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Additional Cases: Homicide

G.R. No. 96037, October 29, 1992

People vs. Pugal

Summarized by Mil Ramos

Armed men made a forced entry into the Salamanca residence, robbed them and killed Jacinto,
the father. One of the assailants, Pugal shows up at the wake and stays at the Salamanca’s for
the whole duration of the mourning. Later on when they file their cases, he claims that it is
unlikely that he is guilty because of his non-flight. The Court does not agree and affirms the
RTC ruling convicting him.

Jacinto Salamanca (victim) and Erlinda Salamanca (wife)
Antonio Soriano and Ricardo Adduca (both accused but at large)
Prudencio Pugal (accused-appellant)

1. July 23, 1985, 9:00 P.M. - Erlinda Salamanca, her son Hizon and daughter-in-law Lolita,
was resting inside their house at Laya West, Tabuk, Kalinga-Apayao; her husband, Jacinto
Salamanca, had just started to eat supper when the dogs started barking
a. They heard the voice of Prudencio Pugal call "Apo" three times. Jacinto went to the
sala and asked, "Who are you?" Somebody answered, "Dakami," meaning "We are
the ones."
b. Jacinto called out again, "Who are you," the person outside replied, "We are the
ones, we came from Dagupan." Jacinto and Erlinda peeped through the jalousie
window and they saw Prudencio Pugal and Ricardo Adduca standing near the door;
place was lighted by a 20-watt flourescent lamp.
2. Erlinda told Jacinto to open the door. Once it was opened, Pugal pulled Jacinto out of the
house, and then three masked men rushed inside the house.
a. One of the men who had a long armalite rifle stood guard at the door, while the other
two, one of whom had a short firearm
b. Adduca demanded money and an armalite rifle from the occupants. When the latter
failed to produce any, Adduca ransacked the house.
c. Erlinda gave her earnings for the day (P1,000.00) and, in addition, she gave the ring
of her daughter-in-law.
3. They were ordered and forced to lie on the floor face down. Erlinda and Hizon heard the
clapping of hands from outside. Sensing that nobody was guarding them anymore, Erlinda
and Hizon crawled towards the window.
a. They saw the men drag Jacinto and tie him to a coconut tree with a rope. Erlinda
also saw Pugal slap and kick Jacinto.
b. The man with an armalite rifle pointed his gun upwards and fired it several times, and
after, at Jacinto, and shot the latter several times.

c. The men fled towards the north and when they reached corner leading to Cabaruan,
another gunshot was heard.
4. Erlinda and Hizon rushed to where Jacinto was, but he’s already dead. Erlinda then sent
Hizon to call for assistance; barangay people and the police arrived.
a. Jacinto's body was brought to their house; Hizon noticed that his father's false teeth
were missing.
b. Efforts to look for the it at/near the place where Jacinto was killed proved futile
5. 2 days after Jacinto died, Pugal went to the house of the Salamancas and returned the
dentures of Jacinto which he allegedly found near the place where the victim was killed.
a. Pugay stayed in the house of the Salamancas for the entire duration of the wake
(kapal no haha)
6. July 24, 1985 - Dr. Jaime Almora, resident physician at the Kalinga-Apayao Provincial
Hospital, conducted autopsy; findings include:
▪ Multiple fracture due to multiple gunshot wounds with loss of some brain tissue and
left eye
▪ Chest gunshot wound
▪ Wounds on thighs and legs
▪ Cause of death: Multiple gunshot wounds
7. September 24, 1985 - accused Soriano, accompanied by Sgts. Taguiam and Aquino to Atty.
Wayne Odiem to seek the latter's help in the taking of Soriano's confession.
a. After having informed Soriano of his constitutional rights, Atty. Odiem assisted
Soriano while the latter gave his extrajudicial confession
b. Soriano, never intimated to Odiem that the he was coerced and threatened into
giving his statement wherein he implicated herein appellant Pugal as one of the
8. Defense: Alibi and denial
a. Pugal: July 23, 1985, evening - he was at home at Laya West (1.5 km away from the
house of the victim), and that he did not notice any unusual incident that night
b. Lydia Magno: appellant is her uncle, that he and Adduca were part of the "ronda"
which went around the barrio; didn’t state in testimony anything about the exact
whereabouts of Adduca or appellant on that particular night


1. Inconsistencies in testimony
▪ Hizon: wore masks; Erlinda – no masks
- Hizon was pertaining to when they were inside; Erlinda was pertaining to
appellant who was calling from outside (sino nga naman magpapapaspok ng
▪ Presence of light from 20 watts fluorescent lamp – helped recognized Pugal
2. Non-flight does not equate to innocence
▪ No case law stating that non-flight is conclusive proof of innocence; not necessarily
indicative of clear conscience
▪ There are cases wherein the accused even search for victim, buy coffin, attend vigil and

3. Delay in giving statement, when reasonable, does not impair the credibility of the witness
nor render his testimony biased/no probative value.
▪ failure cannot be taken against witness bec. not uncommon to show reluctance about
getting involved in a criminal case
▪ reason for their initial reluctance is fear for their safety and their lives → after the 9 th day
of prayer, the Salamancas had to transfer to another place in apprehension of possible
reprisals from the culprits
4. Hizon and Erlinda are biased as witnesses considering that they are related and very close
to the deceased??? - No
▪ mere relationship of the witnesses to the victim does not render their clear and positive
testimony less worthy of full faith and credit
▪ Natural interest of relatives is justice
5. Accused alibi does not stand vs. positive identification
▪ No physical impossibility in his defense
6. There was conspiracy
▪ Concerted act began when Pugal called out to victim
▪ All accused equally guilty


WHEREFORE, subject to the above-stated modifications, the judgment of the court a quo is
hereby AFFIRMED in all other respects.