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VOL.

264, NOVEMBER 14, 1996 167


People vs. Malimit
*
G.R. No. 109775. November 14, 1996.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs.


JOSE ENCARNACION MALIMIT alias MANOLO,
accused-appellant.

Criminal Law; Evidence; Police Blotters; Where entries in the


police blotter are merely corroborative evidence of the uncontroverted
testimony of a witness, the presentation of the police blotter as
evidence is not indispensable.Next, appellant derided the
nonpresentation by the prosecution of the police blotter which could
prove if appellant was indeed implicated right away by Batin to the
crime. We do not believe, however, that it was necessary for the
prosecution to present as evidence a copy of the aforementioned
police blotter. Neither was its non-presentation in court fatal to the
prosecutions case. Entries in the police blotter are merely
corroborative evidence of the uncontroverted testimony of Batin
that he identified the appellant as the perpetrator of the crime
before the Silago police. As such, its presentation as evidence is not
indispensable. Besides, if appellant believed that he was not
identified therein, then he should have secured a copy thereof from
the Silago Police Station and utilized the same as controverting
evidence to impeach Batins credibility as witness. Having failed to
do so, appellant cannot now pass the blame on the prosecution for
something which appellant himself should have done.
Same; Same; Witnesses; Judicial Notice; The non-disclosure by
a witness to the police officers of the accuseds identity immediately
after the occurrence of the crime is not entirely against human

____________________________

* THIRD DIVISION.
168

168 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

People vs. Malimit

experiencethe natural reticence of most people to get involved in


criminal prosecutions against immediate neighbors is of judicial
notice.Even assuming arguendo that Rondon and Batin identified
the appellant only on September 15, 1991, or after the lapse of five
months from commission of the crime, this fact alone does not
render their testimony less credible. The non-disclosure by the
witness to the police officers of appellants identity immediately
after the occurrence of the crime is not entirely against human
experience. In fact the natural reticence of most people to get
involved in criminal prosecutions against immediate neighbors, as
in this case, is of judicial notice.
Same; Same; Same; It is the established rule of evidence that the
findings of the trial court with regard to the credibility of witnesses
are given weight and the highest degree of respect by the appellate
court; Exceptions.At any rate, the consistent teaching of our
jurisprudence is that the findings of the trial court with regard to
the credibility of witnesses are given weight and the highest degree
of respect by the appellate court. This is the established rule of
evidence, as the matter of assigning values to the testimony of
witnesses is a function best performed by the trial court which can
weigh said testimony in the light of the witness demeanor, conduct
and attitude at the trial. And although the rule admits of certain
exceptions, namely: (1) when patent inconsistencies in the
statements of witnesses are ignored by the trial court, or (2) when
the conclusions arrived at are clearly unsupported by the evidence,
we found none in this case.
Same; Same; Constitutional Law; Right Against Self-
Incrimination; The right against self-incrimination is simply a
prohibition against legal process to extract from the accuseds own
lips, against his will, admission of his guilt and does not apply
where the evidence sought to be excluded is not an incriminating
statement but an object evidence.We are not persuaded. The right
against self-incrimination guaranteed under our fundamental law
finds no application in this case. This right, as put by Mr. Justice
Holmes in Holt vs. United States, x x x is a prohibition of the use of
physical or moral compulsion, to extort communications from him x
x x. It is simply a prohibition against legal process to extract from
the [accused]s own lips, against his will, admission of his guilt. It
does not apply to the instant case where the evidence sought to be
excluded is not an incriminating statement but an object evidence.

169

VOL. 264, NOVEMBER 14, 1996 169

People vs. Malimit

Same; Same; Same; Custodial Investigations; Extrajudicial


Confessions; Miranda Rights; Infractions of the so-called Miranda
rights render inadmissible only the extrajudicial confession or
admission made during custodial investigationthe admissibility of
other evidence, provided they are relevant to the issue and is not
otherwise excluded by law or rules, is not affected even if obtained or
taken in the course of custodial investigation.These are the
socalled Miranda rights so oftenly disregarded by our men in
uniform. However, infractions thereof render inadmissible only the
extrajudicial confession or admission made during custodial
investigation. The admissibility of other evidence, provided they are
relevant to the issue and is not otherwise excluded by law or rules,
is not affected even if obtained or taken in the course of custodial
investigation. Concededly, appellant was not informed of his right to
remain silent and to have his own counsel by the investigating
policemen during the custodial investigation. Neither did he
execute a written waiver of these rights in accordance with the
constitutional prescriptions. Nevertheless, these constitutional
short-cuts do not affect the admissibility of Malakis wallet,
identification card, residence certificate and keys for the purpose of
establishing other facts relevant to the crime. Thus, the wallet is
admissible to establish the fact that it was the very wallet taken
from Malaki on the night of the robbery. The identification card,
residence certificate and keys found inside the wallet, on the other
hand, are admissible to prove that the wallet really belongs to
Malaki.
Same; Same; Circumstantial Evidence; There can be a verdict of
conviction based on circumstantial evidence when the circumstances
proved form an unbroken chain which leads to a fair and reasonable
conclusion pointing the accused, to the exclusion of all others, as the
perpetrator of the crime; Requisites for Conviction.Our close
scrutiny of the record reveals otherwise. Time and again, we ruled
that there can be a verdict of conviction based on circumstantial
evidence when the circumstances proved form an unbroken chain
which leads to a fair and reasonable conclusion pinpointing the
accused, to the exclusion of all the others, as the perpetrator of the
crime. In order that circumstantial evidence may be sufficient to
convict, the same must comply with these essential requisites, viz.,
(a) there is more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from which
the inferences are derived are proven; and (c) the combination of all
the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond
reasonable doubt.

170

170 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

People vs. Malimit

Same; Same; Alibi; As the defense of alibi is weak in view of the


positive identification of the accused by the prosecution witnesses, it
becomes weaker by reason of the unexplained failure of the defense to
present any corroboration.On the other hand, appellants version
of the story does not inspire belief. He maintains that on that
fateful night he was in his house together with his wife. He claims
that they had just arrived from a gambling spree allegedly in the
house of a certain Maui Petalcorin. Surprisingly, however, the
defense did not bother to call appellants wife to the witness stand
to corroborate appellants alibi. Neither did it present as witness
Maui Petalcorin, or any other person who may have seen the
appellant in the said place, if only to provide a semblance of truth to
this assertion. As the defense of alibi is weak in view of the positive
identification of the appellant by the prosecution witnesses, it
becomes weaker because of the unexplained failure of the defense to
present any corroboration.
Same; Same; Robbery with Homicide; Proof that the accused is
in possession of a stolen property gives rise to a valid presumption
that he stole the same.Appellants insistence that he merely found
Malakis wallet by chance while gathering shells along the seashore,
and that he feared being implicated in the crime for which reason
he hid the wallet underneath a stone, hardly inspires belief. We are
at a loss, just as the trial court was, as to why appellant should fear
being implicated in the crime if indeed he merely found Malakis
wallet by chance. No inference can be drawn from appellants
purported apprehension other than the logical conclusion that
appellant had knowledge of the crime. Besides, proof that appellant
is in possession of a stolen property gives rise to a valid
presumption that he stole the same.

APPEAL from a decision of the Regional Trial Court of San


Juan, Southern Leyte, Br. 26.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.


The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
Public Attorneys Office for accused-appellant.

171

VOL. 264, NOVEMBER 14, 1996 171


People vs. Malimit

FRANCISCO, J.:
1
Appellant Jose Encarnacion Malimit, charged with and
convicted 2 of the special complex crime 3of robbery with
homicide, was meted by the trial court the penalty of
reclusion perpetua. He was also ordered to indemnify the
heirs of Onofre Malaki the sum of Fifty Thousand Pesos
(P50,000.00) without subsidiary 4
imprisonment in case of
insolvency, and to pay the cost.
In this appeal, appellant asks for his acquittal alleging
that the trial court committed the following errors, to wit:

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN GIVING CREDENCE TO THE


UNRELIABLE TESTIMONIES OF THE PROSECUTION
WITNESSES ON THEIR ALLEGED IDENTIFICATION OF THE
ACCUSED-APPELLANT AS THE PERPETRATOR OF THE
CRIME DESPITE THE FACT (SIC) THEY REVEALED THEIR
ALLEGED KNOWLEDGE OF THE CRIME MORE THAN FIVE
MONTHS AFTER THE INCIDENT.

II

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING AS EVIDENCE


THE WALLET AND ITS CONTENTS ALTHOUGH THE
CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO ITS PRODUCTION WAS
OBTAINED IN VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL
RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED.

III

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING THE


ACCUSED-APPELLANT DESPITE FAILURE OF THE
PROSECUTION TO PROVE HIS GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE
5
DOUBT.

____________________________

1 Information dated 28 November 1991; Record, p. 10.


2 Punishable under Article 294(1), Revised Penal Code.
3 Regional Trial Court, Southern Leyte, Branch 26.
4 RTC decision dated 18 January 1993; Rollo, pp. 57-67.
5 Rollo, p. 44.

172

172 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


People vs. Malimit

The following is the recital of facts as summarized by the


appellee in its Brief, and duly supported by the evidence on
record:

On April 15, 1991, around 8:00 oclock in the evening, [Onofre]


Malaki was attending to his store. Malakis houseboy Edilberto
Batin, on the other hand, was busy cooking chicken for supper at
the kitchen located at the back of the store (TSN, June 19, 199 (sic),
p. 14).
Soon thereafter, Florencio Rondon, a farmer, arrived at the store
of Malaki. Rondon was to purchase chemical for his rice farm (TSN,
May 22, 1992, p. 19). Rondon came from his house, approximately
one hundred and fifty (150) meters distant from Malakis store
(Ibid., p. 24).
Meanwhile, Batin had just finished cooking and from the
kitchen, he proceeded directly to the store to ask his employer
(Malaki) if supper is to be prepared. As Batin stepped inside the
store, he was taken aback when he saw appellant coming out of the
store with a bolo (TSN, June 9, 1992, p. 14), while his boss, bathed
in his own blood, was sprawled on the floor struggling for his life
(hovering between life and death) (Ibid.).
Rondon, who was outside and barely five (5) meters away from
the store, also saw appellant Jose Malimit (or Manolo) rushing out
through the front door of Malakis store with a blood-stained bolo
(TSN, May 22, 1992, p. 29). Aided by the illumination coming from
a pressure lamp (petromax) inside the store, Rondon clearly
recognized Malimit (Ibid., p. 22).
Batin immediately went out of the store to seek help. Outside
the store, he met Rondon (TSN, June 9, 1992, p. 15). After a brief
conversation, both Batin and Rondon rushed to the nearby house of
Malakis brother-in-law Eutiquio Beloy and informed Beloy of the
tragic incident which befell Malaki. Batin, along with Beloy, went
back to the store. Inside, they saw the lifeless body of Malaki in a
pool of blood lying prostrate at the floor. Beloy readily noticed that
the stores drawer was opened and ransacked and the wallet of
6
Malaki was missing from his pocket (Ibid., pp. 16-17).

____________________________

6 Rollo, pp. 79-81.

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VOL. 264, NOVEMBER 14, 1996 173


People vs. Malimit

In his first assignment of error, appellant questions the


credibility of prosecution witnesses Florencio Rondon and
Edilberto Batin by pointing out their alleged delay in
revealing what they knew about the incident. He posits
that while the crime took place on April 15, 1991, it was
only on September 17, 1991 when these witnesses tagged
him as the culprit.
We find these contentions bereft of merit. Appellant
haphazardly concluded that Rondon and Batin implicated
the appellant to this gruesome crime only on September 17,
1991.7 The aforementioned date however, was merely the
date when 8
Rondon and Batin executed their respective
affidavits, narrating that they saw the appellant on the
night of April 15, 1991 carrying a bolo stained with blood
and rushing out of Malakis store. As to appellants claim of
delay, suffice it to state that extant from the records are
ample testimonial evidence negating appellants
protestation, to wit: (1)) after having discovered the
commission of the crime, Rondon and Batin immediately
looked for Eutiquio Beloy, Malakis brother-in-law, and
informed him that appellant was the 9only person they saw
running away from the crime scene; (2) Beloy and Batin
reported the crime with the CAFGU detachment in their
barangay where Batin declared that10it was appellant who
robbed Malaki on that fateful night; and (3) Batin again
made a11 similar statement later at the Silago Police
Station.
Next, appellant derided the non-presentation by the
prosecution of the police blotter which could prove if
appellant
12
was indeed implicated right away by Batin to the
crime. We do

____________________________

7 Exhibit 2-B, Bill of Exhibits, p. 5; Exhibit 3-B, Bill of Exhibits, p.


6.
8 Exhibit 2, Bill of Exhibits, p. 5; Exhibit 3, Bill of Exhibits, p. 6.
9 TSN, Eutiquio Beloy, May 22, 1992, p. 10.
10 TSN, Edilberto Batin, June 9, 1992, p. 19.
11 Id., pp. 20-21.
12 Brief for the Appellant, p. 8; Rollo, p. 51.

174

174 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


People vs. Malimit

not believe, however, that it was necessary for the


prosecution to present as evidence a copy of the
aforementioned police blotter. Neither was its non-
presentation in court fatal to the prosecutions case. Entries
in the police blotter are merely corroborative evidence of
the uncontroverted testimony of Batin that he identified
the appellant as the perpetrator of the crime before the
Silago police. 13
As such, its presentation as evidence is not
indispensable. Besides, if appellant believed that he was
not identified therein, then he should have secured a copy
thereof from the Silago Police Station and utilized the same
as controverting
14
evidence to impeach Batins credibility as
witness. Having failed to do so, appellant cannot now pass
the blame on the prosecution for something which
appellant himself should have done.
Even assuming arguendo that Rondon and Batin
identified the appellant only on September 15, 1991, or
after the lapse of five months from commission of the
crime, this fact alone does not render their testimony less
credible. The non-disclosure by the witness to the police
officers of appellants identity immediately after the
occurrence 15of the crime is not entirely against human
experience. In fact the natural reticence of most people to
get involved in criminal prosecutions against
____________________________

13 See People v. Comia, 236 SCRA 185 (1994); See also People v.
Watson, 278 Ala. 425, 178 So. 2d 819, 821 (1965).
14 Rules of Court, Rule 132, Section 11. Impeachment of the adverse
partys witness.A witness may be impeached by the party against
whom he was called, by contradictory evidence, by evidence that his
general reputation for truth, honesty or integrity is bad, or by evidence
that he has made at some other times statements inconsistent with his
present testimony, but not by evidence of particular wrongful acts, except
that it may be shown by the examination of the witness, or the record of
the judgment, that he has been convicted of an offense. (Italics ours)
15 People v. Pacabes, 137 SCRA 158 (1985); See also People v. Danico,
208 SCRA 472 (1992), and People v. Caraig, 202 SCRA 357 (1991).

175

VOL. 264, NOVEMBER 14, 1996 175


People vs. Malimit
16 17
immediate neighbors, as in this case, is of judicial notice.
At any rate, the consistent teaching of our jurisprudence is
that the findings of the trial court with regard to the
credibility of witnesses are given weight and 18
the highest
degree of respect by the appellate court. This is the
established rule of evidence, as the matter of assigning
values to the testimony of witnesses is a function best
performed by the trial court which can weigh said
testimony in the light of 19
the witness demeanor, conduct
and attitude at the trial. And although the rule admits of
certain exceptions, namely: (1) when patent inconsistencies
in the statements of witnesses are ignored by the trial
court, or (2) when the conclusions
20
arrived at are clearly
unsupported by the evidence, we found none in this case.
In his second assignment of error, appellant asseverates
21
that the admission as evidence of Malakis wallet together 22
with its contents, viz., (1)23 Malakis residence certificate;
24
(2) his identification card; and (3) bunch of keys, violates
his

____________________________

16 The house of Malaki is just 80 meters away from appellants house;


while the house of witness Rondon is 150 meters away from Malakis
house.
17 People v. Rubio, G.R. No. 118315, June 20, 1996; People v.
Sabellano, 198 SCRA 196 (1991); People v. Caraig, 202 SCRA 357 (1991).
18 People v. Bondoc, 232 SCRA 478 (1994); People v. Nimo, 227 SCRA
69 (1993); People v. de la Cruz, 217 SCRA 283 (1993); People v.
Dominguez, 217 SCRA 170 (1993); People v. Caraig, 202 SCRA 357
(1991); People v. Sarol, 139 SCRA 125 (1985).
19 See People v. Bondoc, 232 SCRA 478 (1994); People v. Ocampo, 226
SCRA 1 (1993); People v. Juma, 220 SCRA 432 (1993); People v. Baez,
214 SCRA 109 (1992) citing People v. Abrogar, 73 SCRA 466 (1979).
20 See People v. Gumahin, 21 SCRA 729 (1967); People v. Secapuri, et
al., 16 SCRA 199 (1966).
21 Exhibit A.
22 Exhibit A-1.
23 Exhibit A-2.
24 Exhibit A-3.

176

176 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


People vs. Malimit

25
right against self-incrimination. Likewise, appellant
sought for their exclusion because during the custodial
investigation, wherein he pointed to the investigating
policemen the place where he hid Malakis wallet, he was
not informed of his constitutional rights.
We are not persuaded. The right against self-
incrimination guaranteed under our fundamental law finds
no application in this case. This right,
26
as put by Mr. Justice
Holmes in Holt vs. United States, x x x is a prohibition of
the use of physical or moral compulsion, to extort
communications from him x x x. It is simply a prohibition
against legal process to extract from the [accused]s
27
own
lips, against his will, admission of his guilt. It does not
apply to the instant case where the evidence sought to be
excluded is not an incriminating statement but an object
evidence. Wigmore, discussing the question now before us
in his treatise on evidence, thus, said:

If, in other words (the rule) created inviolability not only for his
[physical control of his] own vocal utterances, but also for his
physical control in whatever form exercised, then, it would be
possible for a guilty person to shut himself up in his house, with all
the tools and indicia of his crime, and defy the authority of the law
to employ in evidence anything that might be obtained by forcibly
overthrowing his possession and compelling the surrender of the
evidential articlesa clear reductio ad absurdum.In other words, it
is not merely compulsion that is the kernel of the privilege, *** but
28
testimonial compulsion.

Neither are we prepared to order the exclusion of the


questioned pieces of evidence pursuant to the provision of
the Constitution under Article III, Section 12, viz:

____________________________

25 Constitution, Article III, Sec. 17. No person shall be compelled to be


a witness against himself.
26 218 U.S. 245.
27 U.S. v. Tan Teng, 23 Phil. 145, 152.
28 4 Wigmore 2263.

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VOL. 264, NOVEMBER 14, 1996 177


People vs. Malimit

(1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense


shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and
to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own
choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must
be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in
writing and in the presence of counsel.
x x x x x x x x x.
(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or
Sec. 17 hereof, shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.
(Italics ours.)
x x x x x x x x x

These are the so-called Miranda rights so oftenly


disregarded by our men in uniform. However, infractions
thereof render inadmissible only the extrajudicial
confession or admission made during custodial
investigation. The admissibility of other evidence, provided
they are relevant29
to the issue and is not otherwise excluded
by law or rules, is not affected even if obtained or taken in
the course of custodial investigation. Concededly, appellant
was not informed of his right to remain silent and to have
his own counsel by the investigating policemen during the
custodial investigation. Neither did he execute a written
waiver of these rights in accordance with the constitutional
prescriptions. Nevertheless, these constitutional short-cuts
do not affect the admissibility of Malakis wallet,
identification card, residence certificate and keys for the
purpose of establishing other facts relevant to the crime.
Thus, the wallet is admissible to establish the fact that it
was the very wallet taken from Malaki on the night of the
robbery. The identification card, residence certificate and
keys found inside the wallet, on the other hand, are
admissible to prove that the wallet really belongs to
Malaki. Furthermore, even assuming arguendo that these
pieces of evidence are inadmissible, the same will not
detract from appellants culpability considering the
existence of other evidence and circumstances

____________________________

29 Rule 128, Sec. 3, Revised Rules of Court.

178

178 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


People vs. Malimit

establishing appellants identity and guilt as perpetrator of


the crime charged.
We, now come to appellants third assignment of error
where he demurs on the prosecutions evidence, contending
that they are insufficient to sustain his conviction.
Our close scrutiny of the record reveals otherwise. Time
and again, we ruled that there can be a verdict of
conviction based on circumstantial evidence when the
circumstances proved form an unbroken chain which leads
to a fair and reasonable conclusion pinpointing the accused,
to the 30exclusion of all the others, as the perpetrator of the
crime. In order that circumstantial evidence may be
sufficient to convict, the same must comply with these
essential requisites, viz., (a) there is more than one
circumstance; (b) the facts from which the inferences are
derived are proven; and (c) the combination of all the
circumstances is 31such as to produce a conviction beyond
reasonable doubt. In this case, there were at least five (5)
circumstances constituting an unbroken chain of events
which by their concordant combination and cumulative
effect, satisfy the requirements for the conviction of the
32
appellant, specifically: (1) appellant was seen by Rondon
and Batin, whose credibilities were untarnished, holding a
bolo in his right hand and rushing out of Malakis
33
store
seconds prior to their discovery 34of the crime; (2) Malaki
sustained multiple stab wounds and he died of cardiac
arrest, secondary to

____________________________

30 People v. Adriano, 226 SCRA 131, 135 (1993), citing People v.


Galendez, 210 SCRA 360 (1992); See People v. Alvero, Jr., 224 SCRA 16
(1993); People v. Briones, 219 SCRA 134 (1993); People v. Ocampo, 218
SCRA 609 (1993); People v. Tiozon, 198 SCRA 368 (1991); People v.
Ganohon, 196 SCRA 431 (1991); People v. Subano, 73 Phil. 692 (1942).
31 Section 4, Rule 133, Revised Rules of Court.
32 People v. Alvero, Jr., 224 SCRA 16, 28 (1993).
33 TSN, Edilberto Batin, June 9, 1992, pp. 15, 18, 23; TSN, Florencio
Rondon, May 22, 1992, pp. 20-22, 31.
34 Exhibit C-1, Bill of Exhibits, p. 3.

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People vs. Malimit

35
severe external hemorrhage due to multiple stab wounds;
(3) witness Elmer Ladica saw the appellant on August 6,
1991, accompanied by some policemen, retrieve Malakis
wallet underneath
36
a stone at the seashore in Barangay
Hingatungan; (4) appellant himself admitted in his
testimony that on August 6, 1991, he accompanied several 37
policemen to the seashore where he hid Malakis wallet;
and (5) appellants flight and his subsequent disappearance
38
from Hingatungan immediately after the incident.
On the other hand, appellants version of the story does
not inspire belief. He maintains that on that fateful night
he was in his house together with his wife. He claims that
they had just arrived from a gambling spree allegedly in
the house of a certain Maui Petalcorin. Surprisingly,
however, the defense did not bother to call appellants wife
to the witness stand to corroborate appellants alibi.
Neither did it present as witness Maui Petalcorin, or any
other person who may have seen the appellant in the said
place, if only to provide a semblance of truth to this
assertion. As the defense of alibi is weak in view of the
positive identification
39
of the appellant by the prosecution
witnesses, it becomes weaker because of the unexplained 40
failure of the defense to present any corroboration.
Furthermore, proof that appellant was in his house when
the crime was committed is not enough. Appellant must
likewise demonstrate that he could not have been
physically present at

____________________________

35 Exhibit B-1, Bill of Exhibits, p. 1; See also Exhibit C, Bill of


Exhibits, p. 3.
36 TSN, Elmer Ladica, June 9, 1992, pp. 4-5.
37 TSN, Jose Malimit, September 23, 1994, pp. 8-9.
38 TSN, Florencio Rondon, May 22, 1992, p. 22; TSN, Edilberto Batin,
June 9, 1992, p. 22.
39 People v. John Jenn Porras, G.R. Nos. 114263-64, March 29, 1996;
People v. Miranday, 242 SCRA 620 (1995), citing People v. Claudio, 216
SCRA 647 (1992); People v. Cabuang, 217 SCRA 675 (1993).
40 People v. Malonzo, 212 SCRA 85 (1992); People v. Paciente, 210
SCRA 87 (1992); See People v. Lazo, 198 SCRA 274 (1991).

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180 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


People vs. Malimit

the place of 41the crime or in its vicinity, at the time of its


commission. In this case, appellant himself admitted that
his house was just 42
about eighty (80) meters away from the
house of Malaki. It was, therefore, not impossible for him
to have been physically present at the place of the
commission of the crime, as in fact, no evidence to negate
this possibility was ever adduced by him at the trial.
Appellants insistence that he merely found Malakis
wallet by chance while gathering shells along the seashore,
and that he feared being implicated in the crime for which
reason he hid the wallet underneath a stone, hardly
inspires belief. We are at a loss, just as the trial court was,
as to why appellant should fear being implicated in the
crime if indeed he merely found Malakis wallet by chance.
No inference can be drawn from appellants purported
apprehension other than the logical conclusion that
appellant had knowledge of the crime. Besides, proof that
appellant is in possession of a stolen property
43
gives rise to
a valid presumption that he stole the same.
In fine, as the killing of Malaki took place on the
occasion of robbery, appellant was correctly convicted by
the trial court of the special complex crime of robbery with
homicide, defined and penalized under Article 294,
paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code.
WHEREFORE, the appealed judgment of conviction is
hereby AFFIRMED in toto.
SO ORDERED.

Narvasa (C.J., Chairman), Davide, Jr., Melo and


Panganiban, JJ., concur.

Judgment affirmed in toto.

____________________________

41 People v. John Jenn Porras and Sergio Emelo, G.R. 114263-64,


March 29, 1996; People v. Manero, Jr., 218 SCRA 89 (1993), citing People
v. Pugal, 215 SCRA 247 (1992).
42 TSN, Jose Malimit, July 2, 1992, p. 10.
43 People v. Alhambra, 233 SCRA 604, 613 (1994).

181

VOL. 264, NOVEMBER 14, 1996 181


Catholic Bishop of Balanga vs. Court of Appeals

Note.The rule is settled that once the primary source


(the tree) is shown to have been unlawfully obtained, any
secondary or derivative evidence (the fruit) derived from
it is also inadmissible. (People vs. Sequio, 264 SCRA 79
[1996])

o0o

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