G.R. No.

L-28607 February 21, 1929

PRATS & COMPANY, a registered partnership, plaintiff-appellant,
corporation, defendant-appellee.

Abad Santos, Camus, Delgado and Recto and Ohnick and McFie for
Gibbs and McDonough for appellee.


This action was instituted in the Court of First Instance of the City of Manila
by Prats & Co., a mercantile partnership, for the purpose of recovering from
the Phoenix Insurance Co., of Hartford, Connecticut, the sum of
P117,800.60, with interest, by reason of a loss alleged to have been
sustained by the plaintiff, on August 21, 1924, from a fire, it being alleged
that said loss was covered by policy of insurance No. 600217, for the sum of
P200,000, issued by the defendant company to the plaintiff. For answer, the
defendant, Pheonix Insurance Co., admitted the insurance of the policy of
insurance but, by way of special defense, alleged, among other things, that
the fire in question had been set by the plaintiff, or with its connivance, and
that the plaintiff had submitted under oath to the defendant a fraudulent
claim of loss, in contravention of the express terms of the policy. Upon
hearing the cause the trial court absolved the defendant from the complaint
with respect to the obligation created by the policy which was the subject of
the suit, but ordered the defendant to pay to the plaintiff the sum of
P11,731.93, with interest from the filing of the complaint, upon account of
moneys received from salvage sales, conducted by the defendant, of
remnants of the insured stock. From this judgment the plaintiff appelaed.

So far as liability under the policy of insurance which is the subject of this
action is concerned, we are of the opinion that the defendant has sufficiently
established two defenses, either of which would be fatal to the right of
recovery, namely, first, that the fire was set by the procurance or connivance
of the plaintiff for the purpose of defrauding the insurer; and secondly, that
the plaintiff, after the fire, submitted to the defendant a fraudulent claim
supported by the false proof, in violation of the terms of the policy. Of these
defenses the trial judge sustained the second but passed the first without
express finding. We consider it important, however, briefly to exhibit the
salient facts on both points, not only because of the considerable sum of

money involved, but because the facts appearing in evidence supply a
typical illustration of the manner in which frauds of this character against the
insurance companies may be constructed with some hope of success, when
insurance agents are accessible who, under the incentive of writing large
amounts of insurance, can be induced to close their eyes to obvious

On July 10, 1923, Francisco Prats, Elias Hanna and Isidro Bejar registered
two mercantile partnerships in the Bureau of Commerce and Industry for the
purpose of engaging in mercantile business. The articles of copartnership of
these two entities were the same except in the firm names. It was apparently
contemplated, in so far as any legitimate function may have been intended,
that Prats & Co. should be an importing firm, while Hanna, Bejar & Co.
should engage in retail businss. As eveents show, the existence of the
parallel entities, controlled by the same individuals, supplied, undeniably,
suitable engines for accomplishing an exploit of the kind that was here
attempted. Of the three individuals mentioned Elias Hanna and Isidro Bejar
were Turkish subjects of unsavory reputation in insurance circle of Manila,
while Francisco Prats was a Spanish subject who had had some success as
a merchant and, prior to his connection with the two associates above
mentioned, apparently enjoyed a fair reputation. Another individual, who
figures in the case as an instrument of the three partners, is one Domingo
Romero, who at that the time which we are here concerned, was an
employee of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, with a salary of P150 per
month. Ramon Prats, a son of Francisco Prats, was united in marriage to a
daughter of Domingo Romero, with the result that social relations between
Francisco Prats and Domingo Romero were close. Francisco Prats appear to
have acted as manager for both Prats & Co. and Hanna, Bejar & Co.

On May 27, 1924, Prats, acting for Hanna, Bejar & Co., purchased a one-
story building at 95 Plaza Gardenia, Manila; and soon thereafter he begun to
assemble in this place the stock of merchandise which was the subject of
insurance in this case. The building referred to was purchasd outright for the
sum of P1,600. It was old and was scarcely more than a shed but had been
used in times past for human habitation. It was located in a part of the city
which was inconvenient of success to traders and out of the ordinary
channels of business activity. After purchasing the building, Prats knocked
out the partitions, removed the floor, and laid along the center. The main part
of the structure was thus converted into a single store, or bodega, though
certain adjuncts, consisting of kitchen and closets, remained unchanged in
the rear of the building. A sign was then set up over the entrance bearing the
firm name "Hanna, Bejar & Co." In effecting the purchase of this building

Prats availed himself of the service of Domingo Romero, who lived only two
doors away at 97 Plaza Gardenia.

By August 21, 1924, there had been assembled and stored by Prats in the
place above described a stock of goods which, according to the documents
exhibited by him, had a valuation of P211,329.72, on which he had taken out
insurance to the extent of P410,000. At midnight of the day mentioned a fire
occurred at 95 Plaza Gardenia, which destroyed the building and ruined its
contents, the amount realized from the salvage of the stock being

With respect to the insurance upon this stock at the time of the fire, the
following facts appear: In the month of June preceeding the fire, nine
policies aggregating P160,000 were taken out by Prats in the name of
Hanna, Bejar & Co. on merchandise stored at 95 Plaza Gardenia. At the time
these policies were taken out the valuation of the goods then in said store
could not have been more than P68,753. On June 28, 1924, Prats procured
from the agent of the defendant in this case policy of insurance No. 600217
in the amount of P200,000 on merchandise stored in the same place. The
nine policies already procured had been taken out, as we have seen, in the
name of Hanna, Bejar & Co.; but when Prats applied to the agent of the
defendant for the P200,000 policy last above mentioned, the agent told him
that if Hanna or Bejar had any interest in the stock to be insured the policy
could not be issued for the reason that, in such case, the defendant would
not be able to obtain reinsurance for any part of the policy, owing to the bad
reputation of Hanna and Bejar. Accordingly, at the request of Prats & Co.;
and Prats at the same time assured the agent that Hanna and Bejar were not
partners in Prats & Co. With the writing of this policy the amount of insurance
on the merchandise at 95 Plaza Gardenia was increased to P360,000, while
the value of the stock at that time was not probably much in excess of
P158,000. On August 11, 1924, or just ten days before the fire, Prats took out
an additional policy for P50,000 in the name of Prats & Co. on the same
stock. This made a total insurance of P410,000 on the contents of the store
at 95 Plaza Gardenia. At the time, according to Prats himself, the evaluation
of the merchandise then in the place was not in excess of P230,000.
Furthermore, Prats, about this time, caused the first nine policies which had
been taken out in the name of Hanna, Bejar & Co. to be indorsed to Prats &
Co., thereby making this firm the sole insured firm with respect to this stock
of merchandise.

With respect to the origin of the stock thus assembled, we find that part had
been purchased in Europe by Prats; and in connection with its importation

For this policy of insurance Prats paid out the sum of P736. but beyond reach of reasonable doubt by facts relative to the destruction of the place. Ltd.. Some of these goods were subsequently sent away by Abolafia for sale in the provinces. If overinsurance and the assemblage of goods at inflated values in the bodega at 95 Plaza Gardenia. Abolafia. have suggested a possible intention on the part of its manager to realize improperly on its insurance policies. There is evidence also. as tending to reveal a scheme by which. at Legaspi. was undoubtedly competent and should have been admitted by the trial court. but instead of being taken directly to 95 Plaza Gardenia. had their offices. in France or elsewhere. Domingo Romero assisted one Ramon Osete to rent No. at Manila. Bejar & Co. In this connection we note that about the time the bodega at 95 Plaza Gardenia had been purchased. together with the surreptitious abstraction of goods therefrom by the insured. as no such purchase of silk had been made by Prats & Co. procured a policy of marine insurance to be issued by Meerkamp & Co. where they were received without invoice. This fact was offered in evidence by the defendant.. to the effect that on various occasions before the fire goods were removed from the bodega to the store of B. at Legaspi. Bejar & Co. it now appears that the twenty-two cases of silk covered by this marine policy were fictitious. the plaintiff would be able to mislead the defendant as to the quantity of goods stored in the bodega. and Hanna. Prats & Co. P. and it is the theory of the defendant that new merchandise purchased from Talambiras Brothers was substituted for the old stock in boxes from Hanna.25.. 69 Calle Gardenia. which was . were shipped to Manila before the fire. though circumstantial in its nature. in our opinion. as agents of the India Insurance Co. leaving the old goods to be deposited in the bodega to swell the debris of the fire.. Upon twenty-two cases of silk. I. which was credited by the court. 1924. if a dstructive fire should occur.400. The proof submitted by the defendant tends to show that obscure manipulations were used by the plaintiff in the storing of merchandise at 95 Plaza Gardenia and in the removal of part of the contents of the bodega before the fire. instead of directly to 95 Plaza Gardenia. they were housed for a time in the back part of the lower floor of the Bazar Filipino in which Prats & Co. of a supposed value of P43. Ltd.from abroad it is noteworthy that on June 18. at the time this policy was procured Prats informed the insurer that the goods were soon to arrive from France by the steamer Suwa Maru. this inference is. Moreover. In this connection it appears that forty-five cases of old stock of Hanna. a quantity of merchandise purchased from place shortly before the fire. This item of proof.. Nevertheless. Bejar & Co..

who lived near the bodega. he found that the box had not been disturbed and he himself turned on the alarm. occupant of 67 Calle Gardenia. as just stated. and while he was gone the petroleum disappeared. Reaching this place. It may be added that when the debris of the fire was subsequently searched. an explosion took place in the bodega and a dull sound was emitted. After the fire that a special investigation was made by the police department with the result that Deputy Chief Lorenzo . A night or two before the fire this Osete. Nevertheless. after the fire had gained some headway. appears to have brought two cans of petroleum to his lodging place at 69 Calle Gardenia. Osete conveyed this boy in his automobile to the fire alarm box on Plaza Gardenia. Among those who suffered from the fire were the members of the Artigas family. The boy stated that when he was on the way with Osete to the alarm box. But after the fire was over the family moved back to 97 Plaza Gardenia. when Fire Chief Vanderford reached the scene of the fire a few minutes later. Osete appears to have been the individual chose for the role of incendiary. Another neighbor who likewise suffered from the fire was one Juan Atayde. 1924. It is self-evident that the gifts thus made by Romero to Luisa Artigas and Juan Atayde had other motives than pure charity and that the money probably came from some other source than his own modest earnings. on the side opposite Romero's house. Osete planted the boy there with instructions to stop anyone who might attempt to turn in the alarm by telling him that he (the boy) had already done so. and in fact. who had been living at 97 Plaza Gardenia. although that place had been considerably damaged by the flames. After the fire had been started in the plaintiff's bodega shortly after midnight on August 21. ran to the box to turn on the alarm but was stopped in the act by a person who stated that he had already given the alarm. Vanderford says that upon his arrival he saw that the smoke issuing from the bodega black. He also noted the odor of petroleum. accompanied by one Antonio Prats. a daughter belonging to the Artigas family. the latter was sent out on an errand. Domingo Romero. as did also some of the firemen who reached the scene. had before the fire taken his family temporarily to the home of Prats in Pasay. Soon after the fire Domingo Romero quietly passed a 100-peso bill into the hand of Maria Luisa Artigas. After these cans had been taken to Osete's bathroom by his muchacho. one Joaquin Silos. Romero likewise gave the same amount to Juan Atayde.close to the rear of the building at 95 Plaza Gardenia. and he slept at the place mentioned until the night of the fire. suggesting the combustion of some inflammable material like petroleum. living at 93 Gardenia. at the side of the house occupied by Osete. merchandise soaked with petroleum was found in the ruins.

but also that it submitted fraudulent proof as the trial judge found. The finding of the trial court in the effect that the plaintiff had submitted false proof in the support of his claim is also. was not alien to the deed. as is probably true. The point is this: After the fire the plaintiff presented to the adjuster certain cost sheets and cpies of supposed invoices in which the prices and expenses of importation of a quantity of goods were stated at double the true amount. that the plaintiff had submitted a claim for jewelry lost in the fire as of a value of P12. they were withdrawn by Prats and subsequently destroyed. even if. secondly. as doubtless intended by its designers. Neither of these two facts are consistent with good faith on the part of the plaintiff. thereby making it appear to them that the cost of the mercahndise had been much greater than it in fact was — a ruse which is supposed to have been entirely innocent or at least not directed against the insurer. The other point relied upon by his Honor to sustain the conclusion that the plaintiff had attempted to deceive the defendant with respect to the extent of the loss was at least competent in its general bearing on the good faith of the plaintiff. At the hearing Prats stated that these documents had been fabricated in order that they might be exhibited to intending purchasers of the goods. that the plaintiff had sought to recover from the insurance company the value of goods which had been surreptitiously withdrawn by it from the bodega prior to the fire.came to the conclusion that the fire had originated from an intentional act. well founded. we think that the conclusion of his Honor was correctly drawn. in our opinion. first. That conclusion appears to have been based upon three items of proof. and each constituted a breach of the stipulations of the policy against the use of fraudulent devices and false proof with respect to the loss. not only that the plaintiff caused the fire to be set. Before concluding this opinion we are constrained to make a few observations with reference to the trial of this case and the inordinate . These two facts are. The adjuster soon discovered the artificial nature of these documents. had been so destructive as to remove all vestiges of the stock actually involved. or connived therein.800 when th erule value of said jewelry was about P600. Upoon the whole we are forced to state the conclusion. Reflection upon the proof before the court engenders in us the same belief and conducts us to the further conclusion that Prats & Co. But a question naturally arises as to the purpose which these documents might have been made to serve if the fire. with his consent. not alone sufficient to constitute a breach of the same stipulations. and. and. and with respect to at least two of these.

since we find that far too much of the space in the transcript is taken up with the record of petty skirmishes in court resulting from objections over the admission of evidence. the Supreme Court. -. and it is its duty. On the other hand. When such a mistake is made and the proof is erroneously ruled out. can never result in much harm to either litigant. in which fifty separate sessions were held. materiality. In a case of any intricacy it is impossible for a judge of first instance. to distinguish the relevant and material from the irrelevant and immaterial. even if the question as to its form. without counting the numeruos hearings upon the taking of the deposition of Francisco Prats. the court may as a rule safely accept the testimony upon the statement of the attorney that the proof offered will be connected later. The practice of excluding evidence on doubtful objection to its materiality or technical objection to the form of the questions should be avoided. Moreover. or relevancy is doubtful. often finds itself embarrassed and possibly unable to correct the effects of error without returning the case for a new trial.a step which this court is always very loath to take. whose testimony was taken at the instance of the defendant.amountof time consumed in the proceedings. In this connection it should be remembered that many of the technical rules of evidence which are often invoked in our courts were originally worked out in England and the United States. a partner in the plaintiff firm. this court then has all the material before it necessary to make a correct judgment. it must be remembered that in the heat of the battle over which he presides a judge of first instance may possibly fall into error in judging of the relevancy of proof where a fair and logical connection is in fact shown. to know with any certainty whether testimony is relevant or not. They . In the course of long experience we have observed that justice is most effectivly and expenditiously administered in the courts where trivial objections to the admission of proof are received with least favor. where the jury system prevails. and where there is no indication of bad faith on the part of the attorney offering the evidence. upon appeal. upon final consideration of the case. in the early stages of the development of the proof. the admission of proof in a court of first instance. These rules were adopted for the purpose of keeping matter from juries which — it was supposed — might unduly influence them in deciding on the facts. An examination of the voluminous transcript reveals at least part of the reason for this inordinate consumption of time. because the trial judge is supposed to know the law. We are told in the appellant's brief that the trial of this case covered a period of almost two years. If this course is followed and the cause is prosecuted to the Supreme Court upon appeal. Taken all together. the time thus consumed was out of all proportion to the difficulties of the case.

Villamor and Ostrand. to annul an order of Honorable Felino D. and MOHAMMAD USSAM DAMBONG. x--x G. with costs against the appellant.: This is a special civil action for certiorari and mandamus with preliminary mandatory injunction. 1969 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.R. Apart from these considerations is the circumstance mentioned above that the time consumed in the trial on such collateral points is generally many times greater than would be consumed if the questionable testimony should be admitted for what it is worth. L-29039 November 28. Our examination of the case leads to the conclusion that the result reached by the trial court was correct. Branch II. vs. J. Avancena.. concur. FELINO D. ABALOS. Amin and Isnani for respondents. Abalos. JJ. concurs for the affirmance of the appealed judgment. as . J. J. and in which accordingly it is necessary for the court to know what the proof is before it rules upon the propriety of receiving it. We earnestly commend the maintenance of liberal practice in the admission of proof. No. Judge of the Court of First Instance. C. in which the court is judge both of law and facts.have little pertinence to a system of procedure. What has been said above finds special relevancy in this case in view of the action of the trial court in refusing to consider the proof referred to in the opinion showing that the plaintiff. and it is also ordered. C. Sulu Assistant Provincial Fiscal Jainal D.. 16th Judicial District. respondents.. procured maritime insurance upon a fictitious importation of silk. Bueno. HON.J. while engaged in assembling its stock.. plaintiff. The appealed decision will therefore be affirmed. CONCEPCION. Rasul for plaintiff. Romualdez. concurs in the result. like ours. Villa-Real.

Marajuko Maoludani and Abdulrajik Maoludani. in Guimba Asin. After the reception of said evidence for the prosecution. Amiril Habissi and Ahmad Intoman. After the preliminary questions propounded to him. to one of which the victims belonged. completed the introduction of its evidence. 1966. in the course of which. the prosecution resumed the examination of Madjid Andi. municipality of Panamao.Judge of the Court of First Instance of Sulu. an information was filed with said court. with multiple frustrated murder upon the persons of Sarahani Maoludani. later. allegedly committed on February 6. who said that he was present when the shooting involved in the case took place. The defense having. and then fired at and killed Maoludani Habissi and Abdulhadi Maoludani. gone to the place aforementioned. The prosecution . that Maoludani Habissi and Abdulhadi Maoludani were shot by defendant Mohammad Ussam Dambong. Soon after the filing of the petition herein. the defense proceeded with the presentation of its own evidence. of the crime of double murder upon Abdulhadi Maoludani and Maoludani Habissi. Jikiri Dambong. directing that the testimony of a rebuttal witness for the prosecution in Criminal Case No. We issued a temporary restraining order directing that the continuation of the trial of said case be suspended until further orders. 3158 of said Court be stricken from the records. as a police sergeant in the performance of his duty. 1961. presided over by respondent Judge. as the prosecution explained that it had discovered Madjid Andi sometime after the introduction of its evidence in chief and that the testimony of said witness would merely rebut that of defendant Mohammed Ussam Dambong. 1961. accusing Mohammad Ussam Dambong. not by Abdulkadil Habbisi. the prosecution called Majid Andi as rebuttal witness. the defense objected to further questions. the prosecution introduced evidence tending to show that defendant Mohammad Ussam Dambong had. upon the ground that Madjid Andi appeared to have witnessed the occurrence and that his testimony should have been introduced when the prosecution presented its evidence in chief. When the case was called for trial. on April 24. 1968. but. Thereupon. not by him. on February 6. reconsidered his resolution. accompanied by his co-defendants. province of Sulu. and that the latter was not even at the scene of the occurrence. as well as shot and wounded the other persons named in the information. On or about March 9. to stop a fight between two (2) groups of persons. thereafter. but by Abdulkadil Habbisi because. Respondent Judge sustained the objection. defendant Mohammad Ussam Dambong testified that the casualties and the injuries adverted to above were due to shots fired. he (Mohammad Ussam Dambong) had merely fired into the air.

as well as in the resolution and the order complained of. it was Mohammad Ussam Dambong who caused the deaths and the injuries already adverted to. if. Naturally. It is true that. The prosecution was entitled. and declaring that the case would be deemed submitted for decision on May 15. Upon the other hand. directing that the testimony of said witness. 1968. be "discarded from the records on the ground that the testimony are answers to questions not proper in rebuttal" and stating that "from the observation of the Court. He. dated May 2. The defense objected to this question as improper for rebuttal. went further. as well as wounded several other specified persons. as a . Hence. In his answer to the petition herein. with preliminary mandatory injunction. Respondent Mohammad Ussam Dambong filed an answer defending the position taken by respondent Judge. the witness in rebuttal should have been presented as a witness in the presentation of the evidence in chief of the prosecutor". for the purpose stated at the beginning of this decision. We note that the information alleges that defendant Mohammad Ussam Dambong had fired at and killed Maoludani Habissi and Abdulhani Maoludani. as improper for rebuttal. however. however. not covered directly by the evidence for the prosecution. the evidence for the prosecution tended to prove that Mohammad had committed these acts. as testified to by its witnesses. Respondent Judge sustained the objection and ordered the testimony of Madjid Andi stricken from the record. The prosecutor having announced that Madjid Andi would be its last witness and that he (prosecutor) would appeal from the resolution of the court as soon as copy thereof had been furnished him. filed by the prosecution against said respondent Judge and Mohammad Ussam Dambong. 1968. it would follow that Abdulkadil Habbisi was not the author thereof. to which he was entitled. respondent Judge reiterated the views expressed by him during the trial. unless the parties sought permission to file memoranda on or before said date.then asked Madjid Andi whether Mohammad Ussam Dambong was in the courtroom. by testifying that it was Abdulkadil Habbisi who killed and wounded the persons above-mentioned. respondent Judge incorporated his aforementioned resolution in an order. this original action for certiorari and mandamus. Mohammad was entitled to establish the contrary — that he did not kill or wound said person. and one that should have been asked during the presentation by the prosecution of its evidence in chief. Such position is utterly untenable. This was a new matter. Referring particularly to the question whether or not respondent Judge erred in ordering the testimony of Madjid Andi stricken from the records.

Montejo. however. It must be exercised reasonably. inasmuch as the interest of justice. once the accused has been acquitted. In fact. it is obvious that. not only erred. but. to receive said rebuttal evidence for the prosecution. except on appeal taken from a decision rendered on the merits. whenever discretion is vested. with a view to promoting the ends of justice. Then. in People vs.1 This practice has added importance as regards the evidence for the prosecution in criminal cases. In issuing a writ of certiorari against a trial Judge who had rejected. equity and fair play cannot be advanced otherwise. no matter how erroneous the action of the lower court may have been. a failure to introduce it on rebuttal could have been regarded as a sign of weakness in the evidence for the prosecution. especially those governing the admission or exclusion of evidence. it would have been ridiculous for the prosecution. Hence. Hence. inter alia. during the presentation of its evidence in chief. to introduce positive evidence to this effect. Under the circumstances. for. Moreover. there is no means to secure a review by appeal. too. to try to prove that the crimes charged on the information had not been committed by Abdulkadil Habbisi. committed a grave abuse of discretion in issuing . respondent Judge had committed a grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction. one of which is to ascertain the truth. its resolutions on these matters are interlocutory in nature and will not generally be reviewed. This is particularly with respect to rules of procedure. in directing that the testimony of Madjid Andi be stricken from the record and not allowing said witness to identify the person who committed the crime aforementioned. to forestall a possible miscarriage of justice. also. instead of relying upon at mere inference from its evidence in chief.2 that: Upon a review of the record. it was to the interest of the trial court. we are fully satisfied that the lower court had. Judicial discretion. certain rebuttal evidence for the prosecution in a criminal case. without prejudice to such action as the court may deem fit to take in deciding the case on the merits.matter of strict legal right. is not unlimited. We have been constrained to suspend the proceedings in the criminal action involved in the case at bar. it is deemed best to resolve doubts in favor of the admission of the contested evidence. What is more. As a matter of general practice. it must be understood to be a sound one. We had occasion to point out. in the discharge of its duty to find the truth. Trial courts have ample discretion to determine whether or not the parties should be allowed to introduce evidence in rebuttal.

particularly in cases of the nature. even if the question as to its form. We. upon appeal. called attention to the following view. the admission of proof in a court of first instance. In this connection it should be noted that. often finds itself embarrassed and possibly unable to correct the effects of the error without returning the case for a new trial — a step which this court is always very loath to take. v.the resolutions complained of. Hence. can never result in much harm to either litigant. in the early stages of the development of the proof. and in not permitting the same to propound the questions already adverted to. the parties should be allowed a certain latitude in the presentation of their evidence. to know with any certainty whether testimony is relevant or not. importance and significance of the one under consideration. the issue of the guilt or innocence of the accused therein is bound to hinge heavily upon the veracity of the opposing witnesses and the weight attached to their respective testimony. how far said exhibits may affect the outcome of that case. expressed in Prats & Co.3 as far back as February 21. it must be remembered that in the heat of the battle over which he presides a judge of first instance may possibly fall into error in judging the relevancy of proof where a fair and logical connection is in fact shown. materiality. The practice of excluding evidence on doubtful objections to its materiality or technical objections to the form of the questions should be avoided. it is elemental that all parties therein are entitled to a reasonable opportunity to establish their respective pretense. as well as the aforementioned questions. the Supreme Court. at this stage of the proceedings. likewise. Although it is not possible to determine with precision. The danger of leading to such result must be avoided. On the other hand. Phoenix Insurance Co. and where there is no indication of bad faith on the part of the attorney offering the evidence. lest they may be so hampered that the ends of justice may eventually be defeated or appear to be defeated. 672. Moreover. are relevant to the issues involved in Criminal Case No. because the trial . 1929: In the course of long experience we have observed that justice is most effectively and expeditiously administered in the courts where trivial objections to the admission of proof are received with least favor. in rejecting the aforementioned direct and rebuttal evidence for the prosecution. It is obvious to us that said direct and rebuttal evidence. in the light of the allegations of the amended information in said case and of the records before us. When such a mistake is made and the proof is erroneously ruled out. In a case of any intricacy it is impossible for a judge of first instance. or relevancy is doubtful. the court may as a rule safely accept the testimony upon the statement of the attorney that the proof offered will be connected later.

Teehankee and Barredo..4 against another trial court that had ordered the exclusion of an extrajudicial confession sought to be introduced as part of the evidence for the prosecution. WHEREFORE.. accordingly. this court then has all the material before it necessary to make a correct judgment. JJ.judge is supposed to know the law. concur. BIDIN. accused-appellant. with the costs of this instance against respondent Mohammad Ussam Dambong. the order complained of is hereby annulled. Makalintal. Fernando. Sanchez. J. Castro. directed to receive the aforementioned testimony of Madjid Andi. No. vs. Yatco. and it is its duty.B. for the unjustified exclusion of evidence may lead to the erroneous acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the charges. Zaldivar. as well as to allow him to identify the person who caused the deaths and the injuries involved in the criminal case already adverted to. in People v. 109140 March 8. If this course is followed and the cause is prosecuted to the Supreme Court upon appeal. as We granted a similar writ. x--x G. from which the People can no longer appeal. to distinguish the relevant and material from the irrelevant and immaterial. Dizon.R. ROLAND TACIPIT. upon final consideration of the case. and respondent Judge. plaintiff-appellee. J.: . Reyes. It is so ordered. 1995 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.L. and commented that: There is greater reason to adhere to such policy in criminal cases where questions arise as to admissibility of evidence for the prosecution.

m. Onelia Pamittan. Cagayan at the time of he commission of the offense. Cagayan. The records of the case disclose that the complainant. over to her house. Previous to this meeting. the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: WHEREFORE. including the complainant. as defined under paragraph (1) of Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. held her left hand and her notebooks and told her friends to go ahead. and hereby imposes on him the penalty of reclusion perpetua with all the accessory penalties provided by law. who studied at the same school and lived about two (2) kilometers from the school. When the group arrived at Eden's house. . at about 4:30 p. Elmer Molina. Eden invited some of her friends. 32). At any rate. the accused-appellant Roland Tacipit was already there with Eden's brother. it is undisputed that the complainant left the Molina household with the accused. In the afternoon of January 3. finding accused- appellant Roland Tacipit guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape. Eden Molina. the owners of the house did nothing to help her. On the way. At this point. On the other hand. the accused took hold of the wrists of the complainant and wrestled her down to the ground. There.This is an appeal from the decision dated November 24. the latter being a friend and co-worker of the accused. with their hands over each other's shoulders. She also knew the accused to be a married man. Branch 12. as amended. . was a 17-year old high school student at the Abulug School of Fisheries in Abulug. She had a friend. the group decided to go home. By then. defense witness Elmer Molina alleged that the complainant and the accused were sweethearts. the accused restrained her. p. According to the complainant. . it was already getting dark. they passed through a coconut plantation of a certain Guillermo Agustin. the Court hereby finds the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape. without the use of a deadly weapon.000. Despite her cries and pleas for help. as she was about to leave the Molina house. (Rollo. the complainant already knew the accused since he lived only a few meters from her home. He tore off the T-shirt and skirt she was wearing and pinned her hands across . of the Regional Trial Court of Sanchez Mira. 1991. the version given by the prosecution and the defense differed. After partaking of a snack of tinubong (native rice cakes). and further sentences him to pay moral damages to one Onelia Pamittan in the amount of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50.. They left the house together. 1992.00). Philippine currency and to pay the costs.

with whom she was residing. aunt and cousin. threatened to kill her or her family if she reports the matter to anyone. reported the incident to her uncle. committed as follows: That on or about January 3. Onelia T. province of Cagayan and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. reported the incident to the police at the municipal building. a minor. defined and penalized under Article 335. Nelia T. After the carnal act. 1991. of the Revised Penal Code. Marantan looked for the accused that same evening. The complainant. in the municipality of Abulug. the said accused Roland Tacipit y Manglapuz. After a thorough investigation which resulted in the finding of probable cause. an information was filed by the Provincial Prosecutor against the accused. accuses Roland Tacipit y Manglapuz of the crime of Rape. submitted herself for medical examination. On February 18. seventeen (17) years of age. CONTRARY TO LAW. . She submitted her clothing for examination and after being investigated. the accused accompanied the complainant to a point near her home and before leaving her.her stomach. Ernesto Marantan. the complainant executed a sworn statement narrating the circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime and filed the corresponding complaint for rape. with lewd design. The following day. and forming an integral part of this Information. the complainant accompanied by her mother. Provincial Prosecutor. The accused then removed her shorts and panty and ravished her. and with the use of deadly weapon. violence and intimidation. On January 5. against her will and consent. the accused pleaded not guilty. upon complaint filed by the offended party. Pamittan. Cagayan. p. by means of force. in the Municipal Trial Court of Abulug. Pamittan. however. as follows: The undersigned. but after failing in his search. the record of the case. did not heed the warning and immediately upon arriving at her house. the municipal trial court issued a warrant of arrest against the accused. 7) Upon arraignment. appearing on page 1. he reported the matter instead to the barangay captain. unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with the offended party. (Rollo. did then and there wilfully. 1991. 1991.

23). Hence. p. She also denied that Elmer Molina courted her or that she told him that he was the accused's girlfriend. The complainant testified that she knew the accused to be a married man and he never visited her house to court her. after consideration of the evidence presented. On the other hand. the accused presented a ring engraved with the name "Onelia" and alleged that it was given to him by the complainant as a token of her love. It is the contention of the accused-appellant that the testimony of complainant relied upon by the trial court in convicting him is incredible and not worthy of belief. As proof of their relationship. 56). The trial court. . II THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING ACCUSED-APPELLANT OF THE CRIME CHARGED DESPITE THE PROSECUTION'S FAILURE TO PROVE HIS GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. It is also saddled with flaws which show her tendency to exaggerate things (Rollo. The defense argues that the weight of the evidence presented by the prosecution is grossly inadequate to overthrow the presumption of innocence granted by law to the accused. p. it was loose and did not fit her finger (Rollo. the complainant denied ownership thereof. when the ring was tried on her hand. (Rollo. rendered the forequoted judgment against the accused. 61-64). 1990 and that the complainant voluntarily yielded herself to him. stating that he courted the complainant but was spurned by her because she was already the accused's sweetheart. the accused claimed that he and the complainant were sweethearts since October 3.As his defense. Defense witness Elmer Molina corroborated the testimony of the accused. p. There are inconsistencies in said testimony. As for the ring. these contentions were firmly denied by the prosecution. the present appeal wherein the following assigned errors are raised: I THE TRIAL COURT ERRED 1N GIVING WEIGHT AND CREDENCE TO THE OTHERWISE DOUBTFUL THEORY OF THE PROSECUTION AND IN DISREGARDING THAT OF THE DEFENSE. True enough.

There is present in this case clear. the accused argues that the physical evidence as well as the actuations of the parties concerned are not consistent with the allegation of rape but with carnal knowledge done with the consent of both the accused and the complainant. (1) an accusation for rape can be made with facility. As far as alleged inconsistencies in her testimony are concerned. it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused.Secondly. On these bases. namely. the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution. Finally. though innocent. but would have instead fled for safety. the decision of the trial court must be affirmed. and not in actuality . which is more consistent with he commission of an offense. this Court was guided by the three(3) settled principles in reviewing rape cases. the same did not militate against the credibility of the complainant as a prosecution witness. he would not have accompanied the complainant to a place near her house. As proof. The testimony of complainant Onelia Pamittan. This fact negates the employment of force by the accused on the complainant and rules out struggle or any other form of resistance on the part of the complainant. the accused pointed out the lack of external injuries on the body of the complainant. (3) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits. and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense (People vs. (2) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually involved. the accused argues that if rape had indeed been committed by him. convincing and competent physical and testimonial evidence to support a finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt against the accused. 206 SCRA 176 [1992]). In reviewing the evidence of this case. thereby exposing himself to the risk of being seen. The rationale given by the complainant that she had a sore throat which prevented her from shouting was characterized by the defense as incredible. to disprove it. Although the trial court did not accord credence to that part of her testimony relating to how she ended up leaving the Molina household with the accused. was found by the trial court to be replete with details. The accused likewise points to the absence of an out cry on the part of the complainant which bolsters the position of the accused that the sexual intercourse was consensual. this Court has ruled time and again that a few discrepancies and inconsistencies in the testimonies of witnesses referring to minor details. negating the probability of fabrication. Lim.

(217 SCRA 64 [1993]): No woman would concoct a story of defloration. or lack of it. although there was an absence of external injuries on the body of the complainant. there appears to be no motive on the part of the complainant to testify against the accused which could render suspect her testimony in court. who. This is especially true in the crime of rape where the victim cannot be expected to remember with accuracy the details of her humiliating experience. The appeal at hand presents no compelling reason to deviate from this general rule. . At best. It is clear that her only intent was to seek redress for the injustice committed against her by appellant — a married man. As held in People v. unlike appellate magistrates. 163 SCRA 780]. For one. As often repeated by this Court: . the matter of assigning values to declarations on the witness stand is best and most competently performed by the trial judge. Custodio. accorded by the trial court of the testimony of witnesses unless it be clearly shown that the latter court had overlooked or disregarded arbitrarily the facts and circumstances of significance in the case (People vs. this Court relies upon the fact that the trial court found the complainant to be a credible witness. Appellate courts will not disturb the credence. conduct and attitude at the trial and is thereby placed in a more competent position to discriminate between the true and the false.touching upon the basic aspects of the whys and wherefores of the crime. 214 SCRA 537 [1992]). if she was not motivated solely by the desire to have the culprit apprehended and punished. Anent the contention of the accused that the sexual act was committed with the mutual consent of the parties. allow an examination of herself by being subjected to a public trial. As the trial court noted: . Muñoz. Moreover. the clothes worn by her at the time of the offense speak well of the use of force and the presence of a struggle. the evidence presented by the prosecution sufficiently rebutted his point. do not impair their credibility (People vs. can weigh such testimony in the light of the declarant's demeanor. . considering that the accused and the complainant are at most acquaintances. Guibao. 197 SCRA 538 [1991] citing People vs. Simbulan.

Her T-shirt was torn which corroborates her testimony that it was forcibly
removed. It also proves that she offered resistance to the criminal advances
of the accused. Her shorts, like her panty, had blood stains. Her panty was
detached from her shorts. Her bra was torn, also denoting that it was forcibly
removed. These physical evidence . . . are consistent only with the force and
compulsion applied on her; they prove she offered resistance and her
defloration was against her will. (Rollo, p. 27)

The actuations of the complainant subsequent to the commission of the
crime are likewise consistent with her allegations of rape. Her immediate
revelation of the incident to her uncle upon arrival as well as her swift
recourse to the barangay Captain and the police authorities are not acts of a
woman savoring an illicit tryst but that of a maiden seeking retribution for the
outrage committed against her.

Thus, the accused's reliance on the defense that he and the complainant
were lovers is unfounded. But even if it were true, such relationship would
not give the accused the license to deflower the complainant against her will,
and will not exonerate him from the criminal charge for rape. Furthermore,
there is nothing in the testimonies of either the complainant or even the
accused himself which could indicate any sort of special relationship
between the two. The alleged proof of such relationship, the ring with
complainant's name engraved on it, does not even fit the fingers of the
complainant. Their actuations with respect to each other before, during and
even after the commission of the crime were consistent with the contention of
the complainant that they are nothing more than acquaintances. The
evidence of the prosecution, therefore, completely negates the existence of
any relationship between the accused and the complainant.

Finally, the accused's act of accompanying the complainant up to a point
near her house does not appear to be a gesture of love. If the accused was
not obsessed with a sense of guilt, he could have accompanied the
complainant to the home since it was already dark at night. Rather than a
demonstration of his freedom from guilt, the actuation of the accused in the
premises appears to be no less than a calculated move to ensure that the
complainant will keep her silence about the sordid incident perpetrated
against her will.

WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Sanchez Mira,
Cagayan, Branch 12, dated November 24, 1992 in Criminal Case No. 2190-S
finding the accused-appellant Roland Tacipit guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime of rape, and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of

reclusion perpetua, with all the accessory penalties, to pay the complainant
Onelia Pamittan moral damages in the amount of fifty house and pesos
(P50,000.00) and to pay the costs, is hereby AFFIRMED IN TOTO.



G.R. No. 16444 September 8, 1920

RICARDO SUMMERS, sheriff of the City of Manila, respondent.

Alfredo Calupitan, and Gibbs, McDonough & Johnson for petitioner.
Assistant City of Fiscal Felix for respondent.


The petitioner prays that a writ of habeas corpus issue to restore her to her

The facts are not dispute. In a criminal case pending before the Court of First
Instance of the city of Manila, Emeteria Villaflor and Florentino Souingco are
charged with the crime of adultery. On this case coming on for trial before
the Hon. Pedro Concepcion, Judge of First Instance, upon the petitioner of
the assistant fiscal for the city of Manila, the court ordered the defendant
Emeteria Villaflor, nor become the petitioner herein, to submit her body to the
examination of one or two competent doctors to determine if she was
pregnant or not. The accused refused to obey the order on the ground that
such examination of her person was a violation of the constitutional provision
relating to self-incrimination. Thereupon she was found in contempt of court
and was ordered to be committed to Bilibid Prison until she should permit
the medical examination required by the court.

The sole legal issue from the admitted facts is whether the compelling of a
woman to permit her body to be examined by physicians to determine if she
is pregnant, violates that portion of the Philippine Bill of Rights and that
portion of our Code of Criminal Procedure which find their origin in the

Constitution of the United States and practically all state constitutions and in
the common law rules of evidence, providing that no person shall be
compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. (President's
Instructions to the Philippine Commission; Act of Congress of July 1, 1902,
section 5, paragraph 3; Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, section 3;
paragraph 3; Code of Criminal Procedure, section 15 [4]; United States
Constitution, fifth amendment.) Counsel for petitioner argues that such bodily
exhibition is an infringement of the constitutional provision; the representative
of the city fiscal contends that it is not an infringement of the constitutional
provision. The trial judge in the instant case has held with the fiscal; while it
is brought to our notice that a judge of the same court has held on an
identical question as contended for by the attorney for the accused and

The authorities are abundant but conflicting. What may be termed the
conservative courts emphasize greatly the humanitarianism of the
constitutional provisions and are pleased to extend the privilege in order that
its mantle may cover any fact by which the accused is compelled to make
evidence against himself. (Compare State vs. Jacobs [1858], 50 N. C., 259
with State vs. Ah Chuey [1879], 14 Nev., 79. See further State vs. Ah
Nordstrom [1893], 7 Wash., 506; State vs. Height [1902]. 117 Iowa., 650;
Thornton vs. State [1903], 117 Wis., 338.) A case concordant with this view
and almost directly in point is People vs. McCoy ([1873], 45 How. Pr., 216). A
woman was charged with the crime of infanticide. The corner directed two
physicians to go to the jail and examine her private parts to determine
whether she had recently been delivered of a child. She objected to the
examination, but being threatened with force, yielded, and the examination
was had. The evidence of these physicians was offered at the trial and ruled
out. The court said that the proceeding was in violation of the spirit and
meaning of the Constitution, which declares that "no person shall be
compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." Continuing,
the court said: "They might as well have sworn the prisoner, and compelled
her, by threats, to testify that she had been pregnant, and had been
delivered of a child, as to have compelled her, by threats, to allow them to
look into her person, with the aid of a speculum, to ascertain whether she
had been pregnant and been delivered of a child. . . . Has this court the right
to compel the prisoner now to submit to an examination they are of the
opinion she is not a virgin, and has had a child? It is not possible that this
court has that right; and it is too clear to admit of argument that evidence
thus obtained would be inadmissible against the prisoner."

.It may be revealing a judicial secret. Buth having disabused our minds of a too sensitive appreciation of the rights of accused persons. S. United States ([1910]. Justice Holmes. 36 Phil. S. vs. Even in the opinion Mr. against his will. Ong Siu Hong [1917]. New York [1903]. the instant case was reported by the writer with the tentative recommendation that the court should lay down the general rule that a defendant can be compelled to disclose only those parts of the body which are not usually covered. Justice McClain. but nevertheless we cannot refrain from saying that. Mr." (U. S. not an exclusion of his body as evidence when it may be material. In contradistinction to the cases above-mentioned are others which seem to us more progressive in nature. vs. U. and having been able. Justice Holmes." (See also." said: "The prohibition of compelling a man in a criminal court to be a witness against himself is a prohibition of the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort communications from him. Among these can be prominently mentioned decisions of the United States Supreme Court. Height. 735. While the United States Supreme Court could nonchalantly decree . 568. to which we have alluded. the always forward looking jurist. S. especially the one written by Mr. in the late case of Holt vs.. and the Supreme Court of these Islands. Justice Day in Adams vs. there was inserted the careful proviso that "we need not consider how far a court would go in compelling a man to exhibit himself. an admission of his guilt.. 245). citing the United States Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands as authority. Thus.) Although we have stated s proposition previously announced by this court and by the highest tribunal in the United States.." Other courts have likewise avoided any attempt to determine the exact location of the dividing line between what is proper and what is improper in this very broad constitutional field. 585. 23 Phil. we cannot unconcernedly leave the subject without further consideration. supra. in resolving an objection based upon what he termed "an extravagant extension of the Fifth Amendment.) The Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands. in two decisions. 567. But here before us is presented what would seem to be the most extreme case which could be imagined. as we think. and the derivatory principle announced in 16 Corpus Juris. 145. we have come finally to take our stand with what we believe to be the reason of the case. in State vs. to penetrate through the maze of law reports to the policy which lies behind the constitutional guaranty and the common law principle. has seemed to limit the protection to a prohibition against compulsory testimonial self- incrimination. greatly impressed with the weight of these decisions. decision of Mr. The constitutional limitation was said to be "simply a prohibition against legal process to extract from the defendant's own lips. 192 U. Tan Teng [1912]. of same general tenor. 218 U.

but with a judicious and a judicial appreciation of both its benefits and its abuses. The kernel of the privilege as disclosed by the textwriters was testimonial compulsion.. while the Supreme Court of Nuevada could go so far as to require the defendant to roll up his sleeve in order to disclose tattoo marks. possibly innocent. Moreover. being in the agrreable state of breaking new ground. was recognized in England in early days.. As forcing a man to be a witness against himself was deemed contrary to the fundamentals of republican government. Navarro [1904]. R. A legal shield was raised against odious inquisitorial methods of interrogating an accused person by which to extort unwilling confessions with the ever present temptation to commit the crime of perjury. but not in the other legal systems of the world. and U.that testimony that an accused person put on a blouse and it fitted him is not a violation of the constitutional provision. and here in the Philippines. S. would rather desire our decision to rest on a strong foundation of reason and justice than on a weak one blind adherence to tradition and precedent. [1891]. We can only consistently consent to the retention of a principle which would permit of such a result by adhering steadfastly to the proposition that the purpose of the constitutional provision was and is merely to prohibit testimonial compulsion. p. 143. For the nonce we would prefer to forget them entirely. p.) Perhaps the best way to test the correctness of our position is to go back once more to elements and ponder on what is the prime purpose of a criminal trial. The maxim of the common law. in a revolt against the thumbscrew and the rack. and while the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands could permit substances taken from the person of an accused to be offered in evidence. in exactly as wide — but no wider — a scope as it existed in old English days. 71. As we view it. pp. the object of having criminal laws is to purgue the community of persons who violate the laws to the great prejudice of their . (Read the scholarly articles of Prof. Phil.. R. the principle was taken into the American Constitutions. Nemo tenetur seipsum accusare. vs. Wigmore in 5 Harvard L. to disclose her body in all of its sanctity to the gaze of strangers. 1902. and 15 Harvard L. 610 found in 4 Wigmore on Evidence. 3069 et seq. So much for the authorities. we believe that an unbiased consideration of the history of the constitutional provisions will disclose that our conclusion is in exact accord with the causes which led to its adoption. none of these even approach in apparent harshness an order to make a woman. The provision should here be approached in no blindly worshipful spirit. and from the United States was brought to the Philippine Islands.

law and justice cannot hesitate. and the public as fascinated spectators. not to protect the guilty but to protect the innocent. "To compel any one. questions which are put to them. Against such a loose extension of constitutional guaranties we are here prepared to voice our protest. we must nevertheless enforce the constitutional provision in this jurisdiction in accord with the policy and reason thereof. the criminal as guest of honor. without any mental evasion. vs. with the judge as referee. Obviously a stirring plea can be made showing that under the due process of law cause of the Constitution every person has a natural and inherent right to the possession and control of his own body. the lawyers as players. As Mr.fellow men. between a disregard of the public welfare for refined notions of delicacy. without lawful authority. It is extremely abhorrent to one's sense of decency and propriety to have the decide that such inviolability of the person. Unfortunately. is an indignity. under the facts before us. even superior to the complete immunity of a person to be let alone is the inherent which the public has in the orderly administration of justice. Criminal procedure. and a trespass. and constitutional provisions. that no . But no evidence of physical facts can for any substantial reason be held to be detrimental to the accused except in so far as the truth is to be avoided in order to acquit a guilty person." Conceded. undeterred by merely sentimental influences. 141 U. The protection of accused persons has been carried to such an unwarranted extent that criminal trials have sometimes seemed to be like a game of shuttlecocks. the rules of evidence. can be invaded by exposure to another's gaze. Botsford ([1891]. S. all too frequently the modesty of witnesses is shocked by forcing them to answer. and such a tendency to degrade the witness in public estimation does not exempt him from the duty of disclosure. and especially a woman. For instance. are then provided. or to submit to the touch of a stranger. particularly of a woman. No accused person should be afraid of the use of any method which will tend to establish the truth. as well suggested by the same court. to lay bare the body. to use torture to make the defendant admit her guilt might only result in including her to tell a falsehood. and yet. No rule is intemended to be so rigid as to embarrass the administration of justice in its endeavor to ascertain the truth. Once again we lay down the rule that the constitutional guaranty. Between a sacrifice of the ascertainment of truth to personal considerations.. Justice Gray in Union Pacific Railway Co. an assault. Fully conscious that we are resolving a most extreme case in a sense. 250) said. which on first impression is a shock to one's sensibilities.

Araullo. vs. J. So ordered. be decided as cases arise. x--x G. an ocular inspection of the body of the accused is permissible. The costs shall be taxed against the petitioner. REYMUNDO VERGARA and ROBERTO BERNADAS.. and therefore legal. nevertheless. No. be understood as subject to the limitations herein mentioned. defendants-appellants. 1986 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. concur.. The corollary to the proposition is that.. acceding to the request of the assistant fiscal for an examination of the person of the defendant by physicians was phrased in absolute terms. no objection to the physical examination being made by the family doctor of the accused or by doctor of the same sex can be seen. Avanceña. Although the order of the trial judge.: We are once again constrained to take a hard look into the sufficiency of extra-judicial confessions as the sole basis for the imposition of the supreme penalty of DEATH. The proviso is that torture of force shall be avoided.person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. plaintiff-appellee. Whether facts fall within or without the rule with its corollary and proviso must. C. JJ. Moir and Villamor. Mapa. It is a reasonable presumption that in an examination by reputable and disinterested physicians due care will be taken not to use violence and not to embarass the patient any more than is absolutely necessary. JR. L-61356-57 September 30. FELICISIMO JARA. GUTIERREZ.R. it should. The writ of habeas corpus prayed for is hereby denied. Indeed. is limited to a prohibition against compulsory testimonial self- incrimination.J. of course. .

Yet.000.00. All the three accused in Criminal Case No. (Criminal Case No. 2564) for Robbery with Homicide and People of the Philippines vs. one was sentenced to another death penalty while the two other appellants received sentenced ranging from 12 to 20 years of imprisonment. And perhaps. Our task is made difficult by the fact that the crimes were specially ruthless and barbarous in their commission. In Criminal Case No.00. the amount stolen. 7th Judicial District. a recidivist for the crime of homicide. however. The issue before us is whether or not the evidence of guilt is admissible under the standards fixed by the Constitution and if the quantum of proof. 2565. The trial court noted that "both victims were assaulted and killed with the might and fury of one really who had harbored so long a grudge and hate" and only Felicisimo Jara had that kind of ill-will against his estranged wife and her female companion. Jara. 2564 were sentenced to suffer the maximum penalty of death. (Criminal Case No. for the killing of Luisa Jara. et al. 2565) for Parricide is involved in this automatic review. is not to indulge in surmises or probabilities. the discovery on June 9. and the sum of P12. Moreover. The function of this Court. 2564 for robbery with homicide. No less than the counsel for the appellants states that the people of Puerto Princesa are no strangers to crime and that the frequency of criminal acts in their city has somehow benumbed the sensibilities of its citizens. The confessions are convincing in their details. The decision of the former Court of First Instance of Palawan. There is the added factor that the police officers who investigated the crime and secured the confessions seemed so certain that indeed the three appellants are the malefactors. 1978 of the brutally and badly bashed corpses of two well-known and loved women of their community was still shocking to their senses. establishes guilt beyond reasonable doubt. et al. Felicisimo Jara. accused Felicisimo Jara was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of parricide and meted out the maximum penalty of death while the two other . to indemnify jointly and severally the heirs of the deceased Amparo Bantigue in the sum of Pl.The three appellants were all sentenced to death in Criminal Case No. There must be many residents of Puerto Princesa who are thus convinced about the correct solution of the crime. Branch 1 in the consolidated cases of People of the Philippines versus Felicisimo Jara.000. was characterized as an experienced killer. which we are allowed by the Constitution to consider. In the companion case of parricide. the appellants could have been the killers.

in the nighttime. 1978. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. stole and carried away a piggy bank and a buddha bank containing money in the amount of not more than P200.000. unlawfully and feloniously strike with a hammer Amparo Vda. de Bantigue. took. the information charged the accused as follows: That on or about June 9. did then and there wilfully. at Malvar St. the latter having been previously convicted of the crime of homicide in the Court of First Instance of Iloilo. in the total amount of TWELVE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED PESOS (P12. at about 1:30 o'clock in the morning. and that after killing Amparo Vda. for having participated in the commission of the crime in consideration of a prize or reward. All the accused were ordered to indemnify jointly and severally the heirs of Luisa Jara in the sum of P12.. in the dwelling of the offended party. accused in conspiracy with each other. conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping each other. the above-named accused. Puerto Princesa City. CONTRARY TO LAW and committed with aggravating circumstances of Recidivism with respect to accused Felicisimo Jara. 1978.00. to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of Amparo Vda. In Criminal Case No.accused were found guilty of homicide and sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of twelve (12) years of prision mayor as minimum to twenty (20) years of reclusion temporal as maximum. with intent to kill. de Bantigue hitting her on the vital parts of her body and stab with a scissor while she was soundly sleeping in her bedroom with one Luisa Jara.00) Philippine Currency.. evident premeditation and treachery. an opening not intended for entrance or egress.00. about 1:30 o'clock in the morning. thereby causing her instantaneous death as a result thereof. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. de Bantigue. 2565. conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping each other with intent to kill. did then and there wilfully. after gaining entrance to the house thru the window. with intent to gain and without the consent of the owner thereof. 2564 reads as follows: That on or about the 9th day of June. at Malvar St. the above-named accused. and with respect to accused Reymundo Vergara and Roberto Bernadas. The information for the crime of robbery with homicide in Criminal Case No. and the aggravating circumstance against all the accused that the crime was committed with treachery.200. treachery and evident premeditation. Puerto Princesa City. unlawfully and feloniously .

seemingly asleep. namely: (1) that the crime was committed in the dwelling of the offended party. 1979). and the aggravating circumstance against accused Reymundo Vergara and Roberto Bernadas of having participated in the commission of the crime in consideration of a prize or reward. Becoming apprehensive. who is the lawfully wedded wife of accused Felicisimo Jara. she tearfully accompanied them back to Amparo's room. did not answer when they called at her door that morning (p. 1978. they went back to the kitchen for a second look. (2) in the nighttime. Philippine Currency. the court a quo ordered a joint trial of the two cases which arose from one incident and where the witnesses are the same. Luisa was dressed only in her underwear and there was dried blood in one of her hands. 1979). They discovered the following. Minerva kicked open the door. 1979). Amparo. The husband of Luisa. Amparo and Luisa were both lying in bed. stabbed her with a scissor in her chest and abdomen. They again went to the door and knocked but still no answer came. They went to the kitchen and peeped through a hole. All the accused pleaded not guilty during the arraignment. Minerva. (pp. Finally. TSN. When they met Minerva at the public market. TSN. They saw Amparo and Luisa Jara seemingly asleep.. 1979). March 21. the latter having been previously convicted of the crime of homicide in the CFI of Iloilo. about their apprehension. Puerto Princesa City. March 21. 11-12. resulting to the instantaneous death of said Luisa Jara. and thereafter. On motion by the prosecution and the defense. they found the two women dead from wounds inflicted on their persons (p. appellant Felicisimo Jara. March 21. they decided to inform Luisa's daughter. The facts according to the prosecution are as follows: At about 6:00 o'clock in the early morning of June 9. (3) and treachery. CONTRARY TO LAW and committed with the aggravating circumstances of Recidivism with respect to accused Felicisimo Jara. to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of said Luisa Jara in the amount of TWELVE THOUSAND (P12. with a hammer one Luisa Jara. March 21. 9-11. and the aggravating circumstance against all the accused.000. . 1979). then entered the room and saw the condition of the victims (p. wondered why their employer. March 21.00) PESOS. 15. the deceased Amparo Bantigue. de Bantigue. TSN. 7. the waitresses at Alvin's Canteen situated in Malvar Street. TSN.strike several times. Inside. The waitresses called one of Luisa Jara's waitresses at Aileen's canteen next door. lay beside her (pp. TSN. When no one answered their knocking. 13. while the latter was soundly sleeping with one Amparo Vda.

After investigation. TSN. Before the City Fiscal and First Assistant Fiscal of Puerto Princesa City. 1979). appellants Reymundo Vergara and Roberto Bernadas. Wound. about 1 l/4 inches in length with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone located at the forehead. pp. about 1 1/3 inches in length. Rufino Ynzon. several ceramic piggy banks belonging to Amparo containing coins estimated in the amount of P1. TSN. 1979). 14. 43. Wound. the killing was reenacted before the military authorities and the public. respectively. 1979).000. 17-20.00 were missing (p.Inside the room. February 6. Scattered underneath the window of Amparo's bedroom were coins and bits and pieces of what used to be ceramic piggy banks (Exh. TSN. roughly oval in shape.000. 2." Amparo Bantigue's wounds were described as follows: POST MORTEM FINDINGS 1. with appellants Vergara and Bernadas participating (p. 1979). 6. intra-cranial secondary to multiple comminuted-depressed fracture of the cranial bones. the City Health Officer of Puerto Princesa on the examination of the cadavers of the deceased victims indicate that death in both cases resulted from "hemorrhage. they confessed their guilt to the Provincial Commander of the Philippine Constabulary in Palawan and other police investigators (pp. with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone located at the forehead. roughly oval in shape. were apprehended (pp. The autopsy reports (Exhibits "A" and "C") submitted by Dr. 26-31. 1979). appellants Vergara and Bernadas subscribed and swore to their extra-judicial statements wherein they narrated their role and that of Felicisimo Jara in the killing (see Exhibits O and N). central portion. 59-60.00 each for their participation (Exhibits O and N). upper portion. two suspects in the killing. right. May 28. March 19. F. Thereafter. macerated. Later. . macerated. TSN' Feb. TSN. July 19. They also positively Identified appellant Felicisimo Jara as the mastermind who had plotted the killing and who promised them a fee of P1.

penetrating the sternum. macerated. about 2 inches in length with depressed- comminuted fracture of the underlying bone located at the right face. Wound. Wound. 5. Wound. macerated. elongated. macerated. penetrating the thoracic cavity involving the right lung. roughly circular in shape. 8. 12. macerated. macerated. located at the right upper abdomen penetrating the abdominal cavity involving the liver and stomach. 6. about 1 1/5 inches in length with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone located at the forehead. Wound. about 2 inches in length.3. about 1 inch in length. macerated. heart. anterior portion. located at the right temporal region. about 31/2 inches in length with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone with brain tissue coming out located at the left parieto temporal region. roughly oval in shape. located at the upper lip. 4. Wound. roughly triangular in shape with depressed - comminuted fracture of the underlying bone located above the left eyebrow. Wound. about an inch in length at the right chest. located at the chest. with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone. then thoracic cavity piercing the right auricle. 7. elongated. 13. central portion." . TO MULTIPLE COMMINUTED-DEPRESSED FRACTURE OF THE CRANIAL BONES. between the 3rd and 4th intercostal space. stabbed. about 1 inch in length. elongated with fracture of the alveolar bone. 11. Wound. Wound. medially to the left eyebrow. Wound. elongated. stabbed. about 21/2 inches in length with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone located at the left temporal region. located at the left face. 9. macerated. (Exhibit "A"). Wound. elongated. 10. central portion. macerated. with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone. stabbed. about 2 inches in length. CAUSE OF DEATH: HEMORRHAGE INTRA-CRANIAL SEC. Wound.

Wound. left. Wound. Luisa Jara suffered from the following wounds: POST MORTEM FINDINGS 1. 2. about 2 inches in length. located at the temporal region. roughly elongated in shape. lateral portion. 5.On the other hand. roughly stellate in shape. 6. located at the left mandibular region. located at the left lateral portion of the forehead. roughly oval in shape. with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone. about 1 1/2 inches in length with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone. 3. Wound. about 2 inches in length. about 2 inches in length. macerated. about 1 inch in length. Wound. roughly oval in shape. left. macerated. located at the central portion of the frontal region. macerated. about 11/2 inches in length with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone. 9. left. located at the right frontal region. roughly triangular in shape. 7. located at the right side of the nose. . roughly elongated in shape.roughly circular in shape. macerated. located at the left eyebrow. macerated. Wound. macerated. located at the parietal region. roughly elongated in shape about 1 inch in length with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone. with a letter T shape. 4. Wound. about 2 inches in length. Wound. 8. Wound. located at the temporal region. with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone. with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone. with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone.about 1 1/2 inches in diameter with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bones.macerated. macerated. with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone. macerated. Wound.

Luisa. left side. central portion penetrating inside the thoracic cavity involving heart and lung. (Exhibit "C") CAUSE OF DEATH: HEMORRHAGE. about 1 inch in length. macerated. Wound. stabbed. Contusion with hematoma. Wound. with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone. together with her friend. circular in shape. located at the left upper portion of neck. about 3 inches in length with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone. Reymundo Vergara and Roberto Bernadas retracted their respective extra-judicial confessions admitting their participation in the crimes charged and Identifying their mastermind" as the accused Jara during proceedings before the Inquest Fiscal. roughly elongated in shape about 2 inches in length with depressed-comminuted fracture of the underlying bone. he was fast asleep with his grandchildren at his step-daughter's house in Pineda Subdivision. Felicisimo Jara denied the charge that he was the one who killed his wife. roughly elongated in shape. 13. 12. located laterally from the right eyebrow. located at the right temporal region. Wound. macerated. macerated. Amparo Bantigue. located at the chest. about 1 l/2 inches in length. 16.about l 3/4 inches in length. roughly oval in shape. lower lobe.incised. Wound. upper portion. Wound. located at the left face. 11.10. about 1 inch in length. INTRA-CRANIAL SEC. located at the level of typhoid process penetrating the thoracic cavity involving the right lung. The other accused. They contested the admissibility of the extra-judicial confessions and the subsequent re- enactment of the crime on the ground that their participations in these occasions were not free and voluntary and were without the benefit of counsel. Wound. 15. TO MULTIPLE COMMINUTED-DEPRESSED FRACTURE OF THE CRANIAL BONES. He interposed alibi as a defense and testified that at the time the killings took place at Alvin's Canteen at Malvar Street. located at the occipital region. stabbed. 14. Puerto Princesa City. .


or any other means which vitiates the free will shall be used against him. intimidation. there was a waiver by the accused-appellants of their right to counsel. According to the records. Pfc. "Opo": PASUBALI: Ikaw ay nasa ilalim ng isang pagsisiyasat at dahil dito ay ipinababatid namin sa iyo ang iyong mga karapatan na sa ilalim ng ating Bagong Saligang Batas ay ikaw ay may karapatang kumuha ng isang manananggol o abogado ayon sa sarili mong pili mayroon ka ring karapatan na hindi maaaring piliting sumagot sa anumang itatanong sa iyo sa alinmang Hukuman sa Pilipinas. Pulga. There is no dispute that the confessions in these cases were obtained in the absence of counsel. Was the waiver valid? We are constrained to answer this question in the negative. in the presence of four other police officers. Henry E.All these assigned errors boil down to the issue of whether or not there is sufficient evidence as borne by the records to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. threat. Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel. made the following "Pasubali" followed by the answer. and to be informed of such right. Before the extrajudicial confession of appellant Bernadas was reduced to writing. No force. Article IV of the Constitution provides: No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. Likewise. in the case of the accused Vergara. violence. Any confession obtained in violation of this section shall be inadmissible in evidence. Nauunawaan mo ba ang lahat ng mga ipinaliwanag namin sa iyo ngayon? SAGOT: Opo. Section 20. the foreword of Ms signed sworn statement reads: TANONG: Marunong po ba kayong sumulat bumasa ng tagalog at umunawa ng wikang tagalog na siya nating gagamitin sa pagsisiyasat na ito? .

nauunawaan ko ang aking ginagawa.SAGOT: Nakakaunawa po ako at nakakabasa pero sa pagsulat ay hindi masyado. sa tanong at sagot na paraan.) REYMUNDO VERGARA DELA CRUZ PATUNAY: Ako si Reymundo Vergara dela Cruz ay nagsasaad na ipinaalam sa akin ang aking karapatang manatiling tahimik. walang pananakot. Hindi ko na kailangan ang tulong ng isang abogado. Police investigators either automatically type it together with the curt "Opo" as the answer or ask the accused to sign it or even copy it in their handwriting. pabuya o anuman na ginawa sa akin upang ako ay magsalaysay. magbigay o tumangging magbigay ng inyong salaysay. Ito ay sarili kong kagustuhan. Its tired. (SGD. Nauunawaan ko ang mga karapatang ito.) REYMUNDO VERGARA DELA CRUZ This stereotyped "advice" appearing in practically all extrajudicial confessions which are later repudiated has assumed the nature of a "legal form" or model. and artificially stately style does not create an impression of voluntariness or even understanding on the part . maaari din na kayo ay sumangguni muna sa isang abogado kung nais ninyo at ang lahat po ng inyong sasabihin ay maaaring gamiting pabor o laban sa inyo sa anumang Hukuman dito sa ating kapuluan ngayong alam na ninyo ang ilan sa inyong karapatan kayo po ba naman ay handa na ngayong magsalaysay kahit na kayo ay wala pang abogadong kaharap na siyang mangangalaga sa inyong karapatan at lahat po ng inyong sasabihin ay pawang katutuhanan lamang SAGOT: Opo. PALIWANAG: Kung gayon po ay ipinababatid ko sa inyo ang inyong karapatan na kayo ay maaaring manatiling tahimik kung inyong nais. na ang lahat na aking sasabihin ay maaaring gamiting pabor o laban sa akin at nalaman ko rin na ako ay maaaring kumuha ng sarili kong abogado na siyang nangangalaga ng aking karapatan na kung hindi ko kayang kumuha ay bibigyan ako ng pamahalaan. pananakit. punctilious. kung aking nanaisin. (SGD. pangako. handa at kusang loob akong nagbibigay ng aking salaysay ngayon. fixed.

83 SCRA 125. Consider the following reasons for the court's refusal to lend credence to appellants' claim: (1) Apart from appellants' self-serving claim no other evidence on record supports the allegation of involuntariness (People v. Francisco. and unconstrained giving up of a right is missing. the prosecution must prove with strongly convincing evidence to the satisfaction of this Court that indeed the accused willingly and voluntarily submitted his confession and knowingly and deliberately manifested that he was not interested in having a lawyer assist him during the taking of that confession. The records sustain the appellants' contention that their extrajudicial confessions bear clear earmarks of illegality and improbability. several prosecution witnesses testified that the confessions were voluntarily given. . The showing of a spontaneous. The trial court in this case was not convinced that the extrajudicial confessions of appellants were made involuntarily. Ty Sui Wong. Villa. 93 SCRA 716). (3) Appellants' oral and written confessions given at various times to several investigating authorities. The confessant carries the burden of convincing the trial judge that his admissions are involuntary or untrue (People v. 94 SCRA 842). Bautista y Aquino. not to mention the public re-enactment of the crime itself. The Solicitor General gives the following arguments for voluntariness: An extra-judicial confession is generally presumed to have been voluntarily executed (People v. did not vary and they revealed details only the assailants could have possibly known (People v. Consequently. 92 SCRA 465). 93 SCRA 56). That proof is missing in this case. Ramos. (2) On the contrary. 93 SCRA 351). Whenever a protection given by the Constitution is waived by the person entitled to that protection. (4) Appellants' confessions were corroborated by the existence of corpus delicti established by independent evidence (People v. People v. the presumption is always against the waiver. Castañeda.of the accused. free.

The prosecution must now prove that an extrajudicial confession was voluntarily given. We quote some more passages from Miranda: . have always ranked high in the scale of incriminating evidence. Arizona (384 U. Caramonte. Supreme Court adopted.S. . The People v. 94 SCRA 150). made the (continental) system so odious as to give rise to a demand for its total abolition. or any other means which vitiates the free will shall be used against him (the person being investigated)" if the framers intended us to continue applying the pre-1973 or pre-amendment presumptions. intimidation. if an accused person be asked to explain his apparent connection with a crime under investigation. instead of relying on a presumption and requiring the accused to offset it. violence. has reversed the presumption.(5) The claim of coercion cannot prevail over the testimony of the subscribing fiscal that said confession was voluntary (People v. However. The only people with Vergara when he confessed were also police investigators. which is so painfully evident . When appellant Bernadas gave his confession. It is natural and to be expected that the police officers who secured the confessions in these cases should testify that the statements were voluntarily given. Arizona. to push him into a corner and to entrap him into fatal contradictions. There would have been no need to amend the centuries old provisions of the Bill of Rights and to expressly add the interdiction that "no force. his companions in the room were five police officers. in explaining the rule which the U. . when voluntarily and freely made. The new Constitution. the temptation to press the witness unduly. 436) rule. the ease with which the questions put to him may assume an inquisitorial character. to browbeat him if he be timid or reluctant. in expressly adopting the so-called Miranda v. the records show that the interrogations were conducted incommunicado in a police-dominated atmosphere.S. Castañeda ruling applies to a crime committed before the Bill of Rights was amended to include Section 20 on the right to remain silent and to counsel and to be informed of such right. The presumption that "no one would declare anything against himself unless such declarations were true" assumes that such declarations are given freely and voluntarily. Miranda v. states: While the admissions or confessions of the prisoner. threat.

The officers are instructed to minimize the moral seriousness of the offense. 361 US 199. the investigator possesses all the advantages. the interrogation should take place in the investigator's office or at least in a room of his own choice. it is possible to describe procedures observed and noted around the country. 'Since Chambers v. rather than court failure by asking the subject whether he did it. their presence lending moral support. Florida. These texts are used by law enforcement agencies themselves as guides. In his own office.' The efficacy of this tactic has been explained as follows: If at all practicable. The officers are told by the manuals that the 'principal psychological factor contributing to a successful interrogation is privacy-being alone with the person under interrogation. may be found in various police manuals and texts which document procedures employed with success in the past. to . however.Again we stress that the modern practice of in-custody interrogation is psychologically rather than physically oriented. and that the blood of the accused is not the only hallmark of an unconstitutional inquisition. had too much to drink. Privacy results in secrecy and this in turn results in a gap in our knowledge as to what in fact goes on in the interrogation rooms. Moreover his family and other friends are nearby. or recalcitrant. A valuable source of information about present police practices. this Court has recognized that coercion can be mental as well as physical. indignant. had an unrequited desire for women. The interrogator should direct his comments toward the reasons why the subject committed the act. perhaps the subject has a bad family life. He is more keenly aware of his rights and more reluctant to tell of his indiscretions or criminal behavior within the walls of his home. the manuals instruct the police to display an air of confidence in the suspect's guilt and from outward appearance to maintain only an interest in confirming certain details. 60 S Ct 472]. The atmosphere suggests the invincibility of the forces of the law. 80 S Ct 274 (1960). In his own home he may be confident. and which recommend various other effective tactics. Interrogation still takes place in privacy. As we have stated before. 247. 309.' Blackburn v. US 227 [84 L ed 716. The guilt of the subject is to be posited as a fact. Like other men. 4 L ed 2d 242. 206. had an unhappy childhood. By considering these texts and other data. To highlight the isolation and unfamiliar surroundings. The subject should be deprived of every psychological advantage. It should be noted that these texts professedly present the most enlightened and effective means presently used to obtain statements through custodial interrogation. Alabama.

the extra-judicial-confessions served as a script for what was to follow. The texts thus stress that the major qualities an interrogator should possess are patience and perseverance. One writer describes the efficacy of these characteristics in this manner: In the preceding paragraphs emphasis has been placed on kindness and stratagems. encounter many situations where the sheer weight of his personality wig be the deciding factor. Explanations to the contrary are dismissed and discouraged. In a serious case. what the Constitution commands must be obeyed even at the risk of letting even hardened criminals mix once more with the law-abiding world. The investigator wilt however. He should interrogate for a spell of several hours pausing only for the subject's necessities in acknowledgment of the need to avoid a charge of duress that can be technically substantiated. leaving the subject no prospect of surcease. We doubt if it was two weeks of . These tactics are designed to put the subject in a psychological state where his story is but an elaboration of what the police purport to know already-that he is guilty. Where emotional appeals and tricks are employed to no avail he must rely on an oppressive atmosphere of dogged persistence. Nonetheless. 448-451) The cited police manuals state that the above methods should be used only when the guilt of the subject appears highly probable. ' " (384 US at pp.cast blame on the victim or on society. The method should be used only when the guilt of the subject appears highly probable. the interrogation may continue for days. Vergara and Barnadas had been detained for more than two (2) weeks before they decided to give "voluntary" confessions. with the required intervals for food and sleep. He must interrogate steadily and without relent. As to the re-enactment. There are other factors to be considered in these cases. It is possible in this way to induce the subject to talk without resorting to duress or coercion. More important. the evils of incommunicado interrogations without adequate safeguards to insure voluntariness could still result in the conviction of innocent persons. but without respite from the atmosphere of domination. As earlier stated. the investigators in the cases now before us appear to have been convinced that the accused-appellants were the culprits. Pictures re-enacting a crime which are based on an inadmissible confession are themselves inadmissible. He must dominate his subject and overwhelm him with his inexorable will to obtain the truth.

Oscar Ponce de Leon. assigned at the PC Medical Dispensary. There must have been other persuasions. ADOLFO JAGMIS — all are connected with the Provincial Constabulary Command which investigated the case. who is the son of the deceased Amparo Bantigue. SGT. Bantigue was implicated in several coercion and physical injuries cases filed with the City Court by persons who had been physically attacked and violated by him in connection with the murder of his mother. violence. He refused. and without benefit of counsel. COL. was prepared by the investigators themselves. A PC Sergeant. He remains at large. Likewise.soul-searching and introspection alone which led them to confess. Accused Reymundo Vergara was given an opportunity to go qqqscot free by turning state witness. testified that he treated Roberto Bernadas for cigarette burns and Reymundo Vergara for a wound at the tip of his right hand. no other evidence to implicate Bernadas and Vergara as perpetrators of the killing was introduced by the . namely: LT. prematurely publicized the solution of the case with the alleged 'extra-judicial confessions' of two (2) accused. Apart from their extra-judicial confessions. The PC command and the Integrated National Police were under pressure to "solve" these additional sensational killings. he evaded justice by escaping from the law after murdering a companion of accused Jara and attempting to kill the latter. While the medicine he applied was only merthiolate the possibility cannot be discounted that in addition to the psychological qqqplosy of incommunicado questioning. and intimidation. There were two sensational murder cases in Palawan which preceded the killings now before us. All are comrades in-arms of Pat. SABAS IMBONG. which was the preliminary investigation. lighted cigarettes and other means of persuasion which leave physical marks were also utilized to secure the confessions. but who were rebuffed when the two (2) accused. The counsel for appellants mentions a factor not refuted by the appellee in its brief. PFC HENRY PULGA and CPL. upon the first opportunity to do so in public. Pat. EUGENIO ENRIQUEZ. recanted and retracted their alleged 'extra-judicial confessions' as they were taken with the use of force. Mamerto Bantigue.

in its decision. Since these confessions are inadmissible in evidence. Godofredo Anasis nephew of Luisa Jara. stated that the nature and the number of wounds. 1821-1830). However. He was also alleged to have offered them P1. reflected in the autopsy reports. He resented not only his wife but also her woman companion. with more reason can they not be used against Jara. accused Felicisimo Jara did the cooking and whenever he committed even the slightest mistakes. The records are replete with testimony to show that Felicisimo Jara had reason to hate his wife enough to kill her and her companion. convincingly show that only a person who had harbored so much hate and resentment could have inflicted such multiple fatal blows." The two went to the movies together.prosecution. testified that his aunt was a "tomboy" and that she and Amparo Bantigue lived together as "husband and wife. The testimony on the fact of Luisa Jara and Amparo Bantigue sleeping together is corroborated by the fact that they were bludgeoned to death while sleeping on one bed and their bodies discovered on that same bed. Apart from the above extra-judicial confessions. the two appellants have to be acquitted. At the Aileen's Canteen managed by the deceased Luisa. his wife scolded and cursed him.000. Bernadas and Vergara point to Jara as the one who bludgeoned the two victims with a hammer and then used a pair of scissors in inflicting the stab wounds. It opined that accused Jara is the only person who . The strongest evidence against Felicisimo Jara are the extra-judicial confessions of his two co-accused. (TSN. May 31.00 each if they would help him in the killing of his wife. since the confessions of Bernadas and Vergara are inadmissible against them. treating him as though he were only one of the servants of the restaurant. pp. 1979. The lower court. Would such evidence in the absence of the extrajudicial confessions be sufficient to overturn the presumption of innocence in favor of the accused Jara? Evidence attesting to the fact that accused Jara and his wife had not been in good terms for about three years before the killings was presented. The relationship of the two women angered Felicisimo Jara and was a cause of their frequent quarrels. They used to quarrel with each other and they had not been sleeping together since the deceased Luisa Jara slept at Alvin's Canteen together with the other deceased Amparo Bantigue. other circumstantial evidence was presented to support a verdict of conviction.

He falsely claimed that the blood came from the chickens he had been slaughtering for the market. . 1980. The blood stains found in accused Jara's trousers formed certain Identical circular patterns. the NBI biologist verified in her report that the blood stains were not chicken blood but human blood (Exhibit "L"). he approached her and hugged her in his effort to wake her up. from being well-nigh conclusive. Such circular patterns will only occur at the time of the impact of the instrument. (TSN. a splattering of blood which. whose findings were later signed by the Chief of the Forensic Chemistry Division testified that human blood was found on the eyeglasses of appellant Jara. The NBI biologist. pp. it is still strong evidence in the chain of circumstances pointing to Jara as the killer of his wife. p. The human blood stains were Type B. 1230) After a laboratory examination of the eyeglasses (Exhibit "I"). 244. he was with his stepdaughter Minerva Jimenez in the public market dressing chickens. blood stains were found splattered in the trousers and shirt worn by accused Jara. His eyeglasses were also smeared with blood. Another circumstance is the cover-up attempt by Jara. May 28. pp. During the investigation at the scene of the crime. on the front side lower portion of the left leg of the trousers. There is no explanation about the source and cause of the human blood stains splattered all over him. 1979. together with the clear motive. could be caused by an instrument like that of a hammner.would have sufficient motive to wish the death of the deceased for he had not been treated well as a husband by his wife. 1979. at the left buttocks of the pants and the back portion near the trousers. 1978 when accused Jara claimed that the blood stains on his shirt were smudged when he hugged his wife. He further explained that there was no possibility of the splattering of blood if the victim died hours before because blood starts to coagulate or clog 15 minutes after the wound is caused. September 30. trousers (Exhibit "J"). He lied about the blood on his clothes and eyeglasses. However. March 19. and smudged human blood stains on the appellant's T-shirt. 397398) He also said in his testimony in open court that when he saw his wife lying dead on the bed. When asked to explain the presence of said blood stains. (TSN. and shirt (Exhibit "K"). A failure to get evidence on the blood types of the two victims keeps this second circumstantial evidence. 248-250) The blood of the deceased victims in the case at bar had already qqqcoagulated in the morning of June 9. 227. the very moment it hits the victim. (TSN. according to the NBI biologist. accused Jara told the police that before he learned about the killing.

but that matters not. He went through the motions of embracing his wife although the observers noted that even in death there was no love lost between husband and wife. particularly where the crime is heinous and the penalty is death. each case is to be determined on its own peculiar circumstances and all of the facts and circumstances are to be considered together as a whole. — Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if: (a) There is more than one circumstance. March 21. and. 1979. (b) The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven. One of the waitresses at the Alvin's Canteen who saw accused Jara's reaction as he entered the room where the victims lay dead observed that he shed no tears and his face did not show any indication of sorrow (TSN. as a basis for conviction of crime. Upon the discovery of the bodies 'and the forcible opening of the door. as in the instant cases. Rule 133. Jara was with the group. should be acted on and weighed with great caution. (23 CJS p. Circumstantial evidence. For all that is required is that the circumstances proved must be consistent with each other. 136 SCRA 515). when sufficient. In determining the sufficiency of circumstantial evidence to support a conviction. Section 5 of the Rules of Court provides: Circumstantial evidence. appellant Jara helped as cook. may be sufficient to support a conviction. pp. 555). when so considered. and at the same time inconsistent with the hypothesis that . The hammer used in the killing is an instrument with which appellant Jara is familiar. No general rule has been formulated as to the quantity of circumstantial evidence which wig suffice for any case. Duero. (See People v. 373-374).There is no question that appellant Jara was at the scene of the crime. and (c) The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. although one or more of the facts taken separately would not be sufficient for this purpose. It was proven during the trial of the case that the hammer with the letter "A" on its handle which was one of the instruments used in the perpetration of the crime belonged to Luisa Jara who had kept it at Aileen's Canteen where her husband.

citing People v. the lower court did not err in finding guilt as having been established beyond reasonable doubt. People v. People v. Carino. 55 SCRA 516). the judgment of the lower court is MODIFIED as follows: In Crim. Brioso. the accused Bernadas and Vergara are ACQUITTED of the crime of ROBBERY with HOMICIDE on the ground of reasonable doubt. the alibi is made more dubious considering that no other credible persons were presented who would. 139 SCRA 94. 33 SCRA 812). the only person who vouched for his presence at some place away from the scene of the crime was his stepdaughter from whom he had sought abode. The defense of alibi given by the accused Jara is weak. demonstrate that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the crime at that time (People v. likewise. Villos. Mere denials of the accused as to his participation in the crime are only self-serving negative evidence which cannot outweigh circumstantial evidence clearly establishing his active participation in the crime.he is innocent and with every other rational hypothesis except that of guilt. The requirements for circumstantial evidence to sustain a conviction are present in this case. However. previously convicted of homicide. Contante. Hence. WHEREFORE. Bagasala. Accused Jara is CONVICTED of the crime of MURDER and is sentenced to suffer the penalty of death . 73 Phil. More importantly. 2564. He must. Subano. 37 SCRA 336. Alcantara. in the natural order of things be best situated to support the tendered alibi (People v. the supposed robbery of the piggy bank and Buddha bank is proved only by the extra-judicial statements found inadmissible. (People v. People v. the defense of alibi cannot prosper because it is not enough to prove that defendant was somewhere else when the crime was committed. Cabanit. 6 Phil. 12 SCRA 653). The aforementioned circumstances constitute an unbroken chain leading to one fair and reasonable conclusion which points to the guilt of the accused qqqjara beyond reasonable doubt (See US v. Aside from himself. The trial court noted recidivism insofar as Felicisimo Jara. The offense against Bantigue was simple murder. Case No. 39 SCRA 236. 510. Such proof is wanting in this case. was concemed together with dwelling and nighttime. 692). The killing of Amparo Bantigue was marked by treachery and evident premeditation. Insofar as the parricide case is concerned against accused Jara.

00 as exemplary damages. The gun used in the killing. defendant-appellant. 2565. the accused Bernadas and Vergara are likewise ACQUITTED of the crime of HOMICIDE on the ground of reasonable doubt. Jose Ong Oh. RUIZ. vs. Jesus G. for murder.00 as moral damages. an unlicensed revolver (Exhibit "F") was ordered confiscated in favor of the Government.R. Jr.000. however. P176.00 as expenses of litigation.000. P25. and sentencing him also to pay the heirs of the deceased.000. L-33609 December 14. plaintiff-appellee. . DE CASTRO.In Crim. J.00 as indemnity. P50. aggravated by abuse of confidence. and P10. Accused Jara is CONVICTED of the crime of PARRICIDE and is sentenced to suffer the penalty of death. No. P12. Case No.000. plus costs. Ruiz. the penalty of death is lowered to reclusion perpetua.00). JESUS G. Atty. x--x G. that the accused Jara is now over 70 years of age.:P Automatic review of the decision of the Court of First Instance of Agusan imposing the death penalty on the appellant. SO ORDERED. respectively. In both cases.000. Considering. accused Jara is ordered to indemnify the heirs of the deceased Amparo Bantigue and Luisa Jara in the amount of THIRTY THOUSAND PESOS (P30.00 representing lost earnings of the deceased. 1981 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.000.

Id. At about 7 o'clock that same evening. took a tricycle and went to the office of the Oceanic Enterprises and inquired for the deceased (pp. tsn. 289.). Carmelito Omboy went with Dodong Ratilla and proceeded to the accused's house located at a distance of only about 20 meters away and upon arrival thereat. of May 30.. 82. 1968. the prosecution's version is presented in the People's Brief as follows: At about 6:30 P. 1969). Jose Ong Oh. in the mezzanine of the store situated at the first floor of his house along Mabini Street.). 87-89. April 15. Id. the accused left the said store.As to how the crime was committed. while accused was downstairs. the deceased) to come to his (accused's) house because the latter wanted to talk to the former (pp. 83. tsn. I will be going there" and a little later rode in his jeep bound for the town followed by Carmelito Omboy in a tricycle (pp. Feb.). 86. 81. a nephew of the accused. and that was between 8:30 and 9:00 o'clock that same evening of May 30.). tsn. 1969). a copra sample man of the said Oceanic Enterprises.) stood up and commanded him ( Carmelito Omboy) to go to the wharf and to tell Joker (Atty. tsn. Raymundo Discipulo arrived thereat and after quite sometime asked the accused whether it was true that the loading of copra on the M/V Sweet Hope that day was given to Goring Gavero. 82. Id. a kilometer away. at Nasipit. arrived and told him (Carmelito Omboy) that the accused was requesting him to go to the latter's house (pp. Soon thereafter. to look and fetch for the deceased (p. 26. 1968. Id. Carmelito Omboy along with Dodong Ratilla took a tricycle and went to the wharf. the accused was only able to answer: "Ha?" to Raymundo Discipulo's query (pp. tsn. 84. 87. Jr. 1968. and the events immediately preceding and following the commission thereof. Id. Sometime after their arrival at the wharf. that the deceased was at the wharf. 287. Expressing his surprise as he could not believe then that it could happen because of his contract and good relation with the deceased. Carmelito Omboy was able to contact and convey the accused's message to the deceased who affirmatively said "Yes. Dodong Ratilla. accused who was then sitting by the door way beside a store (p. accused left and rode on the waiting tricycle bound for the town (pp. Agusan del Norte. a wharf-bound cargo truck loaded with copra of the . tsn. Upon being informed by Leoncio Njai Acido. tsn. Aug. tsn. 24. Meanwhile.M. 8-10. Forthwith. At about 8:30 o'clock that same evening of May 30. 1969). while Carmelito Omboy was in his house fronting the plaza of the poblacion of Nasipit. 287-288. Agusan del Norte.

he was approached by Charlito Canon and soon thereafter. but before the latter could alight therefrom. while Nonoy Palabrica and the other person went behind the house of the accused (p. Id. and upon accused's instructions. 24. April 14.). referring to the accused. 240. Feb. Feb. told him not to go away. however.).). 1969). 234. and while its driver Jose Mendrez was still behind its wheel.). p.). he (Mendrez) went back to the accused who. Charlito Canon Nonoy Palabrica and another person unloaded from the stalled cargo truck three (3) sacks of copra which were then dropped along Roxas Street at the side of the said truck (p. 239. that the deceased picked up the . 1969). 235. Id. So. Id. Id. Jesse" extending his arms to the accused who. tsn. Charlito Canon told him that accused was calling for him again (p. otherwise. a little of which the latter drank (p. Accused inquired from Mendrez as to the whereabouts then of the deceased. tsn. tsn. Then he proceeded to the place where accused was (p. 239.). Mendrez left and went towards his parked cargo truck. the cargo truck and proceeded to where accused was sitting outside his store (p. the deceased arrived in the vicinity riding in his jeep. 'Sit down' to the deceased in a commanding manner (pp. Agusan del Norte (pp. April 14. tsn. while holding a glass of Tanduay on his left hand and with something protruding from his waist. the latter was approached by one named Charlito Canon who said to him "Nong. 24. Mendrez answered that he does not know because when he left the bodega. While Mendrez was thus being threatened by the accused. 236. tsn. Accused gave Mendrez a glass containing Tanduay wine. According to Carmelito Omboy who arrived at the vicinity almost at the same time that the deceased reached the place as the latter was followed by the former from the wharf. Thereafter. tsn. 237. 94. the deceased got down from his jeep and went towards the parked cargo truck and looked over at the sacks of copra lying on the street. 238. tsn. tsn. tsn. 1969. the deceased was not there (p. 242. Mendrez excused himself and went to the truck but upon reaching the same.). 94. Id. the devised greeted the accused "Jesse. tsn. Taking advantage of this opportunity. you are caged by Jesus Ruiz". At this juncture then. Id. 233. 1969) and stopped along Roxas Street at a point more or less seven (7) meters from the place where accused was sitting (p. slapped them and kicked the rattan stool and said. he (accused) would shoot him (p. Jose Mendrez went down.deceased and driven by Jose Mendrez developed engine trouble at the comer of Roxas and Mabini Streets in the poblacion of Nasipit. tsn. 241.). Id. 95. A short while after the said cargo truck stopped. Id. Charlito Canon stood at a corner fronting Roxas Street. tsn.

s. wore his eyeglasses again and sat down anew. tsn. Id. the Chief of Police of Nasipit. that the accused got the revolver from his right waist and that only one shot was fired (pp. Lydia San Pedro. 45. 111. Aug. 101. May 7.). that the deceased answered "Jesse. tsn. that the deceased's face was turned to the right due to the impact of the slapping. 102. "B") by Corporal Jalop (p. Agusan del Norte. tsn. tsn.) when the deceased turned his face to the front. 110. 27. tsn. Lourdes Ruiz. Sometime. 1969). meanwhile the accused stood up still holding his revolver. 1968 (pp. t. turned its drum and tucked it on his right waist (p. raised it. tsn. Aug. "F". As most of his policemen turned out to be on patrol. Agusan del Norte. The body of the deceased was autopsied at the Raniel's Funeral Parlor at Butuan City by Dra.) whom he had known for a good number of years (p. p. "Why did you load without asking permission?" (pp. thereafter.n. p. 149. that thereafter. 58. only to be met by the shot from accused's black revolver (Exh. tsn. that the deceased jerked a little and fell to his left side. 1968). tsn. 99. Teodoro Luneta. 100. 100. that after a while. 25. wiped his face. that accused demanded. 1969. 28. that the deceased stood up. tsn. he went back to the scene of the crime.) and threw his firearm (p. 22. 140. 142-149. He did not see any firearms with or within the immediate vicinity of the victim (p. walked along Roxas Street and proceeded to the Municipal Building (pp. easy. but upon his arrival at the municipal building. 102. that same evening. May 7. 1969). Teodoro Vesagas who did the actual incision (pp. Chief Luneta saw near the house of the accused the body of the deceased (p. 1968). 96. Id. 112. as well as the scene of the crime by photographer David. Municipal Health Officer of Nasipit. 102. 24. Id. arrived at the scene of the shooting incident to investigate at the instance of Mrs. wife of the accused (pp. the accused turned to his right. tsn.).). tsn. 1969). 110. Aug. Id. he saw the accused already there. but accused with his right hand slapped him on the left cheek (pp.). accused came down from his house. 24. Id. that accused then splashed a glass of wine on the face of the deceased and throw the glass to the concrete pavement (Id. 27. so he ordered the station guard to keep watch on the person of the accused. at 2:00 o'clock in the morning of May 31. Id. 1969). 24. Feb. tsn. tsn. with the help of Dr. and the drawing of a sketch of the place (Exh. Aug. 97.. removed his eyeglasses and wiped it with his T-shirt. easy" (Id. 27. 1969) and removed the slug which . supervised the taking of the picture of the deceased on the spot. Feb.). 99. 1969). tsn. Feb. 1969). Feb. Id. passed by the body of the deceased. tsn. 25. He left the place for a while to call some of his policemen to assist him.). 27. and went upstairs of his house (p. tsn. 45. 31.rattan stool and placed it in front of the accused and sat on it (pp. 25.

was lodged in the left medulla of the victim's brain (p. 116, tsn, Id.). The
autopsy findings are reflected in the medical report (Exh. "T" and "T-3")
submitted and testified to by Dra. Lydia San Pedro (p. 150, tsn, Id.) showing
the following:

Ext.finding: Transicted tongue medially; commuted fracture left maxilla;

— Upper and lower incissor teeth left upper premolar detached from socket;

— Hard and soft palate fractured on the left side with rugged edges.

Internal Findings: Linear fracture from occipital extending to the base of the
skull; lacerated left and right lobe of the medulla; bullet slug lodge in the left
medulla. Course of bullet wound of entrance-left hard palate-left maxilla-
base of the skull-left medulla.

Description of wound entrance-Location-left angle of the mouth, has irregular
surface with upward extension about 1-1/2 inches forming a triangle, two
smaller linear wound triangular in size 1/2 inch. in length on both sides of the
first wound described above, burned and roughened area about the wound
of entrance.

CAUSE OF DEATH: Laceration with hemorrhage medulla due to gunshot
wound.(p. 39, Rec.)

In the early morning of May 31, 1968, the recovered slug (Exh. "C") was
handed by Dra. Lydia San Pedro to Chief of Police Luneta (pp- 36-39, tsn,
Aug. 27, 1968; p. 152, tsn, May 7, 1969) who in turn gave it to his deputy,
Police Lt. Amado Felias, with instructions to have it ballistically examined
(tsn, pp. 36, 37, Aug. 27, 1968; p. 237, May 9, 1969), and to escort the
accused to Camp Crame for the purpose of paraffin test, which mission he
undertook together with Lt. Jose C. Edera of the Agusan PC Command that
same morning of May 31, 1968 (tsn, pp. 30-34, May 5, 1969; pp- 239, 240,
May 9, 1969).

According to Capt. Constantino Y. Leva Chief of the Ballistics Branch, PC
Central Laboratory, Camp Crame (pp. 148, 149, tsn, April 18, 1969) and who
examined ballistically the recovered slug (Exh. "C"), the said slug was fired
from a Cal. .357 Magnum firearm (pp. 150-155, tsn, Id.).

The result of the paraffin test conducted on the accused also on May 31,
1968 by Lt. Col. Minardo B. Piñones, Chief of the Chemistry Branch, PC

Central Laboratory, Camp Crame (pp. 326, 327, tsn, April 1, 1969), showed
that the right hand of the accused was positive for the presence of nitrates,
while his left hand was negative (Exh. "K"; pp. 336, 337, 388, 389, tsn, Id.).

On the same date, May 31, 1968, at Camp Crame, Quezon City, the accused
executed an affidavit (Exh. "Z") stating therein that while he and the
deceased were grappling for the possession of the deceased's revolver,
somebody whom he did not see fired at the deceased. This affidavit,
however, was not believed by Lt. Col. Pelayo Perez, CIS Deputy Executive
Officer, when the said affidavit was presented to the latter on June 1, 1968
on account that it does not Identify who shot the deceased (pp. 174- 175,
tsn, May 8, 1969), so that Lt. Col. Perez was constrained to, and did,
interview, the accused (pp. 176, 179, tsn, Id.). After the interview, the
accused, in the presence of Lt. Col. Perez, executed a second affidavit (Exh.
"Z-1") giving a new version of the incident, in that it was the revolver of the
deceased which killed the latter, and because of this new version, Lt. Col.
Perez further interviewed the accused who finally admitted that he knew
where the firearm was, and promised to surrender the same in Agusan if he
(Perez) would go there. Forthwith, the accused was returned to Nasipit,
Agusan, accompanied by Police Lt. Amado Felias and PC Lt. Edera (p. 240,
tsn, May 9, 1969), while Lt. Col. Perez decided to follow them later together
with CIS Agent Sofronio Sison (p. 182, tsn, May 8, 1969).

In the meantime, on June 2, 1968, P.C. Sgt. Manuel Leva a paraffin
technician, lifted paraffin casts on the left cheek and both hands of the
deceased (pp. 303-307, tsn, April 16, 1969). On June 6, 1968, these paraffin
casts were turned over by Sgt. Leva to Lt. Col. Minardo B. Pinones, the Chief
Chemist, who examined the same and the result (Exh. "L", p. 349, tsn, April
17, 1969) showed that the paraffin cast lifted from the left cheek of the
deceased was positive for the presence of nitrates (pp. 346, 347, tsn, Id.),
while the paraffin casts lifted from both hands of the deceased were negative
(p. 348, tsn, Id.).

On June 4, 1968, Lt. Col. Perez arrived in Agusan and at the residence of the
accused the latter surrendered to the former a Cal. .357 Magnum firearm
with five have ammunitions and one spent shell (pp. 182-191, tsn, may 8,
1969; pp. 37-43, May 5, 1969), which firearm (Exh. "F") was found ballistically
to be the firearm from which the recovered bullet or slug (Exh. "C") that killed
Atty. Jose Ong Oh, Jr. (deceased) was fired (Exh. "P"; pp. 162-167, tsn, April
18, 1969).

On June 5, 1968, the next day after the accused surrendered the aforesaid
firearm (Exh. "F"), he executed a third affidavit Exh. "Y") consisting of six (6)
pages, at the Headquarters of the Agusan PC Provincial Command at
Butuan City (pp. 193, 194, tsn, May 8, 1969), in which affidavit, accused,
among others, admitted that the surrendered firearm (Exh. "F") is his own
unlicensed revolver that killed the deceased, but that the killing was
accidental as the forefinger of the deceased's left hand was inserted into the
trigger guard of said revolver causing it to fire and hitting the deceased

Upon the other hand, the version of self-defense as developed by appellant
during the trial is as follows, quoting also from Appellant's Brief:

On the same date, May 30, 1968, at 9:00 P.M. Ratilla who was sent to look for
the deceased, Atty. Jose Ong Oh, Jr., arrived with one Carmelito Omboy.
Ratilla told the herein accused-appellant that the deceased, Atty. Jose Ong
Oh, Jr., was at that time at the Helen's Bakery, then said Ratilla after telling
the herein accused-appellant the fact that Atty. Jose Ong Oh, Jr., was at the
Helen's Bakery went upstairs their house and said accused-appellant keep
on looking towards the direction of Helen's Bakery but could not see the
deceased, so he went to the middle of Mabini Street where he saw the jeep
of the deceased then parked. Then after seeing the parked jeep of the floor
of their house. Then he saw that the deceased, Atty. Jose Ong Oh, Jr., was
walking towards the cargo truck and look at its engine and upon seeing the
three sacks of copra being unloaded from the truck he (the deceased)
pulled his hair and saying. "This is a delay of the loading." Then he went
around the said truck and the herein accused-appellant could see from the
face of the deceased, Atty. Jose Ong Oh, Jr. that he was angry over the
unloading- of the three sacks of copra. That at the distance of about three to
four meters the herein accused-appellant told the deceased, Atty. Jose Ong
Oh, Jr.: "It is good that you are here," but the deceased did not answer, then
he offered him a seat while he (the accused-appellant) 'was sitting on a
rattan chair, telling the deceased to "sit down first" and pointing to a chair in
front where he was then sitting, but the deceased, Atty. Jose Ong Oh, Jr.,
answered: "No. I am in hurry" then the accused-appellant stood up, placed
his hands on the shoulder of the deceased and requested him again to sit
down; then the deceased, Atty. Jose Ong Oh, Jr., inquired and said: "What
shall we talk about, about the loading?", then the accused-appellant asked
the deceased whether it was true that he gave the loading of his copra on M/
V Sweet Hope to another labor union, Then the deceased, Atty. Jose Ong
Oh, Jr., answered in a harsh voice and said: "It is true; this is our copra; you
cannot tell me to whom I will give the loading of the copra." Then the herein

Then the deceased struggled to point his gun at him.accused-appellant in turn raised his voice and said: "What do you mean? I cannot interfere? Have you forgotten our contract? And that the last shipment was not handled by us. then he pushed forward with his revolver the deceased. Litsi it is none of your business. but he noticed the growing strength of deceased's left hand. why do you interfere with our loading?" That because the herein accused- appellant was hurt said to the deceased: "You are trampling on my right already. so he (accused- appellant) pistol whipped the deceased again but he was surprised why he could not. Then he (accused-appellant) threw the glass that he was then holding with his right hand and with his right hand he pulled deceased's left hand which was on top of his left hand. However. he found out that deceased's left forefinger was then inserted into the trigger guard of his revolver and both of them were then pulling his (accused appellant's) revolver. but the deceased said: "What do you mean by rascal? communist? traitor? at the same time stepping forward towards him (accused appellant) and pulling out his revolver from his (deceased) right hip pocket. and he remembered that he had a firearm at his waist. That the accused-appellant tightened his grip on the deceased's right hand so that he could wrestle the former's revolver. he (the accused-appellant) gripped the drum of the deceased's revolver which the deceased held with his right hand. then the deceased replied and said: "It is none of your business. That after the deceased slumped to the ground he (the accused-appellant) released his grip on deceased's revolver and . so this shipment should be ours". (sic) however. That it was the left forefinger of the deceased which pushed the trigger of the accused-appellant's revolver that caused it to fire. the deceased met his forward push and his left finger still inserted into the trigger guard of his revolver. however. before the deceased could put his finger on the trigger of his revolver. But the deceased placed his left hand over the accused-appellant's left hand trying to loosen his grip so that he (the deceased could shoot him. and after a while he heard a sunburst and it was his gun that fired and his left hand still holding the right hand of the deceased which was still holding his revolver. you big Chinese communist. forefinger inside the trigger guard of accused-appellant's revolver loosened its grip then he saw the deceased slump to the ground on his right side. the accused-appellant splashed Tanduay wine contained in the glass he was holding on Ms right hand on the face of the deceased and with his left hand. deceased's left hand and his. so he pulled it and struck deceased's face hitting lightly the deceased near his jaw with the end of the barrel of the revolver because the deceased parried his blow. The accused-appellant began to feel afraid that he will be shot by the deceased if his left hand could be wrestled from its hold on the drum of the deceased's revolver. you rascal "Then he stood up to avoid the deceased. You are a traitor. Then a little later.

and there being no nitrate found on his left hand. We agree with the court a quo in rejecting the plea of selfdefense. 50 to 58. and rightly so. the supposed aggression committed by the deceased according to appellant and his witnesses was in whipping out his gun and pointing it at appellant after a heated exchange of angry words. and certain officers of the Philippine Constabulary.deceased's revolver dropped to the ground by the side of the deceased. and that the slug (Exhibit "C") that caused the death and extracted from the brain of the deceased was fired from appellant's unlicensed gun (Exhibit "F"). To begin with the initial unlawful aggression imputed to the deceased by the defense. Leyva. Then he went down again from his house and proceeded towards the Municipal Building of Nasipit. the Municipal Judge. when he was subjected to paraffin test the day following the shooting incident (Exhibit "K") also in Camp Crame. It is entirely belied by the fact that no gun was found near the fallen body of the deceased or in the immediate vicinity thereof. Camp Crame. specially the public officials among them. It has found the prosecution witnesses more credible. the Chief of Police. as established by the ballistic examination conducted by an expert. in order to erect the main prop of the defense invoked by appellant. is belied by the more natural and credible testimony of the State witnesses. as the presence of nitrates thereon would prove. Then the herein accused-appellant after taking a look at the deceased left and proceeded upstairs of his house and throw his gun. whose testimonies. and that he did not fire them at the deceased because he had no intention to shoot the deceased. the defense theory that the deceased pulled out a gun which appellant tried to wrest from the deceased with his left hand. That the accused-appellant had six more bullets in his revolver. because they all appear to be disinterested witnesses. pp. The finding of the trial court on the relative credibility of the witnesses in this case deserves full respect. If the appellant fired his unlicensed gun with his right hand. Constantino Y. he did not care to find out where the deceased was hit and what occurred to his mind was to notify the police so that the police could bring the deceased to the hospital and for him to surrender and report the incident. Capt. decision Appendix "A". and that in the course of the struggle for the possession of . totally discredit the story of self-defense which fails to inspire belief. touching on how the crime was committed. Chief of the PC Central Laboratory.) The refusal of the trial court to give credence to appellant's version of self- defense is the basic and main assignment of error. Thus. Cf.

An these improbabilities and plain untrustworthiness in the testimony of the appellant. renders appellant's version of how the gun went off while he and the deceased who allegedly pulled out his gun very improbable. therefore. as given in his statement (Exhibit "Z-1"). That the gun was fired close to the face is more indicative of a deliberate aim with complete freedom from any force that could distort its accuracy. it went off with the deceased's finger also pressed against the trigger. not the deceased. easily the more natural and thus the more credible of the diametrically conflicting versions of the defense and the prosecution. there is the much greater likelihood of the gun being held down on the level of the body during the struggle. as would happen in a hand-to-hand struggle for the possession of the gun. of the deceased that supposedly fired the gun. It was the left cheek of the deceased that was found positive for the presence of nitrates. together with the numerous members of his union. the deceased could not have assumed the aggressive stance portrayed of him. as to mark him as the real aggressor. Under such theory. . would make the version of the prosecution that it was appellant who drew his own gun from his right waist and fired at the deceased directly on the face. who deliberately fired at the deceased. likewise. It was appellant. the left least. by which act he felt cheated and unjustly discriminated. infuriated by how he felt seriously aggrieved by the deceased's act in violating an agreement on the loading of the latter's copra by the two rival unions under some kind of rotation scheme. and taking on an attitude that was more hostile than friendly. which shows that the gun was close to the face when it was fired. If there was a struggle for the possession of the gun of the deceased as claimed by appellant. and his anger perhaps showing itself very visibly because he had been drinking in celebration of his son's birthday. The entry of the slug through the mouth. But paraffin test conducted on June 2. The deceased himself must have been angered on seeing three sacks of his copra unloaded from the truck that stopped near appellant's house. at close range.the gun. not the level of the head. and the physical findings of experts. as was his first version. 1968 showed both hands of the deceased negative for nitrates (See Exhibit "L"). the deceased added fuel to appellant's fury. In the protective surrounding of appellant's residence where his confrontation with the deceased took place. would be pure concoction. igniting in the latter a violent temper. and appellant having been quite justifiably angered by what he heard that the deceased had a rival union to load his copra.

and as found by the trial court. said court holding that there was treachery. and finally to that of legitimate self- defense. because it was sudden and unexpected. likewise. must fall.The element of unlawful aggression not having been established. from how the evidence has been analyzed above. Neither could it be said. appellant's plea of self-defense. form or means adopted in killing the victim must be consciously and deliberately chosen to insure its execution without any risk to the offender arising from the defense which the victim might make. which is the third and last requisite of the justifying circumstance of self-defense. his liability for the killing. 1 In the case at bar. to that of accidental shooting. not of his union but of a rival labor union. the utter incredibility of each of the changing theory he gave from the time he first gave statement in custodial interrogation. once the basic requisite of unlawful aggression is shown to be non-existent. is beyond doubt. authorship of which he admitted. becomes so manifest for him to be deserving of any bit of credence as a witness in his own behalf. for appellant to desire to do away with the deceased. as he and his witnesses declared. This is true with his witnesses who merely tried to give corroboration to his principal testimony. he could not have had murder in his heart and commit it at the very stronghold of his . appellant had already formed an intent to kill the deceased. the method. the hostile and insulting manner the deceased responded to appellant's demand for explanation why. In doing so. or even that of incomplete self-defense. To constitute treachery. pointing to an unknown person as the assailant.defense. The only question now is whether the shooting was attended with treachery as to raise the slaying to the category of murder as charged. Appellant had sought the deceased at the Oceanic bodega of the latter upon hearing of the loading being done by rival union members. deceased was loading his copra in the vessel with the employment of laborers. His business relationship with the victim was such that appellant would not gain from the death of the deceased who was giving livelihood to him and his union members. have to be found wanting. the resort of the appellant to the use of Ms firearm was. therefore. Finding. even if the attack was frontal.defense which is that of the reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the aggression must. The other requisite of self. to the time he testified in court. that appellant shot and killed the deceased not in lawful self. in violation of their existing agreement. that the appellant gave no provocation. With the constant shifting of appellant's version from that of absolute denial that he shot at the deceased. There is no evidence that even before the arrival of the deceased at the residence of appellant when asked to see the latter.

One shot would not be so certain to disable the deceased from making a defense. the deceased was splashed on the face by appellant with liquor from a glass the latter was holding and then slapped on the left side of the face. if not hostile and belligerent. For there to be treachery by reason of the suddenness and unexpectedness of the attack. vs. and rectification for. his guard. In U. it was held that the circumstance that the attack was sudden and unexpected to the person assaulted did not constitute treachery. a circumstance also not quite compatible with a conscious and deliberate choosing of the mode. . The shooting was thus preceded not only by a heated discussion. not as cold blooded as the prosecution would want to prove it was. Namit. to put the deceased on. 100. as shown by his having been previously indicted also for murder of a police sergeant. 38 Phil. p. 532. The circumstances just mentioned negate the presence of treachery. Rollo). it was clearly because of the unexpected turn of events that aroused the killer instinct in him. manner with which the deceased dealt with appellant in their confrontation at the latter's place of residence. All appellant wanted was an explanation of. As already shown. which developed from the unfriendly. where it did not appear that the aggressor had consciously and deliberately adopted a mode of attack intended to facilitate the perpetration of the killing without risk to himself. 473.S. it has been generally held that there must have been no warning of any sort to the deceased or offended party. He fired only once. We are inclined to believed more the defense version that the killing was preceded by some discussion which grew heated. but acts on the part of appellant that showed not mere hostility but such a heated temper that could break into a violent attack. as held in the case of People vs. If appellant drew his gun and fired at the deceased. Before he was shot. For in this respect. and convicted by the same trial court and sentenced to death (Decision. 926. an act committed by the deceased considered by appellant as highly discriminatory and prejudicial to the interest of many laborers whose union he headed. can hardly suggest a strong and prior homicidal intent. 76 Phil. form or means of assault to insure the execution of the crime without risk to himself. p. 2 His act of going to the Municipal Building right after he had shot at the victim but once. We cannot find appellant guilty of murder. appellant had not the time to reflect on the means or mode of attack for it to be said that he deliberately and consciously pulled out his gun and fired at the deceased to insure the commission of the crime without risk to himself. Unconvinced nor persuaded that treachery was present in the killing. Gonzales.intended victim.

which alone would justify the appreciation of abuse of confidence as an aggravating circumstance. and with no aggravating circumstance to offset them. represented by the loss of expected earnings. beyond mere suspicion. L-4555. 689. We agree with the defense in invoking the ruling of People vs. From the physical condition of the deceased.G. the amount of actual and compensatory damages. finds support in the case of Alcantara vs. It certainly cannot be said. Luchico. after seeing the appellant fan from the single shot he fired. and . not the appellant's men. With these three mitigating circumstances. (2) passion and obfuscation. that the commission of the crime was facilitated by the confidence deceased had in appellant. 2769. from the time he had hired other laborers for the loading of his copra. deceased had of appellant had vanished. Surro. in that before the fatal shooting of the deceased. No. As to the amount of indemnity and damages awarded. and with the heated exchange of words between them when they finally came face to face. 3 Upon the other hand. for that sight reflected the hostility of appellant towards him. and (3) voluntary surrender. as held by the trial court.. and caused obfuscation. as he should have done under a supposed agreement with appellant. Revised Penal Code. he went forthwith to the Municipal Building and placed himself at the disposal of the law and the authorities. The deceased then knew. the latter. et al. G. He was told of the loading of the victim's copra by a rival union laborers. with three sacks of his copra unloaded therefrom.R. he felt cheated and discriminated in alleged breach of a standing agreement. We note from these facts the presence of the mitigating circumstances of (1) drunkenness which was not shown to be intentional nor habitual. 49 Phil. by which act of the deceased. 59 O. July 23.We neither could view the fact that both appellant and the deceased were friends as giving rise to the aggravating circumstance of abuse of confidence when appellant killed the deceased. or from 6 years. The deceased himself naturally got mad at the appellant. whatever feeling of confidence. This fact aroused his passion. appellant had been drinking while celebrating his son's birthday. and even more after being sought for by appellant for the alleged breach of the agreement. the penalty should be from 6 years of prision correccional to 12 years of prision mayor. also helped to vanish whatever confidence he had in appellant. Applying the indeterminate Sentence Law. 1 day to 12 years (Article 64(5). However. 1953. the penalty to be imposed should be one degree lower than that for simple homicide or reclusion temporal which is prision mayor. therefore. a mood not quite compatible with the charitable feeling of confidence. The sight of his truck parked near the residence of appellant. that appellant was mad at him.

000. the judgment of the trial court is affirmed in all other respects.00. defendant-appellant. has been convicted of Forcible Abduction with Rape.R. Alfredo C. Hon.00 for attorney's fees may likewise be reasonably reduced to P5. G. with the modification as to the penalty which is a prison term as above indicated. 1965. However. On December 20.: The accused ADELINO Bardaje in this case. also as above indicated. and sentenced to death.00. 1979 that there is no basis for awarding exemplary damages when not even one aggravating circumstance was established. July 30. instead of death. but there are three mitigating ones. The amount of P10. SO ORDERED. J.00 to P20. MELENCIO-HERRERA. no exemplary damages may be awarded. there being no aggravating circumstance. his heirs are also entitled to moral damages as awarded by the court a quo. and as to the amount of damages awarded.000. L-29271 August 29. x--x G. Laya and People of the Philippines. as held recently in the case of Nora Aguilar Matura vs. No. The case is before us on automatic review. Nos. but the amount so awarded may be reasonably reduced from P50.000.000. plaintiff-appellee.his social standing when gunned down by appellant. after trial. WHEREFORE. 1980 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.R. with costs. L-44550-51 and L-44552-53. vs. the private prosecutors that helped in the prosecution of the case being deemed to have rendered service for a fellow member of the bar more in the spirit of professional fraternity. ADELINO BARDAJE. MARCELINA Cuizon lodged the following complaint with the Court of First Instance of Samar against ADELINO and five (5) others .

Sta. a sixth. Lucio Malate. Municipality of Sta. Pedro Odal. in Bo. Adriano Odal. Silvino Odal and Fidel . did then and there wilfully. with Lucio Malate. besides the FIVE OTHERS. in Bo. 1965. Rita. ADELINO was arrested on December 17th. Pedro Odal. Silvino Odal and Fidel Ansuas of the crime of Rape with Illegal Detention committed as follows: That on or about the period from the 14th day to 17th day of December. Province of Samar. committed as follows: That on or about the period from the 14th day to 17th day of December. admitting having kidnapped and molested MARCELINA. Contrary to law. 1965. presumably prepared with the help of the Fiscal. Silvino Odal and Fidel Ansuas (hereinafter called the FIVE OTHERS): The undersigned complainant. Adriano Odal. in Exhibit "C". by means of force and intimidation forcibly had sexual intercourse with her several times while his co-accused were on guard. Domingo Odal. Province of Samar. unlawfully and feloniously drag one Marcelina Cuizon from the house of one Norma Fernandez and brought her to a far away place and once there. with lewd design. Crossing. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable court the above- named accused. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court the above-named accused. December 21st. confederating together and helping one another. Lopig. The following day. and at nighttime. Lucio Malate. Pedro Odal. Adriano Odal. accused Adelino Bardaje. There is no indication in the record as to why Domingo Odal was not included in MARCELINA's complaint as one of the accused. Pedro Odal. and it was on December 20th. What has been noticed is that. was with the group when MARCELINA was "kidnapped". ADELINO had mentioned that.'namely. confederating together and helping one another. after having been duly sworn to according to law. when he signed the alleged confession. accuses Adelino Bardaje. the Fiscal's office filed the following Information with the Court: The undersigned Assistant Provincial Fiscal accuses Adelino Bardaje. Lucio Malate. 1 which was probably the basis for MARCELINA's complaint. conspiring. Adriano Odal. Silvino Odal and Fidel Ansuas of the crime of Rape. by means of force and intimidation. Exhibit "C". Philippines. (Emphasis supplied). conspiring. Rita.

by means of force and intimidation. The name of the barrio was also changed from Lopig to Crossing. did then and there wilfully. Thus. the Information added that the accused were "armed with bolos". With that time frame in mind. by means of force and intimidation forcibly had sexual intercourse with her for several times while his co-accused were on guard. the Fiscal charged him with "Rape with Illegal Detention". while the FIVE OTHERS were merely accomplices. accused Adelino Bardaje. MARCELINA was "kidnapped" at midnight of December 14th. Pedro Odal. the clause "with" Lucio Malate. MARCELINA merely alleged that she was dragged from the house of Norma Fernandez by means of force and intimidation and at nighttime. the Information included the allegation that the crime of Rape with Illegal Detention was committed with the "aggravating circumstances that it was committed in an uninhabited place and with the aid of armed men". and ADELINO .Ansuas. with the complaint having been filed on December 20th. The period of the offense was from December 14th to 17th. 3 Since according to Exhibit "C". armed with bolos and at nighttime. Both the complaint and Information also indicated that ADELINO was the only one who committed the rape. On June 2. the Information was amended to include the allegation that MARCELINA was detained and deprived of liberty for a period of th0ree (3) days. 1966. (Emphasis supplied). While MARCELINA charged ADELINO only with Rape. Of the six (6) persons accused. an analysis of the Information will show the assumption that only ADELINO was the principal culprit while the FIVE OTHERS were either principals by cooperation or accomplices. That the commission of the crime the aggravating circumstances that it was committed in an uninhabited place and with the aid of armed men. from the house of one Norma Fernandez and brought her to a far away place and once there. or barely three (3) days thereafter. a minor of 14 years old. the FIVE OTHERS were never arrested. were present. Mariano Odal. before the arraignment of ADELINO. with lewd design. It will be noted that the complaint filed directly by MARCELINA with the Court was amended by the Fiscal in the Information. Lastly. Silvino Odal and Fidel Ansuas" indicates that it was ADELINO who had dragged MARCELINA "with" the help of the FIVE OTHERS. and only ADELINO stood trial. On the other hand. which allegation could be taken into account in connection with Illegal Detention 2 but not in connection with Forcible Abduction. unlawfully and feloniously drag one Marcelina Cuizon.

was arrested in the morning of December 17th, or an interval of less than 72
Hours, it could not be correctly pleaded that MARCELINA was deprived of
liberty for three (3) days. 4

After the trial was concluded, ADELINO's lawyer submitted his Memorandum
on July 26, 1967, in which he specifically argued that "the prosecution did
not establish the elements of Rape and Illegal Detention as prescribed by
Articles 335 and 267 of the Revised Penal Code." It was only in the
Memorandum of the Fiscal, dated July 27, 1967, when the position was
taken that the crime which should be imputed to ADELINO is Rape with
Forcible Abduction. The prosecution's Memorandum stated:

Although the information is for Rape with Illegal Detention instead of Rape
with Forcible Abduction, yet from the body of the information it could be
clearly gleaned that the elements of abduction are sufficiently alleged therein
and hence the accused can be convicted thereunder (People vs. Emiliano
Javete, CA 01956-57-CR April 7, 1964 (82-1965).

The following day, July 28, 1967, the trial Court found ADELINO guilty of
Forcible Abduction with Rape with the aggravating circumstances of
dwelling and aid of armed men, and sentenced him to death.

The version of complainant MARCELINA Cuizon, 14 years of age, is that in
December, 1965, she and her mother were living in the house of her aunt,
Sofia Fernandez, at Barrio Crossing, Sta. Rita, Samar, where she worked as a
beautician. At 7:00 o'clock in the evening of December 14, 1965 while she
was then eating supper, ADELINO, whom she knew when they were "still
small", and who was her classmate in Grade II (1960), accompanied by the
FIVE OTHERS, entered the house and began drinking "sho hoc tong" which
they brought along. After the liquor had been fully consumed, Silvino Odal
broke the kerosene lamp causing complete darkness. She then ran to the
room where her mother was. ADELINO, Pedro Odal, Fidel Ansuas, and
Adriano Odal, followed her, tried to extricate her from her mother's embrace
and dragged the two of them to the sala. Pedro Odal choked the mother's
neck thereby loosening her hold on the daughter and the four males, two of
whom were armed with bolos, forced her downstairs and by holding and
dragging her, brought her to the mountain about two kilometers from Barrio
Crossing. That was about 12 midnight. On the way, ADELINO slapped her
rendering her unconscious. She regained consciousness in a hut, with
ADELINO holding her hands, and removing her panty. She bit and kicked
him. Despite her struggle, ADELINO succeeded in having sexual intercourse
with her while his other companions stayed outside on guard.

Under cross-examination, MARCELINA declared that she did not know who
owned the hut and that it was just a one-room affair where a woman and two
small children lived; that she and Appellant slept in that same room as the
woman, while the FIVE OTHERS slept near the kitchen. 5

At about 8:00 o'clock the following morning, December 15, ADELINO and
the FIVE OTHERS brought her to another mountain, 6 kilometers farther,
arriving there past twelve o'clock noon at the house of one called Ceferino
(also called Cipriano) who lived there with his family. She was kept in one
room. Outside the room were Pedro Odal, Adriano Odal and Fidel Ansuas,
still armed with bolos, drinking and guarding her. In the evening, ADELINO
had another sexual intercourse with her even though she bit and kicked him
and shouted for help which was to no avail as all present were relatives of
ADELINO, with the latter Ceferino "Tatay" She curled the hair of Narita
(daughter of Ceferino) the next day, because ADELINO threatened to kill her
if she did not. Her curling paraphernalia was taken by Adriano Odal, upon
ADELINO's instructions, from Norma Fernandez (her cousin) who gave the
equipment as she (Norma) was also threatened. MARCELINA and her
"captors" stayed in Ceferino's house for two days. In the morning of
December 17, two soldiers with her father, Alejo Cuizon, arrived. The soldiers
apprehended ADELINO while the FIVE OTHERS jumped down the window
and fled. Upon her father, she embraced him and cried. They all returned to
Barrio Crossing. She and her mother, Maria Fernandez, then went to
Catbalogan, where she filed a complaint at the Fiscal's Office on December
20, 1965 and submitted to a medical examination at the Samar Provincial

When cross-examined, Complainant admitted that Ceferino, his wife. and
seven children were living in the same hut where she was taken the second
time, which hut was about waist high from the ground, consisted of one
room, 3 x 2 meters, a sala, 6 x 3 meters, and a kitchen. Between the room
and the sala was a wall of split bamboos so that noise inside the room could
be heard clearly from the other side. 6

Dr. Vitus Hobayan, Jr., Resident Physician at the Samar Provincial Hospital,
declared that he examined MARCELINA on December 20, 1965 and issued
a Medical Certificate with the following findings:

1. No evidence of external injuries around the vulva or any part of the

2. Hymen no intact, presence of old healed laceration at 4, 7, 12 o'clock.

3. Vagina easily admits two fingers.

4. Vaginal smear negative for spermatozoa 7

Explaining the "old healed laceration", the doctor stated that laceration may
have been caused by possible sexual intercourse or other factors, and if it
were intercourse, he estimated that it could have occured " say, two weeks or
one month" or possibly more. 8

For his part, ADELINO, aged 18, admitted having had carnal knowledge of
MARCELINA but denied having raped her. He claims that they eloped on
December 14 to 17, 1965 as previously planned, they having been
sweethearts since November 12, 1964. As such, they used to date in
Tacloban and "anything goes". MARCELINA's family used to have a house in
Barrio Crossing but now MARCELINA just stays in the house of her aunt,
Sofia, which is about five houses away from theirs. In the evening of
December 14, 1965, while Sofia, MARCELINA's mother and others were
eating, MARCELINA handed him a bag and beauty culture equipment
through the window, went downstairs, after which the two of them walked to
the mountains, to Ceferino Armada's house. Ceferino was a cousin of
ADELINO's mother. He and MARCELINA slept in the bedroom with 18-year
old Narita, Ceferino's daughter. While in that hut, food was brought to them
by his sister, Nenita. MARCELINA curled Narita's hair the next day.

In the morning of December 17, 1965, Sets. Terado and Gacelos,
accompanied by MARCELINA's father, Alejo Cuizon, apprehended him for
having kidnapped MARCELINA. The latter ran to him and embraced him and
said she was to blame. notwithstanding, he was boxed by the soldiers as
instructed by MARCELINA's father and taken to Maulong PC Headquarters
for questioning. During the investigation, he was boxed and kicked and was
forced to sign a statement implicating the FIVE OTHERS as his companions
even if untrue. He did not know who attested to his statement as one Sgt.
Gacelos took the document elsewhere.

Ceferino Armada, 60 years of age, the owner of the hut where MARCELINA
was allegedly forcibly brought the second time, corroborated that portion of
ADELINO's testimony regarding their stay in his house adding that
MARCELINA and ADELINO had told him that they had eloped; that
MARCELINA even offered to curl his daughter's hair (Narita's and

a fact which is strange. Physical evidence is of the highest order and speaks more eloquently than an witnesses put together. from her own lips. Thirdly. We are also faced with the medical finding of "old healed lacerations" in the hymen which. the first hut she was taken to was a small one-room affair occupied by a woman and two small children. we find MARCELINA's charge that she was forcibly abducted and afterwards raped by ADELINO in conspiracy with FIVE OTHERS highly dubious and inherently improbable. therefore. must be subjected to thorough scrutiny for a determination of its veracity beyond reasonable doubt. that of Ceferino Armada. while ADELINO helped in carrying palay because it was rainy. that Ceferino . according to the medical findings. that she was ravished in that same room is highly improbable and contrary to human experience. Her charge. according to the testimony of the examining physician would have occurred two weeks or even one month before if said lacerations had been caused by sexual intercourse. Further. by Complainant's own admission. therefore. Secondly. considering that Complainant was allegedly "dragged" slapped" into unconsciousness. This expert opinion bolsters the defense that MARCELINA and ADELINO had previous amorous relations at the same time that it casts serious doubts on the charge of intercourse by force and intimidation. The offended party's testimony. To start with. and criminally abused. the conviction or acquittal of an accused depends almost entirely on the credibility of a complainant's testimony since by the intrinsic nature of those crimes they usually involve only two persons — the complainant and the accused. "no evidence of external injuries was found around the vulva or any part of the body" of Complainant. testimonial and documentary. In the instant case. indeed.Concepcion's). and helped in house chores and in the threshing of palay. we find that the guilt of ADELINO has not been established beyond reasonable doubt. "wrestled" with. On the basis of the evidence. consisted of a small room separated from the sala by a wall of split bamboos. The trial Court found the prosecutors version of the incident more worthy of credence stating that Complainant had no improper motive to implicate ADELINO in such a detestable crime as Rape. In crimes against chastity. Complainant testified that the second hut where she was taken.

the old man Ceferino. MARCELINA was confronted with a paradoxical situation as a daughter of relative tender age who could not shamefacedly admit to her parents that she had eloped and voluntarily submitted to sexual intercourse. Complainant admits that she even curled the hair of Narita. Additionally. in all probability. indeed. have taken turns in abusing her. The totality of the foregoing circumstances count with such great weight and significance that they lend an aura of improbability and reasonable doubt to the allegation that MARCELINA had been "kidnapped" or "illegally detained" and that when she and ADELINO engaged in sexual intercourse. As a result. a fact inconsistent with her allegation of "captivity". some special relationship between MARCELINA and ADELINO. his wife and/or his children could not have been insensible to her outcries notwithstanding their relationship to ADELINO. MARCELINA . one of Ceferino's daughters. eloped and that she had brought her beauty culture paraphernalia with her. indicates that there was. MARCELINA was not forcibly abducted but that she and ADELINO had. it would have been an easy matter for MARCELINA to have shouted and cried for help. as the defense maintains. The livelihood is that. Surely. As we view it. Furthermore. That they did not. If rape were. their malevolent intent. It is unbelievable. they would. while ADELINO allegedly took advantage of her.with his wife and seven children all lived therein. that she herself had sent for them from her cousin Norma Fernandez voluntarily and not under threat from ADELINO. since that elopement must have met with righteous indignation on the part of her parents. it was because of force or intimidation exercised upon her. indeed. The aphorism still rings true that evidence to be believed must not only come from the mouth of a credible witness but must be credible in itself. and the hut constructed as it was. They are circumstances that were overlooked by the trial Court and justify a reversal of its finding of guilt as an exception to the established rule that the findings of fact of a trial Judge based on the relative credibility of witnesses are entitled to great respect and will not be disturbed by appellate Courts. This case also constitutes an exception to the general belief that a young girl would not expose herself to the ordeal of public trial if she were not motivated solely by a desire to have the culprit who had ravished and shamed her placed behind bars. in fact. armed with bolos and drinking. or. with people around. too. that under those circumstances the FIVE OTHERS could have stood guard outside. It challenges human credulity that she could have been sexually abused with so many within hearing and distance. That she was threatened with death if she did not accede to such an inconsequential request defies credulity.

in capital cases. Again. The lower Court should call attention of the accused to the discrepancy. 11 it was also vitiated by a procedural irregularity testified to by no less than prosecution witness Sgt. Not that it could be said he would have done so. Pedro Gacelos to the effect that he and room after he presented the statement to the Clerk of Court. aged 18. 13 yet. It should also be noted that throughout the hearings before the trial Court. While it is true that an accused can be punished for a crime described by the facts alleged in tile Information despite a wrong designation of the crime in the preamble of the Information. This was not done in regards to ADELINO who all the time was under the impression that he was being tried for Rape with Illegal Detention. and not for Forcible Abduction with Rape. Aside from his declaration that Ws confession was obtained through maltreatment and violence. but he should have been advised he had the right. 9 Corpus delicti is proved when the evidence on record shows that the crime prosecuted had been committed. the evidence establishing more of an elopement rather than kidnapping or illegal detention or forcible abduction. to do so. . it was assumed that ADELINO was being held responsible for the complex crime of Rape with Illegal Detention. Rojas. 10 without benefit of counsel nor of anyone to advise him of his rights. was by himself when being investigated by soldiers. ADELINO. while MARCELINA was in the house of Ceferino Armada. If ADELINO had known that he was being tried for Forcible Abduction with Rape. therefore that the so called confession was attested without ADELINO's presence so that the latter cannot be said to have duly subscribed and sworn to it. one of the rights of an accused is "to have compulsory process issued to secure the attendance of witnesses on his behalf. and given the opportunity. it should be desirable that. 12 There is reason to believe.was faced with no other choice but to charge ADELINO with rape or incur the ire of her parents and social disrepute from a small community. so that the accused may be fully apprised of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. whenever a discrepancy is noted between the designation of the crime made by the Fiscal and the crime described by the facts pleaded in his Information. Mr. In respect of the alleged confession of ADELINO. That proof has not been met in the case at bar. suffice it to re-state that "an extrajudicial confession made by an accused shag not be sufficient ground for conviction unless corroborated by evidence of corpus delicti. 14 ADELINO had stated that. Moreover. and much less rape. he may have changed the strategy or tactics of his defense.

as well as the hair of other girls in the vicinity. BOHOL Narita Armada will substantially be corroborative. your Honor. I will be constrained to submit the case for decision . Up to now. that we be given time to hear from the Chief of Police to bring those persons tomorrow. This representation. Rita. COURT Suppose the two witnesses do not arrive tomorrow. Your Honor. COURT What will be the nature of the testimonies of those witnesses. The record shows: ATTY. the witnesses we have been expecting have not yet arrived. BOHOL I appear as counsel for the accused. if the defense was not able to bring her to the Court. Your Honor. Your Honor. continuation of this case for those persons mentioned to testify. Your Honor. for which this case is set also? ATTY. the lower court gave responsibility for Narita's attendance to the defense. and a subpoena had been issued to her. We pray. one of the latter's children.she curled the hair of Narita. Samar to bring Ceferino Armada and Narita Armada tomorrow for the hearing. with the consent of the Clerk of Court have wired the Chief of Police of Sta. Your Honor. But instead of taking effective steps to have Narita brought to Court. BOHOL If we receive information and find that those witnesses could really not come for this case. her testimony will be dispensed with. for the accused. expressly stating that. xxx xxx xxx COURT How about the other girl? ATTY. ADELINO wanted to have Narita testify on his behalf.

On December 12. and upon his failure. 15 Considering that this case involved a prosecution for a capital offense. 1966. I pray before the Honorable Court that we be given time within this week to present Ceferino Armada. 1966. P Gacelos. if it will be all right with the Honorable Court and we find that there is hope that within this week Ceferino Armada could come here. the lower Court acted precipitously in not having Narita brought to Court. The Court wail grant the postponement today on condition that any witness not presented tomorrow will be considered waived Afterall as you have manifest. July 26. the trial of this case is hereby Postponed for tomorrow. MARCELINA testified before the lower Court on December 1..based on the testimony of the accused.- ORDER . the PC Sgt. 4 their testimonies will be corroborative.M.for the reason that accused have no more witnesses to present today. Yes. in view of the distance." Crucial questions should also have been asked by the trial Court of witnesses. who investigated the complaint against ADELINO. Was that investigation of M Cuizon reduced to writing? A. However. 16 . Sir. submit the case for decision COURT The Court will not allow that anymore. with the warning that witnesses not presented during that day shall be considered waived. anyway this case is set for tomorrow. xxx xxx xxx COURT What I mean is that you should have taken the necessary precaution for the attendance of your witness today considering that there is a subpoena for the witnesses. testified: Q. by ordering her arrest if necessary ADELINO was deprived of his right "to have compulsory process issued to secure the attendance of witnesses on his behalf. 1967 at 8:30 A. Your Honor.

MARCELINA could had been examined on the two matters mentioned above. On the other hand. charging ADELINO with Rape with Illegal Detention. the latter could be sentenced to death. The medical report." 17 Considering the possible infliction of the death penalty on ADELINO. ADELINO had testified that he and MARCELINA used to go together to Tacloban. if such pressure had in fact existed. Costs de oficio. the lower Court could have asked MARCELINA if she had had sexual intercourse prior to December 14th and. WHEREFORE. It may not be amiss to state then that just as in pleas of guilty where a grave offense is charged trial Judges have been enjoined to refrain from accepting them with alacrity but to be extra solicitous in seeing to it that an accused fully understands the import of his plea. . it behooves the trial Courts to exercise greater care in safeguarding the rights of an accused. with the Court excluding the public from the hearing under the provisions of Rule 119. there was possibility that ADELINO and MARCELINA had really been sweethearts. Exhibit "B". The trial Judge should also take a more active role by means of searching questions in the examination of witnesses for the ascertaintment of the truth and credibility of their testimonies so that any judgment of conviction imposing the supreme penalty may rest on firm and unequivocal grounds. upon reasonable doubt. If that had been explained to her clearly by the lower Court. Adelino Bardaje. if so. and while there several times. if it was with ADELINO. Further. the judgment appealed from imposing the death penalty. she might then have admitted that she was neither raped nor "kidnapped" nor illegally detained.It would have been advisable if the lower Court had right then and there asked for the production of the written statement of MARCELINA. implied that MARCELINA could have had sexual intercourse previous to December 14th. Section 14. is reversed and the appellant. His immediate release is ordered unless lie is held on other charges. "we had sexual intercourse because she likes it. The life and liberty of an individual demand no less. so also. acquitted of the crime with which he is charged. The lower Court could have asked MARCELINA if she realized that. in prosecutions for capital offenses. MARCELINA might have testified without feeling the pressure of her relatives or other persons.

." supporters of deposed President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Tension and animosity between the two (2) groups sometimes broke into violence. Criminal Case No. demonstrations and other public fora by "Marcos loyalists. and JOSELITO TAMAYO. respondents. accused-appellants. 108280-83 November 16. Jr. 114931-33 November 16.SO ORDERED. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and COURT OF APPEALS.. Fernando.R. JOEL TAN. JOEL TAN.R. This was the time when the newly- installed government of President Corazon C. accused. it resulted in the murder of Stephen Salcedo.J.. x--x G.: The case before us occurred at a time of great political polarization in the aftermath of the 1986 EDSA Revolution. Criminal Case No. Nos. PUNO. 1995 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Fernandez. 1995 ROMEO SISON. Guerrero. JJ. petitioners. C. Barredo. 1986. J. On July 27. 86-47322 was filed against Raul Billosos y de Leon and Gerry Nery y Babazon. NILO PACADAR. ROMEO SISON. Concepcion. G. concur. Abad Santos and De Castro. and JOSELITO TAMAYO. Teehankee." From August to October 1986. ANNIE FERRER. a known "Coryista. NILO PACADAR. RICHARD DE LOS SANTOS. vs. plaintiff-appellee. several informations were filed in court against eleven persons identified as Marcos loyalists charging them with the murder of Salcedo. Aquino was being openly challenged in rallies. Nos. RICHARD DE LOS SANTOS. vs. 86-47617 .

m. the prosecution likewise presented documentary evidence consisting of newspaper accounts of the incident and various photographs taken during the mauling. The cases were consolidated and raffled to the Regional Trial Court. Marcos .against Romeo Sison y Mejia. 86-49007 and 86-49008 against Oliver Lozano and Benjamin Nuega as well as Annie Ferrer charging them as accomplices to the murder of Salcedo. Manila. The loyalist leaders asked for thirty minutes but this was refused. Branch XLIX. they applied for a permit to hold the rally but their application was denied by the authorities. 86-47790 against Richard de los Santos y Arambulo. Atty. Earlier. 1986. Criminal Case No. The prosecution established that on July 27. and the police officers who were at the Luneta at the time of the incident. All of the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge and trial ensued accordingly. they saw Annie Ferrer. No permit could be produced. sige gulpihin ninyo!" The police then pushed the crowd. and Criminal Case No. arrived and asked the leaders for their permit. Colonel Dula Torres thereupon gave them ten minutes to disperse. Led by Oliver Lozano and Benjamin Nuega. The loyalists scampered away but some of them fought back and threw stones at the police. Also filed were Criminal Cases Nos. There. then Deputy Superintendent of the Western Police District. Criminal Case No. a rally was scheduled to be held at the Luneta by the Marcos loyalists. a small group of loyalists converged at the Chinese Garden. 86-48538 against Joselito Tamayo y Ortia. the crowd fled towards Maria Orosa Street and the situation later stabilized. the loyalists started an impromptu singing contest. Eventually. In support of their testimonies." Atty. They approached her and informed her of their dispersal and Annie Ferrer angrily ordered them "Gulpihin ninyo and mga Cory hecklers!" Then she continued jogging around the fountain chanting "Marcos pa rin. 86-48931 against Rolando Fernandez y Mandapat. Phase III of the Luneta. both members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. three thousand of them gathered at the Rizal Monument of the Luneta at 2:30 in the afternoon of the scheduled day. Nuega added "Sige. jogging around the fountain. Despite this setback. Lozano turned towards his group and said "Gulpihin ninyo ang lahat ng mga Cory infiltrators. and used tear gas and truncheons to disperse them. The prosecution presented twelve witnesses. including two eyewitnesses. a popular movie starlet and supporter of President Marcos. Ranulfo Sumilang and Renato Banculo. Nilo Pacadar y Abe and Joel Tan y Mostero. Colonel Edgar Dula Torres. 1 At about 4:00 p.. recited prayers and delivered speeches in between.

Cory Iyan. 2 He then saw a man wearing a yellow t-shirt being chased by a group of persons shouting "Iyan. Accused Richard de los Santos also boxed Salcedo twice on the head and kicked him even as he was already fallen. a cigarette vendor. Salcedo tried to extricate himself from the group but they again pounced on him and pummelled him with fist blows and kicks hitting him on various parts of his body. Somebody then shouted "Kailangang gumanti. Banculo saw accused Romeo Sison trip Salcedo and kick him on the head. and when he tried to stand. 4 Accused Nilo Pacadar punched Salcedo on his nape. 6 Sumilang saw accused Gerry Neri approach the victim but did not notice what he did. Pabalikin si Marcos. So they took him to the Philippine General Hospital where he died upon arrival. They caught Salcedo and boxed and kicked and mauled him." Renato took off his yellow shirt. He sat on some cement steps 8 and then tried to flee towards Roxas boulevard to the sanctuary of the Rizal Monument but accused Joel Tan and Nilo Pacadar pursued him. Sumilang flagged down a van and with the help of a traffic officer. mauling Sumilang in the process.pa rin. Sumilang tried to pacify the maulers so he could extricate Salcedo from them." He cried: "Pulis. Banculo saw Ranulfo Sumilang. an electrician at the Luneta. habulin iyan. But the maulers pursued Salcedo unrelentingly. But accused Raul Billosos emerged from behind Sumilang as another man boxed Salcedo on the head. Tulungan ninyo ako. rush to Salcedo's aid. 7 Salcedo somehow managed to get away from his attackers and wipe off the blood from his face. Patayin!" 5 Sumilang tried to pacify Pacadar but the latter lunged at the victim again. tayo ngayon!" A commotion ensued and Renato Banculo. They backed off for a while and Sumilang was able to tow Salcedo away from them. Salcedo pleaded for his life exclaiming "Maawa na kayo sa akin. Wala bang pulis?" 9 The mauling resumed at the Rizal Monument and continued along Roxas Boulevard until Salcedo collapsed and lost consciousness. Somebody gave Sumilang a loyalist tag which Sumilang showed to Salcedo's attackers. brought Salcedo to the Medical Center Manila but he was refused admission. shouting: "Iyan. Sison repeatedly boxed him. 3 Salcedo tried to stand but accused Joel Tan boxed him on the left side of his head and ear. Pabalikin si Marcos. the color of the "Coryistas. Bugbugin ang mga nakadilaw!" The loyalists replied "Bugbugin!" A few minutes later. Annie Ferrer was arrested by the police. Accused Joselito Tamayo boxed Salcedo on the left jaw and kicked him as he once more fell. Cory iyan!" The man in the yellow t-shirt was Salcedo and his pursuers appeared to be Marcos loyalists. pulis. . boxing him with stones in their fists. saw the loyalists attacking persons in yellow.

occipital region. congested.. left ear. were apprehended and investigated. scalp.5 x 2. both sides. occipital bone. for persons who could give information leading to the arrest of the killers. A reward of ten thousand pesos (P10.0 cm.0 x 2..5 cm.2 cm.000. intracranial traumatic. Stomach.8 x 4.. 5.00) was put up by Brigadier General Alfredo Lim. left side.0 cm. 2. subdural. right side. both local and foreign.0 x 4..0 cm.5 cm. Fractures.0 x 2.0 x 2.0 x 4.0 cm.0 x 1.0 x 3. right temporal region.." He sustained various contusions. 1. Hemorrhage. left elbow. upper lip. left side. several persons. 4. frontal region. frontal region. over the left eyebrow. right anterior cranial fossa. right knee.. lacerated wounds and skull fractures as revealed in the following post-mortem findings: Cyanosis.1 cm.0 x 2. and on the basis of their identification. 5.... The press took pictures and a video of the event which became front-page news the following day. right side. Lacerated wounds: 2. right elbow. 6. the principal accused denied their participation in the mauling of the victim and offered their respective alibis. abrasions. left parietal region. 11 Several persons.4 cm. 3. Accused Joselito Tamayo testified that he was not in any of the photographs presented by the . left suprascapular region. face.8 cm. This prompted President Aquino to order the Capital Regional Command and the Western Police District to investigate the incident.0 cm.2 cm. For their defense. right cheek. Contused-abrasions: 6. capturing national and international attention.Salcedo died of "hemorrhage. cooperated with the police. Hematoma. nose.. then Police Chief. 5. right posterior cranial fossa. right side. Abrasions: 4.5 cm. pinna. and 3. and nailbeds. Other visceral organs. frontal region. about 1/2 filled with grayish brown food materials and fluid... lips. including Ranulfo Sumilang and Renato Banculo. including the accused. 10 The mauling of Salcedo was witnessed by bystanders and several press people. skull. extensive.0 x 2. 6.

On December 16.prosecution 12 because on July 27. Richard de los Santos and Joselito Tamayo guilty as principals in the crime of murder qualified by treachery and sentenced them to 14 years 10 months and 20 days of reclusion temporal as minimum to 20 years of reclusion temporal as maximum. as principals for the crime of Murder. The dispositive portion of the decision reads as follows: WHEREFORE. Annie Ferrer was likewise convicted as an accomplice. et al. Nilo Pacadar. Rolando Fernandez. Lozano and Nuega and Annie Ferrer opted not to testify in their defense. The court. the Court finds that the Prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the two (2) Accused beyond reasonable doubt for the crime charged and hereby acquits them of said charge. he cannot run normally nor do things forcefully. Gerry Nery. 2. In "People versus Romeo Sison. 1988. 15 He claimed to be afflicted with hernia impairing his mobility. The maulers however ignored him. 86-47322. merely viewed the incident. was allegedly at his office near the Luneta waiting for some pictures to be developed at that time. the trial court rendered a decision finding Romeo Sison. 20 Joel Tan also testified that he tried to pacify the maulers because he pitied Salcedo." Criminal Case No." Criminal Case No. 17 He said that he merely watched the mauling which explains why his face appeared in some of the photographs. specifically Attys. In "People versus Raul Billosos and Gerry Nery. 14 Romeo Sison. 19 His face was in the pictures because he shouted to the maulers to stop hitting Salcedo. Nilo Pacadar and Joel Tan. 13 Gerry Neri claimed that he was at the Luneta Theater at the time of the incident. 1986. Oliver Lozano and Benjamin Nuega. 86-47617. Nilo Pacadar admits that he is a Marcos loyalist and a member of the Ako'y Pilipino Movement and that he attended the rally on that fateful day.. guilty beyond reasonable doubt. 18 Unlike the other accused. a commercial photographer. however. he saw Salcedo being mauled and like Richard de los Santos. Joel Tan. 16 Richard de los Santos admits he was at the Luneta at the time of the mauling but denies hitting Salcedo. the Court finds the Accused Romeo Sison. he was in his house in Quezon City. According to him. 21 The other accused. found that the prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the other accused and thus acquitted Raul Billosos. defined in . judgement is hereby rendered in the aforementioned cases as follows: 1.

as minimum. the Court hereby imposes on him an indeterminate penalty of from FOURTEEN (14) YEARS. 86-49008. of Reclusion Temporal. et al. In "People versus Rolando Fernandez.Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. In "People versus Richard de los Santos. the Court finds that the Prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the Accused for the crime charged beyond reasonable doubt and hereby acquits him of said charge. 6." Criminal Case No. TEN (10) MONTHS and TWENTY (20) DAYS.. 7. 5. FIVE (5) MONTHS and ELEVEN (11) DAYS of Reclusion Temporal. TEN (10) MONTHS and TWENTY (20) DAYS of Reclusion Temporal. there being no other extenuating circumstances. as Minimum. 86-4893l. as Maximum. . as Maximum. In "People versus Annie Ferrer. TEN (10) MONTHS and TWENTY (20) DAYS of Reclusion Temporal. as Maximum. there being no other mitigating or aggravating circumstances. to TWENTY (20) YEARS of Reclusion Temporal as Maximum. 4. of Reclusion Temporal." Criminal Case No. as minimum." Criminal Case No." Criminal Case No. 86-47790. to TWENTY (20) DAYS." Criminal Case No. hereby imposes on each of them an indeterminate penalty of from FOURTEEN (14)YEARS. In "People versus Joselito Tamayo. to TWENTY (20) YEARS of Reclusion Temporal. the Court finds that the Prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the Accused beyond reasonable doubt for the crime charged and hereby acquits them of said charge. and. as Minimum. In "People versus Oliver Lozano. as Minimum to TWELVE (12) YEARS. 3. 86-48538 the Court finds the Accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal. the Court finds the said Accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt. 86-49007. as accomplice to the crime of Murder under Article 18 in relation to Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code and hereby imposes on her an indeterminate penalty of NINE (9) YEARS and FOUR (4) MONTHS of Prision Mayor. for the crime of "Murder" defined in Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code and hereby imposes on him an indeterminate penalty of from FOURTEEN (14) YEARS. the Court finds the Accused Richard de los Santos guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal for the crime of Murder defined in Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code and. to TWENTY (20) YEARS of Reclusion Temporal.

Joel Tan y Mostero and Richard de los Santos are hereby found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of Murder and are each hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: PREMISES CONSIDERED. Richard de los Santos. and one-half (1/2) of the costs of suit. 2. modified the decision of the trial court by acquitting Annie Ferrer but increasing the penalty of the rest of the accused. Romeo Sison and Joselito Tamayo is denied for lack of merit.000. Joselito Tamayo and Annie Ferrer are hereby ordered to pay. Joel Tan. to the heirs of Stephen Salcedo the total amount of P74. Nilo Pacadar y Abe. the Court of Appeals 23 on December 28. Richard de los Santos and Joselito Tamayo had been under detention during the pendency of these cases shall be credited to them provided that they agreed in writing to abide by and comply strictly with the rules and regulations of the City Jail. to reclusion perpetua. Accused-appellant Joselito Tamayo y Oria is hereby found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide with the generic aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength and. as a . Joel Tan. jointly and severally. 1992.The Accused Romeo Sison. The Petition for Bail of the Accused Rolando Fernandez has become moot and academic. Nilo Pacadar. the decision appealed from is hereby MODIFIED as follows: 1. 22 On appeal.00 as moral and exemplary damages. The appellate court found them guilty of murder qualified by abuse of superior strength. The bail bonds posted by the Accused Oliver Lozano and Benjamin Nuega are hereby cancelled. The period during which the Accused Nilo Pacadar. but convicted Joselito Tamayo of homicide because the information against him did not allege the said qualifying circumstance. Romeo Sison. The Petition for Bail of the Accused Joel Tan. except for Joselito Tamayo. Raul Billosos and Rolando Fernandez from the City Jail unless they are being detained for another cause or charge.00 as actual damages and the amount of P30.000. Accused-appellants Romeo Sison y Mejia. The Warden of the City Jail of Manila is hereby ordered to release the Accused Gerry Nery.

. II THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN GIVING CREDENCE TO THE UNRELIABLE.consequence. Nos. III THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS LIKEWISE ERRED IN FINDING THE ACCUSED GUILTY WHEN THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE TO PROVE THAT ANY OF THE ACCUSED CARRIED A HARD AND BLUNT INSTRUMENT. the said cases are now hereby certified to the Honorable Supreme Court for review.R. 3. Nos. 24 Petitioners filed G. Accused-appellant Annie Ferrer is hereby ACQUITTED of being an accomplice to the crime of Murder. 108280-83 under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court inasmuch as Joselito Tamayo was not sentenced to reclusion perpetua. THE ADMITTED CAUSE OF THE HEMORRHAGE RESULTING IN THE DEATH OF THE DECEASED. accused-appellants assign the following errors: I THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED WHEN IT NOTED THAT THE ACCUSED FAILED TO CITE ANYTHING ON RECORD TO SUPPORT THEIR AVERMENT THAT THERE WERE NO WITNESSES WHO HAVE COME FORWARD TO IDENTIFY THE PERSONS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF STEPHEN SALCEDO. 114931-33 was certified to us for automatic review of the decision of the Court of Appeals against the four accused-appellants sentenced to reclusion perpetua. CONSIDERING that the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua has been imposed in the instant consolidated cases. SUSPICIOUS AND INCONCLUSIVE TESTIMONIES OF PROSECUTION WITNESS RANULFO SUMILANG. an indeterminate penalty of TWELVE (12) YEARS of prision mayor as Minimum to TWENTY (20) YEARS of reclusion temporal as Maximum is hereby imposed upon him. DOUBTFUL. G.R. Before this court.


the evidence shows that Sumilang reported the incident to the police and submitted his sworn statement immediately two hours after the mauling. On the whole. 29 He informed the police that he would cooperate with them and identify Salcedo's assailants if he saw them again. An honest mistake is not inconsistent with a truthful testimony. According to them. 30 The fact that Banculo executed three sworn statements does not make them and his testimony incredible. 32 This is not enough reason to reject Sumilang's testimony for he did not exhibit this undesirable conduct all throughout his testimony. As trial courts. On the contrary. The sworn statements were made to identify more suspects who were apprehended during the investigation of Salcedo's death.Appellants mainly claim that the Court of Appeals erred in sustaining the testimonies of the two in prosecution eyewitnesses. his testimony was correctly given credence by the trial court despite his evasiveness at some instances. because they are unreliable. 27 Ranulfo Sumilang was evasive and unresponsive prompting the trial court to reprimand him several times. Ranulfo Sumilang and Renato Banculo. Perfect testimonies cannot be expected from persons with imperfect senses. they can best appreciate the verbal and non-verbal dimensions of a witness' testimony. 31 The records show that Sumilang was admonished several times by the trial court on the witness stand for being argumentative and evasive. therefore. Renato Banculo even submitted three sworn statements to the police geared at providing a new or improved version of the incident. even before announcement of any reward. doubtful and do not deserve any credence. much less that both or either of them ever received such reward from the government. the testimonies of these two witnesses are suspect because they surfaced only after a reward was announced by General Lim. 28 There is no proof that Banculo or Sumilang testified because of the reward announced by General Lim. Except for compelling reasons. we cannot disturb the way trial courts calibrate the credence of witnesses considering their visual view of the demeanor of witnesses when on the witness stand. 33 It does not make his whole testimony a falsity. the testimony of a . In the court's discretion. On the witness stand. Banculo's mistake in identifying another person as one of the accused does not make him an entirely untrustworthy witness. he mistakenly identified a detention prisoner in another case as accused Rolando Fernandez.

If appellants wanted to impeach the said affidavit. 40 Besides." "G. 37 Appellants do not deny that Salcedo was mauled. Bautista." it erroneously gave evidentiary weight to Exhibits "O.witness can be believed as to some facts but disbelieved with respect to the others. kicked and punched. Their positive identification of all petitioners jibe with each other and their narration of the events are supported by the medical and documentary evidence on record. kicks and a blunt wooden instrument. the Joint Affidavit merely reiterates what the other prosecution witnesses testified to. and Ms. Flores on the witness stand. Bautista is a surplusage. "W-1" to "W-13" are photographs of Salcedo and the mauling published in local newspapers and magazines such as the Philippine Star. 47 The admissibility of these photographs is being questioned . 34 We sustain the appellate and trial courts' findings that the witnesses' testimonies corroborate each other on all important and relevant details of the principal occurrence. the medico-legal officer of the National Bureau of Investigation." "V-1" to "V-48. 45 Philippine Daily Inquirer. Identification by Pat. testified that the victim had various wounds on his body which could have been inflicted by pressure from more than one hard object. 36 The fatal injury of intracranial hemorrhage was a result of fractures in Salcedo's skull which may have been caused by contact with a hard and blunt object such as fistblows. Sumilang in fact testified that Salcedo was pummeled by his assailants with stones in their hands. 41 — as he was being chased by his assailants 42 and as he sat pleading with his assailants. Pat." 39 Exhibit "O" is the Joint Affidavit of Pat." "W. Roberto Garcia. Magazine." and "P. the police intelligence- operatives who witnessed the rally and subsequent dispersal operation. Dr." "V." "W-1" to "W-13. kicks and blows from rough stones. they should have placed Pat. 35 The contusions and abrasions found could have been caused by punches. 46 and the Malaya." "V-1" to "V-48" are photographs taken of the victim as he was being mauled at the Luneta — starting from a grassy portion to the pavement at the Rizal Monument and along Roxas Boulevard. Flores properly identified Exhibit "O" as his sworn statement and in fact gave testimony corroborating the contents thereof. Flores and Pat. 44 Mr. Exhibits "V. 43 Exhibits "W". 38 Appellants also contend that although the appellate court correctly disregarded Exhibits "D.

when the accused presented their evidence. Jr. Atty. not until Atty. through counsel Atty. 48 The value of this kind of evidence lies in its being a correct representation or reproduction of the original. after which the court can admit it subject to impeachment as to its accuracy. 50 The photographer. Winlove Dumayas. is not the only witness who can identify the pictures he has taken. Lazaro to the admissibility of the photographs is anchored on the fact that the person who took the same was not presented to identify them. 55 The photographs were adopted by appellant Joselito Tamayo and accused Gerry Neri as part of the defense exhibits. 52 Photographs. 57 The objection of Atty. including Atty. when presented in evidence. 58 . either by the testimony of the person who made it or by other competent witnesses. "V-1" to "V-48" to prove that his clients were not in any of the pictures and therefore could not have participated in the mauling of the victim. however. 54 However. appellants. Lazaro. Alfredo Lazaro. That the photographs are faithful representations of the mauling incident was affirmed when appellants Richard de los Santos. 51 The correctness of the photograph as a faithful representation of the object portrayed can be proved prima facie. We rule that the use of these photographs by some of the accused to show their alleged non-participation in the crime is an admission of the exactness and accuracy thereof. Atty. 53 This court notes that when the prosecution offered the photographs as part of its evidence. the prosecution used the photographs to cross-examine all the accused who took the witness stand. objected to their admissibility for lack of proper identification. Nilo Pacadar and Joel Tan identified themselves therein and gave reasons for their presence thereat. Dumayas represented all the other accused per understanding with their respective counsels. counsel for accused Joselito Tamayo and Gerry Neri used Exhibits "V". The rule in this jurisdiction is that photographs. must be identified by the photographer as to its production and testified as to the circumstances under which they were produced. who were absent. At subsequent hearings.by appellants for lack of proper identification by the person or persons who took the same. therefore. can be identified by the photographer or by any other competent witness who can testify to its exactness and accuracy. Lazaro appeared at the third hearing and interposed a continuing objection to their admissibility. 49 and its admissibility is determined by its accuracy in portraying the scene at the time of the crime. 56 No objection was made by counsel for any of the accused. And at this hearing.

not composing groups organized for the common purpose of assaulting and attacking each other reciprocally. it must be established that: (1) there be several persons. they were unequivocally identified by Sumilang and Banculo 61Appellants' denials and alibis cannot overcome their eyeball identification. For this article to apply. Richard de los Santos. the penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods shall be imposed upon all those who shall have used violence upon the person of the victim. and (6) that the . (2) that they did not compose groups organized for the common purpose of assaulting and attacking each other reciprocally. While the pictures did not record Sison and Tamayo hitting Salcedo. (4) someone was killed in the course of the affray. 59 Appellant Romeo Sison appears only once and he. The photographs did not capture the entire sequence of the killing of Salcedo but only segments thereof.An analysis of the photographs vis-a-vis the accused's testimonies reveal that only three of the appellants. If it cannot be determined who inflicted the serious physical injuries on the deceased. 60Appellant Joselito Tamayo was not identified in any of the pictures. Death in a tumultuous affray is defined in Article 251 of the Revised Penal code as follows: Art. The absence of the two appellants in the photographs does not exculpate them. quarrel and assault each other in a confused and tumultuous manner. Nilo Pacadar and Joel Tan could be readily seen in various belligerent poses lunging or hovering behind or over the victim. and in the course of the affray someone is killed. (3) these several persons quarrelled and assaulted one another in a confused and tumultuous manner. 251. — When. Death caused in a tumultuous affray. Appellants claim that the lower courts erred in finding the existence of conspiracy among the principal accused and in convicting them of murder qualified by abuse of superior strength. although afflicted with hernia is shown merely running after the victim. not death in tumultuous affray. (5) it cannot be ascertained who actually killed the deceased. but the person or persons who inflicted serious physical injuries can be identified. such person or persons shall be punished by prison mayor. and it cannot be ascertained who actually killed the deceased. namely. while several persons.

But his attackers continued to pursue him relentlessly. but this confusion subsided eventually after the loyalists fled to Maria Orosa Street. 64 As the lower courts found. taking turns in inflicting punches. 63 The quarrel in the instant case. Treachery as a qualifying circumstance cannot be appreciated in the instant case. They followed Salcedo from the Chinese Garden to the Rizal Monument several meters away and hit him mercilessly even when he was already fallen on the ground. if it can be called a quarrel. taunting them into mauling him. Salcedo had the opportunity to sense the temper of the rallyists and run away from them but he. Salcedo could not defend himself nor could he find means to defend himself. in the course of which some person is killed or wounded and the author thereof cannot be ascertained. There was no confusion and tumultuous quarrel or affray. True. Salcedo pleaded for mercy but they ignored his pleas until he finally lost consciousness. They took advantage of their superior strength and excessive force and frustrated any attempt by Salcedo to escape and free himself. kicks and blows on him. prop himself against the pavement and wipe off the blood from his face. The deliberate and prolonged use of superior strength on a defenseless victim qualifies the killing to murder. As the appellate court well found. It was only a while later after said dispersal that one distinct group identified as loyalists picked on one defenseless individual and attacked him repeatedly. Confusion may have occurred because of the police dispersal of the rallyists. hitting Sumilang in the process. the victim's assailants were numerous by as much as fifty in number 65 and were armed with stones with which they hit the victim.person or persons who inflicted serious physical injuries or who used violence can be identified. The essence . was overtaken by them. There is no proof that the attack on Salcedo was deliberately and consciously chosen to ensure the assailants' safety from any defense the victim could have made. 62 A tumultuous affray takes place when a quarrel occurs between several persons and they engage in a confused and tumultuous affray. the attack on Salcedo was sudden and unexpected but it was apparently because of the fact that he was wearing a yellow t-shirt or because he allegedly flashed the "Laban" sign against the rallyists. nor was there a reciprocal aggression at this stage of the incident. Sumilang tried to save him from his assailants but they continued beating him. was between one distinct group and one individual. There was a time when Salcedo was able to get up. unfortunately.

00 as moral and exemplary damages. At the time they were committing the crime.00 as actual damages. We find however the existence of a conspiracy among appellants. their actions impliedly showed a unity of purpose among them. the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed and modified as follows: 1. 68 The trial court awarded the heirs of Salcedo P74. 1986 for employment in Saudi Arabia.00. . Nilo Pacadar.000. Accused-appellant Joselito Tamayo is found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide with the generic aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength and.of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack without the slightest provocation on the part of the person being attacked. 2. a showing as to who among the conspirators inflicted the fatal wound is not required to sustain a conviction. 69 The reckless disregard for such a young person's life and the anguish wrought on his widow and three small children. The indemnity of P50. 70 warrant an increase in moral damages from P30. Joel Tan and Richard de los Santos are found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of Murder without any aggravating or mitigating circumstance and are each hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. At the time he died on July 27. he is sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of TWELVE (12) YEARS of prision mayor as minimum to TWENTY (20) YEARS of reclusion temporal as maximum. Where a conspiracy existed and is proved." It was not preceded by cool thought and reflection. 67 Each of the conspirators is liable for all acts of the others regardless of the intent and character of their participation.000. Salcedo was twenty three years old and was set to leave on August 4. because the act of one is the act of all. 1986.00 must also be awarded for the death of the victim. Evident premeditation cannot be appreciated in this case because the attack against Salcedo was sudden and spontaneous. Accused-appellants Romeo Sison. and one half of the costs of the suit.00 to P100. a concerted effort to bring about the death of Salcedo. as a consequence.000.000. P30.000. 71 IN VIEW WHEREOF. 66 The qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation was alleged in the information against Joselito Tamayo. spurred by the raging animosity against the so-called "Coryistas.

000.00 as actual damages. Costs against accused-appellants. No.[2] . 1999. x--x [G. DECISION PER CURIAM: This is an appeal from the decision[1] of the Regional Trial Court. willfully. the above-named accused. and (c) P50. Municipality of Rosario.000. plaintiff-appellee. vs.R.000. said accused strangled her to death. accused-appellant.00 as indemnity for the death of the victim. by means of force and intimidation. Cavite on July 10. SO ORDERED.3.00 as civil indemnity and P50. in Rosario. in Barangay Ligtong I. GERRICO VALLEJO Y SAMARTINO @ PUKE. sentencing Gerrico Vallejo y Samartino to death and ordering him to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the amount of P100. unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with DAISY DIOLOLA Y DITALO. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Trial Court. Daisy Diolola. Branch 88. Province of Cavite. CONTRARY TO LAW.000. did then and there. May 9. 2002] THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. a nine-year old child against the latters will and while raping the said victim. with lewd design. All accused-appellants are hereby ordered to pay jointly and severally the heirs of Stephen Salcedo the following amounts: (a) P74. Cavite City. The Information charging accused-appellant Gerrico Vallejo with the crime of Rape with Homicide alleged: That on or about the 10th day of July 1999. (b) P100.00 as moral damages for the rape-slaying of a 9-year old child. 144656.00 as moral damages.000.

She was wearing pink short pants and a white sleeveless shirt. so that Aimee Vallejo. Ma. and Jessiemin Mataverde and Charito Paras-Yepes. 1999 and. Nida saw her daughter go to the house of her tutor. Aimees house. she noticed that Daisy was not yet home. could help Daisy with her lessons. Atty. Ten (10) witnesses testified for the prosecution. Cavite police station. but their search proved fruitless. she was told that Daisy had not been there. at about 10:00 oclock in the morning of June 11. She started looking for her daughter and proceeded to the house of Aimee. Nida woke up at about 5:30 oclock after an afternoon nap. 1999. a Saturday. Then. Mayor Renato Abutan of Rosario. medico-legal officer of the NBI. she sent her 9-year old daughter Daisy Diolola to their neighbors house in Pilapil. Daisys tutor. Ma. Nida went there. NBI Forensic Chemist. Cavite. the sister of accused-appellant. both neighbors of the victim. when Ma. Ligtong I. Nida looked for Daisy in her brothers and sisters houses. They were looking for a book which accused-appellant could copy to make a drawing or a poster that Daisy would submit to her teacher. Ma. Vertido. SPO1 Arnel Cuevas of the Rosario. Daisy and accused-appellant went back to the latters house. until the early morning of the following day.Accused-appellant was arraigned on July 26. where accused-appellant was also staying. but she was not there. Daisy came back with accused-appellant. Aimees mother told Ma. whereupon trial ensued. Ma. The victims mother. namely. the victims mother. she was informed that the dead body of her daughter was found tied to the root of an aroma tree by the river . Aida Viloria-Magsipoc. An hour later. with the assistance of counsel. Jessiemin Mataverde also told Ma. Lupo Leyva. Pet Byron Buan. After finding the book. Nida and her brother and sister searched for Daisy the whole evening of June 10. Dr. When Ma. Cavite. June 11. is about four to five meters away from Daisys house. At about 7:00 oclock that evening. pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. testified that at around 1:00 oclock in the afternoon of July 10. NBI Forensic Biologist. 1999. a Sunday. Nida that Daisy was playing in front of her house that afternoon and even watched television in her house. Nida went to the dike and was told that they saw Daisy playing at about 3:30 oclock in the afternoon. Nida that Daisy was not there and that Aimee was not able to help Daisy with her lessons because Aimee was not feeling well as she had her menstrual period. Nida Diolola. and there saw accused-appellant. Atty. Ma. but that Daisy later left with accused-appellant. either. Ma. Antonio S. Nida Diolola. Ma. 1999. Sikat Agbunag of the Public Attorneys Office. who told her that Daisy had gone to her classmates house to borrow a book. Rosario. But. 1999. Nida went back to her neighbors house.

accused-appellant arrived to buy a stick of Marlboro cigarette. She asked Daisy and her playmates to stop playing as their noise was keeping Jessiemins one-year old baby awake. Daisy relented and watched television instead from the door of Jessiemins house.after the compuerta by a certain Freddie Quinto.[5] SPO1 Arnel Cuevas testified that upon receipt of the report.[4] Charito Yepes. Nida. She also testified that accused-appellants shorts and shirt (sando) were wet. Ma. Daisys body was already in the barangay hall. When they arrived. Charito said that accused-appellant did not even greet them. responded to the call together with his men. Nida saw her daughter. For this reason. She said they met accused-appellant Gerrico Vallejo near the seashore and noticed that he was uneasy and looked troubled. Jessiemin testified that at around 5:00 oclock that afternoon. At the barangay hall.[3] Another witness. Rosario. Jr. but his face and hair were not. SPO1 Cuevas took photographs of the body. After lighting his cigarette. de la Cruz. Daisy was wearing her pink short pants with her sleeveless shirt tied around her neck. they decided to get some fishing implements. while she and her daughter were in front of a store across the street from her house. accused-appellant came to the house and told Daisy something. They noticed both his shorts and his shirt were wet. while she and her husband and children were walking towards the compuerta near the seashore of Ligtong. Accused- appellant had only his basketball shorts on and was just holding his shirt. another neighbor of Ma. She said that at about 4:30 oclock in the afternoon of July 10. The body was already in the barangay hall when Ma. accused-appellant left. 1999. also testified. Rosario Police Chief Ricardo B. SPO1 Araracap and PO2 Lariza. they met a fisherman named Herminio who said that it was a good day for catching milkfish (bangus). she saw Daisy playing with other children outside her house. The other barangay officers fetched accused-appellant from his house and took him to the barangay hall. testified that at around 3:00 oclock in the afternoon of that day. Jessiemin Mataverde. About five minutes later. Cavite. PO2 Garcia. as a result of which she went with him and the two proceeded towards the compuerta. Daisy was wearing pink short pants and a dirty white . Nida pointed to accused-appellant Gerrico Vallejo as the probable suspect since he was with the victim when she was last seen alive. At that time. according to this witness. Barangay Councilmen Raul Ricasa and Calring Purihin reported the incident to the Rosario police. which was unusual.

The autopsy revealed the following postmortem findings:[8] Body in early stage of postmortem decomposition characterized by foul odor. 1999. left anterior aspect. left.0 cm. with the name Samartino and No. records) At about 10:00 oclock in the evening. BMP-9902. Cavite.0 x 0.3 cm.0 cms. Cavite for an autopsy on the cadaver of the victim Daisy Diolola. posterior aspect. Hematoma.[6] Dr. Two others. The inquiries conducted by the police showed that one Freddie Quinto was fishing near the compuerta when he accidentally hit the body of Daisy.0 cms.0 x 10.0 cms. Vertido. left ring finger. Antonio S. which was in the mud and tied to the root of an aroma tree. The shirt and shorts. Lacerations.5 cm. 9.0 x 5. legs. knee. however. The body was afterwards taken to the Samson Funeral Parlor in Rosario.panty with a dirty white sleeveless shirt wrapped around her neck. Dr. were also taken into custody because they were seen with accused-appellant in front of the store in the late afternoon of July 10 1999. Accused-appellant was invited by the policemen for questioning. 7. left ring finger. antero-lateral aspect. Later. and the violet basketball shorts.1 cm. 13 printed at the back.0 x 3. worn by accused-appellant the day before. 101.0 x 8. Vertido went to the Samson Funeral Parlor in Rosario. 24. and left.0 x 6. His findings[7] showed the following: PHYSICAL FINDINGS: Abrasions: thigh. 1. (Living Case No. posterior aspect. the two were released. were turned over to the NBI for laboratory examination. with the number 9 printed on it. testified that at about 9:00 oclock in the evening of July 11.0 x 0. which were bloodstained. 13. Based on the statements of Jessiemin Mataverde and Charito Paras-Yepes..0 cms. 0. a certain Raymond and Esting. lower 3rd 5. plantar aspects.. right. Washerwomans hands and feet. feet. 28. NBI Medico-Legal Officer. bloating of the face and blister formation. the policemen went to the house of accused-appellant at about 4:00 oclock in the afternoon of July 11.. p. right anterior aspect. . he conducted a physical examination of accused-appellant. eyes and tongue protruding. right. 1999 and recovered the white basketball shirt.

4. where accused-appellant was detained.0 x 15. Hymen. lower lip. forehead. Accused-appellant claimed that he was under the influence of drugs.5 cms. When accused-appellant said he did. CAUSE OF DEATH: -Asphyxia by Manual Strangulation.0 cms.0 cms. left posterior aspect...50 x 4. 1999. 1. testified that he was informed of the rape and murder at past 10:00 oclock in the evening of June 11. tracheal rings. posterior aspect. 6:00 and 9:00 oclock positions. left middle..x 5.0 x 22. Stomach. a resident of Rosario. ring and little fingers.0 cms.. and left.0 cms. posterior aspect. contains rice and other food particles. 1.0 cms. left thumb.0 cms. Municipal Mayor of Rosario. 13. dorsal aspect. Brain and other visceral organs are congested. Cavite. Lupo Leyva. At that point.0 cms.0 cms.0 cms.[9] . right. 3. knees. foot right. anterior aspect. and left. The mayor said he told accused-appellant that he could not help him if he did not tell the truth. moderately tall.0 x 3.0 x 2. middle 3rd 3. .Contusion.0 x 2. forearm.0 x 5.0 cms. 20.0 cms. right antero-medial aspect. complete at 3:00. Labia majora and minora. upper and middle 3rd 3. neck (nailmarks) anterior aspect. subpleural. edges with blood clots. arms. upper 3rd. Mayor Abutan fetched Atty. [Autopsy Report No. and left.0 cms. gaping and congested.0 cms. Hemorrhages. and talked to the latter. 21. Hematoma. right anterior aspect. 5. left.. 14.0. interstitial. Fracture.5 x 3.0 cms. accused-appellant started crying and told the mayor that he killed the victim by strangling her.0 x 10.0 x 8. as his lawyer. nailmarks. periorbital right. The mayor said he immediately proceeded to the municipal jail. Accused- appellant at first denied having anything to do with the killing and rape of the child.5 x 1. dorsal aspect.0 x 9. right.5 x 1. neck. 5. subendocardial..Pubic hair. thick with fresh lacerations.0 x 5.0 cms. Petechial hemorrhages. 3.0 cms. 13. 8. upper lip.. (pinkish) face. BTNO-99-152] Renato Abutan. 8. Leyva from his house and took him to the police station about 11:00 oclock that evening. Contused abrasions. legs. underneath. GENITAL EXAMINATION: .0 x 6.0 x 2. The mayor asked accused-appellant if he wanted to have the services of Atty. no growth.

Buan observed that accused-appellant was remorseful and was crying when he made the confession in the presence of SPO1 Amoranto at the NBI laboratory. were all positive for the presence of human blood showing the reactions of Group A. accused-appellant confessed to killing the victim by strangling her to death. Leyva and accused-appellant read it and afterwards signed it. he took blood samples from accused-appellant in his office for laboratory examination to determine his blood type. M).[12] Pet Byron Buan also testified that before he took the blood samples. (2) one (1) violet no. testified that on July 12. 9 athletic basketball short pants. Leyva testified that he sort of discouraged the former from making statements as anything he said could be used against him. but denied having molested her. After the statement was taken. with patches Grizzlies in front and SAMARTINO at the back. Atty. PO2 Garcia asked questions from accused-appellant. He said that upon arriving at the police station. he asked accused-appellant if he wanted his services as counsel in the investigation. he had a conversation with accused-appellant during which the latter admitted that he had raped and later killed the victim by strangulation and stated that he was willing to accept the punishment that would be meted out on him because of the grievous offense he had committed.[13] . Leyva said he advised him to tell the truth. Atty. Leyva testified that he did not see or notice any indication that accused- appellant had been maltreated by the police. Mr. Cavite police for the purpose of determining the presence of human blood and its groups. After accused-appellant assented. 13 athletic basketball shirt. informed accused-appellant of his constitutional rights to remain silent and to be assisted by counsel and warned him that any answer he gave could and might be used against him in a court of law. (4) one (1) cut pink short pants with reddish brown stains. Buan showed accused-appellant to belong to Group O.[10] Pet Byron Buan. as accused- appellant was willing to be investigated. 1999. the investigator. In his sworn statement (Exh. Lupo Leyva corroborated Mayor Abutans testimony. Likewise. But.[11] The results of the examinations conducted by Pet Byron T. PO2 Garcia.Atty. Leyva. Atty. (5) one (1) cut dirty white small panty with reddish brown stains. Atty. who gave his answers in the presence of Atty. Forensic Biologist of the NBI. the basketball shorts and shirt worn by accused-appellant on the day the victim was missing and the victims clothing were turned over to the Forensic Chemistry Division of the NBI by PO1 Amoranto of the Rosario. The following specimens: (1) one (1) white no. (3) one (1) white small Hello Kitty T-shirt with reddish brown stains.

1999 in Cavite City. assisted by Atty. Prosecutor Itoc came together with accused-appellant and some policemen. Daisy left.[16] The defense then presented as witnesses accused-appellant Gerrico Vallejo and his sister Aimee Vallejo. Agbunag read the document. Prosecutor Itoc asked Atty. After making the request. then affixed his signature to the document and swore to it before Prosecutor Itoc. informed accused-appellant of his constitutional rights. Aida Viloria-Magsipoc. and their sister Abigail were in their house in Barangay Talisay.[14] Atty. He then dumped her body in the shallow river near the compuerta and went home. NBI Forensic Biologist Pet Byron Buan took buccal swabs and hair samples from accused-appellant.When accused-appellant was brought before Inquest Prosecutor Elpidia J. Nida Diolola and Arnulfo Diolola. 1999. In his confession. accused-appellant. Cavite when Daisy Diolola came to ask accused-appellant to draw her school project. Vertido. while she was in their office in Cavite City. and warned him that the document could be used against him and that he could be convicted of the case against him. She testified that the vaginal swabs of the victim taken by Dr. Vertido during the autopsy contained the DNA profiles of accused-appellant and the victim. but. Accused-appellant said he laid down the victim on a grassy area near the dike. . 1999. accused-appellant said that he had freely and voluntarily executed the document because he was bothered by his conscience. Atty.[17] Accused-appellant did not immediately make the drawing because he was watching television. Agbunag to assist accused-appellant about his confession. Accused-appellant said he panicked and killed the child. Itoc at around noon of July 13. according to her. Accused-appellant. testified that at noon of July 13. Agbunag. conducted DNA tests on the specimens collected by Dr.[15] At the instance of City Prosecutor Agapito S. Ligtong I. accused-appellant had with him a handwritten confession which he had executed inside his cell at the Municipal Jail of Rosario. Aimee. Forensic Chemist of the NBI. she struggled and resisted. Lu of Cavite City. The samples were submitted to the DNA Laboratory of the NBI for examination. as well as buccal swabs and hair samples from the parents of the victim. Their testimonies show that at about 1:00 oclock in the afternoon of July 10. He claimed that she did not resist when he removed her undergarments but that when he tried to insert his penis into the victims vagina. namely. a lawyer from the Public Attorneys Office. Ma. Rosario. Sikat Agbunag. accused-appellant admitted not only that he killed the victim but that he had before that raped her.

and. the police forced him to admit that he had raped and killed Daisy and that he admitted having committed the crime to stop them from beating him up. at 11:00 oclock that morning. Nida. Accused-appellant claims that although Exhibit N was in his own handwriting. Leyva that he had been tortured because the policemen were around and he was afraid of them. Leyva asked him whether he wanted him to be his counsel. barangay officials fetched accused-appellant from his house and took him to the barangay hall. He claimed he did not go out of the house until 7:00 oclock in the evening when he saw Ma. Leyva informed him of his constitutional rights. His mother went with him to the police station. Accused-appellant claimed the police even burned his penis with a lighted cigarette and pricked it with a needle. He then returned home to watch television again. he merely copied the contents thereof from a pattern given to him by the police. Accused-appellant claimed that. but. He claimed that he did not know anything about it. this was because the police had maltreated him. although he admitted to Mayor Abutan and Atty. Accused-appellant confirmed that Mayor Renato Abutan and Atty. Glory. Lupo Leyva went to see him in the investigation room of the police station and told him that they would help him if he told the truth. Atty. Mayor Abutan and Atty. who was looking for her daughter. 1999 because of fear of reprisal by residents of their barangay. accused-appellant was asked whether he had something to do with the rape and killing of Daisy. He said Atty. After that.[19] . At 4:00 oclock that afternoon. at about 8:00 oclock that evening. Leyva were not present when he gave his confession to the police and signed the same. accused-appellant said he went to the pilapil and talked with some friends. 1999. Accused-appellant said he told her that he had not seen Daisy. Leyva the commission of the crime.[18] According to accused-appellant. He denied knowledge of the crime. accused-appellant accompanied the police to his house to get the basketball shorts and shirt he was wearing the day before. Accused-appellant was allowed to go home. At 9:00 oclock in the morning of July 11. According to accused-appellant. Accused-appellant said he did not tell the mayor or Atty. he went home.Accused-appellant said that he finished the drawing at about 3:00 oclock in the afternoon and gave it to the victims aunt. where he was asked about the disappearance of Daisy. and accused-appellant said he answered in the affirmative. It appears that the family of accused-appellant transferred their residence to Laguna on July 12. which were placed together with other dirty clothes at the back of their house. There. policemen came and invited him to the police headquarters for questioning.

III. 2000. The dispositive portion of its decision reads: WHEREFORE. We find accused-appellants contentions to be without merit.On July 31. THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED- APPELLANT OF RAPE WITH HOMICIDE DESPITE THE INSUFFICIENCY AND WEAKNESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE OF THE PROSECUTION. SO ORDERED.000. [21] In rape with homicide. in view of all the foregoing considerations. An accused can be convicted even if no eyewitness is available.[20] Hence this appeal. as charged in the Information.00 as civil indemnity and P50. the evidence against an accused is more often than not circumstantial. This is because the nature of the crime. where only the victim and the rapist would have been present at the time of its commission. makes the prosecution of the offense particularly difficult since . the trial court rendered a decision finding accused- appellant guilty of the offense charged. THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN GIVING EVIDENTIARY WEIGHT TO THE ALLEGED ORAL CONFESSIONS OF THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT DESPITE ITS BEING HEARSAY IN NATURE. provided sufficient circumstantial evidence is presented by the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crime. First. the Court finds the accused Gerrico Vallejo y Samartino GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape with Homicide. Accused-appellant contends that: I.00 as moral damages. accordingly hereby sentences him to the supreme penalty of DEATH. II.000. THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN GIVING PROBATIVE VALUE TO THE WRITTEN EXTRA-JUDICIAL CONFESSION OF THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE SAME WAS OBTAINED THROUGH FORCE AND INTIMIDATION AND THAT THE LAWYER WHO ASSISTED HIM DURING HIS CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATION DID NOT AND COULD NOT POSSIBLY GIVE HIM EFFECTIVE LEGAL ASSISTANCE. The accused is directed to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the amount of P100.

[23] In the case at bar. At about 4:30 oclock in the afternoon. the following circumstantial evidence establish beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of accused-appellant: 1. After getting the book. (b) the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven. uneasy. although his face and hair were not. basketball shorts. At around 2:00 oclock in the afternoon. for tutoring.[22] Under Rule 133. section 4 of the Revised Rules on Evidence. . where accused-appellant was residing. According to these witnesses. accused-appellant and Daisy went together to the latters house to get a book from which the former could copy Daisys school project. He kept looking around and did not even greet them as was his custom to do so. they proceeded to accused- appellants residence. he looked pale. Accused-appellant thereafter arrived and whispered something to Daisy. with his clothes. 2. and the latter went with him towards the compuerta. Resort to circumstantial evidence is inevitable and to demand direct evidence proving the modality of the offense and the identity of the perpetrator is unreasonable. The victim went to Aimee Vallejos house. at 1:00 oclock in the afternoon of July 10. 1999. 4. the spouses Iluminado and Charito Yepes saw accused-appellant coming out of the compuerta. and (c) the combination of all circumstances is such as to produce conviction beyond reasonable doubt. Daisy then went to the house of Jessiemin Mataverde where she watched television. 3.the victim could no longer testify against the perpetrator. circumstantial evidence is sufficient to sustain a conviction if: (a) there is more than one circumstance. and troubled (balisa). The fishing boat which accused-appellant used as a bomber (a boat for catching fish with dynamite) was docked by the seashore. 5. and t-shirt wet. From accused-appellants house.

The information proved to be false. A little before 5:00 oclock in the afternoon. By 5:30 oclock in the afternoon. Jessiemen also noticed that accused-appellants clothes were wet but not his face nor his hair. Accused-appellant has blood type O. During the initial investigation. The vaginal swabs from Daisys body contained her DNA profile as well as that of accused-appellant. ESPIRITU Q: But you will agree with me that more probably than not. she was told by accused-appellant that Daisy had gone to her classmate Rosarios house.6. accused-appellant had scratches on his feet similar to those caused by the thorns of an aroma tree. Daisys body was found tied to an aroma tree at the part of the river near the compuerta. 10. it is very possible that the blood . Jessiemin Mataverde also saw accused-appellant buying a Marlboro cigarette from a store. if a crime is being committed. 11. as Ma. and it results in a bloody death. it can reasonably be inferred that the victim was blood type A since she sustained contused abrasions all over her body which would necessarily produce the bloodstains on her clothing. Buan.[24] Even if there was no direct determination as to what blood type the victim had. 8. The contention has no merit. The examination conducted by Forensic Biologist Pet Byron Buan of both accused-appellants and the victims clothing yielded bloodstains of the same blood type A. 7. 12. The clothes which accused-appellant wore the day before were bloodstained.[25] That it was the victims blood which predominantly registered in the examination was explained by Mr. 9. The bloodstains on accused-appellants clothes and on Daisys clothes were found positive of human blood type A. Nida Diolola looked for her daughter. Accused-appellant contends that the bloodstains found on his garments were not proven to have been that of the victim as the victims blood type was not determined. thus:[26] ATTY.

that accused-appellant was coerced or forced into producing the garments. the policemen questioned him as to the clothes he wore the day before. Q: But in these specimens number 1 to 5.[29] When a crime is committed. This is the evidence sample. it will be the one which will register. it is very clear now that only type A and no type O blood was found? A: Yes. each persons DNA profile is distinct and unique. Accused-appellant also questions the validity of the method by which his bloodstained clothes were recovered. the consent of the owner of the house to the search effectively removes any badge of illegality. that the accused-appellant voluntarily brought out the clothes sought by the police becomes more convincing when considered together with his confessions.of the victim and the blood of the assailant might mix in that particular item like the t-shirt. they took him to his house and accused-appellant accompanied them to the back of the house where dirty clothes were kept. material is collected from the scene of the crime or from the victims body for the suspects DNA. Except for identical twins. It is possible. however. Whichever is the dominant blood in it. if there is more blood coming from the victim. As we have held. Sir. Thereafter. shorts or pants? A: It is possible when there is a huge amount of blood coming from the victim and the suspect. considering that these specimens were already soaked in smirchy waters before they were submitted to the laboratory. on occasions when the two blood mix. He argues that the prosecution failed to show that all the samples submitted for DNA testing were not contaminated. It will mix. Indeed. According to accused-appellant. sir. For example.[27] There is no showing. DNA is an organic substance found in a persons cells which contains his or her genetic code.[30] . that blood will be the one to register. The evidence sample is then matched with the reference sample taken from the suspect and the victim.[28] The DNA analysis conducted by NBI Forensic Chemist Aida Viloria- Magsipoc is also questioned by accused-appellant. A consented warrantless search is an exception to the proscription in Section 2 of Article III of the Constitution.

or 3) The samples are similar.[33] In such a case. the bloodstains taken from the clothing of the victim and of accused-appellant. and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests. among others things. or failure of some aspect of the protocol. the smears taken from the victim as well as the strands of hair and nails taken from her tested negative for the presence of human DNA. and we also interviewed the mother who came over to the laboratory one time on how . This might occur for a variety of reasons including degradation. 2) It is not possible to be sure.[31] The samples collected are subjected to various chemical processes to establish their profile. This conclusion is absolute and requires no further analysis or discussion.[32] The test may yield three possible results: 1) The samples are different and therefore must have originated from different sources (exclusion). Buan and as far as he also knew of this case. And upon inquiry from Mr. serological methods were already conducted on the said specimens. whether the proper standards and procedures were followed in conducting the tests.[35] because. how they were handled.The purpose of DNA testing is to ascertain whether an association exists between the evidence sample and the reference sample. the analyst proceeds to determine the statistical significance of the Similarity. contamination. In the case at bar. Viloria-Magsipoc explained: PROSECUTOR LU: Q: I noticed that specimens 1 to 5 consisting of bloodstains taken from the clothing of the victim and of the accused gave negative results for the presence of human DNA. based on the results of the test. and could have originated from the same source (inclusion). whether the samples have similar DNA types (inconclusive). courts should consider. to obtain a more conclusive result. as Ms. therefore. the procedure followed in analyzing the samples.[34] In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence. Why is it so? What is the reason for this when there are still bloodstains on the clothing? A: After this Honorable Court issued an Order for DNA analysis. Various parts of the analysis might then be repeated with the same or a different sample. the possibility of contamination of the samples. the samples are found to be similar. the following data: how the samples were collected.

But the vaginal swabs taken from the victim yielded positive for the presence of human DNA. Sir. why did they show negative results for DNA? A: The hair samples were cut hair. Vertido. Sir. Sir. 1 to 5 in my report. not the inadequacy of the examination or the instruments used? A: Yes. 6-B consisting of the smears taken from the victim also proved negative for human DNA. And then the nails did not contain any subcutaneous cells that would be amenable for DNA analysis also. I already informed Dr. Byron could have taken such portion or stains that were only amenable for serological method and were not enough for DNA analysis already. Thus. they showed the DNA profile of accused- appellant:[36] . the smear on the slide was very. Q: How about specimen no. which accounted for the negative results of their examination. 7. it is the inadequacy of the specimens submitted for examination. So negative results were found on the clothings that were submitted which were specimens no. why is it so? A: Because when we received the vaginal smears submitted by Dr. And I told him that maybe it would be the swab that could help us in this case. Vertido about it and he confirmed the state of the specimen. The state of the specimens prior to the DNA analysis could have hampered the preservation of any DNA that could have been there before. very dry and could have chipped off. So when serological methods were done on these specimens. the smears geared negative results and the swabs gave positive results.was the state of the specimens when they were found out. Sir. Mr. Upon analysis by the experts. the hair and nails taken from the victim. Q: So its the inadequacy of the specimens that were the reason for this negative result. and not the possibility that the samples had been contaminated. We found that these specimens were soaked in smirchy water before they were submitted to the laboratory. And so upon examination. So any hair that is above the skin or the epidermis of ones skin would give negative results as the hair shaft is negative for DNA. Q: I also noticed that specimen no. Sir. This means that the hair did not contain any root.

. He alleges that the oral confessions were inadmissible in evidence for being hearsay. may surpass direct evidence in its effect upon the court. Evidence is weighed not counted. he must be provided with one.[37] This is how it is in this case. solitary. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel. we hold that the totality of the evidence points to no other conclusion than that accused-appellant is guilty of the crime charged. violence. When facts or circumstances which are proved are not only consistent with the guilt of the accused but also inconsistent with his innocence. intimidation or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. The claim is untenable. preferably of his own choice. while the extrajudicial confessions were obtained through force and intimidation. incommunicado. can we say conclusively that the DNA profile of the accused in this case was found in the vaginal swabs taken from the victim? A: Yes. Second. such evidence. III of the Constitution provides in pertinent parts: (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. Accused-appellant challenges the validity of the oral and written confessions presented as evidence against him. Secret detention places. Q: That is very definite and conclusive? A: Yes. (3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 shall be inadmissible in evidence against him. Sir. force. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. or other similar forms of detention are prohibited. in its weight and probative force. Section 12 of Art.PROSECUTOR LU: Q: So based on your findings. Sir. threat." In conclusion. (2) No torture.

Atty. so its a sort of discouraging him from making any statement to the police. and intimidation. what else did you talk about? A: I told him that in the investigation. whatever he will state may be used against him.There are two kinds of involuntary or coerced confessions treated in this constitutional provision: (1) coerced confessions. Cavite and to NBI Forensic Biologist should be deemed inadmissible for being violative of his constitutional rights as these were made by one already under custodial investigation to persons in authority without the presence of counsel. the product of third degree methods such as torture. Upon cross-examination. Q: Did you ask him whether he really wants you to represent or assist him as a lawyer during that investigation? A: I did. I asked him whether he would like me to represent him in that investigation. Leyva testified as follows:[40] Q: You stated that you personally read this recital of the constitutional rights of the accused? . Q: After agreeing to retain you as his counsel. force. threat. and (2) uncounselled statements. Atty.[38] Accused-appellant argues that the oral confessions given to Mayor Abutan of Rosario. which are the subject of paragraph 1 of the same section. With respect to the oral confessions. as a matter of fact. Leyva testified:[39] PROSECUTOR LU: Q: Upon meeting this Gerrico Vallejo at the police station were you able to confer with him? A: Yes. Sir. Q: And what was his answer? A: He said yes. given without the benefit of Miranda warnings. Sir. Sir. which are dealt with in paragraph 2 of Section 12. violence.

ATTY ESPIRITU The only thing that is stated here is that Maaaring gamitin pabor o laban sa iyo. Q: But it will appear in this recital of constitutional rights that you did not inform the accused that the statement that he will be giving might be used against him in a court of justice? A: I did that. .A: Yes. your Honor. COURT Let the witness answer. Q: But it does not appear in this statement? PROSECUTOR LU The best evidence will be the statement. Leyva is not only corroborated by the testimony of Mayor Renato Abutan. Sir. and I also told him to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. Sir. The testimony of Atty. Q: What did Atty. Sir. Leyva explain to you the meaning and significance of that document which you are supposed to have executed and signed? A: Yes. A: I told him that. Sir.[41] it is also confirmed by accused-appellant who testified as follows:[42] ATTY. ESPIRITU: Q: Did Atty. Leyva tell you? A: That they are allowing me to exercise my constitutional right to reveal or narrate all what I know about this case. as a matter of fact.

To be an effective counsel. nobody can force you to give that statement? A: Yes. a lawyer need not challenge all the questions being propounded to his client. rather. Atty. Indeed. In all of them. accused-appellant cannot now claim that he was not apprised of the consequences of the statements he was to make as well as the written confessions he was to execute. Andan[47] and People vs. Sir. Q: And did he tell you that what you would be giving is an extra-judicial confession? A: Yes. Clearly. it was adopted in our Constitution to preclude the slightest coercion as would lead the accused to admit something false. The presence of a lawyer is not intended to stop an accused from saying anything which might incriminate him but. counsel should not prevent an accused from freely and voluntarily telling the truth. Cavite but only a legal adviser of Mayor Renato Abutan. We disagree.Q: Did Atty.[45] Contrary to the assertions of accused-appellant.[44] And counsel who is provided by the investigators is deemed engaged by the accused where the latter never raised any objection against the formers appointment during the course of the investigation but. Neither can he question the qualifications of Atty. Mantung[48] do not apply to this case. thereafter subscribed to the veracity of his statement before the swearing officer. the accused made extrajudicial confessions to the municipal mayor freely and voluntarily.[43] Indeed. We note further that the testimony of Mayor Abutan was never objected to by the defense. Leyva tell you that if you do not want. Leyva was not the municipal attorney of Rosario.[46] Accused-appellant contends that the rulings in People vs. being the spontaneous. accused-appellant admitted that he was first asked whether he wanted the services of Atty. Lupo Leyva who acted as his counsel during the investigation. free. . Sir. and voluntary admissions of the guilt of the accused. The facts of these cases and that of the case at bar are similar. the extrajudicial confessions were held admissible in evidence. In all these cases. Leyva before the latter acted as his defense counsel. on the contrary.

Sir. That is why he strangled the child. Then I told him that I will not be able to help him if he will not tell me the truth. the mayors questions to accused-appellant were not in the nature of an interrogation.Indeed. nakita niya raw yung bata na parang walang ulo na naglalakad. what kind of help were you thinking at that time? A: I told him that if he will tell the truth. but rather an act of benevolence by a leader seeking to help one of his constituents. the exact words that the accused used in telling you what happened. Mayor Abutan testified:[49] PROSECUTOR LU: Q: And during the conversation you had with Accused Gerrico Vallejo. A: He told me that he saw the child as if she was headless at that time. Q: And what was the reply of the accused? A: He had been silent for a minute. what exactly did he tell you? A: At first he said that he did not do that. Were you under the influence of drugs at that time? Q: What else did he tell you? A: I told him. That was the first thing he told me. Q: And what exactly did he tell you about the incident? A: I asked him. Then we talked about the incident. Thus.) xxxxxxxxx COURT: Q: When you told the accused that you will help him. What reason pushed you to do that thing? x x x Q: Please tell us in tagalog. Q: And what was the answer of the accused? . I could help give him legal counsel. (Ang sabi niya po sa kin. Sir. Kaya po sinakal niya.

The issue concerning the sufficiency of the assistance given by Atty. The rights under Section 12 are guaranteed to preclude the slightest use of coercion by the state as would lead the accused to admit something false. it has been held that the constitutional procedures on custodial investigation do not apply to a spontaneous statement. it was explained: Thus.A: Yes. Mantung. As Buan testified:[52] PROSECUTOR LU: Q: What was the subject of your conversation with him? . In People vs. he could have chosen to remain silent or to do deny altogether any participation in the robbery and killings but he did not. but given in an ordinary manner whereby appellant orally admitted having committed the crime. who initiated the conversation with accused-appellant. As the records show. These circumstances hardly indicate that Mantung felt compelled to own up to the crime. not prevent him from freely and voluntarily telling the truth. Andan. On the other hand. Your Honor. As held in People v. not elicited through questioning by the authorities. was part of the NBI.[50] this Court said: Never was it raised during the trial that Mantungs admission during the press conference was coerced or made under duress. Buan to accused- appellant were asked out of mere personal curiosity and clearly not as part of his tasks. thus accused- appellant sealed his own fate. Besides. he will tell me the truth. And in People vs. Montiero. Buan. accused-appellant voluntarily made the statements in response to Mayor Marquez question as to whether he killed the pawnshop employees. What the Constitution bars is the compulsory disclosure of incriminating facts or confessions. Mantung answered in the affirmative and even proceeded to explain that he killed the victims because they made him eat pork. Leyva has already been discussed. a confession constitutes evidence of high order since it is supported by the strong presumption that no person of normal mind would deliberately and knowingly confess to a crime unless prompted by truth and his conscience. the oral confession made by accused-appellant to NBI Forensic Biologist Pet Byron Buan is admissible. the questions put by Mr. Accused-appellant would have this Court exclude this confession on the ground that it was uncounselled and that Mr.[51] For the same reason.

I want to know more about the case. and threats to his life. The admissibility of the extrajudicial confessions of accused-appellant is also attacked on the ground that these were extracted from him by means of torture.. Third. beatings. And any information either on the victim or from the suspect will help me personally. The bare assertions of maltreatment by the police authorities in extracting confessions from the accused are not sufficient. therefore. Q: What did you talk about during your conversation? A: I asked him if he was the one who did the killing on this victim. Sir. admissible as evidence. .A: It is customary when we examine the accused... Sir. During the examination. Sir. can be likened to one freely and voluntarily given to an ordinary individual and is. we talk to them for me to add knowledge on the case. The confession. We usually do that. Sir. Q: And what was the reply of the accused? A: He said yes. The standing rule is that where the defendants . Q: And it was you who initiated the conversation? A: Yes. he was crying as if feeling remorse on the killing. Daisy Diolola. Q: Do you usually do that? A: Yes. Q: What else did you ask the accused? A: I remember that while asking him. Sir. Sir. Q: Is that part of your procedure? A: It is not SOP. Sir. Its not an SOP. thus. Sir. But for me alone.

Q: They are all policemen? A: Yes. Q: What else did they ask you? A: They were asking me the project. Sir. Sir. sir. Q: How many were they inside that room? A: Five.[54] Accused-appellants claim that he was tortured and subjected to beatings by policemen in order to extract the said confession from him is unsupported by any proof:[55] ATTY. Sir. Sir. where they did not institute any criminal or administrative action against their alleged intimidators for maltreatment. where there appeared to be no marks of violence on their bodies. Q: Who was doing the questioning? A: The investigator. or duress nor violence on their person. in the absence of conclusive evidence showing that the declarants consent in executing the same has been vitiated.did not present evidence of compulsion.[53] Indeed. Q: What else? A: That is the only thing. the confession will be sustained. xxxxxxxxx . all these will be considered as indicating voluntariness. and. and where they did not have themselves examined by a reputable physician to buttress their claim. where they failed to complain to the officer who administered their oaths. Sir. extrajudicial confessions are presumed to be voluntary. ESPIRITU: Q: Did they further interrogate you? A: Yes.

Q: The 5 of them remained inside that room with you throughout the questioning? A: Yes. Q: In what way did they hurt you? A: They burned my private part with a lighted cigarette butt and pierced me with a needle.Q: Until what time did they keep you inside that room? A: Up to 11:00 in the evening. Sir. Q: Between 10:30 in the morning up to 11:00 oclock in the evening. Q: In what way did they force you to admit something? A: They were mauling me. Q: Were you asked to undress or you were forced to do that? . Q: Did the other policemen help in doing these things to you? A: No. Sir. Sir. Q: The 5 of them? A: Yes. Q: Who is this Mercado? A: EPZA policemen. Sir. Sir. Sir. Sir. Sir. what did you do there? A: They were interrogating and forcing me to admit something. Q: Who did these things to you? A: Mercado. Sir.

Q: Did they do anything to you to force you to remove your pants? A: Yes. Sir. Q: In what part of your body were you pricked by a needle? A: At my private part. if any? A: They hit me with a piece of wood. the same are incompatible with his claim of torture. Q: What? A: They boxed me. While the results show that accused-appellant did sustain injuries. Sir. during which time he was boxed. Sir. However. Accused-appellant testified that he was made to stay in the municipal hall from 10:00 oclock in the morning until 11:00 oclock that night of July 10. Antonio Vertido at about 9:00 oclock in the evening of the same day. Q: What else. Sir. accused-appellant was physically examined by Dr. 1999. These bare assertions cannot be given weight. tortured. Vertido testified:[56] PROSECUTOR LU: Q: What were your findings when you conducted the physical examination of the suspect? . Sir. Sir. and hit with a piece of wood by policemen to make him admit to the crime. Q: In what way did they force you to remove your clothes? A: They were asking me to take off the pants which I was wearing at the time.A: They forced me to remove my clothes. As Dr. Sir. Q: What did you feel when your private part was burned with a cigarette butt? A: It was painful.

is sufficient to establish his guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. Antonio Vertido would have found more than mere abrasions and hematoma on his left finger. posterior aspect and laceration left ring finger posterior aspect. to corroborate his story. and I also found hematoma on the left ring finger. as already shown. Sir. what could have caused this injury? A: Abrasions are usually caused when the skin comes in contact with a rough surface.[57] It is well settled that alibi is the weakest of all defenses as it is easy to contrive and difficult to disprove. legs and feet of the suspect. abrasions on the thigh. xxxxxxxxx Q: In your findings. The prosecution witnesses presented a mosaic of circumstances showing accused-appellants guilt. Dr. knees. Their testimonies rule out the possibility that the crime was the handiwork of some other evil mind. The defense presented only accused- appellants sister. On the other hand. this Court looks with caution upon the defense of . your Honor. a laceration on the left ring finger.A: I found abrasions. Sir. Q: I am particularly interested in your findings hematoma on the left ring finger. even if accused-appellant was truthful and his assailed confessions are inadmissible. Aimee Vallejo. it appears that the accused in this case suffered certain physical injuries on his person like this abrasion on the thigh. and not by credible persons. For this reason. what could have caused those injuries on the accused? A: My opinion to these hematoma and laceration found on the said left ring finger was that it was caused by a bite. Vertidos findings are more consistent with the theory that accused-appellant sustained physical injuries as a result of the struggle made by the victim during the commission of the rape in the compuerta. no other witness not related to accused-appellant was ever called to corroborate his claim. If the account of accused-appellant that he was beaten up is true. Dr. At all events. We have held time and again that alibi cannot prosper if it is established mainly by the accused and his relatives. right anterior lateral aspect lower third of the knee. posterior aspect and at the same time. These witnesses have not been shown to have been motivated by ill will against accused-appellant. the circumstantial evidence. Hematoma are usually caused by a blunt instrument or object and laceration is the forcible contact of the skin from that blunt object.

upon the finality of this decision. in view of all the foregoing considerations. DECISION KAPUNAN. . In accordance with Section 25 of R. 104383*. as in this case. no other penalty can be imposed on accused-appellant. especially when. [59] Therefore. FEDERICO AMPATIN y SABUSAB. accused-appellant. amending Art.000. accused. VALERIANO AMESTUZO y VIAS. x--x [G. Cavite City. Branch 88.00 as civil indemnity and P50. then the evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty and is not sufficient to support a conviction. ALBINO BAGAS y DALUHATAN.[58] Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code provides that When by reason or on the occasion of the rape. SO ORDERED. 7659. finding accused-appellant Gerrico Vallejo y Samartino GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape with Homicide and sentencing him to the supreme penalty of DEATH and directing him to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the amount of P100. WHEREFORE. the penalty shall be death.: One of the cardinal rules of criminal law is that the guilt of the accused must be proven beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution. vs.00 as moral damages. let the records of this case be forthwith forwarded to the President of the Philippines for the possible exercise of the pardoning power. homicide is committed. the decision of the Regional Trial Court. is hereby AFFIRMED. ALBINO BAGAS y DALUHATAN and DIASCORO VIAS y ODAL. 83 of the Revised Penal Code.[1] In the present case. one of which is consistent with the innocence of the accused and the other consistent with his guilt. it is corroborated only by relatives or friends of the accused.alibi. plaintiff-appellee.A.000. July 12. J.R. No. If the inculpatory facts and circumstances are capable of two or more explanations. 2001] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.

a group of eight armed men wearing masks entered the house of complainant Perlita delos Santos Lacsamana at Sacred Heart Village.00 Total ------------------------------. At about nine-thirty in the evening of February 22. Metro Manila.000. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court.000. all armed with guns.00. accused-appellant Albino Bagas. to wit: Cash money in the amount of -----------P128.600. On February 27. 1991. and on the occasion thereof. 1991 of the Regional Trial Court. two members of the gang raped Maria Fe Catanyag and Estrella Rolago. Kalookan City and robbed the said premises of valuables in the total amount of P728.00 all belonging to said complainant. threats and intimidation upon the person of Perlita delos Santos de Lacsamana. conspiring together and mutually helping one another. the above-named accused. in Kalookan City. said accused conspiring together and mutually helping one another likewise by means of force and violence and with the use of their weapons. niece and employee. and by means of violence. were charged with the complex crime of robbery in band with double rape under the following information: That on or about the 22nd day of February 1991. In the course of the robbery. willfully. 36930 finding accused-appellant Albino Bagas guilty of the complex crime of robbery in band with double rape and sentencing him accordingly.000. This is an appeal from the decision dated November 28.there being a doubt as to the guilt of accused-appellant. to the damage and prejudice of the latter. Branch 131. did then and there willfully.00 Jewelries worth ------------------------. Federico Ampatin. rob and carry away the following. respectively of complainant Lacsamana. the constitutional presumption of innocence stands and he must be acquitted. whose identities are unknown and who are still at large up to the present.000. Dioscoro Vias and four other accused.P728. Kalookan City in Criminal Case No. in the aforesaid amount of P728. Valeriano Amestuzo. unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with Fe Catanyag y .00. 1991.000. unlawfully and feloniously take. with intent of gain.

July 2. While at the masters bedroom on that particular evening at about 9:30 p. Likewise. She immediately went out but as soon as she opened the door of her room. aside from the six (6) male persons who were inside her house. jackets.. July 2. Once they were already inside the masters bedroom. 8-10. TSN. In the compound are the main house where Mrs. 1991). Perlita Lacsamana resides and another house which serves as the office and quarters for Lacsamanas employees. aray. she saw. and on the second floor is the guestroom (pp.m. two (2) men (one of them is accused Amestuzo while the other one remains unarrested) poked their guns on her. cried aray. Lacsamana overheard her maid. 13. Road 32. July 2. Thereat. 1991). At gun point. TSN. TSN. two (2) other male persons (later identified as accused Ampatin and Vias) outside the main house but within the compound (pp. colored television and imported wine. the six (6 ) armed male persons (two (2) of them were Amestuzo and Bagas) ransacked the same and took all her monies. The said male persons. Edwin.10-11. 6-8. tied her including all her employees and members of her household with the use of torn electric fan wire and television wire. 1991). On her way down. 6-7. (pp. armed with guns and knives.Cabaero and Estrella Rolago y Madrid both residents of said house. Lacsamana saw four (4) other male persons ransacking her premises. 1991).[2] On arraignment. shoes. After that they were told to lie down with face against the floor but a minute later she was asked where the masters bedroom is and when she answered that it is on the ground floor. TSN. Lea. all the accused including accused-appellant Albino Bagas pleaded Not Guilty to the charge. aforesaid accused ate the foods found by them in their kitchen. Phase II of the Sacred Heart Village in Kalookan City (pp. jewelries. she was again forcefully brought down. Thereafter. and Belen were forcibly brought to the second floor of the main house. July 2. against their will and without their consent. In between of these two houses is about three (3) meter-wide area where the dirty kitchen and the garage are found. trial ensued. Contrary to law. The facts as found by the trial court and as presented in the Solicitor Generals Brief are as follows: The incident happened at the compound of Block 5. . In the first floor of the main house is the masters bedroom. Lacsamana. aray.

1991. Rolago was raped by Amestuzo (pp. brought Estrella Rolago inside her room and afterwhich she was in turn brought to the guest room. Sensing that the accused had already left. 1991). July 3. 6-7.000. 38-40. two (2) of the accused. 17-20. ALBINO BAGAS y DALUHATAN. 1991). this Court renders judgment CONVICTING accused VALERIANO AMESTUZO y VIAS. Lukes Hospital where Dr. Ma. TSN.[4] From the judgment of conviction by the trial court.00) PESOS each. 2-5. Rolago. TSN. July 2. dressed up and proceeded to the servants quarter (pp. Mrs. TSN. 1991. pp. one (1) of them is Amestuzo. Fe Catanyag and Estrella Rolago the amount of FIFTY THOUSAND (P50. TSN. more particularly Nanding. July 3. Thereafter. pp.After ransacking the room. she stood up. Almost simultaneously. jointly and severally. FEDERICO AMPATIN y SABUSAB. Thereafter. July 4. Bagas shouted at her to stand up and although she was experiencing pain on her private part which was bleeding at that time. maawa kayo then after ten (10) minutes. July 4. 13-14. was brought in back to the guest room (pp. 1991).00 representing the value of monies and properties taken forcibly away by the accused and to indemnify. TSN.000. TSN. with bloodstain on her shorts. July 4. TSN. With the help of her employer and co- employees. SO ORDERED. Thereat she heard Rolago pleading Maawa kayo. 4-5. she and Rolago were brought the nearby Neopolitan Clinic and from there they proceeded to the St. the trial court rendered judgment convicting all the accused. DIOSCORO VINAS y ODAL of the complex crime of ROBBERY IN BAND WITH DOUBLE RAPE and sentences each of them to suffer imprisonment of DOUBLE RECLUSION PERPETUA and orders them to jointly and severally indemnify to complainant Perlita delos Santos de Lacsamana the amount of P800. 1991. Brion treated Catanyag and Rolago (pp. 1991). only herein accused- appellant Bagas appealed to this Court. The dispositive portion of the trial courts decision reads as follows: WHEREFORE. July 3. 1991). His appeal is based mainly on (1) the alleged deprivation of his constitutional right to be represented by .[3] On November 28. Lacsamana shouted for help. Bagas likewise sexually assaulted and ravished Fe Catanyag (pp. 19-20. they locked the door.

They were brought to the Urduja Police Station in Kalookan City and placed under detention together with the other two accused.counsel during his identification. napagkamalian lang niya ako. They were looking for a certain Mario and searched the first and second floors of the building. accused-appellant was brought out. he was arrested and made to board the police vehicle together with accused Ampatin. It was at this juncture that Ampatin pointed to accused- appellant Bagas as he was the first person Ampatin chanced to look upon.[5] Accused-appellant alleges that the trial court committed a serious error when it deprived him of his constitutional right to be represented by a lawyer during his investigation. Accused-appellant maintains that from the time he was arrested until he was presented to the complainants for identification. His singular presentation to the complainants for identification without the benefit of counsel. Amestuzo and Vias. While on board the jeep. He narrates the circumstances surrounding his arrest and investigation as follows: On February 26. They only stopped when one of the policemen intervened. Complainant Lacsamana asked him if he knew accused Amestuzo and Vias. Niloloko lang yata tayo ng taong ito and Magturo ka ng tao kahit sino. went to the handicrafts factory in NIA Road. When the complainants arrived. he was deprived of the benefit of counsel. Accused- appellant answered in the negative. four days after the alleged incident. This incited complainants to an emotional frenzy. (2) the trial courts error in giving due weight to the open court identification of him which was based on a suggestive and irregular out-of-court identification. accused-appellant avers. and (3) the trial courts improper rejection of his defense of alibi. a group of policemen together with accused Federico Ampatin. the police hit Ampatin at the back of his neck with a gun and uttered. kicking and hitting him. instructed to turn to the left and then to the right and he was asked to talk. Thereafter. accused Ampatin told him that he (Ampatin) committed an error in pointing him out to the police. namumukaan lang niya ako. 1991. who was then a suspect. Failing to find said Mario. is a flagrant violation of the constitutional prerogative to be assisted by counsel to which he was entitled from the moment he was arrested by the police and placed on detention. Pasay City where accused-appellant was working as a stay-in shell cutter. He maintains that the identification was a critical stage . The policemen told the complainants that accused-appellant was one of the suspects.

[12] Hence. Moreover. the process has not yet shifted from the investigatory to the accusatory[11] and it is usually the witness or the complainant who is interrogated and who gives a statement in the course of the line-up.[7] Police line-up is not part of the custodial investigation. The contention is not meritorious. As aptly pointed out by the Solicitor General.[10] The right to be assisted by counsel attaches only during custodial investigation and cannot be claimed by the accused during identification in a police line-up because it is not part of the custodial investigation process. This is because during a police line-up.[8] This was settled in the case of People vs. the contention has no merit. herein accused-appellant could not yet invoke his right to counsel when he was presented for identification by the complainants because the same was not yet part of the investigation process. The guarantees of Sec. The alleged infringement of the constitutional rights of the accused while under custodial investigation is relevant and material only to cases in which an extra-judicial admission or confession extracted from the accused becomes the basis of his conviction. Salvatierra. there was no showing that during his identification by the complainants. Again. In fact. 12 (1).[6] Custodial investigation starts when the police investigation is no longer a general inquiry into an unsolved crime but has begun to focus on a particular suspect taken into custody by the police who starts the interrogation and propounds questions to the person to elicit incriminating statements. Lamsing[9] and in the more recent case of People vs.of prosecution at which he was as much entitled to the aid of counsel as during the trial proper. there is no law requiring a police line-up as essential to a proper identification.[13] In the present case. there is no such confession or extra- judicial admission. hence. the police investigators sought to elicit any admission or confession from accused- appellant. records show that the police did not at all talk to accused- appellant when he was presented before the complainants. Accused-appellant also makes much ado about the manner in which he was presented to the complainants for identification. the right to counsel guaranteed by the Constitution cannot yet be invoked at this stage. III of the 1987 Constitution. It is alleged that the identification was irregular as he was not placed in a police line-up and instead. may be invoked only by a person while he is under custodial investigation. Art.[14] The fact that he was brought out of the detention cell alone . or the so-called Miranda rights. made to stand before the complainants alone.

the complainants started kicking me. we have applied the totality of circumstances test enunciated in the case of People vs. were you immediately kicked by them? A: No. we agree that complainants out-of-court identification of accused- appellant was seriously flawed as to preclude its admissibility. (5) the length of time between the crime and the identification. (3) the accuracy of any prior description given by the witness. Q: And how were you identified or recognized by the complaining witnesses? A: Because upon arrival at the Urduja police station. sir. . Even before complainants had the opportunity to view accused-appellant face-to- face when he was brought our of the detention cell to be presented to them for identification. the policemen announced that I am one of the suspects in this case and thereafter. and (6) the suggestiveness of the identification process. However.and was made to stand before the accused by himself and unaccompanied by any other suspects or persons does not detract from the validity of the identification process. (4) the level of certainty demonstrated by the witness at the identification. the police made an announcement that he was one of the suspects in the crime and that he was the one pointed to by accused Ampatin as one of culprits. In resolving the admissibility and reliability of out-of-court identifications. Q: How long a time from the time they arrived at the Urduja precinct to the time that you were kicked by them? A: Around 10 minutes. Teehankee[15] which lists the following factors: xxx (1) the witness opportunity to view the criminal at the time of the crime. sir. The out-of-court identification of herein accused-appellant by complainants in the police station appears to have been improperly suggestive. (2) the witness degree of attention at that time. According to accused-appellant - Q: When the complaining witnesses arrived at the Urduja precinct at that time you mentioned. sir.

Likewise in People vs. sir. In Tuason vs.[17] accused Cruz. People vs. The Court held that such identification was doubtful as the same was not spontaneous and independent as there was improper suggestion coming from the NBI agent. and all told. was presented to the witnesses alone and made to walk and turn around in their presence. a suspected co- conspirator in a case of robbery with homicide. in rejecting the subsequent identification made by the witnesses. the Court pronounced that although the police officer did not literally point to the accused as in the Tuason case.[18] an NBI agent first pointed the accused to the witnesses after which the latter identified the accused. Court of Appeals. We ruled that a show-up or the presentation of a single suspect to a witness for purposes of identification is seriously flawed as it constitutes the most grossly suggestive identification procedure now or ever used by the police. generated confidence where there was none.[19] where the accused was presented to the lone witness as the suspect in the crime inside the police investigators office. its objectivity. Meneses.Q: So that the announcement of the policemen that you were one of the suspects came first then they started kicking you? A: Yes. The Court.[16] It is. Cruz. thus. Then the police pointed out to the accused and several others as the persons suspected by the police as the perpetrators of the robbery committed in Goso-on. . In a similar case. The Court also finds that the trial court erroneously rejected accused- appellants alibi. reasoned that: The manner by which (witnesses) were made to identify the accused at the police station was pointedly suggestive. The fact that this information came to the knowledge of the complainants prior to their identification based on their own recall of the incident detracts from the spontaneity of their subsequent identification and therefore. activated visual imagination. subverted their reliability as eyewitnesses. the confrontation and the identification proceeding therefrom was objectionable. clear that the identification was practically suggested by the police themselves when they announced to the complainants that accused- appellant was the person pointed to by Ampatin.

together with his stay-in co-workers. [25] In this case.[24] And to be given weight.m. February 22. before.m. accused must prove not only that he was somewhere else when the crime was committed but that he was so far away that it was physically impossible for him to be present at the crime scene or its immediate vicinity at the time of its commission. he woke up accused-appellant and told him to drink his coffee. he was working as a shell cutter in a factory in Pasay City where he was a stay-in employee.m.[20] This testimony of accused-appellant was materially corroborated by two of his co-employees who were with him on the night of the incident. we find accused-appellants alibi sufficiently corroborated by the testimonies of his co-workers and his employer who categorically stated that they were with accused-appellant on the night of the crime. Clemente Gahelan. went to sleep. testified that he worked overtime until 10 p.[21] Another co-worker of accused-appellant.m. he was arrested when accused Ampatin randomly pointed him out to the police. He was the only one who had keys to said door.Accused-appellant clearly and positively testified that at the time of the crime. he. Upon finishing work. Around five a. of the following day. as he always does because it was his means of preventing any pilferage of materials. As impartial credible witnesses. his co-worker.. He rendered overtime work until ten oclock in the evening that night because they had to rush work. they went to sleep in their quarters on the second floor of the building because they were stay-in employees of the factory. their testimonies cannot be doubted absent a .[23] The defense of alibi or denial assumes significance or strength when it is amply corroborated by a credible witness. After 10 p. 1991.[22] The employer of accused-appellant Rolando Ocasla.m. during or after the date of the alleged crime. Rodolfo Rosales. in the Pasay City factory together with accused-appellant. he personally locked the door of the premises which was the only means of ingress and engress. He also declared that there was nothing unusual about accused-appellants behavior either. There was no evidence that these witnesses were related to accused-appellant. was similarly offered as a witness to corroborate Rosales testimony and his testimony was duly admitted by the prosecution. After ten p. likewise testified that on the night of the incident. accused-appellant worked overtime in his factory until 10 p.. Four days later. neither was it shown that they had any personal interest nor motive in the case.

Ocasla was the only person who had a key to this door. there was only one door in the factory which was the only means of entrance and exit and this door was kept locked by witness Ocasla after ten p.clear showing of undue bias or prejudice. Assuming for the sake of argument that he was able to leave the premises after 10 p. that night. therefore. or convincing proof of the impropriety of their motives to testify for the accused. Second.m.m. The Court has held that where an accused sets up alibi as a defense. sir.m. The second and third floor windows were 14 and 21 feet high. taken in the light of all the evidence on record.m. There was no possible means of exit through these windows without accused- appellant getting hurt or injured. the crime would have already been completed. for. that night and went to sleep after. xxx . by the time he reaches Kalookan. Another significant evidence which the trial court failed to consider is the voluntary confession of accused Federico Ampatin absolving accused- appellant Bagas of the crime. Alibi. the crime was committed around 9:30 in the evening of February 22. while accused-appellants place of work was in Pasay City. as well as two other witnesses. respectively. the crime took place in Kalookan City around 9:30 p. should have been properly appreciated in accused-apellants favor. Third. that night. Lastly.[26] Accused-appellant vehemently argues that it was physically impossible for him to have been present at the scene of the crime or its immediate vicinity at the time of its commission. testified that he worked in the factory until 10 p. the windows on the first floor of the building consisted of hollow blocks with small holes which do not allow passage. Accused-appellant. First. alibi in the present case has been sufficiently established by corroborative testimonies of credible witnesses and by evidence of physical impossibility of accused- appellants presence at the scene of the crime. it may be sufficient to reverse the outcome of the case as found by the trial court and thereby rightly set the accused free. the courts should not be too readily disposed to dismiss the same. 1991. Ampatins testimony was clear and categorical: Q: When you reached that house where Bagas was working what happened? A: All the persons were ordered to lie down.[27] Though inherently weak as a defense.

Q: Did Melmida utter any remark while hitting you? xxx A: He told me to point to somebody else. sir. xxx Q: Were you able to reached (sic) the ground floor? A: Yes. sir. Q: Why did that policemen go upstairs? A: He was looking for Mario. sir. Q: Where were you hit? A: On the left portion of my neck. sir. sir.Q: And what did they do to you? A: Immediately I was instructed to follow the policemen who went upstairs. sir. sir. sir. saying these words. Magturo ka ng tao kahit sino. . Q: What followed next? A: P/O Melmida pistol-whipped me. xxx Q: So what did you do when you were ordered to point to anyone? A: Because at that time I cannot yet stand up he forced me to go downstairs. xxx Q: Upon reaching the second floor. what happened there? A: They did not see any person there.

the Court has recognized that as is usual with human nature. therefore. it would have been more consistent with human nature for Ampatin to implicate accused-appellant if indeed he was one of the gang. xxx Court: You mean to say at the time you pointed to Albino Bagas you did not know him? A: No I dont know him. Your Honor. Court: When you see (sic) Bagas was lying face down at the tme you pointed to him? A: Yes. Your Honor. Rosales testified as follows: Q: Now. the same was substantially corroborated by another witness. In fact.[29] The fact that he testified to the innocence of a co-accused. Your Honor. should have been given weight by the trial court. Rodolfo Rosales. accused-appellants co-worker and who was present when accused-appellant was arrested. your Honor. confessing a crime is likely to put the blame as far as possible on others rather than himself. a culprit. because he was the only first person I saw there at the ground floor while his companions were on the other side because I dont want to get hurt anymore. sir. As a co-accused. More so. should have been received by the trial court as an indicum of the truth of Ampatins testimony and the innocence of herein accused-appellant. do you know when was Albino Bagas arrested in connection with this case? .[28] Ampatin and accused-appellant were charged as co-conspirators in the crime of robbery with rape. an act which resulted in no advantage or benefit to him and which might in fact implicate him more. Court: You did not bother to look at his face? A: No more Your Honor because I was in a hurry to point to somebody because I was afraid that I will be hurt again.Q: And what happened there? A: I pointed to Albino Bagas. Ampatins testimony.

sir. sir. and then the policemen forced us to be identified or to be seen by the guide. niloloko lang tayo ng taong ito. Albino Bagas was not identified by this Ampatin before going to the second floor? A: The guide was not able to identify the person of Albino Bagas and that was the reason why they still made searches at the second floor. the policemen arrived there and they were holding the persons of Ampatin and they were looking for a person named Mario that was what I heard. because according to you the arresting officers and the guide went to the second floor. Wala rito.A: Last February 25. sir. sir. Pacis: Before going to the second floor. Atty. Q: And where were you when he was arrested? A: I was there at that time. Court: Then what happened next? Witness: And I noticed that the reaction of Federico Ampatin that he was afraid. sir. Q: And you want to impressed (sic) upon this Honorable Court that at first at the ground floor. so. Ampatin at first at the ground floor but since there was nobody there by the name of Mario they proceeded to the second floor and upon looking one of the policemen shouted. was Albino Bagas at the ground floor seen by the guide and the policemen? A: We were the first group of persons seen by the policemen and Albino and I were beside each other. because of fear he was able to point on the person of Albino Bagas but when asked he does not know the name of Albino Bagas. Your Honor. xxx Q: xxx what was the reaction of Albino Bagas when he was being pointed to and arrested by the arresting officers? A: The situation goes like this. that was Monday. Q: How was Federico Ampatin able to identify Albino Bagas when he was accompanied by the policemen went downstairs? .

now appellant. vs. x--x G.A: I noticed from the reaction of Federico Ampatin that he was afraid after hearing the shout of the policemen. 1st Assistant Solicitor General Antonio A. defendant-appellant.R. No. These testimonies remain unrebutted by the prosecution as the arresting officers were not presented to refute or deny the same. J. Fantonial for appellant. WHEREFORE. the decision of the trial court convicting accused-appellant Albino Bagas of the crime of robbery with multiple rape is hereby REVERSED and he is ACQUITTED of the crime charged. plaintiff-appellee.: Evidence both direct and circumstantial resulted in the conviction for the crime of murder of Domiciano Berame. Jose E. Torres and Trial Attorney Lotita C. DOMICIANO BERAME alias DOMING. sir. xxx[30] The testimony of witness Rosales corroborates Ampatins declaration in court that he does not know herein accused-appellant and merely pointed to him out of fear of the police. L-27606 July 30. for the killing of the . FERNANDO. Antonio. 1976 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. The foregoing testimonies exculpating accused-appellant have sufficiently cast at least a shadow of doubt as to his guilt. His immediate release is hereby ordered unless he is held for some other valid charges. Dumlao for appellee. Solicitor Felix Q. SO ORDERED.

In a swampy area at the back of the hospital near the cemetery of Danao City. 1 In the original information for murder filed. one of them being the accuse Berame scampering away. appellant participated in the act of shooting. was rushed to the Danao City General Hospital. did fit the right foot of appellant. the witness ran towards the main door of the house and saw two persons. and the fact that a rubber shoe. they saw footprints and recovered a rubber shoe. As one of the suspects. mortally. a certain Anastacio Montinola was likewise included. slump to the floor. 2 His adopted son Danilo Maningo. In the judgment now on appeal.38 caliber revolver. instead of surrendering. Appellant was required at the trial to put it on. was seated one meter away from his right side. 4 He saw his father. but he died soon thereafter. the victim. Suba District Danao City. Anastacio Montinola. he was pursued by the police authorities. the defense of alibi was unavailing. the statement at the hospital made by the wounded co-accused Montinola that along with him. As against such proof considered conclusive of the trial court. According to the testimonial evidence: It was about 6:30 in the evening of April 13. 10 The appealed decision did likewise note that later that same evening. wounded. 1966. He was hit. 6 He was easily Identifiable. Appellant Berame was positively Identified by a son of the deceased. he decided to shoot it out. as there was a "big light" at the main door of the house. 7 Appellant was standing on a bright spot as he fired his gun several times at Quirico Maningo. A careful study of the record persuades us of the correctness of such a conclusion. his surrender coming only after a month. apparently arising from the intense partisanship generated by local politics. 3 Several successive shots were fired at Quirico Maningo. Quirico Maningo. 12 There was in addition the statement from one of those accused in the original information. it turned out. We affirm.deceased Quirico Maningo. then seated on a chair facing the main door of the sala of his rented house in Rizal Street. the trial court likewise took into consideration the flight of the appellant. found in a swampy area where assailants hid for a while. the PC Provincial Commander of the Philippine Constabulary with a Sergeant Armando Alfoja started the investigation of the killing of Quirico Maningo. It turned out that it corresponded exactly with his right foot. with blood on his neck and breast 5 He looked towards the main door where the shots came from and saw the accused holding a . 11 Moreover. where it was suspected one of the alleged assailants was hiding. He admitted then and there that he . appellant took flight after the killing and hid himself He did not surrender until almost a month later. 8 When the firing ceased. that an assailant suddenly shot Quirico Maningo. but he was dead on arrival. on May 8. 1966. who was just a meter away at the salary of their rented house at the time of the fatal incident. 9 Quirico Maningo. When cornered.

appellant as one who fired the fatal shots. It was not difficult for him to do so as there was a "big light" at the door of the house. as a matter of fact. It is easily understandable why. in addition. 14 That was by way of disposing of the claim of appellant that since he was in Cebu City at about that time. That is why. both thorough and comprehensive. right at the scene of the crime. testimony from one Carmencita Trinidad. one of whom was slightly taller than she. There was not even a reference to the direct testimony Identifying. heard the shots after which she saw two persons running away from the house of the deceased. there would be no justification for the reversal of the appealed decision. could not be a sufficient basis for his acquittal. There was. Certainly. an assertion verified when it was shown that . perhaps even possibly rash statement of the trial court. as found by the trial court. Danilo Maningo. who. Appellant was positively identified. only the application of the res gestae rule to the statement of Montinola was sought to be refuted. Witnesses are not noted for exactitude and precision in mentioning the time. discussed in detail the evidence for both the prosecution and the accused. 1. and Danao City is about thirty-two kilometers away from Cebu City. He was only a meter away. If anything can be said to detract from the high quality of the appealed decision. as to the circumstantial evidence.was one of the killers of Quirico Maningo. He had direct and immediate knowledge. As is usually the case in criminal offenses. such an off hand. The defense of alibi was carefully considered. The hours mentioned were approximations. What is more there were compelling tell-tale circumstances. He Identified the accused. He made the admission anew at the Southern Islands Hospital when he was further questioned. What is undeniable is that there was testimony coming from a competent and credible eyewitness to the offense. as noted at the outset. coming from the church. 13 The appealed decision. It was not. The thirteen pages appellant's brief had another glaring deficiency. No attempt was made to explain the flight of appellant causing the delay in his surrender for about a month and a shoe discovered near the scene of the crime fitting his right foot. was reinforced. His version of the incident. and his companions were a certain Doming and one Erning. the son of the deceased. Moreover. He did not budge. He heard the shots being fired and saw who perpetrated the deed. He was subjected to an intensive cross-examination. it was the assertion of the possibility "that a person could be at Danao City at about 6 to 6:30 in the evening and be in Cebu City at 7 to 8 same evening. there was a direct conflict in the evidence submitted by the prosecution and the defense. sufficiently persuasive. He stood his ground. he could not have been responsible for the killing.

too. Of more recent vintage is People v. Gabriel a neighbor. did choose to believe the prosecution rather than the defense. 1966. when unexplained. on his being captured after the gunplay . his attention being called to such individual wearing rubber shoes. First there was United States. conversing with the latter and that was the gist of the testimonies of two other witnesses. whose house was located at the back of the hospital near the seashore and cemetery of Danao City. He did not surrender until after the lapse of a month. Tilaon 17 comes to mind: "Finally. after hearing and observing the witnesses testify. Then. That again was a circumstance that could not be ignored. as noted in the decision. At about the same time. therefore. the rule is now firmly established to the point of becoming elementary in this jurisdiction and elsewhere that where there is an irreconcilable conflict in the testimony of witnesses. at about 6:30 in the evening of April 13. Flight. So it has been held time and time again. That could be the reason why his counsel did not even bother to do so. Tan Teng. They simply cannot be explained away. As against that. is adequate to sustain the judgment appealed from. there was a statement made by one of the original co- accused. It did fit appellant's right foot. there was the testimony from appellant who. There is relevance to this excerpt from the opinion of Justice Malcolm in United States v. That was demonstrative evidence of the most persuasive kind. moreover. a certain Jorge Durano. 18 2. a rubber shoe left in a swampy area by someone leaving in a hurry the scene of the crime was just the right size. claimed "that at the time of the incident. 19 decided in 1912. For such a finding to be overturned. considered by itself. The appealed decision was likewise based on the fact of appellant having been in hiding for sometime with the evident purpose of evading arrest. he was in Cebu City in the house of Atty. and weighing what was said by them. the appellate court will not disturb the findings of the trial court when the evidence of the successful party. there must be a showing that it did overlook a material fact or circumstance or did misinterpret its significant.appellant's height as compared to her was precisely that. finds impressive support from circumstances that point unerringly to appellant's guilt. v. where the trial court. The appealed decision. As noted in the decision. Anastacio Montinola. 'The wicked flee. Nene Aranas and Libbi Cudilla also his neighbors. is a circumstance from which an inference of guilt may be drawn. 20 promulgated in 1950. Otadora. testified that he saw a person walking fast going towards a barrio in the north near the swampy area. even when no man pursueth but the righteous are as bold as a lion " 22 3. 16 What was said in People v. 15 This is a case. Sarikala left the scene of the murder immediately thereafter. Sarikala: 21 "Third.

there cannot possibly be any abuse of discretion. Whether specific statements are admissible as part of the res gestae is a matter within the sound discretion of the trial court. however. they were not in Carmen when the crime was being committed because they were in Cebu. It requires a certain degree of temerity to make such an assertion in the face of the competent and credible evidence of record. again. He admitted his participation in the killing of Maningo and pointed to appellant as one of his companions. 23 a 1903 decision. according to Justice Ozaeta. Then there were the circumstances that indicated conclusively his participation in the criminal act. Nartea 26 the marked trend of decisions. is that it be made under the influence of a startling event witnessed by the person who made the declaration before he had time to think and make up a story. and without any undue influence in obtaining it. in the absence of a clear abuse of discretion. rather than narrow. mortally. the determination of which is ordinarily conclusive upon appeal. 28. the lower court considered it as part of the res gestae. 30 considering the distance involved between Cebu and Danao City: "In this particular case. They. and rightly so. aside from referring to the event in question or its immediate attending circumstances" 25 As far back as 1942. The alibi was therefore disproved by direct and circumstantial evidence. is to extend. 4. or to concoct or contrive a falsehood. 29 It. failed to present credible and tangible evidence that it was physically impossible for them to be at Carmen at that . As was stressed by the then Chief Justice Concepcion in People v. appellants loosely told the court that at around eleven o'clock on the night of June 11.where he was wounded. The teaching of a host of cases from United States v. Ner 24 All that is required for the admissibility of a given statement as part of the res gestae. This is one of those cases where the culpability of appellant was shown in a manner that should remove any misgivings. There was positive Identification. is not inappropriate to conclude with this observation by Justice Endencia in People v. The last error assigned is the alleged failure of the lower court to hold that the prosecution was unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of appellant. 1937. the scope of the doctrine admitting declarations as part of the res gestae. The defense of alibi was indisputably devoid of merit. 27 Here. David. is to the effect that it should be given credence. That is not enough to take it out of the operation of the principle. and therefore he should be entitled to the constitutional presumption of innocence. The stage of moral certainty certainly was reached. Dagatan. That was assigned as error by appellant's counsel in view of the nine hours that had elapsed from the time of the killing before its utterance. or to fabricate an account. it turned out. That much is clear. in People v. While not amounting to a dying declaration.

it would only take him 40 minutes if he were to drive the car himself " 31 The trial court therefore correctly decided that appellant is guilty of the crime of murder. Barredo. with the only modification that the indemnity due the heirs of the deceased should be in the amount of P12. J. as.000. ANASTACIO BULAWIN.000. WHEREFORE. J. which would at most take an hour to go from one place to the other. Jr.time. Aquino and Martin.. SANCHEZ. took no part.R. Borromeo and Solicitor Eduardo C. Barredo.. Antonio.imposed in the appealed decision.. Francisco Milan as counsel de officio for defendant-appellant. the decision of the lower court of March 8. Abaya for plaintiff-appellee. and according to Saturnino himself. vs. L-30069 September 30. 1967 finding the accused Domiciano Berame alias Doming guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder and imposing the penalty of reclusion perpetua is affirmed. the offense being qualified by elevosia with the aggravating circumstance of dwelling being offset by the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. JJ.: . Concepcion. with abundant means of transportation such as buses. plaintiff-appellee. 1969 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Muñoz Palma. is on leave x--x G. defendant-appellant. is reclusion perpetua.00 and not P6.00.. they themselves furnished evidence that Carmen is only about 40 kilometers from Cebu City. concur. Office of the Solicitor General Antonio P. No. jeepneys and trucks plying between the two places. Assistant Solicitor General Isidro C. J. The appropriate penalty then. On the contrary.

2 The appellate court was of the view that the crime committed by defendant was murder. on the night of September 22. to twenty (20) years of reclusion temporal. He is the People's mainstay. that testimony appears to be sufficiently infected with grave doubts which prevent us from accepting his word without reservation. The People's proof should be beyond reasonable doubt. as maximum. found its mark "at the back of his buttocks. Sergeant Roberto Laurie of the Philippine Constabulary and Aniceto Dacalos. September 23. The People's case was built mainly on the testimony of three witnesses: Candido Autor. although the record shows that his occupation "is to extract tooth". About 12:30 o'clock in the early morning of September 23.m. to indemnify the heirs of the deceased. Defendant Anastacio Bulawin was found guilty thereof by the trial court and sentenced to an indeterminate prison term ranging from ten (10) years. on the same day." About 6:00 o'clock p. The errors assigned in the brief of counsel de officio funnel down to one single proposition: Has the People discharged its heavy burden of proving the guilt of appellant beyond reasonable doubt? To this question. Salvador. A political meeting was. two inches below the waistline. Because of this. we explored the entire record. as minimum.000 and to pay the cost. Ciriaco Jimenez was leisurely walking towards the meeting place. September 23. Ciriaco Jimenez died at the Aurora Provincial Hospital. eight (8) months and one (1) day of prision mayor. 3 According to Autor. 1 Appeal was taken to the Court of Appeals. Rule 50 of the Revised Rules of Court. For the purpose. we addressed ourselves. in the amount of P6. 1963. The bullet. the case was certified to this Court upon the provisions Sections 17 and 31 of the Judiciary Act of 1948 and Section 3. being held at the fair grounds of the barrio. at about 12:00 o'clock in the morning of September 23. Just as he was about twenty meters therefrom. he was shot. He is supposedly the only eyewitness to the crime. for which reason he played hide-and-seek with the police. 1963. But as we read the transcript. aggravating or mitigating — which would call for the imposition of reclusion perpetua. Lanao del Norte.The charge is murder. Ciriaco Jimenez. 1. Accordingly. Candido Autor. 1963 was the barrio fiesta of Barrio Mabatao. his testimony must have to be scrutinized with a sharp judicial eye. he was passing water beside a small road about twenty meters from the place where the political meeting . qualified by treachery — without any circumstance. Autor said that he was a farmer.

How far were you from Anastacio Bulawin? A. Q. He claimed to be just about one fathom from and to the left of appellant Anastacio Bulawin when the latter with a pistol shot Ciriaco Jimenez. sir. Will you please tell the Court what was that all about? A. 4 The gist of Autor's direct examination was that he saw the actual shooting and yet. Ciriaco Jimenez was shot. Q. The three formed a sort of a triangle. More or less one fathom. Q. was there any unusual incident that happened? A. Yes.1awphîl. The victim at that time was about two fathoms from and with his back to his aggressor. there appears to be a contradiction of this alleged fact when he was cross- examined. xxx xxx xxx Q. Q. Will you please demonstrate? . his direct examination yields the following: Q. In the place. While you were there on this occassion. xxx xxx xxx Q. Because I was there at that time. What was the position of Ciriaco Jimenez and Anastacio Bulawin when Ciriaco Jimenez was shot? A.nèt On this point. Where? A. How do you know that the accused Anastacio Bulawin shot Jimenez? A. You said in answer to the question of the Court you saw Ciriaco Jimenez shot by Anastacio Bulawin. Ciriaco Jimenez was walking to the meeting place with his arms akimbo.was being held.

Autor declared: Q.A. As demonstrated by the witness. What part of the body of Ciriaco Jimenez was hit by the shot? A. 5 But. What was Anastacio Bulawin doing when you first saw him for the first time? A. At the back of his buttock. What part of the back was he hit? A. . then. xxx xxx xxx Q. At your position as you demonstrated where was Anastacio Bulawin when he shot? A. on cross-examination. Q. two inches below the waist line. COURT Q. After the shot was fired. Ciriaco Jimenez was able to turn his face to the back and fell to the ground. PROSECUTION Q. I saw Anastacio Bulawin. Did you not see him before You heard the shot? A. Ciriaco Jimenez was hit at his back. the arms of Ciriaco Jimenez were closed behind the buttocks. what happened with Ciriaco Jimenez? A. Anastacio Bulawin was near the place where I was urinating. I did not. When Ciriaco Jimenez was hit at the back. xxx xxx xxx Q.

How far was he from you at that time? A. sir. Vice-Governor Arsenio Quibranza. Of interest is Autor's declaration that the only person to whom he ever mentioned what he saw 6 was a brother of the victim. It would seem odd then that the brother of the victim did not inform the authorities about it.Q. Mayor Apolonio Yap and many others. Amongst them were Governor Ali Dimaporo. Q. testified that he communicated to nobody. one fathom. Do you mean to say that you did not see him despite the fact that he was only one fathom more or less from you before the report of the shot? A. Witness Autor. people went to the place where Jimenez fell. Yes. Dimaporo and his leaders were still there." 7 and left for home without even extending a helping hand to the victim. No. Q. 6 The foregoing inconsistency. You did not see either of them before you urinated? A. allegedly the sole eyewitness to the crime. No one appeared to have ever thought at that time of taking Autor's statements. . Quibranza. more or less. as already stated. I did not. And this he did in the morning following the incident. These circumstances suggest a substantial amount of improbability. xxx xxx xxx Q. Autor said that he did not mention the incident to the people in his own house. Do you mean to tell us that you did not see Bulawin until after you heard the shot? A. however. Appellant and a number of witnesses were in the barracks located in the same town of Salvador. certainly very important to this case. In my estimate. he was. For. although "Mr. Soon after the incident. placed in proper focus. sets Autor's testimony on infirm grounds. Well it is to remember that an investigation was then being conducted by the Constabulary. sir. The record does not so indicate.

Just bring me to the hospital. he was awakened by Lt. When I get inside the truck I said. With Jimenez were Governor Dimaporo. sir. On page 7 of the record of this case is an affidavit wherein the affiant is Roberto A." 8 On cross-examination. You stated you met Ciriaco Jimenez with these persons you have mentioned. 1963." I further asked him." I inquired from him as to whether he will live with the wound be sustained. Lanao del Norte? . was conspicuous in its absence. 73rd PC Company stationed at Salvador. "Why did you see Anastacio Bulawin when it was dark?" he replied that "I clearly saw him.Added dubieties there are. Vice-Governor Quibranza. Laurie. He replied that "I will live. "What's happened?" he said. at the gate of the guardhouse in a three-fourths truck. Jose Villarta and some PC soldiers. The gist of his testimony is that at about 2:00 o'clock in the morning of September 23. Lanao del Norte. who told him that there was shooting in Mabatao during the rally and asked him to escort the victim to the hospital. That is mine. Rufo Jimenez. that the name of Candido Autor was not mentioned as one of the witnesses. Junior Officer of the unit. Mejia. Golez. We note in the criminal complaint filed in the municipal court on October 3. 1964. "I was shot. as follows: Q. Commanding Officer of the PC. This affidavit of yours was duly sworn to before Justice of the Peace Panfilo Rama of Salvador. Ciriaco Jimenez. Q. Ciriaco Jimenez. 1963 — 10 days after the crime — by Capt. He saw the victim. "Who shot you?" he said. viz: Q. Will you please look at this signature above these typewritten words [and tell us] whether that is yours or not? A. "Anastacio Bulawin. the evidence is that Autor — the only eyewitness to the crime — was in his home in nearby Barrio Salong as early as June. Sergeant Roberto Laurie. 1963 appearing on page 7 of the record below and to a specific question and answer therein. 9 however. Even in the criminal information the Provincial Fiscal filed in the Court of First Instance on October 9. Candido Autor. He described in court the dialogue between him and the victim. 1964. And yet. Wilfredo C." I further asked him. the name of this witness. What else did you do when you met Ciriaco Jimenez? A. his attention was drawn to his affidavit dated October 3.

What question did you ask to the victim?" and your answer is this. Q. So Lt. I have not read that affidavit because it is three years already. Then. I further asked another question. do you think you will not die of your wound you received? He did not answer any more. What is right? A. sir." 10 And here is how he attempted to reconcile the two versions: COURT Q. impaired. it does not strike us as natural that given that opportunity. "A. I asked him who shot him and he answered me that it was Bulawin. Q. One wonders whether he did so to make a weak case look good. Sgt.A. because he did not hesitate — in Court — to overshoot his mark. Yes. I even forget there is affidavit being executed. In my affidavit that is right. The statement there is correct. or any other constabulary officer for that matter. Therefore what you testified now before this Court is not correct because it did not tally with what you said in that affidavit? A. First. 11 The value of Laurie's testimony is. did not put that statement of the deceased Ciriaco Jimenez into ." Is that correct? A. I don't remember because it is placed in the affidavit. I am going to remind you sergeant about the statement you made in this affidavit wherein the question was asked in this wise: "Q. Laurie. Which is now the truth that the victim told you that he recognized Anastacio Bulawin as his assailant or he did not answer you at all? A. Mejia ordered the driver to leave immediately for Aurora so that the victim will be given immediate treatment of his wound. Then I asked another question. Q. indeed. Why did you recognize him when in fact it is dark? Then the victim did not answer.

could suffer from the treachery of memory or from coloring. 12 Witness Dacalos. His name was not amongst those who gave affidavits to back up the criminal charge. Thus witness claims that he was in the dancing hall when a child came running and reported to the people there that somebody was shot. the record discloses. he inquired from Jimenez who shot him. Laurie heretofore quoted. did not figure in the list of witnesses for the prosecution. I further asked him. There. Mayor Yap and others. Vice Governor Quibranza. is to rate truth so lightly. Aniceto Dacalos. they saw Ciriaco Jimenez. like the alleged eyewitness Candido Autor. Upon arrival." This witness. according to the affidavit of Sgt. the better to preserve its worth as evidence. "Are you certain that it was really Anastacio Bulawin who shot you?" and he replied that I clearly saw him because the light reached the place where he was then. the neighbor of the deceased. Golez or in the Fiscal's indictment. . followed Roberto Laurie to the witness stand on December 9. 1965.writing. so his version goes. "the victim did not answer. To take his testimony on its face value. 13 This last statement would contradict the affidavit of Sgt. either in the criminal complaint filed by PC Capt. a neighbor and an old friend of Ciriaco Jimenez. The following from the transcript of Dacalos' testimony is quite revealing as to why defendant was a suspect: Q. This gives the impression that Aniceto Dacalos. Written words speak a uniform language. He replied that there is no other person who would shoot me except Anastacio Bulawin because we are enemies. it should be remembered. by the following: Q. With Governor Dimaporo. "Why did you recognize him when in fact it is dark?" And. The deceased's statement. in turn. Aniceto Dacalos. was but an eleventh-hour witness. Oral recollection. It is interesting to note that — as in the case of Laurie — his version leaves traces of an effort to fortify the res gestae angle. we fear. Laurie who asked question along similar lines. What did he answer? A. they went to the scene which was more or less twenty meters away. at least forms part of the res gestae. What else did you do? A.

There is then probability that the reason why he was arrested was because he was merely a suspect. the deceased Ciriaco Jimenez lodged a complaint for theft of large cattle against a son of appellant by the name of Bitoy. or. 1963. Nothing in the record shows that . Nothing in the record suggests that the testimonies of these two witnesses were taken in writing. two of the defense witnesses. the affidavits of the People's witnesses were only taken on October 3. October 3. There is a dearth of autoptic or demonstrative evidence which would positively connect appellant with the crime. appellant herein was placed under arrest in his own home. And. And yet. even as the peace officers had prompt knowledge of the crime and allegedly learned of facts which linked appellant to the crime as early as about two hours after the perpetration thereof. he was released by Capt. of September 23 — as the author of the grave crime of murder — it must be borne in mind that the affidavits were executed not on the 23rd of September but on October 3. And this could have sprung from the fact that as barrio captain. for that matter. But if more were needed. amongst others. That gap is not bridged. you should report to this headquarters every day. namely. The evidence does not produce in an unprejudiced mind that moral certainty so necessary to bring about conviction in a criminal case." 14 If really this man were pinpointed by the deceased — at about 2:00 a. It is in this context that we find ourselves unprepared to send appellant to jail for life. likewise. At about 4:00 o'clock that morning of September 23. And these two witnesses with another by the name of Melecio Lomolho supported the alibi offered as a defense by appellant.The foregoing evidence of the People leaves much to be desired. 2. 3. The foregoing facts are significant because. investigated by the Constabulary on that same morning of September 23. However. circumstances there are which cast a heavy pall of doubt on the sufficiency of the People's evidence. He was brought to the PC barracks. But without evidence against him. for a long term of imprisonment. Lamberto Maghinay and Paciencio Bacaling were. 1963 — it does not seem probable that the peace officers would release him so soon. It exhibits a gap between doubtful evidence and proof beyond reasonable doubt. 1963. at about 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon of that day. we are not morally convinced. as aforesaid. The record below at least does not show any such written statements. 15 And then. as aforesaid.m. the criminal complaint was lodged in the municipal court only on that day. Golez who told him: "We cannot detain you here because there was no complaint filed. Because.

he would have done so at the first opportunity. alibi as a . 18 Nonetheless. It is easy to concoct. go to and stay in his home in Barrio Salong. 17 But he did so because he was warned daily by his neighbors that there were Maranaos hired by the brothers of the deceased Ciriaco Jimenez to liquidate him. In the morning of September 23. If he really intended to hide from the authorities. Paciencio Bacaling and Melecio Lomolho. in the presence of Sgt. Aniceto Dacalos. Sgt. His testimony in this respect was corroborated by Lamberto Maghinay. What did he run for? 4. And there to be arrested at about 4:00 o'clock in the morning by Sgt. Of course. Autor testified that he (Autor) — who knew appellant very well — saw appellant at the scene of the crime. Even that hat was not exhibited in court. Appellant denied this. After which. appellant went home where he was arrested as aforesaid. The defense is alibi. five days after Ciriaco Jimenez was shot." 16 If all these were true. asked him "What is that?". pointed at appellant as the owner of a big hat which was apparently left at the scene of the crime. which was about five kilometers from the scene of the crime. 5. 1963. its whereabouts accounted for. alibi is known to be the weakest of all defenses. where the evidence for the prosecution is weak and betrays lack of concreteness on the question of whether or not defendant is the author of the crime charged. appellant went over to the house of Lamberto Maghinay where they took a drink for a few minutes. It would seem to us that his flight was induced by his instinct of self-preservation. whereupon appellant "ran away. Or.the officers even made any effort to locate the alleged pistol used by appellant. that is. and went to live with his parents and sisters in Lopez Jaena. recognized him because the light was bright and the distance between the two was only about one fathom. The version given is that at about 6:00 o'clock in the afternoon of September 22 after the cock-fighting was over. it does not seem probable that appellant would make himself a sitting duck. We are not unmindful of the fact that appellant left his barrio on the 29th of September. 1963. Sarbida and a provincial policeman by the name of Madid. Then. Nor is there evidence that appellant has had one. about one kilometer from the scene of the crime. That game of "hantak" lasted till about 3:00 o'clock the following morning of September 23. Sarbida. It is to be recalled at this point that witnesses Maghinay and Bacaling were investigated at the Constabulary headquarters on that morning of September 23. appellant conducted a game of "hantak" in the cockpit of Dalama. difficult to disprove. And. Misamis Occidental. 1963.

concur. vs. the protection afforded may be more in sound than in substance.-x G. we will see the absurdity of an accused being put in a more difficult position here the prosecution's evidence is vague and weak than where it is strong. So ordered. otherwise. Makalintal.. Fernando.defense assumes importance. Zaldivar. plaintiff-appellee... J.B. The People's evidence does not measure up to this standard — in this. GUERRERO. to acquit defendant-appellant Anastacio Bulawin of the crime charged. J. is on leave. Not very long ago. 1960. pointed out that "[t]he rule that alibi must be satisfactorily proven was never intended to change the burden of proof in criminal cases..L. For the reason that guilt has not been established beyond reasonable doubt. Concepcion.B. x .. by Constitution and law.. Else.J. Dizon. L-32146 November 23. who had been earlier shot in his house in the evening . we vote to reverse the judgment under review. and to set him at liberty.L. Reyes. Luis Delmendo y Balot and Florentino Delmendo y Bal-ot having volunteered to donate their blood to save the life of one. 20 We cannot downgrade this precept by accepting less than what it exacts. JJ. this Court. August 31. No. a defendant in a criminal case is entitled to an acquittal. Reyes. Alfredo Buccat. C.R. we have but to bear in mind that. Capistrano and Barredo." 19 In the end. speaking through Mr. Fraga. 1981 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. LUIS DELMENDO y BAL-OT and FLORENTINO DELMENDO IPAC defendants-appellants. a grave crime of murder.: This is a case where the accused. in People vs. Castro and Teehankee. took no part. Justice J. unless his guilt is shown beyond a reasonable doubt. J. L-12005. Costs de officio. JJ.

which affidavits were given to the police authorities on March 14. Alfredo Buccat. The court considers the mitigating circumstance of drunkenness in favor of the . out thru right axilla and thru posterior aspect of right upper arm. the trial court convicted the two accused in its decision promulgated May 4. The information against the two accused-appellants charges— That on or about the 26th day of February. the case proceeded to trial. Elpidio Buccat. 2. inflicting upon said offended party. Province of La Union. the dispositive portion of which states: WHEREFORE. were later charged with the murder of said Alfredo Buccat upon the affidavits of the widow. That the crime was committed in the nighttime. 1969 or 16 days after the shooting of Alfredo Buccat. mid-clavicular line. CONTRARY TO Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. The accused-appellants pleaded not guilty. hence. judgment is hereby rendered finding the accused LUIS DELMENDO and FLORENTINO DELMENDO guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder as charged qualified by treachery. That the crime is committed in the dwelling place of the offended party. That the following aggravating circumstances were attendant in the commission of the offense: 1. the above- named accused namely. the accused Luis Delmendo did donate 250 cc. in barrio Agtipal Municipality of Bacnotan. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. 1969. who were both present at the commission of the crime. which caused the death of the said Alfredo Buccat. thru right upper lobe of right lung including its deep vessels. Magdalena Buccat. going thru and shattering manubrium sterni going thru right internal mammary vessels. LUIS DELMENDO and FLORENTINO DELMENDO. Upon completion thereof. 1970. conspiring together and mutually aiding one another. at about 7:30 in the evening. and her son. with intent to kill and with treachery and evident premeditation and did then and there willfully unlawfully and feloniously shoot one ALFREDO BUCCAT. the following wounds: Gunshot wound entering left anterior chest at lst interspace. 1969 and in fact.of February 26. of his blood.

1970. Decision. The trial court erred in convicting defendants-appellants of the crime of murder qualified by treachery.) 5. . and to pay the costs.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. " (p. Decision.C. 22. The trial court erred in finding that "at a distance of about nine meters Luis fired at the deceased." (p. The trial court erred in finding that "Florentino Delmendo conspired with Luis Delmendo to commit the offense. 20. The two accused appealed the decision of conviction but the records were erroneously transmitted to the Court of Appeals. Alfredo Buccat. Decision. 1969. 23. Central Laboratory showing that Luis Delmendo was positive for powder burns. 25. the defense of alibi interposed by the accused. The trial court erred in holding that "with the positive identification of both accused." (p.00 and exemplary damages of P3.) (Brief for Defendants-Appellants.) 2. The trial court erred in concluding that "the identity of Luis as the gun wielder was corroborated by the findings of Col. Decision. respectively.000.00 instead of acquitting them upon the ground of reasonable doubt. La Union in the evening of February 26. to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the amount of P12.000. In assailing the decision under review. and hereby sentences each one of them to suffer LIFE IMPRISONMENT.) 3.accused to offset the aggravating circumstance of dwelling. Magdalena Buccat and Elpidio Buccat. On June 17.000. 1-3). Chief of the P.) 4.000. (p. plus the accessory penalties provided for by law. pp. in his house in Barrio Agtipal Municipality of Bacnotan.00 plus moral damages of P5.00 plus moral damages of P5. ail the more becomes even weaker and is not worthy of credit. Decision. to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the amount of P12. The crucial issue in the case at bar is the Identities of the assailants who shot the victim. Minardo Finones. The wife of the deceased and his son. " (p. in sentencing each one of them to suffer life imprisonment.000.00 and exemplary damages of P3. 21.000. inherently weak as it is. the same were forwarded to this Court. the accused-appellants submit the following assignment of errors: 1.

stoutly denied the accusation against them.). 108. causing the spouses to complain of the appellants' bad manners. Both accused. Luis sat on the window sin east of the dining table where the Buccats were eating. pp. Upon seeing the two appellants.n.). otherwise he would have killed him (pp. 158.).n. Alfredo slumped and fell down to the floor (pp. whereupon Cipriano and Eniong left while father and son ascended their house for supper (pp.s.n.s. t.n.).s. 173.). 91.). 84.). 155. 92. t. 148.n.s. 108.). La Union. The version of the prosecution may be narrated in the following recital.n.). 166. 2-4. t. 154. 119. 168. 83. t. told his son Elpidio not to bring out basi anymore because the 'drunks are here again referring to the appellants (pp. 170. A while thereafter. 95.s.). 161. Afterwards they left eastward following the pathway to their houses (pp. the appellant Florentino Delmendo arrived at the house of the spouses Alfredo and Magdalena Buccat in Barrio Agtipal Bacnotan.). 108. to wit: At about 10:00 o'clock in the morning of February 26.s. Magdalena advised Federico to go home to avoid further trouble (pp. 91. 75. 148.n. t. 149.s. 95. After they had been pacified. 85. Florentino left only to return at about 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon of the same day (pp.). t. 97. 109. 83. t. Magdalena and her son Elpidio ran to the kitchen . 117.1969. t. 93.s. appellant Luis fired several times at Alfredo from behind (pp. 170. while it was being repaired (pp. t. After helping in the work and drinking basi that was served by Magdalena to the workers.n.s.s. at about 12:00 o'clock noon. t.n. 78. sore at her for sending his brother home. 110. Later on he returned with his co- appellant Luis Delmendo (p. quoting the People's Brief. 153.n. Alfredo.n. 118. 83.s. Soon thereafter Florentino left. Luis stood up and whispered something to Florentino (pp. t. who was in the yard talking with Cipriano Delarna and Eniong Oredena.n. Not long after Florentino arrived. 105.s. he had a quarrel with his brother Federico and they almost boloed each other had not the proverbial cooler heads intervened to pacify them (pp.s. 153. 81. 174.n. Florentino vomitted. t. 94. 109. 107. t. 82. While Alfredo and his family were having supper. 106. t. especially at a time that they were eating (pp.n. 85. 85. 106. however. 152.). 152.n. t.s.). 90. Later on the appellants returned as the Buccat family had just finished supper and while in the yard at a distance of about nine meters.). 152. 76. 157. 84. 106. 107. the appellants went up to the house (pp.point to the two defendant-appellants as the malefactors. 104.s. while Florentino stood beside him (pp. his feet dangling out of the window. 106. 83. 169.

s. 40. La Union. She also admitted that she advised her son Elpidio not to ten anyone as yet who the assailant was because. lifted from the decision of the trial court. and Elpidio Buccat.n. according to her. 1969.s. 41. 44. but when she followed to the hospital at 10 o'clock that evening her husband was already dead. Immediately she ran for help towards the kitchen door where she again saw accused Luis and Florentino running towards the north. 42. she disclosed that the assailant was about six meters (nine meters by actual measurement).). "F" and "G "). where he was attended to by Dr.). The stricken victim was rushed to the Lorma Hospital in San Fernando. director of the hospital (pp. she disclosed that that same night a policeman by the name of Espejo came to investigate.n. upon being hit. collapsed to the floor from the chair where he was seated. On cross-examination. they tarried awhile on the table where they ate.s. Then she saw Luis fire at her husband who. 41.s. but expired at about 11:20 o'clock in the evening due to severe loss of blood caused by the gunshot wound sustained on the chest (pp. she was still afraid 'they might come back for asked the distance between the assailant to her husband when shot. testified that in the evening of February 26. Exhs.n. 86. son of the victim. t. t. 43.n. La Union (p. 119.. t. She did not know who finally brought her husband to the Lorma Hospital at San Fernando. Rufino Macagba Jr. That was on the cemented ground floor of their two-storey house.and screamed for help as they saw the appellants fleeing northward (pp. 40. 156. She admitted that she did not tell anyone who the assailant of her husband was except to her son Elpidio who likewise saw the assailant. widow of the deceased.). and an aunt of her husband. 174. " The principal witnesses for the prosecution are Magdalena Buccat. is as follows: MAGDALENA BUCCAT. 81.. 45. While thus lingering after supper at seven o'clock that evening she saw the accused Luis Delmendo with Florentino Delmendo at their yard. The testimony of the widow. But she said it was probable that she told policeman Espejo that night. t. she was at home and that right after supper with her deceased husband and their two children Elpidio and Gloria. . the widow. 96.

The material testimony of the son Elpidio is likewise recited in the trial court's decision. and We quote: ELPIDIO BUCCAT.. At this precise moment. son of the victim. upon learning of the incident about 8:00 o'clock that evening. 19. testified that . proceeded immediately to the scene at Barrio Agtipal with Patrolman Partible and two enlisted PC men assigned to Bacnotan. After the Buccat family had finished their supper. Later he made a verbal report to the chief of police to whom he also turned over the six empty shells (Exh. Witness Elpidio Buccat did not reveal the Identities of the assailants of his father that same night except to his mother who advised him not to reveal their Identities yet to anybody for fear of reprisal. Corporal Modesto Espejo of the Bacnotan Police Force was the first police authority who.. D) and one slug (Exh. the victim rested for a while on the same chair by the dining table but had changed his original sitting position such that his back was turned against the dining table. the deceased was no longer there. and a slug inside the house embedded in a window frame east of the house. E). He saw Luis Delmendo aim and fire at his father. He interrogated the widow and their son and one Tinoy Delmendo (He was not sure of the surname). We also quote hereunder Cpl. Witness on the other hand remained seated by the table facing west in his original position now tinkering with the picture frame. witness ran to the kitchen and out of the house to report the shooting to a neighbor. Camilo Marquez. He learned he was brought to the Lorma Hospital at San Fernando by men from barrio Agtipal. Herminio Marquez. He gathered by his routine police investigation that same evening that the deceased was shot in his house at barrio Agtipal.That she recognized Luis fire at that distance as he was illuminated by the kerosene lamp near the window and that it was a clear night with the moon shining at one o'clock high. . He recovered six empty shells west of the house on the ground under the window. Florentino was about one meter behind Luis Delmendo After the gun fired. Espejo's testimony as cited in the decision: Upon their arrival. but did not reduce them in writing because he turned over the investigation to Sgt. At the municipal . He was reaching for the picture frame when he saw both accused suddenly appear at the western window of the dining room.

and Special Counsel Eufemio R. p. According to the decision. 1969. He tried to talk to the widow and son but they could not give him some enlightenment as they had not then recovered their composure and were hysterical Others he interviewed refused to talk 'probably because they did not have knowledge of the crime. La Union where they were taken by Sgt. . Florentino Delmendo and Fernando Ganiola were taken by staff Sgt. he obtained a written statement of one Cipriano Delarna It is a fact that it was only on March 14. Luis Delmendo and Florentino Delmendo as the assailants who shot Alfredo Buccat. and on March 17. Camilo Marquez of the Police Force at the time said accused Luis Delmendo and Florentino Delmendo were at the Lorma Hospital in San Fernando. Camilo Marquez. He transmitted the information to Pat. Marquez admitted that the deceased Alfredo Buccat was his second cousin and. both went to the office of the Chief of Police of Bacnotan La Union and there and then they gave their written statements about the shooting.building a guard informed him that the suspects were also at the hospital. C-91-69 marked Exhibit "B"contained the following findings: "1. La Union where the two had gone to volunteer with other barriomates to donate blood to the wounded Alfredo Buccat. 0830H. Luis Delmendo —Both hands gave POSITIVE result to the test for the presence of gunpowder residue (Nitrates). a close relative of the aggrieved family. Their affidavits were subscribed and sworn to before Municipal Atty. Marquez who was then at the hospital. Godoy on 27 February 1969. The evidence for the prosecution further show that the accused Luis Delmendo and Florentino Delmendo were subjected to paraffin tests at the Provincial Constabulary Headquarters in San Fernando.' Thereafter. Molina on March 19. Sgt. therefore. Identifying the accused. We come now to defense. Paraffin casts of both hands of Luis Delmendo." The trial court further summarized the testimony of Sgt. 169. The chemistry report No. 1969. Magdalena and her son. he tried to find clues. Records. Modesto Espejo. however. who took over the investigation of the case from Cpl. p. and Fernando Ganiola and Florentino Delmendo —NEGATIVE to the test for the presence of gunpowder residue (Nitrates). 5. Elpidio. 1969 or after 16 days from the day of the shooting incident that the widow.

After having stayed in the house of ' the barrio captain for about 30 minutes. barrio councilman of Agtipal also testified for the defense. pp. both proceeded to the store of Magdalena Buccat. he accompanied Luis to his house for the purpose of borrowing rice. March 4. La Union. 1969 he was working in his flue-curing barn in Agtipal when he heard gun reports from a northerly direction. 26. and Luis invited him to drink with them. Pedro Valmonte." He then proceeded to the house of Alfredo Buccat the victim. He proceeded northward to investigate the cause of the gunfire when he met children who were running southward and reporting. on Feb. 282-303. He called for a tricycle to bring the victim to the hospital. he proceeded to the house of the victim which was rumored to be the source of the gun reports. 10-11. TSN. he heard gun reports and when he heard the sound of a horn giving the alarm. "Tata Pidong was shot. the barrio captain of Agtipal Bacnotan. Florentino was caned by Luis to repair the latter's bicycle. where they drank gin and coca-cola. The three drank in the store for about 30 minutes. (pp. 1970). and found his bleeding body inside the kitchen. They then proceeded to the house of Pedro Valmonte to borrow his tools.m. on the date of the incident. "That is the place where the flash of light came from. Florentino Almodovar came along. is that "Between 4:30 and 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon. 1969.The version of the defense as maintained in their Brief. He asked Magdalena where the assailant was at the time he fired at the victim and Magdalena pointed to the southeastern part of her house saying. while Florentino and Luis went on their way to the house of said barrio captain. He came upon the victim loaded into a tricycle for the purpose of rushing him to a hospital. There were many people near the crime scene. saying that between 7:00 and 8:00 p. declared that between the hours of 7:00 and 8:00 in the evening of February 26." He saw both accused at the hospital but did not know their purpose in going there." Testifying for the defense. After drinking. but the latter answered " I do not know. After repairing the bicycle for more than one hour." Valmonte also declared that he searched for evidence particularly empty shells to help authorities solve the crime but he could not . widow of the deceased Alfredo Buccat. From the house of Luis. Florentino went home. He also stated that he inquired from Magdalena Buccat and her son Elpidio Buccat if they knew the assailants and they replied in the negative. Revelino Balen. but upon passing the house of a certain Antonio Corpuz. While thus drinking. On the way to the Lorma Hospital he asked the victim who shot him. Florentino Almodovar stayed behind. all three proceeded east towards the house of barrio captain Revelino Balen to fix the schedule of workers in a road construction project in the barrio.

As to the fact of the blood donation given by the accused Luis Delmendo the records disclosed that in truth and in fact. 1969 as shown in the certificate issued by Nora Safra. Aside from these. Central Laboratory showing that Luis Delmendo was positive for powder burns. the testimony of Magdalena and Elpidio of the shooting as well as the place where Luis fired from was further substantiated by the testimony of police Corporal Modesto Espejo who testified that he recovered six empty shells thereat plus a slug embedded on . they were in the best of terms with the deceased. even if they are the widow and son. reached such conclusion on the following rationale: That Luis Delmendo fired the gun that killed the deceased. Luis Delmendo and Florentino Delmendo were among those who volunteered to donate their blood to the victim. and two caretela loads of people responded to the request for blood. The trial court in convicting the two accused. and that both of them were positively Identified by the witnesses Magdalena Buccat and Elpidio Buccat the court has no valid reason to doubt. on February 26. He. he accompanying them up to the national road where they were later on transported to the Lorma Hospital where the victim was taken. " 1 "). found six empty shells about a meter below the window west of the house and he covered them with a wash basin to avoid them being touched by anyone. (Exh. At a distance of about nine meters at night one can easily be Identified by the light of a kerosene lamp (such as that used by the family of the deceased) especially if the party is well-known to the Identifier. Indeed. the Identity of Luis as the gun wielder was corroborated by the findings of Col. Minardo Finones chief of the P. medical technologist of the Lorma Hospital. Furthermore.find any at the place pointed to by the widow. of the deceased corroborate each other in an respects. respectively. The testimonies of Magdalena and Elpidio. He also said that both accused. said accused donated 250 cc. however. of his blood type "B" to the victim Alfredo Buccat. This witness further testified that he campaigned for blood donors willing to give their blood for the victim. that Florentino Delmendo was near and in company with Luis. the accused himself admitted that before the incident. They have been shown not to be perjured and no motive or reason was ever faintly suggested why they will perjure their testimonies.C. Both the accused and the witnesses are barriomates and are well known to each other.

relative to the Identity of the malefactors cannot be believed and relied upon because there are compelling reasons why their declarations cannot be given full faith and credence. or more than two weeks after the incident. only to unmask her incredibility. i. an accurate Identification cannot be relied upon. And these are: (1) The three kerosene lamps were all inside the house as testified to by Mrs. (4) When Mrs. are exaggerations in an attempt to appear credible. 136. The defense argues that her reason for not divulging the assailants of her husband on the night she was investigated is flimsy for even if she was crying. Buccat.the frame of the eastern window of the ground floor of the victim's house. It was only on March 14. October 16. This is an unnatural behavior of a wife witnessing the danger to her husband. pp. It is unbelievable to recognize with accuracy the color of a shirt at that time of the night especially when the color of the shirt is dark. pp. Elpidio. Luis was wearing light brown shirt while Florentino was wearing a reddish shirt (p.e. Had she really seen the accused Luis Delmendo aim his gun at the deceased husband of Mrs. It is next to impossible since any colored object on a dark night without the aid of artificial light would appear to be black to the naked eye. 1969). TSN. (2) While she testified that she saw one of the malefactors aim his gun to her husband. but she did not." (p. 1969. the latter would have certainly shouted a warning to him as a natural and instinctive reaction. it was quite difficult for her to recognize persons outside of her house at the time of the incident. she did not even warn her husband of the danger to his life. 16. 21-22. her reason being. Decision) and therefore even further away from Mrs. she testified: . 7. It must have been dark outside considering that it was already between 7:00 and 8:00 o'clock in the evening. It would have been more natural for her to mention the names of the assailants in the course of her investigation even if not asked or prodded to do so. and her son. Oct. (3) Her testimony on cross- examination that despite the time of the night (between 7:00 to 8:00 o' clock) she was even able to recognize the color of the shirts of the appellants. 139. the main thrust of the defense is that the testimonies of the widow. Thus. 185-186).. Buccat was investigated by the police immediately after the shooting. (Decision. Records. hence. And since the alleged assailants were some nine meters away from the victim (p. TSN. "I did not then mention because I was then crying. she did not shout a warning at all. 1969). that she divulged the names of her husband's assailants allegedly because it was only then that she "had composed" herself. it was easy for her to mention the names of the assailants. Magdalena. she did not mention the names of the assailants of her husband to the police investigator. Buccat. Buccat. Assailing the above decision.

to go to the police officers and give your written statement? A — At the time of the week few days after the incident. which is found on your statement on page 34 of the record of the case? A — Yes. he declared: . (p. sir. 1969. (p. your Honor.) According to the defense. must also suffer the same fate. 1969. On March 14. Q — That was also the only time when you mentioned about the incident surrounding the circumstances surrounding the incident? A — Yes. Thus. I went to the authorities to give my statement. October 16. 142. Q — That was the only time when you divulged the identities of the alleged assailant of your husband to peace officers? A — Yes.CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ATTORNEY GUALBERTO: Q — The first time you ever gave your statement about who killed your husband was March 14. 141. when I had composed myself. Your Honor. his declarations cannot be believed. Elpidio Buccat. His testimony cannot be given faith and credence for like her mother. 1969) Required to explain the rather unreasonable delay in divulging the Identities of the assailants of her husband. October 16. TSN. TSN. I had not yet composed myself. While he allegedly witnessed the whole incident. he refrained from divulging to the authorities the identities of his father's assailants allegedly because he was advised by her mother not to do so for fear of their lives. son of the deceased Alfredo Buccat. Mrs. Buccat testifying on redirect examination declared: RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION BY ATTORNEY CACANINDIN: Q — Why did it take you until March 14. the other alleged eyewitness to the incident.

" to wit: CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ATTY.) The defense considers the foregoing testimony as valueless for two reasons: First. Q — When were you advised by your mother? A — The following day. the police investigators were already in their house conducting an on the spot investigation. Second.CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ATTORNEY CARIASO Q — When you saw them (appellants). after the incident. sir. because on the night of the incident immediately after his father was shot. if it is true that it was the following day of the incident that his mother advised Mm not to give the authorities the identities of the assailants. Sir. So he could have informed them of the identities of his father's assailants right then and there. Q — Why? A — I was advised by my mother not to make a report to the authorities yet for fear of our lives. did you not go to the police authority and tell the authorities to arrest them as they are the assailants of your father? A — Not yet. TSN. did you ever tell any other person especially members of your household about the Identity of the assailants of your husband? . since there was yet no instructions from his mother not to divulge the names of the malefactors. she told Elpidio of the identity of the assailants at the same time telling him "not to talk as yet about the matter. because his testimony on this point is in direct contradiction with his mother's testimony to the effect that immediately after the body of her husband was brought to the hospital. (pp. 1969. 181-182. CARIASO Q — Aside from Espejo. October 23.

7. Case No. Decision).)." that is if he did not fire a gun but found positive for nitrates (p. . 23. Finones that there is such a thing as "false negative. COURT: You did not tell anybody. And since the testimony is false. Id).A — None. my son." (p. TSN. Q — When did you tell Elpidio? A — When the body of my husband was already brought to the hospital (p. false in all under "the cardinal rule which has served in all ages. and has been applied to all conditions of men. 13. TSN. Id. or you do not remember having told anybody? A — It was to Elpidio. (3) even urinating also produces nitrates (p. 1969. of fertilizer could produce nitrates on one's hand" (pp. Osgood 27 Fed. In short. sir. 1969).C. 1969). Sept. vs. Id. that "even a mere handling. TSN. false in one. p. Sept. when upon oath. 23. (2) even smoking could produce nitrates (p. showing that Luis Delmendo was positive for powder burns. Minardo Finones Chief of the P. ) The testimony of Elpidio that his mother told him not to reveal the Identity of the assailants to the police authorities is a lie because the body of the deceased was brought to the hospital on the same night of the incident. whom I told." (U. and (4) handling of fertilizer also produces nitrates. the defense argues that his whole testimony should be disregarded under the principle of falsus in uno falsus omnibus. that a witness wilfully falsifying the truth in one particular. The defense maintains that the trial court erred in concluding that "the Identity of Luis as the gun wielder was corroborated by the findings of Col. 15971-a. Finones admitted that (1) one who works in a laboratory and handles nitrates will have nitrates in his hands (p. Col.S. 21. It is contended that the findings of the laboratory that both hands of Luis Delmendo were positive for powder bums is not conclusive that he fired the gun in the light of the passion of Col.). Sept. that "You will not talk as yet about the matter". ought never to be believed upon the strength of his own testimony. for one occasion. 23. 11. 10. 11-12. Central Laboratory. (p. 99. whatever he may assert. October 15. TSN. 364). 11. that it is possible that a person who did not fire a gun could be found positive for powder burns. sir. 1969).

perphloric acid. The first. TSN. these alleged eyewitnesses went to the police department in the townhall to make their written statements and accuse the two defendants. TSN. sulphuric acid. TSN. The charge against them must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. although . (p. Sept. It is not disputed that accused Luis Delmendo was at the time of the incident an employee of the Filipinos Magnetite Corporation. chemicals which pertain to other analysis of different elements — ammonium nitrate. There must never be any shadow of doubt. nitrate acid.). he had been working without gloves. the conviction must be based on evidence that is clear. if not the basic foundation upon which the prosecution builds its case against the accused is proof beyond reasonable doubt that it is the said accused who committed the crime charged. iron concentrate and copper ores that he used to handle chemicals and although he was equipped with gloves to prevent him from contamination. nitric acid. 1970). FILMAG for short. March 5. reason for which the firm used to reprimand him. 1969). 1969. he admitted that this is not conclusive (p. Finones testified that nitrates from gun powder is fine and thin whereas other nitrates give fighter color and bigger smell. Yet. 12. Luis was then a laboratory technician in said firm. As earlier indicated. 330-331. in the Assay Department of said firm (pp. Magdalena. their testimonies pointing to the accused as the perpetrators must be subjected to a rigid test which should demonstrate beyond cavil their truthfulness. Id. 1970). 332. the evidence clearly show that it took them 16 days after the commission of the crime to lay the blame upon both accused for the first time when on March 14. the Identity of the accused is the first duty of the prosecution. any cloud of suspicion or deception to conceal the facts and disguise the truth. positive and strong creating a moral certainty as to the guilt of the accused. In convicting the two accused for the murder of the victim in this case. sodium thiasulphate " (pp. the widow. both point the accusing finger to the two accused as the assailants. Cafuir Chemical Engineer. assisting the firm's chemist in "the analysis of elements. 336-337. working under Engineer Daniel P. potassium dichromate. Elpidio. potasium iodine. Engineer Cafuir likewise declared that: "The chemicals most often used in the laboratory are acid solvents like hydrocloric acid. In other words. 23. Since the two alleged eyewitnesses to the commission of the crime are the widow and son of the victim. TSN. and her son.The defense further contends that although Col. This means that although thin and fine nitrates were found in the hands of Luis Delmendo such fact is not conclusive that he fired a gun. honesty and rectitude as actual eyewitnesses to the perpetration of the criminal act. March 5.

Laman. No one is a relative of barrio-mate of the appellant. he questioned Juanita as to the identity of her husband's assailants and that the widow replied that she was not able to recognize them because they had the brim of their caps tilted downwards. What is the rule in criminal law jurisprudence in similar or analogous cases where there is delay or failure to identify the accused at the earliest opportunity? In the following cases. These witnesses have not been shown by the prosecution to have any inordinate interest in the acquittal of the accused. was present when she made the report to Sgt. But Sgt. Venturina denied this and testified that she refused and would not talk about the matter. testified similarly. When he investigated the widow at the scene of the crime. corroborates the former's testimony. confirmed the sergeant's testimony and added that she said that she was not able to recognize any of the killers. the Supreme Court has uniformly held that such an identification is an afterthought designed to implicate the accused and cannot be the basis of conviction. the latter revealed that she could not recognize the malefactors because it was dark. Baquiran 20 SCRA 451. Dr. therefore. who overheard the conversation between Gumatay and the widow. They are disinterested persons and the record does not indicate any reason for us to disbelieve their testimonies or to suspect their motives. chief of police of Tumauini.police investigators (one of them the police sergeant who was their close relative) had gone to the house of the victim and the witnesses to conduct an on-the spot investigation that very night when the shooting occurred on February 26. 1959 (Exh. Mateo Forto who. Bernardo Gumatay. Thus — In People vs. the Supreme Court said: The widow's behavior after the incident was even more puzzling and leads us to the conclusion that she did not at all recognize her husband's assassin and that her subsequent Identification of the appellant was an afterthought born of a prejudiced mind. Juanita Marilao did report the crime to the Constabulary but she did not reveal the . 1959. 3). she told Sgt. Venturina. Upon his return to Tumauini Gumatay entered the result of the evening's investigation in the police blotter under date of April 30. 456-458. Venturina that it was Fulgencio Baquiran who shot her husband. She related that when she reported the murder to the PC detachment at Tumauini around one o'clock in the morning of April 30. she admitted. seriously attacked. Forto also disclosed that on the way to Tumauini. The natural reaction of one who witnesses a crime and recognizes the offender is to reveal it to the authorities at the earliest opportunity. The credibility of their testimonies are. 1969.

She admitted on cross-examination that she was not able to identify her husband's killer although she suspected somebody. This despite the fact that after her husband's burial on April 30. For more than twenty-four hours then no word was received from the widow as to the identity of her husband's killers. she decided to spend the rest of the day and night in Tamauini. 1959. Had she really recognized the appellant. 1959 and not on April 30 as asserted by both Juanita and Venturina. Venturina filed a complaint the day before. 1959 and that the accused was not present at all. This was denied and contradicted by Sgt. 1959. the accused was not ordered arrested until May 3. As previously mentioned. If Sgt. she would have immediately and spontaneously revealed his Identity upon reporting the crime as would be expected according to the natural course of things. The argument that she was still in a state of shock after the incident and that she was afraid of reprisal from the assailants who were still at large is not supported by the evidence on record.identity of the assailant although it was inquired into three times or more. Her silence casts serious doubt on her subsequent identification of the appellant. she had had more than ample time for reflection and what was merely a suspicion deepened into a conviction. The fact that she was able to seek out Ocampo and Forto to help her go to Tumauini on the night of the murder does not show a confused and disorganized mind. testified that the investigation took place on May 1. as the prosecution contended. Juanita testified that she identified the accused as the murderer of her husband during the first hours of the morning of April 30. Celedonia. went to that place where your husband was shot and killed without interrogating or making investigation regarding the assailant? . who was investigated together with her mother as Venturina himself admitted. Thus: Q — You want to make this Honorable Court understand that the Chief of Police. 1959 when she reported her husband's death to the PC detachment at Tumauini. Domingo and Taguba. This is in itself significant for it lends support to the declarations of Celedonia and Fulgencio that the identification of the latter as the alleged assailant took place on May 1. it taxes credulity that Juanita made no effort to expose the appellant then. May 1. Venturina who asserted that the identification was made during the confrontation between the widow and the appellant in the morning of April 30 around nine or ten o'clock in the morning. If she were afraid of reprisal. it could have been due to the fact that the widow made her Identification only the day before. Venturina filed the complaint only on May 2. This corroborates Baquiran's statements to the same effect. wouldn't it be more in consonance with common experience for her to have revealed the identity of the accused that he might safely be put behind bars? As it were. 1959 after Sgt. But then. together with his two policemen.

although "Mr. The record does not so indicate. Witness Autor however. For. he was. as already stated. where the witness did not mention the incident to the people in his own house and where an investigation was then being conducted by the Constabulary the Supreme Court said — Soon after the incident. suspicion is no Identification. Needless to say. Q — And there you told him that you were not able to identify the person who shot and killed your husband. There is a dearth of autoptic or demonstrative evidence which would positively connect appellant with the crime. sir. Of interest is Autor's declaration that the only person to whom he ever mentioned what he saw was a brother of the victim. (pp. allegedly the sole eyewitness to the crime. although you suspected somebody? A — Yes. These circumstances suggest a substantial amount of improbability. Nothing in the record shows that the officers even made any effort to locate the alleged pistol used by .s. people went to the place where Jimenez felt Amongst them were Governor Ali Dimaporo. (t. Well it is to remember that an investigation was then being conducted by the Constabulary. mentioning the name of Baquiran as the suspect. 71). Mayor Apolonio Yap and many others." and left for home without even extending a helping hand to the victim Autor said that he did not mention the incident to the people in his own house. It would seem odd then that the brother of the victim did not inform the authorities about it. And the fact that she merely had suspicions is an indication that at the time her husband was shot. 719-720. Quibranza. he did in the morning following the incident. She repeated her suspicions later to Chief of Police Gumatay after the burial of her husband. sir. 714-715) 3. Bulawin 29 SCRA 710. No one appeared to have ever thought at that time of taking Autor's statements. Appellant and a number of witnesses were in the barracks located in the same town of Salvador. Dimaporo and his leaders were still there. certainly very important to this case. Vice-Governor Arsenio Quibranza. she was not able to make a positive Identification of the assailant.n. In People vs.A — He asked me. 714-715. And this. testified that he communicated to nobody.

In the end." (p. speaking thru Justice Antonio. (p." and "(t)he situation might be aggravated. in the presence of Sgt. at the earliest possible opportunity. Reason: No valid explanation was given why the People's witnesses did not report the odentity of appellant Nicolas Cunanan to the authorities during a long period of time. they would have reported the shooting and revealed the Identity of the culprits. 775) the Supreme Court. The natural reaction of one who witnesses a crime is to reveal it to the authorities unless. In the morning of September 23. the Supreme Court.appellant. Appellant denied this. 93 SCRA 772. where the two witnesses gave their statements after the wake. (p. or a delay of five days from the shooting of the deceased because their deceased uncle was a bachelor. Nor is there evidence that appellant has had one. Aniceto Dacalos. Even that hat was not exhibited in court. as . ruled: Delay or vacillation in making a criminal accusation does not necessarily impair the credibility of the witness. In People vs. Aquino. he is the author thereof. without any family to attend to his burial. where the witnesses reported 12 days after the shooting. Roxas. of course. these witnesses had recognized and Identified the assailants. held: 7. Cunanan 19 SCRA 769. Or. Sarbida pointed at appellant as the owner of a big hat which was apparently left at the scene of the crime. where the witness revealed the Identity of the accused seven days after the shooting of the victim and his reason was that every member of the family of the deceased was very angry and he was afraid to reveal the Identity of the culprit sooner as "something also untoward would even happen. if such delay is satisfactorily explained. Sgt. its whereabouts accounted for. 1963. indeed. it was therein held with Justice Abad Santos as ponente that: If. to the police authorities. 720) In People vs. 73 SCRA 583. we have here a specific case where evidence of Identification is thoroughly unreliable. thru Justice Sanchez. 590) In People vs. It defies credulity that not one or two but five such witnesses made no effort to expose Cunanan if they really knew that he was the author thereof This stultified silence casts grave doubts as to their veracity.

during and after the shooting incident. but it failed to prove by outright. Romulo added a lame excuse. The shooting was reported to the police by a certain Sulpicio Umiten. convincing and conclusive evidence that such death was caused by the accused. xxx xxx xxx On the main. The evidence for the prosecution does not even show that attempts were made to recover the Garand rifle allegedly used in the shooting. Magdalena Buccat did not identify the two accused as the persons who shot her husband. more particularly of Pedro Casimina who appears to have been hastily included in the murder charge. singled out and named the accused. Her testimony on this point is vague and uncertain. not one of them did so. excerpts of which follow: . all that the prosecution had proved was the fact of death of Benigno Pascua. 1969. Pacifico and Romulo testified that two days after the shooting they were investigated. 1970. Yet none of them. if not vacillating. a public school teacher in Kabacan.could ordinarily be expected of witnesses to a fatal shooting. It does not even appear that formal and thorough investigation was made of the accused. their alleged sworn statements are both dated November 16. as shown in the transcript of the stenographic notes during the trial on October 15. Pacifico and Romulo claimed that they were among those questioned by the police. When the police authorities arrived at the scene. But. which explanation is too crude to be convincing. that questions asked of him did not extend to the identity of the culprits. and that they separately executed sworn statements wherein they named the accused. They attempted to explain their inability to disclose the identity of assailants. by claiming that they were afraid because it was already getting dark. when the police went to the scene of the crime in the evening of February 26. But surprisingly. First. or that any of the accused was in possession of a rifle at the time of the shooting. or twelve days after the shooting. Reviewing and putting altogether what happened immediately before. 1969 in the very house of the victim to investigate the shooting. We find many facts and circumstances that are not very clear nor do they logically and naturally arise from an assumption that Magdalena and Elpidio actually saw and Identified the accused Luis and Florentino Delmendo shoot the deceased Alfredo Buccat at the time and place charged.

did you ever tell any other person especially members of your household about the identity of the assailants of your husband? A — None. THE COURT: You did not tell anybody. sir. CACANINDIN: There is a lot of difference between investigation and talking. whom I told. sir. but maybe. Q — Did you not say a while ago that you never told anyone the identity of the assailants of your husband that night? A — I cannot remember if I told that to Itong Espejo. Q — When was the first time that you ever told anybody that you recognized the assailants of your husband? A — Maybe it was to Itong Espejo whom I told. or you do not remember having told anybody? A — It was to Elpidio. sir. Q — But did you not state a while ago that you do not even remember whether he investigated you that time? ATTY. that 'You will not talk as yet about the matter. sir. Q — And you told Espejo on that same night of the incident? A — Yes. I told it.Q — Did you ever tell anyone that night that you recognized the person who shot your husband? A — None. Q — Aside from Espejo. sir. sir. because he talked to me that night. Q — When did you tell Elpidio? . my son.

but he was not able to talk to her because she was hysterical and was continuously crying." (t.s. 1969). p. . except Itong Espejo. pp. pp. 1969. (t.n. as indicated in the following excerpts of her testimony during the trial of the case on October 16.A — When the body of my husband was already brought to the hospital. Sept.. who killed her husband because she was then crying. 1969). to wit: Q — Madame Witness. widow of the deceased Alfredo Buccat.. 98-99. were you not investigated immediately after the incident? A — I am not sure if I was investigated. a second cousin of the deceased Alfredo Buccat.n.s. Q — That is why you did not tell Itong who killed your husband? A — I did not then mention because I was then crying.. 1969.n.They were all hysterical. 1969) In the latter part of her cross-examination. to talk with the widow and the children and yet was unable to make them talk?" and his answer was: "A. any agency. Is that right? A — Maybe he came with a companion. p. 138-139. A — No. September 23. who declared that "upon going to Agtipal from the hospital he had occasion to talk to Magdalena Arellano.n. 1969) We have also the testimony of Sgt. Maybe I was investigated by I tong Espejo.s. October 15. 55.s. admitted that she did not tell Cpl. you tried with desperate efforts from February 26.In other words. the same witness. I was then crying. but I am not sure if they asked questions from me. Q — You were also investigated by the PC. Magdalena Buccat. I cannot remember. who came to your house. 59." (t. 23. The sergeant was also asked this question: "Q . 1969 up to March 14. (t. Q — There were no investigator. Modesto Espejo of the Bacnotan Police Force who was the first police investigator of the case who arrived soon after the shooting incident. October 16.. Camilo Marquez. sir.

is also a close relative of the aggrieved family. when Elpidio on the witness stand was asked: "Q — Did Herminio Marquez . But the widow did not.n. (t..s.n. it became the duty of the widow to reveal the identities of the assailants. Her reason that she was crying and was hysterical. Marquez must be believed in full because he is a close relative of the deceased and it is but a normal and natural reaction of the widow. We can only conclude that in truth she was not able to identify the killers of her husband. being a close neighbor. Magdalena told her son Elpidio not to talk as yet about the matter when the body of her husband was already brought to the hospital (which was in the evening of February 26. is likewise doubtful. rendering her speechless or unable to talk.. Herminio Marquez is the brother of Sgt. 19-year old son of the deceased. 1969).This testimony of Sgt. This Herminio. according to Elpidio. soldiers and later followed by Sgt. 177-178. Following the testimony of Elpidio. 15. t.C. 1969). Yet. His mother allegedly asked the question that same evening of the shooting which was February 26. Bulawin 29 SCRA 710). the second police investigator of the incident and admittedly a second cousin of the victim. he declared that after the shooting of his father. an of whom would provide protection and security to the aggrieved family.s. Hearing of Oct. 181-182. 1969. he ran out of the kitchen door and sought help in the neighboring house of Herminio Marquez. it was on the following day after the incident that he was advised by his mother not to make a report to the authorities for fear of their lives.s. and from this omission or failure to reveal the identities of the perpetrators. pp. 23. 1969). " (People vs. that she was not composed and that she was afraid of their lives can no longer be justified in the light of the long delay of 16 days when she finally went to give her statement to the police. Now. 1969). the first time he told anyone about the identity of the assailants of his father was when he told his mother and that was when she asked him if he saw Florentino and Luis Delmendo shoot his father. (t.. shocked by the shooting of her husband. Her explanation is no longer valid to excuse the lateness of her accusation against the accused after more than two weeks had passed. after the father was already in the hospital. even in confidence to the sergeant as a close relative if she really knew said assailants. Contrary-wise. "this stultified silence casts grave doubts as to their veracity. the testimony of Elpidio.n. 23. Indeed. It is even contradictory for. pp. 99. Marquez. Hearing of Oct.examination. ten meters away from their own house. But when the police accompanied by P. Hearing on Oct. (t. telling Herminio that his father had been shot. p. according to Elpidio himself on cross. who claims to have seen the two accused shoot his father. Second. Camilo Marquez. Alfredo Buccat.

sir. That the witnesses procrastinated or delayed in going to the police authorities strongly indicates the conclusion that they did not actually see the assailants or they were not sure and positive as to their identities. 1969." Then followed this question: "Q — And you did not volunteer to tell him "A — No. The assailants were outside the house. The two alleged eyewitnesses were inside the house. her grief cannot be so protracted as to be neglectful to seek immediate justice with the help of the police. must cast grave doubts as to the credibility of Elpidio's testimony that he saw and identified the two accused as the assailants of his father. It may be true that the moon was shining at one o'clock position and it was only a half-moon. who is also a second cousin of his father. Magdalena and Elpidio. Magdalena explained that after the incident she had not yet composed herself and it was only on March 14. considering that the usual mourning period had already elapsed. but considering the distance and the .ask you the Identity of the persons who shot your father when you came to him?" Elpidio's answer was: "A — No.n. She declared that she saw the assailants only through the window. She may be the aggrieved widow but certainly. the lapse of 16 days during which time Magdalena and Elpidio did not go to the police to give their statements or affidavits also engenders grave doubts that the two alleged eyewitnesses actually saw the two accused in the act of shooting the victim. Third. 177. The time of the shooting was between 7:00 and 8:00 o'clock in the evening of February 26.s. Claiming that they volunteered to go to the Presidencia to be investigated in connection with the incident and that they were not summoned. Fourth. being the brother of police investigator Sgt. p. clearly saw the faces of the assailants. which would have been a very logical and natural particular to disclose in Elpidio's report or account of what had happened to his father as stated by him to Herminio as the former sought for help. Three (3) small kerosene lamps were lighted because it was already nighttime and supper had already been partaken by the Buccat family. on the ground floor and without any premonition whatsoever of the coming danger. Camilo Marquez.. the dimensions being 1 meter and 33 cms. sir." (t. October 23. some nine meters away from the place where Magdalena was. the circumstances of time and place further engender serious misgivings that the two eyewitnesses. Such explanation or reason is weak. 1969 that she had composed herself. if not sham. This failure of Elpidio to inform even their neighbor Herminio Marquez.1969).

conditions of the night, common experience show that it would be physically
difficult to immediately accustom the eyes to an object, more so a person,
standing outside in the premises of the yard.

That Magdalena could identify the color of the assailants' shirts and that
Elpidio could identify the color of their pants which must have been hidden
by the lower portion of the window through which they were sighted, appears
to be an exaggeration, if not imagination to lend credence to their
identification. These and other details which the witnesses recalled and what
each did after the shooting to prove their memory do not, however, impress
Us in the face of the indisputable fact that the witnesses delayed
unreasonably in accusing the two assailants to the police.

The records further show the lackadaisical action of the police in
apprehending and arresting the perpetrators. When Cpl. Modesto Espejo
with Patrolman Partible and 2 P.C. soldiers repaired to the scene of the
shooting right after the incident, no attempt was made to locate, search or
recover the firearm used. Cpl. Espejo said he investigated the widow and the
son (t.s.n., p. 27, Hearing of Sept. 23, 1969) although Elpidio, the son, said
he was not investigated by Cpl. Espejo (t.s.n., p. 180, Hearing of Oct. 10,
1969) but Espejo did not take their statements in writing that night, or even
after several days. He did not follow up his investigation because he rested.
(t. t.s.n., p. 31, Sept. 23, 1969) and worse, he did not even place in the
police blotter the report of his investigation as to who shot the victim. (t.s.n.,
p. 34, Sept. 23, 1969).

And Sgt. Camilo Marquez, a second cousin of the victim who took over the
investigation from Cpl. Espejo, did not interview the widow allegedly
because she was crying. Yet, the police waited until March 14, 1969, 16
days after the shooting, to resume its investigation when the affidavits of the
witnesses were taken, only to be subscribed and sworn to 5 days thereafter,
on March 19, 1969. From this indecision and hesitancy, it can be reasonably
inferred that the evidence then at hand was insufficient and doubtful to
formally charge the accused.

Now, to the motive. Generally, proof of motive is unnecessary to pin a crime
on the accused, if the evidence of identification is convincing; however,
where the proof of identification is not convincing, then proof of motive is
necessary. (People vs. Cunanan, L-17599, April 24, 1967, 19 SCRA 769;
People vs. Portugueza, L-22604, July 31, 1967, 20 SCRA 901; People vs.
Jamero, L-19852, July 29, 1968, 24 SCRA 206, People vs. Guardo, L-23541,
August 30, 1968, 24 SCRA 85 1). Motive to kill assumes pertinence only

when there is doubt as to the identity of the culprit, (People vs. Sales, 44
SCRA 489; People vs. Basuel, 44 SCRA 207). Proof of motive is important in
knowing the reasons for the commission of a criminal act. (People vs.
Custodia 47 SCRA 289). Absence of motive is important in determining the
truth as between conflicting versions of the incident object of the accusation.
(People vs. Boholst-Caballero, 61 SCRA 180; People vs. Beltran, 61 SCRA
246) In the case at bar, the lack of sufficient motive for the two accused to
shoot the victim is supportive of their defense of denial in the commission of
the crime. According to the prosecution evidence, the motive to kill arose
from the remarks of the victim referring to the two accused as "drunks" and
We quote the testimony of the widow:

Q — Do you know the reason why they shot your husband?

A — There is.

Q — What was that?

A — When the two accused were approaching our house, they were seen
by my husband.

Q — What about when the two were arriving at your house?

A — My husband said, "Do not bring out basi anymore because the drunks
are here again".

Q — He was addressing who when he said that?

A — To my son, Elpidio.

Q — And who were the drunks referred to by your husband who were

A — Luis and Tino, sir.

Q — For whom was that basi which Elpidio was trying to bring out?

A — My husband intended that basi for my kumpadre, Eniong Oredena and
Cipriano de Larna. (pp. 81-82, Hearing of Oct. 15, 1969)

xxx xxx xxx

In another portion of the widow's testimony stating that the accused
Florentino Delmendo was sore at her, she related that Florentino and Ms
brother, Federico, had a quarrel at her house about 1:00 o'clock in the
afternoon of February 26, 1969 wherein she interceded and pacified them
sending home Federico to stop the fight between the brothers. We quote her

THE COURT: (Addressing Magdalena Buccat)

After you had pacified them, what happened?

A — Florentino got sore because I sent his brother home.


Why did his brother Federico leave?

A — Because I pleaded to him that he would go home so that their fight
would not go on.


But he did not tell anything to you that he was sore at you? I refer to

A — He did not do anything, Sir, but I saw him very sore at me. (t. s. n pp.
107-108, Hearing October 15, 1969)

Assuming that the deceased had referred to the accused as "drunks",
assuming that Florentino was sore because Magdalena pacified the fight
between the two brothers, Florentino and Federico, assuming further that
Magdalena remarked about the bad manners of the two accused when
Florentino vomitted, are these sufficient motives or reasons for the accused
to murder the deceased, Alfredo Buccat? We do not believe so. We hold and
rule that tested by the common experience and observation of mankind, the
said evidence fags short, far and below that degree of probability logically
and reasonably acceptable under the circumstances. For certainly, the role
of Magdalena as a peacemaker between the fighting brothers, Florentino
and Federico Delmendo was a good deed which normally deserves another
in return, and not an act of murder of the husband who was not even present
during the quarrel. Nor does the remark uttered by Alfredo Buccat referring
to the two accused as "drunks" sufficiently prove the reason for the shooting,

23. 1980. The house of the accused Luis Delmendo is about 200 meters from the house of the victim (t.43259. Lim. the insufficiency of the motive. it is at once discernible that the alibi of the two accused is so simple in their candidness in admitting that each of them were in their respective houses which are very near to the scene of the crime at the time of the shooting of the victim. 310. p. 319. Dilao. Indeed. 1970). An accused cannot be convicted on the basis of evidence which.s. The rule that alibi must be satisfactorily proven was never intended to change the burden of proof in criminal cases. 1977. 394. Roncal 79 SCRA 509). (People vs. . hearing. the weakness of the defense of alibi does not relieve the prosecution of the required burden of proof. Cruz. March 5. and inconclusive. p. March 4. 1970) and he (the accused) was about to eat his supper when he heard the gun volleys (t.. Applying the above jurisprudential rules to the case at bar. The prosecution has the onus probandi in establishing the guilt of the accused and the weakness of the defense does not relieve it of this responsibility. hearing. Salazar. And although alibi is the weakest defense that an accused can avail of.n. 413. 93 SCRA 7'0 2. 93 SCRA 796). 80 SCRA 496). it strengthens the defense claim that the accused were not the assailants.n.32 SCRA 181). uncorroborated. And with respect to the other accused Florentino Delmendo his house is about 50 meters away from the house of Magdalena Buccat (t. March 30. weakens the prosecution's identification of the accused. otherwise.. (People vs. Oct. Alibi is a weak defense that cannot prevail over positive identification of the accused by eyewitnesses (People vs.1970. hearing. Aquino.394. Estrocada 75 SCRA 295.n. (People vs. L-24424. Alibi assumes importance where evidence for prosecution is weak and betrays lack of concreteness on question of whether or not the accused committed the crane charged. 1970) and said accused was in the street north of his house when he came to know for the first time that Alfredo Buccat was shot (t.s. March 4. 100 SCRA 358. Nov.s.s. Re-stated otherwise. L. p. hearing on March 5.. The same rule is reiterated in People vs. 1970). p. 29.. People vs.much less the comment on their bad manners. there would be the absurdity of an accused being put in a more difficult position where the prosecution's evidence is vague and weak than where it is strong. L-46890. nay its improbability by normal standards. People vs.n. In fact. The last point is the defense of alibi set up by the accused. it acquires commensurate strength where no positive and proper identification has been made by the witnesses of the offender. independently of his alibi is weak.

that after 30 minutes. 1969.s. whether his defense of alibi is weak or strong. Pulmones. and until and unless such duty has been performed. We are confronted with inculpatory facts and circumstances which are capable of two or more explanations. 42 SCRA 1). 81 Phil.. Bartolay. as held by the Supreme Court in People vs. although such defense has acquired commensurate strength due to failure of positive and proper identification of the offenders by the witnesses. the constitutional presumption of innocence to which the accused is entitled must be upheld. in the case at bar. 78. While the defense of alibi frequently deserves little consideration because it is easily fabricated. and when coupled with the improbabilities and uncertainties of the prosecution evidence. Rules of Court). pp.n. 48. 61 Phil. after which he heard gun explosions. or that degree of proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind (Rule 133. suffice to raise reasonable doubt as to their responsibility (People vs. Parayno. March 4. going northwards. 57. 259-263. We have already ruled herein that the prosecution has not presented clear. together with the two accused drank gin and coca- cola in the store of Magdalena Buccat that afternoon of February 26. The basis of Our ruling have been laid down and explained and the inevitable end result is that We must acquit the two accused not because their defense of alibi is weak. 680) as in the case at hand. Bautista. While the prosecution is not required to submit such a degree of proof as. Sec. the duty of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused beyond peradventure of doubt is a primary one. that they walked to the house of Antonio Corpuz where Almodovar stayed behind while the two accused proceeded to the house of Barrio Captain Revelino Balen. but on the ground that the prosecution has failed to discharge its responsibility of proving their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. 2. it is not always false and without merit (People vs. (t. 1970 hearing). For indeed. In such a situation. 1. positive and convincing evidence identifying the two accused as the actual assailants or perpetrators of the shooting of the victim. Pacana 47 Phil. People vs. produces absolute certainty but only moral certainty is required.The above alibi is positively corroborated by witness Florentino Almodovar who declared that he. a successive volley of fires coming from the west. one of which is consistent with the innocence of the accused and the other consistent with their guilt. excluding possibility of error. People vs. People vs. Abana. 76 Phil. . he saw the two accused leave the house. Alfredo Buccat.

in People vs. We have analyzed and weighed the whole proof of the case at hand.L-24804. According to the accused Luis. Oct. review and appraisal We find inability to let the mind rest easy upon the moral certainty of their guilt. the latter being a second cousin of Luis' father. 1969. 29 SCRA 780. . and he had no misunderstanding with his uncle. Thus. the evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty and is not sufficient to support a conviction. 1968. gave 250 cc. the failure of the two material witnesses for the prosecution to identify him when identification would have been most timely and in accord with natural human reaction the absence of evidence concerning motivation. 30. he donated blood because Alfredo Buccat was his uncle. the totality of all the facts and circumstances presented before Us. The very evidence of the prosecution show that both accused joined and rode with other volunteers in two caretelas to the town and then took a Thames transportation jitney to San Fernando town at the Lorma Hospital and there. Alfredo. and the finding of the telltale handkerchief in the possession of another person — all these circumstances cannot but cast a grave doubt as to the guilt of appellant. immediately volunteered to be blood donors to save the life of the victim. and after such careful analysis. in Exhibit "1". 786. Gallora L-21740. the impartial and unbiased mind is not laid to rest easy upon the moral certainty of the accused being guilty in the light of the very singular fact that both accused Luis and Florentino. is clearly a distortion for a drunken person cannot be accepted for blood transfusion or donation. 25 SCRA 3. speaking thru Justice Makalintal said: The corroborated alibi of appellant. Luis was tested as to the suitability of his blood type and accordingly. the Supreme Court. to hold that possibly the accused went with the crowd to the hospital to hide their responsibility for the crime is purely conjectural and speculative. Nora Zafra. of his life blood. The records do not disclose any reasonable basis. the fact that he did not hesitate to go with the municipal authorities to the scene of the crime. not an iota of proof for such a conclusion arrived at by the court a quo. The trial court's holding that this sacrifice of blood donation made by the accused Luis Delmendo was possibly a manifestation of remorse on the part of the accused after their drunken state had subsided. Indeed. where the circumstances are in some respects similar to the present case. Likewise. July 5. type "B" to the victim which is attested by the certification of the Medical Technician.

authorities at the earliest opportunity when they arrived to investigate the shooting soon thereafter. satisfactorily explained by the testimony of Luis who at the time was employed with Filipinos Magnetite Corporation {FILMAG} and his work was assisting the chemists in assaying or analyzing iron concentrates and copper ore from the black sands dogged out by FILMAG. Col. the widow and son of the deceased failed to reveal and identify the assailants to the police and P.n. The most significant testimony of Col. sodium nitrate and other reagents The nature of Luis' work as a laboratory technician is corroborated by his immediate superior. 362. The work involved the handling and mixing of chemicals such as ammonium nitrate. March 5. reporting to and seeking help from an uncle living only 10 meters away from the scene of the crime. p.. p.s. Chemical Engineer Daniel P.s. who followed up the investigation.. 1970 Hearing). sodium nitrate and ammonium nitrate will give characteristic color of blue specks on a person handling said chemicals (t. expert. Why because he has been handling some chemicals like potassium nitrate and ammonium chloride. where the evidence clearly and convincingly show that (1) the material witnesses of the prosecution. potassium nitrate. did not also disclose the assailants' identities. Finones is that there is no difference in size between gunpowder residue and one caused by constant handling of chemicals (t. a close relative of the aggrieved family. fingertips and dorsal portion of both hands." (t.Cafuir That the presence of gunpowder residue (nitrates) on both hands of the accused Luis do not conclusively prove that he had recently fired a gun is admitted by the P. 359. March 5. to Our mind. 1970 Hearing) In resume.n. depending on the extent of contamination.C. and this is similar to gunpowder burns.. (2) that the son. fingers. it will show characteristics of blue specks. Naturally when tested with dyphenyl-amin reagents. and false positive when he never fired a gun but is positive for paraffin test. potassium nitrate. findings in Exhibit "C" that the dorsal portion of both hands of the accused Luis Delmendo was found positive for gunpowder residue (nitrates). using his hands. March 5.n. not even to the police sergeant. and that one who fired a gun may give a negative result and also one who did not actually fire a gun is negative for paraffin test because according to him. 1970 Hearing) and that the continued handling of chemicals containing nitrates. sometimes with gloves and other times without gloves. 354.C. p.s. causing yellowish discoloration on the palm. the same is. "there is a false positive and a false negative. (3) that both material . Minardo Finones who testified also for the defense. False negative is when he fired a gun and is negative for paraffin test.C.As to the P.

(4) that the circumstances of time (between 7:00 and 8:00 o'clock in the evening). of his blood. and (7) both accused volunteered to donate their blood to the victim and in fact. The two accused are hereby ACQUITTED and they are ordered released and set free immediately. SO ORDERED. (6) that the motive shown was flimsy. (5) the police made no effort to locate and search for the fatal weapon nor place in the police blotter the names of the suspects. one gave 250 cc. thus they are entitled to acquittal of the crime charged. of place (witnesses are under the house in the ground floor and looking through a small window out to the yard of the house located in the barrio). inoffensive and trivial. WHEREFORE. x--x . and of distance (9 meters away) render accurate Identification of perpetrators in a sudden and startling occurrence. difficult and unreliable. unless they are otherwise detained for some other lawful cause. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. type "B " to save him the guilt of the two accused has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt. hence insufficient. the decision appealed from is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.witnesses delayed unreasonably for 16 days after the shooting to go to the police department and make their sworn statement naming the two accused as the perpetrators.