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KIDNAPPING AND SERIOUS ILLEGAL DETENTION

People v. Cruz
GR No. 168446 September 18, 2009
PERALTA, J.

FACTS:
Enrique Avendaño, Allen Francisco, John Doe a.k.a. Tochie Kulot, and Richard Does were
charged of kidnapping and serious illegal detention when they allegedly deprived Atty. Danilo
Soriano, a Legal Officer of Del Monte Philippines of his liberty.

Atty. Soriano boarded a jeepney on the way to Manila after appellant Agustin his caretaker told him
that one of the men inside the jeep, appellant Ernesto Cruz, Jr., was his compadre and they were
all bound for Balagtas, Bulacan. Thereafter, appellant Agustin left them. On their way to Manila,
Cruz poked a gun to Atty. Soriano and announced a hold-up. They took all the valuables of
Soriano and they brought him to a dimly-lighted hut. Atty. Soriano remained there for a week,
closely guarded by Narciso Buluran, who was armed with an armalite rifle, and Tochie Kulot, who
was armed with a revolver. Appellant Cruz visited him most of the time, while accused Allen
Francisco prepared the food.

Upon arraignment, appellant Ernesto Cruz, appellant Reynaldo Agustin and Enrique Avendaño,
assisted by counsel de parte, and Allen Francisco, assisted by counsel de officio, all pleaded Not
Guilty of the crime/s charged. After Pre-trial on November 12, 1998, trial on the merits ensued.

On May 25, 2000, the RTC, rendered its Decision finding appellants Cruz and Agustin guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of Kidnaping and Serious Illegal Detention.
On April 8, 2005, the CA affirmed in toto the Decision of the RTC

Agustin argued that the trial court overlooked and seriously failed to weigh accurately all the
material facts and circumstances of the case presented to it for reconsideration. According to him,
the prosecution failed to substantiate his participation in the conspiracy to commit the crime of
kidnapping for ransom. He added that, at most, he was implicated in the commission of the crime
charged based solely on circumstantial evidence, however, the circumstances presented by the
prosecution were clearly inadequate to demonstrate convincingly and persuasively that he had
conspired with appellant Cruz to commit the crime charged. Finally, he claims that the trial court
failed to consider his defense that he never participated in kidnapping and detaining Atty. Soriano,
as he had no knowledge whatsoever in the commission of the said offense.

Appellant Cruz, on the other handstated that the trial court erred in finding that the crime allegedly
committed by him is Kidnapping with Serious Illegal Detention, punishable by death, whereas,
there was actually no forcible taking of the person of Atty. Soriano, who appeared to have
voluntarily cooperated with appellant Agustin and his companions to make Atty. Soriano's plan
appear to be real. He also contended that planned the kidnapping during the trial because it was
his first time to testify and that he told the said fact to his lawyers long before the said trial.
ISSUES:
Are the accused guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention?
Did Cruz conspire with Agustin?

HELD:
Yes. The appellants are guilty of Kidnapping and Appellant Cruz’s defense that he did not conspire
with the other appellant is untenable.

Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659, reads:

ART. 267. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention. – Any private individual who shall kidnap or
detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer the penalty of
reclusion perpetua to death:
1. If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than three days.
2. If it shall have been committed simulating public authority.
3. If any serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or
detained, or if threats to kill him shall have been made.
4. If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, except when the accused is any
of the parents, female, or a public officer.
The penalty shall be death where the kidnapping or detention was committed for the
purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person, even if none of the
circumstances above-mentioned were present in the commission of the offense.

For the accused to be convicted of kidnapping, the prosecution is burdened to prove beyond
reasonable doubt all the elements of the crime, namely: (a) the offender is a private individual; (b)
he kidnaps or detains another, or in any manner deprives the latter of his liberty; (c) the act of
detention or kidnapping must be illegal; and (d) in the commission of the offense any of the
following circumstances is present: (1) the kidnapping or detention lasts for more than three days;
(2) it is committed by simulating public authority; (3) any serious physical injuries are inflicted upon
the person kidnapped or detained or threats to kill him are made; or (4) the person kidnapped or
detained is a minor, female, or a public officer. If the victim of kidnapping and serious illegal
detention is a minor, the duration of his detention is immaterial. Likewise, if the victim is kidnapped
and illegally detained for the purpose of extorting ransom, the duration of his detention is
immaterial.

The essential elements for this crime is the deprivation of liberty of the victim under any of the
above-mentioned circumstances coupled with indubitable proof of intent of the accused to effect
the same. There must be a purposeful or knowing action by the accused to forcibly restrain the
victim coupled with intent.

A careful perusal of the records and the transcript of stenographic notes clearly show that the
prosecution was able to adduce the requisite circumstantial evidence to prove the guilt of appellant
Agustin beyond reasonable doubt. Atty. Soriano testified that the accused Agustin gave some kind
of signal to the four (4) men who were wearing black jacket, which says “Ano ba? Si Attorney!” So I
wondered what it was all about. Then he told me to board the jeepney and

The above testimony, coupled with the fact that appellant Agustin was arrested while he acted as a
guard outside the hut where Atty. Soriano was kept, are consistent with each other, thereby
warranting the conclusion that the former indeed had an indispensable part in the crime charged.
His defense that his presence outside the hut where Atty. Soriano during the rescue operation,
which eventually led to his arrest, does not make him criminally liable, deserves scant
consideration. It was merely a statement which is not corroborated by any other evidence; thus, it
is not enough to debunk the earlier mentioned circumstantial evidence.

With respect to conspiracy, it is immaterial whether appellant Agustin acted as a principal or an


accomplice. What really matters is that the conspiracy was proven and he took part in it. As
lucidly shown in the evidence, without the participation of appellant Agustin, the commission of the
offense would not have come to fruition, and as clearly presented by the prosecution, he was the
one who paved the way for Atty. Soriano to board the vehicle and his closeness with the victim led
the latter to trust the former, thus, accomplishing the appellants' devious plan. Consequently, the
conspirators shall be held equally liable for the crime, because in a conspiracy the act of one is the
act of all.

Hence, Cruz and Agustin conspired to commit the crime of kidnapping for ransom which was
proven beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution.

KIDNAPPING AND SERIOUS ILLEGAL DETENTION


People v. Baluya
G No. 181822, APRIL 13, 2011
PERALTA, J:

FACTS:
Baluya was charged with the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention for having deprived
Glodil Maambong, a minor, of his liberty.

Around 10:30 a.m. of August 31, 2003, the victim, Glodil Castillon (Glodil), who at that time was
nine (9) years old, was playing in front of their house located
along Laon Laan St., Sampaloc, Manila While in the midst of play, he saw herein appellant.
.

Appellant then called Glodil's attention and summoned him to come forth. Immediately thereafter,
appellant seized him by twisting his right arm, pointed a knife at him and told him that if appellant's
wife, Marissa, would not show up Glodil's mother would not see him anymore. Appellant
and Glodil then boarded a jeepney and went to Blumentritt. When they were in Blumentritt,
appellant called up Glodil's mother, Gloria, telling her to show him his wife so that she will also be
able to see Glodil. Gloria then asked appellant to allow her to talk to her son as proof
that Glodil was indeed with him. Appellant then passed the telephone to Glodil, but the latter was
only able to momentarily talk with his mother because appellant immediately grabbed the
telephone from him. Thereafter, Glodil's mother reported the incident to the police. Meanwhile,
appellant and Glodil again boarded a jeepney and went to Novaliches. It was Glodil's first time to
reach Novaliches. Upon reaching Novaliches “Bayan,” they headed straight to a barbershop where
they fetched appellant's three minor children. They then proceeded to a church where appellant left
his children and Glodil in the playground within the church premises. Glodil played, ate and slept
with appellant's children until the afternoon of the same day. During that period, appellant returned
from time to time to check on them and bring them food. At 3:30 p.m. of the same day, appellant
again called up Gloria and, while shouting, asked if his wife was already there. He then threatened
Gloria by“kapag hindi moipakita sa akin si Marissa, hindi mo na makikita ang anak mo.”

Subsequently, Gloria was able to talk to Marissa and convince her to meet with appellant at
the Novaliches public market. Unknown to appellant, the police already had a plan to arrest him,
which they did when he showed up to meet with his wife. In the meantime, around 4:00 p.m. of
August 31, 2003, Glodil was able to seize an opportunity to escape while appellant was away. He
walked from the place where appellant left him in Novaliches until he reached their house and it
took him around four hours to do so. He was able to trace back their house by reading the
signboard of the jeepneys and following the route of those that pass by his place of residence.

ISSUE:
Is the accused guilty of the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention?

HELD:
Yes. The elements of kidnapping and serious illegal detention under Article 267 of the
Revised Penal Code (RPC) are:
1. The offender is a private individual;
2. The kidnaps or detains another or in any other manner deprives the latter of his liberty;
3. The act of detention or kidnapping is illegal; and
4. In the commission of the offense, any of the following circumstances are present: (a) the
kidnapping or detention lasts for more than 3 days; or (b) it is committed by simulating public
authority; or (c) any serious physical injuries are inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained or
threats to kill him are made; or (d) the person kidnapped or detained is a minor, female, or a public
officer.

The presence of the first element is not in issue as there is no dispute that appellant is a private
individual.

As to the second element of the crime, the deprivation required by Article 267 of the RPC means
not only the imprisonment of a person, but also the deprivation of his liberty in whatever form and
for whatever length of time. It involves a situation where the victim cannot go out of the place of
confinement or detention or is restricted or impeded in his liberty to move. If the victim is a child, it
also includes the intention of the accused to deprive the parents of the custody of the child. In other
words, the essence of kidnapping is the actual deprivation of the victim's liberty, coupled with
indubitable proof of the intent of the accused to effect such deprivation. In the present case, Glodil
was in the control of appellant as he was kept in a place strange and unfamiliar to him. Because of
his tender age and the fact that he did not know the way back home, he was then and there
deprived of his liberty. The intention to deprive Glodil's parents of his custody is also indicated by
appellant's actual taking of the child without the permission or knowledge of his parents, of
subsequently calling up the victim’s mother to inform her that the child is in his custody and of
threatening her that she will no longer see her son if she failed to show his wife to him. Appellant
alleges that Glodil was not forcibly taken, but instead voluntarily went with appellant to Novaliches.
The general rule is that the prosecution is burdened to prove lack of consent on the part of the
victim. However, where the victim is a minor, lack of consent is presumed.

With respect to the third element of the offense charged, the prosecution proved that appellant's
act of detaining the victim was without lawful cause.

As to the last element of the crime, appellant contends that the victim's minority was not sufficiently
proven. However, the Court agrees with the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) that the victim's
minority was alleged by the prosecution in the information and was not disputed. During his direct
examination, the victim testified as to his minority claiming that, at the time that he was presented
at the witness stand, he was only 10 years old. This fact was affirmed by his mother who also
testified as to his minority at the time that he was abducted.

Thus, the Court held that the accused is guilty of the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal
detention.

ROBBERY, TAKING SHALL NOT BE UNDER CLAIM OF OWNERSHIP


SY vs. Gutierrez
GR No. 171579 April 13 2011
PERALTA, J.

FACTS:
Benito Go and Glenn Ben Tiak Sy together with Elmo, a security guard of Hawk Security Agency
were charged of Robbery.

Petitioner Lily Sy (petitioner) claimed that in the morning of December 16, 1999, respondents
Benito Fernandez Go (Benito) and Glenn Ben Tiak Sy (Glenn), together with "Elmo," a security
guard of Hawk Security Agency, went to petitioner's residence at the 10th Floor, Fortune Wealth,
612 Elcano St., Binondo, Manila and forcibly opened the door, destroyed and dismantled the door
lock then replaced it with a new one, without petitioner's consent.

In the evening of the same date, petitioner supposedly saw Benito, Glenn, Jennifer, Merry and
respondent Berthold Lim (Berthold) took from her residence numerous boxes containing her
personal belongings without her consent and, with intent to gain, load them inside a family-owned
van/truck named "Wheels in Motion."The same incident supposedly happened in January 2000
and the "stolen" boxes allegedly reached 34,the contents of which were valued at P10,244,196.00

Respondents Benito and Berthold denied the accusations against them. They explained that
petitioner made the baseless charges simply because she hated their wives Merry and Jennifer
due to irreconcilable personal differences on how to go about the estates of their deceased parents
then pending before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 51.They also manifested
their doubts on petitioner’s capability to acquire the personal belongings allegedly stolen by them.

In the Resolution dated September 28, 2001, Assistant City Prosecutor Jovencio T. Tating )
recommended that respondents Benito, Berthold, Jennifer, Glenn and Merry be charged with
Robbery In An Uninhabited Place.

When elevated before the Secretary of Justice, then Secretary Simeon A. Datumanong reversed
and set aside the ACP’s conclusions and the latter was directed to move for the withdrawal of the
Information against respondents. The Secretary stressed that the claimed residence of petitioner is
not an uninhabited place under the penal laws, considering her allegation that it is her residence.
Neither can it be considered uninhabited under Article 300 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), since
it is located in a populous place The Secretary opined that the elements of robbery were not
present, since there was no violence against or intimidation of persons, or force upon things, as the
replacement of the door lock was authorized by a board resolution.It is likewise his conclusion that
the element of taking was not adequately established as petitioner and her helper were not able to
see the taking of anything of value. If at all there was taking, the Secretary concluded that it was
made under a claim of ownership. Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was denied on June 17,
2004.

Aggrieved, petitioner went up to the Court of Appeals (CA) in a special civil action for certiorari
under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. On December 20, 2004, the CA rendered a Decision granting
the petition and, consequently, setting aside the assailed Secretary’s Resolutions and reinstating
the OCP’s Resolution with the directive that the Information be amended to reflect the facts as
alleged in the complaint that the robbery was committed in an inhabited place and that it was
committed through force upon things.

ISSUE:
Are the respondents guilty of robbery?

HELD:
NO. The respondents should not be held liable for the alleged unlawful act absent a felonious
intent."Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea. A crime is not committed if the mind of the person
performing the act complained of is innocent. Taking as an element of robbery means depriving the
offended party of ownership of the thing taken with the character of permanency. The taking should
not be under a claim of ownership.

Respondents were charged with robbery in an uninhabited place, which was later amended to
reflect the facts as alleged in the complaint that the robbery was committed in an inhabited place
and that it was committed through force upon things. As provided under the Revised Penal Code:

"Any person who, with intent to gain, shall take any personal property belonging to another, by
means of violence against or intimidation of any person, or using force upon anything, is guilty of
robbery." To constitute robbery, the following elements must be established:
(1) The subject is personal property belonging to another;
(2) There is unlawful taking of that property;
(3) The taking is with the intent to gain; and
(4) There is violence against or intimidation of any person or use of force upon things.

Admittedly, the subject 10th floor unit is owned by the corporation and served as the family
residence prior to the death of petitioner and respondents’ parents. The 10th floor unit, including
the personal properties inside, is the subject of estate proceedings pending in another court and is,
therefore, involved in the disputed claims among the siblings (petitioner and respondents).
Respondents admitted that armed with a Board Resolution authorizing them to break open the
door lock system of said unit and to install a new door lock system, they went up to the subject unit
to implement said resolution. The said corporate action was arrived at because petitioner had
allegedly prevented prospective buyers from conducting ocular inspection.

Taking as an element of robbery means depriving the offended party of ownership of the thing
taken with the character of permanency. The taking should not be under a claim of ownership.
Thus, one who takes the property openly and avowedly under claim of title offered in good faith is
not guilty of robbery even though the claim of ownership is untenable. The intent to gain cannot be
established by direct evidence being an internal act. It must, therefore, be deduced from the
circumstances surrounding the commission of the offense.

In this case, it was shown that respondents believed in good faith that they and the corporation
own not only the subject unit but also the properties found inside. If at all, they took them openly
and avowedly under that claim of ownership. This is bolstered by the fact that at the time of the
alleged incident, petitioner had been staying in another unit because the electric service in the 10th
floor was disconnected.

Hence, even if we are to assume that private respondents took the said personal properties from
the 10th floor of the Fortune Wealth Mansion, they cannot be charged with robbery because again,
the taking was made under a claim of ownership x x x

Respondents should not be held liable for the alleged unlawful act absent a felonious intent."Actus
non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea. A crime is not committed if the mind of the person performing the
act complained of is innocent.

ROBBERY WITH RAPE


People v. Joseph Evangelio
G.R. No. 181902, August 31, 2011
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Joseph Evangelio, together with the other three accused convicted for the crime Robbery with
Homicide. In 2001, at 6:30 in the evening, while AAA, a 17-year-old househelper, was cooking in
the kitchen of the house of BBB situated in Tacloban City, four persons, one of whom was armed
with a handgun while the other three with knives, suddenly barged inside the house through the
open kitchen door. The four men accosted her, warned her to keep quiet, and brought her to the
living room. With her eyes partially covered by the tape, AAA was brought by the appellant inside
the comfort room and thereat, appellant and one of the robbers stripped off AAA's clothes and
savaged her. Other members of the household were then tied up. Upon instruction of the accused,
they were divested of their belongings most especially of their jewelries. When one of the members
of the family came home from work, she tried to open the door but was not able to do so. She then
called out the names of her children, but nobody responded. She peeped through the window
screen and saw people inside the house with whom she did not recognize. One of the accused
then poked a gun at her head and told her to come inside, otherwise, he would kill her children.
She ran away from their house, and cried out for help from the neighbors. The accused were then
brought thereafter to the police.

ISSUE:
Is the appellant guilty of the crime Robbery with Rape?

HELD:
Yes. To be convicted of robbery with rape, the following elements must concur: (1) the taking of
personal property is committed with violence or intimidation against persons; (2) the property taken
belongs to another; (3) the taking is characterized by intent to gain or animus lucrandi; and (4) the
robbery is accompanied by rape.

In this case, the prosecution established that appellant and his three co-accused took the pieces of
jewelry and valuables of the spouses BBB and CCC by means of violence and intimidation.
Appellant and his co-accused barged into the house of the victims armed with a handgun and
knives and tied the hands and feet of the members of the household. The perpetrators then asked
for the location of the pieces of jewelry and valuables. BBB was also tied and was struck in the
head with a gun causing him to fall face down on the floor with blood oozing from his left eyebrow.
He was able to see the perpetrators going out of the house carrying bags and the jewelry box of
his wife. Intent to gain, or animus lucrandi, as an element of the crime of robbery, is an internal act;
hence, presumed from the unlawful taking of things. Having established that the personal
properties of the victims were unlawfully taken by the appellant, intent to gain was sufficiently
proven. Thus, the first three elements of the crime were clearly established.

As regard the last requirement. Although the victim AAA did not exactly witness the actual rape
because she was unconscious at that time, circumstantial evidence shows that the victim was
raped by the appellant and the other accused. Circumstantial evidence, also known as indirect or
presumptive evidence, refers to proof of collateral facts and circumstances whence the existence
of the main fact may be inferred according to reason and common experience. Circumstantial
evidence is sufficient to sustain conviction if (a) there is more than one circumstance; (b) the facts
from which the inferences are derived are proven; (c) the combination of all circumstances is such
as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt A judgment of conviction based on
circumstantial evidence can be sustained when the circumstances proved form an unbroken chain
that results in a fair and reasonable conclusion pointing to the accused, to the exclusion of all
others, as the perpetrator.

The following circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution, when analyzed and taken
together, lead to the inescapable conclusion that the appellant raped AAA: first, while two of the
robbers were stealing, appellant and one of the robbers brought AAA inside the comfort room;
second, inside the comfort room, AAA was stripped off her clothes and her panty; third, when AAA
resisted and struggled, appellant and the other robber banged her head against the wall, causing
her to lose consciousness; fourth, when she regained consciousness, the culprits were already
gone and she saw her shorts and panty strewn at her side; and fifth, she suffered pain in her
knees, head, stomach and, most of all, in her vagina which was then bleeding. Based on the
foregoing, appellant is guilty of the crime Robbery with Rape

KIDNAPPING AND SERIOUS ILLEGAL DETENTION


People v. Anticamara
G.R. No. 178771
Peralta,J.

FACTS:
Fernando Calaguas Fernandez (Lando) and Alberto Cabillo Anticamara (Al) were convicted of the
crime of Murder and of the crime of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention. Early in morning of
May 7, 2002, househelper AAA and driver Abad Sulpacio were sleeping in their employers' house.
Momentarily, AAA was jolted from sleep when she heard voices of unknown men. When she tried
to escape, someone accosted her. The group later brought AAA and Abad to the fishpond owned
by their employers. Later, alias “Fred” returned telling the group, “Make the decision now, Abad has
already four bullets in his body, and the one left is for this girl.” When Cita Tañedo made a motion
of cutting her neck, appellant alias “Lando Calaguas” and “Fred” boarded the vehicle taking along
with them AAA. They later proceeded towards San Miguel Tarlac, where Lando Calaguas resided.
They stayed in Lando's house where they kept AAA for 2 days. On May 9, 2002, appellant Lando
Calaguas told AAA that Fred and Bert Tañedo would kill her. Lando then brought AAA to a hotel in
Tarlac, telling AAA that he would leave her there as soon as Fred and Bert Tañedo leave the place.
However, once inside the hotel room, appellant Lando Calaguas raped her. AAA was brought to
the residence of Fred's niece, a certain Minda, where Fred kept AAA as his wife. At nighttime, Fred
would repeatedly ravish AAA, threatening her that he would give her back to appellant Lando
Calaguas who, AAA knew, killed Abad Sulpacio. She was afraid Lando might also kill her. Fred
then brought AAA to Leyte, together with his wife Marsha and their children. AAA stayed in the
house of Marsha's brother Sito, where she was made as a house helper. She later escaped from
said house. She then proceeded to the police where she narrated the whole incident.

ISSUE:
Are the appellants guilty of the crimes charged?

HELD:
As to the charge of murder, although there was no direct eyewitness in the killing of Sulpacio in
the early morning of May 7, 2002, the prosecution adduced sufficient circumstantial evidence to
establish with moral certainty the identities and guilt of the perpetrators of the crime. Circumstantial
evidence consists of proof of collateral facts and circumstances from which the existence of the
main fact may be inferred according to reason and common experience.

In this case, the circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution, when analyzed and taken
together, lead to the inescapable conclusion that the appellants are responsible for the death of
Sulpacio. The following facts were considered as circumstantial evidence as testified by AAAL
1.While she and the victim Abad Sulpacio were sleeping inside the house of the Estrella family
several persons entered to rob the place;2. Inside the house, she saw and recognized the accused
Lando Calaguas and Dick Tañedo, and heard the latter uttering “somebody will die”;3. Bringing her
outside the house, Lando pushed her into the Revo where she saw inside Abad Sulpacio who was
blindfolded and with his hands tied;4. Inside the Revo, she recognized the accused Dick Tañedo,
Lando Calaguas, Marvin Lim, Roberto Tañedo, Alberto Anticamara and Fred;5. The Revo then
proceeded towards the fishpond owned by the Estrellas in Sitio Rosalia, Brgy. San Bartolome,
Rosales, Pangasinan;6. The last time that she saw Abad Sulpacio was when he was dragged out
from the vehicle by Lando, Fred, Marvin and Al upon reaching Sitio Rosalia. At that, time Dick
Tañedo stayed with her in the vehicle;7. Thereafter, when Fred returned to the vehicle, she heard
him uttered (sic): “Make a decision now. Abad has already four (4) bullets in his body, and the one
left is for this girl.”

With respect to conspiracy, in the case, prior to the commission of the crime, the group met at the
landing field in Carmen, Pangasinan and discussed their plan to rob the house of the Estrellas with
the agreement that whoever comes their way will be eliminated. Appellant Al served as a lookout
by posting himself across the house of the Estrellas with the task of reporting any movements
outside. Fred then climbed the old unserviceable gate of the Estrella compound and then opened
the small door and the rest of the group entered the house of the Estrellas through that opening.
After almost an hour inside the house, they left on board a vehicle with AAA and Sulpacio. AAA
and Sulpacio were brought to Sitio Rosalia, Brgy. San Bartolome, Rosales, Pangasinan. In that
place, Sulpacio was killed and AAA was brought to another place and deprived of her liberty.
These circumstances establish a community of criminal design between the malefactors in
committing the crime. Clearly, the group conspired to rob the house of the Estrellas and kill any
person who comes their way. The killing of Sulpacio was part of their conspiracy. Further, Dick's
act of arming himself with a gun constitutes direct evidence of a deliberate plan to kill should the
need arise.
With respect to the qualifying circumstances of treachery and evident premeditation, it was proven
that when AAA boarded the vehicle, she saw Sulpacio tied and blindfolded. Later, when they
reached the fishpond, Sulpacio, still tied and blindfolded, was led out of the vehicle by the group.
When the remains of Sulpacio was thereafter found by the authorities, the autopsy report indicated
that a piece of cloth was found wrapped around the eye sockets and tied at the back of the skull
and another cloth was also found tied at the left wrist of the victim. There is no question therefore,
that the victim's body, when found, still had his hands tied and blindfolded. This situation of the
victim when found shows without doubt that he was killed while tied and blindfolded; hence, the
qualifying aggravating circumstance of treachery was present in the commission of the crime. Also,
from the time the group met at the landing field at around 6:30 p.m. of May 6, 2002, and discussed
the possibility of killing anyone who stands on their way, up to the time they took Sulpacio away
from the Estrellas’ house and eventually killed him thereafter at around past 3:00 a.m., more than
eight hours had elapsed – sufficient for the appellants to reflect on the consequences of their
actions and desist from carrying out their evil scheme, if they wished to. Instead, appellants
evidently clung to their determination and went ahead with their nefarious plan.

Also, the Court finds appellant Lando guilty of the special complex crime of kidnapping and serious
illegal detention with rape, defined in and penalized under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code.
The elements of kidnapping and serious illegal detention under Article 267 of the Revised Penal
Code[39] are: (1) the offender is a private individual; (2) he kidnaps or detains another or in any
other manner deprives the latter of his liberty; (3) the act of detention or kidnapping must be illegal;
and (4) in the commission of the offense, any of the following circumstances is present: (a) the
kidnapping or detention lasts for more than 3 days; or (b) it is committed by simulating public
authority; or (c) any serious physical injuries are inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained or
threats to kill him are made; or (d) the person kidnapped or detained is a minor, female, or a public
officer.

The crime of kidnapping was proven beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution. Appellants
Lando and Al, both private individuals, forcibly took AAA, a female, away from the house of the
Estrellas and held her captive against her will. Thereafter, appellant Lando brought AAA to his
house in San Miguel Tarlac, whereby she was deprived of her liberty for almost one month. It is
settled that the crime of serious illegal detention consists not only of placing a person in an
enclosure, but also in detaining him or depriving him in any manner of his liberty. For there to be
kidnapping, it is enough that the victim is restrained from going home. Its essence is the actual
deprivation of the victim's liberty, coupled with indubitable proof of the intent of the accused to
effect such deprivation. Although AAA was not confined in an enclosure, she was restrained and
deprived of her liberty, because every time appellant Lando and his wife went out of the house,
they brought AAA with them. The foregoing only shows that AAA was constantly guarded by
appellant Lando and his family.

The crime of rape was also established by the prosecution. Appellant Lando succeeded in having
carnal knowledge of AAA through the use of threat and intimidation. AAA testified that on May 9,
2002, appellant Lando brought her to a hotel to hide her from Fred and Bert, who intended to kill
her. Appellant Lando told her to follow his orders, otherwise, he will give her to Fred and Bert.
While in the hotel, appellant Lando raped her. Clearly, for fear of being delivered to Fred and Bert
and of losing her life, AAA had no choice but to give in to appellant Lando's lustful assault. In rape
cases, the credibility of the victim's testimony is almost always the single most important factor.
When the victim's testimony is credible, it may be the sole basis for the accused's conviction. This
is so because owing to the nature of the offense, in many cases, the only evidence that can be
given regarding the matter is the testimony of the offended party.

ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE


People v. Beriber
G.R. No. 195243, August 29, 2012
Peralta, J.

FACTS:
The appellants were charged with the crime of Robbery with homicide. The prosecution presented
several witnesses against the accused. First was the physician who conducted and prepared the
necropsy report which states that that the victim died of shock and hemorrhage secondary to
multiple stab wounds all over her body, some of which damaged her heart, lungs, and liver.

The first witness for the prosecution was Dr. Celino, the physician who examined the remains of
the victim, Lourdes Vergara. She testified that she conducted and prepared a Necropsy Report
which states that the victim died of shock and hemorrhage secondary to multiple stab wounds all
over her body, some of which damaged her heart, lungs, and liver.

The prosecution also presented police officer Demejes who testified that while he was on duty , he
went to the house of Henry Vergara to investigate the stabbing incident and found the house in
complete disarray with coins all over. Thereafter, two other witnesses were presented who testified
they knew the accused and observed that on the day of the crime, the appellant looked restless.
The husband also testified that before he left for their store in Quezon that day, he left appellant,
his wife and their children in their house. He also remembered that cash amounting to Two
Thousand Pesos was left inside the drawer in their rice mill. However, when he looked for the
money after he discovered that his wife was killed, he could no longer find it. Appellant was held to
be guilty of the crime charged by the trial court and appellate court. Appellant contends that to
sustain a conviction for the crime of robbery with homicide, it is necessary that robbery itself must
be proved as conclusively as any other essential element of the crime which was not established in
this case.

ISSUE:
Is the appellant guilty of Robbery with Homicide?

HELD:
Yes. Admittedly, there was no direct evidence to establish appellant's commission of the crime
charged. However, direct evidence is not the only matrix wherefrom a trial court may draw its
conclusion and finding of guilt. At times, resort to circumstantial evidence is imperative since to
insist on direct testimony would, in many cases, result in setting felons free and deny proper
protection to the community.In the case, the element of taking and the existence of the money
stolen by appellant were adequately established by the prosecution. Henry positively testified that
he left P2,000.00 in the drawer in the ricemill in the morning of October 3, 2000 which was no
longer found upon discovery of his wife's lifeless body. Moreover, Investigator Demejes testified
that when he came to the crime scene, he saw the place in disarray, i.e., drawers and coins were
scattered on the floor, another drawer was pulled out from its original location and left on a couch;
and that a blue tote bag was also seen on top of a table and a passbook on top of the bed. Intent to
rob is an internal act, but may be inferred from proof of violent unlawful taking of personal
property. The prosecution was able to establish that the motive for killing the victim was robbery.

Also, appellant, who was supposed to have gone to Batangas for a medical treatment on the same
day, never came back. In fact, appellant's belongings, which were kept under the bamboo bed
where the victim's body was found lying, were no longer there when the incident was discovered.
Moreover,when the victim's brother, Avanzado, went to the house of appellant's uncle in Batangas,
appellant was nowhere to be found. Appellant was laterapprehended in October 2000 in Capiz, so
Avanzado went to Capiz to verify this but appellant was already released as the police feared that
they might be charged with illegal detention. Notably, appellant knew that he was being arrested for
the crime of robbery with homicide, yet he did not present himself to the authorities or to the
victim's family to establish that he had nothing to do with the crime. In fact, he was not seen by the
victim's family since the incident and it was only on March 25, 2001, after he was again
apprehended in Capiz and brought to San Pablo City that Henry saw him at the police station.
These circumstances denote flight. The flight of an accused, in the absence of a credible
explanation, would be a circumstance from which an inference of guilt might be established, for a
truly innocent person would normally grasp the first available opportunity to defend himself and
assert his innocence. Appellant offered no explanation on why he never returned to his employer
after his alleged medical treatment in Batangas and why he was in Capiz when arrested.

Although appellant’s silence and refusal to testify, let alone refusal to present evidence, cannot be
construed as evidence of guilt, we have consistently held that the fact that an accused never
testified in his defense even in the face of accusations against him goes against the principle that
“the first impulse of an innocent man when accused of wrongdoing is to express his innocence at
the first opportune time

IMPOSSIBLE CRIME
Jacinto v. People
G.R. No. 162540, July 13, 2009
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Following an entrapment procedure, the accused Gemma Jacinto was charged with qualified theft.
Baby Aquino handed petitioner Gemma Jacinto a BDO Check in the amount of P10,000.00. The
check was payment for Baby Aquino's purchases from Mega Foam Int'l., Inc., and petitioner was
then the collector of Mega Foam. Somehow, the check was deposited in the Land Bank account of
Generoso Capitle, the husband of Jacqueline Capitle; the latter is the sister of petitioner and the
former pricing, merchandising and inventory clerk of Mega Foam.

Later, Mega Foam received a phone call from an employee of Land Banl. The reason for the call
was to inform Capitle that the subject BDO check deposited in his account had been dishonored.
Ricablanca then called and relayed the message through accused Anita Valencia, a former
employee/collector of Mega Foam. Valencia then told Ricablanca that the check came from Baby
Aquino, and instructed Ricablanca to ask Baby Aquino to replace the check with cash. Valencia
also told Ricablanca of a plan to take the cash and divide it equally into four: for herself,
Ricablanca, petitioner Jacinto and Jacqueline Capitle. Ricablanca, upon the advise of Mega
Foam's accountant, reported the matter to the owner of Mega Foam

Thereafter, said owner talked to Baby Aquino and was able to confirm that the latter indeed handed
petitioner a BDO check for P10,000.00 as payment for her purchases from Mega Foam. Baby
Aquino further testified that petitioner Jacinto also called her on the phone to tell her that the BDO
check bounced. Verification from company records showed that petitioner never remitted the
subject check to Mega Foam. However, Baby Aquino said that she had already paid Mega Foam
P10,000.00 cash as replacement for the dishonored check.

ISSUE:
Can a worthless check can be the object of theft?

HELD:
No. As may be gleaned from the aforementioned Articles of the Revised Penal Code, the personal
property subject of the theft must have some value, as the intention of the accused is to gain from
the thing stolen. This is further bolstered by Article 309, where the law provides that the penalty to
be imposed on the accused is dependent on the value of the thing stolen.

There can be no question that as of the time that petitioner took possession of the check meant for
Mega Foam, she had performed all the acts to consummate the crime of theft, had it not been
impossible of accomplishment in this case. The circumstance of petitioner receiving the P5,000.00
cash as supposed replacement for the dishonored check was no longer necessary for the
consummation of the crime of qualified theft. Obviously, the plan to convince Baby Aquino to give
cash as replacement for the check was hatched only after the check had been dishonored by the
drawee bank. Since the crime of theft is not a continuing offense, petitioner's act of receiving the
cash replacement should not be considered as a continuation of the theft. At most, the fact that
petitioner was caught receiving the marked money was merely corroborating evidence to
strengthen proof of her intent to gain.
Moreover, the fact that petitioner further planned to have the dishonored check replaced with cash
by its issuer is a different and separate fraudulent scheme. Unfortunately, since said scheme was
not included or covered by the allegations in the Information, the Court cannot pronounce judgment
on the accused; otherwise, it would violate the due process clause of the Constitution. If at all, that
fraudulent scheme could have been another possible source of criminal liability.

Thus, Aquino was held guilty of an impossible crime.

Estafa under Article 315, paragraph 1-b


Wilma Tabiniag v. People of the Philippines
G.R. No. 165411. June 18, 2009
PERALTA, J.:

FACTS:
Wilma Tabiniag, an agent who sells pieces of jewelry on a commission basis was charged with the
crime of estafa.

Complainants Dennis and Victoria Espiritu, both doctors by profession, are engaged in part-time
jewelry business.On February 7, 1992, petitioner received from Victoria several pieces of jewelry
amounting to Php 106,000.00 as evidenced by a trust receiptsigned by petitioner. Later on
February 16, 1992, petitioner again received several pieces of jewelry amounting to Php 64,515.00
as evidenced by another trust receiptsigned by petitioner. After weeks passed, Victoria alleged that
she made several verbal demandsto petitioner to return the pieces of jewelry. Likewise,
complainants filed a complaint at Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City, against Tabaniag, Jane Bisquera
(Bisquera) and Melandia Olandia for estafa and violations of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 (BP 22).

Petitioner, in her defense, alleged that she entrusted the pieces of jewelry to Bisquera who issued
Security Bank Checksas payment. Petitioner claimed that Victoria knew that she was planning to
sell the pieces of jewelry to Bisquera.Moreover, petitioner contends that she and Olandia delivered
the said Security Bank checks to Victoria, who then deposited the same to her account. The
checks issued by Bisquera bounced as the accounts were closed and thus Victoria asked
petitioner to do something about it. Petitioner claimed that she filed cases for estafa and violation of
BP 22 against Bisquera. Likewise, petitioner asked the court for the issuance of an alias warrant of
arrest and a hold departure order against Bisquera.

The trial court the found Tabaniag guilty of estafa. The said decision was also affirmed by the Court
of Appeals on February 27, 2004. On March 26, 2004, petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration
assailing the CA decision. However, it was denied. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE:
Is Wilma Tabaniag is guilty of estafa?

HELD:
No. The Supreme Court held that, given the facts of the case and the evidence on record, the
evidence is wanting to prove that petitioner had misappropriated or converted the pieces of jewelry
entrusted to her by Victoria.

The essence of estafa under Article 315, par. 1(b) is the appropriation or conversion of money or
property received to the prejudice of the owner. The words "convert" and "misappropriate" connote
an act of using or disposing of another’s property as if it were one’s own, or of devoting it to a
purpose or use different from that agreed upon. To misappropriate for one’s own use includes not
only conversion to one’s personal advantage, but also every attempt to dispose of the property of
another without right.

Petitioner cannot be criminally held liable for estafa. Although it cannot be denied that she received
the pieces of jewelry from complainants, evidence is wanting in proving that she misappropriated or
converted the amount of the pieces of jewelry for her own personal use. Likewise, the prosecution
failed to present evidence to show that petitioner had conspired or connived with Bisquera. The
mere fact that petitioner failed to return the pieces of jewelry upon demand is not proof of
conspiracy, nor is it proof of misappropriation or conversion.

Violation of Estafa under Article 315, para. 1(b), RPC


BURGUNDY REALTY CORPORATION v. JOSEFA "JING" C. REYES and
SECRETARY RAUL GONZALEZ of the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
G.R. No. 181021, December 10, 2012
PERALTA, J.:

FACTS:
Josefa Reyes, a real estate agent, was charged with the crime of estafa. Sometime in 1996,
offered her services to petitioner as the latter's real estate agent in buying parcels of land in
Calamba, Laguna, which are to be developed into a golf course. She informed petitioner that more
or less ten (10) lot owners are her clients who were willing to sell their properties. Convinced of her
representations, petitioner released the amount of P23,423,327.50 in her favor to be used in
buying those parcels of land. Reyes, instead of buying those parcels of land, converted and
misappropriated the money given by petitioner to her personal use and benefit. Petitioner sent a
formal demand for Reyes to return the amount of P23,423,327.50, to no avail despite her receipt of
the said demand. As such, petitioner filed a complaint for the crime of Estafa against Reyes before
the Assistant City Prosecutor's Office of Makati City.

Reyes, while admitting that she acted as a real estate agent for petitioner, denied having converted
or misappropriated the involved amount of money. She claimed that the said amount was used
solely for the intended purpose and that it was petitioner who requested her services in procuring
the lots.

ISSUE:
Is Reyes may be prosecuted for the crime of Estafa under Article 315?
HELD:
Yes. The essence of estafa under Article 315, par. 1 (b) is the appropriation or conversion of
money or property received to the prejudice of the owner. The words "convert" and
"misappropriate" connote an act of using or disposing of another's property as if it were one's own,
or of devoting it to a purpose or use different from that agreed upon. To misappropriate for one's
own use includes not only conversion to one's personal advantage, but also every attempt to
dispose of the property of another without right.

The records would show that the investigating prosecutor was correct in finding the existence of all
the elements of the crime of estafa. Reyes did not dispute that she received in trust the amount of
P23,423,327.50 from petitioner as proven by the checks and vouchers to be used in purchasing
the parcels of land. Petitioner wrote a demand letter for Reyes to return the same amount but was
not heeded. Hence, the failure of Reyes to deliver the titles or to return the entrusted money,
despite demand and the duty to do so, constituted prima facie evidence of misappropriation. The
words convert and misappropriate connote the act of using or disposing of another's property as if
it were one's own, or of devoting it to a purpose or use different from that agreed upon. To
misappropriate for one's own use includes not only conversion to one's personal advantage, but
also every attempt to dispose of the property of another without right.

Distinction between Theft and Estafa


PARAMOUNT INSURANCE CORPORATION v. SPOUSES YVES and MARIA
TERESA REMONDEULAZ
G.R. No. 173773, November 28, 2012
PERALTA, J.:

FACTS:
Ricardo Sales was alleged to have taken possession of the insured car of the respondents and as
such, the respondents notified the insurance company that they intend to claim reimbursement for
the same.

Respondents insured with petitioner their 1994 Toyota Corolla sedan under a comprehensive
motor vehicle insurance policy for one year. During the effectivity of said insurance, respondents’
car was unlawfully taken. Hence, they immediately reported the theft to the Traffic Management
Command of the PNP who made them accomplish a complaint sheet. In said complaint sheet,
respondents alleged that a certain Ricardo Sales (Sales) took possession of the subject vehicle to
add accessories and improvements thereon, however, Sales failed to return the subject vehicle
within the agreed three-day period. As a result, respondents notified petitioner to claim for the
reimbursement of their lost vehicle. However, petitioner refused to pay.

Petitioner argues that the loss of respondents’ vehicle is not a peril covered by the policy. It
maintains that it is not liable for the loss, since the car cannot be classified as stolen as
respondents entrusted the possession thereof to another person.
ISSUE:
Is the loss of the respondents’ car may be classified as theft which would make Paramount
Insurance liable for claims under the Comprehensive Motor Insurance Policy.

HELD:
Yes. The principal distinction between the estafa and theft, is that in theft the thing is taken while in
estafa the accused receives the property and converts it to his own use or benefit. However, there
may be theft even if the accused has possession of the property. If he was entrusted only with the
material or physical (natural) or de facto possession of the thing, his misappropriation of the same
constitutes theft, but if he has the juridical possession of the thing his conversion of the same
constitutes embezzlement or estafa.

In the instant case, Sales did not have juridical possession over the vehicle. Hence, it is apparent
that the taking of repondents’ vehicle by Sales is without any consent or authority from the former.
Records would show that respondents entrusted possession of their vehicle only to the extent that
Sales will introduce repairs and improvements thereon, and not to permanently deprive them of
possession thereof. Since, Theft can also be committed through misappropriation, the fact that
Sales failed to return the subject vehicle to respondents constitutes Qualified Theft.

Hence, since repondents’ car is undeniably covered by a Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Insurance
Policy that allows for recovery in cases of theft, petitioner is liable under the policy for the loss of
respondents’ vehicle under the "theft clause."

DIFFERENCE OF CASH AND CHECK FOR PURPOSES OF PROSECUTING


RESPONDENT FOR THEFT OF CASH
BSB Group, Inc., represented by its President, Mr. Ricardo Bangayan, v.
Sally Go-Bangayan
G.R. No. 168644, February 16, 2010
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Sally Go-Bangayan, who works as a cashier for BSB Group, Inc. was convicted by the RTC for
qualified theft. The decision was reversed by the CA.

Sally Go-Bangayan was engaged, among others, to receive and account for the payments made
by the various customers of the company. In 2002, Bangayan filed with the Manila Prosecutor's
Office a complaint for estafaand/or qualified theft against respondent, alleging that several checks
representing the aggregate amount of P1,534,135.50 issued by the company's customers in
payment of their obligation were, instead of being turned over to the company's coffers, indorsed
by respondent who deposited the same to her personal banking account maintained at Security
Bank and Trust Company (Security Bank) in Divisoria, Manila Branch. Upon a finding that the
evidence adduced was uncontroverted, the assistant city prosecutor recommended the filing of the
Information for qualified theft against respondent. Accordingly, respondent was charged before the
Regional Trial Court of Manila. She was found guilty that in the commission of the said offense,
said accused acted with grave abuse of confidence, being then employed as cashier by said
complainant at the time of the commission of the offense and as such she was entrusted with the
said amount of money. The trial ensued. On the premise that respondent had allegedly encashed
the subject checks and deposited the corresponding amounts thereof to her personal banking
account. Petitioner, opposing respondent's move, argued for the relevancy of the
Metrobank account on the ground that the complaint-affidavit showed that there were two checks
which respondent allegedly deposited in an account with the said bank. To this, respondent filed a
supplemental motion to quash, invoking the absolutely confidential nature of the Metrobank
account under the provisions of Republic Act No. 1405. The trial court did not sustain respondent;
hence, it denied the motion to quash for lack of merit. Meanwhile, the prosecution was able to
present in court the testimony of Elenita Marasigan, the representative of Security Bank. In a
nutshell ,Marasigan's testimony sought to prove that between 1988 and 1989, respondent ,while
engaged as cashier at the BSB Group, Inc., was able to run away with the checks issued to the
company by its customers, endorse the same, and credit the corresponding amounts to her
personal deposit account with Security Bank. In the course of the testimony, the subject checks
were presented to Marasigan for identification and marking as the same checks received
byrespondent, endorsed, and then deposited in her personal account with Security Bank. CA
affirmed RTC’s decision.

ISSUE:
Is there a difference between cash and check for purposes of prosecuting respondent for theft of
money?

HELD:
NONE. In theft, the act of unlawful taking connotes deprivation of personal property of one by
another with intent to gain, and it is immaterial that the offender is able or unable to freely dispose
of the property stolen because the deprivation relative to the offended party has already ensued
from such act of execution. The allegation of theft of money, hence, necessitates that evidence
presented must have a tendency to prove that the offender has unlawfully taken money belonging
to another. Interestingly, petitioner has taken pains in attempting to draw a connection between
the evidence subject of the instant review, and the allegation of theft in the Information by claiming
that respondent had fraudulently deposited the checks in her own name. But this line of argument
works more prejudice than favor, because it in effect, seeks to establish the commission, not of
theft, but rather of some other crime, probably estafa.

Moreover, that there is no difference between cash and check is true in other instances. In
estafaby conversion, for instance, whether the thing converted is cash or check, is immaterial in
relation to the formal allegation in an information for that offense; a check, after all, while not
regarded as legal tender, is normally accepted under commercial usage as a substitute for cash,
and the credit it represents in stated monetary value is properly capable of appropriation. And it is
in this respect that what the offender does with the check subsequent to the act of unlawfully taking
it becomes material inasmuch as this offense is a continuing one. In other words, in pursuing a
case for this offense, the prosecution may establish its cause by the presentation of the checks
involved. These checks would then constitute the best evidence to establish their contents and to
prove the elemental act of conversion in support of the proposition that the offender has indeed
indorsed the same in his own name.

Theft, however, is not of such character. Thus, for our purposes, as the Information in this case
accuses respondent of having stolen cash, proof tending to establish that respondent has
actualized her criminal intent by indorsing the checks and depositing the proceeds thereof in her
personal account, becomes not only irrelevant but also immaterial and, on that score, inadmissible
in evidence.

Hence, Sally Go-Bangayan is acquitted for the crime of qualified theft.

ESTABLISHING THE EXISTENCE OF THE ELEMET OF “HATE, REVENGE


AND OTHER EVIL MOTIVE
Robert Taguinod, v. People of the Philippines
G.R. No. 185833, October 12, 2011
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Robert Taguinod,whose car collided with the car with the car of Pedro Ang in a traffic alteration,
was convicted by the RTC for Malicious Mischief.

This case started with a single incident on May 26, 2002 at the parking area of the Rockwell Power
plant Mall. Pedro Ang (private complainant) was driving his Honda CRV from the 3 rd basement
parking, while Robert Taguinod (petitioner) was driving his Suzuki Vitara from the 2 nd basement
parking. When they were about to queue at the corner to pay the parking fees, the respective
vehicles were edging each other. The CRV was ahead of the queue, but the Vitara tried to
overtake, which resulted the touching of their side view mirrors. The side view mirror of the Vitara
was pushed backward and naturally, the side view mirror of the CRV was pushed forward. This
prompted the private complainant's wife and daughter, namely, Susan and Mary Ann, respectively,
to alight from the CRV and confront the petitioner. Petitioner appeared to be hostile, hence, the
private complainant instructed his wife and daughter to go back to the CRV. While they were
returning to the car, petitioner accelerated the Vitara and moved backward as if to hit them. The
CRV, having been overtaken by the Vitara, took another lane. Private complainant was able to pay
the parking fee at the booth ahead of petitioner. When the CRV was at the upward ramp leading to
the exit, the Vitara bumped the CRV's rear portion and pushed the CRV until it hit the stainless
steel railing located at the exit portion of the ramp.

As a result of the collision, the CRV sustained damage at the back bumper spare tires and the front
bumper, the repair of which amounted to P57,464.66. The insurance company shouldered the said
amount, but the private complainant paid P18,191.66 as his participation. On the other hand, the
Vitara sustained damage on the right side of its bumper. The RTC found Taguinod of the crime
charged. The CA affirmed the decision with modifications. Hence, this petition for review on
certiorari.

ISSUE:
Is Taguinod is guilty of the crime of Malicious Mischief under 372 of the Revised Penal Code?

HELD:
YES. What really governs this particular case is that the prosecution was able to prove the guilt of
petitioner beyond reasonable doubt. The elements of the crime of malicious mischief under Article
327 of the Revised Penal Code are:
(1) That the offender deliberately caused damage to the property of another;
(2) That such act does not constitute arson or other crimes involving destruction;
(3) That the act of damaging another's property be committed merely for the
sake of damaging it.

In finding that all the above elements are present, the MeTC rightly ruled that:

The following were not disputed: that there was a collision between the side view mirrors of the two
(2) vehicles; that immediately thereafter, the wife and the daughter of the complainant alighted
from the CRV and confronted the accused; and, the complainant, in view of the hostile attitude of
the accused, summoned his wife and daughter to enter the CRV and while they were in the
process of doing so, the accused moved and accelerated his Vitara backward as if to hit them.

The incident involving the collision of the two side view mirrors is proof enough to establish the
existence of the element of “hate, revenge and other evil motive.” Here, the accused entertained
hate, revenge and other evil motive because to his mind, he was wronged by the complainant
when the CRV overtook his Vitara while proceeding toward the booth to pay their parking fee, as a
consequence of which, their side view mirrors collided. On the same occasion, the hood of his
Vitara was also pounded, and he was badmouthed by the complainant's wife and daughter when
they alighted from the CRV to confront him for the collision of the side view mirrors. These
circumstances motivated the accused to push upward the ramp complainant's CRV until it reached
the steel railing of the exit ramp. The pushing of the CRV by the Vitara is corroborated by the
Incident Report dated May 26, 2002 prepared by SO Robert Cambre, Shift-In-Charge of the Power
Plant Mall, as well as the Police Report.

The CA also accurately observed that the elements of the crime of malicious mischief are not
wanting in this case.

Hence, Taguinod is guilty of the crime of Malicious Mischief.

EFFECT OF THE SUBSEQUENT DECLARATION OF A PREVIOUS


MARRIAGE TO BE VOID AB INITIO TO THE CONVICTION OF BIGAMY
Merlinda Montañez, v. Lourdes Tajolosa Cipriano
G.R. No. 181089, October 12, 2012
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Lourdes Cipriano was convicted by the RTC for Bigamy for having contracted a second marriage
with Silverio Cipriano when she is already married to Socrates Flores.

On April 8, 1976, Lourdes Cipriano (respondent) married Socrates Flores. On January 24, 1983,
during the subsistence of the said marriage, respondent married Silverio V. Cipriano. In 2001,
respondent filed with the RTC of Muntinlupa a Petition for the Annulment of her marriage with
Socrates on the ground of the latter’s psychological incapacity as defined under Article 36 of the
Family Code. On July 18, 2003, the RTC of Muntinlupa, declared the marriage of respondent with
Socrates null and void. Said decision became final and executory on October 13, 2003. On May
14, 2004, petitioner Merlinda Cipriano Montañez, Silverio’s daughter from the first marriage, filed
with the MTC of San Pedro, Laguna, a Complaint for Bigamy against respondent. Lourdes Cipriano
alleged that her first marriage was already declared void ab initio in 2003. Thus, there was no more
marriage to speak of prior to her marriage to Silverio on January 24, 1983. The prosecution argued
that the crime of bigamy had already been consummated when respondent filed her petition for
declaration of nullity. RTC ruled in favor of respondent on the ground that both wedding were
governed by the Civil Code, and not the Family Code, hence, no judicial declaration of absolute
nullity as a condition precedent to contracting a subsequent marriage.

ISSUE:
Does the declaration of nullity of respondent's first marriage in 2003 justify the dismissal of the
Information for bigamy filed against her?

HELD:
NO. In the case of Mercado v. Tan, the Court ruled that the subsequent judicial declaration of the
nullity of the first marriage was immaterial, because prior to the declaration of nullity, the crime of
bigamy had already been consummated. And by contracting a second marriage while the first was
still subsisting, the accused committed the acts punishable under Article 349 of the Revised Penal
Code. In Abunado v. People, we held that what is required for the charge of bigamy to prosper is
that the first marriage be subsisting at the time the second marriage is contracted. Even if the
accused eventually obtained a declaration that his first marriage was void ab initio, the point is,
both the first and the second marriage were subsisting before the first marriage was annulled.

Moreover, anent respondent's contention in her Comment that since her two marriages were
contracted prior to the effectivity of the Family Code, Article 40 of the Family Code cannot be given
retroactive effect because this will impair her right to remarry without need of securing a judicial
declaration of nullity of a completely void marriage. The Court is not persuaded. In Jarillo v.
People,where the accused, in her motion for reconsideration, argued that since her marriages were
entered into before the effectivity of the Family Code, then the applicable law is Section 29 of the
Marriage Law (Act 3613), instead of Article 40 of the Family Code, which requires a final judgment
declaring the previous marriage void before a person may contract a subsequent marriage. We did
not find the argument meritorious and said: As far back as 1995, in Atienza v. Brillantes, Jr., the
Court already made the declaration that Article 40, which is a rule of procedure, should be applied
retroactively because Article 256 of the Family Code itself provides that said "Code shall have
retroactive effect insofar as it does not prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights." The Court
went on to explain, thus:The fact that procedural statutes may somehow affect the litigants' rights
may not preclude their retroactive application to pending actions. The retroactive applicationof
procedural laws is not violative of any right of a person who may feel that he is adversely affected.
The reason is that as a general rule, no vested right may attach to, nor arise from, procedural laws.

Hence, Lourdes Cipriano is guilty for the crime of Bigamy.

IS A PROCEEDING FOR THE DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF MARRIAGE A


PREJUDICIAL QUESTION BEFORE A TRIAL FOR BIGAMY CAN TAKE
PLACE
Merlinda Montañez v. Lourdes Tajolosa Cipriano
G.R. No. 181089, October 12, 2012
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Victoria Jarillo was convicted by the RTC for Bigamy for having contracted a marriage with
Emmanuel Ebora Santos during the subsistence of her marriage with Rafael Alocillo.

On May 24, 1974, Victoria Jarillo and Rafael Alocillo were married in a civil wedding ceremony
solemnized by Hon. Monico C. Tanyag, then Municipal Mayor of Taguig, Rizal. On May 4, 1975,
Victoria Jarillo and Rafael Alocillo again celebrated marriage in a church wedding ceremony before
Rev. Angel Resultay in San Carlos City, Pangasinan. Out of the marital union, appellant begot a
daughter, Rachelle J. Alocillo on October 29, 1975. Appellant Victoria Jarillo thereafter contracted a
subsequent marriage with Emmanuel Ebora Santos Uy, at the City Court of Pasay City, Branch 1,
before then Hon. Judge Nicanor Cruz on November 26, 1979. On April 16, 1995, appellant and
Emmanuel Uy exchanged marital vows anew in a church wedding in Manila. In 1999, Emmanuel
Uy filed against the appellant Civil Case No. 99-93582 for annulment of marriage before the
Regional Trial Court of Manila. Thereafter, appellant Jarillo was charged with bigamy before the
Regional Trial Court of Pasay City. Parenthetically, accused-appellant filed against Alocillo, on
October 5, 2000, before the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Civil Case No. 00-1217, for declaration
of nullity of their marriage.

ISSUE:
Is the proceeding for the declaration of nullity of marriage is a prejudicial question before a trial for
bigamy can take place?

HELD:
NO. As ruled in Landicho v. Relova, he who contracts a second marriage before the judicial
declaration of nullity of the first marriage assumes the risk of being prosecuted for bigamy, and in
such a case the criminal case may not be suspended on the ground of the pendency of a civil case
for declaration of nullity. The reason is that, without a judicial declaration of its nullity, the first
marriage is presumed to be subsisting. In the case at bar, respondent was for all legal intents and
purposes regarded as a married man at the time he contracted his second marriage with petitioner.
Against this legal backdrop, any decision in the civil action for nullity would not erase the fact that
respondent entered into a second marriage during the subsistence of a first marriage. Thus, a
decision in the civil case is not essential to the determination of the criminal charge. It is, therefore,
not a prejudicial question.

The foregoing ruling had been reiterated in Abunado v. People, where it was held thus: The
subsequent judicial declaration of the nullity of the first marriage was immaterial because prior to
the declaration of nullity, the crime had already been consummated. Moreover, petitioner’s
assertion would only delay the prosecution of bigamy cases considering that an accused could
simply file a petition to declare his previous marriage void and invoke the pendency of that action
as a prejudicial question in the criminal case. We cannot allow that. The outcome of the civil case
for annulment of petitioner’s marriage to [private complainant] had no bearing upon the
determination of petitioner’s innocence or guilt in the criminal case for bigamy, because all that is
required for the charge of bigamy to prosper is that the first marriage be subsisting at the time the
second marriage is contracted. Thus, under the law, a marriage, even one which is void or
voidable, shall be deemed valid until declared otherwise in a judicial proceeding. In this case, even
if petitioner eventually obtained a declaration that his first marriage was void ab initio, the point is,
both the first and the second marriage were subsisting before the first marriage was annulled.
Hence, Victoria Jarillo is guilty for the crime of Bigamy.

SUFFICIENCY OF INFORMATION AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY IN BIGAMY


People of Philippines v. Edgardo Odtuhan
G.R. No. 191566, July 17, 2013
Peralta, J.

FACTS:
Respondent Edgardo Odtuhan was charged with Bigamy in a Complaint filed by one Evelyn
Abesamis Alagon. The CA granted the petition for certiorari filed by the respondent and ordered
the RTC to give due course to and receive evidence on respondent’s motion to quash. This is a
petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court filed by petitioner People of the
Philippines, represented by the Office of the Solicitor General, against respondent assailing the
Court of Appeals Decision.

The facts of the case:


On July 2, 1980, respondent married Jasmin Modina (Modina). On October 28, 1993, respondent
married Eleanor A. Alagon (Alagon). Sometime in August 1994, he filed a petition for annulment of
his marriage with Modina. On February 23, 1999, the RTC granted respondent’s petition and
declared his marriage with Modina void ab initio for lack of a valid marriage license. On November
10, 2003, Alagon died. In the meantime, in June 2003, private complainant Evelyn Abesamis
Alagon learned of respondent’s previous marriage with Modina. She thus filed a Complaint-
Affidavit charging respondent with Bigamy. Respondent moved for the quashal of the information
on two grounds, to wit: (1) that the facts do not charge the offense of bigamy; and (2) that the
criminal action or liability has been extinguished. The RTC issued an Order denying respondent’s
Omnibus Motion. The CA applied the conclusion made by the Court in Morigo v. People, and held
that there is cogent basis in looking into the motion to quash filed by respondent, for if the evidence
would establish that his first marriage was indeed void ab initio, one essential element of the crime
of bigamy would be lacking.

ISSUES:
1. Does the information charging the respondent of bigamy sufficiently allege all the elements
constituting the offense?
2. Did the subsequent court judgment declaring respondent’s first marriage void ab initio
extinguish the respondent’s criminal liability?

HELD:
1. YES. An examination of the information filed against respondent shows the sufficiency of the
allegations therein to constitute the crime of bigamy as it contained all the elements of the
crime as provided for in Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code, to wit:
a. That the offender has been legally married;
b. That the first marriage has not been legally dissolved or, in case his or her spouse is
absent, the absent spouse could not yet be presumed dead according to the Civil Code;
c. That he contracts a second or subsequent marriage; and
d. That the second or subsequent marriage has all the essential requisites for validity.

Here, the information contained the following allegations: (1) that respondent is legally married
to Modina; (2) that without such marriage having been legally dissolved; (3) that respondent
willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously contracted a second marriage with Alagon; and (4) that the
second marriage has all the essential requisites for validity. Respondent’s evidence showing
the court’s declaration that his marriage to Modina is null and void from the beginning because
of the absence of a marriage license is only an evidence that seeks to establish a fact contrary
to that alleged in the information that a first valid marriage was subsisting at the time he
contracted the second marriage. This should not be considered at all, because matters of
defense cannot be raised in a motion to quash.

2. NO. What makes a person criminally liable for bigamy is when he contracts a second or
subsequent marriage during the subsistence of a valid marriage. Parties to the marriage should
not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, for the same must be submitted to the
judgment of competent courts and only when the nullity of the marriage is so declared can it be
held as void, and so long as there is no such declaration, the presumption is that the marriage
exists. Therefore, he who contracts a second marriage before the judicial declaration of nullity
of the first marriage assumes the risk of being prosecuted for bigamy. A person who commits
bigamy cannot simply evade prosecution by immediately filing a petition for the declaration of
nullity of his earlier marriage and hope that a favorable decision is rendered therein before
anyone institutes a complaint against him. Respondent, likewise, claims that there are more
reasons to quash the information against him, because he obtained the declaration of nullity of
marriage before the filing of the complaint for bigamy against him. This contention is without
merit. Settled is the rule that criminal culpability attaches to the offender upon the commission
of the offense and from that instant, liability appends to him until extinguished as provided by
law and that the time of filing of the criminal complaint or information is material only for
determining prescription.

DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF SECOND MARRIAGE NOT GROUND FOR


DISMISSAL OF THE CASE FOR BIGAMY
James Walter P. Capili v. People of the Philippines and Shirley Tismo-Capili
G.R. No. 183805, July 3, 2013
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Petitioner James Capili was charged with the crime of bigamy before the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Pasig City. The accused being previously united in lawful marriage with Karla Y. Medina-
Capili and without said marriage having been legally dissolved or annulled contracted a second
marriage with Shirley G. Tismo, to the damage and prejudice of the latter. Petitioner filed a Motion
to Suspend Proceedings alleging that: (1) there is a pending civil case for declaration of nullity of
the second marriage before the RTC of Antipolo City filed by Karla Y. Medina-Capili; (2) in the
event that the marriage is declared null and void, it would exculpate him from the charge of bigamy;
and (3) the pendency of the civil case for the declaration of nullity of the second marriage serves as
a prejudicial question in the instant criminal case. Consequently, the arraignment and pre-trial were
reset by the RTC of Pasig City, in view of the filing of the Motion to Suspend Proceedings filed by
petitioner. In the interim, the RTC of Antipolo City rendered a decision declaring the voidness or
incipient invalidity of the second marriage between petitioner and private respondent on the ground
that a subsequent marriage contracted by the husband during the lifetime of the legal wife is void
from the beginning. Thereafter, the petitioner accused filed his Manifestation and Motion (to
Dismiss) praying for the dismissal of the criminal case for bigamy filed against him on the ground
that the second marriage between him and private respondent had already been declared void by
the RTC.

In an Order dated July 7, 2006, the RTC of Pasig City granted petitioner’s Manifestation and
Motion to Dismiss. The CA reversed and set aside the RTC’s decision. Petitioner then filed a
Motion for Reconsideration against said decision, but the same was denied. Accordingly, petitioner
filed the present petition for review on certiorari.

ISSUE:
Is the subsequent declaration of nullity of the second marriage a ground for dismissal of the
criminal case for bigamy?

HELD:
NO. Jurisprudence is replete with cases holding that the accused may still be charged with the
crime of bigamy, even if there is a subsequent declaration of the nullity of the second marriage, so
long as the first marriage was still subsisting when the second marriage was celebrated.

In the present case, it appears that all the elements of the crime of bigamy were present when the
Information was filed on June 28, 2004. It is undisputed that a second marriage between petitioner
and private respondent was contracted on December 8, 1999 during the subsistence of a valid first
marriage between petitioner and Karla Y. Medina-Capili contracted on September 3, 1999.
Notably, the RTC of Antipolo City itself declared the bigamous nature of the second marriage
between petitioner and private respondent. Thus, the subsequent judicial declaration of the second
marriage for being bigamous in nature does not bar the prosecution of petitioner for the crime of
bigamy.

Under the law, a marriage, even one which is void or voidable, shall be deemed valid until declared
otherwise in a judicial proceeding. In this case, even if petitioner eventually obtained a declaration
that his first marriage was void ab initio, the point is, both the first and the second marriage were
subsisting before the first marriage was annulled.

What makes a person criminally liable for bigamy is when he contracts a second or subsequent
marriage during the subsistence of a valid first marriage. The parties to the marriage should not be
permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, for the same must be submitted to the judgment of
competent courts and only when the nullity of the marriage is so declared can it be held as void,
and so long as there is no such declaration the presumption is that the marriage exists. Therefore,
he who contracts a second marriage before the judicial declaration of the first marriage assumes
the risk of being prosecuted for bigamy.

Finally, it is a settled rule that the criminal culpability attaches to the offender upon the commission
of the offense, and from that instant, liability appends to him until extinguished as provided by
law. It is clear then that the crime of bigamy was committed by petitioner from the time he
contracted the second marriage with private respondent. Thus, the finality of the judicial declaration
of nullity of petitioner’s second marriage does not impede the filing of a criminal charge for bigamy
against him.

ALIBI AND DENIAL CANNOT PREVAIL OVER THE POSITIVE AND


CATEGORICAL TESTIMONY AND IDENTIFICATION OF AN ACCUSED BY
THE COMPLAINANT
People of the Philippines v. Ernesto Gani y Tupas
G.R. No. 195523, June 5, 2013
Peralta, J.:
FACTS:
The RTC found the appellant Ernesto Gani y Tupas guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime
qualified rape. CA affirmed the Decision and thus this appeal.

The facts, as established by the prosecution, are as follows:

In the afternoon of February 21, 1997, the victim, AAA, who was then only five (5) years old, was
harvesting vegetables with her elder brother at Sitio Bayogbayog, Barangay Bulata, Cauayan,
Negros Occidental. The siblings were practically left as orphans, because their father was then in
prison, and eventually died there, and their mother was living with another man. While they were
busy with their work, appellant, who is their uncle, arrived carrying a knife. Appellant is the younger
brother of their father. Subsequently, he instructed AAA's brother to go home ahead. After the latter
left, appellant approached AAA and, right then and there, removed her underwear, placed himself
on top of her and inserted his penis into her vagina. After having sexual intercourse with AAA,
appellant drew out his knife and slashed her vagina causing her serious injury. Thereafter,
appellant left. AAA then went home and recounted her ordeal to her grandmother. AAA was then
brought to the health center for first aid treatment and later to Bacolod City for further medical care.
Subsequently, AAA's aunt, Leticia Alingasa filed, in her behalf, a Criminal Complaint against
appellant.

Appellant interposed the defense of alibi claiming that he was in Quezon City at the time that AAA
was raped.

ISSUE:
Is the accused guilty of rape beyond reasonable doubt?

HELD:
YES. It is doctrinally settled that factual findings of the trial court, especially on the credibility of the
rape victim, are accorded great weight and respect and will not be disturbed on appeal. AAA’s
testimony that she was raped by her uncle is worthy of belief as it was clear, consistent and
spontaneously given. There is no compelling reason to disbelieve AAA’s declaration given that she
was only five (5) years old when she was ravished and eight (8) years old when she testified in
court. It has long been established that the testimony of a rape victim, especially a child of tender
years, is given full weight and credit.

Appellant's defense of alibi deserves scant consideration. Alibi is an inherently weak defense
because it is easy to fabricate and highly unreliable. To merit approbation, the appellant must
adduce clear and convincing evidence that he was in a place other than the situs criminis at the
time when the crime was committed, such that it was physically impossible for him to have been at
the scene of the crime when it was committed. In this case, appellant failed to prove that it was
physically impossible for him to be at the crime scene on February 21, 1997. His token defense,
during his direct examination, that he was in Quezon City when the victim was raped is hardly
credible because he failed to prove the physical impossibility of his presence at the scene of the
crime when it was committed. On the contrary, he admitted, when he was cross-examined, that he
was, in fact, in the same locality (Sitio Bayogbayog, Barangay Bulata) when AAA was raped.

At any rate, settled is the rule that alibi and denial cannot prevail over the positive and categorical
testimony and identification of an accused by the complainant. Positive identification where
categorical and consistent and without any showing of ill motive on the part of the eyewitness
testifying on the matter, prevails over a denial which, if not substantiated by clear and convincing
evidence, is negative and self-serving evidence undeserving of weight in law. They cannot be
given greater evidentiary value over the testimony of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative
matters.

Therefore, appellant in this case is guilty of qualified rape beyond reasonable doubt.

PRIVATE PERSONS MAY BE INDICTED UNDER RA 3019 (ANTI-GRAFT AND


CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT)
People of the Philippines v. Henry T. Go
G.R. No. 168539, March 25, 2014
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the Resolution of the Sandiganbayan
(SB) dated which quashed the Information filed against herein respondent Henry Go for alleged
violation of Section 3 (g) of Republic Act No. 3019 (R.A. 3019), otherwise known as the Anti-Graft
and Corrupt Practices Act.

A certain Ma. Cecilia L. Pesayco filed a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman against
several individuals for alleged violation of R.A. 3019. Among those charged was herein respondent
Henry T. Go, who was then the Chairman and President of Chairman and President of the
Philippine International Air Terminals, Co., Inc. (PIATCO), for having supposedly conspired with
then Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Arturo Enrile
(Secretary Enrile) in entering into a contract covering the construction, operation and maintenance
of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport International Passenger Terminal III (NAIA IPT III) which
is grossly and manifestly disadvantageous to the government.

The Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon found probable cause to indict herein respondent
for violation of Section 3(g) of R.A. 3019. While there was likewise a finding of probable cause
against Secretary Enrile, he was no longer indicted because he died prior to the issuance of the
resolution finding probable cause.

Respondent filed a Motion to Quash the Information filed against him on the ground that the
operative facts adduced therein do not constitute an offense under Section 3(g) of R.A. 3019.
Respondent, citing the show cause order of the SB, also contended that, independently of the
deceased Secretary Enrile, the public officer with whom he was alleged to have conspired,
respondent, who is not a public officer nor was capacitated by any official authority as a
government agent, may not be prosecuted for violation of Section 3(g) of R.A. 3019. The SB issued
its assailed Resolution granting the motion to quash. Hence, the instant petition.

ISSUES:
1. Can respondent Go, a private person, be prosecuted for violation of Section 3(g) of R.A. 3019?
2. May he be indicted for conspiracy in violating Section 3(g) of R.A. 3019 even if the public
officer, with whom he was alleged to have conspired, has died prior to the filing of the
Information?

HELD:
1. YES. Section 3 (g) of R.A. 3019 provides:
Sec. 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. – In addition to acts or omissions of public officers
already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public
officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:

xxxx

(g) Entering, on behalf of the Government, into any contract or transaction manifestly and
grossly disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer profited or will profit
thereby.
The elements of the above provision are:
i. that the accused is a public officer;
ii. that he entered into a contract or transaction on behalf of the government; and
iii. That such contract or transaction is grossly and manifestly disadvantageous to the
government.

At the outset, it bears to reiterate the settled rule that private persons, when acting in
conspiracy with public officers, may be indicted and, if found guilty, held liable for the pertinent
offenses under Section 3 of R.A. 3019, in consonance with the avowed policy of the anti-graft
law to repress certain acts of public officers and private persons alike constituting graft or
corrupt practices act or which may lead thereto.

2. YES. It is true that by reason of Secretary Ernie’s death, there is no longer any public officer
with whom respondent can be charged for violation of R.A. 3019. It does not mean, however,
that the allegation of conspiracy between them can no longer be proved or that their alleged
conspiracy is already expunged. The only thing extinguished by the death of Secretary Enrile is
his criminal liability. His death did not extinguish the crime nor did it remove the basis of the
charge of conspiracy between him and private respondent.

The requirement before a private person may be indicted for violation of Section 3(g) of R.A.
3019, among others, is that such private person must be alleged to have acted in conspiracy
with a public officer. The law, however, does not require that such person must, in all instances,
be indicted together with the public officer. If circumstances exist where the public officer may
no longer be charged in court, as in the present case where the public officer has already died,
the private person may be indicted alone.

Therefore, the petition is granted and the Resolution of the Sandiganbayan granting
respondent's Motion to Quash is reversed and set aside.

POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION PREVAILS OVER ALIBI AND DENIAL


Arthur Zarate v. Regional Trial Court, Branch 43, Gingoog City, Misamis
Orietnal
G.R. No. 152263, July 3, 2009
Peralta, J.

FACTS:
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision of the Court of Appeals which affirmed the
Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental, Branch 43 finding petitioner
Arthur Zarate guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of frustrated homicide.

The evidence of the prosecution established that Ernesto Guiritan, a homosexual and beautician,
was seated alone on a bench outside the Sta. Rita Church one evening. Arthur Zarate approached
Guiritan and asked him for a cigarette. When Guiritan could not produce one, Zarate immediately
stabbed Guiritan with a switchblade knife and ran away. Feeling pain and sensing that he was
profusely bleeding, Guiritan walked a short distance and called for help. Eduardo Remigoso and
Mario Binasbas came to his aid. Guiritan asked them to bring him to the hospital.

Guiritan was brought to the Gingoog District Hospital, where he was admitted. Dr. Babanto
operated on Guiritan and repaired the affected jejunum and transverse colon, and sutured his
penis.

Petitioner Zarate put up the defense of alibi.

ISSUE:
Is Zarate guilty of frustrated homicide?

HELD:
YES. The trial court correctly disregarded petitioner’s alibi and denial that he was the perpetrator of
the crime. For alibi to prosper as a defense, one must not only prove that he was somewhere else
when the crime was committed but must also show that it was physically impossible for him to have
been at the scene of the crime.

Petitioner claimed that at the time of the stabbing incident, which occurred at 10:00 p.m. of April 1,
1994, he was near his house helping prepare the Station of the Cross from 10:00 p.m. to midnight.
However, as the trial court observed, it was not impossible for petitioner to be at the place of the
stabbing incident, which happened outside the Sta. Rita Church. Based on the testimony of
petitioner, Sta. Rita Church was only about 200 meters away from his house and could be
reached less than five minutes by foot. Hence, petitioner failed to prove that it was physically
impossible for him to be present at the crime scene.

It is well settled that positive identification, where categorical and consistent and not attended by
any showing of ill motive on the part of the eyewitnesses testifying on the matter, prevails over alibi
and denial which, if not substantiated by clear and convincing evidence, are negative and self-
serving evidence undeserving weight in law. For this reason, the defense of alibi and denial cannot
prosper in the light of the positive identification by complainant Guiritan that it was petitioner who
stabbed him.

WHEREFORE, Zarate is guilty of frustrated homicide. Hence, the petition is DENIED.

ALIBI AND DENIAL CANNOT PREVAIL OVER THE POSITIVE


IDENTIFICATION
Edgar Esqueda v. People of the Philippines
G.R. No. 170222, June 18, 2009
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Edgar Esqueda and one John Doe were charged with two (2) counts of Frustrated Murder in two
(2) separate Amended Informations. The first case was for conspiring and killing treacherously
using a knife one Venancia Aliser. While the second case was on the ground of treacherously
killing using a knife one Gaudencio Quiniquito

The prosecution presented the testimonies of Venancia Aliser, Gaudencio Quiniquito and Dr.
Fidencio G. Aurelia, hospital chief of the Bayawan District Hospital establishing the following facts:

Venancia Aliser (Venancia) and Gaudencio Quiniquito (Gaudencio) are live-in partners. They were
already in bed when Gaudencio was awakened by a voice coming from the outside of their house
calling his live-in partner and asking for a drink. He immediately awakened his live-in partner. While
inside the house, Venancia asked the person outside to identify himself. In response, the voice
replied that he and his companions are men of Sgt. Torres conducting a roving patrol. When
Venancia asked how many they were, the person replied that they are many and with them is Toto
Vibar, the son of their Barangay Captain. Venancia directed Gaudencio to light a lamp. After
lighting the lamp, Gaudencio proceeded to open the door and went out, while Venancia tailed him
and stayed by the door. Outside, at the porch, they found a person sitting on a bamboo bench
whom they could not identify, while a person whom they identified as Edgar Esqueda (petitioner
herein) was standing at the side of the door leading to the porch. Suddenly, the unidentified man
stood up and stabbed Gaudencio hitting him on the chest. When Venancia saw the stabbing, she
shouted “watch out Dong!” and she turned her back to run away but was stabbed by petitioner. She
then fell to the ground, but petitioner continued stabbing her on different parts of her body.
Gaudencio lost his consciousness. Their children brought them to the crossing in Nagbinlod and
they were brought to the Bayawan District Hospital by a barangay councilman. Dr. Patrocinio
Garupa was the attending physician who treated them. The offended parties were referred to the
Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital, where they were confined for more than a week.

Petitioner denied having committed the crime imputed against him and raises an alibi as a defense.

The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Dumaguete City, rendered a Decision acquitting the petitioner in
Criminal Case No. 14612 and convicting him in Criminal Case No. 14609. Since the element of
conspiracy had not been sufficiently established by the prosecution and as had been admitted that
it was the unknown person who stabbed Gaudencio Quiniquito, accused Edgar Esqueda is hereby
acquitted in Criminal Case No. 14612.

On appeal, the CA rendered a Decision dismissing the appeal and affirming the decision of the
RTC. Hence this petition.

ISSUE:
Is the accused guilty of frustrated murder?

HELD:
YES. Petitioner's defense is anchored on alibi and denial. His witnesses, Claudio, Domingo and
Viviana, aver that during the time of the incident, petitioner was out at sea fishing. Petitioner, when
called to the witness stand, denied having committed the crime.

However, the Supreme Court have unfailingly held that alibi and denial being inherently weak
cannot prevail over the positive identification of the accused as the perpetrator of the crime. In the
present case, petitioner was positively identified by Venancia and Gaudencio as the author of the
crime.

It was firmness born of certainty that Venancia positively identified the petitioner as the one who
stabbed her. She testified that she was able to see the petitioner even if the crime was committed
at night. It was not completely dark, as the light coming from the moon illuminated the porch of their
house.

In fine, Venancia and Gaudencio both testified in a straightforward and categorical manner
regarding the identity of the petitioner as the author of the wounds sustained by Venancia.

Between the categorical statements of the prosecution witnesses and the bare denial of the
petitioner, the former must perforce prevail. An affirmative testimony is far stronger than a negative
testimony, especially when it comes from the mouth of a credible witness. Alibi and denial, if not
substantiated by clear and convincing evidence, are negative and self-serving evidence
undeserving of weight in law. They are considered with suspicion and always received with
caution, not only because they are inherently weak and unreliable, but also because they are easily
fabricated and concocted. In light of the foregoing, the defense of denial collapses.

The same fate awaits the defense of alibi. Basic is the rule that for alibi to prosper, the accused
must prove that he was somewhere else when the crime was committed and that it was physically
impossible for him to have been at the scene of the crime. Physical impossibility refers to the
distance between the place where the accused was when the crime transpired and the place
where it was committed, as well as the facility of access between the two places. Where there is
least chance for the accused to be present at the crime scene, the defense of alibi must fail.

In addition, positive identification destroys the defense of alibi and renders it impotent, especially
where such identification is credible and categorical.

Thus, Petitioner is guilty of frustrated murder under Article 248 in relation to Article 6, first
paragraph of the Revised Penal Code, which reads: A felony is consummated when all the
elements necessary for its execution and accomplishment are present; and it is frustrated when the
offender performs all the acts of execution which would produce the felony as a consequence but
which, nevertheless, do not produce it by reason of causes independent of the will of the
perpetrator.

The essential elements of a frustrated felony are as follows:


1. The offender performs all the acts of execution;
2. All the acts performed would produce the felony as a consequence;
3. But the felony is not produced; and
4. By reason of causes independent of the will of the perpetrator.

A crime is frustrated when the offender has performed all the acts of execution which should result
in the consummation of the crime. The offender has passed the subjective phase in the
commission of the crime. Subjectively, the crime is complete. Nothing interrupted the offender
while passing through the subjective phase. He did all that is necessary to consummate the crime.
However, the crime is not consummated by reason of the intervention of causes independent of the
will of the offender. In homicide cases, the offender is said to have performed all the acts of
execution if the wound inflicted on the victim is mortal and could cause the death of the victim
barring medical intervention or attendance.

In the case at bar, petitioner commenced the performance of his unlawful act by stabbing Venancia
at the back. After she was stabbed and fell on the ground, petitioner’s intent to consummate the
crime was shown by the fact that he continued stabbing Venancia even while she was on the
ground.

Wherefore, accused is guilty of frustrated murder. Hence, petition is DENIED.


FACTS WHICH MUST SHOWN TO PROVE MURDER, KIDNAPPING AND
SERIOUS ILLEGAL DETETION WITH RAPE
People of the Philippines v. Alberto Anticamara y Cabillo and Fernando
Calaguas Fernandez A.K.A. Lando Calaguas
G.R. No. 178771, June 8, 2011
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
This is an appeal from the Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) affirming the trial court's judgment
finding appellants Fernando Calaguas Fernandez (Lando) and Alberto Cabillo Anticamara (Al)
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder in one case and of the crime of Kidnapping
and Serious Illegal Detention in another case.

The facts show that while a house helper AAA and driver Abad Sulpacio were sleeping in their
employers' house their employers, Conrado Estrella and his wife, were out of the house at that
time. Momentarily, AAA was jolted from sleep when she heard voices saying, “We will kill her, kill
her now” and another voice saying, “Not yet!” Hiding under her blanket, AAA later heard someone
saying, “We only need money, we only need money.”

Thereafter, AAA observed about six (6) persons enter the house. Later, when AAA thought that the
intruders were already gone, she attempted to run but to her surprise, someone wearing a bonnet
was watching her. Someone, whom she later recognized as Dick Tañedo, tapped her shoulder.
AAA asked Tañedo, “Why Kuya?” Tañedo replied, “Somebody will die.” After a brief commotion,
appellant alias “Lando Calaguas” asked the group saying, “What shall we do now?” They then
decided to tie AAA. Later, AAA was untied and led her outside the house. Outside, AAA saw Abad,
who was also tied and blindfolded, seated inside a vehicle.

The group later brought AAA and Abad to the fishpond owned by their employers. AAA saw Cita
Tañedo there. The group brought Abad outside the vehicle and led him away. Later, alias “Fred”
returned telling the group, “Make the decision now, Abad has already four bullets in his body, and
the one left is for this girl.” When Cita Tañedo made a motion of cutting her neck, appellant alias
“Lando Calaguas” and “Fred” boarded the vehicle taking along with them AAA. They later
proceeded towards San Miguel Tarlac, where Lando Calaguas resided. They stayed in Lando's
house where they kept AAA from May 7 to May 9, 2002.

On May 9, 2002, appellant Lando Calaguas told AAA that Fred and Bert Tañedo would kill her.
Lando then brought AAA to a hotel in Tarlac, telling AAA that he would leave her there as soon as
Fred and Bert Tañedo leave the place. However, once inside the hotel room, appellant Lando
Calaguas sexually molested AAA. Lando told AAA to follow what he wanted, threatening her that
he would turn her over to Fred and Bert Tañedo. After Lando raped AAA, he brought her back to
his house. Later, Fred, Bert Tañedo and Lando Calaguas transferred AAA to Riles, Tarlac.

AAA was brought to the residence of Fred's niece, a certain Minda, where Fred kept AAA as his
wife. At nighttime, Fred would repeatedly ravish AAA, threatening her that he would give her back
to appellant Lando Calaguas who, AAA knew, killed Abad Sulpacio. She was afraid Lando might
also kill her.

On June 4, 2002, AAA escaped from the house of Sito. She proceeded to Isabel, Leyte and sought
the help of her friend Susana Ilagan. After hearing AAA's plight, Susana called AAA's brother in
Cebu, who later fetched AAA in Isabel, Leyte and brought her to Mandaue City. When they arrived
in Mandaue City, they immediately reported the incident to the police authorities. On June 23,
2002, AAA executed a Sworn Statement.

ISSUE:
Are the accused guilty of the crimes charged?

HELD:
YES. In the Criminal Case for Murder, the trial court found that although there was no direct
eyewitness in the killing of Sulpacio in the early morning of May 7, 2002 at Sitio Rosalia, Barangay
San Bartolome, Rosales, Pangasinan, the prosecution adduced sufficient circumstantial evidence
to establish with moral certainty the identities and guilt of the perpetrators of the crime. The NBI
Agent Gerald V. Geralde testified that on June 23, 2002, appellant Al admitted his participation as
lookout and naming his companions Dick, Lando, Fred, Marvin and Bet as the ones who took AAA
and Sulpacio from the house of the Estrellas and brought them to the fishpond. Al also pointed
and led the authorities to a shallow grave in Sitio Rosalia, Barangay San Bartolome, Rosales,
Pangasinan, where the remains of Sulpacio were buried. The autopsy conducted on the body,
prepared by the Medico Legal Officer Dr. Bandonil, shows that several holes were found on various
parts of the body of the victim and Dr. Bandonil concluded that the cause of the victim's death was
the gunshot wounds. The report also indicates that a piece of cloth was found wrapped around the
eye sockets and tied at the back of the skull, and another cloth was also found tied at the remnants
of the left wrist.

In Criminal Case for Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention the Court finds appellant Lando
guilty of the special complex crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with rape, defined in
and penalized under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code. The elements of kidnapping and
serious illegal detention under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Codeare: (1) the offender is a
private individual; (2) he kidnaps or detains another or in any other manner deprives the latter of
his liberty; (3) the act of detention or kidnapping must be illegal; and (4) in the commission of the
offense, any of the following circumstances is present: (a) the kidnapping or detention lasts for
more than 3 days; or (b) it is committed by simulating public authority; or (c) any serious physical
injuries are inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained or threats to kill him are made; or (d)
the person kidnapped or detained is a minor, female, or a public officer.

The crime of kidnapping was proven beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution. Appellants
Lando and Al, both private individuals, forcibly took AAA, a female, away from the house of the
Estrellas and held her captive against her will. Thereafter, appellant Lando brought AAA to his
house in San Miguel Tarlac, whereby she was deprived of her liberty for almost one month. It is
settled that the crime of serious illegal detention consists not only of placing a person in an
enclosure, but also in detaining him or depriving him in any manner of his liberty. For there to be
kidnapping, it is enough that the victim is restrained from going home. Although AAA was not
confined in an enclosure, she was restrained and deprived of her liberty, because every time
appellant Lando and his wife went out of the house, they brought AAA with them.

The crime of rape was also established by the prosecution. Appellant Lando succeeded in having
carnal knowledge of AAA through the use of threat and intimidation.

Wherefore, Lando Calaguas and Al Camara are guilty of the crime of Murder and the special
complex crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with rape. Hence, appeal is DENIED.

FACTS WHICH MUST SHOWN TO PROVE CONSPIRACY


People of the Philippines v. Francisca Talaro
G.R. No. 175781, March 20, 2012
Peralta, J.

FACTS:
This is an automatic review of the Decision of the CA affirming with modification the judgment
rendered by the RTC thereby finding accused-appellants Norberto (Jun) Adviento, Renato Ramos
and Lolito Aquino, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder against one Melvin Alipio.

The facts established by the prosecution shows that Raymundo Zamora went home after driving
his tricycle whereby he found Francisca Talaro, Lolito Aquino, Renato “Atong” Ramos, and
Norberto “Jun” Adviento conversing among themselves under a santol tree in front of his
(Zamora's) house. As he went near the group he learned that his aunt, Francisca Talaro, was
transacting with the other three accused-appellants for the killing of Atty. Melvin Alipio in exchange
for a sum of money.

Accused-appellant Ramos offered to pay Rodolfo Duzon P200.00 for the latter to drive Ramos'
motorcycle to Laoac, Pangasinan to take some onions and turnips there. Duzon agreed, so after
bringing his own tricycle home to his house in Bactad, Urdaneta, he then drove Ramos' motorcycle
to the poblacion of Urdaneta. Ramos and Duzon then proceeded to Laoac, stopping at a gas
station where they fueled up. Ramos alighted from the motorcycle at the gas station walked
towards Guardian Angel Hospital (the clinic owned by the Alipios). Five minutes after Ramos
alighted, Duzon heard three gunshots coming from the west, and moments later, he saw Ramos,
who was coming toward him, being chased by another man. When Ramos got to the motorcycle,
he ordered Duzon to immediately drive away, and poked a gun at Duzon's back. Ramos then
instructed Duzon as to the route they should take until they reached Urdaneta where Ramos
alighted, leaving Duzon with instructions to bring the motorcycle to Garcia Street, leave it with
Lolito Aquino, then meet him (Ramos) again at the poblacion where he (Duzon) will be paid
P200.00 for his services. A few days later, he again ran into Ramos who warned him to keep his
silence, threatening to kill him (Duzon) too if he tells anyone about the killing. Accused-appellant
Norberto (Jun) Adviento also threatened him not to reveal to anyone whatever he knows about the
crime. That was why Duzon decided to keep quiet. Later, however, he revealed the matter to his
brother, Victoriano Duzon, who accompanied him to the Criminal Investigation Services (CIS)
Office in Urdaneta so he could give his statement.

Charged with the crime of murder, accused-appellants raise an alibi as a defense.

ISSUE:
Is there conspiracy?

HELD:
YES. Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the
commission of a felony and decide to commit it. Where all the accused acted in concert at the time
of the commission of the offense, and it is shown by such acts that they had the same purpose or
common design and were united in its execution, conspiracy is sufficiently established. It must be
shown that all participants performed specific acts which such closeness and coordination as to
indicate a common purpose or design to commit the felony.

Each conspirator is responsible for everything done by his confederates which follows incidentally
in the execution of a common design as one of its probable and natural consequences even
though it was not intended as part of the original design.

In this case, the existence of a conspiracy has been established by the testimony of Raymundo
Zamora, positively identifying all three accused-appellants as the ones he saw and heard
transacting with Francisca Talaro on April 24, 1994 to kill Atty. Melvin Alipio for the price of
P60,000.00, and pointing to Lolito Aquino as the one who demanded and received part of the
payment after Atty. Alipio had been killed. The credibility of Raymundo Zamora's testimony is
further bolstered by Lolito Aquino's admission that he and Renato Ramos even conducted
surveillance on the victim a day before Renato Ramos carried out the shooting, and that the
motorcycle used as a getaway vehicle belonged to him. Rodolfo Duzon also pointed to Renato
Ramos as the gunman; he also pointed to Renato Ramos and Norberto (Jun) Adviento as the ones
who threatened to kill him if he talks to anyone about the shooting. All the proven circumstances
point to the conclusion that accused-appellants acted in concert to assure the success of the
execution of the crime; hence, the existence of a conspiracy is firmly established.

Lolito Aquino's admission and accused-appellants positive identification of Raymundo Zamora and
Rodolfo Duzon cannot be belied by accused-appellants' mere denial. It is established jurisprudence
that denial and alibi cannot prevail over the witness' positive identification of the accused-
appellants. Moreover, accused-appellants could not give any plausible reason why Raymundo
Zamora would testify falsely against them.

Wherefore, accused-appellants are guilty of the crime of murder. Hence, appeal is DENIED.
INTENT TO COMMIT ROBBERY MUST PRECEDE THE TAKING OF HUMAN
LIFE
People of the Philippines v. Nonoy Ebet
G.R. No. 181635, November 15, 2010
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Nonoy Ebet was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of robbery with homicide by the
RTC-Cotabato. CA sustained the judgment, hence the present appeal.

The facts show that on February 3, 1997, around 7:30pm, three men entered the house of spouses
Gabriel Parcasio and Evelyn Parcasio. Evelyn recognized one of the three men as appellant Nonoy
Ebet. Evelyn saw appellant holding a knife and standing at the door of the house. The men asked
Evelyn where his husband was hiding and compelled her to lead them to the house’s underground.
When the two unidentified men reached the underground, she heard her husband shout for her
and her daughters to run, which the latter did. Thereafter, a gunshot was heard. Joan, Evelyn’s
daughter returned to their house. The men took her bag worth P130, wrist watch worth P125 and
P30 pesos cash. When the men left the premises, Evelyn went back to their house and saw her
husband bleeding to death due to multiple stab wounds. The husband eventually died.

Information was filed, charging appellant with the crime of robbery with homicide. Appellant
claimed that he was butchering a pig at Agri Saud’s house which was 250m away from Evelyn’s
house at the time of robbery.

ISSUE:
Is appellant guilty of the crime of robbery with homicide?

HELD:
YES. Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code provides that, for the accused to be convicted of the
said crime, the prosecution is burdened to prove the confluence of the following elements:
(1) The taking of personal property is committed with violence or intimidation against
persons;
(2) The property taken belongs to another;
(3) The taking is animo lucrandi; and
(4) By reason of the robbery or on the occasion thereof, homicide is committed.

In robbery with homicide, the original criminal design of the malefactor is to commit robbery, with
homicide perpetrated on the occasion or by reason of the robbery. The intent to commit robbery
must precede the taking of human life. The homicide may take place before, during or after the
robbery. It is only the result obtained, without reference or distinction as to the circumstances,
causes or modes or persons intervening in the commission of the crime that has to be taken into
consideration. There is no such felony of robbery with homicide through reckless imprudence or
simple negligence. The constitutive elements of the crime, namely, robbery and homicide, must be
consummated.

It is immaterial that the death would supervene by mere accident; or that the victim of homicide is
other than the victim of robbery, or that two or more persons are killed or that aside from the
homicide, rape, intentional mutilation, or usurpation of authority, is committed by reason or on the
occasion of the crime. Likewise immaterial is the fact that the victim of homicide is one of the
robbers; the felony would still be robbery with homicide. Once a homicide is committed by or on the
occasion of the robbery, the felony committed is robbery with homicide. All the felonies committed
by reason of or on the occasion of the robbery are integrated into one and indivisible felony of
robbery with homicide. The word "homicide" is used in its generic sense. Homicide, thus, includes
murder, parricide, and infanticide.

Intent to rob is an internal act but may be inferred from proof of violent unlawful taking of personal
property. When the fact of asportation has been established beyond reasonable doubt, conviction
of the accused is justified even if the property subject of the robbery is not presented in court. The
prosecution is not burdened to prove the actual value of the property stolen or amount stolen from
the victim. Whether the robber knew the actual amount in the possession of the victim is of no
moment because the motive for robbery can exist regardless of the exact amount or value
involved.

When homicide is committed by reason or on the occasion of robbery, all those who took part as
principals in the robbery would also be held liable as principals of the single and indivisible felony
of robbery with homicide although they did not actually take part in the killing, unless it clearly
appears that they endeavored to prevent the same.

Homicide is said to have been committed by reason or on the occasion of robbery if, for instance, it
was committed to (a) facilitate the robbery or the escape of the culprit; (b) to preserve the
possession by the culprit of the loot; (c) to prevent discovery of the commission of the robbery; or,
(d) to eliminate witnesses in the commission of the crime. As long as there is a nexus between the
robbery and the homicide, the latter crime may be committed in a place other than the situs of the
robbery.

CONSPIRACY MUST BE PROVED BY CLEAR, DIRECT AND CONVINCING


EVIDENCE
Sargasso Construction and Development Corporation v. NLRC (4th
Division) and Gorgonio Mongcal
G.R. No. 164118, February 9, 2010
Peralta, J.

FACTS:
Sargasso Construction and Development (Sargasso), herein petitioner, is a construction company.
Gorgonio Mongcal (Mongcal), respondent, is a pay loader operator. Petitioner employed the
services of respondent.

On June 29, 1995, at around 2:30am, Aldrin Rasote (Rasote), dump truck driver of the respondent
company, requested to load his truck with construction materials at the crusher site. Fully aware of
the company’s policy allowing dump truck drivers to start hauling materials even at early hours of
the morning and considering that truck drivers were required by the company to haul a quota of the
number of truckloads of aggragates to be delivered at the construction site every day, Mongcal
permitted him to do so. It was later on discovered that Rasote had diverted the delivery of said
materials to another person. As a result, Mongcol was dismissed from his job. Mongcol filed a labor
case against Sargasso.

Sargosso avers that the loading of crushed aggregates during that particular date and time was
unauthorized and that Mongcal and Rasote conspired to steal the said materials.

ISSUE:
Was there conspiracy?

HELD:
NO. The long-standing rule is that the existence of a conspiracy must be proved by clear, direct
and convincing evidence. While it is true that in conspiracy, direct proof is not essential, it must
however, be shown that it exists as clearly as the commission of the offense itself. There must at
least be adequate proof that the malefactors had come to an agreement concerning the
commission of a felony and decided to commit it.For conspiracy to exist, it is essential that there
must be conscious design to commit an offense. Conspiracy is not the product of negligence but of
intentionality on the part of the cohorts.

From the foregoing, it is quite clear that the evidence presented in this case did not reach the level
required to find respondent Mongcal guilty of conspiring to commit theft of company property.
Indeed, respondent Mongcal loaded the dump truck with aggregates at 2:30 o'clock in the morning
despite the lack of a trip ticket, but petitioner utterly failed to rebut Mongcal's explanation that it was
not unusual for them to perform such tasks even at an early hour, because truck drivers tried to
reach the delivery quotas that petitioner had set.

Petitioner failed to prove that respondent Mongcal was involved at all or agreed with the scheme to
steal aggregates from petitioner. There was no showing whatsoever, that respondent Mongcal had
any knowledge that Aldrin Rasote had the intention of stealing company property.

PARTICIPATION IN THE CRIMINAL RESOLUTION REQUIRED IN PRINCIPAL


BY INDISPENSABLE COOPERATION
People of the Philippines v. Dina Dulay y Pascual
G.R. No. 193854, September 24, 2012
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Dina Dulay was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape as a co-principal by
indispensable cooperation by the Paranaque RTC. CA affirmed RTC’s decision, hence the present
appeal.

The facts show that private complainant AAA was only 12 years old when the whole incident
happened. AAA’s sister introduced the appellant (Dina Dulay) to AAA as someone who is nice.
Thereafter, appellant convinced AAA to accompany her at a wake in Paranaque City. Before going
to the said wake, they went to look for appellant’s boyfriend at the Bulungan Fish Port. Afterwards,
AAA, appellant and her boyfriend went to Kabuhan located at the back of the Bulungan Fish Port.
When they reached the Kubuhan, appellant suddenly pulled AAA inside a room where a man
known by the name "Speed" was waiting. AAA saw "Speed" give money to appellant and heard
"Speed" tell appellant to look for a younger girl. Thereafter, "Speed" wielded a knife and tied AAA's
hands to the papag and raped her. After the rape, "Speed" and appellant told AAA not to tell
anyone what had happened or else they would get back at her.

After the incident, AAA went to her sister and told her what happened and the latter informed their
mother about it. Upon examination, Dr. Merle Tan issued a medico-legal report stating that there
was no evident injury in the body of AAA, but medical examination cannot exclude sexual abuse.
She also stated she found multiple abrasions on the back portion of the body of AAA.

Information for rape was filed against appellant and “Speed” whose whereabouts was unknown.
Both conspired and mutually helped and aided one another in committing the said crime, Dulay
having delivered and offered for a fee complainant AAA, a 12-year-old minor, to accused alias
"Speed," who with lewd design and by means of force and intimidation had carnal knowledge on
said minor against her will and without her consent.

ISSUE:
Is appellant guilty of the crime of rape as principal by indispensable cooperation?

HELD:
NO. To be a principal by indispensable cooperation, one must participate in the criminal resolution.
There must be a conspiracy or unity in criminal purpose and cooperation in the commission of the
offense by performing another act without which it would not have been accomplished.

Nothing in the evidence presented by the prosecution show that the acts committed by appellant
are indispensable in the commission of the crime of rape.The time appellant convinced AAA to go
with her until appellant received money from the man who allegedly raped AAA, are not
indispensable in the crime of rape.Anyone could have accompanied AAA and offered the latter's
services in exchange for money and AAA could still have been raped. Thus, this disproves the
indispensable aspect of the appellant in the crime of rape.
Appellant is not guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape, but of violating Section 5 (a),
Article III R.A. 7610 which are acts pertaining to or connected with child prostitution.

INDISPENSABLE ELEMENT OF UNLAWFUL AGGRESSION IN SELF-


DEFENSE
People of the Philippines v. Lino Duavis
G.R. No. 190861, December 7, 2011
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
The Carigara, Leyte RTC found Lino Duavis guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
murder. CA found him guilty of homicide instead of murder finding that the trial court erred in
appreciating the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation. Thereafter, appeal was filed to
the SC.

The facts show that on May 2, 2003, at around 5:30pm, appellant Lino Duavis stabbed Dante
Largado, Sr. from behind with the use of a long bolo about 24 inches in length. Appellant hacked
Largado, Sr., hitting him on the face, leaving a wound so severe that he immediately fell to the
ground and caused his instantaneous death. Dante Largado, Jr. saw the incident and shouted for
help but nobody responded. Alex Davocol, Largado’s neighbor, also saw the incident and called
the police station.

An information was filed against appellant for the crime of murder. Appellant interposed self-
defense. He avers that it was Largado, Sr. who attacked him first while the latter was drunk. He
insists that all the elements or requisites of self-defense are present in this case. According to him,
there was unlawful aggression on the part of the victim when he hid behind the trunk of a coconut
tree and then hacked the appellant which the latter was able to evade. He also opines that the
means employed by him in repelling or preventing the victim's aggression was reasonable,
considering that when he ran away, the victim still chased him and overtook him. Finally, he states
that there was lack of sufficient provocation on his part, as it was the victim who provoked him
when he tried to hack and chase the victim.

ISSUE:
Was there a valid self-defense?

HELD:
NO. It is a hornbook doctrine that when self-defense is invoked, the burden of evidence shifts to
the appellant to prove the elements of that claim, i.e., (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the
victim, (2) reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it, and (3) lack of
sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. But absent the essential element
of unlawful aggression, there is no self-defense.
In the present case, the appellant failed to prove the presence of unlawful aggression on the part of
the victim. Even assuming arguendo that there was provocation on the part of the unarmed victim
who immediately thereafter ran away, such provocation is not sufficient to be repelled with the use
of a long bolo. The defense of self-defense by the accused cannot be appreciated by the Court, for
not having been substantiated by clear and convincing evidence that the killing of Dante Largado,
Sr. was justified, hence, must fail. The element of unlawful aggression on the part of the victim is
wanting.

FACTS WHICH MUST BE SHOWN TO PROVE KIDNAPPING,


SERIOUS ILLEGAL DETENTION WITH FRUSTRATED MURDER,
VIOLATION OF ANTI-CARNAPPING ACT AND THEFT
People of the Philippines v. Roxas
G.R. No. 172604, August 17, 2010
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Facts: Accused-appellant Venancio Roxas was charged with Kidnapping, Serious Illegal Detention
with Frustrated murder, Violation of the Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972 and theft for detaining Agnes
Guirindola, taking her car, stealing her valuables inside the car and for shooting her in her face with
a hand gun. The Regional Trial Court and the Court of Appeals found Roxas guilty of the crime
charged. Thus, the petition by virtue of an automatic review.

The facts show that on January 12, 1994, around 3:00 p.m., Agnes Guirindola (Agnes), while
cruising along Panay Avenue, Quezon City, on board a red 1993 model Nissan Sentra sedan with
plate number TKR-837, was suddenly flagged down by a man wearing a PNP reflectorized vest.
The man signaled her to make a U-turn. Agnes complied and made the U-turn. The man walked in
front of her car and proceeded to the right side of the car. Agnes, later on, identified the man in
open court as appellant, VenancioRoxas (Roxas).

After a while, Agnes heard a knock from outside the car. Roxas opened the rear door and then
someone boarded the car, occupying the back seat. The second passenger immediately reclined
the driver’s seat and pulled Agnes towards the back seat. Agnes identified this man as Roberto
Gungon (Gungon). Subsequently, Roxas took the driver’s seat and drove the car while Gungon
held Agnes on the shoulder with one hand, and her leg with the other. [

When Agnes woke up, she found herself lying at the back seat with her legs on the lap of Gungon.
The car was at a standstill. She noticed from the car’s clock on the dashboard that it was about
9:30 or 10:00 p.m. She also found out that her jewelries consisting of bracelets, pair of earrings,
necklace and a watch worth around P30,000.00 toP40,000.00, as well as her pair of shoes, were
already gone. When she asked Gungon about them, the latter told her that they were just keeping
the same for her. Agnes also lost her wallet containing a check in the amount of P3,000.00 and
cash in the amount of P1,000.00.Then, while Agnes was relieving herself, she saw a white spark at
her right side and then she fell down losing his consciousness. It was later found out that she was
shot in her face.

Charged with the crime of Kidnapping and serious illegal detention with frustrated murder, he
claimed that it was impossible for him to be at the place of incident that time since during that time
when the incident happened, he was with one Mangiliman and two other installing an antenna on
his house.

ISSUE:
Is petitioner guilty of Kidnapping, Serious Illegal Detention with frustrated murder, Violation of the
Anti-Carnapping Act and theft?

HELD:
Yes, Accused-Appellant is guilty of the crimes and violation charged against him. Based on the
foregoing testimony of Agnes, the trial court did not err in convicting appellant of the crime of
kidnapping and serious illegal detention. Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code defines the crime,
thus: Art. 267. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention. — Any private individual who shall kidnap
or detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer the penalty of
reclusion perpetua to death; (1.) If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than three
days; (2.) If it shall have been committed simulating public authority; (3.) If any serious physical
injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained, or if threats to kill him
shall have been made; (4.) If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, except when the
accused is any of the parents, female or a public officer.

From the foregoing, it is evident that the commission of the killing, albeit frustrated, was formed
from the moment the accused took the victim in Quezon City until she was ultimately “executed” in
Batangas. The lapse of more than eight hours, that is, approximately from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.,
satisfies the last requisite for the appreciation of evident premeditation as there was sufficient time
for meditation and reflection before the commission of the crime yet appellant proceeded with the
same.

Likewise, we agree that Roxas is also guilty of violation of the Anti-Carnapping Law. R.A. 6539,
otherwise known as An Act Preventing and Penalizing Carnapping, defines carnapping as the
taking, with intent to gain, of a motor vehicle belonging to another without the latter’s consent, or by
means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things." More
specifically, the elements of the crime are as follows:

a) That there is an actual taking of the vehicle;


b) That the offender intends to gain from the taking of the vehicle;
c) That the vehicle belongs to a person other than the offender himself;
d) That the taking is without the consent of the owner thereof; or that the
taking was committed by means of violence against or intimidation of
persons, or by using force upon things.
A careful examination of the evidence presented would show that all the elements of carnapping
were proven in this case. It cannot be denied that the 1993 Nissan Sentra with plate number TKR-
837 was unlawfully taken from Agnes without her consent and by means of force or intimidation,
considering that he and his co-accused alternately poked a gun at Agnes. After shooting her,
appellant also flee with the subject vehicle which shows his intent to gain. Agnes also positively
identified appellant and Gungon as the ones who took the subject vehicle from her.

Finally, we likewise agree that Roxas is only guilty of theft and not robbery as initially charged.

From the records, it appears that the jewelries and cash were taken from Agnes without the
attendance of violence or intimidation upon her person. Agnes herself testified that when she
regained consciousness, she already found her necklace, pair of earrings, watch and cash, to be
missing. While it was proven beyond reasonable doubt that appellant took Agnes' personal things,
there was no evidence, however, that the taking was employed with the use of force, violation and
intimidation.

Therefore, the accused is guilty of the crimes and offense charged.

FACTS WHICH MUST BE SHOWN TO PROVE MALVERSATION OF PUBLIC


FUNDS
Torres v. People of the Philippines
G.R. No. 175074, August 31, 2011
Peralta, J. :

FACTS:
Petitioner Jesus Torres was charged with the crime of Malversation of Public Funds for
misappropriating public funds. The Court of Appeals found the petitioner guilty of the crime
charged. Torres then filed a petition to the Supreme Court, hence, this petition for review on
certiorari.

The facts show that Jesus Torres was the principal of Viga Rural Development High School
(VRDHS). On April 26, 1994, he directed Edmundo Lazado, the school’s collection and disbursing
officer, to prepare the checks representing the teachers’ and employees’ salaries, salary
differentials, additional compensation allowance (ACA) and personal emergency relief allowance
(PERA) for the months of January to March, 1994. Lazado prepared three (3) checks in the total
amount of P196,654.54, all dated April 26, 1994, viz: PNB Check Nos. C-983182-Q
for P42,033.32; C-983183-Q forP95,680.89; C-983184-Q for P58,940.33.The petitioner and
Amador Borre, Head Teacher III, signed the three (3) checks.

Upon the instruction of the petitioner, Lazado endorsed the checks and handed them to the
accused. It was the custom in the school for Lazado to endorse the checks representing the
teachers’ salaries and for the accused to encash them at PNB, Virac Branch and deliver the cash
to Lazado for distribution to the teachers.

The following day, April 27, 1994, the accused encashed the three (3) checks at PNB, Virac
Branch but he never returned to the school to deliver the money to Lazado.

In his defense, the accused argued that he encashed the subject checks at PNB, Virac Branch in
the morning of April 27, 1994 but instead of going back to the school, he proceeded to the airport
and availed of the flight to Manila to seek medical attention for his chest pain. Two (2) days after,
around 4:30 o’clock in the morning of April 29, 1994, while he and his nephew were on the road
waiting for a ride, three (3) armed men held them up and took his bag containing his personal
effects and the proceeds of the subject checks. He reported the incident to the police authorities,
but he failed to recover the money.

ISSUE:
Is petitioner Torres guilty of the crime Malversation of Public Funds?

HELD:
YES. Petitioner is guilty of the crime charged. Petitioner herein is an accountable officer within the
contemplation of Article 217of the Revised Penal Code.

An accountable public officer, within the purview of Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code, is one
who has custody or control of public funds or property by reason of the duties of his office. The
nature of the duties of the public officer or employee, the fact that as part of his duties he received
public money for which he is bound to account and failed to account for it, is the factor which
determines whether or not malversation is committed by the accused public officer or
employee. Hence, a school principal of a public high school, such as petitioner, may be held guilty
of malversation if he or she is entrusted with public funds and misappropriates the same.

Malversation may be committed either through a positive act of misappropriation of public funds or
property, or passively through negligence. To sustain a charge of malversation, there
must either be criminal intent or criminal negligence, and while the prevailing facts of a case may
not show that deceit attended the commission of the offense, it will not preclude the reception of
evidence to prove the existence of negligence because both are equally punishable under Article
217 of the Revised Penal Code.

More in point, the felony involves breach of public trust, and whether it is committed through deceit
or negligence, the law makes it punishable and prescribes a uniform penalty therefor. Even when
the Information charges willful malversation, conviction for malversation through negligence may
still be adjudged if the evidence ultimately proves the mode of commission of the offense.

Therefore, based on the foregoing, petitioner herein is guilty of the crime charged.
EVIDENCE OF SHORTAGE WHICH A PUBLIC OFFICER UNABLE TO
EXPLAIN IS SUFFICIENT FOR CONVICTION FOR MALVERSATION
CECILIA U. LEGRAMA v. SANDIGANBAYAN and PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 178626, June 13, 2012
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
The Sandiganbayan finds petitioner guilty of the crime of Malversation of Public Funds.

On September 5, 1996, the Office of the Provincial Auditor of the Commission on Audit (COA) for
the Province of Zambales issued PAO Office No. 96-09 directing an Audit Team to conduct an
examination of the cash and account of petitioner Cecilia Legrama, the Municipal Treasurer of the
Municipality of San Antonio, Zambales.

After the audit, the COA prepared a Special Cash Examination Report on the Cash and Accounts
of Ms. Cecilia U. Legrama dated October 1, 1996. The report contained the findings that
petitioner’s cash accountability was short of a total of amount of P1,152,900.75. After the
government auditors discovered the shortage and informed petitioner of the same, petitioner failed
to properly explain or justify the shortage that was subject to her accountability, although petitioner
was able to restitute the total amount of P832,390.40. Petitioner denied that she put the amount
involved to personal use and presented various sales invoice, chits, vale forms, and disbursement
voucher to prove her claim. Petitioner even went further by testifying that the total amount of
P681,000.00 appearing in a disbursement voucher were cash advances given to the mayor during
the height of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.

Consequently, petitioner was charged in an Information dated December 15, 1998 with the crime of
Malversation of Public Funds.

In her defense, accused Legrama testified that except for the expenses she incurred for her official
travels, she did not put the amount involved in the instant case to personal use. As proof of her
claim, she produced and painstakingly identified in open court each and every sales invoice, chit,
vale and the disbursement voucher.

ISSUE:
Is petitioner guilty of malversation?

HELD:
YES. The petitioner is guilty as charged. Malversation may be committed by appropriating public
funds or property; by taking or misappropriating the same; by consenting, or through abandonment
or negligence, by permitting any other person to take such public funds or property; or by being
otherwise guilty of the misappropriation or malversation of such funds or property. The essential
elements common to all acts of malversation under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code are:
a. That the offender be a public officer;
b. That he had the custody or control of funds or property by reason of the duties of
his office;
c. That those funds or property were public funds or property for which he was
accountable; and
d. That he appropriated, took, misappropriated or consented, or through abandonment
or negligence, permitted another person to take them.

More importantly, in malversation of public funds, the prosecution is burdened to prove beyond
reasonable doubt, either by direct or circumstantial evidence, that the public officer appropriated,
misappropriated or consented, or through abandonment or negligence, permitted another person to
take public property or public funds under his custody. Absent such evidence, the public officer
cannot be held criminally liable for malversation. Mere absence of funds is not sufficient proof of
conversion; neither is the mere failure of the public officer to turn over the funds at any given time
sufficient to make even the prima facie case. In fine, conversion must be proved. However, an
accountable officer may be convicted of malversation even in the absence of direct proof of
misappropriation so long as there is evidence of shortage in his account which he is unable to
explain.

This Court takes judicial notice that the Mt. Pinatubo erupted in June 1991, and has not erupted
again up to the present. As stated earlier, the COA audit conducted on the account of accused
Legrama covers the financial transactions of the municipality from June 24, 1996 to September 4,
1996. Therefore, the said cash advances, which accused Legrama confirmed were given to
accused Lonzanida “during the height of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption,” which occurred five years
before the subject audit, are not expenses of the municipality during the period of audit covered in
the instant case.

To reiterate, the subject of the audit from which the instant case stemmed from are financial
transactions of the municipality from June 24, 1996 to September 4, 1996. Therefore, official
receipts, chits or vales, even if they are in the name of the municipality, but nonetheless issued to it
for transactions as far back as the year 1991 are immaterial to the instant case.

PARDON BY THE OFFENDED PARTY OF THE OFFENDER IN THE CRIME


OF RAPE WILL NOT EXTINGUISH THE OFFENDER’S CRIMINAL LIABILITY
People of the Philippines v. Ireno Bonaagua y Berce
G.R. No. 188897, June 6, 2011
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Ireno Bonaagua (Ireno) seeks the reversal of his conviction for three (3) counts of Statutory Rape
under Paragraph 2, Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as amended.
In 1998, AAA and her mother left their house in Candelaria, Quezon to spend the Christmas with
accused-appellant in Las Piñas City. They stayed in the house of a certain Lola Jean, the
godmother in the wedding of her parents, at Sta. Cecilia Subdivision, Las Piñas City. AAA was
inside a room lying in bed one afternoon while her younger brothers were playing outside the
house and her mother was not home. Accused-appellant entered the room. He approached her,
rolled her shirt upward, and removed her shorts and panty. She tried to resist by putting her
clothes back on, but her father’s strength prevailed. Thereafter, accused-appellant touched and
caressed her breasts. He licked her vagina then inserted his finger into it. AAA did not tell her
mother that she was raped because accused-appellant threatened to kill her mother by placing the
latter’s body in a drum and have it cemented if she would report the incidents. She returned to
Quezon with her mother before the end of the Christmas season.

In December 1999 and 2000, AAA was raped by accused-appellant in the same manner.
On January 26, 2001, AAA complained of severe abdominal pain which prompted her mother to
take her to a hospital where Dr. Melissa De Leon performed on her a physical examination. The
results revealed that there was a healed superficial laceration on the hymen of AAA. This medical
finding forced AAA to reveal to her mother all the incidents of rape committed by accused-
appellant.

Accused-appellant denied committing the charges of rape hurled against him. He claimed to be
working in Las Piñas City while AAA, her mother and siblings were in Sariaya, Quezon at the time
the alleged rapes occurred. While he admitted that there were times when AAA and her mother
would visit him in Las Piñas City, he nonetheless averred that they would leave on the same day
they arrived after he gives them money.

The RTC and CA found the accused guilty of the crime of rape. An Affidavit of Desistance was
however executed by AAA’s mother in his favor.

ISSUE:
May an Affidavit of Desistance convict the appellant of the crime of rape?

HELD:
NO. Rape is no longer a crime against chastity for it is now classified as a crime against persons.
Consequently, rape is no longer considered a private crime or that which cannot be prosecuted,
except upon a complaint filed by the aggrieved party. Hence, pardon by the offended party of the
offender in the crime of rape will not extinguish the offender’s criminal liability. Moreover, an
Affidavit of Desistance even when construed as a pardon in the erstwhile “private crime” of rape is
not a ground for the dismissal of the criminal cases, since the actions have already been instituted.
To justify the dismissal of the complaints, the pardon should have been made prior to the institution
of the criminal actions. As correctly concluded by the CA, the said affidavit was executed in
connection with another accusation of rape which Ireno committed against AAA in Candelaria,
Quezon and not the four cases of rape subject of this appeal. In addition, AAA’s mother testified
that she executed the said affidavit to regain custody of her children who were brought to Bicol by
Ireno’s siblings.

It has been repeatedly held that the Court looks with disfavor on affidavits of desistance. The
unreliable character of this document is shown by the fact that it is quite incredible that after going
through the process of having the [appellant] arrested by the police, positively identifying him as
the person who raped her, enduring the humiliation of a physical examination of her private parts,
and then repeating her accusations in open court by recounting her anguish, [the rape victim]
would suddenly turn around and declare that after a careful deliberation over the case, (she) find(s)
that the same does not merit or warrant criminal prosecution.

Thus, we have declared that at most the retraction is an afterthought which should not be given
probative value.

AN INTACT HYMEN DOES NOT NEGATE A FINDING THAT THE VICTIM


WAS RAPED
People of the Philippines v. Bernabe Pangilinan y Crisostomo
G.R. No. 18309, November 14, 2011
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Appellant Bernabe Pangilinan was accused of the crimes of rape under Article 266-A of the
Revised Penal Code.

The accused is the stepfather of AAA, who was born on January 29, 1988. AAA had lived with her
Aunt BBB, first cousin of her father, and her husband, herein appellant, since she was two years
old. At around 10 p.m. of July 27, 2001, while her aunt was working in Angeles, Pampanga, and
she was watching television in their house, appellant arrived and ordered her to cook chicken
adobo which she did. Suddenly, appellant approached her and pointed a samurai at her. Appellant
then kissed her neck and mashed her breast. It was not the first time that appellant did that to her.

There were other three incidents wherein appellant abused her. The first time was when appellant
kissed her and touched her private parts. The second time was when appellant pointed a samurai
at her, took her to a room and removed her clothes and kissed her on her lips and touched her
private organ. He then laid on top of her and tried to insert his penis to her private organ. His
organ touched her vagina; that she felt pain in her vagina but there was no blood. And the third
time was when appellant kissed her and mashed her breast. She did not tell her aunt of appellant's
sexual molestations, because he threatened to kill her and her aunt. She intimated that her aunt
BBB and appellant treated her like their own daughter.

On redirect examination, AAA testified that appellant inserted his penis to her vagina and that it
was painful when he did it.
On the other hand, appellant denied the accusations that he raped AAA, stating among others that
there was no hymen laceration.

ISSUE:
Can there be a crime of rape without hymen laceration?

HELD:
YES. There can be a crime of rape without hymen laceration. The law provides:

Art. 266-A Rape; When and How Committed – Rape is Committed –


By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following
circumstances:
(a) Through force, threat, or intimidation;
(b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious;
(c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and
(d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented,
even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.

Proof of hymenal laceration is not an element of rape. An intact hymen does not negate a finding
that the victim was raped. Penetration of the penis by entry into the lips of the vagina, even without
laceration of the hymen, is enough to constitute rape, and even the briefest of contact is deemed
rape.

In People v. Bohol, we explained the treatment of medical evidence as not essential in proving
rape cases, thus: There is no gainsaying that medical evidence is merely corroborative, and is
even dispensable, in proving the crime of rape. In child sexual abuse cases particularly, normal
physical findings are common due to several factors, such as delay in seeking medical
examination, the rapid healing of injuries, washing, urinating or defecating after the sexual assault,
the elasticity of the hymen, changes in the hymenal tissue due to estrogen effect when the victim is
at the pubertal stage, or the type of sexual molestation involved, such as fondling, oral sodomy, or
cunnilingus, which leaves no physical marks. The child's disclosure is the most important evidence
of the sexual abuse she has gone through.

AAA remained steadfast in her assertion that appellant raped her through force and intimidation
with the use of a samurai. And even after the incident, appellant threatened AAA that he would kill
her and her aunt, i.e., appellant's wife, should AAA report the incident.

AAA testified in her redirect examination that appellant had inserted his organ into her vagina and
that it was painful when appellant did it. It was the penetration that caused the pain. We held that
rape is committed on the victim’s testimony that she felt pain. This, at least, could be nothing but
the result of penile penetration sufficient to constitute rape. Rape is committed even with the
slightest penetration of the woman's sex organ.
RECANTATIONS OF TESTIMONY ARE DISFAVORED
People of the Philippines v. Marciano Dollano, Jr.
G.R. No. 188851, October 19, 2011
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Marciano Dollano was charged with 2 counts of Statutory Rape and 2 counts of Rape for raping
her daughter AAA and BBB. The Regional Trial Court and the Court of Appeals found Dollano
guilty of the crimes charged, hence this appeal.

AAA testified that while she and her siblings were sleeping inside their room, appellant, who was
beside her, removed her shorts and panty, went on top of her, and then inserted his penis in her
vagina. However, she could not ask help from her brothers, who were sound asleep, because of
fear. As in the first incident, the second rape happened at nighttime while she, her brothers, and
sister were sleeping. AAA did not have the courage to tell anybody about her ordeal. She only had
the chance to reveal the incidents when her sister who was suffering appendicitis was assisted by
DSWD workers. AAA’s testimony was corroborated by medical findings

BBB testified that one night and while she and her siblings were sleeping, appellant removed her
panty, went on top of her, then inserted his penis in her vagina. And that she was raped in the
same manner as the first incident.

However, more than four years after they testified, AAA and BBB retracted their previous
testimonies that they were raped by their father. AAA and BBB claimed that they have already
forgiven their father. AAA explained that her father already suffered for a long time and repented
for what he had done. She claimed that she filed the case against her father because the latter had
been maltreating her.

Dollano alleged that the testimonies against him should not be given weight and that the he was
already pardoned by the victims hence he should be acquitted.

ISSUE:
Will the recantations or the pardons warrant Dollano’s acquittal?

HELD:
NO. The settled rule is that the trial court’s conclusions on the credibility of witnesses in rape cases
are generally accorded great weight and respect, and at times even finality, unless which the lower
court overlooked or misappreciated facts which, if properly considered, would alter the result of the
case.

Recantations are frowned upon by the courts because it exceedingly unreliable, for there is always
the probability that such recantation may later on be itself repudiated. They can easily be obtained
from witnesses through intimidation or for monetary consideration.
To reject testimony solemnly taken before courts of justice because the witness who gave it later
changed his mind for one reason or another will make a mockery of solemn trials and put the
investigation of crimes at the mercy of unscrupulous witnesses. A retraction does not necessarily
negate an earlier declaration

Even if the recantation is treated as pardon on the part of the offended party in favor of Dollano, the
same cannot be appreciated for purposes of acquitting the accused as it was given after the
institution of the criminal action. Once the case is filed in court, control of the prosecution is
removed from the offended party’s hands and any change of heart by the victim will not affect the
state’s right to vindicate the atrocity committed against itself. It must be stressed that the true
aggrieved party in a criminal prosecution is the People of the Philippines whose collective sense of
morality, decency and justice has been outraged.

Hence Dollano’s conviction is affirmed.

FACTS WHICH MUST BE SHOWN TO PROVE RAPE


People of the Philippines v. Rodolfo Lopez
G.R. No. 179714, October 2, 2009
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Rodolfo Lopez was charged with Statutory Rape and was convicted by the RTC and the CA, hence
this appeal.

According to the prosecution, when AAA left their house leaving her 4 year old daughter BBB with
Lopez, an employee of her husband, the latter removed BBB’s under wear placed himself on top of
her and inserted his penis in her vagina.

The following day, BBB requested her mother to wash her vagina. While AAA was washing her
daughter’s vagina, she noticed that the latter's private organ was swollen and had a small quantity
of blood. The next morning BBB’s vagina was still reddish or swollen, which prompted her to ask
the daughter what happened. BBB pointed at appellant Lopez, who was there at that time and
identified him as the one who raped her. BBB then narrated to her mother what happened.

Medical examination showed that there was hymenal laceration which could have been caused by
an erected penis and with no signs of physical injuries.

Lopez on the other hand denied the allegations and claimed that he saw BBB’s 6 year old brother
insert his hands in BBB’s vagina. He claims further that the prosecution should rest on the strength
of it case and not on the weakness of the defense.

ISSUE:
Is Lopez guilty of statutory rape?

HELD:
YES. The gravamen of the offense of statutory rape as provided under Article 335 of the Revised
Penal Code is the carnal knowledge of a woman below twelve years old. The only elements of
statutory rape are: (1) that the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman; and (2) that such
woman is under twelve (12) years of age. It is not necessary to prove that the victim was
intimidated or that force was used against her, because in statutory rape the law presumes that the
victim, on account of her tender age, does not and cannot have a will of her own.

The first element of the crime of statutory rape was duly proven by the prosecution with the
testimony of the victim, coupled with the medical findings that the victim indeed showed signs of
having been raped. When the consistent and forthright testimony of a rape victim is consistent with
medical findings, there is sufficient basis to warrant a conclusion that the essential requisites of
carnal knowledge have been established. Anent the second element, with the presentation of the
victim's Certificate of Live Birth categorically showing that she was born on April 14, 1994, the
prosecution was able to prove that the former has just been living for four years, one month and
twenty-eight days when the unfortunate incident happened. It is settled that in cases of statutory
rape, the age of the victim may be proved by the presentation of her birth certificate.

For his defense, appellant Lopez merely denied committing the crime and even pointed an
accusatory finger to the six-year-old brother of the victim, whom the former allegedly saw fingering
the same victim. However, it is a time-honored principle that the positive and categorical
assertions of a witness generally prevail over bare denials. Affirmative testimony from a credible
witness is stronger and more trustworthy than a bare self-serving testimony.

Therefore, Lopez is guilty of Statutory rape.

RAPE VICTIM’S CREDIBILE TESTIMONY MAY BE THE SOLE BASIS FOR


ACCUSED’S CONVICTION
Egap Madsali v. People of the Philippines
G.R. No. 179570, February 4, 2010
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Sajiron Lajim and Maron Lajim were charged with abduction with rape and were convicted by the
RTC and CA. In another information, Sajiron Lajim and Egap Madsali were charged with Serious
Illegal detention, only Sajiron Lajim was convicted by the RTC and CA because Egap Madsali
escaped. Hence this appeal.

One day at 3 in the afternoon while AAA, then 15 years old, and her aunt Inon Dama were fetching
water in a cave Sajiron arrived, running towards them and carrying a bolo. They tried to run away,
but Sajiron overtook them. He held the hair of AAA threatened to kill AAA if she did go with him.
Sajiron then drew his gun and pointed it at Inon Dama and threatened to kill her if she does not go.

Sajiron and Maron, Sajiron’s father, tied AAA’s hands behind her back, covered her mouth with a
piece of cloth, and brought her to the forest. There, AAA was untied and undressed. She pleaded
with him not to abuse. Sajiron held her breast, touched her private parts and inserted his sex organ
inside her vagina. AAA resisted, but to no avail. She was sexually abused three times on the
ground. During the entire time that AAA was being abused by Sajiron, Maron stood guard and
watched them. They left the forest the next morning of the following day and brought AAA to the
house of Egap, where she was detained in a room. Sajiron instructed Egap to guard AAA and to
shoot her if she would attempt to escape.

Egap asked AAA if she wanted to marry Sajiron, but she refused. AAA was then forced to sign an
unknown document, which she was not able to read. Nine days after the abduction, upon
instruction of Egap, AAA and Sajiron were married by an Imam. The marriage was solemnized
against AAA's will and without the presence of her parents. After the marriage, AAA stayed in one
room with Sajiron. While detained, AAA did not try to escape, because her house was very far
from the place, and her captors threatened to kill her and her family if she would attempt to
escape. The incident of abduction was reported by AAA’s mother and Inon Dama only after five
months.

The defense, on the other hand, denied having committed the crimes charged. Sajiron claimed that
he and AAA were engaged for three years prior to their elopement. During the period of their
engagement, Sajiron lived with AAA in her mother's house. The sexual intercourse between AAA
and Sajiron was consensual and they were lovers. Moreover, the failure to report promptly is
inconsistent with the claim of abduction.

ISSUE:
Is Sajiron’s guilt established beyond reasonable doubt?

HELD:
YES. Delay in reporting an incident of rape due to death threats does not affect the credibility of the
complainant, nor can it be taken against her. BBB explained that she did not immediately report the
abduction, rape and detention of her daughter to the authorities, because Egap threatened to kill
AAA, who was then in his custody.

Also, by invoking the “sweetheart theory” it amounts to an admission of carnal knowledge of the
victim, which consequently places on him the burden of proving the supposed relationship by
substantial evidence. The accused did not present any evidence, such as love letters, gifts,
pictures, and the like to show that, indeed, he and the victim were sweethearts. It bears
stressing that during her testimony before the trial court, AAA vehemently denied that she and
Sajiron were sweethearts and firmly declared that the latter never lived in their house.
AAA’s testimony sufficiently established Sajiron’s guilt. Owing to the nature of the offense, in many
cases, the only evidence that can be given regarding the matter is the testimony of the offended
party. The Court deemed AAA's testimony credible. It was clear, categorical and consistent. She
remained steadfast in her assertions and unfaltering in her testimony given in court on the
unfortunate incident.

However, it ruled that Sajiron is guilty not for abduction with rape because the taking, as alleged,
was not with lewd designs. Accordingly he was made liable for actually the special complex crime
of kidnapping and serious illegal detention and rape. Conspiracy between Sajiron and Maron was
also proved hence Maron is equally guilty.

Sajiron is also liable for illegal detention since after she was raped in the forest, she was brought to
and detained at the house of Egap and forced to cohabit with Sajiron. From the very start of her
detention on Egap directed Sajiron to guard her, and shoot her if she attempted to escape.

Therefore Sajiron and Maron are guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the special complex crime of
kidnapping and serious illegal detention with rape. Sajiron is also liable for another serious illegal
detention.

A BUY-BUST OPERATION IS A FORM OF ENTRAPMENT.


People of the Philippines v. Fernando Villamin y San Jose Alias Andoy
G.R. No. 175590, February 9, 2010
PERALTA, J.:

FACTS:
Members of the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) of San Jose del Monte Police Station received a
report from a civilian informant and from the Barangay Captain of Barangay Gumaok, San Jose del
Monte, Bulacan sometime during the first week of August 2002, that a certain Fernando
Villamin, alias “Andoy,” was engaged in the sale of shabu in that same place. Thus, a team was
formed to conduct a test-buy operation of shabu from accused-appellant and, subsequently, a buy-
bust operation was conducted with SPO4 Taruc as the leader and poseur-buyer.

After a successful buy-bust operation, six sachets of shabu, were seized from the accused when
he was frisked. The police officers and their aides were able to apprehend also two women,
namely: Alma Frial, accused-appellant's neighbor, and Joselyn Patilano-Cabardo, accused-
appellant's live-in partner, while the others who were seen by SPO4 Taruc sniffing shabu inside the
house of the accused were able to escape. Also recovered inside the house of accused-appellant
were six other sachets ofshabu and shabuparaphernalia.

Subsequently, accused-appellant, Alma Frial, and Joselyn Patilano-Cabardo, as well as the


evidence recovered, were brought to the police headquarters where the members of the buy-bust
operation team also prepared their joint affidavits. Resultantly, three separate Informations were
filed charging accused-appellant, and the others who were caught during the buy-bust operation,
with violation of Secs. 5, 6 and 11, Art. II of R.A. 9165.

The RTC found accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 5, Article
II of R.A. 9165, but acquitted him of the other charges. The two others who were implicated were
acquitted for insufficiency of evidence. The CA, in its Decision dated July 19, 2006, affirmed the
conviction of accused-appellant.

ISSUE:
Is the accused guilty of violating Sec. 5, Article II of R.A. 9165?

HELD:
YES. The elements necessary for the prosecution of the illegal sale of drugs are: (1) the identities
of the buyer and the seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold
and the payment therefor. What is material to the prosecution for the illegal sale of dangerous
drugs is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in
court of evidence of corpus delicti.

All of the above elements have been proven to be present in this case. The identities of the buyer
and the seller, as well as the object and the consideration, were properly and sufficiently proven by
the prosecution. The first element has been complied with: the poseur-buyer positively identified
the seller of shabu and the money used for the sale of the same. The second and crucial element,
which is the proof that a transaction indeed transpired between the buyer and the seller, was
categorically testified to by SPO4 Taruc. As distinctly narrated by the witness, a transaction
indeed took place, which led to the arrest of the accused-appellant in flagrante. The other
witnesses, members of the buy-bust operation team, corroborated the above testimony of SPO4
Taruc.

A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment which in recent years has been accepted as a valid
and effective mode of apprehending drug pushers. In a buy-bust operation, the idea to commit a
crime originates from the offender, without anybody inducing or prodding him to commit the
offense. If carried out with due regard for constitutional and legal safeguards, a buy-bust operation
deserves judicial sanction.Thus, from the very nature of a buy-bust operation, the absence of a
warrant does not make the arrest illegal.

Thus, the decision of the CA, affirming the decision of the RTC, is affirmed in toto.

SINGLE OFFENSE OF POSSESSION OF DANGEROUS DRUGS IF ACCUSED


WAS CAUGHT IN POSSESSION OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF DANGEROUS
DRUGS IN A SINGLE OCCASION
Raul David v. People of the Philippines
October 17, 2011, G.R. No. 181861
Peralta, J.:
FACTS:
On June 29, 2003 at around 1PM the Intelligence Operative of Concepcion Police
Station,Concepcion, Tarlac descended upon L. Cortez St., Brgy. San Jose, Concepcion, Tarlac
toconduct a search with a warrant upon the house of Raul David accompanied by Brgy.
CaptainAntonio Cannonoand found sixsachets of marijuana and threeplastic sachets of a
substance identified as methamphetamine HCL on top of a locked aparador. At the time, the
appellant was two meters away in the sala. Photographs of seized items were taken and
inventoried and signed by Brgy. Captain Cannono. Apellant was then charged with violation of
Section 11, Art. II of RA 9165 for illegally possessing 3.865 grams of marijuana and 0.327 grams of
methamphetamine HCL.

The RTC Branch 66, Capas, Tarlac sentenced the accused to imprisonment of 12 years and 1 day
as minimum to 14 years as maximum and a fine of PHP 300,000. On appeal, the CA affirmed the
decision of the lower court but modified penalty to imprisonment of 12 years and 1 day as minimum
to 14 years as maximum and a fine of PHP 300,000 for the illegal possession of marijuana and
imprisonment of 12 years and 1 day as minimum to 14 years as maximum and a fine of PHP
300,000 for illegal possession of shabu.

ISSUE:
Did the CA err in modifying the decision of the RTC which found the accused guilty of a single
charge of violation of Section 11, Article II of RA 9165?

HELD:
YES.In the present case, petitioner was charged under two Informations, one for illegal possession
of dried marijuana leaves and the other for illegal possession sachets containing shabu. Under
Section 11 of R.A. 9165, the corresponding penalty for each charge, based on the weight of the
dangerous drugs confiscated, is imprisonment for twelve (12) years and one (1) day, as minimum,
to fourteen (14) years, as maximum, and a fine of three hundred thousand pesos
(P300,000.00). Absent any clear interpretation as to the application of the penalties in cases such
as the present one, the Court shall construe it in favor of the petitioner for the subject provision is
penal in nature. It is a well-known rule of legal hermeneutics that penal or criminal laws are strictly
construed against the state and liberally in favor of the accused. Thus, an accused may only be
convicted of a single offense of possession of dangerous drugs if he or she was caught in
possession of different kinds of dangerous drugs in a single occasion. If convicted, the higher
penalty shall be imposed, which is still lighter if the accused is convicted of two (2) offenses having
two (2) separate penalties. This interpretation is more in keeping with the intention of the
legislators as well as more favorable to the accused.

Thus, the Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals are affirmed with the modification that
the penalty of imprisonment for Twelve (12) years and one (1) day, as minimum, to Fourteen (14)
years, as maximum, and a fine of Three Hundred Thousand Pesos (P300,000.00) be imposed.
WARRANTLESS ARREST IN ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF DANGEROUS
DRUGS
Abraham Miclat Jr. V. People of the Philippines
G.R. No. 176077, August 31, 2011
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
The established facts reveal that on the date of the arrest, agents of the Station Drug Enforcement
Unit (SDEU) of the Caloocan City Police Station were conducting a surveillance operation in the
area of Palmera Spring II to verify the reported drug-related activities of several individuals, which
included the petitioner. During the operation, PO3 Antonio, through petitioner’s window, saw
petitioner arranging several plastic sachets containing what appears to be shabu in the living room
of their home. The plastic sachets and its suspicious contents were plainly exposed to the view of
PO3 Antonio, who was only about one and one-half meters from where petitioner was
seated. PO3 Antonio then inched his way in the house by gently pushing the door. Upon gaining
entrance, the operative introduced himself as a police officer. After which, petitioner voluntarily
handed over to PO3 Antonio the small plastic sachets. PO3 Antonio then placed petitioner under
arrest and, contrary to petitioner’s contention, PO3 Antonio informed him of his constitutional
rights. PO3 Antonio then took the petitioner and the four (4) pieces of plastic sachets to their
headquarters and turned them over to PO3 Moran. Thereafter, the evidence were marked “AMC
1-4,” the initials of the name of the petitioner. The heat-sealed transparent sachets containing
white crystalline substance were submitted to the PNP Crime Laboratory for drug examination,
which later yielded positive results for the presence of methamphetamine hydrochloride, a
dangerous drug under RA No. 9165.

Petitioner posits that being seen in the act of arranging several plastic sachets inside their house
by one of the arresting officers who was peeping through a window is not sufficient reason for the
police authorities to enter his house without a valid search warrant and/or warrant of
arrest. Moreover, peeping through a curtain-covered window cannot be contemplated as within the
meaning of the plain view doctrine, rendering the warrantless arrest unlawful.

ISSUES:
1. Is the arrest of the accused and the subsequent seizure of the sachets of drugs from him legal?
2. Is the accused guilty of violating RA 9165?

HELD:
1. YES. In the instant case, contrary to petitioner’s contention, he was caught in flagrante
delicto and the police authorities effectively made a valid warrantless arrest. Considering the
circumstances immediately prior to and surrounding the arrest of the petitioner, petitioner was
clearly arrested in flagrante delicto as he was then committing a crime, violation of the Dangerous
Drugs Act, within the view of the arresting officer.
It is to be noted that petitioner was caught in the act of arranging the heat-sealed plastic sachets in
plain sight of PO3 Antonio and he voluntarily surrendered them to him upon learning that he is a
police officer. The seizure made by PO3 Antonio of the four plastic sachets from the petitioner was
not only incidental to a lawful arrest, but it also falls within the purview of the “plain view” doctrine.

It is clear, therefore, that an object is in plain view if the object itself is plainly exposed to sight.
Since petitioner’s arrest is among the exceptions to the rule requiring a warrant before effecting an
arrest and the evidence seized from the petitioner was the result of a warrantless search incidental
to a lawful arrest, which incidentally was in plain view of the arresting officer, the results of the
ensuing search and seizure were admissible in evidence to prove petitioner’s guilt of the offense
charged.

2. YES.For conviction of illegal possession of a prohibited drug to lie, the following elements must
be established: (1) the accused was in possession of an item or an object identified to be a
prohibited or regulated drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law; and (3) the accused
was freely and consciously aware of being in possession of the drug. Based on the evidence
submitted by the prosecution, the above elements were duly established in the present case. Mere
possession of a regulated drug per se constitutes prima facie evidence of knowledge or animus
possidendi sufficient to convict an accused absent a satisfactory explanation of such possession –
the onus probandi is shifted to the accused, to explain the absence of knowledge or animus
possidendi.

Thus, the petition is denied.

FRUITS OF AN INVALID WARRANTLESS SEARCH


Ruben Del Castillo v. People of the Philippines
G.R. No. 185128, January 30, 2012
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Police Officers headed by SPO3 Bienvenido Masnayon went to serve a search warrant from the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) to Petitioner Ruben Del Castillo in search of illegal drugs. Upon arrival,
somebody shouted “raid” which prompted the police officers to immediately disembark from the
jeep they were riding and go directly to Del Castillo’s house and cordoned it off. Police men found
nothing incriminating in Del Castillo’s residence, but one of the barangay tanods, whom the team
asked for assistance, was able to confiscate from the hut several articles including four (4) plastic
packs of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu.

An Information was filed before RTC against Del Castillo, charging him with violation of Section 16,
Article III of R.A. 6425 (The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972). During the arraignment, Del Castillo
pleaded not guilty. The RTC found Del Castillo guilty beyond reasonable of the charge against him
in the information. The Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the decision.
Del Castillo appealed his case to the CA, insisting that there was a violation of his constitutional
guaranty against unreasonable searches and seizure. On the contrary, the Office of the Solicitor
General argued that the constitutional guaranty against unreasonable searches and seizure is
applicable only against government authorities. Hence, assuming that the items seized were found
in another place not designated in the search warrant, the same items should still be admissible as
evidence because the one who discovered them was a barangay tanod who is a private individual.

ISSUE:
May the shabu found not in the place to be searched used as evidence against the accused?

HELD:
NO. In the present case, the search warrant specifically designates or describes the residence of
the petitioner as the place to be searched. Incidentally, the items were seized by a barangay tanod
in a nipa hut, 20 meters away from the residence of the Del Castillo. The confiscated items, having
been found in a place other than the one described in the search warrant, can be considered as
fruits of an invalid warrantless search, the presentation of which as an evidence is a violation of Del
Castillo’s constitutional guaranty against unreasonable searches and seizure.

The OSG’s contention is devoid of merit. It was testified to during trial by the police officers who
effected the search warrant that they asked the assistance of the barangay tanods. Having been
established that the assistance of the barangay tanods was sought by the police authorities who
effected the search warrant, the same barangay tanods therefore acted as agents of persons in
authority. Article 152 of the Revised Penal Code defines persons in authority and agents of
persons in authority as “any person directly vested with jurisdiction, whether as an individual or as
a member of some court or governmental corporation, board or commission, shall be deemed a
person in authority. A barangay captain and a barangay chairman shall also be deemed a person
in authority. A person who, by direct provision of law or by election or by appointment by competent
authority, is charged with the maintenance of public order and the protection and security of life
and property, such as barrio councilman, barrio policeman and barangay leader, and any person
who comes to the aid of persons in authority, shall be deemed an agent of a person in authority.”

Thus, the barangay tanods were acting as agents of a person in authority during the conduct of the
search. The search conducted was unreasonable and the confiscated items are inadmissible in
evidence.The petition is granted.
PROOF OF SALE OR TRANSACTION AND CORPUS DELICTI ARE
MATERIAL; DEFENSE OF FRAME-UP IS DISFAVORED.
People vs. Lascano
G.R. No. 172605, November 22, 2010
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
The Office of the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) of the Malabon City Police received a call from a
confidential informant reporting that he was able to close a deal with a drug pusher known as
“Belen,” herein appellant, for the purchase of two sachets of marijuana leaves for P100.00 each. A
buy-bust team was formed where designated PO1 Joel as the poseur-buyer and to whom the two
marked P100.00 bills were given.PO1 Joel gave the money to appellant, who in turn took out two
plastic sachets from her plastic bag and handed it to the former. PO1 Allan then immediately
approached appellant and arrested her. He was able to recover from her the marked money and
a yellow plastic bag containing one plastic sachet of marijuana and a brick of marijuana. He then
informed appellant of her constitutional rights and then proceeded to the police station. The two
plastic sachets subject of the illegal sale were marked by PO1 Joel, while the other plastic sachet
and the brick of marijuana were marked by PO1 Allan before they were given to Police
Investigator.The items were positive to the tests for Marijuana, a prohibited drug.Appellant denied
the accusation against her and told that it was only frame-up.

ISSUE:
Was the prosecution able to prove beyond reasonable doubt the crimes charged against
appellant?

HELD:
YES. Appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

The essential elements to be established in the prosecution of illegal sale of marijuana are as
follows: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object of the sale and the consideration; and
(2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.What is material is the proof that the
transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus
delicti as evidence. We find these elements duly proved beyond reasonable doubt by the
prosecution.

Frame-up is a defense that has been invariably viewed with disfavor for it can easily be concocted
but difficult to prove and is a common and standard line of defense in most prosecutions arising
from violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act.
ARREST IN FLAGRANTE DELICTO IS A VALID WARRANTLESS ARREST.
Sy vs. People of the Phil.
G.R. No. 182178, August 15, 2011
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
PO3 Faelogo, while he was on duty, their office received a telephone call from a concerned
citizen that an illegal drug trade was going on PO3 Paquera. PO3 Faelogo and his co-
officer immediately responded and went to the place as reported. They saw a man, later
identified as the [petitioner] in this case, examining a transparent plastic sachet containing
shabu powder by flicking the same. They approached the [petitioner], introduced
themselves as policemen and announced his arrest for illegal possession of dangerous
drug. While PO3 Faelogo and the[petitioner were wrestling, PO3 Paquera picked up the
said sachet of shabu which was dropped on the ground. Faelogo made markings on it
with the initials “SS 06-11-05”. They were not able to conduct an inventory in the crime
scene but made at the police station. The petitioner was not subjected to drug examination,
as no drug testing kit was available at that time.A qualitative examination conducted on the
specimen gave positive result to the tests for the presence of methamphetamine
hydrochloride, a dangerous drug under RA 9165.

ISSUE:
Is the warrantless arrest valid?

HELD:
YES. The arrest was valid.

Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court provides:


Sec 5. Arrest without warrant, when lawful - A peace officer or a private person
may, without a warrant, arrest a person:
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is
actually committing or is attempting to commit an offense;

Petitioner was clearly arrested in flagrante delicto as he was then committing a crime, violation of
the Dangerous Drugs Act, within the view of the police officers. At the time of his arrest, the police
officers were actively performing their duties, since they were following up a tip that there was an
illegal drug trade being conducted in the area. This fact, coupled with the overt acts of petitioner,
formed sufficient basis on the part of the police officers to believe that a crime was actually being
committed.
A POSSESSOR BY MERE TOLERANCE HAS NO BETTER RIGHT AGAINST
AN OWNER
Barrientos vs. Rapal
G.R. No. 169594, July 20, 2011
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Respondent Mario Rapal acquired a 235 square meter parcel of land from one Antonio
Natavio via a notarized Deed of Transfer of Possessory Right. The said parcel of land was said to
be a portion of the estate of the late Don Mariano San Pedro y Esteban covered by Original
Certificate of Title (OCT). Respondent constructed a semi-concrete house on the lot and took
actual possession of the property by himself and through his caretaker, Benjamin Tamayo.
Respondent allowed petitioner Bienvenido Barrientos and his family to stay on the subject property
as caretakers on the condition that petitioner shall vacate the premises when respondent would
need the property. However, when respondent demanded petitioner to vacate the subject
property,petitioner refused to leave the lot.

ISSUE:
Does the petitioner have a better right over the subject property as against the respondent?

HELD:
NO. Respondent is entitled to the possession of the subject lot.

Petitioner's occupation of the subject lot was by mere tolerance only. Petitioner was initially
permitted by respondent to occupy the lot as a caretaker. Petitioner even admitted this fact in his
Beneficiary Evaluation and Qualification Form. Moreover, all other supporting evidence, such as
the Census Survey Certificateand construction material receipts, bolster the fact that respondent
was in prior possession of the property before petitioner entered the same by mere tolerance of the
respondent.
THERE IS NO COMPLEX CRIME OF RAPE AND ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF
FIREARM WHEN RAPE IS COMMITTED WITH A DEADLY WEAPON.
Sison vs People of the Phil.
G.R. No. 187229, February 22, 2012
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Private complainant [AAA] boarded accused’s passenger van upon going to work. She sat at the
front passenger seat as it was the only vacant seat at that time since there were already nine
passengers on board. The passengers alighted one by one. When [AAA] was the only passenger
left in the van, accused told her that he would change first the P100.00 bill that she paid. Her fare
was only P30.00. Accused made a few turns until they reached an alley, with nobody passing
through. Accused pointed a gun at her until such time that they entered a motelAccused then
removed his t-shirt, shorts and underwear and rubbed his penis against her vagina, inserted it into
her vagina and made pumping motions a couple of times. [AAA] felt pain.She reported the incident
and executed a sworn statement.The police officers conducted follow-up operations which led to
the arrest of the accused from whom they recovered a .45 caliber Peter Stahl pistol which permit to
carry has already expired. However, in the medico legal findings: “Subject is in non-virgin state
physically. There are no external signs of application of any form of trauma.”. Petitioner denied the
accusation and claimed that what happened between him and AAA was a consensual sex.

ISSUE:
Is the respondent guilty of rape and illegal possession of firearm?

HELD:
No. He is guilty ONLY for the crime of rape.

The gravamen of the crime of rape is sexual congress with a woman by force or
intimidation and without consent. Even assuming that AAA failed to put up a strong
resistance to repel petitioner's physical aggression, such failure does not mean that she
was not raped. Petitioner had a gun which was sufficient to intimidate her and to submit to
his lustful desire. It is well settled that physical resistance need not be established in rape
when intimidation is exercised upon a victim and the latter submits herself, against her will,
to the rapist’s advances because of fear for her life and personal safety.

However, as to petitioner's conviction for illegal possession of firearms, such judgment


must be set aside. We find that he can no longer be held liable for such offense since
another crime was committed, i.e., rape. Under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal
Code, whenever the crime of rape is committed with the use of a deadly weapon or by two
or more persons, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death. Since no aggravating or
mitigating circumstance was established in the commission of the crime, the lesser penalty
shall be imposed.
THE DIFFERENT MODES OF VIOLATING R.A. 3019 ARE MANIFEST
PARTIALITY, EVIDENT BAD FAITH, AND GROSS INEXCUSABLE
NEGLIGENCE.
DOUBLE JEOPARDY; GRANT OF DEMURRER TO EVIDENCE IS
TANTAMOUNT TO ACQUITTAL.

People v. Atienza
Gr No. 171671, June 18, 2012
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Respondents Aristeo E. Atienza, then Municipal Mayor of Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, Engr.
Rodrigo D. Manongsong, then Municipal Engineer of Puerto Galera and Crispin M. Egarque, a
police officer stationed in Puerto Galera, were charged with violation of Section 3 (e) of RA 3019,
or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The Information alleged that the above-named
accused conspired with each other to destroy, demolish, and dismantle the riprap/fence of the new
Hondura Beach Resort owned by complainant Evora located at Hondura, Puerto Galera, Oriental
Mindoro, causing undue injury to complainant. Upon arraignment, respondents pleaded not
guilty to the crime charged against them. The prosecution presented its witnesses who gave
testimonies pointing to the alleged acts of the accused herein.Mayor Atienza and Engr.
Manongsong filed a Demurrer to Evidence (Motion to Acquit), anchored on the credibility of the
witnesses for the prosecution which was granted by the Sandiganbayan on the ground that not all
the elements of the crime charged were established by the prosecution, particularly the element of
manifest partiality on the part of respondents. The Sandiganbayan held that the evidence adduced
did not show that the respondents favored other persons who were similarly situated with the
private complainant. Hence, this Petition for Review.

ISSUE:
1. Did the Court commit an error in denying the people due process when it resolved issues
not raised by respondents in their demurrer to evidence, without affording the prosecution an
opportunity to be heard thereon?
2. Has double jeopardy set in?

HELD:
1. NO. Respondents are charged with violation of Section 3 (e) of RA 3019, which has the following
essential elements:
1. The accused must be a public officer discharging administrative, judicial or official
functions;
2. He must have acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable
negligence; and
3. His action caused any undue injury to any party, including the government, or gave
any private party unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his
functions.
In the case at bar, the Sandiganbayan granted the Demurrer to Evidence on the ground that the
prosecution failed to establish the second element of violation of Section 3 (e) of RA 3019.The
second element provides the different modes by which the crime may be committed, that is,
through “manifest partiality,” “evident bad faith,” or “gross inexcusable negligence.” In Uriarte v.
People, this Court explained that Section 3 (e) of RA 3019 may be committed either by dolo, as
when the accused acted with evident bad faith or manifest partiality, or by culpa, as when the
accused committed gross inexcusable negligence. There is “manifest partiality” when there is a
clear, notorious, or plain inclination or predilection to favor one side or person rather than another.
“Evident bad faith” connotes not only bad judgment but also palpably and patently fraudulent and
dishonest purpose to do moral obliquity or conscious wrongdoing for some perverse motive or ill
will. “Evident bad faith” contemplates a state of mind affirmatively operating with furtive design or
with some motive of self-interest or ill will or for ulterior purposes. “Gross inexcusable negligence”
refers to negligence characterized by the want of even the slightest care, acting or omitting to act in
a situation where there is a duty to act, not inadvertently but wilfully and intentionally, with
conscious indifference to consequences insofar as other persons may be affected.

As aptly concluded by the Sandiganbayan in the assailed resolution, the second element of the
crime as charged was not sufficiently established by the prosecution. Manifest partiality was not
present in this case. The evidence adduced did not show that accused-movants favored other
persons who were similarly situated with the private complainant.

Moreover, contrary to petitioner’s contention, the prosecution was not denied due process. The
prosecution participated in all the proceedings before the court a quo and has filed numerous
pleadings and oppositions to the motions filed by respondent. In fact, the prosecution has already
rested its case and submitted its evidence when the demurrer was filed. Where the opportunity to
be heard, either through verbal arguments or pleadings, is accorded, and the party can present its
side or defend its interests in due course, there is no denial of procedural due process. What is
repugnant to due process is the denial of the opportunity to be heard, which is not present here.

2. YES. The elements of double jeopardy are (1) the complaint or information was sufficient in
form and substance to sustain a conviction; (2) the court had jurisdiction; (3) the accused had been
arraigned and had pleaded; and (4) the accused was convicted or acquitted, or the case was
dismissed without his express consent.

All are attendant in the present case: (1) the Information filed before the Sandiganbayan in Criminal
Case No. 26678 against respondents were sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction;
(2) the Sandiganbayan had jurisdiction over Criminal Case No. 26678; (3) respondents were
arraigned and entered their respective pleas of not guilty; and (4) the Sandiganbayan dismissed
Criminal Case No. 26678 on a Demurrer to Evidence on the ground that not all the elements of the
offense as charge exist in the case at bar, which amounts to an acquittal from which no appeal can
be had.
In criminal cases, the grant of demurrer is tantamount to an acquittal and the dismissal order may
not be appealed because this would place the accused in double jeopardy. Although the dismissal
order is not subject to appeal, it is still reviewable but only through certiorari under Rule 65 of the
Rules of Court. For the writ to issue, the trial court must be shown to have acted with grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction such as where the prosecution was denied
the opportunity to present its case or where the trial was a sham, thus, rendering the assailed
judgment void. The burden is on the petitioner to clearly demonstrate that the trial court blatantly
abused its authority to a point so grave as to deprive it of its very power to dispense justice. In the
present case, no such circumstances exist to warrant a departure from the general rule and
reverse the findings of the Sandiganbayan.
CRIME OF KIDNAPPING AND SERIOUS ILLEGAL DETENTION COMPLEXED
WITH FRUSTRATED MURDER; VIOLATION OF THE ANTI-CARNAPPING
LAW; THEFT, NOT ROBBERY; TREACHERY AND EVIDENT
PREMEDITATION.
PEOPLE v. ROXAS
G.R. No. 172604, August 17, 2010
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Agnes Guirindola, while cruising along Panay Avenue, Quezon City, on board a red 1993 model
Nissan Sentra sedan, was suddenly flagged down by a man wearing a PNP reflectorized vest. The
man signaled her to make a U-turn, which the latter complied with. The man, later identified as
appellant herein, stopped her saying that she was crossing a one-way street. He then offered to
show her where the one-way sign and the other traffic aide were located, thus earning his
opportunity to enter the vehicle of Agnes. After several road instructions, he pointed a gun towards
Agnes and let Gungon enter the vehicle as well. Agnes was made to drink medicines to make her
unconscious, but she faked swallowing the tablets. Then, she heard the men saying that they
would kill her. Thereafter, she was brought to Batangas where, after relieving herself, she was shot
by appellant which caused her to be unconscious. Upon regaining consciousness, she was able to
seek help from a nearby house and was thereafter brought to the hospital for medical attention.
Upon recovery, she was able to positively identify appellant as the man who shot her. Appellant
denied the allegations against him and offered an alibi. The RTC found appellant herein guilty of
Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention with frustrated murder, carnapping and theft. Upon
intermediate review, the appellate court affirmed in toto the decision of the court a quo. Hence, this
appeal.

ISSUE:
Did the court a quo commit an error in finding the accused-appellant guilty of the offenses of (1)
kidnapping and serious illegal detention with frustrated murder, (2) carnapping, and (3) theft?

HELD:
NO.Agnes did not only positively identify her abductors, she also graphically narrated what
happened. Actual restraint of the victim's liberty was evident in the instant case from the moment
Agnes was taken from Panay Avenue to a remote place in Batangas. Article 267 of the RPC
defines the crime, thus:
Art. 267. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention. — Any private individual who shall
kidnap or detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer the
penalty of reclusion perpetua to death;
2. If it shall have been committed simulating public authority;

Further, the evidence likewise reveal the commission of frustrated murder as qualified by the
circumstances of treachery and evident premeditation. The medical findings show that had it not
been due to the timely and proper medical attention given to the victim, the gunshot wound
sustained by the victim would have been fatal.

Treachery exists when an offender commits any of the crimes against persons, employing means,
methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to ensure its execution,
without risk to himself, arising from the defense which the offended party might make. In this case,
Agnes was left with no opportunity for to defend herself, since appellant, suddenly and without
provocation, shot her as she was about to get up. The essence of treachery is the unexpected and
sudden attack on the victim which renders the latter unable and unprepared to defend himself by
reason of the suddenness and severity of the attack. This criterion applies whether the attack is
frontal or from behind.

Moreover, the requisites of evident premeditation was likewise duly established in this case, to wit:
(a) the time when the accused determined to commit the crime; (b) an act manifestly indicating that
the accused has clung to his determination; and (c) a sufficient lapse of time between such
determination and execution to allow him to reflect upon the consequences of his act.

Furthermore, Roxas is also guilty of violation of the Anti-Carnapping Law. R.A. 6539, otherwise
known as An Act Preventing and Penalizing Carnapping, which defines carnapping as the taking,
with intent to gain, of a motor vehicle belonging to another without the latter’s consent, or by means
of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things." All the elements of
the crime are present, viz:
1. That there is an actual taking of the vehicle;
2. That the offender intends to gain from the taking of the vehicle;
3. That the vehicle belongs to a person other than the offender himself;
4. That the taking is without the consent of the owner thereof; or that the taking was
committed by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon
things.

Also, Roxas is only guilty of theft and not robbery as initially charged, because the jewelries and
cash were taken from Agnes without the attendance of violence or intimidation upon her
person. While it was proven beyond reasonable doubt that appellant took Agnes' personal things,
there was no evidence, however, that the taking was employed with the use of force, violation and
intimidation.

The crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention has been correctly complexed by the RTC
with frustrated murder. A complex crime is committed when a single act constitutes two or more,
grave or less grave, felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other.

In a complex crime, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be
applied in its maximum period. Since the kidnapping and serious illegal detention is the more
serious crime, the proper penalty under Article 267[50] of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by
R.A. 7659, should be applied in its maximum period; thus, the penalty should be death. However,
in light of R.A. 9346, or the Anti-Death Penalty Law, which prohibits the imposition of the death
penalty, the imposition of the penalty of reclusion perpetua instead of death is, thus, proper and
ineligible for parole.

CONVICTION FOR THE CRIME OF RAPE AND ACTS OF LASCIVIOUSNESS;


INTIMIDATION NEED NOT NECESSARILY BE IRRESISTIBLE.
People v. Rellota
G.R. No. 168103, August 3, 2010
Peralta, J.:

FACTS:
Appellant was charged with rape of AAA, who was 12 y/o when the incidents allegedly happened.
AAA and her siblings were living with her aunt, DDD, the latter’s second husband, and her cousins
from September 1992 to January 1994. During that period, DDD and appellant were sending AAA
and her siblings to school. At the time the incidents took place, DDD was working overseas. AAA
testified that appellant had been kissing her and touching her private parts since September 1993;
that appellant raped her several times between September 1993 and January 1994; and that
appellant would usually rape her at night when the other members of the family were either out of
the house or asleep. She further stated that she resisted the advances of appellant, but failed
because appellant would usually place a bolo beside him whenever he would rape her and would
threaten her by telling her that he would kill her brother and sister and that he would stop sending
her to school. Appellant pleaded not guilty and denied the charges against him. He claimed that his
sister-in-law, who helped the complainant file the charges was mad at him for not giving her a loan.
The trial court found appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of three (3) counts of rape. Upon
appeal, the case was transferred to the CA for intermediate review. The CA affirmed, with
modification, the decision of the trial court. Hence, this appeal. The accused claims that his
acquittal is necessary based on the inconsistent testimony of AAA.

ISSUE:
Was the trial court correct in finding the accused herein guilty of Rape despite the inconsistencies
in the testimony of the victim?

HELD:
YES. A rape charge is a serious matter with pernicious consequences both for the appellant and
the complainant; hence, utmost care must be taken in the review of a decision involving conviction
of rape. However, the claim of appellant that he could not have raped AAA because his wife was
still in the country during the alleged period when the rape was committed cannot be given
credence. Lust is no respecter of time or place. Neither the crampness of the room, nor the
presence of other people therein, nor the high risk of being caught, has been held sufficient and
effective obstacle to deter the commission of rape. There is no rule that a woman can only be
raped in seclusion.
The inconsistencies in the testimony of AAA as pointed out by appellant are minor ones which do
not affect her credibility nor erase the fact that the latter was raped. The inconsistencies are trivial
and forgivable, since a victim of rape cannot possibly give an exacting detail for each of the
previous incidents, since these may just be but mere fragments of a prolonged and continuing
nightmare, a calvary she might even be struggling to forget.In People v. Delos Reyes, the court
ruled that the “testimony must be considered and calibrated in its entirety inclusive and not by
truncated or isolated passages thereof. Due consideration must be accorded to all the questions
propounded to the witness and her answers thereto. The whole impression or effect of what had
been said or done must be considered and not individual words or phrases alone. XXX Error-
free testimony cannot be expected most especially when a young victim of rape is recounting
details of a harrowing experience, one which even an adult would like to bury in oblivion deep in
the recesses of her mind, never to be resurrected. XXX ample margin of error and understanding
should be accorded to a young victim of a vicious crime like rape.”

Further, appellant is also guilty of acts of lusciousness for his act of laying AAA on the sofa and
kissing and touching her private parts does not exactly demonstrate the intent of appellant to have
carnal knowledge of AAA on that particular date. The elements of the crime of acts of
lasciviousness under RA 7610 are: (1) that the offender commits any act of lasciviousness or
lewdness; (2) that it is done: (a) by using force and intimidation or (b) when the offended party is
deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious, or (c) when the offended party is under 12 years of
age; and (3) that the offended party is another person of either sex. Also, Section 32, Article XIII, of
its IRR defines lascivious conduct, as the intentional touching, either directly or through clothing, of
the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks, or the introduction of any object into the
genitalia, anus or mouth, of any person, whether of the same or opposite sex, with an intent to
abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, bestiality,
masturbation, lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a person. Clearly, all the
elements of the offense are present.

Intimidation need not necessarily be irresistible. It is sufficient that some compulsion equivalent to
intimidation annuls or subdues the free exercise of the will of the offended party. This is especially
true in the case of young, innocent and immature girls who could not be expected to act with
equanimity of disposition and with nerves of steel. Young girls cannot be expected to act like adults
under the same circumstances or to have the courage and intelligence to disregard the threat.