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People of the Philippines v. Dima Montanir, Ronald Nerva, and Eduardo Chua
April 4, 2011 Peralta, J.
G.R. No. 187534
On December 17, 1997, Josie Herrera, Robert Uy, Alicia Buenaflor, together with
Ronald Norva and Eduardo Chua concocted a plan to kidnap Rafael Mendoza. After negotiating
a meet-up, Rafael and partner Rosalina rode a car with the accused when they finally reached a
house in Valenzuela. Along the way, she told Rosalina and Rafael that they had to drop by her
financier’s house who agreed to redeem her title and substitute as her creditor. Ronald alighted
from the vehicle and talked to a man inside a store, Jonard Mangelin.
Dima Montanir opened the gate when the group arrived. Rosalina and Rafael were then
asked to go inside the house. They passed by a man, Jessie Doe, who was washing his hands in
the sink. Rafael was dragged inside a room and subsequently died of heart failure. Rosalina was
told that the accused merely wanted a sum of money. In the evening, as they were about to go
to another safe house, Rosalina recognised the voice of Robert. Rosalina was later on brought
to a safe house where she was threatened by death by Robert. Jonard, with the help of others,
aided Rosalina in her escape.
They arrived at Cubao where Larry, Jack and Boy separated with Rosalina and Jonard.
Rosalina then immediately called Rafael’s brother, Tito, and relayed what happened to
them. Jonard told Rosalina that Rafael had died. She met with Atty. Teresita Agbi, and an
investigation was then conducted. Two groups from the DILG were formed to arrest Alicia,
Josie and Robert. Rosalina positively identified Ronald and Dima as her kidnappers. Thereafter,
the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela City found the Dima, Ronald and Eduardo guilty beyond
reasonable doubt for kidnapping.
 W/N the credence should be given to the inconsistent testimonies of the prosecution
 W/N the decision of conviction of the RTC is in accord with law and the evidence
All of the appellants are equally found guilty of the special complex crime of kidnapping
with homicide.
After the amendment of the Revised Penal Code by Republic Act No. 7659, the crime
committed by the appellants is the special complex crime of kidnapping with homicide. The
question of credibility of witnesses is primarily for the RTC to determine. The RTC’s
observations and conclusions are accorded great respect on appeal. A close reading of the
inconsistencies asserted do not affect the veracity of the prosecution witnesses’ testimonies.
What prevails is the consistency of the testimonies of the witnesses in relating the principal
occurrence and positive identification of the appellants.
The RTC held that there was indeed conspiracy among the perpetrators. Pursuant to
Article 8 of the Revised Penal Code, “conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an
agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it.” Verily, when
conspiracy is established, the responsibility of the conspirators is collective, not individual, that
render all of them equally liable regardless of the extent of their respective participations, the
act of one being deemed to be the act of the other or the others, in the commission of the felony.
In the case of United States v. Andolscheck, it was ruled that when a conspirator embarks upon
a criminal venture of indefinite outline, he takes his chances as to its content and membership,
so be it that they fall within the common purposes as he understands them.
The RTC did not err in discovering conspiracy among the appellants, as they each
assumed a part in the commission of the wrongdoing. The SC likewise underlined that amongst
positive and categorical testimony which has a ring of truth to it on one hand, and a bare denial
on the other, the former generally wins. Thus, all of the appellants, having been proven that they
each took part in the accomplishment of the original design, are all equally liable for the crime
of kidnapping with homicide.
People of the Philippines v. Jose Salvador a.k.a. “Felix”
June 22, 2015 Villarama, Jr., J.
G.R. No. 207815
AAA, BBB and CCC are daughters of Jose Salvador. He was charged with the crime of
rape against BBB before the Regional Trial Court of Baler, Aurora. At the same time, he was
also charged with the crime of acts of lasciviousness against CCC. On arraignment, Jose pleaded
not guilty for both crimes. When BBB was 15 years old and in second year high school, she
executed an affidavit stating that her father physically violated her when she was in Grade 6.
She said that Jose touched and inserted his finger in her vagina painfully. The following day,
Jose asked for a massage where he was only wearing his underwear. At this point, BBB stated
that Jose raped her inside his room. However, on cross-examination, BBB clarified that Jose
was not actually able to insert his penis in her vagina.
Celestina Abellera, the Municipal Social Welfare Officer, testified that she aided PO3
Myra Novilla, Women and Children Protection Desk Officer of the Philippine National Police,
in taking the statements of BBB and CCC. She affirmed that both BBB and CCC were minors
and presented the certified true copies of their birth certificates. Novilla stated that she took and
recorded the sworn statements of BBB and CCC. AAA filed a statement with the Department
of Social Welfare and Development and with the police that she had also been raped by Jose
and bore a child. AAA, however, for her own reasons did not file charges. Dr. Parilla, Jr.,
Municipal Health Officer of Dipaculao, Aurora, testified that he conducted the physical
examination of BBB and he found “no evident injury at the time of exam.” He noted that the
“medical evaluation does not exclude sexual abuse.”
Jose claimed that, while in prison, AAA came to visit him and confided that the
complaints of BBB and CCC were fabrications. He posited that AAA urged her sisters to file
false complaints against him to extort money from him in order to fund her husband’s overseas
job application. The RTC found Jose guilty of rape by sexual assault but acquitted him of the
crime of acts of lasciviousness. BBB’s testimony was given significant consideration because it
was delivered in a categorical, straightforward, and spontaneous manner. Jose’s defence was
unsupported by evidence.
 W/N Jose’s guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt
Yes, Jose’s guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt, but the penalty imposed is
modified. The SC has reiterated that the credibility of witnesses is a question best addressed by
the RTC because of its opportunity to observe their demeanour while testifying on the stand: an
opportunity denied to the appellate courts. Absent any substantial reason to justify the reversal
of the RTC’s assessment and conclusion, the reviewing court is generally bound by the former’s
findings. The rule is strictly applied when the appellate court affirms the finding of the lower
court. BBB affirmed her Sinumpaang Salaysay in open court. There, she narrated what started
out as innocent teasing escalated into a situation where Jose, her father, inserted his finger in her
vagina. Jose’s only defence was to deny that he sexually abused his daughter. In the face of a
categorical testimony by BBB, Jose’s defence of denial must fail absent any evidence of his
Under Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code, rape may be committed: (1) by sexual
intercourse or (2) by sexual assault. Rape by sexual intercourse is defined under Article 266-
A(1), where it is committed by a man who shall have carnal knowledge with a woman under a
certain set of circumstances enumerated in the provision. Rape by sexual assault, on the other
hand, is committed by any person who, under the same set of circumstances in Article 266-A(1),
inserts his penis into another person’s mouth or anal orifice, or any instrument or object into the
genital or anal orifice of another person. In both cases, only the fact of penetration need be
established. Under rape by sexual intercourse, there must be proof that his penis touched the
labia of the victim or slid into her female organ. Here, the crime committed was rape through
sexual assault. BBB was under 18 years of age at the time of the crime, and that Jose is her
father, which is a qualifying circumstance. The proper penalty to be imposed should be reclusion
temporal. The SC also agrees with the RTC and the CA that BBB is entitled to damages.
People of the Philippines v. Carolina Boquecosa
August 19, 2015 Perez, J.
G.R. No. 202181
Boquecosa was a sales clerk and vault custodian of Gemmary Pawnshop and Jewellery
(Pawnshop), located at Juliana Trade Centre, Borromeo Street, Cebu City. On March 1, 2003, a
customer wanted to renew a loan. As part of the Pawnshop’s practice, before the Pawnshop
could approve the loan renewal, the item pledged would be shown to the customer as proof that
the item was still intact. This time, however, contrary to the Pawnshop’s practice, the item was
not shown to the customer because when Boquecosa tried to retrieve the pieces of jewellery
from the vault, she was not able to find them. Nevertheless, the Pawnshop still approved the
loan renewal.
Upon conducting an inventory, the Pawnshop discovered that Boquecosa failed to remit
the proceeds from the class ring orders. As to the pieces of the pawned jewellery, these were
nowhere to be found in spite of a thorough search. Because of the incident, the management
conducted an inventory. Based on the findings, P457,258.80 worth of pieces of jewellery,
unremitted class ring collections, and cell card sales was missing.
Boquecosa broke down and cried, and admitted that she used the missing class ring
collections and cell card sales for her own personal gain. Boquecosa also admitted that she took
the missing pieces of jewellery (necklace and bracelet), and pawned them at M. Lhuiller
Pawnshop and H. Villarica Pawnshop using fictitious names. To redeem the pieces of jewellery,
Mark Yu, the Pawnshop’s proprietor, used the letter of authority executed by Boquecosa.
The RTC found Boquecosa guilty of the crime of qualified theft based on the pieces of
evidence presented, together with Boquecosa’s admission in open court, which is bolstered by
the latter’s admission that she had sole access to the vault.
 W/N Boquecosa’s guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt
Under Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code, the prosecution must be able to establish
the presence of the following elements: (1) there was a taking of personal property; (2) the
property belongs to another; (3) the taking was without the consent of the owner; (4) the taking
was done with intent to gain; and (5) the taking was accomplished without violence or
intimidation against the person or force upon things. To qualify the crime of simple theft to
qualified theft, the crime of theft must be committed with grave abuse of confidence.
In the case at bar, all of the elements for qualified theft are present. Proceeding from the
fact that Boquecosa was, on the dates of the crime, a sales clerk and vault custodian of the
Pawnshop, she admitted having pawned the missing pieces of jewellery. Even if the prosecution
witnesses’ testimonies and pieces of evidence were discredited, Boquecosa had already bound
herself to the theft. Boquecosa admitted that after she took the pieces of jewellery from the vault,
that she pawned the same.
Boquecosa’s judicial admission is conclusive. By Boquecosa’s admission, the
production of evidence is dispensed with. A party who judicially admits a fact is precluded from
challenging her former judicial admissions. She cannot subsequently retract a former statement
that is inconsistent with the previous admission. However, there are exceptions. The exceptions
are when (1) it is shown that the admission was made through palpable mistake, and (2) it is
shown that no such admission was in fact made. The present case does not fall within the
The presence of all the first four elements is clear. Boquecosa took the pieces of
jewellery, class ring collections, and cell card sales, without the consent of the Pawnshop’s
owner and the owner of the pieces of jewellery, and with intent to gain. Ultimately, Boquecosa’s
position as vault custodian entailed a high degree of trust and confidence. As such custodian,
Boquecosa was entrusted with the vault combination. Boquecosa gravely abused that trust and
confidence, which her employer reposed upon her.
People of the Philippines v. Danilo L. Torres @ Pang-ae, John Doe, and Peter Doe
June 27, 2001 Quisumbing, J.
G.R. No. 130661
Armed with guns and in camouflage fatigues, Danilo Torres stole and carried away cash
money amounting to PHP 500,000, a gold ring worth PHP 10,000, a gold necklace worth PHP
15,000, and a gold plated wristwatch worth PHP 5,000. The stolen items belonged to Lorenzo
Isagan, Jr. Torres caused upon Isagan mortal wounds after seizing the truck driven by the latter.
On January 7, 1997, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Mirazol Avila-Legaspi charged Torres with
robbery with homicide before the Regional Trial Court of Kalibo.
Torres entered a plea of not guilty to the charge. The prosecution narrated that witness
Macky Galanao was employed as labourer of Isagan since 1992. The witness stated that the man
who stopped the truck was dressed in fatigue and was hiding something. But when he came
nearer the witness saw that he had a long firearm. The two companions who later came out were
also dressed in fatigue, one armed with a short arm, and the other with a long arm. They were
shown pictures of the suspects in this case by the investigators and they recognised Danilo
Torres as the one who shot Isagan. On the way to Libacao, Isagan carried a blue bag. The witness
did not know the contents of the bag. When he and Emie returned to the truck, the bag was no
longer there. He saw the three men carrying that bag when they left going towards the mountain.
The following day, PO3 Pedro Jerry Icay invited the four helpers of Isagan to the police
station to shed light on the incident. On follow-up investigation, the police gathered photo files
and again summoned the four helpers to the station. In the last picture, they identified a suspect
who was later known as Danilo Torres. Torres then claimed that he was somewhere else during
the incident. He denied committing the crime charged because he was a resident of Bohol with
his wife when the incident happened.
He was apprehended on May 5 at a dance hall. He told them that he had no knowledge
of the incident. Other witnesses were presented to bolster the version of the defence. Lolita
Fuentes, Porferio Cosmo and Elizabeth Torres corroborated Torres’ testimony. However, Torres
was found guilty as charged.
 W/N weight and credence should be given to the defence of Torres and in not acquitting him
for the crime charged
 W/N Torres was positively identified as one of those who committed the crime charged
 W/N the robbery aspect of the crime charged was duly proven by the prosecution
Yes, Torres is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of robbery with homicide. Established is
the non-interference of the Supreme Court with the judgment of the RTC in passing on the
credibility of opposing witnesses unless there appear in the record some facts or circumstances
of weight and influence that have been overlooked. In the case at bar, Torres was positively
identified by Macky and Vicente Galanao.
Robbery with homicide is a special complex crime against property. In charging said
crime, the onus probandi is to establish: (a) the taking of personal property with the use of
violence or intimidation against a person; (b) the property belongs to another; (c) taking is with
animus lucrandi; and (d) on the occasion of the robbery or by reason thereof, the crime of
homicide, which is used in the generic sense, was committed. The phrase by reason covers
homicide committed before or after the taking of personal property of another. What is essential
in robbery with homicide is that there be a direct relation and intimate connection between
robbery and killing, whether both crimes be committed at the same time.
Roselyn Isagan, the victim’s wife, testified that before her husband left their house for
his routine business trip, he counted the money amounting to PHP 500,000 before placing it in
his bag. Galanao testified that after their employer was shot, he saw the culprit’s flee with the
victim’s bag. He and his co-workers were ordered to face down, apparently, in order not to
witness the incident. They were not harmed. As the RTC observed, there is no other known
motive for the killing. From these circumstances, the logical conclusion would be that the victim
was killed to rob him of his valuables.
Crisostomo Villarin and Aniano Latayda v. People of the Philippines
August 31, 2011 Del Castillo, J.
G.R. No. 175289
Chief of the Forest Protection and Law Enforcement Unit (under the TL Strike Force
Team of Department of Environment and Natural Resources) Aniano Latayada, Barangay
Captain Camilo Sudaria, Marlon Baillo, and Cipriano Boyatac were charged with violation of
Section 68, Presidential Decree No. 705 as amended by Executive Order No. 277. Upon
recommendation of the Office of the City Prosecutor of Cagayan de Oro City an information
was also filed against then Barangay Captain Crisostomo Villarin. Thereafter, the complaint
against Sudaria was dismissed.
On December 31, 1995, Roland Granada noticed that a public utility jeep loaded with
timber stopped near his house. The driver, Latayada, was accompanied by four to five other
persons, one of whom was Boyatac. On the other hand, Pastor Pansacala also noticed the jeep
with plate number MBB 226 and owned by Sudaria. Later, Barangay Captain Angeles Alarcon
noticed that the pile of timber was already placed near the bridge. Since she had no knowledge
of any scheduled repair of the Batinay bridge, she was surprised to discover that the timber
would be used for the repair. After inquiry, she learned that Latayada and Boyatac delivered the
On the contrary, the defence argued that in response to the clamour of the residents of
several barangays in Cagayan De Oro City, Villarin decided to repair the impassable Batinay
bridge. Villarin commissioned Boyatac to inquire from Sudaria about the availability of timber
without first informing the City Engineer. Sudaria asked for the specifications which Villarin
gave. Villarin then asked Baillo and Boyatac to attend to the same. When the timber was
available, it was transported from Tagpangi to Batinay.
The RTC then ruled that Villarin was the one who procured the subject flitches, while
Latayada and Boyatac mutually helped him and each other by transporting the flitches from
Sitio Batinay to the Pagalungan Bridge. This is a laudable motive, but the fact remains that the
forest products were obtained without authority and documents required under forest laws and
regulations. The Court of Appeals affirmed this decision.
 W/N the conviction of the accused based on all elements of the crime was proven beyond
reasonable doubt
 W/N special consideration should be given to circumstances that can be considered as
mitigating, had the violation been penalisedd under the Revised Penal Code, in order to
reduce penalty
The accused are guilty beyond reasonable doubt, with modifications with regard to their
penalties. Villarin was properly afforded his right to due process. Several infirmities in the
criminal complaint such as the inclusion of address and the non-attachment of counter-affidavits
do not constitute denial of due process. They were given the opportunity to submit evidence to
convince the investigating prosecutor of their innocence. Thus, there is no factual basis to the
assertion that Villarin was not afforded a preliminary investigation.
Violation of Section 68 of Presidential Decree No. 705, as amended, is malum
prohibitum. As such, criminal intent is not an essential element. However, the prosecution must
prove that the accused had the intent to possess the timber. Possession, under the law, includes
not only actual possession, but also constructive possession. There is no dispute that the accused
were in constructive possession of the timber without the legal documents.
The accused argued that their convictions were improper because the corpus delicti had
not been established. Corpus delicti refers to the fact of the commission of the crime charged or
to the body or substance of the crime. It has been ruled that even a single witness’ uncorroborated
testimony, if credible, may suffice to prove it and warrant a conviction. Corpus delicti may even
be established by circumstantial evidence. The Supreme Court does not find any reason to
deviate from these findings since it has been established that factual findings of a trial court are
binding on us, absent any showing that it overlooked or misinterpreted facts or circumstances
of weight and substance.
People of the Philippines v. Orlito Villacorta
September 7, 2011 Leonardo-Del Castro, J.
G.R. No. 1866412
An information was filed against Orlito Villacorta charging him with the crime of
murder. Armed with a sharpened bamboo stick, with intent to kill, with treachery and with
evident premeditation, he stabbed Danilo Salvador Cruz, thereby inflicting upon the latter
wounds which caused his immediate death. Villacorta pleaded not guilty. During trial, the
prosecution presented as witnesses Cristina Mendeja and Dr. Domingo Belandres, Jr. Mendeja
narrated that both Cruz and Villacorta were regular customers at Mendeja’s store. At around
2:00 AM, while Cruz was ordering bread at Mendeja’s store, Villacorta suddenly appeared
stabbed Cruz using a sharpened bamboo stick. The bamboo stick broke and was left in Cruz’s
Immediately after the stabbing incident, Villacorta ran from the scene of the crime.
Mendeja and Aron then brought Cruz to Tondo Medical Centre. There, he was treated as an out-
patient. On the other hand, Dr. Belandres was the Head of the Tetanus Department at the San
Lazaro Hospital. Cruz was then only brought to the San Lazaro Hospital on February 14, 2002,
where he died the following day. While admitting that he did not personally treat Cruz, Dr.
Belandres was able to determine, using Cruz’s medical chart and diagnosis, that Cruz died of
tetanus infection secondary to stab wound.
The defence presented Villacorta himself, who denied stabbing Cruz. When Villacorta
was about to leave the store, Cruz put his arm around Villacorta’s shoulder. This prompted
Villacorta to box Cruz, after which, Villacorta went home. At the time, Villacorta did not even
notice that Cruz got hurt. He only found out about his death when he was arrested on July 31,
2002. Ultimately, the Regional Trial Court of Malabon rendered a decision, finding Villacorta
guilty of murder, qualified by treachery. The Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of the RTC.
 W/N Villacorta’s guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt
 W/N the qualifying circumstance of treachery should be appreciated
 W/N Villacorta should only be held liable for slight physical injuries, assuming arguendo
that he committed such crime
Villacorta is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of slight physical injuries. It is
fundamental that the determination by the RTC of the credibility of witnesses, when affirmed
by the appellate court, is accorded full weight and credit as well as great respect, if not
conclusive effect. Such determination proceeds from its first-hand opportunity to observe the
demeanour of the witnesses, their conduct, and attitude under grilling examination. The CA
rejected Villacorta’s attempts to impugn Mendeja’s testimony. The stabbing occurred at 2:00
AM, a time when persons are expected to be asleep, not roaming the streets.
Immediately after the stabbing, Mendeja ran after Villacorta, giving her additional
opportunity to identify the malefactor. Thus, authorship of the attack can be credibly ascertained.
Established consistently is the doctrine that where the eyewitness was familiar with both the
victim and accused, and where the locus criminis afforded good visibility, and where no
improper motive can be attributed to the witness for testifying against the accused, then her
version of the story deserves much weight.
The proximate cause of Cruz’s death is the tetanus infection, and not the stab wound.
Proximate cause has been defined as “that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence,
unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result
would not have occurred.” Applying such in this case, immediately after he was stabbed, Cruz
was rushed to and treated as an out-patient at the Tondo Medical Centre. There had been an
interval of 22 days between the date of the stabbing and the date when Cruz was rushed to San
Lazaro Hospital. It can be deduced that Cruz’s stab wound was merely the remote cause, and its
subsequent infection with tetanus might have been the proximate cause of such death. The
infection of Cruz’s stab wound by tetanus was an efficient intervening cause later or between
the time Cruz was stabbed to the time of his death.
People of the Philippines v. Eduardo Castro y Peralta and Renerio De Los Reyes y Bonus
March 14, 2012 Villarama, Jr., J.
G.R. No. 1878073
Eduardo Castro y Peralta and Renerio Delos Reyes y Bonus, together with Larry San
Felipe Perito and one “Leng-leng,” were charged with the crime of robbery with homicide before
the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City. On arraignment, with the assistance of counsel from
the Public Attorney’s Office, Castro and Delos Reyes entered a plea of not guilty.
The victim Ricardo Pacheco Benedicto, a merchant and owner of a store selling bakery
supplies and pastries in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, was tending his store along with his
helpers, one of whom was Emily Austria. Four armed men then entered the store and announced
a hold-up. Since Benedicto resisted the assault, a commotion ensued, prompting all of them to
assault Benedicto. Taking advantage of said commotion, Austria ran outside the store and
crossed the street. Immediately after crossing the street, Austria heard three gunshots fired and
saw the men walking out of the store. She saw that one of them was carrying the belt bag of
Benedicto. Austria then returned to the store and saw Benedicto lying in a pool of blood. When
the police officers arrived, they checked the body of Benedicto, but he was already dead.
Consequently, the police officers conducted an investigation and gathered that two of the men
was Castro and Delos Reyes. The others were later identified as Perito and Leng-leng. During
the trial, the prosecution presented the testimonies of Police Senior Inspector Filemon
Porciuncula, Jr., the Medico Legal of the Northern Police District Crime Laboratory, Austria,
and Virginia Benedicto, the surviving spouse of Benedicto. On the other hand, aside from the
separate testimonies of those charged, the defence also presented the testimonies of Alejo
Castillo and Francisco Beltran, both neighbors of Castro.
The RTC found the four of them guilty of robbery with homicide and imposed on them
the penalty of reclusion perpetua. The RTC held that all the evidence pointed to them as the
perpetrators of the crime, and the existence of conspiracy was sufficiently alleged and proven
during trial. The rule is that whenever a homicide is committed as a consequence or on the
occasion of a robbery, all those who took part as principals in the robbery would also be held
guilty as principals of the special complex crime of robbery with homicide.
 W/N the accused are guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of robbery with homicide
Yes, the accused are guilty beyond reasonable doubt of robbery with homicide. Castro,
Delos Reyes, and their co-accused killed Benedicto in the course of the robbery. As such, the
exact identity of the one who actually shot Benedicto and took the bag from him is not
material. The accused are liable for the special complex crime of robbery with homicide since
the existence of conspiracy among them in the commission of the robbery makes the act of one
the act of all. Consistent in jurisprudence is that whenever homicide has been committed by
reason of or on the occasion of the robbery, all those who took part as principals in the
robbery will also be held guilty as principals of robbery with homicide although they did not
take part in the homicide, unless it appears that they sought to prevent the killing.
Austria positively identified appellant Castro as one of the two assailants who proceeded
to Benedicto’s table and asked him to give them his gun, while appellant Delos Reyes, who
declared the robbery, guarded her and the other store helpers, as the fourth assailant served as
the lookout. Austria testified that she was able to escape and that she heard three gunshots
immediately after crossing the street opposite the store. She also saw the assailants leaving the
store with Benedicto’s bag.
The evidence does not show that any of the accused sought to avert the killing of
Benedicto. In People v. Ebet, once conspiracy is shown, the act of one is the act of all.
Furthermore, the alibi is the weakest of all defences, for it is easy to fabricate and difficult to
prove; it cannot prevail over the positive identification of the accused by the witnesses. It is not
enough to prove that the accused was somewhere else when the crime was committed, but he
must also demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that it was physically impossible for
him to have been at the scene of the crime at the time the same was committed.
Saturnino C. Ocampo v. Hon. Ephrem S. Abando, Cesar M. Merin, et al.
February 11, 2014 Sereno, J.
G.R. No. 176830 (Consolidated Cases)
Police Chief Inspector George Almaden and Staff Judge Advocate Captain Allan Tiu of
the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army sent 12 undated letters to the Provincial
Prosecutor of Leyte through Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Rosulo Vivero. The letters
requested appropriate legal action accusing 71 named members of the Communist Party of the
Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front of the Philippines of murder,
including the petitioners in the case at bar, along with several other unnamed members.
The letters narrated that on August 26, 2006, elements of the 43rd Infantry Brigade of the
Philippine Army discovered a mass grave site of the CPP/NPA/NDFP at Sitio Sapang Daco,
Barangay Kaulisihan, Inopacan, Leyte. Recovered from the grave site were 67 severely
deteriorated skeletal remains believed to be victims of Operation VD. The PNP Scene of the
Crime Operation Team was immediately dispatched to the mass grave site to conduct crime
investigation, and to collect, preserve and analyse the skeletal remains.
In a Special Report, the Case Secretariat of the Regional and National Inter-Agency
Legal Action Group came up with the names of 10 possible victims after comparison and
examination. The 12 complaint-affidavits were from relatives of the alleged victims of
Operation VD. Four sub-groups were formed to implement Operation VD, namely, (1) the Intel
Group responsible for gathering information on suspected military spies and civilians who
would not support the movement; (2) the Arresting Group charged with their arrests; (3) the
Investigation Group which would subject those arrested to questioning; and (4) the Execution
Group or the “cleaners” of military spies who would not support the movement.
The information was filed before the Regional Trial Court of Hilongos, Leyte, presided
by Judge Ephrem Abando on February 28, 2007. Saturnino Ocampo then filed a special civil
action, arguing that a case for rebellion against him and 44 others was pending before the RTC
of Makati City. Putting forward the political offence doctrine, Ocampo claims that common
crimes, which in this case is murder, are absorbed by the crime of rebellion when committed as
a necessary means, in connection with rebellion. The petitioners aver that the records show that
the alleged murders were committed in furtherance of the CPP/NPA/NDFP rebellion, and that
the political motivation behind the alleged murders can be seen from the charge against the
alleged top leaders of the CPP/NPA/NDFP as co-conspirators.
 W/N the murder charges against Ocampo were absorbed in his rebellion charges
No, the murder charges against Ocampo are not included in the rebellion charge against
him. The political offence doctrine is not a ground to dismiss the charge against the petitioners
prior to a determination by the RTC that the murders were committed in furtherance of rebellion.
Under the political offence doctrine, common crimes, perpetrated in furtherance of a political
offence, are divested of their character as “common” offences and assume the political
complexion of the main crime of which they are mere ingredients, and, consequently, cannot be
punished separately from the principal offence, or complexed with the same, to justify the
imposition of a graver penalty. Any ordinary act assumes a different nature by being absorbed
in the crime of rebellion. This is not to say that public prosecutors are obliged to consistently
charge respondents with simple rebellion instead of common crimes.
When the political offence doctrine is asserted as a defence, it becomes crucial to
determine whether the act of killing was done in furtherance of a political end, and for the
political motive of the act to be conclusively demonstrated. If the proper charge against
petitioners should have been simple rebellion, the RTC shall dismiss the murder charges upon
the filing of the information for simple rebellion, as long as petitioners would not be placed in
double jeopardy. Petitioners were never arraigned. Even before the indictment for rebellion was
filed before the RTC, Ocampo, Echanis, and Ladlad had already filed a petition before the SC
to seek the nullification of the orders of the Department of Justice, denying their motion for the
inhibition of the members of the prosecution panel due to lack of impartiality and independence.
George Bongalon v. People of the Philippines
March 20, 2013 Bersamin, J.
G.R. No. 169533
The Prosecutor’s Office of Legazpi City charged George Bongalon in the Regional Trial
Court of Legazpi City with child abuse, an act in violation of Section 10(a) of Republic Act No.
7610. It was alleged that Bongalon committed acts of physical abuse and maltreatment towards
Jayson Dela Cruz, a 12-year old, Grade 6 pupil of MABA Institute, Legazpi City. Bongalon hit
Jayson’s back with his palm and slapped his left check, as well as uttered derogatory remarks to
the minor’s family.
The Prosecution showed that Jayson and Roldan, his older brother, both minors, joined
the evening procession for the Santo Niño at Oro Site in Legazpi City. When the procession
passed in front of the Bongalon’s house, his daughter, Mary Ann Rose, also a minor, threw
stones at Jayson and called him “sissy.” Bongalon struck Jayson at the back with his hand, and
slapped the child on the face. Bongalon then went to the brothers’ house and challenged Rolando
dela Cruz, their father, to a fight, but Rolando did not come out of the house. Rolando later
brought Jayson to the Legazpi City Police Station and reported the incident. Jayson also
underwent medical treatment at the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospita, and there,
the doctors who examined Jayson issued two medical certificates attesting that Jayson suffered
several contusions.
On the other hand, Bongalon denied these set of facts. He claimed that he only talked to
Jayson and Roldan after Mary Ann Rose and Cherrylyn, his minor daughters, had told him about
Jayson and Roldan’s throwing stones at them, as well as about Jayson’s burning Cherrylyn’s
hair. To corroborate this testimony, Mary Ann Rose testified that her father did not hit or slap
but only confronted Jayson, asking why Jayson had called her daughters “Kimi,” and why he
had burned Cherrylyn’s hair. Eventually, The RTC then ruled that Bongalon is guilty of child
abuse, as charged. The Court of Appeals affirmed this conviction, with certain modifications in
the penalty imposed on Bongalon.
 W/N Bongalon is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of child abuse, an act in violation of
Section 10(a) of Republic Act No. 7610
Bongalon is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of slight physical injuries. The
Supreme Court held that Bongalon has adopted the wrong remedy in assailing the CA’s
affirmance of his conviction. He wrongly brought a petition for certiorari. Where the issue or
question involved affects the wisdom or legal soundness of the decision, the same is beyond the
province of a special civil action for certiorari. The proper recourse is a petition for review on
certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court.
Proceeding to the merits of the case, although the SC affirms the factual findings by the
RTC and the CA, it disagrees with the holding that his acts constituted child abuse within the
purview of Republic Act No. 7610. The records did not establish beyond reasonable doubt that
his laying of hands on Jayson had been intended to debase the “intrinsic worth and dignity” of
Jayson as a human being, or that he had thereby intended to humiliate or embarrass Jayson. The
records showed the laying of hands on Jayson to have been done at the spur of the moment and
in anger, indicative of his being then overwhelmed by his fatherly concern for the personal safety
of his own minor daughters who had just suffered harm at the hands of Jayson and Roldan. With
the loss of his self-control, he lacked that specific intent to debase, degrade or demean the
intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being that was so essential in the crime of child
Bongalon was liable for slight physical injuries under Article 266(1) of the Revised Penal
Code. In the case at bar, the SC considered passion or obfuscation may lawfully arise from
causes existing only in the honest belief of Bongalon. He suffered a diminution of intelligence
and intent, given what has been done to Mary Ann Rose and Cherrylyn. Arresto menor in its
minimum is then imposed as the penalty. Furthermore, the amount of 5,000 pesos fixed by the
lower courts as moral damages is consistent with the current jurisprudence.
People of the Philippines v. Edmundo Villaflores y Olano
April 11, 2012 Bersamin, J.
G.R. No. 184926
Emundo Villaflores was convicted for rape with homicide against a girl named Marita,
by the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City based on circumstantial evidence. On July 2, 1999,
when the crime was allegedly to have been committed, she was only four years and eight months
old. She had been playing at the rear of their residence in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City when
Julia, her mother, first noticed her missing from home. By noontime, because Marita had not
turned up, Julia called her husband Manito at his workplace in Pasig City. Manito then rushed
home and arrived there at about 2:00 PM and immediately, he and Julia went in search of their
daughter until 11 PM, but they did not find her.
Manito reported to the police that Marita was missing. In her desperation, Julia sought
out a clairvoyant in an adjacent municipality, and she hinted that Marita might be found only
five houses away from their own. Following the clairvoyant’s direction, they found Marita’s
lifeless body covered with a blue and yellow sack inside the comfort room of an abandoned
house about five structures away from their own house. Her face was black and blue, and it was
also covered in blood. She had been tortured and strangled until death.
The police investigation then led to two witnesses, Aldrin Bautista and Jovy Solidum,
who indicated that Villaflores might be the culprit who had raped and killed Marita. The police
thus arrested Villaflores as he was alighting from a vehicle.
 W/N Villaflores’ conviction was proper considering that the State did not discharge its
burden to prove beyond reasonable doubt every fact and circumstance constituting the crime
Yes, Villaflores’ guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt. The felony of rape with
homicide is a composite crime. A composite crime, also known as a special complex crime, is
composed of two or more crimes that the law treats as a single indivisible and unique offence
for being the product of a single criminal impulse.
The Anti-Rape Law of 1997 defines the composite crimes of attempted rape with
homicide and rape with homicide. In both composite crimes, the homicide is committed by
reason or on the occasion of rape. “By reason of the rape” and “on the occasion of the rape” are
crucial in determining whether the crime is a composite crime or a complex or compound crime.
The phrase “by reason of the rape” obviously conveys that the killing is due to the rape, the
offence the offender originally designed to commit. The victim of the rape is also the victim of
the killing. The indivisibility of the homicide and the rape is clear and admits of no doubt. In
contrast, “on the occasion of the rape” may not be as easy to determine.
The State must prove the concurrence of the following facts, namely: (a) that Villaflores
had carnal knowledge of Marita; (b) that he consummated the carnal knowledge without the
consent of Marita; and (c) that he killed Marita by reason of the rape.
Under Article 266-A of the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, rape is always committed when the
accused has carnal knowledge of a female under 12 years of age. The crime is commonly called
statutory rape, because a female of that age is deemed incapable of giving consent to the carnal
knowledge. Marita’s Certificate of Live Birth disclosed that she was born on October 29, 1994,
indicating her age to be only four years and eight months at the time of the commission of the
crime. As such, carnal knowledge of her by Villaflores would constitute statutory rape.
The Rules of Court allows circumstantial evidence to establish the commission of the
crime as well as the identity of the culprit. Circumstantial evidence may be resorted to when to
insist on direct testimony would ultimately lead to setting a felon free. Marita was found to have
suffered multiple deep fresh hymenal lacerations, injuries that Dr. Jose Arnel Marquez attributed
to the insertion of a blunt object like a human penis. As to the homicide, her death was shown
to be due to strangulation with a rope, and the time of death was consistent with the recollection
of Solidum of seeing Villaflores going towards the abandoned house, carrying the yellow sack
that was later on found to cover Marita’s head.
Arnold James M. Ysidoro v. People of the Philippines
November 14, 2012 Abad, J.
G.R. No. 192330
The Office of the Ombudsman for the Visayas accused Arnold James Ysidoro, Leyte
Municipal Mayor, before the Sandiganbayan of violation of illegal use of public property, or
technical malversation, under Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code. The Municipal Social
Welfare and Development Office of Leyte, Leyte, operated a Core Shelter Assistance Program
which provided construction materials to indigent calamity victims.
When construction was 70% done, the beneficiaries stopped reporting for work because
they had to find food for their families. This worried CSAP Officer-in-Charge Lolita Garcia,
because the construction stoppage could result in the loss of construction materials, especially
the cement. She sought the help of Cristina Polinio, an MSWDO officer in charge of the
municipality’s Supplemental Feeding Program. Garcia and Polinio then went to Ysidoro to seek
his approval, which he gave. Ysidoro instructed Garcia and Polinio, however, to consult the
accounting department regarding the matter. Eldelissa Elises, the supervising clerk of the
Municipal Accountant’s Office, signed it. CSAP delivered those goods to its beneficiaries.
Afterwards, Garcia reported the matter to the MSWDO and to the municipal auditor as per
auditing rules. Then, Alfredo Doller, a former member of the Sangguniang Bayan of Leyte, filed
a complaint against Ysidoro. Nierna Doller, Alfredo’s wife and former MSWDO head, testified
that the subject SFP goods were intended for its target beneficiaries, Leyte’s malnourished
In his defence, Ysidoro claims that the diversion of the subject goods to a project also
meant for the poor of the municipality was valid since they came from the savings of the SFP
and the Calamity Fund. He also claims good faith, believing that the municipality’s poor CSAP
beneficiaries were also in urgent need of food. The Sandiganbayan then found Ysidoro guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of technical malversation.
 W/N Ysidoro approved the diversion of the subject goods to a public purpose different from
their originally intended purpose
 W/N the goods Ysidoro approved for diversion were in the nature of savings that could be
used to augment the other authorised expenditures of the municipality
 W/N Ysidoro’s failure to present the municipal auditor can be taken against him
 W/N good faith is a valid defence for technical malversation
Ysidoro is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of illegal use of public property,
or technical malversation. The crime of technical malversation as penalised under Article 220
of the Revised Penal Code has three elements: a) that the offender is an accountable public
officer; b) that he applies public funds or property under his administration to some public use;
and c) that the public use for which such funds or property were applied is different from the
purpose for which they were originally appropriated by law or ordinance. The Sangguniang
Bayan of Leyte enacted Resolution 00-133 appropriating the annual general fund for 2001.
The subject goods could not be regarded as savings. Since the requirements of hungry
mouths are hard to predict to the last sack of rice or can of sardines, the view that the subject
goods were no longer needed for the remainder of the year was quite premature. As justified by
the Local Government Code, the power of the purse is vested in the local legislative body. The
Sanggunian has the power to determine whether to authorise the augmentation of other items on
the budget with those savings. The SC will not be drawn into speculations regarding what the
municipal auditor would have said had he appeared and testified.
As regards good faith, criminal intent is not an element of technical malversation. The
law punishes the act of diverting public property earmarked by law or ordinance for a particular
public purpose to another public purpose. Said crime is mala prohibita. It is the commission of
an act as defined by the law, and not the character or effect, that determines W/N the provision
has been violated. Malice or criminal intent is irrelevant. “Dura lex sed lex.” Ysidoro’s act, no
matter the amount diverted, constitutes technical malversation.
People of the Philippines v. Cesar Concepcion y Bulanio
July 18, 2012 Carpio, J.
G.R. No. 200922
The Regional Trial Court of Quezon City found Cesar Concepcion y Bulanio guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of robbery with homicide. This was because while
Jennifer Acampado y Quimpo was walking along Panay Avenue corner Timog Avenue,
Barangay Paligsahan, Cesar suddenly appeared from behind riding in a motorcycle and forcibly
took, robbed and carried away Jennifer’s shoulder bag, containing items valued at 3,000 pesos.
On the occasion of the robbery, Rosendo Orgado, Jr. y Villegas, a co-accused, died due to
vehicular accident.
The prosecution stated that while Jennifer Acampado was at the corner of Mother Ignacia
Street, Quezon City and at another, a Cesar was riding at the back of the driver of a motorcycle
and snatched her brown Avon bag with black strap. Meanwhile, Joemar de Felipe witnessed the
incident while he was driving his R & E Taxi in the same vicinity. Joemar blew his horn at them.
Rosendo then drove faster, and Joemar gave a chase and kept on blowing his horn. Eventually,
Rosendo lost control of the motorcycle and it crashed in front of his taxi. Joemar then
immediately alighted from the taxi with the intention to arrest the snatchers. At that juncture,
some policemen arrived, and they brought Rosendo and Cesar to the East Avenue Medical
Centre, Quezon City where Rosendo died.
Cesar denies participation in the snatching incident and contends that he and Rosendo
were riding in a motorcycle when suddenly, there was this chasing by another motorcycle. A
taxi bumped their motorcycles and Rosendo was thrown to the gutter. Rosendo was thus severely
injured. The police brought them to the East Avenue Medical Centre where Rosendo died.
The RTC ruled that all elements of the crime of robbery were duly proven. The
prosecution sufficiently established the identity of Cesar as the person who snatched Jennifer’s
bag because he was positively identified by the Jennifer and Joemar, who both had no ill-motive
to falsely testify against Cesar. This decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
 W/N Cesar’s guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt
Cesar is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of theft, with the presence of a
generic aggravating circumstance of use of motor vehicle. Factual findings of the RTC are not
disturbed on appeal, unless the court is found to have overlooked, misunderstood or
misinterpreted certain facts or circumstances of weight, which, if properly considered, would
have materially affected the outcome of the case. In the case at bar, the SC finds no compelling
reason to disturb the factual findings of the RTC, as affirmed by the CA.
Article 293 of the Revised Penal Code defines “robbery” as a crime committed by “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.” Robbery with
homicide occurs when, by reason or on occasion of the robbery, the crime of homicide shall
have been committed. Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code states that any person who shall
kill another shall be deemed guilty of homicide. Homicide, as used in robbery with homicide, is
to be understood in its generic sense to include parricide and murder.
Theft is committed by any person who, with intent to gain but without violence against
or intimidation of persons nor force upon things, shall take the personal property of another
without the latter’s consent. Robbery can be committed in three ways, by using: (a) violence
against any person; (b) intimidation of any person; and/or (c) force upon anything.
The prosecution failed to establish that Cesar used violence, intimidation or force in
snatching Jennifer’s shoulder bag. Cesar’s snatching of the shoulder bag constitutes the crime
of theft, not robbery. This was aggravated by his use of a motorcycle. Under Article 14(20) of
the Revised Penal Code, the use of a motor vehicle is a generic aggravating circumstance. Also,
Rosendo died because he lost control of the motorcycle and crashed in front of Joemar’s taxi.
Since Cesar, as passenger in the motorcycle, did not perform or execute any act that caused the
death of Rosendo, Concepcion cannot be held liable for homicide.
People of the Philippines v. Edgar Jumawan
April 21, 2014 Reyes, J.
G.R. No. 187495
KKK filed a complaint, alleging that Edgar raped her on December 3, 1998 at their
residence, and that Edgar boxed her shoulder for refusing to have sex with him on December
12, 1998. The Cagayan De Oro Office of the City Prosecutor found probable cause for grave
threats, less serious physical injuries, and rape. Two informations for Rape were then filed
before the Regional Trial Court of Cagayan de Oro City, stating that Edgar was in violation of
Republic Act No. 8353, otherwise known as the Anti-Rape Law of 1997. Edgar was then
arrested, and he filed a motion for reinvestigation, but this was denied by the RTC. Edgar was
then arraigned, and he entered a plea of not guilty to both charges.
The RTC then sustained the version given by the prosecution by giving greater weight
to the spontaneous and straightforward testimonies of their witnesses. It ruled that the two
daughters’ testimonies are genuine. The RTC also rejected the version of the defence and found
Edgar’s accusations of extra-marital affairs and money squandering against KKK to be
unbelievable. Furthermore, it did not give merit to Edgar’s alibi, as it was premised on
inconsistent testimonies and the contradicting declarations of the other defence witness.
Therefore, the RTC ultimately found Edgar guilty beyond reasonable doubt for two separate
charges of Rape. This decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
 W/N Edgar is guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of rape against his wife
Edgar is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of rape against his wife. He claims
that the two incidents of sexual intercourse, which gave rise to the criminal charges for rape,
were theoretically consensual, or even obligatory, because he and KKK were a legally married
and cohabiting couple. He argues that consent to intercourse is presumed between cohabiting
husband and wife, unless the contrary is proved. However, to treat marital rape cases differently
from non-marital rape cases in terms of the elements that constitute the crime, and in the rules
for their proof, infringes on the equal protection clause. The definition of rape in Section 1 of
Republic Act No. 8353 pertains to: (1) rape, as traditionally known; (2) sexual assault; and (3)
marital rape. The single definition for all three forms of the crime shows that the law does not
distinguish between rape committed in wedlock, and those committed without a marriage.
Edgar’s contentions discriminate against married rape victims over unmarried rape
victims. A marriage license is not a license for a husband to forcibly rape his wife with impunity.
A married woman can give or withhold her consent to sexual intercourse with her husband, and
the husband cannot unlawfully wrestle such consent from her in case she refuses. The SC also
cannot frame distinct or stricter evidentiary rules for marital rape cases as that would inequitably
burden its victims. The elements and quantum of proof that support a moral certainty of guilt in
rape cases should apply uniformly, regardless of the legal relationship between the accused and
his accuser.
There is a strict mandate that all courts must examine thoroughly the testimony of the
offended party. While the accused in a rape case may be convicted solely on the testimony of
the complaining witness, courts are still duty-bound to establish that their reliance on the
victim’s testimony is justified. KKK and her testimony were both credible and spontaneous.
KKK never wavered, and her statements had conviction and certainty. The corroborative
testimonies of MMM and OOO are credible. Rape is essentially committed in relative isolation,
thus, it is usually only the victim who can testify with regard to the fact of the forced sexual
What mattered is the credible, candid, and positive testimony of KKK on the witness
stand. Testimonial evidence carries more weight than the affidavit. In addition, the allegations
of Edgar with regard to KKK’s extra-marital affairs is untenable. At best, the basis of the alleged
illicit affairs of KKK were Edgar’s unfounded suspicions that hold no evidentiary weight in law.
In sum, the defence failed to present sufficiently convincing evidence that KKK is a mere
vindictive wife who is harassing Edgar with fabricated rape charges.
Jovito Canceran v. People of the Philippines
July 1, 2015 Mendoza, J.
G.R. No. 206442
The records disclose that Jovito Canceran, together with Frederick Vequizo and Marcial
Diaz, Jr., was charged with frustrated theft. On or about October 6, 2002, at more or less 12:00
noon, at Ororama Mega Centre Grocery Department, Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City, Canceran
conspired and confederated with Vequizo, a merchandiser from Universal Robina Corporation,
and Diaz, a merchandiser from Unilever Philippines, both of Ororama Mega Centre, took, stole
and carried away 14 cartons of Ponds White Beauty Cream valued at 28,627.20 pesos. Such
belongs to Ororama Mega Centre, represented by William Michael N. Arcenio, However,
having performed all the acts of execution which would produce the crime of theft as a
consequence, it was still not produced because they were discovered by the employees of
Ororama Mega Centre. They prevented Canceran, Vequizo and Diaz from further carrying away
said 14 cartons of Ponds White Beauty Cream.
 W/N Canceran, Vequizo and Diaz are guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of
frustrated theft
No, Canceran, Vequizo and Diaz are not guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime
of frustrated theft. Under Article 308, the essential elements of theft are (1) the taking of personal
property; (2) the property belongs to another; (3) the taking away was done with intent of gain;
(4) the taking away was done without the consent of the owner; and (5) the taking away is
accomplished without violence or intimidation against person or force upon things. Unlawful
taking, the deprivation of one’s personal property, is the element which produces the felony in
its consummated stage. Without unlawful taking as an act of execution, the offence could only
be attempted theft, if at all.
In the case at bar, there is no crime of frustrated theft. Canceran cannot be charged of
consummated theft because the indictment itself stated that the crime was never produced.
Instead, it should be construed to mean that Canceran was being charged with theft in its
attempted stage only.
An accused cannot be convicted of a higher offence than that with which he was charged
in the complaint or information and on which he was tried. It matters not how conclusive and
convincing the evidence of guilt may be, an accused cannot be convicted in the courts of any
offence, unless it is charged in the complaint or information on which he is tried, or necessarily
included therein. He has a right to be informed as to the nature of the offence with which he is
charged before he is put on trial, and to convict him of an offence higher than that charged in
the complaint or information on which he is tried would be an unauthorised denial of that right.
Venancio M. Sevilla v. People of the Philippines
August 13, 2014 Reyes, J.
G.R. No. 194390
Venancio Sevilla, a former councilor of Malabon City, was charged with the falsification
of public document, penalised under Article 171(4) of the Revised Penal Code. Sevilla took
advantage of his official position and made a false statement in a narration of facts, the truth of
which he is legally bound to disclose. He stated in his personal data sheet, an official document,
that no criminal case is pending against him, when in fact, he knew fully well that he has been
accused of assault upon an agent of a person in authority, pending before the Metropolitan Trial
Court of Malabon City.
Sevilla entered a plea of not guilty. An administrative complaint was also filed against
Sevilla. The Office of the Ombudsman then found Sevilla administratively liable for dishonesty
and falsification of official document, and dismissed him from the service. He admitted that he
indeed marked the box corresponding to the “no” answer regarding the question on whether he
has any pending criminal case. However, he averred that he did not intend to falsify his personal
data sheet. He claimed that it was Editha Mendoza, a member of his staff, who actually prepared
the said document. According to Sevilla, on July 2, 2001, since he did not have an office yet, he
just stayed in his house. He was then informed by Mendoza that he needs to accomplish the
personal data sheet and submit it to the personnel office of Malabon City. He instructed Mendoza
to copy the entries in the previous copy of his personal data sheet, which he filed with the
personnel office. Sevilla then claims that he just signed the document without checking the
veracity of the entries. He failed to notice that Mendoza checked the box corresponding to the
“no” answer.
The Sandiganbayan ruled that Sevilla is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of falsification
of public documents through reckless imprudence. Sevilla made an untruthful statement in his
personal data sheet, which is a public document, and that he took advantage of his official
position since he would not have accomplished the document if not for his position as a city
 W/N Sevilla can be convicted of the felony of falsification of public document through
reckless imprudence, notwithstanding that the charge against him in the information was for
the intentional felony of falsification of public document under Article 171(4) of the Revised
Penal Code
Sevilla can be convicted of the felony of falsification of public document through
reckless imprudence. The Sandiganbayan’s designation of the felony supposedly committed by
Sevilla is inaccurate. The Sandiganbayan convicted Sevilla of reckless imprudence, punished
under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code, which resulted into the falsification of a public
document. However, the Sandiganbayan designated the felony committed as “falsification of
public document through reckless imprudence.” This implies that reckless imprudence is simply
a modality of committing the crime. Criminal negligence under Article 365 is treated as a mere
quasi-offence and dealt with separately from wilful offences. In negligence or imprudence, what
is principally penalised is the mental attitude or condition behind the act, the dangerous
recklessness, lack of care or foresight, the imprudencia punible.
Sevilla’s claim that his constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation against him was violated when the Sandiganbayan convicted him of reckless
imprudence resulting to falsification of public documents, when the information only charged
the intentional felony of falsification of public documents, is untenable. To stress, reckless
imprudence resulting to falsification of public documents is an offence that is necessarily
included in the willful act of falsification of public documents, the latter being the greater
offence. As such, he can be convicted of reckless imprudence resulting to falsification of public
documents notwithstanding that the information only charged the wilful act of falsification of
public documents.
Aurora Engson Fransdilla v. People of the Philippines
April 20, 2015 Bersamin, J.
G.R. No. 197582
Lalaine Yreverre saw Aurora Engson with four other people. Aurora inquired about
Cynthia Yreverre, Lalaine’s sister. Lalaine then replied that Cynthia was in the Japanese
Embassy, and it was then that Aurora told Lalaine that she was from the Philippine Overseas
Employment Agency. Lalaine offered herself to instead talk to her and allowed her to enter their
house. Upon conversing, the four other men outside the gate, suddenly came inside the house.
She then asked Lalaine if she could use the comfort room, which was again permitted.
Edgardo Cacal poked a gun at Lalaine’s neck and announced that it was a hold-up.
Danilo Cuanang and the two other men proceeded to the kitchen. They herded the maids,
Lalaine’s niece, and cousin inside the bodega. Edgardo then pulled Lalaine’s hair and dragged
her upstairs and brought her inside Cynthia’s room. Edgardo and Danilo then carried the vault
and brought it downstairs. It was also at the time that accused Edgardo and Danilo searched the
entire room and took all the jewelleries and things they saw.
Lalaine went to Camp Karingal at Sikatuna, Quezon City, but she was not able to identify
any of the accused among a line-up presented to her. She was also not able to do so at Station
Investigation Division Station 4, Quezon City. Thus, she proceeded to the National Bureau of
Investigatioa, Manila. Lalaine proceeded to the Western Police District, Manila. Lalaine was
able to pinpoint the picture of Danilo and Manuel. At the police station, Danilo admitted that
they did not have a share in the items stolen. They then proceeded to Danilo’s house, and there,
Lalaine saw Aurora who was trembling at that time. In Manuel’s house, Lalaine and the police
officers were proceeding to Manuel’s room. Randy Quitoriano then immediately handcuffed
Manuel. At the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Aurora and her co-accused were eventually
charged and convicted with robbery.
 W/N Aurora’s guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt
Aurora’s guilt as a co-conspirator was proven beyond reasonable doubt. The State
competently and credibly established her active participation in the execution of the robbery
through Lalaine’s testimony detailing her specific acts. The prosecution successfully discharged
its burden of proof against Aurora. Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an
agreement concerning the commission of a crime and decide to commit it. For an accused to be
validly held to have conspired with her co-accused in committing the crime, her overt acts must
evince her active part in the execution of the crime agreed to be committed. The overt acts of
each of the conspirators must tend to execute the offence agreed upon, for the merely passive
conspirator cannot be held to be still part of the conspiracy without such overt acts, unless such
conspirator is the mastermind.
Aurora was satisfactorily shown not to have been a mere passive co-conspirator but an
active one who had facilitated the access into the house by representing herself as an employee
of the POEA. It is not always required to establish that two or more persons met and explicitly
entered into the agreement to commit the crime by laying down the details of how their unlawful
scheme or objective would be carried out. Conspiracy can also be deduced from the mode and
manner in which the offence is perpetrated, or from the acts of the several accused evincing their
joint or common purpose and design, concerted action and community of interest. Lalaine’s
testimony against Aurora constituted both kinds of evidence. Aurora’s overt participation in the
execution of the robbery was shown.
The complex crimes committed are proven by the Aurora’s introduction as belonging to
POEA and her assistance in bringing the vault down and forcing it open. It is not sufficient to
say that violence against or intimidation of a person supplying the “controlling qualification.”
The SC agrees that robbery with “violence or intimidation against the person is evidently graver
than ordinary robbery committed by force upon things,” but, precisely, for this reason, the SC
cannot reduce the penalty. If the robbery be committed in one of the dependencies of an
inhabited house, public building, or building dedicated to religious worship, the penalties next
lower in degree than those prescribed in Article 299 shall be imposed.
People of the Philippines v. Palmy Tibayan and Rico Z. Puerto
January 14, 2015 Perlas-Bernabe, J.
G.R. No. 209655-60
The Tibayan Group Investment Company, Inc., an open-end investment company,
registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC conducted an investigation
on TGICI and its subsidiaries. It discovered that TGICI was selling securities to the public
without a registration statement, in violation of “The Securities Regulation Code.” The SEC
revoked the corporate registration of TGICI for being fraudulently procured. This led to the
filing of multiple cases for syndicated estafa against its incorporators and directors.
Consequently, warrants of arrest were issued against them, but only Tibayan and Puerto were
According to the prosecution, petitioners were enticed to invest in TGICI due to the offer
of high interest rates, as well as the assurance that they will recover their investments. After
giving their money to TGICI, they received a Certificate of Share and post-dated checks,
representing the amount of the principal investment and the monthly interest earnings,
respectively. However, the TGICI office closed down without Alvarez, et al. having been paid,
and they then filed complaints against the incorporators and directors of TGICI.
In their defence, accused-appellants denied having conspired with the other TGICI
incorporators to defraud private complainants. Puerto claimed that his signature in the Articles
of Incorporation of TGICI was forged and that since January 2002, he was no longer a director
of TGICI. Tibayan also claimed that her signature in the TGICI’s Articles of Incorporation was
a forgery, as she was not an incorporator or a director of TGICI.
 W/N the accused are guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of syndicated estafa
The accused are guilty of the syndicated estafa. The elements of estafa are the following:
(a) that there must be a false pretence or fraudulent representation as to his power, influence,
qualifications, property, credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions; (b) that such false
pretence or fraudulent representation was made or executed prior to or simultaneously with the
commission of the fraud; (c) that the offended party relied on the false pretence, fraudulent act,
or fraudulent means and was induced to part with his money or property; and (d) that, as a result
thereof, the offended party suffered damage.
In relation to PD No. 1689, the elements of Syndicated Estafa are: (a) estafa or other
forms of swindling, as defined in Art. 315-316 of the RPC, is committed; (b) the estafa or
swindling is committed by a syndicate of five or more persons; and (c) defraudation results in
the misappropriation of moneys contributed by stockholders, or members of rural banks,
cooperative, “samahang nayon(s),” or those associations of farmers, or funds solicited by
corporations or associations from the general public.
TGICI’s method of inducing the public to invest in it on the undertaking that their
investment would be returned with a very high monthly interest rate ranging from 3% to 5.5%.
The investing public are enticed to infuse funds into TGICI. However, as the
directors/incorporators of TGICI knew from the start that TGICI is operating without any paid-
up capital and has no clear trade by which it can pay the assured profits to its investors, they
cannot comply with their guarantee and had to simply abscond with their investors’ money.
A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns
to investors from funds contributed by new investors. Its organisers solicit new investors by
promising to invest funds in opportunities claimed to generate high returns with little or no risk.
It is clear that all the elements of syndicated estafa, through a Ponzi scheme, are present in this
case: (a) TGICI comprised of more than five people who made false representations to the
investing public regarding a supposed lucrative investment; (b) the said false pretences were
made prior to or simultaneous with the commission of fraud; (c) private complainants invested
into TGICI; and (d) the incorporators or directors of TGICI ended up running away with the
private complainants’ investments.
People of the Philippines v. Ferdinand T. Baluntong
March 15, 2010 Carpio-Morales, J.
G.R. No. 1802061
Ferdinand T. Baluntong was convicted by the Regional Trial Court of Roxas, Oriental
Mindoro for double murder with frustrated murder. It was alleged that he set on fire, the house
of Celerina Solangon, causing the complete destruction of the said house, as well as her death
and that of Alvin Savarez. He also inflicted serious physical injuries on Josua Savarez.
The prosecution narrated the facts by stating that around 10:30 PM of July 31, 1998,
while then 12-year old Jovelyn Santos was sleeping in the house of her grandmother Celerina
Solangon at Barangay Dangay in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro, she was awakened by heat
emanating from the walls of the house. Jovelyn saw Ferdinand putting dry hay around the house,
but he ran away when he saw her and Dorecyll. Ferdinand’s neighbor, Felicitas Sarzona, also
saw Ferdinand near Celerina’s house after it caught fire. The other neighbors then went to the
scene to help contain the flames. Felicitas also saw Celerina, who was at a neighbor’s house
before the fire started, enter the burning house and resurface with her grandsons Alvin and
Joshua. Celerina and Alvin sustained third degree burns which led to their death. Joshua
sustained second degree burns.
On the other hand, Ferdinand denied the charge, and claimed that he, on the request of
Rosalinda, her mother, went to Caloocan City on July 15, 1998 and stayed there until February
1999. Rosalinda corroborated this alibi. The RTC’s conviction was affirmed by the Court of
Appeals, but the appellate court reduced the penalty to reclusion perpetua in light of the passage
of Republic Act No. 9346. The CA additionally awarded exemplary damages to the heirs of the
victims, as well as temperate damages to Joshua.
 W/N Ferdinand is guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of double murder with
frustrated murder
Ferdinand is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of simple arson. In cases where
both burning and death occur, in order to determine the crime that was perpetrated – whether
arson, murder, or arson and homicide, or arson and murder, it is required to ascertain the main
objective of the malefactor: (a) if the main objective is the burning of the building or edifice,
but death results by reason or on the occasion of arson, the crime is simply arson, and the
resulting homicide is absorbed; (b) if, on the other hand, the main objective is to kill a particular
person who may be in a building or edifice, when fire is resorted to as the means to accomplish
such goal the crime committed is murder only; lastly, (c) if the objective is, likewise, to kill a
particular person, and in fact the offender has already done so, but fire is resorted to as a means
to cover up the killing, then there are two separate and distinct crimes committed – homicide or
murder and arson.
The SC finds that there is no showing that Ferdinand’s main objective was to kill
Celerina and her housemates, and that the fire was resorted to as the means to accomplish the
goal. Absent any concrete basis then to hold that the house was set on fire to kill the occupants,
Ferdinand cannot be held liable for Double Murder with Frustrated Murder. This is especially
true with respect to the death of Celerina, for even assuming arguendo that Ferdinand wanted to
kill her to get even with her in light of her alleged desire to drive him out of the neighbouring
house, Celerina was outside the house at the time it was set on fire. She merely entered the
burning house to save her grandsons. It was not shown that the main motive was to kill the
occupants of the house, the crime would only be Arson, the homicide being a mere consequence,
hence, absorbed by Arson.
When there is variance between the offence charged in the complaint or information and
that proved, and the offence charged is included or necessarily includes the offence proved,
conviction shall be for the offence proved which is included in the offence charged, or the
offence charged which is included in the offence proved. Under Section 5 of Presidential Decree
No. 1613, the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death is imposed when death results. Due to the
passage of Republic Act No. 9346,14 the penalty should be reclusion perpetua.
People of the Philippines v. Williamson Pickrell and Augusto Nolaso
October 23, 2003 Callejo, Sr., J.
G.R. No. 120409
Williamson Pickrell and Augusto Nolasco was convicted of kidnapping for ransom and
physical injuries and sentencing them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. It was alleged
that on or about the 5th day of September, 1991, they conspired and confederated together and
mutually helped each other to force, kidnap for ransom and take away in a taxicab one Far East
Raymon Ausmolo, a 16-year old minor, and brought him to a building in Parañaque, Metro
Manila where he was detained against his will for two days.
While under detention, Pickrell and Nolasco through telephone calls to the minor’s
mother, Mrs. Anita L. Ausmolo, demanded the amount of 100,000 pesos as ransom money for
his release, but being unable to get the amount, they began to employ physical violence on said
Far East Raymond Ausmolo, by mauling and bludgeoning him and believing him to be already
dead, placed his body in a box and transported and dumped him in a trash can located in a vacant
lot of the EVACOM in Barangay San Isidro, Parañaque, Metro Manila.
His body was then found by the residents thereat and one Mr. Valeriano Veloso, a
Barangay Councilman, sensing that there is still life left in him, brought him to the Olivares
General Hospital for treatment of his injuries which said victim fortunately survived by the
timely medical intervention of doctors in said hospital.
 W/N Pickrell and Nolasco are guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crimes of kidnapping
for ransom and of physical injuries
Yes, Pickrell and Nolasco are guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of
kidnapping for ransom, but not of physical injuries.
The prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt: (a) intent on the part of the
accused to deprive the victim of his liberty; (b) actual deprivation of the victim of his liberty;
and (c) motive of the accused, which is ransom for the victim or other person for the release of
the victim. The purpose of the offender in extorting ransom may be proved by his words and
overt acts before, during and after the kidnapping and detention of the victim.
Neither actual demand for nor actual payment of ransom is necessary for the crime to be
committed. Ransom, as employed in the law is so used in its common or ordinary sense – a sum
of money or other thing of value, price, or consideration paid or demanded for redemption of a
kidnapped or detained person, a payment that releases from captivity. It may include benefits
not necessarily pecuniary which may accrue to the kidnapper as a condition for the release of
the victim.
Pickrell and Nolasco also committed frustrated homicide because as was shown in Far
East’s statement, he was hit by a hammer. He sustained lacerated wounds on the fronto- temporal
bone and on the occipito-parietal area, which could have caused his death were it not for the
timely medical intervention. Although there is no direct evidence that Pickrell and Nolasco
inflicted the said injuries on the victim, the evidence on record shows that the last persons who
were with the victim before the latter was abandoned in the grassy area at Barangay San Isidro,
Parañaque, were the appellants. The presumption then is that Pickrell and Nolasco were the ones
who inflicted the injuries on the victim.
People of the Philippines v. Pedro Pagal y Marcelino and Jose Torcelino y Torazo
October 25, 1997 Concepcion, Jr., J.
G.R. No. L-32040
The Circuit Criminal Court of Manila charged Pedro Pagal y Marcelino and Jose
Torcelino y Torazo with the crime of robbery with homicide. It was alleged that the two
conspired and confederated together and mutually helped each other to take away from one Gau
Guan, cash amounting 1,281 pesos. On the occasion of the robbery, they used personal violence
upon Gau Guan, stabbed him with an ice pick, and clubbed him with an iron pipe. Gau Guan
suffered mortal wounds, which were the direct and immediate cause of his death.
When the case was called for arraignment, counsel de oficio for Pagal and Torcelino
informed the court of their intention to enter a plea of guilty, provided that they be allowed to
prove the mitigating circumstances of sufficient provocation or threat on the part of the offended
party immediately preceding the act, and that of having acted upon an impulse so powerful as
to produce passion and obfuscation. Pagal and Torcelino presented evidence to prove said
mitigating circumstances.
After the defence had rested their case, the prosecution presented statements and other
pertinent documents regarding the investigation of the case. The RTC then rendered a decision,
finding Pagal and Torcelino guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principals of robbery with
homicide. Moreover, the aggravating circumstances of night time, evident premeditation and
disregard of respect due the offended party offset only by the mitigating circumstance of their
plea of guilty. Each one of them were sentenced to death.
 W/N the mitigating circumstances of sufficient provocation and passion or obfuscation
should be appreciated in Pagal and Torcelino’s favour
 W/N the aggravating circumstances of night time, evident premeditation, and disregard of
the respect due the offended party on account of his rank and age are present in the
commission of the crime
The mitigating circumstances should not be appreciated in Pagal and Torcelino’s favour.
The aggravating circumstance of night time is present in the commission of the crime, while
those of evident premeditation and disregard of the respect due the offended party are not. Since
the alleged provocation which caused the obfuscation of Pagal and Torcelino arose from the
same incident, which is their alleged maltreatment by the deceased, these two mitigating
circumstances cannot be considered as two distinct and separate circumstances but should be
treated as one. Also, the circumstance of passion and obfuscation cannot be mitigating in a crime
which is planned before its execution.
The maltreatment that Pagal and Torcelino claim the victim to have committed against
them occurred much earlier than the date of the commission of the crime. Provocation, in order
to be a mitigating circumstance, must be sufficient and immediately preceding the act. The RTC
correctly considered the aggravating circumstance of night time because the same was purposely
and deliberately sought by Pagal and Torcelino to facilitate the commission of the crime. In
robbery with homicide, if there is evident premeditation to kill besides stealing, it is considered
as an aggravating circumstance. Evident premeditation will only be aggravating in a complex
crime of robbery with homicide if it is proved that the plan is not only to rob, but also to kill.
Pagal and Torcelino’s original plan was only to rob, and they killed the deceased only when he
refused to open the “kaha de yero” and fought with them. Thus, there was no evident
The aggravating circumstance that the crime was committed with insult or in disregard
of the respect due the offended party on account of his rank, age or sex may be taken into account
only in crimes against persons or honour. Robbery with homicide is primarily a crime against
property and not against persons. Homicide is a mere incident of the robbery, the latter being
the main purpose and object of the criminal.
As to the penalty, robbery with homicide is punished by reclusion perpetua to death. As
the aggravating circumstance of night time is offset by the mitigating circumstance of plea of
guilty, the lesser penalty, which is reclusion perpetua, should be imposed.