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3. PEOPLE VS. FIGUEROA, 335 SCRA 349


Under Art. III, Section 12 [1] of the Constitution, a suspect in custodial
investigation must be:
1.
2.
3.

informed of his right to remain silent;


warned that anything he says can be and will be used against
him;
told that he has the right to counsel, and that if he is indigent,
a lawyer will be appointed to represent him.

In this case, accused-appellant was given no more than a perfunctory recitation


of his rights, signifying nothing more than a feigned compliance with the
constitutional requirements. (People vs. Samolde, July 31, 2000)
It is always incumbent on the prosecution to prove at the trial that, prior to
in-custody questioning, the confessant was informed of his constitutional rights. The
presumption of regularity of official acts does not prevail over the constitutional
presumption of innocence. Hence, in the absence of proof that the arresting officers
complied with the above constitutional safeguards, extrajudicial statements,
whether inculpatory or exculpatory, made during the custodial investigation, are
inadmissible not only against the declarant but with more so against 3rd persons.
THIS IS SO EVEN IF SUCH STATEMENTS ARE GOSPEL TRUTH AND VOLUNTARILY
GIVEN.
Such statements are useless EXCEPT AS EVIDENCE AGAINST THE VERY
POLICE AUTHORITIES WHO VIOLATED THE SUSPECTS RIGHTS.

4. PEOPLE V DUENAS, 426 SCRA 248


Appellant was a convicted felon for the crime of homicide[4] in Criminal Case No.
1414 in the Regional Trial Court, Branch 66, Baler, Aurora. He was serving sentence
in the Iwahig Prison Farm, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, when he escaped from
confinement on July 11, 1995.
On November 29, 1996, at around 8:00 a.m., Cesar Friginal was cutting grass in
his rice field in Sitio Gabgab, Brgy. Buhangin, Baler, Aurora, when he heard two
gunshots. He instinctively turned to the direction where he heard the shots and,
from about a hundred meters away, saw a short man wearing green clothes
running away. At first, he ignored the occurrence but when he saw people trooping
to the vicinity, he joined the crowd and there saw a dead woman on the ground.
The woman was later identified as his cousin and neighbor, Elva Ka Elving RamosJacob.[5]

On December 6, 1996, Dr. Nenita S. Hernandez, municipal health officer of


Baler, Aurora, conducted a post mortemexamination on the victim. Her autopsy
report showed the following:
I - Head:
1. wound, gunshot, lacerated
II - Arm:
1. wound lacerated 4 cm. long, lateral aspect, right wrist.
CAUSE OF DEATH:
The most probable cause of death was brain damage and hypovelmic shock
due to gunshot wounds of the brain.[6]
In a manifestation, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) narrated what it
viewed as the factual antecedents of the case:
On December 18, 1996, appellant tried to enter the house of one Benny
Poblete in Brgy. Buhangin, Baler, Aurora, without permission. Benny and his father
Harold Poblete tied appellants hands until the police arrived. Police Officer Noel C.
Palmero then apprehended and detained appellant at the Baler Police Station.
The next day, or on December 19, 1996, appellant sought voluntary
confinement for safekeeping because there were threats upon his life brought about
by his involvement in the aforementioned incident of theft against the Pobletes.
Right after his apprehension, appellant intimated to Police Officer Palmero that
he has information regarding the death of Ka Elving. Police Officer Palmero then
instructed appellant to think about it over (sic) first.
Four days after or on December 23, 1996, Police Officer Palmero asked the still
detained appellant if he was ready to divulge the information regarding Ka Elvings
death, to which appellant answered yes. Appellant was then informed of his
constitutional rights, including the right to secure the services of a lawyer of his own
choice. Police Officer Palmero told appellant that if he cannot afford the services of
counsel, he would even be provided with one for free.
By eleven oclock that same morning, Atty. Josefina S. Angara, upon the polices
invitation, arrived at the Baler Police Station to talk to appellant. Atty. Angara spoke
with appellant in private for about thirty (30) minutes. Appellant blamed Benny for
kicking him and causing him to suffer chest pains. Atty. Angara asked appellant
what really happened. Before long, appellant admitted that he was commissioned
by Benny to kill the victim. Atty. Angara warned him of the seriousness of his
implications but appellant was adamant in confessing to the murder of Ka Elving.
The lawyer-client conference was briefly interrupted by lunchtime. By one-thirty in
the afternoon, however, the inquisition resumed. Between the hours of three thirty
and four oclock in the afternoon, appellant completed hisSinumpaang
Salaysay where he confessed to the killing of Ka Elving. The statement of appellant
was initially written on pad paper, thereafter it was typewritten. However, by the
time the Sinumpaang Salaysay was finalized, it was already past office hours such
that the attestation before the municipal mayor was postponed until the following
morning.
Afterwards, because of persistent chest pains, appellant was then brought to
the Aurora Memorial Hospital to be medically examined. However, Police Officer

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Palmero did not inquire as to the results of the medical examination. The results of
the medical examination were not offered in evidence.
The following morning, December 24, 1996, appellant, who was escorted by
the police, was brought before the then Municipal Mayor of Baler, Aurora, Arturo S.
Angara. Mayor Angara read the signed Sinumpaang Salaysay before administering
the oath. He probed appellant if the signature appearing in the Sinumpaang
Salaysay was his and whether he understood the contents of the said document.
Subsequently, Mayor Angara affixed his signature on appellants Sinumpaang
Salaysay.
In substance, the contested Sinumpaang Salaysay states that Benny Poblete
commissioned one Cesar to kill Ka Elving. Cesar, in turn, contacted appellant for the
hit. For more than a week, appellant and Cesar, together with a certain Manny
Gonzales, stalked the victim. On November 29, 1996, appellant acted as a lookout
while his companions shot the victim.[7]
On the other hand, appellant testified that, before noon on December 14, 1996,
[8]
he went to the house of one Benny Poblete to see his brother-in-law, Erwin
Bernardo, who was working for the Pobletes. Since his brother-in-law was not
around, Harold, son of Benny Poblete, invited him to a drinking spree. While they
were drinking, police officers Alfredo Miel and Amoranto Aquino arrived and arrested
him. He was brought to the municipal hall where he was forced to admit the
killing of Elving Jacob. For three consecutive nights, he was mauled. As a result, his
eyes became swollen and his chest ached. Unable to endure the pain any longer,
he owned up to the crime.[9]
On December 23, 1996, PO3 Noel C. Palmero, in the presence of Atty. Josefina
Angara, took appellants statement. Appellant claimed that neither investigating
officer Palmero nor Atty. Josefina Angara apprised him of his constitutional rights
during the custodial investigation. The following day, he was brought to Mayor
Arturo Angara before whom he swore to his affidavit containing his confession.[10]
Dr. Roberto A. Correa of the Aurora Memorial Hospital testified that he
conducted a medical examination of the appellant at around 2:00 p.m. on
December 23, 1996. During the examination, he found a three-inch lacerated
wound on appellants right arm and a biositis tenderness (inflammation of the
muscle) in his right scapular area. He further testified that the lesions were caused
by a sharp instrument. Aside from these lesions, Dr. Correo did not notice any other
injuries on the body of the appellant.[11]
On rebuttal, Atty. Angara belied the accusation of Dueas. She testified that at
past 10:00 a.m. on December 23, 1996, policemen came to her office and
requested her to assist the appellant who was then under custodial investigation.
She arrived at the police station at past 11:00 a.m. and was introduced to the
appellant. During her private conversation with the appellant, she apprised him of
his constitutional rights and told him that whatever he said could be used against
him. She discouraged him from giving his confession but appellant was determined
to do so. The questioning resumed at about 1:30 p.m. and lasted up to 4:00 p.m.
While the investigation was going on, appellant complained of chest pains so she
requested that appellant be brought to the hospital for medical attention.

PO3 Palmero was also presented as rebuttal witness. He disclaimed mauling


the appellant. He admitted that appellant was indeed complaining of chest pains
but it was allegedly the result of the kick by Harold Poblete. In contrast with his
previous declaration that he fetched Atty. Angara at around 3:30 p.m. to assist
appellant during the investigation, PO3 Palmero now claimed that the interrogation
lasted about three hours, that is, from 1:00 p.m. up to about 4:00 p.m. on
December 23, 1996. He also declared that appellant was given medical attention
after the interrogation.[12]
Relying principally on the extrajudicial confession of the appellant on December
23, 1996 (which was later repudiated), the trial court rendered its decision
convicting appellant of the crime charged:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court finds accused Catalino Dueas, Jr.
GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT of the crime of Murder qualified by evident
premeditation, and considering the presence of the aggravating circumstance of
recidivism and in the absence of any mitigating circumstance, hereby sentences
him to suffer the extreme penalty of DEATH and further orders him to indemnify the
heirs of the victims in the amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) as moral
damages and to pay the costs.
SO ORDERED.[13]
Hence, this automatic appeal.
According to appellant, the extrajudicial confession which the trial court relied
on heavily for his conviction was infirm because the confession was secured
through force and intimidation, a violation of his constitutional rights.
For the State, the OSG filed a manifestation and motion in lieu of appellees
brief, seeking the reversal of the challenged decision and the acquittal of Dueas on
the ground of involuntariness of his extrajudicial confession. The OSG underscored
the fact that it was forced out of appellant by means of threats, violence and
intimidation, thus violating his rights.
The appeal is meritorious.
In convicting the appellant, the court a quo reasoned as follows:
The extrajudicial confession of accused Dueas, Jr. was freely and voluntarily
given and that his retraction and claims of violence and coercion were merely
belated contrivances and efforts of exculpation.
The statement (Exh. B-Stip.) itself reveals that there was compliance with the
constitutional requirement on pre-interrogation advisories, thus:
PASUBALI: Ikaw Catalino Dueas, Jr., ipinagbibigay alam ko sa iyo, na ikaw ay
inuusig sa isang kasalanan, pinapaalala ko sa iyo na sa ilalim ng ating Saligang
Batas ay karapatan mo ang manahimik at hindi sumagot sa mga tanong ko sa iyo
at magkaroon ng Abogado ng sarili mong pili, ito ba ay nauunawaan mo?
SAGOT: Opo.
TANONG: Alam mo ba at naipaliwanag ng iyong abogado na anumang
salaysay mo sa pagsisiyasat na ito ay maaring gamitin laban sa iyo?
SAGOT: Opo.
The Court finds no merit in the insinuation of the defense that Atty. Josefina
Angara was not Dueas own choice as counsel for the interrogation (TSN, October 4,
2001, p. 4).

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xxx xxx xxx


In the present case, accused even admitted that he trusted Atty. Angara when
he signed his sworn statement in the presence of the said counsel (TSN, November
23, 2000, p. 9).
Absent any showing that the lawyer who assisted the accused was remissed
(sic) in her duties, it can be safely concluded that the custodial investigation of
Dueas was regularly conducted.
As could be observed, the confession is replete with details that could not have
been concocted by the police authorities. According to Dueas, he is one of those
who killed Elva Jacob; that his companions were Manny Gonzales and one Cesar;
that Benny Poblete contacted Cesar who in turn contacted him (accused) for the
purpose of killing Elving Jacob because his (Benny Pobletes) daughter Rhea who
died in September, 1996 might still be alive were it not for the witchcraft of Elving
Jacob and her siblings; that he (accused) was contacted by Cesar in November,
1996 at the market near the terminal of Baliwag Transit in Cabanatuan City; that he
and Cesar were together when they went to Baler, Aurora and they just fetched
Manny Gonzales at the gasoline station in Maria Aurora, Aurora; that they hatched
the plan of executing Elving Jacob in the middle of November, 1996 at the house of
Benny Poblete; that at that place and time, Cesar was given three thousand pesos
(P3,000.00); that he (accused) did not know Cesar well but could describe the
latters distinctive features; that Cesar and Manny Gonzales were armed with a .38
cal. revolver; that they conducted a surveillance on Elving Jacob for more than a
week to determine her movement in going to and from the ricefield she is working
on at Sitio Gabgab, Brgy. Buhangin, Baler, Aurora; that on November 29, 1996, at
about eight oclock in the morning, they positioned themselves under a canal,
feigning to be catching fish, until Elving Jacob passed by; that his two companions
followed Elving Jacob, while he remained on top of the canal and acted as a look
out; that, not long thereafter, he heard two gunshots; that they left the scene and
reunited at Santiagos house in Brgy. Suklayin, Baler, Aurora; that on December 18,
1996, at around one oclock in the afternoon, he was instructed by Cesar to go to the
house of Benny Poblete to collect the balance of five thousand pesos (P5,000.00);
and that he was arrested there by the police. The confession is replete with details
that only the confessant could have known and which, therefore, show that the
confession was executed voluntarily (People vs. Jimenez, 105 SCRA 721).
Also, the confession of the accused is exonerative in nature as it points to other
member of the group as the triggerman. The exculpatory tone of admission of the
crime and the abundance of details negate violence and maltreatment in obtaining
a confession. A guilty person seldom admits his guilt fully and completely. He has a
tendency to explain away his conduct or minimize his fault or crime or shift the
blame to others.
xxx xxx xxx
The defense tried to impress to the Court that the policemen subjected the
accused to cruel and painful punishment to extract his confession, thus:
ATTY. NOVERAS TO THE ACCUSED
Q During the third time they mauled you and told you to admit responsibility for
the death of Elving Jacob, what happened?

A I already admit (sic) because I could not bear the pain anymore, Sir.
xxx xxx xxx
Q What else, if there are any?
A They could (sic) not allow me to sleep. They just throw water on me so I could
not sleep or rest. (TSN, October 4, 2000, pp. 3-4).
But,
Q You said you were forced and intimidated to give the confession in
connection with the death of Mrs. Jacob, did you tell Atty. Angara about the fact?
A I did not.
Q Why?
A HOW COULD I TELL THAT WHEN THE POLICE OFFICERS WERE THERE
SURROUNDING ME? (Emphasis ours) (Ibid, p. 6)
xxx xxx xxx
PROS. RONQUILLO TO THE ACCUSED
Q Did you file any charge to (sic) the policemen who mauled you?
A No, sir.
Q Why?
A BECAUSE I HAVE NO ONE TO TELL ON AND I AM AFRAID FOR THEM, SIR (sic).
(TSN, November 23, 2000, p. 11)
A review of appellants extrajudicial confession discloses certain facts and
circumstances which put his culpability in doubt.
Under Article III, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution, persons under custodial
investigation have the following rights:
(1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have
the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and
independent counsel, preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the
services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived
except in writing and in the presence of counsel.
(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation or any other means which
vitiate the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention places,
solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited.
(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17
hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.
(4) xxx xxx xxx
There are two kinds of involuntary or coerced confessions covered by this
constitutional provision: (1) those resulting from third degree methods like torture,
force, violence, threat and intimidation, and (2) those given without the benefit of
the Miranda warnings.[14]
Viewed against this backdrop, certain circumstances in this case need to be
carefully reviewed and considered.
On December 18, 1996,[15] appellant was arrested for theft on the request of a
certain Benny Poblete. PO3 Palmero admitted that at the time of the arrest,
appellant was not committing any crime. He was detained overnight without any
charges. The following day, PO3 Palmero claimed that appellant supposedly sought
voluntary confinement for his own protection. The police blotter entry, however,
was not offered in evidence. Only a certification of such entry was presented, which

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certification was not even signed by appellant. Under the circumstances, the
voluntary confinement tale appears to be an afterthought to cover up the
appellants illegal arrest and detention. No person in his right mind, already behind
bars, will still seek voluntary confinement when there are no charges against him.
Appellant executed his sworn statement on his alleged involvement in the
killing of Ka Elving on December 23, 1996 or five days after his arrest. Immediately
after accomplishing the affidavit, appellant sought medical attention, during which
Dr. Correa found positive marks of violence on the latters body, an indication that
physical coercion occurred at one point from the time of his arrest up to the
execution of his extrajudicial confession. The only purpose of the maltreatment
could have been to force him to admit guilt against his will. When confronted on this
matter, rebuttal witness PO3 Palmero had nothing but evasive and unresponsive
answers:
Q Did you personally bring Dueas to the hospital?
A I could not remember, anymore, Sir. But he was brought to the hospital.
Q Are you sure of that?
A Yes, sir.
Q If you could not remember anymore if you were the one who bring (sic) him
to the hospital, do you know who was the police officer who brought him?
A I do not know the jailer at the time.
Q Were you still in the police station when he was brought back?
A Maybe I was not there.
Q Did you try to inquire what was the result of the examination being
conducted upon Catalino Dueas?
A Not anymore, sir.
Q Why?
A Because I could not remember anymore the person who accompanied him.
[16]

The trial court considered appellants claim of maltreatment as but a lame


excuse. It stated that the failure of the accused to complain to the swearing officer
or to file charges against the person(s) who allegedly maltreated him, although he
had the opportunity to do so, meant that the confession was voluntary. But
appellant adequately explained why he did not tell anybody about the police
brutality he had suffered. He testified:
Q You said you were forced and intimidated to give the confession in
connection with the death of Mrs. Jacob, did you tell Atty. Angara about that fact?
A I did not.
Q Why?
A How could I tell that when the police officers were there surrounding me.[17]
On cross-examination, appellant made the following declaration:
PROS. RONQUILLO
Q Did you file any charge to (sic) the policemen who mauled you?
A No, sir.
Q Why?
A Because I have no one to tell on and I am afraid for them, sir. (sic)[18]

Furthermore, the trial court misapplied the rule that a confession is presumed
voluntary where the same contains details and facts unknown to the investigator
which could have been supplied only by the perpetrator of the crime. InPeople vs.
Abayon,[19] we held:
It is a settled rule that where an alleged confession contains details and is
replete with facts which could have possibly been supplied only by the perpetrator
of the crime, and could not have been known to or invented by the investigators,
the confession is considered to have been voluntarily given. This rule, however, was
erroneously applied by the trial court in the case at bar.
The facts and details contained in at least three of the confessions, those of
Reynaldo Abayon, Mariano Aragon and Jose Juarez, were already known to the PC
investigators at the time the statements were allegedly signed by the said accusedappellants. The three confessions referred to all appear to have been
executed after the body of the deceased Pedro Eslamado had been exhumed by
the PC team on July 15, 1971. Abayon's statement is dated July 16, Aragon's
statement, July 22, and Juarez' statement, July 23, 1971. On those dates, the PC
would have known details and facts such as, that Pedro Eslamado was abducted
and killed, where his remains were buried, that he was tied around the mouth by
towels, that his hands were tied with shoe strings, all of which were stated in the
confessions.
In this case, the police authorities already knew of the murder of Ka Elving. As
succinctly pointed out by the Office of the Solicitor General:
xxx at the time of the execution of the extrajudicial confession, and even before
appellants arrest, the post mortem examination was already available to the police.
Data regarding the murder weapon, the wounds sustained by the victim, the
whereabouts of the cadaver were properly within the knowledge of the
investigating officers. The latter, then, could have easily filled up the details of the
crime in the extrajudicial confession. It must be emphasized that the presumption of
voluntariness of an extrajudicial confession arises only when the replete details
could have been supplied by no other person but the perpetrator himself [People
vs. Base, 105 SCRA 721 (1981)], which is not the case here.
Also worth mentioning is the belated appearance of Atty. Angara, incidentally
not of appellants choice, who assisted him in the execution of his extrajudicial
confession. This fell terribly short of the standards demanded by the Constitution
and Section 2 of RA 7438.[20] Appellant was arrested before noon on December 18,
1996. The extrajudicial confession was taken five days later, on December 23,
1996. Atty. Angara testified that policemen came to her office at past 10:00 a.m. on
December 23, 1996 requesting her to assist a suspect under custodial investigation.
She arrived at the police station at around 11:00 a.m. and conferred with the
appellant for about 30 minutes. The interrogation resumed after lunch and lasted till
4:00 p.m.
From the foregoing, it is evident that appellant had already been in detention
for five days before he came to be assisted by a lawyer, just before he was about to
put his confession in writing. We entertain no doubt that the constitutional
requirement was violated. In People vs. Bolanos,[21] we held that:

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An accused who is on board the police vehicle on the way to the police station
is already under custodial investigation and should therefore be accorded his rights
under the Constitution.
Custodial investigation refers to the critical pre-trial stage when the
investigation ceases to be a general inquiry into an unsolved crime but has begun
to focus on a particular person as a suspect. According to PO3 Palmero, right after
appellants arrest, the latter already insinuated to him that he would confess his
participation in the killing. As he testified on cross-examination:
Q On December 18, 1996, when you arrested him what did he actually
told (sic) you?
A Before we put him in jail at the Baler Police Station he told us that he has (sic)
to reveal something about the death of Elvira Jacob.
Q So you already know that on December 18, 1996 that whatever Catalino
Dueas will reveal to you will give you lead in solving the investigation in connection
with the death of Elvira Jacob, isnt it?
A Yes, sir.
Q So, you still waited until December 23, 1996 for that revelation, isnt it?
A Yes, sir. Thats all, your honor.[22]
Well-settled is the doctrine that the purpose of providing counsel to a person
under custodial investigation is to curb the uncivilized practice of extracting a
confession, even through the slightest coercion which might lead the accused to
admit something untrue.[23] What is sought to be avoided is the evil of extorting
from the very mouth of the person undergoing interrogation for the commission of
an offense, the very evidence with which to prosecute and thereafter convict him.
[24]
These constitutional guarantees are meant to protect a person from the
inherently coercive psychological, if not physical, atmosphere of such investigation.

that he saw a short man in green clothes running away from the vicinity of the
crime.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Baler, Aurora, Branch
96, in Criminal Case No. 2220, convicting appellant Catalino Dueas, Jr., is hereby
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Appellant is ACQUITTED of the crime of murder and his
immediate release is ordered unless there is reason to return him for confinement
at the Iwahig Prison Farm in Puerto Princesa City or to detain him for some other
valid cause. The Director of Prisons is directed to inform this Court of his compliance
within ten days from receipt of this decision.

[25]

Accused Ochoa interposed an appeal and claimed that his conviction was
based on his alleged sworn statement and the transcript of stenographic notes of a
supposed interview with an NPC personnel and the report of the NBI. He maintains
that he signed the sworn statement while confined a the Philippine heart center and
upon assurance that it would not be used against him. He was not assisted by
counsel nor he was apprised of his constitutional rights when he executed the
affidavit. He likewise claimed that his constitutional rights to be informed of the
nature and cause of accusation against and due process were violated.

Finally, the court notes the material discrepancy between the testimony of PO3
Palmero and that of Atty. Angara. When PO3 Palmero was first put on the witness
stand, he testified that he fetched Atty. Angara to assist appellant at about 3:30
p.m. on December 23, 1996. The interrogation lasted more or less an hour.
However, on rebuttal, PO3 Palmero changed his story and declared that the
interrogation of appellant lasted about three hours from about 1:00 p.m. to 4:00
p.m. The adjustment in the time cited may have been made to conform to the
earlier testimony of rebuttal witness Atty. Angara who said that the interrogation of
appellant lasted from about 1:30 p.m. up to about 4:00 p.m. But how could the
interrogation of appellant have taken place within that time-frame when, according
to Dr. Correo and the appellants medical record, the doctor conducted his medical
examination of the appellant at around 2:00 p.m. on December 23, 1996?[26]
In view of the foregoing, since the extrajudicial confession of appellant was
given in violation of the safeguards in Article III, Section 12 of the Constitution, we
hold that the appellants extrajudicial confession dated December 23, 1996 was
inadmissible as evidence. And with the exclusion thereof, the record is bereft of any
substantial evidence to sustain the judgment of conviction. While it is true that one
Cesar Friginal was presented as a witness by the prosecution, his testimony did not
implicate the appellant in the murder of Elving Jacob, the witness having said only

5. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. JOSE TING LAN UY, JR., et al.,
475 SCRA 248
Ynares-Santiago, J.
Facts:
For allegedly diverting and collecting funds of the National Power
Corporation intended for the purchase of US Dollars from the United Coconut
Planters Bank (UCPB), the accused-appellants were charged of Malversation
through Falsification of Commercial Documents as defined and penalized under
Arts. 217 and 171 [8] in relation to Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code. After trial,
all accused were convicted by the Sandiganbayan.
While the Information charged the accused of willful and intentional
commission of the acts complained of while the Decision found the accused
guilty of inexcusable negligence.

Held:
1.

Even if the information charges willful malversation, conviction for


malversation through negligence may still be adjudged if the evidence
ultimately proves that mode of commission of the offense. (Diaz vs.
Sandiganbayan, 302 SCRA 118). This was the doctrine laid down in the
case of Samson vs. Court of appeals, 103 Phil. 277.

2.

The claim that his affidavit is inadmissible in evidence in accordance with


section 12 [1] of the Bill of Rights is not tenable. The investigation under
said provision refers to custodial investigation where a suspect has

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already been taken into police custody and that the investigating officers
begin to ask questions to elicit information and confessions or admissions
from the suspect. Succinctly stated, custodial investigation refers to the
critical pre-trial stage when the investigation ceases to be a general inquiry
into an unsolved crime but has began to focus on a particular person as a
suspect (People vs. Duenas, Jr., 426 SCRA 666). Clearly, therefore, the
rights enumerated by the accused are not available BEFORE
GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATORS ENTER THE PICTURE. The protective
mantle of section 12, article III does not apply to administrative
investigations (People vs. Judge Ayson, 175 SCRA 216); confession to
a private individual (Kimpo vs. CA, 232 SCRA 53); verbal admission
made to a radio announcer who was not a part of the investigation
(People vs. Ordono, 334 SCRA 673); or even to a Mayor approached
as a personal confidante and not in his official capacity (People vs. Zuela,
323 SCRA 589). In fact, even a videotaped interview where the accused
willingly admit his guilt in the presence of newsmen is not covered by the
said provision though the trial courts were warned by the supreme Court to
take extreme caution in admitting similar confessions because of the
distinct possibility that the police, with the connivance of unscrupulous
media practitioners, may attempt to legitimize coerced extrajudicial
confessions and place them beyond the exclusionary rule by having an
accused admit an offense on television (People vs. Endino, 353 SCRA
307).
Clearly, the confession of the accused was obtained during an administrative
investigation by NPC and therefore, the same was not covered by Section 12, Art. III
of the Constitution.
(NOTE: In People vs. Andam, the confession made before a
Municipal Mayor was held admissible as evidence).
6. PEOPLE V SAMOLDE, 336 SCRA 32
To be admissible in evidence, an extrajudicial confession must be:
(i) voluntary;
(ii) made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel;
(iii) express; and
(iv) in writing.
A suspects confession, whether verbal or non-verbal, when taken without the
assistance of counsel, without a valid waiver of such assistance, regardless of the
absence of coercion or the fact that it had been voluntarily given, is inadmissible
in evidence, even if appellants confession were gospel truth.
Facts:
Accused-appellant Ramil Samolde was charged, together with Armando Andres,
with the crime of murder. However, when arraigned both accused pleaded not
guilty. Accused-appellant Samolde claimed that he was beaten up by the police. He

testified that during his detention, he was not allowed to be seen, lest visitors notice
his swollen face. As regards his counsel, accused-appellant stated that, contrary to
what was stated in his extrajudicial confession, his lawyer did not really assist him.
He was not informed of his constitutional rights when he executed his extrajudicial
confession, and he did so only after he had been subjected to some brutality by the
police.
Issue:
Whether or not the extrajudicial confession of the accused-appellant admissible in
evidence.
Held:
No. The extrajudicial confession of accused-appellant is not admissible in evidence,
he was not informed of his constitutional rights before his statement was taken.
Clearly, accused-appellant was not properly apprised of his constitutional rights.
Under Art. III, 12(1) of the Constitution, a suspect in custodial investigation must be
given the following warnings: (1) He must be informed of his right to remain silent;
(2) he must be warned that anything he says can and will be used against him; and
(3) he must be told that he has a right to counsel, and that if he is indigent, a lawyer
will be appointed to represent him. As the above quoted portion of the extrajudicial
confession shows, accused-appellant was given no more than a perfunctory
recitation of his rights, signifying nothing more than a feigned compliance with the
constitutional requirements. This manner of giving warnings has been held to be
merely ceremonial and inadequate to transmit meaningful information to the
suspect. For this reason, we hold accused-appellants extrajudicial confession is
invalid.
1-A. When there is no need to inform the accused/suspect of his rights.
1. PP V JUDGE RUBEN AYSON
Confession made to the officials of Philippine Airlines during an
investigation is admissible in evidence despite the fact that he was not
informed of his rights during custodial investigations since said officials
are not bound by the requirements of Section 12, Art. III of the
Constitution)
Felipe Ramos was a ticket freight clerk of the Philippine Airlines, assigned at its
Baguio City station. It was alleged that he was involved in irregularities in the sales
of plane tickets, the PAL management notified him of an investigation to be
conducted. That investigation was scheduled in accordance with PAL's Code of
Conduct and Discipline, and the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed by it with
the Philippine Airlines Employees' Association (PALEA) to which Ramos pertained. A
letter was sent by Ramos stating his willingness to settle the amount of
P76,000. The findings of the Audit team were given to him, and he refuted that he
misused proceeds oftickets also stating that he was prevented from settling said
amounts. He proffered a compromise however this did not ensue. Two months after
a crime of estafa was charged against Ramos. Ramos pleaded not guilty. Evidence
by the prosecution contained Ramos written admission and statement, to
which defendants argued that the confession was taken without the accused being

llb 1-A 15-16

CONSTI LAW CASES

represented by a lawyer. Respondent Judge did not admit those stating that
accused was not reminded of his constitutional rights to remain silent and to
have counsel. A motion for reconsideration filed by the prosecutors was denied.
Hence this appeal.
Issue: Whether or Not the respondent Judge correct in making inadmissible as
evidence the admission and statement of accused.

Maqueda was then arrested in Guinyangan, Quezon. He was taken to Calauag,


Quezon where he signed a Sinumpaang Salaysay wherein he narrated his
participation in the crime. According to SPO3 Molleno, he informed Maqueda of his
constitutional rights before he signed suchdocument. Afterwards he was brought to
the Benguet Provincial Jail. While he was under detention, Maqueda filed a Motion to
Grant Bail. He stated therein that "he is willing and volunteering to be a State
witness in the above entitled case, it appearing that he is the least guilty among the
accused in this case."

Held: No. Section 20 of the 1987 constitution provides that the right against selfincrimination (only to witnesses other than accused, unless what is asked is relating
to a different crime charged- not present in case at bar).

Maqueda also admitted his involvement in the commission of the robbery to


Prosecutor Zarate and to Salvosa.

This is accorded to every person who gives evidence, whether voluntarily or under
compulsion of subpoena, in any civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding. The
right is not to "be compelled to be a witness against himself. It prescribes an
"option of refusal to answer incriminating questions and not a prohibition of inquiry."
the right can be claimed only when the specific question, incriminatory in character,
is actually put to the witness. It cannot be claimed at any other time. It does not
give a witness the right to disregard a subpoena, to decline to appear before the
court at the time appointed, or to refuse to testify altogether. It is a right that a
witness knows or should know. He must claim it and could be waived.

Issue: Whether or Not the trial court was correct in holding that the Sinumpaan
Salaysay is admissible as evidence.

Rights in custodial interrogation as laid down in miranda v. Arizona: the rights of the
accused include:
1) he shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel, and to beinformed of such
right.
2) nor force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiates the
free will shall be used against him.
3) any confession obtained in violation of these rights shall be inadmissible in
evidence.
The individual may knowingly and intelligently waive these rights and agree to
answer or make a statement. But unless and until such rights and waivers are
demonstrated by the prosecution at the trial, no evidence obtained as a result of
interrogation can be used against him.
2. PP V MAQUEDA
British Horace William Barker (consultant of WB) was slain inside his house in Tuba,
Benguet while his Filipino wife, Teresita Mendoza was badly battered with lead pipes
on the occasion of a robbery. Two household helpers of the victims identified
Salvamante (a former houseboy of the victims) and Maqueda as the robbers. Mike
Tabayan and his friend also saw the two accused a kilometer away from the house
of the victims that same morning, when the two accused asked them for directions.

Held: No. The Sinumpaang Salaysay is inadmissible because it was in clear


violation of the constitutional rights of the accused. First, he was not informed of his
right to remain silent and his right to counsel. Second, he cannot be compelled to
be a witness against himself. At the time of the confession, the accused was already
facing charges in court. He no longer had the right to remain silent and
to counsel but he had the right to refuse to be a witness and not to have any
prejudice whatsoever result to him by such refusal. And yet, despite his knowing
fully well that a case had already been filed in court, he still confessed when he did
not have to do so.
The contention of the trial court that the accused is not entitled to such rights
anymore because the information has been filed and a warrant of arrest has been
issued already, is untenable. The exercise of the rights to remain silent and
to counsel and to be informed thereof under Section 12(1) of the Bill of Rights are
not confined to that period prior to the filing of a criminal complaint or information
but are available at that stage when a person is "under investigation for the
commission of an offense."
Pursuant to Section 12(3) of the Bill of Rights therefore, such extrajudicialadmission is inadmissible as evidence.
As to the admissions made by Maqueda to Prosecutor Zarate and Ray Dean
Salvosa, the trial court admitted their testimony thereon only to prove the tenor of
their conversation but not to prove the truth of the admissionbecause such
testimony was objected to as hearsay. Maqueda voluntarily and freely made them
to Prosecutor Zarate not in the course of an investigation, but in connection with
Maqueda's plea to be utilized as a state witness; and as to the
other admission (Salvosa), it was given to a private person therefore admissible.

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Note: a distinction between a confession and admission has been made by the SC:
Admission of a party. The act, declaration or omission of party as to a relevant
fact may be given in evidence against him.
Confession. The declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense
charged, or of any offense necessarily included therein, may be given in evidence
against him.
3. KIMPO V CA, 232 SCRA 53
The protective mantle of sec 12 Article III does not apply to confession to a private
individual
4. PEOPLE V ORDONO, 334 SCRA 673
The protective mantle of sec 12 Article III does not apply to verbal admission made
to a radio announcer who was not a part of the investigation
Facts: On 5 August 1994, the decomposing body of a young girl was found among
the bushes near a bridge in Barangay Poblacion, Santol, La Union. The girl was later
identified as Shirley Victore, 15 years old, a resident of Barangay Guesset,
Poblacion, Santol, La Union, who 3 days before was reported missing. Postmortem
examination conducted by Dr. Arturo Llavore, a medico-legal officer of the NBI,
revealed that the victim was raped and strangled to death. Unidentified sources
pointed to Pacito Ordoo and Apolonio Medina as the authors of the crime. Acting
on this lead, the police thereupon invited the 2 suspects and brought them to the
police station for questioning. However, for lack of evidence then directly linking
them to the crime, they were allowed to go home. On 10 August 1994, Ordoo and
Medina returned to the police station one after another and acknowledged that they
had indeed committed the crime. Acting on their admission, the police immediately
conducted an investigation and put their confessions in writing. The investigators
however could not at once get the services of a lawyer to assist the 2 accused in
the course of the investigation because there were no practicing lawyers in the
Municipality of Santol, a remote town of the Province of La Union. Be that as it may,
the statements of the 2 accused where nevertheless taken. But before doing so,
both accused were apprised in their own dialect of their constitutional right to
remain silent and to be assisted by a competent counsel of their choice. Upon their
acquiescence and assurance that they understood their rights and did not require
the services of counsel, the investigation was conducted with the Parish Priest, the
Municipal Mayor, the Chief of Police and other police officers of Santol, La Union, in
attendance to listen to and witness the giving of the voluntary statements of the 2
suspects who admitted their participation in the crime. After Medina said his piece,
his wife and mother suddenly burst into tears. He then affixed his signature on his
statement and so did his wife, followed by all the other witnesses who listened to his
confession. Pacito Ordoo narrated his story in the afternoon. At the end of his
narration Ordoo affixed his thumbmark on his statement in lieu of his signature as
he did not know how to write. Thereafter, Medina and Ordoo were detained at the
Santol police station. News about the apprehension and detention of the culprits of

the rape-slay of Shirley Victore soon spread that Roland Almoite, leading radio
announcer of radio station DZNL, visited and interviewed them. In the interview,
which was duly tape-recorded both accused admitted again their complicity in the
crime and narrated individually the events surrounding their commission thereof.
According to Medina, his remorse in having committed the crime was so great but
his repentance came too late. He and Ordoo hoped that the parents of Shirley
Victore would forgive them. Upon conclusion of the interview, Roland Almoite
immediately went to radio station DZNL and played the taped interview on the air.
The same interview was played again on the air the following morning and was
heard by thousands of listeners. A couple of days later, the police brought the 2
accused to the office of the PAO lawyer in Balaoan, La Union, for assistance and
counseling. In a closed-door session, PAO lawyer Oscar B. Corpuz apprised each of
the accused of his constitutional rights and, even though their confessions were
already written in their dialect, explained to them each of the questions and
answers taken during the investigation. He likewise advised them to ponder the
consequences of their confessions, leading them to defer the affixing of their
second signature/thumbmark thereon. After a week or so, the 2 separately went
back to Atty. Corpuz and informed him of their willingness to affix their signatures
and thumbmarks for the second time in their respective confessions. Once again
Atty. Corpuz apprised the 2 accused of their constitutional rights, explained the
contents of their respective statements, and finally, accompanied them to Judge
Fabian M. Bautista, MTC judge of Balaoan, La Union, who further apprised the 2
accused of their constitutional rights and asked them if they had been coerced into
signing their confessions. They assured Judge Bautista that their statements had
been given freely and voluntarily. Upon such assurance that they had not been
coerced into giving and signing their confessions, Judge Bautista finally asked
Ordoo and Medina to affix their signatures/thumbmarks on their respective
confessions, and to subscribe the same before him. Atty. Corpuz then signed their
statements as their assisting counsel, followed by a few members of the MTC staff
who witnessed the signing. Ordono and Medina were charged for rape with
homicide. On arraignment, in a complete turnabout, the 2 accused pleaded not
guilty. On 11 December 1997, the trial court adjudged Ordoo and Medina guilty of
the crime of rape with homicide attended with conspiracy, and imposed upon each
of them 2 death penalties on the basis of their extrajudicial confessions. Hence, the
automatic review.
Issue: Whether the custodial investigation made in the presence of the municipal
mayor, parish priest, etc. and/or the taped interview containing the accuseds
confessions are admissible as evidence.
Held: Custodial investigation began when the accused Ordoo and Medina
voluntarily went to the Santol Police Station to confess and the investigating officer
started asking questions to elicit information and/or confession from them. At such
point, the right of the accused to counsel automatically attached to them.
Concededly, after informing the accused of their rights the police sought to provide
them with counsel. However, none could be furnished them due to the nonavailability of practicing lawyers in Santol, La Union, and the remoteness of the
town to the next adjoining town of Balaoan, La Union, where practicing lawyers

llb 1-A 15-16

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could be found. At that stage, the police should have already desisted from
continuing with the interrogation but they persisted and gained the consent of the
accused to proceed with the investigation. To the credit of the police, they
requested the presence of the Parish Priest and the Municipal Mayor of Santol as
well as the relatives of the accused to obviate the possibility of coercion, and to
witness the voluntary execution by the accused of their statements before the
police. Nonetheless, this did not cure in any way the absence of a lawyer during the
investigation. In the absence of such valid waiver, the Parish Priest of Santol, the
Municipal Mayor, the relatives of the accused, the Chief of Police and other police
officers of the municipality could not stand in lieu of counsel's presence. The
apparent consent of the 2 accused in continuing with the investigation was of no
moment as a waiver to be effective must be made in writing and with the
assistance of counsel. Consequently, any admission obtained from the 2 accused
emanating from such uncounselled interrogation would be inadmissible in evidence
in any proceeding. Securing the assistance of the PAO lawyer 5 to 8 days later does
not remedy this omission either. Although there was a showing that the PAO lawyer
made a thorough explanation of the rights of the accused, enlightened them on the
possible repercussions of their admissions, and even gave them time to deliberate
upon them, this aid and valuable advice given by counsel still came several days
too late. It could have no palliative effect. It could not cure the absence of counsel
during the custodial investigation when the extrajudicial statements were being
taken. The second affixation of the signatures/thumbmarks of the accused on their
confessions a few days after their closed-door meeting with the PAO lawyer, in the
presence and with the signing of the MTC judge, the PAO lawyer and other
witnesses, likewise did not make their admissions an informed one. Admissions
obtained during custodial investigation without the benefit of counsel although
reduced into writing and later signed in the presence of counsel are still flawed
under the Constitution. If the lawyer's role is diminished to being that of a mere
witness to the signing of a prepared document albeit an indication therein that there
was compliance with the constitutional rights of the accused, the requisite
standards guaranteed by Art. III, Sec. 12, par. (1), are not met. The standards
utilized by police authorities to assure the constitutional rights of the accused
therefore fell short of the standards demanded by the Constitution and the law. As
with the interview taken by DZNL radio announcer Roland Almoite, the taped
interview was offered to form part of the testimony of witness Roland Almoite to
whom the admissions were made and to prove through electronic device the
voluntary admissions by the 2 accused that they raped and killed Shirley Victore.
The defense objected to its acceptance on the ground that its integrity had not been
preserved as the tape could easily have been spliced and tampered with. However,
as Roland Almoite testified, it was the original copy of the taped interview; it was not
altered; the voices therein were the voices of the 2 accused; and, the defense never
submitted evidence to prove otherwise. Under the circumstances, the Court is
inclined to admit the authenticity of the taped interview. A review of the contents of
the tape as included in Roland Almoite's testimony reveals that the interview was
conducted free from any influence or intimidation from police officers and was done
willingly by the accused. Despite allegations to the contrary, no police authority

ordered or forced the accused to talk to the radio announcer. While it may be
expected that police officers were around since the interview was held in the police
station, there was no showing that they were within hearing distance nor within the
vicinity where the interview was being conducted. At most, the participation of the
police authorities was only to allow Roland Almoite to conduct an interview. The
taped interview likewise revealed that the accused voluntarily admitted to the rapeslay and even expressed remorse for having perpetrated the crime. We have held
that statements spontaneously made by a suspect to news reporters on a televised
interview are deemed voluntary and are admissible in evidence. By analogy,
statements made by herein accused to a radio announcer should likewise be held
admissible. The interview was not in the nature of an investigation as the response
of the accused was made in answer to questions asked by the radio reporter, not by
the police or any other investigating officer. When the accused talked to the radio
announcer, they did not talk to him as a law enforcement officer, as in fact he was
not, hence their uncounselled confession to him did not violate their constitutional
rights. Sections 12, pars. (1) and (3), Art. III, of the Constitution do not cover the
verbal confessions of the 2 accused to the radio announcer. What the Constitution
bars is the compulsory disclosure of incriminating facts or confessions. The rights
enumerated under Sec. 12, Art. III, are guaranteed to preclude the slightest use of
coercion by the state as would lead the accused to admit something false, not to
prevent him from freely and voluntarily telling the truth. In relation to this, the
admissions of the accused before the radio announcer and duly tape-recorded are
bolstered and substantiated by the findings of the NBI Medico-Legal Officer as
reflected in the Autopsy Report/Post Mortem Findings.
5. PP V ZUELA, 323 SCRA 589
The protective mantle of sec 12 Article III does not apply even to to a Mayor
approached as a personal confidante and not in his official capacity
6. PP V ENDINO, 353 SCRA 307
In fact, even a videotaped interview where the accused willingly admit his guilt
in the presence of newsmen is not covered by the said provision though the trial
courts were warned by the supreme Court to take extreme caution in admitting
similar confessions because of the distinct possibility that the police, with the
connivance of unscrupulous media practitioners, may attempt to legitimize coerced
extrajudicial confessions and place them beyond the exclusionary rule by having an
accused admit an offense on television
Facts: On a busy street in Puerto Princesa City in the evening of 16 October 1991,
an emboldened Gerry
Galgarin (@ Toto), uncle of Edward Endino, suddenly and without warning lunged at
Dennis Aquino and stabbed him repeatedly on the chest. Dennis' girlfriend Clara
Agagas who was with him, stunned by the unexpected attack, pleaded to Galgarin
to stop. Dennis struggled and succeeded momentarily to free himself from his
attacker. Dennis dashed towards the nearby Midtown Sales but his escape was
foiled when from out of nowhere Edward Endino appeared and fired at Dennis. As
Dennis staggered for safety, the 2 assailants fled in the direction of the airport.

llb 1-A 15-16

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Meanwhile, Dennis, wounded and bleeding, sought refuge inside the Elohim Store
where he collapsed on the floor. He was grasping for breath and near death. Clara
with the help of some onlookers took him to the hospital but Dennis expired even
before he could receive medical attention. On 18 October 1991, an Information for
the murder of Dennis Aquino was filed against Edward Endino and Gerry Galgarin
and warrants were issued for their arrest. However, as both accused remained at
large, the trial court issued on 26 December 1991 an order putting the case in the
archives without prejudice to its reinstatement upon their apprehension. On 19
November 1992, Gerry Galgarin was arrested through the combined efforts of the
Antipolo and Palawan police forces at a house in Sitio Sto. Nio, Antipolo, Rizal. He
was immediately taken into temporary custody by the Antipolo Police. Early in the
evening of the following day, he was fetched from the Antipolo Police Station by
PO3 Gaudencio Manlavi and PO3 Edwin Magbanua of the Palawan police force to be
taken to Palawan and be tried accordingly. On their way to the airport, they stopped
at the ABS-CBN television station where Galgarin was interviewed by reporters.
Video footages of the interview were taken showing Galgarin admitting his guilt
while pointing to his nephew Edward Endino as the gunman. According to Galgarin,
after attacking Aquino, they left for Roxas, Palawan, where his sister Langging who
is Edward's mother, was waiting. Langging gave them money for their fare for
Manila. They took the boat for Batangas, where they stayed for a few days, and
proceeded to Manila where they separated, with him heading for Antipolo. Galgarin
appealed for Edward to give himself up to the authorities. His interview was shown
over the ABS-CBN evening news program TV Patrol. During trial, Galgarin disowned
the confession which he made over TV Patrol and claimed that it was induced by
the threats of the arresting police officers. He asserted that the videotaped
confession was constitutionally infirmed and inadmissible under the exclusionary
rule provided in Sec. 12, Art. III, of the Constitution. The trial court found Galgarin
guilty of murder qualified by Treachery, sentenced him to reclusion perpetua, and
ordered him to indemnify the heirs of Dennis Aquino in the amount of P50,000.00 as
compensatory damages and P72,725.35 as actual damages.
Issue:
Whether the ABS-CBN interview recording Galgarins confession is admissible as
evidence.
Held:
The interview was recorded on video and it showed Galgarin unburdening his guilt
willingly, openly and publicly in the presence of newsmen. Such confession does not
form part of custodial investigation as it was not given to police officers but to
media men in an attempt to elicit sympathy and forgiveness from the public.
Besides, if he had indeed been forced into confessing, he could have easily sought
succor from the newsmen who, in all likelihood, would have been sympathetic with
him. However, because of the inherent danger in the use of television as a medium
for admitting one's guilt, and the recurrence of this phenomenon in several cases, it
is prudent that trial courts are reminded that extreme caution must be taken in
further admitting similar confessions. For in all probability, the police, with the
connivance of unscrupulous media practitioners, may attempt to legitimize coerced
extra-judicial confessions and place them beyond the exclusionary rule by having

an accused admit an offense on television. Such a situation would be detrimental to


the guaranteed rights of the accused and thus imperil our criminal justice system. It
is not suggested that videotaped confessions given before media men by an
accused with the knowledge of and in the presence of police officers are
impermissible. Indeed, the line between proper and invalid police techniques and
conduct is a difficult one to draw, particularly in cases such as this where it is
essential to make sharp judgments in determining whether a confession was given
under coercive physical or psychological atmosphere. A word of counsel then to
lower courts: "we should never presume that all media confessions described as
voluntary have been freely given. This type of confession always remains suspect
and therefore should be thoroughly examined and scrutinized. Detection of coerced
confessions is admittedly a difficult and arduous task for the courts to make. It
requires persistence and determination in separating polluted confessions from
untainted ones. We have a sworn duty to be vigilant and protective of the rights
guaranteed by the Constitution."
7. PP. V BARIQUIT, 341 SCRA 307
When custodial investigation is deemed to have started.
The protection under Section 12 , Art. III of the Constitution begins when a
person is taken into custody for investigation of his possible participation in the
commission of a crime, or from the time he is singled out as a suspect in the
commission of the crime, although not yet in custody.
Custodial investigation begins when it is no longer a general inquiry into an
unsolved crime but starts to focus on a particular person as a suspect, i.e., when
the police investigator starts interrogating or exacting confession from the suspect
in connection with an alleged offense.
THE PLACE OF INTERROGATION IS NOT DETERMINATIVE OF THE
EXISTENCE OR ABSENCE OF CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATION BUT THE TONE
AND MANNER OF QUESTIONING BY THE POLICE AUTHORITIES. Thus, there
was custodial investigation when the police authorities, upon their arrest of some of
the accused, immediately asked them regarding their participation in the
commission of the crime , even while they were still walking along the highway on
their way to the police station. This is line with the provisions of RA 7438 which
makes it applicable even when a person is merely invited for questioning.
HELD: Confession given by the accused without the assistance of counsel, while
on the way to the police station, is inadmissible in evidence.
The antecedent facts and proceedings in the instant case unfold.
On 28 February 1994, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Adolfo Alcoseba filed a motion
to drop accused Rogelio Lascua and Baselino Repe to be utilized as state witnesses,
prompting the relatives of the deceased spouses Simon and Corazon Hermida to file
a vehement opposition, to which comment thereto was filed by the prosecution.

10

llb 1-A 15-16

CONSTI LAW CASES

On 28 June 1994, Baselino Repe and brothers Pedro and Cristituto Bariquit, and
brothers Emegdio and Rogelio Lascua, were charged, in a Second Amended
Information,[3] with Robbery with Homicide, the accusatory portion of which reads:
That on or about the 8th day of February 1994 at around 2:00 o' clock dawn, more
or less, in the Municipality of Naga, Province of Cebu, Philippines and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring,
confederating and mutually helping one another, by means of violence against and
intimidation upon persons, with intent to gain, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously take, steal and carry away without the consent of the
owner thereof one (1) gold necklace and Three Thousand Pesos (P3,000.00) cash,
Philippine Currency, and one (1) blanket which were placed by the owner Spouses
Simon Hermida and Corazon Manabat Hermida on their wooden trunk, to the
damage and prejudice of the said owner spouses Simon Hermida and Corazon
Manabat Hermida of said items and the cash aforestated; that by reason or on
occasion of the said robbery and for the apparent purpose of enabling the said
accused to take, steal and carry away the aforestated personal belongings of
spouses Simon Hermida and Corazon Manabat Hermida, the herein accused, in
pursuance of their conspiracy, armed with bladed weapons, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault, hack and stab the spouses
Simon Hermida and Corazon Manabat Hermida and inflicting upon them several
injuries which caused the said victims' death.
CONTRARY TO LAW."
In an order dated 14 July 1994, the trial court resolved to drop and discharge
Rogelio Lascua as "party-accused" in Criminal Case No. CBU-35462, for the purpose
of utilizing him as state witness.
Upon arraignment, accused-appellant Pedro Bariquit entered a plea of guilty while
accused-appellants Cristituto Bariquit, Emegdio Lascua, Jr. and accused Baselino
Repe, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In the course of trial, however, accused-appellant Pedro Bariquit withdrew his earlier
plea of guilty and, upon being re-arraigned, entered anew a plea of not guilty.
XXX
Upon the arrest of Baselino and Emegdio, the police immediately commenced
investigation of the two accused by propounding questions regarding the
commission of the crime even while they were still walking along the
highway,on their way to the police station.[46] (emphasis ours)
According to SPO1 Selloria, SPO4 Marcelino Perez, Jr. conducted further questioning
of the accused "in the investigation room" of the Police Station, to wit:[47]
"Q: Who conducted then the custodial investigation of this case?
A: SPO4 Marcelino Perez, Jr.
Q: Where was the accused investigated?
A: At the investigation room.
Q: And where was this investigation room located?
A: Inside the police station, in a certain room.
Q: When the accused were investigated, were you present?
A: We were there but we did not listen to the investigation.
Q: But you could see the accused being investigated?

A: No sir. That time, there were many people looking but the investigation room
was closed in order that people will not disturb the investigation.
Q: At the time when the accused was investigated, was there any lawyer who
assisted him at the time of the investigation?
Atty. Flores: Immaterial and irrelevant, Your Honor because as a matter of fact, Your
Honor, also, Your Honor, another ground is that witness was not around, he did not
see whether there was a lawyer or not.
COURT: No. The ground for that is not correct, because the testimony witness
stated (sic) he drive away some of the onlookers.
Atty. Dela Victoria: He was not listening.
Court: Yes, he was not listening.
Atty. Dela Victoria: It was your theory that there was actually an investigation
conducted?
COURT: There was an investigation, according to him, by an investigator
and you asked him whether he was present during that investigation. He
said he was present, only he did not hear and see the investigation
because the door was closed, and you asked him whether at the time of
the investigation, accused was assisted by a lawyer during that custodial
investigation.
(to witness):
Q: You did not see any lawyer there to assist the accused during
investigation?
A: I did not notice.
Q: You mean to say there was a lawyer but you did not notice?
A: I don't know whether there was lawyer at that time the investigation
was conducted." (emphasis ours)
At the trial, the prosecution likewise presented PO1 Kenneth Abella and PO1 Joel
Faciolan, who corroborated the testimonies of SPO3 Lino Tapao and SPO1 Avelino
Selloria.
XXX
As to the second assigned error, accused-appellants aver that the prosecution failed
to establish their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In support thereof, accusedappellants question the admissibility of the testimonies of the police officers who
propounded questions and conducted the custodial investigation without apprising
them of their constitutional rights. Moreover, accused-appellants argue that certain
physical evidence such as the blanket, passbook, bolo, knife, necklace, Japanese
money, wallet and cash are likewise inadmissible in evidence, inasmuch as the
same were recovered and obtained by the police as a result of accused-appellants'
uncounselled admission.
After an exhaustive perusal of the records, we find inadmissible the uncounselled
extra-judicial admission of accused-appellants, as well as the testimonies of the
police officers pertaining thereto, for having been obtained in clear violation of
accused-appellants' rights enshrined in the Constitution.
Section 12, Article III of the Constitution explicitly provides:
1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the
right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and

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independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the
services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived
except in writing and in the presence of counsel.
XXX XXX XXX
3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof
shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.
XXX
Verily, the mantle of protection under this constitutional provision covers the period
from the time a person is taken into custody for investigation of his possible
participation in the commission of a crime, or from the time he is singled out as a
suspect in the commission of the crime, although not yet in custody.[69] Courts are
not allowed to distinguish between preliminary questioning and custodial
investigation proper when applying the exclusionary rule. Any information or
admission given by a person while in custody - which may appear harmless or
innocuous at the time without the competent assistance of an independent counsel
- should be struck down as inadmissible.[70]
It bears stressing that the rights under Section 12 are accorded to "any person
under investigation for the commission of an offense." An investigation begins when
it is no longer a general inquiry into an unsolved crime but starts to focus on a
particular person as suspect, i.e., when the police investigator starts interrogating
or exacting a confession from the suspect in connection with an alleged offense.[71]
Thus, in People vs. Bolanos,[72] we considered inadmissible the verbal extrajudicial admission of accused-appellant Ramon Bolanos on the ground that he,
"being already under custodial investigation while on board the police patrol
jeep on the way to the Police Station where formal investigation may have been
conducted, should have been informed of his constitutional rights under Article 3,
Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution.
In the recent case of People vs. Bravo,[73] where we applied the exclusionary rule,
this Court, speaking through Madame Justice Minerva Gonzaga-Reyes, aptly
observed:
The accused was under arrest for the rape and killing of Juanita Antolin and any
statement allegedly made by him pertaining to his possible complicity in the crime
without prior notification of his constitutional rights is inadmissible in evidence. The
policeman's apparent attempt to circumvent the rule by insisting that admission
was made during an `informal talk' prior to custodial investigation proper is not
tenable."
Analogously in the present case, the police authorities, upon the arrest of Emegdio
and Baselino, immediately asked questions and conducted custodial investigation of
said accused-appellants regarding their participation in the commission of the
crime, even while they were still walking along the highway on their way to the
police station.Records reveal that no counsel was present to assist Emegdio and
Baselino during the interrogation nor was accused-appellants informed of their
rights under the Constitution.
During trial, SPO1 Avelino Selloria testified:
"Q: Along the way, as you said, you have conducted investigation on Repe. What
questions did you ask Mr. Repe?

A: We asked both Repe and Emegdio as to who were their companions.


"Q: That was all you asked both of them? That was the only question you asked
them?
A: We asked them who were their companions and where were they.
"Court:
"Q: And what was their answer?
"A: They mentioned, as their companions, Pedro Bariquit, Cristituto Bariquit and
Roel Lascua and they further informed me they had come here already to
Tuyan. Pedro and Roel were in Tuyan. They informed me that and (sic) Roel was
just in Isabela, Pangdan.
XXX XXX XXX
"Q: So aside from these 2 questions, no other questions were asked on Emegdio
Lascua and Baselino Repe?
"A: Yes sir.
"Q: What (was) their answer?
"A: We asked them why they robbed and killed.
"COURT:
"Q: What was their answer?
"A: They said they had planned the robbery.
"ATTY. SARINO:
"Q: Who said that?
"A: Emegdio.
"Q: It was only Emegdio who said that?
"A :Because it was him whom I asked, because we were walking along the
road." (emphasis ours)
Moreover, on cross-examination, SPO1 Selloria stated:[74]
"A: From the area where we arrested them, we asked questions along the
way.
"Q: When you asked questions, the accused were already under your
custody?
"A: Yes, sir. We were walking along.
"Q: Therefore, when under custody, that person is under custodial investigation?
"Atty. Flores: He is asking for opinion.
"COURT: Reform.
"Atty. Dela Victoria:
Q: What were the questions you asked to the accused?
"A: We asked whether they were the ones who robbed the couple, Simon
Hermida and Corazon Hermida." (emphasis ours)
To our mind, the interrogation conducted by the police on accused-appellants
Emegdio and Baselino falls under the term "custodial investigation" pursuant to
prevailing jurisprudence and the provisions of Republic Act 7438. It may not be
amiss to observe that under R.A. 7438, the requisites of a "custodial investigation"
are applicable even to a person not formally arrested but merely "invited for
questioning.[75]
In the case before us, it is of no moment that the questioning was done along the
highway while Baselino and Emegdio were being led by the police to the

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station. To put it differently, the place of interrogation is not at all a reliable


barometer to determine the existence or absence of Custodial investigation. Of
striking material significance is and the fact that the tone and manner of
questioning by the police, as gleaned from the records, reveal that they already
presumed accused-appellants as the perpetrators of the crime and singled them
out as the despicable authors thereof.
Under these circumstances, the police authorities should have properly apprised
them of their constitutionally-protected rights, without which such uncounselled
admissions or any other evidence obtained as a result thereof, or proceeding
therefrom - the putrid source - are deemed likewise inadmissible in evidence
against the accused-appellants.
In this jurisdiction, the burden to prove that an accused waived his rights to remain
silent and the right to counsel before making a confession under custodial
investigation rests with the prosecution. It is also the burden-of the prosecution to
show that the evidence derived from confession is not tainted as "fruit of the
poisonous tree." The burden has to be discharged by clear and convincing
evidence.[76]
In the instant case, the police officers were remiss in performing such duty and the
prosecution equally failed to discharge such burden. The records, indeed, are bereft
of any finding that the police labored to properly apprise accused-appellants of their
rights. Further, no counsel was present when Emegdio and Baselino answered the
questions propounded to them by the police, both along the highway and at the
police station.
In view of these constitutional infirmities attendant to the interrogation, we consider
the extrajudicial admissions of accused-appellants and the testimonies of the police
officers in relation thereto inadmissible.
For, even if the confession contains a grain of truth, but it was made without the
assistance of counsel, it becomes inadmissible in evidence, regardless of the
absence of coercion or even if it had been voluntarily given.[77]
Applying the exclusionary rule, we also declare inadmissible the money and
necklace recovered from accused-appellants for being tainted as "fruits of the
poisonous tree." Clearly, the records show that such evidence were derived or
recovered from a polluted source, to wit, the accused-appellants' uncounselled
admissions.
In People vs. Alicando,[78] this Court explicated the principle, to wit:
" We have not only constitutional ized the Miranda warnings in our jurisdiction. We
also have adopted the libertarian exclusionary rule known as the "fruit of the
poisonous tree", a phrase minted by Mr. Justice Felix Frankfurter in the celebrated
case of Nardone vs. United States.[79] According to this rule, once the primary
source (the 'tree') is shown to have been unlawfully obtained, any secondary or
derivative evidence (the 'fruit') derived from it is also inadmissible. Stated
otherwise, illegally seized evidence is obtained as a direct result of the illegal act,
whereas the fruit of the poisonous tree' is the indirect result of the same illegal
act. The fruit of the poisonous tree' is at least once removed from the illegally seized
evidence but it is equally inadmissible. The rule is based on the principle that
evidence illegally obtained by the State should not be used to gain other evidence

because the originally illegally obtained evidence taints all evidence subsequently
obtained."
8. PP V DANO, 339 SCRA 515
However, spontaneous statements voluntarily given, as where appellant orally
admitted killing the victim before the barangay captain (who is neither a police
officer nor a law enforcement agent), do not fall under custodial investigation. Such
admission, even without the assistance of a lawyer, does not violate appellants
constitutional rights AND THEREFORE ADMISSIBLE IN EVIDENCE.
On April 11, 1994, the Provincial Prosecutor of Zamboanga del Sur charged
appellant with the crime of murder, as follows:
That on or about March 16, 1994 at around 6:30 oclock in the evening, more or less,
at Tiguian, Margosatubig, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with treachery and
evident premeditation, did, then and there, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously,
assault, attack, hack and stab his brother Emeterio Dano inflicting several mortal
wounds causing his instantaneous death.
Contrary to law with qualifying aggravating circumstances of evident premeditation
and treachery.[1]
On May 3, 1994, appellant was arraigned and with the assistance of counsel de
parte, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Trial on the merits then ensued.
The prosecution presented four witnesses: Wilfredo Tapian, a carpenter;
Demosthenes Peralta, the barangay captain of Tiguian, Margosatubig, Zamboanga
del Sur; SPO3 Jesus Reales of the Philippine National Police (PNP); and Teresita Dano,
widow of the victim.
The prosecutions evidence established the following:
On March 16, 1994, at around half past six oclock in the evening, prosecution
witness Wilfredo Tapian was resting in the house of a Neneng Miras in Tiguian,
Margosatubig, when Teresita Dano arrived and asked for his help. Teresita told
Wilfredo that her husband, Emeterio, attacked his brother Alberto, herein appellant,
in the latters house.[2] Wilfredo immediately rushed to appellants house, which was
some one hundred meters away.
On arriving at appellants house, Wilfredo saw the victim pacing back and forth in
appellants front yard. The victim, armed with a scythe was shouting at appellant,
who was looking out of the window, to come down so they could fight to the
death. (Kanaog diri kay magkamatay ta.)[3] Wilfredo tried to pacify the victim who
kept repeating his challenge while striking his scythe on the ground, but to no avail.
[4]
Appellant also advised his younger brother to go home, but the latter refused to
listen. Suddenly, Emeterio leaped at appellant who was standing with his head out
of the window and slashed appellant with his scythe but missed.[5] Seeing that his
efforts to stop the fraternal quarrel were of no use and fearful of being hit in the
affray, Wilfredo left for home.
Between the hours of six and seven oclock that same evening, Demosthenes
Peralta, the barangay captain of Tiguian, was informed by Wilfredo and a certain
Fernando Teves that the Dano brothers were quarreling.[6]Demosthenes went to
appellants home to investigate. On his way, he met appellant. The latter told

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Peralta he had killed Emeterio and voluntarily surrendered to him.[7] Demosthenes


left appellant in Wilfredos house and proceeded to appellants residence where he
saw the bloody corpse of the victim sprawled in the yard, near the stairs.[8] He
noticed that the body bore several hacking and slashing wounds.[9] Demosthenes
fetched appellant from Wilfredos house and took him to the police station.
Early in the morning of the next day, Demosthenes fetched a doctor from the town
proper of Margosatubig. The latter examined the victims body, still lying in
appellants yard. At the request of the police station commander, Demosthenes took
photos of the corpse, which he later turned over to the police.[10] He conducted a
further examination of the crime scene and found a bloodstained scythe beneath
appellants house.[11] The scythes wooden handle had the name Alberto Dano
carved on it. He turned over the scythe to the police.
The necropsy report established that the cause of death was acute blood loss,
secondary to multiple hacking wounds.[12]
When interrogated by the police, appellant, without assistance of counsel, admitted
he killed his brother. The pertinent portion of his statement, contained in the police
blotter, and read into the records without objection by the defense, reads:
[S]ubject admitted of (sic) killing his younger brother as the latter was drunk and
provoked him for (sic) a scythe duel right downstair(s) of his house that prompted
him to get his scythe and come down from his house and allegedly boxed first his
brother and subsequently hacked several times as he was already commanded by
his evil thought(s).[13]
The victims widow admitted that the scythe, which her late husband carried on that
fateful day, was returned to her by some people in their barangay.[14] She did not
turn over the scythe to the police.[15]
The defense presented appellant and his spouse as its witness.
Appellant claimed that he acted in self-defense and in defense of his family. He
narrated that he and his family were preparing to go to bed at around 6:30 p.m.
March 16, 1994, when he heard somebody shout Boy, come down and we will fight
to death. (Boy kanang diha kay magpatay ta)[16] At first, he tried to ignore the
challenge, but when it was repeated several times, he looked out the window and
saw his brother Emeterio outside, armed with a scythe. He told his brother to go
home but the latter, who appeared disturbed, did not heed his words. Instead, he
kept on hitting the ground with the scythe.[17] Without any provocation on his part,
Emeterio suddenly leaped at him and attacked him with the scythe, which he
evaded.[18] Emeterio then ascended the stairs to push open the bamboo door on the
porch leading to their living room.[19] The door partially opened after Emeterio
slammed it several times. Appellants wife and children screamed and cried in fear.
[20]
Appellant held and twisted his brothers wrist to disarm him of the scythe.[21] They
grappled for the scythe while in the porch, then tumbled down the stairs.[22] When
they hit the ground, the victim was dead. Appellant did not know how many times
he hit his brother or how many wounds he inflicted.[23] He said he was not in a
normal state of mind. Seeing that he had killed his brother, appellant threw the
scythe under his house and went to the barangay captain to surrender. His spouse
largely corroborated appellants version of the first round of the fratricidal affray.
[24]
She claimed, however, that she did not see how the victim was killed as they

were inside the house and she, as well as her children, had their eyes closed in
shock and fear.[25]
Appellant denied owning the scythe found by the barangay captain beneath his
house.[26] He did not know why his name was engraved on the wooden handle of
said scythe.[27] He was sure, however, that it was the same scythe that his brother
was carrying during the incident.[28]
Appellant explained that he had a previous misunderstanding with the victim over
the purchase of a horse from his cousin Doroteo Oliver on installment
basis. Emeterio wanted to buy the horse, but appellant bought it ahead of him,
which caused the former to resent him.[29]
The court below disbelieved appellants version of the incident and decided as
follows:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered finding the accused Alberto Dano y
Jugilon guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder, qualified by
treachery, defined and penalized under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, and
there being no proof of any modifying circumstances either to aggravate or mitigate
the liability, hereby sentences said accused to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua; to pay the heirs of the deceased the sum of P50,000.00 by way of
indemnity for the death of said victim; P3,000.00 as actual damages, compensatory
damages of P2,000.00 by way of unrealized earnings and to pay the costs.
SO ORDERED.[30]
Simply stated, the pertinent issues for our consideration are:
(1) Did the trial court err in admitting the extrajudicial confession of the accused?
(2) Did the court a quo err in failing to appreciate appellants defense of self-defense
and/or defense of relatives, or at the least incomplete self-defense and/or defense of
relatives?
(3) Did it err in convicting appellant of murder qualified by treachery and imposing
the penalty therefor?
On the first issue, appellant avers that it was error for the trial court to give weight
to the admissions made by appellant during custodial investigation (Exhibit
E). Appellant contends that his constitutional and statutory right to counsel during
custodial investigation was violated when the police took his statements without a
lawyer to assist him.He further argues that the trial court should have declared his
statements before the police inadmissible when they were objected to during the
trial.
A person under investigation for the commission of an offense is guaranteed the
following rights by the Constitution:(1) the right to remain silent; (2) the right to
have competent and independent counsel of his own choice, and to be provided
one if he cannot afford the services of counsel; and (3) the right to be informed of
these rights.[31] These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence
of counsel.[32] A confession to be admissible must satisfy the following
requirements: (1) the confession must be voluntary; (2) the confession must be
made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel; (3) the
confession must be express; and (4) the confession must be in writing.[33]In
convicting the accused of the offense charged, the trial court held:

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Accuseds testimony on the witness stand however, contradicts his version


appearing on the police blotter of the police station of Margosatubig dated March
16, 1994, where he admitted the killing of his younger brother Emeterio Dano as
the latter was drunk and provoked him for (sic) a scythe duel right downstairs of his
house that prompted him to get his scythe and come down from his house and
allegedly boxed first his brother and subsequently hacked several times as he was
already commanded by evil thoughts.
During the formal offer of evidence by the prosecution, defense counsel admitted
the authenticity of the extract of above entry in the police blotter (Exhibit B,
prosecution) containing the foregoing recital as testified to by SPO4 Jesus Reales.
Such entry in the police blotter when not objected to, is presumed to have been
accomplished in the regular performance of official duties by the police officer who
made the entry, hence is entitled to full faith and credit. It having been entered at
the time when the accused had just surrendered to the authorities in a remorseful
attitude and in a spontaneous manner free of any extraneous influence and
coaching of a lawyer, the same entry carries great weight and high probative value,
in the absence of any proof of tampering or alteration thereof. This Court therefore
considers the recital in said entry more credible and easy to believe, than the selfserving version of the accused given on the witness stand which is more a product
of an after-thought and concocted story than an honest and truthful version of what
actually happened.[34]
We have carefully scrutinized the records including the List of Exhibits for the
Prosecution[35] and the prosecutions offer of evidence[36] and nowhere find mention
of Exhibit E. What we find offered by the prosecution as evidence is the testimony of
SPO3 Jesus Reales on the authenticity of the entries on the police blotter.[37] The
blotter recorded the incident immediately after the crime and another entry in the
morning, recorded what was observed on the scene of the crime including a
description of the prostrate body of the accused.[38] We also noted in the records
that the defense objected to the admission of the testimony of SPO3 Reales
because said witness is incompetent to testify as to the entryhaving admittedthat
he was not one who entered that (sic) events in the police blotter andthat he has no
knowledge when the entries in the police blotter were made.[39] Moreover, we noted
that SPO3 Reales admitted that as an assistant investigator, he was familiar with
investigation procedures.[40] Under cross-examination, he also admitted appellant
was interrogated by the police regarding the incident,[41] but there was no showing
whatsoever appellant was assisted by counsel during custodial investigation.[42]
Considering the foregoing circumstances, we find merit in appellants claim that his
constitutional rights were violated. First, the trial court erred when it relied on the
supposed extrajudicial confession of appellant in the police blotter. Extrajudicial
confessions must conform to the requirements of the Constitution.[43] A suspects
confession, whether verbal or non-verbal, when taken without the assistance of
counsel without a valid waiver of such assistance regardless of the absence of
coercion or the fact that it had been voluntarily given,[44] is inadmissible in evidence,
[45]
even if appellants confession were gospel truth.
We also find the courts reliance on the presumption that official duty has been
regularly performed[46] misplaced.This presumption cannot by itself prevail over

positive averments concerning violations of the constitutional rights of an accused.


[47]

It was also error for the trial court to have considered and relied on the questioned
entry in the police blotter, given the failure of the prosecution to offer it in
evidence. Evidence which has not been formally offered cannot be considered by
courts.[48] There is valid reason, therefore, to strike down the lower courts reliance
on the assailed police blotter entry in convicting appellant.
All these, however, do not suffice to acquit appellant of the offense
charged. Appellant admitted killing the victim before the barangay captain, who is
neither a police officer nor a law enforcement agent. Such admission, even if done
without the assistance of a lawyer, is not in violation of appellants constitutional
rights.[49] The constitutional requirements on custodial investigation do not apply to
spontaneous statements made in a voluntary manner whereby appellant orally
admitted authorship of the crime.[50] What the Constitution proscribes is the
compulsory or coercive disclosure of incriminating facts.
9. PP V MAYORGA, 346 SCRA 458
Simply stated, the pertinent issues for our consideration are:
(1) Did the trial court err in admitting the extrajudicial confession of the accused?
(2) Did the court a quo err in failing to appreciate appellants defense of self-defense
and/or defense of relatives, or at the least incomplete self-defense and/or defense of
relatives?
(3) Did it err in convicting appellant of murder qualified by treachery and imposing
the penalty therefor?
On the first issue, appellant avers that it was error for the trial court to give weight
to the admissions made by appellant during custodial investigation (Exhibit
E). Appellant contends that his constitutional and statutory right to counsel during
custodial investigation was violated when the police took his statements without a
lawyer to assist him.He further argues that the trial court should have declared his
statements before the police inadmissible when they were objected to during the
trial.
A person under investigation for the commission of an offense is guaranteed the
following rights by the Constitution:(1) the right to remain silent; (2) the right to
have competent and independent counsel of his own choice, and to be provided
one if he cannot afford the services of counsel; and (3) the right to be informed of
these rights.[31] These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence
of counsel.[32] A confession to be admissible must satisfy the following
requirements: (1) the confession must be voluntary; (2) the confession must be
made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel; (3) the
confession must be express; and (4) the confession must be in writing.[33]In
convicting the accused of the offense charged, the trial court held:
Accuseds testimony on the witness stand however, contradicts his version
appearing on the police blotter of the police station of Margosatubig dated March
16, 1994, where he admitted the killing of his younger brother Emeterio Dano as
the latter was drunk and provoked him for (sic) a scythe duel right downstairs of his

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house that prompted him to get his scythe and come down from his house and
allegedly boxed first his brother and subsequently hacked several times as he was
already commanded by evil thoughts.
During the formal offer of evidence by the prosecution, defense counsel admitted
the authenticity of the extract of above entry in the police blotter (Exhibit B,
prosecution) containing the foregoing recital as testified to by SPO4 Jesus Reales.
Such entry in the police blotter when not objected to, is presumed to have been
accomplished in the regular performance of official duties by the police officer who
made the entry, hence is entitled to full faith and credit. It having been entered at
the time when the accused had just surrendered to the authorities in a remorseful
attitude and in a spontaneous manner free of any extraneous influence and
coaching of a lawyer, the same entry carries great weight and high probative value,
in the absence of any proof of tampering or alteration thereof. This Court therefore
considers the recital in said entry more credible and easy to believe, than the selfserving version of the accused given on the witness stand which is more a product
of an after-thought and concocted story than an honest and truthful version of what
actually happened.[34]
We have carefully scrutinized the records including the List of Exhibits for the
Prosecution[35] and the prosecutions offer of evidence[36] and nowhere find mention
of Exhibit E. What we find offered by the prosecution as evidence is the testimony of
SPO3 Jesus Reales on the authenticity of the entries on the police blotter.[37] The
blotter recorded the incident immediately after the crime and another entry in the
morning, recorded what was observed on the scene of the crime including a
description of the prostrate body of the accused.[38] We also noted in the records
that the defense objected to the admission of the testimony of SPO3 Reales
because said witness is incompetent to testify as to the entryhaving admittedthat
he was not one who entered that (sic) events in the police blotter andthat he has no
knowledge when the entries in the police blotter were made.[39] Moreover, we noted
that SPO3 Reales admitted that as an assistant investigator, he was familiar with
investigation procedures.[40] Under cross-examination, he also admitted appellant
was interrogated by the police regarding the incident,[41] but there was no showing
whatsoever appellant was assisted by counsel during custodial investigation.[42]
Considering the foregoing circumstances, we find merit in appellants claim that his
constitutional rights were violated. First, the trial court erred when it relied on the
supposed extrajudicial confession of appellant in the police blotter. Extrajudicial
confessions must conform to the requirements of the Constitution.[43] A suspects
confession, whether verbal or non-verbal, when taken without the assistance of
counsel without a valid waiver of such assistance regardless of the absence of
coercion or the fact that it had been voluntarily given,[44] is inadmissible in evidence,
[45]
even if appellants confession were gospel truth.
We also find the courts reliance on the presumption that official duty has been
regularly performed[46] misplaced.This presumption cannot by itself prevail over
positive averments concerning violations of the constitutional rights of an accused.
[47]

It was also error for the trial court to have considered and relied on the questioned
entry in the police blotter, given the failure of the prosecution to offer it in

evidence. Evidence which has not been formally offered cannot be considered by
courts.[48] There is valid reason, therefore, to strike down the lower courts reliance
on the assailed police blotter entry in convicting appellant.
All these, however, do not suffice to acquit appellant of the offense
charged. Appellant admitted killing the victim before the barangay captain, who is
neither a police officer nor a law enforcement agent. Such admission, even if done
without the assistance of a lawyer, is not in violation of appellants constitutional
rights.[49] The constitutional requirements on custodial investigation do not apply to
spontaneous statements made in a voluntary manner whereby appellant orally
admitted authorship of the crime.[50] What the Constitution proscribes is the
compulsory or coercive disclosure of incriminating facts.
10. PP V PATUNGAN, 354 SCRA 413
The accused was under coercive and uncounselled custodial investigation by the
police without a lawyer for 2 and a half days . Then, he was brought to the IBP Office
where a lawyer assisted him in his extrajudicial confession.
We are inclined to believe that when he was brought to the IBP Office, his
body and his will were in no position to raise any objection much less to complaint
to the IBP lawyer about what he has gone through. In fact, the IBP lawyer was
working on an appeal in another case while the extrajudicial confession was being
taken.
The mere presence of a lawyer is not sufficient compliance with the
constitutional requirement of assistance of counsel. Assistance of counsel must be
effective, vigilant and independent. A lawyer who could just hear the investigation
going on while working on another case hardly satisfies the minimum requirements
of effective assistance of counsel. Not only was the accused subjected to custodial
investigation without counsel, he was likewise denied effective assistance of
counsel during the taking of his extra-judicial confession.
11. PP V CABILES, 284 SCRA 199
2. Guidelines for police investigation; when it is deemed to have started
Read:
1. ESCOBEDO V ILLINOIS, 378 US 478
2. Miranda vs. Arizona, 384 US 436
Facts: [No. 759; Miranda vs. Arizona] On 13 March 1963, Ernesto Miranda was
arrested at his home and taken in custody to a Phoenix police station. He was there
identified by the complaining witness. The police then took him to "Interrogation
Room No. 2" of the detective bureau. There he was questioned by two police
officers. The officers did not advise Miranda that he had a right to have an attorney
present. Two hours later, the officers emerged from the interrogation room with a
written confession signed by Miranda. At the top of the statement was a typed
paragraph stating that the confession was made voluntarily, without threats or

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promises of immunity and "with full knowledge of my legal rights, understanding


any statement I make may be used against me." At his trial before a jury, the
written confession was admitted into evidence over the objection of defense
counsel, and the officers testified to the prior oral confession made by Miranda
during the interrogation. Miranda was found guilty of kidnapping and rape. He was
sentenced to 20 to 30 years' imprisonment on each count, the sentences to run
concurrently. On appeal, the Supreme Court of Arizona held that Miranda's
constitutional rights were not violated in obtaining the confession and affirmed the
conviction. In reaching its decision, the court emphasized heavily the fact that
Miranda did not specifically request counsel. [No. 760, Vignera vs. New York]
Michael Vignera, was picked up by New York police on 14 October 1960, in
connection with the robbery three days earlier of a Brooklyn dress shop. They took
him to the 17th Detective Squad headquarters in Manhattan. Sometime thereafter
he was taken to the 66th Detective Squad. While at the 66th Detective Squad,
Vignera was identified by the store owner and a saleslady as the man who robbed
the dress shop. At about 3 p. m. he was formally arrested. The police then
transported him to still another station, the 70th Precinct in Brooklyn, "for
detention." At 11 p. m. Vignera was questioned by an assistant district attorney in
the presence of a hearing reporter who transcribed the questions and Vignera's
answers. This verbatim account of these proceedings contains no statement of any
warnings given by the assistant district attorney. At Vignera's trial on a charge of
first degree robbery, the detective testified as to the oral confession. The
transcription of the statement taken was also introduced in evidence. Vignera was
found guilty of first degree robbery. He was subsequently adjudged a third-felony
offender and sentenced to 30 to 60 years' imprisonment. The conviction was
affirmed without opinion by the Appellate Division, Second Department, and by the
Court of Appeals, also without opinion, remittitur amended. In argument to the
Court of Appeals, the State contended that Vignera had no constitutional right to be
advised of his right to counsel or his privilege against self-incrimination. [No. 761,
Westover vs. United States] At approximately 9:45 p. m. on 20 March 1963, Carl
Calvin Westover was arrested by local police in Kansas City as a suspect in two
Kansas City robberies. A report was also received from the FBI that he was wanted
on a felony charge in California. The local authorities took him to a police station
and placed him in a line-up on the local charges, and at about 11:45 p. m. he was
booked. Kansas City police interrogated Westover on the night of his arrest. He
denied any knowledge of criminal activities. The next day local officers interrogated
him again throughout the morning. Shortly before noon they informed the FBI that
they were through interrogating Westover and that the FBI could proceed to
interrogate him. There is nothing in the record to indicate that Westover was ever
given any warning as to his rights by local police. At noon, three special agents of
the FBI continued the interrogation in a private interview room of the Kansas City
Police Department, this time with respect to the robbery of a savings and loan
association and a bank in Sacramento, California. After two or two and one-half
hours, Westover signed separate confessions to each of these two robberies which
had been prepared by one of the agents during the interrogation. At trial one of the
agents testified, and a paragraph on each of the statements states, that the agents

advised Westover that he did not have to make a statement, that any statement he
made could be used against him, and that he had the right to see an attorney.
Westover was tried by a jury in federal court and convicted of the California
robberies. His statements were introduced at trial. He was sentenced to 15 years'
imprisonment on each count, the sentences to run consecutively. On appeal, the
conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. [No. 584,
California vs. Stewart] In the course of investigating a series of purse-snatch
robberies in which one of the victims had died of injuries inflicted by her assailant,
Roy Allen Stewart was pointed out to Los Angeles police as the endorser of dividend
checks taken in one of the robberies. At about 7:15 p. m., 31 January 1963, police
officers went to Stewart's house and arrested him. One of the officers asked Stewart
if they could search the house, to which he replied, "Go ahead." The search turned
up various items taken from the five robbery victims. At the time of Stewart's arrest,
police also arrested Stewart's wife and three other persons who were visiting him.
These four were jailed along with Stewart and were interrogated. Stewart was taken
to the University Station of the Los Angeles Police Department where he was placed
in a cell. During the next five days, police interrogated Stewart on nine different
occasions. Except during the first interrogation session, when he was confronted
with an accusing witness, Stewart was isolated with his interrogators. During the
ninth interrogation session, Stewart admitted that he had robbed the deceased and
stated that he had not meant to hurt her. Police then brought Stewart before a
magistrate for the first time. Since there was no evidence to connect them with any
crime, the police then released the other four persons arrested with him. Nothing in
the record specifically indicates whether Stewart was or was not advised of his right
to remain silent or his right to counsel. In a number of instances, however, the
interrogating officers were asked to recount everything that was said during the
interrogations. None indicated that Stewart was ever advised of his rights. Stewart
was charged with kidnapping to commit robbery, rape, and murder. At his trial,
transcripts of the first interrogation and the confession at the last interrogation were
introduced in evidence. The jury found Stewart guilty of robbery and first degree
murder and fixed the penalty as death. On appeal, the Supreme Court of California
reversed. Issue: Whether the written confessions made in uncounselled
interrogation, with the accused not appraised of his right to consult with an attorney
and to have one during the inerrogation, nor his right not to be compelled to
incriminate himself, are not admissible as evidence. Held: In No. 759, from the
testimony of the officers and by the admission of the State of Arizona, it is clear that
Miranda was not in any way apprised of his right to consult with an attorney and to
have one present during the interrogation, nor was his right not to be compelled to
incriminate himself effectively protected in any other manner. Without these
warnings the statements were inadmissible. The mere fact that he signed a
statement which contained a typed-in clause stating that he had "full knowledge" of
his "legal rights" does not approach the knowing and intelligent waiver required to
relinquish constitutional rights. Similarly in No. 760, Vignera was not warned of any
of his rights before the questioning by the detective and by the assistant district
attorney. No other steps were taken to protect these rights. Thus he was not
effectively apprised of his Fifth Amendment privilege or of his right to have counsel

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present and his statements are inadmissible. In No. 761, there is nothing in the facts
that Westover knowingly and intelligently waived his right to remain silent and his
right to consult with counsel prior to the time he made the statement. At the time
the FBI agents began questioning Westover, he had been in custody for over 14
hours and had been interrogated at length during that period. The FBI interrogation
began immediately upon the conclusion of the interrogation by Kansas City police
and was conducted in local police headquarters. There is no evidence of any
warning given prior to the FBI interrogation nor is there any evidence of an
articulated waiver of rights after the FBI commenced its interrogation. The record
simply shows that the defendant did in fact confess a short time after being turned
over to the FBI following interrogation by local police. Despite the fact that the FBI
agents gave warnings at the outset of their interview, from Westover's point of view
the warnings came at the end of the interrogation process. In these circumstances
an intelligent waiver of constitutional rights cannot be assumed. Law enforcement
authorities are not precluded from questioning any individual who has been held for
a period of time by other authorities and interrogated by them without appropriate
warnings. A different case would be presented if an accused were taken into
custody by the second authority, removed both in time and place from his original
surroundings, and then adequately advised of his rights and given an opportunity to
exercise them. Lastly in No. 584, In dealing with custodial interrogation, the Court
will not presume that a defendant has been effectively apprised of his rights and
that his privilege against self-incrimination has been adequately safeguarded on a
record that does not show that any warnings have been given or that any effective
alternative has been employed. Nor can a knowing and intelligent waiver of these
rights be assumed on a silent record. Furthermore, Stewart's steadfast denial of the
alleged offenses through eight of the nine interrogations over a period of five days is
subject to no other construction than that he was compelled by persistent
interrogation to forgo his Fifth Amendment privilege.

The crime was discovered in PM the next day by the bgy captain. Noticing that the windows of
the old woman's house had not been opened, he asked the grandson of the old woman, to peep
through the bedroom window.
When Olmos informed bgy Cpt. that the old woman's things were scattered in the bedroom, he
requested Olmos to inform his uncle, Salvador Duero, a son of the old woman, to come to the
house. Salvador found that money and pieces of jewelry were missing. A mallet was found on
the floor near the victim's body.
No eyewitness testified as to the commission of the offense. The principal evidence of the
prosecution is the testimony of Lt Lujan, chief of police of Cabatuan corroborated by
circumstantial evidence from witnesses.
Lujan declared that Severino voluntarily confessed to him that he committed the crime but
refused to sign a confession. Patrolman Alag also heard him confess & that it was he who
induced the commission of the crime. Patrolman Tormon declared at the prelim exam, Duero
knew that Fausta had money bec Fausta's daughter Mauring repaid her P1K.
Tormon said that Severino met Fausta at a store in the morning of Oct 23, 1976. Fausta was
willing to lend Severino P100.
Another witness testified that Severino told him that he would rob Fausta. Another one said he
saw Severino near the stairs at around 6 pm. Severino was calling the old woman.
*ISSUE: WON TC erred in convicting Duero on the basis of his oral confession to the police
station commander.
HELD: YES. Severino repudiated his alleged oral confession and even claimed that he was
maltreated by the police.
As alibi, Severino testified that he was in his house when the crime was perpetrated. His wife,
neighbor and friends, confirmed his alibi.

3. P. vs. Duero, 104 SCRA 379


Inasmuch as the prosecution in this case failed to prove that before Duero made his alleged oral
confession he was informed of his rights to remain silent and to have counsel and because there
is no proof that he knowingly and intelligently waived those rights, his confession is
inadmissible in evidence.
*NATURE: Automatic review of the decision convicting Duero of robbery w/ homicide.
FACTS: Sunday PM, Oct 24, 1976, Fausta Duero, an octogenarian housekeeper living alone,
was killed in her house located at Barrio Banguit, Cabatuan, Iloilo.
She sustained 2 gaping wounds on the right cheek, 2 on the neck, another on the right shoulder
and a bruise on the cheek. A piece of wire was tied around her neck. A scythe was sticking in her
neck.

SolGen agrees w/ counsel de oficio's contention that Severino's oral confession is inadmissible
in evidence by reason of Art IV Consti:
"SEC 20. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. Any person under
investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to remain silent and to
counsel, and to be informed of such right. No force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other
means which vitiates the free will shall be used against him. Any confession obtained in
violation of this section shall be inadmissible in evidence."
All the foregoing provisions are new except the first sentence, regarding the right against selfincrimination (nemo tenetur seipsum accusare), (1935 Consti), now revised or expanded in sec
20.

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The new provisions in sec 20, Art IV 1973 Consti were adopted from the ruling in Miranda vs.
Arizona w/c specifies the ff. procedural safeguards for in-custody interrogation of accused
persons:

Chief Justice Warren's summary of the procedural safeguards for persons in police custody
where the interrogation is regarded as the commencement already of the trial or adversary
system:

"Prior to any questioning, the person must be warned that he has a right to remain silent, that any
statement he does make may be used as evidence against him, and that he has a right to the
presence of an atty. (must be clear & unequivocal)

"Opportunity to exercise these rights must be afforded to him throughout the interrogation.

"The defendant may waive these rights, provided the waiver is made voluntarily knowingly and
intelligently.
As restated by Chief Justice Warren in the Miranda case:

Inasmuch as the prosecution in this case failed to prove that before Duero made his alleged oral
confession he was informed of his rights to remain silent and to have counsel and because there
is no proof that he knowingly and intelligently waived those rights, his confession is
inadmissible in evidence.
After discarding Duero's oral confession, circumstantial evidence against him is not adequate for
his conviction. His acquittal follows as a matter of course.

"For those unaware of the privilege, the warning is needed simply to make them aware of it
the threshold requirement for an intelligent decision as to its exercise.

RULING: Acquitted.

"More important, such a warning is an absolute pre-requisite in overcoming the inherent


pressures of the interrogation atmosphere . . .

2-a Duties of the Police Arresting Officers.


Immediately after arrest:

"Further, the warning will show the individual that his interrogators are prepared to recognize
his privilege should he choose to exercise it . . .

1. MORALES-MONCUPA V JUAN PONCE ENRILE, 121 SCRA 538


Habeas Corpus The Right to Bail
In April 1982, Morales and some others were arrested while driving a motor vehicle
in Laong-Laan St, QC. They were charged in CFI Rizal for rebellion punishable under
the RPC. Morales alleged that they were arrested without any warrant of arrest; that
their constitutional rights were violated, among them the right to counsel, the right
to remain silent, the right to a speedy and public trial, and the right to bail.
Respondents countered that the group of Morales were already under surveillance
for some time before they were arrested and that the warrantless arrest done is
valid and at the same time the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus was already
suspended.
ISSUE: Whether or not Morales et al can post bail.
HELD: Normally, rebellion being a non-capital offense is bailable. But because the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus remains suspended with respect to persons
at present detained as well as other who may hereafter be similarly detained for the
crimes of insurrection or rebellion, subversion, conspiracy or proposal to commit
such crimes, and for all other crimes and offenses committed by them in
furtherance of or on the occasion thereof, or incident thereto, or in connection
therewith, the natural consequence is that the right to bail for the commission of
anyone of the said offenses is also suspended. To hold otherwise would defeat the
very purpose of the suspension. Therefore, where the offense for which the
detainee was arrested is anyone of the said offenses he has no right to bail even
after the charges are filed in court. The crimes of rebellion, subversion, conspiracy
or proposal to commit such crimes, and crimes or offenses committed in
furtherance thereof or in connection therewith constitute direct attacks on the life of
the State. Just as an individual has right to self-defense when his life is endangered,
so does the State. The suspension of the privilege of the writ is to enable the State

"The warning must be accompanied by the explanation that anything said can and will be used
against the individual in court. This warning is needed in order to make him aware not only of
the privilege, but also of the consequences of forgoing it . . .
"An individual need not make a pre-interrogation request for a lawyer. Failure to ask for a
lawyer does not constitute a waiver. The accused who does not know his rights and therefore
does not make a request may be the person who most needs counsel.
"If the interrogation continues w/o presence of an atty and a statement is taken, a heavy burden
rests on the govt to demonstrate that the defendant knowingly and intelligently waived his
privilege against self-incrimination and his right to retained or appointed counsel . . .
"An express statement that the individual is willing to make a statement and does not want an
atty followed closely by a statement could constitute a waiver . . .
In the Miranda case, the Federal Supreme Court made it clear that what is prohibited is the
"incommunicado interrogation of individuals in a police-dominated atmosphere, resulting in
self-incriminating statements w/o full warnings of constitutional rights."
The Miranda ruling does not mean that the police should stop a person who enters a police
station and states that he wishes to confess to a crime. It does not affect volunteered statements
of guilt by persons not in police custody.

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to hold in preventive imprisonment pending investigation and trial those persons


who plot against it and commit acts that endanger the States very existence. For
this measure of self-defense to be effective, the right to bail must also be deemed
suspended with respect to these offenses. However, there is a difference between
preventive and punitive imprisonment. Where the filing of charges in court or the
trial of such charges already filed becomes protracted without any justifiable reason,
the detention becomes punitive in character and the detainee regains his right to
freedom. Quite notable in this case however is that the 2nd division of the SC
reiterated the Lansang Doctrine as opposed to what they ruled in the Garcia-Padilla
Case.
Read:
1. P. v MATOS-VIDUYA, Sept. 11, 1990
That on or about the 26th day of August, 1980, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the
said accused, with intent to kill, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously attack, assault and use personal violence upon the person of ATTY. JOSE
VIDUYA y TAVARES, her husband, and with whom she was united in lawful wedlock,
by then and there stabbing him several times with a bladed weapon, thereby
inflicting upon the said Atty. Jose Viduya y Tavares mortal stab wounds which were
the direct cause of his death immediately thereafter. (Rollo, p. 4)
The prosecution presented the following evidence:
(1) Mrs. Remedios Domingo, a lessee on the ground floor of the victim's house,
testified that on August 26, 1980, at about 12 o'clock midnight, she was awakened
by moaning sounds, followed by a thud, emanating from the second floor where the
victim, Atty. Viduya, lived. Mrs. Domingo, who had been a lessee in the same house
for twenty five (25) years and had known her lessor to suffer from a heart ailment,
presumed that the latter was having a heart attack. She immediately ran towards
the apartment of the victim's family driver, Melanio Cambel, which was only four (4)
meters away. She shouted, "Melanio, Melanio, your sir might have a heart attack,
you better go upstairs." Awakened by her call, Melanio proceeded to the victim's
house. (TSN, February 24, 1981, pp.
154-157)
(2) Melanio Cambel declared that he was the family driver and was renting an
apartment owned by the victim which is just a few meters from his house. At about
midnight of August 26, 1980, he was aroused from his sleep by the shouts of
Remedios Domingo who was telling him to go upstairs as his "sir" might be having
an attack. He ran upstairs to the house of Atty. Viduya and was let in by Lydia
Firmanes, a cousin of the accused. Upon entering, Cambel saw the victim clutching,
with both hands, the handle of the refrigerator located just outside the door leading
to the victim's room, leaning thereon for support. Immediately standing behind the
victim was the accused, his wife, holding a knife with both hands. As Cambel
approached them, she stooped down saying "Diosko, Diosko, trying to conceal the
knife from him. Cambel ran towards the victim, lending him support so that the
latter would not fall. However, the victim was heavy, that even with Cambel
supporting him, he nevertheless fell down. Still holding the victim, Cambel inquired
from him what happened but the latter was too weak to speak. Not getting any

answer from the victim, Cambel asked the accused why she stabbed her husband.
Initially, the accused did not answer, but upon being questioned for the second
time, she hesitantly muttered "Magnanakaw, magnanakaw." Since other persons
had by then arrived, Cambel requested assistance to bring the victim to the
hospital. The victim was brought to St. Jude Hospital, Dimasalang, Sampaloc, Manila
but was pronounced dead on arrival. (TSN, Dec. 10, 1980, pp. 260-268)
(3) Florentino Bagallon, an investigator of the Crimes against Persons Section of the
Manila Police Force, Western Police District, declared that he conducted an on-thespot ocular inspection of the victim's house and found, in the bedroom of the victim
and the accused, a single bed with a white blanket in disorder, soaked in a pool of
blood. He extended the search to the ground floor of the house and recovered two
pieces of bladed knives at the east yard of the victim's residence which was used as
parking space for heavy trucks. One of the knives had a bended blade. On the east
wall, he found a rectangular hole which used to hold an air-conditioning unit, and a
wall clock and table clock beside the rectangular hole. He likewise noticed some
pieces of wood placed under a parked heavy truck on the east yard. The accused
informed him that those pieces of wood used to cover the rectangular hole.
Thereafter, he advised the accused and the victim's son, Salvador Viduya, to go
with him to the police headquarters for a formal investigation. (TSN., Oct. 28, 1980,
pp. 18-30)
Bagallon testified that at 3:15 in the morning of August 26, 1980, the accused
executed a salaysay. Significant portions of the said salaysay are quoted, as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
7. T-Ano ba sa alam ninyo and dahilan ng kanyang pagkamatay?
S-Sinaksak dahil sa panloloob na ginawa sa amin.
xxx xxx xxx
15. T-Nang marinig ninyo ang ungol na nanggaling sa inyong asawa at kayo nga
noon ay nagising, ano naman ang inyong nakita?
S-Dalawang lalaki, ang isa ay nakatayo sa tabi ng kama ko at may nakatutok na
patalim sa aking ulo at sa kabilang kama naman ay nakita ko na may isa pa ring
lalaki na sumasaksak sa aking asawa.
xxx xxx xxx
26. T-Nakikilala po ba naman ninyo and dalawang lalaking pumasok sa loob ng
kuwarto ninyo?
S-Kung sakaling makita ko uli ay maaari kong makilala.
27. T-Ano po ba ang hitsura nila?
S-Yun pong sumaksak sa asawa ko ay maitim, mga 5'3 po, nakasuot ng dark color
at yong tumutok naman sa akin ay may mga 5'2, kayumanggi, slender, putian and
suot na damit.
xxx xxx xxx
31. T-Nang maganap ang pangloloob sa inyo at pananaksak sa asawa mo
hanggang sa makaalis ang dalawang lalaki, nasaan ba naman ang mga taong
kasama mo sa bahay?
S-Nagising silang lahat sa pagsigaw ko.
32. T-At ano ba naman ang isinigaw mo?
S-Magnanakaw, magnanakaw!!! (Emphasis ours, Exh. H, pp. 5-6, Folder of Exhibits)

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xxx xxx xxx


Pfc. Bagallon also stated that on August 26, 1980 at about 5:30 in the afternoon, the
accused was again invited to the police headquarters for further investigation. In
her second "salaysay" executed on the aforesaid date and time, she reiterated her
narration contained in her first "salaysay" executed earlier that morning. This time,
however, she declared that one of the malefactors was a certain Edito Pateo, their
former employee. (Exhibit "L", p. 12, Folder of Exhibits) On August 30, 1980 at 2:20
in the morning, Mrs. Virginia Viduya again executed a "salaysay" (Exhibit "M", p. 13,
Folder of Exhibits). Later, at about 10:00 o'clock in the morning of the same date,
Mrs. Viduya executed her extrajudicial confession wherein she categorically
admitted authorship of the killing of her husband. However, she claimed that she
merely acted in self-defense. (Exhibits "N", p. 17, Folder of Exhibits)
Upon arraignment, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The version of the defense, during the trial is as follows:
The accused and her husband were asleep in separate beds when she was
awakened by her husband's moans. She saw two men, one pointing a knife at her
temple and the other stabbing her husband. She identified Edito Pateo as the man
who poked a knife at her temple. Pateo was about to stab her so she parried the
knife and tried to wrest it away from him and in the process, the blade became
bent. She ran after them shouting "Magnanakaw, magnanakaw" but they had
already escaped. (Exhibit "L", p. 11, Folder of Exhibits) She recognized Melanio
Cambel, their family driver, as the man who stabbed her husband (TSN., March 17,
1981, p. 352). Cambel even threatened and slapped and nearly choked her to
death at the first night of the wake because he could not force her to sleep (TSN.,
June 10, 1982, pp. 427- 428). She was misled and deceived by Pfc. Bagallon into
signing her extrajudicial confession (TSN., June 10, 1981, p. 431) since he told her
that she will not be detained if she signs the document. (TSN., March 27, 1981, p.
372)
After due trial, the lower court rendered its decision adjudging the accused guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of parricide. The relevant and dispositive
portion of the judgment are quoted as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
Finding the confession made by the accused Virginia Matus Viduya admissible in
evidence together with the convincing proof of the corpus delicti by the prosecution,
this Court holds that accused Virginia Matus Viduya is guilty of the crime of Parricide
as defined and penalized by the Revised Penal Code beyond reasonable doubt.
WHEREFORE, this Court hereby sentences the accused Virginia Matus to suffer the
penalty ofRECLUSION PERPETUA; to indemnify the heirs of the deceased Jose
Viduya in the amount of TWELVE THOUSAND PESOS (P12,000.00), Philippine
currency and to pay the costs of suit. (Rollo, p. 15)
Hence, this appeal.
The appellant assigns the following errors:
I
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING THE EXTRA-JUDICIAL CONFESSION OF
THE ACCUSED, THE SAME HAVING BEEN SIGNED WITHOUT ASSISTANCE OF
COUNSEL AND BEING INVOLUNTARY AND UNCORROBORATE

Article III, Section 12 (1) of the 1987 Constitution mandates that:


Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the
right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and
independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the
services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived
except in writing and in the presence of counsel. (Emphasis supplied)
In this case, it is undisputed that the extrajudicial confession was executed without
the presence of counsel. We quote the relevant excerpt from the extrajudicial
confession:
xxx xxx xxx
T- Ikaw ay may karapatan pa rin kumuha ng serbisyo ng isang abogado para
makatulong mo sa imbestigasyong ito at kung wala kang makukuha, ikaw ay aming
bibigyan ng libreng abogado, ano ngayon and iyong masasabi?
S- Nandiyan naman po si Fiscal (pointing to Assistant Fiscal DOMINGO A. MENDOZA)
kaya hindi ko na kailangan and abogado.
xxx xxx xxx
(Exhibit "N" p. 17, Folder of Exhibits)
The trial judge, in holding that the extrajudicial confession is admissible, reasoned
out that there is no prohibition for Assistant Fiscal Domingo A. Mendoza to act as
counsel for the accused as it is his primordial duty not only to prosecute a case but
also to protect the rights of an accused and to see that no violence, force, coercion
or intimidation be used to secure from a person under custodial investigation his
statement. (Rollo, p. 13)
Section 12(1) of Article III of the 1987 Constitution favors the accused and is fully
applicable to this case. It is also elementary that a Fiscal or Prosecutor cannot be a
lawyer for the accused at the same time.
In his testimony, Assistant Fiscal Mendoza stated that his main functions as
Assistant Fiscal in the City of Manila are to prosecute cases and to render duties as
an inquest fiscal. * Whether or not the subsequent trial of a confessant's case will be
assigned to him as prosecutor is immaterial. He cannot pretend to act as defense
counsel.
An assistant fiscal, or a fiscal for that matter, cannot exercise the function of
defense counsel even during custodial investigation. To allow such a happenstance
would render illusory the protection given to the accused during custodial
investigation. What the Constitution requires in Article III Section 12 (1) is the
presence of competent and independent counsel, one who will effectively
undertake his client's defense without any intervening conflict of interest.
Moreover, the answer of the accused ("Nandiyan naman po si Fiscal kaya hindi ko
na kailangan ng abogado") is a palpable indication that she did not fully understand
her in-custody rights, hence it cannot be said that she knowingly and intelligently
waived those rights. The rule espoused in People v. Nicandro, 141 SCRA 289,
[1986], bears repeating:
xxx xxx xxx
Like other constitutional rights, the right against self-incrimination, including the
right of a person under investigation to remain silent and to counsel, and to be

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informed of such right, may be waived. To be valid, however, a waiver of the right
must not only be voluntary; it must be made knowingly and intelligently, which
presupposes an awareness or understanding of what is being waived. It stands to
reason that where the right has not been adequately explained and there are
serious doubts as to whether the person interrogated knew and understood his
relevant constitutional rights when he answered the questions, it is idle to talk of
waiver of rights.
This ruling has been reinforced and made clearer by the new provision of the Bill of
Rights.
The extrajudicial confession having no probative value on the grounds that it was
executed without the presence of counsel and there having been no intelligent
waiver of the right to remain silent, this Court no longer deems it necessary to
inquire into the alleged deceit employed by Pfc. Bagallon in extracting the abovementioned confession from the accused.
The remaining issue left for determination is whether or not the prosecution
evidence, absent the extrajudicial confession, is sufficient to sustain the lower
court's conviction of the accused.
A rule firmly entrenched in our criminal justice system is that the prosecution must
rely on the strength of its evidence and not on the weakness of the defense. (People
v. Ramirez, 116 SCRA 48 [1982]; People v. Co, 163 SCRA 453 [1988]) In the case
before us, the defense of the accused is weak. In trying to exculpate herself, the
appellant tried to shift culpability to another person. The attempt is not convincing.
As the trial court ruled:
xxx xxx xxx
The claim of accused that it was Melanio Cambel who stabbed her husband for
reasons that he had been indifferent, never cared to bring the victim to the hospital,
that he was drunkard, a Casanova and failed to repair the headlamp of their car on
time-such motive is too incredible to believe. That he slapped and choked her when
every body were (sic) asleep at the first night of the wake at the Funeraria Paz and
she did not shout but merely cried are beyond the comprehension of human
instinct. Evidence to be believed must not only proceed from the mouth of a
credible witness but it must be credible in itself. (Vda. de Bonifacio v. BLT Bus Co.,
Inc., 34 SCRA 618 [1970]) It is a common knowledge and a recognized custom
within us that no relative or friend will sleep on the very first night of a wake-more
so when the case of death is a shocking one. Human perception can be warped by
the impact of events and the testimony colored by the unconscious workings of the
mind. No better test has yet been found to measure the value of a witness'
testimony than its conformity to the knowledge and common experience of
mankind. Whatever is repugnant to these belong to the miraculous and could not
be of judicial cognizance (People v. Baquiran, 20 SCRA 451 [1967]). (Rollo, pp. 1415)
But though the accused's defense is weak, the prosecution's evidence is not strong
enough to adduce proof beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is the guilty
party.
A thorough review of the prosecution's evidence discloses that the only proof linking
the accused to the killing of her husband is the testimony of Melanio Cambel.

Cambel testified that he saw the accused behind the victim, holding a knife with
both hands. It is not shown how twelve stab wounds, most of them serious, could
have been inflicted by a woman under the circumstances of his testimony. Two
knives were involved in the stabbing. Other than Melanio Cambel's testimony, there
is no other evidence, direct or circumstantial, pointing to the accused as the author
of the crime.
The Solicitor General capitalizes on the inconsistencies in the three affidavits which
the accused executed prior to the taking of her extrajudicial confession. He is of the
persuasion that her issuance of three statements, the truth of which she affirmed in
open court but the contents of which differ from each other, is another
circumstantial evidence of her culpability. This Court, however, is of the view that
the conflicting affidavits executed by the accused merely weaken her defense and
cannot be considered as circumstantial evidence for the prosecution.
Moreover, the trial court's complete reliance on only one of three (3) extrajudicial
statements and its total rejection of the two other statements without any
independent evidence or proof for such action, is not explained.
Considering the paucity of the State's evidence, we are not satisfied that the
constitutional presumption of innocence accorded to the accused-appellant has
been overthrown. The constitutional presumption of innocence can be overcome
only by proof beyond reasonable doubt, which is the degree of proof that, after
investigation of the whole record, produces moral certainty in an unprejudiced mind
of the appellant's culpability. (People v. Dramayo, 42 SCRA 59 [1971]) The
prosecution failed to produce such proof. This Court, therefore, has no other
recourse but to acquit the accused-appellant.
It is high time that our law enforcement agencies learn to live with the new
requirements of the Bill of Rights. A former Senator and distinguished libertarian
was reportedly asked about academic qualifications of policemen and he answered,
"they have only one degreethe third degree." This perception, justified or not, is
the reason for the present Bill of Rights provision on extrajudicial confessions. It
should become a thing of the past. Better investigation procedures and more
sophisticated techniques, not to mention industry and persistence, must replace the
former persuading, and coercing of, or total dependence on extrajudicial
confessions.
WHEREFORE, the JUDGMENT of the trial court convicting the accused-appellant is
hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and another entered ACQUITTING her on
reasonable doubt.
2. PP V NICANDRO
G.R. No. L-59378 February 11, 1986
People vs. Nicandro 141 SCRA 289
Facts:
After the complaints and reports were verified to be true, an entrapment with the
confidential informant acting as the buyer of marijuana was organized. The police
team formed to carry out the entrapment plan was alerted of the presence of the
drug pusher, the appellant Nelia Nicandro y Velarma, alias Nel. The informant
asked to buy some marijuana cigarette and gave appellant the two (2) marked P
5.00 bills Thereupon, the appellant delivered to informant four (4) sticks of

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marijuana cigarette. Immediately the police team closed in and nabbed the
appellant, was frisked and got from the right front pocket of her pants the two (2),
marked P5.00 bills, and from the left pocket of her pants the marijuana flowering
tops wrapped in a piece of newspaper. Upon being investigated and after having
been duly apprised of her constitutional rights, appellant orally admitted having sold
the four (4) sticks of marijuana cigarettes and the ownership of the marijuana
flowering tops taken from her pocket, but refused to reduce her confession to
writing.
Issue:
Whether or not there was a violation of the accused constitutional rights to be
informed of his rights and to warnings.
Held:
Yes.
When the Constitution requires a person under investigation to be informed of his
right to remain silent and to counsel, it must be presumed to contemplate the
transmission of meaningful information rather than just the ceremonial and
perfunctory recitation of an abstract constitutional principle. As a rule, therefor, it
would not be sufficient for a police officer just to repeat to the person under
investigation the provisions of Section 20, Article IV of the Constitution. He is not
only duty-bound to tell the person the rights to which the latter is entitled; he must
also explain their effects in practical terms, e.g., what the person under
interrogation may or may not do, and in a language the subject fairly understands.
(See People vs. Ramos, 122 SCRA 312: People VS. Caguioa, 95 SCRA 2.) In other
words, the right of a person under interrogation to be informed implies a
correlative obligation on the part of the police investigator to explain, and
contemplates an effective communication that results in understanding what is
conveyed. Short of this, there is a denial of the right, as it cannot truly be said that
the person has been informed of his rights. Now, since the right to be informed
implies comprehension, the degree of explanation required will necessary vary,
depending upon the education, intelligence and other relevant personal
circumstances of the person under investigation. Suffice it to say that a simpler and
more lucid explanation is needed where the subject is unlettered.
3, PP V DUHAN
That on or about the 29th day of June, 1982, in the City of Manila, Philippines, the
said accused not being authorized by law to sell, deliver, give away to another or
distribute any prohibited drugs, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and
knowingly jointly sell or offer for sale to the public the following: dried marijuana
leaves wrapped in an aluminum foil and one (1) stick of marijuana cigarette, which
is a prohibited drug.
In the Trial Court's view, the prosecution had succeeded in establishing by
competent evidence the following facts:
On or about 7:00 o'clock in the evening of 29 June 1982, a confidential informer
(whose name was not divulged for security reasons but was simply described as an
18-year old lady) went to Police Station No. 5 of the Western Police District located
at United Nations Avenue, Ermita, Manila. The Informer claimed that she could now

buy some prohibited stuff (e.g., marijuana leaves or cigarettes) from herein
suspects. Three (3) marked money bins in P5.00 denomination were given to the
Informer. The latter boarded an unidentified taxi, followed by a private vehicle
wherein PFC Romeo Jesus, PFC Segundino Bautista, Pat. Crisanto Garcia and others,
all members of the Drug Enforcement Unit of the said police command, boarded.
The latter was following, at a discreet distance, the Informer's taxi as it was cruising
towards the 'suspected' area. As soon as the Informer arrived at the place, three
suspects (who turned out to be the herein three accused) immediately approached
the taxi. By then, the police operatives were some 5 to 10 yards away. Negotiations
ensued but briefly between the Informer and the three accused. Accused Manuel
Recla was seen to have actually hand over the prohibited stuff to the Informer, just
as accused Jose Duhan himself received the marked 3-P5.00 bills as payment for
the marijuana. Before the payment, the suspected dried marijuana leaves were
actually seen being passed from one accused to the other until the actual handing
over of it to the Informer. As soon as the latter left, the police operatives, who were
all in civilian clothes, sprang the net, so to speak, and placed under arrest the three
accused. They were then brought to the police station. While thereat, the marked
P5.00 bills were taken from Duhan's pants, more particularly on his right hand
pocket. Accused Reyes in turn was frisked and found inside his wallet was a stick of
a hand rolled suspected marijuana cigarette.
Immediately, the suspected marijuana leaves and cigarette were sent to the
Forensic Division of the NBI for examination. The result: positive for marijuana (Exh.
C and D).
The pertinent police report (Exh. E) and the Booking and Information Sheet for each
of the accused were prepared (Exhs. F, G and H). Each of the three (3) accused
signed the Sheet which contains, among other entries, the following.
Accused, after being informed of his constitutional right TO REMAIN SILENT AND TO
COUNSEL, readily admitted his guilt but refused to give any written statement.
(Decision, pp. 51-52, Rollo.)
Upon the other hand, the appellants contend that the evidence on record does not
justify the Trial Court's findings, but on the contrary, demonstrates the existence of
a quite different version of the facts, for which reason they are entitled to an
acquittal at least on reasonable doubt. They invoke the familiar doctrine that "an
accused should be convicted on the strength of the evidence presented by the
prosecution and not on the weakness of his defense." (People vs. Sunga, 123 SCRA
327.)
The Solicitor General agrees with the appellants. In a "Manifestation and Motion In
Lieu of Appellee's Brief" filed by the Solicitor General's Office under date of March
31, 1986, a view of the material occurrences is presented quite at odds with that set
out in the appealed decision:
The credible evidence instead shows that the four policemen indiscriminately
rounded-up appellants at two separate places at the corner of Jorge Bocobo and
Remedios Street in Malate, Manila on the evening of June 29, 1982 pursuant to a
police saturation drive, and forced them to ride in their private vehicle to the police
headquarters, informing them that they were being rounded-up for verification

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purposes. In fact, no searches on their persons were made by the policemen upon
their apprehension at the suspected area.
True to form and practice, however, on their way to the police precinct that evening,
the policemen manhandled and beat appellants Recla and Reyes inside the vehicle.
One policeman inserted a stick of marijuana cigarette inside the back pocket of
appellant Duhan. When appellant Duhan took out his handkerchief, the marijuana
cigarette fell and another policeman picked it up, and this time inserted it in the
wallet of appellant Reyes. When appellant Reyes protested, he was boxed by the
policeman (pp. 4-5, tsn, Feb. 8, 1983).
Upon their arrival at the police station that same evening, the policemen made
body searches on the appellants. All the three appellants were brought inside the
comfort room of the police station, one after the other, where they were subjected
to maltreatment and forced to admit the possession of two foils of marijuana leaves
and two marijuana cigarettes. The policemen found no drugs on the persons of the
appellants, except P25.00 from appellant Duhan for buying stork candies for sale on
the streets, Duhan being a street vendor. Pat. Joves poked a gun at appellant
Duhan's back and then forcibly took the latter's personal money. Appellants
maintained their innocence and refused to admit what the policemen wanted them
to admit (pp. 2, 5, 7, 8, tsn, Feb. 8, 1983). Appellant Duhan declared that what was
forcibly taken from him was his personal money of P25.00, not the alleged three
five-peso marked bills (p. 8, tsn, Feb. 8, 1983).
After the body searches of the appellants by the policemen inside the police
precinct, appellants were separately confronted and were asked to give their
names, allegedly for verification purposes. Appellants did not give any written
statements to the police. Instead, the police investigator, Pfc. Bautista, prepared for
them three Booking and Information Sheets, which they later respectively signed
(Exhibits 'F', 'G' and 'H'), upon their belief and the police assurances that they were
for verification purposes and that they would be released there after. Instead,
appellants were brought to a cell room and locked up inside (pp. 5, 11, tsn, Feb. 8,
1983; p. 6, tsn, Feb. 17, 1983).
The testimonies of three appellants, as corroborated by witness Martha Oliva Vda.
de Duhan, mother of appellant Duhan, are clearly obvious for their sincerity and
straightforwardness, which satisfactorily and convincingly explained the reasons for
their innocent and lawful presence at the suspected area that evening. Their
narration regarding the abusive actuations and acts of maltreatment inflicted upon
them by the policemen during their ride to and while under custodial investigation
at the police station that same evening is more reliable and trustworthy.
Paradoxically, the contradictory nature of Pat. Joves' testimony and the failure of the
prosecution to present the vital witnesses and the important pieces of evidence
alluded to only serve to strengthen the defense version of the case.
Indeed, lone prosecution witness Pat. Joves confirmed the presence of an old
woman, no other than Mrs. Martha Oliva Vda. de Duhan, mother of appellant
Duhan, at the suspected area when the policemen rounded-up the appellants that
evening. Pat. Joves admitted having heard the old woman protesting the arrest of
her son Duhan, saying that her son was there to buy something at the store, and
that her son was not involved in any illegal sale of prohibited drug or marijuana.

When the old woman pleaded that she ride along to accompany her son to the
police headquarters, the policemen refused to accommodate her. She was told to
follow them to the police headquarters, informing her that her son was only being
taken for verification purposes (pp.4-5, tsn, Nov. 16, 1982; p. 25, tsn, March 25,
1983). She followed later and went to the police station, and saw her son Duhan
being investigated and made to admit possession of marijuana. She cried because
it was not true (pp. 13-14, tsn, Jan. 11, 1983).
Worst still when the policemen were processing her son's papers, one policeman
approached her, demanding P100.00 so that her son could be released. She could
not raise the money at that time because her employer was out of town (pp. 13, 15,
20, tsn, Id.). She returned the following day with the money, but she could not find
Pat. Joves or Pfc. Bautista to whom she would give the money because of her belief
that they were the only ones who could release her son (pp. 20-21, tsn, Id).
If the appellants and their relatives no longer filed any complaint against the
abusive and corrupt policemen with the proper authorities, the same could be
attributed to their lowly stations in life and their fear and belief that nothing would
come out of such course of action (pp. 19-20, tsn, Jan. 11, 1983; pp. 7-8, tsn, Feb.
17, 1983; pp. 6, 8-9, tsn, Feb. 8, 1983.)
After a careful and thoroughgoing review of the evidence, this Court has in turn
come to agree with the Solicitor General that in this case the prosecution has
indeed failed to establish the guilt of the appellants beyond reasonable doubt, and
they should therefore be acquitted.
It may not be amiss to stress, additionally, that as both the defense and the Solicitor
General have pointed out, it was error for the Trial Court to have admitted and
appreciated against the appellants the Booking and Information Sheets prepared by
a Police Investigator, Pfc. S. Bautista, for each of the appellants and respectively
signed by them (Exhs. "F", " G " and "H"), containing the following paragraph:
Accused, after being informed of his constitutional right TO REMAIN SILENT AND TO
COUNSEL, readily admitted his guilt but refused to give any written statement.
At the trial, "the testimony of PFC. S. Bautista ... was dispensed with by the Trial
Fiscal after he had obtained from the Defense a stipulation to the effect that, had
said witness testified, he would have Identified and testified on the existence and
due execution of Exhibits E, F, G and H". (Decision, p. 50, Rollo.) The accused,
however, subsequently denied in effect having made any such verbal admissions of
guilt. But even if they had indeed made the verbal confessions imputed to them as
alleged in the Booking and Information Sheets, the same would not be acceptable
as evidence against them because the constitutional preconditions for their
admission had not been complied with. The mere assertion by a police officer that
after an accused was informed of his constitutional right to remain silent and to
counsel, he readily admitted his guilt, does not make the supposed confession
admissible against the purported confessant. This Court has already ruled that:
When the Constitution requires a person under investigation 'to be informed' of his
right to remain silent and to counsel, it must be presumed to contemplate the
transmission of meaningful information rather than just the ceremonial and
perfunctory recitation of an abstract constitutional principle. As a rule, therefore, it
would not be sufficient for a police officer just to repeat to the person under

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investigation the provisions of Section 20, Article IV of the Constitution. He is not


only duty-bound to tell the person the rights to which the latter is entitled; he must
also explain their effects in practical terms, e.g., what the person under
interrogation may or may not do, and in a language the subject fairly understands.
(See People vs. Ramos, 122 SCRA 312; People vs. Caguioa, 95 SCRA 312.) In other
words, the right of a person under interrogation 'to be informed' implies a
correlative obligation on the part of the police investigator to explain, and
contemplates an effective communication that results in understanding what is
conveyed. Short of this, there is a denial of the right, as it cannot truly be said that
the person has been 'informed' of his rights. Now, since the right 'to be informed'
implies comprehension, the degree of explanation required will necessarily vary,
depending upon the education, intelligence and other relevant personal
circumstances of the person under investigation. Suffice it to say that a simpler and
more lucid explanation is needed where the subject is unlettered.
Thus, in the cited case of People vs. Ramos, this Court said:
In the case at bar, appellant has only finished Grade VI, which means that he is not
adequately educated to understand fairly and fully the significance of his
constitutional rights to silence and to counsel. As mandated, it is not enough that
the police investigator merely informs him of his constitutional rights to silence and
to counsel, and then taking his statements down, the interrogating officer must
have patience in explaining these rights to him. The records do not reveal that
these requirements have been fully complied with, nor was there any showing that
appellant has been represented by counsel during custodial investigation. In
consonance with Section 20 of the Bill of Rights which states that 'any confession
obtained in violation of this section shall be inadmissible in evidence,' We hold that
the verbal admissions of appellant during custodial investigation may not be taken
in evidence against him. (pp. 321-322.)
xxx xxx xxx
As it is the obligation of the investigating officer to inform a person under
investigation of his right to remain silent and to counsel, so it is the duty of the
prosecution to affirmatively establish compliance by the investigating officer with
his said obligation. Absent such affirmative showing, the admission or confession
made by a person under investigation cannot be admitted in evidence. ... (People of
the Philippines vs. Nelia Nicandro y Valarma G.R. No. L-59378, prom. February 11,
1986.)
WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is reversed and set aside and another one
entered ACQUITTING appellants on reasonable doubt. Costs de oficio.
SO ORDERED.
5. PP. V CAGUIOA
Facts: The Provincial Fiscal of Bulacan filed on 14 September 1973, in the Court of
First Instance of Bulacan, an information for murder against Paquito Yupo y Gonzales
(Criminal Case 146-V-73), with the case, after the raffle, being assigned to Branch
VIII, presided by Judge Eduardo P. Caguioa. Upon arraignment on 5 October 1973,
Yupo pleaded not guilty. The trial of the case then proceeded, the prosecution
having presented 6 witnesses, including the father of the deceased, Miguel Tribol,

and his common-law wife, Lydia Begnotia, who allegedly received the ante mortem
statement of the victim, Rodolfo Tribol. Then, at the hearing on 3 June 1974, the
prosecution presented Corporal Conrado Roca of the Meycauayan Police
Department, before whom a written statement of Yupo and his alleged waiver of his
right to remain silent and to be assisted by a counsel of his own choice was taken.
After this witness had identified the statement of Yupo and the waiver, he was
questioned on the incriminating answers in such statement to the police, but there
was an objection on the part of the defense counsel based on the ground of such
statement being inadmissible in evidence, as the statement was taken by the police
without any counsel assisting the accused in the investigation. Judge Caguioa
sustained the objection of the defense on the view that such judicial confession of
the accused is inadmissible in evidence for being unconstitutional, it appearing that
the accused was not assisted by a counsel when it was given. He likewise stated
that such right could not be waived. Upon his refusal to reconsider such ruling, the
petition for certiorari was filed. Issue: Whether the right to remain silent and right to
counsel during custodial investigation may be waived. Held: While there could be a
waiver of the rights of an accused, it must be intelligently waived, otherwise a
court's jurisdiction starting at the beginning of the trial may be lost in the course of
the proceeding. Statements made during the period of custodial interrogation to be
admissible require a clear intelligent waiver of constitutional rights, the suspect
being warned prior to questioning that he has a right to remain silent, that any
utterance may be used against him, and that he has the right to the presence of a
counsel, either retained or appointed. The prosecution may not use statements,
whether exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from custodial interrogation of the
defendant unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to
secure the privilege against self-incrimination. By custodial interrogation, we mean
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. As for
the procedural safeguards to be employed, unless other fully effective means are
devised to inform accused persons of their right of silence and to assure a
continuous opportunity to exercise it, the following measures are required. Prior to
any questioning, the person must be warned that he has a right to remain silent,
that any statement he does not make may be used as evidence against him, and
that he has a right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed. The
defendant may waive effectuation of those rights, provided the waiver is made
voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently. If, however, he indicates in any manner and
at any stage of the process that he wishes to consult with an attorney before
speaking, there can be no questioning. Likewise, if the individual is alone and
indicates in any manner that he does not wish to be interrogated, the police may
not question him. The mere fact that he may have answered some questions or
volunteered some statements on his own does not deprive him of the right to
refrain from answering any further inquiries until he has consulted with an attorney
and thereafter consents to be questioned. Tested by such a clear and unequivocal
standard, the alleged waiver herein falls far short. Yupo merely answered in a
monosyllabic "Opo" to Corporal Conrado B. Roca of the Police Force of Meycauayan,
worded thus: "Ipinaaalam ko sa iyo na ikaw ay sinisiyasat tungkol sa isang paglabag

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sa batas na iyong ginawa, bago ko ipagpatuloy ang pagtatanong sa iyo, ikaw ay


may karapatan na huwag magsalita kung ayaw mo at may karapatan ka rin na
magkaroon ng abogado na iyong gusto, at dapat mo ring mabatid na anuman ang
sabihin mo dito ay maaaring gamitin ng ayon o laban sa iyo, magsasalaysay ka pa
rin ba?" and that was all.
6. PEOPL V LASAC, 148 SCRA 630
Braulio Dipasupil and the deceased Maria Consolacion Garcia lived together as
common-law husband and wife for about six [6] months. Six [6] months after they
separated, or on January 19, 1980, Consolacion married accused-appellant Miguel
Lasac.
On March 15, 1980, Consolacion was found dead atop a big stone in the middle of a
creek about 70-150 meters away from the conjugal dwelling. An autopsy conducted
by Dr. Edgardo Hernandez, a private practising physician, disclosed that she
suffered sixteen [16] stabbed, incised and hacked wounds in different parts of her
body. 4
No one witnessed the killing, but suspicion fen on accused appellant in view of a
number of circumstantial evidence which were later testified to by the prosecution
witnesses, thus:
Flaviano Mauro, a 53-year-old farmer, testified that a week before the incident at
bar, accused-appellant told him that if Consolacion did not change her ways,
something would happen to her. 5
Rufo Garcia, the 70-year-old father of the victim, testified that at around 8 o'clock in
the morning of March 15, 1980, he went to the house of the accused and the victim
to request the latter to tend his store as he wanted to attend a ball game. Accusedappellant refused for Consolacion, stating that they were going to gather
vegetables. Rufo then left the spouses' house to tether his carabao as he had
nevertheless decided to attend said ball game. After he had done this, he saw
accused appellant going to the scene of the crime.
At around 1 o'clock in the afternoon, Rufo went to the ball game, where accusedappellant followed him to report that Consolacion could not be found. He advised
accused-appellant to look for her. At twilight he proceeded to his store where
accused-appellant informed him that Consolacion had not been found despite the
search conducted by the barrio captain and other residents of the barrio. Rufo
requested several barrio mates to help look for Consolacion. When the group
suggested that they search by the creek and its surroundings, accused allegedly
told them not to pass there as they had already gone to said place before.
Notwithstanding, the search team, separated into two [2] groups, passed by the
creek and found the corpse. When the body was brought to the couple's house,
accused-appellant was observed to be restless, going up and down the house and
consuming a large amount of water. Because of this behavior, Rufo suggested that
the barrio captain detain the accused-appellant. On this suggestion, the barrio
captain requested somebody to fetch the police. After the police had arrived, Dr.
Hernandez was called in for the autopsy. A one-night wake was held, during which
time the police started their investigation.

Accused-appellant was asked by the police to produce his bolo and was invited for
questioning in the police head. quarters.
The following morning, the police asked Rufo and his wife to look for the clothes
accused-appellant was wearing at the time of the incident in question. Rufo's wife
found a T-shirt and short pants hanging between the "aparador" and the wall. These
pieces of wearing apparel were "malumigmig" [a bit wet].
Rufo surmised that accused-appellant killed his wife out of jealousy as Consolacion
used to tell him and his wife that she was being maltreated by accused-appellant
because she dressed up nicely. 6
Sgt. Justino Salagubang, Station Commander of the Integrated National Police of
Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro, testified that in the evening of March 15, 1980, he,
together with Sgt. Rudy Guerra, Pfc. Matibay and Csc. Faltado, went to Barrio
Magupit, Bongabong, to investigate a killing reported in behalf of one Rufo Garcia.
They went to the house of accused- appellant, then to the creek where the body
was. They searched the area for evidence, but did not find any. He ordered the
corpse to be brought to accused-appellant's house and called in Dr. Hernandez for
the autopsy. He noted that Lasac did not show any remorse over Consolacion's
death, neither crying nor embracing the cadaver of his wife. He likewise observed
Lasac's going up and down the house and frequent drinking of water. Because of
this behavior, he suspected Lasac of having killed the deceased He therefore asked
Lasac to produce his bolo. The latter got the bolo from above the cooking place. Sgt.
Salagubang examined it and found it a little wet. The blade was clean but smelled
somewhat "malansa" [fishy]. He also asked Lasac to bring him the clothes Lasac
was wearing that morning. Lasac handed him a T-shirt and short pants which he
observed to be a little bit wet.
He invited Lasac to the police headquarters for questioning. Lasac was released but
was re-arrested. On March 24, 1980, Lasac allegedly executed an
affidavit, 7 admitting his guilt. 8
Sgt. Rudy Guerra of the INP of Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro, corroborated
Salagubang's testimony as regards accused-appellant's behavior at the night of the
incident and the observation on the condition of the bolo and the clothes. He further
testified that LASAC voluntarily executed the affidavit of admission 9 after he had
informed the latter of his constitutional rights and that the same was voluntarily
signed before Municipal Judge Zacarias Garcia. 10
On the basis of the affidavit of admission, 11 which the trial court found to have
been voluntarily executed, together with the circumstantial evidence consisting of
accused-appellant having tried to mislead the search team from going to the creek,
his ' restlessness during the time the body was brought to his house as well as
during the vigil, the fact that his bolo smelled "fishy" [malansa] which to the trial
court's mind indicated the smell of blood and the fact that the apparel worn by the
accused on that fateful day was found to have been recently laundered and still
wet, 12 the trial court rendered the judgment under review on December 11, 1981.
The lower court likewise observed that during accused-appellant's testimony, "he
never showed any sign of remorse, regret or even sorrow for his wife having met
her untimely demise. His demeanor in the witness chair ... was of a character

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emanating from a person who was satisfied with what he did as a measure or act of
revenge." 13
We agree with both accused-appellant and the Solicitor General that Exhibit B,
accused-appellant's affidavit of admission is inadmissible in evidence for having
been obtained in violation of Section 20, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution, which
provides:
Sec. 20. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. Any person
under investigation for the commission of in offense shall have the right to remain
silent and to counsel and to be informed of such right. No force, violence, threat,
intimidation or any other means which vitiates the free will shall be used against
hint Any confession obtained in violation of this section shall be inadmissible in
evidence.
The affidavit in question contained the following:
PAHIWATIG:
Ipinaaalam ko sa iyo [sic] Mr. Miguel LASAC na ikaw ay nasa ilalim ng pag-uusig
tungkol sa isang kasalanan na iyong kinasasangkutan, at ipinaaalam ko rin sa iyo na
sa ilalim ng ating Saligang-batas ay may karapatan ka na magsawalang-kibo at
magkaroon ng sarili mong piling manananggol tungkol sa gagawing
imbestigasyong ito ang lahat bang ito ay nauunawaan mo?
S Opo.
T Matapos mong malaman ang iyong karapatan ikaw ba ay magbibigay ng iyong
malayang salaysay?
S Opo. 14
However, this "advice" given to accused-appellant did not satisfy the requirements
of Section 20, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution. While accused-appellant was
informed of his right to remain silent, he was not accordingly informed that anything
he might say could and would be used again! t him in court. Neither was he
informed that if he was indigent, a lawyer would be appointed for him. Furthermore,
accused-appellant was not made to understand that if, at any time during the
interrogation, he would wish to have the assistance of counsel the interrogation
would cease until an attorney is present. 15
Another factor adding to Exhibit B's legal insufficiency is that the waiver by the
accused-appellant of his right to counsel was made without the assistance of
counsel. This fact was admitted by Sgt. Rudy Guerra himself during his crossexamination, thus:
Q Now, before preparing that affidavit of admission, did you explain to Miguel
LASAC that it is his constitutional right that he should be represented by counsel
before he gives his affidavit?
A Yes, sir.
Q And what was his answer then?
A He told me that he no longer needs the presence of a counsel, sir.
Q Was he really represented by a counsel at the time you were taking the affidavit
of admission?
A No, sir. 16
We have ruled in Morales v. Ponce Enrile, 121 SCRA 538, People v. Galit, 135 SCRA
465 and People v. Sison,G.R. No. 70906, May 30, 1986 that:

The right to counsel may be waived but the waiver shall not be valid unless made
with the assistance of counsel. Any statement obtained in violation of the procedure
herein laid down, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, in whole or in part, shall be
inadmissible in evidence.
Having cast aside Exhibit B as inadmissible for the reasons above-stated, We see no
need to further dwell on accused-appellant's allegation of torture and maltreatment.
We now weigh the sufficiency of the circumstantial evidence relied upon by the trial
court, viz: that appellant misled the persons searching for his wife by telling them
that he had already looked for his wife at the creek; that appellant's bolo smelled of
fish [malansa] and a little bit wet indicating it was washed; that appellant's wearing
apparel was also a bit wet [malumigmig] indicating it was washed to remove
bloodstains; and that during the wake, appellant appeared restless, drank a large
amount of water and showed no signs of sorrow or remorse over his wife's death.
After a thorough study of the testimonial evidence from which the aforecited
circumstantial evidence was drawn by the trial court, it is our holding that standing
alone, said circumstantial evidence is not sufficient to support a judgment of
conviction since they consist primarily of unsubstantiated suspicions on the part of
the witnesses for the prosecution.
The tests of sufficiency for circumstantial evidence to support conviction under
Section 5, Rule 133 of the Revised Rules of Court, i.e., that there is more than one
circumstance; that the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and
that the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction
beyond reasonable doubt, have not been ably met.
On the prosecution's charge that appellant intentionally misled the persons
searching for his wife by claiming he had already looked for her at the creek but did
not find her there, there is nothing in the record to support such allegation nor any
other indication that would totally negate the veracity of appellants' claim that he,
indeed, looked for his wife in said area.
Appellant explained that his bolo was a little bit wet because its scabbard was wet.
He did not testify that his bolo was wet because he kept it near the faucet of the
water jar His testimony 17 is to the effect that he usually tucked his bolo in its
scabbard on the post near the faucet of the water jar It is not beyond the natural
course of events that by the proximity of the water jar to the post where appellant
usually tucked his bolo in its scabbard, if the water jars faucet is opened, water
could be splashed in a manner as to wet the bolo's scabbard, and thus, the bolo
itself. Also, since the appellant used the bolo to cut bamboo, the bolo's wetness
could have been caused by his perspiration.
Appellant has, likewise, explained why his wearing apparel were "a bit wet"
[malumigmig]. He said they were wet of perspiration because he wore them when
he cut bamboo. 18
Besides, even if, as the prosecution sought to prove, that the appellant's bolo and
wearing apparel were indeed washed, such fact does not warrant the conclusion nor
are they proof that appellant killed his wife.
As to the appellant's alleged queer behavior during the wake, it must be realized
that people react differently to death. Appellant's behavior on that fateful day may
have been caused by the trauma of his wife's sudden and brutal death.

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We agree with the Solicitor General that appellant's explanations have indubitably
cast a reasonable doubt as to the sufficiency of the circumstantial evidence to
convict him beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of killing his wife.
As held in People vs. Tolentino, G.R. No. 50103, November 24, 1986, if facts or
circumstances apparently inculpatory, may equally be explained showing
innocence, the evidence does not fulfill the moral certainty to support conviction.
In an earlier case, US vs. Gutierrez, 4 Phil. 493, this Court had occasion to rule
that "since circumstantial evidence is as strong as its weakest link, if the same does
not fulfill the test of moral certainty sufficiently strong to offset the presumption of
innocence, the accused has the Tight to be acquitted even if his innocence be
doubtful. [Emphasis supplied]
That the circumstantial evidence upon which the prosecution anchored its case fails
to meet the standard of moral certainty is underscored by said evidence's inability
to exclude every other reasonable hypothesis but the single one of guilt.
Before a conviction can be had upon circumstantial evidence, the circumstances
proven should constitute an unbroken chain which leads to but one fair and
reasonable conclusion which points to the defendant to the exclusion of all others as
the guilty person. 19
No general rule can be laid down as to the quantity of circumstantial evidence
which in any case will suffice. All the circumstances proved must be consistent with
each other, consistent with the hypothesis that the accused is guilty, and at the
same time inconsistent with the hypothesis that he is innocent and with every
other rational hypothesis except that of guilt. 20
It is indispensable that the evidence be derived from interrelated facts and duly
proven in a manner that will lead to the logical and rational conclusion, beyond an
reasonable doubt that the accused is the author of the crime; because if his guilt is
not satisfactorily established, there always arises a presumption of his innocence
until the contrary is proved and in such a case, he is unquestionably entitled to be
acquitted. 21
Under the premises, the circumstantial evidence cited by the trial court is not
sufficient to produce a moral certainty as to the guilt of the appellant for the crime
charged.
Moreover, as the affidavit of admission executed by the appellant, being the
prosecution's basic evidence, is not admissible against him because he was not
assisted by counsel, an other evidence which tend to support this basic evidence
become useless.
Where the principal basic evidence upon which the prosecution rests its case fails,
all evidence intended to support or corroborate it must likewise fail. 22
WHEREFORE, the judgment of conviction appealed from is hereby reversed, and
accused-appellant Miguel LASAC is ACQUITTED D of the crime charged.

recovered marijuana leaves from one ROGELIO RAMOS. Mr. ramos was arrested and
place under custodial investigation by the Drug Enforcement SEction of the PWD
b)Malcon Olevere executed a written sworn statement implicating the accused as
the source of the marijuana leaves. The accused, alledgedly, verbally admitted for
the commission of the offense charged
c) Court of First Instance of Manila now the Regional Trial Court) found the accusedappellant Ramos guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged in view of
the verbal admission given by the appellant himself and the evidence offered and
admitted in court.
The prosecutions failed to present necessary evidence to establish
Ramos guilt.
The following evidences produced by the prosecution establish nothing to support
the conviction of the accused.
Exhibit "A" The Booking Sheet and Arrest Report
of accused Rogelio Ramos prepared by witness Patrolman Cruz
Exhibit "B" Crime Report dated May 6, 1981 also
prepared by the witness Patrolman Cruz;
Exhibit "C" Sworn Statement of Malcon
Olevere y Napa;
Exhibit "D" examined marijuana leaves;
Exhibit "E" the envelope containing the
marijuana leaves which was confiscated from Malcon Olevere.
Oral testimonies
The accused was denied the due process of law when a sworn
statement was admitted as evidence but the witness was not
presented in the court.
The constitutional right to meet witnesses face to
face in order not to deprive persons of their lives and properties without
due process of law is well-protected in our jurisprudence. People vs.
Toledo (85 SCRA 355)
The court relied on on Oleveres sworn
statement, which is considered a hearsay evidence. The adverse party was
not given the right to cross-examine the witness which would easily
facilitate the fabrication of evidence and the perpetration of fraud. Such
kind of evidence is considered hearsay
The guilt of the accused has not been established beyond reasonable doubt and he
is, therefore, entitled to acquittal

6. PEOPLE V RAMOS, 122 SCRA 312


Facts of the Case:
A )The police officers, placed Malcon Olevere under arrest after they found in his
possession dried marijuana leaves, which the suspect declared that he bought the

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ROMULO TUNIACO, ET AL.,


G.R. No. 185710, January 10, 2010
ABAD, J.:
This case is about the requirements of a valid extrajudicial confession and
the establishment of the existence of corpus delicti in murder cases.

2-b. Requisites of a Valid confession


1. PP. V TUNIACO, G.R. NO. 185710

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The Facts and the Case


The city prosecutor of General Santos City charged the accused Romulo Tuniaco,
Jeffrey Datulayta, and Alex Aleman with murder before the Regional Trial Court (RTC)
of General Santos City in Criminal Case 8370.
Based on the findings of the RTC, in the morning of June 13, 1992 some police
officers from the Lagao Police Sub-Station requested police officer Jaime Tabucon of
the Central Police Station of General Santos City homicide division to take the
statement of accused Alex Aleman regarding the slaying of a certain Dondon
Cortez. On his arrival at the sub-station, Tabucon noted the presence of Atty.
Ruperto Besinga, Jr. of the Public Attorneys Office (PAO) who was conversing with
those taken into custody for the offense. When queried if the suspects would be
willing to give their statements, Atty. Besinga said that they were.
Some other police officer first took the statement of accused Jeffrey Datulayta.
Officer Tabucon next took the statement of accused Aleman, whom he observed to
be in good physical shape.
Before anything else, officer Tabucon informed accused Aleman in Cebuano of his
constitutional right to remain silent and to the assistance of counsel of his own
choice and asked him if he was willing to give a statement. Aleman answered in
the affirmative. When asked if he had any complaint to make, Aleman said that he
had none. When Aleman said that he had no lawyer, Tabucon pointed to Atty.
Besinga who claimed that he was assisting all the suspects in the case. Tabucon
warned Aleman that anything he would say may be used against him later in court.
Afterwards, the police officer started taking down Alemans statement.
Accused Aleman said that in the course of a drinking bout with accused Datulayta
and Tuniaco at around 9 p.m. on June 6, 1992, Dondon Cortez threatened to report
his drinking companions illegal activities to the police unless they gave him money
for his forthcoming marriage. According to Aleman, Datulayta and Tuniaco had
already planned to kill Cortez in Tupi, South Cotabato, for making the same threats
and now they decided to do it. They got Cortez drunk then led him out supposedly
to get the money he needed.
The three accused brought Cortez to Apopong near the dump site and, as they were
walking, accused Aleman turned on Cortez and stabbed him on the stomach.
Accused Datulayta, on the other hand, drew out his single shot homemade M16
pistol and shot Cortez on the head, causing him to fall. Datulayta handed over the
gun to Aleman who fired another shot on Cortezs head. Accused Tuniaco used the
same gun to pump some bullets into Cortezs body. Then they covered him with
rice husks.
After taking down the statement, Tabucon explained the substance of it to accused
Aleman who then signed it in the presence of Atty. Besinga.
On June 15, 1992 the police brought Aleman to the City Prosecutors Office where
he swore to his statement before an assistant city prosecutor. In the afternoon,
accused Datulayta and Aleman led Tabucon, the city prosecutor, and a police
inspector, to the dump site where they left their victims body. After some search,
the group found a spot covered with burnt rice husks and a partially burnt body of a
man. About a foot from the body, they found the shells of a 5.56 caliber gun and an
armalite rifle.

On being arraigned, all three accused, assisted by Atty. Besinga, pleaded not guilty
to the murder charge. After the prosecution rested its case, accused Tuniaco filed a
demurrer to evidence which the Court granted, resulting in the dismissal of the case
against him. On being re-arraigned at his request, accused Datulayta pleaded
guilty to the lesser offense of Homicide. The trial court sentenced him to
imprisonment of six years and one day and to pay P50,000.00 to the victims
family.
For some reason, the trial court had Aleman subjected to psychiatric
examination at the Davao Mental Hospital. But, shortly after, the hospital sent word
that Aleman had escaped. He was later recaptured. When trial in the case
resumed, Alemans new PAO lawyer raised the defense of insanity. This prompted
the court to require the Provincial Jail Warden to issue a certification regarding
Alemans behavior and mental condition while in jail to determine if he was fit to
stand trial. The warden complied, stating that Aleman had been observed to have
good mental condition and did not commit any infraction while in jail.
Although the prosecution and defense stipulated that Atty. Besinga assisted
accused Aleman during the taking of his extrajudicial confession, the latter,
however, recanted what he said to the police during the trial. He testified that
sometime in 1992, some police officers took him from his aunts house in Purok
Palen, Labangal, General Santos City, and brought him to the Lagao police station.
He was there asked to admit having taken part in the murder of Cortez. When he
refused, they tortured him until he agreed to sign a document admitting his part in
the crime.
Accused Aleman also testified that he could not remember having been assisted by
Atty. Besinga during the police investigation. He even denied ever knowing the
lawyer. Aleman further denied prior association with accused Tuniaco and
Datulayta. He said that he met them only at the city jail where they were detained
for the death of Cortez.
On October 8, 2001 the RTC rendered judgment, finding accused Aleman
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged, and sentenced him to suffer
the penalty of reclusion perpetua. The court also ordered him to pay death
indemnity of P70,000.00 and moral damages of P50,000.00 to the heirs of Cortez.
On appeal to the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR-HC 00311, the court
rendered judgment on January 21, 2008, affirming the decision of the RTC with the
modification that directed accused Aleman and Datulayta to indemnify the heirs of
Cortez, jointly and severally, in the amounts of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity;
P50,000.00 as moral damages; P25,000.00 as temperate damages; and P25,000.00
as exemplary damages. Aleman appealed to this Court.
The Issues Presented
Accused Aleman raises two issues: a) whether or not the prosecution was able to
present evidence of corpus delicti; and b) whether or not accused Alemans
extrajudicial confession is admissible in evidence.
The Rulings of the Court
1.
Corpus delicti has been defined as the body, foundation, or substance of a
crime. The evidence of a dead body with a gunshot wound on its back would be
evidence that murder has been committed. Corpus delicti has two elements: (a)

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that a certain result has been established, for example, that a man has died and (b)
that some person is criminally responsible for it. The prosecution is burdened to
prove corpus delicti beyond reasonable doubt either by direct evidence or by
circumstantial or presumptive evidence.
The defense claims that the prosecution failed to prove corpus delicti since it did not
bother to present a medical certificate identifying the remains found at the dump
site and an autopsy report showing such remains sustained gunshot and stab
wounds that resulted in death; and the shells of the guns used in killing the victim.
But corpus delicti need not be proved by an autopsy report of the dead victims
body or even by the testimony of the physician who examined such body. While
such report or testimony is useful for understanding the nature of the injuries the
victim suffered, they are not indispensable proof of such injuries or of the fact of
death. Nor is the presentation of the murder weapons also indispensable since the
physical existence of such weapons is not an element of the crime of murder.
Here, the police authorities found the remains of Cortez at the place pointed to by
accused Aleman. That physical confirmation, coming after his testimony of the
gruesome murder, sufficiently establishes the corpus delicti of the crime. Of
course, that statement must be admissible in evidence.
2.
There is no reason for it not to be. Confession to be admissible must be
a) voluntary; b) made with the assistance of a competent and
independent counsel; c) express; and d) in writing. These requirements
were met here. A lawyer, not working with or was not beholden to the police, Atty.
Besinga, assisted accused Aleman during the custodial investigation. Officer
Tabucon testified that he saw accused Aleman, before the taking of his statement,
conversing with counsel at the police station. Atty. Besinga did not dispute this
claim.
Aleman alleges torture as the reason for the execution of the confession. The
appellate court is correct in ruling that such allegation is baseless. It is a settled rule
that where the defendant did not present evidence of compulsion, where he did not
institute any criminal or administrative action against his supposed intimidators,
where no physical evidence of violence was presented, all these will be considered
as indicating voluntariness. Here, although Aleman claimed that he bore torture
marks on his head, he never brought this to the attention of his counsel, his
relatives, or the prosecutor who administered his oath.
Accused Aleman claims, citing People v. Galit, that long questions followed by
monosyllabic answers do not satisfy the requirement that the accused is amply
informed of his rights. But this does not apply here. Tabucon testified that he
spoke to Aleman clearly in the language he knew. Aleman, joined by Atty. Besinga,
even signed a certification that the investigator sufficiently explained to him his
constitutional rights and that he was still willing to give his statement.
Further, Aleman asserts that he was lacking in education and so he did not fully
realize the consequences of a confession. But as the CA said, no law or
jurisprudence requires the police officer to ascertain the educational attainment of
the accused. All that is needed is an effective communication between the
interrogator and the suspect to the end that the latter is able to understand his
rights. This appears to have been done in this case.

Moreover, as the lower court noted, it is improbable that the police fabricated
Alemans confession and just forced him to sign it. The confession has details that
only the person who committed the crime could have possibly known. What is
more, accused Datulaytas confession corroborate that of Aleman in important
details. Under the doctrine of interlocking confessions, such corroboration is
circumstantial evidence against the person implicated in it.
3. To be informed of the Right to remain silent; cases
Read:
1. Constitutional right to remain silent,104 SCRA
1-a. People vs. Marcos Jimenez, Dec. 10, 1991
FACTS:

in particular
391

On August 13, 1985, police authorities, acting upon a report, came upon
the corpse of Pelagio Jimenez below a cliff near a balite tree. The police investigators
learned that Marcos, the son of the deceased Pelagio Jimenez told his mother that
his father had not come home the previous night: that the search for the deceased,
who was living separately from them, commenced a day earlier but it was not until
the morning of the following day, August 13, 1985, that deceased Pelagio was
finally found dead. They also learned from the persons they interviewed of
circumstances that drew their suspicion to the son, Marcos and Robert, such as; the
bathing at the artesian well "as if washing away stains of blood"; the deceased's
violent quarrels with his children and occasions that he had been boxed and hit by
his children. The police had invited the deceased's widow and her sons for
questioning about the killing. A draft of the confession was prepared by the
investigating officer but Marcos was not able to sign the same due to the absence of
the judge before whom it is supposed to be sworn and signed. Marcos agreed to
come back and sign his statement, but upon his return, he, assisted by a former
judge whose presence was requested by the police authorities, refused to sign his
statement. Subsequently, an information for parricide was filed against the widow
and her sons, Marcos, Robert, and Wilkins. In an order dated July 21, 1986, the trial
court absolved the widow and Wilkins of any participation in the filling for lack of
proof. On December 12. 1986, the trial court found Marcos and Robert guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of parricide, noting that the unsigned confession is
admissible in evidence inasmuch as evidence aliunde corroborated such confession.
Both accused contest such ruling. Hence this appeal.
ISSUE:
Is the extrajudicial confession of Marcos admissible in evidence?
HELD:
No. Decision reversed.

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Section 12 (1), Article III OF THE 1987 Constitution declares that a person
being investigated by the police as a suspect in an offense has the right, among
others, (1) to have a competent and independent counsel of his own choice and if
he cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one; and that (2)
said right cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.
The lawyer who assists the suspect under custodial interrogation
should be of the latter's own choice, not one foisted on him by the police
investigators or other parties. In this case, the former judge whose
assistance was requested by the police was evidently not of Marcos
Jimenez' own choice; she was the police officers' own choice; she did not
ask Marcos if was is willing to have her represent him. This is not the
mode of solicitation of legal assistance contemplated by the constitution.
Furthermore, the former judge was not present when Marcos was being
interrogated by the police. While she asked him if he had voluntarily given the
statements contained in the typewritten document, this is far from being substantial
compliance with the constitutional duty of police investigators during custodial
interrogation.
The typewritten confession is unsigned and was in fact expressly rejected
by Marcos. Hence, the supposed waiver made therein of his constitutional right to
counsel of his own choice.
Neither can the confession prejudice his co-accused, his brother Robert, not
only because it was obtained in violation of the constitution but also because of the
principle of res inter alios acta.
The interrogation of Marcos Jimenez having been conducted without the
assistance of counsel, and no valid waiver of such right to counsel have been made,
not only the confession but also any admissible obtained in the course thereof are
inadmissible against him or his co accused. In view of the inadmissibility in evidence
of the confession, the rest of the evidence of the prosecution is inadequate to
overcome the presumption of innocence raised by the fundamental law in favor of
both the accused.
Extrajudicial confession without the assistance of counsel, inadmissible as evidence;
exception
2. P. vs. Aspili, November 21, 1990
3. PEOPLE V JUDGE AYSON, 175 SCRA 216
4. PP V PINLAC, 165 SCRA 675
5. People vs. Loveria, 187 SCRA 47

6. Gamboa vs. Judge Cruz, 162 SCRA 675


7. P V AGUSTIN, 240 SCRA 541
8. P. vs. Galit, 135 SCRA 465
Facts: In the morning of 23 August 1917, Mrs. Natividad Fernando, a widow, was
found dead in the bedroom of her house located at Barrio Geronimo, Montalban,
Rizal, as a result of 7 wounded inflicted upon different parts of her body by a blunt
instrument. More than 2 weeks thereafter, police authorities of Montalban picked up
Francisco Galit, an ordinary construction worker (pion) living in Marikina, Rizal, or
suspicion of the murder. On the following day, however, 8 September 1977, the
case was referred to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for further
investigation in view of the alleged limited facilities of the Montalban police station.
Accordingly, Galit was brought to the NBI where he was investigated by a team
headed by NBI Agent Carlos Flores. NBI Agent Flores conducted a preliminary
interview of the suspect who allegedly gave evasive answers to his questions. But
the following day, 9 September 1977, Francisco Galit allegedly voluntarily executed
a Salaysay admitting participation in the commission of the crime. He implicated
Juling Dulay and Pabling Dulay as his companions in the crime. Actually, Galit had
been obtained and interrogated almost continuously for 5 days, to no avail as he
consistently maintained his innocence. The investigating officers began to maul him
and to torture him physically. They covered his face with a rag and pushed his face
into a toilet bowl full of human waste. With Galit's will having been broken, he
admitted what the investigating officers wanted him to admit and he signed the
confession they prepared. Galit was charged with the Crime of Robbery with
Homicide, in an information filed before the Circuit Criminal Court of Pasig, Rizal.
Trial was held, and on 11 August 1978, immediately after the accused had
terminated the presentation of his evidence, the trial judge dictated his decision on
the case in open court, finding Galit guilty as charged and sentencing him to suffer
the death penalty; to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the sum of P110,000.00,
and to pay the costs. Hence, the automatic review. Issue: Whether a monosyllabic
answer to a long question suffices as a voluntary admission that may be used
against the accused. Held: As held in Morales vs. Ponce Enrile, "At the time a person
is arrested, it shall be the duty of the arresting officer to inform him of the reason for
the arrest and he must be shown the warrant of arrest, if any. He shall be informed
of his constitutional rights to remain silent and to counsel, and that any statement
he might make could be used against him. The person arrested shall have the right
to communicate with his lawyer, a relative, or anyone he chooses by the most
expedient means by telephone if possible or by letter or messenger. It shall be
the responsibility of the arresting officer to see to it that this is accomplished. No
custodial investigation shall be conducted unless it be in the presence of counsel
engaged by the person arrested, by any person on his behalf, or appointed by the
court upon petition either of the detainee himself or by anyone on his behalf. The
right to counsel may be waived but the waiver shall not be valid unless made with
the assistance of counsel. Any statement obtained in violation of the procedure

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herein laid down, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, in whole or in part, shall be


inadmissible in evidence." Herein, there were no eyewitnesses, no property
recovered from the accused, no state witnesses, and not even fingerprints of the
accused at the scene of the crime. The only evidence against Galit is his alleged
confession. A long question followed by a monosyllabic answer does not satisfy the
requirements of the law that the accused be informed of his rights under the
Constitution and our laws. Instead there should be several short and clear questions
and every right explained in simple words in a dialect or language known to the
person under investigation. Galit is from Samar and there is no showing that he
understands Tagalog. Moreover, at the time of his arrest, Galit was not permitted to
communicate with his lawyer, a relative, or a friend. In fact, his sisters and other
relatives did not know that he had been brought to the NBI for investigation and it
was only about two weeks after he had executed the salaysay that his relatives
were allowed to visit him. His statement does not even contain any waiver of right
to counsel and yet during the investigation he was not assisted by one. At the
supposed reenactment, again Galit was not assisted by counsel of his choice. These

constitute gross violations of his rights. Trial courts are cautioned to look carefully
into the circumstances surrounding the taking of any confession, especially where
the prisoner claims having been maltreated into giving one. Where there is any
doubt as to the voluntariness, the same must be rejected in toto.
9. P vs. Alegre, 94 SCRA 109
10. Draculan vs. Donato, 85 SCRA 266
11. P. vs. Borromeo, June 29,l983
12. P vs. Camalog, GR No. 77116, January 31, 1989
(Including the duty of Police Officers in
connection with said
right)
13. P vs. Cui, Jr., 162 SCRA 220

32