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FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. 134730. September 18, 2000]

FELIPE GARCIA, JR., petitioner, vs. !E !"N"RA#LE C"$R PE"PLE "F !E P!ILIPPINES,respondents. %ECISI"N &AP$NAN, J.'

"F APPEALS AN%

!E

In two separate Informations filed before the Regional Trial Court of Manila, petitioner Felipe ar!ia, "r# was !harged with frustrated murder in Criminal Case No# $%&$''() and with murder in Criminal Case $%&$''(* !ommitted as follows+ Criminal Case No# $%&$''()+ That on or about No,ember ', %$$-, in the Cit. of Manila, /hilippines, the said a!!used !onspiring and !onfederating with two others who0se1 true names, identities and present whereabouts are still un2nown and helping one another, did then and there willfull., unlawfull. and feloniousl., with intent to 2ill and trea!her., atta!2, assault and use personal ,iolen!e upon one R34N56DO 73RN5RDO 4 D36 ROS5RIO 8 97O4 /5NC:5N ;, b. then and there shooting the latter with a re,ol,er, hitting him on the ne!2, thereb. infli!ting upon the said R34N56DO D# 73RN5RDO 8 97O4 /5NC:5N ; ph.si!al in<uries whi!h was ne!essaril. fatal and mortal, thus performing all the a!ts of e=e!ution whi!h would ha,e produ!ed the !rime of murder, as a !onse>uen!e but ne,ertheless did not produ!e it b. reason of !auses independent of his will, that is b. the timel. and able medi!al assistan!e rendered to the said R34N56DO D# 73RN5RDO 8 97O4 /5NC:5N ; whi!h pre,ented his death# Contrar. to 6aw#0%1 === Criminal Case No# $%&$''(* That on or about No,ember ', %$$-, in the Cit. of Manila, /hilippines, the said a!!used, !onspiring and !onfederating together with two others whose true names, identities and present whereabouts are still un2nown and helping one another, did then and there willfull., unlawfull. and feloniousl., with intent to 2ill and with trea!her. atta!2, assault and use personal for!e upon one F3RN5NDO 7# 635?O 4 73RN5RDO 8 975 IN ;, b. then and there shooting the latter with a re,ol,er, hitting him on the head, thereb. infli!ting upon the said F3RN5NDO 7# 635?O 8 975 IN ; gunshot wounds whi!h was the dire!t and immediate !ause of his death thereafter# Contrar. to 6aw# = = =0@1 The two !ases were !onsolidated and tried <ointl. before 7ran!h )$ of the Regional Trial Court of Manila#

GARCIA ( CA
Apon arraignment on @) Ma. %$$%, the petitioner, assisted b. !ounsel de parte, entered a plea of 9Not uilt.; to both !harges#0'1 Trial on the merits then ensued# 7ased on the e,iden!e presented, the trial !ourt summariBed the e,ents that led to the 2illing of Fernando 6eaCo and the near fatal in<uries sustained b. Re.naldo 7ernardo as follows+ On No,ember ', %$$-, at about %%+'- oD!lo!2 in the e,ening, 5rnold CorpuB and Fernando 6eaCo, a %*&.ear old student, and their friends, were !on,ersing along Mataas na 6upa Street, /a!o, Manila# Fernando 6eaCo was on the side of the street# Momentaril., a pedi!ab, with Renato ar!ia EReneng /ala.o2F, on board, passed b. and, in the pro!ess, the right wheel of the pedi!ab ran o,er the right foot of Fernando 6eaCo# The pedi!ab failed to stop and !ontinued on its wa.# In!ensed, Fernando 6eaCo ran after the pedi!ab# 5rnold CorpuB followed suit, at a distan!e of about three E'F meters awa. from thepedi!ab# Ghen Fernando 6eaCo was about abreast with the pedi!ab, he uttered in,e!ti,es but Renato ar!ia retaliated and hurled in,e!ti,es, too, at Fernando 6eaCo, sa.ing D/utang ina nin.o#D Fernando 6eaCo was then ahead of the pedi!ab when he loo2ed ba!2 and saw, to his !onsternation, Renato ar!ia pla!ing his right hand on the right side of his waistline and about to pull out his gun# 5fraid for his life, Fernando 6eaCo sped awa. from the pedi!ab, turned to an alle. and ran to Mataas na 6upa Street, /a!o, Manila, dire!t to the house of his un!le, Re.naldo 7ernardo, at No# %@H% Mataas na 6upa, /a!o, Manila E3=hibit D3& %DF# The pedi!ab slowed down a bit and then turned towards F# MuCoB Street, /a!o, Manila# 5rnold CorpuB followed Fernando 6eaCo to the alle. and, when he saw him again, Fernando 6eaCo was !on,ersing with his un!le, Re.naldo 7ernardo, b. the gate of the latterDs house E3=hibit D3& %DF# Fernando 6eaCo reported to his un!le that Renato ar!ia earlier uttered in,e!ti,es at him and e,en tried to pull out his gun from the ba!2 portion of his waistline# Re.naldo 7ernardo de!ided to ha,e the in!ident reported to /oli!e Station No# * of the Gestern /oli!e Distri!t# Re.naldo 7ernardo !hanged !lothes, put on his shoes and, with Fernando 6eaCo and 5rnold CorpuB, pro!eeded to the house of his mother, 3speranBa del Rosario 7ernardo E3=hibits D3&@D and DO&@DF to borrow the latterDs <eep, par2ed near the bas2etball !ourt, along Mataas na 6upa Street, /a!o, Manila, whi!h the. will use in going to the poli!e station# The house of Re.naldo 7ernardo was about twent. E@-F meters awa. from the house of his mother# The three E'F then turned left along Mataas na 6upa Street, towards the dire!tion of the house of 3speranBa del Rosario 7ernardo# :owe,er, before the. !ould rea!h her house, the. had to pass b. the interse!tion of F# MuCoB Street and Mataas na 6upa Street, /a!o, Manila# The interse!tion was about twent.&fi,e E@*F meters awa. from the house of the 5!!used and Renato ar!ia and about fift. E*-F meters awa. from the house of erardo 6ugos, whi!h was near the South Superhighwa. alread.# Ghen Re.naldo 7ernardo, Fernando 6eaCo and 5rnold CorpuB were near the !orner of F# MuCoB and Mataas na 6upa Street, /a!o, Manila, Re.naldo 7ernardo saw the head of erardo 6ugos who was peeping on the side !orner of the ,a!ant store, at the said !orner of the street# :owe,er, Re.naldo 7ernardo ga,e no signifi!an!e to the in!ident, there being no feud or misunderstanding between him and erardo 6ugos# Ghen Re.naldo 7ernardo, Fernando 6eaCo and 5rnold CorpuB !ontinued on their wal2, Fernando 6eaCo and Re.naldo 7ernardo were wal2ing side b. side, Fernando 6eaCo on the right side of his un!le, while 5rnold CorpuB was three E'F meters behind the two E@F but tried to o,erta2e them# Ghen the three E'F passed b. the first !orner of F# MuCoB Street, /a!o, Manila and Mataas na 6upa Street, /a!o, Manila, 5rnold CorpuB saw three E'F male

persons, about se,en E(F to ten E%-F meters awa. on their left side, wal2ing along F# MuCoB Street, /a!o, Manila, going towards their dire!tion, but did not as .et re!ogniBe them at the time# :owe,er, when the three E'F male persons were near the portion of the street near the store, whi!h was lighted b. the lights emanating from the Meral!o post E3=hibit D3DF, 5rnold CorpuB re!ogniBed the three E'F male persons# The first was Renato EReneng /ala.o2F ar!ia, who was then holding a #'H !aliber re,ol,er, with his two E@F hands raised on the le,el of his abreast, aimed at them# 7ehind Renato ar!ia, towards his right side, was his .ounger brother, the 5!!used and behind the 5!!used, to his right side, was "err. 6ugos# The 5!!used and "err. 6ugos were armed with handguns, also aimed at Re.naldo 7ernardo# Ghen Re.naldo 7ernardo, Fernando 6eaCo and 5rnold CorpuB were about two E@F to three E'F meters from the interse!tion of F# MuCoB and Mataas na 6upa Streets, /a!o, Manila, Re.naldo 7ernardo turned, loo2ed towards his left, and saw Renato ar!ia, the 5!!used and "err. 6ugos, all armed and their guns aimed at him# Re.naldo 7ernardo then started to sprint toward where Renato ar!ia, the 5!!used and "err. 6ugos were but barel. had Re.naldo 7ernardo ta2en off when Renato ar!ia fired his gun, on!e, at Re.naldo 7ernardo and hit the latter on the left side of his ne!2 E3=hibit D7DF# Renato ar!ia was then onl. about two E@F meters wa. from Re.naldo 7ernardo# Ghen Renato ar!ia fired at Re.naldo 7ernardo, the 5!!used and "err. 6ugos loo2ed around as if a!ting as loo2outs# Re.naldo 7ernardo pla!ed his left palm on the left side of his ne!2 whi!h was hit, fell, at first, on a 2neeling position and then, on the ground, fa!e down E3=hibits D3&'D and DODF# Instin!ti,el., after Re.naldo 7ernardo was hit, he flung and swung his hand inward, outward and sideward and, in the pro!ess, hit 5rnold CorpuB who was then about to gi,e su!!or to Re.naldo 7ernardo# 5rnold CorpuB then fell on the ground, on a sitting position# 5rnold CorpuB then stood up and then fell again on a 2neeling position E3=hibit D3&)DF# In the meantime, too, Fernando 6eaCo rushed to his un!le and tried to lift him E3=hibit D3&*DF# Fernando 6eaCo was then on a 2neeling position# In the meantime, too, Renato ar!ia, the 5!!used and "err. 6ugos !ontinued wal2ing towards where Re.naldo 7ernardo was sprawled and Fernando 6eaCo beside him and 5rnold Corpus in front of Fernando 6eaCo# The bod. of Re.naldo 7ernardo was between them# Three E'F su!!essi,e shots then ensued#5rnold CorpuB then de!ided to lie down on the ground, fa!e down, his fa!e on the feet of Re.naldo 7ernardo, to a,oid being hit with his two E@F hands under his breast# 5rnold CorpuB then raised his head a little and noti!ed that the front portion of the head of Fernando 6eaCo was bulging and Fernando 6eaCo falling down# It turned out that Fernando 6eaCo was felled Esi!F b. a gunshot wound at the ba!2 of his head#In the pro!ess, 5rnold CorpuB saw Renato ar!ia, the 5!!used and "err. 6ugos behind Fernando 6eaCo, still holding their guns# Renato ar!ia, the 5!!used and "err. 6ugos then fled from the s!ene together# 5rnold CorpuB also fled from the s!ene towards the house of 3speranBa del Rosario 7ernardo to plead for help# On the wa., 5rnold CorpuB met Dominador 7ernardo, "r#, the brother of Re.naldo 7ernardo who !ame from the bas2etball !ourt# Dominador 7ernardo, "r# in>uired wh. 5rnold CorpuB was running and 5rnold CorpuBB Esi!F replied, thus+ Tinamaan si Iu.a 7o. at Ferdie#D Epp# @%)&@%J, id#F0)1 The ,i!tims were ta2en to the Medi!al Center Manila at about %@+-- midnight# Subse>uentl., 6eaCo was transferred to the Orthopedi! :ospital, where he died in the morning of No,ember ), %$$-#0*1 Dr# Mar!ial Cenido performed an autops. on the !ada,er of 6eaCo and prepared a report with the following /ost Mortem Findings+ 3KT3RN56 IN"ARI3S 5ND 3KT3NSIONS INT3RN5664+ %# unshot wound, thru and thru with the following points of entr. and e=it+

/oint of 3ntr. & right o!!ipital region, head, *H#* in!hes from the heel, ' !m# from the posterior midline, measuring -#* !m# = -#' !m# and with the !ontusion !ollar measures % !m# = -#( !m# and /oint of 3=it & right forehead, * !m# from the anterior midline, *H L in!hes from the heel, and measures %#' !m# = -#* !m# Course+ Forwards, ,er. slightl. upwards and ,er. slightl. towards the lateral penetrating the !ranial !a,it. and la!erating the right o!!ipital, parietal and frontal lobes of the brain# @# :ematoma, below the right e.ebrow# INT3RN56 FINDIN S+ %# 6a!eration of the right o!!ipital, parietal and frontal lobes of the brains and subra!hnoid hemorrhage, and generaliBed pallor of the internal organs and tissuesM and @# Re!o,ered from the stoma!h about a glassful of dar2 li>uid with some ri!e and ,egetables and without al!oholi! odor# C5AS3 OF D35T: unshot wound, right o!!ipital region, head#0J1 On the other hand, Dr# /edro /# Solis, Medi!o&6egal Offi!er of the Medi!al Center Manila, performed an operation on and ga,e medi!al treatment to Re.naldo 7ernardo# The report he prepared showed the following findings+ 5brasion, ' !m# = @ !m# s!alp, frontal region, left sideM ' !m# '#* !m = %!m# lateral aspe!t, frontal region, left side# Gound, gunshot, !ir!ular in shape, -#$ !m# in diameter, lateral aspe!t, ne!2 left side, indise anterior triangle, dire!ted mediall., downwards and slightl. ba!2wards, penetrating soft tissues of the ne!2, in,ol,ing e=ternal <ugular ,ein, then ma2ing wound e=ist at right para,ertebral area that the le,el of T'&T&) and ' !m# below the highest point of the shoulder#0(1 7ased on the abo,e established fa!ts, the trial !ourt rendered <udgment, the dispositi,e portion reading as follows+ In ,iew of all the foregoing, <udgment is hereb. rendered in the following !ases to wit+ %# In /eople ,ersus Felipe ar!ia, "r#, Criminal Case No# $%&$''(), <udgment is hereb. rendered finding the 5!!used guilt. be.ond reasonable doubt of the !rime of 9Frustrated :omi!ide; and hereb. senten!es said 5!!used to an indeterminate penalt. of from Four E)F 4ears and Two E@F months of /rision Corre!!ional, as Minimum, to 3ight EHF 4ears and One E%F Da. of /rision Ma.or, as Ma=imum, and to pa. to Re.naldo 7ernardo the amount of /%%*,J'%#-- as a!tual damages and /@*,---#-- as moral damagesM @# In /eople ,ersus Felipe ar!ia, "r# Criminal Case No# $%&$''(*, <udgment is hereb. rendered finding the 5!!used guilt. be.ond reasonable doubt of the !rime of N:omi!ideN and hereb. metes on him an indeterminate penalt. of from 3ight EHF 4ears and One E%F Da. of /rision Ma.or, as Minimum to Fourteen E%)F 4ears, 3ight EHF Months and One E%F Da. of

Re!lusion Temporal as ma=imum, and to pa. to the heirs of Fernando 6eaCo the amount of /%-,-)-#-- as a!tual damages and /*-,---#-- b. wa. of indemnit.#0H1 /etitioner ele,ated his !on,i!tion to the Court of 5ppeals, whi!h on @% Ma. %$$H, affirmed in toto the de!ision of the trial !ourt# 0$1 :en!e, the present !ase, petitioner raising the following assignment of errors+ I T:3 6OG3R COART R5V364 3RR3D IN 3V56A5TIN 3VID3NC3 DIR3CT3D 5 5INST SAS/3CTS 3RR4 6A OS 5ND R3N5TO 5RCI5 & INF3R3NTI5664 5 5INST 5CCAS3D&5//3665NT F36I/3 5RCI5, "R#, AND3R T:3 /RINCI/63 OF CONS/IR5C4 SO&C5663D# II T:3 6OG3R COART 3RR3D S3RIOAS64 3RR3D IN 5//R3CI5TIN T:3 F5CTS 5ND CIRCAMST5NC3S 3ST576IS:3D IN T:3 TRI56 5 5INST 5CCAS3D&5//3665NT 5S CO&CONS/IR5TOR T:3R3OF, 5ND, III T:3 6OG3R COART 3RR3D S3RIOAS64 IN FINDIN 5CCAS3D&5//3665NT AI6T4 5S CO&/RINCI/56 IN :OMICID3 5ND FRASTR5T3D :OMICID3 ROAND3D ON CONS/IR5C4 GIT: T:IRD /3RSONS 9E 3RR4 6A OS 5ND R3N5TO 5RCI5F G:O 5R3 M3R3 SAS/3CTS 5ND OSTR5N 3RSP IN T:3 TGO C5S3S 5S T:34 G3R3 NOT IM/635D3D T:3R3IN NOR C:5R 3D 5S "O:N 5ND RIC5RDO DO3S IN 3IT:3R OR 7OT: INFORM5TIONS#N0%-1 /etitioner asserts that sin!e he alone was named in the information, Nit would seem b. impli!ation from the narration in the information that it was being made to appear that the a!!used was in fa!t the gunman who a!ted in !onspira!. with un2nown persons# The e,iden!e later presented pro,ed otherwise and it turned out that it was Renato ar!ia alone who shot and wounded Re.naldo 7ernardo and shot and 2illed Fernando 6eaCo# It was not, therefore, in 2eeping with the e,iden!e on re!ord proper to !on,i!t the a!!used based merel. on the theor. that there was !onspira!. when no suffi!ient e,iden!e to support su!h fa!t e=ist#N0%%1 Contrar. to petitionerPs argument, there is no irregularit. in the information to warrant a re,ersal of the !on,i!tion# 5ll material fa!ts and essential elements of the !rimes, for whi!h petitioner is !harged, were alleged therein# Conspira!. was alleged in the information# Thus, it is not ne!essar. to allege with e=a!titude the spe!ifi! a!t of the a!!used, as it is a well&settled do!trine that in !onspira!. the a!t of one is the a!t of all#0%@1 Neither is the fa!t that the two others allegedl. in !onspira!. with the petitioner were not named with parti!ularit., nor tried and !on,i!ted, of an. moment#5n information alleging !onspira!. !an stand e,en if onl. one person is !harged e=!ept that the !ourt !annot pass ,erdi!t on the !o&!onspirators who were not !harged in the information#0%'1 This Court does not doubt the guilt of the petitioner# The findings of a trial !ourt on the !redibilit. of witnesses deser,e great weight, gi,en the !lear ad,antage of a trial <udge o,er an appellate magistrate in the appre!iation of testimonial e,iden!e# 5bsent an. showing that trial !ourtPs !alibration of the !redibilit. was flawed, we are bound b. its assessment#0%)1

5n e=amination of the re!ords will re,eal that the prose!ution witnesses positi,el. identified the a!!used# Re.naldo 7ernardo, who sustained in<uries from a gunshot wound, narrated the in!ident as follows+ FISC56 /3R56T5+ Ghere were .ou when this Fernando 6eaCo told .ou that a gun was po2ed on Esi!F himQ GITN3SS+ I was in our house, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ Can .ou still re!all that Esi!F time it was when this Fernando 6eaCo told .ou that a gun was po2ed on Esi!F himQ GITN3SS+ I thin2 about %%+'- oP!lo!2, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ 5nd did .ou !ome to 2now as to what time or that date was that po2ing in!ident too2 pla!e# GITN3SS+ On No,ember ', %$$-, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ 5t what time was it, if .ou 2nowQ GITN3SS+ I was told at about %%+'- oD!lo!2, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ 4ou said that at around %%+)- oD!lo!2 in the e,ening at the !orner of Mataas na 6upa and F# MuCoB street, .ou were with two E@F men, !an .ou re!all of an. unusual in!ident that happened at that !ornerQ GITN3SS+ Ge were shot sir# N/inagbabaril 2ami#N FISC56 /3R56T5+ Gho shot .ou if .ou !an still re!allQ GITN3SS+ Reneng /ala.o2 and his two E@F other !ompanions b. the name of /eping /ala.o2 and "err. 6ugos, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ :ow far were .ou in relation to the pla!e where these men shot .ouQ GITN3SS+ 5bout se,en E(F meters awa., sir, it is ,er. near# FISC56 /3R56T5+

Can .ou still re!all the relati,e positions of these men whom .ou said shot .ou and .our position at the time that Esi!F shots were firedQ 5TT4# A4+ I ob<e!t to the >uestion, 4our :onor, on the ground that the same is ,er. leading# FISC56 /3R56T5+ I will reform, 4our :onor# 4ou said that .ou were about more or less se,en E(F meters awa. from the men# Now, m. >uestion to .ou is, were .ou hitQ GITN3SS+ 4es, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ 5nd where were .ou hitQ GITN3SS+ 5t m. Esi!F left side of m. ne!2, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ 5nd at the time that .ou were hit on the ne!2, where were these three E'F men at that timeQ GITN3SS+ The. were on m. left side, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ 5nd what were these three E'F men a!tuall. doing at the time that the. shot .ouQ GITN3SS+ The. were armed with guns, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ :a,e .ou 2nown this Rene /ala.o2 e,en before No,ember ', %$$-Q GITN3SS+ 4es, sir, sin!e we were .oung# FISC56 /3R56T5+ Ghat about this /eping /ala.o2, ha,e .ou 2nown also this /eping /ala.o2Q GITN3SS+ 4es, sir, I ha,e 2nown him also sin!e we were .oung# FISC56 /3R56T5+ :ow about this "err. 6ugosQ GITN3SS+ 4es, sir, he is m. !hildhood mate# ===

COART+ ranted# FISC56 /3R56T5+ Now, Mr# Gitness, after .ou were hit on the left side of .our ne!2, what happened ne=tQ GITN3SS+ I fell down, sir, fa!e down# FISC56 /3R56T5+ 5nd when .ou fell down, fa!e down, !an .ou still re!all what happened ne=tQ GITN3SS+ 5fter that, sir, I heard shots# FISC56 /3R56T5+ Now, if .ou see again that /eping /ala.o2 whom .ou said was one of those who shot .ou, will .ou still be able to re!ogniBe himQ GITN3SS+ 4es, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ Gill .ou please loo2 inside the Court and point to himQ GITN3SS+ That person, sir# INT3R/R3T3R+ Gitness pointing to a person who, when as2ed, stated his name as Felipe FISC56 /3R56T5+ Could .ou please tell to this :onorable Court wh. .ou were not able to rea!h the house of Re.naldo 7ernardoQ GITN3SS+ 7e!ause there were three E'F male persons who were waiting 9na2aabang; for us, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ Gh. did .ou sa. that these three E'F men were waiting or 9na2aabang; for .ouQ GITN3SS+ 7e!ause while we were wal2ing, the. were alread. there holding guns, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ Do .ou 2now these persons who were holding gunsQ GITN3SS+ ar!ia, "r#0%*1 One of 7ernardoPs !ompanion, prose!ution witness 5rnold CorpuB, testified in this wise+

4es, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ 5nd who were these persons whom .ou said were waiting for .ou and holding gunsQ GITN3SS+ Reneng /ala.o2, /eping and "err. 6ugos, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ Ghat is again the full name of this ReneEngF /ala.o2, if .ou 2nowQ GITN3SS+ Renato ar!ia, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ Ghat about this /epingQ GITN3SS+ Felipe ar!ia, sir#0%J1 In the fa!e of petitionerDs positi,e identifi!ation, petitionerPs defense of alibi !annot hold water# No <urispruden!e in !riminal !ases is more settled than the rule that alibi is the wea2est of all defenses, and the same should be re<e!ted when the identit. of the a!!used has been suffi!ientl. and positi,el. established b. e.ewitnesses to the !rime#0%(1 The fa!tual findings of the trial !ourt that petitioner parti!ipated in the perpetration of the !rime, su!h being supported b. e,iden!e on re!ord, will not be disturbed b. this Court# :owe,er, we are of the persuasion that the prose!ution failed to pro,e with positi,e and !ompetent e,iden!e the fa!t that the a!t of the petitioner was dire!t or a!tuall. ne!essar. to the !ommission of the !rime# The e=isten!e of !onspira!. !annot be presumed# Similar to the ph.si!al a!t !onstituting the !rime itself, the elements of !onspira!. must be pro,en be.ond reasonable doubt#0%H1 The mere fa!t that the petitioner had prior 2nowledge of the !riminal design of the prin!ipal perpetrator and aided the latter in !onsummating the !rime does not automati!all. ma2e him a !o&!onspirator# 7oth 2nowledge of and parti!ipation in the !riminal a!t are also inherent elements of an a!!ompli!e# 0%$1 In his !ommentaries on the Re,ised /enal Code, Chief "usti!e Ramon 5>uino e=plains+ The guilt of an a!!ompli!e should be predi!ated on an a!t that was done in furtheran!e of the !ommission of the !rime b. the prin!ipal# The a!!ompli!e must ha,e 2nown that the prin!ipal intended to !ommit a parti!ular !rime# In other words, he should ha,e !ommunit. purpose with the prin!ipal# ===0@-1 In the !ase of People vs. Tamayo,0@%1 !iting the Supreme Court of Spain, this Court made the following e=position on the !hara!teristi!s of an a!!ompli!e+ === It is an essential !ondition to the e=isten!e of !ompli!it., not onl. that there should be a relation between the a!ts done b. the prin!ipal and those attributed to the person !harged as a!!ompli!e, but it is furthermore ne!essar. that the latter, with 2nowledge of the !riminal intent, should !ooperate with the intention of suppl.ing material or moral aid in the e=e!ution of the !rime in an effi!a!ious wa.#

In !ases of doubt as to whether persons a!ted as prin!ipals or a!!ompli!es, the doubt must be resol,ed in their fa,or and the. should be held guilt. as a!!ompli!es# 0@@1 Su!h prin!iple was applied b. this Court in the !ase of People v. Clemente+ In the !ase of appellants, Carlos and /as!ual Clemente, while the. <oined their brother in the pursuit of the fleeing Matnog, and in the atta!2 on him as he fell, .et the prose!ution e.ewitness was unable to assert positi,el. that the two managed to hit the fallen man# There being no showing of !onspira!., and the e=tent of their parti!ipation in the homi!ide being un!ertain, the. should be gi,en the benefit of the doubt, and !onse>uentl. the. are de!lared to be mere a!!ompli!es in the !rime#0@'1 5fter a !ir!umspe!t e=amination of the e,iden!e, we find that other than a showing that petitioner assisted Renato ar!ia in the sla.ing of Fernando 6eaCo and the infli!tion of in<uries upon Re.naldo 7ernardo, the prose!ution failed to present other e,iden!e whi!h would positi,el. establish the e=isten!e of !onspira!.# Thus, this Court is of the belief that petitioner&a!!used should onl. be held liable as an a!!ompli!e# This seems to be the more reasonable and safer !ourse# 3,en if we were to agree with the trial !ourt that !onspira!. e=isted between a!!used&petitioner and two other malefa!tors, in parti!ular Renato ar!ia, who was positi,el. identified as the gunman, still this Court is of the !on,i!tion that the petitioner should onl. be held liable as an a!!ompli!e# petitionerPs parti!ipation was hardl. indispensable# 5s the trial !ourt pointed out, the petitioner merel. a!ted as a 9loo2out#; The testimon. of 5rnold CorpuB is telling+ FISC56 /3R56T5+ 5nd what happened after .ou saw these three E'F men waiting for .ou armed with gunsQ GITN3SS+ The. fired a gun on!e and 9Iu.a 7o.; was hit, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ Ghat part of the bod. of 7o. was hitQ GITN3SS+ :ere, sir# INT3R/R3T3R+ Gitness pointing to the left portion of his ne!2# COART+ I !annot understand that# 4ou said that the. fired on!e# :ow man. firedQ GITN3SS+ Onl. one, 4our :onor# FISC56 /3R56T5+ Gho was that person who fired the gunQ GITN3SS+ Mang Re. or Re. /ala.o2, sir#

FISC56 /3R56T5+ 5nd .ou said that there were three E'F of them# Ghat did these /eping and "err. 6ugos do when Rene /ala.o2 fired a gun that hit .our 9Iu.a 7o.;Q GITN3SS+ The. were behind Mang Rene, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ 4ou said that the. were behind Rene /ala.o2# Ghat did the. do afterwards after Rene fired a gun that hit .our 9Iu.a 7o.;Q 5TT4# A4+ Ver. leading, 4our :onor# COART+ Ma. answer# GITN3SS+ The. were loo2ing around holding their guns as if the. were a!ting as )oo* o+t,, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ 5fter .our Iu.a 7o. was hit on the ne!2, what happened ne=tQ GITN3SS+ I saw Fernando went Esi!F near his un!le so that he !ould lift his un!le, sir# FISC56 /3R56T5+ Gas he able to lift his un!le Re.naldo 7ernardoQ GITN3SS+ Not an.more, sir, be!ause there were !ontinuous firing of guns about three E'F times# FISC56 /3R56T5+ Ghat happened to Fernando 6eaCo when there was a !ontinuous firing for at least three E'F timesQ 5TT4# A4+ 6eading, 4our :onor# COART+ Ma. answer# GITN3SS+ :e was hit on the ba!2 of his head, sir# INT3R/R3T3R+ Gitness pointing to the right ba!2 portion of his head <ust behind his right ear# FISC56 /3R56T5+ 5nd do .ou 2now who shot this Fernando 6eaCoQ

GITN3SS+ 4es, sir# It was Mang Rene# FISC56 /3R56T5+ Ghat did the !ompanions of Rene /ala.o2 do when Rene /ala.o2 shot Fernando 6eaCoQ 5TT4# A4+ Ver. leading, 4our :onor# COART+ Ma. answer# GITN3SS+ The. were a!ting as aide and the. were following Rene /ala.o2, sir#0@)1 5s !an be seen from the abo,e testimon., petitionerDs parti!ipation was hardl. indispensable# In the !ase of People v. Nierra,0@*1 this Court made the following ruling+ 5fter a !ons!ientious refle!tion on the !ompli!it. of Doblen and Ro<as, we ha,e rea!hed the !on!lusion that the. should be held guilt. as a!!ompli!es# It is true, stri!tl. spea2ing, that as !o& !onspirators the. should be punished as !o&prin!ipals# :owe,er, sin!e their parti!ipation was not absolutel. indispensable to the !onsummation of the murder, the rule that the !ourt should fa,or the milder form of liabilit. ma. be applied to them# In some e=!eptional situations, ha,ing !ommunit. of design with the prin!ipal does not pre,ent a malefa!tor from being regarded as an a!!ompli!e if his role in the perpetration of the homi!ide or murder was, relati,el. spea2ing, of a minor !hara!ter# -!EREF"RE, the herein >uestioned de!ision of the Court of 5ppeals affirming the de!ision of the Regional Trial Court is hereb. MODIFI3D to wit+ %# In People versus Felipe Garcia, Jr#, Criminal Case No# $%&$''(), <udgment is hereb. rendered finding the 5!!used guilt. be.ond reasonable doubt as an 5CCOM/6IC3 in the !rime of 9Frustrated :omi!ide; and hereb. senten!es said 5!!used to an indeterminate penalt. of Four E)F months of Arresto Mayor, as Minimum, to Four E)F .ears and One E%F Da. of Prision Correcional, as Ma=imumM @# In People versus Felipe Garcia, Jr# Criminal Case No# $%&$''(*, <udgment is hereb. rendered finding the 5!!used guilt. be.ond reasonable doubt as an 5CCOM/6IC3 in the !rime of N:omi!ide; and hereb. metes on him an indeterminate penalt. of Two E@F 4ears of Prision Correccional, as Minimum, to 3ight EHF 4ears and One E%F Da. of Prision Mayor, as Ma=imum# No pronoun!ement as to !ost# S" "R%ERE%. Puno, and Pardo, JJ., !on!ur# Davide, Jr., C.J., (Chairman , I ,ote to !on,i!t him as prin!ipal# !nares"#antia$o, J., on lea,e#