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People vs. Agustin 240 S 541

Facts: Dr. Bayquen, a dentist, together with his son, Anthony; Anthony's girlfriend, Anna Theresa; his daughter, Dominic; and
Danny, afamily friend, were on their way aboard their Brasilia to the doctor's residence at Malvar Street, Baguio City. While they
were cruising along Malvar Street and nearing the Baptist church, a man came out from the right side of a car parked about two
meters to the church. The man approached the Brasilia, aimed his armalite rifle through its window, and fired at the passengers.
The Brasilia swerved and hit a fence. The gunman immediately returned to the parked car which then sped away. All those in the
car were hit and Dr. Bayquen and Anna Theresa died on the spot. Dominic was bale to get out of the Brasilia to run to
the Alabanza store where she telephoned her mother. Later, she and her mother brought her father and Anthony to the hospital.
Danny went home and was then brought to the Hospital for treatment.

Accused Quiao, an alleged former military agent who had been picked up by the police authorities, confessed during the
investigation conducted by Baguio City Fiscal Erdolfo Balajadia in his office that he was the triggerman. He implicated Abenoja,
Jr., who engaged him to kill Dr. Bayquen for a fee, Cartel, who provided the armalite, and a certain "Jimmy." During the
investigation, Wilfredo Quiao was assisted by Atty. Reynaldo Cajucom. Stenographic notes of the proceedings during the
investigation as transcribed with the sworn statement of Quiao was signed, with the assistance of Atty. Cajucom, and swore to
before City Fiscal Balajadia. The following day, Agustin was apprehended, and was investigated and was afforded the privileges
like that of Quijano. Agustins defense interpose that he was forced to admit involvement at gunpoint in the Kennon Road. He
further declared that although he was given a lawyer, Cajucom (a law partner of the private prosecutor), he nevertheless, asked
for his uncle Atty. Oliver Tabin, and that Atty. Cajucom interviewed him from only two minutes in English and Tagalogbut not in
Ilocano, the dialect he understands. The promise that he would be discharged as a witness did not push through since Quijano
escaped. However the RTC convicted him, since conspiracy was established. Hence the appeal.

Issue: Whether or Not accused-appellants extrajudicial statements admissible as evidence.

Held: No. Extrajudicial statement is not extrajudicial confession. In a confession, there is an acknowledgment of guilt of the
accused, while anadmission is a statement direct or implied of facts pertinent to the issue. The rule on inadmissibility, however
expressly includes admissions, not just confessions.The extrajudicial admission of the appellant, contained in twenty-two pages
appear to be signed by him and Atty. Cajucom but for reasons not explained in the records, the transcript of the notes which
consists of twelve pages was not signed by the appellant. Since the court cannot even read or decipher the stenographic notes it
cannot be expected that appellant, who is a farmer and who reached only the fourth grade, to read or decipher its contents.
The appellant, therefore was deprived of his rights under Section 12(1), Article III of the Constitution. Firstly, he was not fully and
properly informed of his rights. The appellantwas not explicitly told of his right to have a competent and independent counsel of
his choice, specifically asked if he had in mind any such counsel and, if so, whether he could afford to hire his services, and, if he
could not, whether he would agree to be assisted by one to be provided for him. He was not categorically informed that he could
waive his rights to remain silent and to counsel and that this waiver must be in writing and in the presence of his counsel. He had,
in fact, waived his right to remain silent by agreeing to be investigated. Yet, no written waiver of such right appears in the
transcript and no other independent evidence was offered to prove its existence. In short, after the appellant said that he wanted
to be assisted by counsel, the City fiscal, through suggestive language, immediately informed him that Atty. Cajucom was ready
to assist him. Moreso said counsel is not independent since he is an associate of the private prosecutor.

Tuason vs. CA 241 S 695

Petitioner Alvin Tuason y Ochoa, John Doe, Peter Doe, and Richard Doe were charged before the Regional Trial Court of
Quezon City with Robbery for robbing the vault and other valuable items in the house CIPRIANA F. TORRES (Article 294,
paragraph 5 of the Revised penal Code) and Carnapping (republic Act No. 6539) for carnapping the latters car which the former
used for escaping. Of the four (4) accused, only petitioner was apprehended. The other three (3) are still at-large. Upon
arraignment, petitioner pleaded not guilty to both charges and was tried.

Torres reported the robbery to the police authorities at Fairview, Quezon City and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). On
July 25, 1988, Madaraog (Torres maid) and Quintal (neighboring maid) described the physical features of the four (4) robbers
before the NBI cartographer. On August 30, 1988, petitioner was arrested by the NBI agents. The next day, at the NBI
headquarters, he was pointed to by Madaraog and the other prosecution witnesses as one of the perpetrators of the crimes at
bench. Throughout cross-examination petitioner testified that during line-up at the NBI, the reason why he was testified and
pointed as one of the robbers is that an NBI agent pointed at him before the witnesses did. The trial court in a Joint Decision
convicted petitioner of the crimes charged. The respondent Court of Appeals gave no credence to the exculpatory allegations of
petitioner and affirmed in toto the assailed Decisions. Petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration was denied for lack of merit.
Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Is the testimony of Alvin Tuason self-serving?

HELD: The trial court in a Joint Decision convicted petitioner of the crimes charged and sentenced him as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
In Q-88-396 (carnapping) or an indeterminate term of SEVENTEEN (17) YEARS and FOUR (4) MONTHS as
minimum and TWENTY (20) YEARS as maximum; and in Q-88-397 (robbery) for a term of ONE (1) YEAR,
SEVEN (7) MONTHS and ELEVEN (11) DAYS as minimum and TWO (2) YEARS, TEN (10) MONTHS and
TWENTY (20) DAYS as maximum.
On the civil aspect, the court hereby orders Alvin Tuason y Ochoa as follows:
1. In Q-88-396 (carnapping) to return to Mrs. Cipriana Torres and her husband the carnapped Toyota Corona
Sedan, Model 1980 with Plate No. NPZ 159 or to pay its value of P180,000.00 which the court finds to be the
reasonable value of the said car; and
2. In Q-88-397 (robbery) to return to Mrs. Cipriana Torres and her husband the stolen items mentioned in the
information filed in said case and hereinabove stated or pay the corresponding values thereon or a total of
P280,550.00 which the court finds to be the reasonable values.
The civil liability is joint and solidary with the co-conspirators of accused Alvin Tuason.
In case of appeal, the bail bonds are fixed at TWO HUNDRED EIGHTY THOUSAND PESOS (P280,000.00) fro
criminal case No. Q-88-396 and ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P100,000.00) for criminal case No. Q-
Costs against the accused.
Petitioner appealed to respondent Court of Appeals. On December 16, 1993, the Eleventh Division of the appellate court gave no
credence to
the exculpatory allegations of petitioner and affirmed in toto the assailed Decisions. 17 On February 4, 1994, petitioner's Motion
for Reconsideration was denied for lack of merit. 18
In this petition for certiorari, petitioner contends that respondent appellate court erred:
We reverse.
Time and again, this Court has held that evidence to be believed, must proceed not only from the mouth of a credible witness but
the same must be credible in itself. 19 The trial court and respondent appellate court relied mainly on the testimony of
prosecution witness Madaraog that from her vantage position near the door of the bedroom she clearly saw how petitioner
allegedly participated in the robbery. After a careful review of the evidence, we find that the identification of petitioner made by
Madaraog and Quintal is open to doubt and cannot serve as a basis for conviction of petitioner.
Firstly, it must be emphasized that of the four (4) prosecution witnesses, only the maid Madaraog actually saw petitioner in the
act of committing the crimes at bench. Witnesses Quintal and Barbieto testified they only saw petitioner at the vicinity of the
crimes before they happened. There is, however, a serious doubt whether Madaraog and Quintal have correctly identified
petitioner. At the NBI headquarters, Madaraog described petitioner as 5'3" tall and with a big mole between his
eyebrows. 20 While Quintal also described petitioner as 5'3" and with a black mole between his eyebrows. 21 On the basis of
their description, the NBI cartographer made a drawing of petitioner showing a dominant mole between his eyes. 22 As it turned
out, petitioner has no mole but only a scar between his eyes. Moreover, he is 5'8 1/2" and not 5'3" tall. There is a big difference
between a mole and a scar. A scar is a mark left in the skin by a new connective tissue that replaces tissue injured. 23 On the
other hand, a mole is a small often pigmented spot or protuberance on the skin. 24 If indeed Madaraog and Quintal had a good
look at petitioner during the robbery, they could not have erroneously described petitioner. Worthy to note, petitioner was not
wearing any mask in the occasion. Madaraog's attempt to explain her erroneous description does not at all convince, viz.:
Secondly, the trial court and the respondent appellate court unduly minimized the importance of this glaring discrepancy in the
identification of the petitioner. The trial court resorted to wild guesswork. It ruled:
xxx xxx xxx
[T]he court has observed that Alvin has a prominent scar in between his two (2) eyebrows. It is not within the
realm of improbability that Alvin covered up that scar with a black coloring to make it appear that he has a "nunal"
which was therefore the one described by Jovina and, which reinforces her testimony that she had a good eye
view of Alvin from the start of the robbery to its conclusion. 28
This is a grave error. The trial court cannot convict petitioner on the basis of a deduction that is irrational because it is not
derived from an established fact. The records do not show any fact from which the trial court can logically deduce the
conclusion that petitioner covered up his scar with black coloring to make it appear as a mole. Such an illogical reasoning
cannot constitute evidence of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. This palpable error was perpetrated by respondent
appellate court when it relied on the theory that this "fact" should not be disturbed on appeal because the trial court had a
better opportunity to observe the behavior of the prosecution witnesses during the hearing. This is a misapplication of the
rule in calibrating the credibility of witnesses. The subject finding of the trial court was not based on the demeanor of any
witnesses which it had a better opportunity to observe. Rather, it was a mere surmise, an illogical one at that. By no
means can it be categorized as a fact properly established by evidence.
And thirdly, corroborating witness Barbieto has serious lapses in her testimony that diluted her credibility.
Barbieto is a school teacher and the kind of excuses she proffered does not enhance her credibility. However, she and Quintal
merely testified they saw petitioner within the vicinity where the crimes were committed. By itself, this circumstance cannot lead
to the conclusion that petitioner truly committed the crimes at bench. Petitioner, we note, lives in the same vicinity as the victim.
To use his words, he lives some six (6) posts from the house of Torres. His presence in the said vicinity is thus not unnatural.
The doubtful identification of petitioner was not at all cured by the process followed by the NBI agents when petitioner was
pointed to by Madaraog and the other prosecution witnesses in their headquarters. Madaraog's identification of petitioner from a
line-up at the NBI was not spontaneous and independent. An NBI agent improperly suggested to them petitioner's person.
This damaging testimony of the petitioner was not rebutted by the prosecution. The NBI agent present during the
identification of petitioner was not presented to belie petitioner's testimony. Consequently, the identification of the
petitioner in the NBI headquarters is seriously flawed. According to writer Wall, the mode of identification other than an
identification parade is a show-up, the presentation of a single suspect to a witness for purposes of identification.
Together with its aggravated forms, it constitutes the most grossly suggestive identification procedure now or ever used
by the police. 33
The respondent appellate court, however, dismissed this claim of petitioner as self-serving. Again, the ruling misconstrues the
meaning of self-serving evidence. Self-serving evidence is not to be literally taken as evidence that serves one's selfish interest.
Under our law of evidence, self-serving evidence is one made by a party out of court at one time; it does not include a party's
testimony as a witness in court. It is excluded on the same ground as any hearsay evidence, that is the lack of opportunity for
cross-examination by the adverse party, and on the consideration that its admission would open the door to fraud and to
fabrication of testimony. On the other hand, a party's testimony in court is sworn and affords the other party the opportunity for
cross-examination. 34 Clearly, petitioner's testimony in court on how he was identified by the prosecution witnesses in the NBI
headquarters is not self-serving.
Petitioner's main defense is alibi. He professed that on July 19, 1988 he was mixing dough at TipTop Bakeshop from 7:00 o'clock
in the morning till 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon. With the usual traffic jam, it takes him two (2) hours to commute from Lagro to
Tondo. It was thus physically impossible for him to be at the locus criminis. He said he learned about the robbery thru his
neighbor three (3) days thereafter. He did not flee. He was arrested by the NBI agents more than one (1) month after the crimes
were perpetrated.
Angeli Tuason's corroborative testimony established that her brother had an eye examination on July 17, 1988 35and she
reminded him to work early on July 19, 1988 which he did.
Judges should not at once look with disfavor at the defense of alibi. Alibi should be considered in light of all the evidence on
record for it can tilt the scales of justice in favor of the accused. 36 In People vs. Omega, 37 we held:
Although alibi is known to be the weakest of all defenses for it is easy to concoct and difficult to disprove,
nevertheless, where the evidence for the prosecution is weak and betrays lack of concreteness on the question
of whether or not the accused committed the crime charged, the defense of alibi assumes importance.
The case at bench reminds us of the warning that judges seem disposed more readily to credit the veracity and reliability of
eyewitnesses than any amount of contrary evidence by or on behalf of the accused , whether by way of alibi, insufficient
identification, or other testimony. 38 They are unmindful that in some cases the emotional balance of the eyewitness is disturbed
by her experience that her powers of perception becomes distorted and her identification is frequently more untrustworthy. Into
the identification, enter other motives, not necessarily stimulated originally by the accused
personally the desire to requite a crime, to find a scapegoat, or to support, consciously or unconsciously, an identification
already made by another. 39

People vs. Chua Uy 327 S 335

Facts: Accused-appellant Chua Uy was convicted of drug pushing and possession in three separate cases filed against him for
violation of Sections 15 and 16 of Article III, R.A. No. 6425, as amended. Accused was arrested during a buy-bust operation for
the illegal sale of 5.8564 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, and possession of 401 grams of the same drug.
After obtaining a tip from an informant regarding the accused illegal activity a team from the Anti-Narcotics Division planned an
entrapment operation where one of the police officers will act as a poseur-buyer. The sale was consummated and the police
yielded more packets of shabu from the attach case of the appellant. Appellant was arrested and brought to the police station.
Subsequent search in his house yielded more packets of the illegal substance. The appellants version tells that on that same
evening, he just got home from tending to his garments business and was carrying a large amount of money, P132,000 to be
exact from his collections for the sales of the day. He said that he saw a white Toyota car outside his residence, the same being
offered to him for sale. He allegedly refused but agreed to test-drive the said car. It was then that he was allegedly stopped by the
police and was ordered to give up his attach case and forcible taken to the police station. It was there that he was accused that
said case contained the illegal substance.
The trial court gave credence to the prosecutions evidence and testimony of witnesses despite the non-presentation of the NBI
forensics chemist who tested and confirmed that substance found in the accused possession is indeed shabu. The accused
interposed the defense of frame-up and alleged that the evidence was merely planted.
Issue: Whether or not the evidence is hearsay and should not have been admitted?
Held: It may at once be noted that neither accused nor his counsel made express admission that the contents of the plastic bags
to be marked as Exhibits contain methamphetamine hydrochloride. Based on the joint order, it is clear that accused and his
counsel merely agreed to the marking of the exhibits, and the clause thereby dispensing with the testimony of forensic Chemist
Bravo. The admission cannot be used in evidence against him because the Joint Order was not signed. Nevertheless, RAMON
cannot take advantage of the absence of his and his counsels signatures on the pre-trial order. When the prosecution formally
offered in evidence what it had marked in evidence during the pre-trial, Chua Uy did not object to the admission of Bravos
Preliminary Report.
In addition to the foregoing admission by the accused of the prosecutions exhibits, he likewise never raised in issue before the
trial court the non-presentation of Forensic Chemist Bravo. He cannot now raise it for the first time on appeal. Objection to
evidence cannot be raised for the first time on appeal; when a party desires the court to reject the evidence offered, he must so
state in the form of objection. Without such objection he cannot raise the question for the first time on appeal.
The familiar rule in this jurisdiction is that the inadmissibility of certain documents upon the ground of hearsay if not urged before
the court below cannot, for the first time, be raised on appeal. Finally, as to the reports of Forensic Chemist Bravo, it must be
stressed that as an NBI Forensic Chemist, Bravo is a public officer, and his report carries the presumption of regularity in the
performance of his function and duty.
In Criminal Case No. 16199-MN, the prosecutions evidence more than proved beyond reasonable doubt all the elements
necessary in every prosecution for the illegal sale of shabu, to wit: (1) identity of the buyer and the seller, the object, and
consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. The delivery of the contraband to the poseur-buyer
and the receipt of the marked money successfully consummated the buy-bust transaction between the entrapping officers and
the accused. What is material in a prosecution for illegal sale of prohibited drugs is the proof that the transaction or sale actually
took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delicti. There is also no doubt that the charge of illegal possession
of shabu in Criminal Case No. 16200-MN was proven beyond reasonable doubt since accused knowingly carried with him more
than 400 grams of shabu without legal authority at the time he was caught during the buy-bust operation. Decision of CA affirmed
in toto.
On Validity of the Buy Bust
A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment whereby ways and means are resorted for the purpose of trapping and capturing
lawbreakers in the execution of their criminal plan; it is a procedure or operation sanctioned by law and which has consistently
proved itself to be an effective method of apprehending drug peddlers, and unless there is a clear and convincing evidence that
the members of the buy-bust team were inspired by any improper motive or were not properly performing their duty, their
testimony on the operation deserved full faith and credit.18 As has been repeatedly held, credence shall be given to the narration
of the incident by the prosecution witnesses especially when they are police officers who are presumed to have performed their
duties in a regular manner, unless there be evidence to the contrary; moreover in the absence of proof of motive to falsely impute
such a serious crime against appellant, the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty, as well as the findings of
the trial court on the credibility of witnesses, shall prevail over appellants self-serving and uncorroborated claim of having been
The defense of frame-up in drug cases requires strong and convincing evidence because of the presumption that the law
enforcement agencies acted in the regular performance of their official duties. Moreover, the defense of denial or frame-up, like
alibi, has been viewed by the court with disfavor for it can just as easily be concocted and is a common and standard defense
ploy in most prosecutions for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act.
The testimonies of the prosecution witnesses yields no basis to overturn the trial courts findings on their credibility. As correctly
noted by the trial court, there is no evidence of any improper motive on the part of the police officers who conducted the buy-bust
operation. RAMON has not even tried to suggest any ulterior motive.
The court is convinced that an honest- to- goodness entrapment operation was conducted by the team composed of the local
Anti-Narcotics Units Chief himself who led it.
RAMONs negative testimony must necessarily fail. An affirmative testimony is far stronger than a negative testimony, especially
when it comes from the mouth of credible witness.

People vs. Cepeda 324 S 290

For acceding to a request to massage the stomach of a neighbor's wife who was purportedly suffering abdominal pains, Conchita
Mahomoc got raped instead. Charged for the crime was the neighbor, Dante Cepeda y Sapotalo in an Information alleging -
That on or about the 2nd day of April 1994 in Barangay Buhang, Magallanes, Agusan del Norte, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, said accused, armed with a knife, by means of force and intimidation, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of Conchita Mahomoc, against her will.
Upon arraignment, accused assisted by counsel pleaded not guilty to the crime charged.[2] The case then proceeded to trial after
which the court a quo rendered judgment,[3] the dispositive portion of which reads:
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape and accordingly sentences him to suffer the penalty of RECLUSION
PERPETUA. He shall serve his sentence entirely at the Davao Prison and Penal Farm, Panabo, Davao del Norte. In addition, the
accused is ordered to pay the offended party moral damages in the sum of P50,000.00.[4] The accused is entitled to the full
benefits of his preventive imprisonment if he agrees to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners,
conformably with Article 29 (as amended) of the Revised Penal Code. Accused is also ordered to pay the costs.
Dissatisfied, accused interposed this appeal ascribing a lone assignment of error which asserts that -
The trial court summed the versions of both prosecution and defense thus:
On April 4, 1994, Conchita Mahomoc went to the PNP Station of Magallanes to complain that she was raped by Dante Cepeda.
On April 5, 1994, she signed her Complaint and swore to it before MCTC Clerk of Court Gad B. Curaza. She claims that at about
3:00 o'clock in the afternoon of April 2, 1994, Dante Cepeda went to her house at Buhang, Magallanes, Agusan del Norte, and
asked her to [go to] his house to massage (hilot) his wife who was suffering from stomach ache. Regina Carba, her neighbor, was
in her house and she asked her to go with her. Cepeda was at his kitchen door when they reached his house. He told Gina to
leave as his wife, who was Muslim, would get angry if there were many people in their home. He insisted on this many times so
that Gina had to leave. Cepeda led the complainant to his bedroom. At the door, Conchita peeped inside and saw a figure
covered by a blanket whom she presumed was Cepeda's wife. At that instance, accused immediately placed his left arm around
her shoulders and pointed a knife at the pit of her stomach saying: "Just keep quiet, do not make any noise, otherwise I will kill
you." She elbowed him, stooped and shouted "Help!" three times but Cepeda covered her mouth then carried her to the room by
her armpits. Shaking herself free from his grasp, she hit her left shin at the edge of the floor of the bedroom. Inside the room, he
threatened her with a knife and ordered her to remove her panty and lie on the bed. Afraid, she did as ordered and the accused
also removed his pants and brief. He placed himself on top of her, spread her legs with his legs, inserted his penis inside her
vagina and had sexual intercourse with her at the same time embracing and kissing her. After he was through, she ran towards
the kitchen with Cepeda chasing her.
Regina Carba confirmed this narration of the complainant on the aspect that at [a]bout 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon of April 2,
1994, she was at Conchita's house to discuss the gift they would give their neighbor who was getting married. Cepeda arrived
and asked Conchita to give his wife a massage as she was having stomach pains. Conchita had been a masseuse since 1979.
On complainant's request, she accompanied her to Cepeda's house. Upon arrival, the accused told her to leave as his Muslim
wife gets angry when there are plenty of people in their house. Both she and Conchita protested but Cepeda insisted on it several
times forcing her to leave the house of the accused.
Veronica Delmiguiz declared that at about 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon of April 2, 1994, she heard a shout for help from the
house of Cepeda. She looked and saw that the windows were closed. She did not give it a second thought thinking that it was a
family trouble as she has heard Cepeda and his wife quarrel on previous occasions. Helen Antolijao co-executed an affidavit with
Veronica Delminguiz on April 5, 1994 but was not anymore presented by the prosecution as her testimony would only corroborate
that of Delminguiz.
.......x x x.......x x x.......x x x
This charge is refuted by the accused claiming that he and Conchita are lovers. He came to know her as he passes by her house
in going to his place of work. He began working with EMCO in the month of February 1994. The complainant has gone to their
house four times in February 1994, first to sell Herway cosmetics, the second time to sell "chorizo", the third time to sell fish and
the fourth time to sell clothing materials. He was present in their house only on the first occasion that complainant had gone
there. He knew of the other occasions because his wife told him. The fifth time the complainant went to their house on March 6,
he courted her by saying: "Sing, I knew that you like me and I like you." Then they had sexual intercourse. The next time
Conchita came to see him and had sexual intercourse with Him was on March 13, then March 17, March 29 and March 27 when
on this date, she asked him to leave his wife to elope with her as she would also leave her husband. He rejected this proposal
because he loved his wife and Conchita had three daughters. Conchita, according to him, was displeased because he would not
elope with her. On April 2, 1994, Conchita again came to his house and while they were petting, somebody outside his house
said: "You there, what are you doing? At this Conchita left his house and went home. At about 10:00 o'clock that evening, he was
The accused's wife, Dory Cepeda, testified that indeed the complainant has gone to their house four times in the month of
February and on these occasions, her husband was at home. Her husband started working with EMCO in the month of March
while she began working as a baby sitter also in the month of March, 1994."
On the basis of the foregoing factual summation, the trial court rendered judgment against accused Dante Cepeda as stated at
the outset.
Insisting on his innocence, accused-appellant claims in his defense that he and private complainant were carrying on an
adulterous love affair. According to him, his request to private complainant that the latter massage his allegedly ill wife "is a pre-
arranged lie between the accused-appellant and private complainant in order to mislead Regina Carba" the truth being that
accused-appellant "purposely went to the house of private complainant to invite her to his house, their place of rendezvous for
their passionate affair."[6] He asserts that the charge of rape was "a contrivance or an afterthought rather than a truthful plaint for
redress of an actual wrong"[7] because private complainant "feeling guilty of such an adulterous affair and out of fear that Regina
might have suspected something between her and the accused-appellant, thought of accusing her paramour of rape in
anticipation of the possible retribution by her husband should he later on discover their relationships."[8]
Guided by the three (3) principles in the review of rape cases, namely, that -
1.] An accusation for rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused, though
innocent to disprove;
2.] In view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the
complainant is scrutinized with extreme caution; and
3.] The evidence of the prosecution stands or fall on its own merits and can not be allowed to draw strength from weakness of the
We find the appeal bereft of merit.
Accused-appellant's allegation of an illicit amorous relationship is too shopworn to deserve serious consideration and is totally
unworthy of credence. A circumspect scrutiny of the record discloses that the 'illicit love affair' angle appears as a fabrication by
accused- appellant. As an affirmative defense, the alleged 'love affair' needs convincing proof.[10] Having admitted to having had
carnal knowledge of the complainant several times,[11] accused-appellant bears the burden of proving his defense by substantial
evidence.[12] The record shows that other than his self-serving assertions, there is no evidence to support the claim that
accused-appellant and private complainant were in love.
It must be noted that accused-appellant and private complainant are both married and are living together with their respective
spouses.[13] In this case, other than accused-appellant's self-serving testimony, no other evidence like love letters, mementos or
pictures were presented to prove his alleged amorous relationship with private complainant. Neither was there any corroborative
testimony supporting this pretended illicit affair. If accused-appellant were really the paramour of private complainant, she would
not have gone to the extent of bringing this criminal action which inevitably exposed her to humiliation of recounting in public the
violation of her womanhood. Moreover, she would not have implicated a person, who is allegedly her lover, as the perpetrator of
an abominable crime and thereby lay open their illicit relationship to public shame and ridicule not to mention the ire of a
cuckolded husband and the withering contempt of her children were it not the truth.[14]
Evidence to be believed must not only come from a credible source but must also be credible in itself such as one that the
common experience and observation of mankind can approve as probable under the circumstances.[15] The Court has taken
judicial cognizance of the fact that in rural areas in this country, women by custom and tradition act with circumspection and
prudence, and that great caution is observed so that their reputation remains untainted.[16] Such circumspection must have
prompted the victim to request Regina Carba to accompany her on the errand of mercy to accused- appellant's house.
Unfortunately, Carba was shooed away by accused-appellant on the pretext that his wife who was a Muslim was averse to having
too many people in their house.
Even assuming ex gratia argumenti that accused- appellant and private complainant were indeed sweethearts as he claims, this
fact alone will not extricate him from his predicament. The mere assertion of a 'love relationship' would not necessarily rule out
the use of force to consummate the crime.[17] It must be stressed that in rape cases, the gravamen of the offense is sexual
intercourse with a woman against her will or without her consent.[18] Thus, granting arguendo that the accused and the victim
were really lovers this Court has reiterated time and again that "[A] sweetheart cannot be forced to have sex against her will.
Definitely, a man cannot demand sexual gratification from a fiancee, worse, employ violence upon her on the pretext of love.
Love is not a license for lust."[19]
Succinctly stated, in rape the prosecution must rule out the victim's consent to the sexual act.[20] In the case at bar, the testimony
of private complainant was clear: she did not consent to penile invasion.[21] Assuming for argument's sake that accused-
appellant and private complainant were sweethearts, rape was nevertheless committed because accused-appellant had sex with
the victim by force and against her will.[22]
Indeed, unless deeply wronged and aggrieved, private complainant would not have instituted this case at all. That the victim had
been married to her husband for seventeen (17) years and is a mother of four (4) children whose ages at the time ranged from
seventeen (17), sixteen (16), fourteen (14) and ten (10),[23] rendered her exposure to public trial of rape all the more
embarrassing and painful.
As aptly pointed out in People v. Mendoza,[24] a married woman with a husband and three (3) daughters would not , publicly
admit that she had been criminally abused unless that was the truth. Similarly, it defies reason in this case why a mother of four
(4) would concoct a story of defloration, allow the examination of her private parts[25] and publicly disclose that she has been
sexually abused if her motive were other than to fight for her honor and bring to justice the person who defiled her.
In a prosecution for rape, the evaluation of the evidence presented during trial ultimately revolves around the credibility of the
complaining witness.[29] When a woman says she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that she has
been raped and her testimony alone is sufficient if it satisfies the exacting standard of credibility needed to convict the accused.
In scrutinizing the credibility of witnesses, case law has established the following doctrinal guidelines: first, the appellate tribunal
will not disturb the findings of the lower court unless there is a showing that it had overlooked, misunderstood, or misapplied
some fact or circumstance of weight and substance that would have affected the result of the case; second, the findings of the
trial court pertaining to the credibility of witnesses are entitled to great respect and even finality since it had the opportunity to
examine their demeanor as they testified on the witness stand; and third, a witness who testified in a categorical, straightforward,
spontaneous and frank manner and remained consistent on cross-examination is a credible witness.[31]
Applying these guidelines, we find no reason to disturb the following findings and conclusions of the trial court:
From the evidence of both the prosecution and the defense, the Court could make out this deduction: from the accused's heart
sprang this evil desire and he contrived a plan to rape the complainant. He made up a story about his wife being in pain and
shaped a mat covered with a blanket thus making it appear that his wife as in bed. He closed all the windows of his house so no
one could see what happened inside. What he did not expect though was the presence of Regina Carba in the house of the
complainant so that he again had to make up another tale about his wife being a Muslim to get rid of Carba. Without any "illicit
relationship" having been established between the accused and the complainant before April 2, 1994, what is the basis for the
sexual intercourse on that day? The complainant says "rape" and the Court agrees. The Court just cannot believe that a mother
of four would demand from a man who became her neighbor for only about one and a half months to elope with her. There is no
evidence that her relationship with her husband was on the rocks. Rather, as soon as her husband arrived from work, she
reported to him the abuse she suffered from the hands of the accused and a commotion ensued because of the husband's anger.
From the accused's own mouth, he had been convicted once for possession of "indian pana" and had been transferring from one
place to another, without a permanent home, while the complainant has established her home in Magallanes and is secure
therein together with her family. A Filipina woman, especially a mother of three daughters, would not bring herself, her family and
her husband to embarrassment, to public scrutiny and being the talk of the community unless what she had testified that she was
raped is true.[32] If, in the remote possibility, complainant had voluntarily consented to have sex with him, her most natural
reaction would have been to conceal it or keep silent as this would bring disgrace to her honor and reputation, as well as to her
The conscience of the Court will be very much at ease with a finding that the accused is guilty. It could not decree an acquittal
based on lies for falsehood is the anathema of justice. There can be no justice based on lies.
To restate what had been said earlier, it is highly inconceivable vis-a-vis the prevailing facts of the case for the victim to conjure a
tale of ravishment and, in the process, subject herself and her family to the disgrace, social humiliation and trauma attendant to a
prosecution for rape as well as the stigma of a lifetime of shame incident thereto.[34] Furthermore, the conduct of the victim
immediately following the alleged assault is of utmost important so as to establish the truth or falsity of the charges of rape.[35] In
this case, we find the private complainant's prompt report of her defilement to her husband as well as the authorities as
convincing indications that she has been truly wronged. A complainant's act in immediately reporting the commission, of rape has
been considered by this Court as a factor strengthening her credibility.[36]
With regard to the civil liability, however, the trial court's award of damages should be modified. Under controlling case law, an
award of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) as civil indemnity is mandatory upon the finding of the fact of rape.[37] This is
exclusive of the award of moral damages of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) without need of further proof.[38] The victims'
injury is now recognized as inherently concomitant with and necessarily proceeds from the appalling crime of rape which per
se, warrants an award for moral damages.[39]
WHEREFORE, with the sole MODIFICATION that accused-appellant Dante Cepeda y Sapotalo pay complainant the amount of
Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) as civil indemnity consistent with controlling case law, aside from the award of Fifty Thousand
Pesos (P50,000.00) as moral damages, the decision of the trial court in Criminal Case No. 6246 finding accused Dante Cepeda y
Sapotalo guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape is hereby AFFIRMED in all other respects.


People vs. Lase 219 S 584


1. Appellant was convicted of the murder of one Dante Huelva. Huelva was urinating on the roadside when accused appellant
stabbed him in the back. This was witnessed by two people Sayson and Pangatihon.

2. Accused-appellant interposed the defense of alibi and relied on the testimony of his principal witnesses to support his version
that he was somewhere else and not at the scene of the crime at the time of the killing.

3. During the trial, Godofreda Huelva, mother of the victim testified that accused-appellant offered to settle the case for the sum
of P10,000.00. In his surrebuttal testimony, accused-appellant vaguely denied this offer of compromise. He, however, insinuated
that he could offer a higher amount

RTC: The Trial court held him liable for the killing of Dante Huelva qualifying it to murder,

Issue: Whether or not the offer to settle the case should be admitted as evidence of guilt

YES. An offer of compromise by the accused may be received in evidence as an implied admission of guilt. The second
paragraph of Section 27, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court expressly provides that,'In criminal cases, except those
involving quasi-offenses (criminal negligence) or those allowed by law to be compromised, an offer of compromise by the
accused may be received in evidence as an implied admission of guilt. Murder is not among those criminal cases that can be

Treachery was proven but not evident premeditation

The crime was committed with treachery due to the sudden and unexpected attack on the victim, who was then urinating at the
side of the road, with a deadly 7-inch Batangas knife. Accused-appellant consciously adopted this mode of attack to facilitate or
insure the commission of the crime without risk to himself arising from any defensive or retaliatory act on the part of the victim.
Evident premeditation was not duly established by the prosecution.

As to the delay in giving the witness' statement

The failure of prosecution witness Pangantihon to immediately report the incident did not affect his credibility. His initial reluctance
either due to unwillingness to be involved in or dragged into criminal investigations is understandable.

Trans Pacific Industrial Supplies, Inc. vs. CA 235 S 494

In this petition for review on certiorari, petitioner Trans-Pacific Industrial Supplies, Inc. seeks the reversal of the decision of
respondent court, the decretal portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, the decision of June 11, 1991 is SET ASIDE and NULLIFIED; the complaint is dismissed, and on
the counterclaim, Transpacific is ordered to pay Associated attorney's fees of P15,000.00.
Costs against Transpacific.
SO ORDERED. (Rollo, p. 47)
Sometime in 1979, petitioner applied for and was granted several financial accommodations amounting to P1,300,000.00 by
respondent Associated Bank. The loans were evidenced and secured by four (4) promissory notes, a real estate mortgage
covering three parcels of land and a chattel mortgage over petitioner's stock and inventories.
Unable to settle its obligation in full, petitioner requested for, and was granted by respondent bank, a restructuring of the
remaining indebtedness which then amounted to P1,057,500.00, as all the previous payments made were applied to penalties
and interests.
To secure the re-structured loan of P1,213,400.00, three new promissory notes were executed by Trans-Pacific as follows: (1)
Promissory Note No. TL-9077-82 for the amount of P1,050,000.00 denominated as working capital; (2) Promissory Note No. TL-
9078-82 for the amount of P121,166.00 denominated as restructured interest; (3) Promissory Note No. TL-9079-82 for the
amount of P42,234.00 denominated similarly as restructured interest (Rollo. pp. 113-115).
The mortgaged parcels of land were substituted by another mortgage covering two other parcels of land and a chattel mortgage
on petitioner's stock inventory. The released parcels of land were then sold and the proceeds amounting to P1,386,614.20,
according to petitioner, were turned over to the bank and applied to Trans-Pacific's restructured loan. Subsequently, respondent
bank returned the duplicate original copies of the three promissory notes to Trans-Pacific with the word "PAID" stamped thereon.
Despite the return of the notes, or on December 12, 1985, Associated Bank demanded from Trans-Pacific payment of the amount
of P492,100.00 representing accrued interest on PN No. TL-9077-82. According to the bank, the promissory notes were
erroneously released.
Initially, Trans-Pacific expressed its willingness to pay the amount demanded by respondent bank. Later, it had a change of heart
and instead initiated an action before the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Br. 146, for specific performance and damages. There it
prayed that the mortgage over the two parcels of land be released and its stock inventory be lifted and that its obligation to the
bank be declared as having been fully paid.
After trial, the court a quo rendered judgment in favor of Trans-Pacific.
Respondent bank elevated the case to the appellate court which, as aforesaid, reversed the decision of the trial court. In this
appeal, petitioner raises four errors allegedly committed by the respondent court, namely:
BANK (Rollo, p. 15).
The first three assigned errors will be treated jointly since their resolution border on the common issue, i.e., whether or not
petitioner has indeed paid in full its obligation to respondent bank.
Applying the legal presumption provided by Art. 1271 of the Civil Code, the trial court ruled that petitioner has fully discharged its
obligation by virtue of its possession of the documents (stamped "PAID") evidencing its indebtedness. Respondent court
disagreed and held, among others, that the documents found in possession of Trans-Pacific are mere duplicates and cannot be
the basis of petitioner's claim that its obligation has been fully paid. Accordingly, since the promissory notes submitted by
petitioner were duplicates and not the originals, the delivery thereof by respondent bank to the petitioner does not merit the
application of Article 1271 (1st par.) of the Civil Code which reads:
Art. 1271. The delivery of a private document evidencing a credit, made voluntarily by the creditor to the debtor,
implies the renunciation of the action which the former had against the latter.
Respondent court is of the view that the above provision must be construed to mean the original copy of the document
evidencing the credit and not its duplicate, thus:
. . . [W]hen the law speaks of the delivery of the private document evidencing a credit, it must be construed as
referring to the original. In this case, appellees (Trans-Pacific) presented, not the originals but the duplicates of
the three promissory notes." (Rollo, p. 42)
The above pronouncement of respondent court is manifestly groundless. It is undisputed that the documents presented were
duplicate originals and are therefore admissible as evidence. Further, it must be noted that respondent bank itself did not bother
to challenge the authenticity of the duplicate copies submitted by petitioner. In People vs. Tan, (105 Phil. 1242 [1959]), we said:
When carbon sheets are inserted between two or more sheets of writing paper so that the writing of a contract
upon the outside sheet, including the signature of the party to be charged thereby, produces a facsimile upon the
sheets beneath, such signature being thus reproduced by the same stroke of pen which made the surface or
exposed impression, all of the sheets so written on are regarded as duplicate originals and either of them may be
introduced in evidence as such without accounting for the nonproduction of the others.
A duplicate copy of the original may be admitted in evidence when the original is in the possession of the party against whom the
evidence is offered, and the latter fails to produce it after reasonable notice (Sec. 2[b], Rule 130), as in the case of respondent
This notwithstanding, we find no reversible error committed by the respondent court in disposing of the appealed decision. As
gleaned from the decision of the court a quo, judgment was rendered in favor of petitioner on the basis of presumptions, to wit:
The surrender and return to plaintiffs of the promissory notes evidencing the consolidated obligation as
restructured, produces a legal presumption that Associated had thereby renounced its actionable claim against
plaintiffs (Art. 1271, NCC). The presumption is fortified by a showing that said promissory notes all bear the
stamp "PAID", and has not been otherwise overcome. Upon a clear perception that Associated's record keeping
has been less than exemplary . . ., a proffer of bank copies of the promissory notes without the "PAID" stamps
thereon does not impress the Court as sufficient to overcome presumed remission of the obligation vis-a-vis the
return of said promissory notes. Indeed, applicable law is supportive of a finding that in interest bearing
obligations-as is the case here, payment of principal (sic) shall not be deemed to have been made until the
interests have been covered (Art. 1253, NCC). Conversely, competent showing that the principal has been paid,
militates against postured entitlement to unpaid interests.
In fine. the Court is satisfied that plaintiffs must be found to have settled their obligations in full.
As corollary, a finding is accordingly compelled that plaintiffs (sic) accessory obligations under the real estate
mortgage over two (2) substituted lots as well as the chattel mortgage, have been extinguished by the
renunciation of the principal debt (Art. 1273, NCC), following the time-honored axiom that the accessory follows
the principal. There is, therefore, compelling warrant (sic) to find in favor of plaintiffs insofar as specific
performance for the release of the mortgages on the substituted lots and chattel is concerned. (Rollo, p. 100)
premised by:
Records show that Associated's Salvador M. Mesina is on record as having testified that all three (3) December
8, 1990 promissory notes for the consolidated principal obligation, interest and penalties had been fully paid
(TSN, July 18, 1990, p. 18). It is, moreover, admitted that said promissory notes were accordingly returned to
Romeo Javier. (Ibid.)
The above disquisition finds no factual support, however, per review of the records. The presumption created by the Art. 1271 of
the Civil Code is not conclusive but merely prima facie. If there be no evidence to the contrary, the presumption stands.
Conversely, the presumption loses its legal efficacy in the face of proof or evidence to the contrary. In the case before us, we find
sufficient justification to overthrow the presumption of payment generated by the delivery of the documents evidencing petitioners
It may not be amiss to add that Article 1271 of the Civil Code raises a presumption, not of payment, but of the renunciation of the
credit where more convincing evidence would be required than what normally would be called for to prove payment. The rationale
for allowing the presumption of renunciation in the delivery of a private instrument is that, unlike that of a public instrument, there
could be just one copy of the evidence of credit. Where several originals are made out of a private document, the intendment of
the law would thus be to refer to the delivery only of the original original rather than to the original duplicate of which the debtor
would normally retain a copy. It would thus be absurd if Article 1271 were to be applied differently.
While it has been consistently held that findings of facts are not reviewable by this Court, this rule does not find application where
both the trial and the appellate courts differ thereon (Asia Brewery, Inc. v. CA, 224 SCRA 437 [1993]).
Petitioner maintains that the findings of the trial court should be sustained because of its advantage in observing the demeanor of
the witnesses while testifying (citing Crisostomo v. Court of Appeals, 197 SCRA 833) more so where it is supported by the
records (Roman Catholic Bishop of Malolos v. Court of Appeals, 192 SCRA 169).
This case, however, does not concern itself with the demeanor of witnesses. As for the records, there is actually none submitted
by petitioner to prove that the contested amount, i.e., the interest, has been paid in full. In civil cases, the party that alleges a fact
has the burden of proving it (Imperial Victory Shipping Agency v. NLRC 200 SCRA 178 [1991]). Petitioner could have easily
adduced the receipts corresponding to the amounts paid inclusive of the interest to prove that it has fully discharged its obligation
but it did not.
There is likewise nothing on the records relied upon by the trial court to support its claim, by empirical evidence, that the amount
corresponding to the interest has indeed been paid. The trial court totally relied on a disputable presumption that the obligation of
petitioner as regards interest has been fully liquidated by the respondent's act of delivering the instrument evidencing the
principal obligation. Rebuttable as they are, the court a quo chose to ignore an earlier testimony of Mr. Mesina anent the
outstanding balance pertaining to interest, as follows:
Q Notwithstanding, let us go now specifically to promissory note No. 9077-82 in the amount of
consolidated principal of P1,050,000.00. Does the Court get it correctly that this consolidated
balance has been fully paid?
A Yes, the principal, yes, sir.
Q Fully settled?
A Fully settled, but the interest of that promissory note has not been paid, Your Honor.
Q In other words, you are saying, fully settled but not truly fully settled?
A The interest was not paid.
Q Not fully settled?
A The interest was not paid, but the principal obligation was removed from our books, Your
Q And you returned the promissory note?
A We returned the promissory note. (TSN, July 18, 1990, p. 22)
That petitioner has not fully liquidated its financial obligation to the Associated Bank finds more than ample confirmation and self-
defeating posture in its letter dated December 16, 1985, addressed to respondent bank, viz.:
. . . that because of the prevailing unhealthy economic conditions, the business is unable to generate sufficient
resources for debt servicing.
Fundamentally on account of this, we propose that you permit us to fully liquidate the remaining obligations to
you of P492,100 through a payment in kind (dacion en pago) arrangement by way of the equipments (sic) and
spare parts under chattel mortgage to you to the extent of their latest appraised values." (Rollo, pp. 153-154;
Emphasis supplied)
Followed by its August 20, 1986 letter which reads:
We have had a series of communications with your bank regarding our proposal for the eventual settlement of
our remaining obligations . . .
As you may be able to glean from these letters and from your credit files, we have always been conscious of our
obligation to you which had not been faithfully serviced on account of unfortunate business reverses.
Notwithstanding these however, total payments thus far remitted to you already exceede (sic) the original
principal amount of our obligation. But because of interest and other charges, we find ourselves still obligated to
you by P492,100.00. . . .
. . . We continue to find ourselves in a very fluid (sic) situation in as much as the overall outlook of the industry
has not substantially improved. Principally for this reason, we had proposed to settle our remaining obligations to
you by way of dacion en pago of the equipments (sic) and spare parts mortgaged to you to (the) extent of their
applicable loan values. (Rollo, p. 155; Emphasis supplied)
Petitioner claims that the above offer of settlement or compromise is not an admission that anything is due and is inadmissible
against the party making the offer (Sec. 24, Rule 130, Rules of Court). Unfortunately, this is not an iron-clad rule.
To determine the admissibility or non-admissibility of an offer to compromise, the circumstances of the case and the intent of the
party making the offer should be considered. Thus, if a party denies the existence of a debt but offers to pay the same for the
purpose of buying peace and avoiding litigation, the offer of settlement is inadmissible. If in the course thereof, the party making
the offer admits the existence of an indebtedness combined with a proposal to settle the claim amicably, then, the admission is
admissible to prove such indebtedness (Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court, Vol. 5, p. 233 [1980 ed.); Francisco, Rules of
Court, Vol. VII, p. 325 [1973 ed.] citing McNiel v. Holbrook, 12 Pac. (US) 84, 9 L.ed. 1009). Indeed, an offer of settlement is an
effective admission of a borrower's loan balance (L.M. Handicraft Manufacturing Corp. v. Court of Appeals, 186 SCRA 640
[1990]). Exactly, this is what petitioner did in the case before us for review.
Finally, respondent court is faulted in awarding attorney's fees in favor of Associated Bank. True, attorney's fees may be awarded
in a case of clearly unfounded civil action (Art. 2208 [4], CC). However, petitioner claims that it was compelled to file the suit for
damages in the honest belief that it has fully discharged its obligations in favor of respondent bank and therefore not unfounded.
We believe otherwise. As petitioner would rather vehemently deny, undisputed is the fact of its admission regarding the unpaid
balance of P492,100.00 representing interests. It cannot also be denied that petitioner opted to sue for specific performance and
damages after consultation with a lawyer (Rollo, p. 99) who advised that not even the claim for interests could be recovered;
hence, petitioner's attempt to seek refuge under Art. 1271 (CC). As previously discussed, the presumption generated by Art. 1271
is not conclusive and was successfully rebutted by private respondent. Under the circumstances, i.e., outright and honest letters
of admission vis-a-vis counsel-induced recalcitrance, there could hardly be honest belief. In this regard, we quote with approval
respondent court's observation:
The countervailing evidence against the claim of full payment emanated from Transpacific itself. It cannot profess
ignorance of the existence of the two letters, Exhs. 3 & 4, or of the import of what they contain. Notwithstanding
the letters, Transpacific opted to file suit and insist(ed) that its liabilities had already been paid. There was thus an
ill-advised attempt on the part of Transpacific to capitalize on the delivery of the duplicates of the promissory
notes, in complete disregard of what its own records show. In the circumstances, Art. 2208 (4) and (11) justify the
award of attorney's fees. The sum of P15,000.00 is fair and equitable. (Rollo, pp. 46-47)
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. Costs against petitioner.

People vs. Buemio 265 S 582

1. Herein accused Buemio was charged with several information on illegal recruitment and estafa.
a. She is charged with illegal recruitment by several people. Her modus is that she would tell the victims that she
can help them place jobs in Japan, earning 10,000 yen per day. She would collect 60k as placement fee, and
when the time comes, they would get a ticket to Korea instead, Buemio claiming that its easier to get into
Japan if they are in Korea.
b. However, this would turn out to be a hoax as the victims would never go to Japan and would be forced to use
their return tickets. Buemio would also fail to return the money they paid even though she promised to do so.
2. Hence, her victims filed a complaint with the NBI, who later found probable cause.
4. Based on the facts, some of those complainants were never mentioned in the award of damages.
5. SC found that the reason why RTC did not mention the other complainants was due to an affidavit of desistance they

ISSUE: W/N the complainants affidavits of desistance would be enough to exonerate the accused of the crime charged

Generally, the court attaches no persuasive value to affidavits of desistance, especially when it is executed as an afterthought.
Some of the complainants may have had a change of heart as the offense on their person is concerned, but this will not affect the
public prosecution of the offense itself.

The right of prosecution and punishment for a crime is one of the attributes that by a natural law belongs to the sovereign power
instantly charged by the common will of the members of society to look after, guard and defend the interest of the community

The cardinal principle which states that to the State belongs the power to prosecute and punish crimes should not be overlooked
since a criminal offense is an outrage to the sovereign State.

People vs. Amaca 277 S 215

1. Accused Amaca and another known as Ogang were charged for shooting Wilson Vergara. During the trial, the prosecution
presented Dr. Edgar Pialago, a resident physician on duty when the victim was brought to the hospital after the shooting. The
doctor testified that he was able to attend to the victim who had undergone a surgical operation conducted by another doctor. At
that time, the major organs of the victim were no longer functioning normally, while his pancreas was likewise injured due to the 2
gunshot wounds at his back. The victim was admitted at 10:45PM but expired the following evening at 10PM. According to Dr.
Pialago, even with immediate medical attention, the victim could not survive the wounds he sustained.

2. Another witness testified, PO Mangubat, a police officer , who interviewed the victim (Wilson Vergara) right after the
shooting. Mangubat testified that he saw the victim already on board a Ford Fiera pick-up ready for transport to the hospital. He
inquired from the victim about the incident, and the former answered he was shot by CVO Amaca and Ogang. Upon query why
he was shot, the victim said he did not know the reason why he was shot. Upon being asked as to his condition, the victim said
that he was about to die. He was able to reduce into writing the declaration of the victim and made latter affixed his thumb mark
with the use of his own blood in the presence of Wagner Cardenas, the brother of the City Mayor.

3. Segundina Vergara, mother of the victim, and her son-in-law Jose Lapera both desisted from further prosecution of the
case. the former because of the "financial help" extended by the accused to her family, and the latter because Segundina had
already "consented to the amicable settlement of the case." Despite this, the Department of Justice found the existence of
a prima facie case based on the victim's ante mortem statement.

4. The lower court convicted Amaca on the basis of the victim's ante mortemstatement to Police Officer Mangubat positively
identifying accused. The dying declaration was deemed sufficient to overcome the accuseds defense of alibi. However, due to
the voluntary desistance of the victim's mother from further prosecuting the case, the court a quo declined to make a finding on
the civil liability of the appellant.

Issue: 1) Whether or not offer of compromise is admissible against the accused

YES. The "financial help" when viewed as an offer of compromise may be deemed as additional proof to demonstrate appellant's
criminal liability. The victim's mother desisted from prosecuting the case in consideration of the "financial help" extended to her
family by the accused-appellant.

It is a well-settled rule that that the desistance of the victim's complaining mother does not bar the People from prosecuting the
criminal action, but it does operate as a waiver of the right to pursue civil indemnity. Hence, in effectively waiving her right to
institute an action to enforce the civil liability of accused-appellant, she also waived her right to be awarded any civil indemnity
arising from the criminal prosecution. This waiver is bolstered by the fact that neither she nor any private prosecutor in her behalf
appealed the trial court's refusal to include a finding of civil liability. But the heirs, if there are any may file an independent civil
action to recover damages for the death of Wilson Vergara.

Issue (2): Whether or not the dying declaration of victim should be admitted

YES. The victims dying declaration is admissible.

A dying declaration is worthy of belief because it is highly unthinkable for one who is aware of his impending death to accuse,
falsely or even carelessly, anyone of being responsible for his foreseeable demise. Indeed, "when a person is at the point of
death, every motive for falsehood is silenced and the mind is induced by the most powerful consideration to speak the

truth." This is the rationale for this exception to the hearsay rule under Section 37, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. The elements
of such exception are: (1) the deceased made the declaration conscious of his impending death; (2) the declarant would have
been a competent witness had he survived; (3) the declaration concerns the cause and surrounding circumstances of the
declarant's death; (4) the declaration is offered in a criminal case where the declarant's death is the subject of inquiry; and (5) the
declaration is complete in itself. All these concur in the present case.

Finally, Police Officer Mangubat is presumed under the law to have regularly performed his duty. There is nothing in the
circumstances surrounding his investigation of the crime which shows any semblance of irregularity or bias, much less an attempt
to frame Amaca. Even the accused testified that he had no previous misunderstanding with Police Officer Mangubat and knew no
reason why the latter would falsely testify against him.

Declarant is a competent witness

The serious nature of the victim's injuries did not affect his credibility as a witness since said injuries, as previously mentioned,
did not cause the immediate loss of his ability to perceive and to identify his shooter.

Homicide only not murder

Appellant may be held liable only for homicide since treachery was not alleged in the Information, while evident premeditation
and night time, although duly alleged, were not satisfactorily proven. The Information readily reveals that the killing was qualified
only by evident premeditation. Treachery was not alleged in the information. It is necessary to qualify the crime to murder.
Treachery is an element of the crime. The Constitution requires that the accused must be informed of the "nature and cause of
the accusation against him."The failure to allege treachery in the Information is a major lapse of the prosecution.
Moreover, treachery and night time may not be considered even as generic aggravating circumstances, because there is nothing
in the testimony of the prosecution witnesses to convincingly show that the accused-appellant consciously and purposely
adopted (1) such means of attack to render the victim defenseless and (2) the darkness of night to facilitate the commission of
the crime, to prevent its discovery or even evade capture.


People vs. Condemena 23 S 910

Facts: Pelagio Condemena, Casamero Patino, Ricarido Causing and Simplicio Aniel were charged with the crime of robbery in
band with homicide in the Court of First Instance of Leyte, with the qualifying circumstance of treachery, and aggravating
circumstances of nocturnity, abuse of superior strength and dwelling.
After trial, the court found all the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of robbery in band with homicide without,
however, making a finding on any of the aggravating circumstances alleged in the information, instead it took into consideration
the lack of instruction and education in mitigation of their criminal liability. Pending their appeal in this Court, Pelagio Condemena,
Ricarido Causing and Casamero Patino withdrew their appeal which was granted in a resolution. As the record now stands, only
Simplicio Aniel remained as the appellant.
Appellant Simplicio Aniel, in exculpation, interposed the defense of alibi. He presented Benjamin (Benigno) Corpin, a 73-year old
man, who testified that on October 6, 1962, he was in the market fair of Celso Muertigue in Wague, Leyte, selling salted fish. His
companion on that date was Simplicio Aniel whom he hired to help him. The two of them left Considra (or Consuegra), Leyte, at
7:00 oclock in the morning and returned home to Considra from the market fair at 5:00 oclock in the afternoon of the same day.
They arrived together in his house at Considra where the two of them took their meals. Then after that, Simplicio Aniel went to his
house. Aniels house was only about 10 to 15 meters away from his home. The defense argued that the identification in open
court made by Barcelisa Lamoste and her daughter, Esmeralda Lamoste, should not have been considered by the that court as a
positive identification which could sustain the conviction of Simplicio Aniel for the crime charged.
Issue: Whether or not appellant Simplicio Aniel has been sufficiently identified as one of the four men who participated in the
commission of the crime charged?
Held: Yes. Well settled is the rule that the defense of alibi is weak where the prosecution witnesses positively identified the
accused. To prosper such a defense, it must be established by clear and convincing evidence and not merely supported by
witnesses who bear close ties of relationship to the accused. The degree of the evidence trust be such as to preclude any doubt
that the accused could not have been physically present at the place of the crime or its immediate vicinity, at the time of its
Barcelisa Lamoste, in the words of the trial judge who had personally seen and observed her behavior and manner of testifying
on the witness stand, unhesitantly and unmistakenly pointed to Simplicio Aniel as the person who rushed towards her and
pointed his gun, about one foot long, at her face, warning her at the same time not to shout or else she will be killed. Esmeralda
Lamoste substantially corroborated the testimony of her mother. And Crispin Bactols testimony has demonstrated a
circumstance of strong persuasion when he recognized Condemena and his companions when they were passing in front of his
house. The credibility of their testimony was never successfully impugned by the defense whom they were cross-examined on
the witness stand. No motive was shown by the defense why these witnesses should impute so grave a crime to Simplicio Aniel
who they did not even know before the crime was committed.
The positive identification of appellant Simplicio Aniel was further bolstered when Pelagio Condemena and Casamero Patino, in
their sworn statements named Simplicio Aniel as one of them in the group when they killed Fermin Lamoste and robbed the
house of P200.00 on October 6, 1962, at about 6:00 oclock in the afternoon.
Extrajudicial confessions, independently made without collusion, which are identical with each other in their essential details and
are corroborated by other evidence on record, are admissible as circumstantial evidence against the person implicated to show
the probability of the latters actual participation in the commission of the crime. As the Supreme Court decalred:
While confession of a co-conspirator are not ordinarily admissible as evidence against another co-conspirator, the fact that they
implicate the latter and were made soon after the commission of the crime, is circumstantial evidence to show the probability of
their co-conspirator having actually participated therein.

People vs. Provo 37 S 19

Defendant Jose Mesina seeks the reversal of a decision of the Court of First Instance of Tarlac, the dispositive part of which
WHEREFORE, on reasonable doubt, the accused PAN PROVO and LEONARDO DAVID are ACQUITTED of the
crime charged, with costs de officio. However, PAN PROVO should be released from detention because of the
pendency of Criminal Case No. 2190 of this Court wherein the said accused is one of those charged for Murder.
With reference to LEONARDO DAVID, his immediate release is ordered unless his confinement is warranted by
some other legal cause.
As for the accused JOSE MESINA, the Court finds him GUILTY of the crime of Murder punishable under Article
248 of the Revised Penal Code, and he is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua; to
indemnify the heir of the victim Matignas Serrano in the amount of TEN THOUSAND PESOS (Pl0,000.00); and to
pay the costs. The Court has imposed the penalty in its medium period, instead of the maximum penalty of death
because the aggravating circumstance of nighttime and use of superior strength alleged in the information have
already been absorbed in the qualifying circumstance of treachery.
On October 9, 1958, shortly after dusk, Matignas Serrano, a security guard of the Clark Field Air Base, was forcibly taken away
by five men from his guard post at Fish Hawk No. 1, locally known as "Pisok," at Bamban, Tarlac, where there is a cement vault,
about 1-1/2 meters by 2 meters at its base and about 2-1/2 meters in height, with an iron door which is padlocked. There are
electric wires, on top of the vault, connected with the wirings running southward from wooden -transmission n posts on both sides
of said
vault.1 His dead body was found, on October 11, 1958, in a sugarcane plantation near a wooded area, known as Sapang Bituka,
not far away from said post, with fractured "cervical vertebrae, right mandible, and right basofrontal bones." On December 2,
1958, a complaint was filed accusing herein appellant Jose Mesina, together with John Doe, Peter Doe, Richard Doe and William
Doe, of kidnapping with murder. Soon thereafter, the corresponding information was filed with the Court of First Instance of Tarlac
charging Jose Mesina and Leonardo David, alias Benaring with the aforesaid crime. Still later, the information was amended to
include Pan Provo as one of the accused.
The main evidence for the prosecution against Mesina consisted of the testimonies of Benita Mayuyu, Anastacio Serrano,
Apolonio Gilbert, Kudiaru Laxamana and Emilio Provo, and Exhibits C and E. The prosecution, likewise, introduced the testimony,
among others, of Robert Armstrong, superintendent of the police at the Air Base, which is partly in Camp O'Donnell, province of
Pampanga, and partly in Bamban, Tarlac.
Armstrong testified that, in addition to a private road therein, the Air Base used to maintain its communications with Camp
O'Donnell by radio, as well as thru underground cables, about two (2) inches in diameter, containing around 900 wires, for the
protection of which and other property within the base the U.S. Government had engaged as sentries the services of former
members of the Philippine Scouts and members of the Non-Christian tribe known as "Baluga," among whom was the deceased
Matignas Serrano, whose guard post wag on a small plateau, on top of a hill, about 600 feet high. Early in 1958, the
communication officer of the Air Base had reported difficulty in communication, which was found to be due to the disappearance
of a portion of said cables, about 3 miles in length- apart from the disappearance of bridges and culverts-owing, presumably, to
pilferage. In the evening of October 9, 1958, Anastacio Serrano, another Baluga sentry, reported that his brother Matignas
Serrano had been missing from this post at "Pisok," with his carbine, since 6:00 o'clock that evening. The next day, a posse
searched in vain the vicinity of "Pisok." On October 11, 1958, the body of Matignas was found in a state of decay at Sapang
Bituka, not far away from Pisok.lwph1.t The carbine and ammunition issued to him were missing. Armstrong further said that
Pan Provo is another Baluga chief in the region; that he (Armstrong) had seen Pan Provo and Mesina together on several
occasions; that Pan Provo and Mesina are related to each other; and that once Pan Provo asked him (Armstrong) to engage the
services of Mesina as security guard.
It appears from the testimonies of Anastacio Serrano, Benita Mayuyu, Apolonio Gilbert and Kudiaru, Laxamana that, on October
9, 1958, at about 9:00 a.m., Mesina went to the house of Anastacio Serrano, at Baluga Village, accompanied by a man whose
face was partly covered; that, presently, Apolonio Gilbert arrived, also, at said house of Anastacio Serrano, to ask for some rice;
that the three (3) visitors took their lunch in that house; that, soon thereafter, Mesina urged Anastacio to let him get some "pipes,"
referring to the electric cable lines, guarded by Matignas Serrano near Pisok, within the Air Base Anastacio answered that he
could not grant Mesina's request because the "pipes" (cables) belonged to the Americans; that, thereupon, Mesina remarked: "If
you do not know how to get along with people, you win not live long"; that, later, at about 3:00 p.m., Mesina and the unknown
man, who came with him, departed stating that they were in a hurry because they had companions waiting for them at Pisok;
that, just after sunset that evening, Benita Mayuyu went to the post of her husband at Pisok and gave him a flashlight he had
bade her to bring that, soon after, five (5) men, four (4) of them masked, came; that the unmasked man was Mesina, whom she
knew long before, and who asked a cigarette from Matignas; that, as the latter extended his hand holding the cigarette, Mesina
grabbed the rifle slang on his (Matignas') shoulder, whereas the four (4) masked men held him, and, with the help of Mesina,
dragged him down the hill, and disappeared in the darkness at the foot thereof; that she, thereupon, screamed for help; that as
her nephew Berting Sibal, whose house was not far away, came, she bade him to inform her brother-in-law, Anastacio Serrano,
that Matignas had been kidnapped; that when Anastacio Serrano came, later that evening, he found Benita crying miserably; that
he gathered from her that Matignas had been taked away by several men, and since, in view of her condition, he could not get
from her the detail's of the occurrence, he proceeded to the Air Base and reported the matter; that the officer then on duty therein
told him (Anastacio) to go home and come back the next day with a search team, which he did; that upon learning of the
disappearance of Matignas, on October 10, 1958, Kudiaru Laxamana, another security guard of the Air Base, went, with several
persons, to Pisok where Benita Mayuyu confirmed the news that Matignas had been kidnapped by several persons and told him
that one of them was Jose Mesina; that, as Laxamana and 4 others proceeded down the hill to search for Matignas, following the
footprints visible on the ground, Mesina came and joined the search; that the aforementioned footprints led to a sugarcane field,
at a given point of which the footprints were divided into two (2) sets, one leading to the left and another to the right; that when
the search team was, about to take the latter direction, Mesina persuaded the members of the Team to follow the footprints
leading to the left; that, heeding Mesina's advice, the search team followed this lead but failed to locate Matignas; that when the
team, together with Mesina, returned to Pisok. Anastacio Serrano was there; that Benita Mayuyu then said that Mesina should
not be allowed to go free "because he was the one who kidnapped my husband"; that, thereafter, Anastacio brought Mesina and
the others to the office of the Provost Marshal; and that, one Lt. Ocampo, an officer therein, referred them to Camp Olivas, upon
the ground that the event had taken place beyond his territorial jurisdiction.
In an affidavit, Exhibit C, subscribed and sworn to before the Justice of the Peace of Angeles, Pampanga, Leonardo David stated
that, when he was about to fetch his carabao in the vicinity of Pisok, early in the evening of October 9, 1958, he met his brother,
Federico David alias "Pedring," who was accompanied by Jose Mesina and Manuel Zamora, alias "Maning"; that "Pedring" bade
him to join the group, which he did, in going Pisok; that as Matignas Serrano refused to allow them passage therein, "Pedring"
held Matignas snatched his carbine, and, with the assistance of his companions, dragged him away from his guard post; that
Matignas was brought to a place in Sapang Bituka, under a big tree, where "Pedring" gave him fist blows and then hit him on the
head with the butt of the carbine taken away from him; and that Matignas then fell down unconscious.
Exhibit E is the transcript of the testimony given by Emilio Provo before Fiscal Fernando M. Bartolome of Tarlac, at the
preliminary investigation conducted by the latter, on July 16, 1959. Emilio Provo then testified, among other things, that Mesina is
well known to him, Mesina having visited frequently Emilio's father, Pan Provo; that in 1958, his father was engaged in
supervising the digging of cable lines and culverts and the dismantling of bridges in the Clark Air Force Base with the
assistance of many persons, among them Emilio Provo and Jose Mesina; that the cables, culverts and I-Beams thus contained
were sold to Domingo de Vera and a Chinaman in Mabalacat, Pampanga; that on October 9, 1958, just after twilight, Emilio and
Pan Provo went to the house of Jose Mesina, whom the latter invited to go to Pisok; that on the way thereto, Federico David,
alias "Pedring," and Leonardo David, alias "Benaring," joined them; that before reaching Pisok, Emilio's companion said that they
would get Matignas Serrano, the guard in that place, "because of the tubes" they were taking "and that one that was enclosed in
a tank which were being guarded by Matignas Serrano that as they reached Pisok, Pan Provo called Matignas Serrano that as
Matignas stepped out of his guard post, Mesina wrested the carbine slung on the former's shoulder; that Pan Provo and Federico
and Leonardo David helped Mesina drag Matignas down the hill; that, as Matignas offered resistance Mesina, Pan Provo and
Federico David boloed him at Sapang Bituka, where Matignas was left, already dead; and that when they learned that the body of
Matignas Serrano was found subsequently, Emilio Provo and Pan Provo fled to Pulong Calara, in the mountains.
Although Emilio Provo admitted having given this testimony, he denied, before the lower court, any knowledge about the truth
thereof and affirmed that he gave said testimony upon instructions of Angel Manipon and one Panolapi, who had assured him
that he would, thereafter, be free.
Appellant denied having performed any of the acts imputed to him by the prosecution. The defense would, also, have the Court
believe that on October 9, 1958, Mesina was in his house at Barrio San Nicolas, Bamban, Tarlac, up to 5:00 o'clock p.m.; that,
after taking an early dinner he attended the religious service, which lasted up to 8:00 p.m., at the Iglesia ni Cristo, to which he is
affiliated, in that barrio; that, at about 8:30 p.m. he and Ruben Villas attended a barrio meeting called by barrio lieutenant Remigio
Ocampo; that, upon adjournment of the meeting, around 10:00 p.m., they returned to the house of Mesina and then went to bed.
As indicated above, the trial court acquitted Pan Provo and Leonardo David, upon the ground of reasonable doubt, but convicted
Mesina of the crime of murder, and sentenced him accordingly, whereupon Mesina interposed the present appeal contending that
the trial court erred: (1) in relying upon the testimony of Benita Mayuyu; (2) in giving credence to the testimony of Anastacio
Serrano, Apolonio Gilbert and Kudiaru Laxamana; (3) in admitting Exhibits C and E as evidence; and (4) in not believing the
evidence for the defense.
Under the first assignment of error, the defense assails the credibility of Benita Mayuyu's testimony, upon the ground that she had
given conflicting versions, in that at one time she said it was dark, between 8:00 and 8:30 p.m., when her husband was taken
away by several men, one of whom was Mesina, and, at another time, stated that the occurrence took place just after that in a
seeming effort to explain how she could recognize said appellant; that in the evening of October 9, 1958, she did not tell either
her nephew Berting Sibal or her brother-in-law Anastacio Serrano, that she had recognized appellant among the kidnappers of
Matignas; that she, likewise, failed to convey such information to Anastacio Serrano, as soon as he arrived at Pisok the next
morning, not even when Mesina then showed up in that place; and that neither had she revealed his participation in the
commission of the crime charged, while they were going to the office of the Provost Marshal on October 10, 1958:
At the outset, it should be noted that Benita Mayuyu is a member of the Non-Christian tribe known as Baluga. As such, she had
grown up and lived in a primitive condition, devoid of any education whatsoever. She is illiterate and cannot read, not even a
time-piece. Although Matignas had been snatched by his kidnappers at 8:00 or 8:30 p.m., she explained that this was a mere
estimate of the time, which may be mistaken, and that the evening had happened "just after twilight." It is well to remember, in
this connection, that, in response to her screams for help, her nephew Berting Sibal came; that she bade Berting Sibal to
forthwith inform her brother-in-law, Anastacio Serrano, of the kidnapping of Matignas; and that, after verifying this fact, Anastacio
Serrano immediately reported to the authorities that Matignas "had been missing with his carbine since 1800 house ... 9 Oct. '58,"
as recorded in the "Daily Journal SPL Police Operation" of the Air Base. In other words, Anastacio Serrano had estimated the
time of the disappearance of Matignas to be about 6 p.m. Considering that Anastacio is more enlightened than Benita Mayuyu
and that Matignas had been snatched from his post "just after twilight," there is every reason to believe that Anastacio's estimate
of the time of the occurrence is more accurate than that of his sister-in-law. In fact, Benita testified that, at 5 p.m., she brought the
dinner of Matignas, who, after taking the same, bade her to bring his flashlight, whereupon she picked it up at their hut, barely 70
meters away from Pisok, and then brought the flashlight thereto, at about 6 p.m. The occurrence took part shortly thereafter.2
Then, too, "Pisok" is in a small plateau, then cleared of grass, on a hill about 600 feet in height. Although, for lack of electric lights
in the vicinity, it was already dark, particularly at the foot of the hill, it is a fact that Pisok was at the top thereof; that twilight had
been over only shortly before; that the hut of Matignas and Benita was barely 70 meters away from Pisok, 3 that Benita's eyesight
had already been adjusted to the existing conditions when she went to Pisok bringing a flashlight to Matignas; that her ability to
see and recognize persons and objects was enhanced by the circumstance that she had been with Matignas several minutes
before the arrival of his kidnappers; that the glow of the light at the Air Base proper, although 5 to 6 kilometers or miles away,
rendered the top of the hill, where Pisok was, less dark than the area at the foot thereof; and that she was beside her husband
when the malefactors snatched him. We are satisfied that the surrounding circumstances were not such as to render it
impossible, or even improbable, for Benita to identify a person whom she knew well, like Mesina, had he been with the
kidnappers, unmasked. Indeed, Kudiaru Laxamana learned from Benita, on October 10, 1958, that she had recognized Mesina
among the offenders, the night before. What is more, Mesina testified that, in a conversation he had with her on October 10,
1958, Benita said she had recognized one of the kidnappers. Benita had no possible reason to inculpate
him if he were not really the unmasked kidnapper and thereby exculpate the true culprit.
Let us now consider appellant's argument based upon Benita's failure to forthwith reveal the participation of Mesina in the
commission of the crime. It will be recalled that, as soon as Matignas and his kidnappers had disappeared in the darkness at the
foot of the hill, Benita hurried down another part of the hill, screaming for help. When, soon thereafter, her nephew Berting Sibal
appeared, she bade him to inform Anastacio Serrano that Matignas had been kidnapped. She did not tell Berting Sibal the details
of the occurrence, for there was vital urgency of rescuing Matignas and, hence, she did not wait for Berting to approach her, but
conveyed her message to him as soon as he was within shouting distance.
When Anastacio Serrano came, it was sometime later. Meanwhile, there was nothing she could do to save Matignas. It is not
unusual for female members of our masses, particularly those least enlightened, to express their sorrow or desperation by crying
loudly and otherwise acting in a frenzied or hysterical manner. An intense lamentation and expression of grief for a misfortune,
when unchecked soon enough, is bound to result in a condition of numbness, under which the mind becomes somewhat dull.
Under these circumstances, it is not difficult to picture Benita's plight on October 10, 1958. When Anastacio Serrano eventually
arrived, she was in no condition to explain the occurrence or to do anything except lament the loss of her husband. She was in a
daze, and did not clearly perceive or remember what she did, or what transpired about her. She did not converse with Anastacio
Serrano when he arrived, or notice the presence of Jose Mesina, either when he first showed up that morning, or when she went
to Clark Field and later to Camp Olivas. When Kudiaru Laxamana arrived later in the morning of October 10, 1958, she, however,
confided to him that Jose Mesina was one of the culprits. And still later, when the search team headed by Laxamana came back
empty handed, she said: "do not let thus man (referring to Mesina) go free, for he was the one who kidnapped" her husband.
The first assignment of error is, therefore, untenable.
Appellant assails the testimony of Anastacio Serrano and Apolonio Gilbert upon the ground that neither had inquired about the
identity of the companion of Mesina, or conversed with him (Mesina's companion) when they (Mesina and his companion)
allegedly went to the house of Anastacio Serrano in the morning of October 9, 1958, and stayed there up to 3:00 p.m., and that
the remark of Mesina, about the short life of them who do not know how to get along with others, does not have the import the
prosecution attaches thereto.
The significance of said remark is, however, irrelevant to the veracity of said witnesses for the prosecution, who corroborated
each other in connection therewith. Moreover, in the light of the fact that Mesina and the unknown person, who came with him,
left the house of Anastacio Serrano, at 3:00 p.m., stating that their companions were waiting for them at Pisok; that, at about 6:00
p.m., that same day, Mesina and four (4) masked men went to Pisok, snatched the carbine of Matignas and dragged took away;
and that, thereafter, Matignas was found dead, it is clear that the remark in question, made after the refusal of Anastacio Serrano
to allow further pilferage of electric cables within the Air Base, was meant to be a threat to those who might obstruct said
pilferage. Upon the other hand, since the man who accompanied Mesina to the house of Anastacio Serrano had his face covered
with a towel, it was obvious that Mesina and he did not want his identity to be known. It was, therefore, indiscreet and useless to
converse with him or to otherwise ask who he was or where he came from.
It is argued that the act of Mesina of dissuading the posse headed by Kudiaru Laxamana from following the set of footprints going
to the right of the sugarcane plantation near Pisok, and of persuading the posse to track the footprints leading to the left of said
plantation is "too insignificant" to implicate said appellant. This argument is manifestly devoid of merit, aside from being
immaterial to the issue of credibility of Laxamana's testimony. Indeed, considering that the posse had thereby failed to locate the
body of Matignas, which it would have found had it (the posse) turned right, which was the logical course to take as Laxamana
wanted to for there were small footprints in that direction and Matignas is small, the aforementioned act of Mesina tends to
show that he knew where the body was and corroborates the testimony of Benita Mayuyu to the effect that he was one of those
who snatched Matignas in the evening of October 9, 1958.
It is next urged that Kudiaru Laxamana, Anastacio Serrano and Benita Mayuyu had contradicted each other, in that according
to the defense the first said that Benita "told the search party not to allow Mesina to go free because he was the one who
kidnapped her husband," whereas Anastacio Serrano affirmed that Benita "told him about Jose Mesina only the day after they
came from the Office of the Provost Marshal and when they were already at Camp Olivas," and Benita declared that "it was only
when they were at Clark Field when she told Anastacio Serrano about Jose Mesina and she did not tell the same to other
members of the search party."4
The statement of Benita Mayuyu, testified to by Laxamana, was made to him, not to the search party or to Anastacio Serrano, so
that no inconsistency exists between the latters testimony and that of Laxamana. Besides, Benita did not testify that the
participation of Mesina in the commission of the offense had been revealed by her to no other person than Anastacio Serrano.
What she said is that no other person heard her or was present when she conveyed the aforementioned information to Anastacio
Serrano. Then, too, after the ordeal of the night before, Benita did not feel well on October 10, 1958. The apprehension and the
tension resulting from the failure to locate the body of Matignas on that date did not certainly help improve the situation. Hence,
when she was, thereafter, brought, first to Clark Field and, then after the usual period of waiting during the preliminary inquiries
therein made referred to Camp Olivas, she was literally and understandably groggy. When we add to this the fact that she was
kept on the witness stand for five (5) days, and that she was so extensively cross-examined by several lawyers for the defense
that the transcript of her testimony covered one hundred and five (105) pages, some of which are single space, it is not in the
least strange that this simple, illiterate member of one of our tribes of aborigines, found herself uncertain or confused on whether
her conversation with Anastacio Serrano took place at Clark Field or at Camp Olivas. Well settled 19 the rule that inconsistencies
and contradictions incurred by an illiterate witness in the course of a lengthy examination will not affect the credibility of the
One fact stands in bold relief and that is that Benita Mayuyu had positively recognized one of the culprits and that she had so
stated, from the very first moment she explained the circumstances under which her husband had been "kidnapped." This was
established, not only by the testimony and that of Kudiaru Laxamana and Anastacio Serrano, but, also by the appellant
himself. 6 In the light of the foregoing, and considering that neither Laxamana, nor Anastacio Serrano, nor Benita Mayuyu had
possible motive to falsely incriminate appellant Jose Mesina. We do not find sufficient grounds to doubt the veracity of said
witnesses for the prosecution.
Referring now to Exhibits C and E, Leonardo David testified that he had acted under duress in subscribing to the first and
swearing to the truth of its contents, whereas Emilio Provo affirmed that he knew nothing about the truth of his statements in
Exhibit E, he having made the same upon instructions of Angel Manipon and one Panolapi, who assured him that he would
thereby be set free. Furthermore, appellant maintains that, being in the nature of extrajudicial admissions or confessions, the
same are admissible in evidence against its makers only, not against him.
The testimony of Leonardo David about his alleged maltreatment bythe police has all the earmarks of artificiality, for he did not
reveal said maltreatment, either to his own father, when the latter visited him at Camp Olivas, or to the Justice of the Peace of
Angeles City, before whom he subscribed and swore to the truth of the contents of Exhibit C. Besides, his signatures on each and
everyone of the three (3) pages thereof appear to have been written with a firm hand. More important still, -apart from, in effect,
exculpating himself therein, Leonardo David points in Exhibit C to his brother Federico David, alias "Pedring" as the sole
killer of Matignas Serrano.lwph1.t The participation of Jose Mesina, as one of those who helped "Pedring" drag Matignas
away from his guard post, was merely an incident in the description of the crime, as committed principally by "Pedring." Likewise
significant is the fact that the latter - Federico David, alias
"Pedring" had already been killed, in an encounter with peace officers, shortly after October 9, 1958 .7 In short, there was no
reason why the agents of the law Who investigated Leonardo David would resort to duress in order to secure a statement
substantially favorable to him.
Exhibit E is the transcript of the questions propounded by Fiscal Bartolome of Tarlac and of the answers given by Emilio Provo at
the preliminary investigation conducted by said official. Angel Manipon and Panolapi who, according to Emilio Provo, induced
him to give said answers did not take part in said investigation. It does not even appear that they were present when it was
held. There is, likewise, nothing in the record to indicate the interest, if any, of Manipon and Panolapi in the case at bar, or that
Emilio Provo had reasonable grounds to believe that they could order his release or cause to take place.
Again, unlike Exhibit C, which depicts Federico David alias "Pedring" as the main culprit, the testimony of Emilio Provo in
Exhibit E tends to show that his father, Pan Provo, was the mastermind, for it was he (Pan Provo) who invited Mesina to go to
Pisok, and it was he (Pan Provo) who called Matignas and persuaded him to step out of his guard post. Moreover, Pan Provo
took part in the act of hacking Matignas to death. As in Exhibit C, the reference to Mesina in Exhibit E was merely incidental to
the main role played by Pan Provo. Had A been concocted by the prosecution in this case, the story given by Emilio Provo in
Exhibit E would have, in all probability, followed a pattern identical to that of Exhibit C, made prior thereto, or to that resulting from
the testimony of Benita Mayuyu, Anastacio Serrano and Kudiaru Laxamana. Although all are unanimous on :the participation of
Mesina, and Exhibits C and E are in accord that Pan Provo and Federico David had taken part, also, in the commission of the
crime, these two (2) documents do not agree as regards the details of their participation therein. In short, the explanation given
by Emilio Provo, for his statements contained in Exhibit E, is manifestly unworthy of credence.
As regards the admissibility of Exhibits C and E as evidence against Mesina, it should be noted that, although extrajudicial
confessions are in general admissible only against those who made the same, this rule is subject to an exception. As pointed out
and applied in People v. Condemena:8
Extra-judicial confessions independently made without collusion, which are identical with each other in their
essential details and are corroborated by other evidence on record, are admissible as circumstantial
evidence against the person implicated to chow the probability of the latter's actual participation in the
commission of the crime.9
Indeed, as early as November 5, 1915, this Court had occasion to state: 10
... The truth of the incriminating statements of Miguela Sibug, Damaso Valencia's widow, in connection with each one of the said
three defendants, is proved by those made by the other witness for the prosecution, Lorenzo Reyes, and by the
confession, although extra-judicial, made by Faustino Maago himself in the municipality of Hagonoy to the lieutenant of the
Constabulary, Cristobal Cerquella and to the municipal president and a policeman of the said pueblo and this confession is
worthy of credence and is admissible against him, as it is likewise credible and admissible against his co-defendants, Abdon de
Leon and Severino Perez, his accusation of their participation in the crime, inasmuch as the confession is corroborated both by
the testimony of Miguela Sibug herself and by that of Lorenzo Reyes and confirmed by the other evidence related thereto and
found in the record. 11.
The applicability of the foregoing exception which has been repeatedly acknowledged and applied by this Court 12 to the
case at bar becomes apparent when we bear in mind that the statements contained in Exhibits C and E were made obviously
without collusion and independently of each other for the purpose of establishing the guilt of Federico David and Pan Provo,
respectively, and that they corroborate one another and the testimony of Benita Mayuyu, Anastacio Serrano and Kudiaru
Laxamana with respect to the fact that Matignas Serrano was dragged away from his guard post in the evening of October 9,
1958, by Mesina and several other persons apparently for not allowing them to steal and take away electric cables from Clark
Field Air Base and then killed. Hence, said Exhibits C and E were properly admitted as circumstantial evidence tending to
show the probability of the participation of appellant in the commission of said offense, as testified to by said witnesses for the
Needless to say, as one of the weakest defenses available in criminal cases, the alibi set up by appellant herein cannot offset the
testimony of Benita Mayuyu, who positively identified him as one of those who seized Matignas Serrano, at Pisok, in the evening
of October 9, 1958, corroborated by the testimony of the aforementioned witnesses for the prosecution and by the
aforementioned Exhibits C and E. It may not be amiss to add that Lazaro David, whose testimony was introduced by Mesina to
corroborate his alibi, could not explain why he allegedly remembered distinctly the presence of Mesina at the religious service in
the Iglesia ni Cristo and the barrio meeting held subsequently thereto, in the evening of October 9, 1958, but could not remember
other events of similar nature, at about that period of time. Upon the other hand, Remigio Ocampo ,would have Us believe that
Mesina arrived at said meeting in the barrio of San Nicolas around 9:00 p.m., which does not negate Mesina's presence at Pisok,
at about 6: 00 p.m., the latter being less than 1/2 kilometer from the barrio of Camatsili, which, in turn, is about one-hour's walk
from San Nicolas. 13
The acts proven constitute the crime of murder, qualified by abuse of superior strength, with the aggravating circumstances of
nocturnity and evident premeditation, in which would warrant the imposition of the extreme penalty, were it not for the lack of the
number of votes necessary therefor. Except as to the indemnity, which should lie increased from P10,000 to P12,000, 14 We find,
therefore, no reason to disturb the decision appealed from, which. as thus modified as to the indemnity, is hereby affirmed in all
other respects, with the costs of this instance against appellant Jose Mesina. It is so ordered.

People vs. Puesca 87 S 130

Automatic review of the judgment of the Davao Court of First Instance in Criminal Case No. 6813, finding appellants Arcadio
Puesca alias "Big Boy", Jose Gustilo alias "Peping", Magno Montao alias "Edol", Filomeno Macalinao, Jr. alias "White", Walter
Apa and Ricardo Dairo alias "Carding" guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Robbery in Band with Homicide, attended
by the aggravating circumstance of nocturnity, and imposing upon them the penalty of DEATH, ordering them to indemnify jointly
and severally the heirs of the deceased Candido Macias in the amount of P6,000.00 and P20,000.00, the latter sum representing
the money robbed, and to pay the costs.
The following facts were the basis of the trial court's judgment: On the early evening of November 27, 1960, Candido Macias and
his wife, Marcela Macias, were taking supper in their house located in Barrio Sinayawan. Sinayawan is a barrio of Hagonoy,
Davao del Sur and lies near the road to Digos. Under the house were their son, Fortunato Macias, and son-in-law, Anacleto
Delfino. Fortunato Macias was repairing a jeep, assisted by Anacleto Delfino who was holding a lighted "Petromax" lamp.
Suddenly, strangers with firearms unceremoniously entered the house. Three of them went upstairs. Marcela Macias and
Candido Macias heard the voice of one of them emanating from the sala, ordering the occupants of the house to lie down on the
floor. Candido Macias left the table and went out to the sala. Two gun reports were heard and Candido Macias instantly slumped
to the floor. Marcela Macias stood up and walked towards her husband but before she could reach him, she was met by one of
the intruders who ordered her to lie flat on the floor, otherwise all of them would die.
Someone under the house also directed Fortunato Macias and Anacleto Delfino not to move. Turning to his left, Fortunato Macias
saw two armed men. He immediately ran towards the coconut plantation near the house where he took refuge. Anacleto Delfino
also turned around to see who those persons were. When he held his lamp up, he saw two gunmen, one tall and the other short.
He Identified one of them as appellant Arcadio Puesca and the other as appellant Magno Montao. According to Delfino,
appellant Puesca fired at him and he was hit between the elbow and the armpit. Delfino brought down the lamp and lay flat on his
belly. When he was brought to the sala which was then lighted by a "Petromax" lamp, Delfino saw his father-in-law, Candido
Macias, lying on the floor near the door. He was already dead. He also noticed two persons with firearms whom he Identified as
appellants Jose Gustilo and Filomeno Macalinao, Jr.. At that time, Marcela Macias noticed that the intruders were ransacking the
house. The trunk in the master's bedroom was forcibly opened, and the sum of P20,000.00 was taken. This sum represented the
proceeds from the sale of a parcel of land for P17,000.00 together with their income from a twenty-four-hectare riceland and their
three jeeps for hire. They also took the gun of Candido Macias which was lying on the bed, as well as his new pair of pants and
other clothes. The aparador in the sala was toppled down by appellants Gustilo and Macalinao.
When Francisco Macias, another son of Candido Macias, heard the gun reports he rushed to his father's house which was about
eighty (80) meters away from his home. As he approached the house, two persons with carbines who were in the kitchen fired
upon him. He was ordered to crawl to the sala and to lie flat on his stomach on the floor. He observed that the house was being
ransacked. When Francisco Macias tried to look around, two men kicked him on the head. Later, Francisco was told to go
downstairs and to get the key of one of the jeeps from his house. As he went down, he was followed by two other armed men.
The gun reports in the house of Candido Macias were also heard by the spouses Marietta Macias-Olarte and Epifanio Olarte,
daughter and son-in-law, respectively, of Candido Macias. They immediately left their house to find out what was happening in
Candido Macias' house. On their way thereto, they heard bullets whistling over their heads. They sought shelter in the house of
Anacleto Delfino, whose wife, Antonia Macias, was the sister of Marietta Macias-Olarte. Francisco Urbano, a tenant of Candido
Macias, happened to reside at that time in said house. When the firing subsided, Marietta Macias-Olarte, Epifanio Olarte, Antonia
Macias and Francisco Urbano went to the backyard of Delfino's house. The distance from the house of Anacleto Delfino to the
house of Candido Macias was some forty (40) meters. The group of Marietta Macias-Olarte then saw three men coming from the
house of Candido Macias. As the three men neared their place, Epifanio Olarte tried to talk to Francisco Macias, but he was
immediately pushed back and one of the escorts of Macias fired at him. Marietta Macias-Olarte and Francisco Urbano testified
that they recognized the tall, stoop-shouldered gunwielder as Walter Apa because of the light of the moon and his proximity to
them. They also recognized the shorter fellow as appellant Ricardo Dairo, when they saw was carrying a gun. Appellant Ricardo
Dairo remained with the group of Marietta, while Francisco Macias and appellant Walter Apa continued on their way. Francisco
Macias was not allowed by appellant Apa to turn his face sideways. After they secured the key from his house, Francisco Macias
and appellant Walter Apa returned to the house of Candido Macias, passing through the backyard of the house of Delfino where
they were joined by appellant Ricardo Dairo.
Under the house of Candido Macias, Francisco Macias started the motor of one of the jeeps, and thereafter, eight of the men
boarded the jeep. Apparently to prevent pursuit, the tires of the other jeep were fired upon. The jeep which was driven by
Francisco proceeded towards Barrio Liling on the way to Davao City. After a while Francisco Macias was ordered to stop the
vehicle and someone alighted from the rear, and Francisco Macias was ordered to move over to the center of the front seat,
According to Francisco Macias, he was able to recognize fully the man who took over the steering wheel. He Identified him as
appellant Jose Gustilo. When Francisco tried to look sideways, one of them hit him on the head with a pistol. After the jeep had
run for more than one hour, it was stopped. Francisco Macias went down the jeep and one of the men said that he should be
shot. Francisco Macias pleaded for his life. Appellant Jose Gustilo intervened and suggested to his companions that they spare
Francisco's life. Francisco Macias was then hogtied and stripped of his clothes. The men then fled away in the jeep. After their
departure, Francisco was able to untie his feet, and he walked about two kilometers to a friend's house, where he borrowed a pair
of pants and shirts. Later, he boarded a passenger bus for Digos, a municipality adjacent to Hagonoy.
The robbery and killing in the house of Candido Macias were reported that same night, November 27, 1960, by Francisco Macias
to Antonio Viran, Chief of Police of Hagonoy, Davao. Accompanied by police officers, Chief Viran went to the house of Candido
Macias in Barrio Sinayawan and found Candido Macias dead. The furniture in the house were in topsyturvy condition. The officer
interviewed persons in the house and the latter assured him that they could recognize the culprits. The get-away jeep was
recovered near a bridge on the road to Davao City. The following morning, Chief Viran returned to the house of Candido Macias,
accompanied by Mayor Llanos of Digos, Zosimo Melendez, Chief of Police of Digos, Sgt. Bano and Lt. Javier of the Digos Police
Force. Chief Viran found P17.00 in one-peso bills, while Chief Melendez found empty shells in the sleeping room of Candido
Macias, and a bullet slug on the floor of the sala. They also saw downstairs a jeep with flat tires and a "Petromax" lamp destroyed
by bullets.
Chief Viran reported the incident to the Provincial Governor if Davao. Col. Jacinto Romero, Chief of Police Affairs Unit in the
Office of the Provincial Governor, then joined hands with the police to solve the robbery killing incident.
On December 1, 1960, Sgt. Lucio Bano met one Roger Cahilog who informed him that appellants Arcadio Puesca alias "Big Boy"
and Jose Gustilo alias "Peping", slept in his house on the night of November 26, 1960 and that he overheard the two talking
about robbery. He thus became suspicious of the two.
On December 2, 1960, appellants Puesca and Jose Gustilo were apprehended by Sgt. Bano and Lt. Javier in Davao City. On
December 10, 1960, appellant Puesca, who was detained in the municipal jail of Digos, told Sgt. Bano and Chief Melendez that
he would like to see Mayor Llanos in order to confess his participation in the crime. In the evening of that date, Mayor Llanos met
appellant Puesca in his office on the second floor of the municipal building. Appellant Puesca was questioned by the Mayor on
his participation. Present were Chief Melendez, Chief Viran, Lt. Javier and Lei Hong, owner of a tape recording machine.
Appellant Puesca's investigation was tape recorded by Lei Hong. Puesca confessed that he was one of the gang who entered the
house of Macias and committed the robbery and killing therein. He mentioned as his companions Jose Gustilo alias "Peping",
Magno Montao alias "Edol", Felimon. Carding and Mariano. He said that there were others who were 'with them whose names
he did not know but whom he could Identify if he saw again. The confession of appellant Puesca was taken down in writing
(Exhibit "L").
Appellant Jose Gustilo, like Puesca, admitted to Mayor Llanos his participation in the commission of the crime and mentioned as
his companions Arcadio Puesca alias "Big Boy", Magno Montao alias "Edol", Filomeno Macalinao, Carding, Mariano and others.
The questioning of appellant Gustilo was tape recorded by Lei Hong, and was taken down in writing (Exhibits "R", "R-1", "R-2":
"U", "U-1"; "V", "V-1", "V-2"; "W", "W-1" and "W-2").
Following the confession of appellants Puesca and Gustilo, appellant Magno Montao alias "Edol" was arrested by Chief Viran. In
his own handwriting (Exhibits "Q", "Q-1" to "Q-3"), appellant Montao confessed his guilt and names as his confederates in the
crime Arcadio Puesca alias "Big Boy", Jose Gustilo alias "Peping" and Felimon Macalinao. Appellant Montao confession was
tape recorded by Lei Hong in the presence of Mayor Llanos and the police officers.
The confessions of appellants Puesca and Montao (Exhibits "L" and "Q".) were subsequently subscribed and sworn to by the
declarants before Augusto H. Fernandez, Justice of the Peace of Digos. Appellant Gustilo, on the other hand, refused to sign his
confession (Exhibit "R") and did not give any reason for his refusal.
On December 15, 1960, appellant Filomeno Macalinao, Jr. was arrested at the Sasa Airport, Davao City, as he was about to
board a plane for Cebu. In a confrontation with appellant Puesca and later with appellant Gustilo, he was Identified by the two as
the person they had mentioned in their confessions as their companion in the commission of the crime.
In order to Identify all the culprits, Chief Viran showed to Francisco Urbano and Marietta Macias-Olarte the pictures of some
police characters, from which the two picked out the pictures of appellant Walter Apa (Exhibit "S") and Ricardo Dairo (Exhibit "T"),
They told the officer that Apa and Dairo were among those whom they saw on the night of the incident. Appellants Apa and Dairo
were picked up by the police and confined in jail.
Sometime in December 1960, Marietta Macias-Olarte, Anacleto Delfino, Francisco Macias and Francisco Urbano were invited to
the municipal jail of Digos, where, from a group of detained prisoners, they pointed to appellants Arcadio Puesca, Jose Gustilo
and Magno Montao as three of the men who had participated in the robbery and killing of Candido Macias. Subsequently, in
January 1961, Francisco Urbano was called to the municipal building of Hagonoy, and from among a group of persons he pointed
to appellant Ricardo Dairo as one of the culprits he recognized.
The Cadaver of Candido Macias was autopsied by Dr. Julio M. Layug, Municipal Health Officer of Digos, Davao, as the Municipal
Health Officer of Hagonoy was away. The result of his autopsy examination is found in the report, Exhibit "A", and read as
1. Gunshot wound 3 inches above the left mammary gland more on the left side of the manubrium measuring 1
cm. in diameter, penetrating the skin, muscle, aorta of the heart, lung and the slug was lodged between the right
8th and 9th ribs at the back and between the muscle and the skin between the spinal column and the right
scapula. The slug found was caliber 38.
2. Gunshot wound 3 inches below the left mammary gland externally at the left axillary line measuring 1 cm. in
diameter, penetrating the skin, muscle, lung, liver, and the right lumbar region. The gunshot wound at this place
of exit measures 1- cms. in diameter and in overted position.
Dr. Layug testified that the second shot was fired while the victim was falling down, and that death supervened in only three or
four minutes. The cause of death was due to "shock with internal hemorrhage caused by the gunshot wounds".
Counsel de oficio for all of the appellants maintains that the court a quo erred: (1) in giving more weight and credence to the
"biased and unbelievable declarations of relatives of the deceased"; (2) in admitting and believing the confessions of some of the
appellants which "were extracted through third degree"; and (3) in denying the motion of appellants for new trial. In a
supplemental brief, counsel for appellant Filomeno Macalinao, Jr. argues that the evidence on record, outside of the confessions,
is inadequate to prove conspiracy; that there, is no evidence that appellants took and carried away the money, pistol and clothes
of Candido Macias; that none of the witnesses saw the slaying of Candido Macias; that the Identification of Macalinao by
Anacleto Delfino is "shaky and indecisive"; and that nocturnity should not have been considered as an aggravating circumstance.
To begin with, appellants can no longer raise in issue the denial of their motion for new trial. They have previously challenged
before this Court by certiorari the correctness of the order of the court a quo denying their motion for new trial. 1 This Court found
the petition devoid of merit, hence, the same was dismissed on July 28, 1967. Entry of judgment was made on September 20,
On the question of sufficiency of the evidence as basis for the conviction of appellants, the Court finds that the evidence clearly
shows that appellants were positively Identified by the prosecution witnesses as participants in the crime. Thus, Anacleto Delfino
declared that appellants Arcadio Puesca and Magno Montao were the persons he saw under the house of Candido Macias, his
father-in-law; that he recognized them because he raised the lamp higher to find out who they were; and that it was appellant
Arcadio Puesca who fired at him, hitting him between the elbow and the armpit. He further stated that when he placed the lamp
down on the ground, Puesca shot the lamp and ordered Anacleto to go upstairs. Puesca admitted in his confession that he fired
at a man holding a "Petromax" "with the intention of hitting the light and to scare the man ..." (Exhibit "L"). Anacleto Delfino also
testified that upon reaching the second floor of the house, he saw two armed men whom he Identified as appellants Jose Gustilo
and Filomeno Macalinao, Jr.. After he was made to lie on the floor, he heard sounds in the room of something being broken.
According to Puesca, a certain Felimon and Jose Gustilo were the first to go up the house followed by Magno Montao, then he
heard two shots fired inside the second floor of the house. This was confirmed by Magno Montao (Exhibit "Q-1") who stated that
Jose Gustilo and Felimon Macalinao went up the house and that after he heard those shots he asked Jose Gustilo why he shot
the victim, and Gustilo replied that he "wanted to challenge me" (Exhibit "Q-2").
Marietta Macias-Olarte and Francisco Urbano testified that appellants Walter Apa and Ricardo Dairo were the ones who escorted
Francisco Macias when they came from the house of Candido Macias, passing through the backyard; that when they talked with
Francisco Macias and Olarte tried to place his hands on the shoulders of Francisco, Walter Apa pushed him; that Apa fired at
Olarte who fell to the ground. Marietta and Francisco testified that they recognized Walter Apa as the tall stoop-shouldered
person holding a gun and that the shorter fellow, also armed with a carbine, was Ricardo Dairo. After Francisco Macias and
Walter Apa had proceeded to the former's house, it was Ricardo Dairo who guarded Olarte, Antonio Macias, Delfino and
Francisco Urbano. After a few minutes, Francisco Macias returned to the house of Candido Macias.
Francisco Macias declared that two persons armed with carbines fired at him; that while lying face downwards on the floor, he
heard "sounds as if something have (sic) been ransacked ... persons going down ... The aparador was (sic) tumbled down ..." He
further testified that when he drove the jeep of the deceased with the appellants aboard, it was appellant Jose Gustilo who took
over the wheel from him. In their attempt to impugn the credibility of the testimony of Anacleto Delfino, appellants contended that
this witness could not have recognized appellants Arcadio Puesca and Magno Montao, much less Jose Gustilo and Filomeno
Macalinao, Jr.. It is claimed that it would have been difficult for Anacleto Delfino to recognize Arcadio Puesca and Magno
Montao because when Delfino turned around and put up the lamp, the lamp blocked Delfino's face, preventing him from getting
a clear view of the two. This contention, however, is not borne by the facts. When the witness, Anacleto Delfino, held the lighted
lamp, he did not hold it directly in front of his face. He held the lamp at the right side of his face in such a manner that his view of
the appellants who were just three meters away should not in the least be impeded. Moreover, because of the bright fight of the
"Petromax" lamp, Identification of the culprits was not an improbability.
Appellants further argued that it was improbable for Delfino to have recognized Jose Gustilo and Filomeno Macalinao, Jr., since
he saw them for the first time under the light of a kerosene lamp, and he was gripped by fear and lying on the floor with his face
downward. Contrary to appellants' contentions, fear does not necessarily detract from a person's physical ability to observe. It
should be borne in mind that a person will easily remember another who does him harm, because consciously or unconsciously
he turns his attention to the offender. 2
At any rate, according to Delfino, he was looking straight at the appellants whose faces were clearly visible to him under the
bright light of the kerosene lamp in the sala.
Q. Those persons looked at you squarely and plainly, without any attempt of hiding their
Identities, is that not correct?
A. I do not know whether they were looking at me, but I was looking at them. Maybe they were
looking at me also.
Q. The robbers did not shoot at this small lamp or put out its light?
A. No, this lamp was placed at the center of the sala.
Q. The two men nonchalantly were carrying their arms under the brightness of the light of this
lamp, this kerosene lamp, correct?
A Yes, they were lighted by that lamp. (pp. 364-365, t.s.n., Emphasis supplied).
Appellants further argued that it is doubtful for Marietta Macias-Olarte to have recognized appellants Walter Apa and Ricardo
Dairo because she only saw the illumination of the moon but did not see the moon itself. This argument ignores the possibility
that a person may be aware of the presence of the moon in the sky not necessarily because he looks at it directly but because of
its manifestations, such as its effulgence on the structures on the ground. Moreover, Olarte recognized Walter Apa and Ricardo
Dairo because of their proximity to her.
Neither can Francisco Urbano's Identification of Walter Apa and Ricardo Dairo be successfully impugned. Urbano Identified the
two on the basis of distinct physical characteristics which have not been denied, such as the fact that Walter Apa was the taller
one and stoop-shouldered, while Ricardo Dairo was the shorter one. Urbano clearly saw the two when they were only a meter
from him, under bright moonlight. To find out the Identities of the perpetrators of the offense, Chief of Police Viran took to
Sinayawan pictures which were provided by Col. Romero. These pictures were shown to the witnesses. The witnesses Francisco
Urbano and Marietta Macias-Olarte, picked out the pictures of Walter Apa (Exhibit "S") and Ricardo Dairo (Exhibit "T") and told
Chief Viran that the two were among those who had robbed and killed Candido Macias. On this basis, Apa and Dairo were
Nor can the circumstance that Francisco Macias could only Identify Jose Gustilo, although he was with the other perpetrators of
the crime, render the Identification of appellants made by the other witnesses incredible. It should be recalled that there were
circumstances which could have prevented Francisco Macias from recognizing the others. Thus, the moment Francisco Macias
set foot on the house of the deceased he was fired upon, then ordered to lie flat, face downwards, on the floor. When he tried to
move his head, he was immediately kicked by two of the assailants. When he was ordered to get the key, he was not even
allowed to turn his head to look at the men behind him. When he got the key from his house, he noticed that his escort concealed
himself behind the coconut trees. It was only appellant Jose Gustilo whom he had the best opportunity to recognize because
Gustilo sat by his side in the jeep and took over the steering wheel from him. Even while he was in the jeep, whenever he
attempted to look at the other people in the back of the jeep, he was immediately hit with the butt of a pistol. He was hogtied and
left on the road. He remembered that Gustilo had a moustache and had a light complexion.
Nor are We persuaded that the prosecution eyewitnesses should be disbelieved because they are related to the victim. It is true
that except for Francisco Urbano, who was a tenant of the deceased, the rest are related to the victim, either by affinity or
consanguinity. But relationship to the victim, standing by itself, does not prove that they are prejudiced and biased, considering
that their testimonies are clear and convincing and corroborated by other facts and circumstances. 3
As the then Solicitor General Felix V. Makasiar (now Associate Justice of this Court) aptly observed: "... it does not appear that
the prosecution eyewitnesses had some grievances or ill feelings against any of the appellants; the record does not disclose any
untoward or wicked motive which could have induced them to twist the truth or perjure themselves in a prosecution for a heinous
crime as the present case. The prosecution witnesses were subjected to extreme cross-examination by defense counsel, and the
falsity of their declaration, if indeed there were, could have been ferreted and exposed."
The contention that there could not be robbery with homicide in this case, because there is "no evidence that
appellants took and carried away the money" and the personal properties of Candido Macias, overlooks the fact that the taking
and carrying away of the money and the personal properties of the deceased has been sufficiently established by testimony of
the witnesses, confirmed and corroborated by the admissions of appellants Puesca, Gustilo and Montao. Francisco Macias
distinctly heard "sounds as if something have (sic) been ransacked" and that "the aparador which was in the sala, fell with a loud
thud on the floor." Marcela Macias also declared that the intruders were ransacking the things inside their room. After the
departure of the perpetrators of the offense, she saw that things were scattered in their room, the trunk containing their money
appeared to have been forcibly opened and the P20,000 kept there, which was part of the proceeds of the sale of their land, was
gone. So were the deceased's pistol and a pair of new pants. When the Chief of Police went to the crime scene, he found many
things in disarray in the sala. The aparador was lying on the floor broken, and papers and other things were scattered. This
robbery was further confirmed by the recitals contained in the confessions of Puesca, Gustilo and Montao (Exhibits "L", "R" and
"Q"), wherein they stated that when they met in the Holiday Canteen at Sta. Ana, Davao City on November 25, 1960 at about
7:00 o'clock in the evening, they planned originally to raid and rob the Christensen Plantation, but upon seeing the plantation
well-guarded, they changed their plans and decided to rob the Macias family in Sinayawan; that they proceeded to Sinayawan in
a jeep, alighting from the jeep at a distance of about 200 meters; that they walked to the house of Candido Macias; and that
therein they committed the crime in a manner confirmatory to that testified to by the prosecution witnesses. According to Puesca,
Felimon and Carding were the ones who took the cash from the Macias' house. Regarding the killing of Candido Macias, his wife
testified that when the robbers came up the sala, she and her husband and two grandchildren were sitting by the dining table;
that she was ordered to lie flat on the floor; that she saw her husband stand up then walk around the table: and that suddenly she
heard two gun reports and saw her husband fall down.
The evidence clearly and convincingly demonstrate that the appellants were engaged in a conspiracy to effect the object of their
criminal purpose. Since conspiracy by its very nature is formed in utmost secrecy, it can seldom be proved by direct
evidence. 4 Conspiracy is "generally proved by a number of indefinite acts, conditions and circumstances which vary according to
the purposes to be accomplished. If it be proved that the defendants pursued by their acts the same object, one performing one
part and another a part of the same, so as to complete it, with a view to the attainment of the same object, one will be justified in
the conclusion that they were engaged in a conspiracy to effect the object ..." 5 In contrast with evidence premeditation, which
requires as an essential condition that a sufficient period of time must elapse to afford full opportunity for premeditation and
reflection on the possible consequences of the intended criminal act, conspiracy arises on the very moment the plotters agree,
expressly or impliedly, to commit the felony and forthwith decide to accomplish it. Once this is established, each and everyone of
the conspirators is made criminally liable for the crime committed by any member of the conspiracy. 6
The Solicitor General cites the following facts to show the existence of conspiracy; First, upon breaking into the premises of the
house of the victim, Candido Macias, three men went upstairs into the house, two of them being appellants Jose Gustilo and
Filomeno Macalinao, Jr., both with drawn guns, surprising the inmates Candido Macias and his wife Marcela Macias, who were
then having supper (pp. 489, 330, 321-322, t.s.n.). Candido Macias was ordered to lie down on the floor but he did not obey and
walked towards the sala instead (p. 490, t.s.n.), whereupon he was shot. Thereafter, appellants ransacked the room of the victim,
forced open the trunk and got therefrom P20,000.00 in cash (pp. 492, 502, t.s.n.). They also took the victim's new pants and
clothes and his gun from his bed (p. 501, t.s.n.).
Two others, appellants Arcadio Puesca and Magno Montao, went under the house and immobilized Anacleto Delfino and
Fortunato Macias who were then repairing a jeep (pp. 315317, t.s.n.). They pointed their guns at them and ordered them not to
move (pp. 314-315, t.s.n.). Fortunato, however, succeeded in running away towards the coconut plantation (p. 362, t.s.n.).
Anacleto Delfino was told to go upstairs where he was made to lie flat on the floor (p. 320, t.s.n.).
While all this was going on in the house, appellants Walter Apa and Ricardo Dairo, who were armed with carbines, were standing
outside apparently on guard (pp. 417, 418, 131-134, t.s.n.). When Francisco Macias came to the house, he was ordered to get
the key to the jeep from his house, and appellants Apa and Dairo followed Francisco from behind (pp. 419, 421, t.s.n.), passing
through the backyard of the house of Anacleto Delfino, on their return to the place where the jeep was parked (pp. 135-137,
Francisco Macias having gotten the ignition key of the jeep, all of the appellants boarded the jeep, and with Francisco Macias
driving it, the appellants left the scene of the crime (pp. 421-423, t.s.n.).
Second, the confessions of appellant Arcadio Puesca (Exhibit "L"), appellant Magno Montao (Exhibit "Q") and appellant Jose
Gustilo (Exhibit "R") admit their participation in the commission of the crime at the house of Macias (pp. 924992, 988-1133, t.s.n.).
The confession of Jose Gustilo, however, was the only one which was unsigned as he afterwards refused to affix his signature
thereto; but his confession was tape recorded and from the replay of the recording made during the trial, it may be seen that his
confession was freely and voluntarily given (pp. 732, 748-749, 782, 791, 816-817, 828-836, 924992, t.s.n.). Towards the end of
his tape recorded confession, the following questions and answers were given:
In your confession now given to me, Peng, the incident of the hold-up in Makilala, the hold-up in Sinayawan,
Hagonoy, Davao, in the house of the late Candido Macias, were you able to relate everything which you think you
would tell me before you offered to make that confession?
Yes, sir, because I narrated all the things what I have already in mind.
You would like to tell me now that all the things which you just narrated are the truth and nothing but the truth?
Yes, sir.
Are you going to confirm the truth of the statement, which you told me now?
Yes, sir.
Are you going to affirm your confession even though these statements which you have narrated to me will be
used against you?
Yes sir. (pp. 990-991, t.s.n.).
The confessions of Arcadio Puesca, Magno Montao and Jose Gustilo are admissible against them. Their confessions could be
considered as corroborative evidence of the testimonies of prosecution eyewitnesses pointing to them as the culprits who
participated in the commission of the crime.
Third, the testimonies of prosecution eyewitnesses find corroboration in the extrajudicial confessions of appellants
Puesca alias "Big Boy", Gustilo alias "Peping", and Montao alias "Edol", insofar as said confessions tell about the participation
of their other companions in the commission of the crime. Thus, Arcadio Puesca, in his extrajudicial confession, named Jose
Gustilo alias "Peping", Magno Montao alias "Edol", Felimon, Carding, Mariano and two others whose names he did not know, as
his companions in the perpetration of the crime (Exhibit "L", folder of exhibits; pp. 774-775, t.s.n.). He narrated how the plan to
rob the Macias family was conceived, as well as the manner in which they implemented the plan. The person referred to as
"Felimon", he said, was appellant Filomeno Macalinao, Jr. (p. 731, t.s.n.). Thus, in the tape recorded confession of appellant Jose
Gustilo, he declared that his confederates in the crime were Arcadio Puesca alias "Big Boy", Magno Montao alias "Edol",
Filomeno Macalinao, Mariano, Carding and others (Exhibits "R", folder of exhibits; pp. 927-928, 930-931, 935, 940, 942-945, 946-
952, 958-960, 963-965, 966, 968-969, 970-981, t.s.n.). And thus, in the confession of Magno Montao alias "Edol", which was in
his own handwriting and which was also tape recorded, he mentioned Arcadio Puesca alias "Big Boy", Jose
Gustilo alias "Peping" and Felimon Macalinao as his confederates in staging the hold up (pp. 999-1005, 1119-1120, 1122, t.s.n.;
Exhibit "Q", folder of exhibits). According to his confession, it was Gustilo who shot to death the late Candido Macias (pp. 1002,
1122-1123, t.s.n.), and that it was Macalinao who got the 38 caliber pistol of the deceased (p. 1128, t.s.n.). Both declarants
corroborated the narration given by Puesca.
It is true that an extrajudicial confession is admissible only against the person who made it, but it is also settled that such
confession is admissible as corroborative evidence of other facts that tend to establish the guilt of his co-defendants. 7 This Court
has also allowed its admission against a co-accused as circumstantial evidence to show the probability of the co-conspirator
having actually participated in the commission of the crime. 8
Fourth, the claim of the defense that the confessions of appellants Puesca, Gustilo and Montao were extracted from them
through force and violence is not supported by the evidence. No motive on the part of the investigating officials or officers has
been proven that could have impelled- them to concoct the facts narrated in the extrajudicial confessions. Judging from the
details of the narration given therein, only the appellants could have supplied the facts. With respect to the extrajudicial
confessions of appellants Puesca and Montao, Judge Augusto Fernandez, before whom the confessions had been signed and
sworn to, declared that the affiants read the contents thereof, and confirmed the said contents as true and correct, after which
they freely affixed their signatures on the documents (pp. 828-831, t.s.n.) With respect to the extrajudicial confession of appellant
Gustilo, it was first orally given and tape recorded after which it was put down in writing (pp. 782, 791, 815, t.s.n.) However,
appellant Gustilo refused to sign his confession before the justice of the peace without giving any reason for such refusal (p. 834,
t.s.n.). The circumstance that he was able to refuse, without having been punished or maltreated for such refusal, is a strong
indication that his confession was not extracted from him by force or intimidation. As a matter of fact, the tape recording of his
confession shows that it was voluntarily given. The trial judge who heard the replay of Gustilo's confession could have surely
noted from the manner in which appellant gave his answers if he had been maltreated (pp. 924-992, t.s.n.) The trial judge was
positive that the verbal confession had all the indicia of voluntariness.
The killing of Candido Macias was committed "by reason or on occasion of the robbery". 9 The original design of the perpetrators
of the offense comprehended robbery in the dwelling of the victim. There is robbery with homicide if the homicide resulted by
reason or on the occasion of the robbery. Thus, in Mangulabnan, 10 this Court stated that in order to determine the existence of
the crime of robbery with homicide, the rule is that it is enough that a homicide resulted by reason or on the occasion of the
robbery, and it is immaterial that the death supervened by mere accident. It is sufficient that the homicide was produced by
reason or on occasion of the robbery, inasmuch as it is only the result obtained, without reference or distinction as to the
circumstances, causes, modes or persons intervening in the commission of the crime, that has to be taken into consideration.
There is homicide by reason of the robbery when there is a direct relation, an intimate connection, between the robbery and the
killing, whether the killing be prior or subsequent to the robbery or whether both crimes be committed.
Finally, counsel for appellant Filomeno Macalinao, Jr. poses the query-if by the ruling in People vs. Apduhan 11robbery with
homicide (subdivision 1, Article 294, Revised Penal Code) is not comprehended in Article 295, how would the circumstance of
"band" be appreciated? The term "band" is defined both in paragraph 6, Article 14 and Article 296 of the Revised Penal Code.
"Band" is a generic aggravating circumstance in robbery with homicide or robbery with rape, intentional mutilation or with physical
injuries, resulting in insanity, impotency and blindness (subdivision 2, Article 263, Revised Penal Code), which means that it can
be offset by a generic mitigating circumstance. But if "band" is present in the other kinds of robbery with violence mentioned in
paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of Article 294, then it is a qualifying or inherent circumstance which raises the penalty to the maximum
period and cannot be offset by any generic mitigating circumstance. This qualifying circumstance should be expressly alleged in
the information.
In the case at bar, the crime committed is robbery with homicide. Considering that the crime was committed by six armed men,
the circumstance of "band" should be considered merely as a generic aggravating circumstance. It is also obvious that the
perpetrators of the offense waited for the night before committing the robbery to better accomplish their purpose. The trial court,
therefore, correctly found the existence of "band" and "nocturnity". These two aggravating circumstances, when occurring jointly
in the commission of a crime, are generally treated only as one aggravating circumstance. Nevertheless, they may be considered
separately when their elements are distinctly perceived and can subsist independently, revealing a greater degree of
perversity. 12 In the instant case, it is not necessary to decide whether or not the two should be treated distinctly from each other,
since the existence of one is sufficient for the imposition of the maximum penalty, and the concurrence of an additional
circumstance will not alter the same. 13 However, the indemnity of P6,000.00 due the heirs of the deceased should be increased
to P12,000.00.
On July 13, 1977, during the pendency of this appeal, appellant Jose Gustilo alias "Peping" died at the New Bilibid Prisons
Hospital. In view thereof, on September 8, 1977, this Court issued a Resolution, which states:
... Considering the letter dated August 2, 1977 of Gerardo N. San Pedro, Administrative Officer IV, Bureau of
Prisons, informing the Court of the death of appellant Jose Gustilo alias Peping last July 13, 1977, as wen as the
comment of the Solicitor General thereon, the Court Resolved to DISMISS the case as to appellant Jose Gustilo
(p. 580, rollo).
WHEREFORE, except for the dismissal of the case as against Jose Gustilo alias "Peping" and with the foregoing modification as
to the amount of indemnity, the decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED.

RULE 130 SECTION 32 ADMISSION BY SILENCE [US vs. Bay 27 P 495 (missing)]