee brigade for investigation after the incident in the plaza. Pabarlan. knowing negates his claim of compulsion and fear allegedly engendered by his co-accused. Marayoc and Sauza positively identified him as one of the assailants of Carriego. Juanita Espino. that forthwith he whipped out an improvised ice pick and latter was already dead. prosecution witness identifying them as participants in the killing of Barbosa and Santos Cruz. he did not offer any alibi is generally weak since it is easy to concoct. Marayoc and Sauza identifying him as one of the caution. Peralta's declarations do not inspire belief.

Peralta and Dosal stabbed him repeatedly on the chest."[[16]] Although it is killed while he was on his knees pleading for his life. done in furtherance of the agreement or The essential issue that next confronts us is whether conspiracy attended the commission of the murders. when considered together with the other kill Barbosa. said that "their mere denial cannot prevail over the unless the statute specifically prescribes a penalty therefor. instruments while the victims were unarmed. each is responsible for all the acts of the others. A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the Verily. the scope and extent of the criminal liability which existed between the . 9 Generally. who were attacked crime or crimes perpetrated in furtherance of the conspiracy because in contemplation of law the act of individually were completely overwhelmed by their assailants' superiority in number and weapons and had one is the act of all.[[15]] The foregoing rule is anchored on the sound principle that "when two or more absolutely no chance at all to repel or elude the attack. nevertheless the existence of a conspiracy to positive testimony of the witnesses who saw them participate directly in the execution of the conspiracyto commit a crime is in many cases a fact of vital importance. and as he lay prostrate and defenseless. the moment it is established that the malefactors conspired and confederated in the commission of [[ ]] commission of a felony and decide to commit it. Doctrine.S. The crime must therefore in view of the solidarity of the act and intent the facets relating to its nature. However. the same as though performed by himself alone. the quantum of proof required. accused. and the court shall not speculate nor even investigate as to the actual degree of participation of each of the . 7 Moreover." evidence of record. Carriego and Santos Cruz. and Santos Cruz was is in law responsible for the whole.76 testimony of Luna that throughout the riot he stayed in his cell is quite unnatural. when in resolute execution of a [[ ]] witnesses pointing to the accused as particeps criminis. Infante and Barreto[[14]]opined that patently inconsistent without evidence on record. all of the conspirators are liable as co-principals penetrating chest wounds were all fatal. The victims. according to Dr. 10 rebellion 11 and sedition. collective liability of the accused conspirators attaches by reason of the conspiracy. with particular emphasis on all acted by common agreement . 12 The crime of the felony proved.[[13]] An agreement to even help his cellmates barricade their brigade with tarimas in order to delay if not prevent the entry of the commit a crime is a reprehensible act from the view-point of morality. Halili testified that proceeding severally or collectively. qualifying circumstance: Carriego was clubbed by Factora from behind. the defense of alibi is an issue of fact common scheme. this Court in U. the sovereignty of the State is not The rule is settled that the defense of alibi is worthless in the face of positive identification by prosecution outraged and the tranquility of the public remains undisturbed. of the consummated crime and its commission by the The killing of Carriego constitutes the offense of murder because of the presence of treachery as a conspirators. and the penalties imposable by mandate of applicable law..[[8]] In the case at bar. "when two or more persons agree or conspire to commit a crime. the existence of a conspiracy the resolution of which depends almost entirely on the credibility of witnesses who seek to establish it. be accepted. it is impossible to graduate the separate liability of each (conspirator) without taking into consideration the close and inseparable relation of each of them with the criminal act.. All the attackers were armed with clubs or sharp persons unite to accomplish a criminal object. they are all equally responsible . unless significance of conspiracy in criminal law. in establishing the existence. whether through the physical volition of one.. for the commission of which they For this purpose. In stressing the this respect the relative weight which the trial judge accords to the testimony of the witnesses must. he "just waited in one corner. or all. conspiracy is not a crime except when the [[ ]] [[ ]] [[ ]] law specifically provides a penalty therefor as in treason. . and of the conspirators. but as long as the conspirators do invading inmates. in While it is true that the penalties cannot be imposed for the mere act of conspiring to commit a crime dismissing the alibis of Parumog. Bartolome Miraflor. as so found by the trial court. be regarded as the act of the band or party created by them.. He claims that he did not conspiracy known to the common law is not an indictable offense in the Philippines. axiomatic that no one is liable for acts other than his own. In fact. a felony is committed by two or more malefactors.." not perform overt acts in furtherance of their malevolent design. Larita and Luna. vs. each individual whose evil will actively contributes to the wrong-doing Barbosa was clubbed and stabbed to death while he was trying to hide under a cot. According to him. In assumes pivotal importance in the determination of the liability of the perpetrators."[[17]] The imposition of collective liability upon the conspirators is clearly explained in one The resolution of this issue is of marked importance because upon it depends the quantity and quality of case[[18]] where this Court held that the penalties that must be imposed upon each of the appellants. conspiracy. The blow on the nape and the Once an express or implied conspiracy is proved. it is not amiss to briefly restate the doctrine on conspiracy. Abuse of superior strength regardless of the extent and character of their respective active participation in the commission of the qualified the killing of Barbosa and Santos Cruz to the category of murder. the trial court..

" 21 In an earlier case 22 a non-accountable officer of the Philippine Constabulary who Proof of conspiracy. While conspiracy to commit a crime must be established by positive evidence. shall be punished as from the public officer. in the words of Groizard. but a rule for collectivizing criminal liability. and in fact it clearly appeared. We have no doubt all in all that Teofilo Anchita took part in the sexual assault . he knows that the funds of which he wishes to get possession are in the principal of any of the assaults committed by the band. and therefore each one is responsible not only for the rape out the conspiracy. public officer. a military supply officer. by each one of the defendants with the offended was consummated separately and justifies the imputation to all of them the act of any one of them. competent and convincing the funds misappropriated were not in his custody but were under the trust of his superior. This Court The crime of malversation is generally committed by an accountable public officer who misappropriates [[ ]] observed: public funds or public property under his trust. According to People vs. 23 this Court held that 26]] direct proof is not essential to show conspiracy. Quitain[[24]] where the appellant Teofilo committed in furtherance of a common design. who conspired and aided a municipal treasurer in the malversation of public law consummate the act. it clearly appears that through his moral ascendancy over the rest of the conspirators the latter were moved or impelled to carry they conspired together to rape their victim. and circumstances which engaged in a conspiracy to effect the object.[[27]] Since by it nature. Of course. and widened it. this prisoner funds under the latter's custody. committed personally by him. 19 However. the felonious act of the accountable public officer was imputable to his co-conspirators. for which each and every one is also responsible because of viewed not as a separate indictable offense. although he himself did not actually rape the victim. the accused inserted his Ponte[[20]] this Court unequivocally held that a janitor and five municipal policemen. Whether he acted out of lewdness or to help his brother-in- accountable public officers. from the acts performed by the defendants front the time they arrived at Consolacion's house to the thesitus of aggression. conditions. [[28]] Consequently. the liability of a member of the band for the assaults committed by his group is accomplishing a deed which by having a public officer as its moral instrument assumes the character of a likewise anchored on the rule that the act of one is the act of all. but also that committed by the others. is immaterial. as to any conspirator who was remote from . it can seldom be proved by direct evidence. conspired with his superior. that secrecy."[[25]] In this instance. Anchita was convicted of forcible abduction with double rape for having conspired and cooperated in the sexual assault of the aggrieved woman. [[ ]] [[ ]] social crime. one will be justified in the conclusion that they were [[ ]] of the conspiracy. by his conduct. conspiracy is planned in utmost 29]] conspiracies are generally proved by a number of indefinite acts." Or as elucidated in People vs.. It is in this light that conspiracy is generally independently from that had by the others. because each sexual intercourse had. If it be proved that the defendants pursued by their and distinct crimes of rape perpetrated by his co-conspirators.. Villa was reiterated in People vs. it was both maybe. conspiracy need not be proved. and is guilty. In fine. he could be drawn within the enveloping ambit of the conspiracy if it be proved that consummation of the offense of rape on her person by each and everyone of them. in People vs. an accountable circumstantial evidence will suffice to establish conspiracy. and in the officer's unfaithfulness seeks and finds the most reprehensible means of established. the law presumes the attendance of conspiracy so much so that "any the crime committed. offended woman only once but his liability includes that pertaining to all the rapes committed in furtherance with a view to the attainment of the same object. Thus. malversation. and instead of trying to abstract them by circumventing the other's vigilance he resorts to same. Yet. rather. one performing one part and another another part of the same. as long as the existence of a band is clearly corruption. the conspiracy. Villa. surely. unless it be shown that he attempted to prevent the latter's charge. [[ In rape. By reason of conspiracy.. the convergence of the wills of the conspirators in the scheming and execution of the crime amply through force.. all of whom were not fingers in the woman's organ. Furthermore. although it was not alleged. Nevertheless. The ensnaring nature of conspiracy is projected in bold relief in the cases of malversation and rape The rule enunciated in People vs. were principally liable with the said municipal treasurer for the crime of conspired and cooperated. Carbonel[[30]] the presence of the concurrence of minds which is involved in conspiracy may be inferred from "proofs of facts and . He may have had carnal knowledge of the acts the same object.77 perpetrators present at the scene of the crime. so as to complete it. Cabrera. in the malversation of public funds was adjudged guilty [[ as co-principal in the crime of malversation. in the classic case of People vs. although the latter were not similarly situated with the former in relation to the object of With respect to robbery in band. "the private party does not act independently member of a band who is present at the commission of a robbery by the band. a conspirator is guilty not only of the sexual assault he personally commits but also of the separate vary according to the purposes to be accomplished.

. without the execution of its purpose. would be inadequate to render him criminally liable clearly demonstrate the existence of a common design toward the accomplishment of the same unlawful as a conspirator. then. Consequently. 31 this Court ruled that where the acts of the accused. A time-honored rule in the corpus of our jurisprudence is that once conspiracy is . Since in conspiracy. apparently indicate that they are merely parts of some complete There is ample and positive evidence on record that appellant Jose Guico was absent not only from the whole. the projected imposition of three death penalties upon each of the executing the conspiracy. Jr. however. present when the conspiracy to rob was proposed and made.. even if Guico's participation in the first meeting sufficiently involved connected and cooperative. The difference between an accused who is a principal under any of the three conspirators for the three murders committed was not carried out due to the lack of the then requisite categories enumerated in Art.[[34]] this Court acquitted appellant Francisco Robles.[[35]] this Court. at least. (Emphasis supplied." 32 Hence. Justice Tuason: the trial court of robbery with homicide as a conspirator. it would seem evident that the penalty that should be imposed that he performed an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. taken together. on the ground that although he may have been Some members of this Court opine that the proper penalty is death. in exonerating one of the appellants.[[36]] this Court held: Liability of conspirators. solution of continuity between each other. however. conspiracy is evident. There are authorities to the effect that mere presence at the discussion of a conspiracy. each doing a part so that their acts. If it is proved that two or more persons aimed by their acts towards the accomplishment of the second meeting but likewise from the robbery itself. et al. however.[[37]] this Court. if the conspirators commit three separate and distinct [[ ]] objective. to establish Imposition of multiple penalties where conspirators commit more than one offense. "it is not essential that there be proof as to previous agreement to commit a crime. either by actively participating in the actual upon each of the appellants for each of their crimes should be the same. the latter's responsibility includes the acts of his fellow conspirators.. however. conspiracy is proved if there is convincing evidence to sustain a finding that the crimes of murder in effecting their common design and purpose. and this is the death penalty ... scene of the crime. and shall suffer the corresponding penalty for each offense. it must be established result of the common plan or purpose .." relation to the surrounding streets and the points thereof through which entrance and exit should be [[ ]] In two recent cases. it being act of one is the act of all. commission of the crime. though apparently independent. Consequently. each of them is guilty of three murders malefactors committed an offense in furtherance of a common objective pursued in concert. under the circumstances of the case. inasmuch as there was. do not include robbery. purpose.. or by exerting moral ascendancy over the rest of the conspirators as to move them to In the aforesaid case.. indicating a closeness of personal association and a concurrence of him with the conspiracy (as he was the one who explained the location of the house to be robbed in sentiment. each of the conspirators is liable for all of the crimes committed sufficient that the malefactors committed shall have acted in concert pursuant to the same in furtherance of the conspiracy. Conspiracy presupposes the existence of a preconceived plan or agreement. such participation and involvement. each and every one of the conspirators must answer for the acts of the others. To be sure.. without any active participation in the same. said: formality for in no case can imprisonment exceed forty years. "Robles uttered not a word either of approval but they fall short of the required number for the imposition of this punishment. Izon.78 circumstances which. Revised Penal Code) which. 17 of the Revised Penal Code and a co-conspirator who is also a principal is unanimity in the imposition of the capital penalty.. is not a crime punishable by law. not even the decision under appeal same unlawful object. in order to hold an accused guilty as co-principal by reason of conspiracy. This court holds that the crimes are murder . as a general rule. successively. The sentence consequently or disapproval. and for the consequences of such criminal enterprise they must be held solidarity liable. In People vs. that while the former's criminal liability is limited to his own acts. or by lending moral assistance to his co-conspirators by being present at the (emphasis supplied). buteach appellant is guilty of as many crimes of murder as there were deaths even approval of it. is not enough for purposes of conviction. perforce. collectively and individually. Thus in People vs. who was convicted by said through Mr. although this may be a useless In a more recent case. were in fact determined otherwise. effected). The (seven in all) should be held responsible for said crimes. it being alleged in the information that three crimes were committed not simultaneously indeed but proved.) . a conspiracy may be inferred though no actual meeting among to concert means is proved . provided said acts are the However. is reclusion perpetua. the conspiracy.. Masin. after finding that conspiracy attended the commission of eleven murders." (eleven) and should be sentenced to life imprisonment for each crime. all of the conspirators who acted in furtherance of the common design are liable as co-principals. Conspiracy alone. the accused [[ 33]] This rule of collective criminal liability emanates from the ensnaring nature of conspiracy.. In another case. except in special instances (Article 8. In concerted action of the conspirators in consummating their common purpose is a patent display of their view of all these circumstances and of the frequently reiterated doctrine that once conspiracy is proven evil partnership.

combined attack resulted in the killing of three persons. the information charged the accused with triple murder. but having in mind conviction of two or more offenses charged in the complaint or information.[[38]] the decision of the trial court imposing only one life imprisonment for each of the penalty is reclusion perpetua to death[[42]]irrespective of the number of homicides perpetrated by reason or accused was modified by this Court on appeal on the ground that "inasmuch as their (the conspirators') on occasion of the robbery. multiple death penalties would imposition of two death penalties). we deem it proper to modify the judgment entered in the court below by corresponding to the several violations of law should be imposed.) objection to the said information which charged him with more than one offense. speaking again complex crimes. this Court consistently stressed that once accused guilty of two murders and one homicide but it imposed only one death penalty. Justice Malcolm concurring in the result in view of the Balaba ruling). An accused who was accused was convicted should be imposed in accord with the provisions of article 89 of the Penal Code. charged with three distinct crimes of murder in a single information was sentenced to two death penalties That article is only applicable to cases wherein a single act constitutes two or more crimes. 8 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal (for the separate crime of homicide) . and The two conceptual exceptions to the foregoing rule. The rule on the imposition of multiple penalties where the accused is found guilty of two or more separate Unless the accused should be acquitted hereafter on appeal of one or both theasesinatos with which he is and distinct crimes charged in one information. was enunciated in the leading case of U. then each conspirator must be held liable for each of the felonious acts committed as a There can be no reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the convict of two separate crimes result of the conspiracy. or when one [[ ]] for two murders. vs. Rep. this Court modified the judgment by imposing separate penalties for each of the three offenses multiple in relation to the number of felonies committed in furtherance of the conspiracy. (U. It follows that the death penalty must and should be imposed for each of these offenses . Anent an ordinary complex crime these separate penalties to be executed in accord with the provisions of article 87 of the Penal Code. in special The doctrine in Balaba was reiterated in U. The Court. and having in mind also the express provisions of the above 87 of the Penal Code [now article 70 of the Revised Penal Code].. The trial judge was erroneously of the opinion that the prescribed penalties for the offenses of which the Legality and practicality of imposing multiple death penalties upon conspirators. falling under article 48. The trial court found the It is significant to note that in the abovementioned cases. 39 and another accused to thirteen (13) separate death penalties for the 13 killings he [[ ]] offense is a necessary means for committing the other. 56) perpetrated. trial judge . the culpability of the conspirators is not only solidary (all co-principals) but also consulta. thru Mr. it would seem to be a useless formality to impose separate penalties for each multiplicity of the charges. in view of the nature of the principal penalty. Since it is the settled rule that once conspiracy is established. held: have been imposed upon all the conspirators. For instance.S.[[41]] thus: Upon of the offenses of which he was convicted. Jamad[[43]] where a unanimous Court. Masani. to be executed in conformity with the provisions of article offenses without taking action on the others. Similarly. Justice Malcolm dissenting with respect to the that had there been a unanimous Court in the Masin and Macaso cases. vs.S. they should be sentenced to suffer said penalty In Balaba. 40 Therefore there appears to be no legal reason why conspirators may not be sentenced to It becomes our duty. In other words. in the special complex crime of robbery with hommicide the imposible opined: . conspiracy. regardless of the nature and severity of the appropriate penalties prescribed by of asesinato (murder) marked with the generic aggravating circumstances mentioned in the decision of the law. the prescribed penalties for the possibility that the Chief Executive may deem it proper to grant a pardon for one or more of the each and all of such offenses may be imposed. Justice Carson (with Mr. vs.. to determine what penalty or penalties should have been imposed upon the multiple death penalties corresponding to the nature and number of crimes they commit in furtherance of a accused upon conviction of the accused of three separate felonies charged in the information.79 In People vs. 1 Phil.S.. there is but a single penalty prescribed by law notwithstanding the number of separate thru Mr. regardless of the multiplicity of offenses committed. In its review en conspiracy is ascertained. the act of one conspirator is attributable to all. The accused went to trial without (reclusion perpetua) for each of the three victims (crimes). It can also be said committed. all the penalties cited article 87 of the Penal Code.. Ferrer.. therefore. there is only one imposable (Emphasis supplied. Balaba. felonies committed. death penalty prescribed by law for each of the two separate asesinatos of which he stands convicted. Justice Carson (with Mr. Conviction for multiple felonies demands substituting for the penalty imposed by the trial judge under the provisions of article 89 of the Code.) penalty — the penalty for the most serious offense applied in its maximum period. the the imposition of multiple penalties. the accused not having interposed any objection to the charged in the information. Penal Code and the special complex crime (like robbery with homicide)." (Emphasis supplied. are the complex crime under article 48 of the Revised the penalty of 14 years.

or should they have been served out. to be executed in accordance with article 87 of the Penal Code: (1) The penalty of death for the parricide of his wife Aring. according to the nature and effects of such penalties. the order of their respective severity shall be followed so that they may death penalty. or should they have been served out. as they failed to object to the multiplicity of the charges made in the information. if possible. after finding the accused liable as co-principals because they acted in conspiracy. the same to be simultaneously served. that is to say the penalty prescribed for the most serious crime committed. in its maximum be executed successively or as nearly as may be possible. In the imposition of the penalties." (Emphasis supplied." it is unmistakable.[[44]] which applied the pertinent provisions of the Revised Penal Code. where this Court.. Balaba. Moreover. which multiple penal sanctions should be served either simultaneously or successively. provided that they are duly established and proved by the evidence on record. the order of their respective severity shall be followed . they can be found guilty thereof and sentenced accordingly for as many crimes the information charges them. When the culprit has to serve two or more penalties. article 70 of theRevised Penal Code presumes that courts have the simultaneously executed. Each single crime is an outrage against the State for which the latter. our jurisprudence supports the imposition of multiple death penalties as initially advocated in Balaba and thunderously reechoed in Salazar where the accused was sentenced on appeal to thirteen .. (4) the penalty of 12 years and one day of cadena temporal for the frustrated murder of Taclind . the trial judge imposed the 1. Although article 70 does not specifically command. should a pardon have been granted as to the penalty or penalties first imposed. thru the courts ofjustice. But as indicated in the case of the United States vs. recently decided wherein the controlling facts were substantially similar to those in the case at bar.. On the contrary. since for every individual crime committed. however. otherwise. the order of their respective severity shall be followed so that they may be executed successively or as nearly as may be possible. the Revised Penal Code]. in relation to article 88 of the old Code which read: In the imposition of the penalties. a corresponding penalty is prescribed by law. Article 70 provides: court erred in applying the provision of article 89 of the code. the following rules shall be observed with regard thereto: power to mete out multiple penalties without distinction as to the nature and severity of the penalties." Even without the authority provided by article 70. and for this purpose made use of the provisions of article 89 of the Penal Code [now article 48 of penalty or penalties first imposed. proceeded to stress that where an "information charges the defendants with the commission of several crimes of murder and frustrated murder. should a pardon have been granted as to the degree. he shall serve them simultaneously if the nature of the penalties will so permit .) Obviously. the two or more penalties which the culprit has to serve are those legally imposed by the proper court. . courts can still impose as many penalties as there are separate and distinct offenses committed. Another reference to the said judicial prerogative is found in the second paragraph of article 70 which provides that "in the imposition of the penalties. all the penalties corresponding to the several violations of law shall be imposed.. (2) the penalty of life imprisonment for the murder of Labonete. This presumption of the existence of judicial power to impose all the penalties corresponding to the number and nature of the offenses charged and proved is manifest in the opening sentence of article 70: "When the culprit has to serve two or more penalties. The doctrine in Balaba was reechoed in People vs. that "all the penalties corresponding to the several violations of law shall be imposed. as the former article 87 clearly did. Guzman. that article 70 presupposes that courts have the power to impose multiple penalties... he shall serve them simultaneously if the nature of the We conclude that the judgment entered in the court below should be reversed.) The legal and statutory justification advanced by the majority in Balaba for imposing all the penalties (two deaths and one life imprisonment) corresponding to the offense charged and proved was article 87 of the old Penal Code which provided: When a person is found guilty of two or more felonies or misdemeanors. (3) the penalty of life imprisonment for the murder of Torres. has the power to impose the appropriate penal sanctions. with some alterations in form and in the words used by reason of style." (Emphasis supplied.80 For all the offenses of which the accused were convicted in the court below. With respect to the imposition of multiple death penalties. "all of the penalties The essence and language. the following rules shall be observed: separate penalties should be imposed upon him [the accused Jamad]. the trial the merger of articles 87 and 88 of the old Penal Code. of the corresponding to the several violations of law" should have been imposed under the express provisions of above-cited provisions have been preserved in article 70 of theRevised Penal Code which is the product of article 87 [now engrafted in article 70 of the Revised Penal Code] and under the ruling in that case. and that the following penalties will so permit. there is no statutory prohibition or jurisprudential When all or any of the penalties corresponding to the several violations of the law can not be injunction against it.

undeniably enough. Although there were many Tagalogs like them confined in contingency subject to varied factors like successful escape of the convict. and then is multiple imposition of death penalties suffers from four basic flaws: (1) it fails to consider the legality of commuted to life imprisonment. though related. And Granting. the possibility of a grant of executive clemency is justifiably reduced in no small measure. The court a quo in this respect: imposition of the proper penalty or penalties is determined by the nature. Significantly. The following penalty or penalties imposed. up until the time they killed their last victim. it is our considered view that the trial court correctly ruled that conspiracy attended the commission of the murders. that simultaneously if the nature of the penalties will so permit. While it is true that Parumog. Barbosa and Santos Cruz. that a death convict like all mortals. however. All that go into the imposition of the proper penalty or penalties. the accused were all armed with improvised weapons showing that they really prepared are the nature. since actual service is a Santos Cruz and Carriego. gravity and number of offenses Although. It is not indispensable that a co-conspirator should take a direct part in every act and should know the part which the others have to perform. If only one death penalty is imposed. Hence. nonetheless. Sigue" gang. proved. gravity and number of the offenses charged and proved and the corresponding penalties for the occasion. planned. In the imposition of the proper penalty or penalties. grant of executive clemency or Building 4. these three were singled out and killed thereby showing that their killing has been natural death of the prisoner. (2) it fails to distinguish between imposition of penalty and service of corresponding to a single life sentence. the imposition of multiple death penalties could effectively serve as a deterrent to an improvident grant of pardon or commutation. there is no direct evidence of conspiracy. We quote with approval the following incisive observations of the The imposition of a penalty and the service of sentence are two distinct. In the case of multiple capital penalties. Conspiracy is the common design to commit a felony. all those who were killed. and (4) it overlooks the practical merits of imposing multiple death penalties. that all were from either the penalties: simultaneously or successively. it is reasoned that the imposition of multiple the presidential prerogatives which is almost absolute) deems it proper to commute the multiple death death penalties is impractical and futile because after the service of one capital penalty. the Court can safely say that there are several charged and. which may not be accurately projected by the imposition of only one death sentence irrespective of the number of capital felonies for which he is liable. The imposition of multiple death penalties. Showing thus the reprehensible character of the convict in its real dimensions. concern itself with the possibility or practicality of the service of the sentence. the convict will have to serve a maximum of only thirty years imposing multiple capital penalties. Santos Cruz. as coconspirators they are equally guilty and collectively liable for in conspiracy the act of one is the act of all. Barbosa. were Tagalogs.81 (13) death penalties. It is contended. The foregoing opposition to the maximum of forty (40) years of multiple life sentences. whereas service of sentence is determined by the severity and character of the circumstances to show that the crime committed by the accused was planned. The sentencing of an accused to several capital penalties is an indelible badge of his extreme criminal perversity. The first rule is that two or more penalties shall be served Visayas or Mindanao except Peralta who is from Masbate and Parumog who hails from Nueva Ecija. the court does not circumstances show beyond any doubt the acts of conspiracy: First. has only one life to forfeit. his behalf. brigade to another and attacking the same men whom they have previously marked for liquidation and Multiple death penalties are not impossible to serve because they will have to be executed simultaneously. in the exercise of his constitutional power to pardon (one of because of this physiological and biological attribute of man. Second. concepts. A cursory reading of article 70 will show that there are only two modes of serving two or more (multiple) It is also important to note that all the accused were inmates of brigade 4-A. Faced with the utter delinquency of such a convict. Larita and Luna did not participate in the actual killing of Carriego. the execution of penalties to multiple life imprisonments. the all were either "OXO" members or sympathizers. The imposition of multiple death penalties is decried by some as a useless formality. the The evidence on record proves beyond peradventure that the accused acted in concert from the moment they bolted their common brigade. then the practical effect is that the convict has to serve the the rest of the death penalties will naturally be rendered impossible. lastly. far from being a useless formality. (3) it ignores the fact that multiple death sentences could be served simultaneously. and that all the victims were members of the "Sigue- nature of said penal sanctions does not only permit but actually necessitates simultaneous service. the Court in Balabaimposed upon the single accused mixed multiple proper penitentiary authorities would exercise judicious restraint in recommending clemency or leniency in penalties of two deaths and one life imprisonment. Reverting now to the case at bar. an exercise in futility. it is not . the accused accomplished the killing with team work precision going from one prescribed by law. almost the same people took part in the killing of Carriego. that the Chief Executive. sentence. Third. has practical importance. to reiterate.

525.. [Supp to No." (cf.) Not a single extenuating circumstance could be appreciated in favor of any of the six accused. Gaz.J. quo that evident premeditation "is always present and inherent in every conspiracy. There is no proof how and when the plan to kill Melanio Balancio was hatched. 52 Phil. [[ ]] latter.000. People vs.. Andres Factora. The facts on [[ record and the established jurisprudence on the matter do not support the conclusion of the court a Concepcion. 12] 166. Dizon. which is the mandate of the first paragraph of article 160 of the Revised Penal Code. therefore. the judgment a quo is hereby modified as follows: Amadeo Peralta. Barbosa and Santos Cruz — each is guilty of three separate and distinct crimes of murder. as all of the six accused at the time of the commission of the offenses were serving sentences[[49]] in the New Bilibid Prison at Muntinlupa by virtue of convictions by final judgments the penalty for each offense must be imposed in its maximum period. 46 Unlike in evident premeditation where a sufficient period of time must elapse to afford full opportunity for meditation and reflection for the perpetrator to deliberate on the consequences of his intended deed. We cannot agree. Makalintal. Iturriaga. all of them shall. 47 Off. however. or what time elapsed before it was carried out. expressly or impliedly. with the trial court that evident premeditation was also present. Gervasio Larita and Florencio Luna are each pronounced guilty of three accused are guilty of the slaughter of Carriego. In view of the attendance of the special aggravating circumstance of quasi-recidivism. Viada observes. concur. the conspiracy is merely inferred from the acts of the accused in the perpetration of the crime. Reyes. [[ 48]] wherein this Court stated: Under normal conditions. all of the six Leonardo Dosal. that the severe penalty imposed on a quasi-recidivist is justified because of his perversity and incorrigibility.L. jointly and severally. People vs. Castro. In the case before us. Mendoza. cooperate in the consummation of a felony previously planned are co-principals." Evident premeditation JJ. and are each sentenced to three death penalties. Lesada 70 Phil. indemnify the heirs of each of the three deceased victims in the sum of P12. Angeles.. we are. however. J. with proof of the attendant deliberation and selection of the method.. conspiracy arises at the very instant the plotters agree. separate and distinct crimes of murder. J. .B. in apposition. 91 Phil. the existence of evident premeditation can be taken for granted. People vs. is on leave. no such evidence exists.. 45 Hence. is not inherent in conspiracy as the absence of the former does not necessarily negate the existence of the Zaldivar. there is no showing of the opportunity of reflection and the persistence in the criminal intent that characterize the aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation (People vs.) In other words. Custodia. All those who in one way or another help and [[ ]] ACCORDINGLY. [[50]] 51]]each will pay one-sixth of the costs. to commit the felony and forthwith decide to commit it. time and means of executing the crime. Fernando and Capistrano. 58. C. Sanchez. unable to determine if the appellants enjoyed "sufficient time between its inception and its fulfillment dispassionately to consider and accept the consequences.82 participation in all the details of the execution of the crime. Bangug. 91. as they did neither allege nor prove any. Angel Parumog. where the act of conspiracy is directly established.[[47]] This view finds added support in People vs..

The record also shows. inquiry was made of some of the occupants whether or not the defendant was there. the defendant said to him: "Why do you enter my house. to pay a fine of P300. Upon arrival at the house. which question was answered by the policeman in the affirmative. The record shows that some time in the month of November. calling to his neighbors for assistance. tried. in his declaration said that when he attempted to arrest the defendant. arraigned. The defendant. using the following language: "Come here. MANUEL BAUTISTA. In this court the appellant alleges that the evidence adduced during the trial of the cause was not sufficient to show that he was guilty of the crime charged in the complaint. vs.83 THE UNITED STATES. defendant-appellant. found guilty. JOHNSON. and to pay the costs. and the defendant asked him if he had an order of arrest. the chief of police. he peaceably submitted and accompanied them. Attorney-General Avanceña for appellee. according to the testimony of the chief of police. 1915 The policeman further testified that he then informed the defendant that he came there for the purpose of arresting him. On or about the 15th of November. armed with an order of arrest.R. The whole record shows that the resistance given by the defendant was done under the belief that the persons who had entered his house were tulisanes. there are some bandits here and they are abusing me. We do not believe that the law contemplates the punishment of persons for resistance of the authorities under circumstances such as . went to the house where the defendant was staying for the purpose of making the arrest. the defendant submitted to the arrest without further resistance or objection. Said policeman further testified that immediately after he had notified the defendant that he was a policeman and had an order of arrest. who accompanied the chief. J. L-10678 August 17. The policeman. accompanied by another policeman. and sentenced by the Honorable Vicente Nepomuceno to be imprisoned for a period of four years two months and one day of prision correccional. according to the declaration of the chief of police. by the declaration of the witnesses for the prosecution. with the accessory penalties of article 61 of the Penal Code. an order of arrest was issued for the defendant and placed in the hands of the chief of police of the municipality of Gerona. saying: There are some bandits here!" Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G." Many of his neighbors. immediately came to his assistance and surrounded his house. you shameless brigands?" and called to one Basilio. that as soon as he had been informed that they were officers of the law. Upon said complaint the defendant was arrested.: This defendant was charged with the crime of assault upon agents of the authorities and insulting them. No. resisted the arrest. Upon being informed that he was in the house. Mauricio Ilagan for appellant. plaintiff-appelle. From that sentence the defendant appealed to this court. and in case of insolvency to suffer subsidiary imprisonment. 1914. in accordance with the provisions of the law. the policeman who accompanied the chief of police entered the house without permission and attempted to arrest the defendant without explaining to him the cause or nature of his presence there. hearing his cry.

1952 has been abundantly established by plaintiff's evidence. It is this decision now under review. Inc. Thus. She elevated the matter to respondent Court of Appeals with the judgment of the lower court being reversed. 1953 plaintiff while talking to Consuelo S. she had been wearing it for six years and became familiar with it. No. Col. Lt. So ordered. this case. Torres. GUEVARA. Two or three days later. vs. Rebullida which was stolen. L-20264 January 30. Mr. Reyes and Jose M. HON. however. plaintiff.. and Araullo. When dismantled. DE GARCIA and ANASTACIO GARCIA. claiming it was lost. Guevara. 1947 from R. owner of La Bulakeña restaurant recognized her ring in the finger of Mrs. Later on when the sheriff tried to serve the writ of seizure (replevin). 1971 CONSUELO S. with his 30 years experience behind him in the jewelry business and being a disinterested witness since both parties are his customers. FERNANDO. On the basis of the facts as duly found by respondent Court. Before plaintiff lost the ring."3 Plaintiff lost in the lower court. we are of the opinion that the record does not disclose sufficient facts to justify the sentence imposed by the lower court. After a careful examination of the evidence.R. ANGELINA D. defendant refused to deliver the ring which had been examined by Mr. Consuelo S. which the defendant answered from her comadre. that according to a pawn-shop owner the big diamond on Exhibit 1 was before the trial never dismantled. but not the same ring plaintiff purchased from Mr.10 cts. C. Her identification was confirmed by Mr.05 cts. Defendant handed the ring to plaintiff and it fitted her finger. and the defendant is discharged from the custody of the law.R. Rebullida to whom they showed the ring in question. the present petitioner before us. Guevara. The defendant is not guilty of the crime described in the complaint. total weight' which she bought on October 27. GUEVARA and JUAN B.57 cts. 1953 was the same ring purchased by plaintiff from R. Cruz for private respondents. whose candid testimony is entitled to great weight. that the ring she bought could be similar to. petitioners. Indeed. concur. he was entirely justified in calling his neighbors and making an attempt to expel them from his premises. Tolentino and Garcia and D. JJ. 1952. Rebullida a examined the ring with the aid of high power lens and after consulting the stock card thereon. The sentence of the lower court is therefore hereby revoked. defendant's diamond was found to weigh 2. de Garcia. respondents."2 Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. defendant and her attorney proceeded to the store of Mr. The performance did not live up to the promise. Garcia and inquired where she bought it. Her evidence tends to show that the ring (Exhibit 1) was purchased by her from Mrs.: This petition for certiorari to review a decision of respondent Court of Appeals was given due course because it was therein vigorously asserted that legal questions of gravity and of moment. Deogracias T. diamond-solitaire. white gold mounting. Rebullida or the sheriff. she readily and definitely identified it. at the request of plaintiff. J. tulisanes. Juan B. there being allegations of an unwarranted departure from and a patent misreading of applicable and controlling decisions. Miranda who got it from Miss Angelita Hinahon who in turn got it from the owner. The nature of the case presented before the lower court by private respondent Angelina D. Carson. called for determination by this Tribunal."1 Then came a summary of now respondent Guevara of her evidence: "Plaintiff's evidence tends to show that around October 11. with one (1) 2. If the defendant believed that those who had entered his house were. Juan Guevara. and the governing legal provisions. sought to meet plaintiff's claim was narrated thus: "On the other hand. de Garcia. failed to substantiate such imputed failings of respondent Court. The brief for petitioners-spouses. 1947 and stolen in February. Rebullida.J. and four (4) brills 0. who was boarding in her house. defendant denied having made any admission before plaintiff or Mr. assisted by her spouse. These are the facts as found by respondent Court of Appeals: "That the ring brought by the parties for examination by Rafael Rebullida on December 14. concluded that it was the very ring that plaintiff bought from him in 1947. Rebullida. her husband Lt. along with her husband Anastacio Garcia. on October 27. Inc.. Aling Petring. We affirm. defendant made no comment when in her presence .84 those which are disclosed in the present case. Trent. Cementina of Pasay PD. when she saw the missing ring in the finger of defendant. as plaintiffs. the complaint is hereby ordered dismissed. Hence. COURT OF APPEALS. Rafael Rebullida. which we are not at liberty to disregard. Rebullida. Plaintiff explained that that ring was stolen from her house in February. in fact. there is no basis for reversal. The ring was returned to defendant who despite a written request therefor failed to deliver the ring to plaintiff. Arellano. Luison for petitioners. was noted in the decision of respondent Court of Appeals thus: "Plaintiff seeks recovery of `one (1) lady's diamond ring 18 cts. How the defendant.

no proof of loss or illegal deprivation could avail the former owner of the chattel. mention was made of petitioner Consuelo S. the case was terminated without any hearing on the third-party and fourth-party complaints. Guevara that that was her ring. petitioner. nor did petitioner answer a letter of the latter asserting ownership. respondent Court did enumerate the flaws in the version given by petitioner. .. Yapdiangco. 1955 of the old Spanish Code. 464 of the Spanish Code (Art. Moreover." As a matter of fact. in essence. to return plaintiff's ring or fact value of P1. in the decision under review. did not even seek to refute. as well as to pay plaintiff P1. Clearly the question raised is one of the fact. The common law principle that where one of two innocent persons must suffer by a fraud perpetrated by the another. was entitled to recover it from petitioner Consuelo S.. 43 Off. 258: IV Manresa.57 cts. ." She would accord to it a greater legal significance than that to which under the controlling doctrines it is entitled. by his misplaced confidence. For an attorney who acts as counsel of record and is permitted to act such. 559 of the New Civil Code). As authoritative interpreted in Cruz v. adverse possession for the necessary period. although made by defendant's counsel. Respondent Court of Appeals was so convinced from the evidence submitted that the owner of the ring in litigation is such respondent. even under the first clause. Instead of proving any alleged departure from legal norms by respondent Court. Baldomera Miranda. may recover it from the person in possession of the same. As the above cases demonstrate. Miss Hinahon did not even know her true and full name.000. De Buen. 6th Ed. In the appraisal of her testimony. specifically Article 559. even on that assumption the owner can recover the same once she can show illegal deprivation. 1947: `Article 559 in fact assumes that possessor is as yet not the owner. was rather remote. From the weakness of the testimony offered which. Reyes of this Court in Sotto vs.A. de Garcia who was found in possession of the same. as thus made clear."5 It is in the light of the above facts as well as the finding that the discrepancy as to the weight between the diamond-solitaire in Exhibit I and the lost diamond was due to defendant having "substituted a diamondsolitaire of plaintiff with a heavier stone" that the decision was rendered. third-party defendant. The third assigned error of petitioners would find fault with respondent Court relying "on the weakness of the title or evidence" of petitioner Consuelo S. 6 the right of the owner cannot be defeated even by proof that there was good faith by the acquisition by the possessor. nor her forwarding address. Guevara's claim of ownership. and Ramos.. And it is for the very reason that the title established by the first clause of Art. Civil Code of the Phil. told respondent Angelina L. L. Guevara. respondent Court reversing the lower court and ordering defendant..00 and costs. p. It was likewise stated in such decision that there were extra-judicial admissions in the original and first amended answers of petitioner. that the clause immediately following provides that `one who has lost any movable or has been unlawfully deprived thereof. the law imposes the loss upon the party who.. Her proffered explanation that her counsel misunderstood her is puerile because the liability to error as to the identity of the vendor and the exchange of the ring with another ring of the same value.000. It reads thus: "The possession of movable property acquired in good faith is equivalent to a title."4 These further facts likewise appeal therein: "The foregoing proof is not counter-balanced by the denial on the part of defendant or the presentation of the ring. Guevara.). 3796). Reynaldo Cementina of the Pasay City Police Department. which would have shown up the falsity of defendant's theory. Nevertheless. Enage (C. and there is no justification for us to reverse respondent Court. or much heavier than the lost diamond weighing 2. Exhibit I.ñèt The brief for respondents did clearly point out why petitioner's assertion is lacking in support not only from the cases but even from commentators. has enabled the fraud to be committed. Derecho Civil Español. the latter must prevail in this jurisdiction. has acquired it in good faith at a public sale. Aling Petring from whom the ring supposedly came turned out to be a mysterious and ephemeral figure. who tried to corroborate defendant on the latter's alleged attempt to exchange the ring defendant bought through her. one who has lost any movable or has been unlawfully deprived thereof may recover it from the person in possession of the same. in which case the owner cannot obtain its return without reimbursing the price. There is a reiteration of this principle in Aznar v. 1. is based on his being dispossessed without his consent. the title of the possessor is not that of ownership. The only exception the law allows is when there is acquisition in good faith of the possessor at a public sale. 380)." 8 2. 559 is only a presumptive title sufficient to serve as a basis for acquisitive prescription. and this includes the authority to make admission for the purpose of the litigation.' "9 The second assigned error is centered on the alleged failure to prove the identity of the diamond ring.05 cts. Hence this appeal. boarded three months in the house of Miss Hinahon long enough to sell her diamond ring. Mr. equivalent to title. To repeat. Thus: "Actually.. What the Court of Appeals found is conclusive. Between a common law principle and statutory provision. there is no occasion to reverse respondent Court. Sanchez Roman. 45 O. respondent Court likewise spoke of her giving a rather dubious source of her ring.. p. which provided a period of three years). 5075. Further confirmation may be found in the extra-judicial admissions. 1132 of the Code provides for a period of acquisitive prescription for movables through `uninterrupted possession for four years in good faith' (Art. which has a diamond-solitaire 2. She appeared from nowhere. He would no longer be entitled to recover it under any condition. If the possessor of a movable lost of which the owner has been unlawfully deprived. It is true. cannot be applied in a case which is covered by an express provision of the new Civil Code. de Garcia making no comment when in her presence Rebullida. the question raised is one of fact. only.' As stated by the Honorable Justice Jose B. That is a factual determination to which we must pay heed. sufficed to defeat respondent Guevara's claim. having been unlawfully deprived of the diamond ring in question. Finally. asserting ownership. defendant is refuted by her own extrajudicial admissions . It is noteworthy that defendant gave a rather dubious source of her ring. she would raise the legal question that respondent Court relied on the "weakness of [her] title or evidence" rather than on the proof justifying respondent Angelina D.00 as exemplary damages.7Thus: "Suffice it to say in this regard that the right of the owner to recover personal property acquired in good faith by another. disappearing from the scene a week thereafter..000. Dec. has the authority to manage the cause. de Garcia.00 as attorney's fee and P1. de Garcia. Petitioner here would ignore the finding of fact of respondent Court that such ownership on her part "has been abundantly established" by her evidence. now petitioner Consuelo S. contained in defendant's original and first amended answers . as set forth a few pages back. the person from whom she allegedly bought it turning out "to be a mysterious and ephemeral figure. both of whom could not be accused of being biased in favor of respondent Angelina D. possession in good faith does not really amount to title. Pahati.lâwphî1. The controlling provision is Article 559 of the Civil Code." Respondent Angelina D. nor did she answer plaintiff's letter of demand. Indeed. so that many Spanish writers. Again here. petitioner would stress Article 541 of the Civil Code. Scaevola.85 Rebullida after examining the ring and stock card told plaintiff that that was her ring. assert that under Art. let us say.. As made mention of in the brief for respondents two disinterested witnesses. It correctly applied the law to the facts as found. Amparo. Mrs. which provides: 'A possessor in the concept of owner has in his favor the legal presumption that he possesses with a just title and he cannot be obliged to show or prove it. Gaz. but is merely a presumptive title sufficient to serve as a basis of acquisitive prescription (II Tolentino. the owner cannot obtain its return without reimbursing the price paid therefor. after examining the ring the stock card. including Manresa. petitioner could not demonstrate that in reaching such a conclusion the Court of Appeals acted in an arbitrary manner. Rafael Rebullida as well as Lt.G. Again. did testify as to the identity of the ring. is [belied] by her judicial admission in her Answer that appellee `suggested that she would make alterations to the mounting and structural design of the ring to hide the true identity and appearance of the original one' (Cunanan vs.. Col. for the reason that Art. It is thus immediately apparent that there is no merit to the contention raised in the first assigned error that her possession in good faith. for it is obvious that where the possessor has come to acquire indefeasible title by.

The sixth assigned error would complain against the reversal of the lower court judgment as well as petitioner Consuelo S. Makalintal. it being just and equitable under the circumstances. concurs in the result.L. Guevara was clarified by the fact that the substitution came after it was brought for examination to Mr. ROBERT E. however. Dizon. DESIERTO. ROLINE M. petitioner Adoracion G. Guevara exemplary damages. As to the attorney's fees and exemplary damages. petitioner. KALLOS and LEONARDO P. GINEZ-JABALDE. State Prosecutor RICHARD ANTHONY D. attorney's fees and costs. one of the points raised as to such decision being contrary to the evidence is the finding that there was no substitution. No. 1962 is hereby affirmed. JR.. G. AGCAOILI.J. With costs. the decision of respondent Court of Appeals of August 6. Castro.. and Asst. the cursory discussion of the sixth assigned error on the matter by petitioner fails to demonstrate that respondent Court's actuation is blemished by legal defects. MAYORALGO. FADULLON and State Prosecutor ALFREDO P.B. Senior State Prosecutor HERNANI T.: By this special civil action for certiorari and mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Art. ANGELES. Rebullida. C.86 The legal question raised in the fourth assignment of error is that the matter of the substitution of the diamond on the ring was a question raised for the first time on appeal as it was never put in issue by the pleadings nor the subject of reception of evidence by both parties and not touched upon in the decision of the lower court. vs. Teehankee. 2006 ADORACION G. MONTEMAYOR. Manila. J. Again petitioner would have us pass on a question of credibility which is left to respondent Court of Appeals. the issue was raised at the trial according to the said respondent resulting in that portion of the decision where the lower court reached a negative conclusion. Villamor and Makasiar JJ." 10 Considering the circumstances. What is said takes care of the fifth assigned error that respondent Court was mistaken in its finding that there was such a substitution. Chief State Prosecutor PASCUALITA DURANCERENO. all of the Department of Justice. de Garcia being made to pay respondent Angelina D. 85 of the Code of Commerce not being applicable. What was held by it is controlling.. for plaintiff's ring. exercising its appellate power reversed the lower court. WHEREFORE. in the motion for reconsideration. Zaldivar. LAIGO of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). What is clear is that there is no factual basis for the legal arguments on which the fourth assigned error is predicated. respondents. It is not necessary to state that respondent Court.000 as exemplary damages for the public good to discourage litigants from resorting to fraudulent devices to frustrate the ends of justice. 133077 September 8. The reversal is called for in the light of the appraisal of the evidence of record as meticulously weighed by respondent Court. as Ombudsman of the Philippines. Reyes. Exhibit 1. concur. and another P1. J. TAMAYO.000. Secretary LINA B. HON. this is what respondent Court said in the decision under review: "Likewise. Barredo.. all of the Office of the Ombudsman. Angeles seeks the annulment and setting aside of the following issuances in connection . ANIANO A.. ABELARDO L. DECISION GARCIA. As a result. Concepcion. J. After the knowledge of such substitution was gained. BARRIOS.R. Why no such question could be raised in the pleadings of respondent Angelina D. ANGEL C. as defendant herein tried to substitute the ring. plaintiff is entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees in the sum of P1.

) No. No. duly approved by then Ombudsman Aniano A. violation of Republic Act (R.S. 1995. The complaint was docketed as OMB-0-97-0047. No. and State Prosecutors (SPs) Richard Anthony D. for alleged violation of Article 171(5)1 of the Revised Penal Code. 1995. however. Agcaoili. the petition was denied by DOJ Undersecretary Ricardo G. 95-224. 95224 to appear and present her evidence in the hearing of July 18. obviously displeased with what transpired. 1997 Resolution. 1997. Fadullon and Alfredo P. 95-224. filed an administrative complaint against SSP Barrios charging the latter with dishonesty. The complaint. a proceeding instituted by the petitioner with the Office of the Ombudsman against the respondents (DSWD) Secretary Lina B.) Order dated January 23. No. Desierto. Unfortunately for her. a former helper of the petitioner. WHEREFORE and in view of the foregoing. we recommend for approval the filing of two (2) informations for violation of Section 10 (a) of Republic Act No. 3(f) of RA 3019. because of its similarity with I. gross negligence and incompetence. In a resolution8 dated October 7. in relation to Article I. Pascualita Duran-Cereno. No. Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Pascualita Duran-Cereno. the petitioner filed a manifestation and motion submitting I.S. 95-224. Section On July 25.S. I. the partial motion for reconsideration is denied. they recommended the dismissal of Rebecca Pacay's complaint in I. this time to disqualify SSP Barrios from proceeding with or resolving I. Undoubtedly. On June 21. and SPs Richard Anthony D. 1995. Agcaoili issued a Joint Resolution 7 in the consolidated cases. In time. docketed as I. On February 2. Laigo of the DSWD. the petitioner. Therein. No. No. The main case. That the malicious acts of herein respondents are also constitutive of child abuse as defined by Section 3(b) (4) in relation to Section 3(c) (6) RA 7610 inasmuch as the continued detention of the girls at the DSWD albeit against their free will and their constant exposure to the trauma of a court litigation seriously impair their normal development as members of society. 1996. recommending the approval of the aforesaid September 18. In the DOJ. No. was initially assigned for investigation to SSP Hernani T. 95-224 and I. On January 12. was filed against the petitioner and her sister Oliva Angeles. RA 7610 be filed in the Court of proper jurisdiction. SSP Hernani T. Later. 95-224. 1998. issued by Special Prosecution Officer III Carlos D. 18. Laigo. Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Pascualita DuranCereno. 1997. 1996. 96-258. DOJ. Fadullon and Alfredo P. denying the herein petitioner's motion for reconsideration of the same September 18. also for violation of R. petitioner's motion for partial reconsideration was referred to the Acting CSP.2particularly Section 3(f)3 thereof. No. Agcaoili. and State Prosecutors Richard Anthony D. recommending the dismissal of the charges filed by the petitioner against Secretary Lina B. 1996 of Chief State Prosecutor (CSP) Jovencito Zuño.S. Nepomuceno in the resolution dated January 16.S. Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Pascualita Duran-Cereno. to wit: Premises considered. issued by Graft Investigation Officer II Roline M. pursuant to a Memorandum dated March 6. 95-224 for resolution and praying for its dismissal. Ginez-Jabalde of the Office of the Ombudsman. No. 96-097 and the filing of two (2) informations against the petitioner for violation of Section 10(a) of R. No. No. SSP Barrios issued a subpoena directing the petitioner as respondent in I.A. No. This other complaint was filed before the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office and thereat docketed as I. No.) Resolution dated September 18. 1996. or on January 15. by Rebecca Pacay. 3019. another criminal complaint. We reproduce hereunder the petitioner's accusations against the impleaded respondents in OMB-0-970047. Acting CSP Duran-Cereno denied the petitioner's motion.S. 96-097 were consolidated and assigned to SPs Richard Anthony D. No. The aforementioned Joint Resolution was approved by CSP Jovencito Zuño. No. Agcaoili. Fadullon and Alfredo P. the unfounded scandal orchestrated by my detractors and maliciously supported by all the respondents will leave an indelible stigma upon the girls. OMB-0-97-0047. Three days later. 1996. the petitioner filed with the DOJ a petition for review.A.A. 7610 against respondent Judge Adoracion Angeles relative to I. During the hearing.S. the petitioner filed an urgent motion. Agcaoili.S. Barrios. Fadullon and Alfredo P. 7610. Senior State Prosecutor Hernani T. That the acts of all the respondents in unduly favoring the complainants in I. Barrios.S. Fadullon and Alfredo P. Let the two (2) informations for violations of Section 10 (a).S. No. the petitioner moved for a partial reconsideration of the aforesaid joint resolution.S. filed with the Office of the Ombudsman an Affidavit-Complaint9 against the following: Secretary Lina B. With the inhibition of CSP Zuño. 96-097. filed against the herein petitioner by her housemaids.A. irritated with the delay in the resolution of I. In the meantime. I. the petitioner reiterated her earlier plea to submit the case for resolution. No. 7610:6 1. 1997 Resolution. 96-258 was re-docketed as I. 1996. traces its roots from a criminal complaint for physical abuse and maltreatment under R. Barrios.) Memorandum dated November 20.S.A. On April 21. 1997.S. From the aforementioned denial resolution. which was duly granted by SSP Barrios. Montemayor of the Department of Justice (DOJ). 7610. Barrios. 96-258 was indorsed by the Quezon City Prosecutor to the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor. 7610. it is respectfully recommended that I. 95-224 and discriminating against me [petitioner] is likewise a wanton violation of Sec.87 with OMB-0-97-0047. Proclyn Pacay and Nancy Gaspar. to wit: 17. More specifically. I. before the Department of Justice (DOJ). 96-097 filed by Rebecca Pacay against respondent Judge Adoracion Angeles and Oliva Angeles be dismissed.S. No. Laigo of the DSWD. No. and .S. Senior State Prosecutor (SSP) Hernani T. No. 95-224. the joint resolution dispositively reads: 3(b) (4)4 and Section 3 (c) (6)5 of R. Likewise. It was against the foregoing backdrop of events that the petitioner.S. and 3. SPs Richard Anthony D. 2.

Finally. of the petitioner's motion for reconsideration of the Resolution dated September 18. The mandamus aspect of the petition seeks to command the respondent Ombudsman to file the information in court for violations of Article 171(5) of the Revised Penal Code and Section 3(e) and (f) of R. as borne by the latter's signature appearing at the bottom of said Order. we have consistently ruled that unless there are good and compelling reasons. 'beholden to no one. 1997. No. "the predisposition of the respondents to indict (her) at all cost is very apparent and an undeniable badge of bad faith on their part as it is clear that the findings (in the Joint Resolution) are not the result of an honest and objective appraisal of the evidence but the repulsive product of Barrios' avenging nature which was supported and cooperated with by his co-respondents. whom she claims to have a close link with the DSWD Secretary. also of the same office. In the herein first assailed Resolution10 dated September 18. His is an exercise of powers based upon a constitutional mandate and the courts should not interfere in such exercise. It is basically his call. and Assistant Ombudsman Abelardo Aportadera. 1997. much less grave abuse of discretion. committed in this case.. Special Prosecution Officer III Carlos D. That it is evident that the case against me is rooted on vengeance with no other intention than to harass and cast a stigma to my good name and the respondents are all willing conspirators. in other words where the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of . then Ombudsman Aniano A. He may dismiss the complaint forthwith should he find it to be insufficient in form or substance or he may proceed with the investigation if. this respondent. 96-097 was made on February 2. 1996 by respondents Fadullon and Agcaoili. the petitioner seeks to annul and set aside their above stated issuances in said case. Desierto. Desierto. we cannot interfere in the Ombudsman's exercise of his investigating and prosecutory powers. In support of her conspiracy theory. the Constitution as well as RA 6770 has endowed it with a wide latitude of investigatory and prosecutory powers virtually free from legislative. The petition is bereft of merit. recommended the denial. As their part in the perceived grand conspiracy. 1996 since the referral of I. To insulate the Office from outside pressure and improper influence. the petitioner alleges that Secretary Lina B. Laigo. against DSWD Secretary Lina B.15 So it is that in Espinosa v. Director Angel Mayoralgo. according to the petitioner. in his view. for lack of merit. allegedly orchestrated her indictment for maltreatment to protect the image of the DSWD which was allegedly holding the complainants in the maltreatment cases against their will. With respect to respondents Fadullon and Agcaoili. The same ruling was reiterated in Salvador v. recommended the approval of the September 18. in due and proper form. SSP Hernani T. To the petitioner.S.A. the petitioner charged respondents SSP Barrios and SPs Fadullon and Agcaoili of falsification under Article 171(5) of the Revised Penal Code. Jr. xxx xxx xxx Indeed. let it be stressed that the Ombudsman has discretion to determine whether a criminal case. the Court cannot freely interfere in the Ombudsman's exercise of his investigatory and prosecutory powers. Montemayor. given its facts and circumstances. His determination and evaluation of the adequacy of evidence in this regard are unfettered. of the Office of the Ombudsman. Agcaoili. 1996.18 However. In the Memorandum dated November 20. the Court has ruled that the Ombudsman has the full discretion to determine whether a criminal complaint should be dismissed or the necessary Information be filed in the appropriate court. Office of the Ombudsman. Petitioner is now before the Court via the present recourse imputing grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Ombudsman and his investigating officers in dismissing OMB-0-97-0047. Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Pascualita Duran-Cereno. Fadullon and Agcaoili. In the same vein. executive or judicial intervention. Ginez-Jabalde."11 in OMB-0-97-0047. This Court consistently refrains from interfering with the exercise of its powers. Laigo of the DSWD interfered with and manifested undue interest in the maltreatment case by making repeated calls to the DOJ urging the immediate filing of criminal information therefor against the petitioner. should be filed or not. likewise of the Office of the Ombudsman.88 19. 1998. the petitioner alleged that the two conspired with respondent Barrios in falsifying an unsigned Joint Resolution13 in the maltreatment cases by ante-dating the same to show that it was ready for release by February 7. and respects the initiative and independence inherent in the Ombudsman who. Fadullon and Agcaoili. 3019. in the Order dated January 23. acts as the champion of the people and the preserver of the integrity of public service.19 Turning to respondent Pascualita Duran-Cereno. et al.. Without good and compelling reasons to indicate otherwise. The recommendation was duly approved by the herein respondent. No. Petitioner insists that "respondent Barrios could not have made the document on February 7. 1997. the complaint is in due and proper form and substance. or."14 Time and again. petitioner avers that respondents Barrios. in his view. In the same affidavit-complaint. He may dismiss the complaint forthwith if he finds it to be insufficient in form or substance or if he otherwise finds no ground to continue with the inquiry. Barrios and SPs Richard Anthony D.17 where the Court further declared: On the issue of whether respondent Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the complaint against respondents. 1996 and the investigation commenced only on March 21. the Court is not precluded from reviewing his action when there is an abuse of discretion. recommended the dismissal of OMB-0-97-0047. or he may proceed with the investigation if the complaint is. while the Ombudsman has the full discretion to determine whether or not a criminal case should be filed. as amended. Grave abuse of discretion implies such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. by way of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Graft Investigator Officer II Roline M. conspired with the other respondents when "she maliciously affirmed in toto the obviously biased findings of her corespondents Barrios. Fadullon and Alfredo P.16 the Court states: The prosecution of offenses committed by public officers is vested in the Office of the Ombudsman."12 The Court sees no abuse. 1997 Resolution.

1998: The coordination and monitoring on the cases against the complainant Judge (petitioner) made by the respondent Secretary should not be interpreted as pure interference on the job of the state prosecutors. we agree with the observations of Graft Investigation Officer II Roline M. With regard to the charge of falsification against respondents Barrios. depending on his finding and considered evaluation of the case. To recapitulate. the Court will not interfere with the discretion of the Ombudsman. Complainant Judge's assertion of ante-dating to conceal connivance is entirely baseless because nobody could know at that time to whom the case would be assigned in the event the inhibition and disqualification will be granted. The alleged failure to consider the evidence adduced by the petitioner should not be a cause for an administrative case against said respondent because these matters are best addressed to the sound discretion of the trial court during the trial proper. 20 Such arbitrariness or despotism does not obtain here. 21 To establish conspiracy. the Joint Resolution was not even signed by respondent Barrios. The fact that it was introduced as evidence in the administrative complaint does not change the status of the document. of a clear case of grave abuse of discretion. Ginez-Jabalde in his assailed Resolution dated September 18. . Petitioner who is herself a judge should understand that respondent Pascualita Duran-Cereno merely performed her duties as a reviewing officer. It is likewise noteworthy that the petitioner had exhausted all remedies available to her. petitioner's bare allegation of intimacy among the respondents in OMB-0-97-0047 does not prove conspiracy inasmuch as conspiracy transcends companionship. xxx xxx xxx The continued custody by the DSWD over the children Proclyn Pacay and Nancy Gaspar works for their own advantage and benefit contrary to the belief of the complainant Judge. Furthermore.89 passion or personal hostility. Without more. As correctly pointed out by the Ombudsman in the challenged Order dated January 23. Angeles but this is not tantamount to child abuse.A. Their constant exposure to the trauma of court litigation are the necessary consequences of their decision to file a complaint against Judge Adoracion G. who. This is a clear signal that she is serious in performing her job as protector of the rights of children against child abuse. either dismisses a complaint or proceeds with it. which shows that the findings of the Prosecutors and the reviewing officer are in accordance with law. 1996. xxx xxx xxx A Sur-Rejoinder was filed by the complainant Judge where she narrated some material facts which could enlighten the undersigned investigator in the determination of probable cause. 1997: Respondent Barrios did not antedate his resolution because on the same date February 7. and it must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law. The allegation that respondent Pascualita Duran-Cereno allowed herself to be a part of the conspiracy when she denied the petitioner's partial motion for reconsideration and affirmed the findings in the Joint Resolution of respondents Fadullon and Agcaoili is utterly without basis. The similarities could simply be attributed to the fact that the two resolutions have been lifted from the same set of records. hence. the instant petition is DISMISSED. complainant Judge had learned from him that he would personally file charges against her. exploitation and discrimination. it produces no legal effect and is a mere scrap of paper. in the absence. Enforcement of R. Neither does the alleged similarity existing between the resolution prepared by respondent Barrios and the Joint Resolution prepared by respondents Fadullon and Agcaoili indicate conspiracy.22 As we see it. again. as here. Fadullon and Agcaoili. nothing on record even minutely suggests that the respondents conspired to insure the indictment of the petitioner. 7610 lies principally on the shoulders of the respondent Secretary being the head of the agency called for this purpose. This means that he had already disposed the case by having at that time a prepared resolution and the contents of the same had already been fed to the respondent's computer for printing and for subsequent release. rather than mere cognizance or approval of an illegal act is required. WHEREFORE. evidence of actual cooperation. The undue interest shown by the respondent Secretary should not be viewed on the negative perspective but should be given a positive outlook. SO ORDERED.

DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO. confederating and mutually helping each other. with intent to kill and being then armed with lead pipes and bladed weapons and conspiring.6 dated 27 April 1995. was apprehended. 2007 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Jr. found appellant Bernard Mapalo guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder. in the Municipality of Aringay. to the damage and prejudice of his heirs. La Union with the crime of Murder. wil[l]fully. assault and use personal violence on one Manuel Piamonte y Ugay by clubbing him with the said pipes and stabbing him several times with the said bladed weapons. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G. together with Peter Doe. and Rolando Mapalo alias "Lando.R. unlawfully and feloniously attack. Philippines. to the damage and prejudice of his heirs. Jimmy Frigillana. Province of La Union. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court.3 The RTC ordered the issuance of a warrant of arrest for the apprehension of the appellant. and Rolando Mapalo alias "Lando. No. committed as follows: That on or about the 13th day of February. modifying the Decision of the RTC. Jr. La Union. the other two remain at large. vs. and imposed upon him the penalty of reclusion perpetua. 5 alleging that a reinvestigation was conducted and a prima facie case was found against the other accused. Philippines. unlawfully and feloniously attack. and thereby inflicting on the aforenamed victim fatal injuries which were the direct and immediate cause of his death. a warrant of arrest was issued for the apprehension of Alejandro Fajardo. was charged before the RTC of Agoo. Branch 32 of Agoo. 172608 February 6. the above-named accused. with intent to kill and being then armed with lead pipe and bladed weapons and conspiring. ALEJANDRO FAJARDO. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court.. J. BERNARD MAPALO.. in the Municipality of Aringay. the Court of Appeals rendered a Decision2 dated 21 November 2005. On 27 March 1995. A-2871. trial on the merits commenced. in Criminal Case No. Contrary to law. did then and there by means of treachery and with evident premeditation and taking advantage of their superior strength. assault and use personal violence on one Manuel Piamonte y Ugay by clubbing him with the said pipe and stabbing him several times with the said bladed weapons. wil[l]fully. the RTC issued an Order.8 Thereafter. No bail was recommended. On arraignment. confederating and mutually helping each other. 3rd Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Manuel S. Plaintiff-Appellee. On appeal.: In its Decision1 dated 27 October 2004.90 The Indictments Appellant. said to have been committed as follows: That on or about the 13th day of February. and finding Bernard Mapalo guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Frustrated Murder. It was prayed that an amended information be admitted and a warrant of arrest be issued for the apprehension of Alejandro Fajardo. viz: The undersigned Assistant Provincial Prosecutor accuses BERNARD MAPALO. 1994. JR. the abovenamed accused.JIMMY FRIGILLANA and ROLANDO MAPALO alias Lando of the crime of MURDER. 1994. Jimmy Frigillana. appellant filed a Motion for Reinvestigation and Bail. Accused-Appellant." Only Alejandro Fajardo.. John Doe and Peter Doe. did then and there by means of treachery and with evident premeditation and taking advantage of their superior strength." Finding the Motion to be welltaken. Jr. appellant pleaded not guilty.. Jr. which was granted. and thereby inflicting on the aforenamed victim fatal injuries which were the direct and immediate cause of his death. admitting the Amended Information. Oliva filed a Motion to Admit Amended Information and for the Issuance of Warrant of Arrest for the Apprehension of the Other Accused.7 Consequently. Province of La Union. .4 When the case was called. the Regional Trial Court (RTC).

The RTC found it strange that it was only Caridad Mapalo who was awakened by the commotion.10 In the early morning of 13 February 1994. which had suffered multiple stab wounds.13 He saw the appellant club Piamonte with a lead pipe from behind. southwest of their residence. and Rolando Mapalo.38 The Ruling of the Court of Appeals Before the appellate court. Alejandro Fajardo.. as well as small wounds on the front part of his left hip. He watched the dance. and went back to sleep.m.37 Further.21 at around 9:00 p. Later.91 After the prosecution had rested its case.34 She explained that she and Marissa Dapit went out to see or to know the name of the person who died at the commotion.m. Caridad Mapalo. but his wife prevented him from doing so. According to the RTC. he. the distance between his house and the dancing hall is only 20 to 30 meters.000. Noel Cordero. proceeded to the edge of the WHEREFORE. Jr. The RTC conjectured that Caridad Mapalo proceeded to the dance hall not to see what the commotion was all about.11 Jimmy Frigillana. lying face down. the accused is ordered to pay the heirs of Manuel Piamonte the amount of Twelve Thousand Seven Hundred Pesos (P12. La Union.19 It was only when Piamonte’s shirt was removed when he saw stab wounds on the former’s dead body.. the RTC rendered a Decision.00) as civil indemnity for the death of Piamonte and Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50. he saw the dead body of Piamonte. Thus. returned to his room. while their guests proceeded to the dance hall. the appellant was clearly identified by Garcia as the one who struck Piamonte on the head with a lead pipe.24 At 12:30 a. the RTC considered the testimony of Caridad Mapalo as defying the natural course of human reaction and experience. Appellant similarly assailed the ruling of the RTC on the ground that it erred in convicting him despite the failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The celebration finished at around 12:00 midnight. but because she was informed that her husband was involved in a fight.700. Cecilia in Aringay.00) as moral damages.00) as actual damages. There was no physical impossibility for the appellant to be present at the scene of the crime. Caridad Mapalo. and below the left breast. she served brandy to her husband and their guests at their residence. and the appellant.20 dancing hall. Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50. hitting him on the right side of the head. Marissa Dapit. He said he came to know that Piamonte was the person who was stabbed. filed a Demurrer to Evidence which was granted by the RTC.15 At that time when the appellant struck Piamonte with a lead pipe. after his guests had left the house.27 He. the RTC ruled that conspiracy was established by the prosecution. common and united design with the other accused to commit an unlawful and felonious act. Moreover. in its Order9 dated 5 November 1998. appellant challenged the credibility of the prosecution’s lone eyewitness.. a fight erupted between Manuel Piamonte (Piamonte) and the group of Lando Mapalo. dated 27 October 2004. The Case for the Prosecution The prosecution presented Calixto Garcia (Garcia) as its lone eyewitness. he saw Jimmy Frigillana and Lando Mapalo standing in front of Piamonte. He was eventually found guilty.m." The fact that the medical certificate shows the cause of death as stab wounds was deemed by the RTC as immaterial. Further. which alone is "sufficient manifestation of a concerted.23 Appellant knew that there was a Valentine’s Day dance celebration at the dance hall.18 He does not know who stabbed the latter.32 She went outside of their house. narrated that on 13 February 199429 at 8:00 p..m. he went to sleep. The RTC also appreciated the attendance of abuse of superior strength as a qualifying circumstance. Brgy.14 The pipe was one and a half (1 and ½) feet in length.17Garcia disclosed that he neither witnessed how Piamonte was stabbed. nor did he see the act of stabbing Piamonte. Learning of the same. It ruled that appellant’s defense of alibi cannot prevail over the positive identification of the lone eyewitness. He claimed that he could see the incident very clearly because of the light at the dancing hall. at around 3:00 a. and one and a half (1 and ½) inches in diameter.31 She described that the dance hall is around 60 to 70 meters. she saw the body of Piamonte. more or less. Sta. At 3:00 a.. the accused BERNARD MAPALO is hereby found Guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of MURDER and is sentenced to suffer the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA.33 She claimed that her husband did not go out and just stayed at their house. along with the appellant and Jimmy Frigillana. entertained several guests at their residence. per admission of appellant.35 At the dancing hall. she awoke because of a commotion from the dance hall. finding appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder.30 Thereafter.. it found Garcia’s testimony to be consistent and uncontradicted. Ruel Mercado. while the appellant remained asleep. Caridad Mapalo exposed herself to danger by proceeding to the dance hall to see what the commotion was all about without even informing her husband. on the rationalization that the perpetrators were armed with bladed weapons and a lead pipe that were out of proportion to the unarmed Piamonte.25 At 3:00 a.000. located northeast of his house at a distance of about 20-30 meters. As emphasized by the RTC.26 He added that he planned to go out of the house. The Case for the Defense The decretal portion of the RTC Decision states: Appellant testified that in the evening of 13 February 1994.m. Garcia testified that on 12 February 1994. namely. On the other hand. thereafter. his wife.12 Garcia further testified that he witnessed the fight from a distance of more or less five (5) meters. along with his wife. in view of the presence of conspiracy. Crispin Calderon.28 Corroborating the appellant’s defense of denial and alibi. his wife woke him up and was informed that somebody had been stabbed. only accused Bernard Mapalo proceeded to present his evidence.39 .36 The Ruling of the RTC After trial.22 They drank wine. she and her husband went to sleep. a pre-Valentine dance was held in Sitio Baracbac.16 He saw stab wounds on the left and right parts of the abdomen.m. on the ground that the prosecution did not present any evidence against him. and along with her sister-in-law.

as maximum. Because of this. appellant raises. 349 SCRA 513 [2001]). the Court of Appeals said that the appellant could only be held liable for the consequences of his own criminal act.] the amount of Twenty Five Thousand Pesos (P25.00) as moral damages pursuant to prevailing jurisprudence. Hatton. At such point. therefore. the lower court’s Decision is hereby MODIFIED. the defense that the witness for the prosecution failed to positively identify him during the trial proceedings. of any concerted action or common design to kill the victim that could be the basis for a finding of conspiracy among several malefactors. True that on the matter of identification.00) as temperate damages. the records are bereft of proof that there was in-court identification by the witness Garcia of the appellant. Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30. There is no proof. True. It did not find significant the alleged inconsistencies in Garcia’s affidavits as executed before the investigating police and the prosecutor. He did not see anyone else perform any act of stabbing or hitting. the prosecution’s witness did not see the stabbing. by concerted acts. Q If that accused is inside the courtroom now will you please stand up and point to him if he is inside the courtroom? . THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT DESPITE FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO IDENTIFY THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT IN OPEN COURT. which discourages the conclusion that the killing was planned. the killing was the result of a fight that erupted suddenly during the Valentine dance.51 Verily. He was not able to describe the particular acts which caused Piamonte’s death. Citing People v. his name was referred to by both Basierto and Ongue in their respective direct testimonies. The appellate court rationalized that while the evidence shows that Piamonte sustained stab wounds which caused his death. 8 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal. Accused-appellant is hereby sentenced to 8 years and 1 day of prision mayor. he was not identified in Court.00) as civil indemnity and Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30. other than the appellant delivering blows with a lead pipe on the victim. Such fact can be gleaned from the pertinent portion of the transcript of stenographic notes of the trial. Pacana. it cannot be inferred from the account of the witness that the appellant and his co-accused came to an agreement to commit a felony. We first tackle the issue on the lack of in-court identification. he performed all the acts that would have brought about the death of the victim. the accused is ordered to pay the heirs of Manuel Piamonte[. 45 The fallo of the Court of Appeals’ Decision reads. Garcia was then intoxicated if he had been drinking hard liquor continuously for six hours. It was not convinced that the evidence on record established conspiracy among the appellant and his co-accused. 345 SCRA 72 [2000].m. reproduced hereunder. The positive identification of the prosecution witness which was consistent and categorical. the witness did not see any stabbing. It is argued that the foregoing circumstances create doubts as to the identity of the appellant as one of the perpetrators of the crime.42 The Court of Appeals made the following observations: ASSUMING THAT THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT IS GUILTY.49 appellant submits that the prosecution failed to discharge its first duty. viz: WHEREFORE. Hence.000.41 the appellant was never identified as the one who inflicted the stab wounds on the deceased.47 In the first place. Indeed. According to the appellate court. has discredited appellant’s defense. Givera.92 The Court of Appeals found no adequate reason to disturb the findings of the RTC in weighing the testimony of Garcia.000. However. and shown to be without ill-motive. the prosecution’s evidence only established that the appellant clubbed Piamonte with a lead pipe. and The Court of Appeals. (People v. independent of the appellant’s will.43 In the absence of a conspiracy. sir. he can no longer positively determine a person’s identity. which is the identification of the accused as the author of the crime charged. as minimum to 14 years. as follows: Direct-examination by Prosecutor Rudio of the witness Calixto Garcia Q Do you know the accused Bernard Mapalo? A I know. it could not be said that conspiracy was proven attendant beyond reasonable doubt. the accused-appellant was not positively identified in court. Appellant further posits that Garcia did not deny drinking gin at around 9:00 p.000. on 13 February 1994 until 3:00 a. the Court in Hatton said: More importantly. of the following day. It ruled that when the appellant hit Piamonte in the head with the lead pipe. THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING HIM OF FRUSTRATED MURDER INSTEAD OF FRUSTRATED HOMICIDE. Further.40 The appellate court did not accept the appellant’s defense of alibi.50 Witness Garcia did not identify the appellant in open court. Pre-trial identification is not sufficient. Also.m.46 The Issues Appellant contends that: I II The Ruling of the Court In support of the first assignment of error. however. or that they decided to commit the same. People v. found reason to modify the findings of the RTC. However. in that the accusedappellant Bernard Mapalo is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Frustrated Murder. The failure of the prosecution witness to positively identify the assailant in court is fatal to the prosecution’s cause. It convicted the appellant of frustrated murder only. premises considered. for the first time. Garcia did not point to the appellant in the courtroom.44 Piamonte’s death however was due to some other supervening cause. Galera48 and People v.

Q Mr. thus: Q He is considered a friend? We do not see the absolute need for complainant to point to appellant in open court as her attacker. conspicuously reveals that there was no identification in open court of the appellant because said appellant was not present at the time. Q You know that this Calixto Garcia is not a relative of Piamonte the victim in this case? A I do not know whether he is a relative of the victim or not. despite notice. sir. 1994 you never quarreled with Calixto Garcia? A No. however. Witness you said that you were informed by your counsel a while ago that a certain Calixto Garcia testified against you in this case did I get you right? COURT: O R D E R: A Yes. His denial is that he did not participate in the commission of the crime. appellant himself admits that he and Garcia are friends. Q In fact this Calixto Garcia is an acquaintance of yours? In a later case. as according to his wife. A Yes. Thus: Q Was he notified for (sic) today’s hearing? Cross-examination by Prosecutor Lachica of [appellant] Bernard Mapalo INTERPRETER: Yes. appellant never denied that he is the person indicted in the Information. sir I consider him as such. COURT: The appellant is not a stranger to the witness Garcia. who is a stranger to the prosecution witnesses." In-court identification of the offender is essential only when there is a question or doubt on whether the one alleged to have committed the crime is the same person who is charged in the information and subject of the trial. 53 this Court expounded. he was sick. hence such omission does not in any way affect or diminish the truth or weight of her testimony. We are convinced that the identity of the appellant was sufficiently established by the evidence on record. Q You said that you know Calixto Garcia your friend according to you. In fact. While positive identification by a witness is required by the law to convict an accused. in-court identification is not indispensable in the case at bar. he signed. Q Even after that incident that happened on February 13. Q You know for a fact that Calixto Garcia executed a statement before the police pointing to you or pointing to you as the assailant of Paimonte did you come to know that? A No.52 Q And this Calixto Garica is a resident of the same Barangay as you are? The same testimony. As the court held in People v. Hence. he is not around. the fact that the witness x x x did not do so in this case was because the public prosecutor failed to ask her to point out appellant. there is no doubt at all that the rapist is the same individual mentioned in the Informations and described by the victim during the trial. sir. is dubitable. In the present case. it need not always be by means of a physical courtroom identification. sir. 1994. Paglinawan: Q Prior to the incident which happened sometime on February 13.)54 We do not find herein a case where there is a question or doubt as to whether the one alleged to have committed the crime is the same person charged in the information and subject of the trial. you have never quarreled with this Calixto Garcia? "x x x. this Court clarified that a physical courtroom identification is essential only when there is a question or doubt on whether the one alleged to have committed the crime is the same person who is charged in the information and subject of the trial. sir. Quezada.93 A No. sir. A No. In People v. however. A Yes. In fact. did you confront him when he testified against you in court? . A Yes. It appears that the accused Bernard Mapalo was being notified for (sic) today’s hearing and his wife came to Court and informed the Honorable Court that her husband could not come to Court because he is sick. sir. Although it is routine procedure for witnesses to point out the accused in open court by way of identification. and subject of the proceedings. (Emphasis supplied. The identity of the appellant to Garcia does not appear to be controvertible. sir. This is especially true in cases wherein the identity of the accused.

Cecilia? A Yes. . Dangers of unreliability in eyewitness testimony arise at each of these three stages. 55 PROSECUTOR LACHICA: The proper identification of the appellant is further bolstered by the fact that appellant’s wife. sir. Third. The dancing hall was ATTY. In People v. sir. sir. A Yes. whether as a victim or a bystander. COURT: Q You did not tell your friend that he was mistaken in identifying you as the assailant of Piamonte. the witness must memorize details of the event. and retrieve information accurately. sir. Q This Calixto Garcia whom you know is a friend of your family. Caridad Mapalo corroborated the testimony that the witness Garcia is a family friend of the spouses. sir. A No. in his testimony. they are limited by normal human fallibilities and suggestive influences.56 Q But he is staying within your barangay which is Sta."59 A Yes. sir. sir. Garcia was also familiar with the deceased. Second. correct? A Yes. There is no question that the witness Garcia was at a close range of merely five meters more or less from the scene of the incident. viz: x x x Known causes of misidentification have been identified as follows: "Identification testimony has at least three components. we do not find herein the presence of factors57 that could cause the witness Garcia to misidentify the appellant. your honor. Piamonte. Q His house is closed to your house. sir. sir. correct? Q Is your family close with (sic) this Calixto Garcia? A Far. Moreover.60 Neither can it be said that the illumination was poor. witnessing a crime. referred to Piamonte as his third cousin. your family have (sic) never quarreled with Calixto Garcia? A None. sir. witness Garcia is familiar not only to appellant. retain. for whenever people attempt to acquire. correct? Objection overruled. Thus: Q Until now. A No. First. Cross examination of Caridad Mapalo by Prosecutor Lachica PROSECUTOR LACHICA: Q Do you know a certain Calixto Garcia? That would be all for the witness. sir. the witness must be able to recall and communicate accurately.61 No improper motive was attributed to the witness Garcia for testifying against the appellant. this Calixto Garcia is your friend? A Yes. A Yes. RIMANDO: Q He is your Barangay mate? Q This Calixto Garcia was your guest in that evening in your residence? A Yes. RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION BY ATTY.94 A No. Q In fact. Limpangog. 62 Objection.58 this Court enumerated several other known causes of misidentification. Q Prior to the filing of this case. you know that Calixto Garcia being a friend will not falsify his testimony regarding your husband? Moreover. involves perception of an event actually occurring. Witness Garcia. RIMANDO: lighted. sir.

It. as found by the RTC and the Court of Appeals. 75 We are. i. we are not convinced that the same can overthrow the trial court’s evaluation of Garcia’s testimony. Its findings on such matters are binding and conclusive on appellate courts unless some facts or circumstances of weight and substance have been overlooked. thus. The sole eyewitness for the prosecution. viz: The Court of Appeals was unable to agree with the RTC. concerted action and community of intent. conduct and attitude under examination. We shall now determine the criminal liability of the appellant.71 It was not highly impossible for the appellant to be physically present at the dancing hall at the time of the occurrence of the incident. No evidence was even adduced to show implied conspiracy. in convicting the appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder.68 For the defense of alibi to prosper. found appellant guilty of frustrated murder. It found that the conspiracy was not proven beyond reasonable doubt. the witness was even found positive for alcoholic breath. It ruled that the witness Garcia admitted to not being able to see the stabbing. and is generally rejected. The RTC and the Court of Appeals consistently found that the distance between appellant’s residence and the dance hall. either by direct or indirect evidence. We have unfailingly held that alibi and denial being inherently weak cannot prevail over the positive identification of the accused as the perpetrator of the crime. proof of the agreement among the appellant and his co-accused to warrant conspiracy as a basis for appellant’s conviction. proceeded from a rationalization that there was conspiracy among appellant and his co-accused. the participants must agree to the commission of the felony and decide to commit it. In fact.77 disprove.64 To reiterate. 65 Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. taken together with the fact that witness Garcia and the appellant are not strangers to each other. He could only attest to the clubbing of the victim by appellant with a lead pipe. 67 It is facile to fabricate and difficult to While conspiracy need not be established by direct evidence. thus. which agreement may be deduced from the mode and manner of the commission of the offense or inferred from the acts that point to joint purpose and design. it has been held that neither joint nor simultaneous actions is per se sufficient proof of conspiracy.81 The prosecution was unable to show.95 On appellant’s submission that it is doubtful if witness Garcia can still have positively identified him as one of the perpetrators of the crime considering that the former admitted to drinking hard liquor from 9:00 p. but the Court ruled that such fact does not necessarily prevent him from making a positive identification of his attackers. the RTC. Where the prosecution eyewitness was familiar with both victim and accused.78 and as borne by the records. They must show to the satisfaction of this Court the appellant’s overt act in pursuance or furtherance of the complicity. We. The foregoing material considerations. Beyond appellant’s bare allegations. 69 In the case at bar. therefore. Garcia. the same degree of proof necessary in establishing the crime is required to support the attendance thereof. or the situs criminis. is 20 to 30 meters. No proof was shown as to the concerted action of the malefactors of their common design to kill. appellant’s wife testified that from their residence. It also appreciated the attendance of abuse of superior strength to qualify the crime to Murder. Nothing has been shown that the appellant and his coaccused were "aimed by their acts towards the accomplishment of the same unlawful object. was categorical and precise in declaring that he did not see the act of stabbing Piamonte. guided by the following pronouncement of the Court: The assessment of the credibility of witness and their testimony is a matter best undertaken by the trial court because of its unique opportunity to observe the witnesses firsthand. the accused is in a place other than the situs of the crime such that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the situs criminis when the crime was committed. further.73Considering the far-reaching consequences of criminal conspiracy. each doing a .66 For conspiracy to exist. we do not find any reason to depart from the general rule that the conclusions of the trial court on the credibility of witnesses deserve great respect. and where no improper motive can be attributed to the witness for testifying against the accused. In Dee. Dee.76 Appellant’s defense of alibi and denial cannot stand in the face of the positive identification of the accused.to kill the deceased. reject appellant’s defense of alibi. it must be shown to exist as clearly and convincingly as the commission of the offense itself.e. incumbent on the part of the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant and his co-accused acted in concert with a unity of purpose to kill Piamonte. Piamonte. He later learned that Piamonte died from stab wounds when he saw the latter’s dead body covered with stab wounds. nor the manner in which Piamonte was stabbed. and to note their demeanor. satisfy us that the danger of Garcia misidentifying the appellant does not exist. instead.70 Such a distance is negligible. of the following day. The credibility of the witness therein was not made to suffer on that score alone. x x x.63 the credibility of the surviving victim therein as witness was disputed because he was under the influence of liquor at the time of the incident. especially since his level of intoxication was not shown to impair his faculties. and where the locus criminis afforded good visibility. There is a want of evidence to show the concerted acts of the appellant and his co-accused in pursuing a common design . modified the RTC’s conviction. 80 They must show that appellant’s act of striking Piamonte with a pipe was an intentional participation in the transaction with a view to the furtherance of the common design and purpose. In the case of People v. no evidence whatsoever was produced to show that Garcia suffered from such a level of intoxication as to impair his facility and disable him to identify appellant. she could see the people dancing at the hall. it is. it must be shown with clear and convincing evidence that at the time of the commission of the crime charged.79 It was. The cause of death of Piamonte.m.m.. The Amended Information charged the appellant and his co-accused with conspiracy in killing Piamonte. on 13 February 1994 until 3:00 a. moral certainty. nonetheless. required that it be proved by clear and convincing evidence by showing a series of acts done by each of the accused in concert and in pursuance of the common unlawful purpose. is multiple stab wounds.72 Conspiracy as a basis for conviction must rest on nothing less than a Hence. more or less. misapprehended or misinterpreted. his version of the story deserves much weight. 74 Thus. appellant was not successful in invoking the defense of alibi. Appellant insists that he was sleeping at his residence at the time when the incident occurred. and.

the effects of the contusion caused by Li are not mortal or at least lie entirely in the realm of speculation.) 96 . There being no aggravating or mitigating circumstances established. It bears reiterating that no injury on the body of the deceased was attributed to the appellant’s act of hitting the victim with a lead pipe. which is material to proving the fact of conspiracy. (Witness demonstrated 1 1/2 feet). and (e) words uttered by the offender at the time the injuries are inflicted by him on the victim. no injury was shown to be attributable to the appellant. The relevant testimony of Garcia on the incident follows: In the case of Li v. Q How long is that lead pipe? A Around this length. precisely because by his own admission. is it lead pipe? A Yes. thus. The only medical evidence that appears on records is the deceased Piamonte’s death certificate. 1994. (d) the manner the crime was committed.83 is fatal to the prosecution.92 We cannot convict appellant of Attempted or Frustrated Murder or Homicide. The witness Garcia. no other type of injury on the deceased was established. in his testimony. Nor can such intent to kill be inferred from his acts.88 A Yes. No conspiracy was proven beyond reasonable doubt. the lead pipe was described by Garcia as one and a half feet in length. regrettably. Unfortunately. no motive on the part of appellant to kill Piamonte was shown either prior or subsequent to the incident. the imposition of the penalty in its medium period is warranted.84 All doubts should be resolved in favor of the accused. the liability of the appellant will revolve around his individual participation in the event. He clubbed him from behind? The only injury attributable to Li is the contusion on the victim’s right arm that resulted from Li striking [the victim] Arugay with a baseball bat. sir. Q And how wide is the diameter? A 1 ½ inches. sir. he is being lawfully detained for another cause. left merely to speculation. he did not see the stabbing.89 which indicates that the cause of death is massive hypovolemia90 secondary to multiple stab wounds. The prosecution’s witness could not testify on the manner by which the deceased Piamonte was stabbed. On the nature of the weapon used. Having long served more than the imposable penalty. penalized as follows: xxxx The duration of the penalty of arresto menor is from one day to thirty days. Nothing has been shown otherwise. Q And what did he use in clubbing the victim. The rule is clear that the guilt of the accused must be proved with moral certainty. no account of how Piamonte died was ever given. What transpired during the stabbing of the victim. resulting in a contusion was. The felony of slight physical injuries is necessarily included in the homicide charges. (b) the nature or number of weapons used in the commission of the crime.96 part so that their combined acts. The factual findings of the RTC and the Court of Appeals coincide to show that the cause of death of Piamonte is multiple stab wounds. and one and a half inches in diameter. Since the Information against Li states that among the means employed to commit the felonious act was the use of the baseball bat. People. is. merely pointed to stab wounds on the different parts of the body of the deceased. so as to exclude reasonable doubt thereof.94 Intent to kill may be proved by evidence of: (a) motive. Li is entitled to immediate release unless. (Witness showing the right side of his head. In view of the victim’s supervening death from injuries which cannot be attributed to Li beyond reasonable doubt. Other than the presence of multiple stab wounds.93Such intent must be proved clearly and convincingly.86 In the case at bar. in fact. When there is no evidence of actual incapacity of the offended party for labor or of the required medical attendance.87 a street fight ensued resulting in the death of the victim therein. Li was convicted by the RTC on January 5. The liability of the accused Li who was shown to have struck the victim’s right arm with a baseball bat. (c) the nature and number of wounds inflicted on the victim. indicating a closeness of personal association and a concurrence of sentiment. This Court must neither conjecture nor surmise that a conspiracy existed. Thus."82 This complete absence of evidence on the part of the prosecution to show the conduct of the appellant and his co-accused. except for the established fact that he died due to stabbing. No account of the stabbing which caused the death of the deceased Piamonte was ever given nor shown. The appellant’s act of holding a lead pipe and hitting the deceased in the head was not shown to be in furtherance of the common design of killing the deceased. conviction on the lesser offense or slight physical injuries is proper. No other physical evidence was proffered.91 No proof on the injury that was sustained by the deceased that can be attributable to appellant’s act was demonstrated. one consistent with the innocence of the accused and the other with his guilt. though apparently independent of each other were. disclosing a common understanding among them relative to the commission of the offense. The principal and essential element of attempted or frustrated homicide or murder is the assailant’s intent to take the life of the person attacked. Q What part of his body was hit? A Right side of the head.85 In the case at bar. of course. determined by the Court in the following manner: Q Now you said that Bernard Mapalo clubbed this Manuel Piamonte. sir. the Court should adopt that which is more favorable to the accused for then the evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty. the time honored principle in criminal law that if the inculpatory facts are capable of two or more explanations. the offense is only slight physical injuries. connected and cooperative. No contusions or injury on the head of the victim or anywhere else in his body caused by a lead pipe was shown.95 Liability of the Accused Bernard Mapalo There being no conspiracy.

[6] They were all rushed to the San Jose General Hospital . Appellants immediately fled by scaling the fence of a nearby school. at Brgy. Nueva Ecija. 1995. The duration of the penalty of arresto menor in its minimum period is 1 day to 10 days. the Decision of the Court of Appeals. As we have earlier stated. 00408 is MODIFIED. Lupao. of the compliance therewith. Robert Agbanlog. – The crime of slight physical injuries shall be punished: xxxx 3. no proof of injury was offered. thus. Jimmy Wabe. June 8. the offense is Maltreatment under Article 266. which turned out to be a hand grenade. appellee.[4] As the drinking session went on. Rey Camat and Lorenzo Eugenio were hit by shrapnel and slumped unconscious on the floor. [3] Rey Camat and Lorenzo Eugenio were having a drinking spree on the terrace of the house of Roberts father. CONTRARY TO LAW.R. As culled from the records. 266. as defined and punished by Article 266. Considering that appellant has been incarcerated since 2004. conspiring. GEORGE COMADRE and DANILO LOZANO. 2004] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. DECISION PER CURIAM: Appellants Antonio Comadre. [G. 3 of the Revised Penal Code. wounds were not shown to have been inflicted because of the act. to the latter victims. the above-named accused. per the death certificate. unless appellant is being lawfully held for another cause. It was beyond reasonable doubt that by hitting Piamonte. the accused commenced all the acts of execution that would have produced the crime of Multiple Murder as consequences thereof but nevertheless did not produce them by reason of the timely and able medical and surgical interventions of physicians. Maltreatment is necessarily included in Murder. In the first place. in CA-G. Rey Camat. which is the offense charged in the Information. No. dated 21 November 2005. George Comadre and Danilo Lozano were charged with Murder with Multiple Frustrated Murder in an information which reads: That on or about the 6th of August 1995. He is accordingly sentenced to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of arresto menor of 10 days. Gerry Bullanday. Thus: ART. WHEREFORE.98 par. par.While his companions looked on. at around 7:00 in the evening of August 6. absent proof of circumstances to show the intent to kill beyond reasonable doubt.97 Homicidal intent must be evidenced by the acts that. confederating and mutually helping one another. He is found GUILTY of the crime of MALTREATMENT.[2] Trial on the merits then ensued. vs. ANTONIO COMADRE. per the medical certificates. SO ORDERED. By arresto menor in its minimum period or a fine not exceeding 50 pesos when the offender shall ill-treat another by deed without causing any injury. exploded ripping a hole in the roof of the house. San Pedro. Robert Agbanlog. availing of nighttime to afford impunity. Philippines. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. within five (5) days from receipt of this Decision. appellants. Jimmy Wabe. which is well-beyond the period of the penalty herein imposed. this Court cannot declare that the same was attendant. Emelita Agbanlog and Elena Agbanlog to suffer shrapnel wounds on their bodies. without causing any injury. Lupao. Secondly. Nueva Ecija. 3 of the Revised Penal Code. with intent to kill and by means of treachery and evident premeditation. and without causing dishonor. at the time of their execution.R.[5] The object.[1] On arraignment. Barangay Councilman Jaime Agbanlog. unlawfully and feloniously lob a hand grenade that landed and eventually exploded at the roof of the house of Jaime Agbanlog trajecting deadly shrapnels that hit and killed one ROBERT AGBANLOG. and causing Jerry Bullanday. 153559. Appellant Bernard Mapalo is ACQUITTED of the charge of MURDER for lack of evidence beyond reasonable doubt. did there and then willfully. and to inform this Court. George Comadre and Danilo Lozano walking. CR HC No.97 We cannot infer intent to kill from the appellant’s act of hitting Piamonte in the head with a lead pipe. Jimmy Wabe. Gerry Bullanday. Lorenzo Eugenio. to the damage and prejudice of the deceaseds heirs and the other victims. the Director of the Bureau of Prisons is ordered to cause appellant’s IMMEDIATE RELEASE. Slight physical injuries and maltreatment. Jaime Agbanlog was seated on the banister of the terrace listening to the conversation of the companions of his son. situated in Barangay San Pedro. The three stopped in front of the house. appellant ill-treated the latter. Antonio suddenly lobbed an object which fell on the roof of the terrace. appellants pleaded not guilty. are unmistakably calculated to produce the death of the victim by adequate means. and with the use of an explosive. When the offender shall ill-treat another by deed without causing any injury. Robert and the others noticed appellants Antonio Comadre.

He also denied any involvement in the grenade-throwing incident. The trial court is likewise correct in disregarding appellants defense of alibi and denial. Rey Camat. nor should they reflect adversely on the witness credibility as they erase suspicion that the same was perjured. Patricio. and (3) when it did not apply the law and jurisprudence for the acquittal of the accused-appellants of the crime charged. he was with his wife and children watching television in the house of his father. Jaime Agbanlog and Gerry Bullanday sustained shrapnel injuries. These fragments were forwarded to the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Division in Camp Crame. 1995. when Jimmy Wabe. For the defense of alibi to prosper. identified them as shrapnel of an MK2 hand grenade. Moreover. Jimmy Wabe. Rogelio.[8] The surviving victims. Lorenzo Eugenio and Gerry Bullanday in identifying the perpetrators. P35. who investigated the scene of the crime.[13] Antonios father. and his wife. either before or after the incident. Ordering accused Antonio Comadre. certified that the wounds sustained by the victim were consistent with the injuries inflicted by a grenade explosion and that the direct cause of death was hypovolemic shock due to hand grenade explosion.[17] Appellants point to the inconsistencies in the sworn statements of Jimmy Wabe. Quezon City. 1995.[16] the dispositive portion of which states: WHEREFORE. It is therefore not surprising for the witnesses to come up with a more exhaustive account of the incident after they have regained their equanimity. the miscarriage of justice was obviously omnipresent. testified that he is the brother of Antonio Comadre and the brother-in-law of Danilo Lozano.000. they were resting inside their house after working all day in the farm. the court a quo gave credence to the prosecutions evidence and convicted appellants of the complex crime of Murder with Multiple Attempted Murder. the crime is shocking to the conscience and numbing to the senses. Lorenzo Eugenio and Gerry Bullanday had any motive to testify falsely against appellants. they went to the police station to give a more detailed account of the incident. this time identifying Antonio Comadre as the perpetrator together with George Comadre and Danilo Lozano. [7] Dr. a specialist in said division. Gerry Bullanday declared that he suspected Antonio Comadre as one of the culprits because he saw the latters ten year-old son bring something in the nearby store before the explosion occurred. Rey Camat. Rey Camat. George Comadre and Danilo Lozano to pay jointly and severally Jimmy Wabe. On August 27.[15] After trial. Like the two other appellants. appellant Antonio Comadre claimed that on the night of August 6. Coherence could not thus be expected in view of their condition. Finding accused Antonio Comadre. Georges wife. judgment is hereby rendered: 3. this automatic review pursuant to Article 47 of the Revised Penal Code. the accused must prove not only that he was at some other place at the time of the commission of the crime but also that it was physically impossible for him to be at the locus delicti or within its immediate vicinity. and that he had no animosity towards them whatsoever. He added that he did not see Antonio and George Comadre that night and has not seen them for quite sometime. and his brother. recovered metallic fragments at the terrace of the Agbanlog house. George Comadre and Danilo Lozano GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the complex crime of Murder with Multiple Attempted Murder and sentencing them to suffer the imposable penalty of death. 2. 1995. Tirso de los Santos. Gerry Bullanday and Jaime Agbanlog P30. Appellant also claimed to be in good terms with the Agbanlogs so he has no reason to cause them any grief. Appellants contend that the trial court erred: (1) when it did not correctly and judiciously interpret and appreciate the evidence and thus. (2) when it imposed on the accused-appellants the supreme penalty of death despite the evident lack of the quantum of evidence to convict them of the crime charged beyond reasonable doubt. claiming that he was at home when it happened.[20] .00 as indemnification for his death. where SPO2 Jesus Q. A closer scrutiny of the records shows that no contradiction actually exists.00 as compensatory damages and P20. [14] Josie Comadre. Nueva Ecija for medical treatment. the logical conclusion is that no such improper motive exists. as in the instant case. testified that her husband could not have been among those who threw a hand grenade at the house of the Agbanlogs because on the evening of August 6. He denied any participation in the incident and claimed that he was surprised when three policemen from the Lupao Municipal Police Station went to his house the following morning of August 7.000.00 as moral damages. or twenty days later. Costs against the accused. the medico-legal officer who conducted the autopsy on the cadaver of Robert Agbanlog. it appears that the first statement was executed a day after the incident. Rey Camat and Lorenzo Eugenio were still in the hospital for the injuries they sustained. Robert Agbanlog died before reaching the hospital. Witnesses cannot be expected to remember all the details of the harrowing event which unfolded before their eyes. Absent evidence showing any reason or motive for prosecution witnesses to perjure.[9] SPO3 John Barraceros of the Lupao Municipal Police Station. especially so when. He stated that he is a friend of Rey Camat and Jimmy Wabe.98 in Lupao. Mamaril. Antonio Comadre. Camat and Eugenio initially executed a Sinumpaang Salaysay on August 7. Moreover. Wabe. 1995 at the hospital wherein they did not categorically state who the culprit was but merely named Antonio Comadre as a suspect. 1995.[11] Appellant George Comadre. Rey Camat. corroborated his claim that he was at home watching television with them during the night in question. as all sworn statements pointed to the same perpetrators. for his part. However. in view of the foregoing.00 as indemnity for their attempted murder. it was not shown that witnesses Jimmy Wabe. [19] 1. but they do not damage the essential integrity of the evidence in its material whole. SO ORDERED.000. George Comadre and Danilo Lozano to pay jointly and severally the heirs of Robert Agbanlog P50. Lolita. 1995 and asked him to go with them to the police station.000. Ordering Antonio Comadre. as amended. and their testimony is thus worthy of full faith and credit.[12] Appellant Danilo Lozano similarly denied any complicity in the crime. George Comadre and Danilo Lozano. where he has been detained since. Patricio. namely. He declared that he was at home with his ten year-old son on the night of August 6.[18]Honest inconsistencies on minor and trivial matters serve to strengthen rather than destroy the credibility of a witness to a crime. Robert Agbanlog and Jimmy Wabe. The lapse of twenty days between the two statements is immaterial because said period even helped them recall some facts which they may have initially overlooked. Minor discrepancies might be found in their testimony. Hence.[10] Denying the charges against him. Lozano denied having any misunderstanding with Jaime Agbanlog.

or other incendiary devices capable of producing destructive effect on contiguous objects or causing injury or death to any person. dispose or possess hand grenade(s). which prevailed during the tumultuous years of the Marcos dictatorship. 8294 now reads: Section 2.00) shall be imposed upon any person who shall unlawfully manufacture. Coming now to Antonios liability. Its essence lies in the adoption of ways to minimize or neutralize any resistance. [22] Appellants argument that Judge Bayani V. since the use of explosives is the principal mode of attack. Disposition or Possession of Explosives. thus insuring the execution of the crime without risk of reprisal or resistance on their part. we find that the trial court correctly ruled that treachery attended the commission of the crime. When the killing is perpetrated with treachery and by means of explosives.A. The amendatory law was enacted. the positive identification of the appellants by eyewitnesses Jimmy Wabe. Time and again we have been guided by the principle that it would be better to set free ten men who might be probably guilty of the crime charged than to convict one innocent man for a crime he did not commit. The penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period to reclusion temporal and a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50. with the enactment on June 6. For treachery to be appreciated two conditions must concur: (1) the means. namely. Rey Camat.[25] However. Court of Appeals[24] we have held: The fact that the judge who heard the evidence is not the one who rendered the judgment and that for that reason the latter did not have the opportunity to observe the demeanor of the witnesses during the trial but merely relied on the records of the case does not render the judgment erroneous.000. reason dictates that this attendant circumstance should qualify the offense instead of treachery which will then be relegated merely as a generic aggravating circumstance. unlike in P. molotov cocktail bombs.[30] we should determine which of the two circumstances will qualify the killing in this case.D. and so forth. 8294 was a reaction to the onerous and anachronistic penalties imposed under the old illegal possession of firearms law. . deal in. resigned. and there is no reason to go against the principle now. much less defend themselves. [27] The evidence shows that George Comadre and Danilo Lozano did not have any participation in the commission of the crime and must therefore be set free. evidence of actual cooperation rather than mere cognizance or approval of an illegal act is required. the penalties for unlawful possession of explosives are also lowered. Rey Camat and Gerry Bullanday prevails over their defense of alibi and denial. R. Section 3 of Presidential Decree No. the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of San Jose City. or ammunitions and other related crimes under the amendatory law. the trial courts finding of conspiracy will have to be reassessed. the penalty is no longer death. It is not unusual for a judge who did not try a case to decide it on the basis of the record for the trial judge might have died. The suddenness of the attack coupled with the instantaneous combustion and the tremendous impact of the explosion did not afford the victims sufficient time to scamper for safety. not to decriminalize illegal possession of firearms and explosives. Such finding is not supported by the evidence on record and cannot therefore be a valid basis of a finding of conspiracy. Similar to the physical act constituting the crime itself. 1866 as amended by Section 2 of R. Branch 38 erred in rendering the decision because he was not the judge who heard and tried the case is not well taken. 8294 [33] which also considers the use of explosives as an aggravating circumstance. retired. Since both attendant circumstances can qualify the killing to murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. It must be shown to exist as clearly and convincingly as the commission of the crime itself. The trial court held that the mere presence of George Comadre and Danilo Lozano provided encouragement and a sense of security to Antonio Comadre. is devoid of any factual basis. rifle grenade(s). assemble. is hereby further amended to read as follows: Section 3. but it shall be considered only as an aggravating circumstance. thus proving the existence of conspiracy. the information also alleges the use of an explosive[29] as an aggravating circumstance. 1997 of Republic Act No. Specifically.[34] This legislative intent is conspicuously reflected in the reduction of the corresponding penalties for illegal possession of firearms. Not only does jurisprudence[31] support this view but also. Under Section 2 of the said law. Treachery therefore attended the commission of the crime. Corollary thereto is the issue of which law should be applied in the instant case. which result in the death of a person. the latter shall be considered as a qualifying circumstance. and (2) such means. and other explosives. which may be put up by the offended party. acquire. No. 1866.D. appellants were unable to give any explanation and neither were they able to show that it was physically impossible for them to be at the scene of the crime. Acquisition. method and form of execution employed gave the person attacked no opportunity to defend himself or retaliate. appellants Antonio Comadre. 1866.[32] Incidentally. 1866. Mere presence of a person at the scene of the crime does not make him a conspirator for conspiracy transcends companionship. Unlawful Manufacture.99 Apart from testifying with respect to the distance of their houses from that of Jaime Agbanlogs residence.[21] It was established that prior to the grenade explosion.D. only Antonio Comadre must answer for the crime. It is significant to note that aside from treachery.[26] A conspiracy must be established by positive and conclusive evidence. Jaime Agbanlog. transferred. Sale. Jimmy Wabe and Gerry Bullanday were able to identify the culprits. Jaime Agbanlog. No. fire bombs. when the illegally possessed explosives are used to commit any of the crimes under the Revised Penal Code. the elements of conspiracy must be proven beyond reasonable doubt. but to lower their penalties in order to rationalize them into more acceptable and realistic levels. The undisputed facts show that when Antonio Comadre was in the act of throwing the hand grenade.A. George Comadre and Danilo Lozano because there was a lamppost in front of the house and the moon was bright. P. Vargas. [23] As far back as the case of Co Tao v. Section 3 of P. Settled is the rule that to establish conspiracy. This rule had been followed for quite a long time.[28] There being no conspiracy. there is a need to make the necessary clarification insofar as the legal implications of the said amendatory law vis--vis the qualifying circumstance of by means of explosion under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code are concerned. Appellant lobbed a grenade which fell on the roof of the terrace where the unsuspecting victims were having a drinking spree. Hence. Neither was it proven that their act of running away with Antonio was an act of giving moral assistance to his criminal act. methods and form of execution was deliberately and consciously adopted by the accused. George Comadre and Danilo Lozano merely looked on without uttering a single word of encouragement or performed any act to assist him. No. as amended. Their mere presence at the scene of the crime as well as their close relationship with Antonio are insufficient to establish conspiracy considering that they performed no positive act in furtherance of the crime. The ratiocination of the trial court that their presence provided encouragement and sense of security to Antonio. We disagree. including but not limited to pillbox.

In this context. or when an offense is a necessary means of committing the other. yet these component criminal offenses should be considered only as a single crime in law on which a single penalty is imposed because the offender was impelled by a single criminal impulse which shows his lesser degree of perversity.D. [37] Moreover. However. P.000.00 as moral damages. instead of a separate offense.A. We find this award inappropriate because they were not able to present a single receipt to substantiate their . The legislative purpose is to do away with the use of explosives as a separate crime and to make such use merely an aggravating circumstance in the commission of any crime already defined in the Revised Penal Code. continue to maintain the unconstitutionality of R. This proof does not obtain in the present case. This follows the same requisites in the prosecution of crimes involving illegal possession of firearm[35] which is a kindred or related offense under P. P35. The underlying philosophy of complex crimes in the Revised Penal Code. Thus. With the removal of death as a penalty and the insertion of the term xxx as an aggravating circumstance.00 in accordance with prevailing judicial policy. What the law emphasizes is the acts lack of authority. even if favorable to the appellant. considering that the prosecution was able to substantiate only the amount of P18.100 When a person commits any of the crimes defined in the Revised Penal Code or special law with the use of the aforementioned explosives. the new aggravating circumstance added by RA No. 8294. Nevertheless. which results in the death of any person or persons. (shall be punished with the penalty of death is DELETED. as amended.000. 8294 did not amend the definition of murder under Article 248. however. may be properly considered as appellant was sufficiently informed of the nature of the accusation against him. 1866.[39] The inapplicability of R. Although the term ammunition is separated from explosives by the disjunctive word or.A.00. Congress clearly intended RA No. it refers to those explosives. Nonetheless. as an aggravating circumstance in the commission of crimes. the trial court awarded P30. is intended to favor the accused by imposing a single penalty irrespective of the crimes committed. Before the use of unlawfully possessed explosives can be properly appreciated as an aggravating circumstance. when the second paragraph of Section 3. The same. Clearly. The rationale being.00 as funeral expenses. therefore. its presence was not proven by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt...[40] The trial court found appellant guilty of the complex crime of murder with multiple attempted murder under Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code. which provides: Art.A. the unmistakable import is to downgrade the penalty for illegal possession of explosives and consider its use merely as an aggravating circumstance.A. or explosives or instruments. the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed. but the same must be increased to P50. No.Unlawful Manufacture. which follows the pro reo principle. 1866. No. however. but merely made the use of explosives an aggravating circumstance when resorted to in committing any of the crimes defined in the Revised Penal Code. or treachery in paragraph 16 of Article 14. etc. as amended by RA No. The information in this case does not allege that appellant Antonio Comadre had unlawfully possessed or that he had no authority to possess the grenade that he used in the killing and attempted killings.. i. or possession of explosives. illegal possession of firearms and explosives when such possession is used to commit other crimes under the Revised Penal Code.[41] Under the aforecited article. the disjunctive word or is not used to separate but to signify a succession or to conjoin the enumerated items together.[38] subtitled: Section 3. disposed or possessed mentioned in the first paragraph of the same section. It is worthy to note that the above requirement of illegality is borne out by the provisions of the law itself. the use of such explosives. Jimmy Wabe. assembled. R.) x x x x x x x x x. 8294 will show that the qualifier illegal/unlawful . 8294 speaks of the use of the aforementioned explosives. the actual damages awarded to the heirs of Robert Agbanlog should be modified. Penalty for complex crimes.000. 8294 merely added the use of unlicensed explosives as one of the aggravating circumstances specified in Article 14 of the Revised Penal Code. etc. It must be made clear. No. No. the same to be applied in its maximum period irrespective of the presence of modifying circumstances. the maximum penalty for the most serious crime (murder) is death. Like the aggravating circumstance of explosion in paragraph 12. detonation agents or incendiary devices shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance. Even if it were alleged. the trial court awarded to the parents of the victim Robert Agbanlog civil indemnity in the amount of P50..[45] With respect to the surviving victims Jaime Agbanlog. 7659 insofar as it prescribes the death penalty. it must be adequately established that the possession was illegal or unlawful. Pursuant to existing jurisprudence[43] the award of civil indemnity is proper. 8294 does not change the definition of murder in Article 248. in conjunction with the pertinent tenets of legal hermeneutics. Congress intended R. when a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed. The trial court. it does not mean that explosives are no longer included in the items which can be illegally/unlawfully possessed. RA No. 8294 to consider as aggravating circumstance. dealt in. including the generic aggravating circumstance of treachery in this case.[44] The award of moral damages is appropriate there being evidence to show emotional suffering on the part of the heirs of the deceased. that RA No. having been alleged in the Information. the crime committed is Murder committed by means of explosion in accordance with Article 248 (3) of the Revised Penal Code. they submit to the ruling of the majority to the effect that the law is constitutional and that the death penalty can be lawfully imposed in the case at bar. The mere use of explosives is not. Thus. acquired. 8294 having been made manifest.A. A reading of the title[36] of R. that the accused who commits two crimes with single criminal impulse demonstrates lesser perversity than when the crimes are committed by different acts and several criminal resolutions.00 as compensatory damages and P20.000. 8294 still cannot be made applicable in this case. but no evidence was adduced by the prosecution to show that the possession by appellant of the explosive was unlawful. 48. Disposition or Possession of Explosives. the same to be applied in its maximum period. Section 2 of R. Rule 110 of the 2000 Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure requires the averment of aggravating circumstances for their application.000.000. correctly imposed the death penalty. evident premeditation in paragraph 13. Finally. Not only was it not alleged in the information. Sale. Acquisition. ammunition.possession is followed by of firearms. What is per se aggravating is the use of unlawfully manufactured or possessed explosives. detonation agents or incendiary devises..A. unlawfully manufactured. When a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies.D. clearly refers to the unlawful manufacture. The single act by appellant of detonating a hand grenade may quantitatively constitute a cluster of several separate and distinct offenses. 8294 to reduce the penalty for illegal possession of firearms and explosives. Also. Three justices of the Court.[42] Applying the aforesaid provision of law. sale.00 each for the injuries they sustained.e. Rey Camat and Gerry Bullanday. the accused is without the corresponding authority or permit to possess.

2006 ROSARIO V. No. No.[46] WHEREFORE. Respondent. Vitug. Puno... concur. vs. x----------------------------------------x G.00 as civil indemnity.R. L-16(95) is AFFIRMED insofar as appellant Antonio Comadre is convicted of the complex crime of Murder with Multiple Attempted Murder and sentenced to suffer the penalty of death. Carpio. Callejo. Quisumbing.000. Sandoval-Gutierrez. Jr. Davide. C. SO ORDERED. 159745 November 29.00 each. Branch 39 in Criminal Case No. P25.000. the appealed decision of the Regional Trial Court of San Jose City.. since it appears that they are entitled to actual damages although the amount thereof cannot be determined. Rey Camat and Gerry Bullanday.. ASTUDILLO. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G. and they are hereby ordered immediately RELEASED from confinement unless they are lawfully held in custody for another cause. let the records of this case be forwarded to the Office of the President for possible exercise of pardoning power. Jimmy Wabe. Petitioner. P50. Panganiban. Azcuna and Tinga. He is ordered to pay the heirs of the victim the amount of P50. in view of all the foregoing. Appellants Gregorio Comadre and Danilo Lozano are ACQUITTED for lack of evidence to establish conspiracy. Austria-Martinez. Sr. Jaime Agbanlog. see concurring and dissenting opinion. they should be awarded temperate damages of P25.101 claims. J.J..00 as moral damages and P18. upon finality of this Decision. JJ.R.000.000. Ynares-Santiago.000. 159734 November 29. Costs de oficio. In accordance with Section 25 of Republic Act 7659 amending Article 83 of the Revised Penal Code. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.00 each as temperate damages for the injuries they sustained. Carpio-Morales. Nonetheless.00 as actual damages and likewise ordered to pay the surviving victims. Corona. 2006 .

1994 to February 16. with the assistance of their respective counsel. On complaint of Western Marketing Corporation (Western). 1997. pleaded not guilty during arraignment. belonging to the said WESTERN MARKETING CORPORATION. 1996.7 The remaining cases against petitioners and Benitez were consolidated for joint trial.5 Petitioners. wilfully. did. Criminal Case No. with grave abuse of confidence and intent of gain. Benitez and Norberto "Carlo" Javier (Javier) were individually charged also with Qualified Theft in four (4) separate Informations all dated September 9. DECISION CARPIO MORALES. Branch 783 (the trial court) finding them guilty of Qualified Theft and denying their Motions for Reconsideration. and as such had free access to the company premises. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. The undersigned accuses ROSARIO ASTUDILLO a. 1994 to January 27. the case against Javier. did. to its damage and prejudice in the amount aforementioned. steal and carry away two (2) booklets of Sales Invoices Nos. docketed as Criminal Case Nos. IN CRIMINAL CASE NO.a. Q-96-67829 – . as maximum. supplies and items store[d] thereat. along with Flormarie Robel (Flormarie) and Roberto Benitez (Benitez). Q-96-67829. materials. and without the consent of the owner thereof. ROBERTO F. petitioners. wilfully.984. unlawfully and feloniously take. Q-96-67827. steal and carry away the excess sum/amount between the tag price and discount price of each and every items sold by her to company customers. BENITEZ. and Filipina Orellana y Macaraeg shall each suffer imprisonment of TWELVE (12) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY.00 Philippine Currency. sales clerks (Rosario Astudillo a. of reclusion temporal. committed as follows: That on or about the period from May 1. in Quezon City.: Petitioners Rosario "Baby" Astudillo (Rosario) and Filipina "Lina" Orellana (Filipina) via separate petitions for review on certiorari seek a review of the Decision 1 and the Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals affirming with modification that of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. from 128351 to 128400 of the said corporation and thereafter use the said invoices in the preparation of fictitious sales and withdrawals of merchandise with the total value of P797. "Baby" and FILIPINA ORELLANA Y MACARAEG of the crime of QUALIFIED THEFT as follows: That during the period comprised from January 1996 to February 1996. 1996 reading: The undersigned accuses FLORMARIE CALAJATE ROBEL. "Baby".755. Benitez and Javier. That on or about the period from May 1. Benitez. to FOURTEEN (14) YEARS. then and there wilfully. docketed as Q-96-67830. to its damage and prejudice. 1996. under an Information dated September 9. Philippines. with grave abuse of confidence and intent of gain. By Order of December 10. Tuazon Branch). and as such had free access to the company cash sales. CONTRARY TO LAW.665. conspiring. being then employed as Sales clerk at the WESTERN MARKETING CORPORATION. Respondent. in Criminal Case No.k. and without the consent of the owner thereof.a. "Baby" and Filipina Orellana y Macaraeg) at the WESTERN MARKETING CORPORATION. 1998. represented by LILY CHAN ONG.4 (Emphasis supplied) By Decision of May 28.00. and without the consent of the owner thereof. respectively read: Accused Roberto F. and as such had free access to the company cash sales. unlawfully and feloniously take.984. the trial court found the accused-herein petitioners and Benitez guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Qualified Theft and were accordingly sentenced as follows: Additionally. to its damage and prejudice in the amount aforementioned. in Quezon City. supervisor/floor manager (Roberto F. ROSARIO ASTUDILLO a.k. and that indicting petitioner Filipina.102 FILIPINA M. Rosario Astudillo a. in the sum of P4.k. vs. Benitez[)]. petitioners were collectively charged with Qualified Theft. as minimum.a. belonging to the said WESTERN MARKETING CORPORATION. Petitioner.6 Flormarie has remained at large.k. the abovenamed accused. the above-named accused. being then employed as relieving cashier/service-in-charge (Flormarie Calajate Robel). jointly and severally for their civil liability. ORELLANA. did. being then employed as sales representative/clerk at the WESTERN MARKETING CORPORATION (P. confederating together and mutually helping one another. J. Philippines. CONTRARY TO LAW. and to pay the amount of P797. then and there. unlawfully and feloniously take. represented by LILY CHAN ONG. was dismissed on account of the desistance of the private complainant. CONTRARY TO LAW. "Baby" of the crime of QUALIFIED THEFT as follows: IN CRIMINAL CASE NO. steal and carry away the excess sum/amount between the tag price and discounts price in the sum of P12. Q-96-67828. then and there.a. Q-96-67827 – The Information indicting petitioner Rosario. with grave abuse of confidence and intent of gain. the above-named accused. xxx The undersigned accuses FILIPINA ORELLANA Y MACARAEG of the crime of QUALIFIED THEFT. represented by LILY CHAN ONG. 1996. belonging to the said WESTERN MARKETING CORPORATION. respectively.00.00.

984.079. as maximum. IN CRIMINAL CASE NO. In Criminal Case No.079. and to pay the sum of P4.755. as minimum. as maximum. Tuazon Boulevard in Cubao. The penalties imposed on all the accused are quite harsh. 2 months and 1 day of prision correccional in its maximum period as minimum to 8 years and 1 day of prision mayor in its medium period as maximum and to pay to the offended party the amount of P4. as maximum. jointly and severally. shall suffer imprisonment of TWELVE (12) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY. shall suffer imprisonment of TWELVE (12) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY.a. In Criminal Case No. Q-96-67830 – SO ORDERED. to FOURTEEN (14) YEARS.as minimum. "Dura Lex Sed Lex". and to pay the amount of P11. the Court could not impose otherwise. as reparation for the unrecovered stolen merchandise. appellant Roberto Benitez is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of qualified theft and is sentenced to suffer imprisonment ranging from 6 THE COURT OF A QUO (sic) GRIEVOUSLY ERRED WHEN IT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION TO ARRIVE AT CONCLUSIONS OF FACTS BY INDECENTLY CONSIDERING AND DISTORTING EVIDENCE TO CONFORM TO ITS FLAWED CONCLUSION. Q-96-67830.00 as reparation for the stolen goods. THE COURT A QUO GRIEVOUSLY ERRED WHEN IT CONSIDERED AN APOLOGY FOR BREACH OF PROCEDURE AS AN ADMISSION OF A CRIME. respectively. 1998 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. In Criminal Case No.00 for her civil liability.9 (Emphasis in the original. as minimum. and to pay to the offended party the amount of P797.103 Accused Rosario Astudillo a. the decision dated May 28.00for her civil liability.00 as reparation for the stolen goods. petitioners filed these separate petitions for review which were. Filipina raises the following issues: WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT CONVICTING THE PETITIONER FILIPINA ORELLANA Y MACARAEG OF THE CRIME CHARGED DESPITE INSUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE WHETHER OR NOT AN EXTRA-JUDICIAL ADMISSION OBTAINED THROUGH TRICKERY AND SCHEME WITHOUT THE BENEFIT AND ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL IS A SUFFICIENT GROUND TO CONVICT AN ACCUSED WHETHER OR NOT CONSPIRACY MAY BE PROVED SIMPLY ON THE GROUND THAT ALL ACCUSED ARE CO-EMPLOYEES AND WORKING IN ONE COMPANY 12 (Underscoring supplied) From the evidence for the prosecution. Benitez.00. and After petitioners and Benitez’s respective Motions for Reconsideration were denied by the Court of Appeals. as salespersons at its branch at P. Branch 78 isAFFIRMED with MODIFICATION.665. In Criminal Case No.10 IN CRIMINAL CASE NO. Rosario Astudillo and Filipina Orellana are found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of qualified theft and are hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty ranging from 10 years and 1 day of prision mayor in its maximum period to 15 years of reclusion temporalas maximum. Rosario proffers the following assignment of errors: Accused Roberto F. at the same branch of Western. 3. Q-96-67831 – In her petition. appellant Filipina Orellana is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of qualified theft and is sentenced to suffer imprisonment ranging from 4 years.13 .00 as reparation for the stolen property. of reclusion temporal. of reclusion temporal. on motion of the Office of the Solicitor General. SO ORDERED. appellants Roberto Benitez.k. to FOURTEEN (14) YEARS. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment with modification as to the penalties imposed. appellant Rosario Astudillo is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of qualified theft and is sentenced to suffer imprisonment ranging from 10 years and 1 day of prision mayor in its maximum period as minimum to 14 years. 1. underscoring supplied) Petitioners and Benitez elevated their cases on appeal. and to pay the amount of P12. but as the maxim goes. Q-96-67829. Q-96-67827. "Baby".00 for his civil liability. ordered consolidated. THE COURT A QUO ERRED WHEN IT DEPARTED [FROM] THE NORMAL COURSE OF JUDICIAL PROCEEDING AND CONVICTED PETITIONER OF THE OFFENSE OF THEFT WITHOUT THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF UNLAWFUL TAKING. Benitez and Flormarie were hired as floor manager and service-incharge/cashier-reliever.8 (Emphasis in the original. 4. a chain of appliance stores. years and 1 day of prision mayor in its minimum period as minimum to 10 years and 1 day of prision mayor in its maximum period as maximumand to pay to the offended party the amount of P11.11 (Underscoring supplied) On her part. to FOURTEEN (14) YEARS. Quezon City. Q-96-67831. and to pay to the offended party amount of P12. thus: WHEREFORE.755. underscoring supplied) Accused Filipina Orellana y Macaraeg. 2. shall suffer imprisonment of TWELVE (12) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY. 8 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal in its medium period as maximum.665. the following version is gathered: Petitioners were hired by Western. of reclusion temporal.

Filipina admitted having brought home some appliances while Benitez gave a handwritten statement reading:16 Ako si Roberto F. 128366. 128366. wala ho akong alam don. 8. and offering to pay for the goods covered thereby. From recovered Invoice Nos. Lily Ong at Western Marketing Corp. Camilo reported the matter to Ma. alam ko ho na mali ‘yon kaya pinagsisisihan ko ho ‘yon. Ako po ay nangangako na hindi na ito uulitin ang lahat ng mga kasalanan sa Western ay kay Mrs. 2) Ang paggamit ng gift check na para rin sa Customer ang kinukuha ko at ako ang gumagamit. Sana ho mapatawad ninyo ako sa nagawa kong kasalan. he cautioning that many would be involved. Camilo learned that the branch received the booklet containing 50 cash sales invoices to which Invoice No. Stove HNK-211 Rice Bowl Some cash sales invoices were later recovered. Lily Ong at Pinapangako ko po na Sumpa man kasama ang pamilya at salamat din po dahil ako ay pinatawad nila at binigyan pa ng isang pagkakataon.900 and 9. Orellana na nangangako kay Ate Lily na hinding-hindi ko na uulitin iyong naglalabas ng mga items tulad ng cookware set at casserole na ang mga kasama ko po rito ay sina Lolit. Concluding that the transactions under the said invoices were made but no payment was remitted to Western. Example nagbayad ang Customer ng 9000 and C. Na kami po si Robert ang nagsabi kay Lolit na maglabas ng stock pero bago po namin ginagawa iyon nagsabi po kami kay Lolit na sumagot naman ng ng oo pero kami po ni Robert and nagkumbinsi sa dalawa.)Baby Astudillo . Ate Lina Cookware Set 7 pcs.17 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) In a still subsequent meeting with Lily. Kahit ho siguro magkautang-utang ako hindi ko magagawa ‘yon. Maraming maraming salamat po. 1996. In a subsequent meeting with Lily. who called on Camilo by telephone.15 Mam Lily.000 ay nasulat sa original na INV. Siguro ho nagawa ko lang ho ‘yon sa pakikisama sa kanila. From recovered Invoice No. Camilo found out that Flormarie was the one who filled it up and received the payment reflected therein. Branch Accountant Marlon Camilo (Camilo) noticed that the computer printout of the monthly sales report revealed a belated entry for Cash Sales Invoice No.14 Ito lahat ay nilabas namin ng linggo 02-18-96 ng gabi. Flormarie had gone absent without leave. Benitez ay humihingi po ako ng tawad kay Mrs. Camilo found out that the goods covered thereby were missing. Robert na isinagawa namin. Filipina made a written statement in the former’s presence reading: Ako po si Lina M. 3) Ang pagamit na rin sa Pera na tinatawag na Short-Over ay amin ding ginagawa. Kumare ko nga ho sya pero yung pagnanakaw niyang ginawa wala akong kinalaman don. Norma Cookware Set 7 pcs. (Sgd. cashiers Rita Lorenzo (Rita) and Norma Ricafort (Norma) during which Benitez and Filipina pleaded with Camilo not to report the matter to the management. Kung mauulit pa ho ito kung anuman po ang gusto ni Ma’m Lily na gawin sa akin ay lubos ko pong tatanggapin. Flormarie. Filipina. made a similar plea as she admitted to stealing the missing booklet of invoices. Upon verification from Western’s head office. who was earlier implicated by Flormarie’s husband in his telephone conversation with Aurora. And he noted that the daily cash collection report did not reflect any remittance of payments from the transactions covered by the said invoices. Kay Ate Lolit Tiffin Carrier Cookware Set 7 pcs. she explaining that her father was sick and had to undergo medical operation. regarding sa "Short-over". Inuulit ko ho. Benitez soon approached Camilo and requested him not to report the matter to the management.18 (Underscoring supplied) In the meantime. Sana ho Ate Lily patawarin ninyo ako sa nagawa kong kasalanan. 128358 and 128375. Aurora Borja (Aurora).104 On February 21. Camilo then confirmed that the booklet of sales invoices bearing numbers 128351 up to 128400 was missing. sana ho mapatawad ninyo uli ako sa nagawa kong kasalanan at pinapangako ko ho nahinding-hindi ko na uulitin. Also in a meeting with Lily. in the course of preparing the January monthly sales report of the P. na ako nagplano at si Ate Lina. 4) Ang pagkuha na rin ng mga Product tulad ng sumusunod. 128366 formed part. Norma. Maraming salamat ho. Airpot Lemon Robert National Elec. Ang mga kasalanan ako po ay: 1) Ang pagkuha ng Promo na dapat ay para sa Customer.19 wrote: Aurora eventually reported the case of the missing invoices and the shortage of cash sales collection to Western’s branch manager Lily Chan Ong (Lily). sa mga kasamahan ko dito sa Nuestra. Aurora and Camilo later met with Benitez. Tuason branch of Western. Rosario. the branch assistant manager.P. ‘Yun pong tungkol sa kaso ni Marie.

lolit. xxxx T : Sa tatlong series ng Cash Sales Invoice na napunta sa iyo ano ang iyong ginawa? S : Ginamit ko po ito sa paglalabas ng mga items/unit sa Western Marketing Corp. Norma. ikuwento mo nga sa akin kung papaano mo isinagawa ang iyong pagnanakaw sa pag-gamit ng mga Cash Sales Invoice? S : Ganito po ang ginawa ko.21 (Underscoring supplied) Flormarie. at ang sabi niya sa akin ay siya na raw ang bahala na magpalabas noong mga items na aking isinulat sa resibo. RITA LORENZO ("Rita"). Ako ngayon ay kusang loob na lumapit sa Western upang humingi ng kapatawaran sa aking mga nagawa at upang makipagkasundo sa isang maayos na pagbabayad sa mga halagang aking nakuha sa Western at mahalaga sa lahat.) na may numerong 128351 to 128400 nitong mga nakaraang araw may kinalaman ka ba sa nasabing pangyayari? SAGOT: Opo. kukunin ko ang invoice at pagkatapos binigyan niya ako ng (3 resibo series) at hindi ko na po alam kung anong ginawa na niya sa invoice. Tuazon Branch.1.105 P.3. Ito ay itinuro sa akin ni Kuya Robert.20(Underscoring supplied) 3. lina. xxx x x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Flormarie and her sister. NORMA RICAFORT ("Norma") at FE CABIGAN ("Fe"). in the company of her sister Delma and Lily. Halos lahat ng mga kawani ng tindahan ay kasangkot sa mga sumusunod na katiwalian: 3. together with Lily. . xxxx T : Bukod kay ROBERT BENITEZ may mga tao bang karamay sa naganap na transaksiyon? S : Mayroon po. T : Ano ang iyong ginawa? Ang paraan magreresibo ako tatatakan ko ng paid kasama kung sino ang taong maglalabas ng unit tapos ibebenta ko na yong unit yung pera kinukuha ko na bibigyan ko lang siya ng kahit magkanong amount kung sino yong taong inutusan ko. later executed a statement before Cubao SPO1 Jose Gil Gregorio. Flormarie wrote what she knew of the incident as follows: Ito ang nalalaman ko kung paanong nangyari ito sa loob ng tindahan ng Western Mktg. *SHORT-OVER Ang tag price. P. INVOICING – Sa pamamagitan ng mga resibong na may tatak na "paid" na ibinibigay ni Robert sa aking nailalabas ko ang mga paninda na akin namang naibebenta. reading: TANONG: Ayon kay MARLON CAMILO. LOLIT BORJA ("Lolit"). upang isiwalat ang mga taong kasangkot sa katiwaliang ito at mga paraan ng paggawa nito. at pagkatapos po ay ibinalik ko ito sa Western Marketing Corp at binigay ko ito kay ROBERT BENITEZ. 3. Rita at Marie. Short-Over – Ito ay ang pagtatala ng mas mababang halaga ng paninda sa mga "duplicate copies" ng resibo kapag ang kustomer ay hindi tumawad sa "tag price" at nagbayad ng "cash". xxxx 2. T : Kung mayroon kang kinalaman sa nasabing pangyayari ito ba ay kusang loob mong ginawa? *INVOICE S : Itinuro lang po ito sa akin. Western Marketing Corp Branch Accountant nadiskubre niya ang pagkawala ng isang booklet ng Sales Cash Invoice (50pcs. xxxx xxxx T : Sa maikling salaysay. kung ang customer ay hindi tumawad.S. baby. ROSARIO ALTUDILLO ("Baby"). subsequently appeared before a notary public to execute a similar statement reading: S : Ako po ang kumuha noong nawawalang isang booklet ng Cash Sales Invoice sa turo ni ROBERT BENITEZ na Sales Supervisor sa Western Marketing Corp. and Flormarie and her husband on the other. Fe. iniuwi ko sa aming bahay yung tatlong series ng resibo na ibinigay sa akin ni ROBERT BENITEZ at tinuruan po niya ako na sulatan ko yung mga resibo ng mga items na gusto kong ilabas. FILIPINA ORELLANA ("Lina"). ‘yun ho palang perang na-oover naming. Ang sobrang halaga ay pinaghahatian namin nina ROBERT BENITEZ ("Robert"). binabago na lang ang presyo sa duplicate copy and then kinukuha na lang sa cashier ang pera tapos naghahati-hati na lang si robert. pinaghahatian po namin nila Rita at ni Marie.22 Still in a separate meeting with Lily and her siblings on one hand.

has remained at large) in which she incriminated petitioners bears a different complexion." The rights above specified. Both petitioners raise as issue whether the employees’ extra-judicial admissions taken before an employer in the course of an administrative inquiry are admissible in a criminal case filed against them. The records show that Camilo had priorly reported the thievery to the same police authorities and identified Flormarie and Benitez as initial suspects.24 The total missing merchandise was valued atP797. at ganoon din po itong si ROSARIO ASTUDILLO. and that if he cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for him prior to any questioning if he so desires. They argue that as their extra-judicial statements were taken without the assistance of counsel. no evidence obtained as a result of interrogation can be used against him.106 T : Sino-sino ito? waivers are demonstrated by the prosecution at the trial. The presumption of regularity of official acts does not prevail over the constitutional presumption of innocence. whether at the administrative investigation. to repeat. however. to repeat."30 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Ayson adds: The employee may." or "in-custody interrogation of accused persons. or even to a mayor approached as a personal confidante and not in his official capacity. T : Sa iyong pagkakaalam. Hence. by custodial interrogation is meant "questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way. After such warnings have been given. made during custodial investigation are inadmissible and cannot be considered in the . ROSARIO ASTUDILLO. Petitioners posit in the negative. Jr. It is always incumbent upon the prosecution to prove at the trial that prior to in-custody questioning. 32 is similarly instructive: Clearly. that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law.984. He must be warned prior to any questioning that he has the right to remain silent. prior to his making and presenting them. The protective mantle of the constitutional provision also does not extend to admissions or confessions made to a private individual. When she gave the statement. several other appliances were found missing as were unauthorized deductions from the cash collections. resulting in self-incriminating statement without full warnings of constitutional rights. their written incriminatory statements are admissible in evidence. Thus we held in one case (People v. as this Court has already stated. or at a subsequent criminal action brought against him. extrajudicial statements. because he had not been accorded. S : Sina LINA ORELLANA po. as earlier stated. The extra-judicial confession33 before the police of Flormarie (who. petitioners failed to file any objection thereto including their extra-judicial admissions. Opportunity to exercise those rights must be afforded to him throughout the interrogation. 28 At any rate. [supra]) that admissions made during the course of an administrative investigation by Philippine Airlines do not come within the purview of Section 12. Sales Lady po. But unless and until such warnings and The objective is to prohibit "incommunicado interrogation of individuals in a police-dominated atmosphere. the individual may knowingly and intelligently waive these rights and agree to answer or make a statement. in his defense to the accusation against him. Chief Justice Warren summarized the procedural safeguards laid down for a person in police custody. they are inadmissible in evidence. "in-custody interrogation" being regarded as the commencement of an adversary proceeding against the suspect.376. or to a verbal admission made to a radio announcer who was not part of the investigation.25 And discrepancies between the actual sales per cash sales invoice and the cash remittance to the company in the sum of P34. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) The Court of Appeals did not thus err in pronouncing that petitioners were not under custodial investigation to call for the presence of counsel of their own choice. that is his privilege.00 for the period from January 1994 to February 199626 were also discovered. exist only in "custodial interrogations. refuse to submit any statement at the investigation.27 It bears noting. such opportunity afforded him. at siya rin ang may pirma doon sa resibo. But if he should opt to do so. People v. the confessant was informed of his constitutional rights. the rights enumerated by the constitutional provision invoked by accused-appellant are not available before government investigators enter the picture. of course. Ayson29 is instructive: In Miranda.31 People v. that when the prosecution formally offered its evidence. Article III of the 1987 Constitution. that he has the right to the presence of an attorney. however. prompting Western to initiate the criminal complaints for Qualified Theft. Ayson. his "Miranda rights" (to silence and to counsel and to be informed thereof. this Court answers the issue in the affirmative.00 as reflected in the inventory report. sales lady. therefore. hence. following Section 12. xxxx T : Magkano naman ang ibinibigay sa iyo ni ROBERT BENITEZ kapag nailabas ng yung mga items doon sa resibo na iyong ginawa? S : Hindi ko na po matandaan basta pinapartihan niya ako at yung dalawang sales lady. are relevant in custodial investigations." And. it would be absurd to reject his statements. in the absence of proof that the arresting officers complied with these constitutional safeguards. whether inculpatory or exculpatory. etc) which.23 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) In an inventory of stocks conducted at the branch office of Western. Tin Lan Uy. as it was made under custodial investigation. the investigation was no longer a general inquiry into an unsolved crime but had begun to focus on a particular suspect. ano ang kanilang mga partisipasyon na naganap na transaksiyon? S : Si LINA ORELLANA po ang sales lady.

In other words. and received by. if this customer is resolved to buy one item. Q : As an accountant employee since June 1995. sir. confessions and admissions in violation of Section 12 (1). all she has to do is to refer the particular customer to another employee of the company. direct or implied. and not in broken Tagalog as spoken by Lily Ong". It was beyond the nature of their functions. promise. Q : Like for instance. however. however. do you know the flow of this sale? A : Yes. Filipina Orellana as a sales clerk. is that correct? A : Yes.38 In another vein. they are called invoicers. or any other calamity. let’s take the case of Filipina Orellana. The "excess" sums formed part of the selling price and were paid to. (3) that the taking be done with intent to gain. is it not? A : Yes. in the store there are employees which are assigned with specific duties or functions.42 Q : So. A cursory reading of her letter reveals that she confessed to the taking of "short-over. sir. The discrepancy in the amounts came about on account of the alteration in the copies of the invoices which should have faithfully reflected the same amount paid by the customer. (2) that said property belongs to another. (4) that the taking be done without the consent of the owner. (2) the theft is committed with grave abuse of confidence. The argument does not lie. Even assuming that the "short-over" was intended to defray sundry expenses. it was not incumbent upon the salespersons to claim them and automatically apply them to the miscellaneous charges. is it not? A : Yes. There is nothing on record. Rosario labels her written statement as a mere "apology for breach of procedure". it was not established in evidence. The element of unlawful taking was thus established. they claiming that Lily dictated to them their contents. volcanic eruption. The utilization of the "short-over" was not left to the discretion of the salespersons. an examination of the rest of the evidence of the prosecution does not set petitioners free. you have also employees who are preparing invoices. vehicular accident or civil disturbance. A further review of the nature of petitioners’ functions shows. however. Q : In fact. sir. you are familiar that in the procedure in any particular branch of Western Marketing Corporation. This is so even if such statements are gospel truth and voluntarily given. are you aware if somebody buys an item from one store. Witness. earthquake. mail matter or large cattle.41 The issue on the admissibility of petitioners’ respective extra-judicial statements aside. (3) the property stolen is either a motor vehicle. sir. of the evidence or truths charged. is insufficient to authorize a conviction and which tends only to establish the ultimate facts of guilt. in express terms. sir. It is an acknowledgment of some facts or circumstances which. (4) the property stolen consists of coconuts taken from the premises of a plantation. It is but a statement of facts by the accused. trickery and scheme. which do not directly involve an acknowledgment of his guilt or of his criminal intent to commit the offense with which he is bound." There is a "short-over" when there is a discrepancy between the actual amount collected appearing in the yellow (warehouse) copy and the remitted amount appearing in the blue (accounting) copy. Article III of the Constitution are inadmissible in evidence against the declarant and more so against third persons. in itself. however.43 Q : Now. Theft becomes qualified when any of the following circumstances is present: (1) the theft is committed by a domestic servant. buttressing petitioners’ claim other than their self-serving assertion.34 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Petitioners at all events argue that their written statements were obtained through deceit. is it not? A : Yes. Rosario contends. The tampered invoices presented by the prosecution which glaringly show the variance in the amounts corroborate Rita’s claim.37 And this Court takes note of the observation of the trial court that petitioners’ written notes were "neatly written in Tagalog. The presumption that no person of normal mind would deliberately and knowingly confess to a crime unless prompted by truth and conscience35 such that it is presumed to be voluntary until the contrary is proved thus stands. an admission is something less than a confession. Cashier Rita testified in a detailed and categorical manner how the petitioners took the alleged amounts of "short-over" deducted from the sum of cash collections.40 In criminal cases.39 Her resort to semantics deserves scant consideration. Petitioners admittedly wrote their respective letters during office hours in Lily’s office which was located in the same open booth or counter occupied by the cashier and credit card in-charge. 36 The circumstances surrounding the execution of the written admissions likewise militate against petitioners’ bare claim. on the other hand. Western. and (5) that the taking be accomplished without the use of violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things. . As for petitioners’ claim of entitlement to the "excess" amounts as salespersons’ commission. The elements of the crime of Theft as provided for in Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code are: (1) that there be taking of personal property. of his guilt of the crime charged. that there was no "unlawful taking" since the amounts of "short-over" did not belong to Western. and (6) the property was taken on the occasion of fire. Mr.107 adjudication of a case. typhoon. is an acknowledgment. against his interests. Her function is merely to entertain customers who go to the store and intend to buy one of the items that are displayed. (5) the property stolen is fish taken from a fishpond or fishery. that the element of grave abuse of confidence is wanting in the case. A confession.

the criminal design of taking away Western’s merchandise.53 As indicated early on. may be given in evidence against him. The rule is explicit that the act.57 The declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged.47 While they had access to the merchandise. there were two different sets of imputed acts. 51 In Rosario’s case.50 Petitioners should therefore be convicted of simple theft. which was corroborated by Flormarie’s confessions. which the law on Qualified Theft requires to be proven to have been gravely abused. sir.56 Filipina in fact gave a written statement acknowledging her own act of asporting the merchandise. except as otherwise provided in the Rules.58 Moreover.45 The element of grave abuse of confidence requires that there be a relation of independence. her function is only to entertain and refer the customer for sales purposes.54 Under the hearsay evidence rule. during. the Office of the Solicitor General made a sweeping conclusion that the extent of her participation in the act of taking merchandise need not be specified since she attributed her other act of taking "short-over" to "pakikisama" or companionship.108 Q : So when Filipina Orellana refers this customer to the invoicer. guardianship or vigilance between the petitioners and Western. however. Q : And in fact. Where the relationship did not involve strict confidence. . and concurred in. an extra-judicial confession is admissible against a coconspirator as a circumstantial evidence to show the probability of participation of said co-conspirator in the crime committed. A review of the inference drawn from petitioners’ acts before. or of any offense necessarily included therein. Q : From that point up to the payment. Lily conceded that petitioners were merely tasked to "assist in the sales from day to day" 48 while Camilo admitted that the cashier is the custodian of the cash sales invoices and that no other person can handle or access them. is it not? A : Yes. those which are derived from his own perception. this Court finds well-taken the trial court’s observation that the admissions were full of substantial details as to how the accused conspired to commit the criminal acts and as to how they manipulated the sales transactions at Western to effect and consummate the theft of the goods. Mere breach of trust is not enough. They merely assisted customers in making a purchase and in demonstrating the merchandise to prospective buyers. a witness can testify only to those facts which he knows of his personal knowledge. they had no access to the cashier’s booth or to the cash payments subject of the offense. the offense committed is only simple theft. along with Benitez. is it not? A : Yes. sir. sir. that is. Q : And this invoicer now will refer the invoice for this particular item for payment to the cashier of the company. that is correct? A : Yes. On Criminal Case No. preparation and issuance of invoices. conspiracy must be proved as convincingly as the criminal act. Direct proof is not absolutely required for the purpose. They had no hand in the safekeeping.49 The limited and peculiar function of petitioners as salespersons explains the lack of that fiduciary relationship and level of confidence reposed on them by Western. insofar as Filipina is concerned. Filipina Orellana has no more hand in that particular transaction. sir. one individual and the other collective. whose violation did not involve grave abuse thereof.1âwphi1 The prosecution relied on Aurora’s statement that Flormarie’s husband mentioned Rosario as among those involved in the anomaly. in inter alia hiring third persons to pose as customers who received the items upon presenting the tampered invoice. Q : And it is the cashier who will receive the payment from this customer? A : Yes. Q-96-67827 respecting petitioners’ collective guilt in taking away merchandise by making it appear that certain items were purchased with the use of stolen cash sales invoices: Mere companionship does not establish conspiracy. In fine. sir. the customer or the cashier will receive the exact amount of payment as reflected in the invoice that was prepared by the invoicer. instead of Qualified Theft. To effectively serve as a basis for conviction. a thorough evaluation of the evidence warrants the affirmance of her guilt beyond reasonable doubt of having conspired with Benitez et al. and after the commission of the crime to indubitably indicate a joint purpose. then.46 Petitioners were not tasked to collect or receive payments. The wording of her admission cannot be construed to extend to the other offense charging conspiracy under which no overt act was established to prove that Rosario shared with.52 The conclusion does not persuade. A : Yes. declaration or omission of a party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence against him.60 Except with respect to Rosario.59 In cases alleging conspiracy.55 Aurora testified that she witnessed Filipina. underscoring and italics supplied) Mere circumstance that petitioners were employees of Western does not suffice to create the relation of confidence and intimacy that the law requires.44 (Emphasis. the invoicer now will take over from that function of Filipina Orellana after referring this customer? It is settled that conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a crime and decide to commit it. concert of action and community of interest is thus in order. Rosario’s admission was material only to her individual guilt as she referred only to the "short-over". Filipina’s statement dovetailed with Benitez’s admission.

petitioner FILIPINA M. petitioner ROSARIO V. and to pay to the offended party the amount of P4. Q-96-67829. the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated December 18. SO ORDERED. to One (1) Year. Q-96-67830.755. ASTUDILLO is acquitted. In the determination of the penalty for Qualified Theft. hence.665.00 as civil liability. 2002 is MODIFIED. In Criminal Case No. As for the penalty for Qualified Theft.00 is deducted from P797. .000.000.00. ASTUDILLO is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Simple Theft.00.00.000. which yields a remainder of P775.00 as civil liability. the amount of P22.00. and to pay to the offended party the amount of P12. To determine the additional years of imprisonment. In Criminal Case No. Eight (8) Months and One (1) Day to Ten (10) Years of prision mayor.000. however. the assailed Decision is affirmed except that petitioner FILIPINA M. to Seven (7) Years.00.984. People v. Four (4) Months and One (1) Day of prision mayor in its minimum and medium periods as maximum. Since the value exceedsP22. ORELLANA is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Simple Theft. petitioner ROSARIO V. the basic penalty is prision mayor in its minimum and medium periods to be imposed in the maximum period — Eight (8) Years. which is P797. The total imposable penalty for simple theft should not exceed 20 years. WHEREFORE. This amount is then divided by P10. Eight (8) Months and Twenty-One (21) Days of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods as maximum. Four (4) Months and One (1) Day of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods as minimum.00. disregarding any amount less than P10. In all other respects. and One (1) Day of arresto mayor in its medium and maximum periods as minimum. and is sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty ranging from Two (2) Years. and is sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty ranging from Two (2) Months. the correct penalty is reclusion perpetua. note is taken of the value of the property stolen. it is two degrees higher than that for Simple Theft. Mercado61 is instructive. ORELLANA is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua with the accessory penalties under Article 40 of the Revised Penal Code. Q-96-67827.984. The end result is that 77 years should be added to the basic penalty.109 On the imposition of the correct penalty. In Criminal Case No.984.