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126. People v.

Diaz
Date: Jan. 21, 1974
Topic: Disregard of rank, age, sex, and dwelling
Keyword: Manyak na Farmer
FACTS:

 The evidence for the prosecution shows that at about two o'clock in the afternoon of September 4, 1963 Remegia Carasos, a
fourteen-year old girl, and her first cousin, Anita Pacaira (Pakaira), eleven years old, were gathering camotes in a farm located at
a place fittingly called Sitio Camotian, Barrio Perito, municipality of Sta. Margarita, Western Samar.

 In that peaceful, rustic scene, there suddenly appeared Francisco Diaz (Ansing or Francing), a twenty-four year old unmarried
farmer of that place, whom Remegia and Anita had known for many years. Without any preliminaries, he embraced Remegia from
behind and against her will and held her breast. He knelt behind her while she was gathering camotes. She shouted for help,
saying: "Anita (Aning), help me because I am being embraced". Reacting to Remegia's cry for help, Anita, with the a bolo, struck
Francisco on the head and hands. Francisco released Remegia and fled. He suffered some injuries in consequence of those
blows. The injuries were treated at the puericulture center by the sanitary inspector (Exh. D and D-1).

 The two girls left the camote farm and hastened to the house of Quintin Tadia (Tadya), their grandfather, in Sitio Ilawod. They
informed him that Francisco Diaz had embraced and abused Remegia. Remegia had been brought up by her grandfather. She
was then staying with him. Anita was living with her parents in a house about six brazas from Tadia's house.

 Tadia immediately reported the incident to the barrio lieutenant. He gave Tadia a note for the municipal authorities so that the
proper complaint could be filed against Francisco Diaz.

 At around seven o'clock in the morning of the following day, September 5th, Tadia, accompanied by his teenage granddaughters,
Remegia and Anita, was on his way to the poblacion of Sta. Margarita to file complaint. He was unarmed. He was carrying on his
back a catopis, an oblong basket about four by two "palms' length" containing provisions of boiled camotes. He was walking
ahead, followed by Remegia and Anita one braza behind him.

 While they were ascending the hill or cliff ( pangpang in Waray dialect) in Sitio Ilawod, Francisco Diaz and his younger brother
Gerardo (Adong), twenty-one years old, appeared on the crest of the hill. Both were wearing denim pants and white shirts.
Gerardo was armed with a locally made shotgun called bardog (Exh. C), about fifty inches long. He immediately fired sidewise at
Tadia while about four meters from the latter, hitting him in the neck. The shot felled Tadia. He rolled down the lower part of the
cliff near the Alao Creek and lay there flat on his back with his catopis.

 Then, the brothers jumped to the lower part of the cliff. Gerardo told his brother: "Go ahead, Francisco, stab that fellow". Francisco
placed his foot on the prostrate body of Quintin Tadia, bent over him and repeatedly stabbed him in different parts of his body.
Francisco was armed with a bolo commonly called utak which is used in gathering firewood.

 After witnessing the assault, Remegia Carasos ran in the direction of her house. Anita Pacairo hid herself among the bushes or
tall grasses "sitting, crouching and peeping" and "seeing all that was happening" (78 tsn). Tadia died on the spot where he fell.
Gerardo placed his bardog on a moss-covered stone called palanas about three brazas from Tadia's body. Remegia informed her
father and the inhabitants of the barrio about the ambuscade and the killing of her grandfather. Gerardo Diaz went home while
Francisco surrendered to the authorities.

 On September 6, 1963 Gerardo Diaz was arrested in Barrio Perito by Policemen Venancio Melka and Simplicio Calibo. He did not
resist arrest. He was in good physical condition. On September 9, 1963, or four days after the killing, Remegia and Anita executed
before the municipal judge sworn statements wherein they recounted the antecedents and details of the killing (pages 3 to 8 of the
Record), On that same date the chief of police filed in the municipal court a complaint for murder against the Diaz brothers.

HELD:

 WON the crime was committed with insult or lack of regard due to offended party by reason of rank, age or sex and dwelling.

RULING: NO

 The circumstance of old age cannot be considered aggravating. There was no evidence that the accused deliberately intended to
offend or insult the age of the victim. That circumstance may be absorbed in treachery (People vs. Gervacio, L-21565, August 30,
1968, 24 SCRA 960; People vs. Mangsant, 65 Phil. 548; People vs. Limaco, 88 Phil. 35, 44).

DECISION:

 Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court should be modified. Francisco Diaz is sentenced to reclusion perpetua with its
accessory penalties. The appellants are ordered to pay solidarily to the heirs of Quintin Tadia the sum of P12,000 as indemnity
(Art. 110, Revised Penal Code). In other respects, the trial court's judgment is affirmed with costs against the appellants.

 The benefits of article 29 of the Revised Penal Code, regarding preventive imprisonment, may be extended to the appellants if the
conditions laid down in Republic Act No. 6127 are satisfied. So ordered.
127. People v. Arizobal
Date: Dec. 14, 2000
Topic: Disregard of rank, age, sex, and dwelling
Keyword: Nagpabili pa ng Coke!
FACTS:

 The factual backdrop: On 12 August 1994 two (2) separate Informations were filed before the Regional Trial Court of
Cataingnan, Masbate, charging Clarito Arizobal, Erly Lignes, Rogelio Gemino and two (2) John Does with Robbery in
Band with Homicide for robbing and slaying Laurencio Gimenez and his son Jimmy Gimenez.

 The prosecution presented, among others, Clementina Gimenez, wife of victim Laurencio Gimenez. She testified that on
24 March 1994 she together with her husband Laurencio Gimenez and a grandchild were sound asleep in their house in
Tuybo, Cataingan, Masbate.

 CLEMENTIA: At around 9:30 in the evening, Laurencio roused her from sleep and told her to open the door because there
were persons outside the house. Since it was pitch-dark she lit a kerosene lamp and stood up to open the door. She was
suddenly confronted by three (3) armed men pointing their guns at her. She recognized two (2) of them as Clarito Arizobal
and Erly Lignes but failed to recognize the third person who was wearing a maskara. She readily identified Clarito because
she used to pass by his house in San Rafael while Erly was also a familiar face as he was a regular habitué of the flea
market. According to Clementina, Clarito asked her husband, "Tay, where is your gun." But she promptly interjected, "We
have no gun, not even a bolo. If you want, you can look around for it." While the man in maskara stood guard at the door,
Clarito and Lignes barged into the master's bedroom and forcibly opened the aparador. The terrified couple could not raise
a finger in protest but had to leave their fate to the whims of their assailants. The intruders ransacked their cabinet and
scattered everything on the floor until they found P8,000.00 among sheets of paper. Before leaving with their loot they
ordered Laurencio to go with them to Jimmy's house because "we have something to talk about." Against his will,
Laurencio went with them. Clementina recalled that shortly after the group left she heard a volley of shots. Her grandchild,
as if sensing what befell her grandfather, could only mutter in fear, "Lolo is already dead!"

 ERLINDA: The wife of Jimmy Gimenez, narrated that on 24 March 1994, after she and her son had taken supper, her
husband Jimmy with one Francisco Gimenez arrived. Jimmy informed Erlinda that they had already bought a carabao.
After he handed her the certificate of large cattle, and while he was in the process of skinning a chicken for their supper,
three (3) men suddenly appeared and ordered them to lie face down. One of them pushed her to the ground while the
others tied Francisco and Jimmy as they whipped the latter with an armalite rifle. She noticed one of them wearing a mask,
another a hat, and still another, a bonnet. Realizing the utter helplessness of their victims, the robbers took the liberty of
consuming the food and cigarettes Erlinda was selling in her sari-sari store. Finding no softdrinks to complete their snack,
two (2) of the intruders ordered Erlinda to buy coke for them at the neighboring store. But they warned her not to make any
noise, much less alert the vendor. When they returned to the house of Jimmy, the robbers proceeded to ransack the
household in search for valuables. They took around P1,000.00 from her sari-sari store and told them to produce
P100,000.00 in exchange for Jimmy's life. Since the couple could not produce such a big amount in so short a time, Erlinda
offered to give their certificate of large cattle. The culprits however would not fall for the ruse and threw the document back
to her. Three (3) masked men then dragged Jimmy outside the house and together with Laurencio brought them some fifty
(50) meters away while leaving behind Clarito Arizobal and Erly Lignes to guard Francisco and Erlinda's son. Moments
later she heard a burst of gunfire, which reverberated through the stillness of the night.

HELD:

 WON the crime was committed with insult or lack of regard due to offended party by reason of rank, age or sex and
dwelling.

RULING: YES
 The trial court is correct in appreciating dwelling as an aggravating circumstance. Generally, dwelling is considered
inherent in the crimes, which can only be committed in the abode of the victim, such as trespass to dwelling and robbery in
an inhabited place. However, in robbery with homicide the authors thereof can commit the heinous crime without
transgressing the sanctity of the victim's domicile. In the case at bar, the robbers demonstrated an impudent disregard of
the inviolability of the victims' abode when they forced their way in, looted their houses, intimidated and coerced their
inhabitants into submission, disabled Laurencio and Jimmy by tying their hands before dragging them out of the house to
be killed.

 Even if the killing took place outside the dwelling, it is aggravating provided that the commission of the crime began in the
dwelling. Dwelling is aggravating in robbery with intimidation with violence against or intimidation of persons because this
class of robbery can be committed without the necessity of trespassing the sanctity of the offended party’s house. Dwelling
is not inherent, hence aggravating, in Robbery with Homicide since the author thereof could have accomplished his
heineous deed without having to violate the domicile of the victim.

DECISION:

The special complex crime of robbery with homicide carries with it the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death.

In conformity with Art. 63, par. (1), of The Revised Penal Code, when the crime is attended by an aggravating circumstance with
no circumstance mitigating it, the higher penalty shall be imposed.
128. People v. Daniel
Date: Nov. 20, 1978
Topic: Disregard of rank, age, sex, and dwelling
Keyword: Rape sa Boarding House
FACTS:
 "The offended party in this case is Margarita Paleng who was born on November 20, 1952. She is a native of
Balangabang, Tublay, Mountain Province. At the time of the incident in question on September 20, 1965, complainant was
temporarily boarding at a house located at Pinsao, Guisad, Baguio City, as she was then a first year high school student at
the Baguio Eastern High School.

 "On September 20, 1965, at about 3:00 pm, she had just arrived in the City from Tublay in a Dangwa bus. Because it was
then raining and the bus was parked several meters away from the bus station, she waited inside the bus. After about three
minutes of waiting, Daniel came and started molesting her by inquiring her name and getting hold of her bag. But she did
not allow him to hold her bag. She called the attention of the bus driver and the conductor about the actuation of the
accused, but it seemed that the former were also afraid of him.

 "Despite the rain, she left the bus and went to ride in a jeep parked some 100 meters away. The accused closely followed
her. When the jeep started to go, the accused also rode and sat beside her.

 "When the jeep reached Guisad, she alighted on the road but she still had to negotiate a distance of ten meters. The
accused also alighted and again he tried to carry her bag. Although he was not allowed to carry her bag, he was adamant
in following her.

 "Reaching her boarding house, she opened the door and was about to close it when the accused dashed in and closed the
door behind him. When she entered her room, the accused went in. He pulled a dagger eight inches long and threatened
her: 'If you will talk, I will kill you'. Margarita was stunned into silence because of her fear. Thereupon, the accused held her
hair with his left hand and forced her to lie down in bed. He also placed his left hand with a handkerchief in Margarita's
mouth, at the same time holding the dagger and her neck with his right hand. She was forcibly made to lie down and, at
this moment, the accused removed the buttons of his pants. He then put down the dagger on the bed. Her attempts to
extricate herself from the accused was to no avail as she was only 4 ft. and 8 inches tall and weighed about 95 to 100
pounds while the accused was 5 ft. and 7 inches tall and weighed about 126 pounds. He then held his penis used his thigh
to separate the legs of Margarita, tried, but failed, to remove her panty. He nonetheless guided his penis and inserted it
inside the vagina of the complainant after prying open the part of her panty covering her private parts. Then he succeeded
in having carnal knowledge of the offended party Margarita lost consciousness. When she recovered, he was already
gone.

 The following morning, her father came to visit her. She confided to him the terrible misfortune which befell her. She was
immediately brought to the Baguio General Hospital where she was examined. Then they proceeded to the Police
Department. The Chief of Police accompanied them to the Health Center where she was again examined by Dr. Perfecto
O. Micu who thereafter submitted his medical report. Margarita and her father gave their respective statements before the
police authorities. She signed her criminal complaint prepared by the Fiscal's Office of Baguio.” Dr. Micu concluded that
"defloration was recent". He further declared that the condition of the hymen revealed that Margarita Paleng was a virgin
before the incident complained of, and that the number of lacerations and contusions at the base of the hymen indicated
the degree of force exerted to effect the sexual act.

HELD:

 WON the crime was committed with insult or lack of regard due to offended party by reason of rank, age or sex and
dwelling.

RULING: YES.

 To conclude, the crime committed by the appellant is rape with the use of a deadly weapon with the aggravating
circumstance of having been committed in the dwelling of the offended party. Although Margarita was merely renting a
bedspace in a boarding house, her room constituted for all intents and purposes a "dwelling" as the term is used in Article
14(3), Revised Penal Code. It is not necessary, under the law, that the victim owns the place where he lives or dwells. Be he
a lessee, a boarder, or a bed-spacer, the place is his home the sanctity of which the law seeks to protect and uphold.

DECISION:

 Hence, the correct penalty for the crime committed is death pursuant to Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code as amended.
However, for lack of the necessary number of votes, the penalty next lower in degree is to be applied.
 Decision modified. We affirm the judgment of conviction of Amado Daniel for the crime of rape as charged, and We
sentence him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and order him to indemnify Margarita Paleng by way of moral
damages in the amount of Twelve Thousand Pesos (P12,000.00) and pay the costs.
129. People v. Apduhan
Date: August 30, 1968
Topic: Disregard of rank, age, sex, and dwelling
Keyword: ______________
FACTS:
 This is an automatic review of the judgment rendered on August 30, 1961 by the Court of First Instance of Bohol (Judge
Hipolito Alo presiding) convicting Apolonio Apduhan, Jr. of robbery with homicide and sentencing him to death and "to
indemnify the heirs of the deceased Geronimo Miano in the amount of P6,000.00, to indemnify the heirs of the other
deceased Norberto Aton in the same amount of P6,000.00 . . ."

 On August 2, 1961 the accused Apduhan, then represented by Atty. David Ocangas, together with his co-accused
Rodulfo Huiso and Felipe Quimson, both represented by Atty. David Tirol, pleaded not guilty to a second amended
information which recites: "The undersigned Provincial Fiscal accuses Apolonio Apduhan, Jr., alias Junior, Rodulfo Huiso
and Felipe Quimson of the crime of Robbery With Homicide, committed as follows:

 "That on or about the 23rd day of May, 1961, at about 7:00 o'clock in the evening, in the municipality of Mabini, province of
Bohol, Philippines, the above-named accused and five (5) other persons whose true names are not yet known (they are
presently known only with their aliases of Bernabe Miano, Rudy, Angel-Angi, Romeo and Tony) and who are still at large
(they will be charged in separate information or informations as soon as they are arrested and preliminary proceedings in
Crim. Case No. 176 completed before the Justice of the Peace Court), all of them armed with different unlicensed firearms,
daggers, and other deadly weapons, conspiring, confederating and helping one another, with intent of gain, did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously enter, by means of violence, the dwelling house of the spouses Honorato Miano
and Antonia Miano, which was also the dwelling house of their children, the spouses Geronimo Miano and Herminigilda de
Miano; and, once inside the said dwelling house, the above-named accused with their five (5) other companions, did
attack, hack and shoot Geronimo Miano and another person by the name of Norberto Aton, who happened to be also in
the said dwelling house, thereby inflicting upon the said two (2) persons physical injuries which caused their death; and
thereafter the same accused and their five (5) other companions, did take and carry away from said dwelling house cash
money amounting to Three Hundred Twenty-two Pesos (P322.00), Philippine Currency, belonging to Honorato Miano and
Geronimo Miano, to the damage and prejudice of the said Honorato Miano and Geronimo Miano, and the heirs of the
deceased Geronimo Miano in the sum of Three Hundred Twenty-two Pesos (P322.00) with respect to the amount robbed,
and also to the damage and prejudice of the heirs of deceased Geronimo Miano and Norberto Aton by reason of the
death of these two persons. The accused withdrew his plea of not guilty and entered the plea of guilty.

HELD:

 WON the crime was committed with insult or lack of regard due to offended party by reason of rank, age or sex and
dwelling.

RULING: YES.

 The settled rule is that dwelling is aggravating in robbery with violence or intimidation of persons, like the offense at bar.
The rationale behind the pronouncement is that this class of robbery could be committed without the necessity of
transgressing the sanctity of the home. Morada is inherent only in crimes, which could be committed in no other place
than in the house of another, such as trespass and robbery in an inhabited house. This Court in People vs. Pinca, citing
People vs. Valdez, ruled that the "circumstances (of dwelling and scaling) were certainly not inherent in the crime
committed, because, the crime being robbery with violence or intimidation against persons (specifically, robbery with
homicide) the authors thereof could have committed it without the necessity of violating or scaling the domicile of their
victim." Cuello Calon opines that the commission of the crime in another's dwelling shows greater perversity in the
accused and produces greater alarm.

DECISION:

Notwithstanding the foregoing disquisition, for failure to secure the required number of votes, the penalty of death cannot be
legally imposed. The penalty next lower in degree — reclusion perpetua — should consequently be imposed on the accused.

ACCORDINGLY, with the modification that the death sentence upon Apolonio Apduhan, Jr. by the court a quo is reduced to
reclusion perpetua, the judgment a quo is affirmed in all other respects, without pronouncement as to costs.
130. People v. Mandolado
Date: June 28, 1983
Topic: Abuse of confidence or obvious ungratefulness
Keyword: ESQ Rum
FACTS:
 In October 3, 1977, Mandolado, Ortillano, Erinada and Simon, draftees of the AFP assigned in Mindanao were
passengers of a bus bound for North Cotabato. They were in uniform and armed. They subsequently alighted, and decided
to drink ESQ rum (Tanduay Extra Smooth Quality).
 After drinking for an hour, Mandolado grabbed his machine gun and started firing.
 Sensing trouble, Erinada and Simon ran away and boarded a passing Ford Fiera with some passengers on board.
Appllante followed suit and forced the driver to bring them to Midsayap crossing. They alighted at said crossing, and
Mandolado fired his gun at the vehicle, hitting the back of a passenger.
 Erinada and Simon boarded a passing jeep bound for Cotabato driven by Tenorio. Appellants followed them again. On
board, appellants kept firing their guns.
 Tenorio remarked “Kung di kayo tatahimik, ibabangga ko itong jeep”, causing Mandolado to get angry and ordering the
driver to stop the vehicle. Simon and Erinada immediately jumped off the jeep and ran towards their detachment camp.
Appellants also got off the jeep. Mandolado subsequently fired his guns at the occupants of the jeep, killing Tenorio and
one Mendoza. While Ortillano fired downwards hitting the ground. This was held to be for no other purpose than to
conceal or destroy the body of the crime and making it appear that the victims were fighting them or running away or that
somebody else like MNLF, rebels, NPA, or bandits committed the crime.
 They were able to get to their camp in the afternoon, surrendering the firearms, but not reporting the incident. The following
morning, they purchased two tickets for Manila. But before they could board, they were apprehended by elements of AFP.
 CFI Cotabato: Acquitted Erinada and Simon. Death penalty to Mandolado for 2 counts of murder. 6 yrs of prision
correccional as minimum to 17 years of prision mayor as maximum, as accessory, to Ortillano.
 SC Held: As to Ortillano, the decision was modified to find him guilty as accomplice in the two killings. He had knowledge
of the criminal design, being a witness to the prior outburst in the shooting incident earlier in the market. He didn’t shoot at
the victims, but he manifested his concurrence by supplying simultaneous acts in the form of moral aid. His presence
served to encourage Mandolado.
HELD:

 WON the crime was committed with abuse of confidence or obvious ungratefulness.

RULING: NO.

 NO. There could be no abuse of confidence in the case at bar as the evidence on record showed the lack of confidence by
the victims to the appellants, that this confidence was abused, and that the abuse of the confidence facilitated the
commission of the crimes. In order that abuse of confidence he dented as aggravating, it is necessary that "there exists a
relation of trust and confidence between the accused and one against whom the crime was committed and the accused
made use of such a relationship to commit the crime" (People vs. Comendador, 100 SCRA 155, 172). It is also essential
that the confidence between the parties must be immediate and personal such as would give that accused some
advantage or make it easier for him to commit the crime; that such confidence was a means of facilitating the commission
of the crime, the culprit taking advantage of the offended party's belief that the former would not abuse said confidence
(People vs Hanasan, 29 SCRA 534). In the instant case, there is absolutely no showing of any personal or immediate
relationship upon which confidence might rest between the victims and the assailants who had just met each other then.

 NO. Similarly, there could have been no obvious ungratefulness in the commission of the crime for the simple reason that
the requisite trust of the victims upon the accused prior to the criminal act and the breach thereof as contemplated under
Article 14, par. 4 of the Revised Penal Code are manifestly lacking or non- existent. In all likelihood, the accused Army then
in their uniforms and holding their high-powered firearms cowed the victims into boarding their jeep for a ride at machine
gun point which certainly is no source of gratefulness or appreciation.

DECISION:

MODIFIED. The accused-appellant Martin Mandolado and Julian Ortillano are hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
the crime of murder for the killing of Nolasco Mendoza and Herminigildo Tenorio. There being no aggravating circumstance but
having found and appreciated drunkenness which is not habitual as a mitigating circumstance, said accused is hereby
sentenced to suffer imprisonment of ten (10) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum to seventeen (17) years, four
(4) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal as maximum in each of the two cases and of four (4) years, two (2) months of
prision correccional as minimum to ten (10) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as maximum in each case.
131. People v. Garcia
Date: October 31, 1979
Topic: Nighttime, uninhabited place, or by band
Keyword: Gang War
FACTS:
 The legal verdict hinges on the testimony of the lone eyewitness for the prosecution, Mrs. Corazon Dioquino Paterno,
sister of the deceased, Apolonio Dioquino, Jr.
 Before the incident which gave rise to this case, Corazon's husband informed her that he saw Apolonio engaged in a
drinking spree with his gang in front of an establishment known as Bill's Place at M. de la Cruz Street. Pasay City.
Corazon surmised that her husband must have been painting the town red ("nag good time") in that same place. Upon
learning this information from her husband, Corazon obtained permission to leave the house at 3:00 a.m. so she could
fetch her brother. At that time, she had not been aware that Apolonio was in Pasay City; she had been of the belief
that he was with his family in Pampanga. She went to fetch him because she wanted him to escape the untoward
influence of his gang. In explaining the rationale for her noctural mission, she employed in her sworn statement the
following language: "Dahil itong si Junior ay meron na kaming nabalitaan na naaakay ng barkada niya sa paggawa ng
hindi mabuti."
 On her way, as she rounded the corner of P.C. Santos Street, Corazon saw her brother fleeing a group of about
seven persons, including the two accused, Antonio Garcia and Reynaldo Arviso. She recognized the two accused
because they were former gangmates of her brother; in fact, she knew them before the incident by their aliases of
"Tony Manok" and "Rene Bisugo, " respectively.
 Corazon saw that the chase was led by the two accused, with Antonio carrying a long sharp instrument. When she
ventured to look from where she was hiding, about 20 meters away, she saw the group catch up with her brother and
maltreat him. Some beat him with pieces of wood, others boxed him. Immediately afterwards, the group scampered
away in different directions. Antonio was left behind. He was sitting astride the prostrate figure of Apolonio, stabbing
the latter in the back with his long knife. Corazon was not able to observe where Antonio later fled, for she could
hardly bear to witness the scene.
 When Corazon mustered the courage to approach her brother, she saw that he was bathed in a pool of his own blood.
HELD:
 WON nocturnity (nighttime) is an aggravating circumstance?

RULING: YES
 The offense took place at 3:00 o'clock in the morning. It may therefore be said that it was committed at night, which
covers the period from sunset to sunrise, according to the New Civil Code, Article 13. Is this basis for finding that
nocturnity is aggravating? The Revised Penal Code, Article 14, Provides that it is an aggravating circumstance when
the crime is committed in the nighttime, whenever nocturnity may facilitate the commission of the offense. There are
two tests for nocturnity as an aggravating circumstance: the objective test under which nocturnity is aggravating
because it facilitates the commission of the offense; and the subjective test, under which nocturnity is aggravating
because it was purposely sought by the offender. These two tests should be applied in the alternative.

 In this case, the subjective test is not passed because there is no showing that the accused purposely sought the
cover of nighttime. Next, we proceed and apply the objective test, to determine whether nocturnity facilitated the killing
of the victim. A group of men were engaged in a drinking spree, in the course of which one of them fled, chased by
seven others. The criminal assault on the victim at 3:00 a.m. was invited by nocturnal cover, which handicapped the
view of eyewitnesses and encouraged impunity by persuading the malefactors that it would be difficult to determine
their identity because of the darkness and the relative scarcity of people in the streets. These circumstances combine
to pass the objective test, and we find that nocturnity is aggravating because it facilitated the commission of the
offense. Nocturnity enticed those with the lust to kill to follow their impulses with the false courage born out of the
belief that they could not be readily identified.

DECISION:

 The information alleges that the crime of murder was attended by the two qualifying circumstances of treachery and
evident premeditation. Neither of these qualifying circumstances was proved; hence, the killing can not be qualified
into murder, and constitutes instead the crime of homicide, which is punished by reclusion temporal. It is not
controverted that the accused voluntarily surrendered to the authorities; they are therefore entitled to the mitigating
circumstance of voluntary surrender. This lone mitigating circumstance, offset by the two generic aggravating
circumstances of abuse of superiority and nocturnity, produces the result that in the crime of homicide, one
aggravating circumstance remains.

 WHEREFORE, the judgment of the court a quo is hereby modified in that the two accused, Antonio Garcia y Cabarse
and Reynaldo Arviso y Rebelleza, are sentenced to undergo an indeterminate imprisonment of 10 years as minimum
to 18 years as maximum, but in all other respects affirmed.
132. People v. Rodas
Date: August 28, 2007
Topic: Nighttime, uninhabited place, or by band
Keyword: “Titing Asenda”

FACTS:
 On 9 August 1996, Titing Asenda, a resident of Boyos, Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte, was at Milaub, Denoyan,
Zamboanga del Norte, to help his brother, Danilo Asenda, in the harvesting of the latter's corn.

 On the same day, at around 8:00 in the evening, a benefit dance at Milaub, which was sponsored by Boboy Raquilme,
was being held. Among those roaming in the vicinity of the dance hall were Alberto Asonda and Ernie Anggot. They
stopped and hung out near the fence to watch the affair. Titing Asenda was standing near them. They saw Charlito
Rodas, Armando Rodas, Jose Rodas, Jr., and Jose Rodas, Sr. surround Titing Asenda. Suddenly, without a word,
Charlito Rodas, armed with a hunting knife, stabbed Titing at the back. Armando Rodas then clubbed Titing with a chako
hitting him at the left side of the nape causing him to fall. Thereafter, Jose Rodas, Sr. handed to Jose Rodas, Jr. a bolo
which the latter used in hacking Titing, hitting him on the left elbow. Alberto Asonda and Ernie Anggot tried to help Titing
but Armando Rodas prevented them by pointing a gun at them and firing it towards the sky.

 After the assailants left, Alberto Asonda and Ernie Anggot approached Titing Asenda who was already dead. They
informed Danilo Asenda that his brother was killed. The police arrived the following day after being informed of the incident.

 On 9 July 1998, the trial court promulgated its decision finding accused-appellants Armando Rodas and Jose Rodas, Sr.
guilty of the crime of Murder.

 In finding accused-appellants guilty, the trial court gave credence to the testimonies of eyewitnesses Alberto Asonda and
Ernie Anggot. It found accused-appellants and the other two accused conspired in the killing of the victim and that
treachery attended the same. It gave no weight to accused-appellants' defense of alibi and denial arguing that they were
positively identified as the perpetrators and that they failed to adduce evidence that it was physically impossible for them to
be present at the crime scene when the killing happened. It added that their unsubstantiated denial will not be given
greater evidentiary value over the testimonies of credible witnesses who testified on affirmative matters.

HELD:
 WON nocturnity (nighttime) is an aggravating circumstance?

RULING: NO
 The aggravating circumstance of nocturnity cannot be considered against appellants. This circumstance is considered
aggravating only when it facilitated the commission of the crime, or was especially sought or taken advantage of by the
accused for the purpose of impunity. The essence of this aggravating circumstance is the obscuridad afforded by, and not
merely the chronological onset of, nighttime. Although the offense was committed at night, nocturnity does not become a
modifying factor when the place is adequately lighted and, thus, could no longer insure the offender's immunity from
identification or capture. In the instant case, the prosecution failed to show that nighttime facilitated the commission of the
crime, or was especially sought or taken advantage of by the accused for the purpose of impunity. The crime scene was
sufficiently lighted by a Petromax which led to the identification of all the accused.

DECISION:

 WHEREFORE, all the foregoing considered, the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 00289 is
AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION. Appellants Armando Rodas and Jose Rodas, Sr. are found GUILTY beyond
reasonable doubt of murder as defined in Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659,
qualified by treachery. There being no aggravating or mitigating circumstance in the commission of the crime, they are
hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty ofreclusion perpetua. The appellants are ORDERED to pay, jointly and severally,
the heirs of Titing Asenda the amount of P25,000.00 as civil indemnity, P50,000.00 as moral damages, P25,000.00 as
temperate damages and P25,000.00 as exemplary damages. Costs against the appellants.
133. People v. Damaso
Date: Novermber 20, 1978
Topic: Nighttime, uninhabited place, or by band
Keyword: Sabado Sisters
FACTS:
 Donata Rebolledo and her son-in-law, Victoriano de la Cruz were residents of Barrio Bangar, municipality of Victoria, province of
Tarlac. At about 9 o'clock in the evening of November 21, 1959, Donata and Victoriano heard the barkings of dogs outside their
house. Shortly, two men armed with guns, entered, pointed their weapons at them, tied up the hands of Victoriano, covered him
with a blanket and asked Donata for the whereabouts of her daughter Catalina Sabado. Stricken by fear, Donata kept silent and
blocked the door leading to her daughter's room but was promptly pushed aside. Donata was then ordered to open an "aparador"
from which the two men took valuables like jewelry, clothing, documents, and cutting instruments. All the while, Donata and
Victoriano could hear the movements and voices of some three to four other persons beneath the house. The two men brought
Catalina Sabado down from the house and then asked where they could find Susana Sabado, Donata's other daughter who was
then in her store located about five meters away in the same house. Thereafter, Donata heard the men opening the door to
Susana's store. After several minutes, feeling that the intruders had left, Donata untied the hands of Victoriano and asked him to go
to the store to see if her daughters were there. When the two women could not be found, Donata sent Victoriano to the barrio
lieutenant to report the incident. Accordingly, Victoriano went to the barrio lieutenant and the two later went to town to inform the
police of the occurrence.

 On the same night, Chief of Police Pedro Valdez with the aid of several policemen and a handful of civilians went out in search for
the Sabado sisters. It was only the following morning when the two women were found already dead with wounds in several parts
of their bodies. They were found in a sugar plantation belonging to one Ignacio Fabros, located about one hundred meters from
Donata Rebolledo's house.

 Dr. Carlos Briones, Municipal Health Officer of Victoria performed the autopsy on the two bodies and reported that the deaths were
caused by profuse hemorrhage due to a fatal, big, wide, gaping and deep lacerated wound just above the Adam's apple. He also
testified in court that the death weapon must have been a sharp instrument with a pointed tip, like a scythe.

 A few days after the incident, Donata Rebolledo singled out the accused Fausto Damaso from a police line-up as one of the men
who went up to her house on that evening. She and Victoriano had recognized Damaso because of the light coming from a
kerosene lamp placed on a small table near the "aparador." Damaso, however, initially denied ever having been to Donata's house
that night. Later, the PC rounded up four other suspects in the persons of co-accused Gregorio, Eugenio, Alviar and Espejo.

 As further evidence, the prosecution presented separate extrajudicial statements, sworn to before Municipal Judge Conrado de
Gracia of Paniqui, Tarlac, wherein all the five accused admitted having participated in the crime.
HELD:
 WON nocturnity (nighttime), uninhabited place or by a band considered as aggravating circumstance?

RULING: YES
 YES. Nighttime is absorbed in treachery. In this case, treachery is already considered as aggravating circumstance.
 The uninhabitedness of a place is determined not by the distance of the nearest house to the scene of the crime, but whether or
not in the place of commission, there was reasonable possibility of the victim receiving some help. Considering that the killing was
done during nighttime and the sugarcane in the field was tall enough to obstruct the view of neighbors and passersby, there was
no reasonable possibility for the victims to receive any assistance. That the accused deliberately sought the solitude of the place
is clearly shown by the fact that they brought the victims to the sugarcane field although they could have disposed of them right in
the house of Donata Rebolledo where they were found. Thus, in People v. Saguing, the Court considered the crime as having
been committed in an uninhabited place because the killing was done in a secluded place at the foot of a hill, forested, and
uninhabited.
 YES. Counsel concedes that at least three of the accused-appellants, namely Eugenio, Alviar, and Gregorio, were armed during
the commission of the crime. He doubts, however, whether accused Damaso carried any weapon and whether the "two stones"
carried by accused Espejo fall under the category of "arms." But even granting that Espejo's stones do not constitute arms, the
prosecution presented the following evidence to show that Damaso was also armed and, as such, there were more than three of
the accused who were armed: (1) that extrajudicial confession of Damaso himself (Exhibit "P") that he was carrying a caliber .22
paltik revolver; (2) the sworn statement of accused Eugenio (Exhibit "O") that Damaso had a caliber .22 paltik revolver; (3) the
separate written confessions of Alviar, Gregorio and Espejo (Exhibits R, Q, and "N") that Damaso had a caliber .30 Springfield
rifle; and (4) the testimonies of Donata Rebolledo and Victoriano de la Cruz that both men who entered their house (one of whom
they later identified as Damaso) were carrying firearms. It is clear from the above, that Damaso was armed during the night of the
commission of the crime, and it is immaterial what kind of firearm he carried, the only important thing being that he was armed. In
this case, the presence of an armed band is to be considered as a generic aggravating circumstance under Article 14(6) of the
Revised Penal Code inasmuch as the crime committed was that provided for and penalized in Article 294, paragraph 1 and not
under Article 295, Revised Penal Code.

DECISION:
 The penalty is to be imposed in its maximum period by reason of the presence of three aggravating circumstances found by the
trial court, to wit: that the robbery was committed by a band, 18 with treachery, 19 and in an uninhabited place. 20 There is likewise
the additional aggravating circumstance that the robbery was committed in the dwelling of the victim, Donata Rebolledo which
although not alleged in the Information is however established by the evidence.
134. People v. Baldera
Date: April 24, 1950
Topic: Recidivism
Keyword: Holdapan sa Bus
FACTS:
 The evidence shows that at about 4 a. m. on December 23, 1947, a Casa Manila bus loaded with passengers left
Batangas, Batangas, bound for Manila. On the highway in barrio Calansayan, municipality of San Jose, same province, it
was held up by a group of five or six armed men. One of these, later identified as herein appellant Pedro Baldera, who
was then armed with a .45 caliber pistol, fired a shot, and this was followed by a hail of bullets coming from different
directions. As a result, several passengers, among them Jose Cabrera, Jose Pastor and Francisco Mendoza, were
wounded. After the firing had ceased, appellant got on the bus and, threatening the passengers with his gun, took P90
from Jose Pastor and P34 from Ponciana Villena. Another passenger named Francisco Mendoza was also relieved of his
P3. Appellant then alighted and ordered the bus to proceed, whereupon the driver headed for the municipal building of San
Jose and there reported the incident to the authorities. The wounded were taken to the hospital, where Jose Cabrera died
from his wounds on the following day. Jose Pastor, who was wounded in the left leg, was cured in two months, while
Francisco Mendoza's gunshot wound in the right shoulder healed in 15 days.

 For the above crime four persons were prosecuted and tried under an information charging "robo en cuadrilla con
homicidio y lesiones graves y lesiones menos graves." The case was dismissed as to two of the accused due to
insufficiency of evidence. But the other two, Pedro Baldera and Miguel Blay, were, after trial, found guilty as charged and
sentenced, the first to capital punishment, and the second to life imprisonment, both to pay the corresponding indemnity
and proportionate costs.

 Only the case against Pedro Baldera is now before us. There is no dispute as to the perpetration of the crime. The only
question is as to the identification of this appellant as one of the authors thereof. On this point the evidence for the
prosecution shows that shortly after the commission of this crime, appellant was arrested in the municipality of Batangas in
connection with the theft of a radio, and as his features tallied with the personal description of one of the highway men
given to the chief of police by some of the passengers of the held-up bus, he was also investigated in connection with the
hold-up, and he then made a confession, which was reduced to writing and later subscribed by him before the justice of the
peace, admitting his participation in the crime as the one who, armed with a pistol, boarded the bus and through
intimidation relieved Ponciana Villena of her money.

HELD:
 WON recidivism is considered as aggravating circumstance?

RULING: YES
 Counsel also contends that the lower court erred in holding that the crime committed is robbery in band, alleging that there
was no sufficient proof that the perpetrators thereof numbered more than three armed men. The fact, however, that there
were more than three armed men in the group that held up the bus appears in appellant's own confession and is also
established by the uncontradicted testimony of one of the government witnesses. And the point is really not material
because in the crime of robbery with homicide it is not essential that the robbery be in band, although that circumstance
may be taken into account as an aggravation in the imposition of the penalty. And even if it be not taken into account as
such in this case, there would still remain the other aggravating circumstance that the robbery was perpetrated by
attacking a vehicle (art. 296, R. P. C.), which is not offset by any mitigating circumstances.
 The lower court did, however, err in appreciating against the accused the circumstance of recidivism by reason of his
previous conviction for theft, it appearing that that crime was committed on or about December 30, 1947 while the offense
now charged took place seven days before that date.

DECISION:
 In conclusion, we find appellant guilty of the crime of robbery with homicide and serious and less serious physical injuries
with two aggravating circumstances. But there being no sufficient vote to impose the extreme penalty, appellant can be
sentenced to life imprisonment only.

 Wherefore, reducing appellant's sentence to life imprisonment but increasing the indemnity to be paid by him to the heirs of
the deceased Jose Cabrera to P6,000, the judgment below as so modified is affirmed, with costs against the appellant.
135. People v. Melendrez
Date: December 19, 1933
Topic: Habitual delinquency
Keyword:

FACTS:

 "That on or about the 15th day of June, 1933, in the municipality of Pasay, Province of Rizal, Philippine Islands, within two
and one-half (21⁄2) miles from the limits of the City of Manila and within the jurisdiction of this court, the said accused
conspiring together and helping each other wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously forcibly broke open the door of the store
located at No. 85 Cementina, Pasay, an inhabited house belonging to and occupied by Tin Bun Boc, and once inside the
said store, with intent of gain and without the consent of the owner thereof, took, stole and carried away therefrom the
various personal properties of the said Tin Bun Boc amounting to P76.68.

 On the date of the trial of this case, Elias Martinez had not yet been apprehended, for which reason only the other
defendant Ricardo Melendrez y Nieto, who pleaded guilty to the charge, was arraigned. Whereupon, the court found him
guilty of the crime charged in the information and sentenced him to eight years and one day of prision mayor, and to serve
an additional penalty of six years and one day of prision mayor for being a habitual delinquent. From this judgment Ricardo
Melendrez y Nieto appealed.

HELD:
 WON habitual delinquency is considered as aggravating circumstance? How about recidivism?

RULING: YES
 "That the accused Ricardo Melendrez y Nieto is a habitual delinquent, he having been previously convicted by final
judgment of competent courts twice of the crime of theft and once of the crime of estafa and having been last convicted of
the crime of estafa on September 3, 1932."

 And article 62, paragraph 5 (c), of the same Code, defines a habitual delinquent as follows:

 "For the purposes of this article, a person shall be deemed to be habitual delinquent, if within a period of ten years
from the date of his release or last conviction of the crimes of robo, hurto, estafa, or falsificacion, he is found guilty of
any of said crimes a third time or oftener."

 YES. On the other hand, the fiscal contends that the aggravating circumstance of recidivism should be taken into account
against the appellant. This claim of the fiscal is in accordance with the judgment rendered by this court in banc in the case
of People vs. Aguinaldo (47 Phil., 728) while the old Penal Code was in force. But the enforcement of the Revised Penal
Code has resulted in a difference of opinion regarding this point on the part of the members of this court. For this reason,
after reviewing all the decisions affecting this matter, rendered by this court both in banc and in division, it is now held that
the aggravating circumstance of recidivism should be taken into account in imposing the principal penalty in its
corresponding degree, notwithstanding the fact that the defendant is also sentenced to suffer an additional penalty as a
habitual delinquent.

DECISION:

 The facts alleged in the information constitute the crime of robbery committed without the use of arms in an inhabited
house, the value of the articles taken being less than P250. In accordance with article 299 of the Revised Penal Code, the
penalty prescribed for said crime is prision correccional in its medium degree. Inasmuch as there is a concurrence therein
of one mitigating and one aggravating circumstance, this penalty should be imposed in its medium degree.
136. U.S. vs. Manalinde
Date: August 28, 1909
Topic: Evident Premeditation
Key Word: Juramentado

FACTS:

 Between 2 and 3 o'clock on the afternoon of the 19th of January, 1909, while Juan Igual, a Spaniard, was seated on a
chair in the doorway of Sousa's store in Cotabato, Moro Province, he suddenly received a wound on the head delivered
from behind and inflicted with a kris. Ricardo Doroteo, a clerk in the said store, who was standing behind the counter, upon
hearing the noise and the cry of the wounded man, ran to his assistance and found him lying on the ground. Meanwhile the
aggressor, the Moro Manalinde, approached a Chinaman named Choa, who was passing along the street, and just as the
latter was putting down his load in front of the door of a store and was about to enter, attacked him with the same weapon,
inflicting a severe wound in the left shoulder, on account of which he fell to the ground. The Moro, who came from the
rancheria of Dupit and had entered the town carrying his weapon wrapped up in banana leaves, in the meantime escaped
by running away from the town. Both wounded men, the Chinaman and the Spaniard, were taken to the hospital, where the
former died within an hour, the record not stating the result of the wound inflicted on the Spaniard Juan Igual.

 When Manalinde was arrested he pleaded guilty and confessed that he had perpetrated the crime herein mentioned,
stating that his wife had died about one hundred days before and that he had come from his home in Catumaldu by order
of the Datto Rajamudah Mupuck, who had directed him to go juramentado in Cotabato in order to kill somebody, because
the said Mupuck had certain grievances to avenge against a lieutenant and a sergeant, the said datto further stating that if
he, Manalinde, was successful in the matter, he would give him a pretty woman on his return, but that in case he was
captured he was to say that he performed the killing by order of Maticayo, Datto Piang, Tambal and Inug. In order to carry
out his intention to kill two persons in the town of Cotabato he provided himself with a kris, which he concealed in banana
leaves, and, traveling for a day and a night from his home, upon reaching the town, attacked from behind a Spaniard who
was seated in front of a store and, wounding him, immediately after attacked a Chinaman, who was close by, just as the
latter was placing a tin that he was carrying on the ground and as he was about to enter a store near by, cutting him on the
left shoulder and fleeing at once; he further stated that he had no quarrel with the assaulted persons.

HELD: WON there is evident premeditation?

RULING: YES

Those facts established the aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation. Manalinde illustrates the three requisites of
evident premeditation.

1. First requisite — On a certain date, Manalinde accepted the proposition that he would turn huramentado and kill the first
two persons he would meet in the market place. On said date, the offender is said to have determined to commit the crime.
2. Second requisite — He undertook the journey to comply therewith and provided himself with a weapon. The journey and
the carrying of the weapon are acts manifestly indicating that the offender clung to his determination to commit the crime.
3. Third requisite — After the journey for a day and a night, he killed the victims. One day and one night constitute a sufficient
lapse of time for the offender to realize the consequences of his contemplated act.

DECISION:

For the above reasons and in view of the fact that no mitigating circumstance is present to neutralize the effects of the
aggravating ones, it is our opinion that the judgment appealed from should be affirmed with costs, provided however, that the
penalty imposed on the culprit shall be executed in accordance with the provisions of Acts Nos. 451 and 1577, and that in the
event of a pardon being granted he shall likewise be sentenced to suffer the accessory penalties imposed by article 53 of the
Penal Code. So ordered.
137. People v. Ilaoa
Date: June 16, 1994
Topic: Evident Premeditation
Key Word: ___________

FACTS:

 On 15 June 1990, the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City found Ruben and Rogelio guilty of murder with the attendant
circumstances of evident premeditation, abuse of superior strength and cruelty, and imposed upon them the penalty of "life
imprisonment." The conviction was based on the following circumstantial evidence:
 One. The deceased Nestor de Loyola was seen at about eleven o'clock in the evening of 4 November 1987, in a drinking
session with his compadre Ruben Ilaoa together with Julius Eliginio, Edwin Tapang and a certain "Nang Kwang" outside
Ruben's apartment.
 Two. The drunken voices of Ruben and Nestor engaged in an apparent argument were later on heard. 3 Nestor was then
seen being kicked and mauled by Ruben and his brother Rodel, Julius Eliginio and Edwin Tapang. Nestor was crying all
the while, "Pare, aray, aray!" Afterwards, Nestor, who appeared drunk, was seen being "dragged" into Ruben Ilaoa's
apartment. Nestor was heard saying, "Pare, bakit ninyo ako ginaganito, hirap na hirap na ako!"
 Three. Ruben Ilaoa and Julius Eliginio borrowed Alex Villamil's tricycle at about two o'clock the following morning allegedly
for the purpose of bringing to the hospital a neighbor who was about to give birth. Ruben was seen driving the tricycle
alone, with a sack which looked as though it contained a human body, placed in the sidecar. The tricycle was returned an
hour later to Alex who noticed bloodstains on the floor. The latter thought that they were those of the pregnant woman.
 Four. Blood was found on Ruben's shirt when he was asked to lift it during the investigation by the police. Moreover,
Ruben's hair near his right forehead was found partly burned and his shoes were splattered with blood. Susan Ocampo,
Ruben's live-in partner, was likewise seen in the early morning of 5 November 1987 sweeping what appeared to be blood
at the entrance of their apartment.

HELD:

WON there is evident premeditation?

RULING:NO

 We hold appellant liable only for homicide, not murder, on the ground that the qualifying circumstances alleged in the
information, namely, abuse of superior strength, cruelty and evident premeditation, were not sufficiently proved to be
appreciated against appellant.
 Abuse of superior strength cannot be considered because there was no evidence whatsoever that appellant was physically
superior to the deceased and that the former took advantage of such superior physical strength to overcome the latter's
resistance to consummate the offense.
 The fact that Nestor de Loyola's decapitated body bearing forty-three (43) stab wounds, twenty-four (24) of which were
fatal, was found dumped in the street is not sufficient for a finding of cruelty where there is no showing that appellant
Ruben Ilaoa, for his pleasure and satisfaction, caused Nestor de Loyola to suffer slowly and painfully and inflicted on him
unnecessary physical and moral pain. Number of wounds alone is not the criterion for the appreciation of cruelty as an
aggravating circumstances. Neither can it be inferred from the mere fact that the victim's dead body was dismembered.
 Evident premeditation cannot likewise be considered. There is nothing in the records to show that appellant, prior to
the night in question, resolved to kill Nestor de Loyola, nor is there proof to show that such killing was the result of
meditation, calculation or resolution on his part. On the contrary, the evidence tends to show that the series of
circumstances which culminated in the killing constitutes an unbroken chain of events with no interval of time separating
them for calculation and meditation. Absent any qualifying circumstance, Ruben Ilaoa should only be held liable for
homicide.

DECISION:

 WHEREFORE, the judgment finding accused RUBEN E. ILAOA guilty beyond reasonable doubt is AFFIRMED but only for
homicide, instead of murder. Consequently, he is sentenced to an indeterminate prison term of eight (8) years, ten (10)
months and twenty (20) days of prision mayor medium, as minimum, to sixteen (16) years, four (4) months and ten (10)
days of reclusion temporal medium as maximum. In addition, accused- appellant RUBEN E. ILAOA is ordered to pay the
heirs of Nestor de Loyola P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and, as fixed by the court a quo, P46,765.00 as actual damages,
P10,000.00 as reasonable attorney's fees and expenses of litigation, and P10,000.00 for moral damages.
 Accused-appellant ROGELIO E. ILAOA, however, is ACQUITTED of the crime charged for obvious insufficiency of
evidence.
138. People v. Bibat
Date: May 13, 1998
Topic: Evident Premeditation
Key Word: ____________
FACTS:

 Appellant Gary Bibat y Descargar was found guilty of the crime of murder by the Regional Trial Court of Manila. In this
appeal, appellant raises the following issues: credibility of prosecution witnesses, defense of alibi and the presence or
absence of the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation. Appellant theorizes that prosecution witness Nona Cinco
was lying when she testified that she was taking bets for a PBA game on October 14, 1992, a Wednesday despite the fact
that PBA games are held only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The Supreme Court ruled that the maxim or rule
"falsus in unos, falsus in omnibus" does not lay down a categorical test of credibility. It is not a positive rule of universal
application and therefore should not be applied to portions of the testimony corroborated by other evidence particularly
where the false portions could be innocent mistakes. Appellant's alibi failed to convince the Court that it was physically
impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime at G. Tuazon cor. Ma. Cristina Sts., Sampaloc, Manila considering that
the two places are just near each other. Moreover, positive identification of the appellant as the perpetrator of the crime
prevails over alibi. On the issue of the presence or absence of evident premeditation, the Court ruled that the same was
thoroughly and sufficiently established. The determination or conception of the plan to kill the victim could be well deduced
from the outward circumstances that happened on the day of the killing.
 "From the record and evidence presented, it appears that the accused Gari Bibat stabbed to death one Lloyd del Rosario
on October 12, 1992 at around 1:30 p.m. along G. Tuazon cor. Ma. Cristina Sts., Sampaloc, Manila. The victim was on his
way to school waiting for a ride when he was stabbed. Thereafter the suspect fled while the victim was brought to the
United Doctors Medical Center (UDMC) where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
 The incident was witnessed by Nona Avila Cinco, a laundry woman, who testified that on October 14, 1992, while she was
at Funeraria Gloria waiting for her bettor, she saw a person about one meter away talking to the accused. Said person told
the accused "O pare, anduon na. Puntahan mo na. Siguruhin mo lang na itumba mo na." to which the accused answered:
"Oo ba. Ganito ba, ganito ba?" (as the witness was speaking, she was demonstrating with her arms.)
 After hearing the accused, she (witness) left towards Honrades Street to see another bettor. She first went inside a house
and after a while, she went outside where she saw the accused along Honrades Street, entering an alley. She walked
along with the accused. She and the accused were even able to look at each other. LLphil
 While the victim was going out of a gate, the accused hurried towards the victim and took a pointed object from a
notebook, then stabbed the victim in the left chest twice.
 She was only about 4 to 5 meters away from the scene of the crime.
 Thereafter, the accused fled, the victim shouted for help. Upon hearing the shouts of the victim, the accused returned and
stabbed the victim again in the middle part of the chest. She (witness) then left the scene of the crime after the accused ran
away.

 She reported the matter to the authorities only on July 20, 1993 because she was afraid."

HELD:

WON there is evident premeditation.

RULING: YES.

 4. CRIMINAL LAW; QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES; EVIDENT PREMEDITATION; ELEMENTS AND ESSENCE


THEREOF. — There is evident premeditation when the following requisites are met: 1. The time when the offender
determined (conceived) to commit the crime; 2. An act manifestly indicating that the culprit has clung to his determination;
and 3. A sufficient lapse of time between the determination and execution to allow him to reflect upon the consequences of
his act. The essence of premeditation is that the execution of the criminal act is preceded by cool thought and reflection
upon the resolution to carry out the criminal intent during the space of time sufficient to arrive at a calm judgment.
 5. ID.; ID.; ID.; SUFFICIENTLY ESTABLISHED IN CASE AT BAR. — Even without the testimony of Rogelio Robles, the
presence of the first requisite of evident premeditation appears to have been thoroughly and sufficiently established. The
determination or conception of the plan to kill the victim could be deduced from the outward circumstances that happened
on the fateful day of October 14, 1992. Records show that at 11:30 in the morning of October 14, 1992, prosecution
witness Nona Cinco saw the accused with some companions at Funeraria Gloria. She personally heard the plan to kill
someone. Another prosecution witness, Florencio Castro, who works at the Funeraria Gloria also saw the group of Gari
Bibat in the said place. At around 1:30 in the afternoon, Nona Cinco saw the appellant for the second time. She saw the
appellant hurry towards the victim, take a pointed thing from a notebook and with the use of such weapon, stab the victim
on the chest. These overt acts clearly evinced that the appellant clung to his resolution to kill the victim. From the time
Nona Cinco heard the plan to kill someone at 11:30 up to the killing incident at 1:30 in the afternoon of the same day, there
was a sufficient lapse of time for appellant to reflect on the consequences of his dastardly act. As held in the case of
People vs. Dumdum "the killing of the deceased was aggravated by evident premeditation, because the accused
conceived of the assault at least one hour before its perpetration." In the case under examination, two hours had elapsed
from the time appellant clung to his determination to kill the victim up to the actual perpetration of the crime.

DECISION:

WHEREFORE, the Decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against accused-appellant.
139. People v. Empacis
Date: February 28, 2001
Topic: Craft, Fraud, or Disguise
Key Word: _______________
FACTS:

 At about 9 o'clock on the night of September 16, 1986, as Fidel Saromines and his wife, Camila, were about to close their
small store, located in their house at Kanguha, Dumanjug, Cebu, two men came and asked to buy some sardines and rice.
They were Romualdo (or Maldo) Langomez and Crisologo Empacis. Camila served them and they proceeded to make
a meal of the rice and sardines.LLphil

 After they finished eating, Romualdo told Fidel to sell him cigarettes. As Fidel was handing over the cigarettes, Romualdo
announced a "hold-up" and commanded Fidel to give up his money. As it happened, Fidel then had P12,000.00 in his
house, wrapped in cellophane. This he started to give to Romualdo but as the latter was taking hold of the packet, Fidel
suddenly decided to fight to keep his money. A struggle followed in the, course of which Romualdo stabbed Fidel about
three times. Crisologo joined in and with his own knife also stabbed Fidel. At this time, gunshots were heard outside of the
house, and a neighbor of the Saromineses, Balbino Bulak, recognized one of those doing the shooting as a certain Carlito
Antiga. A voice was heard from below saying, "Stab him!" to which Langomez replied, "I already stabbed (him)."

 From his little sister's room, Fidel's thirteen-year old son, Peter, saw his father fighting for his life with Romualdo and
Crisologo Empacis. Heeding his father's cry, "Peter, help me!" (Suportahe ko, Peter!). Peter took hold of a "pinuti" (a long
bolo), and rushed to his father's defense. He struck out at Crisologo and inflicted two wounds on him, one at the right
shoulder, and the other, in the neck, Romualdo and Crisologo jumped out of the house and fled, with the sound of Peter's
defiant shout trailing them, "Come back, if you are brave!"

 Peter then turned to his wounded father, but found him already dead from his injuries. The post-mortem examination
conducted by Dr. Octavio Ortiz, Rural Health Physician, disclosed four (4) stab wounds on the deceased, all in the upper
back. Two of these, which penetrated the lungs and heart, were fatal

HELD:

WON there is craft, fraud or disguise.

RULING: YES

The aggravating circumstance of craft or fraud was properly appreciated against Empacis. He and Romualdo pretended to be
bona fide customers of the victim's store and on this pretext gained entry into the latter's store and later, into another part of his
dwelling.

This Court has held stratagems and ruses of this sort to constitute the aggravating circumstance of fraud or craft, e.g.: where the
accused:
a) pretended to be constabulary soldiers and by that ploy gained entry into the residence of their prey whom they
thereafter robbed and killed;

b) pretended to be needful of medical treatment, and through this artifice, entered the house of the victim whom they
thereupon robbed and killed;

c) pretended to be wayfarers who had lost their way and by this means gained entry into a house, in which they then
perpetrated the crime of robbery with homicide;

d) pretended to be a customer wanting to buy a bottle of wine;

e) pretended to be co-passengers of the victim in a public utility vehicle;

f) posed as customers wishing to buy cigarettes; and as being thirsty, asking for drink of water.

DECISION:

WHEREFORE, with the modification that the indemnity for death payable to the heirs of Saromines is increased to P50,000.00
and restitution of the amount of P12,000,00 shall be made by the accused, jointly and severally, the Decision of the Trial Court
subject of this appeal is hereby AFFIRMED.
140. People v. Bigcas
Date: July 2, 1992
Topic: Taking advantage of superior strength, or means employed to weaken the defense
Key Word: _______________
FACTS:

 The version of the prosecution revolved basically around the testimonies of the two eyewitnesses, Rosito Doydoy and
Jesus Calape, with corroborative and supplementary testimonies on other aspects furnished by Pfc. Ponciano Butron of
the Integrated National Police Station at Pilar, Bohol and Dr. Lourdes Atop-Tan, municipal health officer of the same town.
 Rosito Doydoy testified that after attending the last prayers of his uncle which ended at 8:30 in the evening of July 25,
1988, he went home with his son, Rodel, to his house some two kilometers away. On the way and at a distance of about
twelve meters, Doydoy saw three persons involved in a commotion. It was not so dark then as the moon was shining
brightly. From behind tall cogon grass, he saw appellant Butron strike Ambrocio Palapar two times with a piece of wood
on the latter's back. In his attempt to flee from his aggressor, Palapar passed beside witness Doydoy who was then trying
to hide himself and his son behind the bushes. Palapar was chased by appellant Bigcas who, upon catching up with the
former stabbed him twice with a bolo at the back. The chase continued until Bigcas was able to stab the victim again at the
back of the latter's right knee. The victim fell on the ground, after which he uttered, "Long, stop because I will die of these
wounds." Butron shouted at him saying, "I will kill you, Boyax." He then approached Palapar and hit him twice with a piece
of wood on the right jaw. Bigcas, on his part, stabbed the supine victim several times. Thereafter, both appellants left the
victim, with Butron telling Bigcas. "You own the killing and these two bolos and I will be with you anywhere."
 Jesus Calape, testified on essentially the same facts. He declared that he left his house at 9:00 o'clock that same night to
go to the house of his "kumpadre Imo," whose real name is Maximo Tiro, to borrow the latter's carabao as he wanted to
haul posts for his house. He purposely went there that night because Tiro is usually out of his house during daytime. While
on his way, he saw the victim Palapar being attacked by the two appellants. Butron hit Palapar twice with a piece of wood
at his back. Bigcas told the victim to fight but the latter refused. Palapar pleaded for his life but appellant Bigcas instead
stabbed him twice, also at the back. Due to his fear after seeing Bigcas stab the victim, Calape ran home and told his wife
what he witnessed. The next morning, he heard that the victim died.

HELD:

WON there is taking advantage of superior strength, or means employed to weaken the defense.

RULING: NO

 We are likewise not convinced that the crime was committed by appellants with abuse or by taking advantage of superior
strength. Regrettably, we can neither determine nor deduce from the prosecution's sketchy evidence thereon what
transpired before the "commotion" involving the victims and appellants. The two eyewitnesses, Doydoy and Calape
testified only on the fight when it was already in progress but not as to the actuations of the parties proximately and
immediately before the altercation. On the other hand, following the version of the defense which was partly confirmed by
Pfc. Ponciano Butron, the victim was ordered by said policeman to leave the store of Efren Butron ahead of the others, with
appellants directed to stay behind for about fifteen minutes, so that the parties would not encounter each other again
shortly after the incident at said store. It cannot, therefore, be said that when the fight took place more than fifteen minutes
later, because that victim instead of going straight home obviously waited for appellants to catch up with him, appellants
could have anticipated such an unexpected contingency and had accordingly conceived of taking advantage of their
combined strength and weapons.
 It cannot, therefore, be said that when the fight took place more than fifteen minutes later, because that victim instead of
going straight home obviously waited for appellants to catch up with him, appellants could have anticipated such an
unexpected contingency and had accordingly conceived of taking advantage of their combined strength and weapons.
 For this qualifying circumstance to be considered, it is not sufficient that there be superiority in number or strength; it is
necessary that the accused must have cooperated and intended to use or secure advantage from such superior strength.
As we also emphasized in People vs. Cabiling, abuse of superior strength may be considered not only when there is an
inequality of force between the victim and the aggressor but there must be a situation of superiority of strength notoriously
selected or taken advantage of by him in the commission of the crime. We find that the prosecution has fallen short of proof
that appellants had specifically contrived or deliberately intended and prepared to take advantage of superior strength in a
projected assault against the victim. This requisite cannot be drawn from mere assumptions or conjectures, for qualifying
circumstances must be proved as conclusively as the crime itself.

DECISION:

 All told, it is our considered view that appellants have committed only the felony of homicide, since treachery was not
proved the abuse of superior strength cannot be considered against them. Neither is the aggravating circumstance of
nocturnity attendant in this case. On the contrary, what has been completely overlooked is the fact that appellant Butron
and, resolving the doubt in his favor, appellant Bigcas are, as we hereby find them to be, entitled to the mitigating
circumstance of voluntary surrender which was established by their testimonies and substantiated by Pfc. Ponciano
Butron.
 WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is MODIFIED, with accused-appellants being hereby DECLARED guilty of
homicide, with due extenuation by voluntary surrender, and each of them is hereby SENTENCED to serve an
indeterminate sentence of ten (10) years of prision mayor, as minimum, to fourteen (14) years and eight (8) months of
reclusion temporal, as maximum. The death indemnity is hereby increased to P50,000.00 in accordance with current case
law. In all other respects, the judgment of the court a quo is AFFIRMED.
141. People v. Sangalang
Date: August 30, 1974
Topic: Treachery
Key Word: _______________
FACTS:

 This is a murder case. The testimonies of the two prosecution eyewitnesses disclose that at around six o'clock in the
morning of June 9, 1968 Ricardo Cortez left his nipa hut located at Sitio Adlas, Barrio Biluso, Silang, Cavite to gather tuba
from a coconut tree nearby. Flora Sarno, his wife, was left inside the hut. While he was on top of the tree gathering tuba,
he was struck by a volley of shots. He fell to the ground at the base of the coconut tree.
 His wife Flora heard three successive shots coming south of the hut. She went outside the hut. From a distance of about
twenty-five meters, she saw five men, each armed with a long firearm, firing at her husband. He was already wounded and
was lying on the ground at the foot of the coconut tree. His assailants were about five meters away from him.
 She recognized Laureano Sangalang as one of the five armed men who were firing at her husband. She and her brother
Ricardo had known Sangalang since their childhood. She also recognized Conrado Gonzales, Irineo Canuel, Perino
Canuel and Eleuterio Cuyom as the other malefactors.
 Flora ran towards the place where her husband had fallen. She shouted, "Bakit ninyo pinagbabaril ang aking asawa". The
five persons fired at her. She was then about twenty meters away from them. She retreated to the hut for cover. She heard
some more shots. After the lapse of about five minutes, Laureano Sangalang and his companions left the place. When
Flora returned to the spot where her husband was prostrate, he was already dead.
 On the occasion already described, Ricardo Sarno, twenty-seven years old, a brother of Flora, was inside his own nipa hut
which was about ten meters away from Flora's hut. He was drinking coffee. His wife and children were eating breakfast. He
heard several shots. He came out of his hut. He saw his brother-in-law being shot by Laureano Sangalang, Eleuterio
Cuyom, Perino Canuel, Irineo Canuel and Conrado Gonzales. He saw Sangalang using a Garand carbine in shooting his
brother-in-law. The latter fell from the top of the coconut tree after he was shot (10 tsn). His sister Flora was trying to
approach her husband but she had to flee to her hut when Sangalang and his companions fired at her. He wanted to join
her but he was likewise fired upon by the five men. So, he retired and took refuge in his own hut.
 Later, Sarno saw his sister Flora, sitting inside her hut. He followed her after she left the hut and went to see her dead
husband, who was lying on the ground, face up, at the base of the coconut tree. When he noticed that his brother-in-law
was already dead, he gathered his children and brought them to Sitio Biga, which was more or less thirty meters away from
his hut in Sitio Adlas. Ricardo reported the killing to the chief of police who went to the scene of the crime with some
policemen and Constabularymen.
 The necropsy report shows that the twenty-five-year-old Cortez sustained twenty-three gunshot wounds on the different
parts of the body, fourteen of which were entrance- wounds, and nine were exit-wounds (Exh. A and B). He died due to the
multiple gunshot wounds (Exh. C).

HELD:

WON there is treachery.

RULING: YES.

The victim was shot while he was gathering tuba on top of a coconut tree. He was unarmed and defenseless. He was not
expecting to be assaulted. He did not give any immediate provocation. The deliberate, surprise attack shows that Sangalang
and his companions employed a mode of execution which insured the killing without any risk to them arising from any defense
which the victim could have made. The qualifying circumstance of treachery (alevosia), which was alleged in the information,
was duly established (See art. 14[16], Revised Penal Code). Hence, the killing can be categorized as murder (See People vs.
Sedenio, 94 Phil. 1046). Treachery absorbs the aggravating circumstance of band (U. S. vs. Abelinde, 1 Phil. 568). Evident
premeditation, which was alleged in the information, was not proven.

DECISION:

The trial court correctly imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua on Sangalang (Arts. 64[1] and 248, Revised Penal Code).

Finding no error in its judgment, the same is affirmed with costs against the appellant.
142. People v. San Pedro
Date: January 22, 1980
Topic: Treachery
Key Word: _______________
FACTS:

 "In the afternoon of June 2, 1970, the lifeless body of a person was found somewhere between the barrios of Masaya and
Paciano Rizal, Municipality of Bay, Laguna. The body was brought municipal building of Bay for autopsy. Dr. Fe
Manansala-Pantas, in her autopsy report, Exh. B, noted that the deceased died of profuse hemorrhage due to 23 lacerated
and stab wounds and multiple abrasions found on the different parts of the body of the deceased.
 "The deceased was identified to be Felimon Rivera, a driver of a passenger jeep belonging to Pablito delos Reyes, a fruit
vendor. Earlier in the say, Rivera was out driving the jeep. But that was to be the last time for him to drive the jeep for on
that same day, he was killed, and his jeep was no longer found or recovered.
 "It was not until June 11, 1971, that the police authorities found a concrete lead to the solution of the case. Rodrigo
Esguerra, when apprehended and interviewed by the police, admitted his participation and named his companions. He
gave a written statement, Exh. F. Soon the police began rounding up the other suspects.
 "Artemio Banasihan was apprehended sometime in 1972. On March 3 of said year, he was investigated by Sgt. Juan
Tolentino of the Philippine Constabulary. He gave a statement which was sworn to before the Acting Municipal Judge of
Los Baños, Laguna, confessing his participation in the robbery and killing of Felimon Rivera (Exh. H). In said statement,
Banasihan recounted that four days before June 2, 1970, he and his co-accused met and planned to get the jeep driven by
the deceased. Carrying out their plan, he and Luisito San Pedro approached Rivera in the afternoon of June 2, 1970 and
on the pretext of hiring Rivera's jeep to haul coconuts. they proceeded to Bo. Puypuy, in Bay, Laguna, where they were
joined by Salvador Litan and Rodrigo Esguerra. Esguerra was then carrying a water pipe wrapped in paper. Upon reaching
a river between the barrios of Mainit and Puypuy, San Pedro ordered Rivera to stop. Whereupon, at Esguerra's signal,
Litan hit Rivera at the nape with the water pipe. Rivera jumped out of the jeep but was chased by San Pedro and Litan who
stabbed him at the back several times with a dagger. Esguerra then drove the jeep and the group proceeded to Makati,
Rizal, where they joined Nelson Piso and Antonio Borja. The jeep was brought to Cavite City where it was sold for
P2,000.00. Four days later, Piso went to Los Baños and gave San Pedro, Litan and Banasihan P50.00 each, with the
promise that the balance would be given later. However, the promised balance was not given them."

HELD:

WON there is treachery.

RULING: YES.

 We cannot subscribe to the theory of craft being absorbed by treachery, as nighttime and abuse of superior strength may
be so absorbed, as held in numerous decisions of this Court. In the instant case, craft was employed not with a view to
making treachery more effective as nighttime and abuse of superior strength would in the killing of the victim. It was
directed actually towards facilitating the taking of the jeep in the robbery scheme as planned by the culprits. From the
definition of treachery, it is manifest that the element of defense against bodily injury makes treachery proper for
consideration only in crimes against person as so explicitly provided by the Revised Penal Code (Art. 14[16]).
 Aside from the foregoing observation, decisional rulings argue against appellant's submission. Thus in the case of U.S. vs.
Gampoña, et al., 36 Phil. 817 (1917) where the crime charged was murder, qualified by treachery, craft was considered
separately to aggravate the killing. Note that in this cited case, the crime was killing alone, which has a weightier rationale
for merging the two aggravating circumstances, than when, as in the crime of robbery with homicide, craft has a very
distinct application to the crime of robbery, separate and independent of the homicide. Yet, it was held that craft and
treachery were separate and distinct aggravating circumstances. The same ruling was announced in People vs. Sakam, et
al., 61 Phil. 27 (1934).
 In People vs. Malig, 83 Phil. 804, (1949) craft which consisted in luring the victim to another barrio, was considered
absorbed by treachery. This may be so because craft enhanced the effectiveness of the means, method or form adopted in
the execution of the crime, one against persons, "which tend directly and specially to insure its execution, without risk to
himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make." Even so, the Court was divided in the inclusion or
absorption of craft by treachery. And again, the offense charged was one solely against persons.
 With the presence of two aggravating circumstances, craft and treachery, it would make no difference even if the mitigating
circumstance of lack of instruction were appreciated in appellant's favor — which is even doubtful from the fact alone, as
was allegedly proven by the testimony of appellant that he cannot read and write but can only sign his name (p. 9, t. s. n.,
Sept. 1, 1975). This, apart from the fact that as held categorically in the case of People vs. Enot, 6 SCRA 325 (1962) lack
of instruction is not applicable to crimes of theft and robbery, much less to the crime of homicide. The reason is that
robbery and killing are, by their nature, wrongful acts, and are manifestly so to the enlightened, equally as to the ignorant
(People vs. Salip Manla, et al., 30 SCRA 389 [1969]).

DECISION:

WHEREFORE, there being no error committed by the trial court, its decision imposing the death penalty, together with the
indemnity awarded, has to be, as it is hereby, affirmed.
143. People v. Castillo
Date: April 20, 1998
Topic: Treachery
Key Word: _______________
FACTS:

 Castillo was charged with murder in connection with the fatal stabbing of Antonio Dometita. He pleaded not guilty and
interposed the defense of denial and alibi claiming that he was then asleep in his house at the time of the incident.
Prosecution witness Eulogio Velasco testified that he was sitting outside the pub house when appellant suddenly arrived
and stabbed the victim on the left side of the chest. Another prosecution witness, Melinda Mercado, testified that although
she did not see the actual stabbing, she saw appellant wrapping a bladed weapon in his shirt. However, defense witness
Edilberto Marcelino, a tricycle driver, testified that he was about twenty-five meters away from the crime scene when he
saw a group of persons ganging up on a person who was later identified as the victim, and that appellant was not one of
the assailants. The trial court gave full credence to the testimonies of the two prosecution witnesses and rendered
judgment of conviction of the crime charged, with the qualifying circumstance of abuse of superior strength. Hence, this
recourse, appellant questioning the credibility of the prosecution witnesses and the partiality of the trial judge in favor of the
prosecution as shown by his participation in the examination of witnesses.
 The Supreme Court held that the factual findings of the trial court, as well as its assessment of the credibility of witnesses,
are entitled to great weight and are even conclusive and binding, barring arbitrariness and oversight of some fact or
circumstance of weight and substance.
 The allegation of bias and prejudice is not well-taken. It is a judge's prerogative and duty to ask clarificatory questions to
ferret out the truth. The propriety of a judge's queries is determined not necessarily by their quantity but by their quality
and, in any event, by the test of whether the defendant was prejudiced by such questioning. In this case, appellant failed to
demonstrate that he was prejudiced by the questions propounded by the trial judge. In fact, even if all such questions and
the answers thereto were eliminated, appellant would still be convicted.
 The defense of alibi cannot overturn the clear and positive testimony of the credible eyewitnesses who located appellant at
thelocus criminis and identified him as the assailant. DCASIT
 The Court, however, disagreed with the trial court that the killing was qualified by abuse of superior strength. The
prosecution did not demonstrate that there was a marked difference in the stature and build of the victim and the appellant
which would have precluded an appropriate defense from the victim. Not even the use of a bladed instrument would
constitute abuse of superior strength if the victim was adequately prepared to face an attack, or if he was obviously
physically superior to the assailant.
 Nonetheless, the killing was qualified by treachery. Where the accused appeared from nowhere and swiftly and
unexpectedly stabbed the victim just as he was bidding goodbye to his friend. Said action rendered it difficult for the victim
to defend himself.

HELD: WON there is treachery.

RULING: YES.

 The Court agrees with the trial court that appellant is guilty of murder for the death of Antonio Dometita. We likewise agree
that the prosecution was unable to prove the aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation. For this circumstance to
be appreciated, there must be proof, as clear as the evidence of the crime itself, of the following elements: 1) the time
when the offender determined to commit the crime, 2) an act manifestly indicating that he clung to his determination, and 3)
a sufficient lapse of time between determination and execution to allow himself time to reflect upon the consequences of
his act. These requisites were never established by the prosecution.
 On the other hand, we disagree with the trial court that the killing was qualified by abuse of superior strength. "To properly
appreciate the aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength, the prosecution must prove that the assailant
purposely used excessive force out of proportion to the means of defense available to the person attacked." The
prosecution did not demonstrate that there was a marked difference in the stature and build of the victim and the appellant
which would have precluded an appropriate defense from the victim. Not even the use of a bladed instrument would
constitute abuse of superior strength if the victim was adequately prepared to face an attack, or if he was obviously
physically superior to the assailant.
 We hold that the killing was qualified by treachery. "Treachery is committed when two conditions concur, namely, that the
means, methods, and forms of execution employed gave the person attacked no opportunity to defend himself or to
retaliate[;] and that such means, methods, and forms of execution were deliberately and consciously adopted by the
accused without danger to his person." These requisites were evidently present in this case when the accused appeared
from nowhere and swiftly and unexpectedly stabbed the victim just as he was bidding goodbye to his friend, Witness
Velasco. Said action rendered it difficult for the victim to defend himself. The presence of "defense wounds" does not
negate treachery because, as testified to by Velasco, the first stab, fatal as it was, was inflicted on the chest. The incised
wounds in the arms were inflicted when the victim was already rendered defenseless.

DECISION:

The trial court awarded indemnity and actual and moral damages to the heirs of the victim. We sustain the award of indemnity in
the amount of P50,000, but we cannot do the same for the actual and moral damages which must be supported by proof. In this
case, the trial court did not state any evidentiary basis for this award. We have examined the records, but we failed to find any,
either.

WHEREFORE, the appeal is hereby DENIED and the assailed Decision is AFFIRMED, but the award of actual and moral
damages is DELETED for lack of factual basis. Costs against appellant.
144. People v. Arizobal
Date: December 14, 2000
Topic: Treachery
Key Word: _______________
FACTS:

FACTS:

 The factual backdrop: On 12 August 1994 two (2) separate Informations were filed before the Regional Trial Court of
Cataingnan, Masbate, charging Clarito Arizobal, Erly Lignes, Rogelio Gemino and two (2) John Does with Robbery in
Band with Homicide for robbing and slaying Laurencio Gimenez and his son Jimmy Gimenez.

 The prosecution presented, among others, Clementina Gimenez, wife of victim Laurencio Gimenez. She testified that on
24 March 1994 she together with her husband Laurencio Gimenez and a grandchild were sound asleep in their house in
Tuybo, Cataingan, Masbate.

 CLEMENTIA: At around 9:30 in the evening, Laurencio roused her from sleep and told her to open the door because there
were persons outside the house. Since it was pitch-dark she lit a kerosene lamp and stood up to open the door. She was
suddenly confronted by three (3) armed men pointing their guns at her. She recognized two (2) of them as Clarito Arizobal
and Erly Lignes but failed to recognize the third person who was wearing a maskara. She readily identified Clarito because
she used to pass by his house in San Rafael while Erly was also a familiar face as he was a regular habitué of the flea
market. According to Clementina, Clarito asked her husband, "Tay, where is your gun." But she promptly interjected, "We
have no gun, not even a bolo. If you want, you can look around for it." While the man in maskara stood guard at the door,
Clarito and Lignes barged into the master's bedroom and forcibly opened the aparador. The terrified couple could not raise
a finger in protest but had to leave their fate to the whims of their assailants. The intruders ransacked their cabinet and
scattered everything on the floor until they found P8,000.00 among sheets of paper. Before leaving with their loot they
ordered Laurencio to go with them to Jimmy's house because "we have something to talk about." Against his will,
Laurencio went with them. Clementina recalled that shortly after the group left she heard a volley of shots. Her grandchild,
as if sensing what befell her grandfather, could only mutter in fear, "Lolo is already dead!"

 ERLINDA: The wife of Jimmy Gimenez, narrated that on 24 March 1994, after she and her son had taken supper, her
husband Jimmy with one Francisco Gimenez arrived. Jimmy informed Erlinda that they had already bought a carabao.
After he handed her the certificate of large cattle, and while he was in the process of skinning a chicken for their supper,
three (3) men suddenly appeared and ordered them to lie face down. One of them pushed her to the ground while the
others tied Francisco and Jimmy as they whipped the latter with an armalite rifle. She noticed one of them wearing a mask,
another a hat, and still another, a bonnet. Realizing the utter helplessness of their victims, the robbers took the liberty of
consuming the food and cigarettes Erlinda was selling in her sari-sari store. Finding no softdrinks to complete their snack,
two (2) of the intruders ordered Erlinda to buy coke for them at the neighboring store. But they warned her not to make any
noise, much less alert the vendor. When they returned to the house of Jimmy, the robbers proceeded to ransack the
household in search for valuables. They took around P1,000.00 from her sari-sari store and told them to produce
P100,000.00 in exchange for Jimmy's life. Since the couple could not produce such a big amount in so short a time, Erlinda
offered to give their certificate of large cattle. The culprits however would not fall for the ruse and threw the document back
to her. Three (3) masked men then dragged Jimmy outside the house and together with Laurencio brought them some fifty
(50) meters away while leaving behind Clarito Arizobal and Erly Lignes to guard Francisco and Erlinda's son. Moments
later she heard a burst of gunfire, which reverberated through the stillness of the night.

HELD: WON there is treachery.

RULING: NO

AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES; TREACHERY; NOT APPRECIATED IN THE SPECIAL COMPLEX CRIME OF ROBBERY
WITH HOMICIDE; WHICH IS PRIMARILY CLASSIFIED AS CRIME AGAINST PROPERTY AND NOT AGAINST PERSONS. —
But treachery way incorrectly considered by the trial court. The accused stand charged with, tried and convicted of robbery with
homicide. This special complex crime is primarily classified in this jurisdiction as a crime against property, and not against
persons, homicide being merely an incident of robbery with the latter being the main purpose and object of the criminals. As
such, treachery cannot be validly appreciated as an aggravating circumstance under Art. 14 of The Revised Penal Code. This is
completely a reversal of the previous jurisprudence on the matter decided in a litany of cases before People v. Bariquit.

DECISION:

The special complex crime of robbery with homicide carries with it the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death. In conformity with
Art. 63, par. (1), of The Revised Penal Code, when the crime is attended by an aggravating circumstance with no circumstance
mitigating it, the higher penalty shall be imposed.
145. People v. Escote
Date: April 4, 2003
Topic: Treachery
Key Word: _______________
FACTS:

 At past midnight on 28 September 1996, while Five Star Passenger Bus with plate No. ABS-793 bound for Bolinao from Manila
was travelling along the highway in Plaridel, Bulacan, two felons announced a hold-up and thereafter divested the passengers of
their money and valuables and the bus conductor of his collections of the fares of the passengers. On the occasion of the robbery,
the two felons shot to death SPO1 Jose C. Manio, Jr. despite the latter's pleas for mercy. Rodolfo Cacatian, the bus driver, and
Romulo Digap, the bus conductor, identified Juan Gonzales Escote, Jr. and Victor Acuyan as the perpetrators of the crime. The
two accused were charged, tried and subsequently found guilty of the crime of robbery with homicide and were each sentenced to
death. In rendering judgment against the two accused, the trial court gave credence to the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses
and rejected accused's defense of alibi. Hence, this automatic review. Among others, accused-appellants assailed the credibility of
the prosecution witnesses. They contended that Rodolfo and Romulo failed to identify them as the perpetrators of the crime
charged.
 The Court found the contention of accused-appellants unmeritorious. It held that it is the most natural reaction of victims of violence
to strive to see the appearance of the perpetrators of the crime and to observe the manner in which the crime was committed.
Here, the Court found that both prosecution witnesses had a good look at both appellants before, during and after they staged the
robbery and before they alighted from the bus. The evidence on record showed that Romulo stationed himself by the door of the
bus located in the mid-section of the vehicle. Juan seated himself in the middle row of the passengers' seat near the center aisle,
while Victor stood near the door of the bus about a meter or so from Romulo. Romulo, Juan and Victor were, therefore, near each
other. Moreover, Juan had a face-to-face encounter with Romulo because he had divested the latter of his collection of the fares
from the passengers. After shooting SPO1 Manio, Jr. at the rear portion of the bus, Juan and Victor passed by where Romulo was
standing and gave their instructions to him. Rodolfo, on the other hand, looked many times on the rear, side and center view
mirrors to observe the center and rear portions of the bus before and during the robbery, Rodolfo thus saw Juan and Victor stage
the robbery and kill the victim with impunity. Thus, the Court held that the trial court committed no error in convicting appellants of
robbery with homicide. Nevertheless, it modified the penalty to reclusion perpetua. According to the Court, although treachery is a
generic aggravating circumstance in robbery with homicide when the victim of homicide was killed by treachery, the same cannot
be appreciated against appellants because it was not alleged in the information.

HELD: WON there is treachery.

RULING: YES

 QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES; TREACHERY; ELEMENTS. — The Court agrees with the trial court that treachery was
attendant in the commission of the crime. There is treachery when the following essential elements are present, viz: (a) at the time
of the attack, the victim was not in a position to defend himself; and (b) the accused consciously and deliberately adopted the
particular means, methods or forms of attack employed by him. The essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack by
an aggressor on the unsuspecting victim, depriving the latter of any chance to defend himself and thereby ensuring its commission
without risk of himself.
 APPRECIATED EVEN IF VICTIM WAS WARNED OF THE DANGER TO HIS LIFE WHERE HE WAS DEFENSELESS AND
UNABLE TO FLEE AT TIME OF THE INFLICTION OF THE COUP DE GRACE; CASE AT BAR. — Treachery may also be
appreciated even if the victim was warned of the danger to his life where he was defenseless and unable to flee at the time of the
infliction of the coup de grace. In the case at bar, the victim suffered six wounds, one on the mouth, another on the right ear, one
on the shoulder, another on the right breast, one on the upper right cornea of the sternum and one above the right iliac crest. Juan
and Victor were armed with handguns. They first disarmed SPO1 Manio, Jr. and then shot him even as he pleaded for dear life.
When the victim was shot, he was defenseless. He was shot at close range, thus insuring his death. The victim was on his way to
rejoin his family after a hard day's work. Instead, he was mercilessly shot to death, leaving his family in grief for his untimely
demise. The killing is a grim example of the utter inhumanity of man to his fellowmen.
 PENALTIES; TREACHERY SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A GENERIC AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE IN ROBBERY WITH
HOMICIDE FOR THE IMPOSITION OF THE PROPER PENALTY. — Article 62, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code provides
that in diminishing or increasing the penalty for a crime, aggravating circumstances shall be taken into account. However,
aggravating circumstances, which in themselves constitute a crime specially punishable by law or which are included by the law in
defining a crime and prescribing a penalty therefor shall not be taken into account for the purpose of increasing the penalty. Under
paragraph 2 of the law, the same rule shall apply with respect to any aggravating circumstances inherent in the crime to such a
degree that it must of necessity accompany the commission thereof. Treachery is not an element of robbery with homicide. Neither
does it constitute a crime specially punishable by law nor is it included by the law in defining the crime of robbery with homicide and
prescribing the penalty therefor. Treachery is likewise not inherent in the crime of robbery with homicide. Hence, treachery should
be considered as a generic aggravating circumstance in robbery with homicide for the imposition of the proper penalty for the
crime.
 Although at the time the crime was committed, generic aggravating circumstance need not be alleged in the Information, however,
the general rule had been applied retroactively because if it is more favorable to the accused. Even if treachery is proven but it is
not alleged in the information, treachery cannot aggravate the penalty for the crime.

DECISION:

IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATIONS.
Accused-appellants Juan Gonzales Escote, Jr. and Victor Acuyan are hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the felony of
robbery with homicide defined in Article 294, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code and, there being no modifying circumstances in the
commission of the felony, hereby metes on each of them the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA. Said accused-appellants are hereby
ordered to pay jointly and severally the heirs of the victim SPO1 Jose C. Manio, Jr. the amounts of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity,
P50,000.00 as moral damages, P1,349,920.00 for lost earnings, P30,000.00 as actual damages and P25,000.00 as exemplary
damages. The award of P6,000.00 to the Five Star Bus, Inc. is deleted. However, the said corporation is awarded the amount of
P3,000.00 as temperate damages.
146. People v. Villonez
Date: November 16, 1998
Topic: Treachery
Key Word: _______________
FACTS:

 Prosecution witness Edgar Jimenez testified that the victim Gerardo Longasa was hit by appellant Emerlito Santos with a
piece of wood and simultaneously, Regando Villonez and Ruel Santos struck Longasa with bottles. Rudy Santos and
Eddie Santos then stabbed Longasa several times even as two persons named Rey and Budda held Longasa's arms.
Longasa then fell to the ground.
 Edgar Jimenez testified that on 3 May 1994, at around 9:00 p.m., while he was resting inside his store at Hulo, Malabon,
Metro Manila, a certain Tonton informed him that his close friend GERARDO LONGASA had a fistfight with one "Rudy,"
alias "Dede," at Liwayway Street, Baritan, Malabon. Edgar proceeded to the area to mediate, since LONGASA and Rudy
were both his friends. Edgar passed through Javier II Street in going to Liwayway Street. At Javier II Street, a group of
seven armed men, including accused- appellants, attacked Edgar. RUEL hit Edgar on his forehead and back with a bottle.
Edgar was able to escape from his attackers. While fleeing, he ran past LONGASA, who seemed drunk. When Edgar
called LONGASA, the attackers were already upon LONGASA. While he was about eight arms' length away from
LONGASA, Edgar saw EMERLITO hit LONGASA with a 2 x 2 inches piece of wood. Simultaneously, REGANDO and
RUEL struck LONGASA with bottles. Rudy Santos and Eddie Santos then stabbed LONGASA seven and eight times,
respectively, even as two other persons named Rey and Budda held LONGASA's arms. LONGASA fell to the ground.
Edgar saw all these because the scene of the incident was illuminated by a big fluorescent lamp located about three arms'
length away. Edgar rushed to LONGASA's house and reported the incident to the latter's parents.
 The trial court, finding conspiracy among all the accused and rejecting their defense of denial and alibi, convicted them of
murder, qualified by taking advantage of superior strength.
 It is well-settled that a trial court's assessment of a witness's testimony is entitled to great respect on appeal. Our perusal of
the transcript of the testimony of prosecution witness, Jimenez confirms his trustworthiness. Thus, in the face of the
positive identification of the accused, the defense of alibi must fail. Further, the finding of conspiracy among the accused is
supported by evidence. However, we hold that treachery qualified the killing because the victim had engaged in a fight
previous to the killing and was thus forewarned of an attack against him. The abuse of superior strength is absorbed in
treachery.

HELD: WON there is treachery.

RULING: YES

MURDER; QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES; TREACHERY; PRESENT EVEN IF VICTIM WAS FOREWARNED THAT WHAT
IS DECISIVE IS THE IMPOSSIBILITY TO DEFEND ONESELF. — Treachery may still be appreciated even when the victim was
forewarned of danger to his person. What is decisive is that the execution of the attack made it impossible for the victim to
defend himself or to retaliate. The overwhelming number of the accused, their use of weapons against the unarmed victim, and
the fact that the victim's hands were held behind him preclude the possibility of any defense by the victim. The other qualifying
circumstance of abuse of superior strength, which the trial court appreciated, will no longer be taken against accused-
appellants, for it is absorbed in treachery.

DECISION:

WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the appeal and AFFIRM the challenged Joint Decision of 23 November 1995 of Branch 170 of the
Regional Trial Court of Malabon, Metro Manila, in Criminal Cases Nos. 14943-MN and 15506-MN convicting accused-appellants
REGANDO P. VILLONES, EMERLITO N. SANTOS, and RUEL L. SANTOS of the crime of murder and sentencing the first two
accused to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and the third accused, to an indeterminate penalty of ten (10) years of
prision mayor as minimum to seventeen (17) years of reclusion temporal as maximum; and ordering all accused- appellants to
pay the heirs of the victim GERARDO LONGASA P50,000 as death indemnity and P8,500 as actual damages.
147. People v. Guzman
Date: January 26, 2007
Topic: Treachery
Key Word: _______________

FACTS:

 Ronald is a jeepney driver and resident of Barangay Commonwealth, Quezon City. He testified that on 25 November 1999, at about 9:00 in
the evening, he stopped by and ate at a carinderia located at the corner of Sto. Nino Street and Mactan Street, Brgy. Commonwealth,
Quezon City. After eating, he sat on a bench just beside the carinderia and rested. He noticed appellant and two other persons having a
drinking spree in a nearby grocery store. He also saw Michael walking towards the direction of the same grocery store. When Michael was
passing in front of the grocery store, Guzman and his two companions suddenly approached and surrounded Michael. Appellant positioned
himself at the back of Michael while his two companions stood in front of Michael. Suddenly, they grabbed the shoulders of Michael and
overpowered the latter. One of appellant's companions, whom he described as a male with long hair, drew out a knife and repeatedly
stabbed Michael at the stomach. Afterwards, the appellant's other companion, whom he described as a male with flat top hair, took the knife
from the companion with long hair, and also stabbed Michael at the stomach. Later, appellant went in front of Michael, took the knife from the
companion with flat top hair, and likewise stabbed Michael at the stomach. Appellant also kicked Michael when the latter was already lying
on the ground. He witnessed this stabbing incident at a distance of five arms' length.
 Afraid and confused, he immediately went home. The next day, however, he went to the house of Michael's family and narrated the incident
to Michael's father, Danilo. Subsequently, he was accompanied by Danilo to the Batasan Hills Police Station 6 where he gave a statement
about the incident.
 Edgardo Bauto (Edgardo) is also a tricycle driver and resident of Brgy. Commonwealth, Quezon City. He narrated that on 25 November
1999, at around 9:00 in the evening, he was standing at the corner of Sto. Nino Street and Mactan Street, Brgy. Commonwealth, Quezon
City, when he heard a female voice shouting "Sinasaksak!" When he glanced at the direction of the said shouts, he saw, at a distance of
about five arms' length, appellant and the latter's two companions taking turns in stabbing Michael. One of the appellant's companions,
whom he described as a toothless male with a long hair, was the first one to stab Michael. Afterwards, the appellant's other companion,
whom he described as a male with flat top hair, took the knife from the toothless male with a long hair and stabbed Michael. Subsequently,
appellant also took the knife from his companion with flat top hair and stabbed Michael too.
 Thereafter, he immediately ran and proceeded to the house of Michael's family and informed Michael's parents about the incident. Michael's
parents rushed to the crime scene and took Michael to a hospital. The next day, he was accompanied by Danilo and a certain Ramiro Alfaro
to Batasan Hills Police Station 6 where he gave a statement about the incident.
 Danilo, Michael's father, testified that on 25 November 1999, at about 9:00 in the evening, he was walking on his way home along the corner
of Sto. Nino Street and Mactan Street, Brgy. Commonwealth, Quezon City, when he saw Michael lying along Sto. Nino Street. He also saw
appellant and the latter's two male companions near Michael's body. When he was about to approach them, they immediately ran away. He
chased and threw stones at them. Appellant and his two companions proceeded to the former's house and locked the door. He tried to follow
them all the way to the house but appellant's relatives blocked his way to the door and told him to leave. Thereafter, he went back to Michael
and took the latter to Fairview Hospital. He was later informed by the doctors that Michael was already dead.
 The next day, he went to Batasan Hills Police Station 6 and gave a statement about the incident. In an effort to settle the instant case,
appellant's wife and daughter told Danilo that they would sell a bus which they owned and would turn over to him the proceeds thereof. He
also stated that Michael wanted to become a pilot so that, as the eldest of the children, he would be the one to shoulder the education of his
siblings.

HELD: WON there is treachery.

RULING: YES

 In the instant case, treachery was alleged in the Information against appellant. Moreover, all the essential elements/conditions of treachery
were established and proven during the trial.
 After attending a worship service at the Iglesia ni Kristo church in his barangay, Michael proceeded home. While Michael was casually
walking along the corner of Sto. Nino Street and Mactan Street, appellant and his two companions, who were drinking nearby, suddenly
approached and surrounded Michael. Appellant positioned himself at the back of Michael while his two companions stood in front of Michael.
In an instant, they grabbed the shoulders of Michael and overpowered the latter. One of the appellant's companions, whom the prosecution
witnesses described as a male with long hair, drew out a knife and repeatedly stabbed Michael on the stomach. Unsatisfied, the appellant's
other companion, whom the prosecution witnesses described as a male with flat top hair, took the knife and stabbed Michael on the
stomach. As the finale, appellant went in front of Michael, took the knife and also stabbed Michael on the stomach. When Michael fell on the
ground, appellant kicked him at the body. Upon noticing that the bloodied Michael was no longer moving, appellant and his two companions
fled the scene.
 As viewed from the foregoing, the suddenness and unexpectedness of the attack of appellant and his two companions rendered Michael
defenseless, vulnerable and without means of escape. It appears that Michael was unarmed and alone at the time of the attack. Further, he
was merely seventeen years of age then. In such a helpless situation, it was absolutely impossible for Michael to escape or to defend
himself against the assault of appellant and his two companions. Being young and weak, Michael is certainly no match against adult persons
like appellant and his two companions. Michael was also outnumbered since he had three assailants, and, was unarmed when he was
stabbed to death. Appellant and his two companions took advantage of their size, number, and weapon in killing Michael. They also
deliberately adopted means and methods in exacting the cruel death of Michael by first surrounding him, then grabbing his shoulders and
overpowering him. Afterwards, each of them repeatedly stabbed Michael with a knife at the stomach until the latter fell lifeless to the ground.
The stab wounds sustained by Michael proved to be fatal as they severely damaged the latter's large intestine.
 The fact that the place where the incident occurred was lighted and many people were walking then in different directions does not negate
treachery. It should be made clear that the essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack on an unsuspecting victim without the
slightest provocation on his part. This is even more true if the assailant is an adult and the victim is a minor. Minor children, who by reason of
their tender years, cannot be expected to put up a defense. Thus, when an adult person illegally attacks a minor, treachery exists. As we
earlier found, Michael was peacefully walking and not provoking anyone to a fight when he was stabbed to death by appellant and his two
companions. Further, Michael was a minor at the time of his death while appellant and his two companions were adult persons. IEC

DECISION:

WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. C.R.-H.C. No. 00095 dated 28 February 2005 is hereby AFFIRMED with
MODIFICATIONS. Appellant is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder, for which, he is accordingly sentenced to
suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. Appellant is further ordered to pay the heirs of Michael P25,670.00 as actual damages; P50,000.00 as
moral damages; P50,000.00 as civil indemnity for Michael's death; and P25,000.00 as exemplary damages.