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A.

Medico-legal classification of wounds After hacking and stabbing to death Godofredo Pascua, the accused
proceeded to the seashore of the barrio, and on finding Mariano Buenaflor
leaning at the gate of the fence of his house, in a kneeling position, with both
1. People vs. Camano arms on top of the fence, and his head stooping down hacked the latter with
PEOPLE vs. FILOMENO CAMANO the same bolo, first on the head, and after the victim fell and rolled to the
G.R. No. L36662-63 July 30, 1982 ground, after said blow, he continued hacking him, until he lay prostrate on
CONCEPCION JR., J.: the ground, face up, when the accused gave him a final thrust of the bolo at
the left side of the chest above the nipple running and penetrating to the right
FACTS: side a little posteriorly and superiorly with an exit at the back, of one (1) inch
Three years prior to this incident, the two victims had a misunderstanding opening, causing instant death. The victim, Mariano Buenaflor sustained
with the accused while fishing along Sagnay River. During this occasion it eight wounds, which were specifically described by Dr. Tan in his Autopsy
appears that the accused requested Godofredo Pascua to tow his fishing Report as follows:
boat with the motor boat owned by Mariano Buenaflor but the request was
refused by both. This refusal greatly offended and embittered the accused NATURE OF WOUNDS UPON AUTOPSY:
against the victims. From this time on, the accused begrudged the two, and 1. WOUND STAB, Two (2) inches long at the left side of chest above the
entertained personal resentment against them. And although on several nipple, running to the right side a little posteriorly and superiorly with an exit
occasions, the accused was seen at the game table with Godofredo Pascual at the back of one (1) inch opening. Penetrating the skin, subcutaneous
drinking liquor, the friendly attitude towards Pascua, seems to be merely tissues, pericardium the auricles of the heart, the left lung towards the right
artificial than real, more so, with respect to Mariano Buenaflor whom he side of back.
openly detested. He consistently refused to associate since then with the two 2. WOUND STAB at sternum one and one-half (1 1/2) inches deep three
victim especially, Mariano Buenaflor. In fact, no less than ten attempts were fourth (3/4) inch long penetrating the skin and the sternum.
made by Amado Payago, a neighbor, inviting the accused for reconciliation 3. WOUND STAB left side of neck three fourth (3/4) inch long one and one
with the victims but were refused. Instead, defendant when intoxicated or half (1 1/2) inches deep.
drunk, used to challenge Mariano Buenaflor to a fight and announce his evil 4. WOUND HACKED, cutting left ear and bone four (4) inches long.
intention to kill them. 5. WOUND HACKED, left leg three (3) inches long cutting skin and bone of
anterior side.
Between the hours of four and five o'clock in the afternoon, after the accused 6. WOUND INCISED left palm two (2) inches long.
had been drinking liquor, he stabbed twice the victim Godofredo Pascua with 7. WOUND STAB, one (1) inch long two (2) inches deep at the back near
a bolo, called in the vernacular Bicol "palas" which is a sharp bladed and spinal column.
pointed instrument about two feet long including the black handle, tapering to 8. WOUND HACKED, two (2) inches long at dome of head cutting skin and
the end, about one and one-half inches in width, while the latter was walking bone.
alone along the barrio street almost in front of the store of one Socorro CAUSE OF DEATH — Wound number one (1) causing instant death due
Buates. The victim, Godofredo Pascua, sustained two mortal wounds for to severe hemorrhage from the heart." Out of the eight (8) wounds, two
which he died instantaneously, described by Dr. Constancio A. Tan, (2) are mortal wounds, namely wound Number one (1) and wound
Municipal Health Officer in his Autopsy Report as follows: Number Three (3)

NATURE OF WOUNDS UPON AUTOPSY: The bloody incident was not preceded or precipitated by any altercation
1. WOUND STAB three (3) inches long at left side, three (3) inches below left between the victims and the accused. After killing the two victims, he
axilla, a little bit posteriorly, cutting the skin, subcutaneous tissues, muscles returned to his house, where he subsequently surrendered to Policemen
one (1) rib, pleura of left lung, pericardium, penetrating the ventricles of the Adolfo
heart, Media stinum, the right lung and exit to the right chest. One inch Avila, Juan Chavez, Erasmo Valencia, upon demand by laid peace officers
opening. for him to surrender. When brought to the Police headquarters of the town for
2. WOUND INCISED, one inch long at the left arm investigation he revealed that the bolo he used in the killing was hidden by
CAUSE OF DEATH Wound No.1 causing instant death due to severe him under the table of his house. Following this tip, Patrolman Jose Baluyot
hemorrhage. was dispatched, and recovered the weapon at the place indicated, which
when presented to he Chief of Police was still stained with human blood from
4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 1
the base of the handle to the point of the blade. And when asked as to who
was he owner of said bolo, the accused admitted it as his. He also admitted Hence, Treachery is present in the commission of the crime.
the killing of Godofredo Pascua and Mariano Buenaflor. however, when he
was asked to sign a statement, he refused.
2. People vs. Domantay
The accused claims that a group of eight (8) men headed by Godofredo
Pascua and Mariano Buenaflor ganged up on him by boxing him one after People v. Domantay
another while others were throwing stones at him; that he was attacked by GR No. 130612, May 11, 1999
Godofredo Pascua with a bolo which he succeeded in wresting from him; that Mendoza, J.
he did not know Godofredo Pascua was killed; and that he killed said
Mariano Buenaflor after a bolo duel. Accused: Bernardino Domantay
Victim: Jennifer Domantay
CHARGE: 2 counts of murder attended by evident premeditation and
treachery FACTS:
RTC: Guilty The body of six-year old Jennifer Domantay was found sprawled amidst a
SC: Guilty bamboo grove in Guilig, Malasiqui, Pangasinan. Her body bore several stab
wounds. The medical examination conducted by Dr. Macaranas, the rural
ISSUE: Is treachery present in the commission of the crime? health physician showed that Jennifer died of multiple organ failure and
hypovolemic shock secondary to 38 stab wounds at the back. No lacerations
HELD: Yes. Treachery is present in the commission of the crime. or signs of inflammation of the outer and inner labia and the vaginal walls of
the victims genitalia. Noting possible commission of acts of lasciviousness.
Payago categorically declared that Filomeno Camano attacked Godofredo
Pascua from behind, a method which has ensured the accomplishment of the The investigation pointed to Bernardino Domantay, a cousin of the victim’s
criminal act without any risk to the perpetrator arising from the defense that grandfather, as the lone suspect. At the time that he picked up, he confessed
his victim may put up. His testimony is corroborated by the nature and to killing Jennifer and disclosed that he had given the fatal weapon, a
location of the wounds sustained by the deceased Godofredo Pascua. The bayonet, to the spouses Casingal, his aunt and uncle. The weapon was
autopsy report showed that the point of entry of the stab wound inflicted upon recovered
Pascua was
- three (3) inches long and three (3) inches below the left armpit, a A criminal complaint for murder against Domantay was filed before the MTC.
little bit posteriorly or toward the hinder end of the body; and Dr. Bandonill, medico-legal expert of the NBI, performed an autopsy on the
- the point of exit was the right chest, one (1) inch Iateral to the embalmed body of Jennifer. He found out that the hymen has been
right nipple with a one (1) inch opening. completely lacerated on the right side. Thus, the complaint was amended to
rape with homicide.
If the deceased was stabbed while he was facing his assailant, as claimed by
counsel for the accused, the entrance wound would have been in the front Dr. Bandonill, the NBI medico-legal who conducted an autopsy of the victim
part of the body, and its exit wound, if any, would be at the back. The trial testified that Jennifer died as a result of the numerous stab wounds she
court, therefore, did not commit an error in finding that the deceased sustained on her back probably caused by a pointed sharp-edged
Godofredo Pascua was assaulted from behind. instrument. Contusions on the forehead, neck and breast bone were also
noted the laceration on the right side of the hymen was caused within 24
With respect to Mariano Buenaflor, the evidence shows that he was attacked hours of her death and the genitalia showed signs of inflammation.
while in a kneeling position, with his arms on top of the gate of the fence
surrounding his hut and his head was "stooping down." He was hacked on Crime Charged: Rape with homicide
the head, causing him to fall to the ground, and then successively hacked RTC: Rape with homicide
and stabbed without respite, as he lay on the ground, until he died. The
attack was also sudden, unexpected, and lethal, such as to disable and SC: Only homicide
incapacitate the victim from putting up any defense.
4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 2
ART. 335. When and how rape is committed. Rape is committed by having appellant was seen with the victim walking toward the place where the girls
carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances. body was found. Maybe he raped the girl. Maybe he did not. Maybe he
simply inserted a blunt object into her organ, thus causing the lacerations in
1. By using force or intimidation; the hymen. Otherwise, there is no circumstance from which it might
reasonably be inferred that he abused her, e.g., that he was zipping up his
pants, that there was spermatozoa in the girls vaginal canal.
2. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; and
Considering the relative physical positions of the accused and the
3. When the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented. victim in crimes of rape, the usual location of the external bodily injuries of
the victim is on the face, neck, and anterior portion of her body. Although it is
As the victim here was six years old, only carnal knowledge had to not unnatural to find contusions on the posterior side, these are usually
be proved to establish rape. Carnal knowledge is defined as the act of a man caused by the downward pressure on the victims body during the sexual
having sexual intercourse or sexual bodily connections with a woman. For assault. It is unquestionably different when, as in this case, all the stab
this purpose, it is enough if there was even the slightest contact of the male wounds (except for a minor cut in the lower left leg) had their entry points at
sex organ with the labia of the victim’s genitalia. However, there must be the back running from the upper left shoulder to the lower right buttocks.
proof, by direct or indirect evidence, of such contact. It is noteworthy that the deceased was fully clothed in blue shorts and
Hymenal laceration is not necessary to prove rape; neither does its white shirt when her body was brought to her parents house immediately
presence prove its commission. As held in People v. Ulili, a medical after it was found. Furthermore, there is a huge bloodstain in the back portion
certificate or the testimony of the physician is presented not to prove that the of her shorts. This must be because she was wearing this piece of clothing
victim was raped but to show that the latter had lost her when the stab wounds were inflicted or immediately thereafter, thus allowing
virginity. Consequently, standing alone, a physicians finding that the hymen the blood to seep into her shorts to such an extent. As accused-appellant
of the alleged victim was lacerated does not prove rape. It is only when this is would naturally have to pull down the girls lower garments in order to
corroborated by other evidence proving carnal knowledge that rape may be consummate the rape, then, he must have, regardless of when the stab
deemed to have been established. wounds were inflicted, pulled up the victims shorts and undergarments after
the alleged rape,otherwise, the victims shorts would not have been stained
This conclusion is based on the medically accepted fact that a hymenal so extensively. Again, this is contrary to ordinary human experience.
tear may be caused by objects other than the male sex organ or may arise
from other causes. Dr. Bandonill himself admitted this. He testified that the
right side of the victims hymen had been completely lacerated while the
surrounding genital area showed signs of inflammation. He opined that the
B. Documentation of injuries
laceration had been inflicted within 24 hours of the victims death and that the
inflammation was due to a trauma in that area. When asked by the private
prosecutor whether the lacerations of the hymen could have been caused by 1. Union Motors vs. NLRC
the insertion of a male organ he said this was possible. But he also said
when questioned by the defense that the lacerations could have been UNION MOTOR CORPORATION, vs.NLRC and ALEJANDRO A. ETIS
caused by something blunt other than the male organ.
To be sure, this Court has sustained a number of convictions for
rape with homicide based on purely circumstantial evidence. In those FACTS: Alejandro A. Etis was hired by Union Motor as an automotive
instances, however, the prosecution was able to present other tell-tale signs mechanic. On September 22, 1997, the respondent made a phone call to
of rape such as the location and description of the victims clothings, Rosita dela Cruz, the company nurse, and informed her that he had to take a
especially her undergarments, the position of the body when found and the sick leave as he had a painful and unbearable toothache. The next day, he
like. again phoned Dela Cruz and told her that he could not report for work
because he still had to consult a doctor. Dr. Rodolfo Pamor, a dentist, then
In contrast, in the case at bar, there is no circumstantial evidence scheduled the respondent’s tooth extraction on September 27, 1997, but
from which to infer that accused-appellant sexually abused the victim. The rescheduled the respondent’s tooth extraction on October 4, 1997 because
only circumstance from which such inference might be made is that accused- the inflammation had not yet subsided and recommended that he rest. Thus,
4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 3
the respondent was not able to report for work due to the painful and Petitioner now avers that the medical certificates adduced in evidence by the
unbearable toothache. respondent to prove (a) his illness, the nature and the duration of the
procedures performed by the dentist on him; and (b) the period during which
On October 2, 1997, Union Motor Issued an Inter Office Memorandum he was incapacitated to work are inadmissible in evidence and barren of
terminating the services of the Alejandro for having incurred more than five probative weight simply because they were not notarized, and it was not
(5) consecutive absences without proper notification. The petitioner written on paper bearing the dentist’s letterhead. It further argues that even
considered the consecutive absences of the respondent as abandonment of assuming that the respondent was ill and had been advised by his dentist to
office. rest, the same does not appear on the medical certificate, hence, it behooved
the respondent to report for work.
On October 4, 1997, Dr. Pamor successfully extracted the respondent’s
tooth. As soon as he had recovered, the respondent reported for work, but ISSUE: Whether or not notarization is required before Medical Certificates
was denied entry into the company’s premises and he was informed that his can be accepted as evidence.
employment have been terminated.
HELD: Nowhere in our jurisprudence requires that all medical certificates be
He sought help from the employees union. notarized to be accepted as a valid evidence. In this case, there is neither
difficulty nor an obstacle to claim that the medical certificates presented by
complainant are genuine and authentic. Indeed, the physician and the dentist
 NCMB – Dismissed his complaint
who examined the complainant, aside from their respective letterheads, had
written their respective license numbers below their names and signatures.
 Labor Arbiter – Dismissed the complaint ruling that his 10-day
These facts have not been impugned nor rebutted by respondent-appellee
absence without leave due to severe toothache leading to a tooth
throughout the proceedings of his case. Common sense dictates that an
extraction was unsubstantiated. The Labor Arbiter stressed that
ordinary worker does not need to have these medical certificates to be
"unnotarized medical certificates were self-serving and had no
notarized for proper presentation to his company to prove his ailment; hence,
probative weight."
the Labor Arbiter a quo, in cognizance with the liberality and the appreciation
on the rules on evidence, must not negate the acceptance of these medical
 NLRC - Reversed the decision of the Labor Arbiter and ordered certificates as valid pieces of evidence.
Union Motor to immediately reinstate complainant.It ruled that the
medical certificates issued by the doctor and dentist who attended to
the respondent substantiated the latter’s medical problem. It also We believe, as we ought to hold, that the medical certificates can prove
declared that the lack of notarization of the said certificates was not a clearly and convincingly the complainant’s allegation that he consulted a
valid justification for their rejection as evidence. physician because of tooth inflammation on September 23, 1997 and a
dentist who later advised him to rest and, thus, clinically extended his tooth
extraction due to severe pain and inflammation. Admittingly, it was only on
 CA - affirmed in toto the NLRC Resolution. October 4, 1997 that complainant’s tooth was finally extracted.

The CA agreed with the ruling of the NLRC that medical certificates While the records do not reveal that the respondent filed the required leave
need not be notarized in order to be admitted in evidence and of absence for the period during which he suffered from a toothache, he
accorded full probative weight. It held that the medical certificates immediately reported for work upon recovery, armed with medical certificates
which bore the names and licenses of the doctor and the dentist who to attest to the cause of his absence. The respondent could not have
attended to the respondent adequately substantiated the latter’s anticipated the cause of his illness, thus, to require prior approval would be
illness, as well as the tooth extraction procedure performed on him unreasonable.While it is true that the petitioner had objected to the veracity
by the dentist. The CA concluded that since the respondent’s of the medical certificates because of lack of notarization, it has been said
absences were substantiated, the petitioner’s termination of his that verification of documents is not necessary in order that the said
employment was without legal and factual basis. documents could be considered as substantial evidence. The medical
certificates were properly signed by the physicians; hence, they bear all the

4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 4


earmarks of regularity in their issuance and are entitled to full probative inside the genitalia and that the injuries were only outside the genital area
weight. and on the upper and lower extremities of Sonia, Dr. Bandonill opined that
there was no insertion into the vagina and there was no physical contact or
sexual intercourse. Otherwise, the genital area would have shown signs of
2. People vs. Basite trauma such as inflammation, redness, swelling and even bleeding if the
hymen was the type that was easily lacerated. Dr. Bandonill added that the
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. EDDIE BASITE, appellant. Medico-Legal Certificate issued by Dr. Raper was incomplete and
incomprehensive and not compatible with standard Medico-Legal Reports of
BELLOSILLO, J.: the NBI in rape cases.
The trial court agreed with Dr. Bandonill that the Medico-Legal
FACTS: Certificate issued by Dr. Raper was insufficient to conclude that sexual
EDDIE BASITE was convicted by the trial court of simple rape, intercourse actually took place, since it failed to indicate whether the labia
sentenced to reclusion perpetua and ordered to pay complaining and vagina of private complainant were thoroughly examined to determine
witness P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and P50,000.00 as moral sexual contact. However, it still found the accused guilty beyond reasonable
damages. He now appeals his conviction. doubt of the crime charged based on Sonias spontaneous, forthright and
positive testimony identifying the accused as the person who raped her.
Sonia Pa-ay, a polio victim, was at the time of the rape nineteen (19)
years old and a student of midwifery at the Cordillera College, Buyagan, La Accused-appellant assails the decision of the trial court. He argues that
Trinidad, Benguet. the trial court already entertained reasonable doubt as to his guilt when it
ruled that the Medico-Legal Certificate issued by Dr. Raper was
At the police station, Sonia was advised to undergo medical incomprehensive and inconclusive as to the occurrence of sexual contact
examination. She went to the Abatan Emergency Hospital for the physical between him and complainant. Accused-appellant reasons that the court a
examination, and to the Lutheran Hospital for the laboratory tests. She was quo should have taken this point in his favor and acquitted him.
issued a medical certificate. The following day Sonia filed her Sworn
Statement and a criminal complaint was formally lodged with the Fiscals ISSUE:
Office against Eddie Basite. HELD:
An Information for Rape was filed against the accused who pleaded not The accused fails to persuade us.
guilty when arraigned. The prosecution presented Dr. Relante Raper of the
Abatan Emergency Hospital who testified on the medical findings he made Accused-appellant harps on the fact that the trial court discounted the
upon examination of Sonia Pa-ay. When Sonia presented herself for Medico-Legal Certificate issued by Dr. Raper. This allegedly shows
examination, Dr. Raper observed that her clothes were muddy. He found reasonable doubt as to the fact of sexual intercourse between accused-
mud on her right breast and on her pubic hair. There were multiple healing appellant and private complainant. On this matter, jurisprudence holds that
scratches and contusions on her arms, legs and inner thighs which could even without a medical examination, the accused may still be convicted of
have been caused by the application of an external force or the impact of a rape as long as the testimony of the complainant meets the test of credibility
fall. Internal examination revealed that there were no lacerations, scratches and resolutely points to the accused as the author of the crime. A medical
or bleeding on the perineal area and her hymen was intact. The vagina certificate is not indispensable to prove rape.
admitted one (1) finger with difficulty. A whitish mucoid discharge found over
the labia minora was sent to the Lutheran Hospital for microscopy. The defense further avers that Sonias testimony of rape is inconsistent
with the findings of Dr. Raper that there were no lacerations in her vagina
Examination of the discharge yielded negative for sperm. Dr. Raper clarified
and that her hymen was intact. But the absence of fresh lacerations in the
that it was possible, even for a married woman, to have an intact hymen
since there are some hymen that are very elastic. vagina does not prove that private complainant was not sexually abused. For
rape to be consummated, rupture of the hymen is not necessary, nor is it
The accused denied having raped Sonia. To support his defense, the essential that the vagina sustains a laceration. Research in medicine even
accused presented Dr. Ronald Bandonill of the NBI-CAR, Baguio City, as an points out that negative findings are of no significance, since the hymen may
expert witness to dispute the findings of prosecution witness Dr. Relante not be torn despite repeated coitus. Entry of the labia or lips of the female
Raper. Based on Dr. Rapers findings that there was no bleeding or scratches organ, without rupture of the hymen or laceration of the vagina, is sufficient to
4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 5
warrant conviction. In this case, Sonia categorically testified that accused- Legal Certificate would satisfactorily show the results of a complete and
appellant inserted his penis into her vagina and she felt pain when he did so. thorough physical examination of Sonia Pa-ay, consistent with the physical
examinations being conducted by the NBI and Dr. Bandonill.
As to the opinions of defense expert witness Dr. Bandonill, it is
important to note that the testimony of expert witnesses must be construed to WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision of the court a quo finding
have been presented not to sway the court in favor of any of the parties, but accused-appellant EDDIE BASITE guilty of simple rape and sentencing him
to assist the court in the determination of the issue before it. It has been said to reclusion perpetua and to pay complaining witness Sonia Pa-ay the
of expert testimonies - amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and P50,000.00 as moral damages
is AFFIRMED. Costs against accused-appellant.
Although courts are not ordinarily bound by expert testimonies, they
may place whatever weight they may choose upon such testimonies in
accordance with the facts of the case. The relative weight and 3. People vs. Alverio
sufficiency of expert testimony is peculiarly within the province of the
trial court to decide, considering the ability and character of the witness, People vs. Alverio
his actions upon the witness stand, the weight and process of the
reasoning by which he has supported his opinion, his possible bias in
favor of the side for whom he testifies, the fact that he is a paid witness, Facts: In the afternoon of June 2, 2002, AAA, along with her friends Belen
the relative opportunities for study and observation of the matters about and Aileen, went to the house of her grandmother to attend a dance event. At
which he testifies, and any other matters which deserve to illuminate his around 8:30 in the evening, they proceeded to the dance hall because the
statements. The opinion of the expert may not be arbitrarily rejected; it is dance would start at around 9 o’clock. During the dance, Belen and Aileen
to be considered by the court in view of all the facts and circumstances danced with Alverio but AAA did not. At 2 o’clock in the morning of June 3,
in the case and when common knowledge utterly fails, the expert 2002, AAA noticed that her friends were no longer at the dance so she
opinion may be given controlling effect. The problem of the credibility of
decided to go home to her grandmother’s house.
the expert witness and the evaluation of his testimony is left to the
discretion of the trial court whose ruling thereupon is not reviewable in
the absence of abuse of discretion. As she was nearing the barangay hall, Alverio suddenly appeared and took
hold of AAA. She tried to resist him but he was too strong and he managed
Dr. Bandonills expertise in the medical examination of rape victims was to pull her away. AAA started to cry while she was being dragged towards
displayed in court. He clearly explained the external and internal changes the back of the barangay hall. There, Alverio held her hair, undressed her,
that happen to a womans body after consensual intercourse and rape, and and started to kiss her. AAA kept on resisting and even punched Alverio after
what findings may be had in the examination of a rape victim. Dr. Bandonills he kissed her, at which point, Alverio told her that it was painful and that he
opinion on the rape case is based on the findings made by Dr. Raper in his
might retaliate if she continued. This caused AAA to stop resisting and
Medico-Legal Certificate. He did not personally examine private
complainant. Based on the Medico-Legal Certificate alone, Dr. Bandonill Alverio then proceeded to insert his penis in her vagina repeatedly.
surmised that there was no sexual contact between accused-appellant and
complainant. He was however also of the view that the physical examination After having carnal knowledge with her, Alverio stood up and put on his
and Medico-Legal Certificate of Sonia Pa-ay were incomplete and not clothes. He warned AAA that if she told anyone about what happened, he will
comprehensive as compared to the required Medical Report of the NBI. As kill her.13 After threatening her, he left
the trial court found, the Certificate failed to indicate whether the labia and
vagina of the private complainant were thoroughly examined to determine if
sexual contact took place. Issue: Whether or not the medical certificate can be considered as
corroborative evidence although the signatory of the said certificate never
That the trial court considered Dr. Bandonills expert testimony to rule on testified to its contents
the sufficiency of the Medico-Legal Certificate issued by Dr. Raper does not
mean that the court a quo doubted accused-appellants guilt. The trial court
merely used Dr. Bandonills testimony to determine for itself if that Medico- Held: Alverio submits that although the medical certificate was presented as
evidence, its contents were never testified to by the signatory himself and, as
4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 6
such, cannot be considered as corroborative of the claim of the victim that revealed having been ravished on different dates by another brother, DDD,
she was raped. and a brother-in-law.

Colorado pleaded “not guilty” upon arraignment. During the pre-trial, the
Such argument, however, cannot prosper. Medical evidence is dispensable
parties stipulated on the following: (1) the existence of the Medico Legal
and merely corroborative in proving the crime of rape. Besides, a medical Certificate and the Birth Certificate of AAA; (2) that Colorado is a full-blood
certificate is not even necessary to prove the crime of rape. The gravamen of brother of AAA; and (3) that Colorado and AAA lived under the same roof.
rape is carnal knowledge of a woman through force and intimidation.
A Medico-Legal Certificate6 prepared by Dr. Ma. Teresa Sanchez (Dr.
The elements needed to prove the crime of rape under paragraph 1(a) of Sanchez), Medical Officer III of the Western Pangasinan District Hospital
contained the following findings:
Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code are: (1) the offender is a man; (2)
the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman; and (3) the act is =INTERNAL EXAM FINDINGS:
accomplished by using force or intimidation. All these elements were -Nonparous Introitus- -Hymenal laceration at 6 o’clock position with
sufficiently proved by the prosecution. The testimony of AAA overwhelmingly bleeding-
proves that Alverio raped her with the use of force and intimidation. -Vagina admits 2 fingers with slight resistance- -Uterus small- -(+) bleeding-
x x x x7

Colorado denied having raped AAA, arguing that he was not living with AAA
4. People vs. Colorado
in their parents’ house in December 2002. Allegedly, he was at that time
staying with an older sister in Osmeña, Dasol. Colorado claimed that on the
PEOPLE VS COLORADO night of the alleged incident, he was fishing with his brother-in-law, and that
they returned to Osmeña, Dasol in the morning of the following day.
Facts:
AAA testified that sometime in December 2002, her parents attended a ISSUE: (1)WON Colorodo is guilty of rape
wedding leaving behind AAA, her brother Neil Colorado and their two other (2) WON Medical Certificate is essential for the conviction of rape
brothers in the house. When their parents had not yet arrived in the evening,
Colorado committed the dastardly act against AAA. She was twelve (12) RTC: guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of qualified rape, and
years old at that time, while Colorado was already twenty-four (24) years old. sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
He approached AAA, held her two hands, even threatened her with a knife
and covered her mouth with a handkerchief. He then removed AAA’s shorts ON APPEAL: defenses of denial and alibi. He further sought his acquittal by
and panty, inserted his penis into the young girl’s vagina, then made a push arguing that the hymenal lacerations discovered by AAA’s examining doctor,
and pull movement. Colorado later left AAA, who put back her shorts and and considered by the trial court in determining his culpability, could have
underwear, but remained awake because of fear and trauma with what she been caused not by him, but by the sexual aggressions committed by their
had gone through. brother DDD or their brother-in-law unto AAA.
On that same night, Colorado raped AAA twice more, unmindful of the CA: Guilty
presence of their two other brothers who were then sleeping. In both SC: Guilty
instances, Colorado still threatened AAA with a knife, removed her shorts Colorado was charged with the crime of rape, qualified by the victim’s
and panty, inserted his penis into his sister’s vagina, then performed the minority and her relationship to her ravisher, as defined and penalized under
push and pull movement. Colorado warned AAA that he would stab her Article 266-A, in relation to Article 266-B, of the Revised Penal Code (RPC),
should she report to anyone what he had done. AAA then did not dare reveal as follows:
these incidents to anybody, until she had the courage to report them to their
mother. Also in her testimony before the trial court, AAA disclosed that she Art. 266-A. Rape; When and How Committed. – Rape is committed:
had been raped by Colorado when she was just nine (9) years old. She also 1) By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of
the following circumstances:
4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 7
a. Through force, threat or intimidation; the trial court is in the best position to assess the credibility of witnesses and
b. When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise their testimonies, because of its unique opportunity to observe the witnesses
unconscious; first hand and to note their demeanor, conduct, and attitude under grueling
c. By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and examination.
d. When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is
demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be We then take due consideration of the trial court’s findings of fact, its
present. assessment of AAA’s credibility, her testimony and the manner by which her
statements were relayed. The testimony of [AAA] is simple, candid,
xxxx Art. 266-B. Penalties. – x x x. xxxx straightforward and consistent on material points detailing every single
The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed bestial act of her brother in ravishing her. Moreover, [AAA] on several
with any of the following aggravating/qualifying circumstances: occasions (August 1, 2006 and September 19, 2006) was on the verge of
1) When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender crying and in fact shed tears during her direct examination. Crying of the
is a parent, ascendant, stepparent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or victim during her testimony is evidence of the credibility of the rape charge
affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent with the verity born out of human nature and experience
of the victim;
xxxx Though a medical certificate is not necessary to prove the commission of
Both the RTC and the CA correctly ruled on the concurrence of the following rape but when the victim’s testimony is corroborated by the physician’s
elements of qualified rape, as defined in the aforequoted provisions of the findings of penetration (Exh. “A”) or hymenal laceration as when the hymen is
RPC: (1) that the victim is a female over 12 years but under 18 years of age; no longer intact, there is sufficient foundation to find the existence of the
(2) that the offender is a parent, ascendant, stepparent, guardian or relative essential requisite of carnal knowledge. Further, no young and decent
by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law woman in her right mind especially of tender age as that of [AAA] who is
spouse of the parent of the victim; and (3) that the offender has carnal fifteen (15) years old would concoct a story of defloration, allow [an]
knowledge of the victim either through force, threat or intimidation; or when examination of her private parts and thereafter pervert herself by being
she is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious; or by means of subjected to a public trial, if she was not motivated solely by he[r] desire to
fraudulent machinations or grave abuse of authority. obtain justice for the wrong committed against her.

The age of the victim at the time of the crime’s commission is undisputed. During cross-examination,AAA remained steadfast, unwavering and
During the pre-trial, the parties agreed on the existence of AAA’s Certificate spontaneous. Significantly also, her testimony is supported by the medical
of Live Birth,11 a “certified true/xerox copy” of which forms part of the records evidence on record, which showed that she had a laceration in her hymen
and provides that AAA was born on October 10, 1990. AAA was then only 12 and was thus in a non-virgin state.
years old in December 2002, a significant fact that was sufficiently alleged in
the Information. In People v. Pruna,12 we held that the best evidence to AAA had positively identified Colorado as her rapist. Such identification of
prove the age of the offended party is an original or certified true copy of the Colorado could not have been difficult for AAA considering that Colorado was
certificate of live birth of such party. a brother who lived with her in their parents’ house. Even the failure of AAA
to identify the exact date of the crime’s commission is inconsequential to
As to the second element, there is no dispute that Colorado is a full- blood Colorado’s conviction. In rape cases, the date of commission is not an
brother of AAA, as this was also among the parties’ stipulated facts during essential element of the offense; what is material is its occurrence, a fact that
the case’s pre-trial. was sufficiently established given AAA’s and her testimony’s credibility.

The grounds now being raised by Colorado to justify his exoneration delve Time and again, we have taken into consideration how rapists are not
mainly on the alleged absence of the crime’s third element. He denies AAA’s deterred by the presence of people nearby, such as the members of their
claim that he had ravished her, raising the defense of alibi and the alleged own family inside the same room, with the likelihood of being discovered,
doubt and suspicion that should be ascribed to AAA’s accusations. On this since lust respects no time, locale or circumstance.
matter, settled is the rule that the findings of the trial court on the credibility of
a witness deserve great weight, given the clear advantage of a trial judge in As against AAA’s credible testimony, Colorado’s defenses lack persuasion.
the appreciation of testimonial evidence. We have repeatedly recognized that While Colorado denied in his testimony that he lived with AAA, such fact was
4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 8
already admitted by the parties during the pre-trial. His defense that he was Deogracias Gundran to be milling around with the guests and was already
in Osmeña, Dasol at the time of the crime’s commission was even drinking gin. At around 3:45 p.m., while Yadao was sitting on one end of a
uncorroborated by any other witness. By jurisprudence, denial is an bench, Deogracias, who was lying down on the other end of the same bench,
intrinsically weak defense which must be buttressed by strong evidence of suddenly stood up. The bench tilted due to the weight of Yadao, thus,
non-culpability to merit credibility. Mere denial, without any strong evidence causing him to fall to the ground. Deogracias went over to Yadao and began
to support it, can scarcely overcome the positive declaration by the child- boxing him on the stomach. Yadao's wife tried to pacify her nephew but
victim of the identity of the appellant and his involvement in the crime Deogracias got a can opener and tried to stab Yadao with it. Yadao deflected
attributed to him.Moreover, for the defense of alibi to prosper, two requisites said attempt and delivered a slap on the face of the Deogracias. But because
must concur: first, the appellant was at a different place at the time the crime he was already intoxicated, Deogracias lost his balance, hit his head on the
was committed; and second, it was physically impossible for him to be at the edge of a table and fell to the ground landing on his behind. Deogracias left
crime scene at the time of its commission.The defense failed to establish the house of Yadao and went to the house of Carmelita Limon who was the
these requisites. sister of his friend. Limon noticed a lump on the forehead of Deogracias. The
latter told her that he came from the birthday party of Yadao. He complained
(2) Colorado also questions the weight of Dr. Sanchez’s medico-legal of pain on his breast/stomach area, the area where he claimed to have been
certificate, arguing that AAA’s hymenal lacerations could have resulted from hit by Yadao. Two days later, Teofilo Gundran, the father of Deogracias was
the sexual aggressions allegedly committed against her by DDD and their informed that his son was having difficulty breathing. Teofilo proceeded to
brother-in-law. Such contention, however, deserves no consideration, given where Deogracias was. Teofilo saw Deogracias sitting on an "arinola"
that results of an offended party’s medical examination are merely gasping for breath. He then held the two hands of Deogracias until the latter
corroborative in character. As explained by the Court in People v. Balonzo,21 expired. On the same day that he died, the body of Deogracias was
a medical certificate is not necessary to prove the commission of rape, as autopsied by Dr. Magdalena Alambra. Alambra found that the cause of the
even a medical examination of the victim is not indispensable in a death of Deogracias was cardio respiratory arrest due to pulmonary
prosecution for rape. Expert testimony is merely corroborative in character tuberculosis. She also said that although a hematoma was present on the
and not essential to conviction. An accused can still be convicted of rape on forehead, she did not consider it as the cause of death as hematoma alone
the basis of the sole testimony of the private complainant.22 Furthermore, will not cause the death of a person especially seven to eight days later. She
laceration of the hymen, even if considered the most telling and irrefutable also opened the skull of the victim to study the latter's brain and she did not
physical evidence of sexual assault, is not always essential to establish the see anything unusual. Disbelieving that cardiac arrest secondary to
consummation of the crime of rape. In the context that is used in the RPC, tuberculosis was the cause of death of his son, Teofilo had the victim's body
“carnal knowledge,” unlike its ordinary connotation of sexual intercourse, re-autopsied, this time by the National Bureau of Investigation. The re-
does not necessarily require that the vagina be penetrated or that the hymen autopsy was conducted by Dr. Arturo G. Llavore eight days after the first
be ruptured.23 Thus, even granting that AAA’s lacerations were not autopsy. Dr. Llavore testified that the cause of death of the victim was the
caused by Colorado, the latter could still be declared guilty of rape, after it collective effect of all the injuries sustained by the latter on the head. The
was established that he succeeded in having carnal knowledge of the victim. RTC found Yadao guilty of the crime of homicide. The CA affirmed the
judgment of conviction.

ISSUE: Whether or not the prosecution was able to prove the guilt of Yadao
beyond reasonable doubt on the basis of the testimony of Dr. Llavore's and
his autopsy report
C. Physical Injuries in different parts of the body RULING:
No. To make an offender liable for the death of the victim, it must be proven
1. Yadao vs. People that the death is the natural consequence of the physical injuries inflicted.
YADAO VS PEOPLE The testimonial and documentary evidence of the prosecution are insufficient
to find Yadao guilty as charged. This Court's doubt is brought about by Dr.
FACTS: Llavore's failure to account the effects of the following facts: 1) that the
It was the birthday of Artemio Yadao on October 1, 1988. He had a few cadaver had previously been autopsied; 2) that during the first autopsy, Dr.
guests over at his house to help him celebrate it. Yadao noticed the victim, Alambra opened up the skull of the victim to physically examine his brain and
4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 9
did not see anything out of the ordinary, neither blood clot and/or pooling nor house at 4:00 o'clock p.m. on February 23, 1958; that after examining
any swelling; 3) that the cadaver of the victim had already been embalmed; Orzame he diagnosed the illness as lobar pneumonia with high fever,
4) that it had not been established for how long the embalming fluid was headache, and in a state of delirium; that he gave some antibiotics, plus
supposed to stave off or delay the decomposition of the cadaver of the supportive medicines as caffein, sodium benzoate to support the heart, and
victim; 5) that the re-autopsy was conducted eight (8) days after the death of other drugs. Further, Orzame raised that he treated Dulay as his own
the victim; 6) that when the cadaver of the victim was re-autopsied, brother, thus he could not kill him.
decomposition may have already set in despite the body having been
embalmed; and 7) the hematoma was merely on the scalp – nowhere near Accused Magno was discharged from the complaint and was made a state
the brain as the area was still outside of the skull. Also, a dead body must not witness. It is for this reason that Orzame assails his testimony and credibility
be embalmed before the autopsy. Even if the cadaver of the victim may not as a witness.
have started decomposing at the time of the re-autopsy, all the same, the
fact that such had already been embalmed, any examination will likely lead to
Issue/s: Is there sufficient basis to convict EmeterioOrzame of murder for the
findings or conclusion not at all accurate as to the true status of the tissues of
death of Juan Dulay?
the body of the victim. Yadao must be acquitted.
Ruling: Yes. First, alibi as a defense is weak for it is easy to concoct. For this
reason, the courts view it with caution and accept it only when proved by
2. People vs. Orzame positive, clear and satisfactory evidence. In this particular case, the lower
PEOPLE VS EMETERIO ORZAME court doubted seriously the testimony of accused Orzame because when the
GR. NO. 17773 May 19, 1966 said accused was on the witness stand he was restless and somewhat
trembling, to which the said court called his attention twice.
Facts: The deceased Juan Dulay had an insurance in the amount of P3,000
and one of the accused, EmeterioOrzame was his sole beneficiary. Orzame, As to the credibility of Magno as witness, the court held that the testimony of
Gallarde and Magno hatched up a plan to kill Dulay in order to be able to split only one witness, if credible and positive ... if it satisfies the court beyond
the proceeds of the insurance among themselves. On February 23, 1958, the reasonable doubt, is sufficient to convict". The testimony of the witness
three accused carried out their wicked plans by deceiving Dulay with the help Magno taken together with the post mortem examination of the victim’s body
of Orzame. Orzame, after meeting with the other accused brought Dulay to suffices to hold Orzame liable for Juan Dulay’s death.
the outskirts of Guimba in Nueva Ecija. They stopped by the railroad tracks
at barrio Balingog under the pretense of getting some rest. Orzame took The post mortem examinations on the body of the victim made on February
advantage of the situation and pulled out the Thompson sub-machine gun he 24, 1959, at 12:30 p.m.:
had in his bayong and hit Dulay with it for several times on the right ear, face
and back of the head while the latter was sitting unsuspectingly. The attack x xx x xx x xx
of Orzame caused Dulay’s instant death.Upon instruction of Orzame, the
body of the deceased was carried to barrio Calibungan Victoria, Tarlac,
4. Plenty of clotted blood in front, neck and back of his polo shirt and
where, although already dead, it was still subjected to further beatings with
few spotted blood in front of his trousers corresponding to the thighs.
the Thompson sub-machine gun causing the brain to scatter, and was also
5. The skull of his head at the vertex was badly battered and opened
stabbed on the face with a knife several times by Orzame. Then the
crosswise and most of the brain substance was missing and the
deceased was lain across the railroad track to simulate a train accident as
remaining brain substance appeared like mash potatoes with small
the cause of death. The following day, February 24, 1958, the body of the
amount of blood mixed with it.
deceased Juan Dulay was found lying near the railroad tracks and among
6. Punctured wound of the middle of his chin in front, punctured
those who saw it was JeremiasDamo who identified the deceased as Juan
wound just below the left nostril, punctured wound 1 cm. lateral to
Dulay.
the left bridge of his nose, punctured wound between the eyebrows
and clotted blood at the surface of each wound.
Accused Dulay raised the defense of alibi and alleged that he fell sick and 7. The face was greatly deformed and swollen with clotted blood all
was kept in a bed a week before February 23, 1958. A certain Dr.Castañeda, around, with depression of the lower forehead the bridge of his nose
in corroborating the alibi of Orzame, alleged that he arrived in Orzame's and the upper jaw at the front including the skull sockets of the eyes.
4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 10
8. No findings of external violence at the other parts of his body. At about 7:00 in the evening, Pedro Abunda was inside their house listening
9. The cadaver was already at the state of rigor mortis so that he to the radio program Reyna Bandida with his cousin. A little bit farther from
might have been killed 10 hours before autopsy and probably the him were his father, Rogelio Abunda, and his half-sister, Julie Abunda, who
assailants only dumped him in one of the rails of the railroad to were already sleeping. Suddenly, he heard a gunshot. Pedro rolled down the
disguise that he had been run over by the train. side of the house through the wall made only of woven coconut leaves.
When he rolled down, he saw CresencianoEnolvaat the other end of the
AUTOPSY FINDINGS: house, in a half squatting, half kneeling position with his hands extended and
two fingers pointing inside the wall. While he was in this position, he heard a
1. Head and Neck second gunshot. Thereafter, Pedro went to his Rogelio and Julie, and the two
were brought to the Bicol Regional Hospital. Rogelio died along the way from
hemorrhagic shock secondary to two gunshot wounds. Julie died the next
(a) The skull of his head at the vertex was badly battered and day due to the gunshot wound that she sustained which caused a raptured
opened crosswise as a result of the bumper of the train striking it, spleen and lacerated lung parenchyma. As such, two informations were filed,
part of the skull missing so that most of the brain substance charging accused with two counts of murder.
appeared like mash potatoes with small amount of blood mixed with
it. Dr. Antonio Borja Estanislao, the Municipal Health Officer who issued
the post mortem certificate, testified that the cadaver at the time of the
(b) The skull of the lower portion of the forehead was fractured examination, was already in the state of rigor mortis. There were two gunshot
crosswise including the skull sockets of both eyes injuring both optic wounds found on the body. The first, was found on the armpit, 2 cm. In
nerves including the upper jaw in front was fractured causing the diameter, with its edges inverted, (edges were directed inwards) with
removal of the first two incisors teeth. contusion collar (there was a contusion right around the wound) and with
gunpowder tattoing (blackened area around the wound). This was allegedly
x xx x xx x xx the entry wound.The second wound, also 2 cm. In diameter, its edges
everted anterolateral aspect, was found on the front left shoulder. This is
Impression of the case is that the cause of death was due to severe allegedly the exit wound because the edges are directed outwards.Dr.
traumatic shock as a result of the blows inflicted upon him causing the Estanislaoadded that either the victim's position was higher than the
fracture of the skull of the lower portion of the forehead at the middle assailant or the victim was lying down with the assailant in equal level as the
including the skull sockets of both eyes injuring both optic nerves, fracture of victim so that the direction of the slug was horizontal.
the bridge of his nose, crosswise, fracture of the upper jaw in front resulting
in the removal of the first two incisors teeth. Major Lorlie Arroyo, a PNP member assigned as Forensic Chemist, testified
that she received the paraffin cast of both hands ofCresencianoEnolva. The
purpose of the laboratory examination was to determine the presence of
All fof this confirmthe veracity of Magno's testimony that the victim was struck
gunpowder residue (nitrates) in the specimen submitted to her laboratory
with the handle of the sub-machine gun and stabbed with a knife by the
examination consisted of adding diphenylamine reagent to the dorsal portion
accused several times.
of the paraffin cast and thereafter, dark blue specks appeared on the cast
which is an indication of the presence of nitrates or gunpowder residue.
These findings were stated in her report in this manner: "Qualitative
E. Gunshot Wounds examination conducted on the specimen mentioned above gave POSITIVE
result to the tests for the presence of gunpowder residue (nitrates).
1. People vs. Enolva
Dr. RuelLebiRealuyo, the physician at the Bicol Regional Hospital who
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. CRESENCIANO “SONNY” ENOLVA conducted the autopsy on the cadaver of Julie, testified that the autopsy
G.R. No. 131633-34 January 25, 2000 report found two gunshot wounds, identified as point of entry: 0.5 cm.
Located at the posterior axillary line at the level of 2nd ICS right and as point
FACTS: of exit: 3 cm 10th ICS posterior axillary line, left. He testified that upon
opening of the body of the victim, he noted the lung parenchyma to be
4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 11
lacerated on the right side. He said the laceration of the lung parenchyma Arroyo testified that even if only one hand is used for firing a gun, the other
was caused by the traversing bullet of the right side going to the left side. hand could be contaminated with gunpowder residue unless hidden from the
hand holding the gun.
The trial court convicted the accused of two counts of murder; hence, the
appeal. JUDGMENT AFFIRMED

ISSUE: 2. Bayquen vs. CA


Whether or not CresencianoEnolva is guilty beyond reasonable of two counts MARK BAYQUEN vs. COURT OF APPEALS AND THE PEOPLE OF THE
of murder on the ground, among others, that the gunpowder nitrates found PHILIPPINES
on him confirm the suspicion that it was he who perpetrated the crime. G.R. No. 93851 March 6, 1992
MEDIALDEA, J.:
HELD:
YES. Plain washing of the hands with water before the paraffin cast is done
will not remove the nitrates or gunpowder from the hand. If someone handled FACTS:
fertilizer, like complete fertilizer which contains nitrates, it is possible to have
a blue speck of nitrates but its appearance would be different from the On July 23, 1984, at around 8:00 o'clock in the evening , the victim Teofilo
nitrates residue coming from gunpowder. Even if firecrackers have been Estepa arrived home in his house, his sister Bernadette Estepa was home
exploded by the suspect, again there would be a difference from the nitrates and he told her that if anyone asked for him to say that he was asleep,
of gunpowder residue which is a distinct blue speck. A paraffin test is
adding that he had nothing to do with what happened. Bernadette inquired
conducted on the dorsal side of the hand because it is the portion which is
directly exposed to the firearm. In exploding firecrackers, the most but Teofilo merely said "Pinasubodac", meaning "I was led into trouble".
contaminated is the palm side of the hand not the dorsal side.
The next day, their border Virgie Corpuz told Bernadette that Barangay
In the case, as a matter of fact, the technician, prior to the examination even Captain Albert Della and Dr. Bayquen, father of Mark Bayquen, came to the
washes the hands of the suspect with plain water to eliminate contaminants house looking for Teofilo and leaving word that if Teofilo did not show up that
adhering to the hands of the suspect.Major Lorlie Arroyowas very positive same night they will pick him up on the first hour the following morning. At
that the nitrates she found in her examination of the paraffin cast were that juncture, Teofilo arrived. Immediately, Virgie Corpuz told him what she
gunpowder residue.Major Arroyo on cross-examination explained that if had just told Bernadette. Teofilo said that he had nothing to do with the
someone handled fertilizer, like complete fertilizer which contains nitrates, or
exploded firecrackers, the distinct blue speck of gunpowder residue would be destruction of the motorcycle and he will tell what really happened if he had
different. There is an "abundance of blue color" on the hands resulting from to. Teofilo went out to look for appellant Wilfredo Boco whom he said was his
the firing of a gunwhich makes it different from the residue left by exploding companion in the motorcycle incident, he however did not find Boco. He
firecrackers. asked her sister to wake him up at 4:00 a.m. the next day, July 25, 1984, so
he could review for his examinations.
The subject is being washed first with plain water to get rid of the
contaminants as first, fertilizers and firecrackers they are adhering or they Before 4:00 a.m. of July 25, 1984, Bernadette Estepa was awakened by a
are just above the skin, then they can be taken off when washing because if commotion outside her room as if a door was being closed. She called out
they are not washed and directly examined this color especially of
her brother's name "Bong" but nobody answered. She notice from the space
firecrackers and fertilizers, there will be conglomeration or smudges of blue
color so the dirty appearance will be there, whereas, if they are washed under the door that the light on the sala was turned on so she got up and
those adhering on the skin will be taken off and they are soluble in water, so tried to open the door but could not. It was as if somebody was pulling the
that is taken off. While that of nitrates coming from gunpowder, they are door knob outside. Thinking that it was only her brother, she returned to her
embedded in the pores of the skin, so ordinary washing cannot be removed bed and went back to sleep. After about 5 minutes, she was awakened by
from the skin. If they are examined, these nitrates from that embedded the alarm clock which she previously set at 4:00. She called out Bong several
portion of the skin would be appearing very neatly as dark blue specks.As to times but nobody answered so she got up to wake him up per his request.
why both hands of the suspect yielded positive result for nitrates. Major
She opened the door, this time without any difficulty. Since the lights in the
4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 12
sala and kitchen were on, showed immediately noticed Bong's room which is g) bullet lodged at the level of the right floating rib 4 inches from the
about 13 meters from her's opened. She walked to the room but was right posterior axillary line, Bullet is colored lead and copper, with a
surprised to see it in complete disarray. Bongs books and beddings were diameter at its base of .38 in. and a length of 6/8 in. (Bullet given to
BCPD).
scattered on the floor. she looked for him in the other parts of the house but
xxx xxx xxx
could not find him. As she was calling his name she heard two gunshots Dra. Florita Ferrer-Garcia, a physician of the Baguio General Hospital, who
coming from downstairs. Immediately she went down and there she saw at conducted the autopsy, testified as follows:
the stair landing her brother, Bong, lying face down. She lifted him up and Q In No. 4 of your post-mortem report, it is stated "presence of a
noticed that he was bleeding. She asked him "why". Bong answered in gunshot wound 1/8" in diameter." [I]s this the wound that caused the
Ilocos, "Pinaltogandak ken sinasakdak" (They shot and stabbed me.) ultimate death of the victim in this case Teofilo Estepa?
Bernadette asked him who did it and he answered clearly, "Mark Bayquen A Yes, sir.
Q You also mentioned . . .
and Boco". She helped him stand placing her arms around his shoulder and
COURT:
up to their apartment at the second floor taking about 10 to 15 steps. They Q Will you please explain why that wound according to you was the
proceeded to Notre Dame Hospital. On their way, Bernadette did not tell cause of the death of the victim?
anything to the police. It was about 20 minutes from the time Bernadette A Because the wound has perforated vital organs which when
discovered her brother bleeding up to the time they reached the emergency injured is fatal.
room of the Norte Dame Hospital. An hour after, Teofilo was pronounced xxx xxx xxx
dead on arrival. Again Bernadette kept mum about the death of her brother Q In letter "h" of this report Doctora which is marked a Exhibit "B"
there is mentioned of 2 slits 3/8" in length on the skin over where the
but upon advise of Dra. Cabato, consented to the autopsy of the cadaver of
bullet is lodged. Would you please describe these slits and will you
her brother. give us an opinion what caused these slits?
A This slits is just a linear opening measuring 3/8 inch. in length,
Crime Charged: Homicide over the skin. And underneath it is the bullet. The probable reason of
the slit is the foreign object underneath the skin which has caused
RTC Ruling: Guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of Homicide pressure on the skin but was not able to get out.
Q So, could we assume that these slits were caused by the impact of
CA Ruling: Affirmed in toto the findings of the trial court the bullet going in?
A Yes, sir. (T.S.N., February 28, 1985, pp. 9-10)
Issue: Did the autopsy as the evidence presented concur with the victim’s
dying declaration that he was shot and stabbed that will amount to Contrary, therefore to Bong Estepa's dying declaration that he was "shot and
conviction? stabbed", Bong Estepa died of a single gunshot wound. He was not stabbed.

SC RULING: NO. Accused is ACQUITTED. In sum, the prosecution's case rest entirely upon the identification of
petitioner and Wilfredo Boco made to Bernadette Estepa by the deceased
The autopsy findings (Exh. "B") states: Bong Estepa. As We have pointed out earlier, however, considering the
xxx xxx xxx belated disclosure, We are not inclined to give weight to the alleged dying
4. Presence of a gunshot wound 1/8" in diameter; edges very black
declarations of Bong Estepa. As the Chief Justice in the Hernandez case
located below and medial to the left nipple;
a). penetrating the chest wall between the 6th and 7th ribs, 2 inches (supra), pointed out: "The ante mortem statements being thus relegated to
from the misternal line, limbo, . . . very little remains by way of evidence upon which to rest a verdict
b) perforating the tip of the right ventricle of conviction" against petitioner.
c) penetrating the left side of the diaphragm
d) perforating the liver
e) penetrating the right side of the diaphragm 3. Custodio vs. Sandiganbayan
f) perforating the lower lobe of the right lung
4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 13
Custodio, et al v. Sandiganbayan Clear is proof of the downward trajectory of the fatal bullet; First, as
G.R. Nos. 96027-28; March 8, 2005 Dr. Pedro Solis and Dr. Ceferino Cunanan, the immediate superiors of
Dr. Bienvenido Muoz, manifested before the Court, that, since the
Puno, J.: wound of entrance appeared ovaloid and there is what is known as a
contusion collar which was widest at the superior portion, indicating
Facts: an acute angle of approach, a downward trajectory of the bullet is
Petitioners were members of the military and security detail of the late indicated. This phenomenon indicates that the muzzle of the fatal gun
Sen. Benigno Aquino, Jr. who escorted him upon his arrival in Manila was at a level higher than that of the point of entry of the fatal bullet.
from his sojourn in the United States. While descending the plane,
Sen. Aquino was shot dead. His alleged gunman, Rolando Galman, There was no showing as to whether a probe could have been made
was also shot dead. Petitioners were then prosecuted for the double from the wound of entrance to the petrous bone. Out of curiosity, Dr.
murder of Galman and Aquino before the Sandiganbayan. The Juanito Billote tried to insert a probe from the wound of exit into the
Sandiganbayan acquitted the accused. Later, it was found out that the petrous bone. He was unsuccessful notwithstanding four or five
trial before the Sandiganbayan was a sham trial. Thus, another trial attempts. If at all, this disproves the theory of Dr. Muoz that the
was conducted by the Sandiganbayan now finding the petitioners trajectory was upward, downward and medially. On the other hand,
guilty of the double murder of Aquino and Galman. The decision in Dr. Juanito Billote and photographer Alexander Loinaz witnessed the
that case became final. However, petitioners sought to re-open the fact that Dr. Muoz[s] understudy, Alejandrino Javier, had successfully
case on the ground of newly discovered evidence. They argue that a made a probe from the wound of entrance directly towards the wound
new batch of forensic experts have discovered evidence capable of of exit. Alejandrino Javier shouted with excitement upon his success
reversing the judgment against them. and Alexander Loinaz promptly photographed this event with
Alejandrino Javier holding the protruding end of the probe at the
Issue: mandible.
Should the findings of the Sandiganbayan with regard to the death of
Sen. Aquino be disturbed? To be sure, had the main bullet hit the petrous bone, this spongy
mash of cartilage would have been decimated or obliterated. The fact
Held: that the main bullet was of such force, power and speed that it was
No, the Sandiganbayan's findings should not be disturbed. The able to bore a hole into the mandible and crack it, is an indication that
Sandiganbayan correctly appreciated the medico-legal findings it could not have been stopped or deflected by a mere petrous bone.
surrounding the death of Sen. Aquino. By its power and force, it must have been propelled by a powerful
gun. It would have been impossible for the main bullet to have been
This opinion of Dr. Bienvenido Muoz in this regard notwithstanding, deflected form an upward course by a mere spongy protuberance.
We hold that the trajectory of the fatal bullet which killed Sen. Benigno Granting that it was so deflected, however, it could not have
Aquino, Jr. was, indeed, forward, downward and medially. For the maintained the same power and force as when it entered the skull at
reason that the wound of entrance was at a higher elevation than the the mastoid region so as to crack the mandible and make its exit
wound of exit, there can be no other conclusion but that the trajectory there.
was downward. The bullet when traveling at a fast rate of speed takes
a straight path from the wound of entrance to the wound of exit. It is But what caused the fracture of the petrous bone? Was there a cause
unthinkable that the bullet, while projected upwards, would, instead of of the fracture, other than that the bullet had hit it? Dr. Pedro Solis,
exiting to the roof of the head, go down to the mandible because it maintaining the conclusion that the trajectory of the bullet was
was allegedly deflected by a petrous bone which though hard is in fact downward, gave the following alternative explanations for the fracture
a mere spongy protuberance, akin to a cartilage. of the petrous bone:

4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 14


First, the petrous bone could have been hit by a splinter of the main Petitioner was having a drinking session with his uncles Lucrecio), Melchor
bullet, particularly, that which was found at the temporal region; and, and Baltazar. Petitioner, who was seated beside Lucrecio, claimed that
Lucrecio’s carabao entered his farm and destroyed his crops. A heated
Second, the fracture must have been caused by the kinetic force discussion ensued, during which petitioner punched Lucrecio twice as the
applied to the point of entrance at the mastoid region which had the latter was about to stand up. Petitioner’s punches landed on Lucrecio’s right
tendency of being radiated towards the petrous bone. and left temple, causing him to fall face-up to the ground and hit a hollow
block which was being used as an improvised stove.
Thus, the fracture in the occipital bone, of the temporal bone, and of
the parietal bone, Dr. Pedro Solis pointed out, had been caused by Lucrecio lost consciousness but was revived with the assistance of Baltazar.
the aforesaid kinetic force. When a force is applied to the mastoid Thereafter, Lucrecio proceeded to his house. Upon his arrival, his wife
region of the head, Dr. Pedro Solis emphasized, a radiation of forces noticed blood on his forehead. Lucrecio explained that he was stoned, then
is distributed all over the cranial back, including, although not limited went directly to his room and slept. At around 9PM, Lucrecio’s wife and
to, the parietal bone. The skull, Dr. Solis explains, is a box-like daughter noticed that his complexion has darkened and foamy substance
structure. The moment you apply pressure on the portion, a distortion, was coming out of his mouth. Attempts were made to revive Lucrecio but to
tension or some other mechanical defect is caused. This radiation of no avail. He died that same night.
forces produces what is known as the spider web linear fracture which
goes to different parts of the body. The so-called fracturing of the After Lucrecio’s burian, NBI Medico-Legal Officer exhumed Lucrecio’s body
petrous portion of the left temporal bone is one of the consequences and performed the autopsy. Dr. Vertido concluded that Lucrecio’s cause of
of the kinetic force forcefully applied to the mastoid region. death was traumatic head injury.

The fact that there was found a fracture of the petrous bone is not RTC convicted accused of Homicide. CA affirmed with modifications. In this
necessarily indicative of the theory that the main bullet passed appeal, petitioner denied hitting Lucrecio and alleged that the latter died of
through the petrous bone. cardiac arrest. Petitioner claimed that he suddenly stood up during their
heated argument with the intent to punch Lucrecio. However, since the latter
Doubt was expressed by Dr. Pedro Solis as to whether the metal was seated at the opposite end of the bench, Lucrecio lost his balance and
fragments alleged by Dr. Bienvenido Muoz to have been found by him fell before he could be hit. Lucrecios head hit the improvised stove as a result
inside the skull or at the wound of exit were really parts of the main of which he lost consciousness.
bullet which killed the Senator. When Dr. Pedro Solis examined these
fragments, he found that two (2) of the fragments were larger in size, He also belatedly contends that the delay (1 month after death) in the
and were of such shapes, that they could not have gone out of the autopsy of Lucrecio’s body and its embalming compromised the results
wound of exit considering the size and shape of the exit wound. thereof. To substantiate his claim, he quotes the book entitled Legal
Medicine authored by Dr. Pedro Solis.

ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner should be held liable for homicide.


Medico-legal Aspects of Death
RULING: Yes. It is on record that Lucrecio suffered two external
1. Seguritan vs. People injuries and one internal injury in his head. The autopsy report showed that
ROO SEGURITAN vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES Lucrecio died of internal hemorrhage caused by injuries located at the upper
G.R. No. 172896 right portion of the head, left side of the center of his head, and a fracture,
DEL CASTILLO, J linear, right middle fossa, hemorrhage, subdural, right and left cerebral
hemisphere.
FACTS:
4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 15
As affirmed by the appellate court, that petitioner punched Lucrecio twice Dionisio Javier saw Rolito appear from the back of the chapel. Rolito leaned
causing him to fall to the ground. Melchor categorically testified that petitioner against the wall and pulled outa knife measuring seven (7) inches in length.
punched Lucrecio twice and as a result, Lucrecio fell to the ground and lost He stabbed the victim with an upward thrust at his right armpit. Javieralso
consciousness. Melchor would not have testified falsely against petitioner, saw Salvador stab the victim near the chest. The victim retaliated with a
who was his nephew. blowto Salvador, who simultaneously stabbed him at the front side of his
body near the chest. Eloy entered the scene andlikewise stabbed the victim.
The notation in the Certificate of Death of Lucrecio that he died of a heart Javier saw Salvador stab the victim several times until he fell down. Salvador
attack has no weight in evidence. Dr. Corazon Flor, who signed said continued stabbingthe victim several times at the back while he was lying flat
document testified that she did not examine the cadaver of Lucrecio. She on the floor.
stated that a circular governing her profession did not require her to conduct
an examination of Lucrecios corpse, as long as the informant tells her that it Dr. Florante Mendozaexamined Felipe who was declared dead on arrival. He
is not a medico-legal case. Renato Sidantes (Renato), the brother-in-law of testified that the victim suffered several stabwounds on the left upper arm, in
Lucrecio who applied for the latters death certificate, had no knowledge of the forearm, and at the back, which "possibly" caused his death.
the real cause of his death. Thus, Dr. Flor was mistakenly informed by
Renato that the cause of Lucrecios death was heart attack. Dr. DesiderioMoraleda, on the other hand, testified that as per autopsy result,
the cause of the victim’s death was"cardio arrest due to respiratory shock
Petitioners reliance on Dr. Solis’ book is misplaced. Petitioner failed to and hemorrhage secondary to multiple stab wounds." The wounds
adduce evidence that the one month delay in the autopsy indeed modified totaledtwenty-six (26), twenty-three (23) of which were located in the dorsal
the possible findings. He also failed to substantiate his claim that the side, chest, forearm and back. He said thatthere was no wound at the right
embalming fluid rendered the tissue and blood of Lucrecio unfit for toxilogical armpit. Based on his examination of the wounds, he opined that the
analysis. Further, it is settled that courts will only consider as evidence that assailants hadbeen in motion, although he also said that it was possible that
which has been formally offered. The allegation that the results of the there could have been only one assailant. However, in the cross-
autopsy are unworthy of credence was based on a book that was neither examination, Javier stated that he only saw Rolito.
marked for identification nor formally offered in evidence during the hearing
of the case. Thus, the trial court as well as the appellate court correctly The case against Salvador was dismissed while Rolito was convicted.
disregarded them.
Petitioner appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeals. In his Brief, he
capitalized on the inconsistency of Javier’s testimony relative to the physical
evidence as shown by the medical and autopsy findings to exculpate himself
2. Rabanal vs. People from criminal liability. Petitioner claimed that he could not be faulted for the
RolitoRabanal vs. People death of the victim in the absence of credible proof of injury he caused to the
G. R. No. 160858 February 28, 2006 victim.
Tinga, J.
The appellate court dismissed petitioner’s contention by holding that "[t]he
location of the stab wounds at the cadaver is inconsequential in a homicidal
Facts: attack. As long as the intent to kill is present, the requirement of the law for
conviction is satisfied."
RolitoRabanal, Salvador Impistan and Eloy Labatique were all charged with
homicide for stabbing Felipe Sales with a bladed weapon hitting him on Issue: Should Rolito Rabanal be acquitted due to the inconsistencies of
different parts of hisbody thereby inflicting upon him serious and mortal Javier’s testimony and medical report?
wounds which were the direct and immediate cause of hisdeath.
Ruling:
4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 16
Yes. The inconsistencies in Javier’s testimony reflect his uncertainty as to the
identity of the malefactors. He was categorical in describing Salvador’s
participation in stabbing the victim during the direct examination and even
earlier inhis sworn statement, only to retract during the cross-examination
and deny having seen Salvador stab the victim. Thisturnaround bears
relevance to the identification of the assailants so as to create a reasonable
doubt as to theirculpability.

Corroborative evidence may be resorted to when there are reasons to


warrant the suspicion that the witnessfalsified the truth or that his
observations had been inaccurate.

Javier had unequivocally testified that petitioner stabbed victim on the right
armpit. This does not correspond withthe autopsy report. Of the twenty-six
(26) stab wounds, not a single wound was found at the right armpit.Physical
evidence is a mute but eloquent manifestation of truth and rates highly in the
hierarchy of trustworthyevidence. It enjoys a far more superior probative
weight than corroborative testimonies. In the instant case, theautopsy report
negates the lone witness’s account of the participation of petitioner in the
stabbing of the victim.The inconsistency between the positive testimony of
Javier and the physical evidence, particularly the autopsyreport, further
diminishes the credibility of the lone eyewitness.

Themedico-legal officer conceded that it was possible that only one person
inflicted all the stab wounds on the victim,thus it is also possible that any one
of the several people mentioned by Javier could have, on his own,
perpetratedthe crime. The gaps and inconsistencies in Javier’s tale give rise
to a plausible alternative version, supported bypetitioner’s witness and
unrebutted by the physical evidence, that petitioner was not present at the
scene of the crime, or otherwise did not participate in the stabbing of the
victim. When confronted with variant though equallyplausible version of
events, the version that is in accord with the acquittal or the least liability of
the accused should be favored.

The lower courts committed reversible error in ruling that the positive
identification of petitioner-appellant by the complainant as the lone
eyewitness presented by the prosecution established his guilt to a moral
certainty. In thiscase, the testimony of Javier is dubious; hence, stark of
probative weight.

4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 17


4F | LEGMED DIGESTED CASES 18