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Lopez The RTC convicted the two accused of three

counts of murder and sentenced them to suffer

1. People vs. Edwin Valdez and PO2 Eduardo reclusion perpetua for each count of murder.
On appeal, the CA affirmed the convictions.
The real nature of the criminal charge is In this appeal, PO2 Valdez assails the credibility of
determined not from the caption or preamble the witnesses by pointing to inconsistencies in their
of the information, or from the specification of testimonies; challenges the finding of conspiracy
the provision of law alleged to have been between the accused; and contends that the State
violated, which are mere conclusions of law, did not establish the qualifying circumstance of
but by the actual recital of the facts in the treachery.
complaint or information.
Whether or not the prosecution sufficiently
established the qualifying circumstance of
Estrella Sayson (Estrella) was in a canteen (which
treachery? NO
also served as a jai alai betting station) and
prepared for the celebration of her husband’s
birthday. Estrella’s son, Moises (Moises) Sayson,
Treachery is the employment of means, methods,
a former policeman, owned the said canteen and
or forms in the execution of any of the crimes
managed the betting station. At about 9:00 pm,
against persons which tend to directly and
Estrella’s other sons Joselito Sayson (Joselito) and
specially insure its execution, without risk to the
Ferdinand Sayson (Ferdinand) arrived at the
offending party arising from the defense which the
canteen to greet their stepfather.
offended party might make. It encompasses a wide
variety of actions and attendant circumstances, the
At around 10:00 pm, the celebration was
appreciation of which is particular to a crime
interrupted with the arrival of PO2 Eduardo Valdez
committed. Corollarily, the defense against the
and Edwin Valdez, who alighted from a motorcycle
appreciation of a circumstance as aggravating
in front of the jai alai fronton. Eduardo and Edwin
or qualifying is also varied and dependent on
asked the jai alai teller, Jonathan Rubio, to come
each particular instance. Such variety
out. Jonathan was then attending to customers
generates the actual need for the State to
who were buying jai alai tickets. Moises
specifically aver the factual circumstances or
approached Eduardo and Edwin and tried to
particular acts that constitute the criminal
reason with them. Estrella saw Eduardo and Edwin
conduct or that qualify or aggravate the liability
armed with guns. She tried to prevent Moises from
for the crime in the interest of affording the
going near Edwin and Eduardo. Moises did not
accused sufficient notice to defend himself.
heed his mother’s warning. He went out and
advised Eduardo and Edwin not to force Jonathan
The real nature of the criminal charge is
to go out of the fronton. Estrella then heard one of
determined not from the caption or preamble of
the accused-appellants threaten Moises with the
the information, or from the specification of the
words “Gusto mo unahin na kita?” Moises replied
provision of law alleged to have been violated,
“huwag.” Successive shots were thereafter heard.
which are mere conclusions of law, but by the
Moises fell and was continuously fired upon.
actual recital of the facts in the complaint or
Ferdinand immediately approached the scene to
information. In People v. Dimaano the Court
help his brother Moises. Ferdinand, however was
elaborated: For complaint or information to be
shot on the left temporal portion of his head and
sufficient, it must state the name of the accused;
fell. Joselito ran away, but he was hit at the back
the designation of the offense given by the statute;
while running. After shooting the Sayson brothers,
the acts or omissions complained of as constituting
Eduardo and Edwin escaped from the crime
the offense; the name of the offended party; the
approximate time of the commission of the offense,
and the place wherein the offense was committed.
What is controlling is not the title of the complaint,
nor the designation of the offense charged or the To discharge its burden of informing him of the
particular law or part thereof allegedly violated, charge, the State must specify in the information
these being mere conclusions of law made by the the details of the crime and any circumstance that
prosecutor, but the description of the crime aggravates his liability for the crime. The
charged and the particular facts therein requirement of sufficient factual averments is
recited. The acts or omissions complained of must meant to inform the accused of the nature and
be alleged in such form as is sufficient to enable a cause of the charge against him in order to enable
person of common understanding to know what him to prepare his defense. It emanates from the
offense is intended to be charged, and enable the presumption of innocence in his favor, pursuant to
court to pronounce proper judgment. No which he is always presumed to have no
information for a crime will be sufficient if it does independent knowledge of the details of the crime
not accurately and clearly allege the elements of he is being charged with. To have the facts stated
the crime charged. Every element of the offense in the body of the information determine the crime
must be stated in the information. What facts of which he stands charged and for which he must
and circumstances are necessary to be be tried thoroughly accords with common sense
included therein must be determined by and with the requirements of plain justice, for, as
reference to the definitions and essentials of the Court fittingly said in United States v. Lim San:
the specified crimes. The requirement of From a legal point of view, and in a very real sense,
alleging the elements of a crime in the it is of no concern to the accused what is the
information is to inform the accused of the technical name of the crime of which he stands
nature of the accusation against him so as to charged. It in no way aids him in a defense on the
enable him to suitably prepare his merits. That to which his attention should be
defense. The presumption is that the accused directed, and in which he, above all things else,
has no independent knowledge of the facts that should be most interested, are the facts alleged.
constitute the offense. The real question is not did he commit a crime
given in the law some technical and specific name,
The averments of the informations to the effect but did he perform the acts alleged in the body of
that the two accused “with intent to kill, qualified the information in the manner therein set forth. If
with treachery, evident premeditation and abuse of he did, it is of no consequence to him, either as a
superior strength did xxx assault, attack and matter of procedure or of substantive right, how the
employ personal violence upon” the victims “by law denominates the crime which those acts
then and there shooting [them] with a gun, hitting constitute. The designation of the crime by name
[them]” on various parts of their bodies “which in the caption of the information from the facts
[were] the direct and immediate cause of [their] alleged in the body of that pleading is a conclusion
death[s]” did not sufficiently set forth the facts of law made by the fiscal. In the designation of the
and circumstances describing how treachery crime the accused never has a real interest until
attended each of the killings. Merely averring the the trial has ended. For his full and complete
killing of a person by shooting him with a gun, defense he need not know the name of the crime
without more, did not show how the execution of at all. It is of no consequence whatever for the
the crime was directly and specially ensured protection of his substantial rights. The real and
without risk to the accused from the defense that important question to him is, “Did you perform the
the victim might make. Indeed, the use of the gun acts alleged in the manner alleged?” not “Did you
as an instrument to kill was not per se treachery, commit a crime named murder.” If he performed
for there are other instruments that could serve the the acts alleged, in the manner stated, the law
same lethal purpose. Nor did the use of the term determines what the name of the crime is and fixes
treachery constitute a sufficient averment, for that the penalty therefor. It is the province of the court
term, standing alone, was nothing but a conclusion alone to say what the crime is or what it is named.
of law, not an averment of a fact. In short, the
particular acts and circumstances constituting A practical consequence of the non-allegation of a
treachery as an attendant circumstance in murder detail that aggravates his liability is to prohibit the
were missing from the informations. introduction or consideration against the accused
of evidence that tends to establish that detail. The
allegations in the information are controlling in the
ultimate analysis. Thus, when there is a variance
between the offense charged in the information
and that proved, and the offense as charged is
included in or necessarily includes the offense
proved, the accused shall be convicted of the
offense proved included in the offense charged, or
of the offense charged included in the offense
proved. In that regard, an offense charged
necessarily includes the offense proved when
some of the essential elements or ingredients of
the former, as alleged in the information, constitute
the latter; an offense charged is necessarily
included in the offense proved when the essential
ingredients of the former constitute or form part of
those constituting the latter.

WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of

Appeals is MODIFIED by finding PO2 Eduardo
Valdez guilty beyond reasonable doubt of three
counts of HOMICIDE instead of MURDER.