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People vs.

Benjamin Petaluna and Abundio Binundo


G.R. No. 187048
January 23, 2013
The Facts
On 11 June 1996, appellants were charged with the murder of Pablo before the Regional Trial
Court of Cebu. On arraignment, appellants pleaded not guilty. Trial proceeded with the
prosecution and the defense presenting their respective witnesses. The prosecution presented
sixteen-year old Romeo Pialago (Romeo), who was with Pablo at the time of the incident, and Dr.
Dympna Aguilar (Dr. Aguilar), Municipal Health Officer of the Barili District Hospital. On the
other hand, the appellants themselves and the father of appellant Abundio, Teofilo Binondo
(Teofilo), appeared for the defense.
The evidence for the prosecution shows that on 30 April 1996, Romeo and Pablo watched a
cockfight during the fiesta of Barangay Lamak, Barili, Cebu. On their way home at about five
o'clock in the afternoon, Pablo, followed by the appellants, with the young Romeo behind them,
walked along the road of Sitio Liki, BarangayMayana, Barili, Cebu. Romeo, who knew appellants
because they used to pass by his house, noticed them whispering to each other. He saw the
appellants place their arms on Pablo's shoulder, after which they struck Pablo with stones each of
which was as big as the size of a fist. Pablo pleaded the appellants to stop but they did not. When
Pablo fell to the ground, Benjamin smashed his head with a stone as big as Pablo's head.
Afterwards, appellants dragged him downhill towards the farm of one Efren Torion (Efren) in Sitio
Liki. Romeo did not know what happened next because he ran to seek help. He went to the house
of Espiridion Presbitero (Pideon), the barangay captain of Mayana. Pideon, in turn, coordinated
with a certain Simo, the barangay captain of Bagacay. Romeo escorted Pideon and Simo to the
place where the incident took place but Pablo was no longer there. They went to the house of
appellant Abundio at Barangay Cangundo but the appellant was not there. The two captains then
proceeded to the house of appellant Benjamin, who accompanied them to the farm of Efren. There
they found the body of Pablo, which Dr. Aguilar later examined. TDcHCa
Before the court, Dr. Aguilar testified that Pablo sustained eleven (11) wounds caused by blunt
instrument(s) like stone(s). There were blood clots in the cranium and meninges. The death,
according to her autopsy report, which she identified in court to have been prepared and signed by
her, was caused by "cerebral hemorrhage due to laceration and contusion of the head.
Appellants maintain that the qualifying circumstance of treachery was not attendant in the
commission of the crime considering that there was no element of surprise when Pablo was
attacked. Pablo had the opportunity to defend himself. Appellant Benjamin, in his Supplemental
Brief, further argued that even if there was suddenness of the attack, Pablo could have chosen to
retreat.|
The Issues
1. Whether or not there was treachery in the commission of the crime.
2. Whether or not the accused committed murder.
Ruling
The court sustains the conviction of both appellants.

The crime committed was murder.


To be convicted of murder, the following must be established: (1) a person was killed; (2) the
accused killed him; (3) the killing was with the attendance of any of the qualifying circumstances
under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code; and (4) the killing neither constitutes parricide nor
infanticide.
Appellants maintain that the qualifying circumstance of treachery was not attendant in the
commission of the crime considering that there was no element of surprise when Pablo was
attacked. Pablo had the opportunity to defend himself. Appellant Benjamin, in his Supplemental
Brief, further argued that even if there was suddenness of the attack, Pablo could have chosen to
retreat.
The court is not convinced. SECAHa
We have time and again declared that "[t]he essence of treachery is a deliberate and sudden attack,
affording the hapless, unarmed and unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or to escape," 16 and
that it may still exist even if the attack is frontal so long as the same is sudden and unexpected. 17
In this case, it was clear that the elderly victim had no inkling of the impending danger against
him. The attack was sudden notwithstanding the prior act of placing the assailants' arms on the
shoulder of the victim because such was done in a friendly manner.
People of the Philippines vs. Patricio Rayon, Sr.
G.R. No. 194236
January 30, 2013
The Facts
Patricio Rayon, Sr. (appellant) was charged before the RTC in two separate informations with:
a. violation of Section 10(a), Article VI of R.A. No. 7610 (Crim. Case No. 2006-174); and
b. qualified rape (Crim. Case No. 2006-175).
Prosecution
Appellants wife (XYZ) testified that they had five children, one of which (AAA) was mentally
deficient. She stated that one time, when she arrived at their house after buying rice, she saw the
appellant embracing AAA and spreading her legs; the appellant then put his hand on AAAs breast,
inserted his other hand inside her underwear, and touched her vagina. When the appellant noticed
her presence, he immediately stood up and instructed her to prepare food. XYZ felt bad and
afraid, but did not confront the appellant.
On December 16, 2005, BBB (another daughter) revealed to XYZ that the appellant had raped her.
XYZ requested assistance from a municipal social worker who, in turn, told her to file a case
before the police. BBB recalled that while she was in her room in December 2005, the appellant
grabbed her and removed her short pants and panty; the appellant then removed his short pants,
mounted her, and inserted his penis into her vagina. She felt pain, but could not shout because the
appellant covered her mouth with his hands. Afterwards, the appellant inserted his penis into her
anus. BBB disclosed the incident to XYZ who, in turn, accompanied her to the police.
The Medico-Legal Officer of the NBI examined both children: AAA had a healed hymenal
laceration at 7 oclock position while BBB had an intact hymen but said there could have been a
penetration of BBBs inter-labia.

XXX, the sister of AAA and BBB, narrated that every time the appellant came home from work,
he would instruct AAA to sit on his lap; the appellant would also embrace AAA and touch her
vagina. XXX added that the appellant allowed AAA to watch him take a bath BBB also disclosed
to her that the appellant sodomized her, and inserted his penis into her vagina.
A psychiatrist at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center testified that she conducted a
psychological test on AAA, and found her to be autistic. She declared that AAA lacked motor
coordination, and had a very low intelligence quotient. The psychiatrist found AAA to be
incompetent to testify in court.
Defense
Appellant claimed his wife falsely accused him of raping AAA because he disallowed her to have
an American pen pal. He further maintained that AAA was usually in their neighbors house
when he comes home from work. The appellant also denied BBBs allegation that he sodomized
her.
He confirmed that AAA is a special child. He also maintained that he is close to his two
daughters.
RTC and CA Rulings
RTC found the appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the two charges. The CA affirmed the
RTC Judgment in toto.
The Issue
WON appellant is guilty of the crimes charged; proper penalties
Ruling
a. The Information in Criminal Case No. 2006-174 charged the appellant with violation of
Section 10(a), Article VI of R.A. No. 7610. The body of the Information, however,
alleged that the appellant sexually molested AAA; kissed her; mashed her breasts;
fondled her; and forcibly opened her legs. These described acts punishable under Section
5(b), Article III of Republic Act No. 7610.
[t]he character of the crime is not determined by the caption or preamble of the information nor
from the specification of the provision of law alleged to have been violated, xxx but by the recital
of the ultimate facts and circumstances in the complaint or information.
Penalty and Indemnity:
Section 5(b), Article III of Republic Act No. 7610 prescribes the penalty of
reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua
alternative circumstance of relationship under Article 15 of the RPC against
the appellant, since it has been established that the appellant is AAAs father
there is an aggravating circumstance and no mitigating circumstance, the
penalty shall be applied in its maximum period, that is, reclusion perpetua
Section 31 of R.A. No. 7610 expressly provides that the penalty shall be
imposed in its maximum period when the perpetrator is the parent of the
victim

Pay AAA P20,000.00 as civil indemnity, P15,000.00 as moral damages,


P15,000.00 as exemplary damages, and pay a P15,000.00 fine

b. Prosecution established that the appellant had carnal knowledge of his eight-year old
daughter, BBB, in December 2005. The presence of the qualifying circumstances of
minority and relationship raises the crime of statutory rape to qualified rape. CA was
therefore correct in affirming the appellants conviction.
Penalty and Indemnity:
Article 266-B of the RPC: death penalty shall be imposed when the victim is
below 18 years of age and the offender is a parent, ascendant, stepparent,
guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or
the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim
we cannot impose the death penalty in view of R.A. No. 9346, entitled "An
Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines
reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole
pay BBB P75,000.00 as civil indemnity, P75,000.00 as moral damages, and
P30,000.00 as exemplary damages

Nelson Valleno y Lucito vs. People of the Philippines


G.R. No. 192050
January 9,2013
FACTS:
The Information charged petitioner of illegal possession of shabu. It reads:
That on or about the 12th day of March, 2004, in Barangay San Antonio, Milaor, Camarines Sur,
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, without any authority of law,
did then and there, wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously possess, control and have in custody nine
(9) transparent plastic sachets, containing Methamphetamine Hydrochloride, locally known as
"SHABU", a prohibited drug, weighing no less than 34.7011 grams, with an estimated cost or
market value of P69,402.20, to the great damage and prejudice of the Republic of the Philippines.
Upon arraignment, petitioner pleaded not guilty. Trial ensued.
Five police officers, two barangay officials and one forensic chemist testified for the prosecution.
On 13 June 2008, the trial court rendered judgment finding petitioner guilty beyond reasonable
doubt for illegal possession of shabu.
In convicting petitioner, the trial court lent credence to the straightforward testimonies of the
police officers over the mere denial of the accused. The trial court ruled that the chain of custody
over the illegal drugs seized was properly established.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed petitioners conviction on 29 October 2009 and denied
petitioners motion for reconsideration on 13 April 2010. Petitioner now seeks relief before this
Court via a petition for review.

ISSUE:
Whether the guilt of the accused has been established beyond reasonable doubt
HELD: YES. Thus, the petition is DENIED and the assailed 29 October 2009 Decision and the
13 April 2010 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR. CR-H.C. No. 03433 are hereby
AFFIRMED.
In order for prosecution for illegal possession of a dangerous drug to prosper, there must be proof
that (1) the accused was in possession of an item or an object identified to be a prohibited or
regulated drug, (2) such possession is not authorized by law, and (3) the accused was freely and
consciously aware of being in possession of the drug.
All these elements were duly established by the prosecution. During the search, PO3 Edrano found
a bag on top of a cabinet inside the house of petitioner. He handed the same to PO3 Villano, who
in turn opened it, and found nine (9) plastic sachets of shabu.
Although the shabu was not found by the searching team on petitioners person, it was found
inside a bag which was hidden on top of a cabinet in the house of petitioner. Thus, petitioner is
deemed in possession thereof. Petitioner was not lawfully authorized to possess the same. It can
also be inferred that petitioner was privy to the existence of the shabu. Mere possession of a
regulated drug per se constitutes prima facie evidence of knowledge or animus possidendi
sufficient to convict an accused absent a satisfactory explanation of such possession the onus
probandi is shifted to the accused, to explain the absence of knowledge or animus possidendi.
With the burden of evidence shifted to the petitioner, it was his duty to explain his innocence about
the regulated drug seized from his possession. This, petitioner failed to do.
The petitioners proposition that the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt
is anchored on his claim that the prosecution failed to prove and establish the chain of custody of
the subject prohibited drugs allegedly seized from his house.
Section 21 of Republic Act No. 9165 provides the procedure to be followed in the seizure and
custody of prohibited drugs, to wit:
Section 21. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized, and/or Surrendered Dangerous
Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs, Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals,
Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. The PDEA shall take charge and have
custody of all dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and
essential chemicals, as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so
confiscated, seized and/or surrendered, for proper disposition in the following manner:
(1) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately after
seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the
accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her
representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ),
and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be
given a copy thereof;
xxxx

The provisions of Article II, Section 21(a) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of
Republic Act No. 9165 provide:
xxxx
(a) The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall,
immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the
presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or
his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice
(DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and
be given a copy thereof: Provided, that the physical inventory and photograph shall be conducted
at the place where the search warrant is served; or at the nearest police station or at the nearest
office of the apprehending officer/team, whichever is practicable, in case of warrantless seizures;
Provided, further, that non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long
as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the
apprehending officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over
said items.
The Implementing Rules of Republic Act No. 9165 offer some flexibility when a proviso added
that "non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity
and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending
officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items."
What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the
seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the
accused.
In the instant case, the chain of custody of the seized illegal drugs was not broken. The
prosecution established that PO3 Edrano recovered the white plastic sachets, later on confirmed
positive for traces of shabu. PO3 Edrano handed them over to PO3 Villano, who made markings
on the seized items and prepared an inventory of the same while inside petitioners house. It was
also shown that PO3 Villano brought the seized illegal drugs to the police station where he himself
prepared the inventory. While he presented the same to a certain PO3 Molina, it was still PO3
Villano and SPO4 Fabiano who first brought the seized illegal drugs to the court, who in turn
ordered him to bring it to the PNP Crime Laboratory. In the letter request addressed to the forensic
chemist, it was PO3 Villano who signed as the requesting party. Clearly therefore, the recovery
and handling of the seized illegal drugs were more than satisfactorily established in this case.
This Court notes the inconsistencies in the testimonies of prosecution witnesses, particularly that
of barangay tanod Reynaldo Brito and PO3 Molina, relating to the place where one of the plastic
sachets was found and to the person who brought the illegal drugs to the crime laboratory,
respectively. We however brush aside these inconsistencies as inconsequential. Indeed, one can
hardly expect their testimonies to be in perfect agreement. As held in the past, it is perhaps too
much to hope that different eyewitnesses shall give, at all times, testimonies that are in all fours
with the realities on the ground. Minor discrepancies in their testimonies are, in fact, to be
expected; they neither vitiate the essential integrity of the evidence in its material entirety nor
reflect adversely on the credibility of witnesses. For a successful appeal, the inconsistencies
brought up should pertain to that crucial moment when the accused was caught selling shabu, not
to peripheral matters. Testimonies of witnesses need only corroborate each other on important and
relevant details concerning the principal occurrence.

Finally, there was nothing irregular in the conduct of search of petitioners house. There were
variations in the witnesses testimonies as to whether petitioner was inside the house during the
search. One witness testified that petitioner was coming in and out of the house during the search
while the other witnesses claimed that petitioner was waiting just outside the house. Assuming that
petitioner was indeed outside the house, it does not taint the regularity of the search. Section 8,
Rule 126 of the Rules of Court allows the absence of the lawful occupant provided that two
witnesses are present.The presence of the two barangay officials was not disputed by petitioner.
Baron A. Villanueva and the Secretary
G.R. No. 190969
January 30, 2013

FACTS:
As the CA summarized in its decision, an altercation occurred between Renato Caparas, husband
of respondent Edna R. Caparas, and Villanueva in the morning of August 24, 2005, which
altercation led to the death of Renato.
On September 7, 2005 Edna Caparas filed a criminal complaint of murder against Villanueva
During the preliminary investigation both parties submitted their respective affidavits including
the affidavits of their witnesses
Edna also includes the autopsy reports of the Philippine National Police-Central Police District
Crime Laboratory. Villanueva also submitted the opinion of Dr. Valentin T. Bernales of the
National Bureau of Investigation Medico-Legal Division (NBI opinion) as to the cause of Renatos
head injuries.
Finding probable cause, the prosecutor filed criminal information for homicide against Villanueva
on October 3, 2006.
Villanueva file for a reconsideration. The prosecutor denied the motion on March 22, 2007 and
before arraignment, Villanueva filed a petition for review before the Department of Justice.
The DOJ Secretary found the evidence against Villanueva insufficient to support a prima facie
case and set aside the prosecutors resolution and direct the same for the withdrawal of the
information.
Edna filed for certiorari.
The CA reversed the decision of the DOJ secretary for the reason that the Secretary exceeded the
functional requirements of a preliminary investigation in passing upon the validity of matters
essentially evidentiary in nature and there is a grave abuse of discretion intervened when he passed
upon the merits of Villanuevas defences.
Villanueva filed a motion to dismiss but was denied by the CA.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA correctly ruled that the Secretary exceeded the bounds of his jurisdiction
when he reversed the prosecutors resolution finding probable cause to indict Villanueva for
homicide and ordered the withdrawal of it

HELD:
We find the CA decision and resolution in accord with law and jurisprudence in finding that the
Secretary acted with grave abuse of discretion when he reversed the prosecutors resolution
finding probable cause to charge Villanueva with homicide.
Probable cause, for purposes of filing criminal information, pertains to facts and circumstances
sufficient to incite a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and the accused is
probably guilty thereof. Only such facts sufficient to support a prima facie case against the
respondent are required, not absolute certainty. Probable cause implies mere probability of guilt,
i.e., a finding based on more than bare suspicion but less than evidence that would justify a
conviction.
In order to arrive at probable cause, the elements of the crime charged, homicide in this case,
should be present. Jurisprudence laid out the elements of homicide as: (1) a person was killed; (2)
the accused killed him without any justifying circumstance; (3) the accused had the intention to
kill, which is presumed; and (4) the killing was not attended by any of the qualifying
circumstances of murder, or by that of parricide or infanticide which all of this is present in Ednas
autopsy report.
When the Secretary made a determination based on his own appreciation of the pieces of evidence
for and against Villanueva, he effectively assumed the function of a trial judge in the evaluation of
the pieces of evidence and, thereby, acted outside his jurisdiction.
In sum, the CA did not commit any reversible error when it nullified and set aside the resolution
rendered by the Secretary with grave abuse of discretion. Accordingly, the C A also did not err in
ordering the reinstatement of the prosecutor's resolution of probable cause and its accompanying
information.