NICOMEDES SILVA vs.

THE HONORABLE PRESIDING JUDGE

G.R. No. 81756 October 21, 1991

Facts:
M/Sgt. Ranulfo Villamor, as chief of the PC NARCOM Detachment in Dumaguete City,
Negros Oriental filed an application for the search warrant with the RTC against petitioners. The
application was accompanied by “deposition of witness” executed by Arthur Alcoran and Pat.
Leon Quindo.
Judge Hickarter Ontal, Presiding judge issued search warrant no. 1 directing the aforesaid
police officers to search the room of Marlon Silva in the residence of Nicomedes Silva for
violation of the dangerous drugs law.. under the search warrant its state that :seize and take
possession of the following property marijuana, dried leaves, cigarettes, joint and bring said
property to the undersigned to be dealt with as the law directs.
In the course of the search, the serving officer also seized money belonging to Antoinette
Silva in the amount of 1231.40. Antoinette filed a motion the return of the said amount. Acting
on said motion Judge Ontal issued an order stating that the court “holds in abeyance the
disposition of the said amount pending the filing of appropriate charges in connection with the
search warrant.

Issue:
Whether or not there is a violation of the constitutional right against unreasonable search
and seizure

Ruling:
The Supreme Court held that Section 3 and 4, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court provides for
the requisite for the issuance of a search warrant.
Section 3 – a search warrant shall not issue except for probable cause in connection with one
specific offense to be determined personally by the Judge after examination under oath

G.R. No. 81756 October 21, 1991
NICOMEDES SILVA @ " Comedes", MARLON SILVA, @ "Tama" and ANTONIETA
SILVA, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL

cigarettes. which is/are: X (Subject of the offense stated above (Stolen or embezzled or other proceeds of fruits of the offense. issued Search Warrant No. lockers. Negros Oriental. C. Branch XXXIII. Or. Neg. Ontal.COURT OF NEGROS ORIENTAL.. cartoons. Pertinent portions of Search Warrant No. pursuant to the said "Application for Search Warrant" and "Deposition of Witness". .: In this special civil action for certiorari. Jr. 1 read as follows: It appearing to the satisfaction of the undersigned after examining oath (sic) MSGT. 1986. Branch XXXIII.and his witnesses (sic) Pfc. Arthur M. Dumaguete City against petitioners Nicomedes Silva and Marlon Silva. as amended. also dated June 13. cabinets. Quindo. containers. Ranulfo T. Leon T. The antecedent facts are as follows: On June 13. joint has in possession and/or control at Tama's Room (Rgt. 2 On the same day. Ranulfo Villamor. 1 issued by respondent Judge as well as the return of the money in the amount of P1. filed an "Application for Search Warrant" with the Regional Trial Court. Tanjay. cigarettes. BRANCH XXXIII.J. petitioners seek the nullification of Search Warrant No. 1. Alcoran and Pat. 1986. Villamor. M/Sgt. as chief of the PC Narcom Detachment in Dumaguete City. Leon T. Alcoran and Pat.231. 1 This application was accompanied by a "Deposition of Witness" executed by Pfc. directing the aforesaid police officers to search the room of Marlon Silva in the residence of Nicomedes Silva for violation of Republic Act No. 6425. forthwith seize and take possession of the following property Marijuana dried leaves. cigarettes. then Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court. Judge Nickarter A. Dumaguete City. otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.231. Quindo that there is probable cause to believe that possession and control of Marijuana dried leaves. DUMAGUETE CITY.00 seized from petitioner Antonieta Silva. You are hereby commanded to make an immediate search at any time of the day (night) of the room of Tama Silva residence of his father Comedes Silva to open (sic)aparadors. joint has been committed or is about to be committed and that there are good and sufficient reasons to believe that marijuana dried leaves.40. respondent. joint and bring the said property to the undersigned to be dealt with as the law directs. Jr. 3 In the course of the search. X (Used or intended to be used as means of committing an offense. FERNAN. side lst Floor) located at Nono-Limbaga Drive. Arthur M. the serving officers also seized money belonging to Antonieta Silva in the amount of P1.

had replaced retired Judge Ontal. and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable.On June 16. through Judge Eugenio M. The right of the people to be secure in their persons. 1986.40 pending the filing of appropriate charges in connection with the search warrant. who. to wit: SEC. Judge Ontal issued an Order dated July 1. 1987 filed by petitioners was likewise denied by Judge Cruz in an order dated October 19. Petitioners allege that the issuance of Search Warrant No. 1987. Cruz. Antonieta Silva filed a motion for the return of the said amount on the grounds that the search warrant only authorized the serving officers to seize marijuana dried leaves. which were accomplished by merely filling in the blanks and (2) the judge failed to personally examine the complainant and witnesses by searching questions and answers in violation of Section 3. 1986. Article III (Bill of Rights) of the 1987 Constitution guarantees the right to personal liberty and security of homes against unreasonable searches and seizures. Requisite for issuing search warrant. Section 2. 1 was tainted with illegality and that respondent Judge should be viewed to have acted without or in excess of jurisdiction. respondent trial court. cigarettes and joint. 1987. This section provides: Sec. 2. . finding the requisites necessary for the issuance of a valid search warrant duly complied with. by then. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized. 7 A motion for reconsideration dated September 1. 4 Acting on said motion. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. 1987. or committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when he issued the Order dated August 11. and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. houses. Rule 126 of the Rules of Court. petitioners filed a motion to quash Search Warrant No. 1. and to give remedy against such usurpations when attempted. — A search warrant shall not issue but upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. and unlawful invasion of the sanctity of the home." 5 On July 28. The purpose of the constitutional provision against unlawful searches and seizures is to prevent violations of private security in person and property. by officers of the law acting under legislative or judicial sanction. Rule 126 of the Rules of Court provide for the requisites for the issuance of a search warrant. Hence. denying their motion to quash Search Warrant No. 3. papers. We rule for petitioners. 8 Thus. Sections 3 and 4. 1 on the grounds that (1) it was issued on the sole basis of a mimeographed "Application for Search Warrant" and "Deposition of Witness". 6 On August 11. Rule 126 of the Rules of Court. stating that the court "holds in abeyance the disposition of the said amount of P1. and that said officers failed or refused to make a return of the said search warrant in gross violation of Section 11. this special civil action for certiorari.231. issued an Order denying the motion for lack of merit. 1987.

Alcoran and Pat. 9 The above deposition did not only contain leading questions but it was also very broad. This probable cause must be shown to be within the personal knowledge of the complainant or the witnesses he may produce and not based on mere hearsay. Q Do you have personal knowledge that the said premises subject of the offense stated above.R. December 14. — The judge must. No. the applicant for a search warrant? A Yes. The deposition was already mimeogragphed and all that the witnesses had to do was fill in their answers on the blanks provided. used or obtain (sic) or intended to be used as means of committing an offense? A Yes. Jr. In the case of Nolasco vs. Q Do you know personally who is/are the person who has/have the property in his/their possession and control? A Yes. Q How did you know all this (sic) things? A Through discreet surveillance. and found that Judge Ontal failed to comply with the legal requirement that he must examine the applicant and his witnesses in the form of searching questions and answers in order to determine the existence of probable cause. Quindo. 1989. for the most part suggestive questions answerable by merely placing "yes" or "no" in the blanks provided thereon. 767 this Court defined "probable cause" as follows: The "probable cause" for a valid search warrant. Paño. which was submitted together with the "Application for Search Warrant" contained. and that objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched". before issuing the warrant. in writing and under oath the complainant and any witnesses he may produce on facts personally known to them and attach to the record their sworn statements together with any affidavits submitted. 163. and other proceeds of fruit of the offense. Ranulfo Villamor. No. not probing but were merely routinary. October 8. to wit: Q Do you personally know M/Sgt. 139 SCRA 152. the judge must. In the case at bar. sir. sir. this Court held: . 69803. Examination of complainant.SEC.R. Based on the aforecited constitutional and statutory provisions. personally examine in the form of searching questions and answers. The joint "Deposition of Witness" executed by Pfc. 4. we have carefully examined the questioned search warrant as well as the "Application for Search Warrant" and "Deposition of Witness". 180 SCRA 69. has been defined "as such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed. In fact there were only four (4) questions asked. The questions propounded to the witnesses were in fact. Dayrit. 82870. In the case of Prudente vs. sir. G. determine whether there is probable cause by examining the complainant and witnesses through searching questions and answers. 1985. G. record. before issuing a search warrant.

L-29077. 1945.R. and conducting of examination in a general manner. cigarettes and joints. Search Warrant No. SO ORDERED.R.231. and that the search warrant was issued for the seizure of personal property (a) subject of the offense and (b) used or intended to be used as means of committing an offense and NOT for personal property stolen or embezzled or other proceeds of fruits of the offense. WHEREFORE. this Court declared the search warrant issued as invalid due to the failure of the judge to examine the witness in the form of searching questions and answers. Respondent Judge did not examine him "in the form of searching questions and answers". vs. Gomez removed the bamboo pole that barred the gate. the questions asked were leading as they called for a simple "yes" or "no" answer.: At about midnight of September 15. As declared in Marcelo vs. The 3rd and 5th are leading not searching questions. and knocked at the . This decision is immediately executory. G. which is identical to that in the Search Warrant and suffers from the same lack of particularity. 114 SCRA 657. On the contrary. Of the 8 questions asked. De Guzman. 1947 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. the then presiding Judge Ontal likewise abused his discretion when he rejected the motion of petitioner Antonieta Silva seeking the return of her seized money. The officers implementing the search warrant clearly abused their authority when they seized the money of Antonieta Silva. The examination conducted was general in nature and merely repetitious of the deposition of said witness. Thus. Respondent Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Negros Oriental. in issuing a search warrant. Florencio Angeles shows that it was too brief and short. Tondo. in the Prudente case cited earlier. No costs. and both climbed the stairs. 1 is hereby declared null and void.The "probable cause" required to justify the issuance of a search warrant comprehends such facts and circumstances as will induce a cautious man to rely upon them and act in pursuant thereof. 2nd and 4th pertain to identity. Asking of leading questions to the deponent in an application for search warrant. Likewise. "the questions propounded by respondent Executive Judge to the applicant's witness' are not sufficiently searching to establish probable cause. L-861 September 30. NBI. No. Pertinent portion of the decision reads: Moreover.40 which had earlier been seized from her by virtue of the illegal search warrant. As held in Quintero vs. June 29. Branch XXXIII is directed to order the return to petitioner Antonieta Silva of the amount of P1. the petition is granted. the accused Angel Zapanta y Tuazon and one Antero Gomez proceeded to the house of Policarpio Salazar on Francisco Street. Manila. that the warrant did not indicate the seizure of money but only of marijuana leaves. would not satisfy the requirements for issuance of a valid search warrant. 1982. His failure to comply with this requirement constitutes grave abuse of discretion. ANGEL ZAPANTA Y TUAZON. the 1st. J. a perusal of the deposition of P/Lt. "the capricious disregard by the judge in not complying with the requirements before issuance of search warrants constitutes abuse of discretion". 10 Thus. the judge must strictly comply with the constitutional and statutory requirement that he must determine the existence of probable cause by personally examining the applicant and his witnesses in the form of searching questions and answers. The 6th. No. 7th and 8th refer to the description of the personalities to be seized. G. Mere generalization will not suffice and does not satisfy the requirements or probable cause upon which a warrant may issue. This is highly irregular considering that Antonieta Silva was not even named as one of the respondents. BENGZON.

Ponciana Isidro. In this expediente no reasons exist to question the veracity of the bereaved widow. and then the accused pointing his gun at Salazar asked. and her assertions were backed by the finding of appellant's gun in the house and by the latter's confession. he having forgotten to retrieve it in his flight from the scene of the shooting. (b) in ruling that Zapanta was duly identified and (c) in considering the latter's confession. and it is admitted that a kerosene lamp lighted the place. he having been reportedly killed in an affray with the police. And this is more so where the witness is the victim or his near-relative as in this case. they discuss several errors allegedly committed by His Honor. the wife of the deceased. Appellant's counsel sensibly abstain from insisting on that defense. tricked the inmates into opening . At this moment Gomez shot Salazar to death. In criminal cases the identification of the culprit has always has been a paramount question. one of the nocturnal visitors falsely identifying as "Maning" requested admittance pretending that he wanted "to tell something" to her husband. and the accused agreed to help. such conspiracy was established by proof that he had agreed to help Gomez assassinate Salazar. that two days before the fatal incident Antero Gomez. Antero Gomez was not prosecuted because he died before the presentation of the information. pistol in hand. Police officers subsequently investigating the affair were handed the gun which had fallen from the hands of the accused in the scuffle. asked for assistance to kill him. As the door was opened. where conditions of visibility are favorable and the witness does not appear to be based against the man on the dock. because these usually strive to remember the factions of the assailants. which the trial judge discredited. Therefore. Answering a question of Policarpio's wife. that both at midnight repaired to the house. but in their carefully prepared brief. upon investigation. The next instant Salazar and the accused were grappling for the possession of the firearm. as contended by counsel. Thereafter both assailants hurriedly fled. "Are you Totoy Kalabaw?" (nickname of Salazar). informing the accused that he had a quarrel with Salazar. obviously because. It was later discovered. considering the confessions of appellant in Exhibits C and Q. the prisoner was a confirmed lawbreaker (See footnote)* and (3) because he was positively identified by an eyewitness. in the absence or conspiracy between him and Gomez (who actually did the killing). Hence. Several instances of miscarriage of justice on that score are known in judicial annals. (1) it was uncorroborated. the herein accused would not be responsible for the murder. But unluckily for him. his or her assertions as to the identity of the malefactor should normally be accepted. It is true that. Exhibits C and Q. to wit: (a) in holding there was conspiracy between appellant and Antero Gomez. judges can not be overly cautious in analyzing evidence on the point. Hailed into court for murder and confronted with the evidence of the People above related. On the other hand. he should be deemed sufficiently identified. (2) for all his youth.door of the dwelling. the defendant-appellant Angel Zapanta y Tuazon attempted to prove an alibi with his lone testimony. the two entered.

) I together with Antero Gomez went to the house of Totoy Kalabaw and when his wife opened the door. shot at Totoy Kalabaw about two times as I remember. G.45 Cal. we found the gate closed and a bamboo bar was slung across the gate. We saw Totoy Kalabaw as soon as we entered standing beside the woman who opened the door and when I went near him. appellant's counsel do not assert it was obtained through violence or fraud. The facts proved established it.the door. Revised Penal Code. Although there are the aggravating circumstances of nighttime and dwelling. Antero knocked several times on the door and after ten (10) minutes a woman opened it.R. almost immediately eliminating the surprised "kalabaw". automatic pistols when we proceeded to the house of Totoy Kalabaw. I drew my pistol from my waist but before I was able to do so. (Exhibit C. Antero told me that he and Totoy Kalabaw had a quarrel.1 The record discloses that when in custody of the police. and should therefore be disregarded. and the common homicidal intent was unmistakable. Antero told me to go with him and kill Totoy Kalabaw and I agreed. he suddenly grabbed me by the arms and tried to get my pistol at my waist. There was concerted action. 90853 March 13. (Exhibit Q. When we arrived at Totoy Kalabaw's house. RENATO ZAPANTA y CENTENO @ BEBOT. the destruction of Salazar's life having been accomplished with evident premeditation (article 248.) Contending that the trial judge erred in considering this confession.45 automatic pistol at the place where Totoy Kalabaw fell. 1991 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. herein appellant made the following admissions of guilt: Two days before Totoy Kalabaw was shot by Antero Gomez. seeing that Totoy Kalabaw had the edge on me. Antero Gomez. and rushed inside with drawn pistols. it being in accordance with the law for such cases made and provided. GRIÑO-AQUINO. in our haste to get away I left my .: . We then run down the house and fled. He tried to grab for my gun and was able to wrest it away from me but at this time Antero shot him. Antero drew his gun when he entered the door and I followed him. in view of the dissent of some members of this Court (article 47. Antero and I were both armed with . If the confession was voluntarily signed — there was evidence to that effect — the appellant should not be heard to impugn the events therein described on grounds of improbability. Antero picked up the bamboo bar and placed it near the gate. vs. because he would thereby be saying: "that is my story. I was hit then by the pistol on my right index finger. J. the judgment of the court below is affirmed. But mere improbability should yield to actual facts told by the accused himself.) Consequently. Totoy Kalabaw grappled with me and we wrestled for the possession of the pistol. No." The offense charged was murder. the penalty imposable is reclusion perpetua only. but do not believe it because I lied. We then climbed up the stairs of the house. from which solidary criminal responsibility arose. They merely claim that it contains improbabilities. Revised Penal Code).

as amended). He alleged that Zapanta was selling marijuana for a living. Facundo Baricuatro. Eduardo Novero. did. and knowingly deliver and sell to a poseur-buyer three (3) sticks of dried Indian hemp. then and there. (p. searched Zapanta's mat. 1989 in Criminal Case No. sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Pat. 6425. composed of Pat. wilfully.. Boter testified during the trial that he lived only four houses away from Zapanta. Renato Zapanta y Centeno. A "crack-down team" was formed. and Pat. Finding one marijuana stick under the mat. dated June 30. . Zapanta was arrested for drug pushing and was confined in the City Jail. Danny Vinzon. Danilo Vinzon. Renato Zapanta. Bagong Pook. However. After trial. he (Boter) still had the marked money in his hand. 1987. and a runner in the person of Romeo Boter. 8. the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Division of the Cavite City Police received reports of rampant selling of marijuana in the vicinity of Tabon. and that when the policemen raided Zapanta's hut. and to pay a fine of P20. 1987 at around 4:30 p. the court rendered the assailed decision. Article II of the Dangerous Drugs Act (Rep. a one-room shanty in the San Antonio Cemetery in Bagong Pook. Jr. Through one window. they could clearly see Zapanta lying on a mat on the floor near the door. and costs. Boter went inside the hut and gave Zapanta the marked money. On July 7. Branch XVII. Rollo). to buy marijuana cigarettes from Zapanta. 20. a follow-up investigator of the Detective Bureau. Feliciano de la Cruz. Contrary to law. Novero executed a sworn statement.) With the assistance of counsel de oficio. 1987. pillow and blanket and poked into the pile of firewood stacked under the stairs.m. and Pat. he admitted on cross-examination. 165-87 entitled. without legal authority. De la Cruz positioned himself behind the shanty. "People of the Philippines vs. while Patrolmen Novero and Baricuatro stayed in front. has appealed the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cavite.000 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. Act No. They proceeded to the house of Zapanta. Republic of the Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. they brought Zapanta and Boter to the police station where an investigation was conducted and Pat. feloniously. with which to buy a marijuana cigarette. They planned a buy- bust entrapment operation with the help of an informer. both investigators of the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Division. Feliciano de la Cruz testified that in July.The accused. The information against the accused alleged: That on or about July 7. The marijuana stick was submitted for examination to the NBI. Rollo.. aliasBebot. violation of Section 4. Boter agreed to cooperate and received a marked P5-bill from the informer. Pat. Jr. the above-named accused. alias Toto Pilay. in the City of Cavite. Zapanta pleaded "Not Guilty" to the charge. whereupon the policemen pounced on them. otherwise known as marijuana. that Zapanta advised him to stop smoking marijuana. the police was tipped that Zapanta was selling marijuana." finding him guilty of drug-pushing. unlawfully. The forensic chemist confirmed that it was positive for marijuana. prompting them to conduct a discreet surveillance of persons suspected of selling prohibited drugs in that neighborhood (p.

He presented a Certification from the barangay captain. declared that the informer. 21-22. which render him incapable of engaging in the business of trading in prohibited drugs.s. Pat. November 11. 1-24. resting on the floor. in not requiring the prosecution to place the informer Danilo Vinzon on the witness stand. he answered: "I do not know him. t. Torres was not presented as a witness.. in finding the accused guilty of selling or pushing marijuana despite his physical disability and his poverty. After the search. attesting to the fact that he was a law-abiding citizen in the community. which erode their credibility and weaken the case for the prosecution.s. Danny Vinzon. lived in the house with him. was not with the policemen when the raid was conducted. whereas Boter claimed that there were five (5) sticks (p.n. blanket and other things.Both Patrolmen Baricuatro and De la Cruz testified on the arrest and corroborated Novero's testimony. 1987. Pat. 6. during his direct testimony. Hence. Apart from the uncertainty among the witnesses as to how many marijuana cigarettes. The four P10-bills and two P5-bills which the police found in his pocket had been given to him by his sister to buy his medicine. sir. October 24. 27.s." The information mentioned three (3) sticks of marijuana cigarette. Romeo Boter. 1988).n. testifying in his defense. October 24. 2. Eddie Torres. He had been bed-ridden for two years.n. when he was asked later whether he knew Vinzon personally." However. In this appeal. while Boter testified that he bought only one (1) stick (pp. We find the appeal meritorious. and his widowed sister who worked as a laundrywoman.s. in the afternoon. De la Cruz testified that Danny Vinzon was present during the raid (p. Renato Zapanta. 1987). 1988). they poked a gun at him and forced him to get up so they could search his mat. The accused. November 7.. t. they brought him to the City Jail where he was confined for two years since the time of his arrest. t. His widowed 60-year old mother. 1987). in giving credit to the prosecution witnesses despite the gross inconsistencies in their testimonies. who worked as a cemetery sweeper. and 3. the marijuana cigarette or cigarettes seized in that raid were .. He denied that he was engaged in selling marijuana. Pat. t. De la Cruz stated that two and a half marijuana sticks were taken from Boter (pp. pillow. Lourdes. Zapanta alleges that the trial court erred: 1. if any. the search in Zapanta's shack was made without a warrant. were found in Zapanta's possession during the raid.. There are irreconcilable inconsistencies on material points in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. Baricuatro testified on cross-examination that Danilo Vinzon was a "friend of mine. he was in his shanty. However.n. Zapanta's sister corroborated him. stated that on July 7. The runner- buyer. On the other hand. When the policemen arrived. with an acute kidney infection which has not been treated medically because of his extreme poverty.

on the basis of planted evidence. Roque Garcia. not from Zapanta. went to the scene of the incident and conducted an investigation. C. Costs de oficio. Courts should therefore be vigilant and alert to recognize trumped up drug charges lest an innocent man. Immediately thereafter a police team headed by Lt. and to pay the costs. L-29129 May 8. People vs. be made to suffer the unusually severe penalties for drug offenses (People vs. SO ORDERED. to indemnify the heirs of the deceased Norberto Anillo in the sum of P6. No. MAKALINTAL. People vs. 157 SCRA 179). declined to name the assailants but promised to go to his office after the interment to disclose to him their identities. The constitutional presumption of his innocence remains unshaken. Renato Zapanta y Centeno. is acquitted of the crime charged. defendant-appellant. when interviewed by Lt. WHEREFORE. physically and financially. 2486 finding the accused Domingo Mabuyo guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder. that the marked P5 bill was not in Zapanta's possession. Deputy Chief of Police of Tanauan. at about midnight. DOMINGO MABUYO. 1975 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. in some instances. and that Zapanta was not selling marijuana when arrested by the police for he was sick in bed. the widow. Batangas. G. . to satisfy some hidden personal animosity of the "informer" or law enforcer against the accused. Agaton Anillo. with treachery as the qualifying circumstance. and.R. the Court cannot close its eyes nor be deaf to the many reports of false arrests of innocent persons for extortion and blackmail. the father of the deceased.: This is an appeal from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Batangas in its Criminal Case No. On June 18.J.000. Tanauan. and his immediate release from custody is hereby ordered unless he is being held to answer for another offense. 172 SCRA 262. 147 SCRA 510. Ambulong. to engage in the drug traffic.1âwphi1 While we strongly commend the efforts of law-enforcement officers who are engaged in the difficult and dangerous task of apprehending and prosecuting drug traffickers. The fact that the marijuana cigarette/s was/were not found on the person of the accused. Taruc. Garcia. clearly incapacitated. and Adelaida Mirania. and sentencing him to reclusion perpetua. Fifteen empty carbine shells were recovered from the premises. Norberto Anillo was shot dead at the doorstep of his house in Bo.inadmissible as evidence (Nolasco vs. The drug menace has assumed epidemic proportions in this country. that a single marijuana cigarette was "confiscated" from Boter. Paño. Garcia. The accused. vs.00. the appealed decision is hereby reversed and set aside. are circumstances that engender serious doubts regarding his guilt. with all the accessory penalties provided by law. Aminnudin 163 SCRA 402). 1966.

found eleven (11) gunshot wounds on his body. Aniceto refused. 1966. With the aid of the light of the kerosene lamp. 1967 elevated the case to the Court of First Instance of Batangas for further proceedings. Francisco M. and taking with her a lighted kerosene lamp. Aniceto Sumarraga of Bo. Domingo Mabuyo presented himself at the Office of the Chief of Police of Tanauan. Garcia. She heard her husband cry out "aray. After his visitor had left. As she came near the door there were other successive shots. a complaint for murder was filed in the Municipal Court of Tanauan against both Mendoza and Mabuyo. at about 10:00 o'clock in the evening. In their respective statements they named Domingo Mabuyo as the triggerman and alluded to a certain Juan Mendoza as the instigator of the crime. whose house was nearby. 1966. Aniceto went to the store of a certain Alejandro Perez. after which he was acquitted "on ground of reasonable doubt" in a decision promulgated on January 7. Through counsel Mabuyo waived his right to the second stage of the preliminary investigation. narrated that on June 16. Another witness for the prosecution. arrived. The case went to trial upon a "not guilty" plea. Upon a plea of "not guilty" the accused went to trial. while he was at home reading. 1967 the Provincial Fiscal filed the corresponding information for murder against Mabuyo.000. He noticed that Norberto . but only to be fingerprinted since he had with him an order of release issued by the Municipal Court. The following day. The widow of the deceased. testified that at about midnight Of June 18. Ambulong. 1967. the municipal judge ordered the issuance of the corresponding warrants of arrest. 1966. Undaunted. she saw Domingo Mabuyo firing at her prostrate husband with what appeared to her to be a carbine. Domingo Mabuyo then told him that if that was his decision. Juan Mendoza waived his right to the second stage of the preliminary investigation and the municipal court forwarded the record of the case to the Court of First Instance of Batangas. alleging the circumstances of treachery and evident premeditation. also in Bo. she opened the door to see what was happening outside. Agaton Anillo and Adelaida Mirania went to the Office of the Chief of Police of Tanauan on June 20 and submitted themselves to a formal investigation. the Municipal Health Officer of Tanauan who performed the post mortem examination of the deceased in the early morning of June 19. Domingo Mabuyo arrived with a carbine. June 21. She stood up. 1967. where an information for murder was filed against him alone as principal by inducement. On April 5. saying that he did not want to be involved in any such undertaking. Mabuyo aimed it at her. They talked briefly inside the house. Accordingly the municipal court in its order dated March 27. She told him that it was Domingo Mabuyo whom she saw shooting her husband. As promised. while she was reading in bed. so she immediately closed the door and shouted for help. who appeared to be the lone eyewitness to the commission of crime. which she was holding over her head..Dr. Domingo Mabuyo inquired if he (the witness) would go with him to kill Norberto Anillo.00. went downstairs. On March 27. but Domingo Mabuyo was nowhere to be found. and played mahjong. then he alone would go. Shortly thereafter her father-in-law. she heard her husband asking her to open the door. Upon a finding of a probable cause. It appears that Mabuyo had previously prepared a bail bond in the sum of P30." followed by a sound of a falling object. which was approved by the Municipal Judge. Suddenly there were two successive gun shots. Ambulong.

when he surrendered to the authorities. Quezon. He ran to her house. 1966 he sent Antonio Berganos to Ambulong. Testifying also for the prosecution. Batangas to fetch Domingo Mabuyo. After said bond was approved by the municipal judge he was ordered released temporarily from the custody of the police authorities. Batangas for Gabaldon. He added that he was Norberto's confidant even in connection with the latter's extra-marital affairs. Nueva Ecija. his son told him that there was a plot for his liquidation and that it was Domingo Mabuyo who would carry it out. A few minutes later the mahjong players heard gun reports coming from the direction of Norberto Anillo's place. 1967. They stopped the game and went to Anillo's house and there saw the lifeless body of Norberto Anillo lying on its face on the ground. Laguna. His daughter-in- law met him and told him that she had seen Domingo Mabuyo do the shooting. Corroborating the alibi of the accused. Quezon. that on June 18 he (Agaton) saw Domingo passing in front of his house. 1966 he was at his home. Juan Mendoza. Agaton Anillo further testified that on June 16. where he saw his son already dead. While away from home he worked in the logging concession of Gabaldon Vice-Mayor Isabelo Aquino in Ibuna Estate. When he was about to go downstairs he heard the shouts of his daughter-in-law that her husband had been fired upon. Vice-Mayor Isabelo Aquino of Gabaldon. Domingo Mabuyo's defense was alibi. 1967. At about midnight he heard gun reports coming from the house of his son Norberto. or two days before the fatal incident. 1967 he and Atty. and attended the annual Holy Week rites of his religious sect known as "Iglesia dela Ciudad Mistica. he was detained in the municipal jail of Gabaldon for drunkenness and was released at about 8:00 o'clock the next morning. 1967 he went to Dolores. June 3. In the evening of June 18. followed shortly by several more in rapid succession. 1966. Nueva Ecija. that from June 6. and asked a certain Patrolman Dionisio Samiano to accompany them to the Tanauan Police Department. the date when Norberto Anillo was killed. Quezon and then as a rattan gatherer. On March 23. he decided to surrender to the authorities. Mendoza went to Calamba.Anillo was also there watching the game. but when he happened to meet Atty. that Domingo Mabuyo stopped working on . He claimed that early in the morning of June 3. At first there were two shots. At first he did not mind the information. and that after Norberto was killed Domingo disappeared and went into hiding. Tanauan. testified that on June 2. Ambulong. and did not return to Tanauan until March 27. that the following day. both Antonio Berganos and Domingo Mabuyo arrived in Gabaldon. 1966 to March 22. On March 27. 1966. Tanauan. Agaton Anillo said that in the evening of June 18. While he was at the Tanauan Police Department somebody fetched him and took him to the office of the municipal judge. with some members of the family of Vice-Mayor Aquino. arriving there at about 7:00 o'clock in the evening. where he was asked to sign certain papers which turned out to be his bail bond. Dingalan. He further claimed that he had no motive to kill the deceased because the latter was not only his friend but also a nephew of his wife. 1966 he left Bo. Domingo Mabuyo worked under him as a laborer — first as a log cutter in his concession in Dingalan. At about midnight Anillo left the store. Nueva Ecija." While there somebody informed him that he was being charged in court. As he was engrossed in the game Aniceto did not warn Norberto about Mabuyo's criminal design against him. who told him the same thing.

it appearing from the order dated March 27. some 12 kilometers away in the same municipality and province. and his signatures as payee.. but was found guilty of said crime committed in Bo. 1967 he and Mabuyo went to Calamba. the record does not show that he raised the question of lack of preliminary investigation at any stage of the trial in the court of first instance. that they met again. testified that in the first week of June 1966 Domingo Mabuyo was fetched from barrio Ambulong by Antonio Berganos. that upon meeting Domingo Mabuyo. in Dolores. 1967 of the Municipal Court of Tanauan that he "had renounced his right to the second stage of the preliminary investigation. that early in the morning of March 27. 1967. Quezon. Moreover. Gabaldon Police Chief Francisco Gamit testified on the entries in the police blotter of his department.March 22. Nueva Ecija to Tanauan. he informed the latter that he was facing a court charge for having allegedly killed Norberto Anillo and advised him to surrender immediately after the festivities of their sect. Ambulong. Another corroborating witness. hence." Furthermore. it was only on March 23. one of the laborers of Vice-Mayor Aquino. The appellant alleges that the trial court erred in convicting him of a crime not properly charged in the information since he was charged with murder allegedly committed in Bo. and that from the time. he had Domingo Mabuyo under his surveillance until he surrendered on March 27. wherein it was shown that Domingo Mabuyo rendered services as one of his laborers from June 1966 to November l966.1 In the instant case the place of commission does not constitute an essential element of the offense charged and the evidence discloses that said offense was in fact committed within the territorial jurisdiction of the trial court. We find the same to be without factual basis. Batangas could be negotiated by means of a bus in about ten (10) hours. Quezon. there is no reason to believe that the appellant was misled or surprised by the variance between the proof and the allegation in the information as to the place where the offense was committed. to work in the logging concession of the latter in Dingalan. Juan Mendoza. to attend a religious ceremony of his sect. It is well- . Batangas. conviction may be had even if it appears that the crime was committed not at the place alleged in the information. showing that Domingo Mabuyo was detained for drunkenness in the municipal jail on June 18. that from the time of Domingo Mabuyo's departure. In the course of his testimony Aquino identified a time book he was keeping. showing the amounts paid to Domingo Mabuyo from June 1966 to November 1966. this appeal. Also identified by him were the payrolls from April 1966 to November 1966. and that the distance from Gabaldon. Laguna and asked Patrolman Samio of the Calamba Police to accompany them to the Tanauan Police Department. The alleged irregularity does not constitute a reversible error. Upon the evidence presented the trial court rendered its judgment of conviction as aforestated. With respect to the appellant's claim that he was denied the right to preliminary investigation. 1967. provided the place of actual commission was within the jurisdiction of the court. 1966 at 9:00 o'clock in the evening and released at 8:00 o'clock the next morning. It is a settled rule that unless the particular place of commission is an essential element of the offense charged. they met each other in Dolores. Quezon. Atty. Bagumbayan. 1967 because he went to Dolores. Tanauan.

3this Court had occasion to state that: It is perfectly reasonable to believe the testimony of a witness with respect to some facts and disbelieve it with respect to other facts. At the time of the incident she was carrying a lighted kerosene lamp. Undoubtedly it was sufficient to light an area within a radius of five meters. Agaton Anillo and Aniceto Sumarraga against the appellant "were in accord to what they disclosed in their written statements executed less than two days after the commission of the imputed crime. It is a common enough source of illumination in our barrios. she was not at home at the time of the incident but in the house of her father-in-law. court aptly observed that the incredibility of the witnesses for the prosecution against Juan Mendoza as principal by inducement did not necessarily mean that said witnesses were also incredible when they testified against the very person who allegedly shot to death the victim. Malillos. In People vs. In the case under review. Adelaida Mirania could not possibly have been mistaken as to the identity of the appellant. who was then at large during the pendency of said case. the same should likewise be rejected in his case in order to be consistent. it is not required that the whole of their uncorroborated testimony be rejected. he being from the same barrio where his house was not far away from hers. as testified to by Mateo Simbahan. the appellant himself was charged as the sole author of the crime after the acquittal of his supposed inducer. and We really find no cogent reason to disturb the above-quoted conclusion of the court below in the decision appealed from. In asking for his acquittal the appellant vigorously assails the credibility of the prosecution witnesses. And it has been aptly said that even when witnesses are found to have deliberately falsified in sonic material particulars. We cannot sustain the appellant. the appellant insists that she could not have possibly seen the assailant because. watching a . particularly the widow who identified him as the murderer of her husband. to kill Norberto Anillo. it is to be noted that she promised to identify him after her husband was interred. that a trial court by reason of its proximate contact with witnesses. Although the lamp was not presented in evidence it was adequately described as a bottle of beer with the wick held in place at its mouth by means of a tin plate. In a further attempt to discredit the identification made by Adelaida Mirania. the trial. In fact. She knew him very well.2 We now take up the merits of the case. Under the foregoing factual setting.settled that the right to a preliminary investigation is not a fundamental right and may be waived expressly or by silence. 2388 Juan Mendoza was prosecuted on the theory that he directly induced the herein appellant. which she readily did by going to the police department where she executed a sworn statement. While it is true that Adelaida Mirania did not report immediately to the Deputy Chief of Police the identity of the assailant. it found that the testimonies of prosecution witnesses Adelaida Mirania." but such was not the case when they testified against Juan Mendoza. are in a more competent position to discriminate between the true and the false. Suffice it to say. in this connection. It is to be noted that in Criminal Case No. He urges that since the testimonies of said witnesses as regards the guilt of Juan Mendoza were not given credence. but such portions thereof deemed worthy of belief may be credited.

Firstly. Besides. We find this motive insufficient for her to accuse him falsely of so grave a crime as murder. the protestation of the appellant that he never knew that he was being implicated in the killing of Norberto Anillo or that he was being charged in court therefor until he was so informed by Juan Mendoza on March 23. Secondly. Furthermore. 1966. it is unthinkable that she would fabricate evidence to send an innocent man to jail and let the real murderer of her husband go free. while the appellant was supposedly released on June 19. Yet he did not talk to Agaton Anillo immediately upon his arrival but waited until midnight on the lame excuse that he got interested watching the bingo game. He never did.game of "bingo. considering that Adelaida Mirania had nine (9) children and was then again pregnant. as correctly observed by the trial court. after examining the evidence in support of his defense We find that his alibi has the aspect of fabrication. If anything. not even on Christmas day. there being already legitimate entries thereon and the blank spaces having been crossed out. The Chief of Police was even surprised why the questioned entry appeared as it did. Also. Moreover. Lastly. the release was entered on the page for June 18. It appears from the record that his bondsmen secured the necessary papers in connection with their respective properties to be offered as security on February 28. from all appearances the payrolls from April 1966 to November 1966 were all prepared at the same time. Nueva Ecija. 1967 is belied by the fact that even before that date he had already taken steps to prepare his bail bond. he said. It is a fair conclusion that the fact of release was entered on said page because it could no longer be accommodated on the page for June 19. Although he was apparently aware of the plot to liquidate him. he would at least have returned home to visit his family during that long period. 1966 at 8:00 o'clock in the morning. He went to Agaton Anillo's house." However. the circumstances. including the use by the appellant of a high power firearm. The trial court correctly appreciated the qualifying circumstance of treachery against the appellant. 1966. the police blotter of Gabaldon. While the Chief of Police testified that the appellant was brought to the municipal jail by his two policemen at about two o'clock in the afternoon of June 18. 1966. Thirdly. which is traditionally a day for family reunion. 1967 and that the bail bond itself was prepared on March 4. The attack was sudden: the victim was knocking at the door and asking his wife to open it when he was shot. The appellant having been clearly and positively identified by the widow. his long absence from his barrio supports the theory of the prosecution that his flight immediately after the commission of the crime was not for any innocent reason. it appears in the blotter that the appellant was detained at 9:00 o'clock in the evening. was not properly accomplished. rendered the victim . his alibi cannot be sustained. in order to ask the latter to help him find a job. if it were true that he was working from June 1966 to March 1967 under Gabaldon Vice-Mayor Aquino and not hiding from the authorities as alleged by the prosecution. The appellant also insists that the widow pointed to him as the assailant because she was angry with him because he refused to stop helping her late husband in his extra-marital affairs. remaining on her feet until midnight. 1967. it is hardly believable that she would leave her house just to watch the bingo game. the testimony of said witness contains flaws which render it unworthy of belief.

000. the decision appealed from is affirmed with costs. The mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender cannot be considered in favor of the appellant. and there being neither mitigating nor aggravating circumstance. the appellant was correctly sentenced to reclusion perpetua. The fact that it took him almost nine months after the issuance of the warrant of arrest against him before he presented himself to the police authorities negates the spontaneity of his surrender. . WHEREFORE.00. The crime committed was murder.defenseless.000.00 to P12. with the only modification that the indemnity payable to the heirs of the deceased Norberto Anillo is increased from P6.