You are on page 1of 22



G.R. No. 140895, July 17, 2003

FACTS: The Spouses Soriano employed Lea and Wendy Salingatog as the yayas of their two
children: Kathleen and Angela. Angela, then 5 years old, met appellant Jenny Rose Basilan when the
latter visited her niece Wendy in the Soriano residence. Jenny Rose was, thus, no stranger to
Angela. On September 3, 1998, after the class of Angela has ended, Alma and Jenny Rose, who
were then outside the school campus, approached Angela and told her that her parents were waiting
for her at a restaurant. Angela initially refused to go with the two women, but because Alma held on
to her hand so tightly and poked a knife at her, Angela had no choice but to go with them. Upon
learning that their daughter had not arrived home from school, the spouses Soriano informed the
school staff, which reported the incident to the police force. After series of investigations and
monitoring of phone calls from Alma who was demanding ransom money for the release of Angela,
the police operatives accosted Alma in her residence and was able to rescue Angela. When informed
that his daughter had already been rescued, William Soriano, Angelas father rushed to the police
headquarters where he and Angela were reunited. Angela identified Alma as her kidnapper. An
information for kidnapping for ransom was filed against Alma and Jenny Roses, who later admitted
that she was one of Almas cohorts. In a police line-up, Angela identified Jenny Rose as one of her
kidnappers. The trial court found the accused guilty of the crime charged. On appeal, the appellants
aver that the trial courts reliance on Angelas testimony is misplaced because the records do not
show that Angela had the capacity to distinguish right from wrong when she testified in open court.
The appellants point out that she was merely six years old at the time. Although Angela took an
oath before she testified, the trial judge failed to ask any questions to determine whether or not
she could distinguish right from wrong, and comprehend the obligation of telling the truth before
the court. Hence, appellants argue that one of the standards in determining the credibility of a
child witness was not followed.
ISSUE: WON the testimony of Angela should be excluded.
HELD: NO. Section 1, Rule 132 of the Revised Rules of evidence provides that the examination of
witnesses shall be under oath or affirmation. An oath is defined as an outward pledge, given by the
person taking it that his attestation or promise is made under an immediate sense of his
responsibility to God. The object of the rule is to affect the conscience of the witness and thus
compel him to speak the truth, and also to lay him open to punishment for perjury in case he
willfully falsifies. A witness must be sensible to the obligation of an oath before he can be
permitted to testify. It is not, however, essential that he knows how he will be punished if he
testify falsely. Under modem statutes, a person is not disqualified as a witness simply because he is
unable to tell the nature of the oath administered to a witness.
In order that one may be competent as a witness, it is not necessary that he has a definite
knowledge of the difference between his duty to tell the truth after being sworn and before, or

that he be able to state it, but it is necessary that he be conscious that there is a difference. It
cannot be argued that simply because a child witness is not examined on the nature of the oath and
the need for her to tell the whole truth, the competency of the witness and the truth of her
testimony are impaired. If a party against whom a witness is presented believes that the witness is
incompetent or is not aware of his obligation and responsibility to tell the truth and the
consequence of him testifying falsely, such party may pray for leave to conduct a voire

dire examination on such witness to test his competency.

If a party admits proof to be taken in a case without an oath, after the testimony has been
acted upon by the court, and made the basis of a judgment, such party can no longer object to the
admissibility of the said testimony. He is estopped from raising the issue in the appellate court.
In this case, Angela was six years old when she testified. She took an oath to tell the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but the truth before she testified on direct examination. There was no
objection on the part of the accused to her competence and the prosecutions failure to propound
questions to determine whether she understood her obligation of telling the truth. Accused did not
even bother requesting the court for leave to question the child on this subject. It is too late in the
day for her to raise the issue.

G.R. No. 109662 February 21, 1995

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
RIZALDY GUAMOS alias "POKS", accused-appellant.
Facts: Michelle declared in open court that, on 21 September 1990, at around 4:00 o'clock in the
afternoon, while she was on her way from school to her grandfather's house, she was accosted by
Guamos. Guamos dragged her to the poultry house of her grandfather. There in the poultry house,
Guamos removed her panty, and inserted his penis into her sex organ. After satisfying his carnal
feelings, the accused Guamos warned her not to tell anyone about the incident, otherwise he would
strangle her. Two (2) days later, while Michelle's mother was collecting their clothes which needed
to be laundered, she discovered traces of blood in Michelle's underpants. She asked her daughter
about the traces of blood and Michelle, after a while, admitted that she and been sexually
assaulted. She told her parents that it was "Poks" who had sexually abused her.
Appellant Guamos raises the defense of denial and alibi. He maintains that he had been working at a
construction site near the house of Michelle's grandfather when the alleged rape was committed.
After he left his worksite at around 5:00 p.m., he proceeded to play basketball with his friends.
Several witnesses corroborated his story. In addition, Guamos seeks to discredit and exclude the
testimony of the rape victim upon the ground that she had not answered the questions posed to her
at cross-examination during trial.
The court a quo, after trial and in due time, found Guamos guilty of rape and sentenced him to

reclusion perpetua and to indemnify Michelle Dolorical in the amount of P30,000.00 and as well as to
pay her P40,000.00 as moral damages.
In this appeal, Guamos raises a lone assignment of error:
The trial court erred in finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of rape.
Appellant Guamos also asserts that the testimony of Michelle laying the sexual assault upon her at
his feet should not have been admitted because her testimony had not been subjected to crossexamination. This is a novel argument made possible by the curious way in which that crossexamination was handled by Guamos' counsel.

ISSUE: WON the testimony of the victim should be discredited.

It is, of course, the right of every party to cross-examine a witness "with sufficient fullness and
freedom to test his [or her] accuracy and truthfulness and freedom from interest or bias, or the

reverse, and to elicit all important facts bearing upon the issue." It is also the duty of the witness
to answer questions put to him or her, subject to certain exceptions. In the instant case, defense
counsel did not ask the Court to enforce his right and to compel the witness (Michelle) to perform
her duty. As noted earlier, the trial judge had instructed defense counsel to simplify his questions.
Defense counsel, for his part, neither complained about this directive nor complied with it.
Counsel for appellant seeks to make much of the fact that Michelle Dolorical did not answer some
of the questions of defense counsel on cross-examination. We do not find, however, that this
failure detracts from the admissibility or credibility of Michelle's testimony. Firstly, this appears
to the Court to be a case of failure of Michelle to answer some questions rather than an obstinate
refusal to do so. In formulating those questions on cross-examination, defense counsel obviously did
not take into account that he was cross-examining a child of tender age (Michelle was approximately
nine [9] years of age at the time she gave her testimony in open court) susceptible to confusion and
probably easily intimidated.
The questions posed by defense counsel to Michelle appear to us to have been long, elaborate and
circumlocutious difficult to comprehend even for adults. Thus, at one point, the trial court directed
the defense counsel to simplify his questions. Defense counsel, after that directive from the trial
court, tried once more but did not succeed in simplifying his questions. Promptly thereafter,
defense counsel ceased cross-examination after stating for the record that Michelle was "unable to
answer the question propounded by [him]" and that such as counsel would "just leave it to the sound
discretion of the honorable court. No further questions." 9 It is clear to this Court that defense
counsel exercised no substantial effort to present intelligible questions to complaining witness
Michelle Dolorical designed to elicit straightforward answers. We consider that she, in all
probability, simply failed to grasp some of the questions put to her on cross-examinations. The
defense had made it very difficult if not practically impossible for her to answer those questions
intelligently and truthfully.


G.R. No. 118509 December 1, 1995

Philippine Remnants Co., Inc. constituted BPI as its trustee to manage, administer, and sell its real
estate property. One such piece of property placed under trust was the disputed lot at Pasig,
Metro Manila. Pedro Revilla, Jr., a licensed real estate broker was given formal authority by BPI to
sell the lot in cash for P1,000.00 per square meter. This arrangement was concurred in by the
owners of the Philippine Remnants. Broker Revilla contacted Alfonso Lim of petitioner company who
agreed to buy the land. On July 8, 1988, petitioner's officials and Revilla were given permission by
Rolando V. Aromin, BPI Assistant Vice-President, to enter and view the property they were buying.
On July 9, 1988, Revilla formally informed BPI that he had procured a buyer, herein petitioner. On
July 11, 1988, petitioner's officials, Alfonso Lim and Albino Limketkai, went to BPI to confirm the
sale. They were entertained by Vice-President Merlin Albano and Asst. Vice-President Aromin.
Petitioner asked that the price of P1,000.00 per square meter be reduced to P900.00 while Albano
stated the price to be P1,100.00. The parties finally agreed that the lot would be sold at P1,000.00
per square meter to be paid in cash. Alfonso Lim asked if it was possible to pay on terms. It was the
understanding, however, that should the term payment be disapproved, then the price shall be paid
in cash. Alfonso Lim, on the same date, July 11, 1988, wrote BPI through Merlin Albano embodying
the payment initially of 10% and the remaining 90% within a period of 90 days. Two or three days
later, petitioner learned that its offer to pay on terms had been frozen. Alfonso Lim went to BPI on
July 18, 1988 and tendered the full payment of P33,056,000.00 to Albano. The payment was
refused because Albano stated that the authority to sell that particular piece of property in Pasig
had been withdrawn from his unit. The same check was tendered to BPI Vice-President Nelson Bona
who also refused to receive payment.

An action for specific performance with damages was thereupon filed by petitioner against BPI. In
the course of the trial, BPI informed the trial court that it had sold the property under litigation
to NBS. The complaint was thus amended to include NBS.

TC: there was perfected sale between petitioner and BPI. It ordered to cancel the TCT of NBS
CA: Reversed.



WON there was perfected contract of sale between petitioner and BPI. YES
WON respondent Court of Appeals erred in ruling that the statute of frauds is applicable.

1. The negotiation or preparation stage started with the authority given by Philippine Remnants to
BPI to sell the lot, followed by (a) the authority given by BPI and confirmed by Philippine Remnants
to broker Revilla to sell the property, (b) the offer to sell to Limketkai, (c) the inspection of the
property and finally (d) the negotiations with Aromin and Albano at the BPI offices.

The perfection of the contract took place when Aromin and Albano, acting for BPI, agreed to sell
and Alfonso Lim with Albino Limketkai, acting for petitioner Limketkai, agreed to buy the disputed
lot at P1,000.00 per square meter. Aside from this there was the earlier agreement between
petitioner and the authorized broker. There was a concurrence of offer and acceptance, on the
object, and on the cause thereof.

The fact that the deed of sale still had to be signed and notarized does not mean that no contract
had already been perfected. A sale of land is valid regardless of the form it may have been entered

2. In Abrenica vs. Gonda (34 Phil. 739 [1916]) wherein it was held that contracts infringing the
Statute of Frauds are ratified when the defense fails to object, or asks questions on crossexamination.

In the instant case, counsel for respondents cross-examined petitioner's witnesses at length on the
contract itself, the purchase price, the tender of cash payment, the authority of Aromin and
Revilla, and other details of the litigated contract. Under the Abrenica rule, even assuming that
parol evidence was initially inadmissible, the same became competent and admissible because of the
cross-examination, which elicited evidence proving the evidence of a perfected contract. The crossexamination on the contract is deemed a waiver of the defense of the Statute of Frauds. The
reason for the rule is that as pointed out in Abrenica "if the answers of those witnesses were
stricken out, the cross-examination could have no object whatsoever, and if the questions were put
to the witnesses and answered by them, they could only be taken into account by connecting them

with the answers given by those witnesses on direct examination ".

Moreover, under Article 1403 of the Civil Code, an exception to the unenforceability of contracts
pursuant to the Statute of Frauds is the existence of a written note or memorandum evidencing the
contract. The memorandum may be found in several writings, not necessarily in one document. The
memorandum or memoranda is/are written evidence that such a contract was entered into. While
there is no written contract of sale of the Pasig property executed by BPI in favor of plaintiff,
there are abundant notes and memoranda extant in the records of this case evidencing the
elements of a perfected contract.

4. People vs Gener De Guzman

G.R. No. 117217. December 2, 1996
VICTIM: Gilda B. Ambray - 32-year old wife of Aquilino Flores Ambray and a mother of two
ACCUSED: Gener De Guzman
DOCTRINE: The principal object of re-direct examination is to prevent injustice to the witness and
the party who has called him by affording an opportunity to the witness to explain the testimony
given on cross-examination, and to explain any apparent contradiction or inconsistency in his
statements, an opportunity which is ordinarily afforded to him during cross-examination. The redirect examination serves the purpose of completing the answer of a witness, or of adding a new
matter which has been omitted, or of correcting a possible misinterpretation of testimony.
Complainant Gilda Ambray filed with the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Bacoor, Cavite, a
complaint charging accused Gener de Guzman y Sico with the crime of rape allegedly committed
at 9:00 p.m. of 31 March 1992 in Meadow Wood, Executive Village, Barangay Panapaan,
Bacoor, Cavite. The accused was arrested but was released on bail. The accused pleaded not
guilty upon arraignment. The trial court cancelled the bail bond of Gener de Guzman on the ground
that the evidence of his guilt was strong for an offense punishable reclusion perpetua and was thus
re-arrested. His motion for reconsideration of cancellation of bail bond was denied by trial court.
PROSECTION VERSION (2 Witnesses: Resurreccion Talub Quiocho, a kumadre of the accused,
and Aquilino Flores Ambray, the husband of the complainant)
Gilda was homebound from Anson Department Store where she worked as a sales clerk and
was at the gate of Meadow Wood Subdivision, Panapaan, Bacoor, Cavite, at about 8:45 p.m. waiting
for a tricycle ride toward her residence. She noticed the accused, then wearing army pants, sitting
at the guardhouse, she approached him and asked him some questions. He answered in a stammering
manner. The complainant recognized the accused very well because it was summertime and the gate
of the subdivision was well-lit. She started to walk when accused offered her a ride to which she
agreed. The accused took a different route and would once stop in a while, telling her that the
motor was not in good condition. Upon reaching Phase II of the subdivision, near an unfinished
house, the accused requested that she push the tricycle. She alighted and offered him P5.00 but
was refused. Upon walking 10 steps, the accused embraced her from behind, covered her mouth
and held her neck tightly. The accused then dragged her to a vacant lot ten meters away from
the unfinished house. She attempted to shout again, but he threatened to kill her if she made
noise. He tried to raise her T-shirt while holding her neck tightly. He shouted and commanded her
to raise her T-shirt, which she obligingly followed because of fear. He removed her bra and kissed
her breast. She shouted Saklolo! Tulungan ninyo ako, but the accused covered her mouth and again
held her neck that she could hardly breathe. He held her hand tightly and positioned himself on top
of her. He unzipped her pants and pulled it down her knees. When she tried to stand, he pushed
her down and, in the process, was able to completely pull down her pants and underwear. He warned
her: Huwag kang sisigaw, papatayin kita. The accused took her hand and let her hold his penis to
make it stiff. The accused tried to insert his penis into her three times but only succeeded on

the third when Gilda became too weak to struggle against the accuseds sexual advances. He
then pulled out his penis and fingered her private organ for a short while. The accused then warned
Gilda not to tell anybody, otherwise, he would kill her and all members of her family. He told her
that she was his third victim but the two did not complain. When Gilda arrived home, she told her
mother and her husband, Aquilino Flores Ambray, that she was raped by the accused.
At Midnight of March 31 1992, Gilda with her mother reported the incident to the
President of the Homeowners Association who then sent an investigator PO3 Efren Bautista, to
whom Gilda described her assailant as a tricycle driver, tall, strong, with curly hair and in army
cut with trycicle as blue in color with the name Dimple at the back. Her medico legal confirmed
presence of spermatozoa and physical injuries indicative of force applied. The accused parents
wife and children and sister in law met Gilda to ask her forgiveness but was to no avail.
DEFENSE VERSION ( Witness: Alfredo Fernandez and Teotimo Camogong)
After traveling about half a kilometer, his tricycle malfunctioned. He told Gilda that she
better walk home because her house was already near. He pushed his tricycle home, and on his way,
one Alfredo Fernandez approached him and helped him push the tricycle towards his home, and
upon arrival thereat, he told Alfredo not to leave at once. At around 9:10 p.m., they started to drink
liquor until 11:00 p.m., and after their drinking spree, he cleaned their mess and slept.
3) Whether or not the accused should be convicted of 3 counts of Rape as per testimony of
Gilda on Re-direct examination instead of only one?
1 AND 2: YES, the two issues and the determination of the guilt of the accused depend primarily
on the credibility of the complainant Gilda Ambray, since only she and the accused witnessed the
incident when it happened. Her testimony alone, if credible, would render the accuseds conviction
A meticulous assessment of Gildas testimony demonstrates beyond doubt the truthfulness
of her story, which she narrated in a categorical, straightforward and candid manner. Further
strengthening her credibility in recounting her ordeal at the hands of the accused was her conduct
immediately after the sexual assault. She ran home without looking back, and upon her arrival she
reported the rape to her husband and her mother at once and to the President of Homeowners
association. When the policemen brought the accused to the residence of Antonio, Gilda forthwith
pointed to the accused as the person who raped her. Gilda voluntarily submitted herself to a
medical examination at the Las Pias Hospital and then to an examination of her private parts by Dr.
Bernales of the NBI. She submitted herself to investigation and filed a complaint the following day.
The quickness and spontaneity of these deeds manifested the natural reactions of a virtuous

woman who had just undergone sexual molestation against herself, and evinced nothing more
than her instant resolve to denounce the beast who criminally abused and ravished her, and to
protect her honor. Moreover, she rejected the plea for forgiveness sought by the accuseds
parents, wife, and children, then suffered the travails of a public trial which necessarily exposed
her to humiliation and embarrassment

3) NO,

only one consummated act of Rape.

On direct examination, Gilda categorically declared that the accused tried to thrice insert
his penis into her vagina. He failed in the first and second attempts because she struggled, but
succeeded on the third because she was already weak. While it may be true that on crossexamination she testified that she was raped once, yet on re-direct examination she said that she
was raped three times, no inconsistency at all may be deduced therefrom. There was merely
confusion as to the legal qualifications of the three separate acts, i.e., Gildas answers were
conclusions of law. A witness is not permitted to testify as to a conclusion of law, among
which, legal responsibility is one of the most conspicuous. A witness, no matter how skillful, is not
to be asked or permitted to testify as to whether or not a party is responsible to the law. Law in
the sense here used embraces whatever conclusions belonging properly to the court. What is clear
is that there were, at least, two acts of attempted rape and one consummated rape, committed in
light of the testimony of Gilda. The information, however, charged the accused with only one act of
rape; hence, consistent with the constitutional right of the accused to be informed of the nature
and cause of the accusation against him, he cannot be held liable for more than what he was
charged. There can only be one conviction for rape if the information charges only one offense,
even if the evidence shows three separate acts of sexual intercourse

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. JESUS PEREZ y SEBUNGA, accusedappellant.

FACTS: On January 17, 1997, about noontime, in Sitio Baco, Barangay Macarang, Palauig, Zambales,
six-year old Mayia Ponseca was walking along Sulok on her way to her house in Sitio Camiling when
appellant Jesus Sebunga Perez approached her. Appellant introduced himself as Johnny and
immediately afterwards, strangled her neck and boxed her abdomen. Still in shock, Mayia fell down.
At that point, a dog arrived and barked at them.
Mayia was raped then the appellant raised his pants and ran away. Notwithstanding that her vagina
was bleeding profusely and her dress now covered with her own blood, Mayia managed to stand up
and seek help. She ran to the house of Virginia Giron, which was only fifty (50) meters away from
the scene of the crime. Giron saw a confused Mayia approaching her with blood dripping from her
private parts and thighs. When Giron asked Mayia what happened, the latter shouted "ni-rape ako,
ni-rape ako."
When her parents asked Mayia if she knew her assailant, the latter answered the name Johnny.
The couple brought their daughter to the President Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Hospital for
medical examination. Because of the extent of the damage on her genitals, Mayia undertook an IV
sedation operation to repair her lacerations. During her confinement at the hospital, the Ponseca
couple reported the incident to the Palauig PNP Police Station and recounted their daughters
narration including the name of the culprit as Johnny who, according to their neighbors, was a
worker at the fishpond of Bartolome Tolentino . Police operatives then proceeded to the said
fishpond and arrested appellant. After her discharge from the hospital, Mayia learned that
appellant was already apprehended. In the police station, she was able to positively identify the
After trial, the court a quo rendered judgment against Perez for rape.
Appellant contends that his identification in open court by Mayia was highly irregular. Appellant
points out that the prosecutor had already identified him as the man wearing an orange t-shirt
when the prosecutor asked Mayia to identify her alleged rapist. Appellant stresses that when Mayia
identified him in open court, she referred to him as a man named Johnny and did not give any
description or any identifying mark. Moreover, appellant claims he was alone in the cell when Mayia
identified him after the police arrested him. Appellant bewails that the identification was not done
with the usual police line-up.
ISSUE: Whether or not the court erred and conviction should be reversed.
HELD: NO. As a rule, leading questions are not allowed. However, the rules provide for exceptions
when the witness is a child of tender years as it is usually difficult for such child to state facts
without prompting or suggestion. Leading questions are necessary to coax the truth out of their
reluctant lips. In the case at bar, the trial court was justified in allowing leading questions to Mayia
as she was evidently young and unlettered, making the recall of events difficult, if not uncertain.

The trend in procedural law is to give wide latitude to the courts in exercising control over the
questioning of a child witness. The reasons are spelled out in our Rule on Examination of a Child
Witness, which took effect on December 15, 2000, namely, (1) to facilitate the ascertainment of
the truth, (2) to ensure that questions are stated in a form appropriate to the developmental level
of the child, (3) to protect children from harassment or undue embarrassment, and (4) avoid waste
of time. Leading questions in all stages of examination of a child are allowed if the same will further
the interests of justice.
The Court has repeatedly stated that it is highly inconceivable for a child of tender age,
inexperienced in the ways of the world, to fabricate a charge of defloration, undergo a medical
examination of her private part, subject herself to public trial, and tarnish her family's honor and
reputation, unless she was motivated by a strong desire to seek justice for the wrong committed
against her.
Mayia's simple, positive and straightforward recounting on the witness stand of her harrowing
experience lends credence to her accusation. Her tender age belies any allegation that her
accusation was a mere invention impelled by some ill-motive. As the Court has stressed in numerous
cases, when a woman or a child victim says that she has been raped, she in effect says all that is
necessary to show that rape was indeed committed.
Mayia had a clear sight of appellants face since the rape occurred at noontime. Her proximity to
appellant during the sexual assault leaves no doubt as to the correctness of her identification for a
man and woman cannot be physically closer to each other than during the sexual act. Thus, even if
Mayia did not give the identifying marks of appellant, her positive identification of appellant
sufficed to establish clearly the identity of her sexual assailant.
Appellants claim that the police improperly suggested to Mayia to identify appellant is without
basis. True, Mayia did not identify appellant in a police line-up when Mayia identified appellant in his
cell. However, appellant, in his testimony admitted that he had two other companions in his cell.
Moreover, the Court has held that there is no law requiring a police line-up as essential to a proper
identification. Even without a police line-up, there could still be a proper identification as long as
the police did not suggest such identification to the witnesses. The records are bereft of any
indication that the police suggested to Mayia to identify appellant as the rapist.
Mayias identification in open court of appellant as her rapist dispels any doubt as to the proper
identification of appellant. Mayia positively identified and pointed to appellant as her rapist.


DORIA, Accused-Appellant
PROSECUTION: At about 5:00 p.m. on August 17, 1990, Pfc. Alexander Corpuz of the AntiNarcotics Unit of the Kalookan City Police Station received a phone call at his office. The
Informant told Pfc. Corpuz that a driver of a tricycle with Plate No. NM-4831 was about to go to
the corner of Gen. Tinio and Reparo Streets, Bagong Barrio, Kalookan City, to buy "shabu" from one
Teresita Aranda. The policemen arrived at the designated place shortly after 5:00 p.m. A few
minutes later, the policemen noticed a tricycle with Plate No. NM-4831 coming from Gen. Tinio
street. After a couple of minutes, Teresita Aranda came out of the compound at Suntan Street and
went to the direction of the parked tricycle at Gen. Concepcion and Reparo streets, Kalookan City.
Teresita Aranda was alone when she approached the tricycle and was seen carrying a shoulder bag.
Just before Teresita Aranda boarded the tricycle, she handed over what appeared to be small
plastic bags to the tricycle driver, who was subsequently identified as Benito Villanueva. Pfc.
Adelante immediately approached the two suspects. When he saw Benito Villanueva about to throw
away the two plastic bags handed to him by Teresita Aranda, Pfc. Adelante grabbed the hand of
Benito Villanueva and recovered two plastic transparent bags containing suspected
Methamphetamine Hydrochloride. Pfc. Adelante then shouted: Silay positive. Positive yan." Pat.
Sengco, on the other hand, asked Teresita Aranda to open her closed right hand. Teresita Aranda
complied and Pat. Sengco found one small transparent plastic bag also containing suspected
Methamphetamine Hydrochloride. The suspects were thereafter brought to the Kalookan City
Police Station for investigation.
DEFENSE: The accused-appellant was a resident and has been a resident of No. 70 San Juan, Pasay
City since 1972. At about 5:00 P.M. on August 17, 1990 she went to the house of a friend Melissa at
Bagong Barrio, Kalookan City. The said friend, Melissa had just given birth but didn't see her
friend. She left and took a tricycle along Reparo St., Bagong Barrio, Kalookan City on her way back
to her residence at Pasay City. As the tricycle was moving along Reparo St., policemen suddenly
appeared and arrested the tricycle driver whom the accused-appellant later came to know as Benito
Villanueva; she was then forced to alight from the said tricycle and likewise arrested. It is also
established that at the time the accused-appellant was arrested there was no warrant for her
arrest. In fact when she was made to alight from the tricycle and brought to the police
headquarters she was not informed why they were bringing her to the police headquarters.
During the trial, Benito Villanueva was presented as prosecution witness. The trial court rendered
its judgment, finding appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of delivering methamphetamine
hydrochloride or shabu in violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act; hence, this appeal.
ISSUE: Whether or not the hostile witness's testimony is admissible.
HELD:YES. There was no showing that Villanueva was declared by the trial court as a hostile
witness as required in Section 12 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Evidence.
"SEC. 12. Party may not impeach his own witness. Except with respect to witnesses referred to in

paragraphs (d) and (e) of Section 10, the party producing a witness is not allowed to impeach his
A witness may be considered as unwilling or hostile only if so declared by the court upon adequate
showing of his adverse interest, unjustified reluctance to testify, or his having misled the party
into calling him to the witness stand. (Italics supplied)."
The prosecution also failed to show that Villanueva had an adverse interest in the case, or was
unjustifiably reluctant to testify, or had misled the prosecution into calling him to the witness
stand. Hence, Villanueva cannot be considered as a hostile witness and the prosecution is bound by
his testimony that nothing was delivered to him by Appellant.
The telling blow that devastated the case of the People of the Philippines was the presentation of
Benito Villanueva as prosecution witness. Villanueva, the other accused and the driver of the
tricycle which appellant was riding when arrested, was presented to elicit from him the identity of
the person who delivered the drugs to him. However, said witness when asked to identify the person
who delivered to him the said drugs, did not name Appellant.
The prosecution has failed to prove that appellant "sold and delivered" the dangerous drug to
Villanueva. It has also failed to prove that appellant "knew" that what she delivered was a dangerous
drug. If the prosecution was able to prove that appellant "sold and delivered" the drug to
Villanueva, it can then be presumed that appellant "knew" that the same drug was dangerous.


Facts: Antonio Plasencia, Roberto Descartin and Joelito (Julito) Descartin were accused of robbery
with homicide upon Herminio Mansueto. Joelito was invited to the police headquarters to shed light
on the case. Later, Joelito, waiving his right to counsel, executed a "confession." When arraigned,
all the accused entered a plea of "not guilty" to the charge; whereupon, trial commenced.
The main defense interposed is one of alibi. Antonio stated that on the whole day of the incident,
he was out at sea fishing with his son. Joelito, on his part, asserted that he was in Barrio Baod. He
returned to his house, he said, only the day after. Roberto ("Ruby"), Joelito's uncle, testified that
on that fateful day, he was in Samoco Purok 2, Iligan City, and then left for Cebu on 06 December
1984 only after receiving a telegraph that Joelito was implicated in the crime.
The Regional Trial Court 14 did not give credence to the defense of alibi. It convicted the three
accused of murder instead of robbery with homicide. Finding conspiracy, the trial court ruled that
the killing was qualified by both treachery and abuse of superior strength with the latter, however,
being absorbed by the former.
The instant appeal was interposed by the three convicted appellants.
Appellant Antonio Plasencia attacks the credibility of the prosecution's lone eyewitness, Francisca
Espina, alleging that she is a pejured witness who has an axe to grind against him because his dog
had once bitten Francisca's child. Appellant Roberto Descartin, likewise challenging Francisca
Espina's credibility because of her alleged inconsistencies, faults the trial court for allowing the
witness to glance at the notes written on her palm while testifying. He also argues that his alibi,
being corroborated, should have been given weight. Appellant Joelito Descartin, in assailing the
credibility of Francisca, has noted her "jittery actuation" while giving her testimony. He also
questions the findings of the ponente for not being the presiding judge during the examination of
Francisca on the witness stand.
It is asserted that the testimony of Francisca Espina should not be given worth since, while
testifying, she would at times be seen reading some notes written on her left palm.
Issue: Whether or not the use of memory aids during an examination of a witness affects his
Held: No. Section 16, Rule 132, of the Rules of Court states:
Sec. 16.
When witness may refer to memorandum. A witness may be allowed to refresh his
memory respecting a fact, by anything written or recorded by himself or under his direction at the
time when the fact occurred, or immediately thereafter, or at any other time when the fact was
fresh in his memory and he knew that the same was correctly written or recorded; but in such case
the writing or record must be produced and may be inspected by the adverse party, who may, if he
chooses, cross-examine the witness upon it and may read it in evidence. So, also, a witness may
testify from such a writing or record, though he retain no recollection of the particular facts, if he
is able to swear that the writing or record correctly stated the transaction when made; but such

evidence must be received with caution.

Allowing a witness to refer to her notes rests on the sound discretion of the trial court. In this
case, the exercise of that discretion has not been abused; the witness herself has explained that
she merely wanted to be accurate on dates and like details. Appellants see inadvertency on
Francisca's appearing to be "jittery" on the witness stand. Nervousness and anxiety of a witness is
a natural reaction particularly in the case of those who are called to testify for the first time. The
real concern, in fact, should be when they show no such emotions.
Francisca did fail in immediately reporting the killing to the police authorities. Delay or vacillation,
however, in making a criminal accusation does not necessarily adulterate the credibility of the
witness. Francisca, in her case, has expressed fears for her life considering that the assailants,
being her neighbors, could easily exact retribution on her. Also, the hesitancy in reporting the
occurrence of a crime in rural areas is not unknown. Francisca's inability to respond to the summons
for another appearance in court for further questioning was satisfactorily explained by the
prosecution. Francisca at the time just had a miscarriage and was found to be too weak to travel.
The recall of the witness was, after all, at the sound discretion of the trial court.
The claim of appellant Roberto Descartin that Francisca and her husband, a tuba-gatherer, owed
him P300.00, and the assertion made by appellant Antonio Plasencia on the dog-biting story involving
Francisca's son truly were too petty to consider. It would be absurd to think that Francisca, for
such trivial reasons was actually impelled to falsely implicate appellants for so grave an offense as
Appellants questioned Francisca's ability to recognize them from a distance. Francisca knew
appellants well; they all were her neighbors while Antonio Plasencia himself was her cousin. The
crime occurred at around three o'clock in the afternoon only about fifty (50) meters away from
her. With an unobstructed view, Francisca's positive identification of the culprits should be a
foregone matter. The alleged inconsistencies in Francisca's testimony and in her sworn statement
cover matters of little significance. Minor inconsistencies in the testimonies of witnesses do not
detract from their credibility; on the contrary, they serve to strengthen their credibility and are
taken as badges of truth rather than as indicia of falsehood even as they also erase suspicion of
rehearsed testimony.
All considered, the case against the appellants has been proven beyond reasonable doubt even with
the retracted extra-judicial admission of Joelito Descartin. The testimony of a single witness, if
found to be credible, is adequate for conviction. The defense of alibi hardly can overcome the
positive identification of an unprejudiced eyewitness.


PLAINTIFF: People of the Philippines
DOCTRINE: Entire ruling.
Antonio Plasencia, Roberto Descartin and Joelito (Julito) Descartin were accused of robbery with
homicide for the death of Herminio Mansueto.
Herminio Mansueto left on his bicycle for Barangay Patao, Bantayan, Cebu. He had with him cash
which he would use to purchase hogs from a certain "Ruby." (Roberto Descartin)
In Patao, Francisca Espina, also known in the locality as Pansing and whose house was just across the
street from the respective residences of the three accused, saw at the roadside Herminio
Mansueto and Roberto Descartin alias "Ruby" engaged in conversation. Pansing approached them and
asked Mansueto if he would be interested in buying two of her pigs for P1,400.00. Mansueto said
"yes" and promised that he would be right back.
Mansueto and Ruby meantime proceeded to the latter's piggery. Joelito Descartin and his brotherin-law Rene were also seen going to the place. After some time, Pansing noticed Joelito take
Mansueto's bicycle. Believing that Mansueto was already preparing to leave and in her desire to
catch up with him, Pansing promptly walked towards the piggery which was around 100 meters away
from her house. She could see Mansueto leaning on the pigsty with Ruby on his right side and
Antonio Plasencia alias "Tonying" on his left; behind was Joelito. 2 Midway, she was halted on her
tracks; she suddenly saw Antonio stab Mansueto. The latter staggered towards Ruby who himself
then delivered another stab blow. Mansueto fell on his back. Joelito started hitting Mansueto on
the forehead while Rene held Mansueto's legs.
The following day, Mansuetos daughter Rosalinda reported to Francisca Tayo, the barangay captain,
that her father had not returned home. Tayo proceeded to Putian, which was in Mansueto's
itinerary, and then to Ruby's piggery in Patao, where a youngster, who turned out to be Ruby's son,
innocently informed her that Mansueto's bicycle was taken by Joelito.
In the morning of 30 November 1984, Patrolman Desquitado of the Bantayan police went back to
the piggery. This time, the police learned from Pansing herself that Joelito took Mansueto's
bicycle. Joelito was invited to the police headquarters to shed light on the case. Later, Joelito,
waiving his right to counsel, executed a "confession."
Joelito narrated that, upon Ruby's instruction, he brought the bicycle to the piggery. Unexpectedly,
he said, Tonying Plasencia stabbed Mansueto. Stunned, Joelito tried to run away but Tonying
stopped him. Tonying then dragged the victim to a nearby house. Threatened by Tonying, Joelito
agreed to later return to where the victim's body was dragged. At around eleven o'clock that
evening, Tonying and Joelito placed the body in a sack. Tonying asked Ruby to allow the use of the

latter's pumpboat to ferry the body. Tonying paddled the pumpboat to the island of Po-Po'o where
he picked up some pieces of stones. Then, again paddling the pumpboat farther away from the
island, he ordered Joelito to start the engine of the boat. They headed for the islet of Gilotongin
(Hilotongan). On the way, Tonying filled the sack with stones and, using a rope, tied to it the body
of the victim. Tonying then unloaded their cargo into the sea.
Guided by Joelito, members of the Bantayan police force headed for the islet of Hilotongan on two
pumpboats in the area pinpointed to be the place where the body was dumped. On the second day of
the search, the group was informed that the body had already surfaced near the vicinity of the
search and delivered to the municipal building.
The main defense interposed is one of alibi.
The Regional Trial Court
accused of murder.


did not give credence to the defense of alibi. It convicted the three

The instant appeal was interposed by the three convicted appellants.

Appellant Roberto Descartin, likewise challenged Francisca Espina's credibility because of her
alleged inconsistencies, faults the trial court for allowing the witness to glance at the notes written
on her palm while testifying.
It is asserted that the testimony of Francisca Espina should not be given worth since, while
testifying, she would at times be seen reading some notes written on her left palm. Thus
Q: May I see your left hand, may I see what is written there?
A: Witness showing to the court her left palm and the following words have been written in
her palm in ball pen handwritten words and number of the pumpboat No. 56 and there is
another word "petsa" and there are words which cannot be deciphered and all found in the
palm of the left hand.
That is all.
Q: Mrs. witness, you cannot deny of what these physical evidences or writings on the palm
of your left hand. I want you to be honest, the law will not allow you to lie, you are subject
to punishment and penalty. My question is, who wrote this on the palm of your left hand?
A: I was the one who wrote this.
Q: Why did you write that down?
A: I was the one who wrote this.

Q: Why, what was your purpose of writing that in your palm?

A: I wrote this in my palm because I wanted to be sure of what time the incident happened,
was the same as that I wrote in my palm.
Q: And who furnished you the data in which you wrote in the palm of your hand?
A: I was the one who made that.
Q: You don't understand my question. You wrote that writing but where did you get that
A: This is just of what I know.
Q: Since you claim to have all this knowledge of your mind, why did you find it necessary to
write that in the palm of your hand and I notice during the trial that you used to look in
your palm, why, is that necessary in your believe (sic) to testify here to what you knew
about the incident.
A: Because of the fact that I have an headache.
Q: When did this headache occur?
A: After I left my house because my sick child.
Whether or not the testimony of the witness should be given credit.
Yes. The use of memory aids during an examination of a witness is not altogether proscribed.
Section 16, Rule 132, of the Rules of Court states:
Sec. 16. When witness may refer to memorandum . A witness may be allowed to refresh
his memory respecting a fact, by anything written or recorded by himself or under his
direction at the time when the fact occurred, or immediately thereafter, or at any other
time when the fact was fresh in his memory and he knew that the same was correctly
written or recorded; but in such case the writing or record must be produced and may be
inspected by the adverse party, who may, if he chooses, cross-examine the witness upon it
and may read it in evidence. So, also, a witness may testify from such a writing or record,
though he retain no recollection of the particular facts, if he is able to swear that the
writing or record correctly stated the transaction when made; but such evidence must be
received with caution. (Emphasis supplied.)

Allowing a witness to refer to her notes rests on the sound discretion of the trial court. 23 In this
case, the exercise of that discretion has not been abused; the witness herself has explained that
she merely wanted to be accurate on dates and like details.
People vs Kempis
COURT; GENERALLY UPHELD ON APPEAL; REASON. The issue of credibility is to be resolved
primarily by the trial court because it is in a better position to decide the question, having heard
the witnesses and observed their deportment and manner of testifying during the trial. The trial
courts findings on the matter of credibility are thus entitled to the highest degree of respect and
will not be disturbed on appeal in the absence of any showing that it overlooked, misunderstood or
misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and substance which would have affected the
result of the case.
prevail over the positive identification of the accused.
REQUISITE TO PROSPER AS A DEFENSE. For it to prosper, it is not enough that an accused
show that he was somewhere else when the crime was committed; he must, more importantly,
demonstrate that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the crime.
Facts: Accused Teofilo Kempis, then a member of the Philippine Constabulary (PC), was initially
charged with two (2) counts of murder: for the stabbing of Antonio Miraflor and the shooting of
Lolito Rivero, grave threats and abuse of authority.
"That on or about the 15th day of September, 1988, in the Municipality of Mayorga, province of
Leyte, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused,
with deliberate intent to kill and with treachery and evident premeditation, did then and there
wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault, shot (sic) and wound one LOLITO RIVERO with
an M-16 rifle with which said accused had purposely provided himself, thereby causing and inflicting
upon him gunshot wounds on his body which caused his death.
In convicting the accused, the trial court relied on the prosecutions version which, except for the
name of the victim which should read Lolito Rivero and not Rivera, is succinctly, but faithfully,
summarized in the Brief for the Appellee as"At about 3:00 oclock in
the afternoon of September 15, 1988, Lolito Rivera was at his house located in Bgy. Talisay,
Mayorga, Leyte. Rivera had just butchered a pig and was cooking lunch for his guests which included
Carmencita Navarro, Corazon de Paz, Riveras common-law wife and Riveras sister Rosalina Adonis.
Suddenly, appellant Kempis a member of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) and a companion, Wilfredo
Bautista arrived at the yard of Riveras house on a board a motorcycle. Both were armed with
armalite rifles. Appellant insisted on bringing Rivera with them and directed Rivera who was
standing near the kitchen door to board the motorcycle. Rivera, however, declined saying that he
was cooking. Angered by such refusal, appellant successively fired his armalite rifle at Rivera
hitting the latters arm, chest and mouth while Bautista who stationed himself behind a banana tree
had his rifle Rivera died instantly.
Thereafter, appellant and Bautista boarded their motorcycle and left. Adonis went to the house of
the barangay captain to report the incident but since the latter was not there, Adonis immediately

proceeded to the Police Station at Mayorga, Leyte. Postmortem Examination shows that five of the
seven wounds inflicted on Rivera were gunshot wounds."
On the other hand, the accuseds version discloses that the incident in question actually occurred
on 16 September 1988 not on 15 September 1988 - and that he killed Lolito Rivero under
circumstances that could exempt or mitigate his liability.
"At about 3:00 oclock on September 16, 1988 not September 15, 1988 the accused, who was a
PC soldier, went to the house of one Lolito Rivero, at Barangay Talisay, Mayorga, Leyte, for the
purpose of advising the latter not to steal and create trouble in their town. Upon reaching Riveros
house, the accused met his common-law-wife Corazon de Paz Catanoy who had a visitor then by the
name of Francisca Rinoza. (Francisca Rinoza was there because she was demanding payment of
Corazons debt to her). When the accused asked from Corazon where Rivero was, she told the
accused that Rivero was in their kitchen doing something. At the time, the accused was carrying his
M-16 rifle slung on his left shoulder with its barrel pointing down. Upon reaching the door of the
kitchen, the accused did advise Rivero as he intended. Rivero told him `I will not do it again, Sir, as
I have just come out of jail. Hearing Riveros promise, the accused turned his back to leave. It was
at that juncture that Rivero immediately grabbed the accuseds M-16 rifle. They grappled for the
rifle until it went off and Rivero was hit. The latter died because of gunshot wounds."
As to the prosecutions claim that the incident occurred on 15 September 1988, the accused set up
the defense of alibi. According to him, he was in barangay Cabacungan, Dulag, Leyte specifically in
the house of Dominador Kempis from:jgc:cha"About 12:00 oclock noontime up to late afternoon."
for the wake of his cousin, Diosdado Kempis, who had been killed. Dominador Kempis testified that
the accused arrived at his house at about "1:00 oclock to 2:00 oclock" and left at about "6:00
oclock in the afternoon."
The trial court gave full faith and credit to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses and
pronounced that Lolito Rivero was in fact shot and killed by the accused on 15 September 1988. It
brushed aside the alibi interposed by the latter because Riveros place is located in the Municipality
of Mayorga which is adjacent to the Municipality of Dulag. It is in Dulag where the accused claims
to have been for the wake of Diosdado Kempis. The court a quo observed that "it would not have
been impossible for the accused to have gone to Bgy. Talisay in Mayorga) and kill Lolito as accused
admitted he owns a motorcycle." 16 Moreover, the court declared that the accused "was positively
identified by the prosecution witnesses that he killed Lolito Rivero on September 15, 1988."
Anent the accuseds claim of self-defense, the trial court rejected the same as it was of the
opinion that the accused, being a soldier, was more knowledgeable and trained in the use of firearms
than the victim, a mere farmer, "who at the time of the incident was not even armed with a bolo or
any weapon." The court added that "even granting . . . that Lolito was able to grab the gun . . .
Lolito . . . would have not know how to use it on the accused." It further observed that although the
accused reported the killing to the police, he failed to inform the latter that he had merely acted in

After the promulgation of the decision on 9 October 1990, the accused seasonably filed a Motion
for Reconsideration 19 alleging therein that the trial court erred (a) in not crediting him with the
mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender and (b) in ruling that the incident actually took place
on 16 September 1988 and not on 15 September 1988 as testified to by prosecution witnesses
Rosalina Adonis, Urbano Adonis and Carmen Navarro, and as evidenced by the death certificate of
the victim, a xerox copy of which was annexed to the motion. The prosecution opposed the motion.
20 In its Order of 8 January 1991, the trial court denied the motion. On 21 January 1991, the
accused filed his Notice of Appeal.
One of the documents identified in court during the murder trial was an Investigation
Report prepared by the Regional Inspector General. The prosecution, however, marked and offered
only in evidence a portion consisting of an entry in the Police blotter of Mayorga, Leyte. When the
trial court decided the cases against the accused, however, it took into consideration the entre
document consisting of no less than five pages.
Issue: Is the court correct in appreciating the whole document?
Held: No. the trial court should not have taken the rest into account in the formulation of its
conclusions, but only the portion offered in evidence. Sec. 17 of Rule 132 provides that "when
part of any act, declaration, conversation, writing or record is given in evidence by one party,
the whole of the same subject may be inquired into by the other, and when a detached act,
declaration, conversation, writing or record is given in evidence, ant other act, declaration,
conversation, writing or record necessary to its understanding may also be given in evidence."
Thus, in order that the rest of the Investigation Report may have been considered by the trial
court, the prosecution should have offered the same in evidence.
Nevertheless this error was of no consequence. The trial courts findings on the matter of
credibility are thus entitled to the highest degree of respect and will not be disturbed on appeal in
the absence of any showing that it overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied some facts or
circumstances of weight and substance which would have affected the result of the case. Our
careful review and evaluation of the testimonies of the witnesses for the prosecution as well as for
the defense yield no cogent or compelling reason to alter the findings of fact made by the trial
court. No mitigating circumstance has been duly proven or even invoked in the appeal. Wherefore,
the appealed decision is hereby AFFIRMED.