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People vs.

Endino [GR 133026, 20 February 2001]


Second Division, Bellosillo (J): 4 concur

Facts: On a busy street in Puerto Princesa City in the evening of 16 October 1991, an
emboldened Gerry Galgarin (@ Toto), uncle of Edward Endino, suddenly and without
warning lunged at Dennis Aquino and stabbed him repeatedly on the chest. Dennis'
girlfriend Clara Agagas who was with him, stunned by the unexpected attack, pleaded to
Galgarin to stop. Dennis struggled and succeeded momentarily to free himself from his
attacker. Dennis dashed towards the nearby Midtown Sales but his escape was foiled when
from out of nowhere Edward Endino appeared and fired at Dennis. As Dennis staggered for
safety, the 2 assailants fled in the direction of the airport. Meanwhile, Dennis, wounded and
bleeding, sought refuge inside the Elohim Store where he collapsed on the floor. He was
grasping for breath and near death. Clara with the help of some onlookers took him to the
hospital but Dennis expired even before he could receive medical attention. On 18 October
1991, an Information for the murder of Dennis Aquino was filed against Edward Endino and
Gerry Galgarin and warrants were issued for their arrest. However, as both accused
remained at large, the trial court issued on 26 December 1991 an order putting the case in
the archives without prejudice to its reinstatement upon their apprehension. On 19
November 1992, Gerry Galgarin was arrested through the combined efforts of the Antipolo
and Palawan police forces at a house in Sitio Sto. Nio, Antipolo, Rizal. He was
immediately taken into temporary custody by the Antipolo Police. Early in the evening of the
following day, he was fetched from the Antipolo Police Station by PO3 Gaudencio Manlavi
and PO3 Edwin Magbanua of the Palawan police force to be taken to Palawan and be tried
accordingly. On their way to the airport, they stopped at the ABS-CBN television station
where Galgarin was interviewed by reporters. Video footages of the interview were taken
showing Galgarin admitting his guilt while pointing to his nephew Edward Endino as the
gunman. According to Galgarin, after attacking Aquino, they left for Roxas, Palawan, where
his sister Langging who is Edward's mother, was waiting. Langging gave them money for
their fare for Manila. They took the boat for Batangas, where they stayed for a few days,
and proceeded to Manila where they separated, with him heading for Antipolo. Galgarin
appealed for Edward to give himself up to the authorities. His interview was shown over the
ABS-CBN evening news program TV Patrol. During trial, Galgarin disowned the confession
which he made over TV Patrol and claimed that it was induced by the threats of the
arresting police officers. He asserted that the videotaped confession was constitutionally
infirmed and inadmissible under the exclusionary rule provided in Sec. 12, Art. III, of the
Constitution. The trial court found Galgarin guilty of murder qualified by Treachery,
sentenced him to reclusion perpetua, and ordered him to indemnify the heirs of Dennis
Aquino in the amount of P50,000.00 as compensatory damages and P72,725.35 as actual
damages.

Issue: Whether the ABS-CBN interview recording Galgarins confession is admissible as


evidence.

Held: The interview was recorded on video and it showed Galgarin unburdening his guilt
willingly, openly and publicly in the presence of newsmen. Such confession does not form
part of custodial investigation as it was not given to police officers but to media men in an
attempt to elicit sympathy and forgiveness from the public. Besides, if he had indeed been
forced into confessing, he could have easily sought succor from the newsmen who, in all
likelihood, would have been sympathetic with him. However, because of the inherent
danger in the use of television as a medium for admitting one's guilt, and the recurrence of
this phenomenon in several cases, it is prudent that trial courts are reminded that extreme
caution must be taken in further admitting similar confessions. For in all probability, the
police, with the connivance of unscrupulous media practitioners, may attempt to legitimize
coerced extra -judicial confessions and place them beyond the exclusionary rule by having
an accused admit an offense on television. Such a situation would be detrimental to the
guaranteed rights of the accused and thus imperil our criminal justice system. It is not
suggested that videotaped confessions given before media men by an accused with the
knowledge of and in the presence of police officers are impermissible. Indeed, the line
between proper and invalid police techniques and conduct is a difficult one to draw,
particularly in cases such as this where it is essential to make sharp judgments in
determining whether a confession was given under coercive physical or psychological
atmosphere. A word of counsel then to lower courts: "we should never presume that all
media confessions described as voluntary have been freely given. This type of confession
always remains suspect and therefore should be thoroughly examined and scrutinized.
Detection of coerced confessions is admittedly a difficult and arduous task for the courts to
make. It requires persistence and determination in separating polluted confessions from
untainted ones. We have a sworn duty to be vigilant and protective of the rights guaranteed
by the Constitution."

People v Malngan, G.R. No. 170470, September 26, 2006

FACTS:
On or about January 2, 2001, in the City of Manila, the said accused, with intent to cause
damage, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully, feloniously and deliberately set fire upon the
two-story residential house of ROBERTOSEPARA and family mostly made of wooden
materials, by lighting crumpled newspaper with the use of disposable lighter inside said
house knowing the same to be an inhabited house and situated in a thickly populated place
and as a consequence thereof a conflagration ensued and the said building, together with
some seven (7) adjoining residential houses, were razed by fire; that by reason and on the
occasion of the said fire resulted to the death of Roberto Separa, Sr. and Virginia Separa
together with their four (4) children whom sustained burn injuries which were the direct
cause of their death immediately thereafter. Brgy. Chairman Bernardo and his tanods
apprehended Edna and they immediately brought her to the Barangay Hall for
investigation. At the Barangay Hall, Mercedita Mendoza, neighbor of Roberto Separa, Sr.
and whose house was also burned, identified the woman as accused-appellant EDNA who
was the housemaid of Roberto Separa, Sr. Upon inspection, a disposable lighter was found
inside accused-appellant EDNAs bag. Thereafter, accused-appellant EDNA confessed to
Brgy. Chairman Bernardo in the presence of multitudes of angry residents outside the
Barangay Hall that she set her employers house on fire because she had not been paid
her salary for about a year and that she wanted to go home to her province but her
employer told her to just ride a broomstick in going home. Accused-appellant EDNA was
then turned over to arson investigators headed by S[F]O4 Danilo Talusan, who brought her
to the San Lazaro Fire Station in Sta. Cruz, Manila where she was further investigated and
then detained. When Mercedita Mendoza went to the San Lazaro Fire Station to give her
sworn statement, she had the opportunity to ask accused-appellant EDNA at the latters
detention cell why she did the burning of her employers house and accused-appellant
EDNA replied that she set the house on fire because when she asked permission to go
home to her province and narrated how she did the burning of her employers house. When
interviewed by Carmelita Valdez, a reporter of ABS-CBN Network, accused-appellant
EDNA while under detention was heard bySFO4 DaniloTalusan as having admitted the
crime and even narrated the manner how she accomplished it. SFO4Danilo Talusan was
able to hear the same confession, this time at his home, while watching the television
program True Crime hosted by Gus Abelgas also of ABS-CBN Network. When arraigned,
accused-appellant with assistance of counsel de officio, pleaded Not Guilty to the crime
charged. Thereafter, trial ensued. However, she was held guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
Due to the death penalty imposed by the RTC, the case was directly elevated to this Court
for automatic review. The Court of Appeals affirmed with modification the decision of the
RTC.

ISSUE:
W/N the court erred in allowing and giving credence to the hearsay evidence and
uncounselled admissions allegedly given by the accused.

HELD:
We have held that the provision of Art. Section 12 (1) and (3) applies to the stage of
custodial investigation when the investigation is no longer a general inquiry into an
unsolved crime but starts to focus on a particular person as a suspect. Said constitutional
guarantee has also been extended to situations in which an individual has not been
formally arrested but has merely been invited for questioning.
To be admissible in evidence against an accused, the extrajudicial confessions made must
satisfy the following requirements: (1)it must be voluntary;(2) it must be made with the
assistance of competent and independent counsel;(3) it must be express; and(4) it must be
in writing.
The barangay tanods, including the Barangay Chairman, in this particular instance, may
be deemed as lawenforcement officers for purpose of applying by Article III, Section 12.
When accused-appellant was brought to thebarangay hall in, she was already a suspect,
actually the only one, in the fire that destroyed several houses as well as killed the whole
family of Separa. She was, therefore, already under custodial investigation and the rights
guaranteed by Article III, Section 12(1), of the Constitution should have already been
observed or applied to her. Accused-appellants confession to Barangay Chairman Remigio
Bernardo was made in response to the interrogation made by the latter admittedly
conducted without first informing accused-appellant of her rights